San Francisco Giants v Pittsburgh Pirates

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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The losing team scored two runs in eight of last night’s fifteen games. I have no idea if that’s uncommon or not, but I noticed it and I’m going to pretend it’s a sign or portent or something. Anyway:

Pirates 8, Giants 2: Welcome to the big leagues Gerrit Cole. The 2011 number one pick pitched shutout ball into the seventh before running out of gas, allowed two runs total, got the win and drove in the first two runs of the game with an RBI single.

Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 3: Any time you have a fight where some of the most active participants include multiple former MVPs and a couple of guys with arguments for one, well, that’s something. Hats off to you, Don Mattingly, Kirk Gibson, Alan Trammell, Mark McGwire, Matt Williams, and Don Baylor! Show ’em how we do it, 80s-style!

Mariners 4, Astros 0: Aaron Harang got shellacked his last time out. This time? He tossed a two-hit, ten strikeout shutout in a game that lasted only two hours and fifteen minutes. He may be one of the more hard-to-predict pitchers of the past decade or so. Just never know what you’re gonna get with him.

Orioles 3, Angels 2: Miguel Gonzalez was sharp, allowing one run over eight innings. Nick Markakis delivered the go-ahead runs on a two-run single in the seventh.

Cardinals 9, Mets 2: Five unearned runs for the Cardinals, helped in part by a Daniel Murphy error at first base. Miss Ike yet? OK, maybe not. Allen Craig with a three-run homer. Michael Wacha got his first win and helped his own cause with an RBI.

Rays 8, Red Sox 3: Two homers for Desmond Jennings as the Rays rough up Jon Lester for seven runs in four and two-thirds. He hasn’t won since May 15.

Marlins 5, Brewers 4: Giancarlo Stanton returns and hits a two-run homer that put the Marlins in front for good. The Miami fans weren’t all that impressed with the return of their team’s best player, however: a paltry 13,110 bought tickets, the Marlins’ lowest attendance total of the year.

Indians 5, Rangers 2: The Indians snap their eight-game losing streak — and a 12-game road losing streak — behind Corey Kluber’s one-run performance over eight innings. Texas fans weren’t totally unhappy, though, as it was Yu Darvish bobblehead night. And that’s what it’s all about, yes?

Reds 12, Cubs 2: Four homers for the Reds as they continue their dominance of the Cubs. Four driven in for Zack Cozart.

Blue Jays 7, White Sox 5: Chien-Ming Wang makes his 2013 debut. It wasn’t pretty — five runs and ten hits allowed in seven and a third innings — but he kept his team in the game. The winning run scored on a Ramon Troncoso wild pitch. In other news there was a fog delay at U.S. Cellular on Monday and a lighting malfunction delay on Tuesday.

Rockies 8, Nationals 3: Tyler Colvin homered twice and drove in four runs in his first game since being recalled from the minors. Carlos Gonzalez hit a tiebreaking three-run homer. Remember when Dan Haren was good?

Tigers 3, Royals 2: Max Scherzer improves to 9-0 and shows that he doesn’t need crazy run support to win games. The Royals win streak ends.

Twins 3, Phillies 2: A three-hit night and the go-ahead RBI for Justin Morneau. The Phillies have dropped four in a row.

Padres 3, Braves 2: Andrew Cashner allowed only two runs in eight innings — his longest career outing — and the Padres scored single runs in the first, second and third, which is all they needed.

Athletics 6, Yankees 4: A late rally by the Yankees fell short as Seth Smith made a nice catch on what looked like it could have been a game-tying homer by Travis Hafner in the ninth. Derek Norris homered and drove in four runs, Bartolo Colon continued to be as solid as a rock and the A’s won their eighth game in their last 11. They have the franchise’s best record at this point of the season since 1992.

Angels ink Javy Guerra to minor league deal

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Javy Guerra. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Guerra was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball last July after testing positive for a drug of abuse. That suspension is now over, though Guerra is probably ticketed for the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate to begin the 2016 season.

The 30-year-old made just three major league appearances in 2015 for the White Sox before getting outrighted off Chicago’s 40-man roster. He does own a 2.87 ERA in 150 1/3 career innings, but it has come with bouts of inconsistency and unreliability.

Maybe he can get everything going in the right direction with Anaheim.

Braves sign reliever Carlos Torres

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As first reported by Bill Shanks of Fox Sports 1670, the Braves have signed right-handed reliever Carlos Torres to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Torres was waived by the Mets in January, somewhat surprisingly, and elected to become a free agent. The 33-year-old ultimately chose Atlanta, where he should have a good shot at an Opening Day roster out of spring training with the rapidly-rebuilding Braves.

Torres posted an ugly 4.68 ERA in 57 2/3 innings last season for the Mets, but he registered a gorgeous 3.06 ERA and 96 strikeouts across 97 innings in 2014.

If he gets off to a good start in 2016, he could become valuable trade bait.

Blue Jays will have a closer competition this spring

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Roberto Osuna became the youngest pitcher to ever play for the Blue Jays last season at age 20 and he rose to the challenge with a 2.58 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 75/16 K/BB ratio in 69 2/3 frames. Osuna eventually took over as Toronto’s closer, earning 20 regular-season saves and one in the American League Division Series — a five-out effort in Game 5 to close out the visiting Rangers.

But the Jays upgraded the back end of their bullpen this winter, acquiring Drew Storen from the Nationals in early January for speedy outfielder Ben Revere. Jesse Chavez was also brought to Toronto in a trade with the A’s.

Storen has more experience at closer than Osuna, and Storen struggled when the Nationals tried to put him in a setup role. Storen, in his final year of salary arbitration, also gets paid much more. He’s probably going to enter spring training as the favorite for the Jays’ ninth-inning gig, but there will be a competition …

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect the team to choose between Osuna or Storen until midway through spring training, if not later.

There’s been talk of making Osuna a starter, so add that wrinkle.

Storen, 28, boasts 95 career major league saves.

Orioles plotting late-offseason push? Gallardo, Fowler, Alvarez, Bruce in consideration

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Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.

We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.

Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.

The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.

Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.