St Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Cardinals 2, Dodgers 1: A must-win for both teams if they wanted to stop the bleeding, but a muster-win for L.A. since they’re behind in the standings. Just didn’t happen, though. Lance Lynn, back in the rotation in a spot start, allowed one run in six innings and struck out seven to give the Cardinals a little breathing room in the wild card race. The Dodgers are now 6-12 since the Mega Hella Trade. Oh, and this happened.

Astros 6, Phillies 4: And the Cards got breathing room, not just over the Dodgers, but over the surging Phillies too, who saw their seven game winning streak come to an end. And this one hurt, as the worst team in the majors rallied for three runs in the eighth. Jed Lowrie hit a two run double to put Houston over.

Orioles 3, Rays 2: The Orioles charmed life continued as they win another one-run game. The Rays cursed life continues as they lose another one-run game. And don’t tell me the O’s are not charmed: Manny Machado’s game winning single came when he swung away on 3-0 at a guy who walked the previous hitter and couldn’t find the zone. Even when they do the wrong thing, good things happen.

Yankees 2, Red Sox 0: Worried about the pitching? Worried about the injured aging stars? No worries! Phil Hughes pitched shutout ball into the eighth and Derek Jeter drove in a run in the seventh. The east remains tied.

Angels 6, Athletics 0: The Angels avoid a sweep behind Jered Weaver, who was most excellent in his return from bicep tendinitis. He allowed just two hits over seven shutout innings while striking out nine. The Angels scored all of their runs in the seventh inning, when Torii Hunter started it with a home run and closed out the scoring with an RBI single.

Blue Jays 8, Mariners 3: The Jays pounded King Felix. Hernandez — in his third straight loss — gave up seven runs on ten hits in four innings. Edwin Encarnacion hit his 40th homer. Johan Santana and Phil Humber feel Felix’s post-no-no funk.

Indians 5, Rangers 4: Adrian Beltre was supposed to be hurt, but he went 2 for 3 and scored twice. ‘Twasn’t enough, however, as Joe Nathan imploded in the ninth, blowing a 4-2 lead by serving up taters to Ezequiel Carrera and Jason Kipnis.

Twins 4, Royals 3: Denard Span doubled in a run to win it in the tenth inning, sending tens of fans home happy. Sal Perez extends his hitting streak to 17 games.

Tigers vs. White Sox: POSTPONED:  The wind begun to rock the grass, With threatening tunes and low, – He flung a menace at the earth, A menace at the sky. The leaves unhooked themselves from trees And started all abroad; The dust did scoop itself like hands And throw away the road.

Yordano Ventura represented the best and worst of baseball’s culture

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
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It was reported this morning that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Former prospect Andy Marte was also killed in a separate car accident. Along with Jose Fernandez and Oscar Taveras, the baseball world has lost a lot of young, exciting talent in a very short amount of time.

Ventura was, like all of us, a complex human being. At his best, he was an exciting, talented, emotive pitcher who featured an electric fastball which sat in the mid-90’s and occasionally touched 100 MPH. At his worst, he was an immature, impressionable kid trying to fit in by exacting revenge against batters he felt had wronged him by slinging those electric fastballs at vulnerable areas of their bodies.

Baseball needed Ventura when he was at his best. It is players like him and Fernandez, not Mike Trout, that bring in new fans to the sport. To baseball die-hards, Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the pinnacle of entertainment because we know he’s an otherworldly talent. But to the average fan, Trout is just another player who hits a couple of homers and doesn’t do anything particularly interesting otherwise. Trout is milquetoast. Ventura was never an All-Star, but fans knew who he was because he made his presence felt every time he made a start. He was fun, if sometimes vengeful.

Ventura’s baseball rap sheet is rather lengthy for someone who only pitched parts of four seasons in the big leagues. Early in the 2015 season, Ventura found himself in a handful of benches-clearing incidents in quick succession. On April 12, he jawed with Trout, apparently misunderstanding the motivation behind Trout yelling, “Let’s go!” Though catcher Salvador Perez intervened, Trout’s teammate Albert Pujols ran in from second base and the benches cleared shortly thereafter. On the 18th, some drama between the Athletics and Royals continued. Ventura fired a 99 MPH fastball at Brett Lawrie, resulting in his immediate ejection from the game. More beanball wars ensued in the series finale the following day. Finally, on the 23rd, Ventura hit White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu with a 99 MPH fastball in the fourth inning. Ventura was not ejected… until after the completion of the seventh inning. Walking back to the dugout, Ventura barked at White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton and — you guessed it — the benches cleared. All told, Ventura was fined for his behavior with the Athletics and suspended seven games for the White Sox incident.

In August 2015, Ventura called Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista a “nobody” and accused him of stealing signs. He apologized shortly thereafter. Two months later, during his start in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, Ventura got into it with Jays first base coach Tim Leiper. Nothing happened beyond that, but apparently it was part of the Jays’ plan to try to put Ventura “on tilt.”

Most recently, in June this past season, Ventura hit Orioles third baseman Manny Machado with a pitch. Machado charged the mound and got in at least one punch before the players spilled out onto the field in a blob of royal blue and orange. Ventura was suspended for eight games.

Ventura was by no means a model of civility, but he was a product of baseball’s intransigent culture forcing players to assimilate or be ostracized. The old culture taught players to never show emotion. Hit a home run? Put your head down and circle the bases in a timely fashion or risk taking a fastball to the ribs. Players like Fernandez and Bautista — typically players from Latin countries — challenged those old cultural norms and are, as a result, the vanguard of the new culture. Ventura displayed aspects of each, the worst of the old culture and the best of the new. He was not a one-dimensional person; he was strikingly complex. At one moment willing to use a fastball as a weapon, the next stopping by some kids’ lemonade stand and giving out fist bumps. Baseball is made more entertaining and more interesting by its personalities and Ventura’s was a behemoth, for better or worse. His absence from the sport will be felt.

MLB remembers Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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Following the tragic passing of 25-year-old Yordano Ventura and 33-year-old Andy Marte, both of whom were killed in separate car crashes on Sunday morning, players and executives from around Major League Baseball expressed an outpouring of grief and support for the players’ families and former teams.

Fans have gathered at Kauffman Stadium in memory of the former pitcher.