And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Pirates 9, Cardinals 2: In what is the most meaningful baseball played in Pittsburgh in over 20 years, Francisco Liriano was dominant and Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 27th homer and the Pirates pull to within a half game of first place.

Rays 2, Red Sox 1: Gotta love that a blown call impacted a game in which a division lead changed hands. That’s just fantastic. Hey Bud: now that you’re showing how tough and powerful you’re getting with a union that once gave you fits with the drug stuff, how about doing the same with the umpires and unilaterally instituting replay?

Braves 9, Rockies 8: Four wins in a row for the Braves. The winning pitcher: Scott Downs, who didn’t show up to the park until ten minutes before first pitch and literally had to introduce himself to his infielders when he came into the game in the 10th. Lost in this win: Brandon Beachy’s return: pretty disastrous (3.2 IP, 8 H, 7 ER).

Rangers 4, Angels 3: Ninth inning home runs from catchers is the new inefficiency. First A.J. Pierzynski homered then Geovany Soto, giving the Rangers a come-from-behind win.

Mets 6, Marlins 5: Mets blew a 3-0 lead and found themselves down 5-3 but Ike Davis hit an RBI double in a three-run seventh.

Indians 3, White Sox 2: The fifth straight win for the Indians, this on a Jason Giambi walkoff homer. He’s the oldest player to ever hit a walkoff player. The previous record holder was Hank Aaron, who did it in 1976. Except then they didn’t call them walkoffs. Indeed, I believe someone woulda looked at you funny if you called it a walkoff in 1976.

Brewers 5, Cubs 0: Scoreless until the ninth then the Brewers put up a five-spot. If you squinted you could see Carlos Marmol out there on the mound for Chicago. Then you realize it wasn’t him and you shed a single tear.

Athletics 9, Blue Jays 4: Yoenis Cespedes continues to climb out of his post All-Star Game funk. He homered and hit an RBI triple as the A’s scored four in the first and then cruised.

Padres 2, Reds 1: Chris Denorfia sat fastball on Aroldis Chapman and then drove a two-run homer over the wall in the bottom of the ninth. In other news, it feels like the Reds have been on this west coast swing for a month.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.