Zack Greinke knocks the Reds down, but John Axford lets ’em back up

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Zack Greinke pitched eight shutout innings against the Reds this afternoon. He allowed only two hits. He struck out 11.  That’ll get you a win most days.  But not today.

That’s because Johnny Cueto pitched seven shutout innings himself and had better help from his bullpen and the Fates. The Reds beat the Brewers 2-1.

It was 0-0 entering the ninth when the usually reliable John Axford took over for Greinke, who had thrown 104 pitches to that point. Axford struck out the first two batters he faced, but then:

  • Drew Stubbs singled;
  • Joey Votto plated Stubbs with a double; and
  • Brandon Phillips plated Votto with a single.

Life comes at you fast, man.

Milwaukee got one back with a Ryan Braun homer in the bottom of the ninth, and then threatened big by loading the bases with two out.  Reds reliever Logan Ondrusek put out the fire by inducing a fly ball to end the game, however.

A tough luck no-decision for Greinke and a tough luck loss for the Brewers. But in a game this close the same would have been true if it went the other way.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.