Brian Dozier goes deep, extends the American League’s lead to 6-2 in the eighth

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CINCINNATI — It’s not dark yet for the National League, but it’s getting there.

Brian Dozier, pinch-hitting for Jason Kipnis against Pirates reliever Mark Melancon, homered to denter field on the fourth pitch he saw. That made it 6-2, A.L.

Reminder: though some men named Altuve and Kipnis may take issue with this, there are some in the world who think that Brian Dozier is the best second baseman in baseball right now. Not sure I buy that, but on this night he gave the A.L. some breathing room and continued his torrid July.

Carlos Martínez underwent ‘small procedure’ on right shoulder

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Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak confirmed on Sunday, to KMOX/1120 AM and StlToday.com, that pitcher Carlos Martínez underwent a “small procedure” to address discomfort in his right shoulder and encourage healing as well as a platelet-rich plasma injection.

Martínez, 28, began experiencing shoulder issues in 2018 which impacted his ability to pitch deep into games. Upon his return from the injured list in late August that year, the club moved him into the bullpen. He remained in the bullpen for 2019, making his season debut in May, and had a successful year, racking up 24 saves with a 3.17 ERA and a 53/18 K/BB ratio in 48 1/3 innings.

Martínez wants to start again and the Cardinals have said they will afford him the opportunity. He is expected to be on track to participate in spring training as usual.