The Cardinals were shut out by the Cubs yesterday afternoon, so the Reds had a chance to move into second place in the National League Central with a win over the Brewers last night. And they appeared in fine position to do just that when Arolids Chapman strolled to the mound for the bottom of the ninth inning. However, Jonathan Lucroy had other ideas in mind.
After Jean Segura beat out an infield single to lead off the ninth, Lucroy turned on a hanging 1-2 slider from Chapman and put it over the left field fence to secure a stunning 7-6 victory for the Brewers. Lucroy was 0-for-5 with five strikeouts in his career against the hard-throwing left-hander coming into the night.
The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Reds, who now sit at 69-53 on the season. They are a half-game behind the Cardinals and 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Pirates. With the Reds and Cardinals comfortably atop the standings for the Wild Card play-in game, it looks like all three NL Central teams will be playing October baseball.
Your Friday box scores:
Cardinals 0, Cubs 7
Royals 2, Tigers 1; Royals 3, Tigers 0
Diamondbacks 2, Pirates 6
Yankees 10, Red Sox 3
Dodgers 4, Phillies 0
Giants 14, Marlins 10
Rockies 6, Orioles 3
Blue Jays 4, Rays 5
Nationals 2, Braves 3 (10 innings)
Mariners 3, Rangers 1
White Sox 5, Twins 2
Astros 8, Angels 2
Mets 5, Padres 2
Indians 2, Athletics 3
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.