And That Happened: Sunday's scores and recaps

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Red Sox 6, Braves 5: First time I got to watch the Braves on TBS in like forever,
and they just stink up the joint. All of that bad defense combined with
weather imported from Scotland made this game about the only bad thing
that happened to me on Father’s Day. If it wasn’t for home plate umpire Bill Hohn’s AMAZING mustache, this game would have been a total loss for me.

Cardinals 12, Royals 5:
Albert Pujols (4-5, 2 HR, 2B, 6 RBI) can’t be bargained with. He can’t
be reasoned with, He doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And he
absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

Padres 4, A’s 1:
According to the game story, the fathers of Brian Giles, Edgar and
Adrian Gonzalez, Luke Gregorson, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Cla Meredith, Edward
Mujica, Joe Thatcher, Tony Gwynn and Kevin Correia threw out the first
pitch to their respective sons before the game in honor of Father’s
Day. Then, in the true spirit of baseball fathers everywhere, they all
got drunk and paced behind the backstop while angrily yelling at the
coach to put their boys in.

Marlins 6, Yankees 5:
Sabathia left the game early with tightness in his left bicep. He says
it’s not serious, and given that (a) it was 95 degrees and humid; and
(b) Sabathia sweats barbecue sauce, you have to figure it was some kind
of heat-induced cramping or something. According to the game story Alex
Rodriguez — playing in his hometown of Miami — said he reserved about
100 tickets for family and friends. I’m dubious. I read a book last
month that said he had no friends, and they couldn’t have printed such
a thing if it weren’t true, right? In other news, the Yankees dropped
four of six to the Nats and Marlins in the past week, though I suppose
if Girardi’s protest succeeds there’s a chance to improve that to three of six (note: protests never, ever succeed).

Rockies 5, Pirates 4:
The Rockies begin to rip off another winning streak, winning this one
behind Clint Barmes (2-3, 2B, HR, 2 RBI). All of this winning has them
doing things like taking one of their more marketable commodities off the market.
I still say it’s ultimately in vain — Colorado will be watching the
playoffs on TBS and FOX just like you and me — but in the meantime,
mazel tov for the Rockies fans.

White Sox 4, Reds 1:
Mark Buehrle just went out and acted all Mark Buehrle-y: seven strong
innings, very little b.s. He looked good, but nowhere near as good as
the Sox looked on Saturday night in those blue roadies.

Tigers 3, Brewers 2: Justin Verlander likes pitching against Milwaukee. The first time he faced them he threw a no-hitter. The second time — yesterday — he struck out eight and gave up two runs in seven and two-thirds.

Rays 10, Mets 6:
Upton, Crawford and Longoria went 11 for 16 with seven RBIs, and the
Rays have now won eight of eleven. The Mets, on the other hand, are in
a one-step-forward-two-steps-back kind of rut, having dropped an awful
lot of series lately.

Blue Jays 9, Nationals 4:
Someone finally douses the red-hot Nats. Well, relatively speaking
anyway. It was Ricky Romero stepping up for Toronto, giving up two over
seven innings on a day when the bullpen needed a rest following a
couple of extra innings games.

Orioles 2, Phillies 1:
Man, has Cole Hamels pitched in some bad luck lately. Last time out he
got the no-decision after giving up only two runs in six innings, and
yesterday it was two runs in eight innings with ten strikeouts. The
Phillies lineup — minus Ryan Howard, who didn’t play for the first
time in 343 games because he has some nasty sinus infection — just
couldn’t do a thing against Jeremy Guthrie, mustering only four hits on
the day. Hamels after the game: “I think the key is we’re in first
place. We’re fortunate everyone in the NL East is playing really bad.”
Man, the Nats can’t any props even when things are going good for them.

Cubs 6, Indians 2:
You know, if Jeremy Sowers could figure out a way to fix that little
hitch in his delivery, the only thing keeping him from stardom would be
his complete and utter inability to get anyone out.

Astros 4, Twins 1:
Despite his teammates’ best efforts to kill him — Darin Erstad lined a
ball off Rodriguez’s left side during batting practice on Saturday —
Wandy Rodriguez was pretty spectacular yesterday (7 IP, 2H, 1 ER). “We
need to keep playing good baseball. That’s the biggest key for us,”
manager Cecil Cooper said after the game. Astute observations like that
are why Cooper makes the big bucks.

Mariners 3, Diamondbacks 2:
The game ended when, with two outs and the score tied, first basemen
Tony Clark simply dropped a routine throw from the third baseman,
turning what would have been out number three into the game-losing
error. I’ve been watching baseball for over 30 years, and I can’t
recall ever seeing a game end like that.

Dodgers 5, Angels 3:
I can’t tell if Clayton Kershaw is trying to grow mutton chops or if he
simply has the most pathetic mustache in the history of baseball. He’s
certainly no Bill Hohn, that’s for sure. He can pitch, however,
shutting out the Angels over seven innings. Juan Pierre keeps up the
good work two, hitting a couple of RBI doubles. At first I thought that
Pierre’s 50 games in the sun would allow him to rest contently, knowing
that he proved a lot of naysayers wrong about his ability to start on a
winning team. Now I’m wondering if he’ll overplay his hand and demand
all kinds of playing time based on his track record once Manny returns.

Giants 3, Rangers 2:
Barry Zito had a no-hitter going until he gave up a two-run homer to
Andruw Jones in the seventh, but an RBI single by Randy Winn in the
bottom of the inning preserved the win for Zito and the Giants.
Watching Zito face Jones in 2009 has to be a lot like watching Flair
face Steamboat in 1995. Something that you would have once paid a lot
to see, but now you just hope no one gets too terribly injured.

Royals pay tribute to late Yordano Ventura during spring training opener

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 12: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on August 12, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.

Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).

A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.

The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:

A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.

Gerrit Cole named Pirates’ Opening Day starter

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photograph during MLB spring training photo day on February 19, 2017 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.

The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.

Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.