Scott Baker scratched from start due to elbow strain

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Gleeman penned a piece at the end of June explaining how right-hander Scott Baker had quietly become the ace of the Twins’ current starting rotation. Now we get to call Gleeman a jinx.

According to beat writer Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, an MRI taken Thursday on Baker’s throwing elbow showed a mild flexor muscle strain.

The Twins have already scratched him from his next scheduled start and will ask Anthony Swarzak to take the mound in his place Sunday afternoon against the White Sox. A 25-year-old former second-round pick, Swarzak has posted a decent 3.71 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 34 major league innings this season. He threw six innings of two-run ball in his last start.

Baker has not been put on the disabled list and might be able to avoid it altogether with the All-Star break now just days away. The 29-year-old has a 3.01 ERA and 1.17 WHIP through his first 17 outings this season.

Video: Matt Carpenter makes history with three home runs, two doubles

St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs
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Matt Carpenter pulled his weight and then some during the Cardinals’ 18-5 win on Friday, becoming just the second player in MLB history to tally three home runs and two doubles in the same game… and the first-ever to do so in the first six innings of a single game.

Carpenter wasted little time getting the Cardinals on the board, first drawing a full count against Cubs lefty Jon Lester, then ricocheting a 92.4-MPH fastball off the scoreboard in right field for a leadoff home run. He returned in the second inning for another two-run shot and capped a seven-run spread in the fifth with an RBI double (his first double of the game was a leadoff hit in the fourth) before polishing off his performance with a third, three-run homer in the sixth.

Following Friday’s explosive five-run, seven-RBI performance, Carpenter is now batting .274/.381/.576 on the year with 23 home runs, 30 doubles and a .957 OPS in 388 PA. The last player to record five extra-base hits in one game was the Cubs’ Kris Bryant, who collected four runs and six RBI for the team back in June 2016. As MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch pointed out, Carpenter might have set another franchise record for most home runs in a game had interim manager Mike Shildt not removed him from the game in the bottom of the sixth. The record is still held by former club outfielder Mark Whiten, who collected four home runs (and a staggering 12 RBI) against the Reds in September 1993.