Ryan Braun

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Brewers 10, Phillies 4: Wouldn’t you know it? Ryan Braun picks yesterday to go back on steroids! Or at least that’s what I assume Phillies fans are thinking this morning. Three homers and seven RBI for a guy a lot of people think didn’t know how to play baseball before taking PEDs but, you know, clearly did. In other news, Braun was booed lustily while Marlon Byrd was treated just fine by the hometown crowd. But sure, let’s pretend that people booing Braun is all about morality and not blind team loyalty.

Dodgers 3, Tigers 2: Carl Crawford with the RBI double to win it in the 10th. I think Brad Ausmus is learning that maybe the Joba Chamberlain-Phil Coke bullpen combo is not his best go-to option in extra innings when the game is on the line. Also, a rough game for Torii Hunter. He leaves the game with a knee contusion AND he has Vin Scully talk about his dad being a crack addict during one of his at bats.

Giants 7, Diamondbacks 3: Tim Hudson allowed two earned runs over eight in his Giants home debut and Brandon Belt looked amazingly like Barry Bonds with his first inning homer.

Rangers 10, Red Sox 7: The Sox outhit the Rangers 14-13, but they also grounded into five double plays. Which kind of kills your momentum.

Orioles 14, Yankees 5: Twenty hits, including homers from Delmon Young, Adam Jones and Matt Weiters. The stadium was half empty. Half of the starters were gone towards the end of the game. There’s nothing sadder in Yankee Stadium than apathy.

Nationals 5, Marlins 0: Gio Gonzalez and four relievers toss the shutout. Anthony Rendon had an RBI single and an RBI double.

Blue Jays 5, Astros 2: Melky Cabrera has homered in four straight games. That’s another player that, you know, actually knows how to play baseball despite the “he’s a PED creation” narrative.

Mets 4, Braves 0: The Braves celebrated the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run by getting their butts shut the hell out by Bartolo Colon, Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde. I hope Hank shot some seriously disapproving looks down from his luxury box as the evening wore on. It would have been better had he taken a bat and showed these jackwagons how to hit. In other news, this is my new spirit animal.

Indians 8, Padres 6:  David Murphy hit a three-run homer and had four RBI. When were one of you guys going to tell me David Murphy played for the Indians? Jeez, dudes, I thought we were friends here.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday’s evening MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

White Sox 15, Rockies 3: Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia each hit two homers and the White Sox hit six in all. Nineteen total hits. Just another day in Denver.

Cardinals 7, Reds 5: Lance Lynn spotted the Reds four early runs but the Cards got ’em right back. Matt Holliday hit the go-ahead RBI double. Yadier Molina homered and Peter Bourjos had three hits and an RBI of his own. The Reds are certainly digging quite a hole for themselves early.

Mariners 5, Angels 3: Corey Hart hit two homer in his home debut for the Mariners. With that, every single team has now played a home game. So this is the last of the lining up on the foul lines for introductions until the All-Star Game, I reckon.

Pirates 7, Cubs 6: Quite a lot of two-homer days for players yesterday, with Starlin Castro doing it too. But the Pirates ended up on the winning side of this see-saw battle. They blew leads of of 4-0 and 6-4 before prevailing on a Russell Martin sac fly in the eighth. Which is the equivalent of being the low kid on the see-saw and then getting off to let the other kid slam their butt on the ground.

Rays 1, Royals 0: Chris Archer and Yordano Ventura provided a nice young pitchers duel, shutting out the opposition for seven and six innings, respectively. James Loney’s RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth provided the game’s only score. In other news, someone please tell me how a 1-0 game can go three hours and thirteen minutes.

Royals pay tribute to late Yordano Ventura during spring training opener

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 12: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on August 12, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.

Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).

A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.

The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:

A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.

Gerrit Cole named Pirates’ Opening Day starter

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photograph during MLB spring training photo day on February 19, 2017 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.

The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.

Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.