Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 3, Tigers 2: If only there was some form of technology that could rectify bad calls. Some magical device that could allow officials to see what really happened on a baseball field when the umpires miss it. A bit of sorcery that could put right what was wrong and prevent a game from being decided on a blown call. Sadly, no such thing exists, despite all of the efforts of our men and women of science. So, alas, the Rangers win on a blown call.

Diamondbacks 6, Braves 4: Randall Delgado issued a bases loaded walk and then a grand slam to Gerardo Parra in the second inning and that would be all Arizona needed. The Dbacks snap their five-game skid and salvage one in what had been a ghastly series against the Braves.

Padres 6, Phillies 1: Nick Hundley tripled, homered and drove in four. I don’t have time to go run the numbers right now, but I assume that that alone is more offense than the Phillies have mustered since the season began.

White Sox 7, Mariners 4: Ichiro Suzuki singled in the first, so no perfect game in this one. Umpire Tim Mcclelland had to be restrained from saying Ichiro struck out on the single, though. And then no one showed the replay and no one talked about it. Huh.

Reds 4, Cubs 3: From the AP game story:

Aroldis Chapman came on to strike out Ian Stewart looking with a fastball that registered 99 miles per hour on the stadium scoreboard, preserving the lead.

I’ve only been there once and it was like 12 years ago, but I was kinda surprised that Wrigley had gun readings on a scoreboard somewhere. These sorts of things elude me.

Athletics 5, Indians 1: Justin Masterson, the Indians Opening Day starter, continues to struggle, giving up four runs on six hits in five innings. Seth Smith and Cliff Pennington each drove in a couple.

Rockies 4, Brewers 1: Ryan Braun got his MVP plaque awarded to him before the game. That and 50 cents gets you a pack of Certs,apparently, because a Michael Cuddyer RBI double in the eighth and a Carlos Gonzalez RBI single in the ninth put the Rockies over the top.

Orioles 3, Angels 2: Nick Markakis supplied all of the Orioles’ offense, in the eighth and the tenth innings. The O’s are at 9-6 tied with the Rays a half game back of New York and Toronto. Yeah, it’s too early for that kind of standings watching, but it’s kinda fun to say it, ain’t it?

Astros 12, Dodgers 0: L.A got whupped. Jordan Schafer hit a grand slam. Wandy Rodriguez threw seven three-hit shutout innings.

Blue Jays 5, Royals 3: Rickey Romero was solid (8 IP, 5 H 2 ER), Brett Lawrie stole home on a delayed double steal and Kansas City has lost ten in a row. Yikes.

Rays 6, Twins 2: First sentence of the AP recap:

The Minnesota Twins are becoming concerned with Francisco Liriano’s struggles.

This is not a repeat from any year since 2006.

Cardinals 5, Pirates 1: How is Kyle Lohse doing this year? Well, he gave up one run over seven innings and his ERA actually went up. From 0.89 to 0.99.

I will now sell five copies of The Three E.P.’s by The Beta Band:

Yankees vs. Red Sox: POSTPONED: I asked him time again …

Marlins vs. Nationals: POSTPONED: Take me in and dry the rain …

Giants vs. Mets: POSTPONED: Take me in and dry the rain, take me in and dry the rain, take me in and dry the rain, the rain the rain the rain now.

Athletics trade Billy Burns to the Royals for Brett Eibner

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 13: Billy Burns #1 of the Oakland Athletics waits on deck to bat during the fourth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 13, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
Brian Blanco/Getty Images
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The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.

Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.

Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.

Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.

Nationals acquire closer Mark Melancon from the Pirates

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 20:  Mark Melancon #35 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies on May 20, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images
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The Nationals announced on Saturday afternoon that the club acquired closer Mark Melancon from the Pirates in exchange for reliever Felipe Rivero and minor league pitcher Taylor Hearn.

Melancon, 31, put together another solid season for the Pirates, leaving the club with 30 saves, a 1.51 ERA, and a 38/9 K/BB ratio in 41 2/3 innings. He led the majors last season with 51 saves and has a 1.80 ERA since joining the Pirates in 2013. Melancon is earning $9.65 million this season and can become eligible for free agency after the season.

With Melancon out of the picture, the Pirates intend to have Tony Watson take over the closer’s role.

Rivero, 25, has handled the seventh and eighth innings for the Nationals this season, compiling a 4.53 ERA and a 53/15 K/BB ratio in 49 2/3 innings. He’s just shy of one year of service time, so the Pirates will have control of him for a long time.

Hearn, 21, was rated the Nationals’ 27th-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He was originally drafted by the Pirates in the 22nd round of the 2012 draft but he didn’t sign and ended up going back to college. The Nationals took him in the fifth round of last year’s draft. This season, between rookie ball and Single-A Hagerstown, Hearn put up a 2.79 ERA and a 39/13 K/BB ratio in 29 innings. He’s a long way away from the majors, so he’s essentially a lottery ticket for the Pirates.

The Nationals needed an upgrade at closer as Jonathan Papelbon has struggled this season. The right-hander has allowed runs in each of his last three appearances, ballooning his ERA up to 4.41 with a 30/13 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. It will be interesting to see how Papelbon, who has never made a habit of letting his feelings go unspoken, handles a demotion to the eighth inning.