The Braves got on the board against Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw in the fourth inning, but they were unable to make it a big inning.
Freddie Freeman reached on a one-out single to right field before Evan Gattis worked out a walk. The next batter Brian McCann came very close to a three-run homer, but Carl Crawford was able to catch up to it at the warning track in left field. Chris Johnson then singled to center field to drive in the first run of the game for the Braves, but Kershaw was able to strike out Andrelton Simmons swinging to end the threat and stand runners at first and third. Wasting opportunities against Kershaw is not a recipe for success.
Kershaw hasn’t been on his A-game so far, as he has already thrown 77 pitches over four innings, but the Dodgers still have themselves a comfortable 5-1 lead as we head to the fifth.
The Mets rode a bloop hit and a fortuitous slide by Yoenis Cespedes into a four-run fifth inning against the Cardinals during Thursday night’s game.
After Cespedes drew a one-out walk, James Loney hit a weak pop-up into shallow left field. Left fielder Brandon Moss and shortstop Greg Garcia both gave chase but it dropped in. Cespedes, running the bases aggressively, sprinted towards third base. Moss scooped up the ball and threw to Adam Wainwright covering third base.
Cespedes appeared to have been tagged out by Wainwright, but as luck would have it, Cespedes’ cleats stuck on Wainwright’s glove and yanked it off. Cespedes was ruled safe and the Cardinals challenged the call, but it was ultimately upheld.
After that play, Curtis Granderson struck out, Wilmer Flores reached on a fielding error by Garcia, and Alejandro De Aza hit a three-run home run to right field, pushing the Mets’ lead to 7-0.
You may recall that, back in May, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor got into a fight with Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. Bautista slid late into second base, with which Odor took issue, so he punched Bautista in the face. That earned him a seven-game suspension.
With one out in the fifth inning of Thursday’s game against the Indians, Odor reached on a fielding error by first baseman Mike Napoli. Jonathan Lucroy then hit into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Odor slid hard into Jason Kipnis covering second base.
Kipnis, hearkening back to the Bautista fight, backed up as if he were afraid Odor would punch him. Odor got a good chuckle out of it, but it was the Rangers’ bench which perhaps enjoyed the joke most. The Rangers’ broadcast showing Adrian Beltre cracking up and telling his other teammates what had happened.