The battle for the National League Central wages on.
Cincinnati fell to St. Louis in the first game of this important weekend series on Friday night at Great American Ball Park but rallied back to even up the three-game set on Saturday, tagging Cardinals rookie left-hander Tyler Lyons for four runs on one walk and six hits en route to a 4-2 victory.
Jay Bruce hit a solo blast to deep right field in the bottom of the second inning — his 10th home run of the year — then Devin Mesoraco added a solo shot to right-center in the bottom of the fifth. The Reds tacked on two more runs in the sixth and Aroldis Chapman earned his 16th save in his ninth (with the help of an iffy final-out call at first base).
The Reds — along with the Pirates — are three games back of the Cardinals in the division standings. The Reds and Cards will wrap up their series this evening on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.
Your Saturday box scores and recaps:
Angels 9, Red Sox 5 (Game 1)
Rangers 3, Blue Jays 4 (18 innings)
Marlins 2, Mets 1 (20 innings)
Pirates 6, Cubs 2
Twins 4, Nationals 3 (11 innings)
Indians 4, Tigers 6
Athletics 1, White Sox 4
Yankees 3, Mariners 1
Orioles 0, Rays 8
Astros 2, Royals 7
Phillies 3, Brewers 4
Cardinals 2, Reds 4
Padres 4, Rockies 2
Angels 2, Red Sox 7 (Game 2)
Braves 2, Dodgers 1
Giants 10, Diamondbacks 5
The weather in Cleveland is not that great at the moment. It’s cold, windy, there’s drizzle and the chance for heavier rain increases as the night wears on. At the moment Game 2 of the World Series is still scheduled to kick off at 7:08PM Eastern Time, however. So bundle up.
And maybe hunker down. Because this game is going to go nine innings no matter what. Maybe not tonight, but eventually.
That’s because, you may recall, ever since that rainy, snowy mix forced the suspension in the sixth inning of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series between the Phillies and the Marlins, Major League Baseball has held that all playoff games will be played in their entirety. There will be no six-inning, rain-shortened affairs.
The last word from MLB was that they would reassess the weather just before starting pitchers began to warm up this evening. If things still look about the same then, the game will proceed as scheduled. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, they’ll suspend the game and pick it up where it leaves off tomorrow.
A man named Ken Kostal of Marblehead, Ohio was just trying to get home from Los Angeles yesterday morning. He looked over and saw former Indians great Kenny Lofton in the boarding area, trying to fly standby to Cleveland. Why was Lofton trying to get to Cleveland? To throw out the first pitch in last night’s Game 1 of the World Series, of course.
Kostal gave up his seat to Lofton and Lofton made it to Cleveland in time. But don’t weep for Kostal. He got more than a ticket on the next flight and some federally-mandated bonus cash. The Indians just announced that they are giving Kostal tickets for Game 6, if necessary. In addition, United Airlines is giving Kostal 62,200 miles for his use on a future flight. Why 62,200? Because Lofton had 622 career stolen bases.
That’s pretty dang sweet. And now Kostal is probably rooting for the Tribe to drop a couple of games so he can go to the World Series on the house.