And That Happened: Tuesday's scores and highlights

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Red Sox 8, Marlins 2:
David Ortiz continues to heat up, adding a homer and a two-run single
to his increasingly improving statline. Tim Wakefield was strong too.
From the game story: Wakefield is now two starts and five home wins
behind Roger Clemens for the most in Red Sox history in each category.
I suppose that’s something Boston fans were mostly aware of, but you
could stump a decent number of Midwesterners and West Coasters with
that, I imagine.

Reds 7, Braves 2:
This one had a long rain delay, and when that happens, Marty Brennaman
and Jeff Brantley take calls. I caught a bit of it last night. This is
paraphrased, but it’s pretty close to how one call went down:

Marty: Hello, you’re on Reds radio!

Caller: Hey Marty, being from North Carolina, could you tell us who your favorite professional wrestler is?

Marty: Well, I um, er . . .

Brantley [interrupting, with extreme urgency and certainty]: No question about it, my favorite wrestler was The Million Dollar Man, Ted Di-Bi-ase. He was absolutely the best.

Marty and Caller: stunned silence.

I wish to God I was making that up.

Yankees 5, Nationals 3:
Cano went 4-4 and had the tie-breaking hit in the seventh. More game
story fun: “[Alex] Rodriguez greeted fans in Monument Park before the
game. One spectator told A-Rod he was a Phillies fan but he liked him.”
I was going to scoff at the inclusion of this, but then I realized
that, yes, someone publicly admitting that they like A-Rod does
probably qualify as newsworthy.

Rangers 6, Astros 1:
Pudge v2.0 ties Pudge v1.0 for most games caught, but this was the Ian
Kinsler show (3-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI). And Kevin Millwood (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER)
is quietly putting up his best season since his he broke out all
awesome-like ten years ago.

Cardinals 11, Tigers 2:
Verlander proves human after all, posting his worst start since April
17th (4 IP, 8 H, 5 ER). In other news, with a 2-1 lead (1934 & 2006
to 1968) the Cardinals can put this series away with a win this week.

Twins 8, Pirates 2:
Some Twins fans took me to task on the NBC blog yesterday for saying
that the Tigers looked to be solidly atop a weak division. I still
think the Central is fairly weak, but I think I should have waited to
declare Detroit solidly atop anything. The Twins are two games back and
they have a force of nature on their team. I repeat: The Superman exists, and he’s Minnesotan.

Royals 5, Diamondbacks 0: Mechetastic! (SHO, 4 H, 6K). GWRBI from Miguel Olivo. What?

Blue Jays 8, Phillies 3:
Ryan Madson blew the save in the ninth, and Clay Condrey barfed the
game away in the tenth, allowing five of the six batters he faced to
score. Madson and Condrey? Weren’t they the original Midnight Express? I’ll have to ask Brantley . . .

Mets 6, Orioles 4:
Bad defense — including a dropped popup to Aubrey Huff with which I’m
guessing Luis Castillo could sympathize — doomed the O’s.

Brewers 7, Indians 5:
Gallardo wasn’t efficient — he threw 61 pitches in the first two
innings — but the Indians didn’t cash in on it like they could have
and Yovani gutted his way to five and the win. So much enthusiasm for
this Indians team in March has devolved into wondering who will trade
for Mark DeRosa. Not exactly how Mark Shapiro drew things up.

Quick rundown of the late games because I’m jammed up with other stuff this morning:

Angels 8, Giants 1: Mike Napoli had a three-run homer and three other hits.
Dodgers 5, A’s 4:
Torre ties Sparky Anderson on the all-time wins list. Anderson still
leads Torre on guest starring spots on WKRP in Cincinnatti.

Mariners 5, Padres 0:
King Felix rules: Two-hit shutout. Kevin Correia was pretty good
himself (8 IP, 2 H, 2 ER), but you can’t win if your homies don’t
score.

Rays 12, Rockies 4:
Colorado’s winning streak ends. How much longer until the deulsion that
they’re contenders does too? Transaction junkies want to know.

White Sox at Cubs: Postponed: I can only imagine that having to
sit in the clubhouse during a rain delay makes Ozzie want to puke even
more than being in the dugout during a ballagme.

Evan Longoria: “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”

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The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.