St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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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.

Braves’ Markakis misses game because of family emergency

Nick Markakis, Nick Swisher
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NEW YORK (AP) Braves right fielder Nick Markakis has left the team because of a family emergency.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said before Wednesday’s game against the Mets that Markakis had headed home to Maryland. The veteran is expected to be back in time for Friday’s home game against Arizona. Atlanta is off Thursday.

Chase d’Arnaud is starting in right field and Mallex Smith is leading off Wednesday.

Markakis is hitting .281 with no home runs and 20 RBIs.

Report: more major league PED suspensions coming soon

FILE - In this May 30, 2007 file photo a blister with the steroid Oral-Turinabol is displayed in Dresden, eastern Germany. Oral-Turinabol was the main drug in the state-controlled doping in former East Germany.    (AP Photo/Matthias Rietschel, file)
Associated Press
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T.J. Quinn of ESPN’s Outside the Lines reports that another major leaguer — or possibly several of them — will soon be suspended for PEDs. He says that, as was the case with Chris Colabello and others recently, the drug will be Turinabol, which is an old school anabolic steroid. Quinn says that improved testing procedures, which he details in the article, are a likely reason for the spike in Turinabol positives, though it’s also possible that there is a tainted supplement being taken, though he deems that speculative.

What isn’t mentioned is . . . how an ESPN reporter knows a positive test is coming when the drug testing program is supposed to be confidential. Someone with the league or the union must be telling him, right? That’s sort of messed up, no? Will MLB investigate who is leaking such things?

Whatever the case, we’ll soon have a new police blotter item, it seems.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Wednesday’s afternoon action

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez gives a thumbs-up as he is pulled from the team's baseball game against the Kansas City Royals in the eighth inning, Friday, April 29, 2016, in Seattle. The Mariners won 1-0. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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Wednesday usually means day baseball and today we have seven games on tap before the cocktail hour. Well, before most people’s cocktail hour. Do what you want but some of us have fewer hangups about such things. Working at home is amazing, you guys.

The most notable thing of today’s pitching matchups is that, because of staggered days off, skipped starts and stuff, we’re finally out of that lockstep, early-season thing in which aces face aces all the time. That’s fun and everything — it’s great for the fans — but I bet it annoys the pitchers to some degree. Felix Hernandez vs. Sonny Gray is a marquee matchup. But I bet Felix is happy to be facing Sean Manaea in his second-ever big league start as opposed to a dude who might match zeros with him. Ohio State schedules MAC schools for many of the same reasons.

Anyway, here are the matchups. Skip work, tell your boss you’ve gotta see a guy about a thing and watch baseball. In your heart you know it’s the right thing to do:

Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Juan Nicasio), 12:35 PM EDT, PNC Park;

San Francisco Giants (Jake Peavy) @ Cincinnati Reds (Dan Straily), 12:35 PM EDT, Great American Ball Park

Atlanta Braves (Jhoulys Chacin) @ New York Mets (Steven Matz), 1:10 PM EDT, Citi Field

Los Angeles Angels (Hector Santiago) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Zach Davies), 1:40 PM EDT, Miller Park

Washington Nationals (Stephen Strasburg) @ Kansas City Royals (Kris Medlen), 2:15 PM EDT, Kauffman Stadium

Seattle Mariners (Felix Hernandez) @ Oakland Athletics (Alex Manaea), 3:35 PM EDT, Oakland Coliseum

Colorado Rockies (Tyler Chatwood) @ San Diego Padres (Cesar Vargas), 3:40 PM EDT, Petco Park

Is Bud Black the favorite to be the next Braves manager?

Bud Black
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We talked last week about how Fredi Gonzalez is likely a dead man walking as the Braves manager. They stink, he’s a lame duck and part of the team’s whole marketing thrust is “2017 will be a new beginning,” what with the new ballpark and all. It stands to reason that Mr. Gonzalez doesn’t have long for this world.

Last week I suspected he’d be fired tomorrow, the Braves off day before a home stand. They’ve won in the past week, but it still wouldn’t shock me. Even if firing Gonzalez would be an act of scapegoating. It’s the roster that’s the problem, not the manager, even though Fredi doesn’t exactly inspire anyone.

Today Bob Nightengale throws this into the mix:

As of yet he hasn’t followed that up with an actual column or more tweets about who, exactly, considers Black to be the heavy favorite, but there’s a definitiveness to that which makes me think he’s heard something solid.

Black, as you know, was the long time Padres manager who had an unsuccessful flirtation with the Nationals before they hired Dusty Baker this past offseason. Black is now cooling his heels with his longtime boss Mike Scioscia in Anaheim, in what is clearly a “wait for his next managing opportunity” posture.

Could it be in Atlanta? At least one national writer and some nebulous group of insiders believe so, it would seem.