Madison Bumgarner gets lit up, Cards take 6-0 lead in fourth

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If the Giants are going to prevail tonight, they’ll have to duplicate the Cardinals’ comeback from Game 5 of the NLDS.

David Freese and Carlos Beltran homered Sunday as the Cardinals built a 6-0 lead over the Giants in the NLCS opener.

Freese’s two-run homer was the only scoring through three innings, but the Cardinals added to their lead on back-to-back doubles from Daniel Descalso and Pete Kozma in the fourth. Madison Bumgarner rebounded from there to fan opposing starter Lance Lynn and get ahead of Jon Jay 0-2. However, Jay dropped an RBI single into center field and Beltran followed with a two-run blast to make it 6-0.

That was it for Bumgarner, who gave up at least four runs for the seventh time in his last nine starts.

Meanwhile, Lynn is through three scoreless innings as of this writing. The 18-game winner, who entered the postseason in the pen, is starting tonight as a result of Jaime Garcia’s shoulder injury.

Tigers sign Josh Thole to minors deal

Josh Thole
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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.