James Shields of the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds play in opposite leagues and rarely see each other Authentic Baker Mayfield Jersey , yet they currently have much in common.
Now that they’re starting to make something out of what appeared to be a totally lost season, they’d like to keep it going.
The Reds got off to the worst start in baseball at 8-27, one so bad that getting to .500 looked to be as much of a challenge as winning a division title would be for most teams.
But when the Reds (36-48) take on the right-handed Shields and the White Sox on Monday night at Great American Ball Park, in the teams’ first matchup since 2015, they’ll be one of the majors’ hottest clubs. They’ve won 11 of 14 after taking the final two games of a four-game weekend series against the Milwaukee Brewers, and interim manager Jim Riggleman now has a 33-33 record for a last-place team.
Considering that Riggleman took over a Reds team that was 3-15 under former manager Bryan Price, that’s something of an accomplishment. And the Reds own a 6-1 record in interleague games.
“We know we can play with these teams that are in first place in their division,” Riggleman said.
They’re winning now in grand fashion, too. Jose Peraza hit the team’s major league-leading ninth grand slam Sunday in an 8-2 win over the Brewers, their second in two games (pitcher Michael Lorenzen hit a pinch-grand slam Saturday) and sixth in 17 games. They’ve already tied a club season record.
“We’ve been getting better at-bats … and we’ve happened to have men on base,” Riggleman said.
Cincinnati starter Matt Harvey pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings before being lifted after a rain delay, and the Reds dealt Brewers rookie Freddy Peralta (3-1), who gave up three runs in five innings, his first major league loss. Peralta allowed only one hit in seven shutout innings against the Kansas City Royals in his previous start.
“That’s probably the best I’ve felt since 2013,” said Harvey (4-5), who won his third straight start.
Shields (3-9), likewise, is beginning to see a ray of sunshine in what previously was a gloomy season. He’s coming off his best start of the year, pitching seven shutout innings and giving up four hits Wednesday in a 6-1 win over the Minnesota Twins. It was his 12th quality start of the season, or five more than he had all of last season.
Shields still isn’t the pitcher that won 13 or more games seven times from 2008 to 2015, but it hasn’t helped that he’s pitching for a team that’s off to the second worst start in franchise history. He has allowed a respectable six earned runs in his last four starts, and twice yielded one or no runs while lasting at least seven innings.
“My body’s feeling really good this year, and this is kind of what I’ve done my whole career,” Shields told reporters after the game against the Twins. “I strive to go as deep as I possibly can in games and so far it’s been good.
“I’m not throwing as hard as I used to. If I were to throw over the top, I’d still throw a little harder than I am right now. (But) at the end of the day, I’m feeling really good with my delivery right now, my mechanics. It’s been a lot of fun making these adjustments.”
Shields goes against Reds right-hander Luis Castillo (5-8), who was 1-3 with a 6.75 ERA in five June starts. He retired the first 11 batters he faced Wednesday at Atlanta, only to give up four quick runs on a walk and five consecutive singles, although the Reds came back to win 6-5.
Castillo is 0-1 in two starts against American League clubs this season, giving up eight runs in six innings. He has never faced the White Sox.
Shields is 18-18 with a 4.57 ERA in interleague play and 0-2 in two career starts against the Reds, the last of which was in 2015.
The White Sox (29-54) ended a three-game losing streak Sunday by salvaging the final game of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers, winning 10-5 as Avisail Garcia went 4-for-5 with a double and an RBI.
The Reds have won five consecutive interleague games but are facing the White Sox at Great American Ball Park for the first time since 2009. The White Sox are 16-4 overall against the Reds and 10-2 in Cincinnati, though that success there predated any of the current players.
Chris Sale took a two-hitter into the seventh inning before being ejected, and the Boston Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles with a 5-1 victory Wednesday.
After issuing two walks to open the seventh in a 5-0 game, Sale (6-4) was lifted by manager Alex Cora. As he was making his way to the dugout, the left-hander yelled at plate umpire Brian Knight and was promptly ejected.
Sale struck out nine, allowed one run and gave up two hits in ending a run of three straight losing starts. Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez homered for the Red Sox, who are 9-1 against the Orioles this season. Baltimore has lost seven straight and 14 of 16.
Betts, the major league leader in batting average, came off the disabled list Monday after missing 14 games with an abdominal strain. He played Monday, was rested Tuesday and returned to the top of the lineup in the series finale. Betts hit a 3-2 pitch from Yefry Ramirez over the center-field wall in the third for his 18th home run. A three-run fifth made it 4-0, and Martinez hit his team-leading 22nd in the seventh.
Ramirez (0-1) gave up three runs and four hits over 4 1/3 innings, striking out six.
NEW YORK (AP) – Teenage rookie Juan Soto homered twice and drove in four runs, becoming the youngest player in 29 years to go deep in a regular-season game at Yankee Stadium, and Washington beat New York.
After getting a game off Tuesday, his first in three-plus weeks as a major leaguer, a refreshed Soto showed exactly why he was rated one of baseball’s best prospects.
The 19-year-old outfielder lofted a three-run homer into the left-field corner off Sonny Gray in the fourth inning to give Washington, shut out in its previous two games, a 4-3 lead. Soto then launched a titanic shot to right-center in the seventh against Chasen Shreve (2-1), putting the Nationals back in front 5-4.
Projected at 436 feet, the drive soared to the back of a standing-room terrace above and beyond the Yankees‘ bullpen in right-center. It also ended a 23-inning shutout streak for New York relievers and made Soto (19 years, 231 days old) the youngest player in Nationals history to have a multihomer game.
ASTROS 13, ATHLETICS 5
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Evan Gattis hit two home runs, including the first of back-to-back shots with Marwin Gonzalez during a seven-run second inning, and streaking Houston beat Oakland for its seventh straight win.
Jake Marisnick also homered, Carlos Correa had a two-run triple and Yuli Gurriel had three hits and three RBIs to help Gerrit Cole (8-1) win his sixth straight decision.
The defending World Series champs moved a season-high 19 games over .500. This is Houston’s longest winning streak since taking seven in a row from Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2017.
One night after homering and setting a career-high with five RBIs, Gattis had another huge day at the plate. He drove in five again, becoming the first player in franchise history to drive in five in consecutive games.
DODGERS 3, RANGERS 2, 11 INNINGS
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Enrique Hernandez dodged home on a wild throw by pitcher Matt Bush in the 11th inning and, hours after a hard collision at the plate led to a bench-clearing incident and a pair of ejections, Los Angeles edged Texas.
Hernandez drew a leadoff walk from Jesse Chavez (2-1) and moved up on a long flyout. Yasiel Puig was intentionally walked and Chavez was yanked after a walk to Logan Forsythe loaded the bases.
Austin Barnes followed with a comebacker, and Bush reached out to grab it. But Bush hurried as he spun around http://www.officialbruinsproonline.com/authentic-adidas-brad-marchand-jersey , and his throw home for a potential forceout pulled catcher Carlos Perez off the plate. Hernandez stepped over Barnes’ bat, danced around the catcher and touched home with his right hand, leaving Perez tagging nothing but thin air.
Adam Liberatore (2-1) got the win in relief.
BRAVES 2, METS 0
ATLANTA (AP) – Mike Soroka did not allow a hit until the seventh inning, Freddie Freeman homered and drove in both runs, and Atlanta beat New York.
Soroka, at 20 the youngest pitcher in the major leagues, returned from a right shoulder strain that sidelined him since May 17 to outpitch NL ERA leader Jacob deGrom (4-2) in a game that lasted only 2 hours, 12 minutes. The Mets have lost 10 of their past 11 and 17 of their past 21.
Making his fourth career start, Soroka (2-1) gave up one hit, one walk and struck out four in 6 1/3 innings. Freeman, the NL batting leader, has hit safely in 23 of his past 24 games. He drove in the first run with a single in the fourth off deGrom (4-2). He homered off Jeremy Blevins in the eighth.
DeGrom (4-2) allowed seven hits and one run and struck out seven in seven innings.
WHITE SOX 3, INDIANS 2
CHICAGO (AP) – Dylan Covey carried a shutout into the eighth inning, continuing his impressive June and helping Chicago beat Trevor Bauer and Cleveland.
Covey (3-1) allowed 10 hits – all singles – and walked none. The 26-year-old right-hander, who was acquired from Oakland in the 2016 Rule 5 draft, improved to 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA in five starts since he was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte last month.
Covey got a warm ovation from the crowd of 19,390 when he departed after the first two batters reached in the eighth. Edwin Encarnacion hit a one-out RBI single and Yonder Alonso doubled home another run before Jace Fry struck out Melky Cabrera and Jason Kipnis, preserving Chicago’s 3-2 lead.
Bauer (5-5) struck out 12 in 7 2/3 innings while becoming the third pitcher in franchise history to record at least 10 Ks in four consecutive starts, joining teammate Corey Kluber and Hall of Famer Bob Feller.