Texas Rangers v Boston Red Sox

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 18, Red Sox 3: The Rangers were definitely physically and emotionally into this game. In fact, they did a Gashouse Gorillas-style conga line around the basepaths. Josh Hamilton drove in five, Mike Napoli drove in four.

Rockies 5, Padres 3:  Jamie Moyer wins and thus becomes the oldest pitcher to ever win a game. And it wasn’t a cheapie, either: Moyer allowed no earned runs in seven innings while scattering six hits. Doing that with 78 m.p.h. “heat” is one of the more astounding things you’ll ever see on a baseball diamond. Congratulations Old Sport.

Marlins 5, Cubs 2: Ozzie returns and … the world goes on. No protests. One fan kept yelling insulting stuff at Guillen from the crowd, but that was probably a good 10-15 fewer fans doing that in this one than in most games. As for the baseball: the return of an effective Josh Johnson (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER) was way more important than the return of Guillen.

Nationals 1, Astros 0: This one ended in 2:12. Everyone has someplace to be, I guess. Well, not the offenses, because they weren’t going anywhere. Gio Gonzalez, Tyler Clippard and Brad Lidge combine for the shutout. Wandy Rodriguez was almost as good, giving up a couple of bloop hits to allow a run.

Braves 9, Mets 3: Atlanta finally beats New York. Johan Santana — who at times looked like he was bending in his first two starts — finally broke. The Braves roughed up Santana, knocking him out in the second inning, though they had the help of some ugly Mets defense in the process. It was the shortest start of Santana’s career.

Orioles 3, White Sox 2: Every season the Orioles begin at the top of the standings by virtue of being first alphabetically. It’s strange to see them in first place via their actual record, but there they are. Homers from Nolan Reimold and J.J. Hardy.

Blue Jays 7, Rays 3Jose BautistaAdam Lind and Brett Lawrie all hit homers. Two-time Gold Glove winner Evan Longoria had three (3)(III)(tres) errors. The Rays have lost six of eight.

Yankees 8, Twins 3: CC Sabathia and the Yankees were down 3-1 in the third, but the big man tightened up. Russell Martin got the night off, allowing backup Chris Stewart to rack up three RBI.

Tigers 3, Royals 1: Miguel Cabrera snapped an 0 for 22 streak with a single and later added another single, this time of the RBI variety.

Brewers 5, Dodgers 4: A see-saw battle, with the Brewers taking the lead, losing it on an Andre Ethier homer in the eighth and then getting it back in walkoff fashion via a two-run George Kottaras double.

Cardinals 2, Reds 1: A helluva pitching duel between Johnny Cueto and Kyle Lohse goes 10 thanks to Mitchell Boggs being unable to hold a 1-0 lead in the eighth. But never fear, Matt Carpenter is here hitting a sac fly after Reds pitchers loaded the bases with walks in the bottom of the 10th.

Giants 4, Phillies 2: Three hits for Buster Posey and Nate Schierholtz. A stolen base for Posey, which is yet another encouraging thing regarding his recovery from injury. Madison Bumgarner gave up two runs over six.

Pirates 5, Diamondbacks 4: Pittsburgh lost starter Jeff Karstens after one inning due to some shoulder trouble, but as Clint Hurdle said after the game, they got it done with “duct tape and chicken wire.” Which, while people normally refer to that as some crazy, lucky half-ass way of fixing a problem on the fly, does suggest a lot of planning. Who the hell has chicken wire laying around these days? That requires an incredible amount of forethought, frankly.

Indians 9, Mariners 8: A seven-run fifth by Cleveland erased an 8-1 deficit and then Jason Donald hit a tie-breaking single in the seventh. Donald also took a ball to the mouth in the ninth, after which he said “Hopefully my girlfriend still wants to date me after getting smoked in the mouth like that.” That’s what she said.

Athletics 5, Angels 3: Yoenis Cespedes went two for four and drove in two. He only hit singles, though, and only struck out once which is kind of sad given that I was sort of cottoning to the idea of him being the next Rob Deer.

Report: Teams reluctant to gamble on Cliff Lee

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.

Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.

In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.

The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.

Freddy Garcia is calling it a career

Screenshot 2016-02-07 at 10.16.43 AM
Elsa/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.

Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.

“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”

Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.

Video: 2016 will be a season to remember

Carlos+Correa+Houston+Astros+v+Arizona+Diamondbacks+Ctyu5RiU3SWl
Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.

It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.