And That Happened: Wednesday's scores and recaps

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Cubs 3, Braves 2: It’s understandable that the Braves lost given
all of yesterday’s activity. Half the team was probably pissed that
Glavine was released and the other half was wondering if they were
going to be traded. As it was, Jeff Francouer struck out with the bases
loaded in the sixth, killing the Braves’ chances to break things open.
Francoeur, however, was not released. Later, in the eleventh inning,
Derek Lee tagged up at first and made it to second on a routine fly to
left field to set up the winning run. Left fielder Matt Diaz, however,
was not released. Finally, despite the loss, Bobby Cox was not fired.

Brewers 9, Marlins 6: Marlins’ reliever Hayden Penn issued three
straight bases loaded walks in the fifth inning, which is something you
don’t see every day. Walked a guy when he came in too. It’s the kind of
thing that makes me wish there was a 12 hour cooling off period before
post game interviews, because I’ve always wanted to ask pitchers who
have those kinds of outings whether they simply refused to groove a few
pitches just to get one over or if they tried but simply couldn’t. You
know Penn won’t talk about it in the locker room a half hour later, but
he might the next morning. Except by the next morning, no one really
cares that much.

Rays 9, Royals 0: Jeff Niemann shut the Royals down with
authority (CG, SHO, 2 H, 9K). Brian Bannister was shelled (3.2 IP, 9 H,
8 ER). Such balance appeals to me for some strange reason.

Rangers 4, Yankees 2: Mark Teixeira missed the game with a
bruised right ankle following that hard slide into Andrus I mentioned
yesterday. Minor correction: “grit” and “fire” is completely canceled
out by “ice pack” and “disabled list.” Don’t get yourself injured. It
can only hurt the ballclub.

Red Sox 10, Tigers 5: Not as close as the score indicates, as
the Beckett no-hit the Tigers into the seventh and all five of the
Tigers runs (a) came after they were trailing 10-0; and (b) were
unearned due to three errors. Curtis Granderson hit a bases-loaded
triple, which some people think is the most exciting play in baseball.
Great moments in enforcing unwritten rules: Gerald Laird tried to break
up the then-in-progress no-hitter by laying down a bunt in the sixth.
The next time he was up, Beckett hit him. The Sox were up 4-0 then so I
suppose it’s not inconceivable that Laird could hide behind the
“I was just trying to get something going” argument, but it was
probably a close enough call to where Laird had to expect he’d get
plunked.

Indians 10, Twins 1: Cliff Lee in 2008 form, goes eight innings,
giving up a single run and jawing hard at Carlos Gomez after Gomez
flied out in the fifth which almost started a fight. Lee has a 2.96 ERA
on the season but his record stands at 3-6. Jhonny Peralta, back at
short following Asdrubal Cabrera’s injury, hit a three-run homer.

Athletics 5, White Sox 3: Bobby Crosby and Landon Powell hit
back-to-back homers in the fourth and Josh Outman scattered seven hits
over six and two thirds on a cold night in Chicago.

Angels 8, Blue Jays 1: Jered Weaver (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 10K) is hot of late, having given up a single earned run each of five of his last six starts.

Reds 9, Cardinals 3: Johnny Cueto was strong over six innings
and Laynce Nix homered twice with four RBIs. Bad news for the
Cardinals, as Kyle Lohse left after pitching only two innings due to
tightness in his forearm. Alabama here we come?

Astros 6, Rockies 4
: Hunter Pence had a solo homer and two RBI singles, and the Astros have won five of six.

Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0: Four Dodgers pitchers, led by Chad
Billingsley, shut out the Dbacks. Their lead in the West is now a
season-high nine and a half games.

Mariners 3, Orioles 2: Ichiro’s hitting streak is now at 27
games. Luke Scott hit another homer for Baltimore, and is currently
putting up the quietest .323/.399/.661 season we’ve seen in a long
time.

Phillies 5, Padres 1: J.A. Happ shut the Padres down over seven
and then handed it off to J.C. Romero. They should probably trade for
R.A Dickey or CC Sabathia so they can go all initials on the
opposition. Romero was making his first appearance since his Hall of
Fame-destroying PED suspension.

Mets-Pirates: Postponed. I never meant 2 cause u any sorrow. I never meant 2 cause u any pain.

Giants-Nats: Postponed. I only wanted 2 one time see u laughing. I only wanted 2 see u laughing in the purple rain.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
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Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
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Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.

With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.