A little bit of small ball has given the Giants life.
After Gregor Blanco took a pitch off his shoulder and Brandon Crawford walked, Ryan Vogelsong laid down a sacrifice bunt that put two runners in scoring position with one out. Angel Pagan then launched a sacrifice fly to deep center field, pushing the Giants into a 1-1 tie with the Reds in the top of the third of this NLDS Game 3. Marco Scutaro hit into a groundout to end the productive frame.
Vogelsong is already up to 68 pitches, though, and the Giants have begun warming some arms in the visitors bullpen.
The fourth inning is about to get underway at Great American Ball Park in southwest Ohio.
The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.
Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.
While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.