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Cardinals get two early home runs, take 2-0 lead vs. Braves

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The Cardinals scored one run in the last two games. They just surpassed that in the space of three pitches in Game 4 of the NLDS this afternoon.

Facing Braves starter Dallas Keuchel, who is working on short rest, Paul Goldschmidt came to bat with two out in the bottom of the first and launched an 82 m.p.h. offspeed pitch about 10,000 feet up in the air. Really, it’s as clear as a bell in St. Louis today, but he hit it so high it looked like it’d bring rain. It managed to just clear the fence in left center to give the Cards a 1-0 lead:

The next batter was Marcell Ozuna. He hit the second pitch he saw much lower but much farther. Around 440 feet is the initial estimate:

It’s now in the second inning.

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.