Bryce Harper

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Nationals 8, Marlins 4: Bryce Harper hit two homers, bro. Jacob Turner: not really ready for the major leagues yet, bro.

Mets 3, Phillies 2: Matt Harvey continues to impress (6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 6K). The Phillies pitcher is listed in the box score is named “Tyler Cloyd.” I’m calling b.s.  That’s a name you desperately reach for when you’re trying to pretend to be someone else but didn’t really think ahead.

Royals 1, Tigers 0: Look, it’s pretty simple: if you have pretensions of the playoffs, you beat the Royals when your ace is going like the Tigers didn’t do on Tuesday night. And you don’t get shut the hell out by Bruce Chen for eight innings either.

Pirates 5, Cardinals 0: We’re all sitting around here waiting for the Pirates to keel over and die and then they go and take two of three from the guys they’re chasing. Coming up: a lot of games against the Cubs and Astros. The wild card race is getting wild.

Padres 8, Braves 2: Tuesday night was just a blip, it seems. The Padres win their ninth of ten. Eric Stultz allowed no earned runs over six.

White Sox 8, Orioles 1: Joe Saunders, amazingly, wasn’t an immediate boon to the O’s rotation. Their recent pickup allowed ten hits and seven runs over five and a third.

Reds 6, Diamondbacks 2: Chris Heisey smacked two homers as the NL’s best team sweeps the snakes.

Blues Jays 8, Yankees 5: Yunel Escobar had the big day. The Yankees looked sloppy and stranded runners. I know the real issue here is getting everyone healthy, but really, they’re playing bad baseball at the moment regardless.

Rays 8, Rangers 4: Two homers for Evan Longoria. More like Even Longballia, amirite?

Athletics 8, Indians 4: I spent an hour yesterday telling people that the A’s and Rays’ offenses suck and how they won’t go far in the playoffs because of it. Nothing you can say about baseball lasts more than a day.

Brewers 3, Cubs 1: Sometimes I look at the box score and just can tell that the game was no fun to watch. Like when three of the game’s four runs were scored on two groundouts and a play on which there were two throwing errors.

Dodgers 10, Rockies 8: A.J. Ellis’ grand slam in the eighth seemed like gravy, as it stretched a five-run lead into a nine run lead, but the Dodgers ended up needing it as they withstood a seven run rally by Colorado in the bottom of the inning.

Twins 10, Mariners 0: Trevor Plouffe doubled in a couple and hit a two-run homer. But really, everyone in Minnesota got into the act.

Giants 6, Astros 4: You’d think Hunter Pence would be nice to the Astros seeing as how they gave him his freedom from having to play for them and everything. But no, he’s an ingrate and hit a three-run homer off of them. It was his fourth homer against Houston in the seven games he’s played against them since departing.

Angels 10, Red Sox 3: Kendrys Morales and Chris Iannetta hit homers and C.J. Wilson won for the first time in 11 tries.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.

Report: Tyson Ross not expected to pitch in April

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Tyson Ross #38 of the San Diego Padres pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Petco Park September 29, 2015 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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Comments from an anonymous team official suggest that Rangers right-hander Tyson Ross will not be expected to join the rotation until May or June, per a report from Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Both Ross and GM Jon Daniels favor a conservative approach for the 29-year-old as he works his way back up to full health after undergoing surgery last October to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome.

The delay is reportedly being implemented so that Ross will be have the strength and stamina to contribute during the stretch run. Per Daniels:

We would rather err on a little extra time up front with the goal being to finish strong, pitching in big spots, meaningful games down the stretch and hopefully past 162.

Ross signed a one-year deal with the team on Thursday after pitching through an injury-riddled season with the Padres in 2016. If all goes according to plan, he’ll slot into a rotation that includes Yu Darvish, Cole Hamels, Andrew Cashner and Martin Perez. The Rangers are expected to narrow down their fifth starter alternatives in spring training.