And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

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Dodgers
6, Reds 2
: Clayton Kershaw gave up one run on seven hits with seven
strikeouts. At least one of those strikeouts was baloney, though.  Check out the call here by Hunter Wendelstedt.
Rolen and Dusty Baker got run, sure, but it’s not like they didn’t have
a beef. Bonus: lip readers among you can easily figure out exactly what
Dusty thought of that call!

Braves 6, Rays 2:  Things I haven’t had to say in several years: the Braves win, staying just ahead of the Mets in the race for the N.L. East lead. Seven scoreless innings for Tommy Hanson, who looked pretty damn dominant.

Mets 8, Indians 4: I totally should have gone up to Progressive Field to watch this one from the Tribe Social Deck. Why? Because for the first time this year a home run was hit into the assembled bloggeratti. What’s more, it was hit by Shelley Duncan!  If I had been there, my daughter Anna would have gotten a souvenir from her favorite player. That is, if I could have fought off the vicious, vicious bloggers.

Rangers 6, Marlins 3: Michael Young broke the Rangers’ all-time hit record, passing Ivan Rodriguez.  I’m going to go out on a limb and guess 3-5:  Pete O’Brien, Bump Wills and Cesar Tovar. Am I right? Nah, don’t bother looking. I’m pretty sure I’m right.

Red Sox 6, Diamondbacks 2: The young starter goes seven strong, many contribute on offense and the home team wins 6-2. So this was pretty much a carbon copy of the Braves-Rays game. Well, except for Dustin Pedroia hitting a home run and then, after the game saying I’m strong – I drink milk.”

Angels 5, Brewers 1: Pfun stupf: Brandon Wood played shortstop. I did not know he did that. Were it the late 1960s or early 19-teens, his bat might even play there.

Blue Jays 7, Padres 1: John Buck hit his third home run of the series. Yesterday’s smacked off the balcony on the fourth floor of the Western Metal Supply Co.
Building in the left-field corner. You can hit the ball farther than that to other parts of the park and not get a homer, but it’s more impressive to measure home runs in building-based units such as supply companies, railroad warehouses and the like.

Phillies 6, Yankees 3: Jamie Moyer goes eight innings, allowing only three hits and Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth hit back-to-back homers for the first time in forever. By the way, the thing in all the game stories — Jamie Moyer is the oldest pitcher to ever beat the Yankees! — is another of those silly, “we’re only talking about it because it’s a New York team” things. Moyer is the oldest pitcher to beat a whole bunch of teams, I’d imagine, and we generally don’t care. But because he’s facing New York, which means that there are a bunch more writers covering it, all of whom are looking for an angle, we get factoids disguised as records like this one.

Giants 6, Orioles 3: Lincecum allowed eight hits, walked four and got smacked in the shoulder with a batted ball, but he also struck out ten Orioles and got the win.  His shoulder will be OK — Bruce Bochy says ’tis but a scratch; a mere flesh wound — but he certainly ain’t making anything easy for himself this year.

Tigers 8, Nationals 3: I’ve been waiting, not eagerly or anything, but waiting all the same, for the real Livan Hernandez to show himself this year. And that he did, giving up eight runs on seven hits in six and two-thirds, while issuing six free passes. Verlander had 11K. Brennan Boesch continues being a beast, going 3-4 with a homer and 4 RBI.

White Sox 7, Pirates 2: Pedro Alvarez was 0-2 with a strikeout, a walk and scored a run in his debut, but that and $5.79 will get you a knockwurst & cheese at Primanti Bros., because the Pirates lost again. Alvarez had an error too, but he wasn’t alone as Pittsburgh committed six of them. John Danks handcuffed the Pirates all night, but these days so too would the pitching machine from a fun-park batting cage. Yellow balls and everything.

Cubs 6, Athletics 2: Derek Lee was 2-4 with a homer, breaking up his current slump. Or maybe just interrupting it. When does anything really begin, anyway? And let us not forget, today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Twins 2, Rockies 1: Scott Baker was positively Strasburgian: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12K.  And he needed to be as the Twins couldn’t do much more off the Rockies.

Mariners 2, Cardinals 1: Matt Holliday struck out with the tying run at third in the eighth inning and went 0 for 4 on the night. You have to assume he’ll hit soon enough, but its understandable why Cardinals fans are starting to get restless about him.

Astros 4, Royals 2: Oswalt holds the Royals — who unleashed a 15-run attack the night before — to two runs on six hits. If he can get two more wins before he gets traded, he’ll be the Astros’ all-time win leader. Joe Niekro holds the mark right now at 144.

Darvish wins 1st start since 2014 as Rangers top Pirates 5-2

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Yu Darvish struck out seven in five strong innings in his first start in the majors in almost 22 months, and the Texas Rangers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Saturday night.

The Japanese right-hander allowed three singles with a walk in his return from last year’s Tommy John surgery, ending Pittsburgh’s five-game winning streak.

Adrian Beltre had a two-run homer in the first inning off Juan Nicasio (3-3) to become the fourth third baseman with at least 1,500 RBIs, finishing with 1,501.

Mitch Moreland snapped a 1-for-27 skid with a solo home run in the fourth.

Four Texas relievers allowed four hits and a run with four strikeouts in four innings.

The “Yuuu” calls from a sellout crowd started early for Darvish, who last pitched in the big leagues on Aug. 9, 2014. He missed the rest of that season with right elbow inflammation, and ended up needing ligament reconstruction surgery after his only spring training appearance last year.

Darvish (1-0) had a 0.90 ERA in five rehab starts this month, culminating with an 87-pitch outing. He threw 81 against the Pirates, hitting 98 mph with his fastball in the first inning and displaying his usual array of breaking pitches, some as slow as 70 mph.

John Jaso had a leadoff single on Darvish’s second pitch before Andrew McCutchen struck out. The Pirates didn’t get another hit until Francisco Cervelli‘s sinking liner in front of rookie right fielder Nomar Mazara in the fifth.

No. 9 hitter Cole Figueroa ended Darvish’s shutout bid by pulling a hanging slider into right-center field for a single that scored Cervelli from second. Darvish then struck out Jaso for the second time to finish his outing.

Beltre’s homer just cleared the wall in center field after Prince Fielder‘s RBI groundout to score leadoff hitter Jurickson Profar, who had two hits filling in for suspended second baseman Rougned Odor. It was the second game of Odor’s seven-game ban.

SHORT HOPS

Joey Gallo, who had just one at-bat in his five-day stint, was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to make room on the roster for Darvish. … Pirates lefty reliever Tony Watson came off the paternity list and pitched a perfect eighth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: Manager Clint Hurdle planned to give 2B Josh Harrison the night off after he came out of the series opener early. He’s been battling an illness that kept him out of the lineup Thursday as well.

Rangers: C Robinson Chirinos is expected to start a rehab assignment Tuesday with Double-A Frisco. He’s been out since April 10 with a broken right forearm and could be activated as soon as he is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on June 9.

UP NEXT

Pirates: LHP Francisco Liriano (4-3, 4.30) has won his last four starts against the Rangers and is 5-1 with a save and a 2.89 ERA in nine career games against them, most of those with Minnesota. His last appearance against Texas was Sept. 10, 2013.

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (2-4, 3.13) makes his team-high 11th start and has gone 2-2 with a 2.23 ERA in his past six starts. He threw six shutout innings in a 4-1 win over the Angels in his last start

Utley answers with slam, solo HR as Dodgers rout Mets 9-1

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NEW YORK (AP) After the New York Mets missed, Chase Utley connected twice.

Utley hit a grand slam and a solo homer after Noah Syndergaard threw a 99 mph fastball behind his back, and the Los Angeles Dodgers went deep a season-high five times in routing New York 9-1 on Saturday night.

In a scene that seemed inevitable since October, Syndergaard was immediately ejected following the third-inning pitch – which certainly appeared to be his shot at retaliation against Utley for the late takeout slide that broke the right leg of then-Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada in last year’s playoffs.

Plate umpire Adam Hamari tossed Syndergaard, sending Mets manager Terry Collins into a rage, but no trouble ensued between the teams. A longtime New York nemesis, Utley raised one hand slightly in the direction of the Dodgers’ bench to keep teammates calm – and later responded by doing all sorts of damage with his bat.

“I think a loud, energizing environment gets the best out of you. I think it’s fun,” said Utley, who has 19 RBIs this season, nine in the first two games of this series. “It kind of gets the adrenaline going a little bit, makes you kind of dig down deeper.”

Asked if he thought Syndergaard delivered a purpose pitch, Utley said: “Possibly, but I understand it.”

Adrian Gonzalez homered and had four hits for the Dodgers, who spoiled the Mets’ 30th anniversary celebration of their 1986 World Series championship. Howie Kendrick and Corey Seager also connected, all after Syndergaard was gone.

Kenta Maeda (4-3) shook off an early line drive that hit him on the pitching hand and threw five shutout innings. The right-hander yielded two hits, both singles in the first, and stopped his three-game losing streak.

“Pretty impressive. You wouldn’t see too many other pitches staying in the game at that point,” Utley said.

The stoic Utley is playing at Citi Field this weekend for the first time since Tejada was injured. The Mets – and their fans – were incensed by the aggressive slide, which led to a change in baseball rules this season designed to protect infielders in what some call the Utley Rule.

But the Mets had not tried to retaliate until Saturday night; Utley played all four games without incident May 9-12 when the teams split a series in Los Angeles.

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 by a considerable margin.

Hamari immediately ejected Syndergaard, prompting Collins to come storming out of the dugout. Collins also was ejected after screaming at Hamari and pointing in his face during an animated argument. The manager was finally escorted back toward the New York dugout by another umpire.

“The ruling was that he intentionally threw at the batter,” crew chief Tom Hallion told a pool reporter. “We can either warn or eject. And with what happened in that situation, we felt the ejection was warranted.”

Hallion said no warnings were issued before the series.

“We take each game individually,” he said when asked if last year’s playoff series played a role in the ejection. “We have to make a snap decision. We can’t think about, OK, well this guy did this or he did that in Game 6 of whatever. We don’t have enough time to think that way. We make a decision on what happens in the game.”

Collins said he had never before seen a pitcher get ejected without a warning.

“My argument was, nobody got hit,” Collins said. “There was a time when, in this game, where you had a shot and nothing happened, the ball went to the backstop. So that was kind of my argument.”

After waiting near the mound with teammates for some time, Syndergaard walked calmly to the Mets dugout without showing any emotion as the crowd cheered him.

“It was just a pitch that got away from me. That’s all I got,” Syndergaard said. “I can understand why he did what he did. I still think a warning would have been better.”

Collins acknowledged he’s a little concerned Syndergaard might get suspended.

Logan Verrett (3-2) entered for the Mets and, with a vocal contingent in the sellout crowd of 42,227 urging him to hit Utley with a pitch, eventually threw a called third strike past him. But then Utley homered on Verrett’s first pitch of the sixth for a 1-0 lead.

Booed all night, Utley added his sixth career slam off Hansel Robles in the seventh, making it 6-0 with his 38th homer against the Mets.

Pinch-hitter Juan Lagares homered in the eighth for New York, long after the outcome was decided.

In the series opener Friday night, Utley was greeted with loud jeers and derisive chants. He had four RBIs in a 6-5 loss, including a three-run double that tied the score with two outs in the ninth.

“We came together as a group,” Utley said. “We battled, and it was a good win.”

WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

Tejada was released by the Mets during spring training and signed by the St. Louis Cardinals, who designated him for assignment Saturday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: RF Trayce Thompson exited in the fifth with lower back soreness. He was replaced by Yasiel Puig, who hit an RBI single off Verrett in the sixth.

Mets: INF Wilmer Flores (hamstring) went 1 for 2 with a sacrifice fly in his fifth rehab game for Double-A Binghamton. Before the game, Collins said it was reasonable to think Flores could come off the disabled list Sunday.

UP NEXT

Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (7-1, 1.48 ERA) starts the series finale Sunday night against 43-year-old Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.44). Kershaw, coming off a two-hit shutout against Cincinnati, is 7-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 10 starts vs. the Mets. He is 5-0 with a 0.64 ERA in May – including a three-hit shutout of New York on May 12 at Dodger Stadium. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has struck out 55 and walked two this month.

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.