MLB scores, schedule: Jon Lester solid in return from injured list; Zack Greinke continues to rake

Thursday had a few potentially intriguing storylines, including the Cubs welcoming back Jon Lester from the injured list; the Indians locking horns with the Astros; the Yankees trying to win their seventh in a row; and the Rangers starting the debuting Taylor Hearn.

Baseball schedule/scores for Thursday, April 25


Yanks' win streak snapped

One of the early storylines of the 2019 is how Aaron Boone's Yankees have remained within spitting distance of first place in the AL East despite an absurd run of injuries. They entered Thursday night's contest against the Angels with a six-game win streak and a chance to pull within one game of the first-place Rays. 

At one point, the Yankees led 4-0, but the wheels came off for Masahiro Tanaka in the fifth and sixth innings. The Halos got homers from Kole Calhoun and Tommy La Stella, and Mike Trout had a single and two walks (he now boasts an OBP of .515 on the year). 

Good news for the Yanks? Gary Sanchez in his second game back didn't get a hit, but did flash that powerful arm behind the plate at the expense of Mr. Trout: 

The Yankees will now head to San Francisco for a three-game weekend set against the Giants. 

Lester solid in return for Cubs

Jon Lester returned from the IL on Thursday, roughly two weeks after hitting the shelf due to a strained hamstring. He started the final game of the Cubs' series against the Dodgers, and kept Chicago's rotation's momentum rolling.

Lester threw 79 pitches over five innings, limiting the Dodgers to one run on four hits in the eventual 2-1 loss. He struck out five and generated eight swinging strikes, including six combined on his curveball and changeup. Solid enough.

Lester's outing maintains an impressive stretch of starting pitching on the Cubs end. Their starters have allowed three runs or fewer in their last 12 starts. In seven of those, the starter has exited allowing just one run or fewer. The Cubs have also gotten at least five innings from their starter now in 13 consecutive games. That'll fly.

Stat of the day: Greinke keeps hittin'

Zack Greinke had himself a fine start against the Pirates on Thursday, throwing seven shutout innings in a winning effort. But really, who cares about that? Let's talk about his hitting.

Greinke did something that hasn't been achieved in more than 100 years by tripling for his fifth extra-base hit of the month:

Greinke, as a result, officially hit for the cycle during April. That's the first time a right-handed pitcher has done it since 1979:

So, yes, it was a good day for Greinke -- and we wouldn't be surprised if he was happier about his work with the bat than on the rubber. 

Castillo is pitching like an ace

Cincy's Luis Castillo had a good night in Atlanta on Thursday: 

With that effort in the eventual win, Castillo whittled down his 2019 ERA to 1.23 after six starts with 43 strikeouts against 14 walks. He's still got the mid-90s fastball, and he's got the four pitch mix that he balances quite nicely. Last season, Castillo saw his ground-ball tendencies lessen, but thus far in 2019 he's back around the 50 percent mark when it comes to keeping the ball on the ground. In other words, the 26-year-old is looking like what the Reds think he is -- a current and future ace. 

No, that 1.23 ERA isn't going to last, and he's not going to give up only one home run every 36 2/3 innings, but Castillo has the profile to be that guy.  


Quick hits

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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