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And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Dodgers 7, Indians 5: Just the other day I said something about how doomed you are if you have to go at the end of the Indians bullpen. It’s till daunting, but the Dodgers showed last night that it’s not a complete lot cause. Here Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer each allowed two runs a piece before Terry Francona called on Andrew Miller. Miller got the last out of the sixth and made it through the seventh unscathed. Cody Bellinger led off the eighth inning. A rookie lefty like him would seem to be a dead duck against baseball’s top relief ace.

Bellinger had different ideas, though, and took Miller deep to break the 2-2 tie. Miller made way for Bryan Shaw, also a tough one, but he walked two guys, one of whom came around to score on a throwing error. Bellinger would homer for a second time in the ninth to give the Dodgers some needed insurance. The kid is still making adjustments, but he’s slugging .630 on the year. He’s on a 42-homer pace despite spending almost the first month of the season in the minors. Oh, and Yasiel Puig flipped a fan off:

Nationals 10, Braves 5: Ryan Zimmerman came back after missing a few games due to a sore back. His back seemed fine as he smacked two homers as the Nats romped, ending their losing streak. Daniel Murphy homered, doubled and had three hits and drove in two. He also got into a little tiff with second base umpire Alan Porter. Normally, if a player doesn’t like an ump’s positioning for some reason, he’ll ask him to move a bit. The umpire almost always obliges. Porter got testy:

People cite instances like this when they call for robot umpires, but frankly, I’d be way more upset if a robot said “F— you” to me than a person with actual feelings.

Cardinals 6, Brewers 0; Brewers 8, Cardinals 5: Jose Martinez hit two homers and a sac fly in game 1 of the doubleheader, backing Lance Lynn who tossed five shutout innings. In the nightcap, Keon Broxton and Travis Shaw hit solo home runs and combined for five RBI as the Brewers and Cardinals split. That’s a lot of baseball played only to end up with a complete lack of movement according to Newtonian mechanics.

Pirates 5, Rockies 2: Andrew McCutchen hit two homers and John Jaso hit a pinch-hit two-run homer to break a 1-1 tie in the seventh. McCutchen is hitting .396 with four home runs and 13 RBI since being dropped from third to sixth in the batting order on May 26.

Rays 8, Blue Jays 1: Jake Faria scattered six hits over six and a third innings, striking out eight and giving up one run in his second big league start. Corey Dickerson went 4-for-5 with his 15th homer of the year. Taylor Featherston  and Logan Morrison also went deep.  The Rays have won six of seven.

Red Sox 4, Phillies 3: Second game in a row between these two which ended with a walkoff base hit in extra innings. Here Andrew Benintendi did the honors, knocking in Xander Bogaerts with a single in the 12th. Benintendi also made a key defensive play, throwing out Howie Kendrick at home in the eighth inning as he tried to score the go-ahead run. The Phillies have lost seven in a row.

Diamondbacks 7, Tigers 6: David Peralta led off the ninth inning and swung at the first pitch from Tigers closer Justin Wilson. He deposited that pitch in the seats to break a 6-6 tie. That it was even that close is sort of crazy as the Snakes had a 6-0 lead heading into the sixth and the Tigers had barely been able to touch starter Zack Greinke. The roughed him up for five that frame and the stage was set for the late inning heroics.

Cubs 14, Mets 3Ian Happ hit a grand slam. Antony Rizzo — batting leadoff! — led off the game with a homer. The rout was on, but the Cubs still got a strong start from Jon Lester struck out 10 and allowed one run and five hits over seven.

Marlins 8, Athletics 1: Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer after missing a game by being hit by a pitch in the wrist. Nothin’s stopping him lately. He’s batting .354 with six homers in 18 games since moving to the No. 2 spot in the batting order. Ichiro Suzuki had a pinch-hit single. That was his 364th career hit in interleague play, tying Derek Jeter’s major league record. There are more hallowed marks I suppose, but a record is a record.

White Sox 6, Orioles 1: Give credit to the Orioles pitching staff for keeping it under ten this time. Matt Davidson hit a grand slam and Derek Holland allowed one run over six.

Twins 20, Mariners 7: Speaking of double digit run totals, the Twins allowed more than ten runs in back-to-back losses — 14-3 to the Mariners, 13-8 to the Giants — entering this one. Here they turned the tables by scoring 20. Eddie Rosario homered three times — two two-run homers and a solo shot. Max Kepler and Brian Dozier also homered. The team had 28 hits in all, with every starter in the lineup getting at least one. Seven Twins had two or more RBI. Kennys Vargas, Jason Castro, and Rosario each had four hits. Eduardo Escobar had five hits. Bad day at the office for M’s pitchers.

Rangers 4, Astros 2: Rougned Odor hit a solo homer in the seventh inning and a tie-breaking two-run shot in the eighth to help the Rangers to their fifth straight win. Odor has hit four homers in the last eight games.

Angels 3, Yankees 2: Eric Young Jr. was the hero of the game, tying it up with a solo homer in the eighth and the winning RBI single with two outs in the 11th. The Yankees winning streak is snapped at six. And some bad news accompanied it: CC Sabathia left the game with a strained hamstring. He’ll be heading to the DL, no doubt. We’ll update this later this morning.

Padres 6, Reds 2: Clayton Richard took a shutout into the ninth. He didn’t hold it or complete the game as the Reds mounted a modest little rally, but two runs over eight and two-third is not bad. Franchy Cordero hit two homers. Also: I like to say “Franchy Cordero.” Say it. It’s fun!

Royals 8, Giants 1: The Royals pounded six runs in the sixth inning and seven overall against the Giants starter Ty Blech. Er, sorry, Ty Blach. Jason Vargas allowed one run over seven and notched his ninth win of the year. Where the hell did this guy come from?

It’s the tenth anniversary of the biggest rout in baseball history

Associated Press
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Ten years ago today the Rangers and the Orioles squared off at Camden Yards. The Orioles built a 3-0 lead after three innings and then all hell broke loose.

The Rangers scored thirty (30!) unanswered runs via a five-spot in the fourth, a nine-spot in the sixth, a ten-spot in the eighth and a six-spot in the ninth. That was . . . a lot of spots.

Two Rangers players — Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ramon Vazquez — hit two homers and drove in seven runs a piece. The best part: they were the eighth and ninth hitters in the lineup. There was plenty of offense to go around, however as David Murphy went 5-for-7 and scored five times. Travis Metcalf hit a pinch-hit grand slam. Marlon Byrd drove in four. It was a bloodbath, with Texas rattling out 29 hits and walking eight times.

On the Orioles side of things, Daniel Cabrera took the loss, giving up six runs on nine hits in five innings. That’s not a terribly unusual line for a bad day at the office for a pitcher — someone will probably get beat up like that in the next week or so — but the Orioles’ relievers really added to the party. Brian Burres was the first victim, allowing eight runs on eight hits in only two-thirds of an inning. Rob Bell gave up seven in an inning and a third. Paul Shuey wore the rest of it, allowing nine runs on seven hits over the final two.

The best part of the insanely busy box score, however, was not from any of the Orioles pitchers or any of the Rangers hitters. Nope, it was from a Rangers relief pitcher named Wes Littleton. You probably don’t remember him, as he only pitched in 80 games and never appeared in the big leagues after 2008. But on this day — the day of the biggest blowout in baseball history — Wes Littleton notched a save. From Baseball-Reference.com:

Three innings and 43 pitches is a lot of work for a reliever and, per the rules, it’s a save, regardless of the margin when he entered the game. Still, this was not exactly a game that was ever in jeopardy.

When it went down, way back on August 22, 2007, it inspired me to write a post at my old, defunct independent baseball blog, Shysterball, arguing about how to change the save rule. Read it if you want, but know that (1) no one has ever paid attention to such proposals in baseball, even if such proposals are frequently offered; and (2) the hypothetical examples I use to illustrate the point involve an effective Joba Chamberlain and Joe Torre’s said use of him, which tells you just how long ago this really was.

Oh, one final bit: this massacre — the kind of game that the Orioles likely wanted to leave, go back home and go to sleep afterward — was only the first game of a doubleheader. Yep, they had to strap it on and play again, with the game starting at 9PM Eastern time. Baltimore lost that one too, 9-7, concluding what must have been one of the longest days any of the players involved had ever had at the office, both figuratively and literally.

Hall of Fame baseball announcer Rafael ‘Felo’ Ramirez dies

Associated Press
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MIAMI (AP) Rafael “Felo” Ramirez, a Hall of Fame baseball radio broadcaster who was the signature voice for millions of Spanish-speaking sports fans over three decades, has died. He was 94.

The Miami Marlins announced Ramirez’ death Tuesday.

Ramirez, who died Monday night, began his broadcasting career in Cuba in 1945 before calling 31 All-Star games and World Series in Spanish. He was the Marlins Spanish-language announcer since their inaugural season in 1993 and was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2001.

He was known for an expressive, yet low-key style and his signature strike call of “Essstrike.”

Several Spanish-language broadcasters, including Amury Pi-Gonzanez of the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants, have admitted to emulating his style.