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
Orioles DH Mark Trumbo drilled a two-run home run to left-center field off of reliever Ben Heller in the eighth inning of Sunday afternoon’s game against the Yankees. In doing so, he became the first player to reach the 40-homer plateau this season.
Trumbo finished 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Along with the 40 dingers, he’s hitting .257/.317/.541 with 96 RBI. He has already set a career-high in homers and is four RBI away from tying his career high in that regard.
Trumbo is eligible for free agency after the season. Needless to say, his performance in 2016 bodes well for his ability to secure a hefty contract.
Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported on Sunday that Pirates starter Gerrit Cole was scratched from Monday’s start against the Cubs. Cole instead has flown to Los Angeles to have his sore right elbow examined by a specialist, Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Cole struggled in Wednesday’s start against the Astros, yielding five runs in five innings. He did not throw his regular between-starts bullpen. An MRI didn’t reveal any ligament damage, but a bone spur remains a possibility.
Cole, 25, has a 3.55 ERA and a 95/32 K/BB ratio in 144 innings over 20 starts this season. The right-hander missed some time earlier this season with a triceps injury.