And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Marlins 6, Astros 2: Two teams that, one day, we’ll all sit
around and say “yeah, I totally forgot that Pudge played for those
guys.” Stellar game for Ricky Nolasco (CG, 3 H, 2 ER, 10K). Three more
hits for Hanley.

Mets 9, Braves 4: Derek Lowe’s worst outing of the season (3.2
IP, 11 H, 8 ER) negates the Braves’ early four-run lead. Martin Prado
removed for a severe headache and will now go back to Georgia for
tests. When the Braves break bad, they really break bad.

Rays 5, Orioles 4: Every time I see Gabe Gross’ name I
immediately think of Greg Gross, but before the conscious part of my
brain concludes “different people,” the part of my brain that forms
impressions and snap-judgments thinks “man, that guy has to be 100
years old.” I’m guessing this will only get worse as I get older. Hell,
I picked Ivan DeJesus, Jr. in my Scoresheet League’s supplemental draft
yesterday and I’d by lying if I didn’t think of the late-70s Cubs as I
did it. Anyway, Gross hit a two-run homer, which ain’t too shabby for a
57 year-old guy who has hit only seven dingers over the course of his
17-year career.

Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 9: A couple of ugly starting pitching
performances from Ricky Romero and Josh Beckett, but the Red Sox
weathered the ugly storm a bit better. Kevin Youkilis returned from
suspension. Dustin Pedroia left the team to be with his wife who gave
birth. The little fellow was 5’9″ and 180 pounds. No word on the size
of the baby.

Giants 8, Reds 5: A day after Jonah pimps Lincecum’s MVP case,
Timmy drops a relative stinker (6 IP, 6 H, 5 R). The Giants pull it
out, however, because they’re facing the Reds, who hath been baptized
with a curse, and for whom a spirit of the air hath begirt them with a
snare and for whom in the wind there is a voice which shall forbid them
to rejoice. Or they just suck, I can’t decide which.

Tigers 5, Mariners 3: Porcello vs. Hernandez, the combined age
of whom is 0.93 Moyers. Hernandez pitches better (7 IP. 5 H. 1 ER, 9K),
but the Tigers beat up reliever Mark Lowe for the come from behind win.
Bad day to be a Lowe in baseball.

Pirates 5, Brewers 2: Ross Ohlendorf is putting together a nice second half, and gave up one run over seven innings at PNC last night.

Angels 5, Indians 4: I ripped this observation off of someone on
Facebook, but it’s worth repeating to those of you who, unlike me, have
real live friends: The batting averages of the Angels nine starters
after last night’s game: .308, .310, .310, .313, .303, .307, .300,
.300, 313. For those of you who care, two teams — The 1927
Philadelphia Athletics and 1930 St. Louis Cardinals — each had ten players who hit over .300 during the same season.

Rockies 4, Nationals 3: Carlos Gonzalez homers for the third
straight game. From the game story “Washington’s first game since
signing No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg to a record $15.1 million
contract drew a crowd of only 18,192 — about 5,000 lower than the
team’s average attendance this season.” Well, it’s not like he was
gonna pitch or anything. What, people are supposed to show up at the
ballpark due to their euphoria that Boras got a couple million dollar
commission? It’s still the 2009 Nats we’re talking about here and it
was still a horrible hot and humid Swampland night.



Twins 9, Rangers 6: Joe Mauer went 3-5 with two homers and three
RBI. I know we have more than a month of baseball left to play, but
Teixeira-for-MVP people are going to have to start making their case in
terms of “why Joe Mauer isn’t the MVP” as opposed to making Teixeira’s
case on the power of some vague “run producer” noises. Seriously, tell
me how a plus-defense catcher hitting .380+ with power is not worthy.
My boy falls for the “I got your nose” trick, and even he wouldn’t buy
anyone’s anti-Mauer argument at this point.

Royals 5, White Sox 4: Unless the question is “who can make one
of baseball’s worst offenses look potent?” Freddy Garcia is not the
answer (4.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER). Bonus: “He worked very slowly, repeatedly
fell behind batters and topped out at 90 mph.” Tasty! If Kenny Williams thinks the Sox were underperforming when they beat the Royals on Monday, I can’t imagine what he thought last night.

Phillies 5, Diamondbacks 1: Pedro started, the rains came, and
Moyer finished with six scoreless innings. Pedro after the game: “You
never know what you’re going to get when you put two old goats out
there.” The life expectancy of a goat is actually only 16 years, max,
so Martinez and Moyer were the combined equivalent of 5.188 goats. I
promise that is the last time I use Moyer-to-English conversions this
morning.

Dodgers 7, Cardinals 3: Chad Billingsley returns after missing a
start and throws six decent innings, and Albert Pujols and Matt
Holliday combine to go 0-for-8.

Padres 6, Cubs 3: A day after hitting a walkoff homer, Kyle
Blanks hits an inside the park homer. Blanks is 6’6″ and 285 pounds. I
am now going to find some video of that bad boy, because I can’t even
picture a guy that big rumbling around the bases.

Yankees 7, Athletics 2: Sabathia wins his 14th and Derek Jeter
goes 3-5. Jeter is 20 for his last 36. Game story: “Girardi spent the
morning watching a joint practice between the Oakland Raiders and San
Francisco 49ers as a guest of Niners coach Mike Singletary. Girardi met
former Raiders coach John Madden and owner Al Davis. “Mr. Davis told me
to tell Mr. Steinbrenner, ‘Hi,” Girardi said.” Huh. You’d think Davis
would simply say hello to Steinbrenner himself at the next Big Conclave
of the Supremely Evil.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.