With the Cardinals right on their heels, the Pirates continue to hang tough in the National League Central. They maintained a one-game lead in the division with a 3-1 win over the Giants last night in San Francisco.
Charlie Morton was the story of the night for Pittsburgh, as he allowed just one run over 7 2/3 innings for the victory. The only offense he needed was a three-run homer by Clint Barmes in the top of the seventh inning, which made a loser out of Madison Bumgarner. MVP hopeful Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-3 with a walk for Pittsburgh and is hitting .451 with a ridiculous .556 on-base percentage in August.
The Pirates now sit at 76-52 on the season. They need just six wins in their last 34 games to secure their first winning season since 1992.
Your Friday box scores:
Diamondbacks 3, Phillies 4
Twins 5, Indians 1
Tigers 6, Mets 1
Rockies 3, Marlins 2
Athletics 7, Orioles 9
Yankees 2, Rays 7
Brewers 6, Reds 4
Braves 1, Cardinals 3
Rangers 11, White Sox 5
Nationals 11, Royals 10
Blue Jays 4, Astros 12
Red Sox 0, Dodgers 2
Angels 2, Mariners 0
Cubs 6, Padres 8
Nathan Eovaldi hasn’t pitched in a month due to right elbow inflammation, but he told Chad Jennings of the Journal News today that he expects to pitch out of the bullpen if the Yankees advance to the ALDS against the Royals.
Eovaldi was originally expected to throw a 35-pitch bullpen session today, but the Yankees moved up his timetable after the news that CC Sabathia was checking into alcohol rehab. Instead, he threw 10 pitches in a bullpen session before facing hitters for the first time since his injury.
There isn’t enough time for Eovaldi to get stretched out to start during the ALDS, but he could still play an important role for the Yankees, especially with Adam Warren looking like the most likely option to replace Sabathia in the rotation.
Yadier Molina suffered a mild ligament tear in his left thumb on September 20, but the Cardinals announced Monday that they remain “optimistic” he’ll be on the roster for the upcoming NLDS.
Molina visited a hand specialist Monday and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that he’ll have a custom splint built in hopes that he’ll be able to hit and catch. He’s still not 100 percent, but even a limited Molina could be better than the alternative. That would be Tony Cruz in this case.
The Cardinals will meet the winner of Wednesday’s Wild Card game between the Cubs and the Pirates. Game 1 of the NLDS will take place Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET in St. Louis.