And That Happened Express: Saturday’s scores and highlights

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White Sox 4, Rays 2: Holy crap, did Sam Fuld make a spectacular catch, or what?

Yankees 9, Red Sox 4: Two homers for Russell Martin. I’d say more, but apparently this game was force-fed to the nation by FOX, even in places where the other FOX regional games should probably have been going. Such as Macon, Georgia.  Really: Braves-Phillies are playing and Macon, Georgia gets the Yankees. That makes sense.

Orioles 5, Rangers 0; Rangers 13, Orioles 1: I did a Q&A over at the Orioles Hangout blog last night. In it I talked glowingly about the O’s young rotation, including Zach Britton, who pitched game 1, and Jake Arrieta, who pitched game 2.  I guess I was half right.

Brewers 6, Cubs 0: Prince Fielder had three doubles. I’m assuming he also had an oxygen treatment.

Rockies 6, Pirates 4: At 5-2, the Rockies are off to their best start since 1998.

Marlins 7, Astros 5: Hanley out with a bum leg moved Donnie Murphy to short and put Greg Dobbs in at third and he hit a big homer and had three RBI.  That’s how Wally Pipp lost his job, right?  Oh, wait, no, it was nothing like that at all.

Athletics 1, Twins 0: Gio Gonzalez is 2-0 with an 0.69 ERA in his first two starts.  BTW: how does a 1-0 game with only 11 total hits between the teams last three hours and five minutes?

Mets 8, Nationals 4: Two home runs for Carlos Beltran.

Phillies 10, Braves 2: In the 26 years I’ve been watching Braves baseball, I can’t remember a player who has abused the Braves more than Carlos Ruiz abuses the Braves. Chooch’s pinch hit grand slam put this one out of reach.

Royals 3, Tigers 1: Bruce Chen looked good. If you would have told me a few years ago that he’d still be in the league in 2011 I would have said you were insane.

Dodgers 4, Padres 2,Dodgers 4, Padres 3:  L.A. wins the resumption of the game that was suspended on Friday night. And of course it had to go 11 innings. Then Kuroda shut ’em down in the nightcap.

Giants 3, Cardinals 2: Colby Rasmus was a temporary hero via a go-ahead homer in the seventh and then Colby Rasmus, well, he wasn’t a goat, exactly, because get got close to the ball, but Miguel Tejada’s two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth just eluded his glove. La Russa probably needs a scapegoat right now, so maybe it will do.

Indians 2, Mariners 1: Cleveland is 6-2.  That is not a misprint. Although don’t book my seat on the bandwagon just yet.

Angels 6, Blue Jays 5: Dan Haren gets the win in relief. Really?  Yep: 14 inning games that occur on the day you’re scheduled to do between-starts throwing will do that for a guy. You don’t want to abuse this kind of thing, but I’ve often thought that a team could go with fewer than 12 freaking pitchers on the roster if they were willing to use an offday starter as an emergency bullpen arm. After all, that last arm in the pen doesn’t throw in any given game most of the time. It’s more of a security blanket thing for managers. I’d rather have the extra position player.

Reds 6, Diamondbacks 1: Not as close for most of the game as the Reds scored four in the ninth. Otherwise it was a nice matchup between Bronson Arroyo and Daniel Hudson.

Bud Norris exits outing with right knee soreness

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Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.

While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.

 

When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.

Video: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

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Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.