And That Happened: Sunday's scores and recaps

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Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 2:
The game story headlines give credit for the win to the Sox shaking up
their lineup — Pedroia hit leadoff and Ellsbury dropped to eighth —
but Ellsbury actually got on base more than Pedroia did in this game
and wasn’t on base for either of Kevin Youkilis’ home runs. Hey, why
don’t we give Kevin Youkilis the credit for the win? Or maybe Jon
Lester (6 IP 3 H, 1 ER, 12K)? The lineup shakeup seems fairly
insignificant to me here.

Mets 3, Marlins 2:
John Maine pitches six shutout innings and then left the game because
he was barfing. Pansy. He shoulda just rubbed some dirt on it and
toughed it out. No I don’t know where she should have rubbed
the dirt. My mom once taught me that there is a pressure point related
to nausea is on the back of your hand, right at the webbing between
your thumb and your index finger, so maybe that would have helped. I
tried that once, but that treatment must not be rated for
hangover-related nausea.

Phillies 4, Nationals 2:
Jamie Moyer wins his 250th. Guys who don’t have as many career wins as
Jamie Moyer: Juan Marichal, Three-Finger Brown, Whitey Ford, Luis
Tiant, Jim Bunning, Catfish Hunter, Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez,
John Smoltz and Sandy Koufax. If you look at it from one direction,
it’s proof positive that win-totals aren’t all that important when it
comes to rating a pitcher, because Moyer isn’t as good as any of those
guys were. But it’s not meaningless, and Moyer has certainly been a lot
more useful in his career than anyone ever would have thought he’d be.
Hall of Fame discussions are always something of a chore. Moyer is a
lock for the Hall of Very Good, though, and in many ways I like HoVG
players more than Hall of Famers.

Twins 3, Rays 2:
Matt Garza says hello to his old team for the first time since the
trade. And he pitched well (7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER), but Nick Blackburn
pitched a little better (6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER). Twins’ reliever Jose Mijares
caught a ball that smacked off of one of those catwalks up near the
roof in Tropicana. Fun and all, but I have no idea how we ever allowed
that stadium into Major League Baseball. Given that no one in St. Pete
seems to want the Rays to build a new one anyplace, can we commission a
study to see whether that can’t simply take a can opener to that joint
and retrofit it with some sort of retractable roof? A new park would
cost hundreds of millions. Could some unique fix to the old one really
be that expensive?

Astros 2, Pirates 1:
Mike Hampton wins. The AP game story says this: “[Hampton] became only
the second pitcher to win eight in a row against the Pirates since
1954, improving to 12-3 lifetime against Pittsburgh.” Which is pretty
meaningless considering that before the two starts he’s had against
Pittsburgh this season, he hadn’t faced them since 2003. And to get to
that eight-win total, you have to count two wins in 2000, when the
Pirates were giving nearly 200 at bats to Luis Sojo, and Mike Hampton
still had some of his original ligaments. It’s kind of like saying that
I haven’t lost at four square since 1985 after teaching my daughter how
to play it over the weekend. Technically true, but utterly meaningless.

Tigers 3, Orioles 0:
I promised some Baltimore fans that I’d start saying more nice things
about the Orioles. Maybe I’ll start tomorrow, because Edwin Jackson (8
IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 7K) didn’t do much to showcase their charms yesterday.
The Matt Wieters debut weekend ends thusly: 2-11, 2B, 3B and three
strikeouts. The extra base hits are nice, but he’s not exactly bringing
his “Z Game” yet.

White Sox 7, Royals 4:
Greinke’s outing wasn’t bad for mere mortals (7 IP, 8 H, 4R, 3 ER, 7K,
0 BB), but compared to the way he’s been pitching it was a shellacking.
He still shoulda gotten the win, however, some suspect defense,
hibernating bats and three runs from the bullpen killed it for him. The
Royals have dropped 16 of 21 games, which means it’s pretty safe to say
that the little Cinderella story they were trying to put together is,
for all intents and purposes, over.

Brewers 5, Reds 2:
What a letdown: Yovani Gallardo vs. Micah Owings, and neither of them
go deep. Look guys: you two represent the best chance at us getting rid
of the DH. You have to hit, and hit with authority if we’re going to
convince anyone that pitchers batting is fun to watch. Trevor Hoffman
is 13 for 13 in save opportunities. And while this one was a three-run
affair, six of those saves came in one-run games and another three in
two run games, there haven’t been a ton of cheapies here.

A’s 5, Rangers 4:
Adam Kennedy hit two homers, including what ended up being the game
winner in the ninth. After not making the Rays out of spring training
and then starting the year in Sacramento, Kennedy is at .390/.462/.622
in 93 plate appearances. I’d say he’s in the running along with Juan
Pierre and Andruw Jones for comeback player of the year award, but
whereas those other two at least once arguably rocked their peers and
put suckas in fear, Kennedy was never any good in the first place. So
no, I won’t call it a comeback.

Padres 5, Rockies 2:
20 homers for Adrian Gonzales. Fifteen of them have come on the road.
There’s been talk about the Padres needing to trade Gonzales. And I can
totally see that. The biggest problem is that most of the contenders
this year have no need for a first baseman. Sure, maybe the Sox could
use him to replace David Ortiz, but beyond that the contender who could
use him the most is the Rangers. My guess is that San Diego keeps
Gonzales, but man, could you imagine him hitting in Texas?

Giants 5, Cardinals 3:
Rich Aurilia hit a homer in the 7th to put the Giants ahead to stay. In
other news, Rich Aurilia is still alive. From the game story: “La Russa
batted his pitcher eighth in all three games of the series and has done
so every game since May 18. The team is 8-5 during that stretch.” On a
related note, I haven’t had oatmeal for breakfast since early February,
and I have not been hit by a bus during that stretch.

Indians 5, Yankees 4:
Pavano deserved the win, but didn’t get it thanks to the
always-reliable Cleveland bullpen. The Tribe will take the win, though.
They’re probably less satisfied with having to put Grady Sizemore on
the DL before the game and the fact that Victor Martinez whacked the
hell out of his knee on Saturday night keeping him out of the lineup.

Braves 9, Diamondbacks 3:
The Braves lineup, which has been on a saltpeter diet recently, sprung
to life against Max Scherzer, rattling out fifteen hits. Chipper Jones
was 3-4 with 4 RBI and he and Johnson and Escobar combined to go 9-15,
scoring seven of the Braves’ nine runs. Also, Kris Medlen offered his
first effective start of the season, giving up one run and striking out
nine over six innings.

Angels 9, Mariners 8:
Seattle had leads of 6-0 and 8-1 before woofing this one away. Which
was only fair, seeing as the Angels did the same favor for them on
Saturday night. Ichiro has now hit in 24 straight and has his average
up to .354.

Dodgers 8, Cubs 2:
Sean Marshall was as hittable last night as Eric Milton was a couple of
years ago (4.1 IP, 8 H. 8 R), and Eric Milton was pretty decent once
again (5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER). I watched this one on TV, and though I know
how much some people hate night games in Wrigley, the park looks
absolutely gorgeous as the sun is going down and the day fades into
night.

The Mets are among six teams that help Dominican prospects earn high school diplomas

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - APRIL 19:  A detailed view of the blackboard with theoretical physics equations in chalk by Alberto Ramos, Theoretical Physics Fellow and visitor, Antonio Gonzalez-Arroyo from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (both not in frame) at The European Organization for Nuclear Research commonly know as CERN on April 19, 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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In a special for USA TODAY Sports, Mike Vorkunov details how six teams — the Mets in particular — provide an education program that helps their Dominican prospects earn high school diplomas. It seems like an obvious win-win: smarter players make smarter decisions, making them more likely to achieve their potential as athletes. That, of course, requires spending money, which is why only six teams make the investment. For the players, if baseball doesn’t work out, they are better able to support themselves in other ways.

Vorkunov lists the Pirates, Tigers, Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Mariners as the other teams who provide an education program for their Dominican prospects. We learned earlier this month that the Phillies were also investing in making sure their minor leaguers eat healthy. As Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, “few teams” supply their minor league players with healthy food options.

Juan Henderson, the head of the Mets’ Dominican academy, said, “We see the benefit of it. I gotta tell you, we’re working with a new generation of baseball players. You see in the past that players just carry a bat and a glove and a helmet on the baseball field and in the academy. Those years, I think, are going to be pretty much over. Now they also do that, but they also carry books, they also carry an iPad, they also carry a laptop.”

Kudos to the six teams for making a great decision and here’s hoping the other 24 teams follow suit.

Video: Albert Pujols hits 569th career home run, tying Rafael Palmeiro

ANAHEIM, CA - MAY 22:  Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on May 22, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
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Angels first baseman Albert Pujols cranked out a two-run home run in the third inning against Rangers starter Derek Holland, breaking a scoreless tie. It’s the ninth homer of the season for Pujols and the 569th of his career, putting him into a tie with Rafael Palmeiro for 12th on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard.

Harmon Killebrew is Pujols’ next target at 573, followed by Mark McGwire at 583 and Frank Robinson at 586.

Pujols hadn’t homered since May 13. He entered Monday night hitting a mediocre .228/.309/.395 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 188 plate appearances.

Alex Gordon to miss three to four weeks with a fractured scaphoid bone

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 22:  Alex Gordon #4 and Mike Moustakas #8 of the Kansas City Royals collide going for a foul ball against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on May 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The White Sox defeated the Royals 3-2.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Monday has unfortunately been a day of injury news. Royals outfielder Alex Gordon is the latest to hit the 15-day disabled list, as he has been diagnosed with a fractured scaphoid bone in his right wrist. The club has recalled infielder Cheslor Cuthbert from Triple-A Omaha.

Gordon suffered the injury colliding with third baseman Mike Moustakas attempting to catch a fly ball on Sunday afternoon. He is expected to miss three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports.

Gordon was having a tough 2016 campaign and the injury only makes it worse. He’s hitting .211/.319/.331 with four home runs and 10 RBI in 166 plate appearances on the year.

The Royals will likely use Jarrod Dyson and Paulo Orlando in left field in Gordon’s absence.

Orioles trade reliever Brian Matusz to the Braves

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 17:  Brian Matusz #17 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning on May 17, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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The Orioles announced on Monday night that the club has traded reliever Brian Matusz to the Braves in exchange for minor league pitchers Brandon Barker and Trevor Belicek. The Braves are also receiving a Competitive Balance Round B pick (76th overall) in the 2016 draft.

Matusz, 29, made his season debut on April 23 after battling a back injury since early March. It’s been a struggle, as the lefty has yielded eight runs on 11 hits and seven walks with just one strikeout in six innings. He is earning $3.9 million and can become a free agent after the season.

MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports that the Braves are expected to designate Matusz for assignment. Essentially, the Braves bought the draft pick for Matusz’s remaining salary of $3 million of $3.9 million total.

Barker, 23, has been pitching at Double-A Mississippi after getting a taste of Triple-A last year. So far this season, the right-hander has a 2.00 ERA with a 40/12 K/BB ratio in 45 innings spanning eight starts and a relief appearance.

Belicek, a 23-year-old left-hander, has spent most of the year with Single-A Rome, compiling a 2.49 ERA with a 29/1 K/BB ratio in 25 1/3 innings over 11 relief appearances.