Aided by a Pete Kozma error on a Ryan Vogelsong grounder, not to mention the intentional walk that came before it, the Giants built an early 5-0 lead in the second inning against Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals in Sunday night’s Game 6.
The Giants scored once on the first on a Marco Scutaro walk, a Pablo Sandoval double and a Buster Posey RBI groundout. The other four runs all came in the second.
Brandon Belt tripled to start that inning. Carpenter bounced back to fan Gregor Blanco, but then the decision was made to walk Crawford, the No. 8 hitter, and try to set up the double play with the pitcher up. Kozma committed an error, allowing one run to score. Carpenter struck out Angel Pagan afterwards for the second out, but back-to-back hits from Scutaro and Sandoval plated three runs, all of which were unearned.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, have gotten just one hitter on base in three innings against Vogelsong. That was Matt Carpenter, who replaced the injured Matt Holliday in the lineup. He walked in the first.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.