DJ LeMahieu

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

68 Comments

Rockies 8, Giants 7: The sweep. All due to late comebacks against the Giants’ pen. Here it was Justin Morneau with an eighth inning double on Javier Lopez to drive in two of the Rockies’ four runs during the rally. The Giants sell out all of their games these days, but no one except Colorado expatriates left happy this weekend.

Diamondbacks 6, Dodgers 3: Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero homered which, combined with some dumb plays by the Dodgers, helped the Dbacks overcome an abbreviated-by-elbow-pain Bronson Arroyo start. Maybe it’s best that it was abbreviated. I had this one on for three innings and Vin Scully told us the “Arroyo knows 150 songs on the guitar” story twice. If he had gone the distance I’m afraid Vin would’ve had go do his “Uggla means ‘owl’ in Swedish” story even though the Braves weren’t in town.

Mariners 5, Rangers 1: Hisashi Iwakuma overgame some pregame neck stiffness to help the Mariners end a five-game losing streak.Kyle Seager had four hits and three RBI. Seager kills the Rangers. This season he’s 19 for 48 with three home runs and 12 RBI against Texas.

Cardinals 5, Nationals 2: Not a bad weekend for Matt Adams. He hit a solo shot off of Jordan Zimmermann in the second inning on Friday, a solo shot off of Stephen Strasburg in the seventh inning on Saturday, and a two-run homer off of Doug Fister in the second inning on Sunday afternoon.

Athletics 10, Yankees 5: Derek Norris and Coco Crisp each hit three-run homers early in the game to make this one a laugher. Between that and Jesse Chavez carrying a shutout into the sixth, Oakland was up 10-0 after four innings. Also: Carlos Beltran was called out for abandoning his base pursuant to Rule 7.08 at one point. Dude thought there were three outs when there were only two and he was walking back to the dugout. That’s always special to see.

Reds 13, Brewers 4: When Billy Hamilton leads off the game with a dinger you know you’re in for a long day. Ryan Ludwick went 4 for 5 with three doubles. Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips went deep too. Marco Estrada was on the mound for Milwaukee, so that should explain things. He’s given up a major league-high 23 homers in 84 innings, with 18 coming since May 1.

Rays 4, Astros 3: David Price struck out 10 and the Rays got their first series win in weeks. Bo Porter did that “move Tony Sipp to the outfield for one batter and then move him back to the mound” thing. Amazingly, that doesn’t ensure victory.

Cubs 3, Phillies 0: Travis Wod had a n0-hitter into the sixth and pitched eight shutout innings in all. This was the Cubs’ first road series win since last September.

Royals 6, White Sox 3: A three-run homer for Sal Perez and a series sweep for the Royals. That’s seven straight wins for Kansas City and eight of nine. A couple weeks ago we were wondering whether Ned Yost would be fired. Now they’re one and a half back of the Tigers.

Marlins 3, Pirates 2: Casey McGehee tied the game in the eighth inning with a two-out, two-run double, then drove home the winning run with a walkoff sacrifice fly in the 10th. Meanwhile, Gregory Polanco, had two hits and his hitting  .387 since being called up. Which is kind of fun.

Indians 3, Red Sox 2: Two days, two 3-2 comeback wins for the Indians. This courtesy of a Nick Swisher homer in the 11th. The Red Sox left a ton of runners on base.

Mets 3, Padres 1: When the Mets face the Padres and four runs are scored, it’s officially an offensive outburst. Bobby Abreu had an RBI double in this battle between two deadball era teams.

Blue Jays 5, Orioles 2: J.A. Happ allowed one run in six innings and Dioner Navarro had three hits and two RBI to help the Jays earn the split. And since they were in first place in front of Baltimore, a split is kind of a win. Or something.

Tigers 4, Twins 3: The second walkoff sac fly of the day. This one wouldn’t have happened if Oswaldo Arcia hadn’t dropped the previous fly ball, which allowed Torii Hunter to go from first to third and set up for J.D. Martinez’ subsequent game-winner. Arcia had a horrible defensive weekend overall, messing up some on Saturday too.

Braves 7, Angels 3: The Angels jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but that’s all they’d get as the Braves put up a four-run sixth inning and then won it going away. Tommy La Stella was 3 for 3 with two RBI. He’s hitting .411 in the 16 games since he’s been called up. Been nice knowing ya, Dan Uggla. Which means “owl.”

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
4 Comments

Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
2 Comments

Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.

With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.