This series might be headed back to The Trop.
The Rays, pummeled by the Rangers in Games 1 and 2 back in Tampa, are now leading Texas 5-2 in the seventh inning of Sunday’s ALDS Game 4 in Arlington. Rays rookie Wade Davis fanned seven batters and allowed just two runs, looking mature in situations that required serious damage control. Evan Longoria is 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI. Carlos Pena has an RBI and two runs scored.
The Rangers didn’t get the start they were hoping for out of youngster Tommy Hunter, who was pulled from the game after allowing three runs and six hits over four innings of work. Nelson Cruz homered in the bottom of the sixth, but it was a solo shot. A three-run deficit won’t be easy to overcome.
If the Rays hang on, they’ll tie the five-game series at 2-2. Look for a battle of left-handed aces in Game 5 with Cliff Lee going for the Rangers and David Price taking the home-field mound at Tropicana Field.
In the meantime, the Yankees will continue to rest their banged-up players. They swept the Twins on their own side of the ALDS and the ALCS doesn’t kick off until Friday night.
Extension season continues. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cardinals and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt are close to an agreement on a five-year extension. The value is believed to be around $130 million, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Goldschmidt was set to become a free agent after the season.
The Cardinals acquired Goldschmidt, 31, from the Diamondbacks in December in exchange for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, Andy Young, and a 2019 competitive balance round B pick. The slugger is a six-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Goldschmidt owns a career .297/.398/.532 triple-slash line along with 209 home runs, 710 RBI, 709 runs scored, and 124 stolen bases. He is also well-regarded for his defense at first base. As a result, he has accumulated 40.3 Wins Above Replacement over eight seasons, according to Baseball Reference.
With Goldschmidt in place, the Cardinals are set at first base for the foreseeable future. Though Goldschmidt got off to a slow start last season, carrying an OPS barely above .700 into June, he recovered and finished with a .922 OPS. That two-month blip aside, there’s no reason to think Goldschmidt’s production is about to fall off anytime soon.