Clayton Kershaw

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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I’ll preface all of this by saying that I felt like I needed a break from watching baseball last night so rather than turn on any games I watched “Billy Madison” for the 100th time. Fact: the kids from Miss Lippy’s class are now 26-years-old. Now that that’s out of the way, on to the scores.

Dodgers 5, White Sox 2: Clayton Kershaw didn’t allow any hits for the first three innings, then gave up a two-run homer to the now-recovered and returned Jose Abreu, then settled back down and gave up no more runs the rest of the way while striking out nine.

Indians 3, Red Sox 2: The Red Sox’ winning streak is over thanks to seven shutout innings and ten strikeouts from Justin Masterson. Masterson had one start and a 0.00 ERA in March and now has one start and a 0.00 ERA in June. April and May were tire fires, but those one start months are pretty awesome for him.

Mets 11, Phillies 2: Hey there, Wilmer Flores. His first homer — and only his second big league homer ever — was a grand slam and he drove in six runs in all. Bartolo Colon posted his third straight strong start in a row. With the makeup game added this was a five-game series. The Mets won four.

Mariners 10, Yankees 2: Felix Hernandez improves to 8-1 with seven strong innings. David Phelps was touched for six runs in six and Alfredo Aceves gave up four runs in mopup duty. In the meantime Michael Saunders and Kyle Seager each drove in three. The Yankees have dropped four of the past six games

Marlins 3, Rays 1: Randy Wolf picks up his first win since 2012. The Rays have lost seven straight and now have the worst record in the American League.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Brewers 6, Twins 2: Matt Garza took a shutout into the seventh and Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer. Reynolds is on pace for 36 homers while hitting .208 and posting an OBP below .300. In other words, he continues to be Mark Reynolds.

Royals 6, Cardinals 0: The Missouri teams traded zeros until the seventh. Problem was that while the Royals quit that game, the Cardinals kept up with it and ended up being shut out. It was the Cardinals’ fifth loss in six games and second shutout in a row.

Pirates 10, Padres 3: It was a four hour, four minute game in which the home team surrendered ten runs and was forced to throw 249 pitches. In only nine innings! How many souls do you figure were left in Petco by the time the thing ended? A few dozen? Jordy Mercer homered and had four hits. Neil Walker had three hits and three driven in. Padres pitchers surrendered 16 hits in all.

Royals pay tribute to late Yordano Ventura during spring training opener

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 12: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on August 12, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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The Royals honored former pitcher Yordano Ventura prior to their first Cactus League game against the Rangers on Saturday. Ventura was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic in late January.

Rangers’ third baseman Adrian Beltre and center fielder Carlos Gomez paid their respects to the pitcher with a floral arrangement that was laid on the mound. Both teams stood along the foul lines during a pregame video tribute that highlighted Ventura’s tenure with Kansas City. Following the game, Gomez spoke to the media about his relationship with Ventura, describing their frequent conversations during the season and commending the pitcher for having “the same passion that I had early in my career” (via WFAA.com’s Levi Weaver).

A plaque dedicated to the 25-year-old was also presented to club manager Ned Yost as a more permanent commemoration of Ventura’s contributions to the sport. Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star reports that the plaque will be mounted in the club’s spring training facilities alongside tributes to members of the Royals’ 2014 and 2015 playoff teams.

The full text of the plaque is below, via MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan:

A brother and a teammate, Yordano Ventura, passed away on the morning of January 22 in his native Dominican Republic, at the age of 25. He signed with the Royals as a 17-year-old, eventually making the big league team in 2013 as a 22-year-old. On most days, he could be found laughing and joking with his baseball family in the clubhouse. However, on days when he pitched, that smile was replaced by a quiet confidence and an intense fire, which he brought to the mound for every start. He had many highlights in his abbreviated career, not the least of which was throwing eight shutout innings in Game #6 of the 2014 World Series to force a Game #7 vs. San Francisco.

Gerrit Cole named Pirates’ Opening Day starter

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 19: Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photograph during MLB spring training photo day on February 19, 2017 at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)
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Right-hander Gerrit Cole is set to take the mound for the Pirates on Opening Day, according to a team announcement on Saturday. It’s a spot that was most recently occupied by former Pirate Francisco Liriano, who made three consecutive Opening Day starts for the club before getting dealt to the Blue Jays last August.

The 26-year-old produced career-worst numbers during his fourth run with the Pirates in 2016, due in large part to bouts of inflammation in his right elbow. He finished the year with a 3.88 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 116 innings before getting shut down in September to avoid further injury to his elbow. When healthy, however, Cole has been lights-out for the Pirates. Prior to his injury-laden campaign last year, he touted a career 3.07 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 8.5 SO/9 and cumulative 10.2 fWAR from 2013 through 2015.

Cole will go toe-to-toe with the Red Sox during Boston’s home opener on Monday, April 3. Right-hander Jameson Taillon is scheduled to make the second start of the year, while fellow righty Ivan Nova will cover the Pirates’ home opener against the Braves on April 7. The Pirates’ third and fifth starters have yet to be announced.