And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Rockies 10, Reds 5: Ubaldo Jimenez won his first one in over a month, but it had a lot more to do with the offense behind him because he was all over the place. He walked six, allowed seven hits and was a hair’s breadth from getting the hook early on. Tulowitzki homered, tripled and drove in three runs and Carlos Gonzalez was 3 for 5 with a couple of RBI.

Cardinals 8, Brewers 6: The Cards pick up a game — they’re now six back — thanks to a six-spot in the eighth inning, capped by a Yadier Molina grand slam. After the game, Molina said “from now on, we have to win, that’s a rule.” Jeez, bro, if you had simply made that rule a month ago y’all wouldn’t be down six games right now, would ya?

Padres 4, Dodgers 2: The streak, she is broken. San Diego lost five and a half games of their lead in the process, but they retain a one-game advantage over the Giants. The win may have been significant from a historical perspective as well, as at least one team — the 1982 Braves — lost ten in a row and still made the playoffs, but no one has dropped eleven straight and done so. Not that it couldn’t have happened to the Padres, of course, but The Fates, man, they don’t like to be tempted like that.

Giants 2, Diamondbacks 0: Just your typical seven-pitcher shutout for the Giants, led by Madison Bumgarner. Ian Kennedy certainly deserved a better fate than his no decision (8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER). Certainly deserving better were two children who were hurt in the fourth inning, one by a flying bat, one by a foul ball, with each child being taken to the hospital.

Athletics 6, Mariners 2: We must give a golf clap to Brett Anderson for a nice outing, but really, shutting down Seattle these days is no big trick. Indeed, it’s been 12 games since they scored more than three runs.

Cubs 5, Astros 4: Geovany Soto got barreled over blocking home plate in the fourth — he held on to the ball to make the out — and then hit the game winning homer in the eighth. But then again, he’s a catcher, and that’s what they do.

Twins 5, Royals 4: Jim Thome hit a home run in the fifth inning that went so far it had to clear Canadian customs before it could land. Jason Kubel’s, however, was the go-ahead homer. The Twins have won 17 of 20.

Blue Jays 7, Rangers 2: Rangers manager Ron Washington, talking about the Jays’ offense after the game: “They got seven and six came via the long ball.” Hey Ron: I’ll refrain from filling our your lineup card if you refrain from doing my job, OK? Thanks.

Pirates 3, Braves 1: The Braves strand so many guys at first or second base that I’m beginning to think that their hitting coach is Lysistrata.

Marlins 7, Phillies 1; Phillies 7, Marlins 4: A split doubleheader combined with the Braves loss pulls Philly to within a half game of Atlanta. Marlins rookie Adalberto Mendez shut the Phils down before leaving the first game with a leg injury. Roy Oswalt continued his winning ways in the nightcap, allowing four runs and six hits and striking out seven in seven innings.

Orioles 4, Yankees 3: Brian Matusz won his fourth straight start, allowing three runs and five hits in six innings. Alex Rodriguez surpassed 100 RBI for the 13th straight season. Note: when a player people like hits a lot of RBIs, he’s a “run producer.” When Alex Rodriguez does it, he’s a selfish stat-hound.

White Sox 5, Tigers 4: A.J. Pierzynski hit the go-ahead single in the 10th inning and had three RBIs overall as the Sox with their seventh in a row. According to the game notes, Vizquel passed Rafael Palmiero for most games by a player born outside the United States in baseball history. I don’t know that I would have gotten that one right if you had given me five guesses. I would have probably guessed Tony Perez and maybe Julio Franco or someone like that ahead of those guys. Which makes no sense, because intellectually I realize that Vizquel has had a longer career than them. I think it’s a mental block because I’ve been an adult for basically all of Vizquel’s entire career so it doesn’t seem as long. Time, time, time, see what’s become of me.

Nationals 13, Mets 3: Rookie Danny Espinosa had a grand slam, a solo shot, a double, a single and six RBI. The Nats won their 60th game of the year, which is something they hadn’t done since 2007.

Red Sox 12, Rays 5: Boston jumped out to a 6-1 lead and never really looked back. Not a bad output for a lineup that only had four Opening Day starters in it.

Indians 3, Angels 2: Shin-Soo Choo broke a 2-2 with an RBI single in the ninth. The Angels’ offense continues to sputter. From the AP game story: “Cleveland’s starters have a 3.20 ERA over the last 12 games, allowing
three runs or fewer in all but one start. Every starter in the past 14
games has gone at least five innings.” [Dana Carvey doing Johnny Carson’s voice]: I did not know that. That’s some wild, wild stuff.

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.