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

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


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.

Photo of the Day: Colby Rasmus just wants to love on everybody

Colby Rasmus

Colby Rasmus hit a big home run last night to set off the scoring and to set the tone for the Astros.

After the game he spoke to Jeff Passan of Yahoo and voiced some nice perspective and maturity as well, acknowledging that his time and St. Louis and Toronto left him with a reputation that he’d rather not have follow him around forever, saying “I don’t want them to say Colby Rasmus was a piece of crap because he had all of this time and just wanted to be a douche. I just try to love on everybody.”

Fair. By the way, this is what Rasmus looked like either just before or just after telling reporters that he “just tries to love on everybody.”


Ready for some lovin’?

There’s no one to blame in Yankees’ loss

Joe Girardi

You’re going to boo All-Star Brett Gardner for striking out against a Cy Young contender?

You’re going to bash Alex Rodriguez for going hitless in another postseason game, three years after his last one?

Maybe you’d prefer to put it all on Masahiro Tanaka for giving up two solo homers to a lineup full of 20-homer guys?

The truth is that the Yankees were supposed to lose tonight. They were facing an outstanding left-hander with their forever-lefty-heavy lineup, and they simply didn’t have anyone pitching like an ace to set themselves up nicely for a one-game, winner-take-all showdown. The 3-0 result… well, that’s how this was supposed to go down.

It didn’t necessarily mean it would; what fun would it be if the better team always won? And the Astros might not even be a better team than the Yankees. However, the Astros with Dallas Keuchel on the mound were certainly a better team than the Yankees with whoever they picked to throw.

I just don’t see where it’s worth putting any blame tonight. Joe Girardi? He could have started John Ryan Murphy over Brian McCann against the tough lefty, but he wasn’t willing to risk Tanaka losing his comfort zone by using a backup catcher.

The front office could have added more talent, perhaps outbidding the Blue Jays for David Price or the Royals for Johnny Cueto, and set themselves up better for the postseason. However, that would have cost them Luis Severino and/or Greg Bird, both of whom went on to play key roles as the Yankees secured the wild card. Would it really have been worth it? I don’t think so.

Tanaka gave the Yankees what they should have expected. Had Keuchel’s stuff been a little off on short rest, Tanaka’s performance would have kept the Yankees in the game.

Keuchel, though, was on his game from the first pitch. The Astros bullpen might have been a bit more vulnerable, and late at-bats from Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Rodriguez and McCann definitely left something to be desired. Still, on the whole, the lack of offense was quite a team effort.

The Yankees got beat by a better team tonight.  I’m not sure the Astros would have been better in Games 2-7 in a longer series, but they had everything in their favor in this one.