Indians bang out 14 runs in first two innings against Astros

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We knew that the 5-11 Astros, with a -20 run differential, were bad — but not this bad. The 5-10 Indians, with a -21 run differential themselves, bashed Astros starter Phil Humber for eight runs while recording only one out in the first inning. Dallas Keuchel relieved Humber after ten batters and recorded the final two outs of the first inning without any further damage, but it was only the beginning.

The first inning went: fly out, single, single, RBI double, two-RBI double, walk, three-run home run, double, single, two-RBI double, ground out, ground out.

The Indians weren’t done, though. Keuchel returned to the hill for the second inning and received a beating himself as the Tribe posted a six spot.

The second inning went: single, walk, error, RBI single, strikeout, RBI single, RBI walk, RBI ground out, RBI single, RBI double, pop out.

To the Astros’ credit, their offense didn’t quit at the sight of a 14-run deficit, as they took three runs back in the bottom half of the second inning on an RBI ground out by Ronny Cendeno and a two-run home run by Brandon Barnes.

Carlos Santana immediately homered to lead off the third, so it looks like there’s no end in sight for the Indians’ offense.

Of the 2,430 regular season games played last year, a team scored 15 runs in 24 one of them (1%). In 2011, the feat occurred 34 times, and 32 times in 2010.

Travis d’Arnaud’s position in Wednesday’s box score read “3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B”

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The Mets had to scratch both Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores an hour before Wednesday’s game against the Yankees due to ribcage injuries, so Travis d'Arnaud — normally a catcher — borrowed David Wright‘s glove and played third base for the first time in his career. He had played some third base in spring training, but as far as an official professional game goes, he’s never been there.

The first two batters the Yankees sent up to the plate in the first inning were left-handed. But when the right-handed Aaron Judge came up, manager Terry Collins swapped second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera with d’Arnaud. It became a thing. The two swapped once more in the first inning, three times in the second, once in the third, five times in the fourth, once in the fifth, three times in the sixth, four times in the seventh, once in the eighth, and twice in the ninth. It worked, as d’Arnaud didn’t have an opportunity to make a play until catching Todd Frazier‘s pop-up for the first out of the ninth inning — as a second baseman. Cabrera had a handful of opportunities, including immediately after having swapped with d’Arnaud.

The Mets lost 5-3. At the plate, d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. Cabrera was 1-for-4.

Matt Reynolds and Gavin Cecchini are being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas so the Mets don’t have to do the “3B-2B shenanigans,” as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo put it, again.

John Lackey stole the first base of his career

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Cubs starter John Lackey stole the first base of his 15-year career on Wednesday against the Reds. Of course, he spent the first 11 and a half years of his career in the American League, where opportunities to bat, let alone attempt to steal a base, were rare. Lackey entered Wednesday having taken 250 plate appearances, reaching base just 31 times on 17 singles, seven doubles, and seven walks for a .134 on-base percentage. One can imagine the 38-year-old is not exactly the swiftest base runner.

Still, Lackey managed to swipe a bag in the fourth inning. He singled with two outs against Homer Bailey. Then, with an 0-1 count on Ben Zobrist, Lackey broke for second even before Bailey began his windup. Tucker Barnhart stood up to alert Bailey that Lackey was running, so Bailey wheeled around and threw to second base, but Lackey slid into the bag easily safe. It wasn’t a pretty slide, but it did the job.

Lackey, however, was picked off of second base by Barnhart later that inning. Bailey threw a 3-2 fastball wide of the strike zone, walking Zobrist. Lackey had wandered too far off of second base, so Barnhart threw behind Lackey and the tag was applied by Zack Cozart. Lackey was called safe initially. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was overturned, ending the fourth inning.

Base Ba’al giveth and Base Ba’al taketh away.