And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Rays 3, Cardinals 0: Alex Cobb tossed seven shutout innings and ten strikeouts. He also drove in a run with his first major league hit — a double. That makes it seven in a row for the Rays who just keep on keeping on. They’re now seven back in the East and four and a half back in the wild card.

Braves 6, Marlins 1: It was 5-0 after two innings and not much was left to be decided. Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer. This after going an (estimated) 0 for 4,408 against the Marlins this season.

Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 4: The Red Sox went up 3-0 right out of the gate but Jose Bautista and Josh Thole hit RBI doubles in the bottom of the inning to tie it up. Bautista later smacked a leadoff homer in the seventh. R.A. Dickey limited the damage after the first, allowing four runs and nine hits in six.

Pirates 6, Dodgers 1: Pittsburgh batted around in the first inning, plating four against Dan Haren and were never threatened after that as Francisco Lirano posted his best start of the season. The Pirates have won five of six.

Tigers 11, Diamondbacks 5: The Tigers jumped out to a 7-0 lead, the Diamondbacks made it 7-5 but Detroit pulled away. Austin Jackson hit a three-run double fourth inning and Cabrera hit a three-run homer in the eighth. Alex Avila added three RBI.

Mets 3, Mariners 2: Bartolo Colon had a perfect game going into the seventh and ended up allowing two runs on three hits in seven and a third. Colon is now 13-1 all time in Safeco Field.

Rockies 6, Nationals 4: Colorado snaps a seven game losing streak and the Nats fall back to one game ahead of the Braves. Jorge De La Rosa struck out 11. All of the Rockies — including manager Walt Weiss — decided to wear high socks for this one. Which was clearly the difference-maker.

Royals 2, White Sox 1: Mike Moustakas was dead to rights when he tried to score from second on a single in the ninth inning. Adam Eaton’s throw had him beat. But even though everyone obeyed the home plate collision rules — Moustakas slid and catcher Tyler Flowers attempted to apply a tag — the ball still popped loose to give the Royals what proved to be the winning run.

Brewers 5, Reds 1: Someone throw the Reds a parachute. Mark Reynolds homered twice and Milwaukee handed Cincinnati their sixth straight loss. The Reds were one and a half games behind Milwaukee at the break. Now they’re five and a half back and have scored just 12 runs in those six losses.

Twins 3, Indians 1: Anthony Swarzak and five relief pitchers shut down the Indians. Swarzak is actually a relief pitcher these days too, actually, so let’s call this a bullpen game.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:10pm ET on ThursdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Padres 8, Cubs 3: Ian Kennedy walked five guys in six innings but got out of jams — the pros call it “making pitches” — and survived for the win. The biggest jam he escaped came in the fifth when the Cubs loaded the bases. Kennedy bore down, however, striking out Anthony Rizzo and getting Starlin Castro to ground out to end the threat.

Athletics 9, Astros 7: Two homers and five RBI for Yoenis Cespedes, but it wasn’t all good news: Cespedes sprained his thumb on an awkward swing in the fifth inning. Also bad: Jim Johnson melted down in the eighth, allowing four runs on four hits without retiring a batter. The A’s would like to deal him. His pitching suggests that he is just happy as can be to stay in Oakland. Or, perhaps, wherever it is he makes his home when he’s not playing.

Angels 3, Orioles 2: Baltimore had a 2-1 lead entering the eighth, but an Erik Aybar double tied it up and a two-out bases-loaded walk to Kole Calhoun put the Angels ahead to stay. One of the runners on base when it happened was put there intentionally, so let’s call it an E-Manager.

Yankees 2, Rangers 1: The Yankees have won five of six. This was a weird one. Shortened due to rain, but more so due to the wet field after the rain delay was over. The reason the field was so wet: the Yankees grounds crew couldn’t get the tarp on the field in a timely fashion when the rain first started, turning the infield into mud. If the Boss Were Still Alive he would have … wait, that gave the Yankees the win, so I guess he would’ve been OK with it.

Giants 3, Phillies 1: It was 0-0 entering the ninth but then Hunter Pence cleared the bases with a double to give the Giants all of their runs. Madison Bumgarner threw eight shutout innings. The Giants have now won six of seven and have a two-game lead on the Dodgers.

 

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

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The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.

Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.

While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Red Sox 9, Angels 4: David Ortiz commanded center stage at Fenway Park for the first time since 2016, becoming the 10th player in franchise history to have his number retired. The club hung his jersey number between those of Wade Boggs and Jackie Robinson and invited the slugger to toss out the ceremonial first pitch, which landed just a few feet wide of the plate:

Following the ceremony, the Red Sox capped their tribute with a decisive 9-4 win over the visiting Angels, powered by 6 1/3 innings of four-run ball from Rick Porcello and a two-RBI performance from Sandy Leon. They remain tied with the Yankees for first place in the AL East.

Nationals 6, Reds 5 (10 innings): Bryce Harper came through in the clutch on Friday, walking off on a two-out single in the 10th after Brian Goodwin tied the game with a home run in the seventh inning. It was the first lead the Nats held all night after the Reds’ offense erupted with a four-run inning to start the game, and, thankfully, the only one they needed to preserve a nine-game advantage in the NL East.

Yankees 2, Rangers 1 (10 innings): Everyone was a winner on Friday — well, except for the Rangers. The Yankees clung to first place with an airtight performance from Masahiro Tanaka, who matched Yu Darvish inning-for-inning and finished the night with just three hits, two walks and nine strikeouts. The offense did the rest, saving their first run for the ninth inning on Brett Gardner‘s one-out home run and securing the win with Ronald Torreyes‘ walk-off hit in the 10th.

If it feels like it’s been a while since the Yankees won a game via walk-off, that’s because they haven’t done it since April:

Marlins 2, Cubs 0: Giancarlo Stanton won’t get a chance to defend his Home Run Derby title for a few more weeks, but he got plenty of practice against the Cubs this weekend. He fueled the Marlins’ shutout with a 458-foot blast, putting the club on the board in the third inning and lending some support to Jose Urena‘s fifth win of the season.

Rays 15, Orioles 5: According to ESPN Stats and Info, the Orioles have allowed a cumulative 160 runs over their last 20 games. They took their sixth double-digit defeat in that span on Friday, handing the Rays a 10-run lead after Tampa Bay engineered three separate innings of 4+ runs. To say that Baltimore skipper Buck Showalter is concerned about his rotation is an understatement. Via MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli:

Got to pitch better. It is what it is. The help’s going to come from within,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “We got to get back in step and create some rhythm for the offense, and even the defense gets out of step when the game’s being played so choppy and not very crisp. I really don’t like hanging it around one phase of it, but it starts if we could just string some good starts together. You can get into some type of rhythm.

Twins 5, Indians 0: The Twins entered a pivotal series this weekend as they attempt to unseat the Indians from first place, and Friday’s 5-0 shutout saw them pull within two games of the division lead. Adalberto Mejia strung five scoreless innings together, flummoxing the Indians at the plate with two hits, five walks and four strikeouts en route to his second win of the year. Not only was it the first win Mejia recorded since the Twins’ doubleheader last month, but it was the first time the southpaw managed to log more than 100 pitches in any major league start to date.

Braves 5, Brewers 4: Just call Dansby Swanson the next time you need a save. The Braves’ shortstop was instrumental in the team’s nail-biting finish on Friday evening, executing a run-saving fielder’s choice to catch Eric Thames off the third base bag in the ninth inning and helping right-hander Arodys Vizcaino secure his first save of the year with a diving stop to end the game.

Athletics 3, White Sox 0: The A’s finally brought their four-game skid to a halt, coasting to their second shutout of the season on five solid innings from right-hander Jharel Cotton. Cotton exited in the sixth inning with a blister on his pitching hand, but the bullpen kept things rolling against the White Sox with four scoreless frames. Khris Davis and Matt Joyce took care of things at the plate, muscling two home runs to give the A’s the edge they needed to lock down their 32nd win of the year.

Pirates 4, Cardinals 3: Jameson Taillon and Adam Wainwright were locked into a pitcher’s duel during the Cardinals’ home opener, holding their respective opponents to just two runs apiece over the first four innings. After Taillon’s exit in the sixth inning, the Cardinals jumped on reliever Daniel Hudson with a tie-breaking home run from Paul DeJong, but couldn’t quite close the door after the Pirates rebounded with a David Freese RBI single in the eighth inning. John Jaso smacked a game-winning home run in the ninth, securing the win and breaking the Bucs’ seven-game losing streak at Busch Stadium to boot.

Royals 5, Blue Jays 4: The Blue Jays appeared to be on the verge of a much-needed win on Friday, but some late-game struggles from the bullpen quickly unraveled eight innings of hard work. With two outs in the ninth inning, Alcides Escobar cut the Jays’ lead in half with an RBI single, followed by another from Alex Gordon and a game-winning two-run double off the bat of Whit Merrifield — the first walk-off of his major league career.

Phillies 6, Diamondbacks 1: Don’t look now, but the Phillies are… well, still in the last place. A 6-1 win is still worth celebrating, however, as they turned in an impressive four-run spread in the ninth inning to hand Mark Leiter his first win of the year. The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, now sit 2.5 games behind the division-leading Dodgers after squandering another quality start from left-hander Patrick Corbin.

Padres 1, Tigers 0: The Padres have won all but one home opener this season, and Friday’s 1-0 shutout was no exception. They continued their dominant streak with their fourth shutout of the year, backed by six innings of two-hit ball from right-hander Luis Perdomo. Despite Perdomo’s season-high five walks, not a single runner was able to advance past second base, gifting the Padres with a win after Austin Hedges doubled home the winning run in the second inning.

Mariners 13, Astros 3: Felix Hernandez may not look like the King the Mariners crowned back in 2010, but he certainly got the royal treatment upon his return from the disabled list on Friday night. The offense put up a sparkling 13 runs behind Hernandez’s six-inning, six-strikeout effort, topped by a trifecta of home runs from Mike Zunino, Ben Gamel and Kyle Seager. The double-digit finish extended the Mariners’ win streak to six games, giving Seattle hope that they’ll stick above .500 for more than a couple of days.

Dodgers 6, Rockies 1: The Dodgers steamrolled the Rockies to their eighth consecutive win on Friday, extending Alex Wood‘s record to 8-0 with 6 1/3 innings of a three-hitter. The Rockies struck early on an RBI double from Tom Murphy in the second, but found themselves unable to move a runner past first base in any subsequent inning. With the win, the Dodgers are now 14-1 in their last 15 contests, good for the best record in the majors, though they’ll need more than a couple of wins to completely shake the Rockies and Diamondbacks from contention.

Mets 11, Giants 4: The Giants took one step forward and two steps back this week, earning their 10th loss in 11 games after the Mets turned out an 11-run win on Friday. Ty Blach imploded after three innings with a career-high 11 hits and seven runs and failed to strike out a single batter. Club manager Bruce Bochy didn’t let his players off the hook, either, and told reporters that he wouldn’t excuse the team’s poor performance despite their early-morning arrival from Atlanta prior to the game. “Sure, we landed early in the morning, but it’s not the first time this has happened,” Bochy said. “You deal with it.”