Greg Bird was having gobs of trouble figuring out lefties coming into Friday’s game against the Red Sox. He was 1 for 14 on the year and really stood little chance of doing much of anything against southpaws in most of his at-bats.
Then he ran into a fastball from Eduardo Rodriguez and all his ills were cured — at least for one night.
Bird hit two home runs in New York’s 8-1 win over the Red Sox Friday and brought his average above .200 for the first time since June 21. Aaron Judge tallied a home run and the Yankees’ youngsters contributed to New York’s win.
In Tampa Bay, the Rays got a superb pitching performance from Wilmer Font who held the Astros to one hit in five innings of work in a 3-2 victory over the defending World Series champions.
The loss broke Houston’s 11-game road winning streak, but it cost the Rays yet another starting pitcher as Font left in the sixth inning with a right lat strain. Manager Kevin Cash told reporters he expects the 28-year-old to miss significant time.
Studs of the Night
Brewers outfielder Keon Broxton went 3 for 4 with two home runs and four RBIs in an 8-2 win over the Reds.
Nationals rookie Juan Soto went 4 for 5 with two home runs and five RBIs in a 17-7 win over the Phillies. Soto is the youngest player since Mickey Mantle in 1951 to have multiple four-RBI games in a season.
#Nationals Juan Soto is the youngest player to have mutiple games with at four RBI since Mickey Mantle in 1951.
— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) June 30, 2018
Dud of the Night
Mets starter Corey Oswalt was put in a tough spot. He took Jacob deGrom’s start on short notice Friday as New York’s ace had to miss the game due to family issues, but that doesn’t justify this performance. Oswalt threw just 2 2/3 innings allowing six hits and six earned runs in an 8-2 loss to the Marlins.
It’s not often position players get to pitch and it’s even less common for said player to mow down the side in order, but White Sox third baseman Matt Davidson did just that. He ended his night by striking out Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor on a nasty slider.
Matt Davidson, Filthy 79mph Slider….and then reminding himself to slow strut off the field… ? pic.twitter.com/ZKg7XrNQgB
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 30, 2018
Davidson showed four pitches in the game including a curveball that was a definite 8 on the position player pitches scouting scale. Chicago lost 11-3.
The Matt Davidson Inning pic.twitter.com/KaAFDk9yU5
— Sox On 35th (@SoxOn35th) June 30, 2018
Braves (46-34) at Cardinals (42-38) 7:15 p.m. ET — The Braves won Game 1 of the three-game series Friday and send Max Fried (0-0, 4.09 ERA) to the mound for his first start of the season. Luke Weaver (4-6, 4.59 ERA) will be looking to complete six full innings for the first time since May 22.