Chase Headley

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 5, Red Sox 4: A walkoff solo shot for Chase Headley. This after Mark Teixeira hit a tying homer earlier in the inning. The Yankees late rally negated a two-home run night for David Ortiz. Well, it didn’t negate it — the homers still technically count — but it did render them blasts in a losing effort.

Cardinals 3, Brewers 2:Making his first start since June 17, Michael Wacha allowed one run over three innings at which point it turned into a bullpen game for the Cards. And the pen did just fine. That’s five straight wins for St. Louis, which opens up a four–game lead in the division. That’s nine straight losses for the Brewers, who fall into a tie with the Braves for the second wild card.

Orioles 9, Reds 7: The Orioles sweep the Reds. It wasn’t as easy as it should’ve been given that the Orioles leapt out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning, only to see the Reds catch up later, but a W is a W. The Reds, despite gamely tying it, are playing out the string of course. Their starting lineup contained five September call-ups.

Diamondbacks 5, Padres 1: Randall Delgado and four relievers combined for a four-hitter. I didn’t check the box score, but I can only assume so many relievers were needed because Delgado was notified during the game that he’s finally been served with his suspension for intentionally hitting Andrew McCutchen last month. I mean, that discipline has to come eventually, right?

Tigers 11, Indians 4: The Tigers blew a 4-0 lead but blew it wide open in the 11th with a seven-run inning. Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run single and Victor Martinez hit a three-run homer as 11 men went to the plate in the 11th. Detroit took three of four from a Cleveland team that had a chance to make some noise if they did well in this series. Now the Tribe finds itself five games back in the wild card, behind even New York and Toronto.

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 $5,500. Starts at 7:05pm ET on FridayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Blue Jays 1, Rays 0: Colby Rasmus, a day after complaining about his lack of playing time, hits a pinch-hit homer in the tenth to break the 0-0 tie as the Jays sweep. Mark Buehrle got the no-decision but tossed eight shutout innings. That’s five straight wins for the Jays overall, who are still in the playoff conversation.

Mariners 10, Rangers 2: Robinson Cano knocked in four as the M’s keep pace with the Tigers. The Rangers have now been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. The Mariners are a half game out of the second wild card.

Angels 5, Twins 4: David Freese had two doubles and an RBI and Chris Iannetta had a pinch-hit sac fly in the ninth to put the Angels up for good. Josh Hamilton had to leave the game with a sore shoulder and will probably sit out tonight.

Phil Bickford suspended 50 games for drug of abuse

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 10:  Phil Bickford of the U.S. Team pitches during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at PETCO Park on July 10, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
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Brewers’ right-hander Phil Bickford received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a drug of abuse, per the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin. This is the second time Bickford has been suspended for recreational drug use, as he was previously penalized in 2015 after testing positive for marijuana prior to the amateur draft.

Bickford was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft and was later dealt to the Brewers for lefty reliever Will Smith at the 2016 trade deadline. He finished his 2016 campaign in High-A Brevard County, pitching to a 3.67 ERA, 10.0 K/9 rate and 5.0 BB/9 over 27 innings.

Two other suspensions were handed down on Friday, one to Toronto minor league right-hander Pedro Loficial for a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol and one to Miami minor league outfielder Casey Soltis for a second positive test for drugs of abuse. Loficial will serve a 72-game suspension, while Soltis will serve 50 games. All three suspensions are due to start at the beginning of the 2017 season for each respective minor league team.

Brewers’ GM David Stearns issued a statement after the Commissioner’s Office announced Bickford’s suspension (via Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America):

We are very disappointed to learn of Phil’s suspension, but we fully support the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Testing Program and its enforcement by the Commissioner’s Office. Phil understands he made a mistake, and we fully anticipate that he will learn from this experience.

Diamondbacks sign Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million deal

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21:  Fernando Rodney #56 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 21, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
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Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.

Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.

Hazen issued a statement following the signing:

With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.