New York Yankees v Texas Rangers

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 7, Rangers 4: The platonic ideal of a late-dynasty Yankees game: Four hits for Jeter, homer for A-Rod, a CC Sabathia win and a Mariano Rivera save.  In other news, I sorta feel like I wanna be the guy who starts writing the breathless “can Derek Jeter hit .400?” articles. Maybe I’ll do one later today.

Giants 6, Mets 1, Giants 7, Mets 2: In the first game, Lincecum  finally pitches like Lincecum. Well, not really like Lincecum — more like a shadow of Tim Lincecum who likes to walk guys — but after his first couple of stinkers, this was quality. Madison Bumgarner ties up the Mets in the nightcap.

Blue Jays 4, Royals 1: Eleven straight losses for K.C., ten at home. In other news, someone you love lost their job since 2008 while Ned Yost remains gainfully employed. For now.

Cubs 3, Cardinals 2: Jason Motte came in to lock down a 2-1 lead in the ninth, but the Cubbies had different ideas: walk, walk, groundout to put both runners in scoring position and then a Joe Mather two-run RBI single to win it for Chicago. A great Jaime Garcia start was waster (7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER).  If Tony La Russa was still alive, Motte would be working mopup duty tomorrow and La Russa would be claiming that the Cardinals never had a closer, and who are you talking about anyway?

Red Sox 6, Twins 5: Cody Ross homered in the 7th to tie it and homered again in the ninth to put the Sox ahead for good. Jon Lester wasn’t sharp — he gave up five runs in seven — but the pen actually held Minnesota scoreless for two innings, which is a cause for celebration with the Sox.

Dodgers 7, Braves 2: I watched the first couple innings of this. Between listening to Vin Scully and watching Dee Gordon and Matt Kemp play, I’m sorta tempted to turn heel on my Braves and root for the Dodgers this entire series. It was especially easy to do last night what with Jair Jurrjens becoming this year’s version of 2011 Derek Lowe and over four innings of Livan Hernandez Time.

Diamondbacks 9, Phillies 5: The return of an effective Justin Upton (2 for 3, HR 2 RBI). I may have said on the HBT Extra going up today that Kyle Kendrick filling in for Cliff Lee wouldn’t be horrible. Which just goes to show you that you can’t believe anything you see on video (3 IP, 11 H, 7 ER).

White Sox 4, Athletics 0: Jake Peavy throws a three-hit shutout, overshadowing another great Bartolo Colon start.

Brewers 6, Astros 5: Ryan Braun was 3 for 4 with a double, homer and two RBI, breaking a 2 for 20 slump. Zack Greinke struck out nine in six innings. As go the Brewers stars, so go the Brewers.

Rockies vs. Pirates: POSTPONED: When the rain falls, there’s magic in our lives. When the rain falls, we’re happy deep inside. When the rain falls, it cleans away the corners of our minds.

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.