Settling the Score: Thursday’s results

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Craig is away today, so we’re going with a “Settling the Score” in lieu of the usual “And That Happened.” Don’t worry, we’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming on Monday.

While plenty of attention was focused on the 2013 First-Year Player Draft last night, there were some baseball games going on. And Yasiel Puig stole the show once again, as the Cuban outfielder smacked a dramatic grand slam in a 5-0 victory over the Braves.

Zack Greinke gave up four hits over seven shutout frames and struck out seven for his third win of the season. The Dodgers held a slim 1-0 lead before Puig broke things open with an opposite-field blast off Cody Gearrin with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning. And yes, he got another curtain call at Dodger Stadium. He’s already making a habit out of those.

Puig is now hitting .438 (7-for-16) with three home runs, one double and nine RBI over his first four games in the big leagues. For the moment, all that talk about him saving the Dodgers’ season doesn’t sound like hyperbole.

Your Thursday box scores:

Rays 2, Tigers 5

Diamondbacks 8, Cardinals 12

Orioles 3, Astros 1

Phillies 5, Brewers 1

Twins 3, Royals 7

Rangers 3, Red Sox 6

Athletics 5, White Sox 4 (10 innings)

Padres 6, Rockies 5 (12 innings)

Yankees 6, Mariners 1

Mets/Nationals – PPD

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.