The Cardinals secured a series sweep at home against the Pirates when Kolten Wong slugged a solo home run to right field in the 14th inning off of reliever Radhames Liz. It marked their third consecutive walk-off win against the Pirates. They won on Friday with a tenth-inning walk-off RBI single from Matt Adams, and won again on Saturday on Matt Carpenter’s walk-off sacrifice fly in the 11th inning.
The Cardinals have four consecutive walk-off wins against the Pirates dating back to last season. On September 3, Peter Bourjos hit a walk-off single against Mark Melancon in the bottom of the ninth inning to send his team to a 1-0 win.
Now 18-6, the Cardinals have the best record in baseball. In the National League, the Mets have the second-best record at 16-10. The Cardinals are 4.5 games ahead of the second-place Cubs.
Barring physicals and roster reshuffling, the Yankees and Reds are all but ready to finalize a deal involving right-hander Sonny Gray, Fancred’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday. The exact return has not been confirmed, but Heyman hears that the Yankees will receive top infield prospect Shed Long and a draft pick in exchange for Gray, with an as-yet unnamed third player possibly involved as well.
According to several reports earlier in the day, negotiations came down to the wire as the Yankees first had their eye on the Reds’ no. 6 prospect, 22-year-old catcher Tyler Stephenson. The Reds ultimately elected to hang on to Stephenson and send Long to New York, as they currently have a greater need for catching depth and weren’t expected to be able to provide a full-time role for the infielder in 2019. Long, 23, is ranked seventh in the Reds’ system and appears to be nearing his MLB debut after batting .261/.353/.412 with 12 homers and a .765 OPS across 522 PA at Double-A Pensacola last year.
Gray figures to step into a prominent role within the Reds’ rotation, which is likely to be a mix of recently-acquired left-hander Alex Wood and right-handers Tanner Roark, Luis Castillo, Anthony DeSclafani, and Tyler Mahle, among several others. Despite Gray’s struggle to remain productive on the mound — he’s three years removed from his only All-Star campaign and turned in a disappointing 4.90 ERA and 2.16 SO/BB rate in 2018 — he might yet help stabilize a team that trotted out the fifth-worst rotation in the majors last season. If, on the other hand, the veteran righty finds the hitter-friendly confines of Great American Ball Park a little too unforgiving this year, the Reds can take some comfort in the fact that he’s due to enter free agency in 2020.