Because the Cardinals have been just as hot and currently hold the top spot in the National League Central standings, the Reds’ run of success over the past couple of weeks has flown somewhat under the radar.
Cincinnati was at it again on Saturday evening at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, routing the host Phillies by a score of 10-0. Joey Votto reached base in all six of his plate appearances, pushing his batting line to .346/.473/.531. Bronson Arroyo tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings and now has a 1.86 ERA in three May starts. Even Jay Bruce, who had well-documented struggles in April, is starting to come alive this month with a .999 OPS and 16 RBI in 14 games.
The Reds, 26-17 overall, have won 13 of their last 17 games and trail St. Louis by only a game and a half in the NL Central. That should be an excellent back-and-forth all year.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Mariners 4, Indians 5
Blue Jays 2, Yankees 7
Mets 2, Cubs 8
Rays 10, Orioles 6
White Sox 9, Angels 12
Reds 10, Phillies 0
Astros 4, Pirates 2 (11 innings)
Red Sox 12, Twins 5
Dodgers 1, Braves 3
Diamondbacks 1, Marlins 0
Brewers 6, Cardinals 4 (10 innings)
Tigers 2, Rangers 7
Giants 2, Rockies 10
Nationals 1, Padres 2
Royals 1, Athletics 2
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.