And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 12, Orioles 3: Five years ago last night Texas laid 30 runs on the Orioles. Not so bad last night, but still pretty ugly. Adrian Beltre smacked three dingers and drove in five. Sadly, Tommy Hunter was only allowed to give up a solo homer, two-run homer and a grand slam, falling just short of the cycle of homers allowed.

Braves 5, Nationals 1: Kris Medlen was once again fantastic, throwing seven shutout innings and striking out seven. All the Braves do when Medlen pitch is win. And Craig Kimbrel was actually used. In a non-save situation! See, it can be done!

Mariners 3, Indians 1: Seattle is on fire. Eight in a row for the M’s. A two-run double by Eric Thames broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth.

Diamondbacks 3, Marlins 2, Diamondbacks 3, Marlins 0: Young pitching was featured in both games. In the first, Jacob Turner made his first start for the Marlins. Meanwhile, Tyler Skaggs made his major league debut for Arizona. Skaggs got the win, allowing two runs in six and two-thirds, even while walking five. Turner: three runs on four hits over six. Although one was a two-run bomb. And Ozzie Guillen got ejected either arguing what he thought was a balk or throwing water on umpire Angel Campos. Depends on who you believe. In the nightcap rookie Wade Miley tossed eight shutout innings.

Brewers 3, Cubs 2: Ryan Braun hit his league-leading 34th homer. John Axford, newly re-installed as the Brewers closer, got the save.

Padres 4, Pirates 2: San Diego got three quick runs off James McDonald to start the game and that was all the really needed. McDonald as an ERA of 7.30 since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh has lost four of five.

Athletics 5, Twins 1: Coco Crisp homered, hit an RBI double and scored three times. I’m gonna assume that this was merely a case of the A’s rallying following Bartolo Colon’s positive drug test. Which someone will claim with a straight face today. Just you wait.

Rays 5, Royals 3: James Shields was strong and the Rays have are 16-5 in their last 21 games. The Royals scored five runs in the three-game series.

Reds 3, Phillies 2: Bronson Arroyo came out on fire, retiring the first 14 Phillies he faced before Domonic Brown hit a solo homer in the fifth. That’s all the Phillies would get until the ninth, though, when Aroldis Chapman allowed an inherited runner to score. But too little, too late.

Tigers 3, Blue Jays 2: The good Anibal Sanchez showed up. Helped that he faced the recently reeling Jays offense. Sanchez pitched six and two thirds, giving up one earned run.

Rockies 5, Mets 2: Matt Harvey pitched six strong and left with the game tied, but then the bullpen happened. Dexter Fowler left the game with a sprained ankle, though x-rays were negative. Like totally negative. HIS ANKLE IS COMPLETELY MISSING. Someone call Jim Rockford!

Angels 7, Red Sox 3: Jered Weaver rebounds from his shellacking by the Rays to tame the Sox (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER). Clay Buchholz? Not so much (5.1 IP, 12 H, 7 ER). Bad news, though: Albert Pujols left the game early with tightness in his calf.

White Sox 2, Yankees 1: Chris Sale was a beast, striking out 13 in seven and two-thirds as the Sox sweep the Yankees, dropping New York’s division lead to three games.  The Yankees had best take advantage of their upcoming series against the Indians and Blue Jays, because then they have Tampa Bay in the now suddenly interesting AL East race.

Cardinals 4, Astros 2: Kyle Lohse outduels Bud Norris. That’s six losses in a row for Houston. So I guess that managerial change hasn’t helped much yet, huh?

Giants 8, Dodgers 4: The sweep. Clearly rallying around Melky or something. Matt Cain allowing one run over seven had a lot to do with it too. As did Joaquin Arias driving in five via a homer and two RBI doubles.

Starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani will pinch-hit and pinch-run for the Angels in 2018

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The Angels’ bench is looking woefully thin this winter — so thin, in fact, that manager Mike Scioscia says he’s considering utilizing starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner on the days he’s not scheduled to pitch.

I’ve never had a pitcher pinch-run,” Scioscia told reporters Saturday. “There’s more bad than good that can come out of it. But Shohei is not just a pitcher. He’s a guy that has the ability to do some of the things coming off the bench, whether it’s pinch-hit or pinch-run, and we’re definitely going to tap into that if it’s necessary, because we feel we’re not putting him at risk. It’s something he’s able to do.

Granted, spring training allows for a certain amount of experimentation before managers and players decide what works best for them, so this may not be the strategy the Angels employ for the entire season. In addition to coming off the bench between starts, Ohtani is also expected to see 2-3 days at DH every week, forcing Albert Pujols to shift over to first base to accommodate the new two-way star.

Ohtani’s hitting prowess has already been well-documented — he has a lifetime .286/.358/.500 batting line from NPB and crushed a batting practice home run during his initial workouts with the team this week — but his skills on the basepaths have received less attention so far. MLB Pipeline describes the 23-year-old phenom as a “well-above average runner” whose speed has yet to manifest stolen bases: he’s nabbed just 13 bases in 17 chances over the last five years. That’s a number Scioscia hopes to see increased this season, though he doesn’t want his ace pitcher making any head-first slides on the basepaths to do so.

To be sure, it’s an unorthodox role for any young player to step into, but if anyone can pull it off, Ohtani can.