Conor Gillaspie

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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rays 5, Yankees 3Corey Dickerson hit a go-ahead, two-run single in a three-run third for the Rays and the new-look Rays bullpen (Sergio Romo? Dan Jennings? Steve Cishek?) combined to shut down the Yankees late. That snapped the Yankees’ six-game winning streak despite the fact that Yankees pitchers struck out 16 Rays batters. I wonder what the winning percentage of teams that strike out 15 or more opposing batters is. I bet it’s pretty dang high.

Blue Jays 11, Angels 10: For that matter I wonder what the winning percentage is of teams who have six-run leads heading into the bottom of the ninth. I bet it’s even higher than the 16-strikeout thing. That’s the lead the Angels had — 10-4 — and they still lost this one. The winning four (!) runs came on a Steve Pearce walkoff grand slam. Those don’t happen every day. Indeed, if you’re Steve Pearce, who hit one here AND hit one on Thursday afternoon as well, they only happen ever four days at best.  Kevin Pillar hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth as well. It ain’t over ’till it’s over, folks.

Tigers 13, Astros 1: Justin Verlander tossed six shutout innings on what, theoretically, could be his last start as a Tiger. I’m guessing he starts again as a Tiger on Friday because moving that contract at today’s deadline is going to be tough, but it could’ve been. He left with a 3-0 lead but the Tigers scored ten runs in the last three innings to make it a laugher. Justin Upton hit a grand slam and drove in six on the day. James McCann hit a two-run homer off of Astros first baseman Tyler White. It was that kind of day.

Reds 6, Marlins 4: Reds starter Luis Castillo allowed one run on three hits over eight innings and catcher Tucker Barnhart drove in three as the Red snapped a six-game losing streak. Castillo beat Dan Straily, for whom he was traded back in January. That has to feel pretty good.

Royals 5, Red Sox 3: The Sox snapped the Royals’ nine-game winning streak on Saturday, so the Royals started another one on Sunday. Here Alex Gordon hit a two–run triple in the Royals’ four-run eighth inning, with Alcides Escobar singling in the other two runs in the rally. Royals starter Jason Hammel after the game: “The vibes good right now. The vibes real good.”

 

Holy crap, that was a bad movie. But I love both Cyndi Lauper and Jeff Goldblum, so they are forgiven for all of their transgressions against God and art.

Phillies 2, Braves 1: Freddy Galvis hit a walkoff single to give Philly the win. He also did this:

Glavis is having his best offensive year and he’s been flashing amazing leather all season long. Most people don’t see it because most people don’t watch teams that are 38-64, but it still counts.

Rockies 10, Nationals 6; Nationals 3, Rockies 1: Nats starter Erick Fedde made his big league debut in the first game of the twin-bill. Didn’t go too hot as the Rockies beat him up for seven runs — five earned — on ten hits in four innings. Charlie Blackmon went 4-for-5 and scored four runs. DJ LeMahieuNolan Arenado and Ryan Hanigan each drove in two runs. If you would’ve put a gun to my head yesterday morning and asked me if Ryan Hanigan was still playing, I probably would’ve said no. In the nightcap, Edwin Jackson allowed one run over seven innings to give the Nats the win. If you would’ve put a gun to my head in March and asked me what the Nats record would be if Edwin Jackson was starting games for them in July, I would’ve said something like “49-54, because obviously everyone else is injured.”

Cubs 4, Brewers 2: John Lackey gave Chicago six solid innings. Well, five solid innings before allowing a two-run home, but that’s fine. Kris Byrant homered. Rookie catcher Victor Caratini hit his first career home run. In other news, “Caratini” would be a great name for a smoothie you get from the little snack bar at your gym. It’s healthy as hell but kind of gross, even if they do serve it in a fancy glass. Just drink water, dude.

White Sox 3, Indians 1: It was 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth with Bryan Shaw on the mound for Cleveland. That didn’t faze White Sox first baseman Matt Davidson, who hit a two-run walkoff homer. That snapped Cleveland’s nine-game winning streak. Carlos Rodon pitched into the seventh, allowing one run on six hits and striking out nine in his best performance of the season to date.

Cardinals 3, Diamondbacks 2: Jose Martinez played the hero, hitting a two-run homer in the fourth inning to put the Cards on the board and to tie things up and then hitting a sac fly in the sixth to put St. Louis over. Lance Lynn allowed two runs over six and the bullpen allowed only one hit over three shutout innings.

Orioles 10, Rangers 6: The O’s win, as Jonathan Schoop and Welington Castillo homered in a five-run fifth, but Adrian Beltre was the story of the game, of course. The future Hall of Famer — and yes, he was one before hit number 3,000 — doubled in the fourth inning to reach the milestone. Watch:

Mariners 9, Mets 1: James Paxton tossed six shutout innings, striking out eight, to win his sixth decision in the month of July. Time may be an arbitrary construct, but that’s still pretty cool. Nelson Cruz hit a three-run homer in the first inning which would prove to be the only runs the Mariners needed. They didn’t know that of course, so they kept playing.

Pirates 7, Padres 1: Andrew McCutchen hit three solo homers.  He’s now batting .292/.385/.535 with 22 home runs, 66 RBI, and 68 runs scored in 431 plate appearances. Josh Bell hit a pinch-hit homer and Gerrit Cole allowed one run over seven, striking out eight.

Athletics 6, Twins 5: This one went 12 innings, but not 13, because Yonder Alonso homered to walk things off. Oakland leads all of baseball with walkoff hits, in case you want to know if that correlates with W-L record (Ron Howard voice: “it doesn’t”). Minnesota had a 4-0 lead at one point but blew it as relievers Taylor Rogers and Brian Pressly couldn’t lock things down in the eighth inning, blowing what would’ve been a Bartolo Colon win in his longest start since April (6.1 IP, 8 H, 3 ER).

Dodgers 3, Giants 2: I usually do most of my Sunday recaps on Sunday evening and put in a place-holder score for the Sunday night game that I fill in when I wake up Monday morning, with something like “Team __, Other Team __”. I obviously don’t know who will win that game, so I just pick one of them to go first, often making a meaningless little prediction in my mind in order to determine it. Last night I just autopiloted it and wrote “Giants __, Dodgers __.” Given how each of these teams is going of late, that was kind of dumb and caused me to delete and rewrite. Here Madison Bumgarner and Hyun-Jin Ryu traded zeroes for seven innings before Conor Gillaspie homered in the eighth and Yasiel Puig singled home the tying run in the ninth. Kyle Farmer won it for L.A. in the 11th with a pinch-hit two-run double. The Dodgers sweep the Giants and I doubt them again, even slightly and meaninglessly, at my peril.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cubs 5, Braves 1: The Cubs get a four-run third inning thanks to homers from Javier Baez and Willson Contreras while John Lackey and four relievers tie up Atlanta’s bats. Chicago wins its fifth in a row, pulling to within 2.5 games of Milwaukee, because . . .

Pirates 4, Brewers 3: . . . Milwaukee dropped its third in a row to the surging Pirates. This despite taking a 3-0 lead in the third on a Travis Shaw three-run homer. It didn’t hold up, though, thanks to Francisco Cervelli and Josh Harrison going deep in the sixth which tied it, followed by a go-ahead RBI single by David Freese. Three of those six inning runs came with two outs. The inning was extended by a Starling Marte walk. Marte also singled and made a nifty diving catch in left. Welcome back, Mr. Marte.

Cardinals 5, Mets 0: The Cardinals likewise gain ground on the Brewers as Michael Wacha twirled a three-hit, complete game shutout, striking out eight. He also had a hit and knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice. Matt Carpenter went 4-for-5. The best play in the game for the home team came via New Jersey governor Chris Christie but he got booed like crazy for it.

Yankees 6, Twins 3: Bartolo Colon’s debut with the Twins looked a lot like his time with the Braves. The big man was eminently hittable, giving up four runs on eight hits in four innings of work. The Yankees knocked him out of the game in the fifth after he gave up two hits to start the inning. Both of those runners and three more scored. That included Aaron Judge who singled in a run and then was knocked in on a Didi Gregorius homer. Judge went 2-for-4 and drew a walk, so can we maybe stop acting like the Home Run Derby took away all of his mojo? In other news, the Yankees got some new players.

Dodgers 1, White Sox 0: Cody Bellinger singled in a run in the first inning and Clayton Kershaw tossed seven shutout innings, scattering seven hits, making that one run stand up. That’s ten straight wins for the Dodgers, who now lead the west by 10.5 games and have a +173 run differential. They have won 30 of their last 34. They are the first team to do that in 40 years.

Orioles 12, Rangers 1: Baltimore jumped all over Tyson Ross, scoring six in the first before making an out and adding four more in the fourth. The bloodbath featured two homers from Chris Davis — one of which was a grand slam — and bombs from Trey Mancini and Seth Smith. Davis knocked in six runs in all. It wasn’t just the Davis show, though, as Baltimore rattled off 16 hits in all.

Diamondbacks 11, Reds 2: The Dbacks also had a six-run inning — the fifth — as the Reds pitching continues to be an absolute horror show post-All-Star break. Nine players had extra base hits. On the mound: Ray beat Romano. Everybody loves run support. In other news, the Dbacks will have a new outfielder report for duty today.

Phillies 5, Marlins 2: It was a 2-2 game until the eighth when Maikel Franco hit a solo homer. Philly added two more in the final frame with a two-run homer from Nick Williams. Williams has played 15 games since his callup. He’s hitting .302/.333/.547 with three homers and ten driven in.

Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 4: Boston had a long weekend in which they played a marathon game followed by a Sunday day-night doubleheader. They lost on Monday and looked like they were dragging, so the last thing they needed was to go 15 innings last night. I guess 15 innings as more tolerable when you win in the end, however, and that they did as Hanley Ramirez hit a walkoff homer. Dustin Pedroia helped get them to extras, as he homered and hit an RBI double in the sixth and seventh, respectively, to tie things up after Toronto took a 3-1 lead in the fifth.

Astros 6, Mariners 2: Houston got bad news yesterday when they learned they’d be without shortstop Carlos Correa for eight weeks, but they didn’t let it faze them on the field. Evan Gattis homered twice and Brad Peacock allowed one run on three hits and struck out nine in seven innings.

Tigers 9, Royals 3: Trading away J.D. Martinez is probably a good place to mark the beginning of a new, rebuilding (or at least reshuffling) era for the Tigers, but they started that era off well enough, as Nick Castellanos homered twice, singled, tripled and drove in five, Victor Martinez drove in two and the Tigers notched 16 hits in all. Castellanos after the game:

“We’re playing with a chip on our shoulder now.”

Maybe if you did that from April through Monday they wouldn’t have traded away Martinez?

Rockies 9, Padres 7: Gerardo Parra went 3-for-3 with two walks, scoring three times, Mark Reynolds hit a three-run homer and Carlos Gonzalez knocked in three. Colorado has won three in a row, scoring 31 runs in those games.

Rays 4, Athletics 3: Tampa Bay was down by one in the ninth and rallied for two. Both runs scored with two out as Adeiny Hechavarria and Shane Peterson hit consecutive RBI singles. The Rays remain two back of the Sox.

Nationals 4, Angels 3: Bryce Harper homered over Mike Trout‘s head in the first inning and Trout homered to center in the second. That would be Trout’s only hit, however, while Harper ended up going 4-for-4 and scoring twice. Edwin Jackson made his debut for the Nats and he was good, allowing two runs on three hits in seven innings of work. Edwin Jackson has to have the weirdest career in living memory. He’s going to disappear in a few months and then show up with yet another team in, like, three years and pitch well again. Then he’s just gonna roam the Earth like Caine from “Kung-Fu,” getting into adventures and making spot starts and stuff.

Giants 2, Indians 1: Eduardo Nunez scored the tying run in the sixth when Buster Posey knocked him in and he hit a walkoff RBI single in the 10th. The win was set up by Conor Gillaspie hitting a pinch-hit double to start the rally. It was also his 30th birthday, so nice day for him. Ty Blach got a no-decision but allowed only one run on seven hits over seven innings of work.

The Giants have signed yet another backup infielder to a minor league deal

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In the future, every journeyman infielder will be in Giants camp in Scottsdale for 15 minutes — Andy Warhol

The Giants signed Aaron Hill to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He joins Jimmy Rollins, Gordon Beckham, Kelby Tomlinson Jae-gyun Hwang and Conor Gillaspie as backup infielders. Eduardo Nunez, Brandon Crawford, Joe Panik and Brandon Belt are, obviously, starters.

Hill hit .262/.336/.378 with 10 home runs last season for the Brewers and Red Sox and can play both second and third. Assuming five other dudes aren’t blocking his path.