And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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For those who care, I had an excellent weekend at the Kentucky Derby. Well, in terms of fun and mint julep drinking anyway. My gambling didn’t go so hot. I tried to find baseball-related bets wherever I could find them. The Derby itself had two that caught my eye: General A Rod which, for cryin’ out loud, if I’m not betting on that horse I’m not betting at all. Also: Commanding Curve, which I bet on for Clayton Kershaw reasons. A Rod was, not surprisingly, history’s greatest monster, finishing 11th. Commanding Curve placed, but I bet on him to win. I also threw a karma bet to Vicar’s In Trouble because I liked that he had a woman jockey. He finished 19th out of 19 so, well, blah.

I won with the bourbon every single time, however. I also looked absolutely effing amazing in my Derby finery, so it was a successful weekend. If you want to read my extended thoughts on the Derby and my weekend there, feel free to head over to this writeup at my personal blog. Now, on to the baseball:

Rays 5, Yankees 1: A standup, three-run inside-the-park home run for Wil Myers. Which, hey, great for him. But can someone tell me where the heck Carlos Beltran was as that play was unfolding and why it took him so long to get to the ball after Ellsbury missed it? I know we don’t call errors when fielders some nowhere near the ball — and even if we did, it’s not like any reasonable system would actually charge Beltran with an error here such that Myers was deprived of his homer — but there is no way on Earth that play goes down like that if Beltran is properly playing his position. Guess it doesn’t matter, though given that the Yankees could only muster one run off Erik Bedard and the Rays’ pen. And that CC Sabathia gave up ten hits and couldn’t even make it out of the fourth.

White Sox 4, Indians 3: With the Tribe leading 3-1 in the ninth, Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer off John Axford. That’s a big ol’ “WELP” for the home crowd. Up to that point Corey Kluber had allowed only one run on three hits in eight innings while striking out 13, including one point where he struck out seven White Sox in a row. That and 50 cents gets him a bag of chips. Hell, may not even get him a bag of chips these days. I haven’t worked in an office with vending machines for a long time. What do chips cost?

Marlins 5, Dodgers 4: Giancarlo Stanton homered twice and drove in three and Jeff Baker hit the game-winning single to help the Marlins walk off in the ninth. The ball ricocheted off the wall and hit Yasiel Puig in the face as he went up to try to make the grab. He needed help getting off the field. Jose Fernandez was said to be lacking his normal command yesterday but still struck out ten dudes and was in line for the win until the pen blew it.

Giants 4, Braves 1: A week ago yesterday the Braves won a 1-0 game in ten innings and baseball scribes looking for something to write settled on “The Braves are surging and their rotation is frickin’ awesome,” or words to that effect. They haven’t won a game since. Brandon Crawford’s two home runs and Madison Bumgarner’s six strong innings sent the Braves down to their six straight defeat. They’ve scored ten runs in those six losses. Meanwhile, the Giants have won five straight and nine of ten.

Blue Jays 7, Pirates 2: A Colby Rasmus grand slam in the second and a Melky Cabrera two-run homer in the fifth made this one a laugher. Rasmus doubled and singled too, putting him [altogether now] a triple short of the cycle. With it the Blue Jays prevent the Pirates from sweeping, but they’ve still lost nine of thirteen.

Twins 5, Orioles 2: The Twins take two of three from Baltimore with the help of a bases-loaded walk and a two-run triple from Kurt Suzuki and six and two-thirds surprisingly good innings from Phil Hughes. Joe Mauer left the game with back spasms. He’s day-to-day.

Athletics 3, Red Sox 2Yoenis Cespedes drove in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded single in the 10th helping the A’s avert a sweep. Jim Johnson saved it in the tenth with the help from a sweet play by Daric Barton to gun down Will Middlebrooks at third base and then from a game-ending double play to squelch the would-be rally.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $45,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $7,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on MondayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Mets 5, Rockies 1: Gee. No, GTE. No, Gee, you old man who remembers more 1980s and 90s TV commercials than he does stuff someone told him an hour ago. Dillon Gee with six shutout innings. Which I originally wrote as “shoutout innings,” which would have been cool too.

Mariners 8, Astros 7: Robinson Cano and Willie Bloomquist each drove in two, helping Collin McHugh to is first major league humbling in this three-start season (4 IP, 8 H, 5 ER).

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 3: The Padres avoid the sweep. Even in the loss, though, the Dbacks have to be pretty encouraged by their weekend.

Reds 4, Brewers 3: Tenth inning, score tied at 3 with two outs. Chris Heisey draws a four-pitch walk from Tyler Thornburgh and Todd Frazier follows with the game-winning double. Three of four for the Reds. If the Brewers have another series or two like this no one will be asking all of those “are the Brewers for real?” questions.

Tigers 9, Royals 4: Justin Verlander had a no-hitter into the sixth and was staked to a 7-0 lead before he faltered. So, no, this one was not in doubt. Torii Hunter drove in three with a couple of RBI singles.

Phillies 1, Nationals 0: Seven and a third shutout innings for Fauxsto Carmona, besting Gio Gonzalez in a pitchers’ duel. A Chase Utley RBI single in the first was all of the scoring in this one.

Rangers 14, Angels 3: Two RBI doubles for Prince Fielder and four RBI including a three-run homer for Michael Choice to lead the Rangers’ hit parade. Not the prettiest outing ever for Yu Darvish but with that kind of run support he could afford it. Ugly all around for the Halos.

Cardinals 5, Cubs 4: Too exhausted to do anything put put up the score. I’ll update the specifics in the morning.

 

Watch: Mike Trout ties MLB record with his 25th home run

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It was only a matter of time before Mike Trout courted another all-time record, and on Saturday, he found himself in elite company with his 25th and 26th home runs of the season. He put the Angels on the board with a 429-foot blast in the first inning, depositing an 0-1 fastball from the Orioles’ Kevin Gausman into the left field bleachers:

In the third inning, with the Angels up 2-1, Trout returned to tack on another insurance run. He targeted Gausman’s slider for his second solo shot of the evening and cleared the center field fence with a 418-footer to bring his total to 26 home runs on the year.

Trout has mashed at a staggering .339/.471/.596 clip since his return from the disabled list last month, and Saturday’s totals helped mark his sixth consecutive season with at least 25 home runs. That’s a record few have matched before their age-26 season; in fact, only Hall of Fame sluggers Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson have ever pulled it off.

Assuming he continues to rake in hits and plate appearances over the last six weeks of the regular season — and there’s nothing to indicate that he won’t — Trout is in line to join elite company of a different kind. The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s game with a 206 OPS+ (park-adjusted on-base plus slugging). According to MLB.com’s Matt Kelly, that means Trout’s hitting at a better clip than the average Major League player by a full 106 percent. Should he finish the year with a 200 OPS+ and 502 plate appearances or better, he’ll be the first player to do so since Barry Bonds obliterated the competition with his 263 OPS+ in 2004.

Blue Jays acquire Tom Koehler from Marlins

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The Blue Jays acquired right-hander Tom Koehler from the Marlins in exchange for minor league right-hander Osman Gutierrez and cash considerations, the clubs announced Saturday. Koehler is in his sixth year with the Marlins and stands to make $5.75 million in 2017. He’ll be arbitration eligible in 2018 and is set to enter free agency by 2019.

The 31-year-old right-hander struggled to a 7.92 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 55 2/3 innings with Miami in 2017. He was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans in late July, where he rebounded with a 1-1 record in seven starts and whittled his ERA down to a 1.67 mark. The Blue Jays have yet to establish Koehler’s role within their organization, but are hoping to see a turnaround from the righty when he breaks back into the big leagues.

Gutierrez, 22, was assigned to Single-A Greensboro on Saturday. He has yet to find his footing in the minors, and exited a 78-inning stint with Single-A Lansing after racking up a career-worst 7.85 ERA and 8.2 SO/9. His lack of control is particularly alarming, with a 6.2 BB/9 that dwarfs the 2.0+ BB/9 of seasons past, but he still has plenty of time to figure out his mechanics before reaching the Show.