Matt Holliday has missed the past six weeks–including the All-Star game–with a strained quadriceps muscle, but the Cardinals left fielder is off the disabled list and back in the starting lineup tonight.
Holliday was having a very good season before the injury, hitting .303 with an .839 OPS in 52 games, but the Cardinals got excellent fill-in work from rookie Randal Grichuk in left field. Grichuk, who’ll turn 24 years old next month, has hit .277 with an .853 OPS in 59 games overall this season.
It’ll be interesting to see how manager Mike Matheny divvies up the playing time now that Holliday is back in the mix. Grichuk can play center field, allowing the Cardinals to keep him in the lineup alongside Holliday and right fielder Jason Heyward, which is exactly what Matheny is doing tonight. Light-hitting, good-fielding Peter Bourjos is on the bench.
The Red Sox salvaged the final game of their three-game home series against the Astros, winning 4-3 on Sunday afternoon. In doing so, they ended the Astros’ 10-game winning streak.
Xander Bogaerts struck the decisive blow, knocking in a run with a double in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. Michael Chavis also hit another homer — his eighth of the season — while Mookie Betts collected three hits and scored three runs to raise his OPS to .899.
The Astros last lost on May 7 against the Royals, the second game of a three-game series. The Astros won the final game of that set, then swept the Rangers in a four-game series, the Tigers in three, and won the first two games against the Red Sox. It’s their second 10-game winning streak of the season, as they won 10 striaght between April 5-16, sweeping the Athletics, Yankees, and Mariners before losing the second of two games against the A’s in Oakland.
At 31-16, the Astros are slightly behind the Twins — in progress as of this writing — for the best winning percentage in the majors. The Red Sox, meanwhile, have made up some ground after ending April 13-17. They’re now 24-22, good for third place in the AL East.