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And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Rockies 5, Cubs 3: After kicking off the month of June with a promising five-game winning streak, the Cubs are back on shaky footing after taking their third consecutive loss on Friday. Seth Frankoff took the loss during his Major League debut, tossing two innings with four hits, a two-run homer and two strikeouts.

Not helping matters: these clowns, who showed up to interrupt Kris Bryant‘s first at-bat.

Rangers 5, Nationals 2: There’s little hope of catching the Astros for first place in the AL West these days, but the battle for second place rages on. The Rangers put on a good show during their series opener this weekend, quashing the Nationals with seven innings of one-run ball from Andrew Cashner and a pair of home runs from Jonathan Lucroy and Rougned Odor.

Marlins 12, Pirates 7: Giancarlo Stanton did what Giancarlo Stanton does best, hammering a no-doubt home run to the batter’s eye in PNC Park during Friday’s 12-7 win.

According to Statcast, the blast measured 449 feet, his third-longest knock of the year. Still not impressed?

Indians 7, White Sox 3: After going 1-4 on the road, the Indians kicked off their homestand with a much-needed win. Corey Kluber fired six strong innings, striking out eight and giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks. Edwin Encarnacion powered the Indians’ seven-run drive with a three-hit night of his own, including his 11th home run of the season.

The win brought the Indians within two games of first place — and, more importantly, preserved Francisco Lindor‘s precious locks:

Red Sox 5, Tigers 3: Jackie Bradley Jr. capped an impressive rally on Friday night, smoking his eighth home run of the season at 110 MPH — the hardest-hit home run he’s recorded in the Statcast era to date.

Rays 13, Athletics 4: The Rays didn’t mean to treat outfielder Mallex Smith like a yo-yo. The 23-year-old has been yanked to and from Triple-A Durham this year, mostly used as filler between disabled list stints. With Kevin Kiermaier sidelined due to a hip fracture, Mallex received yet another call-up on Friday and responded in kind, batting leadoff and going 2-for-3 with a base hit, home run and three stolen bases.

Not only did Smith’s performance fuel the Rays’ outstanding win, but it matched a nifty little franchise record, too:

Yankees 8, Orioles 2: Aaron Judge went hitless during Friday’s 8-2 win over the Orioles, but that doesn’t mean the fans in the Judge’s Chambers were left hanging. Aaron Hicks muscled a solo shot to the Yankee faithful, depositing his ninth home run of the year to put the Yankees up 3-2 in the fifth:

Hicks returned for his second blast in his next at-bat, taking Edwin Jackson to task with a two-run, 372-foot homer in the seventh inning.

Braves 3, Mets 2: Terry Collins is reportedly considering a six-man rotation after watching his pitching staff succumb to repeated injury this season. The rotation wasn’t the problem on Friday, however, as Matt Harvey bounced back from last week’s six-run outing to hurl five scoreless innings against the Braves. Things didn’t go as well for Paul Sewald, who earned his second blown save after Dansby Swanson ripped a two-run double in the sixth inning.

Angels 9, Astros 4: Alex Bregman might not have improved the Astros’ winning percentage on Friday, but he brought them one game closer to their franchise home run streak. He launched a first-pitch homer off of Matt Shoemaker in the seventh inning, marking both his seventh home run of the year and the Astros’ 17th consecutive game with at least one home run. If they can extend it to 18 games, they’ll have tied the record established by the club back in May 2000.

Cardinals 3, Phillies 2: The Cardinals didn’t win once on their road trip last week, making Friday’s win all the sweeter when they returned to Busch Stadium for a six-game homestand. Behind six innings of two-run ball from Michael Wacha, three scoreless innings from the bullpen and a game-winning home run from Aledmys Diaz, left fielder Tommy Pham stole the show with a highlight reel catch to end the game:

Brewers 8, Diamondbacks 6: Jonathan Villar was having a banner night against the Diamondbacks — until he wasn’t. The second baseman went 2-for-5 with a base hit and RBI double and capped his night with a terrific, run-saving play in the eighth. Something went wrong on the catch, however, and Villar left the field on a cart after suffering severe back spasms on the throw to first.

Dodgers 7, Reds 2: Justin Turner didn’t waste any time getting back into the swing of things on Friday. He made a triumphant return from the disabled list in his first at-bat and ripped a 369-foot home run off of the Reds’ Amir Garrett in the first inning:

His secret? Cody Bellinger’s bat, apparently.

Padres 6, Royals 3: Matt Szczur finally crested the Mendoza line on Friday night, delivering the go-ahead run in the seventh inning with his second home run of the season:

He wasn’t the only pinch-hitter to come up big in the Padres’ win, either. Franchy Cordero plated two insurance runs in the eighth with a two-run double, preserving a strong start from Jhoulys Chacin and setting up Brandon Maurer for his tenth save.

Mariners 4, Blue Jays 2: Rookie right-hander Sam Gaviglio furthered his hot streak against the Blue Jays, crafting his best start of the year with two runs, six hits and five strikeouts over six innings. Danny Valencia and Jarrod Dyson came through with a two-run rally in the seventh inning, giving the Mariners a narrow lead to get the club back to .500.

Twins 4, Giants 0: The rest of the Twins’ lineup looked superfluous next to Ervin Santana, who recorded his third shutout of the season (and third career Maddux) and hit a three-run double during the team’s 4-0 win on Friday. It’s a nice change of pace for Santana, who tossed four innings with seven runs, seven hits and three walks during his outing against the Angels last Saturday.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Pirates 10, Nationals 4: Adam Frazier had a heck of a game out of the leadoff spot for the Buccos, going 3-for-5 with four RBI. Tanner Roark started for the Nationals but gave up seven runs in five-plus frames. Roark finished 10th in NL Cy Young Voting last year with a 2.83 ERA, but he’s now sporting a 4.73 ERA this season over nine starts.

Rockies 5, Twins 1 (Game 1): Nolan Arenado hit a solo home run in the first inning to put the Rockies up early and they never looked back. Arenado also made a sweet backhand play in the bottom half of the first. While he hasn’t had an explosive month and a half the way Bryce Harper has, it still would not be surprising if he once again winds up in the NL MVP race.

Twins 2, Rockies 0 (Game 2): Jose Berrios pitched one of the best games of the year, blanking the Rockies on two hits and a walk with 11 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. Berrios looked lost last year, when he put up an 8.02 ERA in 14 starts, but he’s been much better so far this season. He held the Indians to one run in 7 2/3 innings last Saturday. The Twins now have a slight first-place lead in the AL Central now. Who’dathunkit.

Cubs 9, Reds 5: Six losses in a row for the Reds now. Javier Baez gave the Cubs a large early cushion, crushing a grand slam in the first inning off of Amir Garrett. Kris Bryant also crushed a solo home run to center field in the fourth. Ian Happ collected two more hits to raise his average to .353 and his OPS to 1.324 since being called up.

Tigers 6, Orioles 5: J.D. Martinez stays red-hot as he blasted another homer, a three-run shot. He also drew three walks. In six games since making his season debut, Martinez has five homers and 11 RBI in 25 PA. Three Orioles homered: Chris Davis, Adam Jones, and Seth Smith. But the Tigers’ bullpen, surprisingly, was able to hold onto a narrow lead — something that has been a rarity this season.

Rangers 8, Phillies 4: Nine wins in a row for the Rangers now. To be fair, they’ve beaten up on the lowly Padres, Athletics, and Phillies, but still. Ryan Rua struck the big blow in this one, as his fifth-inning three-run home run capped off a five run inning. Martin Perez pitched well, holding the Phillies to two runs on five hits and no walks with eight strikeouts over seven innings.

Brewers 4, Padres 2: The first-place Brewers added to their lead in the NL Central as the Cardinals had the night off. Leadoff man Eric Sogard collected four hits and three RBI. Eric Thames finally made an appearance, but as a pinch-hitter and he made an out, stranding two runners. Zach Davies put up a quality start, yielding two runs in six innings. For the Padres, Hunter Renfroe went yard again, giving him three in his last five ballgames.

Blue Jays 9, Braves 0: After Wednesday’s fracas, the storyline going into Thursday’s game was centered around Jose Bautista, who flipped his bat after hitting a home run last night. Sure enough, Julio Teheran threw an inside fastball and hit Bautista on the thigh. Both benches were warned and nothing else happened. Thankfully, a better narrative emerged as catcher Luke Maile and starter Marcus Stroman hit back-to-back home runs, becoming the first American League battery to go back-to-back since May 9, 1970, per Sportsnet. That’s before the DH era began. As for the pitching, Stroman was solid but inefficient, lasting only 5 2/3 innings after throwing 103 pitches.

Royals 5, Yankees 1: Danny Duffy’s excellence continued, as he tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts. Mike Moustakas gave the Royals plenty of breathing room with a three-run home run in the fifth.

Athletics 8, Red Sox 3: Red Sox starter Hector Velasquez got knocked around for six runs in five frames in his major league debut. The A’s hit three homers, including Khris Davis who now has 12 on the year. Trevor Plouffe collected three hits. Every regular in the Athletics’ lineup had a hit except Stephen Vogt.

Dodgers 7, Marlins 2: Hyun-Jin Ryu held the Marlins to two runs in 5 1/3 innings. Yasiel Puig crushed a two-run home run halfway up the bleachers in left field off of Edinson Volquez in the second inning. Statcast measured that one at 442 feet. Kenley Jansen turned in an immaculate inning in the ninth to close out the game. There were a total of three immaculate innings in 2015 and ’16 combined, but we’ve already had four this season: Drew Storen, Craig Kimbrel, Max Scherzer, and Jansen.

Mariners 5, White Sox 4: The Mariners picked up their fifth walk-off win of the season as Guillermo Heredia singled to bring in Jarrod Dyson in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jean Segura hit a three-run home run to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. He now has a .359 average and a .915 OPS.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cubs 14, Pirates 3: The Chicago Bears won only one game by as big a margin all last season as the Cubs won by here. Jason Heyward hit his third home run in four days and drove in four runs overall. He and his rebuilt swing are batting .294/.342/.456 with three homers and 16 RBI in 18 games.

White Sox 12, Royals 1: Both Chicago teams scored a couple of touchdowns last night. The White Sox just need a better placekicker for the PATs. DH Matt Davidson homered, doubled and drove in four. Davidson leads the White Sox in home runs with four and is tied for the team lead with 14 RBI. He’s not even an everyday player.

Orioles 6, Rays 3: Baltimore was down 3-1 on a crappy night, weather-wise, at Camden Yards. Then Hyun Soo Kim and Jonathan Schoop hit homers in the sixth followed by an Adam Jones two-run homer in the seventh too chase Chris Archer. Archer after the game:

“There was a few pitches I wish I could have back,” Archer said. “That’s baseball. Going into my next start, I plan on executing at a higher level. Even if it is just three or four pitches I have to execute, it has to be done.”

I would like to see one of those graphs which track how often words are used but only for major league pitchers’ use of the word “execute.” I bet it’s almost at zero until about 2000-03 or so, and then it shoots way the hell up. Probably all traceable to some pitching coach who decided to make himself sound more scientific. Everyone’s “executing” pitches these days. Very few guys are “throwing” them.

Rockies 8, Nationals 4: The Nats’ seven-game winning streak comes to an end. The Rockies snapped it by coming from behind. They were down 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth when Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer to bring them close. The following inning Charlie Blackmon hit a two-run shot of his own to give Colorado a lead they would not relinquish. Blackmon said the pitch was in his “where I hit balls far” zone. See, isn’t that way more evocative than “executing” pitches? Bring more vernacular to the discourse, pitchers. It plays way, way better than this faux precision jazz.

Brewers 11, Reds 7: Eric Thames continues his early season rampage. Two more homers here, a solo shot in the first and a two-run blast in the second. The second one gave Milwaukee a five-run lead. Cincinnati would threaten for a brief period but the Brewers put up ten runs on Amir Garrett before the end of the fourth inning and that’s just too dang much to overcome. Had a conversation with a big Reds fan yesterday who was cautiously optimistic about his team’s early season play and asked me if it was sustainable. I told him “the pitching will be exposed soon.” I didn’t realize how soon it’d be.

Twins 3, Rangers 2: One hit — a three-run double from Brian Dozier in the fifth — was all Minnesota would get and all they would need. The hit was preceded by Martin Perez walking the bases loaded. The batters: the 6, 8 and 9 hitters. That’s . . . bad.

Diamondbacks 7, Padres 6: Zack Greinke allowed one run over six and struck out 11. He’s had one clunker on the year — five runs allowed to the Dodgers on April 14 — but otherwise Greinke has been the Greinke of old this season: a 2.93 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP and 31 strikeouts to six walks in 30.2 innings.

Angels 2, Blue Jays 1: Jesse Chavez tossed six innings of one-run, four-hit ball. The Blue Jays have scored four runs or less in 14 of their 18 games this season. That’s not good. The Angels’ runs came from a Mike Trout triple followed by an Albert Pujols single in the fourth and Cameron Maybin scoring on a fielder’s choice with a diving slide to beat the throw to the plate in the fifth.

Giants 2, Dodgers 1: Matt Cain was excellent, tossing six shutout innings, but Hyun-Jin Ryu was almost as good, allowing only one run over six. Ultimately bad base running dooms Los Angeles. Chris Taylor was thrown out stealing in the eighth inning with Corey Seager at the plate. Then Justin Turner was picked off of second to end the game.