And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Athletics 5, Rangers 4: The promise of the Athletics’ offseason: adding a bit of offense to cover the holes from last year and bolstering the bullpen to solve the team’s other big weakness. Job well done as far as this game goes, as Hideki Matsui hit a walkoff homer in the 10th after the Athletics’ bullpen shut the Rangers out on two hits over four innings to end it. Grant Balfour made it interesting in the top of the 10th, but he wiggled out of it, so we’ll call that a bug and not a feature of the New and Improved Athletics.

Red Sox 9, Angels 5: Jered Weaver proves mortal. The Angels’ ace gets his first loss of the year after Boston tags him for three runs on six hits in six innings. Which isn’t a ton, but any hope of Weaver getting a no-decision was lost when Hisanori Takahashi and Francisco Rodriguez got lit up like a pinball machine in the seventh. All of Boston’s nine runs were driven in by the 2-5 hitters, Pedroia, Gonzalez, Youkilis and Ortiz.

Nationals 2, Giants 0: Tom Gorzelanny gave up only three hits in eight innings as the Giants continue to search for a way to score runs. In fact, they’ve been shut out three times in the past six games.  As I noted yesterday, it was Military Appreciation Night. Active duty members who have to wake up early tomorrow were probably pleased, therefore, that this game took only two hours and two minutes.

Braves 6, Brewers 2: The last time the Braves met Yovani Gallardo he shut ’em out on a two-hitter. This time the Atlanta bats do a bit better, scoring five runs on nine hits — plus four walks — in five innings. Jair Jurrjens has been outstanding in all four starts he’s had this season.

Yankees 5, Tigers 3: Seven straight losses for Detroit. This one was winnable. Down 3-0, the Tigers rallied to tie it in the seventh but the Yankees clawed back with two in the ninth. One of the runs scored on an Alex Avilia passed ball. But he also had two homers. And here I thought the book on him was that he was a good defensive catcher who couldn’t hit much.

White Sox 6, Orioles 2: Two homers for Paul Konerko and a sac fly to boot on a four-RBI night. Mark Buehrle allowed twelve baserunners — eight hits and four walks — in six and two-thirds innings of work, but he did not allow a single run to score.

Marlins 6, Cardinals 5: A Gaby Sanchez grand slam in the third gave the Marlins the lead, a Lance Berkman three-run shot in the bottom of the inning took it right back for the Cards. Mike Stanton would make the difference later, however, homering in the fifth and hitting a leadoff triple in the eighth and subsequently scoring on a sac fly.

Dodgers 5, Cubs 2: Andre Ethier is now halfway to Joe DiMaggio with 28-game hit streak. That’s not going to happen, but he is only three games short of the Dodgers’ record, set by Willie Davis in 1969. James Russell is now 0-4 with a 10.05 ERA since moving to the rotation to take over for the injured Andrew Cashner. It’s almost like Carlos Silva won that job out of spring training after all.

Pirates 4, Padres 3: The Pirates beat the Padres for the first time in ten games against them.

Astros vs. Reds: POSTPONED: These are the seasons of emotion and like the winds they rise and fall. This is the wonder of devotion – I see the torch we all must hold. This is the mystery of the quotient – Upon us all a little rain must fall.

Royals closer Kelvin Herrera leaves with forearm tightness

Associated Press
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The Royals are a game and a half out of the crazy AL Wild Card race — six games back of the Indians in the division — so they don’t have a huge margin for error. They got some bad news last night, though, that could have a major impact on their playoff hopes: closer Kelvin Herrera experienced tightness in his right forearm in the ninth inning of last night’s win, forcing him out of the game.

Herrera walked the bases loaded, then went to a 2-0 count on the next batter before leaving the game. That last pitch was a fastball that clocked in at 91 m.p.h., which is NOT a typical Kelvin Herrera fastball.  Herrera didn’t talk after the game but his teammate Sal Perez said that Herrera told him  “I’m tight. I don’t feel my forearm.”

Reporters left the clubhouse before an official diagnosis or prognosis could be delivered, so expect an update some time today. If Herrera is out the closer duties could fall to Scott Alexander or Brandon Maurer.

Albert Pujols sets the all-time record for home runs by a foreign-born player

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Albert Pujols had a big night last night, driving in four runs as the Angels beat the Rangers 10-1. Three of those runs came on a three-run homer. That was the 610th home run of Pujols’ career, snapping a tie for eighth on the all-time list with Sammy Sosa. It also made him baseball’s all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.

Pujols was aware of the accomplishment, of course, and noted how honored he was after the game:

”It’s pretty special. Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they’ve gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling.”

After Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic, comes Rafael Palmeiro (569); Manny Ramirez (555); David Ortiz (541); Carlos Delgado (473); Jose Canseco (462); Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera (459).