Boston Red Sox Beckett pitches against Seattle Mariners during their MLB baseball game in Boston

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Red Sox 5, Mariners 0: That Josh Beckett is such a disgrace! He’s poisoning this team, I tell you, poisoning them! Oh, wait, he pitched well? Seven shutout innings while striking out nine? Well, in that case, I stand corrected.

Cardinals 7, Cubs 6: Jason Motte vultured a win when he gave up a tying homer to Alfonso Soriano in the ninth but then stayed on to be the pitcher of record when Yadier Molina hit the game winning single in the bottom half of the inning. After the game Mike Matheny said “”There’s going to be some loud music playing in the clubhouse, and there’s going to be some crazy stuff on the plane, too.”  Somewhere, wherever he is, Tony La Russa had a pain shoot up his side.

Phillies 4, Astros 3: As we noted yesterday, Hunter Pence hit the walkoff homer. But the real play of the day came from umpire Bob Davidson, who in ejecting Charlie Manuel for no apparent reason apart from his own combative insecurity, truly lived up to his reputation yesterday. Oh, and Cliff Lee was pretty amazing despite the no decision.

Tigers 10, White Sox 8: Ugly all around. An eight-spot for the Tigers in the sixth inning helped them win it, but that was sandwiched by another bad, bullpen-stressing Max Scherzer start and a Jose Valverde injury on the other side. Chicago of course feels bad about it too, what with giving up a six-run lead.

Padres 6, Nationals 1: Strasburg was cold from the get-go. Just icy. The fireballer had to be hot about how bad his start was. Really burned him up, I’m sure. Oh, and Bryce Harper hit another homer, but he’s old news compared to Strasburg’s burning bits and pieces.

Indians 5, Twins 0: Derek Lowe’s shutout — and really, his entire season so far — is basically this to all Braves fans who enjoyed him losing 17 games last year. Not that we’re crying because we’re doing just fine without him, but still.  As for the Twins: currently on a worse pace than the 1962 Mets, so there’s that.

Angels 4, Athletics 0: Albert Pujols broke out, going 3 for 4 with two RBI singles. Ervin Santana pitched seven and two-thirds shuout innings.

Brewers 8, Mets 0: The Travis Ishikawa and Zack Greinke show. The former drove in five with the help of two homers. The latter shut the Mets out for seven innings, striking out seven. Oh, and right after Rickie Weeks hit a homer, Ryan Braun was plunked on the next pitch by D.J. Carrasco. Umpire Gary Darling ejected Carrasco. Darling must be an HBT reader and knows that intentional plunkings should not be tolerated. Good man.

Marlins 6, Pirates 2: Omar Infante went 4 for 5 and is hitting .325/.350/.598.  Remember when everyone made fun of him making the All-Star team a couple of years ago. Tell me: how many teams wouldn’t want that kind of production from their second basemen right now? Josh Johnson: two runs over seven innings for his first win in over a year.

Rays 4, Blues Jays 3: Down 3-0 after four innings, the Rays rallied and David Price won his fifth, retiring 12 of the final 13 he faced. And then there was ugliness, as Brett Lawrie was ejected after losing his sh** and throwing his batting helmet at the umpire. Then manager John Farrell got ejected too. Then:

Police and stadium security were seen pointing into the crowd after an exchange between fans and umpires as the crew headed off the field through the visitor’s dugout.

Canadian players and fans? Acting threateningly? Unpossible! Enjoy your suspension, Mr. Lawrie.

Braves 6, Reds 2: Tim Hudson allowed two runs over seven innings and the Braves had no problems holding the 6-0 lead they had after only four innings. Why are the Braves winning so much? The top seven of last night’s lineup sported OBPs as follows: .399, .374, .368, .360, .331. .348, .362.

Orioles 5, Yankees 2: Chen outduels Sabathia.  Guessing that’s the only time I’m gonna ever write that.

Royals 7, Rangers 4: The last time we saw Vin Mazzaro throw a pitch that counted he was in the process of giving up fourteen runs to the Indians in what was probably the worst single-game performance by a pitcer in baseball history. Last night: surprisingly repectable: he gave up three runs in five innings, which isn’t bad against that Ranger lineup.

Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 1: Weird: Andre Ethier started in center, which is something he has never done. Chad Billingsley continues to struggle. The Dodgers’ five-game winning streak ends.

Rockies 5, Giants 4: The Rockies blew a 4-1 lead in the eighth inning, but Marco Scutaro’s ninth inning homer broke the 4-4 tie.

Report: Royals and Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Eric Hosmer #35 of the Kansas City Royals and the American League rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the National League in the 2nd inning of the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.

Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.

Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.

Yankees sign Jon Niese to a minor league deal

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 17:  Jonathon Niese #49 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 17, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.

According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.

Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.