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.

Yadier Molina will not enter contract negotiations during the 2017 season

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Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina is still open to extension talks during the last week of spring training. Once Opening Day rolls around, however, Molina has preemptively nixed any contract negotiations until the end of the 2017 season, when he’s scheduled to hit free agency.

Molina wants to stay with the Cardinals, or so he’s telling reporters, but he’s also “not afraid” to test the free agent market this fall should a deal fail to materialize. Via Goold:

I would love to stay, but at the same time I’m not afraid to go to free agency. I’ve still got many years in the tank. Believe me. I feel great. I feel like a 20-year-old kid. I’m not afraid to go to free agency.

The 34-year-old backstop is entering his final year under contract, though Goold points out that he has a $15 million option for 2018 that he can choose to decline in the event that it’s exercised by the team. He’s reportedly searching for a figure closer to those made by other top catchers like Buster Posey and Russell Martin.

The 2017 season will mark Molina’s 14th year in the Cardinals’ organization, building on a career that has spanned seven All-Star campaigns, nine postseason runs and two World Series championships in St. Louis. He batted .307/.360/.427 with eight home runs and a .787 OPS for the club in 2016.

Colby Rasmus could start 2017 on the disabled list

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Colby Rasmus isn’t ready to take outfield reps just yet. According to Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, that’s a red flag, one that could potentially postpone Rasmus’ debut as the club’s designated hitter and outfielder in 2017. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rasmus will need to prove he can play a defensive position before getting cleared for the active roster, something which the veteran outfielder has yet to do this spring.

Rasmus, 30, signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Rays following his two-year run with the Astros. He batted a meager .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and a .641 OPS in 2016 and was shut down in late September with an unspecified hip/groin issue. Entering the 2017 season, he’s expected to work his way back to a full-time role after undergoing surgery to repair his core muscle and left hip labrum last October.

The Rays also finalized their one-year, $1.2 million deal with catcher Derek Norris on Saturday and will need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster. Topkin speculates that the move could send Rasmus to the 60-day disabled list, though the outfielder is not projected to miss more than a couple weeks of the regular season.