Yankees' Soriano points as he crosses home plate in the fifth inning of their MLB American League baseball game the Angels in New York

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Yankees 11, Angels 3: Holy cow, Alfonso Soriano. Two homers and seven RBI. The old guy has four homers, six runs scored and 13 RBI in his last two games. The Yankees have won four straight.

Reds 5, Cubs 0: Seven shutout innings from Bronson Arroyo helps the Redlegs snag the three-game sweep. My friend Mark, a Reds fan, still calls them the Redlegs, by the way. No, he is not some fervent anti-communist from the 1950s. He’s like 35.

Indians 9, Twins 8:  Down 7-3 entering the eighth inning, the Indians rallied thanks to a couple baserunners reaching followed by a Michael Brantley RBI single and a Jason Giambi three-run homer. Brantley then won it with a sac fly in the 12th. Joe Mauer had five hits in a winning effort (personally) in a losing effort (collectively).

Tigers 6, White Sox 4: Miguel Cabrera can hardly walk right now but he can still turn like nothing else on inside fastballs and send them over the fence. It’s like he’s adding last season on top of Kirk Gibson’s 1988. Just give him the MVP now.

Rockies 4, Padres 2: What the heck, Yorvit Torrealba? That was pretty spiffy. It was assisted strongly by some dumb, dumb baserunning by the Padres but you can’t take anything away from Torrealba. I mean, how could he have expected the Padres to be so stupid? Give him kudos for not stopping and blinking in confusion at what San Diego was doing and instead simply reacting and acting.

Marlins 5, Royals 2: Neither the Royals bullpen nor defense could hold a late 2-1 lead and the Marlins rallied. Justin Ruggiano broke an 0 for 42 slump with three hits and an RBI.

Diamondbacks 5, Orioles 4: Another day another walkoff win for the Dbacks over the Orioles. This time in the 14th via an Aaron Hill RBI single. Jim Johnson has blown nine saves now for the Orioles. They’re six games out in the East and 2.5 back in the wild card. You do the math.

Nationals 6, Giants 5: Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run in seven innings and win his NL-best 14th. The game was really won, however, when Denard Span made this sweet catch with two on and two out in the ninth. That drops, the Giants are up heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Braves 6, Phillies 3: Chris Johnson drove in three and Jason Heyward homered to lead off the game but perhaps the most important thing for the Braves was the continued improvement of Brandon Beachy. He wasn’t as good as his last time out but in his fourth start since returning from Tommy John he was throwing sliders and didn’t walk anyone.

Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 3: The Red Sox rallied for two in the ninth to force extras. It could have been a bigger rally but they left the bases loaded. They left a couple more runners stranded in their half of the tenth and then Brett Lawrie singled home the winning run in the bottom half to give Toronto the win. Boston has lost four of six.

Pirates 5, Cardinals 1: Francisco Liriano was great, allowing a single run on four hits while going the distance, Shelby Miller: not so great, allowing five runs — three earned — in six in his first game back after being hit by that comebacker. Pittsburgh’s lead in the Central goes back to three games.

Rays 5, Mariners 4: Tampa Bay snaps their six-game skid thanks to a ninth inning rally. Ben Zobrist tripled to lead it off, Matt Joyce singled to tie it, Evan Longoria doubled and Wil Myers was intentionally walked to load the bases. Then Jason Bourgeois, who had entered the game as a pinch runner earlier, singled to right over the Mariners’ drawn-in outfield. Ballgame.

Dodgers 5, Mets 4: The Mets had a 4-0 lead in the sixth and blew it because the Dodgers winning is the most inevitable thing in baseball these days. They’re such a force that every time the Dodgers win people change their basic unit of baseball measurement. The other day it was “the best record in 46 games,” then “the best record in 47 games,” now “the best record in 48 games.” June 22 — the date from which all of these games are being measured — has taken on the feeling of a sacred holiday. We can all it the Feast of St. Arbitrarious or something.

Rangers 5, Brewers 4: A come-from-behind win for the Rangers thanks to an Elvis Andrus RBI single and an Ian Kinsler a two-run single in the eighth. The Rangers only had one extra base hit all game. The Brewers issued six walks. Not gonna go in Milwaukee’s memory book.

Astros 2, Athletics 1: Carlos Corporan hit an RBI double off reliever Sean Doolittle in the 11th inning to win it. He was given the chance to do so thanks in part to this catch by Robbie Grossman in the 10th which robbed Chris Young’s would-be walkoff homer. Lotsa nice plays yesterday, no?

Marlins have begun extension talks with Dee Gordon

Dee Gordon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote three weeks ago that the Marlins were probably going to explore an extension this winter with second baseman Dee Gordon. And it sounds like those talks are underway.

Via beat writer Joe Frisaro of MLB.com:

As a guest on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” show Wednesday morning, Gordon confirmed his camp has been in talks with the Marlins regarding a multiyear deal. A source told MLB.com that the discussions are preliminary and have just recently started.

“My agent is doing the talking,” Gordon said on the show. “They’re just keeping me in the loop. I think it’s going pretty well right now. We’ll see how that goes. I’m just playing the waiting game. We’re going to do the right thing.”

The 27-year-old carries three more seasons of salary arbitration, so there’s no real rush to get something done before next spring. Gordon carries quite a bit of leverage after posting a career-best .333/.359/.418 slash line in 145 games this past season for the Fish. He led all major leaguers in hits (205) and stolen bases (58).

Braves sign Bud Norris to one-year contract

Bud Norris

Bud Norris has found a home for his attempt at a bounceback season, signing a one-year deal with the Braves. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says it’s worth $2.5 million, which is a huge cut from his $8.8 million salary this year.

Norris had established himself as a solid mid-rotation starter from 2009-2014, but had a brutal 2015 season split between the Orioles and Padres with a 6.72 ERA in 83 innings and a late-season move to the bullpen.

In announcing the signing the Braves referred to Norris as a starting pitcher, so joining the rotation for a rebuilding team gives him a chance to get his career back on track with an eye on hitting the open market as a free agent again next offseason. And if he fares well, the Braves could use him to add a prospect or two at the trade deadline.

The Cubs acquire Rex Brothers from the Rockies

Rex Brothers Rockies

The number of people who, if you held a gun to their head, would say that “Rex Brothers” was a game show host and/or local TV news personality from the late 1970s or early 80s is not insignificant. But if you’re a Rockies fan or if spend all day thinking about baseball you know that he’s a reliever who has played in Colorado for the past five years. Now you know him as a reliever for the Cubs:

Brothers — a former Best Shape of His Life All-Star — was pretty good until he hit a brick wall in 2014 and spent most of 2015 in Triple-A. He had something of a bounceback after being called up when rosters expanded in September, but that’s not the sort of thing to excite anyone. He could be useful for the Cubs or just spring training cannon fodder and organizational depth.

Cabrera just turned 18 a couple of weeks ago and pitched a grand total of 14 games in the Dominican Summer League. He’s young and was a $250,000 signee from the Dominican as a 16-year-old so, by definition, he’s a project. Worth giving up Rex Brothers for him if you’re the Rockies, worth risking for some depth in the pen if you’re the Cubs.

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.