Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Rays 3, Red Sox 0: Matt Moore throws his first career shutout and it came in the first game of what, so far this year, is the Rays biggest series. Two hits allowed, one walk four strikeouts as the Rays cut a game off the Sox’ division lead, now sitting a half game back.

Reds 11, Giants 0: Bronson Arroyo’s 100th win as a Red comes on a shutout in which he scattered seven hits. It was his sixth shutout all-time. Tim Lincecum had eight days to rest his arm after his 148-pitch no-hitter. Didn’t help much, as he was roughed up to the tune of eight runs on nine hits in three and two-thirds.

Rangers 3, Yankees 0: The third shutout of the night, though this one was a team effort. Yu Darvish brought it into the seventh and then three relievers took it from there. Nelson Cruz homered to help the Rangers to victory. If yesterday’s big news is a harbinger — and it’s hard to see how it isn’t — don’t get used to Cruz helping you out for the rest of this season, Texas fans.

Pirates 6, Nationals 5: The Pirates win, yes, and Andrew McCutchen had two homers, but all anyone wants to talk about is how they’ve lost Jason Grilli to what, by appearances, is a serious arm injury. The Nationals, meanwhile, are a hot mess. Or a cold mess. Whichever mess is the worst.

Dodgers 14, Blues Jays 5: Can’t stop the Dodgers. Oh, wait, I’m sorry: can’t stop the first place L.A. Dodgers. Who were nine and a half games back on June 22nd. A.J. Ellis drove in five. Skip Schumaker hit a three run bomb. Then dropped some bombs after the game.

Braves 2, Mets 1: Jason Heyward does not always play center field. But when he does, he makes game-saving catches. Stay frustrated, my Mets friends.

Padres 5, Brewers 3: The Brewers lost with Ryan Braun this season and they can lose without him too, so in that regard nothing has changed. Not having Corey Hart all year has been just as big a problem. Nightmare year for Milwaukee.

Tigers 7, White Sox 3: Max Scherzer won his 14th game, but Miguel Cabrera left with a sore hip flexor. Unless I’m missing a stint at one time with Florida, I don’t believe he’s ever been on the disabled list. Chris Sale struck out 11 and allowed only two earned runs, but the White Sox allowed five unearned overall. Bad defense aside, Adam Dunn did make one really nice play at first which caused me to almost do a spit take.

Marlins 3, Rockies 1: Miami finally ends their scoreless streak at 37 innings when Giancarlo Stanton hit an RBI double in the first. After the game Logan Morrison made a funny when he said that you know the Marlins are clean given how crappy their offense is.

Orioles 9, Royals 2: Tampa Bay is on the verge of overtaking Boston, but don’t sleep on Baltimore. The O’s are now 2.5 back after taking their fifth game in a row. Three RBI a piece from All-Stars Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy.

Cubs 4, Diamondbacks 2: Arizona surrenders first place as emergency starter Chris Rusin — called on to replace the just-traded Matt Garza — held the Dbacks scoreless until the sixth inning. Love that Garza trade for Chicago, by the way.

Athletics 4, Astros 3: A two-run homer for Josh Reddick and a solo shot for Chris Young. The A’s are taking extreme advantage of their new division mates, upping their record to 10-0 against the Astros this year.

Twins 4, Angels 3: Player of the game Clete Thomas. Homer, RBI double and a nice grab on what would have been a go-ahead homer by Chris Iannetta.

Mariners 2, Indians 1: The Mariners — playing this one without Eric Wedge — won their seventh in a row. Kendrys Morales and Mike Zunino each homered and Aaron Harang pitched seven strong innings. Not that I feel like they’re competitive, but the M’s did tie the Angels in the standings.

Diamondbacks hire Dave Magadan as hitting coach

Dave Magadan Rangers
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Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports that the Diamondbacks’ new hitting coach is Dave Magadan, who “parted ways” with the Rangers last month after three years filling the same role in Texas.

Magadan also previously was the Red Sox’s hitting coach and his teams have generally done pretty well, including the Rangers scoring the third-most runs in the league this year.

He’ll have plenty of talent to work with in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks scored the second-most runs in the league led by Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and David Peralta. Turner Ward, who had been Arizona’s hitting coach, chose to leave the team two weeks ago.

A’s reacquire Jed Lowrie in trade with Astros

Jed Lowrie

Jed Lowrie, who was traded from the Astros to the A’s in 2013 and then re-signed with the Astros as a free agent last offseason, has now been traded back to the A’s.

Lowrie got a three-year, $23 million deal from the Astros with the idea that he’d play shortstop in the first season and then move to another position whenever stud prospect Carlos Correa arrived. Instead he got hurt right away, Correa became an immediate star, and the Astros weren’t so keen on paying him $15 million over the next two seasons.

He could resume playing shortstop for the A’s, who watched rookie Marcus Semien make an absurd number of errors there this year. Lowrie hit .271 with a .738 OPS in two seasons in Oakland, which is similar to his career totals and makes him a solidly above-average offensive shortstop. There’s a decent chance the A’s will have a Lowrie-Lawrie double-play duo in 2016.

In return the Astros get minor leaguer Brendan McCurry, a 24-year-old right-hander who split 2015 between high Single-A and Double-A with a 1.86 ERA and 82/17 K/BB ratio in 63 relief innings. He was a 22nd-round draft pick in 2014 and doesn’t have exceptional raw stuff, but McCurry’s numbers are incredible so far.

White Sox sign catcher Alex Avila to a one-year deal

Detroit Tigers' Alex Avila, right, is congratulated by third base coach Dave Clark after his solo home run in the third inning in the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

There have been a lot of articles published in the past few days about how to navigate awkward Thanksgiving conversations with your relatives. Heck, we even wrote one.

But there’s always room for more! Such as “How to talk to your father at Thanksgiving dinner about the fact that he let you walk away from the only team you’ve ever known to sign with a division rival.” Which is what Alex Avila will likely be talking about with his father, Tigers GM Al Avila:

The older Avila can’t even say he did it because he’s opposed to nepotism. After all, he just hired his other son — who has had his law degree for just over a year — as the Tigers assistant legal counsel for baseball operations. Though I’m sure that wasn’t nepotism. He probably just aced the interview and impressed everyone more than the other candidates did.

OK, those are jokes. In all seriousness, this is a good move for Alex and Al and, probably, the White Sox. With the emergence of James McCann, there really is not space for Alex Avila in Detroit in anything other than a backup capacity. In Chicago, he’ll get more playing time. At least if he can (a) stay healthy; and (b) not hit .191/.339/.287 again like he did in 2015.

Pirates sign outfielder/first baseman Jake Goebbert

Jake Goebbert

The best thing about minor Thanksgiving week transactions is that they are almost certainly done by GMs frantically looking for some work to do rather than go pick up their in-laws at the airport. I mean, sure, the player in question could very easily be an important player who fills a key role in the organization, but it’s not like it couldn’t have waited until Monday, right? This is the GM equivalent of you pretending you have to run into the office on Wednesday afternoon and, in reality, driving around in your car, listening to Neil Young and promising that NEXT YEAR you’re just doing a small Thanksgiving dinner with no family and, maybe, might even go on a little trip, just you and the wife.

Or is that just me? OK, maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, that’s how I’m choosing to view the Pirates activity today. First they traded for Allen Webster and now they’re signing minor league free agent first baseman/outfielder Jake Goebbert, according to Adam Berry of MLB.com.

Goebbert, 28, hit .294 with an .844 OPS and 10 homers for Triple-A El Paso last season. He has 115 plate appearances in the bigs, all for San Diego in 2014. Overall he has a line of .282/.386/.465 with 30 homers in 997 Triple-A plate appearances in the Astros, Athletics and Padres organizations.

Not a bad depth move, especially given that the Pirates are looking to trade Pedro Alvarez and otherwise re-jigger their first base situation.