Asdrubal Cabrera

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Indians 12, Reds 4: Asdrubal Cabrera hit two homers and went 5 for 5 with 5 RBI, but he wasn’t alone as the Indians complete the sweep of the Reds. This series is called “The Ohio Cup,” by the way. Little known fact: loser of the Ohio Cup has to stay in Ohio.

Rays 4, Marlins 0: James Shields has had a fantastic first couple of months of the season, and this was his most fantastic start yet: A three-hit, 13-strikeout shutout. Adherents of the game score stat will note that this performance — a 93 — is the top game score in 2011 thus far.

Orioles 2, Nationals 1: Vlad Guerrero’s two-run homer holds up. Here is what he said after the game: “I was looking for a good pitch to hit and just to make contact, and not for a home run.”  Which, if true, marks the first time in his sixteen-year major league career that he either (a) looked for good pitch; or (b) wasn’t trying to absolutely murder the baseball, God love him.

Cardinals 9, Royals 8: St. Louis walked 13 times — 13 times! — five of which went to Colby Rasmus. The Royals, in contrast, walked once. You wouldn’t think, based on that stat alone, that this could have been a close one, let alone an extra inning affair, but it was. And the Cardinals’ go-ahead and insurance runs came in fittingly in the 10th: walk-error-HBP-walk-walk. Glad I didn’t see this one. Sounds like the kind of game that would make you want to gouge your eyes out. But hey, at least it was over four hours long.

Angels 4, Braves 1: Anaheim gets back to .500 behind seven innings of one-run ball from Tyler Chatwood. As for the Braves, the fact that Joe Mather was the offensive hero of the weekend — and looks to be the only offensive hope for the foreseeable future given the injuries and Ugglaness of the rest of the offense — tells you everything you need to know about how they’re doin’ right now.

White Sox 8, Dodgers 3: Alexei Ramirez was 4 for 5 with 5 RBI.  Which is normally gonna win you the Offensive Shortstop of the Day Award, brought to you by Pacific Life Insurance, but it wasn’t quite as good as Asdrubal Cabrera’s day.

Mariners 6, Padres 1: King Felix struck out 13 and gave up but a single run in eight innings. The Mariners absolutely destroyed San Diego in this series. The Padres scored a single earned run the entire weekend. And it’s not just the Padres’ impotence making the Mariners look good. As Geoff Baker wrote yesterday, the Mariners have had nine straight outings of at least seven innings pitched and two runs or fewer allowed by their starting pitchers. No team has done that since the Giants did it in 1988.

Astros 3, Blue Jays 2: Here’s something you wouldn’t expect:

Even though the Astros had never played in Toronto before, Pence found himself the target of fans in the right-field seats. “I’ve never had it like that,” Pence said. “I just thought that’s how Canadians might be. They like to heckle … They actually got louder. That’s when you know you’re doing good. The louder they get, the better you’re doing.”

In his experience with leather-lunged fans, Pence said only those in the Wrigley Field bleachers compare to Toronto’s taunters. “It’s similar to Wrigley, but in Wrigley there’s so many yelling, it’s almost like you can’t totally pick them out,” Pence said. “These guys had a knack for being loud alone, or all chanting together. It was pretty aggressive.”

Not sure what’s more unusual: rude Canadians or Hunter Pence being the singular object of anyone’s derision.

Yankees 9, Mets 3: It may have changed since then, but as of 9PM last night, the sub-headline to the New York Daily News’ story about this game read “For six innings, the Yankees were the Yankees, plagued by their typical run-producing problems …”  Of course, going into this game the Yankees lead all of baseball in scoring, at a clip of 5.14 runs a game, so I guess “run producing” means something different than “producing runs.” And yes, I realize that there are people who think this team is too home run dependent — because home runs are totally something you never want — but the small-ball giddiness I’m reading in the game stories for this one due to the fact that A-Rod hit some 55-foot dribbler to spark a rally is too much. You know who hit a lot of homers? The 2009 Yankees did. They only won the damn World Series.

Diamondbacks 3, Twins 2: I know some Twins fans who laughed when division rival Chicago gave up Daniel Hudson in that trade for Edwin Jackson last summer. Damn poetic justice (Hudson: 8 IP, 8 H, 2 ER). Hey look: Arizona is at .500. And only one game behind the Rockies for second place in the NL West. Speaking of Colorado …

Brewers 3, Rockies 1: They get swept by Milwaukee. This was a toughie, as Jimenez pitched a complete game and only ran in to trouble in one inning — the third — when a walk, a HBP and a triple on which Ryan Braun was able to score by virtue of a throwing error gave the Brewers all of their runs.

Giants 5, Athletics 4: Five straight losses for Oakland. Twelve pitchers were used in this game. Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run pinch-hit homer in the eighth to tie it up.

Tigers 2, Pirates 0: Rick Porcello’s eight innings of one-hit ball give the Tigers their first win in eight days.

Rangers 2, Phillies 0: Matt Harrison helps the Rays avert a sweep. All the Phillies can say is thank God for that pitching staff, because it’s not often that you’ll see a team score five runs in a three-game series and take two of three.

Red Sox 5, Cubs 1: This was the first time Tim Wakefield faced the Cubs since 1918. Or maybe I read that little series preview wrong. I dunno. Sounds sensible enough. The knuckler was dancing last night, as Wakefield pitched into the seventh allowing one run on four hits. Adrian Gonzalez went 4 for 4 and is pretty much fulfilling all of those “Adrian Gonzaelz will totally hit in Fenway Park” predictions.

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.

Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”

The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.

There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.

Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.