Texas Rangers v Toronto Blue Jays

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Blue Jays 8, Rangers 7:  We hear a lot about Bryce Harper, but Brett Lawrie is a more fully formed version of “young, confident dude who can be a difference maker.”  Toronto fought back from an early 5-0 deficit, took the lead, then blew the lead before Lawrie hit a leadoff homer that just barely cleared the wall to walk things off in the bottom of the 9th.

Phillies 4, Braves 2: It’s not often that Jonny Venters is going to give up two runs on four hits in a given outing, but when he does, you know the Braves are sunk. Venters gave up a double, a single, struck a dude out but threw strike three wild and then gave up a couple more hits in the eighth inning and that was all she wrote.

Rays 3, Mariners 1: On a day when all of the off-the-field news was miserable for Tampa Bay at least the on-the-field part went OK.  The Rays had only three hits, but Matt Joyce’s homer and RBI triple were two of them. The Rays have won nine of ten.

Diamondbacks 5, Nationals 1: Bryce Harper’s home debut didn’t go well for him — he was 0 for 3 — or the Nationals, who have lost five straight. Trevor Cahill allowed one run over seven and a third.

Orioles 7, Yankees 1: Phil Hughes was largely ineffective again. Brian Matusz: not so much.  Matusz allowed only one run in six and a third, giving him his first win since last June and Buck Showalter his 1000th win of all time.

Tigers 9, Royals 3: Detroit scores five in the first inning, which while it took all of the drama out of this one, meant that the Tigers finally won one. Austin Jackson was four for five two batted in. He’s at .314/.398/.523 on the year, which is a bright spot indeed.

Marlins 2, Giants 1: Maybe the Marlins just needed to get out of town. They break their losing streak behind seven string innings from Ricky Nolasco and a Giancarlo Stanton homer. Matt Cain, who has pitched so brilliantly this season, is now only 1-2 on the year, putting him in the early lead for the King Felix Award, which goes to starters whose records stink because they get totally boned by their teammates all the time.

Angels 4, Twins 0: Minnesota is either doing a wonderful service in giving confidence to struggling teams this season or else they have officially become jobbers. If I were Gregg Easterbrook and gave every team putatively clever nicknames and never let go of them, I’d consider calling the Twins the Iron Mike Sharpes or the Randy Mulkeys or something like that. Jerome Williams with a three-hit shutout.

Padres 2, Brewers 0: Shaun Marcum shut out the Padres for seven innings but Edinson Volquez did the same to the Brewers and he didn’t have K-Rod giving up a two-run pinch hit homer to Mark Kotsay in the eighth. By the way, if you told me before I looked at the box score that Mark Kotsay hit the game-winning homer in this one, I would have assumed the Brewers won.  Kotsay is one of those guys who, gun to my head, I could never tell you who he played for in a given season until he did something that forced me to take notice.

White Sox 7, Indians 2: Gordon Beckham went 3 for 4 with a homer. Easily the best Beckham-related news of the day yesterday. This one had an extended rain delay and then fog. This is why they’ll never expand to Scotland.

Dodgers 7, Rockies 6: Dee Gordon hit his first homer and A.J. and Mark Ellis each had a bunch of hits. I wish those two were good. If they consistently helped the Dodgers win I’d consider some fun Ellis-related nickname for them or some clever pro wrestling reference or something. But, nah, I don’t think it’s gonna come up much.

Cardinals 10, Pirates 7, Adam Wainwright gets his first win since 2010. David Freese remains hot with another homer. Matt Holliday had a homer among his three hits and drove in two.

Astros 6, Mets 3: The difference between good teams and bad teams this year: good teams go into Houston on their way out west and take care of business against the Astros. The Mets aren’t doin’ it. Chris Snyder hit a three-run homer, Jed Lowrie had a two-run bomb.

Athletics 5, Red Sox 3: Jarrod Parker allowed only one run in six and two-thirds for his second straight strong start at the beginning of his career.

Cubs vs. Reds: POSTPONED: O Rain! that I lie listening to, You’re but a doleful sound at best: I owe you little thanks,’tis true, For breaking thus my needful rest! Yet if, as soon as it is light, O Rain! you will but take your flight, I’ll neither rail, nor malice keep,
Though sick and sore for want of sleep. But only now, for this one day, Do go, dear Rain! do go away!

Brewers GM: Acquiring Jacob Nottingham doesn’t change Jonathan Lucroy’s status

Jonathan Lucroy
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
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The Brewers acquired prospects Jake Nottingham and Bubba Derby from the Athletics on Friday in exchange for slugging outfielder Khris Davis. The hope is that Nottingham will develop into the Brewers’ catcher of the future, so you could say that the club is planning for life after Jonathan Lucroy. However, Brewers general manager David Stearns said today that the trade doesn’t change Lucroy’s immediate status.

The Brewers are in rebuild-mode and Lucroy is an excellent trade chip if healthy, as his contract includes a $5.25 million club option for 2017. It’s likely just a matter of time before he’s shipped elsewhere, but yesterday’s trade shouldn’t change the timeline for a potential deal. Nottingham doesn’t turn 21 until April and has yet to play in Double-A, so he’s still a ways off from the majors. The Brewers can afford to wait on the right offer for Lucroy, whether it’s in spring training or at the trade deadline or perhaps later.

Checking in at 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Nottingham batted .316/.372/.505 with 17 home runs over 109 games last season between Class A and High-A. He was traded from the Astros to the Athletics as part of the Scott Kazmir deal last July. It’s worth noting that Stearns was the assistant GM for Houston when Nottingham was drafted in the sixth round back in 2013, so he’s clearly a fan.

Joe Panik says he’s “100 percent” recovered from back injury

San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik follows through on a single off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Scott Oberg in the eighth inning of Game 1 of a baseball doubleheader Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Denver. The Giants won 10-8. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Giants second baseman Joe Panik missed nearly all of August and September last season due to a nagging back injury, but he told Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com on Friday that he’s feeling “100 percent.”

Panik, who earned his first All-Star selection last season, originally landed on the disabled list in early August due to what was described as lower back inflammation. He made his return in September, but appeared in just three games before being shut down. The good news is that he was cleared by doctors in mid-December and considers himself “back to normal.”

“It was right around the time of all the signings,” he said, smiling. “I was able to fly under the radar. I got tested and everything had healed up. I got cleared and was able to have my full offseason workouts. I’m good to go. I’m happy to be feeling good and going back out on the field to show that I’m healthy. My swing feels strong.”

Panik altered his offseason workout routine and plans to spend less time in his spikes in the early part of spring training. The hope is that these changes will prevent future issues.

After a strong showing as a rookie in 2014, the 25-year-old Panik proved to be one of the best second baseman in the majors last season by batting .312/.378/.455 with eight home runs and 37 RBI over 100 games while playing solid defense.

Baseball America names Corey Seager as baseball’s top prospect

Los Angeles Dodgers' Corey Seager follows through a single that scored Austin Barnes, in front of Colorado Rockies' Wilin Rosario during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
AP Photo/Danny Moloshok
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Baseball America unveiled their top 100 prospect list Friday night during a special on MLB Network. It should come as no surprise that Dodgers infielder Corey Seager came in at No. 1.

This makes Seager the consensus top prospect in the game. He was also ranked first by MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus, and ESPN’s Keith Law. Twins outfielder Byron Buxton was ranked second on all four lists.

Baseball America has the most aggressive ranking of Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada from the Red Sox, who checked in at No. 3. He was followed by pitching prospects Lucas Giolito from the Nationals and Julio Urias from the Dodgers to round out the top five.

You can see Baseball America’s full top 100 list here.

Jenrry Mejia: “It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”

New York Mets' Jenrry Mejia reacts after getting the last out against the Milwaukee Brewers during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 25, 2014, in Milwaukee. The Mets won 3-2. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps
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Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia was permanently suspended on Friday after testing positive for a third time for a performance-enhancing drug. The right-hander is maintaining his innocence, as ESPN’s Adam Rubin notes in quoting Dominican sports journalist Hector Gomez. Mejia said, “It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”

Mejia has the opportunity to petition commissioner Rob Manfred in one year for reinstatement to Major League Baseball. However, he must sit out at least two years before becoming eligible to pitch in the majors again, which would mean Mejia would be 28 years old.

Over parts of five seasons, Mejia has a career 3.68 ERA with 162 strikeouts and 76 walks over 183 1/3 innings. He was once a top prospect in the Mets’ minor league system and a top-100 overall prospect heading into the 2010 and ’11 seasons.