And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Nationals 10, Phillies 2: Danny Espinsosa had two homers as the Nats teed off on Cliff Lee. The Cliff Lee with the losing record and and ERA creeping up near 4.00.  Hmmm. Oh, and there was a brief injury delay involving Carlos Ruiz in the bottom of the 8th. After the game Charlie Manuel described it: “He got hit in the crystals. Better him than me.”  God, I love Charlie Manuel.

White Sox 10, Red Sox 7: Chicago had a 10-1 lead heading into the eighth inning when Phil Humber started to unravel. But at some point a lead is too big to fritter away, and this one was unfritterable. Alexi Ramirez was 4 for 5 with 3 RBI. Chicago has won six straight at Fenway.

Pirates 5, Mets 1: Also at some point: you just can’t win games when you don’t have any of your real major leaguers on your active roster. That said, R.A. Dickey pitched pretty well for a guy with a torn plantar fascia. Which, while I’m not entirely sure what it is, it doesn’t sound like something you want to tear.

Brewers 7, Reds 2: In Zack Greinke’s last four starts he has allowed five, four, three and now two earned runs.  His next two opponents had best look out!

Indians 6, Blue Jays 3: Every time I see a Mitch Talbot line score (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER) I think of Mitch Hedberg. And yes, I think Bigfoot is blurry. That’s the problem. And that’s extra-scary to me, because there’s a large, out-of-focus monster.

Rays 5, Rangers 4:Arthur Rhodes really has no business facing righties who, coming into this game, were slugging .570 off him. Yet Ron Washington let him face Evan Longoria with a runner on base in the eighth inning. Longoria hit a two-run homer. Imagine.

Cardinals 4, Giants 3: Skip Schumaker’s go-ahead RBI single was the cherry on top of the Cardinals’ three-run eighth inning. In other news, Schumaker’s walk-up music is “The Stroke” by Billy Squier. Stick your right hand out and give that man a firm handshake.

Padres 5, Braves 4: Mike Minor probably deserved a better fate. He left with the game tied and a runner on first in the seventh. Cory Gearrin prompty let him in to score and then allowed the Padres to score two more after that. Ryan Ludwick had four hits.

Tigers 8, Twins 7: The Tigers scored the go-ahead run on a sac fly that wouldn’t have happened if Twins’ reliever Phil Dumatrait hadn’t thrown a bunted ball away. But hey, if there’s a team that is going to shoot themselves in the foot this year, it’s Minnesota. Two homers for Justin Morneau in a losing cause.

Astros 7, Cubs 3: Carlos Marmol got rocked for six runs in the ninth. Needless to say, the save was blown. Marmol faced seven hitters. He only got one out, and that was because the batter willingly surrendered himself with a sacrifice bunt. There are teams that lose more games than the Cubs, but there are not many who lose more ugly than they do.

Royals 7, Angels 3: Eric Hosmer drove in two and scored two and Jeff Francoeur drove in two more. Alex Gordon and Chris Getz both had three hits.

Mariners 3, Orioles 2: Jeremy Guthrie cruised for seven innings and then got two quick outs in the eighth before allowing Ichiro to reach on an error, giving up a single to Brendan Ryan and a three-run homer to Justin Smoak. All of the runs unearned, of course, but all of them are on Guthrie in reality.

Dodgers 8, Rockies 2: Los Angeles continues its recent run-scoring binge. Matt Kemp drove in four and Casey Blake three more.

Marlins 5, Diamondbacks 2: Anibal Sanchez cools off the hot Dbacks, adding a couple of RBI to HHOC.

Yankees 10, Athletics 3: The A’s aren’t exactly giving the Yankees much of a hassle in this series. Mr. Anderson was lit up for ten runs on 11 hits. Curtis Granderson went 3 for 5 with a homer and 4 RBI. A-Rod had three RBI of his own.

Jon Gray will start Opening Day for the Rockies

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Manager Bud Black has tabbed Jon Gray to start on Opening Day for the Rockies. That will be Monday, April 3 in Milwaukee against the Brewers in an afternoon contest.

Gray, 25, is starting Opening Day for the first time in his career. He’ll be the sixth different Rockies pitcher to start Opening Day in as many years.

The Rockies and Gray had a bit of a scare on Friday as he left his spring training start with discomfort in his left foot, but everything came up clean in an MRI. He pitched again on Wednesday with no issue.

Last season, Gray went 10-10 with a 4.61 ERA and a 185/59 K/BB ratio in 168 innings. A consensus top prospect entering each of the previous three seasons, Gray surprisingly put up better numbers at Coors Field — the most hitter-friendly park in baseball — than away.

Blake Treinen named Nationals closer

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Today Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker named Blake Treinen as his closer. Treinen has saved exactly one big league game.

There wasn’t necessarily an obvious choice, however. Last year Washington had Mark Melancon, but with him gone and GM Mike Rizzo’s failure to land a high-profile closer in the offseason, it became a contest between Treinen Shawn Kelley and Koda Glover.

Treinen posted a 2.28 ERA with 31 walks and 63 Ks in 67 innings in 2016. His big improvement last year came against lefties, who had tattooed him in the past. He pitched well this spring as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

The Nats are our favorites to win the NL East, but we do have some questions about the pen. Blake Treinen will take the first crack at answering them.