Adonis Garcia

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JUNE 22: Trevor Plouffe #24 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates scoring a run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning of the game on June 22, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Phillies 6-5. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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Royals and Braves reportedly interested in Trevor Plouffe

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Free agent third baseman Trevor Plouffe has reportedly been drawing interest around the league, says Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe. The Braves and Royals are rumored to have shown interest alongside the Red Sox and Athletics, though no contract talks have emerged as of yet.

Plouffe, 30, was outrighted by the Twins in November after rounding out a seven-year run with the club. He slashed .260/.303/.420 with 12 home runs over 344 PA in 2016, but logged just 84 appearances after missing several months with an intercostal strain, cracked rib and left oblique strain.

Plouffe got lost amid the reshuffling of the infield and outfield when the Twins tried to accommodate Michael Sano last season, but a clean bill of health and a steady gig could see him return to his career-average .727 OPS and 22-homer rate in 2017. While the Red Sox are not thought to have room on their roster or enough space on their payroll for another significant commitment (though previous reports from the Boston Herald mention a potential one-year, $2-3 million deal for the third baseman), Cafardo notes that the Royals could be a good fit for the infielder if they consider trading Mike Moustakas. Like the Royals and Red Sox, the Braves appear to have the hot corner set for 2017, but could sign Plouffe to a short-term contract to complement Adonis Garcia and Rio Ruiz if necessary.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Hanley Ramirez #13 of the Boston Red Sox flips his bat after he hit a solo home run for his second home run of the game during the seventh inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on September 18, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 5, Yankees 4: Hanley Ramirez hit two homers and drove in four runs, with his first homer bringing the Sox back to within one run after being down 4-0 in the fifth inning and his second homer breaking a 4-4 tie in the seventh inning. The Red Sox sweep and the Yankees have lost five in a row overall, sending them four back in the Wild Card race. Just a brutal weekend for the Bombers.

Brewers 3, Cubs 1: The Cubs have lost four of six and everyone’s yawning. They do that two or three weeks from now, they’re labeled a grand disappointment. Which is a good time to talk to you about the nature of playoff baseball and predictions and things. If you hear some talking head musing that the Cubs — or any team for that matter — looks invincible heading into the playoffs, just remember that yesterday Brewers reliever Tyler Thornburg struck out Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo with two on in the ninth to end the game. Playoff series can turn on a pitcher or two making a couple of key pitches and a bat or two going cold for, like, a day. If that happens in September, no one notices or cares. You get a couple of those breaks in a couple of games in October, however, and 100+ win teams get sent home in a division series by a Wild Card winner. In other news, Kyle Hendricks allowed two runs in six innings and lost while seeing his ERA go up. This is why I never set high standards. It just leads to disappointment later.

Tigers 9, Indians 5: This one sure got chippy. Trevor Bauer had no idea where the ball was going and hit three dudes, including Ian Kinsler in the head. And now Kinsler is showing concussion symptoms, so that’s just grand. Justin Upton hit a ball about 900 miles and stood and admired it and after the game Brad Ausmus said this kind of thing can inspire a team. I dunno, man, call me in two weeks if the Tigers are in the Wild Card game. Everything else is just spin.

Royals 10, White Sox 3: Kendrys Morales drove in four runs and notched his 1,000th career hit. After the game, Morales said “First and foremost, I didn’t even know I had 999 hits.” If I was a big leaguer I’d probably look at my Baseball-Reference.com page every single day. That, along a complete lack of physical gifts, athletic skills and a work ethic, is probably a reason I’m not a professional baseball player.

Reds 7, Pirates 4: The Reds wore green jerseys. I thought it was because they wished it was March again, back when there was still hope and everything was new. Now it’s late September and two weeks from this moment these guys will be packing up equipment bags or hopping flights home. The playoffs are great but not everyone gets to play in them. Oh well. For the record the green jerseys were for “ShamRock the Ballpark” which was part of an Irish heritage weekend. As for the game, Joey Votto homered and Tucker Barnhart drove in four.

Mets 3, Twins 2: When your pitching staff looks like a M*A*S*H unit you can take solace in the fact that you’re playing the Twins and still sweep the series. Michael Conforto hit a two-run RBI single and T.J. Rivera homered while Mets pitchers Ba Ling Wyre and Duc T. Ape kept the Minnesota bats at bay.

Orioles 2, Rays 1: Manny Machado homered in the sixth, Mark Trumbo homered in the eighth and six O’s pitchers stifled Tampa Bay, led by Wade Miley‘s four scoreless innings to start things off.

Braves 6, Nationals 2: The game took two hours thirty six minutes. Rain delays amounted to two hours and fifty seven minutes. In all, it only went seven innings because of the rain. Adonis Garcia drove in three and Matt Wisler was effective. That was helped by the fact that Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon got the day off and Ryan Zimmerman only pinch hit.

Marlins 5, Phillies 4: Down 4-2 in the eighth, Christian Yelich hit a game-tying home run and J.T. Realmuto hit a go-ahead RBI single later that inning. The Marlins are still be referred to as Wild Card contenders by some people. Not buying it, but they haven’t given up either.

Athletics 5, Rangers 2: Two homers for Khris Davis, giving him 40 on the year. A quarter of them have come against Texas. Colby Lewis walked five dudes, three of which came in one inning. I think he needs a bit more tuning up before the playoffs.

Angels 4, Blue Jays 0: Alex Meyer and four relievers combine for the shutout. It was Meyer’s first major league win. Toronto has lost four of six and are now in the second Wild Card position, a game behind Baltimore and two up over Detroit and Seattle. The Blue Jays have not won a series in September.

Cardinals 3, Giants 0: Alex Reyes tosses seven shutout innings in his third big league start and Aledmys Diaz hit a two-run homer as St. Louis takes two of three from San Francisco. The Giants are now five back of the Dodgers and are a mere game ahead of St. Louis for the second Wild Card spot. The Giants now go to L.A. to face Clayton Kershaw tonight, so that’s fun.

Mariners 7, Astros 3: Seth Smith hit two homers and drove in four as Seattle salvages the third game of the three game series. Luckily for them both the Tigers and Jays have been struggling.

Rockies 6, Padres 3: The sweep. Mark Reynolds homered. That’s good! Then later he got hit by a pitch and broke his hand. That’s bad! He sounded upbeat after the game, though, saying that he’s “going to get it better and get ready for next year.” That’s good! Next year he’ll be a year older with no guarantee of a job anywhere, though. And will contain potassium benzoate.

*blank stare*

That’s bad.

Diamondbacks 10, Dodgers 9: Brandon Drury hit a walkoff single with two outs in the 12th. He had three other hits in the game, including a homer. Drury has been on absolute fire lately, which is a good thing for a utilityman on a bad team to be late in the season. It’s the sort of thing that ensures you’l be in someone’s plans over the winter.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 06:  Johnny Cueto #47 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the top of the eighth inning at AT&T Park on July 6, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 11, Rangers 6: I’m guessing it’s just subjective on my part, but I feel like the ugliest baseball of the year is played in the week before the All-Star break. The All-Stars have a lot of stuff on their mind and the non-All-Stars are practically tasting the margaritas they’ll have on their long weekend getaways with their sweeties. David Ortiz hit his 20th homer and drove in three. Bryce Brentz drove in three runs. Boston took two of three from Texas.

Tigers 12, Indians 2: So much for that losing streak to the Indians. This one went sideways for Cleveland in the five-run fifth, capped by Nick Castellanos‘ three-run jack. Michael Fulmer continued his nice campaign, winning his ninth game, after allowing one earned run over six innings.

Phillies 4, Braves 3: Atlanta took a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth, courtesy of Adonis Garcia‘s second RBI double of the game. The Braves didn’t have much time to get cocky, though, because Freddy Galvis hit a two-run blast in the bottom half of the inning to put the Phillies ahead for good. It’s the sort of loss that, were the Braves worth a tinker’s damn, would kind of hurt. Now it’s just a new and interesting way to lose.

Twins 4, Athletics 0: Ervin Santana tossed a two-hit complete game shutout, needing exactly 100 pitches to do it. He struck out eight and didn’t walk a soul. If you’re into game scores, Santana’s 91 was the seventh highest of the year by any pitcher.

Mets 4, Marlins 2: Giancarlo Stanton homered twice for the second game in a row, but they were both solo shots and that’s all the Marlins would get. Jacob deGrom gave up zero runs on six hits to the non-Giancarlo portions of Miami’s lineup. Contrary to my post yesterday, Don Kelly was not the Hero of the Game. One wonders whether he was even the best option named Don that the Marlins could’ve theoretically played at first base yesterday.

Reds 5, Cubs 3: The Reds declared yesterday opposite day, as they decided to see what it was like to win a game when the other team’s bullpen couldn’t get the job done. Tucker Barnhart hit a go-ahead, three-run homer off Trevor Cahill as the Cubs dropped their sixth game of their last seven and fell below the Giants for the best record in baseball. Zack Cozart homered for the third straight game.

Orioles 6, Dodgers 4: A five hour 26 minute game that was largely sloppy, featured 36 strikeouts and 14 walks and which dumped over 30,000 people out onto the L.A. freeways during rush hour sounds like a lot of fun. Sad I couldn’t make that one. Jonathan Schoop doubled in two runs with two outs in the 14th inning to win it. Chase Utley had six hits in a losing cause.

Nationals 7, Brewers 4: The Nats leaped out to a 4-0 lead after two but Milwaukee came back and tied it in the top of the third. With the game reset, Washington scored a run in the bottom of the third and the rest of the day ended up being academic. A three-run homer from Bryce Harper and a two-run shot from Ryan Zimmermann bookended the festivities.

Blue Jays 4, Royals 2: Michael Saunders hit a solo shot and singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth. Russell Martin then doubled in Saunders for some insurance. The Jays sweep the Royals for their fifth straight win. They’re only 2.5 back of the Orioles. Things got sexy for Toronto in the second half last year. Are we seeing the beginnings of 2015 redux?

Angels 7, Rays 2: Mike Trout had the day off Tuesday and the Angels romped. He was back in the lineup yesterday — homered even — and the Angels romped. The AP gamer sets forth this factoid about Trout:

With his 100th hit, Trout became the first player to collect 100 hits and 15 home runs before the All-Star break four times before his age-25 season. Miguel Cabrera and Jimmy Foxx are the only other players to have accomplished the feat three times.

So I guess Trout is good. In some ways, though, I’m more impressed by his consistency. Here are his OPS+ numbers from each of his full seasons and for 2016: 168, 179, 168, 176, 172. He’s like a robot, stuck on the “Mickey Mantle” setting.

White Sox 5, Yankees 0: Miguel Gonzalez tossed seven shutout innings and the Sox won via a single, a couple of doubles and a fielder’s choice. The Sox take two of three from the Yankees and remain on a hot streak in which they’ve won 11 of 16. Weird season for Chicago.

Astros 9, Mariners 8: The Astros sweep the M’s. Carlos Gomez singled, doubled and tripled, driving in three. Luis Valbuena hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the eighth. Remember how those two were being cast as the scapegoats for the Astros’ slow start a month or two ago? Baseball is like the weather everyplace besides, like, San Diego: wait a few minutes. It’ll change.

Pirates 7, Cardinals 5Jung Ho Kang hit a double that scored the tying and the go-ahead runs in the seventh. Jeff Locke was knocked out early but Pirates relievers combined for five scoreless innings as Pittsburgh won its third straight series from the Cards at Busch Stadium.

Padres 13, Diamondbacks 6Ryan Schimpf, who, um, of course I had heard of before because I’m totally a baseball expert, homered twice. Schimpf homered the night before too. Good old Schimpfy! He’s always doin’ stuff like that! He really makes me smile. [Craig frantically Googles “Ryan Schimpf”]

Giants 5, Rockies 1: Johnny Cueto allowed one run in a complete game to win his 13th of the year and to put the Giants on top of all of baseball with a record of 54-33. Nice pickup that Cueto was, eh?