And That Happened: Monday's scores and highlights

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Reds 4, Pirates 3; Reds 6, Pirates 3: Darnell McDonald scored on a wild pitch by Jesse Chavez with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to win the first game of the doubleheader. There was no one there. Like, 2000 people. Which is a crime considering how nice a day it was in Ohio yesterday. Sure, it was just a makeup game and sure it was the Pirates, but if there aren’t at least a couple thousand more office drones, college students, and other assorted knuckleheads that can make it to a walkable ballpark on a glorious afternoon then our civilization is circling the damn drain.

Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 3: It had to be kind of hard to play this game while this is looming beyond left field. Arizona managed, however, getting two runs off of James McDonald in the 10th. The Dodgers finish August with a record of 14-15, but hey, they’ve got reinforcements now. You excited Jim Thome? “I just want to be honest with you. I’d love to come. I want to help you guys any way I can. But playing first base is not something I’m going to be able to do — maybe in an emergency situation, perhaps.” Fear the Dodgers.

Braves 5, Marlins 2: Life comes at you fast. Josh Johnson didn’t give up a hit until Matt Diaz singled in the 6th, but he wouldn’t survive the seventh inning following a couple of hits from Chipper Jones and Yunel Escobar followed by an Omar Infante triple and a David Ross RBI single.

Blue Jays 18, Rangers 10: Toronto led this game 11-0 at one point but thought it wasn’t sporting to embarrass their host in their very home and thus allowed them to make a go of it, watching the lead shrink down to a single run before scoring seven in the ninth. Adam Lind had eight (8) (VIII) RBI in this game. I’m assuming Nolan Ryan had people killed after it was over.

Yankees 5, Orioles 1: Without looking, I’m going to assume that this was Andy Pettitte’s best start of the year (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 8K) [time passes] OK, I looked, and yes it was his best start of the year. In fact, if you go by game score, it was Pettitte’s best start since June 30, 2002, when he threw a three-hit shutout against the Mets.

Rays 11, Tigers 7: If the best trade deadline pickup was Cliff Lee or Adam LaRoche, then the worst is no doubt Jarrod Washburn (5.2 IP, 9 H, 8 ER). Harkins says it best: “Tigers fans must feel like they got hoodwinked.”

Twins 4, White Sox 1: The White Sox: sinking like whale fall. Not only did Joe Mauer hit a homer, but he stole a base. What’s more, as he slid into second, he caught the errant throw after it deflected off of Jayson Nix’s glove. Mauer doesn’t always drink beer, when he does, he prefers Dos Equis.

Astros 5, Cubs 3: Carlos Lee was 2-4 with a homer and 4 RBI. Rich Harden, who had a busy day of not being traded and everything, gave up five runs on five hits and walked six in five innings.

Angels 10, Mariners 0: Two homers for Vlad, who went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI. Joe Saunders and Trevor Bell allow only three hits which, after what happened to against Zack Greinke on Sunday, was a veritable breakout performance by the M’s bats.

Padres 3, Nationals 1: Livan Hernandez does what he was hired to do: pitch a bunch of innings, save the bullpen, and still lose so as not to mess up the whole Bryce Harper thing. OK, maybe that’s not the real intention — Hernandez actually pitched well last night — but it’s a nice little byproduct of his Livanness, no?

Athletics 8, Royals 5: Oakland trailed 4-0 after two innings, but scored five runs in the third and then added three more in the sixth. One of those runs came after when Luke Hochevar allowed Rajai Davis to advance to third while Hochevar was wiping his brow, mistakenly believing that play was dead. Oops.

Report: Blue Jays and Josh Donaldson agree to two-year, $29 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson celebrates his two run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the third inning in Game 3 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
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The Blue Jays and 2015 American League Most Valuable Player Josh Donaldson have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $29 million contract, reports Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca.

Donaldson was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter. He filed for $11.8 million and was offered $11.35 million by the Blue Jays when figures were exchanged last month. It wasn’t a big gap, but since the Blue Jays are a “file and trial” team, they bring these cases to an arbitration hearing unless a multi-year deal can be worked out. They were able to get it done in this case. Donaldson was a Super Two player, so he’ll still have one year of arbitration-eligibility once this two-year deal is completed.

The 30-year-old Donaldson is coming off a monster first season in Toronto where he batted .297/.371/.568 with 41 homers while leading the American League with 123 RBI.

Giants and Brandon Belt have an arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday

San Francisco Giants'  Brandon Belt reacts after being called out on strikes by home plate umpire Jim Joyce to end the top of the first inning against the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game Friday, Sept.. 4, 2015, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Brandon Belt filed for $7.5 million and was offered $5.3 million by the Giants when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. That’s a pretty sizable gap. While there’s still a chance that an agreement will be worked out at the last minute, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that an arbitration hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

The Giants haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing since 2004, when they lost to catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Schulman hears from one person involved that because of the gap between Belt and the Giants, there’s a real chance this will break that string and require a hearing.

Belt batted .280/.356/.478 with 18 home runs and 68 RBI over 137 games in 2015, but he dealt with concussion symptoms for the second straight season. An arbitration hearing could bring some unpleasant conversation to the surface.

Padres sign veteran utility player Skip Schumaker

Cincinnati Reds' Skip Schumaker is tagged out at home plate by San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey during the seventh inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
AP Photo/Ben Margot
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The Padres have inked veteran utility player Skip Schumaker to a minor league contract, per FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

Schumaker, who turned 36 last week, has spent the last two seasons with the Reds. He batted .242/.306/.336 with one home run and 21 RBI over 131 games last season while making starts between all three outfield spots and second base. Cincinnati cut ties with him in November after declining a $2.5 million club option for 2016.

While Schumaker had to settle for a non-guaranteed deal here, it would be no surprise to see him land a bench job with the Padres come Opening Day.

Report: MLB, union making progress on new slide rule at second base

New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada falls after a slide by Los Angeles Dodgers' Chase Utley during the seventh inning of an NL Division Series baseball game Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, in Los Angeles. (John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News via AP)
John McCoy/Los Angeles Daily News via AP
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After Ruben Tejada suffered a fractured right fibula on a takeout slide from Chase Utley during the playoffs, there was momentum for a new rule about slides at second base. We haven’t heard much about it since the Owners’ Meetings in November, but ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that talks between MLB and the players’ union are making progress and a change is expected for the 2016 season.

The exact wording of the new rule is still unclear, but Olney hears that there’s a focus toward “ensuring that sliding runners either touch the base or make an effort to touch the base.” Below are some more details:

Sources said that in the union’s internal discussions, players made it clear they had been taught since they first began playing baseball to go into second base with the intent of breaking up double-play attempts. Although the union wants to improve safety for middle infielders, it does not want to eliminate players’ aggressiveness on slides or the ability to break up a double play.

However, there is a desire on both sides to eliminate slides on which a baserunner goes beyond the effort to reach second to make contact with middle infielders.

There’s already a rule in place for a situation like we saw with Utley, but it’s rarely, if ever, enforced. It’s unfortunate that Tejada’s fractured fibula had to be the catalyst for change or clarification with the rules, but hopefully this will result in fewer injuries in the future. Similar to the “Buster Posey Rule” for plays at home plate, get ready for life with the “Chase Utley Rule.”

Here’s the video of the Tejada/Utley play:

And here’s the video of another high-profile play from 2015 which resulted in a torn lateral meniscus and a fractured tibia for Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang: