And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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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.

Video: Brett Gardner goes deep for his first and second home runs of 2017

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It’s been a slow start to the season for Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner, who entered Saturday’s matinee against the Orioles with a .188/.316/.234 batting line, three doubles and five stolen bases in his first 76 PA of the year. That all changed in the first inning of Saturday’s game, when Gardner skied a leadoff home run to right field:

Orioles’ right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t find his footing against the Yankees in the second inning, either. Gardner returned for his second home run of the season, a three-run shot to lift New York 5-0 over Baltimore:

Measured at 411 feet in the right field bullpen, the left fielder’s blast marked the seventh home run hit by a Yankee this series. According to the club’s PR department, it’s also the first multi-home run game Gardner has recorded since September 2015. The Yankees currently lead the Orioles 7-0 through four innings.

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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Friday’s weekend series kicked off with Gift Ngoepe’s first major league start, Mike Trout‘s important anniversary and an informal home run derby between the Yankees and Orioles. Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Yankees 14, Orioles 11 (10 innings): Manny Machado may have hit 2017’s longest home run on Friday night, but he was forced to share the spotlight as the Orioles and Yankees combined for eight home runs in their 10-inning slug-fest. In the end, the only home run that mattered was the last one of the night: a walk-off, three-run 411-footer by Matt Holliday to clinch the Yankees’ first win of the series.

Mets 7, Nationals 5: In a battle of elite arms, the Mets took the lead with Jacob deGrom‘s 12-strikeout performance. Max Scherzer struck out seven over six innings, but a couple of timely knocks from Travis d'Arnaud in the second and fourth innings unraveled the Mets’ flimsy one-run lead and eventually, their hold on the game altogether.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 4: Home runs are swell, as are late-game comebacks and solid pitching performances, but it’s not every day that you get a full highlight reel’s worth of plays from Steven Souza Jr.:

Red Sox 5, Cubs 4: Visiting Cubs fans monopolized a good section of Fenway Park on Friday, and the Cubs played nearly as well as if they were playing against the ivy backdrop of Wrigley Field. Although the Sox jumped out to an early five-run lead in the first inning, the Cubs worked a four-run comeback and put the game-tying run on second base when Ben Zobrist lined a double in the ninth inning. That’s as far as they got, however, leaving Zobrist stranded to drop their second consecutive loss of the week.

White Sox 7, Tigers 3: The White Sox extended their win streak to five consecutive games on Friday, clinching first place in the AL Central after a shutdown performance from the bullpen and a late-game comeback spearheaded by Geovany Soto and Tim Anderson. Tigers’ third baseman Nicholas Castellanos helped, too, committing three errors in the sixth and eighth innings to facilitate the White Sox’ rally and cement their 12th win of the year.

Pirates 12, Marlins 2: If you haven’t gotten up to speed on Gift Ngoepe’s intriguing path to the major leagues, do yourself a favor and peruse this excellent 2009 profile by Sports Illustrated’s Gary Smith. Ngoepe was promoted to the bigs last Wednesday and has already garnered some attention for hitting a single in his first career at-bat. He was no less impressive on Friday, going 3-for-3 with two base hits, two walks and an opposite-field triple that just cleared Giancarlo Stanton‘s head at the wall.

Mariners 3, Indians 1: The Mariners may be short one Felix Hernandez, Mitch Haniger and Nelson Cruz, but they looked more than capable of taking on the Indians during Friday’s series opener. Robinson Cano and Ben Gamel combined for a three-run lead on two home runs and Ariel Miranda allowed just one run in 5 1/3 innings, effectively stifling several rally attempts by the Indians and clinching his second win of the year.

Angels 6, Rangers 3: It’s been five years since Mike Trout received his permanent call-up from the minors, and he celebrated in true Mike Trout fashion, engineering an impressive catch on the warning track and collecting a two-run homer against Rangers’ right-hander Nick Martinez:

The Rangers, meanwhile, would have been better off spending their Friday like Yu Darvish:

Braves 10, Brewers 8: Don’t look now, but the Braves are no longer in last place. They relinquished their spot at the bottom of the NL East on Friday, scooting half a game above the Mets after they mounted a six-run rally in the last few innings of a 10-8 win over the Brewers. That’s thanks in large part to their bullpen, which stifled Milwaukee’s comeback attempts with four scoreless frames, giving Ender Inciarte and Adonis Garcia just enough time to clear the bases in the seventh inning and take the lead on Kurt Suzuki’s RBI single in the eighth.

Astros 9, Athletics 4: Consistency isn’t exactly what Charlie Morton is known for, and Friday’s outing was no exception. The veteran right-hander got off to a rocky start in the first inning, putting runners on first and second and watching Khris Davis unleash a three-run bomb for an early lead. While Morton eventually settled down to strike out a career-high 12 batters, Davis still had the righty’s number, and took him deep a second time for the Astros’ fourth and final run of the night.

Cardinals 7, Reds 5: Reason #7 why you should never sleep on the job:

Twins 6, Royals 4: It looked like the Royals finally caught a break on Friday. They built a modest three-run lead early in the game and were able to keep their heads above water even after Miguel Sano brought the Twins within a run of tying the game on a two-run homer in the fourth inning. Everything looked hunky-dory for Kansas City until the eighth, when Joakim Soria loaded the bases for Sano, home plate umpire CB Bucknor took a 92 m.p.h. fastball to the face mask, and the Twins jumped out to a two-run lead to secure the Royals’ eighth consecutive loss.

Rockies 3, Diamondbacks 1: Just as we all predicted, neither the Giants nor the Dodgers are anywhere near the top of the NL West this year. The top two spots appear reserved for the Rockies and Diamondbacks, who have traded first place several times during the month of April. Colorado reclaimed the division on Friday, spearing their 15th win on a one-run outing by rookie southpaw Kyle Freeland and a handful of hits from Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon.

Dodgers 5, Phillies 3: Kenta Maeda is finally looking like the starter the Dodgers need him to be, and not a moment too soon. The right-hander struck out eight over seven innings, holding the Phillies to five hits and two runs in his second winning effort this season. It’ll still take some time to get that ERA below 6.00, however, and the Dodgers have to dig themselves out of a three-game deficit if they want to reclaim first place in the NL West this spring.

Giants 4, Padres 3: So much for rookie jitters. Christian Arroyo has made a comfortable home in the major leagues, slugging .250/.250/.800 through his first four career games and topping it off with his second home run against the Padres on Friday night.