Orioles Tolleson, Machado, and Betemit celebrate defeating the Blue Jays during their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Orioles 12, Blue Jays 0: Zach Britton throwing seven shutout innings + Mark Reynolds driving in four + Yankees losing = First place for the Orioles dudes.

Rays 5, Yankees 2: This is that Yankees loss I just mentioned. Freddy Garcia allowed five runs over five. I know this isn’t the case, but as I sit here today I can’t envision any Freddy Garcia starts that weren’t five runs over five innings. And the offense ain’t helping either.

Brewers 8, Marlins 4: Giancarlo Stanton hit his 30th homer of the year, but he can’t do it alone. Norichika Aoki and Jeff Bianchi each homered and drove in three.

Reds 2, Phillies 1: A two-run shot for Jay Bruce — his third homer in as many games — and Mat Latos allowed one run over seven innings.

Royals 6, Rangers 3: The Nu-Look Jeremy Guthrie continues to roll, tossing seven innings of five-hit, two-run ball.

Rockies 6, Braves 0: A quartet of Rockies pitchers shut the Braves out. Carlos Gonzalez’s solo homer in the first inning was all that Colorado needed.

Nationals 11, Cubs 5: Six homers for the Nats, including two from Adam LaRoche who is absolutely scorching hot right now. On the baseball field, I mean. He still looks like Adam LaRoche.

Indians 3, Tigers 2: Justin Masterson was in control, allowing two runs over six innings. The Tigers, meanwhile are a game away from being swept by the Indians and the Royals, interrupted by a sweep of the White Sox, which makes no damn sense at all. But that’s baseball.

Cardinals 5, Mets 1: Jamie Garcia scattered nine hits over seven and a third. That’s an official ruling, by the way. The Scattered Hits Institute certifies such statements whenever a winning pitcher allows more hits than innings pitched.

Twins 18, White Sox 9: Minnesota put up a ten-spot in the fifth inning, which made it 17-4 at that point. Mr. Perfect, Phil Humber, gave up eight runs in a third of an inning himself. DeWayne Wise pitched for Chicago. It was just one of those nights.

Diamondbacks 8, Giants 6: Aaron Hill went 5 for 5 with a homer. Jason Kubel tripled home the tiebreaking run in the 11th. The Giants used 11 pitchers which, wow, viva expanded rosters.

Padres 6, Dodgers 3: But hey, at least L.A. lost in 11 innings too. This, in part, because the Dodgers bullpen is pretty overworked at the moment, forcing Don Mattingly to use his secondary and tertiary options in late innings.  Yasmani Grandal tied it in the eighth with a two-run shot and Logan Forsythe hit a two-run single in the 11th putting San Diego ahead for good.

Red Sox 4, Mariners 3: The losing streak ends at seven. The sixth inning was where the magic happened, with homers from Cody Ross and  Ryan Lavarnway.

Angels 6, Athletics 1: Zack Greinke is finally coming around, winning his third straight start. The Angels have won four of five and 11 of 14 overall. They’re three and a half back in the wild card race.

Pirates 6, Astros 2:  Andrew McCutchen had four hits, driving in three. Pittsburgh remains two and a half back of the Cards in the wild card race. Brock Holt — BROCK HOLT! — had four hits too.

Report: Teams reluctant to gamble on Cliff Lee

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.

Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.

In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.

The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.

Freddy Garcia is calling it a career

Screenshot 2016-02-07 at 10.16.43 AM
Elsa/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.

Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.

“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”

Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.

Video: 2016 will be a season to remember

Carlos+Correa+Houston+Astros+v+Arizona+Diamondbacks+Ctyu5RiU3SWl
Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.

It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.