Ben Zobrist

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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Good to be back after a few days off. I got married. The food and drink was cool. And the family looked great. What’s new with you?

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rockies 6, Reds 4: The Rockies hit four homers off of Bronson Arroyo. One of them came from starting pitcher Kyle Freeland. Colorado takes two of three from the Reds and maintains the best record in the National League.

Angels 12, Mets 5: Mike Trout homered , doubled and drove in three and C.J. Cron hit a grand slam. Andrelton Simmons and Jefry Marte also homered as Anaheim built an early 9-0 lead and never looked back.

Yankees 3, Rays 2: Like the Mets, the Yankees avoid a sweep, this thanks to Brett Gardner hitting a homer and CC Sabathia allowing one earned run — two total — over five. Also helping? This catch from Aaron Judge:

 

If Judge was only 6’6″ instead of 6’7″ that’s extra bases and a run scored.

Blue Jays 3, Orioles 1: Devon Travis hit a three-run homer in the first inning and that’s all the Blue Jays needed. Well, the seven and two-thirds of one-run ball avec 12 strikeouts from Marco Estrada came in pretty dang handy too.

Nationals 3, Braves 2: Daniel Murphy homered, Bryce Harper singled in a run and a run scored when Ryan Zimmerman hit into a double play. Stephen Strasburg pitched into the eighth, striking out 11. The Nats snapped their four-game losing streak.

Pirates 1, Phillies 0: Aaron Nola pitched seven innings of one run ball but still got the loss thanks to Chad Kuhl‘s five innings of shutout ball and the Pittsburgh bullpen’s four innings of the same. The only run in the game came when Nola hit David Freese with a pitch with the bases loaded. The only reason the bases were loaded was because Nola issued an intentional walk to set up a double play.

Indians 8, Astros 6: Cleveland sweeps the best team in baseball thanks in part to Yan Gomes‘ five RBI. The Astros have lost three series this year. Two of them have come against Cleveland, who are 5-1 against Houston.

Royals 6, Twins 4; Twins 8, Royals 4: In the first game, Brandon Moss hit two of Kansas City’s four home runs. Salvador Perez and Jorge Bonifacio hit the others, each of them two-run jobs. Mike Minor came in in relief and got the win. It was his first victory since 2014. In the second, Robbie Grossman, Max Kepler and Chris Gimenez homered to help Adalberto Mejia get his first ever win and salvage the double header split. Mejia was then sent right back down to Triple-A because life is nothing but a seven to ten decades of absurdity and pain.

Cardinals 8, Giants 3Matt Carpenter homered and Adam Wainwright allowed one run and five hits in six and a third. Wainwright even (all together now) helped his own cause with an RBI double. The Cards ended a four-game losing streak.

Cubs 13, Brewers 6: Kris Bryant hit two jacks and Jake Arrieta surrendered only one run — unearned — in six innings. The Cubbies’ offense rattled off 13, with Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist also homering and Willson Contreras going 3-for-3 with three RBI . It wouldn’t have even been this close if it wasn’t for Cubs mopup man Dylan Floro allowing five runs over the final two frames.

Red Sox 12, Athletics 3: Boston avoids a four game sweep. Mitch Moreland homered for the third game in a row and Eduardo Rodriguez was solid for eight innings, retiring 14 of the final 15 batters he faced.

White Sox 8, Mariners 1: Derek Holland had a five run cushion before he threw his first pitch but he didn’t rest on that, going out and tossing eight one-run innings instead of pitching to the score.

Dodgers 6, Marlins 3: Brandon McCarthy allowed one run over six innings, putting things back on track after two less-than-great starts. Adrian Gonzalez went 3-for-4 and drove in three. He was able to do that, in part, because Yasmani Grandal went 3-for-4 in front of him.

Padres 5, Diamondbacks 1: The Padres snap a five-game losing streak. Clayton Richard was the big man here, tossing a complete game. His only mistake was a third inning homer allowed to Chris Iannetta. Richard even drove in a run himself with an RBI single.

Rangers 5, Tigers 2: Yu Darvish wasn’t efficient — he tossed 105 pitches in five innings, walking four — but he got the win. Mike Napoli hit a long fifth inning homer to break a 2-2 tie and make that possible. Later Pete Kozma and Jonathan Lucroy went deep for insurance.

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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Friday’s weekend series kicked off with Gift Ngoepe’s first major league start, Mike Trout‘s important anniversary and an informal home run derby between the Yankees and Orioles. Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Yankees 14, Orioles 11 (10 innings): Manny Machado may have hit 2017’s longest home run on Friday night, but he was forced to share the spotlight as the Orioles and Yankees combined for eight home runs in their 10-inning slug-fest. In the end, the only home run that mattered was the last one of the night: a walk-off, three-run 411-footer by Matt Holliday to clinch the Yankees’ first win of the series.

Mets 7, Nationals 5: In a battle of elite arms, the Mets took the lead with Jacob deGrom‘s 12-strikeout performance. Max Scherzer struck out seven over six innings, but a couple of timely knocks from Travis d'Arnaud in the second and fourth innings unraveled the Mets’ flimsy one-run lead and eventually, their hold on the game altogether.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 4: Home runs are swell, as are late-game comebacks and solid pitching performances, but it’s not every day that you get a full highlight reel’s worth of plays from Steven Souza Jr.:

Red Sox 5, Cubs 4: Visiting Cubs fans monopolized a good section of Fenway Park on Friday, and the Cubs played nearly as well as if they were playing against the ivy backdrop of Wrigley Field. Although the Sox jumped out to an early five-run lead in the first inning, the Cubs worked a four-run comeback and put the game-tying run on second base when Ben Zobrist lined a double in the ninth inning. That’s as far as they got, however, leaving Zobrist stranded to drop their second consecutive loss of the week.

White Sox 7, Tigers 3: The White Sox extended their win streak to five consecutive games on Friday, clinching first place in the AL Central after a shutdown performance from the bullpen and a late-game comeback spearheaded by Geovany Soto and Tim Anderson. Tigers’ third baseman Nicholas Castellanos helped, too, committing three errors in the sixth and eighth innings to facilitate the White Sox’ rally and cement their 12th win of the year.

Pirates 12, Marlins 2: If you haven’t gotten up to speed on Gift Ngoepe’s intriguing path to the major leagues, do yourself a favor and peruse this excellent 2009 profile by Sports Illustrated’s Gary Smith. Ngoepe was promoted to the bigs last Wednesday and has already garnered some attention for hitting a single in his first career at-bat. He was no less impressive on Friday, going 3-for-3 with two base hits, two walks and an opposite-field triple that just cleared Giancarlo Stanton‘s head at the wall.

Mariners 3, Indians 1: The Mariners may be short one Felix Hernandez, Mitch Haniger and Nelson Cruz, but they looked more than capable of taking on the Indians during Friday’s series opener. Robinson Cano and Ben Gamel combined for a three-run lead on two home runs and Ariel Miranda allowed just one run in 5 1/3 innings, effectively stifling several rally attempts by the Indians and clinching his second win of the year.

Angels 6, Rangers 3: It’s been five years since Mike Trout received his permanent call-up from the minors, and he celebrated in true Mike Trout fashion, engineering an impressive catch on the warning track and collecting a two-run homer against Rangers’ right-hander Nick Martinez:

The Rangers, meanwhile, would have been better off spending their Friday like Yu Darvish:

Braves 10, Brewers 8: Don’t look now, but the Braves are no longer in last place. They relinquished their spot at the bottom of the NL East on Friday, scooting half a game above the Mets after they mounted a six-run rally in the last few innings of a 10-8 win over the Brewers. That’s thanks in large part to their bullpen, which stifled Milwaukee’s comeback attempts with four scoreless frames, giving Ender Inciarte and Adonis Garcia just enough time to clear the bases in the seventh inning and take the lead on Kurt Suzuki’s RBI single in the eighth.

Astros 9, Athletics 4: Consistency isn’t exactly what Charlie Morton is known for, and Friday’s outing was no exception. The veteran right-hander got off to a rocky start in the first inning, putting runners on first and second and watching Khris Davis unleash a three-run bomb for an early lead. While Morton eventually settled down to strike out a career-high 12 batters, Davis still had the righty’s number, and took him deep a second time for the Astros’ fourth and final run of the night.

Cardinals 7, Reds 5: Reason #7 why you should never sleep on the job:

Twins 6, Royals 4: It looked like the Royals finally caught a break on Friday. They built a modest three-run lead early in the game and were able to keep their heads above water even after Miguel Sano brought the Twins within a run of tying the game on a two-run homer in the fourth inning. Everything looked hunky-dory for Kansas City until the eighth, when Joakim Soria loaded the bases for Sano, home plate umpire CB Bucknor took a 92 m.p.h. fastball to the face mask, and the Twins jumped out to a two-run lead to secure the Royals’ eighth consecutive loss.

Rockies 3, Diamondbacks 1: Just as we all predicted, neither the Giants nor the Dodgers are anywhere near the top of the NL West this year. The top two spots appear reserved for the Rockies and Diamondbacks, who have traded first place several times during the month of April. Colorado reclaimed the division on Friday, spearing their 15th win on a one-run outing by rookie southpaw Kyle Freeland and a handful of hits from Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon.

Dodgers 5, Phillies 3: Kenta Maeda is finally looking like the starter the Dodgers need him to be, and not a moment too soon. The right-hander struck out eight over seven innings, holding the Phillies to five hits and two runs in his second winning effort this season. It’ll still take some time to get that ERA below 6.00, however, and the Dodgers have to dig themselves out of a three-game deficit if they want to reclaim first place in the NL West this spring.

Giants 4, Padres 3: So much for rookie jitters. Christian Arroyo has made a comfortable home in the major leagues, slugging .250/.250/.800 through his first four career games and topping it off with his second home run against the Padres on Friday night.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 7, Tigers 5: Blowing a one-run lead is not a mortal sin, but the Tigers had leads of 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, and 4-3 and blew ’em all. That seems sort of excessive. Especially given that the 4-3 lead was blown via a four-run eighth inning. On Friday I wrote an ode to the Tigers’ bullpen. It’s still applicable.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 2: There was some yelling between Troy Tulowitzki and Steven Souza following Souza’s slide into second base on a double play in the second inning. The benches cleared, but nothing happened. As for the slide: eh. It was less a hard slide than just a poor slide in my view. It also seems like Souza assumed that Tulo was not going to try to apply a tag because he didn’t realize that Justin Smoak got the force at first before the throw. It ended up like a couple of cats who surprise each other by being face-to-face when turning a corner and end up with fluffy tails and arched backs:

Later in the game Souza hit a three-run jack. The Rays took three of four from Toronto. The Jays are now 1-5. Ouch. And ouch.

Yankees 7, Orioles 3: New York was down 3-0 heading into the sixth when Ronald Torreyes hit a two-run triple. In the eighth Aaron Judge tied it with a solo homer and in the ninth Starlin Castro hit an RBI single to put New York ahead. The Yankees would add three insurance runs in the ninth as well and avoid the sweep. Matt Holliday had five plate appearances but no at bats. Dude walked five times.

Phillies 4, Nationals 3: Philly was on its way to comfy win until the ninth when closer Jeanmar Gomez gave up a three-run homer to Ryan Zimmerman, tying the game. The Nats’ Koda Glover blew a save himself, however, when he walked leadoff hitter Daniel Nava and then allowed two singles, the second of which was a walkoff RBI from Cesar Hernandez. Jeremy Hellickson would’ve been the winner following five innings in which he allowed one hit and no runs. He also would’ve pitched another couple of innings had he not gotten a cramp in his arm.

Pirates 6, Braves 5: A two-run walkoff homer for Starling Marte in the 10th– when the Pirates were down by one — ended an eventful day for the Pirates’ center fielder. Earlier in the game he was picked off twice. Then, in the eighth inning, he hit a single that resulted in a run as Pittsburgh mounted the comeback from two runs down that would send the game to extras. Freddie Freeman hit two homers for Atlanta. Here’s a fun photo of him.

Twins 4, White Sox 1: Break up the Twins. They started last year by dropping their first nine games. They’ve begun this year by winning five of their first six. This one came via six shutout innings from Ervin Santana and homers from Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano. Sano is 7-for-20 with two doubles, a triple, two homers, eight RBI and four walks to start the season. That’s .350/.458/.850 to you and me.

Cubs 7, Brewers 4: The Cubs had a 5-0 lead before the Brewers batted in the second inning and the lead would hold up. The five runs came via an Addison Russel double and a Jason Heyward triple. Heyward would add an RBI single later in the contest to finish 2-for-5 with three RBI on the day. Jake Arrieta struck out ten in seven innings of work. Kyle Schwarber and Ben Zobrist homered.

Astros 5, Royals 4: El oso blanco que camina. Houston wins on a walkoff walk to Evan Gattis in the 12th. Royals reliever Matt Strahm walked three men that inning, actually, one of them intentionally. The Royals had a 3-1 lead in the seventh but Travis Wood walked Gattis, natch, and then gave up a two-run homer to Marwin Gonzalez. Remember when the Royals had a bullpen?

Reds 8, Cardinals 0: Cincinnati was up 2-0 on Carlos Martinez entering the sixth inning before things melted down for the Cardinals’ ace. Some of it was because his defense let him down, as the Cards committed three error that inning, two of which came from Jhonny Peralta on the same play. Of course, Martinez himself put two men on to lead things off the frame via a walk and a hit by pitch so he was not blameless. He ended the day having given up six runs on six hits with five of them earned. Not that it mattered given that Scott Feldman shut St. Louis out for six innings and the pen shut ’em out for three.

Rangers 8, Athletics 1Joey, Joey! King of the streets, child of clay. Joey, Joey! Soon you’ll lose your job to Adrian Beltre!

That’s Dylan for “Joey Gallo hit a three-run homer and singled in two more as the Rangers demolished the A’s.”

Dodgers 10, Rockies 6: Conversation with my better half over dinner last night:

Me: We should go to a ballpark we haven’t been to yet sometime this season. Weekend trip.

Her: Yeah. We haven’t been to Coors Field. It’s supposed to be great and I want to go to Denver anyway. Never been.

Me: Yeah, good idea.

*Craig sees that the the Rockies and Dodgers played a nearly four-hour-long nine inning game with 16 runs 24 hits, nine pitchers, seven walks and three errors*

Me: Neither of us have been to Tropicana Field yet either. Maybe we should go to Tropicana Field.

Angels 10, Mariners 9: Seattle was up 8-1 in the seventh inning and 9-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth only to see the Angels rally for seven runs and a wild walkoff win. Well, they didn’t just see it. They participated, issuing four walks to help the rally along. Apart from the walks, Albert Pujols homered to start the rally and then came up again and hit a two-run single to tie it. In between Yunel Escobar doubled in two himself. Cliff Pennington knocked in the game-winning run with an RBI single scoring Mike Trout. The relievers responsible for this atrocity will remain nameless, but their names rhyme with “Dacey Kline” and “Nedwin Ziaz.”

Diamondbacks 3, Indians 2: Patrick Corbin tossed six shutout innings and Chris Owings went 3-for-4 with a homer. He also scored a run on an error after stealing third base. The Diamondbacks are 6-1, folks.

Giants 5, Padres 3: The Giants jumped out to a 5-0 lead by the third inning thanks in part to back-to-back jacks from Hunter Pence and Buster Posey. Johnny Cueto allowed two runs over seven and struck out seven.

Mets 5, Marlins 2: Noah Syndergaard got an extra day’s rest due to a blister suffered on Opening Day. The extra day must’ve done the trick as he allowed only one earned run and struck out nine over seven innings.