Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Cleveland Indians

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 3, Indians 1: The no hitter for Ervin Santana.  We told the story as it happened yesterday, broke out some analysis of it a bit thereafter and threw on some perspective a bit after that.  Most notable: man, I had no idea that the game started at noon, so it was the sixth inning before I even knew it was going on yesterday. Made for a very quick ramp-up to the no-no.

Braves 2, Pirates 1: Because what these two teams needed after an emotional 19-inning affair was extra innings.  At least it wasn’t a ton of extra innings. David Ross mercifully ended it with an RBI single in the tenth. There were, to my knowledge anyway, no calls in this game which could be described as “criminal” or “the worst call I’ve ever seen in baseball history.” Although, the fact that Clint Hurdle just managed two nail-biter extra-inning games in a row without once calling on his All-Star reliever Joel Hanrahan is some sort of offense against God and Nature.

Mariners 9, Yankees 2: We hit this one up yesterday as well. The losing streak, she is over. Which is kind of sad for me because (a) I’m not a Mariners fan; and (b) there is a certain beauty to be found in life’s extremes. Mere mediocrity, which the Mariners now hope to embody for a while, is rather dull.

White Sox 2, Tigers 1: Even though I do this for a living, I never portray myself as some kind of baseball expert. I know a good deal about baseball, but many of you know far more. I fancy myself a pretty good writer when I bother to be careful about it. I think I’m a credible observer of human behavior. I’ve been told that I have a somewhat above average wit. By themselves, those traits don’t count for much, but put them together and you have yourself a damn good blogger if I may say so. But no, I’m not going to claim that I’m some baseball savant.  Which is why I have no problem admitting that I had never once heard the name Alejandro De Aza before he hit the two-run homer that proved to be all the runs the Sox would need yesterday.

Mets 8, Reds 2: Who needs Carlos Beltran? Lucas Duda played right and he hit a homer. More useful: David Wright’s three-run homer and four runs batted in overall. A complete game for Mike Pelfrey.

Giants 2, Phillies 1: Pitcher’s duel. Well, every game is technically a pitcher’s duel, only in most games the pitchers really suck at dueling. Here Matt Cain and Cole Hamels each had a handle on things, but Cain had a bit of a tighter grip. Only struck out one dude, though, which is always weird.

Blue Jays 3, Orioles 0: Ricky Romero didn’t get the shutout, but he did pitch eight and a third shutout innings to grab the win.  You don’t get to finish when you uncork a wild one on strike three and then hit a dude in the ninth inning of a close game.

Red Sox 12, Royals 5:  After scoring only once in that 14-inning game on Monday, the Sox hung a quarter-hundred on the Royals over the course of the next two nights.  Bruce Chen was absolutely muderlized: 4 IP, 10 H, 10 ER.

Marlins 7, Nationals 5: Steve Cishek did his best to make it interesting by allowing four runs in the ninth, but the Feesh held on. In other news, I have a friend in Washington — a non-baseball fan — who is going on an office outing to see the Nats-Marlins matinee this afternoon.  She asked me who to watch for. I told her to bring a book.

Brewers 2, Cubs 0: Zack Greinke shut ’em out for six and two-thirds and the pen took them the rest of the way. Rickie Weeks’ ankle injury was a big downer, though.

Rockies 3, Dodgers 1: The Rockies avoid the sweep thanks to a nice outing by Aaron Cook. Hiroki Kuroda pitched for L.A. Maybe for the last time if the trade rumors are to be believed.

Diamondbacks 4, Padres 3: Justin Upton hit two homers. One of them was fueled by anger because Corey Luebke quick pitched him, which my unwritten rule book clearly states is frowned upon. Look, it’s clearly unwritten right here in white and white on invisible page 38: “pitchers shall wait until hitters are ready for the pitch before delivering said pitch.”

Athletics 13, Rays 4: Two teams heading in very different directions. Hideki Matsui and Ryan Sweeney hit homers in the fourth inning — part of a nine-run fourth inning — for the offensive juggernaut Oakland Athletics. Seventeen hits in all, with every starter having at least one. Five runs batted in for Matsui.

Twins 7, Rangers 2: Brian Duensing allowed only one run is six and two-thirds. Bigger news: Joe Mauer hit a homer. An actual home run. First one since last September.

Astros 4, Cardinals 2: And the curse of Colby Rasmus begins.

Leonys Martin feared for his life from alleged human traffickers

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: Leonys Martin #12 of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 30, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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Leonys Martin, outfielder for the Seattle Mariners, testified yesterday that he feared for his life after he was smuggled from Cuba by a group of men prosecutors say worked for a sports agent and a baseball trainer currently on trial for human trafficking in Miami.

Martin took the stand at the trial of Bartolo Hernandez and Julio Estrada, who face felony charges. He said that, after getting to Mexico from Cuba, men threatened to take him away. There was a kidnapping attempt against one of the men who had taken him from Cuba as well. Martin said that, eventually, he crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas without any valid papers because his life was in danger and his safety was at risk.

Players like Martin who fled Cuba often hole up in Mexico while waiting to be declared free agents by Major League Baseball. There is pitched competition to sign agreements with the players in question, seeking to obtain promises of a cut of future baseball earnings for their services. Those promises can come under the threat of violence. Eventually, Martin promised to pay Hernandez and Estrada, but ceased paying them later, fomenting a lawsuit from them. In the wake of the suit, the allegations of threats and smuggling arose, leading to this trial.

Martin has been late to Mariners camp as a result of having to testify. He’ll likely report in the next day or so. The trial continues.

Josh Hamilton leaves camp with a tweaked knee

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 28:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers poses during a spring training photo shoot on February 28, 2016 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Josh Hamilton was already a long shot to make the Texas Rangers roster, but his shot got even longer today, as he left camp to have his reconstructed left knee examined after experiencing pain.

As Jeff Wilson reports, Hamilton felt discomfort in the knee during the Rangers’ first full-squad spring training workout yesterday. Hamilton has had 10 knee operations in career. Which is a lot of knee operations in case you were unaware.

You have to wish good luck to Hamilton, but at the same time you have to be realistic. The guy has not played in the major leagues since 2015 and even then he didn’t play well, hitting .253 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs in 50 games. He appeared in one game last year for Double-A Frisco, on April 30. He’ll be paid $24 million this year, mostly by the Angels. One suspects that this will likewise be his last spring training.