The first-place Cardinals closed out the first half of 2015 with three straight losses in Pittsburgh, which allowed the Pirates to move their once-gaping deficit in the National League Central standings to just 2 1/2 games. But facing this current Mets offense can do wonders for a struggling team with good pitching.
St. Louis topped New York 3-2 on Friday night behind a very solid outing from Lance Lynn and then rolled to an easy 12-2 rout on Saturday. Randal Grichuk homered twice and collected a career-high six RBI. Jason Heyward tallied five hits, continuing to stay hot after a somewhat sluggish first two months. Starter John Lackey gave up 10 hits but only one run.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has dropped two games in a row in Milwaukee.
The standings gap is back to 4 1/2 games entering play Sunday.
Your box scores and AP recaps from Saturday …
Mariners 4, Yankees 3
Rays 3, Blue Jays 2
Royals 7, White Sox 6 (13 innings)
Dodgers 4, Nationals 2
Marlins 1, Phillies 3
Orioles 3, Tigers 0
Pirates 5, Brewers 8
Cubs 4, Braves 0
Indians 9, Reds 4
Rangers 7, Astros 6
Mets 2, Cardinals 12
Giants 8, Diamondbacks 4
Rockies 4, Padres 5
Red Sox 0, Angels 3
Twins 2, Athletics 3 (10 innings)
The Tampa Bay Rays were reported this week to be “open for business” as far as trades go. Normally that means nothing happens until late June or something. The Rays are getting right down to it, though, as they’ve just traded closer Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span to the Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners, who have played some outstanding ball lately thanks to some outstanding starting pitching, and are looking to bolster other areas as they make a push in the AL West, will likely slot Colome into a setup role in front of closer Edwin Diaz. Span will take over center field, allowing Dee Gordon to, eventually anyway, once he recovers from a fractured toe, cover for the suspended Robinson Cano at second base. If the M’s make the playoffs he’d likely do so in the postseason too, given that Cano will be ineligible for any October play due to his suspension.
Colome has saved 11 games for the Rays, with a 4.15 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 23/8 in 21.2 innings.Span is hitting .238/.364/.385 with four homers and six stolen bases on the season.
Two players are going back to the Rays: righties Andrew Moore and Tommy Romero. Moore was the Mariners’ second round pick in 2015 and made his big league debut last season, pitching 59 innings in 2018 but back in the minors so far in 2018. Romero was a 15th rounder for Seattle in 2017 and is currently plying his trade in A-ball.
The Rays, as expected, are using the 2018 season to acquire prospects. The Mariners, who are unexpectedly strong in the early going, are trying to go for it even harder. Quite a big trade for late May.