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.

Bumgarner: dirt bike adventure was “definitely not the most responsible decision”

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Madison Bumgarner talked to the press yesterday about his dirt bike injury and its fallout.

While there is some speculation that the Giants may change their approach to Bumgarner’s contract situation at some point as a result of all of this, yesterday Bumgarner noted that the organization has been supportive as have his teammates. He said he apologized to them as well for an act he characterized as “definitely not the most responsible decision.”

As for the wreck itself, Bumgarner was a bit embarrassed to say that it wasn’t the result of doing anything cool or spectacular on the bike. Sounds like he probably just laid the thing down. Guess it makes no real difference given that he’s injured either way, but you’d hope to at least get a cool story out of it. Alas.

Here’s video of him talking to the press. The best and most accurate takeaway from it: when he says “it sucks.” Yep.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cubs 14, Pirates 3: The Chicago Bears won only one game by as big a margin all last season as the Cubs won by here. Jason Heyward hit his third home run in four days and drove in four runs overall. He and his rebuilt swing are batting .294/.342/.456 with three homers and 16 RBI in 18 games.

White Sox 12, Royals 1: Both Chicago teams scored a couple of touchdowns last night. The White Sox just need a better placekicker for the PATs. DH Matt Davidson homered, doubled and drove in four. Davidson leads the White Sox in home runs with four and is tied for the team lead with 14 RBI. He’s not even an everyday player.

Orioles 6, Rays 3: Baltimore was down 3-1 on a crappy night, weather-wise, at Camden Yards. Then Hyun Soo Kim and Jonathan Schoop hit homers in the sixth followed by an Adam Jones two-run homer in the seventh too chase Chris Archer. Archer after the game:

“There was a few pitches I wish I could have back,” Archer said. “That’s baseball. Going into my next start, I plan on executing at a higher level. Even if it is just three or four pitches I have to execute, it has to be done.”

I would like to see one of those graphs which track how often words are used but only for major league pitchers’ use of the word “execute.” I bet it’s almost at zero until about 2000-03 or so, and then it shoots way the hell up. Probably all traceable to some pitching coach who decided to make himself sound more scientific. Everyone’s “executing” pitches these days. Very few guys are “throwing” them.

Rockies 8, Nationals 4: The Nats’ seven-game winning streak comes to an end. The Rockies snapped it by coming from behind. They were down 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth when Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer to bring them close. The following inning Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run shot of his own to give Colorado a lead they would not relinquish. Blackmon said the pitch was in his “where I hit balls far” zone. See, isn’t that way more evocative than “executing” pitches? Bring more vernacular to the discourse, pitchers. It plays way, way better than this faux precision jazz.

Brewers 11, Reds 7: Eric Thames continues his early season rampage. Two more homers here, a solo shot in the first and a two-run blast in the second. The second one gave Milwaukee a five-run lead. Cincinnati would threaten for a brief period but the Brewers put up ten runs on Amir Garrett before the end of the fourth inning and that’s just too dang much to overcome. Had a conversation with a big Reds fan yesterday who was cautiously optimistic about his team’s early season play and asked me if it was sustainable. I told him “the pitching will be exposed soon.” I didn’t realize how soon it’d be.

Twins 3, Rangers 2: One hit — a three-run double from Brian Dozier in the fifth — was all Minnesota would get and all they would need. The hit was preceded by Martin Perez walking the bases loaded. The batters: the 6, 8 and 9 hitters. That’s . . . bad.

Diamondbacks 7, Padres 6: Zack Greinke allowed one run over six and struck out 11. He’s had one clunker on the year — five runs allowed to the Dodgers on April 14 — but otherwise Greinke has been the Greinke of old this season: a 2.93 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 31 strikeouts to six walks in 30.2 innings.

Angels 2, Blue Jays 1: Jesse Chavez tossed six innings of one-run, four-hit ball. The Blue Jays have scored four runs or less in 14 of their 18 games this season. That’s not good. The Angels’ runs came from a Mike Trout triple followed by an Albert Pujols single in the fourth and Cameron Maybin scoring on a fielder’s choice with a diving slide to beat the throw to the plate in the fifth.

Giants 2, Dodgers 1: Matt Cain was excellent, tossing six shutout innings, but Hyun-Jin Ryu was almost as good, allowing only one run over six. Ultimately bad base running dooms Los Angeles. Chris Taylor was thrown out stealing in the eighth inning with Corey Seager at the plate. Then Justin Turner was picked off of second to end the game.