Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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With their ace Adam Wainwright on the hill, the Cardinals had a chance to move within one game of first place in the National League Central last night. Of course, as things often go in baseball, it didn’t work out that way.

The Brewers scored seven runs off Wainwright in a 7-4 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Aramis Ramirez led the charge for Milwaukee’s offense by going 3-for-5 with a solo homer and an RBI double, but five Brewers had at least two hits.

Wily Peralta allowed two runs over 6 2/3 innings for his 13th victory. Matt Carpenter made things a little interesting in the ninth inning when he delivered a two-run triple, so Ron Roenicke was forced to bring in Francisco Rodriguez, but he managed to get Kolten Wong to ground out to end the ballgame.

The Brewers now have a three-game lead over the Cardinals in the NL Central. They’ll look to create some more distance tonight when they send Kyle Lohse up against Justin Masterson, who will be making his Cardinals debut.

Your Friday box scores:

Brewers 7, Cardinals 4

Mariners 1, Orioles 2

Phillies 2, Nationals 1

Rangers 2, Indians 12

Giants 5, Mets 1

Yankees 3, Red Sox 4

Reds 5, Marlins 2

Angels 5, Rays 3

Twins 8, White Sox 10

Pirates 9, Diamondbacks 4

Rockies 2, Tigers 4

Blue Jays 1, Astros 3

Cubs 8, Dodgers 2

Royals 1, Athletics 0

Braves 1, Padres 10

Martin Maldonado and Willson Contreras say they’re willing to pay fines rather than follow new mound visit rule

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On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.

Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”

Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.

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Update (4:43 PM ET): In response to this, Manfred said that if a catcher or coach made a seventh mound visit, there would have to be a pitching change (via Fletcher). However, chief baseball officer Joe Torre said (via SB Nation’s Eric Stephen) that the seventh visit cannot trigger a pitching change. The umpire would simply have to prevent the seventh mound visit.