Brandon Allen

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Rays 4, Angels 3: Pinch hit walkoff bomb from Brandon Allen to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Albert Pujols got a hit but he was thrown out at second trying to stretch it into a double. I think that’s what the fancy commentators on those evening baseball television programs call “pressing.” The Angels are nine games back of the Rangers already which, dude, wow.

Mariners 5, Tigers 4: As my Twitter friend Grey said yesterday: “Brandon Inge is gone and the Tigers still have 24 other guys who have also struggled this week! woooooo!” Yeah, not a week to write home about if you’re the Tigers. Which is worse considering they were at home for all of it. Chone Figgins was 3 for 4 with an RBI double. If Chone Figgins is kicking your butt, you gotta look in a mirror.

Royals 4, Indians 2: Break up the Royals, they’re on a winning streak!  Two straight for Kansas City. Alex Gordon after the game: “”We can’t lose now. It’s unbelievable.”  Yes, he actually said that.

Orioles 5, Blue Jays 2: Brian Matusz went six allowing two runs — but neither were earned — as the O’s sweep the Jays and take their fourth straight overall. You know who’s happy Albert Pujols is struggling so much? Jose Bautista. Because not that many people are paying attention to his .194/.349/.343 line.

Mets 3, Marlins 2: Rule of thumb: if you closer comes in to a one-run game and throws 46 pitches, he’s not having a good day and you’re not winning. Heath Bell threw 46 pitches, he was not having a good day and the Marlins didn’t win.

Giants 6, Reds 5: I hit the ending of this one up yesterday. In the comments to that post someone suggested that I pointed out the fact that Angel Pagan — who hit what proved to be the game-winning three-run homer — should have struck out but for the bad call because “you still can’t get over the fact that the Giants beat your Braves in the 2010 DS. Stop hating and give a little credit.”  Yes, that’s exactly why I pointed that out. You got me. I’ve been harboring my hate for the Giants for over a year and a half and finally — finally! — found my chance to pounce.

Red Sox 10, White Sox 3: I’m sure someone has done a study of how dudes do after throwing a perfecto, and I imagine they do quite poorly on average. Maybe not as poorly as Phil Humber did, though (5 IP, 8 H, 9 ER). Saltalamacchia hit two homers.

Padres 2, Nationals 1: Edinson Volquez gave up one run over seven. Which was one more than Edwin Jackson gave up over six, but Volquez had a better bullpen on his side last night.

Evan Gattis undergoes surgery for hernia; recovery is 4-6 weeks

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Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle shares the bad news

One of the Astros’ big bats won’t be taking hacks when the Astros hold their first full workout on Feb. 23.

Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis recently underwent surgery to repair a hernia, the Chronicle has learned, taking away most of his spring training at a minimum. The recovery is four to six weeks but fortunately for Gattis and the Astros, the injury is not considered severe.

Gattis was working hard on his overall conditioning this winter, even telling MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart in late January that he had already dropped 18 pounds. It sounds like the big slugger might have gone a bit overboard with those workouts, and now he is in real danger of missing the first couple weeks of the 2016 regular season.

Gattis batted .246/.285/.463 with 27 home runs and 88 RBI in 153 games last season for the Astros. The 29-year-old is arbitration-eligible for the first time in his career and has a hearing with the Astros scheduled for February 16 to determine his salary for 2016. He requested $3.8 million and was offered $3 million when figures were exchanged a little over three weeks ago.

Suddenly the Astros’ front office might have a new talking point for those arbitrators.

Seung-Hwan Oh finally receives his work visa, will be on time for Cardinals camp

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At last check, new Cardinals reliever Seung-Hwan Oh was still awaiting a work visa from the United States Embassy in South Korea and there was some worry that he might not be able to arrive on time to spring training in Jupiter, Florida.

But that is now officially a non-story.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Oh has recieved his work visa and is expected to report to Cardinals camp next week along with the rest of the club’s pitchers and catchers. Oh might even show up a bit earlier than the Cardinals originally asked him to, per Goold.

Oh saved 357 games in 11 seasons between Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and the Korea Baseball Organization before inking a one-year contract with St. Louis this winter. He also registered a stellar 1.81 ERA and 772 strikeouts across 646 total innings in Asia, earning the nickname “The Final Boss.”

Oh is expected to work in a setup role this year for Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal.

John Lamb had back surgery in December, will likely get off to late start in 2016

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John Lamb was part of the Reds’ return package in last July’s Johnny Cueto trade and he had a strong showing at the Triple-A level in 2015. But the young left-hander posted a 5.80 ERA in a 10-start cup of coffee with Cincinnati late last season — his first 10 appearances as a major leaguer — and now comes word from MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon that Lamb will probably have to get off to a late start in 2016.

Lamb underwent surgery in December to repair a herniated disc in his back — a surgery that went unreported by the Reds until Tuesday afternoon. Reds manager Bryan Price acknowledged on MLB Network that Lamb is behind the team’s other starting pitchers and will likely open the coming season on the disabled list. The hope is that he might be ready by mid-April.

It’s a small but frustrating blow for a rebuilding Reds team that will be looking to establish some foundational pieces in 2016. Once he is recovered, Lamb will be expected to fill the Reds’ fifth rotation spot behind Raisel Iglesias, Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, and Michael Lorenzen.

This is going to be an ugly year for Cincinnati baseball fans.

Yu Darvish will report to spring training on time, hopes to begin mound work in March

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Rangers ace Yu Darvish missed the entire 2015 season after undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last March 17. Most starting pitchers take 13-15 months to fully recover from that procedure, and the Rangers aren’t counting on Darvish until sometime this May.

His rehab so far has gone on without issue.

Darvish offered some very positive updates Tuesday to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram …

Darvish, 29, boasts a 3.27 ERA and 1.196 WHIP in 83 career major league starts. He can also claim a whopping 680 strikeouts in 545 1/3 career major league innings.

Texas has him under contract for $10 million in 2016 and $11 million in 2017.