Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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Nearly one year removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, Orioles catcher Matt Wieters made his long-awaited return last night. And he didn’t much time to shake the rust, going 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a sacrifice fly in a 5-2 win over the Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

The game was tied 2-2 until Adam Jones hit a go-ahead solo home run off Shaun Marcum in the sixth. The Orioles got some insurance in the eighth inning when Jones had an RBI triple and Wieters drove him in with a sacrifice fly. Chris Tillman allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings in the victory. He had been winless over his previous seven starts.

After losing five in a row, the Orioles have now won back-to-back games. While Baltimore is just 25-29 on the year, they are only 4 1/2 games out in the American League East. Finally having Wieters back behind the plate could go a long way in helping them close the gap.

Your Friday box scores:

Orioles 5, Indians 2

Angels 7, Yankees 8

Cubs 5, Nationals 7

Astros 2, Blue Jays 6

Giants 5, Phillies 4

Athletics 2, Red Sox 4

Padres 6, Reds 2

Pirates 10, Braves 8

Brewers 10, Twins 5

Tigers 3, White Sox 4 (11 innings)

Marlins 6, Rockies 2

Rangers 4, Royals 0

Mets 2, Diamondbacks 7

Rays 1, Mariners 0

Cardinals 2, Dodgers 1

Reds are the frontrunner for Nicholas Castellanos

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Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that the Reds “have emerged as the frontrunner” to sign free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos. Morosi says the Reds and Castellanos “have made progress over the past several days.”

The Reds were going to have a lot of outfielders already when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps. And, of course, the Reds could trade from their outfield surplus if, indeed, they end up with an outfield surplus.

Without question, however, Castellanos would be the big dog, at least offensively, in that setup. He had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power. If he were to sign to play half his season in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.