India’s two-run single caps comeback as Reds beat Yanks 4-3

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Jonathan India drove in two runs with a go-ahead, bases-loaded single with two outs in the ninth inning and the Cincinnati Reds completed an unlikely comeback, rallying past the New York Yankees 4-3 Tuesday night.

The Yankees were 49-0 when leading after eight innings and the Reds were 0-48 when trailing after eight before New York closer Clay Holmes (4-1) failed to retire any of the five hitters he faced. Holmes loaded the bases by plunking Tyler Stephenson and allowed an RBI single to Tyler Naquin and heard boos after hitting Kyle Farmer with a pitch.

Wandy Peralta got two outs and was one strike away when India lined a single into center field to score Farmer and Donovan Solano.

Aaron Judge struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth against Alexis Diaz, brother of Mets closer Edwin Diaz. The Reds reliever got a double play from Gleyber Torres to finish his third career save.

Reiver Sanmartin (2-4) pitched a scoreless eighth to put the Reds in position for the comeback.

Before pulling off their fifth straight win, the Reds did little against Gerrit Cole, who allowed four hits and struck out 11 in seven innings.

The Yankees have lost three straight for the second time this year after blowing a pair of leads in their four-game series at Boston.

Following a nearly 60-minute delay where it never rained and the tarp never covered the field, Cole became the ninth active pitcher to reach 1,800 strikeouts when he whiffed Tommy Pham to end the third with two on.

Cole ended his night by getting strikeouts during lengthy at-bats to Farmer and Mike Moustakas. Cole fanned Farmer on a 98.8 mph, full-count fastball that the shortstop thought was ball four and reached 100.5 mph when he struck out Moustakas.

It was Cole’s 52nd career double-digit strikeout game and fifth this year. His 113 pitches were one shy of his season-high set in the first game of a doubleheader May 8 against Texas.

Michael King tossed a scoreless eighth before Holmes blew his third save opportunity.

Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run single in the first and Josh Donaldson added an RBI single in the third as the Yankees went ahead early against Cincinnati rookie Graham Ashcraft. Torres doubled twice, had three hits, reached four times, and scored twice.

The Yankees lost Aaron Hicks to right shin contusion, although X-rays were negative. Hicks fouled a ball off his lower right leg in the third and was helped off the field by a trainer.

Ashcraft allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings.

VOTTO’S RETURN

Votto returned after missing seven straight games due to lower back tightness and was 1 for 4. He grounded out in his first at-bat, struck out in the fourth, popped up in the sixth before ending a 0-for-17 skid with a single in the ninth.

Before the game, Votto tweeted a picture of the Seinfeld clip where Jason Alexander‘s character George Costanza gave former Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams batting advice.

BUILDING HOPE

The Yankees are holding their 13th annual HOPE Week, an event when every player participates in events honoring people and groups who serve their communities. Blue Chips, a NYPD co-ed youth mentoring and sports program, was honored Tuesday, and Nestor Cortes was among the players to visit the organization at the NYPD Police Academy in College Point, Queens, a few miles northeast of Citi Field.

On Monday’s day off, 16-year-old Landis Sims, who was born without hands and lower legs, was honored. Sims took batting practice along with other baseball players from the Challenge Athletes Foundation and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. The Yankees are 40-15 during HOPE Week, which began in 2009.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: RHP Tyler Mahle (strained right shoulder) threw in Cincinnati. Manager David Bell said Mahle is on target to start one of the first three games following the All-Star Break. … OF Albert Almora Jr. was placed on the injured list for an unspecified reason. … OF Stuart Fairchild was recalled from Triple-A Louisville.

Yankees: RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (right shoulder inflammation) threw 23 pitches in a rehab game for Triple A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. … C Ben Rortvedt (strained right oblique) went 0 for 2 in his first rehab game for Class A Hudson Valley. … RHP Ron Marinaccio (right shoulder inflammation) threw a bullpen session.

UP NEXT

New York RHP Luis Severino (5-3, 3.11 ERA) opposes Cincinnati LHP Mike Minor (1-6, 6.63) on Wednesday.

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

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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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.