John Lackey tossed seven scoreless innings last night as the Cardinals topped the Dodgers 3-0 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Lackey gave up just five hits — all of them singles — while striking out nine batters and walking just one. Pitching at the major league minimum salary this season, the veteran right-hander been quite the bargain for St. Louis. He now has a 2.83 ERA and 47/17 K/BB ratio in 63 2/3 innings over his first 10 starts this season. As for Boston’s haul in that trade last July, well, let’s not rub any salt in those wounds.
Despite all the doom and gloom after losing ace Adam Wainwright to a torn Achilles, the Cardinals own the best record in baseball at 32-16 as well as the largest division lead. As for the Dodgers, they have lost back-to-back games and are now a half-game back of the Giants in the National League West.
Your Friday box scores:
Dodgers 0, Cardinals 3
Royals 8, Cubs 4
Rays 1, Orioles 2
Rockies 4, Phillies 1
Red Sox 4, Rangers 7
Nationals 2, Reds 5
Blue Jays 6, Twins 4
Marlins 4, Mets 3
White Sox 6, Astros 3 (11 innings)
Diamondbacks 7, Brewers 5
Tigers 0, Angels 2
Yankees 2, Athletics 6
Pirates 2, Padres 6
Indians 1, Mariners 2
Braves 2, Giants 4
The Braves have announced on Tuesday evening the signing of free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that it’s a one-year contract for $18 million.
Ozuna, 29, hit .241/.328/.472 with 29 home runs, 89 RBI, 80 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 549 plate appearances for the Cardinals last season. He’s been consistently above-average in each of the past four seasons, which also included a career year in 2017 in which he was worth 6.1 WAR, per Baseball Reference.
It is surprising that Ozuna, a two-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner, had to settle for a one-year deal. The Braves are happy he did as he will help make up for some of the offense lost when third baseman Josh Donaldson became a free agent and ultimately signed with the Twins. Ozuna can become a free agent again after the 2020 season but won’t have qualifying offer compensation attached to him, part of the reason why his market may have been slow to develop.
Along with Ozuna, the Braves have signed in free agency this offseason reliever Will Smith, starter Cole Hamels, and catcher Travis d'Arnaud. They re-signed relievers Chris Martin and Darren O'Day, catcher Tyler Flowers, infielder Adeiny Hechavarría, and outfielder Nick Markakis.