And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Cardinals 4, Padres 0: Tough break for San Diego to have Adam Wainwright figure it out and throw a four-hit shutout while they were in town, but I really do need them to go on a bad skid right now. I’m taking my kids to their first major league game when we go to San Diego next month — Rangers-Padres on June 18! —  and it would be really useful for me if the secondary market was flooded with cheap, unwanted tickets.

Nationals 5, Phillies 2: A lot of folks in the Bryce Harper/Philly threads of the past few days have said stuff about how, for all of the talk, this isn’t truly a rivalry. I tend to agree. For it to be a real rivalry, one team can’t dominate the matchups so thoroughly. The Nats take the fourth of five meetings so far this year, and have beaten Philly six straight times in Citizens Bank Park. Harper singled, tripled and drove in two.

Reds 4, Braves 3: Brandon Phillips hit two homers and Brandon Beachy backs up his best start of the season with his worst (7 IP, 6 H, 4 ER). Not that it was horrible. You can get a win with a line like that, but Mat Latos was better (7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 8K). Michael Bourn had two home runs in a losing cause. In case you haven’t noticed it, Bourn — a Boras clients — is making himself some serious bank in his walk year (.323/.376/.439, 13 SB and the usual solid D).

Mets 3, Pirates 2: R.A. Dickey struck out 11 in seven innings, which was a career high. Which means that in the space of five days the Pirates were dominated by one of the the hardest throwing starters in baseball in Justin Verlander and one of the softest throwing in Dickey. The Pirates offense is like some weird scientific control group or something. A time trial. They’re setting the bogey for every pitcher in baseball, and there’s something damn noble about that.

Twins 9, White Sox 2: Twins fans aren’t quite sure what to make of a starting pitcher who goes deep into games and strikes out a lot of batters, but they’ll accept what they got from P.J. Walters last night (CG, 5 H, 2 ER, 8K).

Marlins 7, Rockies 6: Nolasco vs. Nicasio! With special referee Tom Nieto!  On hand were Chris Nabholz, Russ Nagelson and Cholly NaranjoTsuyoshi Nishioka sends his regrets from Rochester.

Astros 2, Cubs 1: The Astros gotta be the most respectable team everyone thought would lose 100+ games in history, right? Jose Altuve with a homer, Brett “trade for me because I’m a proven closer, I swear” Myers got his 11th save.

Rays 8, Blue Jays 5: Carlos Pena was moved to the leadoff spot and had two hits, including a homer. Dude: you’re a table setter. Make things happen. Home runs kill rallies. Hasn’t anyone ever told you that?

Yankees 3, Royals 2: New York is lucky they won this one. Because I have it on good authority that all of those hacks who write “If the Boss was alive …” columns when the Yankees struggle are in the process of actually reanimating Steinbrenner’s corpse and unleashing him on the populace. He’ll have a hunger for brains. And calzones. But mostly brains.

Indians 5, Tigers 3: Cleveland ends a ten-game losing streak to the Tigers. Andy Dirks had two hits in the two-hole and Miguel Cabrera was walked three times batting third. Prince Fielder was 0 for 5, however.

Orioles 4, Red Sox 1; Brian Matusz struck out nine in six and a third as the Red Sox managed only two hits all damn night. I think it would be hilarious now if Josh Beckett called a closed-door meeting in which the pitchers yelled at the Red Sox hitters, after which Beckett came out and told the press that he’s totally a leader. And if he had the whole press conference while wearing Payne Stewart-style golf pants.

Giants 6, Brewers 4: Giancarlo Stanton, nothin’: Buster Posey homered off the Miller Park scoreboard. He also hit a double and blocked the plate to prevent a run, which is something he was told not to do, but hey, heat of battle, yo.  The Giants have won eight of eleven.

Dodgers 8, Diamondbacks 7: Down one in the ninth inning and down to their last out, the Dodgers Ivan De Jesus hit a two-run double, completing the comeback after being down 6-1 in the sixth inning. It was the Dodgers’ sixth straight win. The Dbacks’ bullpen work was reminiscent of 2010.

Rangers 3, Mariners 1:  Elvis Andrus tripled home two runs in the third, but it was one of only four hits for the Rangers who won this one with pitching and defense. Matt Harrison tied up the M’s (7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER) and Josh Hamilton made two pretty spectacular plays in the outfield, robbing Seattle of hits.

Angels 5, Athletics 1: C.J. Wilson probably figured before the game “heck, our offense stinks, but if the other guys can’t score, they can’t win.”  So he shut out the A’s on one hit over eight innings. A homer and a sacrifice fly for Pujols.

Video: Brett Gardner goes deep for his first and second home runs of 2017

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It’s been a slow start to the season for Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner, who entered Saturday’s matinee against the Orioles with a .188/.316/.234 batting line, three doubles and five stolen bases in his first 76 PA of the year. That all changed in the first inning of Saturday’s game, when Gardner skied a leadoff home run to right field:

Orioles’ right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t find his footing against the Yankees in the second inning, either. Gardner returned for his second home run of the season, a three-run shot to lift New York 5-0 over Baltimore:

Measured at 411 feet in the right field bullpen, the left fielder’s blast marked the seventh home run hit by a Yankee this series. According to the club’s PR department, it’s also the first multi-home run game Gardner has recorded since September 2015. The Yankees currently lead the Orioles 7-0 through four innings.

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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Friday’s weekend series kicked off with Gift Ngoepe’s first major league start, Mike Trout‘s important anniversary and an informal home run derby between the Yankees and Orioles. Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Yankees 14, Orioles 11 (10 innings): Manny Machado may have hit 2017’s longest home run on Friday night, but he was forced to share the spotlight as the Orioles and Yankees combined for eight home runs in their 10-inning slug-fest. In the end, the only home run that mattered was the last one of the night: a walk-off, three-run 411-footer by Matt Holliday to clinch the Yankees’ first win of the series.

Mets 7, Nationals 5: In a battle of elite arms, the Mets took the lead with Jacob deGrom‘s 12-strikeout performance. Max Scherzer struck out seven over six innings, but a couple of timely knocks from Travis d'Arnaud in the second and fourth innings unraveled the Mets’ flimsy one-run lead and eventually, their hold on the game altogether.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 4: Home runs are swell, as are late-game comebacks and solid pitching performances, but it’s not every day that you get a full highlight reel’s worth of plays from Steven Souza Jr.:

Red Sox 5, Cubs 4: Visiting Cubs fans monopolized a good section of Fenway Park on Friday, and the Cubs played nearly as well as if they were playing against the ivy backdrop of Wrigley Field. Although the Sox jumped out to an early five-run lead in the first inning, the Cubs worked a four-run comeback and put the game-tying run on second base when Ben Zobrist lined a double in the ninth inning. That’s as far as they got, however, leaving Zobrist stranded to drop their second consecutive loss of the week.

White Sox 7, Tigers 3: The White Sox extended their win streak to five consecutive games on Friday, clinching first place in the AL Central after a shutdown performance from the bullpen and a late-game comeback spearheaded by Geovany Soto and Tim Anderson. Tigers’ third baseman Nicholas Castellanos helped, too, committing three errors in the sixth and eighth innings to facilitate the White Sox’ rally and cement their 12th win of the year.

Pirates 12, Marlins 2: If you haven’t gotten up to speed on Gift Ngoepe’s intriguing path to the major leagues, do yourself a favor and peruse this excellent 2009 profile by Sports Illustrated’s Gary Smith. Ngoepe was promoted to the bigs last Wednesday and has already garnered some attention for hitting a single in his first career at-bat. He was no less impressive on Friday, going 3-for-3 with two base hits, two walks and an opposite-field triple that just cleared Giancarlo Stanton‘s head at the wall.

Mariners 3, Indians 1: The Mariners may be short one Felix Hernandez, Mitch Haniger and Nelson Cruz, but they looked more than capable of taking on the Indians during Friday’s series opener. Robinson Cano and Ben Gamel combined for a three-run lead on two home runs and Ariel Miranda allowed just one run in 5 1/3 innings, effectively stifling several rally attempts by the Indians and clinching his second win of the year.

Angels 6, Rangers 3: It’s been five years since Mike Trout received his permanent call-up from the minors, and he celebrated in true Mike Trout fashion, engineering an impressive catch on the warning track and collecting a two-run homer against Rangers’ right-hander Nick Martinez:

The Rangers, meanwhile, would have been better off spending their Friday like Yu Darvish:

Braves 10, Brewers 8: Don’t look now, but the Braves are no longer in last place. They relinquished their spot at the bottom of the NL East on Friday, scooting half a game above the Mets after they mounted a six-run rally in the last few innings of a 10-8 win over the Brewers. That’s thanks in large part to their bullpen, which stifled Milwaukee’s comeback attempts with four scoreless frames, giving Ender Inciarte and Adonis Garcia just enough time to clear the bases in the seventh inning and take the lead on Kurt Suzuki’s RBI single in the eighth.

Astros 9, Athletics 4: Consistency isn’t exactly what Charlie Morton is known for, and Friday’s outing was no exception. The veteran right-hander got off to a rocky start in the first inning, putting runners on first and second and watching Khris Davis unleash a three-run bomb for an early lead. While Morton eventually settled down to strike out a career-high 12 batters, Davis still had the righty’s number, and took him deep a second time for the Astros’ fourth and final run of the night.

Cardinals 7, Reds 5: Reason #7 why you should never sleep on the job:

Twins 6, Royals 4: It looked like the Royals finally caught a break on Friday. They built a modest three-run lead early in the game and were able to keep their heads above water even after Miguel Sano brought the Twins within a run of tying the game on a two-run homer in the fourth inning. Everything looked hunky-dory for Kansas City until the eighth, when Joakim Soria loaded the bases for Sano, home plate umpire CB Bucknor took a 92 m.p.h. fastball to the face mask, and the Twins jumped out to a two-run lead to secure the Royals’ eighth consecutive loss.

Rockies 3, Diamondbacks 1: Just as we all predicted, neither the Giants nor the Dodgers are anywhere near the top of the NL West this year. The top two spots appear reserved for the Rockies and Diamondbacks, who have traded first place several times during the month of April. Colorado reclaimed the division on Friday, spearing their 15th win on a one-run outing by rookie southpaw Kyle Freeland and a handful of hits from Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon.

Dodgers 5, Phillies 3: Kenta Maeda is finally looking like the starter the Dodgers need him to be, and not a moment too soon. The right-hander struck out eight over seven innings, holding the Phillies to five hits and two runs in his second winning effort this season. It’ll still take some time to get that ERA below 6.00, however, and the Dodgers have to dig themselves out of a three-game deficit if they want to reclaim first place in the NL West this spring.

Giants 4, Padres 3: So much for rookie jitters. Christian Arroyo has made a comfortable home in the major leagues, slugging .250/.250/.800 through his first four career games and topping it off with his second home run against the Padres on Friday night.