Jonathan India, Brandon Drury key rally, Reds beat Pirates 5-1 to split DH

Getty Images
0 Comments

CINCINNATI — Jonathan India hit a go-ahead single, Brandon Drury added a two-run triple and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 to split a doubleheader.

Pittsburgh won the opener 4-2 behind rookie starter Roansy Contreras, who allowed one run in six innings.

In the nightcap, India snapped a 1-1 tie with his two-out single in the seventh inning off Bryse Wilson, which followed an error by second baseman Josh VanMeter that allowed Nick Senzel to reach. Drury followed against reliever Chris Stratton and hit a line drive that eluded right fielder Ben Gamel‘s diving effort and rolled to the wall for a triple.

Tommy Pham capped the rally with an RBI single.

Wilson (1-5) allowed four runs – just one earned – on seven hits in a season-high 6 2/3 innings. He was coming off his first win of the season last Saturday against Milwaukee. Wilson was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis to be Pittsburgh’s 27th man for the doubleheader.

Pirates manager Derek Shelton felt Wilson deserved more support. Pittsburgh had two runners in scoring position with one out in the first, but opener Jeff Hoffman stranded them with two strikeouts.

“The bottom line is we’ve got to score,” Shelton said. “We didn’t put the ball in play.”

Hoffman lasted 1 2/3 innings in a bullpen game for the Reds. Ross Detwiler pitched one inning and Robert Dugger – added to the roster between games – turned in 3 1/3 before Reiver Sanmartin (1-4) pitched 2 2/3 innings for the win.

“I was going to do whatever I could until they took me out of the game,” Sanmartin said through a translator. “Just to have the coaches, the manager and the team had the confidence in me to finish the game, gave me confidence.”

“It started with Hoffy,” Reds manager David Bell said. “No matter what, we were going to put guys in situations that they were uncomfortable with. We would have to stretch some guys based on their workload. Dugger came up in a tough spot. We asked a lot of him. I never expected Reiver to finish the game based on what he’s done the last couple days, but it got to a point that it was easy for him.”

In the opener, Michael Chavis hit a tiebreaking two-run double and Diego Castillo homered to back Contreras (3-2).

Jason Delay drove in Gamel from first base with a seventh-inning double for his first career hit and RBI as Pittsburgh sent the Reds to their seventh loss in nine games. Delay’s hit boosted Pittsburgh’s lead to 4-1.

“I’m happy for him,” Shelton said. “His first major league RBI, and it was a big RBI. It extended the lead.”

After getting rocked for five hits and seven runs in 1 2/3 innings during his last start on July 1 against Milwaukee, Contreras allowed four hits and one run with one walk and seven strikeouts in his 12th appearance and ninth start of the season.

“I have to give credit to some adjustments I made this week,” Contreras said through a translator. “I’m grateful that the results came through. I always trust myself. I’ve learned how to move on. There’s always another new day.”

Duane Underwood Jr. and Wil Crowe followed from the bullpen before David Ednar worked the ninth for his 14th save.

Mike Minor (1-6) struck out a season-high eight over 6 1/3 innings on the way to his fourth straight loss. He allowed four runs on five hits with two walks and a hit batter. Minor held Pittsburgh hitless through the first four innings.

“This was the best I’ve thrown all year,” Minor said. “Still, they came away with four runs. I thought my stuff was a lot better. I had a lot of swing-and-miss stuff. Balls in the gap with guys on base killed me. The solo home run, I’ll take it.”

The Pirates had gone 14 innings without scoring a run, including Wednesday’s 16-0 loss to the Yankees.

“We bounce back really well,” Shelton said. “I’d like not to have to. We have a resilient bunch.”

Donovan Solano broke up Contreras’ shutout bit with a fifth-inning solo shot, his first homer since coming off the injured list on June 21.

The Pirates optioned Contreras to Triple-A Indianapolis between games.

TWINBILLS

Thursday’s doubleheader was the fourth of at least five this season for the Pirates, the most for the team since it played nine in 2004. The Reds and Pirates are scheduled to play a third doubleheader in Cincinnati on September 13, the first time the teams have played three twinbills in one season since 1965.

WHOLESALE CHANGES

Between games, the Reds transferred RHP Vladimir Gutierrez (right forearm strain) to the 60-day IL, placed catcher Aramis Garcia (left middle finger) on the 10-day IL, promoted RHP Robert Dugger from Triple-A Louisville and recalled catcher Mark Kolozsvary from Louisville.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: RHP Luis Cessa left the game with a left rib muscle strain while pitching to Reynolds in the seventh inning. He was placed on the 15-day IL between games. … C Tyler Stephenson (broken right thumb) was scheduled to catch Thursday and be the designated hitter on Friday for Triple-A Louisville before possibly being activated on Saturday, manager David Bell said. … RHP Alexis Diaz (right bicep) could be activated Friday, Bell said.

UP NEXT

Pirates: After a one-day stop in Cincinnati for Thursday’s doubleheader, Pittsburgh heads to Milwaukee, where RHP JT Brubaker (2-7, 4.28 ERA) will take the mound to begin a three-game series on Friday.

Reds: RHP Luis Castillo (3-4, 3.09) takes the mound in the opener of a three-game series against Tampa Bay on Friday.

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
0 Comments

ARLINGTON, Texas — Jacob deGrom is headed to the free-spending Texas Rangers, who believe the health risk is worth the potential reward in trying to end a six-year run of losing.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday, leaving the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened substantially by injuries.

“We acknowledge the risk, but we also acknowledge that in order to get great players, there is a risk and a cost associated with that,” Rangers general manager Chris Young said. “And one we feel like is worth taking with a player of Jacob’s caliber.”

Texas announced the signing after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

The Rangers were also big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing shortstop Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).

The team said deGrom will be introduced in a news conference at Globe Life Field next week following the winter meetings in San Diego.

“It fits in so many ways in terms of what we need,” Young said. “He’s a tremendous person. I have a number of close friends and teammates who played with Jacob and love him. I think he’s going to be just a perfect fit for our clubhouse and our fans.”

Texas had modest expectations after adding Seager, Semien and starter Jon Gray ($56 million, four years) last offseason but still fell short of them.

The Rangers went 68-94, firing manager Chris Woodward during the season, and then hired Bruce Bochy, a three-time World Series champion with San Francisco. Texas’ six straight losing seasons are its worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

Rangers owner Ray Davis said the club wouldn’t hesitate to keep adding payroll. Including the $19.65 million qualifying offer accepted by Martin Perez, the team’s best pitcher last season, the Rangers have spent nearly $761 million in free agency over the past year.

“I hate losing, but I think there’s one person in our organization who hates losing worse than me, and I think it’s Ray Davis,” Young said. “He’s tired of losing. I’m tired of losing. Our organization is tired of losing.”

After making his first start in early August last season, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then passed up a $30.5 million salary for 2023 and opted out of his contract to become a free agent for the first time.

That ended his deal with the Mets at $107 million over four years, and deGrom rejected their $19.65 million qualifying offer in November. New York will receive draft-pick compensation for losing him.

The fan favorite becomes the latest in a long line of ace pitchers to leave the Mets for one reason or another, including Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and David Cone.

The Rangers visit Citi Field from Aug. 28-30.

When healthy, deGrom is perhaps baseball’s most dominant pitcher. His 2.52 career ERA ranks third in the expansion era (since 1961) behind Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (2.48) and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax (2.19) among those with at least 200 starts.

The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA in five career postseason starts, including a win over San Diego in the wild-card round this year that extended the Mets’ season. New York was eliminated the next night.

A four-time All-Star and the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom was a ninth-round draft pick by the Mets in 2010 out of Stetson, where he played shortstop before moving to the mound. He was slowed by Tommy John surgery early in his career and didn’t reach the majors until age 26.

Once he arrived, though, he blossomed. He helped the Mets reach the 2015 World Series and earn a 2016 playoff berth before winning consecutive NL Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019.

But injuries to his elbow, forearm and shoulder blade have limited him to 26 starts over the past two seasons. He compiled a career-low 1.08 ERA over 92 innings in 2021, but did not pitch after July 7 that year because of arm trouble.

DeGrom is 82-57 with 1,607 strikeouts in 1,326 innings over nine big league seasons. He gets $30 million next year, $40 million in 2024 and 2025, $38 million in 2026 and $37 million in 2027. The deal includes a conditional option for 2028 with no guaranteed money.

The addition of deGrom gives the Rangers three proven starters along with Gray and Perez, who went 12-8 with a career-best 2.89 ERA in his return to the team that signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela. Young didn’t rule out the addition of another starter.

With several holes on their starting staff, the Mets have shown interest in free agents Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon to pair with 38-year-old Max Scherzer atop the rotation.

Now, with deGrom gone, signing one of those two could become a much bigger priority.