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Rockies vs Pirates

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Colorado Rockies (9-8 SU, 9-8 RL, 8-8-1 O/U) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (11-4 SU, 9-6 RL, 10-5 O/U)MLB: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 7:05 p.m. ESTThe Pittsburgh Pirates and Colorado Rockies will continue a three-game series when they meet again at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. With an 11-4 record heading into Monday’s opener, the Pirates are off to a blistering start in 2018. Colorado, meanwhile, is a decent 9-8 and 4-1 in its last five outings.Bettis is a good bet
The Rockies got a two-out homer from Ian Desmond in the ninth inning to score a 6-5 win at Washington this past Sunday, improving to 7-4 on the road for the season. Desmond has gone deep four times in 2018 and has driven in 10 runs, but he is batting a mere .190. Center fielder Charlie Blackmon is 3-for-8 with two homers and a double in two games since returning from a quadriceps injury. Second baseman D.J. LeMahieu is leading the way from a batting average standpoint, registering at .309 to go along with his five homers and nine RBIs.Right-hander Chad Bettis (2-0, 2.04 ERA) is taking the mound for Colorado on Tuesday. Bettis is off to an outstanding start this season, having won two of his three outings while helping the Rockies compile a 3-0 record in his three turns. He allowed a total of three runs in 10.2 innings of work over his first two starts before going 7.1 innings at Washington last Thursday, when he surrendered only one run on three hits and two walks while striking out five batters in a 5-1 victory.The Pirates are hoping to follow up a winning road trip with more success at home. A 7-3 victory at Miami this past Sunday gave the Pirates a 4-2 trip and sent them back home atop the National League Central at 11-4, a surprising mark given the team’s dramatic roster turnover this offseason. Starling Marte carried Pittsburgh on Sunday with a 5-for-5 effort that featured a ninth-inning homer and four runs scored. Josh Bell added three hits and Corey Dickerson went 2-for-4 with two RBIs while extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Second baseman Josh Harrison left Sunday’s game after being hit by a pitch on his left hand and is day-to-day.Trevor Williams (3-0, 1.56 ERA) will oppose Bettis on Tuesday. The right-hander has won all three of his outings in 2018, turning in two quality starts and doing some stellar damage control in his other appearance (10 hits allowed in 5.1 innings against Cincinnati, which scored only twice against him as Pittsburgh dominated 14-3). Williams most recently faced the Cubs last Thursday, when he worked 6.0 innings and surrendered just one run on four hits and one walk while striking out five in a 6-1 victory.Both of these pitchers–Bettis and Williams–have been in outstanding form during the month of April. Pittsburgh may not have Harrison at its disposal, which would only aid Bettis’ chances of turning in another big performance. The under is 7-3 in the Rockies’ last 10 against winning opponents, 4-1 in their last five against the National League Central, 7-2 in their last nine that are the second in a series, 20-6 in Bettis’ last 26 starts, 4-1 in his last five starts against winning opponents, and 10-3 in his last 13 starts against the National League Central. It is also 7-3 in the Pirates’ last 10 against starters with WHIPs less than 1.15, 23-9 in their last 32 that are the second in a series, 16-5 in Williams’ last 21 starts, and 8-3 in his last 11 home starts. Look for this one to stay under the total.

Dodgers vs Padres

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Dodgers vs. Padres schedule, game times, starting pitchers & TV info…
Read and Know About Dodgers vs Padres- SAN DIEGO — Hyun-jin Ryu looked like his old self in six strong innings, and Matt Kemp and Yasmani Grandal homered to pace the Dodgers offense in a 10-3 win over the Padres in the opener of a three-game set on Monday night at Petco Park.

Ryu had San Diego hitters off balance for the bulk of his night, with strikeouts coming on his fastball, curve and changeup. There were nine strikeouts in all, and no walks in the left-hander’s six innings.

“The change, the breaking ball, the fastball command, the cutter was really good,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It was good to see him give us those six innings.”

Ryu struck out eight batters last Tuesday against Oakland as well, giving him eight or more strikeouts in consecutive starts for the first time since April 25-30, 2013, his first month in the majors.Monday night was the eighth career game for Ryu with nine or more strikeouts, and just his second after shoulder and elbow surgeries wiped away nearly two full seasons.

“I was really happy with my outing tonight,” Ryu said. “Those couple of years were tough.”

After five walks in 3⅔ innings in his first start this season, Ryu has 17 strikeouts against only one walk his last two times out.

Kemp’s renaissance continued with a single that led to a run in the second inning, then a home run that broke the game open in the third. Kemp’s blast was the Dodgers’ first three-run home run of the season.

He made his two at-bats count, going 2-for-2 before getting pinch hit for in the fifth inning after the Padres brought in right-handed pitcher Adam Cimber. Kemp has four multi-hit games in his last six starts.

The Dodgers tattooed Robbie Erlin in the third, plating five runs before recording an out. The first two plays of the inning were scored as errors, including a 109-mph scorcher off the bat of Corey Seager that handcuffed Hunter Renfroe in right field for three bases.

Seager also reached base by another Padres mistake in the fourth inning, when Jose Pirela had an easy fly ball clank off his glove in left field. Seager is the first Dodger to reach base twice via error in the same game since Justin Turner on May 13, 2016.

Another hard-hit ball in the ninth for Seager put him on base again, this one a more traditional double. He would score later in the frame on a grand slam by Grandal, who continued his hot start. He also doubled, drove in five on the night, and is hitting .372/.460/.651 in the early going.

Before Monday, 10 of the Dodgers’ 12 home runs were solo shots, and the other two were of the two-run variety. Against the Padres they scored seven runs on two swings. The 10 runs for the Dodgers are a season high.

San Diego led briefly in this game, when Renfroe doubled and Christian Villanueva homered off Ryu in the second inning for a 2-1 advantage. Villaneuva has six home runs on the season, matching the entire Dodgers infield, and has 10 home runs in just 26 career games, putting him in select company.

But Ryu shut the door on the Padres for the rest of his outing, giving the Dodgers their 39th win in their last 58 games against San Diego, dating back to 2015.SAN DIEGO — The Dodgers have their shortest road trip of the season with three quick games in San Diego, beginning Monday night at Petco Park against the Padres. Here is a look at the schedule for that series plus the starting pitching matchups.

Monday, 7:10 p.m. PT (SportsNet LA, MLB Network)
Hyun-jin Ryu has allowed two total runs in 20 innings in his three career starts at Petco Park, but Monday night will be his first start in San Diego since 2014.

Left-hander Robbie Erlin makes a spot start for San Diego after a 2.38 ERA in five relief appearances and 11⅓ innings this season, with nine strikeouts and two walks. He takes the spot of Luis Perdomo, who has suspended five games for his role in last week’s Padres-Rockeis brawl.

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA)
Since joining the Dodgers in 2015, Alex Wood has a 2.20 ERA in 10 games against the Padres, including seven starts, with 49 strikeouts and 15 walks in 49 innings.

The Padres liked Bryan Mitchell so much that in the offseason they absorbed Chase Headley‘s $13 million salary to add the right-hander. Mitchell, who turns 27 Friday, has 14 walks and three strikeouts in his first three starts this season. That is not a misprint.

Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA)
Kenta Maeda pitched six scoreless innings (and hit a home run!) in his major league debut at Petco Park on Apr. 6, 2016, but in four starts in San Diego since then has allowed 14 runs in 17⅔ innings

Tyson Ross is back with the Padres after making the rotation as a non-roster invitee. He has a 3.50 ERA after three starts with 14 strikeouts and four walks in 18 innings.

Orioles vs Tigers

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Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles – 4/17/18 MLB Pick, Odds, and PredictionBaltimore Orioles (5-11) at Detroit Tigers (4-9)MLB Baseball: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 6:40 pm (Comerica Park)
A Cashner (1-1) (2.50) vs. F Liriano (1-1) (2.13)
The Line: Detroit Tigers -106 / Baltimore Orioles -104 — Over/Under: 8 See the Latest OddsTV: FS-Detroit, MASN2
The Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers square off in game one of their three game MLB set from Comerica Park on Tuesday.The Baltimore Orioles come into this one rested after having their series finale with Boston postponed on Monday, leaving Baltimore’s losing streak at 3 games after their 3-1 loss on Sunday. In the loss, Manny Machado recorded Baltimore’s lone RBI, going 1 for 4 with a double. Craig Gentry and Trey Mancini each added base hits as well to round out the offensive output for the O’s in the loss. Dylan Bundy fell to 0-2 after giving up all three runs, one earned, on seven hits while walking a pair and striking out six. Andrew Cashner will be slated to start the opener and is 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA and 16 strikeouts this season. In his career, Cashner is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 11 strikeouts against Detroit.image: https://ssl.gannett-cdn.com/usatsimg/image/thumb/650-550nw/10786980.jpgDetroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles – 4/17/18 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction
USA TODAY SportsThe Detroit Tigers come into this one well-rested as well, not having played since Friday after being rained out of their series on Saturday and Sunday with the Yankees. The last time the Tigers took the field, their losing streak got pushed to 5 games after an 8-6 loss to the Yanks in the series opener. James McCann went 2 for 3 with a homer and three RBIs, while Jeimer Candelario added a solo homer. Victor Martinez went 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI while Jose Iglesias matched that mark at the dish with a double and an RBI of his own to finish off the scoring for Detroit in the loss. Miguel Cabrera and Nick Castellanos each logged a pair of base hits, while Dixon Machado added a base knock of his own in the losing effort for the Tigers. Mike Fiers took the loss, falling to 1-1 after giving up six runs, five earned, on eight hits while striking out four over 5.2 innings of work. Francisco Liriano will start game one and is 1-1 with a 2.13 ERA and 7 strikeouts this season. In his career, Liriano is 2-5 with a 4.14 ERA and 54 strikeouts against Baltimore.Baltimore is 23-52 in their last 75 road games and 9-30 in their last 39 games overall while the under is 6-0 in their last 6 games against the AL Central. Detroit is 17-50 in their last 67 games overall and 2-7 in their last 9 games against the AL East while the over is 26-9-1 in their last 36 home games.

While Detroit comes in the more rested of the two teams, Baltimore is a much better team than their record would indicate, the offense just isn’t there to start the season. Liriano has looked good this season, but so has Cashner, and between the two pitchers, Cashner threw a complete game shutout with 11 Ks in his lone career start against Detroit, while Liriano has struggled against Baltimore so I’ll side with the O’s as the team to end their losing ways in this one.Read more at https://sportschatplace.com/mlb-picks/2018/04/17/detroit-tigers-vs-baltimore-orioles-4/17/18-mlb-pick-odds-and-prediction#E1hGE1gJTpHEspA9.99he Orioles’ scheduled series finale against the Boston Red Sox on Monday has been postponed because of forecasted inclement weather.The teams will make up the game May 17 on a mutual off day before the Orioles’ next series at Fenway Park on May 18-20.The third Monday in April is Patriots Day in New England and the annual running of the Boston Marathon coincides with an early 11 a.m. start for the Red Sox game at Fenway Park.Because it is a yearly tradition, the Red Sox attempt to play the game through weather problems, but with the forecast calling for nearly a 100 percent chance of rain throughout the day, the Red Sox decided to postpone Monday’s game early. This is the first time a Patriots Day game has been postponed since 1984.

Astros vs Mariners

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Paxton, Mariners win to snap six-game skid vs. Astros…
SEATTLE — For James Paxton on Monday night, it wasn’t how he started, but how he finished. The big left-hander picked up his first win of of the season while the Mariners edged the Astros, 2-1, at Safeco Field, sending the defending World Series champs to their fifth loss in six games.

The Mariners continued their strong start, improving to 9-5 with their fifth win in their last six games. The Astros have lost three straight, falling to 10-7 and dropping into third in the early American League West race behind the Angels (13-3) and Mariners.

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Paxton surrendered a homer to George Springer leading off the game, then buckled down and held the Astros scoreless for the rest of his six-inning outing. He allowed just three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 4.57 through four starts.

“It’s all about just getting back to what I’m trying to do there and making one pitch at a time,” Paxton said. “I can’t let one hit, one home run take me out of my game. I was just focused on making my next pitch.”SEATTLE — James Paxton made sure not to let a current Mariners’ killer ruin his night right from the start.

Paxton shook off a leadoff home run from Houston’s George Springer to deliver six strong innings, and Seattle beat the Astros 2-1 on Monday night to end a six-game skid against the World Series champions.

After that home run, Paxton (1-1) was solid, striking out seven and allowing two more hits.

Dee Gordon’s RBI double off Astros starter Dallas Keuchel (0-3) made it 2-1 in the sixth inning, putting Paxton in line for the win.

“That is what you’ve got to do, you’ve got to play a clean game,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We did tonight.”

Springer has feasted on Mariners pitching over the years, and coming into the series opener Monday was the only Houston regular to ever hit a home run off Paxton.

On the fifth pitch of the game, Springer smashed an inside fastball way back in left field for his 19th career home run against Seattle.

“He’s tough,” Springer said. “He throws hard and has a great angle on his ball. It’s kind of one of those things where I’m looking for something to hit, and hopefully I don’t miss it.”

After giving up the 455-foot blast, Paxton settled down by pounding the inside part of the plate.

“You can’t let one hit — one home run — take me out of my game,” Paxton said.

Nick Vincent and Juan Nicasio got the ball to closer Edwin Diaz, and he pitched a scoreless ninth for his AL-leading seventh save.

Nelson Cruz hit his third home run in five games with his tying solo blast off Keuchel with two outs in the fourth.

Catcher David Freitas led off the sixth for Seattle with a double. Gordon followed with a soft line drive to right that Springer was slow to after losing his footing and slipping on the grass.

“Dee wasn’t trying to do too much with the ball,” Keuchel said. “I felt like we were playing pretty deep on him. If I make a mistake and he hits it over somebody’s head, then I’m fine with that. That was just bad luck.”

Houston has scored one or fewer runs in back-to-back losses. That never happened in the Astros’ run to the World Series title last season.

NO DELAYS AT SAFECO FIELD

Servais is plenty aware of the bad weather plaguing the majors this year. Still, he got an earful from his parents about it Monday.

They live in Wisconsin and have up to 12 inches of snow in their front yard.

“It is crazy how late (in April) it is going,” Servais said.

Three more games were postponed Monday because of weather, bringing the season total to 24 — most in the big leagues before May 1 since 2007.

Given the Mariners play at Safeco Field under a retractable roof, their opener with Houston on Monday was never in jeopardy.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: LHP Tony Sipp (calf) threw a bullpen session Monday, but the team isn’t sure if he will go out on a rehab assignment or be activated to the big club when eligible Wednesday.

Mariners: C Mike Zunino (left oblique) began his three-day rehab stint in Class A Modesto on Monday. He is expected to play two games at catcher before being activated. … OF Ben Gamel (right oblique) will play at least one more minor league game Tuesday with Triple-A Tacoma. … RHP Erasmo Ramirez (strained lat) is also scheduled to make a rehab start Tuesday in Tacoma. … RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (shoulder), who signed a minor-league deal with Seattle last November, will likely throw one more bullpen session Tuesday before being sent off on a minor league assignment.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 7.71 ERA) is coming off one of his worst careers starts in Minnesota on Wednesday (career-worst eight earned runs in three-plus innings), but is 5-2 with a 2.96 ERA lifetime against Seattle.

Mariners: The Mariners will likely tab LHP Ariel Miranda to make his season debut against the Astros. This will be his seventh career start against Houston, and he is 1-2 with a 4.30 ERA against the World Series champions.

Red Sox vs Angels

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Red Sox vs. Angels Series Preview: West Coast showdown…
The Red Sox get their first West Coast test.
The Red Sox (13-2) head west to face the Angels (13-3) for a three-game series in Anaheim. Both teams are off to impressive starts, leading their respective divisions. This series will be must-see T.V. for baseball fans.
The Red Sox will be without Xander Bogaerts and Bobby Poyner for the series. Both are still recovering from minor injuries that are being monitored closely. Dustin Pedroia also remains out while recovering from knee surgery.
However, Tzu-Wei Lin has been picking up the slack with Bogey out. Lin is 6-12 with two doubles and an RBI and has also been solid defensively. Can Lin continue his hot start and capture more at-bats moving forward?
This will be Boston’s first crack at two-way phenom Shohei Ohtani. As a starting pitcher, Ohtani is 2-0 with 18 strikeouts and a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings pitched. He’s been equally impressive at the plate, hitting .367 with three HR and 11 RBI.
He’s joined by future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols, and two-time MVP Mike Trout. The Red Sox have their hands full this series — and we’ll learn how they stack up against one of baseball’s better teams.

Of course, even without Bogaerts, the Red Sox are a pretty good team themselves — and they will pose a much greater threat to the Angels than the Rangers, Royals or Athletics have.
Fasten your seatbelts, this series is going to be a wild ride.

Pitching Matchups
Tuesday, April 17 at 10:07 PM David Price (1-1, 2.40 ERA) vs. Shohei Ohtani (2-0, 2.08 ERA)

Wednesday, April 18 at 10:07 PM Rick Porcello (3-0, 1.83 ERA) vs. Tyler Skaggs (2-0, 1.69 ERA)

Thursday, April 19 at 10:07 PM Eduardo Rodriguez (1-0, 3.72 ERA ) vs. Nick Tropeano (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

Series Notes

Price left his last start vs. the Yankees after one inning with numbness in his pitching hand. He claims it may be due to cold weather, so let’s hope the sunny California sun will get the lefty back on track.
Ohtani looked sensational against the A’s, carrying a perfect game into the seventh inning while striking out 12.
Porcello is 6-7 with a 5.87 ERA lifetime against the Angels.
Porcello posted his second highest walk amount last year (48). His control seems to be regained, as he’s walked one batter in three starts this year.
Skaggs pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings in his lone appearance against Boston on July 31, 2016.
Rodriguez pitches in Anaheim for the first time since July 20, 2015, when he got blasted for six hits and seven runs over 1 2/3 innings. The lefty must keep the ball in the yard and avoid his bad habit of letting a bad inning get worse.
Tropeano will make his first career start against the Red Sox.
Just how good has Boston’s offense been? Hanley Ramirez leads the AL in RBI with 15, J.D. Martinez is tied for fourth with 13 and Mookie Betts sits three behind with 10.
Flying under the radar is Justin Upton‘s fast start. He’s hitting .297 with four HR and 11 RBI.
Three Keys To Victory

Pitching implosions: The Red Sox struggled against the Angels last season with a 2-4 record. However, all four losses haunted Boston with a reoccurring nightmare of pitching hiccups that the team never recovered from. The Red Sox surrendered a combined eight runs in the sixth inning or later. The Red Sox’ pitching must execute in high leverage innings against the Angels, or they’ll steal the game in a blink of an eye.
Keep the ball in the yard: Upton, Pujols, Ohtani, and Trout all can send mislocated pitches to the moon. Limit the damage these four do by keeping the ball in the yard and avoiding big innings that put the Sox in an insurmountable hole.
Don’t miss key opportunities with men on base: It’ll be interesting to see if either team can keep the opposing offense quiet with two star-studded lineups clashing. However, the Red Sox will need every run they can get with Bogaerts out. They must cash in on opportunities to put runs on the board. Last season, the Red Sox scored three runs or less in all four losses to the Angles. Even if the Red Sox have to get creative, they must avoid leaving men on base.ANAHEIM, Calif. — Red Sox starting pitchers have been exceptional so far, combining for a 9-1 record and a major league-best 2.06 ERA and 1.04 WHIP.

Reds vs Brewers

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It will be cold and still snowing Monday night when the Milwaukee Brewers begin a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds.Thanks to the roof over Miller Park, weather delays like the ones that plagued Cincinnati on Sunday will not be a concern.

Returning to climate-controlled comfort is especially good news for the Brewers, whose well-documented depth has been challenged early by a rash of injuries.

Outfielder Christian Yelich is still on the disabled list with a strained oblique and outfielder Lorenzo Cain missed two games with an ankle injury earlier this season.

Ryan Braun was held out of the lineup Sunday — though he did pinch-hit — because of back tightness. Catcher Manny Pina remains sidelined with a sore calf.

Adding to the misery, first baseman Eric Thames exited Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the New York Mets after the third inning with a sore groin.

“The challenging part is we’re in a lot of day-to-day injuries, and with guys close to coming back,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That in itself is a little challenging. But we may have to make some more permanent decisions pending the status of a couple of these guys.”

“It’s so annoying,” Thames said of the team’s injury issues. “This weather’s not really helping. But that’s the way it goes. It’ll be nice to be inside the dome for a week, for sure.”

Still, Milwaukee managed to go 3-3 on its swing through St. Louis and New York during the last week and might have fared even better if Wilmer Flores not won the game Sunday on a walk-off home run with two strikes and two outs in the ninth.

“A split on a pretty challenging road trip,” said Counsell, who was ejected in the fifth inning. “But obviously when you lose a bunch of one-run games, you feel like there’s games kind of hanging out there, still.”

Left-hander Brent Suter gets the ball against the Reds. He showed progress his last time out, working into the sixth inning for the first time the season while holding the Cardinals to a run while allowing only five baserunners in Tuesday’s 5-3 loss.

In four starts this season, Suter is 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA.

He has faced the Reds seven times in his career, going 1-0 with a 4.70 ERA, but he has a 7.20 ERA (eight earned runs, 10 1/3 innings) in two starts against Cincinnati.

The Reds come to town mired in one of the worst starts in franchise history. At 2-13, they matched the 1931 edition for the worst 15-game start in team history.

Cincinnati was forced to wait through a rain delay of two hours and 36 minutes before dropping a 3-2 decision to St. Louis on Sunday.

Despite the rough start, the Reds have fared well against the Brewers of late, winning seven of the last 12 meetings and two of the last four series with their NL Central rivals.

“Any spark we can get we’re taking right now,” said reliever Jared Hughes, who pitched for Milwaukee last year. “It’s time to change some momentum in our favor.”

Reds first baseman Joey Votto has terrorized Brewers pitching in his career, posting a .322 batting average with 35 home runs and 105 RBIs, but he has been especially potent at Miller Park, where he’s a .344 career hitter with 18 home runs and 52 RBIs.

That’s a reason for Luis Castillo (0-2, 7.31 ERA) to feel optimistic as he makes his fourth start of the season — and the 19th of his career.

He, too, found success against the Brewers last year. Castillo faced Milwaukee twice in 2017 and went 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA, striking out 19 while walking only three in 13 2/3 innings.

Castillo gave up 10 runs in his first two starts this year against Washington and Pittsburgh but showed improvement by allowing three runs and five hits in six innings during Wednesday’s loss at Philadelphia.Price praised the Reds’ defense, specifically the play of infielders Phil Gosselin and Scooter Gennett, which he said “never really allowed Milwaukee to get too excited about what was going on.”

The Reds also got a strong outing from starter Luis Castillo (1-2), who entered having allowed 13 earned runs in 16 innings over three starts this season. He shut out the Brewers for six innings before allowing four runs in the seventh.

Castillo went 6 2/3 innings, giving up five hits while striking out eight and walking three.

“I was focused on going after the hitters and I was trying to make my pitches on the corners,” Castillo said through a translator.

The Reds jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning on Tucker Barnhart’s RBI single and Hamilton’s two-run single.

Cincinnati broke the game open in the sixth, scoring six runs and hitting four doubles off reliever Oliver Drake. The Reds sent 10 batters to the plate.

Cubs vs Athletics

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Cubs Rained Out While Sox Fall; Tigers, Caps Home Tonight…
Read and Know About Cubs vs Athletics- The Chicago Cubs produced a stunning comeback to beat the Atlanta Braves, while the Milwaukee Brewers ended the New York Mets’ nine-game winning run.
Down 10-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning on a cold and rainy day at Wrigley Field, the Cubs could have been forgiven for just going through the motions to finish the MLB game.
Instead, the Cubs somehow rallied for 12 unanswered runs to stun the Braves 14-10 in Chicago on Saturday.
The Cubs chipped away at the lead with one run in the sixth and two in the seventh, before hammering the Braves with nine runs in the eighth.
Not to take anything away from Chicago, but the Braves self-destructed in that big inning. The Cubs had only three hits in the frame, while the Braves committed an error and their pitchers could not find the plate (five walks, a wild pitch, and two HBPs).
Javier Baez had the big blow in the inning, clearing the bases with a double to tie the game.
It was not a record-breaking comeback — three teams in MLB history have overcome 12-run deficits, most recently the Cleveland Indians over the Seattle Mariners in 2001 — but the Cubs’ rally will live on in team lore.
Meanwhile, in New York, Brewers starter Chase Anderson gave up only one run and two hits in 6.3 innings to help Milwaukee top the Mets 5-1.
Jonathan Villar, Jett Bandy and Orlando Arcia homered to power the Brewers. The surprising Mets still have the best record (11-2) in the National League.
RICHARDS SHINING LIGHT IN MARLINS LOSS
Making only his third MLB start, 24-year-old Miami Marlins right-hander Trevor Richards pitched seven scoreless innings against the hot Pittsburgh Pirates, giving up only two hits. He got a no-decision in a 1-0 loss.
Max Scherzer got off to a bad start against the Colorado Rockies, giving up a two-run homer to Charlie Blackmon in the first inning, but he retired the final 20 batters he faced in the Washington Nationals’ 6-2 win. He struck out 11 in seven innings. Scherzer is now 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA this year.
COSTLY COBB STRUGGLES
Baltimore Orioles starter Alex Cobb labored against the Boston Red Sox, giving up seven earned runs on 10 hits and a walk in only 3.6 innings in a 10-3 defeat.
GOLDSCHMIDT HOMERS AGAINST DODGERS
Arizona Diamondbacks star Paul Goldschmidt absolutely crushed this Rich Hill pitch into the second deck in a 9-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.Chili Davis joked that he flunked his theology class, so he’s not about to deliver any sermons during a prolific rash of strikeouts.

“And they don’t need me preaching constantly,” the Cubs’ new hitting coach said Monday after his batters struck out 11 more times in a 1-0 loss to rookie Tyler Mahle and the Reds. “I’m not a preacher. If I have something to say to someone, I’m going to say it to them and give them the opportunity to get the work if they think they need it, or when I think they need it.”

From manager Joe Maddon to Davis to Anthony Rizzo — who struck out with the bases loaded against Raisel Iglesias to end the eighth — there was not a kernel of concern expressed about the Cubs offense.

But the strikeout total, which reached 58 through five games, represents a carryover from last season.

Davis spent 19 years as a formidable major-league hitter, and he has been successful working with young batters during previous stops as a hitting coach with the Athletics and Red Sox. With the Cubs, he inherited a group of young hitters with a penchant for high strikeout totals.

“We’re hoping for a fast start,” Davis said. “It can still happen. We get some guys locked in, and we’ll see where we go.
“We are the Chicago Cubs. Guys are going to raise their game against us, but I expect my offense to rise to the occasion, too.”
Maddon, while leaning back in his chair with his hands tucked in the pouch of his sweatshirt sarcastically replied, “I’m really upset” about his team’s 2-3 start and consecutive shutouts.

“I’ve talked about the B hack, moving the baseball, and we have struck out a lot,” Maddon said. “It’s been exacerbated by the 17-inning game (20 strikeouts with eight extra-inning whiffs). We’ve struck out a lot. But there’s a higher number based on that one game. But we have to be better.”

Mahle, 23, the Reds’ fourth-ranked prospect by Baseball America, struck out six of the first 10 batters with the aid of a darting fastball. He whiffed Kyle Schwarber on a 94-mph pitch with runners at first and second to end the first, and he earned four of his seven strikeouts on called third strikes.

“You have not heard of him before,” Maddon said. “But if he stays well, you’re going to hear from him in the future.”

Another trend that has carried over from last season is the inconsistent run production. After scoring 10 runs Saturday, the Cubs have been blanked in consecutive games.
Rizzo, who chased a 95-mph fastball from Iglesias that tailed high and away to end the eighth, stressed patience.
“We have a fun group, a good group,” Rizzo said. “We’re not going to ride the roller coaster as hard as everyone else outside. We’ll just be fine.”
Rizzo popped out with runners at first and third in the third inning of a scoreless game Sunday, but he intimated the results would balance over the course of the season.

Phillies vs Braves

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Thanks to an absurd schedule maker the Phillies and Braves will face each other for the second time in four weeks ahead of another series next weekend. Regardless, Philadelphia has a great opportunity to add to their six-game winning streak, the best in the National League.

Philadelphia sits one game ahead of Atlanta in the National League East standings despite dropping two of three in the season opener. A pair of aces will face off in Atlanta to kick-off a three-game series.

Here are the starting lineups for Monday’s game and how to watch and listen to the game.

Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera stood on second base, frustrated and maybe a little bit embarrassed.

He slapped himself on the side of his helmet. He shouted.Herrera showed why he can be both exciting and frustrating to watch in a span of just four innings in Monday night’s 2-1 loss to the Braves at SunTrust Park, ending the Phillies’ chance for their first seven-game winning streak since 2012. Herrera ripped a solo home run to center field in the first inning to hand the Phils the lead, but got thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double in the third, then gave Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies an extra step or two to score the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly in the fourth when he didn’t call for a fly ball in shallow right-center field.”That’s how baseball is sometimes, you know?” Herrera said through the team’s interpreter. “All I can do now is learn from it and hopefully it won’t happen again.”

Herrera did not start in Atlanta on Opening Day against Braves right-hander Julio Teheran, who dominated the Phillies on Monday. Teheran got 18 swings and misses and 23 called strikes as he struck out nine batters in six innings.

But Herrera hit Teheran hard twice. His home run left his bat at 106.2 mph and traveled a projected 423 feet, according to Statcast™. Herrera then hit a ball to right field with a runner on first and one out in the third. He tried to stretch the hit into a double, but never bothered to slide. Braves right fielder Nick Markakis threw a strike to shortstop Dansby Swanson, who applied the tag.Instead of runners on second and third with one out, the Phillies had a runner on third with two outs.

“It’s two things,” Herrera said. “No. 1, I misjudged the play. I really thought I could make it without sliding. No. 2, I looked at [Swanson] and it didn’t look like the ball was going to get to him. I really thought I was going to be safe without having to slide.”

Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola had runners at the corners with one out in the fourth when Kurt Suzuki lofted a fly ball to shallow right-center field. Herrera and right fielder Aaron Altherr converged on the play, but nobody called for the baseball. Altherr, sensing trouble, lunged at the ball at the last second. He threw to the plate, but Albies scored to hand the Braves a 2-1 lead.

“I should have called for the ball and I should have made that play,” Herrera said. “I think I could have caught it and got him out at home plate.”

The Braves seemed to agree.

“When I could tell the outfielders were confused, I said, ‘I’m going,'” Albies said.

“[Altherr] didn’t really get behind it good because he took it at the last minute it looked like,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “If he had got set up and gotten behind it, that would have been a really close play.”

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said he spoke with Herrera about both mistakes after the game. Kapler said Herrera will slide next time. He said Herrera will throw out the runner at the plate next time, too.

“I continue to feel that this is a very good baseball player,” Kapler said. “An excellent teammate. A guy who prepares his butt off and a guy who we have an incredible amount of confidence in. He makes us a lot better every time he’s out on the field.””In that particular case, we thought that Florimon gave us a really good chance to get on base,” Kapler said. “It was a tough matchup in general for J.P. He’s going to get a lot of opportunities. He’s going to get a lot of opportunities to face left-handed pitching. It was just the spot in the game where we felt like we wanted to put our best option to get on base against the opposition’s pitcher. It was the right decision for us in the moment.”

 

Marlins vs Yankees

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NEW YORK — Giancarlo Stanton was the only Yankees bopper who didn’t get in on the hit parade against his former team when New York played Derek Jeter’s Miami Marlins for the first time.Didi Gregorius homered twice for the second time this season, Gary Sanchez had three hits and three RBI and Aaron Judge became the fastest major leaguer to hit 60 career homers, powering the Yankees to a 12-1 rout Monday night.Gregorius hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning off the second deck in right field and a solo drive in the seventh that struck an ad behind the Yankees bullpen in right-center. He has five homers this season.”We’re just seeing a really good player in the prime of his career,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.New York had 15 hits, including five doubles and three homers. Every starter except Stanton got at least one hit against the last-place Marlins, who dropped to 4-12.Stanton was 0 for 3 with two more strikeouts , a bases-loaded foulout, a walk and a hit by pitch, prompting more boos from restless Yankees fans. It was his first regular-season game against the team he played for from 2010-17.”It wasn’t that weird. I think once I go to Miami that will be pretty weird for me,” Stanton said. “It was just good to see the guys and, obviously, get a good win.”Judge’s fourth home run this season gave him 60 in 197 games, five fewer than Mark McGwire. New York scored in each of the first five innings and built an 11-0 lead for Luis Severino (3-1), who allowed one hit in six scoreless innings and struck out eight.Jeter did not attend the first game between the teams since the former Yankees captain became Marlins CEO last October.Another former Yankees captain was in Miami’s dugout: Don Mattingly. Starting his third season as Marlins manager, Mattingly was welcomed by the Bleacher Creatures, who chanted “Don-nie Base-ball!” during their first-inning Roll Call. He tipped his cap in acknowledgement and later was given a video tribute.”It’s always nice. Not giving up all those runs would have been a better greeting,” Mattingly said.Stanton was a four-time All-Star, two-time NL home run champion and reigning NL MVP when he was dealt to the Yankees in December as part of a Jeter-directed payroll purge.

The slugger sent a foul ball into the left-field upper deck before his walk contributed to a two-run first against former Yankees pitcher Caleb Smith (0-2). Stanton’s fifth-inning strikeout triggered scattered boos, and loud ones followed when he fanned on three pitches in the seventh — raising his strikeout total to 27 in 15 games. Stanton is hitting .210 with three homers and 10 RBI.”It’s New York. You struggle, you pay, right? That’s all there is to it. It’s a day-in, day-out place. It don’t matter what you did last year,” Mattingly said before the game. “You don’t really have any money in the bank.”Marlins reliever Brad Ziegler thought the fan reaction was unwarranted.”I don’t like booing as a sign of displeasure for poor play,” he said. “The only time I ever think booing should be acceptable is when there’s a lack of effort.”Second baseman Starlin Castro, traded to Miami as part of the Stanton deal, was 0 for 3.Like Jeter, Mattingly spent his entire playing career with the Yankees. He was appointed captain by owner George Steinbrenner from 1991-95, a role held by Jeter from 2003-14.”It’s like growing up in the same family with the same parents,” Mattingly said. “We both came through the system. You know what’s expected. There’s a way to go about your business, and I think that’s what Derek is bringing to the organization.”MOUND MATTERSAdam Warren and Chasen Shreve struggled, but Dellin Betances finished the five-hitter for the Yankees.Smith, who pitched in nine games for the Yankees last year, allowed his first three batters to reach, needed 42 pitches to get the first three outs and lasted just 2 1/3 innings and 84 pitches. He allowed five runs, five hits and five walks. Tyler Cloyd gave up six runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings, and Miami threw 217 pitches in eight innings.Marlins: C J.T. Realmuto, sidelined since bruising his back on March 11, took batting practice and could be activated Tuesday. … LHP Wei-Yin Chen (strained left elbow) is to pitch five innings Tuesday for Jupiter in the Class A Florida State League. … 3B Martin Prado (strained left hamstring) was to play five innings each on Monday and Tuesday at extended spring training. … RHP Dan Straily (strained right forearm) is to pitch Wednesday at Jupiter.

Rangers vs Rays

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Injuries continue to plague the Texas Rangers, who have seen many players sent to the disabled list early in the season.

The latest player to be bitten by the injury bug was shortstop Jurickson Profar, who exited Monday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays in the second inning.

Profar collided with Rays center fielder Mallex Smith as Smith slid into second base. Profar is in the concussion protocol and will be re-evaluated on Tuesday.

Rangers medical staff tended to Profar before the shortstop left the field. He was replaced by Drew Robinson.

Texas has lost starters Delino DeShields, Rougned Odor, Elvis Andrus and Doug Fister to the DL with different injuries.There are 750 active major leaguers on any given day, and roughly 730 of them are relief pitchers. This year, more than seven relievers have appeared, on average, per game, which is a record pace. Relievers have thrown more than 42 percent of all innings, which also would be a record. It’s all but impossible to love and enjoy baseball in 2018 without loving and enjoying relievers.

This isn’t always easy. Roughly 96 percent of relievers fall under seven reliever types — the Brian Shouse, the B.J. Ryan, the Felix Rodriguez, the Chad Bradford, the Ron Villone, the Takashi Saito and the Sergio Santos — and they enter and exit with such assembly-line rapidity that it can be hard to notice or recall all but the few best of them. So then, consider this a public service: It’s a power rankings of Your New Favorite Reliever. The only rules are that they are relievers, they are lovable and they are unconventional enough to be surprised to read their own names in this article.There are guys who throw harder than A.J. Minter, whose hardest fastball as a big leaguer is a mere 98.3 mph. But there are few guys who throw more relentlessly hard than Minter, a 6-foot Atlanta Braves left-hander who has only two pitches: the aforementioned fastball and a slider that averages 91. So, for example, in the first outing of his career, his slowest pitch was 90.4 mph. In his most recent outing, his slowest pitch was 91.1 mph. More than 90 percent of his pitches as a big leaguer have started with a 9; the slowest one was 88.And he’s legit. Last August, with the Braves chasing third place, Minter got the call-up, and he was fire: 15 innings, 26 strikeouts, just two walks and a 3.00 ERA. He didn’t pitch nearly enough to get on any leaderboards, but if he had, his 0.96 FIP would have been the best in baseball, ahead even of [insert your previous favorite reliever here]. Only Craig Kimbrel struck out a higher percentage of batters; only six pitchers in all of baseball walked a lower percentage.I’m not sure how guys get a hit off of him,” his manager, Brian Snitker, said after Minter’s debut. And, as a twist, he’s been exactly backward this year: He hasn’t allowed a run in four appearances, but also hasn’t struck out a batter and he’s walked more (three) than he did last year. What a weird, mysterious phenomenon is A.J. Minter, your new favorite reliever.Yates, a Padre, a right-handed Padre, a short, thick right-handed Padre, is one of the most unhittable relievers in baseball. Since the start of 2017, he has struck out 38 percent of the batters he has faced, eighth highest in the game. He doesn’t throw all that hard — 93, 94 — but his fastball gets big tailing movement, and his splitter is a 50-percent-whiffs kind of pitch. He’s pretty good.
But, so, here’s the story: Nine years ago, he went undrafted out of college. That’s pretty rare. The Rays signed him, he spent six years in their system, then began his long bounce-around journey: purchased by Cleveland, purchased by the Yankees, selected off waivers by the Angels, selected off waivers by the Padres. That last one came less than a year ago, after Yates threw his one and only outing with the Angels, and the club decided immediately afterward to “fortify the bullpen” with Brooks Pounders. Yates was 30 years old and a one-look pitcher: A team took one look at him, and immediately took steps to fortify the bullpen. With Brooks Pounders.

A week after that DFA, Yates was a Padre — he got 11 swinging strikes in his second game with them — and a year later, he’s barely distinguishable from 26 other teams’ closers. Five appearances so far this year (before tendinitis in his ankle landed him on the 10-day DL Tuesday), two baserunners, no runs, five K’s. Someday, Brooks Pounders will probably be your favorite reliever, but today he’s the punchline in the story of Kirby Yates, your new favorite reliever.

Submariner, 33 years old, from Yaizu, Japan, but get this: His average fastball is 3.5 mph slower than Pedro Florimon’s. Pedro Florimon is a utility dude who had to pitch a mop-up inning for the Phillies last week.

Makita’s fastball has thus far averaged 80.8 mph. MLB’s Gameday application reliably calls it a changeup. He throws a curveball in the mid-50s. It doesn’t show up on radar guns. Look at the second pitch here: