Wilin Rosario

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 4: One of four games to require ten frames last night. This from the AP gamer:

Reliever Matt Reynolds tried to outthink his former teammate, guess what pitch Wilin Rosario would be looking for and throw the opposite. Only, Rosario knew Reynolds was trying to get inside his head, so …

Long story short, Rosario spent the last few years building up an immunity to iocane powder, thus his game-winning RBI single in the 10th.

Angels 12, Mariners 0: As Matt noted, Trout hit for the cycle. May be the first bit of actual fun the Angels and their fans have had all year. Now, pardon me while I go relitigate the 2012 MVP race again like the Cabrera people did when he hit three homers the other night. Oh, wait, I won’t do that because I’m not a crazy person.

Orioles 3, Yankees 2: This one ended on a Nate McLouth walkoff bomb. Chris Dickerson hit two homers. Those homers were Phil Hughes’ only two blemished, but they were enough to get it to extras.

Pirates 5, Cubs 4: A pinch hit grand slam for Travis Snider in the sixth spoiled Matt Garza’s return. Garza pitched well but, unfortunately, the Cubs have a bullpen.

Tigers 5, Indians 1: Max Scherzer was dominant, allowing one earned run in eight innings and at one point retiring 22 straight Tribe hitters. Miguel Cabrera homered again and is now one bomb off Triple Crown pace.

Braves 5, Twins 4: Evan Gattis hit a tying homer in the ninth and Freddie Freeman singled in Jason Heyward in the tenth. It was Bobby Cox’ and Kent Hrbek’s birthdays yesterday. Glad one of ’em is sad and one of ’em is happy.

Rays 4, Blues Jays 3: The second straight Alex Cobb start that went 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER. If he made that his thing he’d have a pretty nice career. A late rally for the Jays but it fell just short.

Reds 4, Mets 0: Mike Leake shut the Mets out on three hits over seven innings and the pen handled the other two. The Mets offense is, whoa.

Athletics 1, Rangers 0: Yu Darvish’s last start was billed as a pitcher’s duel. It wasn’t. This one was, but Drew Dan Straily bested him, tossing seven two-hit shutout innings.

Phillies 7, Marlins 3: I guess Ryan Howard’s knee is OK. The big guy drove in three on a pair of RBI singles. Delmon Young homered. Most of the Phillies damage came after Jose Fernandez left after five.

Brewers 5, Dodgers 2: Zack Greinke had a nice run at Miller Park when he was with the Brewers. Not so nice last night as he surrendered five runs on nine hits in four innings. The Dodgers offense all came via Greinke’s helping his own cause and a Nick Punto RBI. In other words, the big guns.

White Sox 3, Red Sox 1: Sox win.

Royals 7, Astros 3: Houston took a three-run lead into the top of the seventh and then the Royals put up 2, 4 and one-spots in the seventh, eighth and ninth. Is a one-spot a thing? OK, sure it is.

Cardinals 10, Padres 2: Adam Wainwright coulda sucked last night and the Cards still woulda been OK, what with five runs to play with while he was in the game. He didn’t suck (7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 6K). And the Cards woulda bailed him out with five more late runs anyway.

Giants 4, Nationals 2: The Braves rallied and one in the tenth, the Nats got rallied against and lost in the tenth. Trains heading in different directions this past week, with the Nats now 4.5 back. As for the Giants: a Gregor Blanco triple ties it in the ninth, a boooooming Pablo Sandoval wins it in the tenth.  We’ll have more on this one later this morning.

Report: Rays having “advanced talks” with free agent reliever Tommy Hunter

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported this morning that free agent reliever Tommy Hunter required core muscle repair surgery earlier this offseason. Coming off a disappointing 2015, it’s understandable why he’s still on the market, but it sounds like he has at least one significant lead.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times hears that the Rays are having “advanced talks” with Hunter as they attempt to add an experienced arm to their bullpen. Nothing is considered close and Hunter is also talking to other clubs. Meanwhile, the Rays have been in touch with veteran reliever Ryan Webb while monitoring the trade market.

Hunter posted a 2.88 ERA as a late-inning arm from 2013-2014, but he compiled a mediocre 4.18 ERA over 58 appearances last season between the Orioles and Cubs. On the bright side, his velocity has held steady and his control is still very good. Despite the down year and core muscle surgery, Topkin writes that Hunter may be holding out for a multi-year deal.

Pirates sign left-hander Cory Luebke

Cory Luebke Getty
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
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Eric O'Flaherty wasn’t the only reclamation project added by the Pirates today, as the club also announced that they have signed left-hander Cory Luebke to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Luebke once looked like a solid rotation piece for the Padres, but he hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since April 27, 2012. He’s undergone a pair of Tommy John surgeries since. Now 30 years old, he logged seven innings in the minors last season before requiring a procedure to remove loose bodies around a nerve in his forearm. The Padres cut ties with him in November after declining a $7.5 million club option for 2016.

It’s hard to count on much from Luebke at this point, but he told Adam Berry of MLB.com that he feels healthy and hopes to compete for a bullpen job in the spring.

White Sox reportedly considering Ian Desmond

Ian Desmond
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin
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Many have speculated on a potential match between the White Sox and Ian Desmond this winter, but we haven’t heard much in the way of legitimate interest. That could be changing with spring training right around the corner, as MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Chicago is among the teams considering the free agent shortstop.

After turning the page on Alexei Ramirez this offseason, the White Sox currently have Tyler Saladino in line to serve as their starting shortstop in 2016. The 26-year-old is considered a strong defender, but he batted .225/.267/.335 with four homers over 254 plate appearances as a rookie in 2015. Desmond is coming off a nightmare of a walk year and has seen his strikeout rate climb by 8.5 percent since 2012, but he possesses more offensive upside and it’s not hard to imagine a bounceback campaign while calling U.S. Cellular Field home.

Similar to fellow free agents Yovani Gallardo and Dexter Fowler, Desmond is attached to draft pick compensation after turning down a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Nationals. It’s a big reason why a potential deal with the Rays is reported to be a “long shot.” Chicago’s No. 10 overall pick in this year’s draft is protected, so they would give up their No. 28 overall pick if they sign a qualifying offer free agent like Desmond.

Pirates sign reliever Eric O’Flaherty

Eric O'Flaherty
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Left-hander Eric O'Flaherty has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Pirates that includes an invitation to spring training.

O’Flaherty was one of the best relievers in the league for the Braves from 2009-2013, posting a combined 1.99 ERA in 249 innings, but Tommy John elbow surgery derailed his career and he struggled for the A’s and Mets in 2015 while dealing with shoulder problems.

It’s tough to know if O’Flaherty is healthy at this point, but the 31-year-old southpaw certainly has a chance to be a nice reclamation project for the Pirates on a no-risk contract.