And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 1, Giants 0: In 1968, a gallon of gas cost 34 cents, the average cost of a car was $2,282 and the federal minimum wage was $1.60.  In other news, Clayton Kershaw (8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 12K)  beat Tim Lincecum (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 7K).

Mets 6, Cardinals 5:  The walkoff homer from Angel Pagan in the bottom of the tenth. But he doesn’t get all of the kudos. Some are owed to Jason Isringhausen, who gave a valiant effort in two innings of relief, including striking out Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman consecutively between the ninth and tenth innings.

Rockies 3, Braves 2: Carlos Gonzalez with the walkoff RBI single off Eric O’Flaherty. Why was Eric O’Flaherty, the Braves third best reliever, pitching with runners on in the ninth inning instead of one of the Braves’ All-Star relievers? Because the damn book says you (a) use your setup man in the eighth inning, so yep, Johnny Venters had to be in there in the eighth; and (b) you never use your closer in a tie game on the road because then the gods up on Olympus will release the friggin’ Kraken and innocent women and children will be killed. Or at least that’s what Fredi Gonzalez’ book says, because that’s the way he manages.

Angels 9, Rangers 8: A six-run sixth inning brings the Angles back to beat the Rangers, ending their winning streak. All good things must come to an end. Or, if you’re an Angels fan, all bad things, I suppose.

Twins 7, Indians 5: Danny Valencia was the hero  For the second day in row, singling in what proved to be the winning run. The Twins and Tribe split the series, further establishing that no one really wants to win the AL Central.

Phillies 9, Cubs 1: Two homers for Jimmy Rollins.  Vance Worley gave up one run over eight innings as the Phillies win it in a laugher.  Game time temperature was 97 degrees with high humidity and the Phillies had a huge lead all game, so why Worley pitched eight innings I have no idea. I mean, it’s not like Phillies pitchers have been affected by the heat in Chicago already or anything.

Red Sox 4, Orioles 0: Andrew Miller walked six guys in five and two-thirds innings and the Orioles still couldn’t score. That’s just kinda sad.

Astros 3, Nationals 2: Break up the Astros. They’ve won two in a row — and a series —  for the first time in a month. Jason Michaels with the game-winning single in the 11th.

Reds 3, Pirates 1: Chase d’Arnaud had two critical errors, one in the first, one in the fifth, that let the Reds score a couple of runs.  Of course, when you only score one run yourself, you don’t leave yourself that much of a margin for such things.

Yankees 4, Rays 0: Anyone else getting the distinct impression that the Rays are falling out contention? Freddy Garcia is no slouch, but he shouldn’t shut you out into the seventh inning if you have any designs on contending.

Padres 14, Marlins 3: Not Ricky Nolasco’s night (1.1 IP, 9 H, 9 ER). And, mere hours after I voiced dread over the prospect of Ryan Ludwick being traded to the Braves, he drives in four runs.

Blue Jays 11, Mariners 6: It just keeps getting worse for the Mariners, who drop their 11th straight. A three-run homer for Travis Snider, who drove in five on the night. Homers for Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion as well.

Athletics 7, Tigers 5: Hideki Matsui hit his 500th career home run (NPB + MLB of course). He also hit the go-ahead-for-good RBI single in the seventh. Eleven pitchers were used in this one. I note that because it seems odd to see that this season. It’s far less common than it was even just a couple of years ago. I suppose depressed offense will do that for you.

Royals 2, White Sox 1: Runners at first and third with two out in the 11th, and Ozzie Guillen calls for Sergio Santos.  Santos goes 3-1 to Billy Butler and then throws a wild pitch, allowing Alex Gordon to score from third. Ozzie probably blew a gasket.

Brewers 5, Diamondbacks 2: Nyjer Morgan, Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks all hit RBI singles in the 10th inning.  Academic though given the carnage in this one: Stephen Drew broke his ankle and Carlos Gomez broke his collarbone. This obviously hurts both teams playoff chances.

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.