Pittsburgh has its first run in this NLDS Game 5.
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright cruised through his first six innings and got two quick outs to open the seventh, but Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter slipped while trying to pick up a Justin Morneau infield single and then Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma misplayed a Marlon Byrd groundball to put runners at first and second. Pedro Alvarez then drove Morneau home with a grounder that hit off the first base bag and sailed high over the glove of less-than-agile Cardinals first baseman Matt Adams. Alvarez is the first player in major league history to register an RBI in the first six postseason games of his career.
The host Cardinals still lead 3-1 as Game 5 moves along to the top of the eighth inning.
Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.
When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.
Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.