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Paul Goldschmidt homers in four consecutive games

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Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt homered again on Thursday afternoon, belting a solo shot off of Joe Musgrove in the fourth inning. He finished 2-for-3 in the Cardinals’ 6-3 win, polishing off a four-game series sweep.

The Pirates’ broadcast booth did not complain about Goldschmidt running up the score, thankfully.

Goldschmidt has now homered in four consecutive games, all against the Pirates. His OPS went from .759 to .794, now slashing .253/.340/.454 with 22 home runs, 53 RBI, and 62 runs scored on the season.

The record for consecutive games with a home run is eight, held by Ken Griffey Jr., Dale Long, and Don Mattingly. As impressive as homering in four consecutive games is, Goldschmidt is still only halfway towards the record.

With Thursday’s action in the books, the Pirates are now nine games out of first place in the NL Central while the Cardinals are tied with the Cubs in first place.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.