And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

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Sergio Romo.jpgGiants
3, Marlins 2
: Barry Zito is now 5-0 after throwing another gem (7
IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 4K). But give mucho credit to Sergio Romo, who atoned for
blowing Tim Lincecum’s game on Tuesday by coming into a bases-loaded,
no-out jam in the eighth to (a) fan Hanley Ramirez on three pitches; and
(b) induce Jorge Cantu to hit into an inning-ending double play.  I
hope Zito bought that man a steak after the game.

Reds 5, Mets 4: I think Jerry Manuel read Ozzie Guillen’s “When I want to quit, I’ll do a lot of stupid things
and make sure they fire me and get paid”
quotes from yesterday morning, because what else could explain (a) taking David Wright out of the game in order to keep Fernando Tatis in it; and (b) using Pedro Feliciano for four straight games, which is only increasing the pressure on an already overtaxed Mets’ pen.

Blue Jays 5, Indians 4: The Tribe are losers of four straight and eight
of their last 10, but this one was particularly painful. Cleveland led
4-2 with two outs in the ninth when Chris Perez gave up a double to Fred
Lewis, Luis Valbuena booted what would have been a game-ending grounder
which allowed Lewis to score and then Perez gave up a two-run shot to
Adam Lind. Perez had been in since there was one out in the eighth.
Asked after the game about using Perez for a five-out save, Manny
Acta made references to Rollie Fingers and Mike Marshall
. Unless
his point was to explain the quality of pitcher that Chris Perez most
certainly is not, I’m not quite sure where he was going with that
comparison.

Pirates 4, Cubs 2: Look kid, we know you’re not Charlie Morton — he can’t pitch and you just did — so just cut the crap. Now tell us: what did you do with Morton? Is he safe? Because if any harm comes to him, well um, aw, forget it.  You gonna be ready to start in five days, “Charlie?”

Phillies 4, Cardinals 0: No one ran onto the field last night. Not even the Cardinals’ hitters, apparently.

Red Sox 3, Angels 1: That’s six straight losses for the Angels. There was a bomb threat before the game. In the game: Big Papi hit a bomb. Coincidence? Why, yes, it most certainly was.

Athletics 4, Rangers 1: This is gonna be one of those years where the AL West champ wins, like, 80 games, isn’t it?

Twins 5, Tigers 4: The sweep. Rick Porcello walked four guys, gave up five hits and allowed five runs in 5.1 innings. After the game he said “it was better.”  Sad thing? He’s not wrong. Miguel Cabrera hit two more runs in a losing cause, and currently has one of the quieter .372/.450/.655 seasons I’ve seen in a long time.

Yankees 7, Orioles 5: Homers from the Nicks and a two-run double from Teixeira give the Yanks a comfortable lead and then the bullpen — after Andy Pettitte’s early exit — takes it home despite the unavailability of both Mo (injury) and Joba (resting).

Braves 7, Nationals 6: A see-saw battle decided with Matt Diaz’s RBI single in the 10th. There had better be a lot more of those in his bat, because Jason Heyward left the game with a groin strain and is probably going to miss a few days, and he has basically been 100% of the offense lately babies.

Astros 4, Diamondbacks 2: The ‘Stros stop the skid on a walkoff jack by Carlos Lee. His first since God knows when, but not this year.

White Sox 9, Royals 2: The Chisox are the Bureau of Reclamation: Freddy Garcia wins, Andruw Jones and Alexis Rios homer.

Rays 8, Mariners 3: Matt Garza pitched eight strong innings to
improve to 5-1 on the season, and helping the Rays win their 20th.
Cliff Lee came out of the gate looking electric, but it didn’t last. He ended up allowing five runs on 10 hits in eight innings. Milton Bradley is getting the help he needs, it seems. The rest of the Mariners need some help too.

Brewers 11, Dodgers 3: The Brewers scored a bunch in the first inning, took a long break and then blew up again in the eighth. I’m not going to say that giving up 11 runs on consecutive nights was unnerving for Dodgers fans, but True Blue L.A. wrote the entire recap of last night’s game in pig Latin.

Rockies 6, Padres 5: Ian Stewart hit a go-ahead homer in the top of the 12th, breaking out of his slump and giving the game to the Rockies. And yes, I did forget this game when I first published the post this morning. I can’t tell you why. Maybe it’s because my brother — who is from San Diego — has been visiting me for a week, I’m getting a little tired of it and I’m just being passive aggressive about all things San Diego.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
Mike McGinnis/Getty Images
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Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.

Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.

Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.

Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.

Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.