Jason Kipnis launched a two-run homer Friday against the Phillies.
The Indians were held scoreless after Kipnis’ two-run blast off Adam Morgan in the fifth inning. The 29-year-old has two home runs and five RBI over his last four games, but he continues to strike out at an alarming rate. He fanned two more times on Friday and has struck out in 32.6 percent of his plate appearances so far this season. That’s almost double where he was last year.
Josh Harrison launched his first home run of the 2016 season on Friday, leading the Pirates to a 4-1 victory over the visiting Reds.
Harrison's fourth-inning blast off Dan Straily increased the Bucs' early lead to 2-0 and proved to be the difference in the ballgame. He has been outstanding at the plate through the season's first month, slashing .333/.372/.448 with a homer, 14 RBI and four stolen bases.
Juan Nicasio was in dominant form in Friday's victory over the Reds, punching out eight over seven shutout innings of baseball.
Nicasio surrendered just three hits and a walk in the impressive outing. Through five starts he certainly looks to be another successful reclamation project for Pirates' pitching coach Ray Searage, as Nicasio has compiled a 3.33 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 29/12 K/BB ratio across 27 innings. He needs to be owned and started in all mixed leagues at this point for Wednesday's start against the Cubs.
Tucker Barnhart plated the Reds lone run with an RBI double in Friday's loss to the Pirates.
His run-scoring double off of Arquimedes Caminero in the ninth inning pulled the Reds to within three at 4-1, but that would be as close as they would come. Barnhardt finished the evening 1-for-4. He has been swinging a hot bat in the first month of the season, slashing .333/.385/.417 with four RBI in 39 plate appearances.
Dan Straily logged a quality start in Friday's loss to the Pirates, surrendering two runs on five hits over his six innings.
The right-hander punched out five on the night while issuing three free passes. The Pirates scratched out single runs in the third and fourth innings, the latter coming on a solo blast off the bat of Josh Harrison. Straily has done a nice job thus far in the Reds rotation, posting a 3.38 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 22/12 K/BB ratio across 24 innings. He'll try again to earn his first victory when he takes on the Giants on Wednesday.
Yoenis Cespedes had a two-run single and a grand slam in the third inning Friday as the Mets thrashed the Giants 13-1.
It was his first start in a week and he announced his return to the lineup with authority. His grand slam was the exclamation point on a team record 12-run third inning for New York. The six RBI frame from Cespedes also set a team record. The 30-year-old has homered in four out of his last five games and is batting .313/.380/.719 with seven home runs and 23 RBI overall.
Steven Matz spun six scoreless innings in Friday’s blowout win over the Giants.
Matz matched his career-high with 110 pitches. He wasn’t exactly at his best, allowing seven hits and three walks, but he managed to keep the Giants off the board while notching four strikeouts. The southpaw was rocked in his season debut, but he has a 0.93 ERA over his last three starts. He’ll get an appealing assignment against the light-hitting Braves next time out.
Jake Peavy was rocked for six runs in two-plus innings Friday in a loss to the Mets.
All six runs scored in the third inning, which ended up being a 12-run explosion for New York. Peavy gave up four hits and walked five while throwing just 38 out of 70 pitches for strikes. The veteran right-hander now owns an 8.61 ERA and 2.00 WHIP through five starts this season. That’s, uh, not good. He might still have some leash left, but the Giants are surely losing patience with him.