Reds get on the board but Pirates open even bigger lead in National League Wild Card Game

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Reds slugger Jay Bruce was 0-for-11 against Pirates starter Francisco Liriano entering this National League Wild Card Game and struck out on three straight sliders in his first meeting Tuesday night against the left-hander, but Bruce got Cincinnati its first run of the night with an RBI single in the top of the fourth inning after Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a Liriano pitch and Ryan Ludwick slapped a single.

Reds starter Johnny Cueto was lifted by manger Dusty Baker in the bottom of the fourth following a one-out double by Starling Marte and left-handed reliever Sean Marshall could not erase that threat, yielding an RBI double to the Steel City’s hometown hero, Neil Walker. Marshall then issued an intentional walk to Andrew McCutchen and a base-on-balls to Justin Morneau. Cincy turned next to right-hander JJ Hoover, who surrendered the Pirates’ fifth run of the game when Brandon Phillips botched what should have been an inning-ending doubleplay.

Pittsburgh is on top 5-1 as this NL Wild Card Game moves to the top of the fifth.

Phillies sign Trevor Plouffe to minor league deal

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Infielder Trevor Plouffe has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Plouffe asked for and was granted his release from the Rangers earlier this month.

Plouffe, 31, had a double and a home run in 17 plate appearances with Triple-A Round Rock to start the 2018 season. He spent last year with the Athletics and Rays, putting up a meager .198/.272/.318 batting line in 100 games.

Plouffe has mostly played third base throughout his career, but can also handle the other three infield spots and both outfield corners, so he’ll serve as organizational depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the Phillies.