And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 6, Twins 3: Six shutout innings for Andy Pettitte. After all these years. After a retirement. After an injury that cost him the bulk of the season. Andy Pettitte is still critical to the Yankees after all of these years.

Orioles 4, Blue Jays 1; Blue Jays 9, Orioles 5: The split costs Baltimore a half game to New York. They’re two back in the loss column. Adam Jones went 4 for 4 with a homer and two RBI in the opener.  J.P. Arencibia hit a grand slam in the night cap. This is the first time the Yankees and O’s are separated by more than a game since September 2.

White Sox 5, Indians 4: Two homers for Adam Dunn, the second of which was a three-run homer in the eighth — to help the Chisox break a five-game losing streak.

Tigers 6, Royals 2: And whaddaya know? Both AL Central contenders won. How novel. Justin Verlander allowed two runs over eight despite hurting his non-throwing shoulder — get this — catching the ball as it was being thrown back by the catcher. There’s something to the idea that geniuses are people who make the hard stuff easy and the easy stuff hard.

Mets 6, Pirates 2: Say what you want about the Mets season, but they’re trying to end it strong. Four straight wins for New York, this one powered by two Ike Davis bombs. As for the Pirates? Here’s their second half schedule and results. I haven’t seen that much red on a board since the show “Homicide” went off the air.

Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 2: Tyler Chatwood wins and goes to 5-5. Trevor Cahill loses and goes to 12-12. There’s something so very satisfyingly symmetrical about that. I mean, apart from the fact that if you interchangeably used the aliases “Tyler Chatwood” and “Trevor Cahill” that no one would ever notice.

Cardinals 6, Astros 1: Lance Lynn wins his 17th and the Cards win their seventh of eight. St. Louis has a three and a half game lead for the second wild card.

Nationals 12, Brewers 2: A six-run fourth inning for Washington when the sun caused Carlos Gomez to misplay a two-out fly ball. The day before the Nats had trouble with balls in the air in the midday glare.  Here’s hoping that MLB doesn’t solve the Nationals public transportation problem by giving them NLDS games in the middle of the afternoon.

Rangers 5, Athletics 4: Josh Hamilton came back and hit a homer. Wouldn’t it be neat if he ekes out the home run crown in the AL, denying Miguel Cabrera the MVP? Like he denied Cabrera the MVP in 2010?  No, you don’t think that would be neat Tigers fans?

Yoenis Cespedes blames a lack of golf for his early season slump

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Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.

It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.

Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:

He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.

“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”

The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.