Cardinals continue to chip away against Nationals’ lead in Game 5

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UPDATE: The Nationals currently lead the Cardinals 6-4 in Game 5 as we move to the bottom of the seventh inning.

Edwin Jackson was called on to pitch the top of the seventh and quickly walked Jon Jay before giving up a double to Carlos Beltran. Matt Holliday grounded out to shortstop to bring home Jay, but that’s all they could get. Jackson followed with a strike out of Allen Craig and worked around a walk to Yadier Molina before getting David Freese to strike out swinging.

The Cardinals have had their fair share of chances tonight, but they only have six outs left to work with.

10:33 PM: The Cardinals tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth inning to bring the score to 6-3.

Gio Gonzalez completely unraveled in the fifth by giving up two hits and issuing three walks, including one to force in a run. He also threw a wild pitch to allow a run to score. The Cardinals had the chance for more, but Gonzalez got Yadier Molina to fly to to right field to leave the bases loaded.

10:08 PM: The Cardinals still have quite a hole to dig out of, but they have begun the process of chipping away at the Nationals’ lead.

Carlos Beltran led off the top of the fourth inning with a walk and was quickly brought home on a double down the left field line by Matt Holliday. The Cardinals had the chance for a much bigger inning, but Gio Gonzalez got Allen Craig to ground out to shortstop and Yadier Molina to fly out to right field before striking out David Freese to end the inning. Holliday was left stranded at third base.

The Nationals currently hold a 6-1 lead in the middle of the fourth inning.

Mets trade Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers

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The Mets traded centerfielder Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers for cash considerations or a player to be named later, the teams announced late Friday night. Granderson was rumored to be drawing interest from teams earlier in the week, and found a landing place after slashing .256/.360/.721 since the start of the month. In a corresponding move, the Dodgers designated right-hander Dylan Floro for assignment to clear roster space for the outfielder.

As a whole, the 36-year-old’s 2017 campaign has been a tad underwhelming. Granderson entered Saturday batting .228/.334/.481 with 19 home runs and an .815 OPS through 395 PA, and accrued 1.7 fWAR to the 5.1 fWAR he produced during his pennant-winning, MVP-contending season in 2015. Still, with under $4 million remaining on his contract, another 20+ homer season around the corner and the defensive chops to man center field, it looks like a prudent deal for the Dodgers as they continue to bulldoze their way to the playoffs this fall.

The club has yet to outline their plans for Granderson, but his addition to a crowded outfield could displace centerfielder Joc Pederson, who turned in a meager .214/.329/.415 batting line through 292 PA in 2017. It could also have ramifications for fellow veteran Andre Ethier, assuming he’s healthy enough to compete for a starting role when he comes off the 60-day disabled list in September. The Mets, meanwhile, are expected to lean more heavily on rookie outfielder Brandon Nimmo, who’s made just five starts this season after struggling to get consistent playing time on the field.

Corey Kluber exits game with right ankle sprain

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Indians’ right-hander Corey Kluber was removed from the sixth inning of his start on Friday night, bringing a streak of 14 starts with 8+ strikeouts to an unfortunate end after he sprained his right ankle. Kluber stumbled off the mound while trying to field a base hit from Eric Hosmer and was seen visibly limping as he moved to cover first base. He was allowed to stay in the game for one more batter, but quickly yielded a three-pitch single to Melky Cabrera and left the mound with head athletic trainer James Quinlan.

It was a poor ending to another strong outing by the right-hander, who delivered 5 1/3 innings of one-run, four-strikeout ball and took his 12th win of the season after the Indians amassed a nine-run lead. Postgame comments by Cleveland skipper Terry Francona suggest that Kluber isn’t facing a serious setback after sustaining the sprain, however, and might even be good to go by the time his next start comes around on Wednesday.

While the Royals escaped Friday’s loss without injury, the 10-1 drubbing pushed them 6.5 games back of the division lead and half a game behind the Twins and Angels for the second AL wild card berth. They’ll host a rematch on Saturday at 7:15 ET, with left-hander Jason Vargas set to face off against Indians’ righty Trevor Bauer.