And That Happened: Thursday scores and recaps

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Braves 7, Reds 0: Tommy Hanson shuts out the Reds over six
innings. Not that he was brilliant or anything. He threw a lot of
pitches, got into jams and all of the kind of stuff you see young kids
do. But it’s all good, because even when he’s been getting lit up like
a pinball machine, he has continued to play this game with fear and
ignorance. No wait, arrogance.

Padres 4, Mariners 3: The Padres jump on Adrian Gonzalez’s back
(4-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) and finally win an interleague game. Don Wakamatsu
on pitching to Gonzalez: “He ends up hitting a home run and a double
when we are trying to pitch around him. That is the most frustrating
part.” Chris Jakubauskas on pitching to Gonzalez: “I wasn’t trying to
pitch around him.” OK, someone’s lying and no one is leaving this room
until we find out who it is.

Rockies 4, Rays 3: Jim Tracy on Ubaldo Jiminez: “Ubaldo is a guy
who is beginning to find his niche. I still believe there’s still
another step on the ladder that he aspires to take and that is to
become a bona fide ace-stopper type starting pitcher in the Rockies
rotation.” That was his real postgame quote? It sounds like a book
blurb or a marketing statement or something. I think the “in the
Rockies’ rotation” is what sealed it. It just sounds weird. Does Tracy
really talk like that?

Astros 5, Rangers 3: I was trying to make a funny yesterday when
I said that the loser of this series wins the State of Texas. I guess
it wasn’t too funny, though, because someone emailed me to tell me that
I was being both ignorant and disrespectful. That’s nothing new, but at
least the emailer educated me a bit. The winner of this series wins “The Silver Boot.”
It’s a a 30-inch tall, size-15 cowboy boot cast in silver, complete
with a custom, hand-made spur. How very college football of them. I
wonder if the Rangers, who once again won the Silver Boot, came running
out of the dugout after the game, grabbed the boot and started whooping
it up like Wisconsin does with that axe after they beat Minnesota and vice-versa.

Tigers 6, Cardinals 3: Magglio rode the pine, and will continue to do so “indefinitely” according to Jim Leyland.
His replacement, Ryan Rayburn, was 0-3 and struck out twice. Game
story: “Albert Pujols grounded out as a pinch hitter for hot-hitting
rookie Colby Rasmus in the seventh and played first base the rest of
the game and flied out in the ninth. La Russa wanted to get him a day
off, plus he has a sore ankle.” Two at bats and a couple of innings in
the field doesn’t sound like much of a day off to me, but then again,
I’m not a genius like Tony La Russa.

Twins 5, Pirates 1: Nick Blackburn (CG, 6 H, 1 ER) was the man,
as he basically has been in the Twins rotation all year. After the
game, pitching coach Rick Anderson said “He’s basically been the
stabilizer.” So, is Blackburn’s new nickname “gelatin” or
“carrageenan?” That’s a little food additive humor for ya. Additives —
NOT preservatives.

Nationals 3, Yankees 0: A five and a half hour rain delay?
Really? Waiting around for this game to start lasted longer than the
travel and suit-up time a makeup game would have taken. This is fun too
“about 10,000 people were sprinkled around the ballpark for the first
pitch. When the Yankees announced fans could move down, there was a
stampede toward the $2,625 seats in the front row. By the end, the
upper deck and bleachers were virtually empty.” Part of me hopes that
the peasants ransacked the manor houses while their owners were away.

Blue Jays 8, Phillies 7: Rod Barajas hits the game winning home
run in the ninth. Apparently Barajas is hated in Philly despite having
played there for only one season and despite being Rod Barajas. Anyone
care to educate me as to the reason for the ire? Because from where I’m
sitting, this is the equivalent of Braves fans hating Paul Bako or
Charlie O’Brien or someone. How can the response to a guy like Barajas
— who played all of 48 games for the Phillies — be anything other
than slightly peeved indifference?

Orioles 5, Mets 4: Francisco Rodriguez and his tired act came
into the game to lock things down in the ninth, except they didn’t get
locked down. Matt Wieters doubled to kick things off. Dave Trembley
then sent in a pinch runner for him, and was amazingly allowed to live.
The pinch runner scored, so maybe it was all willed by Wieters that way
to begin with. In any event, an Adam Jones bases-loaded walk followed
by an Aubrey Huff liner ended the proceedings.

Cubs 6, White Sox 5: A wild come from behind win by the Cubbies.
Down 5-1 in the eighth, Derek Lee hit a three-run homer followed by a
solo shot from Geovany Soto to tie things up. In the ninth it was
Alfonso Soriano with an RBI single. If he didn’t get that, I wouldn’t
have been surprised to see Piniella give him the Magglio Ordonez
treatment.

Marlins 2, Red Sox 1: They called this one early due to rain.
Because it was the Red Sox, however, the game still took three hours
and twenty-six minutes.

Diamondbacks 12, Royals 5: After two great starts following his
second callup, Luke Hochevar reverted to May form, giving up seven runs
on nine hits in four innings. Danny Haren, meanwhile, held the Royals
to two runs on seven hits, struck out six and didn’t issue a walk in
seven innings.

Dodgers 3, A’s 2: Randy Wolf pitched well but got another
no-decision. Pfun Pfact: Vin Mazzaro is the first A’s pitcher with two
sacrifices in one game since Ken Holtzman on Aug. 27, 1972. I hate the
DH.

Settling the Scores: Tuesday’s results

CLEVELAND, OH -  JULY 26: The Cleveland Indians celebrate after Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians hit a walk-off RBI single to defeat the Washington Nationals at Progressive Field on July 26, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Nationals 7-6. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images
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The Nationals took a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning at Progressive Field on Tuesday night against the Indians, but Jonathan Papelbon couldn’t hold on.

Gio Gonzalez put together 6 1/3 solid innings, ultimately yielding three runs (two earned) on five hits and a pair of walks with four strikeouts. Even better, the Nats’ offense chased Indians starter and AL All-Star Danny Salazar after four innings.

Papelbon walked Jose Ramirez to kick off the bottom half of the ninth, then served up an RBI double to Tyler Naquin to make it a 6-5 game. Chris Gimenez moved Naquin to third base with a sacrifice bunt, but first baseman Ryan Zimmerman‘s throw to second baseman Daniel Murphy went wide, allowing Naquin to score and Gimenez to advance to second base. The Nats opted to then intentionally walk Lonnie Chisenhall. With Rajai Davis batting, third baseman Anthony Rendon charged towards the plate as he reacted to Davis bunting, but the bunt ended up going over Rendon’s head, loading the bases for Jason Kipnis. Nats manager Dusty Baker brought in lefty Oliver Perez with a lefty followed by a switch-hitter due up.

Kipnis lined out, giving the Nationals light at the end of the tunnel. Francisco Lindor squelched that with a game-winning RBI single to right field, securing the come-from-behind 7-6 victory for the Tribe. The win halts the Indians’ three-game losing skid, improving their record to 57-41. They are 5.5 games ahead of the second-place Tigers in the AL Central now.

Box scores.

Tigers 9, Red Sox 8
Cardinals 3, Mets 2 (Game 1)
Mets 3, Cardinals 1 (Game 2)
Athletics 6, Rangers 3
Marlins 5, Phillies 0
Yankees 6, Astros 3
Brewers 9, Diamondbacks 4
Giants 9, Reds 7
Angles 13, Royals 0
Rockies 6, Orioles 3
Mariners 7, Pirates 4
Blue Jays 7, Padres 6 (12 innings)
White Sox 3, Cubs 0
Indians 7, Nationals 6
Braves 2, Brewers 0
Dodgers 3, Rays 2

Chapman has trouble remembering convo with Cubs management about off-field behavior

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CHICAGO — Star closer Aroldis Chapman joined the Cubs on Tuesday, arriving to a mixed reaction in Chicago and saying he couldn’t remember what management told him about off-field expectations and behavior.

After Chapman’s awkward introductory news conference, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein insisted Chapman understands what the Cubs expect of him after an offseason domestic violence incident.

When the Cubs announced the trade with the New York Yankees on Monday, the team released a statement from Chairman Tom Ricketts saying they were aware of his 29-game suspension to begin the season under Major League Baseball’s new domestic violence policy.

Ricketts said he and Epstein talked by phone with Chapman before the deal was completed and “shared with him the high expectations we set for our players,” adding that Chapman was “comfortable” with them.

But when asked repeatedly about that phone conversation before Tuesday’s game against the crosstown White Sox, Chapman said through an interpreter that he couldn’t recall details because he was taking a nap at the time the call came in.

The question was asked several more times. A Cubs spokesman once asked the question himself to the interpreter, coach Henry Blanco.

“It’s been a long day,” Chapman said. “Trying to remember.”

Asked again several minutes later during the group interview if he could now remember what Ricketts said, Chapman shook his head.

“I still don’t remember,” he said in Spanish.

Epstein called it a misunderstanding and that Chapman was “pretty nervous” as he faced seven cameras and more than two dozen reporters.

“I was on the call, Tom was on the call, Aroldis was on the call and Barry Praver, his agent, was on the call. It happened and it was real,” Epstein said before the Cubs’ 3-0 loss to the White Sox.

Chapman was accused of choking his girlfriend and firing eight gunshots in the garage of a Florida home in October. The woman later changed her story and no charges were filed.

“You learn from the mistakes that you make,” Chapman said.

The case caused the Los Angeles Dodgers to back out of an offseason trade for Chapman. Cincinnati eventually traded him to the Yankees, and after his suspension, the 28-year-old Cuban converted 20 of 21 save chances for New York.

The Cubs have long boasted of stocking their roster with high-character players, helping earn the “lovable losers” label they’ve carried for decades since their last World Series title in 1908.

But the Cubs (59-40) have retooled their roster under Epstein and have the best record in the major leagues despite Tuesday’s loss in which Chapman didn’t pitch. Chapman, who threw a 105 mph fastball last week, fills perhaps the team’s largest hole as he replaces Hector Rondon as closer.

The Cubs sent four players to the Yankees, including shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres, to get one of the game’s top relievers. Epstein said they wouldn’t have made the deal if not for the phone call he and Ricketts had with Chapman.

“Tom laid out the exact same standards that he lays out to everyone in spring training,” Epstein said. “He said, extremely clearly, `Look, Aroldis, I tell all the players this in spring training and it’s important you hear it and I need to hear from you on this. We expect our players to behave. We hold our players to a very high standard for their behavior off the field. And we need to know you can meet that standard.’

“Aroldis said `I understand. Absolutely, I can.'”

The Cubs activated Chapman before Tuesday’s game and designated left-hander Clayton Richard for assignment.

Reaction to Chapman’s acquisition in Chicago has been tepid. While there were supportive fans on talk radio, the Chicago Tribune carried a front-page column Tuesday criticizing the move. The back of the Chicago Sun-Times tabloid read “Spin City” over a picture of Epstein.

Chapman said he expected a “good reaction” from Cubs fans. He was also asked during the 20-minute meeting with reporters in the visiting dugout at U.S. Cellular Field if we would consider working with organizations looking to prevent domestic violence. Chapman said no.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon defended Chapman.

“He did do a suspension, he has talked about it, he’s shown remorse,” Maddon said. “Everybody else has the right to judge him as a good or bad person. That’s your right.

I want to get to know Aroldis. I think he could be a very significant member and he’s got the potential, yes, to throw the last out of the World Series. And if he does, I promise you I will embrace him.”