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Cardinals end Cubs’ 11-game win streak

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CHICAGO — Randal Grichuk hit a grand slam that capped a six-run burst in the eighth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals stopped the Cubs’ 11-game winning streak, beating Chicago 8-4 Saturday.

After a run-scoring wild pitch and a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the eighth put the Cardinals ahead 4-2, Grichuk connected.

Brandon Moss and Jedd Gyorko also homered for St. Louis.

Addison Russell hit his 14th homer for the NL Central-leading Cubs.

Alex Reyes (1-0) pitched three scoreless innings of relief to get the win.

St. Louis starter Luke Weaver gave up two runs on four hits in his major league debut. The 22-year-old was lifted for a pinch hitter after four innings and 85 pitches.

Carl Edwards Jr. (0-1) allowed five runs while getting only two outs.

Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks struck out 12, matching a career best, in seven innings. He gave up five hits, including two homers. His ERA rose slightly from 2.17 to 2.19.

It was 2-all in the eighth when the Cardinals loaded the bases with one out. Edwards Jr. struck out Molina with a breaking pitch in the dirt and the ball bounced off the chest of catcher Willson Contreras and rolled toward the third-base dugout, allowing Stephen Piscotty to score.

Edwards then walked the next two batters to force in another run. Joe Smith relieved and Grichuk hit his slam.

The Cubs added a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth.

Weaver retired the Cubs in order in the first inning. Ben Zobrist led off the second with a double and Russell homered. Weaver limited the damage, getting Kris Bryant to ground out with the bases loaded to end the inning.

 

Nationals back off of minor league stipend cut

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Yesterday it was reported that the Washington Nationals would cut the weekly stipend paid to their minor leaguers from $400 a week to $300 per week through the end of June.

For frame of reference, MLB had agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through May 31. Several teams have agreed to extend that, with the Royals and Twins agreeing to do it all the way through the end of August. The Oakland A’s decided to stop the payments in their entirety as of today. The Nationals were unique in cutting $100 off of the checks.

The A’s and the Nationals have taken a great amount of flak for what they’ve done. The Nats move was immediately countered by Nationals major league players announcing that they would cover what the organization would not.

The A’s are, apparently, still sticking to their plan. The Nats, however, have reversed course:

One can easily imagine a situation in which Nats ownership just decided, cold-heartedly, to lop that hundred bucks off of each minor league check and not worry about a moment longer. What’s harder to imagine is what seems to have actually happened: the Nats did it without realizing that anyone would take issue with it, were surprised by the blowback, and then reversed course. Like, what kind of a bubble where they living in that they did not think people would consider that a low-rent thing to do?

In any event, good move, Nats, even if I cannot even begin to comprehend your thought process.