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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Brewers 3, Pirates 2: FISTICUFFSMANSHIP! No one distinguishes themselves here, but this much is true: if Gerrit Cole simply takes the ball and goes back to the mound without jawing at Gomez, (a) Gomez looks like a guy who misjudged his hit and almost got thrown out foolishly; and (b) no brawl happens. But in baseball it’s not enough to let someone look a bit silly and take the high road. No, you must tell the other guy that his looking silly somehow offended your honor or some crazy crap and you must escalate things because, well, that’s how it’s done. “How dare you think that ball you just hit 399 feet was about to go 400 feet?!” you must exclaim. “You are a bad person for doing that!” I wish Gomez didn’t respond to Cole’s provocation with dumbass hostility of his own (and he’s gonna get righteously suspended or fined for throwing his helmet).But how awesome would it have been if he had simply smiled and said “yeah, I shouldn’t have assumed that triple I just smoked off of your crappy pitch was a home run. How WRONG of me,” and then blown Cole a kiss? He didn’t do that, of course, but the fact remains that no fight happens if Cole doesn’t decide to start hurling F-bombs at Gomez because Honor and Rules and bullcrap like that which doesn’t belong in 21st century sports.

Reds 8, Cubs 2: Hope you all had a happy Easter. Or, as we refer to it at our house, Spring Thanksgiving. That’s not an attempt to secularize it for anyone else. I get how important Easter is to Christians and don’t mean to denigrate their faith. It’s just an acknowledgment that my family isn’t religious so we basically just treat Easter as a family meal and coming together thing. Oh, it’s also the one time every year my mom tells the “Peter . . . I can see your house from up here . . .” joke, which is her absolute favorite joke ever. Kinda odd because, really, my mom is the only one of us who still considers herself a Catholic and goes to mass and stuff. I guess you have more of a right to be sacrilegious if it’s actually your religion than someone else does. Anyway, in a major shocker, my mom did not tell the “Peter . . . I can see your house from up here . . .” joke this year. Guess she forgot. Kind of a surprise. Not a surprise? The Reds taking two of three from the Cubs at Wrigley, where they’ve won 17 of the last 19.

Giants 4, Padres 3: San Francisco only had three hits — and none after the second inning — but that’s all they needed because one was a two-run homer and the other a two-run single. Tim Lincecum got his first win of the year.

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 1: Puig hit a three-run homer and threw Miguel Montero the heck OUT at second base when he tried to stretch for a double. Which, to be fair, would be a double against most right fielders, but like I said, he got thrown the heck OUT. Note: Puig did not hit the cutoff man in throwing Montero. He threw it right over him. Because, in this case, hitting the cutoff man would’ve slowed things down. But if anyone wants to lecture Puig about it, go ahead. I’ll be over here rolling my eyes and doing that wanking motion thing.

Athletics 4, Astros 1: The sweep. Josh Donaldson homered and doubled twice. The A’s have won 11 of 13. The Astros have lost seven in a row. None of this is particularly surprising.

White Sox 16, Rangers 2: Jose Abreu and Jordan Danks each hit two homers and the Sox win in a laugher. That ends the Rangers’ five-game winning streak.

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 $10 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on MondayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Nationals 3, Cardinals 2Mets 4, Braves 3: The Nationals won on a walkoff sac fly, the Braves lost on a walkoff sac fly. This is important. This means something. [Craig sculpts things out of his mashed potatoes]. In the Nats-Cards game, Denard Span hit the sac fly against the Cardinals’ five-man infield. Span:

“I counted: one, two, three, four, five,” Span said. “Right there I told myself a groundball probably not going to do it. Try to get the ball in the air somehow.”

That he counted so quickly is proof positive that activating him from the seven-day concussion DL was the right call. If he saw ten infielders they would’ve put him back on there.

Twins 8, Royals 3: Phil Hughes got a win. It’s the first time that’s happened since last July. Which means Phil Hughes’ wins have the same frequency as, like, Christmas.

Marlins 3, Mariners 2: The Marlins sweep Seattle. Christian Yelich hit a double and scored the tying run in the eighth, which was official only replay overturned the initial out call. That brings Yelich’s hitting streak to 14 games. The double, I mean. He’d still have the hitting streak even if he was out at home. That’s a baseball rule. 

Yankees 5, Rays 1: Two five inning starts and some solid bullpen work from each team had this one tied at one in the 12th. Then Dean Anna walked with the bases loaded to put the Yankees ahead. The Rays are “The Extra 2%” team. In that instance the had a 25% surplus of walks and/or base runners. Subsequent RBI singles from Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann took the math out of the equation. Wait, if you take math out of the equation, is it still an equation? I think I just blew my mind thinking about this. Probably shouldn’t write game recaps on 4/20.

Tigers 2, Angels 1: Clown shoes defense by the Angels and heads-up base running by Ian Kinsler gave the Tigers their first run. A second error by Hank Conger led to the Tigers’ second run. Remember back when Mike Scioscia teams used to be lauded for being fundamentally sound and all that? That was cool. Feels like a million years ago, but it was cool.

Indians 6, Blues Jays 4: The Indians avoid a sweep. The AP gamer credits a pep talk by Terry Francona for the win. If there was anything to that I’d totally give pep talks before every game, dude.

Phillies 10, Rockies 9: Jimmy Rollins hit a homer and then drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth. This was a pretty significant offensive outburst for a team which had gone four games without an extra base hit.

Red Sox 6, Orioles 5: On a day when dumb defense impacted a couple of games dumb defense decided this one. Here, Dustin Pedroia scored the winning run on a David Lough throwing error. Lough caught a liner, Pedoria tagged from third but then headed back realizing Lough would likely nail him at the plate. Then Lough sailed one home. The O’s gave this game away in a lot of ways, and not just by virtue of blowing a five-run lead. Pedoria was able to advance to third in the first place thanks to a wild pitch.

James Shields lasts only 2 2/3 innings, gives up 10 runs to the Mariners

SEATTLE, WA - MAY 31:  Starting pitcher James Shields #33 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on May 31, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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James Shields has had better afternoons. The Padres’ starter couldn’t make it out of the third inning on Tuesday, ultimately serving up 10 runs on eight hits and four walks with one strikeout in 2 2/3 innings. The Mariners plated one run in the first inning, six in the second, and three in the third against Shields.

The runs came via, in order: a Kyle Seager RBI single, a bases loaded walk to Robinson Cano, a Nelson Cruz two-run single, a three-run Seager home run, and a three-run Seth Smith home run. Things continued to get worse once Shields left, as reliever Luis Perdomo gave up a two-run home run to Franklin Gutierrez in the fourth to make it 12-0. In the fifth, Smith homered again with the bases empty, and Adam Lind later drilled a three-run shot, pushing the score to 16-0.

The White Sox were reportedly discussing a trade involving Shields with the Padres as recently as Sunday. Shields entered Tuesday’s start with a 3.06 ERA and a 56/23 K/BB ratio in 64 2/3 innings. Presumably, a team wouldn’t let one start affect its interest in a player, but Shields’ outing certainly doesn’t help.

Atlanta Braves trade reliever Jason Grilli to the Toronto Blue Jays

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 28: Jason Grilli #39 of the Atlanta Braves throws an eighth inning pitch against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field on May 28, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
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Multiple reporters including Robert Murray of Baseball Essential, Mark Bowman of MLB.com and David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution report that the Atlanta Braves are trading reliever Jason Grilli to the Toronto Blue Jays for a prospect. Murray says the prospect is minor league reliever Sean Ratcliffe

Grilli is having a subpar year but was a more or less effective closer last season. For 2016 he’s got a 5.29 ERA in 21 appearances and has a K/BB ratio of 23/13 in 17 innings. Nice strikeout total, but oof those walks. Last year he saved 24 games for a bad Braves team and posted a 2.94 ERA, struck out batters at the same rate and walked many fewer. Maybe a change of scenery and an adjustment would do him good.

Ratcliffe was an 18th round pick in 2013 for Toronto. He has only played in rookie ball and low A. He hasn’t pitched yet in 2016. Nothing in his previous three seasons shouts “great prospect” but you never know.

Jose Bautista: Rougned Odor “tried a hundred percent to hit me in the face.”

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 15:  Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers holds Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays after being punched by Rougned Odor #12 in the eighth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 15, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is still convinced that Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor was “looking for a fight” on May 15, when the two teams butted heads at Globe Life Park. Bautista also believes he deserves credit for not hurting Odor.

Ostensibly, the Rangers were still salty about Bautista’s bat flip during the ALDS last year. In the last game of the series — and the clubs’ last regular season meeting — on May 15, pitcher Matt Bush hit Bautista in the ribs with a fastball. When Justin Smoak hit a ground ball prime for a double play attempt, Bautista slid hard into Odor receiving the feed at second base. Odor then punched Bautista cleanly in the face, and the benches emptied.

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated has the quotes:

“Was [Odor] out to play baseball that day? Maybe partly,” Bautista told Verducci. “Part of me also thinks that he was looking for a fight.”

[…]

“I could have hit him,” Bautista said. “I could have hurt him. I chose not to. My cleats were down. I slid through the bag. Was it late? Yes, a hundred percent. But what can I do after they hit me? Should I ask my manager to let me pitch, which he is never going to let me do? Like, what am I supposed to do? Just sit there and take it?”

[…]

“I’ve been playing baseball for a long time,” Bautista said. “I know exactly what he was trying to do when he threw the ball. He tried a hundred percent to hit me in the face. And it’s not the first time he’s done it against me or some of my teammates. And there’s video to prove that.”

Bautista received a one-game suspension which was upheld upon review. Odor’s eight-game suspension was reduced to seven games which Bautista believes was “unfounded” and “unfair.”

What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25: Starting pitcher Steven Matz #32 of the New York Mets works the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 25, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Welcome back to normalcy. Most of us were treated to a three-day holiday weekend for Memorial Day. Hopefully you spent it doing what makes you happy.

We have two afternoon starts today between the Astros and Diamondbacks, and the Padres and Mariners. The focus tonight will be on the fading White Sox, losers of seven consecutive games. They lost three out of four to the Indians, were swept by the Royals in heartbreaking fashion, and lost Monday’s series opener to the Mets behind seven shutout frames from the struggling Matt Harvey.

In tonight’s 7:05 game at Citi Field, the White Sox have to contend with Steven Matz, who has been nothing short of brilliant in eight starts this season. The lefty owns a 2.36 ERA with a 50/9 K/BB ratio in 49 2/3 innings. In a rotation that has heavy star power in Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, and Jacob deGrom, it’s easy to overlook Matz. Meanwhile, the White Sox will counter with Mat Latos. Latos got off to a great start, putting up a 0.74 ERA over his first four starts. In the five starts since, however, has a 7.09 ERA. The advanced stats made Latos’ fall to earth easy to predict — overall, he has a rather unimpressive 26/18 K/BB ratio — but he was giving the White Sox rotation longevity after Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis) @ Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber), 6:10 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez) @ Baltimore Orioles (Kevin Gausman), 7:05 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (Joe Ross) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola), 7:05 PM EDT

New York Yankees (CC Sabathia) @ Toronto Blue Jays (J.A. Happ), 7:07 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Gerrit Cole) @ Miami Marlins (Jose Fernandez), 7:10 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Jake Peavy) @ Atlanta Braves (Matt Wisler), 7:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Scott Kazmir) @ Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta), 8:05 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Mike Leake) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta), 8:10 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays (Drew Smyly) @ Kansas City Royals (Dillon Gee), 8:15 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Jon Moscot) @ Colorado Rockies (Jon Gray), 8:40 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers (Anibal Sanchez) @ Los Angeles Angels (Hector Santiago), 10:05 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Tyler Duffey) @ Oakland Athletics (Eric Surkamp), 10:05 PM EDT