Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish gestures to fans during their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 4, Blue Jays 1: I think it’s safe to say that, after a couple of rocky starts to begin the year, Yu Darvish is starting to get comfortable. He struck out nine Blue Jays while giving up a single run in seven innings. The homer was by the incredibly hot Edwin Encarnacion, who has gone long in four straight games. He hit this one two innings after getting hit by Darvish.

Brewers 8, Padres 3: Ryan Braun hit three homers, one of which landed on the top deck of the Western Metal Supply Co. down the left-field line at Petco, which is a serious poke, especially for a night game in San Diego when it’s around 60 degrees. He also socked a triple. Mercy.

Red Sox 11, Athletics 6: Darn. I thought Sunday’s loss would send them off on some new, horrible, drama-filled losing streak but wouldn’t you know it, the Red Sox bounce back and win their seventh of eight. Dammit, it looks like we need another narrative besides “the Red Sox are doomed!” Maybe Clay Buchholz still is, as he gave up six run on seven hits in six and two-thirds. But Tommy Milone had it worse.

Rays 3, Mariners 2:  Tampa Bay rallied in the 11th and the 12th. Evan Longoria and Miguel Olivo each left the game early with injuries, but each of their replacements on defense — Elliot Johnson and Jesus Montero — had big hits.

Phillies 6, Cubs 4: A four-run first inning wasn’t all the Phillies needed — Placido Polanco broke a tie in the eighth with a two-run double — but it was a good start. Vance Worley allowed one run over seven but didn’t get the win thanks to a Chad Qualls give-up-a-tying-homer-and-then-hang-around-for-the-offense-to-pick-me-up vulture job.

Yankees 2, Orioles 1: Hiroki Kuroda outduels Jason Hammel. A 2:22 Yankees game. You don’t see a ton of those.

Pirates 9, Braves 3: It’s been a while since the Bucco’s bats did anything decent, but they went off last night. Pedro Alvarez and Yamaico Navarro each went yard. It was the first time all year that they had scored more than five in a game.

Astros 4, Mets 3: A Jed Lowrie RBI single broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth. The Astros used seven pitchers to get through this one even though their starter went six and two-thirds innings. That’s not something you see every day.

Diamondbacks 9, Marlins 5: Patrick Corbin won his major league debut.  Cody Ransom and Justin Upton hit two-run homers. The Marlins have lost eight of nine and the home crowds are booing. Or maybe they weren’t booing. Maybe they were just saying “Boo-uehrle, Boo-uehrle …”

Angels 4, Twins 3: Torii Hunter was 3 for 4 with a homer and three driven in. C.J. Wilson cruised into the eighth where he ran into a bit of trouble but still picked up his third win.

Rockies 6, Dodgers 2: Matt Kemp homered again — that’s 12 already — but the Dodgers didn’t do much more against Juan Nicasio, who scattered nine hits and allowed only two runs to the previously-hot Dodgers.

Royals vs. Tigers: POSTPONED: April is the cruellest month, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring. Dull roots with spring rain. And Yuniesky. He was stirred too, I imagine.

Yordano Ventura represented the best and worst of baseball’s culture

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
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It was reported this morning that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Former prospect Andy Marte was also killed in a separate car accident. Along with Jose Fernandez and Oscar Taveras, the baseball world has lost a lot of young, exciting talent in a very short amount of time.

Ventura was, like all of us, a complex human being. At his best, he was an exciting, talented, emotive pitcher who featured an electric fastball which sat in the mid-90’s and occasionally touched 100 MPH. At his worst, he was an immature, impressionable kid trying to fit in by exacting revenge against batters he felt had wronged him by slinging those electric fastballs at vulnerable areas of their bodies.

Baseball needed Ventura when he was at his best. It is players like him and Fernandez, not Mike Trout, that bring in new fans to the sport. To baseball die-hards, Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the pinnacle of entertainment because we know he’s an otherworldly talent. But to the average fan, Trout is just another player who hits a couple of homers and doesn’t do anything particularly interesting otherwise. Trout is milquetoast. Ventura was never an All-Star, but fans knew who he was because he made his presence felt every time he made a start. He was fun, if sometimes vengeful.

Ventura’s baseball rap sheet is rather lengthy for someone who only pitched parts of four seasons in the big leagues. Early in the 2015 season, Ventura found himself in a handful of benches-clearing incidents in quick succession. On April 12, he jawed with Trout, apparently misunderstanding the motivation behind Trout yelling, “Let’s go!” Though catcher Salvador Perez intervened, Trout’s teammate Albert Pujols ran in from second base and the benches cleared shortly thereafter. On the 18th, some drama between the Athletics and Royals continued. Ventura fired a 99 MPH fastball at Brett Lawrie, resulting in his immediate ejection from the game. More beanball wars ensued in the series finale the following day. Finally, on the 23rd, Ventura hit White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu with a 99 MPH fastball in the fourth inning. Ventura was not ejected… until after the completion of the seventh inning. Walking back to the dugout, Ventura barked at White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton and — you guessed it — the benches cleared. All told, Ventura was fined for his behavior with the Athletics and suspended seven games for the White Sox incident.

In August 2015, Ventura called Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista a “nobody” and accused him of stealing signs. He apologized shortly thereafter. Two months later, during his start in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, Ventura got into it with Jays first base coach Tim Leiper. Nothing happened beyond that, but apparently it was part of the Jays’ plan to try to put Ventura “on tilt.”

Most recently, in June this past season, Ventura hit Orioles third baseman Manny Machado with a pitch. Machado charged the mound and got in at least one punch before the players spilled out onto the field in a blob of royal blue and orange. Ventura was suspended for eight games.

Ventura was by no means a model of civility, but he was a product of baseball’s intransigent culture forcing players to assimilate or be ostracized. The old culture taught players to never show emotion. Hit a home run? Put your head down and circle the bases in a timely fashion or risk taking a fastball to the ribs. Players like Fernandez and Bautista — typically players from Latin countries — challenged those old cultural norms and are, as a result, the vanguard of the new culture. Ventura displayed aspects of each, the worst of the old culture and the best of the new. He was not a one-dimensional person; he was strikingly complex. At one moment willing to use a fastball as a weapon, the next stopping by some kids’ lemonade stand and giving out fist bumps. Baseball is made more entertaining and more interesting by its personalities and Ventura’s was a behemoth, for better or worse. His absence from the sport will be felt.

MLB remembers Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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Following the tragic passing of 25-year-old Yordano Ventura and 33-year-old Andy Marte, both of whom were killed in separate car crashes on Sunday morning, players and executives from around Major League Baseball expressed an outpouring of grief and support for the players’ families and former teams.

Fans have gathered at Kauffman Stadium in memory of the former pitcher.