Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 8, Nationals 1: That’s nine straight wins by the Braves over the Nats dating back to last season. Someone should ask Danny Espinosa if he’s impressed by the Braves yet. Tim Hudson notched his 200th career win. In pretty grand style, too: he homered and doubled in addition to pitching seven strong innings.

Indians 14, Phillies 2: Ryan Raburn hit two of the Indians’ seven homers as Cleveland obliterated Roy Halladay and three Philly relievers. Delmon Young came back for the Phillies and homered.

Marlins 2, Mets 1: A two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth with the winning run scoring on a wild pitch for the Marlins. The run before that came in the form of Chris Coghlan, who may very well have been out just before that when he overslid the third base bag. Viva The Human Element. The Mets have dropped six straight. The Marlins have won three in a row, two via walkoff.

Yankees 7, Astros 4: Three RBI singles from Travis Hafner and a bunch of small ball supported Hiroki Kuroda. Phil Humber uncorked four wild pitches. Note: the word “uncorked” is only used in reference to wild pitches, just a “ensuing” is used only in reference to kickoffs. I think that’s in the Chicago style guide.

Padres 13, Cubs 7: Quentin was 3 for 4 with a home run, two doubles and three driven in. The Padres have won five of six. Seven homers were hit in all.

Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 7: Man, that first Encarnacion shot was impressive. His second homer but the Jays ahead. Jon Lester, who had been so good so far, had a Number of the Beast line: six runs on six hits in six innings.

Brewers 12, Pirates 8: Rickie Weeks had a three run homer and five RBI. The Brewers have beat the Pirates nine straight times and are 46-7 against them in Miller Park. Milwaukee so thoroughly owns Pittsburgh at home that the Pirates are gonna have to ask permission to leave after today’s game.

Tigers 6, Twins 1: Cabrera and Fielder homered, Verlander was Verlander and the Tigers have won five straight. I have this feeling that they’re not gonna play that derp-around-until-September-before-taking-control-of-the-division game this year like they did last year.

Cardinals 2, Reds 1: The redbirds snap their three-game losing streak. Jaime Garcia tossed eight strong, Matt Holliday had a two-run jack.

Rangers 10, White Sox 6: Last time out Yu Darvish got a lot of offense behind him and I called him the recipient of the Run Support Award. That was somewhat misleading because he pitched extremely well that night and didn’t really need that support. Last night he sorta needed it, as he gave up four runs and was in a close one until the Rangers broke out for six in the sixth.

Giants 2, Diamondbacks 1: Pablo Sandoval with a two run homer in the ninth. Those two runs were the only ones San Francisco needed as Madison Bumgarner pitched seven shutout innings, besting Trevor Cahill on a pitchery night.

Royals 8, Rays 2: James Shields faces the Royals and scatters two runs and five hits over seven innings. Well, the runs weren’t scattered — they both came on a homer in the first — but that was about all the damage the Rays could do against him. The Royals were stymied by Alex Cobb until the sixth, when they broke through for four runs. By the way: anyone remember Stymie? Whatever happened to him anyway? Totally underrated.

Dodgers 6, Rockies 2: Hanley Ramirez comes back and homers. Hyun-Jin Ryu stuck out 12. Also: Psy was at Dodger Stadium for some reason. Which I liken to M.C. Hammer showing up at your dorm party in 1994. “Sure, we totally remember you, dude. Just … why?” Ryu gave his game-worn jersey to Psy after the game. You’ll probably be able to buy it from Psy in a year or two.

Athletics 10, Angels 6: Yikes the Angels stink.  Yoenis Cespedes drove in four. After the game he said:

“The reason I was so good was because when I got here, I drank (an energy drink),” said Cespedes, who doubled and tripled to pace Oakland’s 10-hit outburst. “I was ready for the game.”

But don’t listen to him. Stimulants players use to wake them up for a game are in no way performance-enhancers. When Mickey Mantle swallowed a handful of greenies after a long night, he was just allowing himself to play at his native ability.

Orioles 7, Mariners 2: Bandon Maurer surrendered four runs in the first and the rest was mere detail. Nate McLouth led off the game with a homer. He’s hitting close to .500 over his past 10 games and has scored 14 runs. Manny Machado has hit in nine straight.

Athletics trade Billy Burns to the Royals for Brett Eibner

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - MAY 13: Billy Burns #1 of the Oakland Athletics waits on deck to bat during the fourth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 13, 2016 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.

Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.

Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.

Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.

Nationals acquire closer Mark Melancon from the Pirates

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 20:  Mark Melancon #35 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches during the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies on May 20, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
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The Nationals announced on Saturday afternoon that the club acquired closer Mark Melancon from the Pirates in exchange for reliever Felipe Rivero and minor league pitcher Taylor Hearn.

Melancon, 31, put together another solid season for the Pirates, leaving the club with 30 saves, a 1.51 ERA, and a 38/9 K/BB ratio in 41 2/3 innings. He led the majors last season with 51 saves and has a 1.80 ERA since joining the Pirates in 2013. Melancon is earning $9.65 million this season and can become eligible for free agency after the season.

With Melancon out of the picture, the Pirates intend to have Tony Watson take over the closer’s role.

Rivero, 25, has handled the seventh and eighth innings for the Nationals this season, compiling a 4.53 ERA and a 53/15 K/BB ratio in 49 2/3 innings. He’s just shy of one year of service time, so the Pirates will have control of him for a long time.

Hearn, 21, was rated the Nationals’ 27th-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He was originally drafted by the Pirates in the 22nd round of the 2012 draft but he didn’t sign and ended up going back to college. The Nationals took him in the fifth round of last year’s draft. This season, between rookie ball and Single-A Hagerstown, Hearn put up a 2.79 ERA and a 39/13 K/BB ratio in 29 innings. He’s a long way away from the majors, so he’s essentially a lottery ticket for the Pirates.

The Nationals needed an upgrade at closer as Jonathan Papelbon has struggled this season. The right-hander has allowed runs in each of his last three appearances, ballooning his ERA up to 4.41 with a 30/13 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. It will be interesting to see how Papelbon, who has never made a habit of letting his feelings go unspoken, handles a demotion to the eighth inning.