Cardinals continue to chip away against Nationals’ lead in Game 5

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UPDATE: The Nationals currently lead the Cardinals 6-4 in Game 5 as we move to the bottom of the seventh inning.

Edwin Jackson was called on to pitch the top of the seventh and quickly walked Jon Jay before giving up a double to Carlos Beltran. Matt Holliday grounded out to shortstop to bring home Jay, but that’s all they could get. Jackson followed with a strike out of Allen Craig and worked around a walk to Yadier Molina before getting David Freese to strike out swinging.

The Cardinals have had their fair share of chances tonight, but they only have six outs left to work with.

10:33 PM: The Cardinals tacked on two more runs in the top of the fifth inning to bring the score to 6-3.

Gio Gonzalez completely unraveled in the fifth by giving up two hits and issuing three walks, including one to force in a run. He also threw a wild pitch to allow a run to score. The Cardinals had the chance for more, but Gonzalez got Yadier Molina to fly to to right field to leave the bases loaded.

10:08 PM: The Cardinals still have quite a hole to dig out of, but they have begun the process of chipping away at the Nationals’ lead.

Carlos Beltran led off the top of the fourth inning with a walk and was quickly brought home on a double down the left field line by Matt Holliday. The Cardinals had the chance for a much bigger inning, but Gio Gonzalez got Allen Craig to ground out to shortstop and Yadier Molina to fly out to right field before striking out David Freese to end the inning. Holliday was left stranded at third base.

The Nationals currently hold a 6-1 lead in the middle of the fourth inning.

Astros release Jon Singleton

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The Astros have released first baseman Jon Singleton, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.

Singleton, 26, was suspended for 100 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a third time. He has had issues with marijuana in the post and admitted to being a drug addict several years ago. He said, “At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict. I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself. I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that. So I have to work against that.”

Singleton played parts of two seasons in the majors in 2014-15 with the Astros, batting a combined .171/.290/.331 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in — appropriately — 420 plate appearances. He spent 2016 with Triple-A Fresno and 2017 with Double-A Corpus Christi, putting up middling numbers.

If he can convince teams he’s still actively working to overcome his addiction, Singleton may be able to find an opportunity elsewhere. But his road back to the majors remains long. He was once a top prospect in the Phillies’ system, then was traded to the Astros in the Hunter Pence deal back in July 2011.