Anna Scorecard

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Athletics 10, Mariners 2: This game was a Father’s Day treat for me. Why? Because I used it to teach my daughter how to keep score. I printed out scoresheets. I did a little sketch on the top of hers to illustrate the numbers which correspond with each defensive position. I paused the TV after complicated plays to explain to her why each play was scored the way it was. Around the sixth inning it was getting near the time I was going to have to make dinner but my girlfriend saw what was going down and went in and made it so I didn’t have to take time away. Even if it wasn’t the most competitive game on the planet, it was one of my favorites ever and one which, I think anyway, my daughter and I will remember forever.

My son? well, he’s not quite possessed of the attention span for keeping score yet. However, if he had known that the clubhouses filled up with poop after the game he too would have considered it his favorite game and one which, I think anyway, he would remember forever.

Yankees 6, Angels 5: CC Sabathia cruised until he got into the trouble in the ninth inning but, hey, that’s what Dave Robertson and Mariano Rivera are for, right? Yes, but just barely. The Angels rallied for five but Mo finally closed the game out by fanning Albert Pujols. Yankees snap a five-game losing streak.

Blue Jays 7, Rangers 2: The sweep. Chien-Ming Wang won for the first time in over a year. Colby Rasmus homered for the third straight game. The Rangers are reeling, having scored only eight runs in their past six games, losing all of them.

Rockies 5, Phillies 2: Jhoulys Chacin and a lack of run support makes Cole Hamels a ten-time loser. Carlos Gonzalez hits his 20th dinger of the year. Over his last six starts Hamels has worked 37 and a third innings, striking out 42, not walking guys and not allowing homers. He’s 1-4 in those starts.

Astros 5, White Sox 4: The Astros win their fourth in a row, sweeping the Sox in the process. Oops — wraparound series. They can sweep today. Matt Dominguez had a three-run double. Jason Castro homered. The Sox have lost 12 of 13 on the road.

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 1: I thought of the Padres as a frisky team before the season began. Too bad you can’t take away most of April because they have, indeed, been pretty frisky since, going 15-13 in May and 9-5 in June. They’re only three games out in the no-one-wants-it NL West after sweeping Arizona. Kyle Blanks with a big three-run homer in the eighth to snap a 1-1 tie.

Pirates 6, Dodgers 3: He wasn’t as sharp as he was in his debut last week but Gerrit Cole wins his second start. The rookie allowed three runs on seven hits and not walking anyone in five and two-thirds.

Tigers 5, Twins 2: Doug Fister works fast and throws strikes and I still have no idea why the Mariners ever wanted to get rid of him. Torri Hunter hit his 300th career homer and had an RBI on a ground rule double.

Royals 5, Rays 3: The Royals great pitching continues. Wade Davis allowed two runs in six innings. Overall Royals pitchers have allowed three runs or fewer in 14 of their past 15 games and the team has won 10 of 12

Marlins 7, Cardinals 2: Why baseball is baseball: the best team can face the worst team and lose two of three. And then the next day dawns, no one freaks out about it too much and the games begin again. Ricky Nolasco allowed one run and three hits in seven innings. The Cardinals dropped their first series since late April.

Mets 4, Cubs 3: Oh, Carlos Marmol. The Cubs’ “closer” allowed four runs in the ninth, including a walkoff three-run homer to Kirk Nieuwenhuis, spoiling Matt Garza’s seven shutout inning performance. I know the Cubs are trying to shop Marmol to a contender, but it’s not working.

Orioles 6, Red Sox 3: Chris Davis continues to feast on Red Sox pitching. He hit his MLB-best 23rd homer and Manny Machado extended his hitting streak to 14 games as Baltimore moves into a game and a half of Boston. Baltimore has taken six straight series from the Sox.

Reds 5, Brewers 1: Johnny Cueto returns from the DL, pitches six strong and even drives in a run on a suicide squeeze.

Indians 2, Nationals 0: Stephen Strasburg returned and pitched well — one run in five innings of work — but not as well as Corey Kluber. Kluber tossed eight shutout innings, striking out eight and not walking a soul.

Braves 3, Giants 0: Julio Teheran was fantastic, striking out eight in six shutout innings. More impressive: the millions who sat through a game with Curt Schilling in the booth without killing themselves.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
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Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
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Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.

With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.