And That Happened: Monday's scores and highlights

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Pirates 8, Brewers 5: Pittsburgh snaps their 17-game skid
against Milwaukee, and the Brewers look pretty damn immature in defeat,
plunking Jeff Karstens in what I guess was retaliation for him hitting
Ryan Braun back in April. This despite the fact that they hit three
Pirates the day after the Braun thing, and had an opportunity to hit
Karstens if they wanted to the same day he hit Braun (why John Russell
so frequently has his relief pitcher hitting is a topic for another
day). Jason Kendall had to be restrained from, it appeared anyway,
going after Pirates’ pitching coach Joe Kerrigan, and then after the
game kept calling him “Dave Kurwin,” even after being corrected. So
apparently Kendall is 6 years-old.

Athletics 14, Twins 13: You don’t win a lot of games when your
starter gives up 11 runs on 10 hits in 2.2 innings, but the A’s did.
Yep, the Twins led this game 12-2 at one point, but after Matt
Holliday’s grand slam in the seventh, followed immediately by a Jack
Cust solo shot, the lead was history. Largest blown lead for the Twins
in 25 years. Largest comeback for the A’s in 84 years.

Dodgers 7, Reds 5: Jason Schmidt threw his first pitches in
anger in over two years, and got the win to boot. Oh, and Manny Ramirez
hit his 537th home run to pass Mickey Mantle into 15th place on the
all-time list, which should inspire about 125 rage-filled,
single-sentence paragraphs from Bill Plaschke or someone like him.
Mantle was pure, you see. At least once you took away the booze and the
speed and the painkillers.

Mets 6, Nationals 2: Jeff Francoeur! Livan Hernandez! Now if
those two just keep on producing like we know they can, well, then, um
. . . crap, this was a fluke, wasn’t it?

Phillies 10, Cubs 1: Now that is seems the Phillies have figured
out how to win at home, there seems to be nothing that can stop them.
Jack Nicholson was at the game, and according to the game story, the
Phanatic wore a Batman suit. That’s kind of cool, but it would have
been way cooler if he had dressed up like Nurse Ratched or the waitress
who wouldn’t hold the chicken. I mean, I love Batman as much as the
next guy, but Nicholson has had better foils.

Braves 11, Giants 3: The Braves hit Jonathan Sanchez and then
continued hitting Segio Romo. Tommy Hanson, on the other hand, was much
harder to hit (7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 11K). And as Mac notes, not all of those earned runs were really “earned.”

Astros 3, Cardinals 2: Carlos Lee hits a three-run homer, receives “stingy kisses.”

White Sox 4, Rays 3: Carl Crawford hit an inside the park home
run, but as is the case with so many of those things, it was the
product of a bad defensive play. In this case, a crappy jump by Scott
Podsednik. Sox won, anyhow, and are only a game and a half behind
Detroit.

Rangers 6, Red Sox 3: There are a lot of smart people working
for the Red Sox, so surely someone will soon realize that John Smoltz
only pitches effectively for a few innings and then falls apart. If
only there were some place he could pitch where his outings would be shorter, and maybe more frequent as opposed to longer and more sucky (5.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER).

Yankees 2, Orioles 1: Eric Hinske has started off with a bang in
New York, hitting four homers in his first five games. Jose Molina
turned in two sweet plays behind the plate late in the game. No need to
congratulate him, though. He’s a Molina and that is what they do.
Walkoff for Matsui, and after the game he was hit in the face with a
cream pie. Those zany, zany Yankees.

Marlins 3, Padres 2: The Padres have lost 15 of 19. I’m assuming that will all turn around once Oscar Salazar gets a chance to play more.

Rockies 10, Diamondbacks 6: With Colorado’s win and the Giants’
loss, the Rockies take a half-game lead in the wild card standings. And
no, I don’t think it’s too early to talk about it. There isn’t a ton
going on right now, so I’m totally cool with getting an early start on
pennant race stuff.

Angels vs. Royals: Postponed: The fitful alternations of the
rain/ When the chill wind, languid as with pain/ Of its own heavy
moisture, here and there/ Drives through the gray and beamless
atmosphere.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.