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.

 

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.