And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 2: Eight wins for Mark Buehrle, seven straight losses for the Boston Red Sox and, get this, the Toronto Blue Jays are in first place in the American League East as we enter Memorial Day weekend. Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista each had homers.

Rangers 9, Tigers 2: The Rangers season is collapsing in injury but they still have Yu Darvish and the Tigers are still suffering from the Curse of the Zubaz. Darvish allowed two runs over seven innings and Rangers hitters beat the snot out of Robbie Ray.

Marlins 4, Phillies 3: Christian Yelich hit a two-out, bases-loaded RBI single to walk the Marlins off with a win. Or, I think it walked the Phillies off. That’s what Dennis Eckersley was referring to when he coined the term, I believe. The losing team walking off the field in defeat as opposed to running back to the dugout like they would following any but the final innings. Then again, usage can often change words and phrases from their original or intended meaning, so maybe it doesn’t matter?

Rays 5, Athletics 2: Grant Balfour couldn’t hold a 1-0 lead in the ninth, but then Dan Otero and Luke Gregerson couldn’t hold a 2-1 lead in the 11th, so that canceled out. Sorta. Kinda. I don’t know. All I know is that it set the stage for a three-run walkoff jack for Sean Rodriguez in the bottom of the 11th. That ended a four-game losing streak for the Rays and a five-game winning streak for the A’s.

Cardinals 4, Diamondbacks 2: The sweep. Shane Robinson was was called up yesterday and went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a run scored. And his “just got called up from the minors” cliches are as sharp as a tack:

“It was a good feeling to be able to get in there and help out the club and get a win tonight,” Robinson said. “I’m just feeling blessed to be up here.”

Crash Davis couldn’t have instructed him any better.

Mets 5, Dodgers 3: The Mets do what very few teams have been able to do this year, and that’s get to Zack Greinke. Well, to the extent he really can be got to anyway. Three runs — one earned — and four hits. But the key was that they made him work, chasing him after 101 pitches in five innings. Jonathon Niese hit an RBI double to [altogether now] help his own cause. He also pitched seven sharp innings. Yasiel Puig made an amazing catch. He also got doubled off second on an infield fly. The Puig giveth, the Puig taketh away.

White Sox 3, Yankees 2: Chris Sale came back from the DL and took a no-hitter into the sixth. He left the game after six having allowed only one hit, no runs, no walks and striking out 10. Yeah, I think he’s gonna be just fine.

Braves 5, Brewers 4: The Braves rallied after being down 4-1 in the sixth thanks to two improbable things: (1) a B.J. Upton home run; and (2) Brewers manager Ron Roenicke screwing up and calling Will Smith in to the game when he hadn’t been warming up in the bullpen. He got his eight warmup pitches on the field but then gave up a two-run RBI single to Ryan Doumit. I feel like some savvy telecom company could make a decent add involving bullpen phones out of this if they wanted to.

Pirates 3, Nationals 1: Mark Melancon put two runners on in the ninth and then allowed a sinking liner by Anthony Rendon. Thankfully Andrew McCutchen was there to make a sliding grab to end the game. The MVP had two RBI too.

Indians 8, Orioles 6: The third extra innings game in four games for the Indians. Third win in those four extra innings game too, and a four-game winning streak overall. Carlos Santana played the hero here with a two-run double in the 13th. It was a big hole for Terry Francona’s group to dig out of, but they’ve moved a lot of dirt in the past four days.

Cubs 5, Padres 1: A homer and a double for former Padre Anthony Rizzo. Jake Arrieta allowed only one run and four hits, striking out seven and walking only one. The Padres have played 48 games. In 15 of them they have scored one or zero runs.

Mariners 3, Astros 1: Michael Saunders legged out an infield single with the bases loaded in the seventh inning, driving in two runs in what was then a 1-1 game. The play was reviewed on replay but upheld.

Giants 2, Rockies 2: SUSPENDED: At some point later this year they’ll complete this one, picking up where they left off: tied up in the sixth with two outs and Michael Cuddyer on first. Unless Cuddyer dies in a zeppelin accident or something before the game resumes, in which case they’ll use someone else. Which will make that the most somber pinch running experience ever, even if it makes for one of the more interesting Jayson Stark factoid columns ever written.

Seattle Mariners to make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani

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Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a team-sponsored podcast the other day that the M’s will make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani. To that end, Dipoto said that the M’s would be willing to let the two-way star to pitch and to hit, which is something Ohtani is interested in doing in the United States. Not all clubs are likely to let him do this, with most likely seeing him as a starting pitcher only.

Ohtani, who is expected to be posted by his Japanese team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, possibly as early as today, can sign with anyone he wants. He is, however, subject to the international bonus pool caps, so the bids on him will be somewhat limited. The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees have the most money available: $3.535 million for the Rangers and $3.5 million for the Yankees. The Twins ($3.245 million), Pirates ($2.266 million), Marlins ($1.74 million) and Mariners ($1.57 million) are the only other teams with more than $1 million left. Twelve teams — including the Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals and Astros — are limited to a maximum of $300,000, having met or exceeded their caps for this signing period already.

Ohtani, however, is said to be less motivated by money than he is by finding the right situation. While a lot of guys say that, the fact that Ohtani is coming over to the U.S. now, when his financial prospects are limited, as opposed to waiting for two years when he is not subject to the bonus caps and could sign for nine figures, suggests that he is telling the truth. As such, a team like the Mariners that is willing to allow him to hit and pitch could make up for the couple of million less they have in bonus money to spend.

As for how that might work logistically, Dipoto said that the team would be willing to play DH Nelson Cruz a few days in the outfield to accommodate Ohtani, allowing him to DH on the days he’s not pitching. That might be . . . interesting to see, but given how badly the Mariners could use a good starting pitcher, they have an incentive to be creative.

Ohtani, 23, suffered some injuries in 2017, limiting him to just five starts and 65 games as a hitter. In 2016, however, he hit .289/.356/.547 with 22 homers in 342 at-bats and went 11-3 with a 3.24 ERA, and a K/BB ratio of 146/51 in 133.1 innings as a starter.

Five clubs have more money to spend on Ohtani than the Mariners do. None of those teams are on the west coast, which some Asian players have said in the past they preferred due to faster travel back home. The Mariners, owned for a long time by a Japanese company which still retains a minority interest in the club, and long the home for high-profile Japanese players such as Ichiro and Hisashi Iwakuma, likely have a better media and marketing reach in Japan than most other teams as well, which might be a factor in his decision making process. Is all that enough to sway Ohtani?

We’ll find out over the next couple of weeks.