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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 7, Angels 1: Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run homer, Jarred Cosart allowed one run on seven hits in seven and two-thirds and the Angels dropped back into a tie with the A’s for first place in the west. Wade LeBlanc — taking his first turn in rotation as Garret Richards’ replacement — gave up six runs on seven hits in three and a third. In other news, someone please needs to tell me why the Angels did not put a waiver claim on Bartolo Colon or Scott Feldman.

Athletics 8, Astros 2: The A’s gain ground behind Jeff Samardzija, who struck out ten in eight innings and Josh Donaldson, who was back in action, and drove in three on two doubles and a single. It was close until the top of the ninth, but the Astros bullpen decided not to show up.

Orioles 9, Rays 1: Five homers for the most homer-happy team in baseball. Delmon Young, J.J. Hardy and Chris Davis homered back-to-back-to-back in the fifth. Delmon Young’s post-game “everyone needs to stop panicking” quote was odd:

“It’s good because it seemed like y’all went in panic mode when we got swept in Chicago,” Young said. “We weren’t scoring many runs, but it happens and then we’re back in our division at home facing a guy we’ve seen before, a team we play, we know their tendencies and everything. And we’ve got better facilities here than Wrigley.”

Is he really saying a crappy locker room in Wrigley Field is part of why they got swept by the Cubs?

Rangers 2, Mariners 0Miles Mikolas tossed eight scoreless innings, allowing only three hits. After the game he gave credit to his catcher, Tom Telis. To which I say: “wait, who are these guys again?”

Rockies 3, Giants 2: Tyler Matzek struck out seven in seven innings and the Rockies took their third in a row. Fourth overall at AT&T Park. The Giants hit into four double plays. Or you can say the Rockies turned four if you don’t want to be all negative about it, man. The Rockies scored two in the fourth thanks to two throwing errors by Brandon Crawford and a balk by Jake Peavy. It’s hard not to spin that negatively.

Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: Yoenis Cespedes singled home the go-ahead run in the 10th to help end the Sox’ eight-game losing streak. They almost helped extend it by blowing a 3-0 lead in the ninth. That’s when Clay Buchholz — working on a shutout — put three runners on base with only one out before John Farrell went and got him. Koji Uehara allowed all three to score, however. It’s the sort of bad inning that kills a team, but when you’re playing a team that does a good job of killing itself like the Jays do, you can sometimes get away with it.

Brewers 10, Padres 1: Kyle Lohse allowed a run and four hits over six innings and Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez homered. Ramirez and Gerardo Parra had three RBI, while Braun, Ramirez and Carlos Gomez each had three hits.

Cardinals 3, Pirates 2: A three-run seventh inning sends the Pirates to their seventh loss in ten games. John Lackey allowed one run over seven.

Phillies 3, Nationals 2: A.J. Burnett allowed one run over seven innings and struck out 12, after which he walked back his “I’ll probably retire after this season” talk from his last start. The Phillies have won four of five.

Yankees 8, Royals 1: The fifth straight win for the Yankees, this one coming behind Michael Pineda who allowed only one run while pitching into the seventh. Jacoby Ellsbury was 3 for 5 with a two-run homer and three driven in. He also picked up his 1,000th career hit.

Dodgers “trying to trade” Alex Guerrero

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Alex Guerrero is a potentially good right-handed bat without a position to play in Los Angeles, so Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting that the Dodgers are “trying to trade” him makes sense.

Guerrero, who signed with the Dodgers out of Cuba for $28 million in October of 2013, spent last season in the majors hitting .233 with 11 homers and a .695 OPS in a part-time role that generated 230 plate appearances. He logged a total of just 355 innings defensively, mostly as a left fielder and third baseman.

Guerrero could be intriguing–particularly to an American League team for whom his defense isn’t much of an issue–because he hit .329 with 15 homers and a 1.113 OPS in 65 games at Triple-A in 2014 and was consistently a .300 hitter with an OPS around 1.000 in Cuba. He’s also 29 years old, so Guerrero is no doubt looking to play regularly.

The New Zealand World Baseball Classic team performs the Haka

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It’s World Baseball Classic time again. Just the qualifying rounds. The actual tournament happens in 2017. Qualifiers will happen in Sydney, Australia, Mexicali, Mexico, Panama City, Panama and Brooklyn, N.Y., periodically, between now and September.

The Sydney round just got underway yesterday, so yes, some actual baseball is going on. As I’ve written and ranted before, the WBC is not my favorite thing that happens in baseball and certainly not the most important thing, but it’s pretty fun. Especially when there are displays of enthusiasm and pageantry and the like.

Such as the Haka, which basically every New Zealand sports team does and which never gets old:

 

Down in Sydney, the Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and South Africa teams are competing in a six-game, modified double-elimination format. In the other three qualifying rounds, Mexico, Czech Republic, Germany, Nicaragua, Colombia, France, Panama, Spain, Brazil, Great Britain, Israel and Pakistan will compete. Each qualifying round puts one representative in the WBC.

Those four qualifiers will compete in the WBC itself against countries that performed well enough in the past that they need not submit to qualifying: Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela.

Someone make sure Jon Morosi is well-hyrdrated. It’s gonna be a long year.

Yovani Gallardo and the Orioles are both “optimistic” about a deal

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Multiple reports Wednesday had the Orioles and free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo deep in negotiations on a multi-year deal. Nothing has been finalized yet, but Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com says “both sides appear to be pretty optimistic still.”

Ghiroli adds that the “ball is in the Orioles’ court,” although that may simply reveal her likely source to be Gallardo’s agent. Whatever the case, Baltimore is apparently now willing to forfeit their first-round draft pick to sign Galllardo and he may lead to a domino effect in which they also forfeit a second-round draft pick to sign outfielder Dexter Fowler.

The idea being that if you’re going to cough up the 14th overall pick to sign a mid-level free agent with spring training right around the corner you might as well cough up a lower draft pick to sign a second one. Gallardo has shown signs of decline, including a big dip in strikeout rate, but he logged 184 innings with a 3.42 ERA for the Rangers last season.

Chipper Jones says the Mets are his pick to “go all the way”

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Chipper Jones may believe some weird things but he’s pretty savvy and clear-eyed when it comes to analyzing baseball.

Remember back in 2013 how he picked the Dodgers to beat the Braves in the NLDS? And how, because of his perceived “disloyalty,” Braves players had an immature little temper tantrum and refused to catch his ceremonial first pitch? Yeah, that was a great look. If I was more inclined to the hokey and irrational, I’d say that created “The Curse of Chipper” and that it condemned the Braves to two straight years of sucking. Hey, people have built careers on curses sillier than that.

Anyway, kudos to Chipper for apparently not giving a crap about that sort of thing and, instead, saying what he thinks about baseball. Stuff like how he thinks the Mets are going to win it all, saying “They’re really setting the bar and they’re my early-season pick to probably go all the way.”

Keeping in mind that anything can happen in baseball, it’s as good a pick as any other I reckon. Even if it means he has to say that the team who was his greatest rival during his playing career — and whom he thoroughly owned during that time — is better than the one that pays his salary now. Or any other one.