And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Giants 6, Padres 2: Aaron Harang has now shut out the opposition for two straight starts totaling 13 innings, and each time the Padres have lost. I imagine there have been some “I’m just trying to give my team a chance to win” quotes in there someplace, but it’s too depressing to look for ’em.  Aubrey Huff homered to tie it at one in the ninth inning and then the Giants erupted for five runs in the top of the 12th, including an RBI infield single from Huff. But hey, at least the Padres looked good in their mustard and brown throwbacks.

Marlins 6, Cubs 3: Carlos Marmol came in to close out a 2-0 lead in the ninth and was rocked for five runs. He did it by walking the bases loaded — he threw only one strike to those three hitters — and then giving up a bases-clearing double (though an error helped). He walked another guy before getting yanked.  Oy.

Rangers 5, Mariners 0: Derek Holland with the five-hit shutout. That’s eight straight wins for Texas, though you’d be forgiven for forgetting that what with the eighteen months off we’ve had due to the All-Star Break.  At least that’s what it has felt like.

Blue Jays 16, Yankees 7: The Blue Jays scored 16 runs — eight off Bartolo Colon in the first inning — all without the benefit of a homer. Is Colon turning back into a pumpkin?

Twins 8, Royals 4: Plouffe, Young and Mauer combine to lead the offensive charge for Minnesota. In other news, “Plouffe, Young and Mauer” sounds like the name of a mid-sized auditing firm.

Rockies 12, Brewers 3: Ryan Spilborghs had four hits including a homer. Twenty hits in all for Colorado, who made relative short work of Yovani Gallardo. Francisco Rodriguez did not play, which confounded my “shiny new toy” theory of baseball personnel use (i.e. if a manager gets a shiny new toy, he’ll almost always use it the first chance he gets).

Indians 8, Orioles 4: Let no one say the Orioles lost focus during the All-Star break. Nope, they picked up exactly where they left off.

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.