And That Happened: Thursday's scores and highlights

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ortiz.jpgRed Sox 8, Athletics 5: Before the game Ortiz said this:

Today I was informed by a reporter that I was on the 2003 list of MLB players to test positive for performance-enhancing substances. This happened right before our game, and the news blindsided me. I said I had no comment because I wanted to get to the bottom of this.

The judges would have preferred the Costanza-esque “Was that wrong? Should I not have done that?” but they will accept the O.J.-esque “I’m going to search for the real killers” response as well. Either way, he wasn’t so blindsided that it took him off his game, as his three run homer in the seventh put the Sox up for good.

Mets 7, Rockies 0; Rockies 4, Mets 2: Santana was fantastic in the first game (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER 8K). Omir Santos caught the second game despite the fact that his wife gave birth earlier in the day. When my wife gave birth the only place I was allowed to go was to the room across the hallway where they kept the ice. Good for Omir for having his priorities in order. Kids are born every day. Twin-bills are rare.

Cubs 12, Astros 3: That’s 30 runs in three games for the Cubbies. Kevin Hart got the win and then was traded to Pittsburgh as soon as it was over. I’m pretty sure that Pittsburgh has been involved in every trade that has been made for the past week. Query: if they have so much desirable talent, why they hell do they suck so bad?

Orioles 7, Royals 3: Brad Bergesen gave up one run on seven hits in seven innings and got the win, but not before being knocked out of the game when a liner off the bat of Billy Butler smacked him in the shin. “The pain was bad. I wanted to throw up,” Bergesen said. Tonight, as he elevates and ices the leg, he’ll be updating this seemingly dormant web page.

Brewers 7, Nats 3: The Brewers win back-to-back games for the first time in a month. Yovani Gallardo allowed five hits and three runs while striking out 11 and walking nary a Nat.

Padres 7, Reds 4: Remember in spring training when some folks were picking Cincy as their dark horse contender? Nah, me neither. The Reds have dropped six of seven the Padres this season, which is as close to pathetic as you can get. Game story: “Outfielder Wladimir Balentien, acquired Wednesday by the Reds from Seattle for right-hander Robert Manuel, arrived in Cincinnati early Thursday morning and was in uniform.” Early morning? Must have taken the Red eye. Get it? RED eye! Because he’s joining the REDS! Ha! Um, er. Yeah.

Rangers 7, Mariners 1: Newark, Ohio’s own Derek Holland had a
shutout into the ninth, striking out ten Mariners and giving up only
two hits. It may have been better, though, if he had given up a run
earlier, because maybe then Ron Washington wouldn’t have left the 22
year-old in for 118 pitches on a 90 degree night.

Braves 6, Marlins 3: Brian McCann with the three run dinger in
the 10th! (I can use exclamation points there, because he plays for my
favorite team; were it the Cubs or something, I would have used a
period or would have written some dependent clause set off by dashes —
like this — in order to tone it down a bit. But go Braves! Nice to
salvage one!!!

Giants 7, Phillies 2: Rodrigo Lopez gave up eight hits and seven
runs — only three earned — in four innings, mostly due to a Pedro
Feliz error. Feliz used to play for the Giants. According to the game
story, Ryan Garko was asked to provide information on Friday’s starter
— Cliff Lee — to the Giants, because Lee and Garko used to play for
the Indians. Basically, no one can trust anyone in this series, and
death and betrayal lie around every corner.

Dodgers 5, Cardinals 3: Guess what: Todd Wellemeyer doesn’t work
in relief either! To be fair, he didn’t cause the 10th inning jam —
that was Dennys Reyes’ doing — but he did come in and give up the
game-losing single, and I’m not sure why Tony La Russa decided that
runners on second and third in the 10th inning was the best spot in
which to launch Wellemeyer’s bullpen career.

White Sox 3, Yankees 2: If you lived in outer space and just
came to Earth to visit on Thursdays, you might come away with the
impression that DeWayne Wise was actually good, what with the big catch
in Buehrle’s perfecto last week and hit the walkoff RBI single last
night. Hmm, maybe I won’t go back to outer space. Mars ain’t the kind
of place to raise my kids. In fact it’s cold as hell.

Orioles acquire Mark Trumbo from Mariners for Steve Clevenger

Mark Trumbo
AP Photo/Joe Nicholson
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As first reported by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma Tribune and now confirmed by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mariners have traded first baseman and corner outfielder Mark Trumbo to the Orioles in exchange for catcher and first baseman Steve Clevenger. There is also a second player headed to Baltimore in the deal.

This feels like an admission from the O’s that they’re not going to be able to re-sign Chris Davis, who is said to be looking for more than $150 million in free agency.

Clevenger was out of options and the Orioles have both Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph coming back at the catcher position. Wieters was due to become a free agent but accepted a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Baltimore last month.

Trumbo has always been a low-OBP guy and he rates as a poor defender everywhere he has played, but the 29-year-old has averaged 31 homers and 96 RBI for every 162 games in his six-year major league career. Camden Yards is a much better place than Safeco Field for him to show that power.

Cardinals finished runner-up to Red Sox in David Price sweepstakes

David Price
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

These kind of after-the-ink-has-dried reports have to be taken with a grain of salt for a variety of reasons, but they’re fantastic conversation-starters …

Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the Cardinals “finished runner-up” to the Red Sox in the bidding for free agent left-hander David Price, who signed with Boston on Monday for a record seven years and $217 million.

There were reports early on that the Red Sox were going to have to overpay on Price because he wanted to either stay in Toronto or make the move to the more pitcher-friendly National League. And maybe they did go significantly above and beyond the next-best offer to land him.

But the report from Nightengale serves as an indication that the Cardinals are ready and willing to spend big money ahead of next week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville. Does that chunk of change now get directed toward Jason Heyward? Or might the Cardinals pounce one of the falling dominos in this still-loaded starting pitching market? What about both?

St. Louis lost Lance Lynn to Tommy John surgery last month and both Carlos Martinez and Michael Wacha carry some injury concerns into 2016. There’s money to spend there with a new billion-dollar local television deal about ready to kick in.

Pirates expressing interest in Justin Masterson

Justin Masterson
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has become the king of the reclamation project. And it sounds like he’s about to take on another big one …

Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Pirates have expressed interest in free agent Justin Masterson. The expectation is that it will be a one-year deal with the goal of rebuilding the right-hander’s value in an environment where many other struggling veteran pitchers have executed significant career turnarounds.

Masterson earned his first (and only) All-Star nod in 2013 when he registered a 3.45 ERA, 195 strikeouts, and three shutouts in 32 appearances with the Indians. But he had a 5.88 ERA in 128 2/3 innings between Cleveland and St. Louis in 2014 and he continued struggling to the tune of a 5.61 ERA with the Red Sox in 2015.

It’s not clear whether the Bucs would try him as a starter or reliever.

Zack Greinke deal “could come soon,” Dodgers and Giants lead the bidding

Zack Greinke
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Jordan Zimmermann signed with the Tigers on Sunday for five years, $110 million. David Price signed with the Red Sox on Tuesday for seven years, $217 million.

Two big dominos have fallen in this loaded free agent market for starting pitchers, and another big one is about to go …

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says a deal for Zack Greinke “could come soon” and it’s currently “Dodgers vs. Giants” at the top of the bidding ladder.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick confirms that both the Dodgers and Giants are looking for an answer from Greinke, adding that the 32-year-old right-hander seeks a five- or six-year deal with a greater average annual value (AAV) than what Price just secured from Boston. That number would be $31 million, so we’re talking something close to $32 million through 2020-2021.

Greinke opted out of the remaining three years and $71 million contract with Los Angeles in October after posting a 1.66 ERA and 0.84 WHIP across 222 2/3 regular-season innings in 2015. He finished second to the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta in the National League Cy Young Award balloting.