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.

 

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.