Pedro Ciriaco

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Pirates 6, Cardinals 5:  Pedro Ciriaco — not Pedro Ceranno — hit an RBI double as part of a late rally to lift Pittsburgh over St. Louis. The late-inning losses for the Cardinals this year have been legion. This one coming on a night when the Braves lost was particularly ill-timed.

Marlins 5, Braves 4: Atlanta continues to sputter, but I suppose if the Cards keep pace with them it’s no harm, no foul. Mike Stanton came in as a pinch hitter in the 12th to drive in the winning run. Atlanta has lost 9 of 12.

Rays 5, Orioles 2: The Rays keep the heat on, winning on a night when Boston was idle to pull within three games in the wild card race. B.J. Upton doubled twice and walked twice and has now reached base nine straight times.

Tigers 14, White Sox 4: Juggernaut. Ten straight wins for Detroit. Their nine game winning streak as of Sunday was the longest they had had since 1984. Now that it’s ten, it’s the longest since 1968. And you know what happened in those years, don’t you Tigers fans?

Cubs 12, Reds 8: Starlin Castro scored four times and drove in three. He has a 13-game hitting streak now.

Athletics 6, Angels 3: The Rangers have owned Oakland. Against the Angels, however, the Athletics are playing spoiler. Josh Willingham drove in four.

Yankees 9, Mariners 3: What happened to Felix Hernandez last night? That’s the wrong question to ask, at least if you’re Nick Swisher: “I think we’ve got a great team. The credit goes to us, man.”  I guess so. But King Felix had owned the Yankees prior to last night when the knocked him around somethin’ fierce.

Giants 8, Padres 3: Eleven runs scored in a Giants-Padres game? It’s like they, I dunno, switched to the metric system or something.

Diamondbacks 7, Dodgers 2: The Dbacks don’t let up, winning their 17th of 20.

Nationals 3, Mets 2: Stephen Lombardozzi was 0 for his first 15 since his callup, but he drove in the go-ahead run on an RBI single in the seventh.  Jayson Werth had three hits.

Astros 5, Phillies 1: Roy Oswalt doesn’t fare well against his old mates. Well, his old jerseys. Most of his old mates are gone I would imagine. Houston beats Oswalt up for five runs on 11 hits in seven innings. Brett Myers — against his old mates — scattered six hits over eight innings, allowing a lone run.

Royals pay tribute to late Yordano Ventura during spring training opener

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 12: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on August 12, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.

Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).

A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.

The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:

A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.

Gerrit Cole named Pirates’ Opening Day starter

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photograph during MLB spring training photo day on February 19, 2017 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.

The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.

Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.