Orioles' Jones watches his two-run home run off of Yankees closing pitcher Rivera during the ninth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Orioles 2, Yankees 1: Even Superman gets beat up once in a while. Adam Jones handed Mariano Rivera his second blown save of the year and the first blown save in Yankee Stadium in a dog’s age when he smacked a two-run homer in the ninth.

Speaking of Superman, I finally got around to seeing “Man of Steel” yesterday. It was OK, and the whole creation story was handled well I think, but man, the whole second half is problematic. I don’t think I’m giving anything away here because it’s a standard Superman trope, but please tell me how Superman’s long-held weakness/motivation of “protecting the precious human beings he’s adopted” becomes such a motivator/game changer in the climax of his battle with General Zod after he’s just spent the previous hour literally knocking down dozens and dozens of skyscrapers. I mean it: the damage he and the bad guys do to Metropolis during the battle is like 100 9/11s and he doesn’t friggin’ blink, but one family of three is in harm’s way at the end and THAT’S what sets him over the edge? It was a pretty movie and I think the actors were great and all of that, but at some point the filmmakers got carried away in portraying Superman-scale damage to a city simply because they had the special effects skills to do so without once thinking about or dealing with the consequences of the human damage and what it would mean for any of the characters involved.

OK, back to baseball.

Mariners 3, Reds 1: Joe Saunders pitched seven strong innings and Nick Franklin and Justin Smoak each homered. The M’s took two of three from the Rangers and then two of three from the Reds. Not a bad little road trip.

Nationals 11, Padres 7: Ryan Zimmerman hit a grand slam. Bryce Harper had three hits and two stolen bases. The Nats sweep the reeling Pads who have lost nine straight. Washington is now four back of the Braves and finally — finally — looking like they’re making a move.

Indians 9, Tigers 6: Michael Brantley had two homers and five RBIs. In other news, I went to Cleveland for the game on Saturday and was gobsmacked at how many Tigers fans invaded the city. Back in the mid-to-late 90s I went to Tiger Stadium a couple of times when the Indians were there and was gobsmacked at how many Indians fans had invaded Detroit. Guess these things go in cycles. Also fun: for Saturday’s game Carlos Carrasco was called up from Columbus, pitched awfully, and was sent back down on Sunday. I wish the Tribe had given us a heads up about all of that. We totally would have let him road trip back and forth with us.

Phillies 7, Braves 3: Domonoic Brown with a triple and a homer and two RBI. The Phillies took two of three from a Braves team which looks like a last place team on the road.

Blue Jays 11, Twins 5: Rajai Davis hit a three-run homer and Jose Reyes and Colby Rasmus each homered too. Todd Redmond allowed one hit over five innings. If the Jays could play the Twins all the time they’d be a playoff team.

Mets 2, Brewers 1: Juan Francisco had two throwing errors which led to two unearned runs by the Mets. It’s almost like maybe he shouldn’t be playing first base. anywhere? OK, he was playing third. Still not a fantastic defensive player.

Rays 3, White Sox 1: David Price tossed a complete game, allowing one run on eight hits (the official scorer has deemed the term “scattered” appropriate for those eight hits) as Tampa Bay sweeps Chicago. That’s four in a row overall for the Rays, who are now tied for second in the East, 4.5 back of the Sox.

Cardinals 3, Marlins 2: Lance Lynn outdueled (also an official scorers designation) Jose Fernandez and the Cardinals climbed back into a tie with the Pirates at the top of the Central. Lynn earned it, striking out Giancarlo Stanton all three times he faced him.

Athletics 10, Royals 4: Josh Reddick homered and drove in four and Jed Lowrie had three hits and a homer. Eric Sogard homered too, his first since April 2012. Jesse Chavez got a four-inning save, which is weird.

Cubs 4, Pirates 3: Dioneer Navarro with a walkoff sac fly in the 11th. Which isn’t quite as dramatic as a walkoff anything else, but ’twas enough. ‘Twill serve.

Rangers 5, Astros 4: Joakim Soria pitched for the first time since 2011. He was one of five Rangers relievers who combined for five shutout innings to save the bacon of starter Justin Grimm. A.J. Pierzynski had a two-run bomb.

Dodgers 4, Giants 1: Tied 1-1 in the top of the ninth with three men on, A.J. Ellis hit a bases-clearing double off Sergio Romo. Clayton Kershaw allowed one run over eight innings. Chad Gaudin nearly matched him, allowing one run in seven.

Angels 3, Red Sox 0: The Angels have won 10 of 12 after Jered Weaver tossed six shutout innings and three relievers finished it off. Homers for Mike Trout and Hank Conger.

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 1: Patrick Corbin was stuck on nine wins for seven straight starts but finally got his tenth after fanning ten Rockies and allowing one run on three hits over eight innings.  Five wins in a row for the Dbacks helps solidify their hold on the otherwise shaky NL West.

The Diamondbacks met with Johnny Cueto’s agent

AP Photo/David Goldman
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Diamondbacks spoke with Bryce Dixon, the agent of free agent starter Johnny Cueto. However, Rosenthal notes that Cueto’s price tag is expected to exceed the Diamondbacks’ comfort level.

Cueto, 29, is one of a handful of highly touted starting pitchers in this offseason’s free agent class. He is joined by David Price and Zack Greinke, among others. Jordan Zimmermann inked a deal in the neighborhood of $110 million over five years with the Tigers on Sunday morning, which will serve as a barometer for Cueto.

Cueto finished the 2015 regular season, between the Reds and the Royals, with a 3.44 ERA and a 176/46 K/BB ratio over 212 innings. He made 13 shaky starts with the Royals, but outside of a shellacking in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, pitched well in the post-season. Cueto pitched a complete game in Game 2 of the World Series against the Mets, helping put the Royals up two games to none at the time.

As a result of switching teams during the season, Cueto was not eligible to receive a $15.8 million qualifying offer. This means that Cueto, unlike Zimmermann for example, does not come attached with draft pick compensation.

Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski is reportedly trying to trade Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez
AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

Nick Cafardo provides this interesting nugget in his Sunday notes column at the Boston Globe

Hanley Ramirez, 1B-DH, Red Sox — There’s now talk in the front office that Dave Dombrowski is trying to move Ramirez in a deal. The Mariners, Orioles, and Angels seem to be the targets, and all three make sense.

Cafardo notes that “there are huge hurdles to cross” before a trade could happen — like how much of Hanley’s remaining salary the Red Sox would have to eat and what positions the soon-to-be 32-year-old is able to play defensively at this point in his career.

Boston’s higher-ups have asked Ramirez to learn first base and drop 20 pounds this winter. Whatever team is looking to acquire him would probably have to be comfortable with him serving primarily as a designated hitter.

Hanley is owed $68.2 million over the next three seasons and he carries a $22 million vesting option for 2019. He batted just .249/.291/.426 in 105 games this past year.

Ben Zobrist is the “Mets’ No. 1 target”

Ben Zobrist
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Ben Zobrist posted a cool .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 126 games this summer between Oakland and Kansas City while appearing defensively at second base, third base, and both corner outfield positions.

His steady bat and defensive versatility make him a fit for just about every club in Major League Baseball, and the defending National League champions are among the teams in hot pursuit …

It’s a little odd to see the rebuilding Braves listed there given that Zobrist is 34 years old, but Rosenthal says the interest stems from a “desire for him to serve as [a] model for younger players” as the club prepares to open a new ballpark in 2017. Wasn’t that supposed to be Nick Markakis‘ job?

Zobrist and his agent Alan Nero are believed to be seeking a four-year deal.

Tigers agree to deal with starter Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Hey, the hot stove is finally generating some real fire …

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Tigers have agreed to terms on a contract with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. It’s a five-year deal worth around $110 million, per Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

This should have a domino effect on a loaded starting pitching market. David Price, Zack Greinke, Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake, and Jeff Samardzija are just a few of the names still out there.

Zimmermann, 29, posted a 3.66 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 164/39 K/BB ratio in 201 2/3 innings this past season for the Nationals. He had a 2.66 ERA in 2014 and threw a no-hitter on the final day of the regular season.

Zimmermann’s free agency is tied to draft pick compensation because he rejected a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Washington, but the Tigers finished with one of the 10-worst win-loss records in 2015 so their first-round pick in 2016 is protected. Detroit will give up its second-round pick instead.