Los Angeles Dodgers v Philadelphia Phillies

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Phillies 3, Dodgers 1: Cliff Lee hadn’t been looking like Cliff Lee lately. In this one, he looked like Cliff Lee (7 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 10K).  Dee Gordon made his major league debut. He was inserted as a pinch runner in the ninth inning, took third on a single and then scored the Dodgers’ only run on a fielder’s choice.

White Sox 3, Mariners 1: Not many guys have out-pitched Michael Pineda this season, but John Danks did (7.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 6K), snagging his first win of the year in the process.

Twins 6, Indians 4: Scott Baker didn’t look like he’d make it out of the first inning, but he settled down. That’s five wins in a row for the Twins. Five losses in a row for the Indians.

Orioles 4, Athletics 2: The Athletics would kill for their losing streak to be as short as five. This one was the seventh straight loss for Oakland. And they lost Mark Ellis to a hamstring strain in the sixth inning, though given how he’s been hitting, they may not notice his loss.

Reds 8, Cubs 2: Things continue to careen out of control for the Cubbies, who also lost their seventh straight. Matt Garza and reliever Jeff Samardzija each got lit up. Jonny Gomes drove in four.

Brewers 7, Marlins 2: Hey, the Feesh didn’t lose a one-run game!  Zack Greinke continues to round into form (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER) and Prince Fielder drove in four. The Brewers, by the way, have won 13 of 16 games.

Tigers 13, Rangers 7: Colby Lewis didn’t have a lick of nothin’ (3.1 IP, 10 H, 9 ER and 4 — count ’em — 4 home runs).  Brennan Boesch had two of those homers, went 5 for 6 and drove in 5, making him the official RBI whore of the night.  Question: are we tired of that yet? I think we may be tired of it.

Giants 5, Nationals 4: Tim Lincecum needed five strikeouts to reach 1,000 for his career. He got exactly five, though he was not at his sharpest last night, allowing four runs in five innings. San Francisco rallied in the eighth to tie it, however, and Freddy Sanchez’s RBI single won it in the bottom of the 13th.

Rockies 3, Padres 0: Your standard six-pitcher combined shutout for Colorado.

Rays 5, Angels 1: Justin Ruggiano hit homer and drove in three and David Price took a shutout into the eighth inning. Ruggiano wouldn’t have even been playing — it was only his fourth start of the year — if there hadn’t been a bug going through the Rays’ clubhouse.

Royals 3, Blue Jays 2: Eric Hosmer hit a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 11th. I have this feeling we’ll hear more about this game soon, as Joe Posnanski — who is moving away from Kansas City — was taking in his last Royals game as a local and said he’d write a post about it. I’m sure his rendering will be better than anything I can spew about it at 5:30 in the morning.

Shapiro, Murray defend Dellin Betances after arbitration feud

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Dellin Betances #68 of the New York Yankees and the American League pitches against the National League during the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The dust hasn’t quite settled after right-hander Dellin Betances‘ arbitration hearing with the Yankees on Saturday. The case was decided in the team’s favor, awarding Betances with a $3 million salary for the 2017 season instead of the $5 million he initially requested. Yankees’ president Randy Levine held a press conference to voice his outrage over the figure presented by Betances and his agency, saying it had “no bearings in reality” since Betances does not have the elite closer status required for a salary bump of that magnitude.

Needless to say, the comments caused some consternation within Betances’ camp. The reliever publicly addressed the outburst, telling the press that he was prepared to put his differences with the team aside until he heard what Levine had to say. Via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

Players union executive Rick Shapiro and Betances’ agent, Jim Murray, also spoke out in the right-hander’s favor. Shapiro presented Betances’ case during the hearing on Saturday and called Levine’s comments “an absolute disgrace to the arbitration process and to all of Major League Baseball.” In a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Shapiro added: “The only thing that has been unprecedented in the last 36 hours is that a club official, after winning a case, called a news conference to effectively gloat about his victory – that’s unprecedented.”

Murray spoke exclusively to Rosenthal, accusing the president of effectively bullying the 28-year-old during the arbitration process and claiming that Levine had both mispronounced Betances’ name throughout the hearing and blamed the reliever for “declining ticket sales and their lack of playoff history.” Like Betances, Murray said that the agency was ready to accept the arbiter’s decision and move on before Levine’s decision to air his grievances to the media. “The only person overreaching in this entire situation is Randy,” Murray told Rosenthal. “He might as well be an astronaut because nobody on earth would agree with what he is saying. Even the others in the room would disagree with him.”

Royals will experiment with Alex Gordon in all three outfield spots this year

CLEVELAND, OH -  MAY 7: Alex Gordon #4 of the Kansas City Royals reacts to a fan while on first base during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 7, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Royals’ manager Ned Yost is shaking things up in 2017, starting with left fielder Alex Gordon. Yost told MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan that “every scenario is open,” and expects to utilize Gordon in right and center field this spring while he figures out where to position Jorge Soler and Brandon Moss.

Gordon, 33, hasn’t manned right field since a three-game experiment with the Royals back in 2010 and has yet to play center field during any regular season to date. The focus, however, isn’t on Gordon’s capabilities. Among the three outfielders, he carries the best defensive profile and appears to be the most versatile of the bunch.

According to Flanagan, Soler and Moss are average on defense and will continue working closely with Royals’ coach Rusty Kuntz as the season approaches. One arrangement could see Gordon in center field, flanked by Soler in right field and Moss in left, though Yost foresees Soler taking some reps at DH if his defensive chops aren’t up to snuff.

While Moss is prepared to see starts at either outfield corner, Yost appears to be set on keeping Soler in right field, at least for the time being. The club is hoping for a bounce-back season from the 24-year-old outfielder, who was acquired from the Cubs in December after batting a lackluster .238/.333/.436 and sustaining a slew of minor injuries throughout the 2016 season.