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.

Shapiro, Murray defend Dellin Betances after arbitration feud

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Dellin Betances #68 of the New York Yankees and the American League pitches against the National League during the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The dust hasn’t quite settled after right-hander Dellin Betances‘ arbitration hearing with the Yankees on Saturday. The case was decided in the team’s favor, awarding Betances with a $3 million salary for the 2017 season instead of the $5 million he initially requested. Yankees’ president Randy Levine held a press conference to voice his outrage over the figure presented by Betances and his agency, saying it had “no bearings in reality” since Betances does not have the elite closer status required for a salary bump of that magnitude.

Needless to say, the comments caused some consternation within Betances’ camp. The reliever publicly addressed the outburst, telling the press that he was prepared to put his differences with the team aside until he heard what Levine had to say. Via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

Players union executive Rick Shapiro and Betances’ agent, Jim Murray, also spoke out in the right-hander’s favor. Shapiro presented Betances’ case during the hearing on Saturday and called Levine’s comments “an absolute disgrace to the arbitration process and to all of Major League Baseball.” In a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Shapiro added: “The only thing that has been unprecedented in the last 36 hours is that a club official, after winning a case, called a news conference to effectively gloat about his victory – that’s unprecedented.”

Murray spoke exclusively to Rosenthal, accusing the president of effectively bullying the 28-year-old during the arbitration process and claiming that Levine had both mispronounced Betances’ name throughout the hearing and blamed the reliever for “declining ticket sales and their lack of playoff history.” Like Betances, Murray said that the agency was ready to accept the arbiter’s decision and move on before Levine’s decision to air his grievances to the media. “The only person overreaching in this entire situation is Randy,” Murray told Rosenthal. “He might as well be an astronaut because nobody on earth would agree with what he is saying. Even the others in the room would disagree with him.”

Royals will experiment with Alex Gordon in all three outfield spots this year

CLEVELAND, OH -  MAY 7: Alex Gordon #4 of the Kansas City Royals reacts to a fan while on first base during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 7, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Royals’ manager Ned Yost is shaking things up in 2017, starting with left fielder Alex Gordon. Yost told MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan that “every scenario is open,” and expects to utilize Gordon in right and center field this spring while he figures out where to position Jorge Soler and Brandon Moss.

Gordon, 33, hasn’t manned right field since a three-game experiment with the Royals back in 2010 and has yet to play center field during any regular season to date. The focus, however, isn’t on Gordon’s capabilities. Among the three outfielders, he carries the best defensive profile and appears to be the most versatile of the bunch.

According to Flanagan, Soler and Moss are average on defense and will continue working closely with Royals’ coach Rusty Kuntz as the season approaches. One arrangement could see Gordon in center field, flanked by Soler in right field and Moss in left, though Yost foresees Soler taking some reps at DH if his defensive chops aren’t up to snuff.

While Moss is prepared to see starts at either outfield corner, Yost appears to be set on keeping Soler in right field, at least for the time being. The club is hoping for a bounce-back season from the 24-year-old outfielder, who was acquired from the Cubs in December after batting a lackluster .238/.333/.436 and sustaining a slew of minor injuries throughout the 2016 season.