Yadier Molina’s defense and longevity might earn him a ticket to the Hall of Fame. Suddenly the veteran St. Louis Cardinals catcher is on a home-run tear.
He homered twice to back a strong start by Miles Mikolas and lift the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.
Molina’s two-run homer in the sixth inning off reliever Jeremy Jeffress gave St. Louis the lead and the Cardinals held on behind the solid pitching of Mikolas and four relievers.
Molina has five home runs in his last six games Authentic Brian Allen Jersey , including another two-homer game in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said the 35-year-old Molina has developed more power as he has grown older.
”He was such a young player when he came up,” Matheny said of Molina, who earlier this week set a major league record for most games caught with one team (now 1,762).
”You figured there was going to be room for improvement but the route he has taken is unique because you can’t always count on that kind of willpower. He’s as driven a player as I’ve ever seen.”
Marcell Ozuna led off the sixth with a line-drive single to center and scored on Molina’s shot to right-center, a ball that bounced off the top of the wall and into the St. Louis bullpen for a 3-2 Cardinals lead.
”He did some damage today,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. ”He was their offense.”
The Brewers (45-31) remained two games ahead of the second-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central after Chicago lost in Cincinnati on Saturday.
Mikolas (8-2), who pitched in Japan last season, allowed three hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings while walking two and striking out five. Bud Norris earned his 14th save with a scoreless ninth. Jeffress (5-1) took the loss.
”We didn’t have any idea what we were getting when we got him and he’s been everything as advertised from the Japanese league, plus,” Matheny said of Mikolas. ”You just don’t know how that’s going to translate.”
Mikolas retired 16 of the last 17 hitters he faced.
The Brewers took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Jesus Aguilar and an RBI single by newcomer Brad Miller.
St. Louis closed the gap when Molina led off the second inning with a solo home run to right-center.
Brewers starter Chase Anderson did not yield another run in five innings, giving up two hits and striking out nine while walking four.
The Brewers had a big chance in the eighth when they loaded the bases with two outs on two hit batters and an infield single. Aguilar grounded out to shortstop against Cardinals reliever Sam Tuivailala to end the threat.
The Brewers recalled infielder Brad Miller from Triple-A Colorado Springs and optioned struggling outfielder Domingo Santana.
Miller, acquired from Tampa Bay on June 10 in exchange for first baseman-outfielder Ji-Man Choi, was in the Brewers starting lineup at second base and had a bloop RBI single in his first at-bat.
Santana hit .278 last season for Milwaukee with 30 homers and 85 RBIs, but never got on track this season. He hit .249, with three homers and 17 RBIs in 189 at-bats.
Miller, who played 95 games at shortstop for Tampa Bay in 2016 Authentic John Kelly Jersey , likely will play a utility role with Milwaukee.
”I was pretty excited to get the call and come to a team in first place,” Miller said. ”I have the versatility to play everywhere but I’m definitely more comfortable in the middle of the diamond.”
Brewers: Ryan Braun entered in the fifth inning to play left field, when outfielder Lorenzo Cain exited due to groin tightness. Cain also was hit by a pitch in the right elbow on Friday and hit by a pitch in the back in the first inning Saturday. Counsell said Cain would not play Sunday in the series finale. ”He’s just a little beat up,” Counsell said. Braun appeared for the first time since receiving a cryogenic injection in his right thumb on Wednesday and went 1-for-2. . RHP Zach Davies (10-day DL, right rotator cuff inflammation) is scheduled to make a second rehab start for Colorado Springs on Sunday.
Cardinals: RHP Luke Weaver (3-6, 4.69 ERA) will be making his 16th start of the season and seventh career start against the Brewers. He is 2-2 against Milwaukee.
Brewers: RHP Jhoulys Chacin (6-2, 3.18 ERA) had a six-game winning streak snapped in a 1-0 loss at Pittsburgh on Monday. Chacin is 0-6 with a 5.88 ERA in eight career games (seven starts) against the Cardinals.
Former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, who has struggled with mental health issues after a 2013 bullying scandal that shook the NFL, was taken into Los Angeles police custody Friday after a threatening Instagram post on his account mentioned two former teammates who had harassed him.
Martin was being questioned by investigators after the post showed a shotgun and referred by name to the private Harvard-Westlake prep school in Los Angeles that he once attended, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press. The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The post also included mentions of the Instagram usernames of former Miami Dolphins players Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey and said suicide and revenge were the only options for a victim of bullying, the official said.
The Harvard-Westlake prep school was evacuated earlier Friday after officials were made aware of the post. It was not immediately clear whether Martin posted the photo himself and he was not under arrest Friday afternoon.
Martin left the Miami Dolphins midseason in 2013 after accusing teammates of bullying. An NFL investigation found that Incognito, Pouncey and teammate John Jerry engaged in persistent harassment directed at Martin.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The Pittsburgh Penguins acquired center Derick Brassard from Ottawa on Friday night in a three-team deal that sent defenseman Ian Cole to Ottawa and forward Ryan Reaves to the Vegas Golden Knights.
The Penguins announced the deal Friday night during their 6-1 victory at Carolina, with Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford calling it ”the most complex trade I’ve made” because of salary cap issues and the involvement of a third team.
The Senators also received goalie Filip Gustavsson and the Penguins’ first-round draft pick this year as well as their third-round selection next year. Pittsburgh also acquired a pair of prospects – forward Vincent Dunn from Ottawa and forward Tobias Lindberg from Vegas – plus Ottawa’s third-round pick this year.
Vegas also received a fourth-round pick this year, and is retaining 40 percent of Brassard’s salary. According to the Penguins, Brassard is signed through next season with an average annual salary of $5 million.
MEMPHIS Kentrell Brice Jersey , Tenn. (AP) – Memphis point guard Jeremiah Martin has a broken left foot that will force the Tigers to play the rest of the season without the American Athletic Conference’s leading scorer.
The 6-foot-3 sophomore will undergo surgery Tuesday and is expected to be out six to eight months. Martin was averaging 18.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and a league-best 2.3 steals per game.
He was injured hurt Thursday during Memphis’ 91-85 victory over No. 23 Houston . Memphis coach Tubby Smith announced the severity of Martin’s injury Friday.
Memphis (17-11, 8-7 American) has three regular-season games remaining. The Tigers next play Sunday at Connecticut (13-15, 6-9).
NEW YORK (AP) – Baltimore third baseman Jaime Estrada and Los Angeles Angels pitcher Andrew Vinson have been suspended without pay for the first 50 games of the season under baseball’s minor league drug program.
Estrada was suspended for a positive test for Strychnine, the commissioner’s office said Friday. The 22-year-old spent the last two seasons with the Orioles’ Gulf Coast League team and hit .240 with one homer and three RBIs in 50 at-bats over 23 games last year.
Vinson was suspended for a second positive test for a drug of abuse. The 24-year-old right-hander, a 10th-round draft pick from Texas A&M two years ago, was 9-11 with a 4.58 ERA in 25 starts last season for Burlington of the Class A Midwest League.
There have been 21 players suspended this year under the minor league program and three under the major league program: Houston pitcher Dean Deetz, Washington catcher Raudy Read and Pittsburgh pitcher Nik Turley
NEW YORK (AP) – The United States Tennis Association and popular Canadian player Eugenie Bouchard reached a settlement in her liability lawsuit on Friday, ending a trial at which she testified about slipping and falling on a wet locker room floor at the 2015 U.S. Open and suffering a head injury.
Asked how she felt as she left the courthouse, Bouchard responded, ”Just relief and happiness right now,” adding she was ready to get back to playing tennis.
She said she felt ”vindicated” by a jury’s verdict in an initial phase of the trial finding the USTA mostly liable for the accident.
A second phase, at which Bouchard was expected testify about how the accident had harmed her career and the jury was to decide what damages the USTA should pay, was interrupted on Friday by several hours of closed-door talks between the parties. They emerged with the deal but declined to disclose the terms.
USTA lawyer Alan Kaminsky said that he was satisfied with the outcome and that the sport’s national governing body ”certainly wishes Ms. Bouchard the best in her career.”