Kemp Ramirez

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 6, Giants 2: Matt Kemp and Hanley Ramirez each socked two homers. The ball was carrying pretty well in Chavez Ravine last night, apparently, because Brandon Belt and Hunter Pence each homered as well. Both of those came in the sixth, after Zack Greinke appeared to do, well, something to himself while running the bases in the bottom of the fifth. He didn’t look himself when he pitched the sixth — Schulman and Kruk made mention of it too — but no one on the Dodgers came out to see if he was OK. I feel like we may hear more about this today, because he really did appear like he was uncomfortable. As if he had tweaked something.

Twins 10, Indians 7: All Chris Colabello does is drive in runs in bunches. Well, a couple of times a week, anyway. A few days after his six-RBI performance he drove in four here, including a three-run double in the sixth inning which broke a 6-6 tie. I was going to suggest that he has made a Faustian bargain for this newfound success after years toiling in the independent leagues, but that’s not nice. And it’s not even appropriate, as Faust is a German legend and Colabello is Italian. So let’s just say it was a Mefistofelean bargain.

Orioles 3, Tigers 1: And there goes our shot at having a team go 162-0. Thanks, Orioles. Sheesh. Good day for Chris Tillman, though. Apart from a Torii Hunter dinger, there was nothing doing off him over eight and a third.

Pirates 2, Cardinals 1: Tony Sanchez: master of the game-winning RBI. Which isn’t a real stat anymore, but since I get all of my baseball information from the back of 1986 Topps cards, it’s good enough for me. Sanchez broke the tie with an RBI double off Adam Wainwright. This a couple of days after he had the game-winning hit in that 16-inning affair. Three hits all season, but two of them really counted.

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 3: Mark Trumbo hit a two-run homer to put the Dbacks up 5-0, so let’s call his a game-winning RBI too. Let’s also call what he’s been doing — he’s hit homers in four straight games — earning his keep. I watched a couple innings of him play left field on Saturday night and it was such a vividly affecting experience that I could taste colors afterward. He’s only safely viewed while he’s holding a bat.

Yankees 6, Blues Jays 4: CC Sabathia wasn’t fantastic or anything, allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings, but he got the win. The Yankees scored three in the first with a single hit thanks to a walk, a stolen base, two groundouts, another walk, a plunked batter and a double. If Drew Hutchison doesn’t give the Yankees all of those base runners to start things off, maybe he’s getting the win here. In other news, Derek Jeter passed Paul Molitor on the all-time hits list.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $15,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night’s MLB games. It’s just $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on MondayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Padres 4, Marlins 2: Alexi Amarista hit a a go-ahead, three-run pinch-hit homer in the seventh inning. And yesterday was his birthday too. So, if he played his cards right, he had a Grand Slam to go with that three-run job,

Reds 2, Mets 1: When Aroldis Chapman went down a lot of people suggested that Alfredo Simon may take over the closer’s role. Good for Cincinnati that he didn’t, because he looked pretty good as a starter. Simon allowed one run over seven innings. He even got a hit and scored the Reds’ first run. Not too shabby.

Brewers 4, Red Sox 0: The sweep. On a shutout, no less, as Yovani Gallardo gave up nothin’ for six and two-thirds and the pen took it the rest of the way. The Red Sox just matched their longest losing streak in all of 2013. It’s the first time the Sox have lost their first three home games of the season since 1984. Rough start for the champs.

Nationals 2, Braves 1: Good starts from both Alex Wood and Taylor Jordan, but Ian Desmond’s homer in the seventh was the difference maker. An even bigger deal when you read about what he went through yesterday morning. You have to figure anyone in that situation would be off his game, but good for Desmond for both doing the right thing in life and in baseball yesterday. Braves take two of three from the Nats, however. Also: B.J. Upton was 0-for-4 but didn’t strike out even once. I feel like we should have a party for him or something.

Rangers 3, Rays 0: Yu Darvish missing the first week of the season: not a big deal. He came back yesterday and all he did was pitch seven shutout innings with six strikeouts. Including his 500th career strikeout. He is the fastest ever to 500 strikeouts, beating Kerry Wood to the milestone by three innings.

Astros 7, Angels 4: Five homers for the Astros — four off Jered Weaver — and a nice outing from Scott Feldman. That’s two nice outings in a row for him, actually. I feel like that three-year, $30 million deal of his will end up being quite a nice bargain for Houston.

White Sox 5, Royals 1: Chris Sale tossed eight shutout innings, outdueling James Shields who had a nice outing himself. Tim Collins has walked four guys and given up four runs in one total inning pitched across two outings so far. May want to start putting him in some lower-leverage situations, Ned.

Cubs 8, Phillies 3: A.J. Burnett was roughed up for eight runs — only four earned — in five and two-thirds. He walked six, too, so eww. Ryan Kalish had RBIs on a double and a triple. The Cubs avoid the sweep.

Athletics 6, Mariners 3: Homers for Brandon Moss and Yoenis Cespedes and an actually-converted save for Jim Johnson. Sonny Gray allowed one earned run and six hits in six innings.

Yordano Ventura represented the best and worst of baseball’s culture

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
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It was reported this morning that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Former prospect Andy Marte was also killed in a separate car accident. Along with Jose Fernandez and Oscar Taveras, the baseball world has lost a lot of young, exciting talent in a very short amount of time.

Ventura was, like all of us, a complex human being. At his best, he was an exciting, talented, emotive pitcher who featured an electric fastball which sat in the mid-90’s and occasionally touched 100 MPH. At his worst, he was an immature, impressionable kid trying to fit in by exacting revenge against batters he felt had wronged him by slinging those electric fastballs at vulnerable areas of their bodies.

Baseball needed Ventura when he was at his best. It is players like him and Fernandez, not Mike Trout, that bring in new fans to the sport. To baseball die-hards, Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the pinnacle of entertainment because we know he’s an otherworldly talent. But to the average fan, Trout is just another player who hits a couple of homers and doesn’t do anything particularly interesting otherwise. Trout is milquetoast. Ventura was never an All-Star, but fans knew who he was because he made his presence felt every time he made a start. He was fun, if sometimes vengeful.

Ventura’s baseball rap sheet is rather lengthy for someone who only pitched parts of four seasons in the big leagues. Early in the 2015 season, Ventura found himself in a handful of benches-clearing incidents in quick succession. On April 12, he jawed with Trout, apparently misunderstanding the motivation behind Trout yelling, “Let’s go!” Though catcher Salvador Perez intervened, Trout’s teammate Albert Pujols ran in from second base and the benches cleared shortly thereafter. On the 18th, some drama between the Athletics and Royals continued. Ventura fired a 99 MPH fastball at Brett Lawrie, resulting in his immediate ejection from the game. More beanball wars ensued in the series finale the following day. Finally, on the 23rd, Ventura hit White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu with a 99 MPH fastball in the fourth inning. Ventura was not ejected… until after the completion of the seventh inning. Walking back to the dugout, Ventura barked at White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton and — you guessed it — the benches cleared. All told, Ventura was fined for his behavior with the Athletics and suspended seven games for the White Sox incident.

In August 2015, Ventura called Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista a “nobody” and accused him of stealing signs. He apologized shortly thereafter. Two months later, during his start in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, Ventura got into it with Jays first base coach Tim Leiper. Nothing happened beyond that, but apparently it was part of the Jays’ plan to try to put Ventura “on tilt.”

Most recently, in June this past season, Ventura hit Orioles third baseman Manny Machado with a pitch. Machado charged the mound and got in at least one punch before the players spilled out onto the field in a blob of royal blue and orange. Ventura was suspended for eight games.

Ventura was by no means a model of civility, but he was a product of baseball’s intransigent culture forcing players to assimilate or be ostracized. The old culture taught players to never show emotion. Hit a home run? Put your head down and circle the bases in a timely fashion or risk taking a fastball to the ribs. Players like Fernandez and Bautista — typically players from Latin countries — challenged those old cultural norms and are, as a result, the vanguard of the new culture. Ventura displayed aspects of each, the worst of the old culture and the best of the new. He was not a one-dimensional person; he was strikingly complex. At one moment willing to use a fastball as a weapon, the next stopping by some kids’ lemonade stand and giving out fist bumps. Baseball is made more entertaining and more interesting by its personalities and Ventura’s was a behemoth, for better or worse. His absence from the sport will be felt.

MLB remembers Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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Following the tragic passing of 25-year-old Yordano Ventura and 33-year-old Andy Marte, both of whom were killed in separate car crashes on Sunday morning, players and executives from around Major League Baseball expressed an outpouring of grief and support for the players’ families and former teams.

Fans have gathered at Kauffman Stadium in memory of the former pitcher.