St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Brewers 4, Cardinals 3: Milwaukee makes a statement, sweeping the formerly-first-place Cardinals. Shaun Marcum pitched seven strong innings and the Brewers came back from being down 3-0 after five and a half innings to taking the lead after six. The Brewers are the hottest team this side of Boston, methinks. Speaking of them …

Red Sox 14, Blue Jays 1: Remember those Blue Jays truthers hanging out in the comments section who got on everyone’s case a month or so ago when people were ranking the Sox higher than the Jays even though the Jays had a better record? Yeah, well, truth your way out of a 35-6 three-game series. At home.

Braves 4, Astros 1: Tommy Hanson stuck out 14 guys in seven innings, and Braves pitchers struck out 17 in all. Which is way less shocking than the fact that Dan Uggla went 2 for 3 with a homer, a walk and a couple driven in. That’s six straight wins for the Braves. Houston has lost four straight and eight of nine.

Mariners 7, Tigers 3: Two homers for Mr. Indispensable and the usual ho-hum eight strong innings for Felix Hernandez. Detroit and Seattle split the four-game series.

Diamondbacks 5, Marlins 1: Stephen Drew had a two-run double in the first and that was really all Arizona would end up needing.  That’s ten of eleven in the toilet for Florida.

Mets 7, Pirates 0: Chris Capuano with seven shutout innings, three hits allowed.  Jose Reyes is absolutely on fire. He already had an OPS over 1.000 for June coming in to this game and went 3 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Yankees 9, Indians 1: Cleveland’s nightmare June continues. That’s two wins and nine losses on the month. This one was close until the fifth when Josh Tomlin imploded and the Yankees put up a five-spot.  Curtis Granderson was 4 for 4 with a couple RBI, A-Rod was 3 for 5 with three driven in.  None of the Yankees runs came on home runs. Which is great, because we’re told that in Yankee-land, home runs are things you don’t too many of.

Twins 6, Rangers 1: Francisco Liriano had a no-hitter going into the eighth. Too bad he didn’t get it, because I’d have to imagine that he’d easily be the worst pitcher to have two no-hitters in a season.  Anyway, they needed those blanks from Liriano at least through the seventh before the Twins broke through for five runs, taking the pressure off.

Phillies 4, Cubs 3: Roy Oswalt had a better start, actually striking out some dudes for once. Ryan Howard drove in three. The Cubs have the same 2-9 record in June that the Indians have.

White Sox 5, Athletics 3: The A’s have a record in June that even the Cubs and Indians can laugh at, and have lost 12 of 13 overall. Adam Dunn with a three-run homer.

Rays 9, Orioles 6: Brian Matusz had nothing out of the gate and only lasted an inning and a third. That left it to Alfredo Simon and the rest of the O’s pen to keep it close, but they … didn’t. Not that the bats didn’t try to help. Back to back homers for Adam Jones and Vlad Guerrero. The Rays were just on base all day, though, and you’re not going to make any headway against ’em when that happens.

Nationals 2, Padres 0: A Petco special, scoreless until the ninth when the Nats strung a couple together. Jordan Zimmermann deserved the win after striking out ten in seven shutout innings, but that’s not how it turned out. Tim Stauffer deserved a better fate too.

Dodgers 10, Rockies 8: An ugly line for Ubaldo Jimenez (5.1 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 2 ER), capped by the James Loney grand slam. Rubby De La Rosa looked strong until he had to leave with a cramp in his arm.

Royals 9, Angels 0: A totally different Vin Mazzaro than we saw the last couple of times out: seven shutout innings. Not epic shutout innings, mind you — he walked five and didn’t strike anyone out — but the Royals defense turned a bunch of double plays behind him, and that will cure a lot of ills.

Giants 4, Reds 2: Three hits and two runs driven in for Aubrey Huff as the Giants come from behind. The most notable thing about this game: watching the views from the blimp and wondering why in the hell I live in Ohio instead of California.

Erik Johnson likely to open 2016 in the White Sox rotation

DENVER, CO - APRIL 09:  Starting pitcher Erik Johnson #45 of the Chicago White Sox delivers against the Colorado Rockies during Interleague play at Coors Field on April 9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the White Sox 10-4.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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With the White Sox losing Jeff Samardzija to free agency, Erik Johnson will likely get a shot to contribute out of the rotation to open up the 2016 season, GM Rick Hahn said in a conference call on Wednesday, per a report from’s Scott Merkin.

“As we sit here today, I think it will be an opportunity for Erik Johnson to convert on sort of the return to form he showed back in 2015 when he was International League pitcher of the year for [Triple-A] Charlotte,” Hahn said. “Obviously, he got some starts in September and continued to show the progress in Chicago he had shown in the Minor Leagues over the course of the last season.

“So if Opening Day were today, then I think Johnson is penciled in to that spot in the rotation right now. In all probability, once we get closer to spring, there will be some competition for him to earn that spot. But if we were strictly looking at today, then I would think Johnson has the inside track on filling Samardzija’s innings.”

Johnson was called up from Triple-A Charlotte in September and made six starts, allowing 14 runs (13 earned) on 32 hits and 17 walks with 30 strikeouts in 35 innings. That followed up an impressive five months in the minors where he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 136/41 K/BB ratio across 132 2/3 innings.

Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and each included Johnson on their top-100 prospect lists, ranking him 63rd, 67th, and 70th, respectively. The right-hander was selected by the White Sox in the second round of the 2011 draft.

Major League Baseball will investigate Yasiel Puig for his role in Miami nightclub brawl

Yasiel Puig
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

It was reported on Friday afternoon that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was involved in a brawl at a Miami nightclub. Details were scant at the time, but he reportedly left with a bruise on his face.

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Major League Baseball plans to investigate Puig under the league’s new domestic violence policy for his role in the brawl. Citing a report from TMZ, Hernandez notes that Puig shoved his sister, “brutally sucker-punched” the manager of the bar, and instigated the brawl.

The Dodgers and Puig’s agent have thus far refused to comment on the situation.

Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes was the first player to be investigated under the league’s new domestic violence policy earlier this month, as he allegedly assaulted his wife. Reyes has pleaded not guilty after he was charged with domestic abuse in Hawaii.

As our own Craig Calcaterra pointed out, commissioner Rob Manfred does not need to wait for Puig to plead guilty or to be found guilty to levy a punishment.

Dayan Viciedo close to signing with Japan’s Chunichi Dragons

Dayan Viciedo
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Patrick Newman is reporting that the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and outfielder Dayan Viciedo are close to an agreement on a contract. Newman notes that the Dragons are close to signing pitcher Jordan Norberto as well.

Viciedo, 26, has struggled since making his major league debut in 2010 with the White Sox, batting an aggregate .254/.298/.424 with 66 home runs and 211 RBI in 1,798 plate appearances. He spent the 2015 season with Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox) and Nashville (Athletics), hitting a composite .287/.348/.450. While Viciedo can hit the occasional home run, he hasn’t shown the ability to do much else at the big league level. Given his age, he could prove himself in Japan and parlay that into a renewed shot in the majors in the future.

The White Sox signed Viciedo out of Cuba in December 2008, agreeing to a four-year, $10 million deal. The club re-signed him to one-year deals in 2013 and ’14 for $2.8 million each and $4.4 million ahead of the 2015 season.

Blue Jays sign J.A. Happ to a three-year, $36 million contract

J.A. Happ
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Update (8:45 PM EST): Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Happ will get $10 million in 2016 and $13 million each in 2017 and ’18.

*’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the Blue Jays have signed lefty J.A. Happ to a three-year deal worth $36 million.

Happ, 33, had a rebirth as a member of the Pirates last season after starting the season with 20 subpar starts with the Mariners. He made 11 starts for the Buccos, boasting a 1.85 ERA with a 69/13 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported this past August that Happ’s newfound success had to do with a delivery tweak suggested by Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage. The Blue Jays are certainly hoping that adjustment is the full explanation for his success.

The Jays’ signing of Happ most likely signifies they won’t be pursuing free agent lefty David Price.

This will be Happ’s second stint with the Blue Jays. The Astros dealt him to Toronto in a July 2012 trade. He posted a 4.39 ERA with a 256/113 K/BB ratio in 291 innings with the Jays, then went to the Mariners in a trade this past December that brought outfielder Michael Saunders to the Jays.