Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Tigers 6, White Sox 5: Detroit continues to be ridiculous. Alex Avila was a hero, tying it up at five with a big fly. Carlos Guillen won it with an RBI single in extras. I know there are people who want to pretend that Justin Verlander is single-handedly carrying the Tigers into the playoffs, but it really ain’t so.  They’ve had so many contribute this seasons, especially in the second half.

Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 4: Daniel Bard had a meltdown and the Red Sox lose again.  The tension from up Boston way is palpable.

Orioles 6, Rays 2:  It would be way more palpable if the Rays hadn’t lost a couple in a row to freakin’ Baltimore.

Cardinals 3, Pirates 2; Braves 4, Marlins 1:  Again the Braves and Cardinals stay in lockstep. Advantage: Braves. Pittsburgh clinches its 19th-straight losing season. I know some Pirates fans. Good people. Their plight is evidence that, if God indeed exists, He does not care a lick about professional sports.

Phillies 1, Astros 0: Roy Halladay stifles the Astros as Philly clinches a playoff birth in a two hours, six minute game. Does this put Halladay a step closer to the Cy Young Award? Just watch: Cliff Lee will have a nearly identical start the next time out muddling it all up again.

Angels 4, Athletics 1: Jered Weaver wins his 17th. It took him 115 pitches to do it, however, which is a bit troubling given that Mike Scioscia is thinking about running him out on short rest next time out.

Giants 3, Padres 1: Two homers for Carlos Beltran, giving him 300 for his career. The Giants sweep the Padres.

Royals 7, Twins 3: The Royals have a four-game winning streak on their hands. We’re checking with the judges to see if the fact that multiple wins came against the Twins means that they get to count it as a full four. No, I’m not picking on the Twins unfairly. Luke Hochevar had the freaking flu and he still tamed Minnesota’s bats.

Rangers 9, Indians 1: Josh Hamilton hit a grand slam that gave a bunch of people free carpet and flooring. God, I love America.

Nationals 2, Mets 0: Just looking at the box score, I’m getting the sense that this loss disgusted Mets fans way more than your usual, run-of-the-mill loss. The Mets were eliminated from the postseason, by the way. Not that I think that added to the frustration, what with its inevitability and all.

Reds 7, Cubs 2: Johnny Cueto left early, but the Reds had plenty of firepower to carry through it.  Ramon Hernandez hit a three-run bomb.

Rockies 6, Brewers 2: The Brewers can secure themselves with the knowledge that a team’s record in September does not correlate with playoff success. It’s OK to skid a bit. It’s not ideal, but it’s OK.

Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 2: Clayton Kershaw had a one-hitter going in the sixth when he was tossed for throwing at Gerardo Parra intentionally even though he said it wasn’t intentional. You know, the Cy Young race is so close between Kershaw, Hallady and Lee, I am inclined to think that a five inning start, however effective it was, is enough to drop Kershaw down a bit.

Mariners 2, Yankees 1: Rodriguez with a walkoff homer lifts the M’s over New York in 12. If that was the story 12 years ago, it would have meant something else entirely. This time: Luis.

Marlins 2B Dee Gordon suspended 80 games for PEDs

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LOS ANGELES — Dee Gordon has been suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball after the Miami Marlins second baseman tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Gordon tested positive for exogenous Testosterone and Clostebol, MLB said in a release after the Marlins’ 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night.

The fleet-footed Gordon won the National League batting title by hitting .333 last season and signed a $50 million, 5-year deal with Miami in January. He’s made two All-Star teams in his six seasons and won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards at second base last year.

Gordon, the son of former major league pitcher Tom Gordon, had a key hit in Miami’s win over the Dodgers on Thursday. He’s batting .266 with six stolen bases this season.

Dee Gordon is a very important part of our team, and we all love him and support him,” Marlins president David Samson said. “That said, I don’t like or condone what he did. He is an important member of this organization and will be for many years to come. It’s a huge, huge disappointment to the kids, to our fans, to his teammates and to everyone in our organization every single day.

“He will be back 80 games from now, and he will be welcomed back to this organization. But in the interim period, we expect him, and we are positive that he will do everything that’s necessary to make it up to his fans, to his teammates and to this organization.”

Devon Travis will start taking at-bats in extended spring training

Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis hits a RBI double to center field against the Tampa Bay Rays during third inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, April 15, 2015 in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)  MANDATORY CREDIT
Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP
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Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis underwent left shoulder surgery last September. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm caught up with Jays head athletic trainer George Poulis for updates on several injured players, including Travis. Here’s what Poulis had to say about Travis:

“He’s going to get some live at-bats with the extended team down in Florida on Friday. Big step for him, he’s very excited, he’s doing great, and we’re very optimistic, but no timeline right now on his return. We’re just going day by day, step by step.

“When you have something like that, it continues to heal even when you’re playing. We’re just trying to acclimate him and condition him to withstand all of the stress that he’s going to put on his shoulder … He won’t play in the field right now. We’ll mix that in, as well, but right now he’s just going to get some at-bats.”

The key phrase, of course, is “no timetable”. The second baseman’s rehab has gone slower than expected. Getting into some extended spring training games, though, signals progress.

Travis, 25, broke out last season, hitting .304/.361/.498 with eight home runs and 35 RBI in 239 plate appearances last season. The Jays have had Ryan Goins and Darwin Barney handle second base duties this year, but their aggregate .560 OPS is the worst mark in the American League.

Report: Alex Rios has received offers, but is seeking a significant role

Kansas City Royals right fielder Alex Rios watches during batting practice before Game 6 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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We’re almost into May and outfielder Alex Rios remains teamless. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Rios has received offers, but he hasn’t accepted any yet because he’s seeking a job with a “significant role”. Ostensibly, that means a starting role or possibly a platoon role.

Rios, 35, was on last year’s championship-winning Royals team, but he hit a meager .255/.287/.353 with four home runs and 32 RBI in 411 plate appearances. It’s understandable if teams aren’t willing to gamble on him rediscovering his once-potent bat now that he’s in his mid-30’s.

Rios earned $11 million last year on a one-year deal with the Royals. Now, he may have to settle for a minor league contract. If Rios doesn’t receive a palatable offer, Heyman suggests he may retire.

Video: Manny Machado clubs a grand slam to break it open against the White Sox

Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado celebrates scoring on a two-run double by Gerardo Parra during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in Toronto. The Orioles won 10-2. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP)
Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP
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Manny Machado is good at baseball. The Orioles’ third baseman busted Thursday’s game wide open when he clubbed a grand slam to left-center field off of reliever Jake Petricka to boost his team’s lead to 10-2 in the sixth inning.

The blast was Machado’s second career grand slam and his seventh home run of the season. Along with that, he’s hitting .337/.394/.686 with 16 RBI on the season.