Pirates' VanMeter struggles as catcher, Reds end 9-game skid
Pittsburgh emergency catcher Josh VanMeter had a rough time in his first try behind the plate since he was a teenager, and the Cincinnati Reds took advantage to end a nine-game losing streak, beating the Pirates 9-2 in the opener of a doubleheader.
LEADING OFF: Ailing players heal up, Yanks back in Cleveland
Minnesota has a couple of ailing hitters in third baseman Josh Donaldson (right calf) and center fielder Byron Buxton (mild concussion symptoms). Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said Buxton is improving and the team hopes he’ll be ready for the postseason opener. Brett Phillips exited Sunday’s game with right hamstring tightness, and fellow outfielder Manuel Margot (sore foot) was scratched from the lineup. Acuña was scratched Sunday with renewed irritation in his left wrist. Because of the reworked schedule caused by the virus outbreak, the Yankees didn’t play in Cleveland this year.
Reds top Twins 7-2, clinch 1st playoff spot since 2013
Mike Moustakas homered twice, Freddy Galvis hit a solo shot and the Reds clinched their first playoff spot since 2013, beating the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins 7-2 on Friday night. “I like this team much more than I liked those teams, and I really liked those teams," Votto said. Twins: RHP Homer Bailey, who spent 12 of his 14 major league seasons with the Reds, was designated for assignment prior to the game. UP NEXTReds: RHP Luis Castillo (4-5, 2.86 ERA) will pitch on Saturday night, seeking his fifth straight win. Twins: RHP Michael Pineda (2-0, 3.18 ERA) pitches the middle game of the series.
7-inning doubleheaders debut in MLB, Reds sweep Tigers
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)DETROIT Trevor Bauer made short work of the Detroit Tigers, capping Major League Baseball's first seven-inning doubleheader with a shutout. We've had a tough time in these first ten days, and we've especially struggled against Detroit, Bell said. Bauer wasn't confirmed as the starter for the second game until he arrived at the park. At one point in the first game, Cincinnati starter Anthony DeSclafani forgot the teams were only playing seven innings. Tigers: Detroit has Monday off, then is scheduled to host four games in three days against the St. Louis Cardinals.