And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Giants 6, Reds 1: Six straight for Madison Bumgarner as he allows one run on three hits over eight innings. Fun times: I spent part of last night in Columbus’ wonderful Bob’s Bar — The Cultural Hub of the Midwest — and they were showing a replay of this game. Dude next to me thought the bright sunshine on the field was because the game was in San Francisco and that we were watching it live. I’d like to spend some time in his head for a while.

Astros 8, Angels 5: Jose Altuve drove in two, George Springer three and each had two a piece in the Astros’ four-run eighth inning. My favorite line of the night goes to Chris Carter, though: 0 for 0, four walks, no runs scored. There’s something beautiful about that, even if it amounted to nothing. It’s like some pure statement of purpose made with little heed for its practical impact. I shall walk.

Marlins 11, Rays 6: Ten losses in a row for the Rays. Figure they’re a couple of losses away from petitioning for the “Devil” to be returned to their name. Macrell Ozuna homered and drove in four. Something called Jacob Realmuto had three RBI in his major league debut. That sorta sounds like a made-up name. Like “Rollo Tomasi” or something.

Blue Jays 7, Tigers 3: The Blue Jays are an absolute buzzsaw right now. And no one saw it coming. Anyone who did is a liar. Six runs off of Justin Verlander, five of them earned. A serviceable outing from J.A. Happ. Just not the sort of things you might expect.

Cubs 7, Mets 4: And the Mets are swept. Travis Wood pitched five decent innings and, though he didn’t get the win, he hit a homer and drove in three. He was a one man gang, really. Like this.

Royals 3, Cardinals 2:  Yordano Ventura won it and was effective, but it was weird that he pitched to contact, relied on his defense and only struck out one. I’d like to see a few more starts out of him to know that he’s feeling better. Lots of dudes with hurt elbows were able to crafty-their-way to a a win here and there. I’d like to see him airing it out and snapping off wicked stuff before we feel better about him.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Friday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on FridayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Nationals 4, Phillies 2: The sweep. Highlighted by Doug Fister doing this. You’re the man now, Dog.

Yankees 2, Athletics 1: Tanaka tames the A’s. He’s pretty much the lone bright spot for the Yankees this year, yes? He and Dellin Betances, maybe. Beyond that it’s pretty much “meh,” right? We’re all waiting for A-Rod to come back next year and save everyone.

Diamondbacks 12, Rockies 7: It was just a few weeks ago when people were all like “that Rockies pitching is not terrible. This could be a difference-maker for them!” My feelings were “Let’s give it some time. It’ll get warmer and drier in Colorado and then people are gonna start knocking the ball all over the place.” Well, they just dropped a three-game series to Arizona while giving up 32 runs on 48 hits. Overall the Rockies have lost seven straight and 11 of 13. So, welp.

Rangers 8, Orioles 6: The Rangers blew a 5-0 lead but scored three in the seventh thanks in part to two J.J. Hardy errors which, gah, what are the odds of that happening?

Brewers 8, Twins 5: The Brewers were down 4-0 thanks to a third inning grand slam by Oswaldo Arcia, but then they clawed back with a three-run shot by Carlos Gomez and a two-run shot by Khris Davis. Jonathan Lucroy’s two-run blast n the ninth gave them some insurance.

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.