Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 7, Twins 6: Curtis Granderson hit three bombs and went 5 for 5. If you just followed this game on Twitter, though, you’d think the storyline of the game was Phil Hughes stinking. The Yankees fans I follow are a surprisingly neurotic bunch despite following the most dominant team in American sports history. But to be fair, Hughes did kind of stink and he actually needed all three of those Granderson bombs. Just keeping the slot warm for Andy Pettitte I guess.

Dodgers 4, Brewers 3: Matt Kemp hit another homer. Ho-hum. Meanwhile, jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, look at the play Jerry Hairston made.

Reds 6, Cardinals 3: Adam Wainwright still doesn’t have his mojo back. The Reds beat him up for four runs on seven hits in five innings. Which is saying something, because the Reds couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a damn boat before yesterday.

Orioles 5, White Sox 3: Jason Hammel struck out ten and Jim Johnson got out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth. Orioles are still in first place, people. I think that’s in Revelations. That child running on the field is in there someplace too, I’m sure of it (“and then cometh the young, who shall leadeth the …” and something or other).

Marlins 5, Cubs 3: And the Feesh sweep the Cubs. The Marlins are now 3-0 when being managed by a repentant Fidel Castro sympathizer.

Astros 11, Nationals 4: Houston raps out 17 hits. Every starter including the pitcher hit, and the team hit three triples in the first inning, sorta killing all of that “K Street” love I taped for today’s HBT Extra. When that part of the video airs later just pretend that this game didn’t happen, OK?

Rangers 10, Tigers 3: Yu Darvish had his best outing so far, giving up one run on two hits in six and a third. Of course, because he walked five and struck out five, his pitch count was pretty nutsy by the time he was yanked. Michael Young continues his hot hitting. Nelson Cruz continues his Tiger-destroying.

Rays 9, Blues Jays 4: Evan Longoria: 3 for 4 with a homer a double and four RBI. Another error too — five on the year for the guy who says “I will make my glove golden” in those MLB promos — but we’ll let that slide for today.

Indians 2, Mariners 1: The Tribe gets both of its runs on a ninth inning RBI single from Jack Hannahan. They rally — and lack of Seattle run support — squandered a fabulous Felix Hernandez performance: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 12K.  As usual, King Felix just doesn’t know how to win.

Phillies 2, Padres 0: Another great west coast pitching performance, this once from Vance Worley (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 11K). Phillies scored their runs on a sac fly and a passed ball, however, so the offensive worries are still there.

Athletics 4, Angels 2: The Angels continue to struggle, dropping their third in a row to Oakland. The A’s only mustered three hits total and only two off C.J. Wilson but still scored four runs, partially due to a Wilson throwing error.

Braves 10, Diamondbacks 2: Freddie Freeman went 3 for 5, hit two homers and drove in five. Mike Minor struck out nine and allowed only one earned run. His stuff was pretty filthy last night too. I was so impressed with it that while watching the game I tweeted about it. I accidentally called his curve his “braking ball.” I think I actually like that better, so I’m sticking with it. Minor throws a braking ball. It was taught to him by the braking ball guru. In other news, I also got this screencap from the game, that I will show you without comment. Well, one comment: “fisted.”

Shapiro, Murray defend Dellin Betances after arbitration feud

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Dellin Betances #68 of the New York Yankees and the American League pitches against the National League during the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The dust hasn’t quite settled after right-hander Dellin Betances‘ arbitration hearing with the Yankees on Saturday. The case was decided in the team’s favor, awarding Betances with a $3 million salary for the 2017 season instead of the $5 million he initially requested. Yankees’ president Randy Levine held a press conference to voice his outrage over the figure presented by Betances and his agency, saying it had “no bearings in reality” since Betances does not have the elite closer status required for a salary bump of that magnitude.

Needless to say, the comments caused some consternation within Betances’ camp. The reliever publicly addressed the outburst, telling the press that he was prepared to put his differences with the team aside until he heard what Levine had to say. Via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

Players union executive Rick Shapiro and Betances’ agent, Jim Murray, also spoke out in the right-hander’s favor. Shapiro presented Betances’ case during the hearing on Saturday and called Levine’s comments “an absolute disgrace to the arbitration process and to all of Major League Baseball.” In a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Shapiro added: “The only thing that has been unprecedented in the last 36 hours is that a club official, after winning a case, called a news conference to effectively gloat about his victory – that’s unprecedented.”

Murray spoke exclusively to Rosenthal, accusing the president of effectively bullying the 28-year-old during the arbitration process and claiming that Levine had both mispronounced Betances’ name throughout the hearing and blamed the reliever for “declining ticket sales and their lack of playoff history.” Like Betances, Murray said that the agency was ready to accept the arbiter’s decision and move on before Levine’s decision to air his grievances to the media. “The only person overreaching in this entire situation is Randy,” Murray told Rosenthal. “He might as well be an astronaut because nobody on earth would agree with what he is saying. Even the others in the room would disagree with him.”

Royals will experiment with Alex Gordon in all three outfield spots this year

CLEVELAND, OH -  MAY 7: Alex Gordon #4 of the Kansas City Royals reacts to a fan while on first base during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 7, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Royals’ manager Ned Yost is shaking things up in 2017, starting with left fielder Alex Gordon. Yost told MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan that “every scenario is open,” and expects to utilize Gordon in right and center field this spring while he figures out where to position Jorge Soler and Brandon Moss.

Gordon, 33, hasn’t manned right field since a three-game experiment with the Royals back in 2010 and has yet to play center field during any regular season to date. The focus, however, isn’t on Gordon’s capabilities. Among the three outfielders, he carries the best defensive profile and appears to be the most versatile of the bunch.

According to Flanagan, Soler and Moss are average on defense and will continue working closely with Royals’ coach Rusty Kuntz as the season approaches. One arrangement could see Gordon in center field, flanked by Soler in right field and Moss in left, though Yost foresees Soler taking some reps at DH if his defensive chops aren’t up to snuff.

While Moss is prepared to see starts at either outfield corner, Yost appears to be set on keeping Soler in right field, at least for the time being. The club is hoping for a bounce-back season from the 24-year-old outfielder, who was acquired from the Cubs in December after batting a lackluster .238/.333/.436 and sustaining a slew of minor injuries throughout the 2016 season.