And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Orioles 8, Nationals 2: A tight game until the 11th inning when the Orioles erupted for six runs on the back of three homers and a double. Ohio’s own Craig Stammen surrendered five of those runs, including homers to Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy. Manny Machado added one of his own. Seriously: as far as Ohio Craigs go, I had the way better night. And all I did was sit on my couch drinking whiskey and watching a supremely messed up movie that, for some reason, I had no idea existed until yesterday.

White Sox 4, Red Sox 0: Sox win. Scott Carroll one-hit the Red Sox into the seventh inning and Boston was shut out for the ninth time this year. It was one of five shutouts around the bigs last night. I have no idea how long this pitcher-friendly era will last. Some say it’ll go on for years. Others are likely trying to develop some sort of Hari Seldon-esque psychohistory for baseball in which an alternatively shorter intermittent period between high-offense eras persists.

Yankees 5, Indians 3: Shane Greene was called up to take the departed Vidal Nuno’s start and he did pretty well, allowing two runs in six innings and picking up his first major league win. And while I say Nuno is “departed,” I don’t mean dead. I mean that he was abducted by some gray aliens as he drove on a country road and, best case, will be deposited someplace, naked and scared but his memory wiped, after they’re through experimenting on him. OK, I just keep sugarcoating this. It’s way worse than being dead or abducted by aliens. Nuno was traded to Arizona.

Phillies 3, Brewers 2: When Cole Hamels allows one run into the seventh and Chase Utley has a big RBI it, a little over five years later, is like going up on a steep hill and looking East, giving you the right kind of eyes to almost see the high-water mark—that place where the Phillies’ wave finally broke and rolled back.

Reds 9, Cubs 3: Billy Hamilton drove in four thanks to a bases-loaded triple and an RBI single. Jay Bruce hit a two-run homer after getting his first ever professional start at first base. He also allowed a run in on an error, but I guess it was a net positive thanks to the dinger.

Mets 4, Braves 3: The Braves had a 3-2 lead in the eighth but Curtis Granderson tied it up with a homer. Then, of all people, Ruben Tejada singled home the winner in the 11th. But it’s OK Braves fans: the team may have lost, but at least the Braves didn’t use their best reliever to get them out of  that 11th inning jam in a tie-game on the road. That would’ve been horrifying.

Royals 6, Rays 0: James Shields has been up and down this year. This was up: ten strikeouts as he three-hit the Rays over seven innings in his return to Tropicana Field. It was a tight game until he left, though, but his mates plated four in the eighth and ninth innings.

Astros 12, Rangers 7: Jon Singleton homered, had two more hits and drove in four to help the Astros snap a seven-game losing streak. He had been 0 for his previous ten. Houston was 2-17 against Texas last year. They are 4-3 against them this year.

Cardinals 2, Pirates 0: Knotted at zero into the ninth but then Matt Adams hit a two-run bomb to walk off against Pittsburgh in the ninth. It came off a lefty too. Of course, even guys who struggle against lefties can deposit a hanging breaking ball into the seats. The Pirates had their chances against a less-than-at-his-best Adam Wainwright but couldn’t convert.

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.

Angels 5, Blue Jays 2: Jered Weaver had to leave in the second with back stiffness, but five Angels relievers combined to allow only two runs over seven innings. Albert Pujols, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar each had RBI hits in the fifth with Josh Hamilton adding a sac fly.

Padres 6, Rockies 1: Six runs for the Padres in 2014 is like, what, 15 runs for any other team? Not that they needed all that offense when they had Ian Kennedy allowing only one run over seven. Chase Headley was 4 for 5.

Athletics 5, Giants 0: Jesse Chavez struck out nine in six shutout innings. It was a sellout in Oakland, but a whole heck of a lot of those buying tickets were Giants fans who left early and disappointed.

Diamondbacks 9, Marlins 1: David Peralta drove in three runs and extended his hitting streak to eight games. Peralta was called up on June 1. He’s hitting .331/.357/.471 since then. He’s a nearly 27-year-old rookie who spent time in independent ball after being released as a pitcher when he was in the low levels of the Cardinals organization. I’d assume this guy has a lot of interesting stories to tell.

Mariners 2, Twins 0: Hisashi Iwakuma was not healthy and was not effective in June, but July has been good to him. He struck out ten in seven innings here and extended his scoreless innings streak against the Twins to 33 and 1/3 innings. Forty five would be a singular accomplishment. Seventy eight would crazy, as no one has put together a record like that for years.

Marcus Stroman named World Baseball Classic MVP

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United States starter Marcus Stroman was named Most Valuable Player of the World Baseball Classic after helping lead the U.S. to its first ever WBC title on Wednesday night in an 8-0 victory over Puerto Rico. Stroman flirted with a no-hitter through six innings, but gave up a double to lead off the seventh before being relieved by Sam Dyson.

Stroman also pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings against the Dominican Republic in Pool C play on March 11. He struggled in Pool F play against Puerto Rico last Friday, surrendering four runs in 4 2/3 innings.

The WBC MVP award understandably goes to a player of the winning team. However, Wladimir Balentien of the Netherlands deserves special mention. In 26 at-bats during the WBC, he hit a double and had a WBC-high four home runs, 12 RBI, and 12 runs scored while putting up a .615/.677/.1.115 batting line. That’s MVP-esque as far as this tournament is concerned.

U.S. blanks Puerto Rico 8-0 to win first World Baseball Classic title

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The United States handed Puerto Rico its first loss in the World Baseball Classic, winning 8-0 for its first title in the fourth iteration of the tournament.

Puerto Rico starter Seth Lugo was matching Marcus Stroman zero-for-zero through the first two innings, but the U.S. broke out for a pair of runs when Ian Kinsler deposited a two-run home run just beyond the fence in left-center at Dodger Stadium. The U.S. tacked on two more in the fifth on RBI singles from Christian Yelich and Andrew McCutchen, pushing the lead to 4-0.

Meanwhile, Stroman was dealing. The right-hander, normally seen in a Blue Jays uniform, held Puerto Rico hitless through his first six innings, giving up just a lone walk. The U.S. put together a long rally in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs on three hits, two walks, and a hit batter. Stroman came back out for the seventh but immediately served up a double down the left field line to Angel Pagan. U.S. manager Jim Leyland immediately lifted Stroman from the game, bringing in Sam Dyson who escaped the inning without any further damage.

Pat Neshek allowed a leadoff single to Yadier Molina to begin the eighth, but induced a double-play, then worked around a two-out walk by striking out Kenny Vargas to end the frame.

In the ninth, David Robertson took over. He induced an infield pop-up from Enrique Hernandez. After Pagan singled up the middle, Francisco Lindor sharply grounded out to Eric Hosmer at first base for the second out. Finally, Robertson closed it out, inducing Carlos Correa to ground out to third base, making the U.S. 8-0 victors over Puerto Rico to win the World Baseball Classic.

Puerto Rico had an admirable run, defeating Venezuela, Mexico, and Italy to get out of Pool D undefeated. Then, in Pool F, it beat Venezuela again as well as the U.S. and the Dominican Republic to move to the semifinals. It narrowly edged Netherlands 4-3 in the semifinals to get into the finals.

The U.S. lost to the D.R. but beat Canada and Colombia to get out of Pool C. In Pool F, the U.S. lost to Puerto Rico and defeated the D.R again as well as Venezuela. The U.S. took down Japan in the semifinals to advance to the finals to play Puerto Rico.

The U.S. joins Japan (twice, 2006 and ’09) and the Dominican Republic (2013) as countries to win the World Baseball Classic. The 2017 tournament was a rousing success, setting attendance records, drawing over one million fans to ballparks to take in the games. It will hopefully encourage commissioner Rob Manfred and others to make a concerted effort to make the 2021 tournament bigger and better.