Jair Jurrjens hurls one-hitter for first career shutout

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Atlanta’s Jair Jurrjens emphatically reclaimed the major league lead in ERA on Friday by throwing a one-hit shutout against the Orioles.  It was his first career shutout and second complete game.

The performance lowered his ERA from 2.07 to 1.89.  Jered Weaver had held the major league lead with a 1.97 ERA.

Jurrjens took a no-hitter into the seventh before Adam Jones singled to break it up.  Jones was one of just two hitters to reach base for the Orioles in the game, as Jeremy Guthrie fell to 3-10 despite another solid effort in a 4-0 loss.  He pitched seven innings and allowed three earned runs.

Jurrjens ended up with eight strikeouts, besting his previous season high by two.  His career high for strikeouts is 10, achieved Sept. 11, 2008 against the Rockies.

The 25-year-old has won his last three starts, and he’s tied for the major league lead with 11 victories.  He probably won’t be the choice to start for the NL in the All-Star Game — Roy Halladay is the likely selection there — but he’ll almost certainly be on the roster and he could be the second or third pitcher into the contest for the Senior Circuit.

Anthony DeSclafani crushed a grand slam for his first career home run

Anthony DeSclafani
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Reds right-hander Anthony DeSclafani put on a show during Saturday’s matinee against the Cubs. Up 2-1 in the third inning, the hurler hooked a Brian Duensing fastball over the left field fence for his first career home run — and first career grand slam:

Grand slams are impressive no matter the player or situation, but they’re made all the more special in rare circumstances like this one. Not only is DeSclafani the first pitcher to deliver a grand slam in 2018, but he’s the first Reds hurler to do so in nearly 60 years. Per MLB.com’s Brian Scott Rippee, right-hander Bob Purkey was the last to hit a slam for the Reds in 1959, when he took Cubs reliever John Buzhardt deep in the third inning of a 12-3 drubbing.

The 28-year-old righty had a decent outing on the mound as well, holding the Cubs to two runs, four walks, and three strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings before passing the ball to reliever Michael Lorenzen. Entering Saturday, he carried a 2-1 record in three games, with a 4.60 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 across 15 2/3 innings — not too shabby for someone who hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016.

The Reds currently lead 8-2 in the bottom of the seventh.