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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights


Giants 3, Dodgers 1: I tend to go to bed after the east coast games end so it’s not often I get to watch Dodgers games, but I stay up once in a while to do so. Lately, though, I’ve had a bad habit of getting a Josh Beckett start every time I do. It’s like turning on The Three Stooges a couple of times a month and getting a Shemp. Heck, even Shemp is better than watching Beckett. It’s like getting a Curly Joe. This is the case even where, as here, Beckett actually pitches relatively well. He’s just slow and inefficient and hard to watch. Anyway, Ryan Vogelsong pitched well too, and after the game he offered rare, revealing insight by saying he was “just trying to make pitches. Really makes you think, man.

Blue Jays 12, Phillies 6: Two homers for Edwin Encarnacon and five in all for the Jays, who have just dismantled Philly this series. Toronto outscored Philadelphia 31-11 in their four game set. Philly has started out 15-18 for three straight years. Viva progress.

Astros 6, Tigers 2: Dallas Keuchel allowed two runs and six hits in seven and two-thirds. This breaks the Astros’ five game losing streak and the Tigers’ eight-game winning streak.

Indians 9, Twins 4: Four hits — a homer, two doubles and a single — and three RBI for Asdrubal Cabrera. After a game in which shortstop Eduardo Escobar struggled to play left field, Ron Gardenhire decided putting him in center. He screwed up again here, allowing a run to score when he misjudged a liner that ended up going to the wall. Meanwhile, the Twins used a couple of relievers who hadn’t had work in a week and only had one position player on the bench. Thank goodness the Twins have all of those relievers.

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

Marlins 3, Padres 1: All pitching until Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer in the eleventh to give the Marlins their fifth straight win. That’s 11 homers and 40 RBI for Stanton on the year. He’s pretty good.

Orioles 3, Rays 1: Steve Pearce — the guy the Orioles released on April 27, only to re-sign him two days later — hit a two-run homer and made a key defensive play, stretching big for a double play ball at first base in the fifth that got Ubaldo Jimenez out of a jam. Maybe releasing Pearce was just some grand motivational tool. The Orioles should release everyone. Maybe they’d win the division?

Rangers 5, Rockies 0: Matt Harrison tossed five and a third shutout innings to get his first win since 2012 and combined with four relievers to shut out the Rockies. Much needed after getting pummeled by them for three straight games.

Cubs 12, White Sox 5: Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Mike Olt all went deep to help the Cubs avoid the sweep. Olt’s was a grand slam in the eighth. Rizzo had three hits and Olt, Ryan Kalish, Nate Schierholtz and Junior Lake each had two. Fifteen hits total for the Cubs after managing just 12 in the first three games of this series combined.

Mariners 1, Royals 0: Hisashi Iwakuma was dealing, tossing eight shutout innings while striking out seven and issuing no walks. Corey Hart’s RBI single in the third was all he needed.

Angels sign outfielder Rafael Ortega to one-year contract

Rafael Ortega
AP Photo/John Bazemore
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According to the official Twitter account of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the club has agreed to terms on a one-year major league contract with outfielder Rafael Ortega.

It’s worth the MLB minimum, which should be a little north of $507,000 in 2016.

Ortega was once considered a top prospect in the Rockies’ minor league system, but he has made only six total plate appearances at the big league level since signing out of Venezuela in 2008. The 24-year-old batted .286/.367/.378 with two home runs and 17 stolen bases in 131 games this past season for the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate in Memphis.

He’ll be in the running for an Opening Day roster spot next spring in Angels camp.

Report: Ben Zobrist’s price tag is currently four years, $60 million

Ben Zobrist
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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Ben Zobrist will turn 35 years old early next summer, but that doesn’t seem to be putting too much of a dent in his free agent value.

According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the “sense among interested teams” is that Zobrist’s price is currently hovering around four years, $60 million and it “may go higher.”

There was a report from FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal on Sunday stating that the Mets have made Zobrist their “No. 1” offseason target, and over a dozen other clubs have linked to him since the World Series ended. That’s the kind of attention you command when you can both hit — Zobrist posted an .809 OPS (120 OPS+) in 2015 — and also cover a range of positions defensively.

He makes sense for just about any club looking to contend in the coming seasons.

Wilin Rosario elects to become free agent

Wilin Rosario
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi
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Wilin Rosario was designated for assignment by the Rockies late last month. Now, according to Thomas Harding of, the 26-year-old former National League Rookie of the Year vote-getter has elected to become a free agent.

Rosario is a bad defensive catcher and wasn’t much better when the Rockies tried him at first base, but he should draw some interest from American League teams looking for a bench bat and part-time DH.

Rosario slugged 28 home runs for the Rockies in 2012 and he’s averaged 26 home runs for every 162 games over the course of his five-year major league career.

He boasts a .319/.356/.604 career batting line against left-handed pitching.

Orioles acquire Mark Trumbo from Mariners for Steve Clevenger

Mark Trumbo
AP Photo/Joe Nicholson

As first reported by Bob Dutton of the Tacoma Tribune and now confirmed by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Mariners have traded first baseman and corner outfielder Mark Trumbo to the Orioles in exchange for catcher and first baseman Steve Clevenger. There is also a second player headed to Baltimore in the deal.

This feels like an admission from the O’s that they’re not going to be able to re-sign Chris Davis, who is said to be looking for more than $150 million in free agency.

Clevenger was out of options and the Orioles have both Matt Wieters and Caleb Joseph coming back at the catcher position. Wieters was due to become a free agent but accepted a one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from Baltimore last month.

Trumbo has always been a low-OBP guy and he rates as a poor defender everywhere he has played, but the 29-year-old has averaged 31 homers and 96 RBI for every 162 games in his six-year major league career. Camden Yards is a much better place than Safeco Field for him to show that power.