Welcome to The Walk Off, the nightly MLB recap from Big League Stew. Here we'll look at the top performers of the night, show you a must-see highlight and rundown the scoreboard. First, we start with a game you need to know about.
How's this for team of destiny? The Chicago Cubs entered the season as the overwhelming World Series favorite, and have lived up to that billing thus far. Just when things looked like it couldn't get any better for the North Siders, ace Jake Arrieta took the mound Thursday night against the Cincinnati Reds.
Two hours and fifty-six minutes later, the game ended with Arrieta leaping into catcher David Ross' arms. For the second time in 11 regular-season starts, Arrieta threw a no-hitter.
Arrieta kept the Reds hitless for nine innings, allowing four walks and striking out six batters. In four starts this season, Arrieta now has a 0.89 ERA.
As far as the Reds are concerned, well, they are taking it about as well as expected.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 22, 2016
Hey, we're all for keeping things positive. When Jake Arrieta has been on the mound lately, working a walk definitely seems like an accomplishment.
Oh yeah, it wasn't all about Arrieta during the win either. The Cubs offense exploded for 16 runs during the 16-0 blowout. No wonder so many analysts liked them at the beginning of the season.
Jake Arrieta: Duh.
Kris Bryant: Arrieta may have grabbed all the headlines, but the Cubs offense deserves some credit in the 16-0 drubbing. Bryant was the best of the bunch, going 4-for-6 at the plate with two home runs and two singles. He scored four runs and drove in six and no one will talk about him tomorrow.
Robinson Cano: It's been a weird season for Cano thus far. After a hot start, where he hit four home runs immediately, the 33-year-old went into a brief slump. If Thursday is an indication, that may have already passed. Cano went 3-for-5 at the plate, crushing the eventual game-winning hit, a three-run home run in the 10th inning. Cano's big fly gave the Mariners the 10-7 win over the Indians.
Miguel Sano: If the Twins are going to capitalize on last season's success, Sano's success at the plate is crucial. For perhaps the first time this year, Sano had everything working at the plate. He went 2-for-2, with a single and a home run. He also walked in his other three plate appearances, reaching base every single time he stepped to the plate during the 8-1 victory.
Ian Desmond: Desmond desperately needed Thursday's performance. The 30-year-old came into the game with an awful .132 batting average and zero home runs. With Houston Astros ace Dallas Keuchel on the mound, things didn't seem encouraging. Desmond, however, came though. In the first inning, he smashed a three-run homer off Keuchel, giving his club the early lead. Desmond would also double later in the 7-4 win.
After you get tired of watching Jake Arrieta dominate the Reds, consider viewing this excellent catch by Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon. In the top of the fourth inning, Detroit Tigers outfielder Justin Upton crushed a ball that seemed like a sure extra-base hit to left center. That's when Gordon struck. After running a long way, Gordon dove on the warning track, snagging the ball in his glove as he hit the ground. There's a reason he's considered one of the best defensive outfielders in the game. The catch helped preserve Edinson Volquez's 1-0 lead at the time. The Royals went on to win the contest 4-0.
THE REST OF THE SCOREBOARD
Marlins 5, Nationals 1: Marcell Ozuna's first inning three-run homer off Nats ace Max Scherzer was enough to push the Marlins to a win.
Rays 12, Red Sox 8: David Price gave up eight runs over 3 2/3 innings and managed to get the no-decision as the Red Sox battled back. In the end, a Stephen Souza double gave the Rays the lead in the eighth and they managed to hold on.
Angels 3, White Sox 2: Mike Trout's two-run home run in the fifth inning was enough to give the Angels the win. Chicago attempted to mount a comeback in the ninth after a Todd Frazier solo shot, but couldn't get the job done.
Diamondbacks 6, Giants 2: Shelby MIller turned in another tough start, walking five over just two innings. Tyler Wagner was called upon to replace Miller, and tossed five scoreless innings in relief, picking up the win.
Athletics 7, Yankees 3: Rich Hill struck out 10 as the Yankees bats couldn't get much going against the left-hander.
Orioles 3, Blue Jays 2: A Manny Machado RBI double broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning. From there, Zach Britton did his usual thing, tossing a perfect ninth inning for his fourth save.
Pirates 11, Padres 1: Seven members of the Pirates offense managed to pick up at least one RBI during the contest. Jon Jay was the offensive highlight for San Diego, picking up two hits and the team's only RBI.
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