And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 11, Angels 10: Holy schnikes! The Angels jumped out to a 6-0 lead and the fans were booing Yu Darvish and the local nine. Then the comeback. Make that the comebacks. Four runs in the fifth and then single runs in the eighth and ninth to force extras. Then, down by three in the tenth, they put up four, capped by a Nelson Cruz homer and Elvis Andrus’ walkoff two-run single. Two homers for Albert Pujols, but in a losing effort. Just when the Angels think they have Texas’ number — bam!

Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 0: The sweep.  Patrick Corbin was called up and allowed two hits and goose eggs for six innings. Mere days after the Dodgers drubbed the Giants 19-3 in a three game series, the Dbacks drop a 19-4 on the Dodgers. The NL West is gonna be exciting for the next two months.

Yankees 12, Orioles 3: The Yanks avoid a sweep by beating the O’s to a pulp with a seven-run third inning. And Joba Chamberlain came back. Which is freaky, because last I checked he had died from trampoline poisoning or something. And my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Joba pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I had thought it was pretty serious, but guess not.

Tigers 7, Red Sox 5:  Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder homered on consecutive pitches during a five-run fifth inning. The Tigers avoid the sweep. Now a day off for Detroit. And a day on which I travel up to my ancestral homeland of Detroit, Michigan to take in all three games against the Indians in what will be my first ever trip to Comerica Park. Crazy, I know. I suppose more than a decade-old grudge against them for tearing down Tiger Stadium is enough. Oh, and about that ancestral homeland stuff: don’t anybody tell my extended family up there that I’m coming. They’re all still mad that I went to Ohio State and drive a Japanese car. All of which goes into why, despite my roots, I tell everyone I’m from West Virginia. It’s just easier that way.

Pirates 8, Cubs 4: The Pirates were leading 2-1 going into the eighth and then put up a five spot on seven straight hits. Two of three from the Cubbies and now a weekend series against the first place Reds.

Rays 4, Athletics 1: The Rays have allowed 0 or 1 run in four of their last five games. They’re only one and a half back of Oakland now for the second wild card.

Brewers 13, Astros 4: Ryan Braun hit his 29th and the Astros threw the ball all over the field for their 28th loss in 31 games. The Brewers scored 31 runs in the three-game series.

White Sox 3, Twins 2: Danks is down and Sale has a dead arm but Peavy keeps humming: 8 IP, 5 H 1 ER, 8K.

Marlins 4, Braves 2: Ben Sheets had the longest outing on his comeback so far, but also his least effective. He gave up 11 hits in six and two-thirds. How only four runs scored is a mystery, but four was enough. Carlos Zambrano got the win in relief. Which is weird.

Reds 6, Padres 4: Ryan Ludwick was 3 for 4 with four driven in. Marshall, Broxton and Chapman each pitched a scoreless inning. That’s the pattern Dusty is gonna try to ride all the way through October. A friend of mine was at this game and she moved from upper deck seats to seats behind the dugout early in the game. With kids in tow, while photographing it and posting it to Facebook. Pretty ninja stuff right there.

Phillies 3, Nationals 2: Two homers for Jimmy Rollins and one for newbie Nate Schierholtz, who is probably gonna like playing away from AT&T Park a lot.

Royals 5, Indians 2: Luis Mendoza with seven and a third innings of 2-run ball. I mentioned that my kids watched Tuesday’s game in this series. Thinking about it now, I’m sorta wondering if anyone else was. And if so, why.

Mets 2, Giants 1: Jon Niese gave up one run over seven. Hunter Pence in his Giants debut: 0 for 4 and two strikeouts.

Cardinals 9, Rockies 6: Matt Holliday has another huge night: 3 for 5, two homers and five driven in.

Mariners 5, Blue Jays 3: That’s seven wins in a row for Seattle. And 13 of 17. They have a positive run differential on the year too and are closer to first place than the Brewers, Phillies and Marlins are.

There is, indeed, an MLB-to-Portland group

Associated Press
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On Monday, Baseball America reported that MLB is prepared to expand to Portland and Montreal. We talked about that at length yesterday. One of the most common responses to that piece has been “Portland? Really?”

There’s good reason for that response. Baseball-to-Portland has been talked about for years, but there has never been any real traction. Past initiatives have failed, significant public funding for a stadium seems to be a political impossibility and, heck, Portland wasn’t even interested in keeping its Triple-A team, turning its stadium into a much more successful soccer venue and not missing the Beavers all that much.

It would seem, however, that the reports are not mere speculation and there is a genuine baseball-to-Portland initiative afoot once again. From the Oregonian:

On Tuesday, former Trail Blazers broadcaster Mike Barrett confirmed to The Oregonian/OregonLive that he is part of the Portland group.

“I am officially involved with a campaign to bring Major League Baseball and a stadium development to Portland,” Barrett said. “There is also a formally organized, sophisticated and seasoned management group running this initiative. We will keep you fully apprised of any/all developments as this project progresses.”

One guy — a broadcaster no less — saying he’s part of a group is not exactly a major needle-mover, of course. But it does contrast with past Portland initiatives that have been well-publicized grassroots affairs. While those may have been more broad-based and while their public nature may have provided some refreshing transparency, the simple fact of professional sports ownership in the 21st century is that well-monied groups who play things close to the vest are more likely to make waves. We’re in an age when technocratic hedge fund-type guys make things happen in this arena, not in an age when flamboyant public personalities do.

None of which is to say that baseball in Portland is a lock or that expansion anywhere is a short term proposition. It’s just to note that, yeah, there is a bit more going on, it seems, than just pointing at a map and saying “yeah, a team would make sense here.”