And That Happened: Sunday's scores and recaps

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Pirates 6, Tigers 3:
The Pirates ain’t the walkingest team you’re ever going to see — in
fact they’re one of the worst — so it’s not like Dontrelle Willis was
simply outworked by the opposition in giving up eight walks in three
and two-thirds. Pittsburgh Penguin forward Bill Guerin threw out the
first pitch and had better command than Dontrelle did. The Tigers are
three up on Minnesota in the Central. That’s great, but they don’t have
any room to experiment with Willis any longer. He simply can’t be
allowed to pitch for this team any more this season. In other news, the
1909 throwback uniforms these guys wore were sweet as hell.

Yankees 15, Mets 0:
Johan Santana was terrible. His fastball was at 89-90, and he couldn’t
locate anything anywhere close to where he wanted it. Jerry Manuel
continued to impress too. When David Wright was livid over a called
third-strike in the sixth, it took Manuel a minute to get out there,
and when he finally did, it seemed like he was arguing out of a sense
of obligation as opposed to passion or pique. How he got ejected during
such a low-wattage argument I’ll never know, but I’d like to think he
pulled one of those “Psst — throw me out. Really, I need to be run in
this game or I’m going to lose my team. C’mon, do me a solid, OK?”
things.

Orioles 11, Braves 2:
Brad Bergesen has only given up six runs in his last 32 innings. Not
that he needed to be that good against the Braves on Sunday, as Ty
Wigginton hit two home runs and Robert Andino drove in three runs and
freakin’ stole home. The steal was on a botched rundown play so it was
not some feat of derring-do. That botch caused Bobby Cox to pull Yunel
Escobar from the game. I can’t recall Jeff Francoeur ever getting
pulled out of a game for doing something stupid (and it’s certainly not
for a lack of opportunity) so why Escobar had to go I have no idea. I
can only guess that Francoeur has Bobby Cox’s grandchildren locked in a
tower someplace and vows not to release them unless he’s given 160
starts a year.

Phillies 11, Red Sox 6:
Dustin Pedroia, Jason Varitek, J.D. Drew and David Ortiz all sat, but
this loss isn’t attributable to a lack of bats for Boston. Josh Beckett
just came undone in the seventh, and got no real relief from Daniel
Bard, as everyone except Greg Dobbs smacked the ball around for the
Phillies.

Indians 3, Cardinals 0:
St. Louis must have had an early flight out of Cleveland. Cliff Lee
takes a no-hitter into the eighth — broken up by Molina Unit No.
1249BHG5 — and this one was brought home in a cool one hour,
fifty-eight minutes. Lee finished with a three-hit shutout, getting the
job done on a mere 93 pitches. Oh, and since I mentioned throwback
uniforms above, allow me to offer a few more words on the subject: on
Saturday, Cleveland and St. Louis wore some of the weakest throwbacks
you’ll ever see. Each team was wearing pullovers as opposed to their
usual button-downs, which appeared to come from the mid-to-late 80s.
Except they kind of didn’t. The Indians wore the specific pullover they
sported on Saturday from 1978-1985,
when they switched to a button-down model. Except they never wore the
Wahoo cap like they wore on Saturday during those years; they only had
the block C, meaning that this wasn’t really a throwback as much as it
was a mishmosh. The Cardinals were a little better — their gray road
pullover was actually worn by the club between 1971 and 1975, and again
from 1985-1991. But if they’re going to go with unfashionable 1970s and
80s throwbacks, why not go with the powder blues? Sure, they looked terrible on the Cardinals, but it least it was interesting.

Marlins 11, Blue Jays 3:
Yet another game in which one team scores at least 11 runs. Ronny
Paulino went 4 for 5 with a couple of homers and three RBI and the fish
rapped out 18 hits. Between the sweep and Halladay’s groin, the Jays couldn’t have imagined a worse series than this.

Angels 6, Padres 0: Jered Weaver was fantastic, pitching his first career shutout. Juan Rivera was pretty spiffy himself, hitting two homers.

Dodgers 6, Rangers 3:
For those who care about such things, Andruw Jones went 3-8 with a
couple of homers against the Dodgers over the weekend. Those who don’t
should just know that Chad Billingsley gave up three runs — only two
of them earned — over seven innings to notch his ninth victory on the
season.

Royals 7, Reds 1:
Johnny Cueto’s line shows zero earned runs and five unearned, and the
game story talks about how Jerry Hairston’s errors led to all of that
unearnedage, but the fact remains that after the first inning error,
Cueto still had to give up a run scoring double to Migiel Olivo, and
after the third inning error, Cueto still had to give up a walk, a
triple and a single for those runs to score, so it’s not like he was
totally boned by his defense. Sometimes you gotta suck it up and pitch
through an error or two, and Cueto didn’t necessarily do that.

Giants 7, A’s 1:
San Francisco Sweeps Oakland, allowing only three runs all weekend.
Matt Cain (CG, 4 H, 1 ER, 9K) was impressive: He allowed no hits after
the third inning, and retired 19 of the last 20 he faced. Nate
Schierholtz hit an inside the park home that bounced high off the base
of the wall and forced Jack Cust to wait for it come back down forever.
This is what I was talking about a couple of weeks ago when I said that
triples are more exciting than inside the park homers. Sure, this was
neat, but it was essentially a function of some quirk (i.e. the high
bounce), whereas triples are more often just flat out speed. There was
no play at the plate on Schierholtz here, so really, how exciting could
this really be?

Rays 5, Nats 4: If the rumors are to be believed,
this was Manny Acta’s last game as the Nationals’ manager. Acta didn’t
always get as much out of his teams as he could have, and a change is
probably needed, but it’s not like the manager was the difference
between winning and losing in Washington. Acta is by all accounts a
good guy, so here’s hoping he latches on someplace else quickly and
gets another, better shot to manage again someday.

Rockies 7, Mariners 1:
I guess Colorado isn’t going to lose again. Too bad they dug such a
hole for themselves beforehand, because L.A. is just too far ahead and
there are at least five other teams hanging around Wild Card land.

White Sox 5, Brewers 4: Mark Buehrle hit a home run (and Josh Beckett did in the Sox-Phils game). See, I told you it was fun to watch pitchers bat.

Cubs 3, Twins 2:
Clearly firing hitting coach Gerald Perry is what led to this offensive
outburst on the part of the Cubs. The new hitting coach is named Von
Joshua, which I’m pretty sure was the name of a bad guy in one of the
Lethal Weapon movies.

Astros 8, Diamondbacks 3: My arguments against interleague play are somewhat undercut by the fact that this matchup — the only intralegaue matchup — was by far the least interesting of the entire weekend’s slate. Sometimes it’s hard to be a purist.

Braves sign Jacob Lindgren to one-year deal

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 29:  Jacob Lindgren #64 of the New York Yankees watches Brett Lawrie #15 of the Oakland Athletics round the bases after he hit a home run in the eighth inning at O.co Coliseum on May 29, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The Braves signed left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren to a one-year deal, according to a team announcement on Sunday.

Lindgren, the Yankees’ top draft pick in 2014, was nicknamed “The Strikeout Factory” after blowing through four levels of New York’s farm system in 2014. He started the 2015 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and was called up for his major league debut only two months into the 2015 season. The 22-year-old lasted seven innings with the club before succumbing to bone chips in his elbow, and underwent bone spur surgery in June before trying his luck again during spring training in 2016.

In August, the Yankees shut Lindgren down for the remainder of the season so the lefty could undergo Tommy John surgery. With a projected return date of 2018, Lindgren was non-tendered by the Yankees on Friday.

While the Braves won’t get the benefit of Lindgren’s top prospect skill set in their bullpen anytime soon, he will remain under club control if they keep him on their 40-man roster beyond the 2017 season (per ESPN’s Keith Law).

Report: Mark Melancon is fielding several four-year, $60+ million offers

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Mark Melancon #43 of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the eighth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Free agent closer Mark Melancon is entertaining at least two offers in the four-year, $60+ million ballpark, reports FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. The teams thought to be in the running are the Giants and Nationals, with the Giants having a slight edge due to their strong interest in him last summer (per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick).

Crasnick also said that while the Giants are keeping tabs on the top three free agent closers this winter, the other two being Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman, they’re leaning toward Melancon as a (slightly) more affordable option in the ‘pen. It’s worth noting that Melancon would not cost the Giants a draft pick if they decided to sign him.

Melancon had an outstanding season in 2016, nearly reaching career-best numbers with a 1.64 ERA, 2.42 FIP and 5.42 K/BB rate in 71 1/3 innings split between the Pirates and Nationals’ bullpens. The veteran right-hander earned his third career All-Star distinction after stifling opposing hitters with a 1.23 ERA and 7.9 K/9 rate in the first half, and went on to appear in his fourth consecutive playoff run.

Despite the Giants’ apparent lead in the bidding for Melancon, Rosenthal mentioned a third mystery team who might throw their hat in the ring as well. No clubs have been name-dropped as of yet.