And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 15, Angels 9: Ryan Dempster was shelled in his Rangers debut, but it didn’t matter because C.J. Wilson was shelled too. Josh Hamilton drove in four. You have to wonder if Wednesday night’s game was some kind of turning point in this race.

Rockies 8, Cardinals 2: Homers in four straight games for Josh Rutledge, which is kind of neat. Rockies avoid the sweep.

Braves 6, Marlins 1: A rain delay knocked out the starters early, but it didn’t much matter considering the Braves had a 6-0 lead by then. Two runs knocked in a piece for Chipper Jones and Freddie Freeman.

Royals 7, Indians 6: The Royals had a 6-0 lead and blew it, and then the Indians blew the comeback when Alcides Escobar singled in the winning run in the 11th. This series seemed like it lasted for a year.

Nationals 3, Phillies 0: Ross Detwiler shuts out the Phillies for seven. Adam LaRoche drove in two and Jayson Werth finally came back and drove in one himself.

Mets 9, Giants 1: Tim Lincecum sort of seems to be back so I guess that Barry Zito has to revert to his normal self as well (4.1 IP, 6 H, 7 ER). Ronny Cedeno drove in five. The Mets took three of four from the Giants.

Twins 5, Red Sox 0: What Samuel Deduno is doing is not sustainable — you can’t walk four and strike out one and always expect success — but it worked well enough. Ron Gardenhire:

“I know his ball-strike ratio wasn’t the greatest, but sometimes that works,” Gardenhire said. “He was able to make pitches when he had to and that’s all you really care about.”

Wow. Ron Gardenhire knows what a ball/strike ratio is.

Reds 9, Padres 4: Six runs in the second sunk the Padres. Cincy and Pittsburgh now play the most interesting series of the weekend.

Athletics 4, Blue Jays 0: Well, that was the score in the 8th when I went to bed. I’m guessing that holds up because the Blue Jays can’t seem to win baseball games anymore.

 

Marlins option Tom Koehler to Triple-A, recall Hunter Cervenka

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Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.

Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.

Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.

Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are interested in Pat Neshek

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At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.

Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.