And That Happened: Thursday's Scores and Highlights

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Mets 6, Indians 4: The Mets and R.A. Dickey simply can’t lose.  The previous sentence would have made no logical sense to anyone on the planet just a few short weeks ago. Seven straight for the Mets as they go back home to face the Yankees. Well, they’ll be on the road, technically, but they will be able to sleep in their own beds and everything.  In other news, we heard that both John Maine and Oliver Perez are making rehabilitation starts down on the farm someplace. The way things are going for the big club since they left, I have this feeling that there will be “setbacks” in their rehab.

Phillies 7, Yankees 1: As everyone predicted, the Phillies were simply waiting to go play the hapless New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium in order to snap out of their funk. Between Jamie Moyer throwing his near-stationary junk by them on Wednesday night and Kyle Kendrick baffling them with sinkers last night, methinks the book on the Yankees may be to lay off the gas.

Braves 3, Rays 1: Atlanta holds off Philly and New York by somehow taking two of three from the Rays. Tim Hudson gave up one run in seven innings for his seventh win in what has been one of the quieter spiffy seasons among pitchers this year (7-2, 2.34 ERA). Jason Heyward hit his first homer since May 29th.

Red Sox 8, Diamondbacks 5: With both the Bombers and the Rays losing, the Sox are now only two games back. According to the AP game story “Boston became the only team with three eight-game winners.”  If this was the 80s, Donruss would come up with a special card with Lester, Lackey and Buchholz on it each holding out baseballs with the number eight written on them in magic marker over the title “Eight Balls” or something. Actually, come to think of it, Donruss may have already done that with Dave Parker, Dale Berra and Rod Scurry. Different deal altogether, though.

Royals
5, Astros 2
: Here’s some bizarre stuff: Yuniesky Betancourt hit a
line drive to shortstop Geoff Blum in the fifth that led to the end of
the inning when David DeJesus was doubled off second. Except the umpires
reversed the call after everyone left the field, ruling that the ball
had been trapped, not caught. They ended up calling Betancourt out at
first, ruling that Geoff Blum would have thrown him out, and they
awarded DeJesus third base. This despite the fact that Blum never threw
to first base and despite the fact that DeJesus  likely never would have
advanced to third if it was a ground ball to the left side.

And guess what? The umps seem to have gotten this right. Replays seem to
show that the ball was trapped.  The umpires — checking their egos for
the good of the game — got the call right once they conferred. Given
that runners were in motion and stuff it’s not easy to figure out what
to do on the play, but Rule 9.01 (c) states that each umpire
“has authority to rule on any point not specifically covered in these
rules,” and this kind of play seems not to be in the rules.  I’ll think
harder about this one as the morning unfolds and the coffee kicks in,
but as of now I think that, even though you maybe should keep DeJesus at second
base on the call, all-in-all
this makes sense as a good bit of judgment and a good bit of umpiring.

Rockies 5, Twins 1: Ubaldo Jimenez gives up eight hits. It’s a shame to
see his season unravel like that.

Reds 7, Dodgers 1:  I hit this one up yesterday afternoon. It
was Arroyoriffic
.

Rangers 6, Marlins 4: The Rangers sweep the Feesh behind three RBI from Ian Kinsler. Mike Stanton is now 0 for his last 12 with six strikeouts.

White Sox 5, Pirates 4: How low can the Pirates go?  That’s 11 straight in the dustbin for Pittsburgh. The Sox have won seven of eight. Mark Buehrle is now the winningest interleague pitcher, running his record to 22-6 against the NL in regular season games, which puts him one ahead of Jamie Moyer and Mike Mussina. Moyer will probably pass up Buehrle once the latter retires, however.

Cubs 3, Athletics 2: Kosuke Fukudome came in as a pinch hitter in the eighth, hit a single and came around to score the tying run, stayed in the game and drove home the winning run with a ninth inning single. Jerry Blevins gave up that last hit, by the way. I guess he wasn’t lucky.

Tigers 8, Nationals 3: What good is this Stephen Strasburg character if he can’t help the Nats win?!  They’re under .500 since he’s been called up! Give me Jack Morris or someone who knows what it takes to put Ws on the board over some overpriced strikeout machine any day!  (did you like that? I’m thinking of trying out to do some talk radio and I figured I could hone my shtick here a bit. OK, now check this out):  And what’s with Miguel Cabrera?!  Sure, he he’s hitting .332 with 19 homers and 59 RBI, but I have yet to see him once lay down a bunt and get the runner over this year and he never hits the ball the other way to take what the defense is giving him!  It’s all me-first stats with that guy! Next caller!

Report: Padres trade Matt Kemp to the Braves for Hector Olivera

SAN DIEGO, CA - JUNE 06:  Matt Kemp #27 of the San Diego Padres talks in the dugout prior to the start of the game against the Atlanta Braves at PETCO Park on June 6, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Kent Horner/Getty Images)
Kent Horner/Getty Images
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Update (7:01 PM EDT): David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the deal has been completed.

*

ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.

Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.

Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2020 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. The suspension is up on August 2. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.

Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.

Athletics trade Billy Burns to the Royals for Brett Eibner

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 13: Billy Burns #1 of the Oakland Athletics waits on deck to bat during the fourth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 13, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Brian Blanco/Getty Images
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The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.

Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.

Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.

Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.