Miami Marlins  v Tampa Bay Rays

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Rays 10, Marlins 6: Two three-run homers for Kelly Johnson. He also singled, doubled and stole a base. He has 24 RBI in 21 games in May. Six straight losses for the Marlins despite what was, for them anyway, an offensive outburst.

Tigers 6, Pirates 5: While it was his second win in a row this one was way better, personally speaking, for Justin Verlander. Thirteen strikeouts and three runs over seven innings.

Orioles 6, Nationals 2: Fifteen hits for the O’s and a nice start for Jason Hammel in the first of a weird, four-game home-and-home series in four days for Baltimore and Washington. Davey Johnson vowed not to shave until the Nats’ bats “came alive.” At this rate he’s going to look like Billy Gibbons before it’s all over.

Astros 3, Rockies 2: A walkoff ground rule double for Brandon Barnes in the 12th. The Rockies stranded 15 runners in this one. That’s, like, more than two Gilligan’s Islands worth of castaways.

Reds 4, Indians 2: Joey Votto hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth off Nick Hagadone, who was just called up from Columbus. Shoulda stayed here in Columbus, man. It’s so much safer here.

Cardinals 6, Royals 3: Yadier Molina homered and drove in four. Meanwhile, Adam Wainwright scattered 12 hits over eight innings. If you can call 12 in 8 a “scattering” as opposed to the Royals simply squandering multiple opportunities.

Twins 6, Brewers 3: Joe Mauer hit a homer that was reviewed and upheld on replay for the second time in three days. He’s just not a big fan of the human element.

Athletics 4, Giants 1: Dan Straily with his second straight strong start, allowing one run over six innings. Madison Bumgarner was shaky. Four in a row for the A’s.

Diamondbacks 5, Rangers 3Diamondbacks 5, Rangers 4: Tyler Skaggs struck out nine in six innings in the first one. Yu Darvish strikes out 14 in seven and two-thirds in the nightcap. The difference: Skaggs won his start while Darvish got the no-decision thanks to a ninth inning RBI single by Cliff Pennington.

Mariners 9, Padres 0: Aaron Harang with a four-hit shutout and his best start in four years. Not that he needed it thanks to the M’s bats. Homers from Jason Bay and Michael Morse, among other destruction.

Mets 2, Yankees 1: A rare late-innings failure for the Yankees bullpen. Not that they had a huge margin for error, but still. Daniel Murphy with an RBI single to center off Dave Robertson in the eighth. It was the first time in 23 games the Yankees lost when leading after six.

Blue Jays 9, Braves 3: Five driven in for Edwin Encarnacion. Rookie reliever Cory Rasmus got mop-up duty for Atlanta and gave up an RBI double to his brother Colby. Which wasn’t very nice. Not all good for Toronto, though, as Brett Lawrie left with a sprained ankle.

Cubs 7, White Sox 0: Jeff Samardzija with a two-hit shutout. And like Harang’s gem, he didn’t have to do it given what the bats did. Two RBI a piece for Julio Borbon, Anthony Rizzo and Alfonso Soriano.

Red Sox 9, Phillies 3: Tyler Cloyd couldn’t make it out of the third inning and Alfredo Aceves didn’t stink for once. The Sox have won 10 of 13 and have taken sole possession of first in the east.

Dodgers 8, Angels 7: The eight-game winning streak is over. Not that the Dodgers made it easy on themselves. The Dodgers were down 6-1, thanks in part to numerous defensive miscues early — many not called errors — which helped Anaheim build their lead. Adrian Gonzalez remains hot. Even Juan Uribe got into the act, going 3 for 3 after coming in late as a pinch hitter.

The Cubs acquire Rex Brothers from the Rockies

Rex Brothers Rockies

The number of people who, if you held a gun to their head, would say that “Rex Brothers” was a game show host and/or local TV news personality from the late 1970s or early 80s is not insignificant. But if you’re a Rockies fan or if spend all day thinking about baseball you know that he’s a reliever who has played in Colorado for the past five years. Now you know him as a reliever for the Cubs:

Brothers — a former Best Shape of His Life All-Star — was pretty good until he hit a brick wall in 2014 and spent most of 2015 in Triple-A. He had something of a bounceback after being called up when rosters expanded in September, but that’s not the sort of thing to excite anyone. He could be useful for the Cubs or just spring training cannon fodder and organizational depth.

Cabrera just turned 18 a couple of weeks ago and pitched a grand total of 14 games in the Dominican Summer League. He’s young and was a $250,000 signee from the Dominican as a 16-year-old so, by definition, he’s a project. Worth giving up Rex Brothers for him if you’re the Rockies, worth risking for some depth in the pen if you’re the Cubs.

Diamondbacks hire Dave Magadan as hitting coach

Dave Magadan Rangers
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Steve Gilbert of reports that the Diamondbacks’ new hitting coach is Dave Magadan, who “parted ways” with the Rangers last month after three years filling the same role in Texas.

Magadan also previously was the Red Sox’s hitting coach and his teams have generally done pretty well, including the Rangers scoring the third-most runs in the league this year.

He’ll have plenty of talent to work with in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks scored the second-most runs in the league led by Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and David Peralta. Turner Ward, who had been Arizona’s hitting coach, chose to leave the team two weeks ago.

A’s reacquire Jed Lowrie in trade with Astros

Jed Lowrie

Jed Lowrie, who was traded from the Astros to the A’s in 2013 and then re-signed with the Astros as a free agent last offseason, has now been traded back to the A’s.

Lowrie got a three-year, $23 million deal from the Astros with the idea that he’d play shortstop in the first season and then move to another position whenever stud prospect Carlos Correa arrived. Instead he got hurt right away, Correa became an immediate star, and the Astros weren’t so keen on paying him $15 million over the next two seasons.

He could resume playing shortstop for the A’s, who watched rookie Marcus Semien make an absurd number of errors there this year. Lowrie hit .271 with a .738 OPS in two seasons in Oakland, which is similar to his career totals and makes him a solidly above-average offensive shortstop. There’s a decent chance the A’s will have a Lowrie-Lawrie double-play duo in 2016.

In return the Astros get minor leaguer Brendan McCurry, a 24-year-old right-hander who split 2015 between high Single-A and Double-A with a 1.86 ERA and 82/17 K/BB ratio in 63 relief innings. He was a 22nd-round draft pick in 2014 and doesn’t have exceptional raw stuff, but McCurry’s numbers are incredible so far.

White Sox sign catcher Alex Avila to a one-year deal

Detroit Tigers' Alex Avila, right, is congratulated by third base coach Dave Clark after his solo home run in the third inning in the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

There have been a lot of articles published in the past few days about how to navigate awkward Thanksgiving conversations with your relatives. Heck, we even wrote one.

But there’s always room for more! Such as “How to talk to your father at Thanksgiving dinner about the fact that he let you walk away from the only team you’ve ever known to sign with a division rival.” Which is what Alex Avila will likely be talking about with his father, Tigers GM Al Avila:

The older Avila can’t even say he did it because he’s opposed to nepotism. After all, he just hired his other son — who has had his law degree for just over a year — as the Tigers assistant legal counsel for baseball operations. Though I’m sure that wasn’t nepotism. He probably just aced the interview and impressed everyone more than the other candidates did.

OK, those are jokes. In all seriousness, this is a good move for Alex and Al and, probably, the White Sox. With the emergence of James McCann, there really is not space for Alex Avila in Detroit in anything other than a backup capacity. In Chicago, he’ll get more playing time. At least if he can (a) stay healthy; and (b) not hit .191/.339/.287 again like he did in 2015.