Eric Fryer burned his former team with two hits and three RBIs and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals released Fryer when backup catcher Brayan Pena came off the 15-day disabled list and the Pirates claimed him off waivers on Sunday. He batted .368 with St. Louis with five RBIs in 38 at-bats behind seven-time All-Star Yadier Molina but Pena has a two-year, $5 million contract.
Juan Nicasio (7-6) worked two scoreless innings in relief of lefty Steven Brault, who allowed one earned run in four innings while throwing 82 pitches and adding a single in his debut. The 24-year-old Brault pitched in place of fellow rookie Jameson Taillon, placed on the DL on Sunday with shoulder fatigue.
Josh Harrison and David Freese added RBIs for the Pirates, who have taken the first two games of a four-game set and are 7-4 in the season series, closing within one-half game of the second-place Cardinals in the NL Central. Mark Melancon finished for his 21st consecutive save and 25th in 26 chances.
Mike Leake (5-7) gave up five runs in six innings for the Cardinals, who got RBIs from Jedd Gyorko and Matt Holliday. Leake has lost his last three outings with a 6.06 ERA.
Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang, under investigation by Chicago police on an allegation of sexual assault, singled pinch-hitting to open the ninth.
Pirates: RHP Ryan Vogelsong (facial fracture) threw 61 pitches in a four-inning simulated game. … RHP Gerrit Cole (biceps) struck out six and allowed two hits for Triple-A Indianapolis to begin a rehab start.
Cardinals: SS Jhonny Peralta was taken out after three innings with discomfort in his left thumb. The team said it was unrelated to the surgery for a torn thumb ligament in March.
In other MLB News: The Pirates also made other news as Major League Baseball announced their starters and reserves for the 2016 All-Star Game which will be played July 12th at Petco Park in San Diego, Ca. As it is known that each MLB team will have at least one All-Star representative, the Pirates truly benefitted from that rule as only one All-Star from their team was selected, and that was closer Mark Melancon, which his is 3rd appearance in the game.
Melancon, who won MLB’s Reliever of the Year award in 2015 is once again among the league’s best in saves as he’s currently 4th in MLB with 25. Many Pirates fans feel like OFs Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco were snubbed, but Marte (311. 6 HR, 31 RBI) still has hope as he’s in among 5 NL players for the Final Vote. Fans have to hit the internet to vote him in. Marte joins SF’s Brandon Belt, Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun, Arizona’s Jake Lamb and Colorado’s Trevor Story as Final Vote Candidates. Polanco could still have a chance to make it as an injury replacement.
Unfortunately, the Face of the Pirates won’t be making the trip to San Diego as 5-time All-Star Andrew McCutchen won’t be an All-Star for the first time since 2010. Unfortunately, the first half hasn’t been kind to McCutchen (.236, 12 HR, 32 RBI) as he’s battled thumb injuries.
As for the rest of the MLB All-Star Selections, history was truly made in the NL as the NL leading Chicago Cubs will send all 4 of their infielders to the Mid-Summer Classic. 1B Anthony Rizzo, 2B Ben Zorbist, SS Addison Russell and 3B Kris Bryant are the first team since the 1963 Cardinals to send their entire infield to the All-Star Game. OF Dexter Fowler and Pitchers Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester will also join the party as the Cubs send 8 overall. In the American League, the Boston Red Sox will send 6 to San Diego, including DH David Ortiz, his 10th overall appearance. Big Papi plans to retire after the 2016 season.
In the NBA: The news of former OKC Thunder joining the Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors is still news as he did a LeBron James-to Miami-like move in effort to win his first NBA ring. Durant agreed to a 2-year deal worth $54 million, which proves that he wasn’t about the big money that this year’s Free Agent period had to offer. Durant joins 2-time NBA MVP Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala-which isn’t a bad group for HC Steve Kerr.
But the Warriors had to make room for Durant by dealing C Andrew Bogut to the Dallas Mavericks and not matching F Harrison Barnes’s 4 yr.-$94 million offer sheet-also to the Mavericks. But they did sign veteran F David West to a 1-year deal.
The Mavericks also signed veteran F Dirk Nowitski to a 2-year deal worth $40. Meanwhile Western Conference Power San Antonio (who also courted Durant) finalized a 2-year $30 million deal with former Chicago Bulls C Pau Gasol. Speaking of the Bulls, they signed G Rajon Rondo to a 2-year $28 million deal. Former Atlanta Hawks F Al Hortford went to the Boston Celtics for 4-years, $113 million and the Hawks signed veteran F Dwight Howard for 3 years, $70.5 million.
Veteran Dwyane Wade is asking for 2 years $50 million and so far, the Denver Nuggets is the only team that’s offering him that amount. The Miami Heat guard was offered 2 years, $40 million from the Heat and had also been negotiating with the Bulls and Milwaukee Bucks’ There’s rumors that he’s going to visit NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers next, but time will tell.
Speaking of the Champion Cavs, no news on LeBron James contract talks.
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