And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Yankees 9, Athletics 3: I suppose it’s inevitable that the Yankees will soon start getting burned by their starters only going four or five innings, but right now it’s working. And hey: they’re all alone in first place. Why?

Blue Jays 13, Rays 5: Because the Rays got annihilated when the Jays put up a 10-spot in the sixth inning. I was going to make that “Gashouse Gorillas doing a conga line around the bases” joke I do a few times a year here, but I did it just a month ago!  And it involved the Blue Jays then too!  I’m starting to worry that I’m not as clever and original as I like to think I am.

Astros 3, Cardinals 0: Land sakes, this is getting ugly. That’s four straight in the crapper for St. Louis, seven of eight and, of course, two straight listless shutouts in a row to the Astros, who are the spoilingest spoilers this side of Spoilsburg.

Reds 8, Brewers 4: And that makes for a seven game lead for the Redlegs. Aroldis Chapman made his major league debut. And see, I told you that 105 miles per hour business was totally fraudulent. He only hit [gulp] 102. Joey Votto got “MVP!” chants. I think those Cincy fans got a point.

Marlins 1, Nationals 0:  I didn’t see any highlights from this as I was convinced by the missus that I needed to watch “True Blood.” I dunno. Ask me after I’ve seen more than the first two episodes.  Anyway, it seems that Nyjer Morgan could have scored a run for the Nats in the 10th inning, but he decided he’d rather try to plow over catcher Brett Hayes than slide like a normal human being.

Pirates 14, Cubs 7: The Pirates were cruising and then Sean Gallagher came in and allowed five quick runs. The outcome was never really in doubt, but the Pirates can’t even rest when they’re up 14-2.

Twins 4, Tigers 3: Detroit clung to a 3-2 lead into the seventh but then Phil Coke walked one dude and then plunked two more to load the bases. Ryan Perry came in and walked in a run, and then he gave up an RBI single to Delmon Young. That’s teamwork!

White Sox 4, Indians 3: Manny’s White Sox debut will wait another day. He was on deck, though, waiting to pinch hit in the ninth when A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer to break the 1-1 tie. I just hope that trip to the on deck circle didn’t gas poor Manny, thus making him unavailable for this afternoon’s game.

Braves 9, Mets 2: Luis Castillo bobbled what could have been a double play ball in the fifth and after that the floodgates opened. I’m guessing there will be a lot of folks who want to kill Castillo over that, but (a) there still would have only been two outs in the inning, and the Braves scored a couple of runs before what would have been out number three; and (b) Jon Niese still had to serve up that fat pitch David Ross deposited in the seats for a grand slam.

Orioles 5, Red Sox 2: The O’s just keep rolling along. Baltimore went 17-11 in August (17-10) with Buck Showalter. This season is always going to look ugly in the standings, but there is some serious hope for 2011 being built here.

Phillies 8, Dodgers 4: Ryan Howard and Brian Schneider each had three-run homers as the Phillies find some of that long lost offense. Carlos Monasterios, the Dodgers starter, said this through his translator after the game: “I was trying to pitch my game, but they were able to read all my pitches.” Gentlemen: there’s a spy among us. Sitting in this very room!

Diamondbacks 7, Padres 4: Six straight losses for the Padres. The losses to Philly I get. These to the Dbacks I don’t.

Giants 5, Rockies 2: Andres Torres led off the eighth inning with what proved to be the winning home run. Only four back of San Diego now.

Mariners 3, Angels 1: KIng Felix allowed only three hits and no runs through seven while striking out eight. No decision, though, because he got no run support while he was in the game. That’s the story of his season.

Royals 10, Rangers 9: Ties 9-9 in the ninth, Willie Bloomquist stole third with one out and then came home with the winning run when Alexi Ogando threw a wild pitch. Wait . . . what’s that? Um, I’m sorry everyone. The guild just informed me that I am obligated to say that Ogando “uncorked” a wild pitch. If you have any questions about this please consult the rulebook you’ve all been provided. The wild pitch stuff comes right after the chapter on “ensuing kickoffs.”

Joe Panik says he’s “100 percent” recovered from back injury

San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik follows through on a single off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Scott Oberg in the eighth inning of Game 1 of a baseball doubleheader Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Denver. The Giants won 10-8. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Giants second baseman Joe Panik missed nearly all of August and September last season due to a nagging back injury, but he told Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com on Friday that he’s feeling “100 percent.”

Panik, who earned his first All-Star selection last season, originally landed on the disabled list in early August due to what was described as lower back inflammation. He made his return in September, but appeared in just three games before being shut down. The good news is that he was cleared by doctors in mid-December and considers himself “back to normal.”

“It was right around the time of all the signings,” he said, smiling. “I was able to fly under the radar. I got tested and everything had healed up. I got cleared and was able to have my full offseason workouts. I’m good to go. I’m happy to be feeling good and going back out on the field to show that I’m healthy. My swing feels strong.”

Panik altered his offseason workout routine and plans to spend less time in his spikes in the early part of spring training. The hope is that these changes will prevent future issues.

After a strong showing as a rookie in 2014, the 25-year-old Panik proved to be one of the best second baseman in the majors last season by batting .312/.378/.455 with eight home runs and 37 RBI over 100 games while playing solid defense.

Baseball America names Corey Seager as baseball’s top prospect

Los Angeles Dodgers' Corey Seager follows through a single that scored Austin Barnes, in front of Colorado Rockies' Wilin Rosario during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
AP Photo/Danny Moloshok
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Baseball America unveiled their top 100 prospect list Friday night during a special on MLB Network. It should come as no surprise that Dodgers infielder Corey Seager came in at No. 1.

This makes Seager the consensus top prospect in the game. He was also ranked first by MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus, and ESPN’s Keith Law. Twins outfielder Byron Buxton was ranked second on all four lists.

Baseball America has the most aggressive ranking of Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada from the Red Sox, who checked in at No. 3. He was followed by pitching prospects Lucas Giolito from the Nationals and Julio Urias from the Dodgers to round out the top five.

You can see Baseball America’s full top 100 list here.

Jenrry Mejia: “It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”

New York Mets' Jenrry Mejia reacts after getting the last out against the Milwaukee Brewers during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 25, 2014, in Milwaukee. The Mets won 3-2. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps
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Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia was permanently suspended on Friday after testing positive for a third time for a performance-enhancing drug. The right-hander is maintaining his innocence, as ESPN’s Adam Rubin notes in quoting Dominican sports journalist Hector Gomez. Mejia said, “It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”

Mejia has the opportunity to petition commissioner Rob Manfred in one year for reinstatement to Major League Baseball. However, he must sit out at least two years before becoming eligible to pitch in the majors again, which would mean Mejia would be 28 years old.

Over parts of five seasons, Mejia has a career 3.68 ERA with 162 strikeouts and 76 walks over 183 1/3 innings. He was once a top prospect in the Mets’ minor league system and a top-100 overall prospect heading into the 2010 and ’11 seasons.

Bryce Harper on potential $400 million contract: “Don’t sell me short.”

Bryce Harper
AP Photo/Nick Wass
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Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is at least three years away from free agency, but people are already contemplating just how large a contract the phenom will be able to negotiate, especially after taking home the National League Most Valuable Player Award for his performance this past season.

When the likes of David Price and Zack Greinke are signing for over $200 million at the age of 30 or older, it stands to reason that Harper could draw more as a 26-year-old if he can maintain MVP-esque levels of production over the next several seasons. $400 million might not be enough for Harper, though, as MLB.com’s Jamal Collier reports. He said, “Don’t sell me short,” which is a fantastic response.

During the 2015 season, Harper led the majors with a .460 on-base percentage and a .649 slugging percentage while leading the National League with 42 home runs and 118 runs scored. He also knocked in 99 runs for good measure. Harper and Ted Williams are the only hitters in baseball history to put up an adjusted OPS of 195 or better (100 is average) at the age of 22 or younger.