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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 3, Rays 2: David Price tossed seven shutout innings and the Rays starter, Johnny Wholestaff, started out with eight goose egg frames himself, heading into the bottom of the ninth with a 2-0 lead thanks to a Matt Duffy homer. The Sox rallied, however, with a Hanley Ramirez RBI single and an RBI double from Xander Bogaerts to force extras. Blanks until the bottom of the 12th, when a double and two walks loaded the bases for Ramirez who smacked a walkoff single to give Boston the game. I didn’t watch the postgame interviews, but I have to imagine that Rays manager Kevin Cash was peppered with tough questions about why he kept Wholestaff in for all 12 innings here. He had to be gassed.

Twins 4, Mariners 2: Seattle took an early two-run lead but the two was all they’d get. In the sixth Miguel Sano hit a two-run homer. Mitch Garver and Eddie Rosario would hit solo shots in the seventh and eighth, respectively. The Twins got four and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief from the bullpen, with Fernando Rodney getting his first save for Minnesota. The highlight of the game, however, came before it began, when a bald eagle landed on Mariners starter James Paxton’s shoulder. After the game, Paxton was asked how he remained so calm when the eagle landed on him. This is what he said:

“I’m not gonna outrun an eagle, so just thought, we’ll see what happens.”

I am being 100% sincere when I say that that is some seriously deep life lesson stuff. I’m fifteen years older than Paxton, I pride myself on rarely losing my cool when stressed or when I find myself in situations where I’m not in control, yet I continue to struggle for this level of zen in even my best moments. We should all simply chill out and see what happens whenever we’re faced with an eagle we cannot outrun. Metaphorically speaking.

Mets 8, Nationals 2: Michael Conforto came off the disabled list and hit a homer. Yoenis Cespedes homered as well. Jay Bruce later hit a grand slam that put the game well out of reach. At one point, when the game was close, the Nationals loaded the bases with nobody out and didn’t score a single run. Woof. After beginning the year 4-0, the Nationals have now dropped three straight. Woof woof. After a super hot start, Adam Eaton left the game after tweaking his ankle. Woof, woof, woof.

Phillies 5, Marlins 0: A combined shutout for Nick Pivetta and three Phillies relievers was backed by a 3-for-4, four-RBI afternoon from Maikel Franco, which included a two-run bomb. Phillies manager Gabe Kapler lifted Pivetta in the sixth after he had thrown 97 pitches and put a runner on. Totally conventional and totally defensible pitching change, but Phillies fans rained boos down upon Kapler, making up for the fact that all of the other stuff that he could’ve been booed for happened in road games.

Rangers 6, Athletics 3: A four-run second inning, aided by some bad Oakland defense, held up for Texas. Rangers starter Martin Perez was an escape artist, allowing ten hits in five and a third but giving up only three runs. Adrian Beltre made the record books by becoming the all-time hits leader among Latin-born players, passing Rod Carew. Shin-Soo Choo homered. Nomar Mazara added two hits. There were only 10,132 fans at this game and only 34,613 for all four games of this series. Yikes.

Rockies 3, Padres 1: Nothing but zeros on the board for either team through the first eight innings, but the Rockies got three in the ninth — all unearned — off of Brad Hand. Not that Hand distinguished himself, walking the first two batters he faced and then walking in a run before allowing a two-run single to DJ LeMahieu. The box score says “unearned” but cosmically speaking, Hand gave ’em up.

Tigers 9, White Sox 7: Miguel Cabrera left the game early when he jammed his hip, but his replacement — Niko Goodrum — came up big with a two-run homer in the ninth inning which brought the Tigers to within one run. Soon after that Victor Martinez doubled in Nicholas Castellanos to tie things up and send it to extras. In the 10th, Leonys Martin knocked in Mikie Mahtook on a fielder’s choice and Jeimer Candelario added an insurance run with an RBI single. The lead would hold, ending a cold and snowy home opener in Chicago. In other news, if you had asked your average Tigers fan who Niko Goodrum and Jeimer Candelario were a year or so ago, I’m guessing most would stare at you blankly. Hell, I follow baseball closer than most folks, and if you would’ve asked me, I might’ve said that “Niko Goodrum” was a character’s name in some bad allegorical fiction written by a college sophomore.

Orioles 5, Yankees 2: Masahiro Tanaka was doing just fine until the seventh, blanking the Orioles, but then he ran into some trouble, giving up a two-run blast to Adam Jones and then putting another runner on. Aaron Boone lifted him for Chad Green who allowed that inherited runner to score on an Anthony Santander double, put Colby Rasmus on base and then allowed both of them to score on a Trey Mancini single. Meanwhile, Andrew Cashner allowed only one run over six — Aaron Judge‘s second homer of the season, a solo shot — and his relief allowed only one more man to cross home plate. Judge’s bomb was the only hit Cashner gave up to the Yankees’ Big Three of Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez.

Pirates 5, Reds 2: Gregory Polanco hit a two-run homer during a four-run fifth. Earlier he had plated a run via a sac fly. Polanco has driven in nine runs on the young season. I guess being in The Best Shape of His Life is paying off. Buccos’ starter Steven Brault pitched one-run ball over five innings. Not gonna freak out or anything, but Joey Votto is 3-for-19 with only one walk and no extra base hits in his first five games.

Diamondbacks 3, Cardinals 1: Robbie Ray allowed one run over six innings and struck out nine. He walked a lot of guys, but he allowed only one hit and the pen allowed only one additional hit for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, his counterpart, Adam Wainwright, labored to throw 89 pitches in three and two-thirds innings.

Cubs 8, Brewers 0: Jon Lester tossed six scoreless frames, striking out six and even picking off a runner at third base, which is not the sort of thing Lester is known for. Of course that runner, Ryan Braun, was only in a position to break for third because he had stolen second due to Lester’s inattention to him previously, but let us not dwell on such details. The Cubs were up 5-0 after three and added more as the night went on, with the scoring capped by a Jason Heyward homer in the ninth. Even worse for Milwaukee: they lost All-Star closer Corey Knebel due to a hamstring injury as he pitched in a non-save situation in the ninth. All he wanted to do was to get some work in, and now he’s DL-bound.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Angels 8, Astros 7: Charlie Morton and Shohei Ohtani have been two of the most talked about pitchers to start the season and they faced off in this one. Not too stellar a faceoff, unfortunately, as Mike Trout homered off of the first pitch Morton threw him and Andrelton Simmons followed him in the act. The Angels would score two more off of him in the third and he wouldn’t last four. Meanwhile, Ohtani gave up four runs, including a homer to Derek Fisher and would see another run for which he was responsible score on a Brian McCann go-ahead blast. His night would end having given up four runs as well. Anaheim tied it back up on an Albert Pujols single and then Simmons would hit his second homer of the night — a three-run shot — to give the Angels a lead they would not surrender. Fun fact: Mike Scioscia ran out of mound visits in this one. Unless I missed one, he was the first manager to do so in a game since the mound visit rule was established.

Cubs 10, Indians 3🎶Kyle Schwarber came back to Ohio . . . and his city was gone . . . but the guy who wrote about it . . . was a Republican pawn . . . A, oh, way to go O-hi-o . . .🎶 Two homers for the best thing to come out of Middletown, Ohio over the past decade or so. A homer each for Willson Contreras and Ian Happ. Same result as Game 7 in 2016. Pretty much the same weather too. Unfit for man or beast or Josh Tomlin

Yankees 8, Twins 3: Gary Sanchez hit two homers and Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius each went deep as well, with Sanchez and Gregorius each driving in three. Didi has been having such a fantastic year that, eventually, I’m assuming the people who run the ads at Yankee Stadium will spell his name right:

Mets 6, Cardinals 5: Jay Bruce‘s tenth inning homer gave the Mets a lead they’d hold on to for the win. Yoenis Cespedes hit a homer earlier that I’m pretty sure killed (a) a baseball; and (b) Luke Weaver:

463 feet, my man.

In other news, Matt Harvey entered in the top of the fifth inning of this one for his first relief appearance since his demotion to the pen. It didn’t go great. He gave up a run on back-to-back two-out doubles and left after throwing 35 pitches, only 20 of which were strikes. In still other news, the Cardinals initiated a replay challenge after Bruce’s homer, claiming he missed first base. He didn’t miss first base and it wasn’t even particularly close, so I have no idea what the Cardinals were doing there. La Russa may be gone but part of his essence still lingers, I suppose.

Rockies 8, Padres 0: Eight runs in Colorado — seven of them coming in the first two innings — isn’t news, but seven shutout innings from a starting pitcher is. That’s what Kyle Freeland did for the Rockies, striking out eight and grabbing the win. Trevor Story hit a grand slam. There was a scary moment when Freeland was hit by a comebacker, but he stayed in the game. Rockies manager Bud Black said it may have helped: “It smoothed him out. He didn’t overthrow. His focus might have been more heightened, because he was in a little bit of discomfort.” Sources say that Black plans to kick Freeland square in the beans just before he takes the mound for his next start on Sunday.

Giants 4, Nationals 3: Mac Williamson hit his second big homer in as many nights and once again helped the Giants to a win, with his sixth inning solo shot putting San Francisco up for good. The Giants other three runs came via a Brandon Belt two-run homer and a first inning wild pitch from Tanner Roark. Williamson credited the adrenalin from running into a wall the previous half inning for his homer. In light of that, sources say that Bruce Bochy plans to kick Williamson square in the beans just before his first at bat in his next game this afternoon.

Mariners 1, White Sox 0: Marco Gonzales (6 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 8K) and four M’s relievers combine for a five-hit shutout and Mitch Haniger‘s RBI single in the fourth was all the scoring. Chris Volstad got the start for the White Sox. He did pretty good considering, you know, he isn’t really a starter. The White Sox are off to their worst start in 68 years. I wonder how they’d be doing if they, you know, tried.

Reds 9, Braves 7: Cincy took a 5-0 lead behind some dominant pitching from Tyler Mahle, no-hitting the Braves until the seventh inning, but the Braves finally figured him out and crushed the first couple of relievers who followed him, eventually tying things up with four runs in the ninth. Scooter Gennett put an end to Atlanta’s comeback-win delusions, however, launching a two-run walkoff homer in the 12th. That was Gennett’s second homer of the night and his third and fourth RBI. Freddie Freeman went deep twice for Atlanta, both solo shots.

Diamondbacks 8, Phillies 4: Alex Avila went deep and had three hits and Daniel Descalso and Jarrod Dyson also homered. Dbacks starter Robbie Ray struck out 11 Philly batters but couldn’t escape the fifth inning. I imagine Philly fans either didn’t care or didn’t notice since the Sixers were playing. This is a good time of year for baseball teams in hockey and basketball towns to fly under the radar for a bit.

Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 3: Curtis Granderson threw out the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the top of the ninth inning and then hit a walk-off homer in the 10th — off of Craig Kimbrel no less — to give the Jays the win in the team’s first game since Monday’s deadly terrorist attack killed ten in the city. The Sox lose their third straight game and suffer their first loss to the Jays in Rogers Centre in their last eight meetups.

Athletics 3, Rangers 2: Andrew Triggs allowed only one run over six innings while scattering for hits and punching out six. Mark Canha homered and Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson each doubled in a run to help Oakland to their fourth straight win. Worse news for Texas than the loss was Adrian Beltre straining his left hamstring. No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy, but it’s kind of ridiculous that, 25 games into the season, three of the club’s four Opening Day infielders are hurt and the fourth one is playing left field.

Brewers 5, Royals 2: Lorenzo Cain homered against his old team, but that was just late gravy. Earlier Travis Shaw hit a three-run shot that put the game away in the third inning. Sal Perez made his first appearance of 2018 after coming off the disabled list and hit a solo shot. Zach Davies picked up the win after allowing two over six.

Marlins 3, Dodgers 2: L.A. took a 2-1 lead into the eighth but Starlin Castro doubled in the tying run that inning and Cameron Maybin doubled in the go-ahead run in the ninth. The Fish snap their five-game losing streak.

Rays vs. Orioles; Tigers vs. Pirates — POSTPONED: The 27th and 28th rainouts of the year so far. So it seems appropriate . . .

28 days of rain
Flash floods in February
Back in our boats again
Bath water and the baby
What am I gonna do?
There’s been a lot of drinking
Looking at ghosts of you
While all the world is sinking

10.000 miles into the atmosphere
My body shakes
Is there a welcome here?

Closest thing to heaven
How do you do it?
Closest thing to heaven, heaven