New York Yankees Robinson Cano walks off the field as the Chicago White Sox celebrate after Brent Lillibridge made a diving catch to win in New York

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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White Sox 3, Yankees 2: Rafael Soriano’s tenure in New York could not be starting worse. Last night he came in with a 2-1 lead in the eighth and gave up a two-run homer to Paul Konerko that proved to be the game winner. In the ninth Brent Lillibridge saved the day with two game-saving catches in right field.  With one out and runners on first and second he tracked down an A-Rod fly ball at the wall. Then Robinson Cano hit a sinking liner to right, and Lillibridge made a spectacular diving catch. A strong outing from Gavin Floyd (8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 10K).

Indians 9, Royals 4: This series, as the series in Kansas City was last week, is still a battle for first place in the AL Central. Jack Hannahan had two homers and Shin-Soo Choo drove in four.  In other news, according to the AP game story, the back of the t-shirt worn by winning pitcher Justin Masterson has the Charlie Sheen catchphrase “duh, winning!” written on it.  I was prepared to mock this in some way until I looked at the HardballTalk site stats yesterday and realized that one insignificant little post I did mentioning Charlie Sheen received damn nigh unprecedented traffic. Really, it got over ten times the amount of clicks the next most-viewed post got yesterday. To you and me Charlie Sheen is played out. Not so to many, many people, it seems.

Mets 6, Nationals 4: Five straight for the Mets.  Allow me to eschew the details of the game itself so that I may note that Ryota Igarashi got the win despite throwing four pitches which, while totally in keeping with the rules that govern such matters — he was the pitcher of record when the Mets took the lead and, despite his “brief” appearance, he was effective — it’s yet another argument about how silly it is to measure pitchers by their win totals.

Marlins 4, Dodgers 2: On the bright side: Don Mattingly didn’t need to decide who, among his many conflicting choices, is his closer. Ethier extends his hitting streak to 23.

Blue Jays 10, Rangers 3: Adam Lind has had a rough beginning of the season, but last night he had two homers and five RBI. Matt Harrison had nothing — he gave up seven runs in three innings — but hey, it got Brett Tomko five innings of mop up work. I’ve considered writing a short story or, if it can get any momentum behind it a novel, in which an aging  mop up man plays a role. The details are hazy and, as is the case with most of my fiction ideas, I never get very far with it. But whenever I see something like five innings out of Brett Tomko or someone quite like him, the wheels start turning again.

Brewers 3, Reds 2: A rare occurrence: Brewers beat the Reds. They were 0-4 against them this year coming in and had dropped 19 of 22. Solo homers from Braun, Fielder and Weeks did the trick. The Reds only got two hits off Marco Estrada, one of which was a Brandon Phillips two-run homer. Otherwise Mike Leake pitched well (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 6 K) and deserved a better fate. Indeed, some might say he was robbed.  Not me, but some might.

Mariners 7, Tigers 3: Oh, Ryan Raburn.

Rockies 4, Cubs 3: Two bombs from Todd Helton off James Russell, who have up three homers in all. In his two starts moving into the rotation due to the Cashner and Wells injuries, Russell has given up eight runs on twelve hits in eight innings and has walked as many as he has struck out (4).  The Cubs need to do something new with the rotation before they get buried.

Giants 3, Pirates 2: Two of the Giants’ runs, including the game-winner, came on sacrifices and the other came on a fielder’s choice. Viva small ball.

Orioles 4, Red Sox 1: Giving up 12 hits and walking two more in six and two-thirds is no way to go through life, Clay Buchholz. Zach Britton, on the other hand, allowed one run on five hits in six innings to pick up his fourth win and, I presume, though I haven’t looked at what other AL rookies are doing, an early lead in the AL Rookie of the Year race. Boston’s five-game winning streak is over. Vlad Guerrero, by the way, is the only man in Major League Baseball with enough at bats to qualify for the batting title at the moment who has not walked once this season. 87 at bats and counting.

Astros 6, Cardinals 5: The bullpen strikes again! The Astros were down 5-4 entering the bottom of the ninth but scored two runs, one on a Mitchell Boggs wild pitch. The runner had reached third on a Yadier Molina passed ball. Hey, anyone who saw it: was it really a passed ball? And, for that matter, was the wild pitch really a wild pitch?  Boggs thought it was after the game, for what it’s worth, but those things are sometimes subjective. Regardless, Boggs didn’t settle down after that, allowing three more singles including the walkoff RBI by Bill Hall.

Braves 8, Padres 2: David Ross was another of many two home run hitters from Tuesday night and Jair Jurrjens tossed a complete game.

Diamondbacks 7, Phillies 5: Roy Oswalt got rocked. On the bright side, the Phillies scored 5 runs for the first time since April 9th!

Angels 8, Athletics 3: Second baseman Alexi Amarista just got promoted from Salt Lake City. Alexi Amarista is five feet seven inches tall. Alexi Amarista hit a two-run double and added a third RBI with a sacrifice. I know it’s early and we’ve yet to see if he gets his uniform duty a lot, but his size, his position and his quick start may force us to allow a non- American white person into Club Scrappy! For the A’s, Brandon McCarthy didn’t exactly fool anyone (5.1 IP, 7 R, 14 H).

Rays vs. Twins: POSTPONED: Walked in the corner of the room, junkyard fool with eyes of gloom. I asked him time again: Take me in and dry the rain, take me in and dry the rain, take me in and dry the rain, take me in and dry the rain, the rain, the rain, the rain, the rain, my rain now [cool instrumental breakdown].

Shapiro, Murray defend Dellin Betances after arbitration feud

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Dellin Betances #68 of the New York Yankees and the American League pitches against the National League during the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The dust hasn’t quite settled after right-hander Dellin Betances‘ arbitration hearing with the Yankees on Saturday. The case was decided in the team’s favor, awarding Betances with a $3 million salary for the 2017 season instead of the $5 million he initially requested. Yankees’ president Randy Levine held a press conference to voice his outrage over the figure presented by Betances and his agency, saying it had “no bearings in reality” since Betances does not have the elite closer status required for a salary bump of that magnitude.

Needless to say, the comments caused some consternation within Betances’ camp. The reliever publicly addressed the outburst, telling the press that he was prepared to put his differences with the team aside until he heard what Levine had to say. Via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

Players union executive Rick Shapiro and Betances’ agent, Jim Murray, also spoke out in the right-hander’s favor. Shapiro presented Betances’ case during the hearing on Saturday and called Levine’s comments “an absolute disgrace to the arbitration process and to all of Major League Baseball.” In a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Shapiro added: “The only thing that has been unprecedented in the last 36 hours is that a club official, after winning a case, called a news conference to effectively gloat about his victory – that’s unprecedented.”

Murray spoke exclusively to Rosenthal, accusing the president of effectively bullying the 28-year-old during the arbitration process and claiming that Levine had both mispronounced Betances’ name throughout the hearing and blamed the reliever for “declining ticket sales and their lack of playoff history.” Like Betances, Murray said that the agency was ready to accept the arbiter’s decision and move on before Levine’s decision to air his grievances to the media. “The only person overreaching in this entire situation is Randy,” Murray told Rosenthal. “He might as well be an astronaut because nobody on earth would agree with what he is saying. Even the others in the room would disagree with him.”

Royals will experiment with Alex Gordon in all three outfield spots this year

CLEVELAND, OH -  MAY 7: Alex Gordon #4 of the Kansas City Royals reacts to a fan while on first base during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 7, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Royals’ manager Ned Yost is shaking things up in 2017, starting with left fielder Alex Gordon. Yost told MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan that “every scenario is open,” and expects to utilize Gordon in right and center field this spring while he figures out where to position Jorge Soler and Brandon Moss.

Gordon, 33, hasn’t manned right field since a three-game experiment with the Royals back in 2010 and has yet to play center field during any regular season to date. The focus, however, isn’t on Gordon’s capabilities. Among the three outfielders, he carries the best defensive profile and appears to be the most versatile of the bunch.

According to Flanagan, Soler and Moss are average on defense and will continue working closely with Royals’ coach Rusty Kuntz as the season approaches. One arrangement could see Gordon in center field, flanked by Soler in right field and Moss in left, though Yost foresees Soler taking some reps at DH if his defensive chops aren’t up to snuff.

While Moss is prepared to see starts at either outfield corner, Yost appears to be set on keeping Soler in right field, at least for the time being. The club is hoping for a bounce-back season from the 24-year-old outfielder, who was acquired from the Cubs in December after batting a lackluster .238/.333/.436 and sustaining a slew of minor injuries throughout the 2016 season.