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
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.