Springer hits slam, Jays win 7th in row, top depleted Cards

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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TORONTO – George Springer hit his seventh career grand slam, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had a two-run drive and the Toronto Blue Jays extended their winning streak to seven by beating the short-handed St. Louis Cardinals 10-3 Tuesday night.

Alejandro Kirk added his 12th homer and Matt Chapman had two hits, including the tiebreaking single in a five-run sixth as Toronto improved to 8-1 under manager John Schneider.

Springer had three hits, scored twice, and made a fine catch at the wall in deep right to end the game, leaving the bases loaded.

“He’s a stud,” Schneider said of Springer. “He’s continuously made big plays in big moments his whole career.”

Dylan Carlson hit a solo home run as St. Louis played the first of two games in Canada without unvaccinated sluggers Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado. The two biggest bats in the Cardinals lineup were placed on the restricted list before the game, along with catcher Austin Romine.

Foreign nationals who aren’t vaccinated against COVID-19 are not allowed to enter Canada, save for limited exceptions that require a 14-day quarantine. Unvaccinated baseball players are placed on the restricted list, where they are not paid and do not accrue major league service time.

A seven-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove award winner at first base, Goldschmidt leads the Cardinals in batting average (.333), home runs (22), RBIs (74), on-base percentage (.416) and hits (116). He was named NL player of the week Monday after homering in five straight games.

Arenado is a seven-time All-Star and a nine-time Gold Glove winner at third base. The former Colorado star has led the NL in home runs three times.

Veteran slugger Albert Pujols started at first base in place of Goldschmidt, while Brendan Donovan was at third base. The crowd of 39,756 gave Pujols a loud ovation before his first at-bat.

Carlson connected off Jose Berrios in the first, his sixth. Guerrero answered in the bottom half with his 21st home run and Chapman added an RBI single to make it 3-1.

Carlson and Pujols tied it with RBI hits in the third, but Chapman restored the lead with a hit off Jordan Hicks (2-5) in the sixth. Hicks walked the next two batters to load the bases before Junior Fernandez came on and served up Springer’s slam, his 18th home run this season.

“It’s a big spot right there, to put us up by some more runs,” Springer said. “That’s the stuff that you enjoy playing the game for. It’s a huge moment.”

HIcks and Fernandez combined for eight outs, four walks, and seven earned runs.

“When you allow free bases, that’s where you get yourself in trouble,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said.

Berrios allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. Tim Mayza (5-0) got one out for the win.

Making his second career interleague start, Cardinals rookie right-hander Andre Pallante allowed three runs and seven hits in four innings.

“There’s going to be days where if you’re relying on balls in play, it’s going to find a hole, Marmol said. “Today they squared them up.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Cardinals: It will be about a week before St. Louis knows whether LHP Steven Matz will require season-ending surgery, Marmol said. Matz left Saturday’s start against Cincinnati in the sixth inning after straining his left knee while trying to field Joey Votto‘s dribbler up the first-base line.

Blue Jays: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (strained neck) threw a side session Tuesday and is a candidate to come off the IL and start Thursday against Detroit, Schneider said.

WELCOME BACK, BUCK!

Before the second inning, the Blue Jays came out of their dugout and tipped their caps to former TV broadcaster Buck Martinez, who returned to the booth Tuesday after undergoing treatment for cancer. Fans stood and cheered and even Pallante stopped warming up to salute Martinez, who stepped away from his role in mid-April.

Martinez, 73, is a former Blue Jays catcher and manager who also played for Kansas City and Milwaukee in a 17-year big league career that ended in 1986. He managed Team USA at the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006.

SNAPPY

After falling behind 0-2 in his third-inning at bat against Berrios, Pujols removed a broken chain from around his neck, handed it to home plate umpire Laz Diaz for safekeeping, then grounded a game-tying single on the next pitch.

SIMPLY GRAND

Toronto has five grand slams this season, tied for most in the majors.

ROSTER MOVES

Cardinals: St. Louis recalled OF Conor Capel and C Ivan Herrera, and selected INF Cory Spangenberg from Triple-A Memphis as substitute players.

UP NEXT

Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (6-8, 3.40) starts Wednesday against Blue Jays RHP Kevin Gausman (7-7, 3.00). Wainwright’s only prior start in Toronto was a 5-0 loss on June 24, 2010.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.