Kansas City Royals v Oakland Athletics

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Athletics 7, Royals 0:  Guillermo Moscoso took a no-hitter into the eighth inning . He allowed only two hits in all in eight and two-thirds and, between his last start against the Mariners and this one against the Royals, retired 30 batters in a row. Heck, if a hitting streak can stretch between two seasons, I’d say we can give Moscoso a perfect game for that, right?

Mets 1, Marlins 0: In an unexpected turn of events, Dickey beat Hand.  Oh please. Like you haven’t been waiting for that one all year.

Rays 5, Rangers 4: A walkoff homer for Desmond Jennings in the bottom of the 10th. The Rays are eight seven back of the Red Sox for the wild card and start a three-game series against them on Friday. Funny that people will talk about the AL Central “race” or the NL Central “race,” when each of those have wider deficits than this wild card thing and no one — really no one — talks about the Rays as if they have a shot. Which I don’t really think they do, but I do think it’s interesting that no one says anything. Well, I just said something, but I don’t really count.

Orioles 5, Yankees 4: Mark Reynolds struck out four times and then hit what ended up being the tie-breaking single in the 10th. That’s pretty much Mark Reynolds for you. This game was filled with fill-ins, and the regular starters who did play were likely gassed after that late game Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. And it rained some more, which everyone has to be sick of.

Tigers 8, Indians 6: Justin Verlander wasn’t really on his game and it took a Tigers rally in the top of the seventh after he had already thrown his last pitch for him to get the win. But hey, he got the win and someone will give him MVP votes because of it, conveniently forgetting the specifics of this game. Shelley Duncan hit two homers off Verlander. Which was pretty cool for me on a personal level as I got to tell my daughter Mookie that her favorite player totally pwned the best pitcher in the American League.

Phillies 3, Braves 2: And the sweep. Ross Gload with the pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth to win it. And of course it came off the Braves’, what, fourth? Fifth best reliever? Because you can’t use your closer in a tie game on the road? GRRRRRR.

Cardinals 2, Brewers 0: Chris Carpenter tosses a four-hit shutout. The Cardinals are creeping up on the Braves in the wild card chase, by the way. Six and a half back. And they have a series coming up against the Braves in St. Louis tomorrow.

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 3: Arizona finishes a six-game road trip at 4-2 and play 13 of their last 19 games at home.

Padres 3, Giants 1: The Giants drop their third in the last four games. Aaron Harang allowed one run in seven innings.

Angels 3, Mariners 1: Jerome Williams gave up only one hit — a homer — in eight innings of work. Who’d a thunk he would be helping keep someone’s playoff hopes alive this year?

Twins 5, White Sox 4: The Twins scored four in the third — their first scoring in 20 innings — and they snapped a five game losing streak. Ozzie “I don’t think we lose. I think we just gave this game away.” Sometimes that kind of sentiment is construed as a slam on the other team. But since this was the Twins, it’s probably the best explanation.

Cubs 6, Reds 3: Carlos Pena with a three-run homer in the eighth to break the tie. After the game he talked about coming up in those kinds of situations and how, oftentimes, hitters try “to do too much.”  “See, I could have swung extra hard to try to hit a grand slam with two men on, but I settled for the three-run homer,” I imagined him thinking.

Blue Jays 11, Red Sox 10: Tim Wakefield keeps trying to get that 200th win. Last night the bullpen collapsed, allowing five runs in the eighth and six overall to snatch defeat. This kind of thing should be more concerning for the team, however, than it is for Tim Wakefield’s pursuit of a round number.

Pirates 5, Astros 4:  Andrew McCutchen homered twice. Clint Hurdle got his 600th career victory.

Dodgers vs. Nationals: POSTPONED: My kid’s soccer game went on in driving rain, as scheduled. Man-up, baseball players. Well, no, not really. I understand the difference (dirt, mostly). I just want to tell people that even though I was sick as a dog yesterday I went out to the soccer field anyway, stood in a downpour and watched six-year-old boys hog a soccer ball. Next time I bring the flask.

James Shields lasts only 2 2/3 innings, gives up 10 runs to the Mariners

SEATTLE, WA - MAY 31:  Starting pitcher James Shields #33 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on May 31, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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James Shields has had better afternoons. The Padres’ starter couldn’t make it out of the third inning on Tuesday, ultimately serving up 10 runs on eight hits and four walks with one strikeout in 2 2/3 innings. The Mariners plated one run in the first inning, six in the second, and three in the third against Shields.

The runs came via, in order: a Kyle Seager RBI single, a bases loaded walk to Robinson Cano, a Nelson Cruz two-run single, a three-run Seager home run, and a three-run Seth Smith home run. Things continued to get worse once Shields left, as reliever Luis Perdomo gave up a two-run home run to Franklin Gutierrez in the fourth to make it 12-0. In the fifth, Smith homered again with the bases empty, and Adam Lind later drilled a three-run shot, pushing the score to 16-0.

The White Sox were reportedly discussing a trade involving Shields with the Padres as recently as Sunday. Shields entered Tuesday’s start with a 3.06 ERA and a 56/23 K/BB ratio in 64 2/3 innings. Presumably, a team wouldn’t let one start affect its interest in a player, but Shields’ outing certainly doesn’t help.

Atlanta Braves trade reliever Jason Grilli to the Toronto Blue Jays

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 28: Jason Grilli #39 of the Atlanta Braves throws an eighth inning pitch against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field on May 28, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
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Multiple reporters including Robert Murray of Baseball Essential, Mark Bowman of MLB.com and David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution report that the Atlanta Braves are trading reliever Jason Grilli to the Toronto Blue Jays for a prospect. Murray says the prospect is minor league reliever Sean Ratcliffe

Grilli is having a subpar year but was a more or less effective closer last season. For 2016 he’s got a 5.29 ERA in 21 appearances and has a K/BB ratio of 23/13 in 17 innings. Nice strikeout total, but oof those walks. Last year he saved 24 games for a bad Braves team and posted a 2.94 ERA, struck out batters at the same rate and walked many fewer. Maybe a change of scenery and an adjustment would do him good.

Ratcliffe was an 18th round pick in 2013 for Toronto. He has only played in rookie ball and low A. He hasn’t pitched yet in 2016. Nothing in his previous three seasons shouts “great prospect” but you never know.

Jose Bautista: Rougned Odor “tried a hundred percent to hit me in the face.”

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 15:  Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers holds Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays after being punched by Rougned Odor #12 in the eighth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 15, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is still convinced that Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor was “looking for a fight” on May 15, when the two teams butted heads at Globe Life Park. Bautista also believes he deserves credit for not hurting Odor.

Ostensibly, the Rangers were still salty about Bautista’s bat flip during the ALDS last year. In the last game of the series — and the clubs’ last regular season meeting — on May 15, pitcher Matt Bush hit Bautista in the ribs with a fastball. When Justin Smoak hit a ground ball prime for a double play attempt, Bautista slid hard into Odor receiving the feed at second base. Odor then punched Bautista cleanly in the face, and the benches emptied.

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated has the quotes:

“Was [Odor] out to play baseball that day? Maybe partly,” Bautista told Verducci. “Part of me also thinks that he was looking for a fight.”

[…]

“I could have hit him,” Bautista said. “I could have hurt him. I chose not to. My cleats were down. I slid through the bag. Was it late? Yes, a hundred percent. But what can I do after they hit me? Should I ask my manager to let me pitch, which he is never going to let me do? Like, what am I supposed to do? Just sit there and take it?”

[…]

“I’ve been playing baseball for a long time,” Bautista said. “I know exactly what he was trying to do when he threw the ball. He tried a hundred percent to hit me in the face. And it’s not the first time he’s done it against me or some of my teammates. And there’s video to prove that.”

Bautista received a one-game suspension which was upheld upon review. Odor’s eight-game suspension was reduced to seven games which Bautista believes was “unfounded” and “unfair.”

What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25: Starting pitcher Steven Matz #32 of the New York Mets works the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 25, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Welcome back to normalcy. Most of us were treated to a three-day holiday weekend for Memorial Day. Hopefully you spent it doing what makes you happy.

We have two afternoon starts today between the Astros and Diamondbacks, and the Padres and Mariners. The focus tonight will be on the fading White Sox, losers of seven consecutive games. They lost three out of four to the Indians, were swept by the Royals in heartbreaking fashion, and lost Monday’s series opener to the Mets behind seven shutout frames from the struggling Matt Harvey.

In tonight’s 7:05 game at Citi Field, the White Sox have to contend with Steven Matz, who has been nothing short of brilliant in eight starts this season. The lefty owns a 2.36 ERA with a 50/9 K/BB ratio in 49 2/3 innings. In a rotation that has heavy star power in Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, and Jacob deGrom, it’s easy to overlook Matz. Meanwhile, the White Sox will counter with Mat Latos. Latos got off to a great start, putting up a 0.74 ERA over his first four starts. In the five starts since, however, has a 7.09 ERA. The advanced stats made Latos’ fall to earth easy to predict — overall, he has a rather unimpressive 26/18 K/BB ratio — but he was giving the White Sox rotation longevity after Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis) @ Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber), 6:10 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez) @ Baltimore Orioles (Kevin Gausman), 7:05 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (Joe Ross) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola), 7:05 PM EDT

New York Yankees (CC Sabathia) @ Toronto Blue Jays (J.A. Happ), 7:07 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Gerrit Cole) @ Miami Marlins (Jose Fernandez), 7:10 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Jake Peavy) @ Atlanta Braves (Matt Wisler), 7:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Scott Kazmir) @ Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta), 8:05 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Mike Leake) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta), 8:10 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays (Drew Smyly) @ Kansas City Royals (Dillon Gee), 8:15 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Jon Moscot) @ Colorado Rockies (Jon Gray), 8:40 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers (Anibal Sanchez) @ Los Angeles Angels (Hector Santiago), 10:05 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Tyler Duffey) @ Oakland Athletics (Eric Surkamp), 10:05 PM EDT