Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 20, Twins 6:  A lot of people will probably make a football joke here like “heh, Texas missed the extra point and held Minnesota to two field goals!”  That’s hacky.  Try this: in the first five innings the Rangers scored like so:  3 3 3 5 4. Or, birdie, par, birdie, par, par! Lol! Hilarious, right!  Seriously, though, we done with that “watch out for Minnesota” talk yet?

Padres 5, Phillies 4: You don’t see a guy steal home very often. I guess that’s what you get when you lollygag the ball to first base. You don’t see the Padres beat the Phillies very often either, but Aaron Harang continued his nice run and that’s just what happened.

Indians 3, Angels 2: True story: if “Cowboys vs. Aliens” makes good money at the box office, they’re gonna greenlight its sequel, “Indians vs. Angels.”  Though I’m guessin’ people might protest that one based on the title alone. And Dan Haren should probably protest his offense and his bullpen after they combined to render his 10K, 1 ER performance moot.

Mets 4, Reds 2: Jason Isringhausen and the Mets defense made it a bit interesting in the ninth, but Brandon Phillips struck out with the bases loaded to end it.

Yankees 10, Mariners 3: Sixteen straight. How bad is it? They even allowed Derek Jeter to hit a homer and drive in three.

Pirates 3, Braves 1: I probably deserve this for calling Pittsburgh smoke and mirrors in yesterday’s Power Rankings. I still believe it, though, so don’t get too much satisfaction there, Cruel Fate.

White Sox 6, Tigers 3: Chicago, who at times has looked like a train wreck this year, is now only three and a half back of Detroit. Man the AL Central is nuts.

Cardinals 10, Astros 5: Yadier Molina is on fire. He homered for his third straight game and — though we’re not supposed to say it lest we reveal our ignorance of the commonality of the event — he was a triple short of the cycle.

Athletics 7, Rays 5: Oakland continues to score some runs and get some breaks. Here they come back from a 5-2 deficit to win it. Pity none of that happened earlier this season, because they’re back more than a dozen.

Royals 3, Red Sox 1: Tied at one in the 14th, the Royals pulled an accidental squeeze play when Eric Hosmer and Jeff Francoeur both broke on a Mike Aviles bunt attempt. Hey, whatever works. Tons of missed opportunities for the Red Sox who threatened often in extra innings but couldn’t cash anything in.

Dodgers 8, Rockies 5: L.A. took an 8-1 lead into the ninth and had thoughts of frittering it away. In the end, though, they only gave up four runs to the Rockies before closing it down. But hey, unexpected save for Jay Guerra. And that’s all that really matters.

Report: Marlins intent on adding a big-three reliever

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 28:  Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the 9th inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the White Sox 3-1.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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The Marlins are intent on adding one of the three best relievers available on the free agent market, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Those three, of course, are Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen, and Mark Melancon.

As Ashley noted earlier, Melancon is reportedly fielding multiple four-year offers in excess of $60 million. The price tags for Chapman and Jansen are likely to match or exceed that. The Marlins haven’t typically been eager to whip out the checkbook for free agents but with the bullpen being the name of the game in baseball these days, GM Michael Hill may feel the need to match his rivals.

The Nationals, Giants, Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers are the teams most often linked to the “big-three” group of relievers, so it won’t be easy for the Marlins.

A.J. Ramos handled the closer’s role for the Marlins this past season and did an admirable job, saving 40 games with a 2.81 ERA and a 73/35 K/BB ratio in 64 innings. There’s no doubt, though, that Chapman, Jansen, or Melancon would represent a significant upgrade in the ninth inning.

Bryan Price likely to use Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, and Michael Lorenzen in closer’s role

Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Raisel Iglesias throws in the first inning of their opening day baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Monday, April 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
AP Photo/John Minchillo
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C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Reds manager Bryan Price is likely going to use a trio of pitchers in the closer’s role: Raisel Iglesias, Tony Cingrani, and Michael Lorenzen. At RedsFest on Saturday, Price said:

I’d say right now that we have a series of guys that I’m comfortable with in the ninth inning and that would include (Raisel) Iglesias, (Tony) Cingrani and (Michael Lorenzen). Should we stay with this format – which I intend to do – all three of those guys and maybe more could have opportunities in save situations. At this point in time, there’s no defined closer. There are multiple options and I’d like to stick with the philosophy that we’re going to have our multi-inning guys, so we’re going to need multi-closers.

This seems to be part of the new bullpen zeitgeist in which managers are shying away from strictly-defined roles for their relievers. Indians manager Terry Francona’s postseason success using Andrew Miller likely had some degree of influence on Price’s willingness to go with a three-headed giant.

Iglesias started the 2016 season in the Reds’ rotation but missed two months with an injury, then moved to the bullpen in late June. Price put him in the closer’s role down the stretch in September. The right-hander overall finished the season with a 2.53 ERA and an 83/26 K/BB ratio in 78 1/3 innings.

Cingrani battled control issues in his 63 innings of work this past season, finishing with a 4.14 ERA and a 49/37 K/BB ratio. He’s left-handed, though, and gives Price some matchup flexibility in the late innings.

Lorenzen impressed in his first full season as a reliever, ending the year with a 2.88 ERA and a 48/13 K/BB ratio in 50 innings. The right-hander uses a fastball that sits around 96 MPH on average along with a cutter and slider.