Big Mayo is back: Matt Adams rejoins Cardinals’ lineup

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Matt Adams is starting at first base for the Cardinals tonight, rejoining the lineup for the first time since late May.

Adams missed nearly four months with a torn quadriceps muscle and has served as a pinch-hitter since returning from the disabled list last week.

St. Louis seems likely to limit his playing time down the stretch in an effort to keep him healthy for the playoffs, because having Adams’ left-handed bat in the middle of the lineup will be key in October.

Mark Reynolds was the primary fill-in at first base in Adams’ absence, but recently the Cardinals have been using Brandon Moss there most often. Adams sitting versus left-handed pitchers in favor of the righty-hitting Reynolds seems like an easy way to keep everyone fresh, but the lefty-hitting Moss may also steal some playing time if the outfield is too jammed with other options.

For tonight Adams is batting fifth versus Brewers right-hander Ariel Pena.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.