The Royals and Angels are deadlocked through five innings tonight in Game 1 of the ALDS.
Alcides Escobar got the Royals on the board first with a two-out RBI double off Jered Weaver in the top of the third inning. You can watch video of the hit here. The lead didn’t last long, as Chris Iannetta launched a solo homer off Jason Vargas in the bottom of the third to draw even. Here’s video of the blast. Mike Trout lost a ball in the lights in the top of the fifth inning, resulting in a double for Alex Gordon, who eventually came home to score on a sacrifice fly by Omar Infante. However, the Angels fought right back in the bottom of the frame with a leadoff homer from David Freese to tie the game at 2-2. That’s where we stand now.
Of course, postseason heroics are nothing new for Freese. He now has eight career playoff home runs.
To the top of the sixth we go in Anaheim.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.