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Leading Off: Reds Suspend Brennaman, Cardinals Come Home
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By Associated Press
Published 4 years ago on
August 20, 2020

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A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

Slur Suspension

The Reds say they “will be addressing our broadcasting team in the coming days” after announcer Thom Brennaman was suspended from working Cincinnati’s games for using an anti-gay slur on air.

Brennman was pulled off the broadcast in the middle of the second game of a doubleheader between the Reds and Royals. The longtime play-by-play announcer used the slur moments after the Fox Sports Ohio feed returned from a commercial break before the top of the seventh inning in the first game. He did not seem to realize he was already on air.

Brennaman later apologized. The Reds also apologized, saying the organization “is devastated by the horrific, homophobic remark.”

Welcome Back to Busch

The St. Louis Cardinals are finally coming home.

After finishing an eight-game, five-day trip to Chicago with series against the White Sox and Cubs, the Cardinals are set to play at Busch Stadium for the first time since July 26 as they host the Cincinnati Reds.

The Cardinals didn’t play any games at all for a stretch of over two weeks due to a coronavirus outbreak within the organization that included star catcher Yadier Molina.

“Everyone’s still pretty excited about the fact we’re back out,” Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong said. “The quarantine kind of made everybody go crazy a little bit. To finally be back out here doing what we love to do, it’s still fun right now. We’re just going out, playing the game and having fun.”

They returned to action by going 4-4 in this eight-game trip that included three doubleheaders. They have 10 scheduled doubleheaders this year as they try to make up some of those games they missed.

Ailing Alvarez

The season is already over for Houston’s Yordan Alvarez, the unanimous choice as 2019 AL rookie of the year.

Astros manager Dusty Baker says Alvarez has a partially torn right patellar tendon that will require season-ending surgery.

After hitting 27 homers last year, Alvarez played just two games this season.

Alvarez missed the first three weeks of the season due to the coronavirus. He homered against the Seattle Mariners in his season debut Friday but went on the injured list just three days later.

A Bieber Fan

Cleveland’s Shane Bieber owns a 4-0 record and 1.30 ERA, but it’s his strikeout numbers that have put him in select company. Bieber will attempt to continue his hot streak as he faces the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 25-year-old Bieber has struck out 54 through his first five starts of the season. That’s the highest strikeout total by any player in his first five starts of the season since Pedro Martinez also had 54 in 2001.

In Bieber’s only previous start against the Pirates, he gave up a career-high seven earned runs in just 1 2/3 innings, which matches the shortest start of his MLB career. Of course, that happened way back on July 24, 2018.

Grichuk’s Homer Streak

Toronto’s Randal Grichuk has homered in four consecutive games and will try to keep that streak going when the Blue Jays play a doubleheader with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Grichuk homered twice in a 5-2 victory over Baltimore on Wednesday. This is the second time in Grichuk’s career that he’s homered in four straight games, as he also did it in July 2017.

He has six homers this season, all in his last six games.

His 11 RBIs in the series against Baltimore that just concluded represented the second-highest total by a Blue Jay in any three-game series. Josh Phelps knocked home 13 runs in a three-game series with Seattle in 2004.

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