The St. Louis Cardinals are in unfamiliar territory by playing around .500 baseball this season, and that led them to make a major change on Saturday. Following an 8-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds earlier in the night, the team announced that manager Mike Matheny has been relieved of his duties. The move comes in Matheny's seventh season with the team, as hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller were also let go. Bench coach Mike Shildt will play the role of interim manager for at least the rest of the season. The 47-year-old Matheny joined the Cardinals in 2011 and went 591-474, leading his team to postseason appearances from 2012 to 2015. That included a World Series loss to the Boston Red Sox in 2013, and holding the league's best record with 100 victories in 2015. Since then, their record has decreased each season, as the Cardinals have not made the postseason the last two years. This is the first time that the Cardinals have switched managers mid-season since 1995, when Joe Torre replaced Mike Jorgensen. Following a second straight loss to the Reds at home on Saturday, they sit just one game over .500 at 47-46 heading in to the series finale on Sunday afternoon.
Bogaerts' Grand Slam Gives Red Sox Walk-Off in Extras
All Xander Bogaerts needed was a sacrifice fly to win things for the Boston Red Sox on Saturday afternoon. He got the ball in the air for sure, but it was much more than just a sac fly. Bogaerts lifted the ball over the centerfield wall for a walk-off grand slam in the 10th inning for a 6-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. It was the Red Sox's first game-ending grand slam since Jim Rice did it on July 4th, 1984, as Bogaerts connected with a slam for the third time this season. J. D. Martinez added his major league-leading 29th home run of the season, while also extending his RBI lead with his 80th. Mookie Betts continued his hot hitting with three singles, extending his hitting streak to 12 game and increasing his baseball-leading batting average to .362. After Boston's 10-game winning streak came to an end on Friday night, they quickly got back in the win column, as they have not lost consecutive games since June 19th and 20th. They forced extra innings in the ninth with back to back doubles from Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr., as Craig Kimbrel earned his second win after a scoreless 10th inning. Boston did lose starter Eduardo Rodriguez to a sprained ankle after he collided with the helmet of a sliding Lourdes Gurriel Jr. at first base. The Red Sox will end the first half of the season with the series finale at Fenway Park on Sunday.
Calhoun, Angels Edge Dodgers in Extras
Kole Calhoun is heating up at the right time, which is leading the Los Angeles Angels in the always-close Freeway Series. Calhoun connected for his third home run of the weekend in the 10th inning on Saturday for a 5-4 Angels win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Calhoun homered on the first pitch he saw from Kenley Jansen in extras, which comes one day after going deep twice on Friday night. Justin Upton also went deep in this one, but failed to chase down a fly ball in the ninth, which forced extras. Yasmani Grandal's double got over the head of Upton and scored Chase Utley from first base to tie the game. Calhoun's game-winner continues his career success at Dodger Stadium, as he is a career .343 hitter with four home runs and four RBI in 11 career games at Chaves Ravine. The game-winner on Saturday was his ninth long ball of the season. The in-state series continues to be tight this season, as four of the five games between the two teams have been decided by one run. The Angels lead the season series, 3-2, as Saturday's win put manager Mike Scioscia at 18th all-time in career victories with 1,619. The Halos will look to sweep away the Dodgers heading in to the All-Star break in the series finale on Sunday.