MLB News & Moments You Should Know – 6/24/23

De La Cruz's cycle powers Reds to 12th consecutive victory.

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It was an electric Friday night across MLB for a variety of reasons, but mainly for what took place in Cincinnati. Could we have a new superstar? A little too early, but it has been quite a show for a rookie just more than two weeks into his career. His team seems to be doing pretty well, too.


Today’s Headlines


It’s Elly’s World As Reds Win 12th Straight

Everyone wondered how real the upstart Cincinnati Reds and rookie shortstop Elly De La Cruz were entering Friday’s series opener against Atlanta. The Reds, after all, were winners of 11 straight and are gaining steam as a feel-good story after a 100-loss 2022 season. Atlanta, meanwhile, has won the National League East five years in a row and currently lead the division again. But for one night at least, the Reds and the multitalented De La Cruz dazzled, beating Atlanta 11-10 and extending their winning streak to 12. The streak is the third-longest in team history, matching the 1939 and 1957 teams. De La Cruz, in just his 15th MLB game, stole the show, hitting for the cycle, just the seventh in the lengthy history of the Reds. He secured his cycle with an RBI triple in the sixth inning, plating the final Reds run of the game.

De La Cruz smashed a double to right-center in the second inning.

De La Cruz drilled a two-run homer in the third inning.

With De La Cruz, who singled in the fifth inning, and the rest of the young Reds making significant contributions, veteran Joey Votto has been inspired since returning this week to make his season debut. He blasted a pair of homers.

While there were plenty of fascinating facts and stats about the 6-foot-5 De La Cruz from this victory, none might be as stunning as the one from Jamie Ramsey, the Reds’ director of media relations.

If you doubt him …

Pirates Rally, End Skid At 10

A day after a crushing loss and three outs from losing their 11th game in a row, the Pittsburgh Pirates came up with a comeback that ended a horrible slide. Carlos Santana highlighted a three-run top of the ninth with a tiebreaking single as the Pirates put a half to a 10-game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Miami Marlins. The rally came following a stellar start by Luis L. Ortiz, who allowed only a first-inning run in eight innings, striking out out five and walking two.

Manfred Stumbles Clarifying A’s Comments

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, in London to promote the two-game series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs, was asked about his comments at last week’s owners meetings regarding the Oakland A’s probable move to Las Vegas and their fans, who held a reverse boycott with the largest home attendance of the season. Manfred was roundly criticized for what appeared to be a sarcastic comment about the size of the crowd. His response did not go well. Here is what Manfred said, then and now:

Meanwhile, MLB will return to London next year with a series between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets. It is part of a plan for more international games.

And with the A’s now seemingly locked into moving to Vegas, the current mayor of San Jose and four predecessors wrote a letter to Manfred asking to suspend territorial rights to the city and consider the city for a potential expansion team.

Ohtani + Trout = 2 HRs

Just your friendly reminder that the Los Angeles Angels have a pair of superstars in Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. The pair smashed back-to-back homers in the fifth inning off Colorado Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland. Ohtani, the MLB leader in homers, now has 25 after depositing one into the Rockies’ bullpen in right-center field, while Trout is at 16 after his blast into the trees in dead center.

Angels Deal For Mets’ Escobar

If you would have told Mets fans in April that the team would make a trade with the Angels, the hope would have been that the boys from Flushing were acquiring the biggest name in the deal, perhaps a certain two-way impending free agent. Instead, the Mets, who are wallowing with a 34-41 record after a 5-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, were sellers in this trade, sending third baseman Eduardo Escobar to the Angels for prospect pitchers Coleman Crow and Landon Marceaux.

The Angels have dealt with a number of injuries to their infield, with third baseman Gio Urshela out for the season (fractured left pelvis), rookie shortstop Zach Neto (strained left oblique) on the 10-day injured list and third baseman Anthony Rendon (left wrist contusion) now also on the 10-day IL.

Escobar has struggled this season, slashing .236/.286/.409 with four home runs and 16 RBI in 40 games. The Mets will be picking up all but the prorated minimum salary for Escobar, which netted them a better prospect haul. Both pitchers were at Double-A, with Crow No. 19 and Marceaux No. 20 in the Angels’ system, per MLB Pipeline.

Julio In Home Run Derby

With the All-Star Game in Seattle this year, there was little doubt that Mariners star Julio Rodríguez would be in the Home Run Derby. That became official as he became the first entrant. And as the Mariners’ Twitter account points out, the Derby happens on a day that might be made for J-Rod.


Best Moments From Yesterday


No Glove Needed

The Detroit Tigers might have lost to the Minnesota Twins 4-1, but at least this fan had a remarkable moment, snaring a home run by the Twins’ Royce Lewis with his barehand as he held an infant with the other.

Requisition For A Name Change

When in London, it is time to bend to the metric system for Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas.

Blanket Statement

Some social media teams are just better. Take this announcement of a rain delay before the Mariners’ game in Baltimore.

Kangaroo Court Fine Coming

When a player makes an error in the field, there is no place to hide. But when a misplay happens in the dugout, well … just watch Andrew Vaughn after he butchers a bouncer to the Chicago White Sox dugout.


Injuries and Other Moves


Outfielder-first baseman Wil Myers, designated for assignment by the Reds this week, cleared waivers and was released.

San Francisco Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski (strained left hamstring) was placed on the 10-day IL and infielder Isan Díaz was called up from Triple-A.

The Pirates called up infielder Nick Gonzales, their No. 5 prospect, and started him at second base.

Oakland A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano (fractured right hand) was placed on the 10-day IL. Outfielder Conner Capel was called up from Triple-A.

Right-hander Dinelson Lamet, DFA’d by the Rockies, cleared waivers and was released.

The San Diego Padres are calling up knuckleball pitcher Matt Waldron to start Saturday against the Washington Nationals.


Articles You Should Read


Can the A’s build a Vegas stadium on 9 acres? — John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle

The Mariners found a momentum shift in New York — Hannah Keyser, Yahoo Sports

Rangers face one ‘last hurdle’ in run to the postseason — Russell Dorsey, Bally Sports


Fantasy Baseball Coverage


Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks

Starting Pitcher Streamers

Steve Drumwright

Steve Drumwright is a lifelong baseball fan who retired as a player before he had the chance to be cut from the freshman team in high school. He recovered to become a sportswriter and have a successful journalism career at newspapers in Wisconsin and California. Follow him on Twitter and Threads @DrummerWrites.

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