Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 22, Athletics 9:  Heavens to Betsy, this was bad. The grand slams were notable to be sure, but the 13 Oakland walks — 12 by the pen — simply beat this game with an ugly stick. The game was four and a half hours and started an hour and a half late due to rain too.  I’m sure the comeback and pounding amused Yankees fans, but this was about as miserable as a game could get to the casual observer. Although Jorge Posada playing second base — pictured right — was pretty interesting.

Tigers 2, Rays 0: Doug Fister looked pretty spiffy, allowing five hits over seven innings without walking anyone. Austin Jackson provided all the offense for Detroit with a homer and a sac fly.

Orioles 6, Twins 1: Good for the O’s for winning their fourth in a row — and no offense to them meant here — but this is easily the lowest point the Twins have reached in years. Baltimore outscored Minnesota 24-4 in the four-game sweep.

Braves 8, Cubs 3: Brian McCann socked two homers, Michael Bourn went 4 for 5 and Brandon Beachy struck out eight over six innings.

Red Sox 6, Rangers 0: Adrian Gonzalez smacked two homers for the second time in three games. The Rangers have dropped six of eight and now stand only two games ahead of Anaheim as they begin a three-game series.

Royals 9, Blue Jays 6: Jeff Francis had been pitching horribly. But he’s from Canada, see, so he was able to replenish himself in the healing Canadian air. We understand so little about these strange creatures, really.

Diamondbacks 8, Nationals 1: After dropping six straight, the Dbacks leave Washington as winners of three in a row. Six scoreless innings for Wade Miley, who got his first big league win. A two-run homer for Paul Goldschmidt.

Astros 3, Giants 1: San Francisco can’t keep pace with Arizona and now sit three back. They’ve lost three of their last four to the Astros who, with all due respect, are a team that anyone with pretensions of playing in October should be feasting on. First career win for Henry Sosa, a former Giants’ prospect.

Cardinals 8, Pirates 4: How to tell that the guy writing the AP game story has not yet gotten his mind around the state of the current St. Louis Cardinals:

The Cardinals ended a three-game losing streak and moved within 9½ games of first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.

Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.

 

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.