Al Alburquerque

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Indians 11, Tigers 10: You may call it sloppy, but say that a walkoff balk is the perfect way to end a long, sloppy, horribly pitched baseball game.Al Alburquerque did the balking, but let’s not hang it on him. It was Phil Coke who started the fire, allowed the first run and put the eventual runner who scored on base. The Indians sweep the Tigers, two via walkoffs. Curse of the Zubaz streak stands at three.

Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 4: Edwin Encarnacion homered twice for the second day in a row and the Jays beat the Sox again. Time is a flat circle.

Yankees 4, Cubs 2: Once again Jeff Samardzija pitches a gem — seven shutout innings here — once again he has nothing to show for it. The Cubs could only score one run off something called Chase Whitley and a second run off of Adam Warren. Meanwhile, the Yankees rallies for two off Hector Rondon and the Cubs’ porous defense in the ninth and then plated two more in the 13th thanks to a wild pitch and an RBI single. Samardzija is now 0-4 despite a 1.46 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.

Reds 2, Nationals 1: Manager Bryan Price held a team meeting. Not before the game but in the dugout right before the fourth inning, which Zack Cozart called a “kick in the butt.” The Reds scored both of their runs in that fourth innings, so let’s all go along with the idea that the pep talk worked.

Rangers 4, Mariners 3: Shin-Soo Choo hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the fifth to break a 3-3 tie and Nick Tepesch won for the first time in ten months.

Dodgers 4, Mets 3: Adrian Gonzalez homered for the third straight game and Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez hit back-to-back homers of their own. More significantly: Hyun-Jin Ryu came off the DL and provided six quality innings.

Pirates 9, Orioles 8: Andrew McCutchen went 3 for 4 with an RBI Starling Marte and Ike Davis had three hits and two RBI each. The Pirates win for the third time in nine games.

Athletics 3, Rays 2: You know you’re living right when you only get one hit in a game and still win. That one hit was a Brandon Moss solo shot. Otherwise, the A’s scored twice via non-conventional means. An error-walk-walk-fielder’s choice-error combo in the second inning.

Brewers 6, Braves 1: Mark Reynolds hit a grand slam in the first inning and Kyle Lohse had absolutely no problem with the Braves’ bats.Manager Ron Roenicke credited skipping batting practice before the game for the Brewers’ bounceback after a Tuesday night shutout and says there will be no batting practice again today. Eventually that’ll stop working and they’ll talk about needing to get back in the cage. I know a lot of scientists who love baseball, but I sometimes wonder if baseball drives scientists crazy.

Royals 3, White Sox 1: Jeremy Guthrie, Wade Davis and Greg Holland combined on a four-hitter and the Royals got just enough offense.

Marlins 14, Phillies 5: Fourteen runs on fourteen hits including a Marcell Ozuna grand slam. And a sick, sick Giancarlo Stanton catch in the fifth inning.

Angels 2, Astros 1: A two-hit, one-run complete game for Jered Weaver. Albert Pujols hit his 13th homer of the year.

Cardinals 3, Diamondbacks 2: Allen Craig hit a bases bases-loaded grounder with no one out in the 12th, but Chris Ownings’ wild throw home, allowed Matt Holliday to score the winning run.

Giants 5, Rockies 1: Three solo homers from the Giants who are — get this — third in team home runs in all of Major League Baseball. Not the sort of thing you’d expect. They were 29th last year. 30th the year before.

Twins 2, Padres 0: Phil Hughes with seven shutout innings. He’s now 5-1 with a 3.15 ERA. Those numbers would probably be impossible if he was still pitching in Yankee Stadium, but it’s still gotta be a bit baffling to Yankees fans to see Phil Hughes, you know, not stink.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.