The Cardinals bombed the Giants’ Johnny Cueto in his return from the disabled list in Thursday’s series opener Adidas Dylan Larkin Jersey , scoring early and often in an 11-2 romp.
Cueto’s return sent Derek Holland to the bullpen, where he was used in a mop-up role after the Giants had fallen behind 9-0.
The Giants also are expecting another of their core starters, Jeff Samardzija, to be reinstated from the DL on Saturday, meaning another of the pitchers who helped keep the club afloat amid key injuries either will be moved to the bullpen, demoted to the minors or even perhaps released.
Rookie right-hander Dereck Rodriguez (3-1, 3.16), having gotten a vote of confidence when Holland was the first to lose his job, will pitch Friday with additional pressure on him.
Ivan Rodriguez’s son has handled everything major leaguers have thrown at him, allowing three of fewer runs in six of his seven starts.
Rodriguez has never faced the Cardinals. He is coming off his best outing of the season, shutting out the Arizona Diamondbacks on six hits over 6 1/3 innings in a 7-0 road victory last week.
Rodriguez will have to deal with a Cardinals lineup that’s been scorching at the plate while going 3-1 to open a nine-game trip.
St. Louis has totaled 27 runs on 48 hits in the four games, with just about everybody contributing.
Jedd Gyorko ruined Cueto’s return early Thursday night with a three-run homer in the first inning. He’s gone 6-for-15 with two doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and three runs scored in the four games.
Yadier Molina, who had three singles Thursday, homered twice during the Cardinals’ two-of-three success at Arizona.
The Cardinals also welcomed back Dexter Fowler from paternity leave Thursday night, but couldn’t find a spot for him in the starting outfield amid Tommy Pham, Marcell Ozuna and Harrison Bader Adidas Leon Draisaitl Jersey , who combined for seven hits in the series opener.
Fowler entered the game late and struck out in his only at-bat.
Rodriguez will be opposed by Cardinals right-hander John Gant (2-3, 3.92), who has filled in admirably while St. Louis has been without Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes and Adam Wainwright.
Summoned from the bullpen to make his fourth start of the season, Gant pitched brilliantly in a 4-0 victory over Cleveland on June 25, allowing one hit in seven innings.
But the 25-year-old couldn’t duplicate his success in his most recent outing, having allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 6-5 loss to Atlanta last week.
Gant has faced the Giants twice in his career, both times in relief, going 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA.
Andrew McCutchen (2-for-3 with a double) and Brandon Belt (RBI double in only at-bat) have had success in their limited duels with Gant.
Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman confronted her former doctor who has pleaded guilty to multiple sexual assaults, warning him that the testimony of the ”powerful army” of 140 survivors at his sentencing will haunt him in prison.
More than 80 of the women and girls whom Larry Nassar abused under the guise of medical treatment have stood before the court during a marathon sentencing hearing that began Tuesday, describing with eloquence and sometimes tears the harm Nassar did and the impact he has had on their lives.
”You have not taken gymnastics away from me,” Raisman said. ”I love this sport, and that love is stronger than the evil that resides in you, in those who enabled you to hurt many people.”
Facing pressure over how Michigan State University handled allegations made against Nassar when he was employed there, the school’s board of trustees asked the state’s attorney general to investigate but stood by university president Lou Ann Simon – who is facing growing calls to resign or to be fired by the board.
Nassar also was a team doctor at the Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Tom Brady is staying mum on his status for the AFC championship game after suffering a right hand injury earlier in the week.
Brady said a bit contentiously only ”We’ll see” when asked whether he would play in Sunday’s conference title game against Jacksonville.
The quarterback wore red gloves and responded to several other questions about how much he practiced or how he sustained the injury by saying ”I’m not talking about that.”
Brady is listed as questionable for Sunday after being a limited participant in practice Friday. He was also limited on Wednesday. He sat out practice Thursday, but wore a glove on his injured hand during the stretching period open to reporters. He usually only wears a glove on his non-throwing hand.
SUNRISE Adidas Connor McDavid Jersey , Fla. (AP) – New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson faces a slew of charges in Florida, including threatening a police officer’s family and saying he would rape the officer’s wife.
A Sunrise police report shows the 24-year-old Anderson was stopped in a sport utility vehicle after it ran two red lights and was swerving while traveling about 105 mph in a 45 mph zone.
After he was stopped, police say he made the threats and then boasted about how much money he has. Jail records show Anderson faces nine charges, including threatening harm to a public servant, resisting arrest and traffic violations. The records don’t list an attorney for Anderson.
”This is a pending legal matter and we will have no further comments,” the Jets said in a statement. The NFL is also aware of the situation and league spokesman Brian McCarthy said ”we will be looking into this matter.”
This is the latest legal trouble for Anderson, who was arrested in May and charged with resisting arrest and obstruction of justice after sparring with officials who asked him to leave a Miami music festival. Anderson’s next scheduled court date for that incident is on March 19.
NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (AP) – An autopsy report says retired star pitcher Roy Halladay had evidence of amphetamine, morphine and an insomnia drug in his system when he died in a small plane crash in Florida last year.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that an autopsy shows the former Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies All-Star died from blunt force trauma with drowning as a contributing factor when he crashed his personal plane into the Gulf of Mexico near New Port Richey on Nov. 7.
The National Transportation Safety Board hasn’t identified a cause for the crash. A witness told investigators that Halladay’s ICON A5 climbed to between 300 and 500 feet (90 and 150 meters) before it went into a 45-degree dive and slammed into the water.
The body of the two-time Cy Young Award winner was found in the wreckage.
ST. LOUIS (AP) – The St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder Randal Grichuk to the Toronto Blue Jays for reliever Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.
The 26-year-old Grichuk hit .238 last season with 22 home runs and 59 RBIs in 122 games. He became expendable after St. Louis got big-hitting left fielder Marcell Ozuna in a trade with Miami last month, and because of the emergence of Tommy Pham in center.
NEW YORK (AP) – Tim Tebow will be at spring training with the New York Mets.
The 30-year-old outfielder was among nine spring training invitees announced by the team.
The former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback is preparing for his second professional baseball season. He hit .226 with eight homers, 52 RBIs and 126 strikeouts in 126 games last year at Class A with Columbia in the South Atlantic League and Port St. Lucie in the Florida State League. Tebow was 4 for 27 (.148) with no extra-base hits, one walk and eight strikeouts in nine spring training games for the Mets last year.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – The NCAA’s five largest conferences approved sweeping changes in everything from medical care to basketball during the holidays, dashing through the agenda with little opposition and virtually no debate.
Extended medical benefits for former athletes, a three-day break for basketball players over the holiday season, more money for student hosts, and allowing men’s hockey players to receive draft advice before enrolling in college without losing eligibility were all approved. The Division I autonomy group passed all four measures – and 11 i