And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Strasburg walks off.jpgNationals 5, Pirates 2: A star is born.

Giants 3, Reds 0: Not to be a killjoy or anything, but Matt Cain’s game score (76) was one better than Strasburg’s (75). Cain was dancin’ with the Devil, though, recording 16 fly ball outs in a park where you don’t want to be giving up a ton of fly balls.

Rays 9, Blue Jays 0:  And not to be a further killjoy, but Jeff Niemann was better than both Strasburg and Cain, shutting out the bashingest team in baseball on two measly hits.

Mets 2, Padres 1: And while we’re listing outstanding pitching performances, let’s not forget Mike Pelfrey, who went nine and gave up a single
run on five hits. Ike Davis hit a walkoff tater in the 11th too, which means that Strasburg wasn’t the only NL East rookie to have a nice night either.

Phillies 10, Marlins 8: Speaking of NL East rookies, how about Mike Stanton’s big league debut? It was a good one — 3 for 5, all singles and a run scored — but the Marlins’ pitchers and defensive game decided not to show up, basically gifting this game to the Phillies.

Brewers 3, Cubs 2: More great starts! Ted Lilly (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB,
8K, higher game score than Strasburg) and Yovani Gallardo (7 IP, 4 H, 0
ER, 2 BB, 7K). Of course neither of them figured in the decision.

Rangers 7, Mariners 1: King Felix decided that he wasn’t going to be one of those sheeple, mindlessly joining in last night’s pitching party. No, he was his own man: 6 IP, 8 H, 7 ER.  Colby Lewis was game, though (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER).

Twins 7, Royals 3: Hey, yet another kickass pitching performance: Kevin Slowey, seven shutout innings in which he gave up only three hits.  Meanwhile, Zach Greinke joins Felix Hernandez in the non-conformists club (5 IP, 9 H, 6 ER).  I guess those two are just the toast of 2009 compared to this Strasburg kid.

Dodgers 1, Cardinals 0: I’m struggling to recall a night with more great pitching lines. Let’s add Hiroki Kuroda and Chris Carpenter to the mix: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER 6K for Kuroda, 7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 5K for Carpenter.

Athletics 10, Angels 1: The A’s pitching was more of a group effort, with Vin Mazzaro going only five innings and four relievers joining him in collectively allowing one run on eight hits. The real star of the game was Kurt Suzuki, who went 4 for 5 with a homer and four RBI.

Red Sox 3, Indians 2: Tim Wakefield not only baffled the Tribe and got
the win, but he passed up Roger Clemens as the all-time Red Sox innings
pitched leader. Assuming Strasburg stays on regular rest, he gets the
Indians next. For those of you who think he only had a great night
because he faced a crappy lineup in the Pirates, well, you can just go
on thinking it, because there will be no evidence to the contrary
presented for a couple of weeks.

Tigers 7, White Sox 2: Armando Galarraga wasn’t perfect but he was good enough to win, scattering seven hits and two runs over five innings. Matt Thornton imploded for the Sox, giving up five runs on three hits and two walks in a mere third of an inning.

Yankees 12, Orioles 7: The Bombers bash the Orioles into submission, led by a Curtis Granderson grand slam and Nick Swisher’s five RBI night. Chad Gaudin coming in and giving up four runs in garbage time can’t be too comforting, though.

Braves 7, Diamondbacks 5: The Braves should have had a hell of a lot more runs than this, but they stranded 14 runners. Between that and Kris Medlen hurting his non-pitching shoulder while running the bases this could have been a disastrous night. Instead it was merely bad with a silver lining. Medlen should be fine. If he slides like that again, however, he’ll probably be fined until Hell won’t have it.

Astros 4, Rockies 3: Here’s the downside of following the draft: As a Braves fan I remember when they drafted Matt Belisle and I followed his career for a good while. Then he shows up and loses a game like this one and my first thought is “Matt Belisle? He’s got to be 42 years old now.”  He just turned 30.  I invested a lot of time in his development years and I’m not sure what I got out of it besides a misleading impression of the guy’s age.  Sometimes it’s just better to be surprised by some guy who shows up in the big leagues.  Now get off my lawn.

Mets Syndergaard ejected after throwing behind Utley

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NEW YORK — In a scene that has seemed inevitable since October, New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard has been ejected for throwing a 99 mph fastball behind Chase Utley of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Utley is playing at Citi Field this weekend for the first time since his late takeout slide in last year’s playoffs broke the right leg of then-Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada.

New York was incensed by the aggressive slide, which led to a change in baseball rules on slides at bases this season. But the Mets had not attempted to retaliate until Saturday night.

With one out and nobody on in the third inning of a scoreless game, Syndergaard’s first pitch to Utley sailed behind the second baseman’s back by a considerable margin.

Plate umpire Adam Hamari immediately ejected Syndergaard, prompting irate Mets manager Terry Collins to come storming out of the dugout. Collins also was ejected.

Indians’ Brantley unsure of return from shoulder injury

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CLEVELAND — Indians outfielder Michael Brantley has no timetable for his return from the shoulder injury that has sidelined him for the second time this season.

Brantley spoke to reporters Saturday for the first time since being placed on the 15-day disabled list on May 14. He began the season on the DL following surgery for a torn right labrum in November. Brantley hit .231 with seven RBIs in 11 games before being shut down again.

“I wasn’t bouncing back quick enough to keep playing back-to-back games, which is very important,” he said. “I want to be healthy each and every day and I have to play at a high level. This is the major leagues. You have to be at the best of your ability and the highest health-wise you can be.”

Brantley, who received an anti-inflammatory shot in the shoulder two weeks ago, doesn’t think he returned from the surgery too soon.

“I was ready,” he said. “We talked about it. We had a great process laid out. Everything went smoothly. It was just a bump in the road.”

Brantley has been hitting off a tee but isn’t sure when he will begin taking swings in the batting cage. He is playing catch since he throws left-handed but wants to be cautious about resuming a hitting program.

“Surgery is nothing to play with,” he said. “You have to be smart and understand your body.”

Brantley visited Dr. Craig Morgan, who performed the surgery, in Wilmington, Delaware after he returned to the DL. An MRI showed no changes in the shoulder.

“He said everything checks out good, just make sure to take your time and we’ll see what happens from there,” Brantley said.

Brantley finished third in the AL MVP voting in 2014 when he hit .327 with 20 homers and 97 RBIs. He batted .310 with 15 homers and 84 RBIs last season.

Blue Jays walk off Red Sox, 10-9, as Travis scores Martin

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TORONTO (AP) Devon Travis drove home Russell Martin with two out in the bottom of the ninth as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the Boston Red Sox 10-9 on Saturday.

With the Blue Jays trailing 9-8 on a David Ortiz home run in the top of the inning, Boston closer Craig Kimbrel retired Edwin Encarnacion and Michael Saunders. But Justin Smoak singled on a line drive to center, and with Ezequiel Carrera pinch running for Smoak, Martin drove in his third run of the day on a double to tie the game.

After Martin advanced to third on a wild pitch, Travis forced third baseman Travis Shaw to stretch to corral a shot, and though he tried to throw Travis out at first, his throw was dropped by Hanley Ramirez and Martin scored.

The walk-off win was Toronto’s second of the season, the first coming against Texas on May 3, and completes the series win over the Red Sox, snapping a two-series home losing skid.

Martin hit his third home run in four games with a solo shot over the right-field wall in the sixth inning, while Xander Bogaerts and Shaw both had home runs for the Red Sox.

Ortiz’s 13th home run of the season and league-leading 46 RBI had seemed to be enough for the Red Sox, who watched an 8-4 lead disintegrate in the eighth inning as the Blue Jays rallied to tie the score.

Reliever Gavin Floyd (2-3), who gave up Ortiz’s shot, got the win, while Kimbrel (0-2), on his 28th birthday, was tagged with the loss.

Bogaerts, who went 3-for-5 with three runs, extended his hitting streak to a career-high 21 games with a homer off the top of the left-center-field wall in the fourth inning. The streak is the second longest in the majors this year, behind teammate Jackie Bradley Jr.’s 29-game run, which ended Thursday.

Ramirez drove in three runs, while Dustin Pedroia had a pair of doubles and two RBIs as he extended his hitting streak against Toronto to 22 games.

Boston starter Rick Porcello gave up four runs on seven hits while striking out five over 6 2/3 innings.

Marcus Stroman tied his shortest outing of the season, also against Boston, surrendering seven runs on 11 hits while striking out five. He was chased in the fifth inning with one out.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: SS Troy Tulowitzki (right quad) was placed on the 15-day DL. Tulowitzki, who is batting just .204 this season with eight home runs and 23 RBIs, had sat out two games this week with the injury. Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney are expected to split time at shortstop until the veteran returns. Toronto activated left-handed reliever Aaron Loup from the 15-day DL to take Tulowitzki’s place. Loup, who has yet to play this season, has been recovering from a forearm strain and just completed a rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: LHP David Price (7-1, 5.34) returns to a happy hunting ground Sunday. The former Blue Jay makes his first start of the season at Rogers Centre, where he is 11-1 in 15 career starts with a 3.34 ERA.

Blue Jays: RHP R.A. Dickey (2-6, 4.60) is 0-5 in his last eight starts against the Red Sox. He is looking for his first win against them since going 4-0 in 2014.

Hendricks pitches 5-hitter, Cubs beat Phillies 4-1

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CHICAGO (AP) Kyle Hendricks pitched a five-hitter for his second career complete game, Dexter Fowler hit a leadoff homer and the Chicago Cubs beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 on Saturday.

Hendricks (3-4) struck out seven and walked none. He was in line for his second career shutout before giving up a run in the ninth.

Fowler sparked a two-run first against Jerad Eickhoff (2-7) with his sixth home run.

Jason Heyward had two doubles for Chicago, which has won four in a row. Ben Zobrist had two hits, including an RBI double, to extend his streak to 14 games.

The Phillies lost for the sixth time in eight games.

Philadelphia had just four hits before right fielder Heyward and second baseman Zobrist allowed Freddy Galvis‘ fly to drop between them for a leadoff double in the ninth.

Galvis scored from third when Ryan Howard struck out swinging on a pitch in the dirt. The Cubs had a shift on with the lefty at the plate, allowing the runner to take a huge lead.

Catcher Miguel Montero looked him back, but Galvis took off for home as he threw to first on the strikeout, spoiling the shutout and drawing boos from the crowd. Hendricks then retired Cameron Rupp on a groundout.

Dominant in a rare win over struggling Atlanta in his previous start, Eickhoff came up short against the team with the best record in the majors. The right-hander went six innings, allowing four runs and eight hits while striking out seven and walking one.

The Cubs, tops in the majors in run differential, wasted no time grabbing the lead.

Fowler drove a 3-1 fastball just over the wall in left-center for his second leadoff homer this season and the 16th of his career. Heyward followed with a double and scored on a two-out double by Zobrist, who came in on a 22-for-50 tear.

The Cubs made it 3-0 in the third on back-to-back singles by Addison Russell and Hendricks and a double by Heyward. Hendricks got thrown out trying to score to end the inning, but the way he was pitching, it didn’t matter.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: Galvis came up limping in the sixth inning after Hendricks hit him in the right leg with a pitch. He walked gingerly to first and stayed in the game after being tended to by a trainer.

UP NEXT

RHP John Lackey (4-2, 3.38 ERA) goes for his first win in more than three weeks for Chicago while RHP Vince Velasquez (5-1, 2.75 ERA) tries to shake off his shortest outing of the season for Philadelphia. Lackey is 0-1 in his past three outings, although he has lowered his ERA from 4.02 to 3.38. Velasquez lasted four innings against Detroit on Monday, allowing three runs and nine hits.