Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Athletics 6, Yankees 5: The Yankees were down 6-0 entering the bottom of the eighth whenNick Swisher hit a three-run homer. In the ninth Jorge Posada added another one, and then Robinson Cano walked with the bases loaded to male it 6-5. The bases still juiced with two out when Andrew Bailey induced a harmless fly ball to Swisher. Game over. Close but no cigar, Bombers. Until that Swisher homer, Brandon McCarthy was takin’ care of business.

Indians 7, Mariners 5, Mariners 12, Indians 7: Hit the front of this one up yesterday (short version: Choo!).  The nightcap: revenge of the M’s.  In between the games I did a radio spot on an Ohio station during which the hosts voiced optimism about the Indians’ chances given the dramatic game one win. Me: not feelin’ it.

Tigers 2, Rays 1: One of the reasons I’m not feelin’ it: Detroit is starting to get good pitching performances from guys not named Justin Verlander. Brad Penny here: 6 IP, 8 H, 1 ER.

Phillies 9, Mets 4: Vance Worley may have shut the Mets down while striking out nine over seven innings, but really, the win has to go to Brian Scheneider. Sure, he may have gone 0 for 4 with a couple of strikeouts, but I read all about it yesterday. He’s the key, dude.

Royals 6, Blue Jays 4: Brandon Morrow fooled no one, allowing six runs on eleven hits in four and two-thirds. My main man Frenchie went 4 for 5. Eric Hosmer was 3 for 5 with a homer.

Diamondbacks 2, Nationals 0: Ian Kennedy got his 16th win after throwing seven shutout innings helping the Dbacks snap a six-game skid. This one got a bit chippy with plunkings. Justin Upton, who has been hit A LOT by the Nationals, had to leave the game after getting hit by Jordan Zimmermann. Kennedy subsequently had one get away from him (I presume he’d say that anyway) while facing Michael Morse.

Padres 7, Giants 5: San Francisco fails to keep pace with Arizona. Fifth straight win for the Padres. Three errors for the Giants. And on one play Aubrey Huff and Cody Ross collided while going after a foul ball. This being the Giants, miraculously, no one was decapitated or impaled.

Brewers 11, Pirates 4: Nyjer Morgan gets the cover of Sports Illustrated and he goes 4 for 6 with a double and two RBI. It was a good day to be Tony Plush.

Dodgers 13, Cardinals 2: It’s not like Clayton Kershaw needed all of that support, but hey, whatever. Rod Barajas with two homers. Tony La Russa protested this game on account of the rule that says [“mmfhmmnfggss …..”].  Really, he just mumbled that under his breath, hoping he could at least get a hearing with Joe Torre out of it.

Reds 8, Marlins 6: Johnny Cueto walked six guys in five innings and put the Reds in a hole, but Cincy battled back, rallying against the Marlins pen. Yonder Alonso lies the castle of my faddah … oh, wait. I keep wanting to say that. What I meant to say was Yonder Alonso went 3 for 4 and drove in four.

Orioles 8, Twins 1: Three hits each for J.J. Hardy, Vlad Guerrero and Mark Reynolds. Alfredo Simon, who spent the winter and then spring training in a jail cell, tied the Twins up like nobody’s business (8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 8K).

Red Sox 11, Rangers 5: Two homers for Adrian Gonzalez. John Lackey now has 12 wins, which is more than Josh Beckett has and is only one behind Jon Lester. And wins make a pitcher better, right?

Angels 5, White Sox 4: Another dramatic win for the Halos, this one on a walkoff RBI single for Peter Bourjos, who smacked one through a drawn-in infield. It’s the Angels’ fifth straight win, the third coming on their last at bat.

Rockies 8, Astros 6: Seth Smith hit a 478-foot home run. Jonathan Herrera hit one that lined just over the fence. They each counted for two runs, because them’s the rules. Astros reliever Wesley Wright did that pitch-to-one-guy, move out to right field, pitch-to-another guy thing. Clevah.

UPDATE: If there was any doubt that I am NOT a Braves homer — at least not an irrational, unfair one — I forgot to put the Braves game in the recap when I first published it:

Braves 5, Cubs 4: Jason Heyward went 3 for 4 with a grand slam.  OK Fredi, ya still gonna bench him if Jose Constanza is available tonight?

Angels ink Javy Guerra to minor league deal

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Javy Guerra. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Guerra was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball last July after testing positive for a drug of abuse. That suspension is now over, though Guerra is probably ticketed for the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate to begin the 2016 season.

The 30-year-old made just three major league appearances in 2015 for the White Sox before getting outrighted off Chicago’s 40-man roster. He does own a 2.87 ERA in 150 1/3 career innings, but it has come with bouts of inconsistency and unreliability.

Maybe he can get everything going in the right direction with Anaheim.

Braves sign reliever Carlos Torres

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As first reported by Bill Shanks of Fox Sports 1670, the Braves have signed right-handed reliever Carlos Torres to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Torres was waived by the Mets in January, somewhat surprisingly, and elected to become a free agent. The 33-year-old ultimately chose Atlanta, where he should have a good shot at an Opening Day roster out of spring training with the rapidly-rebuilding Braves.

Torres posted an ugly 4.68 ERA in 57 2/3 innings last season for the Mets, but he registered a gorgeous 3.06 ERA and 96 strikeouts across 97 innings in 2014.

If he gets off to a good start in 2016, he could become valuable trade bait.

Blue Jays will have a closer competition this spring

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Roberto Osuna became the youngest pitcher to ever play for the Blue Jays last season at age 20 and he rose to the challenge with a 2.58 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 75/16 K/BB ratio in 69 2/3 frames. Osuna eventually took over as Toronto’s closer, earning 20 regular-season saves and one in the American League Division Series — a five-out effort in Game 5 to close out the visiting Rangers.

But the Jays upgraded the back end of their bullpen this winter, acquiring Drew Storen from the Nationals in early January for speedy outfielder Ben Revere. Jesse Chavez was also brought to Toronto in a trade with the A’s.

Storen has more experience at closer than Osuna, and Storen struggled when the Nationals tried to put him in a setup role. Storen, in his final year of salary arbitration, also gets paid much more. He’s probably going to enter spring training as the favorite for the Jays’ ninth-inning gig, but there will be a competition …

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect the team to choose between Osuna or Storen until midway through spring training, if not later.

There’s been talk of making Osuna a starter, so add that wrinkle.

Storen, 28, boasts 95 career major league saves.

Orioles plotting late-offseason push? Gallardo, Fowler, Alvarez, Bruce in consideration

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Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.

We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.

Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.

The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.

Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.