Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Twins 3, Indians 0: In only his second major league start Andrew Albers spins a two-hit shutout on a mere 102 pitches. This goes with his eight shutout innings in his first start. As a person who has been writing about baseball professionally for nearly four years, I can tell you with absolute certainty and authority that that’s pretty spiffy.

Phillies 5, Braves 1: The good: Cole Hamels went the distance allowing only one run on six hits and striking out nine and, in the process, Charlie Manual won his 1,000th career game. The awful: a fan died after falling from the upper deck at Turner Field during the rain delay prior to the game’s start.

Diamondbacks 7, Orioles 6: The O’s held the lead from the first inning through the top of the seventh, lost it in the bottom of the seventh, tied it in the top of the eighth, lost the lead again in the bottom of the eighth, tied it in the top of the ninth and then lost the game on a walkoff homer from Adam Eaton that landed in that pool they have in the outfield at Chase Field. Whew.

Athletics 5, Blue Jays 1: This game ended yesterday before I even knew it was on and games had started. Alberto Callaspo had the go-ahead hit in the ninth. That’s two days in a row he played the hero for Oakland, and I bet it’s before even most people knew he was on the A’s.

Reds 2, Cubs 0: Mat Latos beat Travis Wood in a pitchers duel, throwing eight shutout innings. Brandon Phillips’ two-run homer was the only violence done to baseballs in this contest.

Rangers 2, Astros 1: Yu Darvish was perfect into the sixth and had a no-hitter into the eighth before Carlos Corporan turned on a 93 m.p.h. fastball and sent it over the right field wall. That was it, though, as Darvish struck out 15. He’s 4-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 50 strikeouts in five starts since returning from the disabled list.

Rockies 14, Padres 2: Hey, some offense. Someone named D.J. LeMahieu — who I was pretty sure was a winger for the Canucks —  had three hits, including a homer, a double and two RBIs. fourteen runs is a season high for the Rockies.

Yankees 2, Angels 1: Hiroki Kuroda is having a tremendous season but no one is really talking about it. Eight shutout innings here gives him his 11th win and lowers his ERA to 2.33.

White Sox 6, Tigers 2: Chris Sale went the distance, allowing two runs while scattering nine hits. Josh Phegley had a couple of RBI singles. Miguel Cabrera hit another homer.

Dodgers 4, Mets 2: L.A. wins its sixth in a row. Since June 22 — the date everyone has decided is the turnaround date for this Dodgers season — they have gone 38-8, which is their best stretch of 46 games since the team was called the Brooklyn Superbas in 1899. It’s the best stretch of 46 games since Oakland went 38-8 in 2001.

Royals 6, Marlins 2: Indians lose, Tigers lose, the Royals keep humming along. They’re now in second place, slipping ahead of Cleveland, 6.5 back of Detroit. I know it’s crazy to even think it, but the Royals — thanks to a really dumb schedule this year — still have 11 head-to-head games against the Tigers. For now they’re four out of the wild card.

Angels ink Javy Guerra to minor league deal

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Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Javy Guerra. The deal includes an invitation to major league spring training.

Guerra was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball last July after testing positive for a drug of abuse. That suspension is now over, though Guerra is probably ticketed for the Angels’ Triple-A affiliate to begin the 2016 season.

The 30-year-old made just three major league appearances in 2015 for the White Sox before getting outrighted off Chicago’s 40-man roster. He does own a 2.87 ERA in 150 1/3 career innings, but it has come with bouts of inconsistency and unreliability.

Maybe he can get everything going in the right direction with Anaheim.

Braves sign reliever Carlos Torres

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As first reported by Bill Shanks of Fox Sports 1670, the Braves have signed right-handed reliever Carlos Torres to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Torres was waived by the Mets in January, somewhat surprisingly, and elected to become a free agent. The 33-year-old ultimately chose Atlanta, where he should have a good shot at an Opening Day roster out of spring training with the rapidly-rebuilding Braves.

Torres posted an ugly 4.68 ERA in 57 2/3 innings last season for the Mets, but he registered a gorgeous 3.06 ERA and 96 strikeouts across 97 innings in 2014.

If he gets off to a good start in 2016, he could become valuable trade bait.

Blue Jays will have a closer competition this spring

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Roberto Osuna became the youngest pitcher to ever play for the Blue Jays last season at age 20 and he rose to the challenge with a 2.58 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 75/16 K/BB ratio in 69 2/3 frames. Osuna eventually took over as Toronto’s closer, earning 20 regular-season saves and one in the American League Division Series — a five-out effort in Game 5 to close out the visiting Rangers.

But the Jays upgraded the back end of their bullpen this winter, acquiring Drew Storen from the Nationals in early January for speedy outfielder Ben Revere. Jesse Chavez was also brought to Toronto in a trade with the A’s.

Storen has more experience at closer than Osuna, and Storen struggled when the Nationals tried to put him in a setup role. Storen, in his final year of salary arbitration, also gets paid much more. He’s probably going to enter spring training as the favorite for the Jays’ ninth-inning gig, but there will be a competition …

Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca on Wednesday that he doesn’t expect the team to choose between Osuna or Storen until midway through spring training, if not later.

There’s been talk of making Osuna a starter, so add that wrinkle.

Storen, 28, boasts 95 career major league saves.

Orioles plotting late-offseason push? Gallardo, Fowler, Alvarez, Bruce in consideration

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Baltimore’s front office appears to be lining up a run of potential roster additions leading into the beginning of spring training.

We’ve already passed along the reports suggesting they are close to a three-year deal with free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, but now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that free agent outfielder Dexter Fowler could be next on the Orioles’ target list. It they get those two deals done, the O’s could then chase free agent slugger Pedro Alvarez.

Rosenthal says the Orioles are even eyeing Jay Bruce of the Reds, though the FOX reporter hears the O’s might not have the prospects to pull off that kind of trade.

The focus for the Orioles out of the gate this winter was re-signing Matt Wieters and Chris Davis. Wieters accepted his one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer in November and Davis was locked up to a seven-year, $161 million contract in mid-January.

Now the O’s are spending a little leftover cash on late-offseason additions to improve their position in what should be a tight 2016 American League East race.