Cardinals waste no time, take 2-0 lead over the Red Sox in the first inning of Game 3

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Jake Peavy went into his start in Game 3 of the World Series hoping to improve on his last start in which he allowed seven runs in three innings of work against the Tigers in Game 4 of the ALCS. The Cardinals aren’t playing nice, as they quickly got to Peavy in the bottom of the first inning in Game 3 of the World Series.

Matt Carpenter led off with a single. Carlos Beltran worked the count to 3-1, then curiously laid a bunt down to the left side of the pitcher’s mound. Ostensibly it was an attempt to reach base, but Peavy retrieved the ball and threw Beltran out by a few inches as Carpenter moved to second base. (Ken Rosenthal reported during the broadcast that Beltran didn’t feel as comfortable batting left-handed as he does right-handed due to the rib injury sustained in Game 1.) Holliday followed up by slashing a line drive to right field, scoring Carpenter to put the Cardinals up 1-0.

The Cardinals kept the rally going as Matt Adams hit a grounder through the hole to right field, then Yadier Molina ripped a single just over third baseman Xander Bogaerts into left field, scoring Holliday to move the score to 2-0. David Freese lined out to right and Jon Jay grounded out to second to end the frame.

Peavy needed 21 pitches to get through the first inning. Cardinals starter Joe Kelly pitched a perfect top half of the first inning on 11 pitches.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.