And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Dodgers 9, Reds 6: Chad Billingsley — altogether now — helped his own cause by hitting  a homer, a double and driving in three.  I was watching the game when he hit the homer. I couldn’t see the beginning of his sentence, but Reds’ starter Travis Wood quite clearly mouthed the words “… homer to the motherf***ing pitcher,” as Billingsley rounded the bases. I was watching the game with my kids and they asked me why I was laughing. I said “no reason.”

Cardinals 3, Cubs 2: Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got something to say, but nothin comes out when they move they lips, just a buncha gibberish, and muthaf***as act like they forgot about El Hombre.

Nationals 9, Diamondbacks 4: A wild one, including multiple hit-batsmen and multiple pitcher/manager ejections. A big blown lead for the Nats in the ninth, made up for by a bases loaded walk/grand slam rally in the 11th. If two teams I don’t care a lick about want to hold my interest for a few innings, this is a great way to do it.

Giants 2, Rockies 1: Once over the line maybe you can pick cotton in the fall. Maybe you can go on relief. Why don’t you go on west to California? There’s work there, and it never gets cold. Why, you can reach out anywhere and pick a starting pitcher, right off the tree. Like Ryan Vogelsong (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7K).

Twins 6, Royals 0: Brian Duensing (8 IP, 6 H, 0 ER) helps the Royals continue to slide down the list of highest scoring teams in the American League.  A couple weeks ago they were second. Now they’re sixth and dropping. As for the Twins, before the game Gleeman tweeted this, and I agreed with him: “For a full season I think today’s Twins lineup could rank as high as third or fourth among International League teams in scoring.”  And then they scored six, including three RBI for Jason Repko.

Tigers 7, White Sox 3: Actually, the Tigers may have passed up the Royals on the AL offensive list after this game, putting Detroit in sixth place and Kansas City in seventh. As I’m typing this Baseball-Reference hasn’t refreshed to reflect Sunday’s games, so let’s revisit later this morning.  Ryan Raburn with a grand slam.

Phillies 7, Pirates 3: Philly salvages one in Pittsburgh and breaks a four-game losing streak. Leave it to Doc, I guess (7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER). And Ryan Howard, who drove in three.

Red Sox 6, Athletics 3: Carl Crawford with a three-run homer, Adrian Gonzalez with a two-run homer and, in his return, John Lackey was as effective as he’s been able to muster this year, pitching into the sixth inning. Just like they drew it up over the past couple of winters.

Brewers 6, Marlins 5: Football is called a game of inches, but sometimes the slightest margins mean everything in baseball too. Three straight one-run wins for Milwaukee in Miami. Florida has stranded runners all over the place this series, and they still have one more game to go on the wraparound today.

Blue Jays 7, Orioles 4: Jo-Jo Reyes just knows how to win. The fact that Adam Lind was 4 for 4 with two homers helped him win, of course.

Rangers 2, Indians 0: C.J. Wilson shut the Tribe down into the eighth inning and the pen finished the job, as the Rangers swept the Indians in a four-game series. Detroit is only 2.5 games back now. The fairytale is almost over.

Yankees 5, Angels 3: Two homers for Mark Teixeira, including a two-run shot that put the Yankees ahead for good. After dropping the first two in Seattle last week, the Yankees finish their west coast swing 6-3. Not too shabby.

Mariners 9, Rays 6: Miguel Olivo with a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth. Did you know that he is the most indispensable Mariner?  Greg Halman got his first major league action of the year and went 3 for 4 with two runs batted in.

Padres 7, Astros 2: The Padres take three of four from the Astros in the battle of the “mehs.”  Although maybe San Diego shouldn’t be considered too “meh.” They’ve won eight of 11.

Mets 6, Braves 4: R.A. Dickey had it goin’ on (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER) and no one save Brian McCann had a clue what to do with his fluttery wonderfulness (Diory Hernandez’s pinch hit homer came against the pen). Odd game for me, because there aren’t many ballplayers I like to see do well more than Dickey, and that even extends to when he pitches against my favorite team. By the fourth or fifth inning I got disgusted with the Braves and just started pulling for Dickey. Yeah, fan infidelity and all that, but it’s a long season and stuff like that happens from time to time. It’s no different than being married for 16 years and taking an occasional furtive glance at a nice looking brunette that just happens to walk by.  Not that I know anything about that.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

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Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.

Report: Jose Ramirez close to four-year extension with Indians

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Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan reports that third baseman Jose Ramirez is finalizing a four-year extension with the Indians. The deal is said to be worth north of $30 million, and may crest $50 million if all options are exercised. While the extension won’t take effect until the 2018 season, it guarantees Ramirez a $26 million sum with two options worth $11 and $13 million and will give the Indians control of the infielder through the 2023 season.

Ramirez, 24, is entering his fifth season in the Indians’ organization. He posted career-high numbers during his first full season in the majors, slashing .312/.363/.461 with 11 home runs, 22 stolen bases and 4.8 fWAR in 2016. He’s projected to have a strong follow-up season at the plate and will likely see some time at second base as Jason Kipnis works his way back from a shoulder injury.

Although 2016 only showcased the beginning of Ramirez’s success with the club, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman says it’s a standard move for Cleveland to “sign their stars early,” and indicates that Ramirez was rumored to want the deal. Jeff Todd of MLB Trade Rumors adds that the extension will keep Ramirez under club control through three arbitration-eligible years and one year of potential free agency.