Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics

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.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.