Arizona Diamondbacks v New York Mets

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Mets 5, Diamondbacks 4: Arizona took two leads in this game: a 3-0 lead they held for most of it and then, after the Mets tied it in the ninth, a 4-3 lead in the 13th. The ultimate rally was capped with Andrew Brown’s two-run single. The best part of that, though: Kirk Gibson ordered an intentional walk to John Buck before that. John Buck who SCORED THE WINNING RUN. John Buck who was 0 for 4 at that point. John Buck who is hitting .205. Any time you can put the winning run on base, you totally gotta do that, right? I think that’s in the grit handbook.

Yankees 10, Twins 4: Andy Pettitte, who has admitted to using performance enhancing drugs, passed Whitey Ford, who is well known for doctoring baseballs, for the Yankees all-time strikeout record. Two homers for Robinson Cano, as the Yankees snap their five-game losing streak.

Nationals 10, Brewers 5: Bryce Harper came back from the DL and smacked a homer on the second pitch he saw. Jayson Werth had the bigger bat, though, driving in five. Jordan Zimmermann won his 12th and had three hits of his own.

Blue Jays 8, Tigers 3: A happy Canada Day it was, eh, as the Jays topped the Tigers behind R.A. Dickey’s seven innings of two-run ball. Detroit fel behind by five runs and any hopes they had of coming back were crushed when Mark DeRosa hit a three-run bomb.

Reds 8, Giants 1: It has rained in Ohio for a week straight, so no real surprise this one was rain-shortened. Mercifully so, really. Giants pitcher Michael Kickham: not exactly the answer to San Francisco’s rotation problems. He has started three times, two of them have gone shorter than three innings and, in order, he has given up 4, 5 and 7 runs on 4, 8 and 9 hits, respectively.

Rays 12, Astros 0: The bottom third of the Rays order went 9 for 15 with six RBI. Matt Moore tossed seven two-hit shutout innings for his 11th win.

Marlins 4, Padres 0: Jose Fernandez topped Moore, tossing eight two-hit shutout innings and fanning ten. All four of the Marlins runs were unearned.

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.