Jason Vargas

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And That Happened: Saturday’s Scores and Highlights

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

Athletics 10, White Sox 2: Matt Olson, Jaycob Brugman and Franklin Barreto stole the spotlight on Saturday, going deep for the first home runs of their respective major league careers. Not only was it a franchise first for the Athletics, but it was the first time three rookies accomplished the feat for any major league team to date. The last trio to pull it off did so for the Kansas City Packers of the Federal League, when Duke Kenworthy, Art Kruger and John Potts went yard for their first home runs in 1914.

Lost in all the mayhem? James Shieldscareer 2,000th strikeout, a 1-2 knuckle curveball that caught Khris Davis looking to end the second inning.

Rangers 8, Yankees 1: Aaron Judge may be unstoppable, but the Yankees are not. The rookie slugger collected his league-best 26th home run on Saturday afternoon, putting the Yankees on the board with a solo shot during the sixth inning.

It was a mistake Texas’ right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx wouldn’t make again, shutting down four of the next five batters he faced and leaving the bullpen to polish off the win with two scoreless frames.

Royals 3, Blue Jays 2: Jason Vargas may not have the pinpoint control of Ivan Nova or the sheer strikeout power of Chris Sale, but as of Saturday afternoon, he now owns the best record in the American League. He cruised to his 11th win against the Blue Jays, spinning seven innings of two-run ball and striking out just two of 27 batters. Marco Estrada matched him pitch for pitch, but lost the edge after Alex Gordon tripled to break the 2-2 tie in the seventh.

Nationals 18, Reds 3: It’s safe to say this was not the season debut Homer Bailey had been anticipating. The veteran right-hander was activated from the 60-day disabled list on Saturday and lasted just 1 2/3 innings against the Nationals’ blistering offensive drive. A six-run second inning forced Bailey’s early exit and brought his ERA to a bloated 43.20 mark after he surrendered eight runs on six hits and two walks. Trea Turner and Michael Taylor were the centerpiece of the Nationals’ 18-run drubbing, combining for nine hits, two home runs and five RBI as the Nats coasted to their 45th win of the year.

Orioles 8, Rays 3: Goodbye, ugly losing streak. Hello, Dylan Bundy. The Orioles pulled within five games of the division lead on Saturday, giving up fewer than five runs for the first time since June 2. Bundy led the charge, issuing three runs on five hits and four walks and striking out eight over seven innings for his eighth win of the season. An explosive four-run effort propelled the club to a comfortable lead in the seventh inning, while Manny Machado‘s eighth-inning sac fly put the finishing touches on an 8-3 finale.

Cubs 5, Marlins 3: After 12 years in the majors, Cubs’ veteran lefty Jon Lester still had some career firsts left to record — including his first win against the Marlins. He cut through Miami’s lineup with expert precision during Saturday’s win, giving up a J.T. Realmuto home run in the first inning and settling down to retire 18 of the next 20 batters he faced. The next team on his list? The Red Sox, whom the Cubs are not scheduled to face this season (barring a chance meeting in the World Series, of course).

Braves 3, Brewers 1: Is R.A. Dickey… good again? The knuckleballer commanded his third quality start on Saturday, squelching the Brewers’ offense with just one run and six strikeouts over seven innings. His only snafu came in the first inning, when he turned to pick off Travis Shaw at third base and was instead penalized with a balk, his first of the year.

The Freeze, meanwhile, was not nearly as successful as his parent club, missing the finish line by mere inches during the customary between-inning sprint around the warning track.

Twins 4, Indians 2: There’s nothing more tragic than a solid pitching effort gone to waste. Corey Kluber allowed two runs and fanned 13 batters for his fifth quality start and second no-decision of the month, dropping what looked like a guaranteed win after Brian Dozier and Chris Gimenez reclaimed the lead with a pair of home runs in the eighth and ninth.

Angels 6, Red Sox 3: Not everyone was as delighted about Kole Calhoun‘s run-scoring balk as the Angels were. Calhoun plated a run in the seventh inning after Fernando Abad stopped his delivery on a 3-1 pitch, boosting the Angels’ lead to three runs and eventually securing their 6-3 win. Neither Abad nor Red Sox manager John Farrell saw eye-to-eye with crew chief Bill Miller, however, and contested the ruling after Abad claimed that he inadvertently balked after seeing Calhoun call for a time out.

Mets 5, Giants 2: From injuries to slumps, it’s been a rough ride for the Mets this month. Enter Jacob deGrom, who crafted his third consecutive quality start with eight innings of one-run ball, striking out seven and going 1-for-3 with a single against the Giants’ Johnny Cueto. The Giants, on the other hand, became the first team to record 50 losses this season after the bullpen blew a 1-1 tie in the eighth.

Pirates 7, Cardinals 3: Look, there may be plenty of legitimate baseball-related reasons to skip out on a wedding reception. I can’t think of any compelling enough to leave your own wedding, however, at least not just to watch Lance Lynn give up seven runs during the Cardinals’ 40th loss of the year.

Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

Dodgers 4, Rockies 0: Clayton Kershaw is still very, very good. After faltering in a six-run outing against the Mets last week, the Dodgers’ ace returned with six shutout innings against the Rockies, striking out eight and matching Jason Vargas’ league-best 11 wins. He manufactured his own run support, too, drawing a bases-loaded walk in the third inning to cement the club’s four-run lead:

Padres 7, Tigers 3: The Tigers continued their eight-game skid with a tough loss at PETCO Park on Saturday, marring six solid innings from Anibal Sanchez with a five-run implosion in the eighth inning. Andrew Romine put up two of the Tigers’ three runs on an RBI double and single, but wasn’t able to single-handedly rally from a four-run deficit in the ninth.

Astros 5, Mariners 2: Sometimes, it’s difficult to identify the exact moment when a game swings out of control. Other times, it’s all too obvious. For the Mariners, that moment could be traced back to one line drive in the seventh inning:

In Mitch Haniger‘s defense, clearing 69 feet in under five seconds is a feat few can pull off, even with the game on the line.

Diamondbacks 9, Phillies 2: Nothing the Diamondbacks and Phillies did — not even the Ben Lively home run that made this play possible — was as impressive as the coordination and grace of this lone D-backs fan:

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 5, Twins 2: The Indians had been looking up at the Twins in the standings for much of the season, but this series seemed like a turning point. Cleveland completed a four game sweep yesterday, thanks to Edwin Encarnacion hitting two dingers and Tevor Bauer allowing two runs while striking out eight over seven innings of work. Jose Ramirez gets special honors for abusing the Twins all weekend long. He went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and two runs scored in this one. For the series, Ramirez was 11-for-18 with four doubles, two homers, six runs and four RBI.

Rockies 7, Giants 5: Have a day Nolan Freakin’ Arenado. He hit for the cycle, completing it with a walk-off three-run home run off of Mark Melancon, turning a 5-4 deficit into a 7-5 win. The Rockies are in first place and are tied for the most wins in baseball. As for the Giants, they are losers of six in a row, sit in last place in the NL West and have a better record than only one other team in baseball: the Phillies. This time last year San Francisco had the best record in baseball and we asked if they’d continue the even year World Series magic. Now we have to ask whether it’s time to blow it all up.

Athletics 4, Yankees 3: A week ago yesterday The Yankees hopped a flight to L.A. riding high. Yesterday afternoon they got back the plane to New York with a 1-6 road trip behind them. If there was a soundtrack to all of this it was probably “California Love” when they headed west and “Free Fallin'” when heading home. Khris Davis hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the third, right on the heels of Chad Pinder‘s two-run double tied it at two. New York would probably like to forget about California now, but they start a home series against the Angels on Tuesday.

Red Sox 6, Astros 5: Xander Bogaerts hit two homers and hit an RBI single in the seventh — his fourth RBI of the game — to give Boston the winning margin in this one. With the win the Red Sox move into a virtual tie for first place with the Yankees.

Blue Jays 7, White Sox 3: The Jays spotted the Sox a 3-0 lead by the fifth inning, but Russell Martin hit a two-run homer to tie things up in the sixth and Ryan Goins RBI triple two batters later gave Toronto the lead for good. Kendrys Morales hit a two-run homer to rub things in an inning later.

Rays 9, Tigers 1: Jacob Faria allowed one run over seven innings and struck out nine, but he didn’t have to be that good given the beating the Rays put on Buck Farmer (2.1 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 3 HR). Farmer has made four starts this year. In the first two he tossed shutout ball into the seventh inning and came away with wins. In his last two he’s allowed 13 runs in four and two-thirds innings. Steven Souza drove in four. Logan Morrison knocked in three. LoMo is having an improbably good season.

Dodgers 8, Reds 7: Kenta Maeda allowed one run over five and doubled in a couple of runs. Bronson Arroyo allowed five runs over three. It may very well have been Arroyo’s last appearance in the majors. If so, a tip of the hat to Arroyo, who most thought was done three years ago and who had himself a damn fine career. As for the rest of the game, Logan Forsythe and Justin Turner homered for L.A. The Reds almost rallied all the way back from an 8-1 deficit but it was not to be. Cincinnati has lost nine in a row.

Mets 5, Nationals 1: Jacob deGrom allowed one run — unearned — in eight innings, allowing only three singles. He smacked his first career homer to boot. Trea Turner stole four bases in a losing effort.

Cubs 7, Pirates 1: Anthony Rizzo continues to take out of the leadoff spot, knocking three hits including a double and a homer in this one. Willson Contreras drove in three runs. John Lackey allowed two hits and struck out four over six innings.

Orioles 8, Cardinals 5: Ubaldo Jimenez had lost his starter’s job but the guy who took it from him sucked too so Jimenez got another crack at it. Not a bad crack, allowing two runs on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks over seven innings as the O’s take two of three from St. Louis. Now to see if he can string a couple together in a row.

Braves 5, Marlins 4: Brandon Phillips hit a walkoff single. He also hit a walkoff single on Saturday night. Phillips is having a solid year for Atlanta, hitting .306/.351/.431. Not bad for a guy who was picked up a couple of days before pitchers and catchers reported.

Diamondbacks 5, Phillies 4: Arizona jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first and then blew it. Gregor Blanco tied it back up in the ninth with a single, however, and Reymond Fuentes, who came into the game as a pinch runner in the eighth put the snakes ahead to stay with a homer in the 10th.

Brewers 2, Padres 1: Jimmy Nelson tossed a complete game, allowing one run on six hits and striking out ten. That was his first career complete game in 89 starts over five seasons. Hernan Perez and Manny Pina hit solo homers in the sixth for all of the scoring Nelson would need.

Mariners 7, Rangers 3: Texas beat the M’s by a combined score of 20-6 on Friday and Saturday nights, but the M’s salvaged one here thanks to Kyle Seager‘s three double, three RBI afternoon. Danny Valencia hit a two-run homer off of Yu Darvish in the first as Seattle scored four that inning and never trailed.

Royals 7, Angels 3: Jason Vargas keeps on doin’ the do, picking up his 10th win of the year. Mike Moustakas hit a three-run double and Salvador Perez hit a three-run homer in support. Vargas’ career high in wins was 14 with the Mariners in 2012. This is only the fourth time he’s gotten to double digit wins in his 12-year career.

 

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Dodgers 7, Indians 5: Just the other day I said something about how doomed you are if you have to go at the end of the Indians bullpen. It’s till daunting, but the Dodgers showed last night that it’s not a complete lot cause. Here Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer each allowed two runs a piece before Terry Francona called on Andrew Miller. Miller got the last out of the sixth and made it through the seventh unscathed. Cody Bellinger led off the eighth inning. A rookie lefty like him would seem to be a dead duck against baseball’s top relief ace.

Bellinger had different ideas, though, and took Miller deep to break the 2-2 tie. Miller made way for Bryan Shaw, also a tough one, but he walked two guys, one of whom came around to score on a throwing error. Bellinger would homer for a second time in the ninth to give the Dodgers some needed insurance. The kid is still making adjustments, but he’s slugging .630 on the year. He’s on a 42-homer pace despite spending almost the first month of the season in the minors. Oh, and Yasiel Puig flipped a fan off:

Nationals 10, Braves 5: Ryan Zimmerman came back after missing a few games due to a sore back. His back seemed fine as he smacked two homers as the Nats romped, ending their losing streak. Daniel Murphy homered, doubled and had three hits and drove in two. He also got into a little tiff with second base umpire Alan Porter. Normally, if a player doesn’t like an ump’s positioning for some reason, he’ll ask him to move a bit. The umpire almost always obliges. Porter got testy:

People cite instances like this when they call for robot umpires, but frankly, I’d be way more upset if a robot said “F— you” to me than a person with actual feelings.

Cardinals 6, Brewers 0; Brewers 8, Cardinals 5: Jose Martinez hit two homers and a sac fly in game 1 of the doubleheader, backing Lance Lynn who tossed five shutout innings. In the nightcap, Keon Broxton and Travis Shaw hit solo home runs and combined for five RBI as the Brewers and Cardinals split. That’s a lot of baseball played only to end up with a complete lack of movement according to Newtonian mechanics.

Pirates 5, Rockies 2: Andrew McCutchen hit two homers and John Jaso hit a pinch-hit two-run homer to break a 1-1 tie in the seventh. McCutchen is hitting .396 with four home runs and 13 RBI since being dropped from third to sixth in the batting order on May 26.

Rays 8, Blue Jays 1: Jake Faria scattered six hits over six and a third innings, striking out eight and giving up one run in his second big league start. Corey Dickerson went 4-for-5 with his 15th homer of the year. Taylor Featherston  and Logan Morrison also went deep.  The Rays have won six of seven.

Red Sox 4, Phillies 3: Second game in a row between these two which ended with a walkoff base hit in extra innings. Here Andrew Benintendi did the honors, knocking in Xander Bogaerts with a single in the 12th. Benintendi also made a key defensive play, throwing out Howie Kendrick at home in the eighth inning as he tried to score the go-ahead run. The Phillies have lost seven in a row.

Diamondbacks 7, Tigers 6: David Peralta led off the ninth inning and swung at the first pitch from Tigers closer Justin Wilson. He deposited that pitch in the seats to break a 6-6 tie. That it was even that close is sort of crazy as the Snakes had a 6-0 lead heading into the sixth and the Tigers had barely been able to touch starter Zack Greinke. The roughed him up for five that frame and the stage was set for the late inning heroics.

Cubs 14, Mets 3Ian Happ hit a grand slam. Antony Rizzo — batting leadoff! — led off the game with a homer. The rout was on, but the Cubs still got a strong start from Jon Lester struck out 10 and allowed one run and five hits over seven.

Marlins 8, Athletics 1: Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer after missing a game by being hit by a pitch in the wrist. Nothin’s stopping him lately. He’s batting .354 with six homers in 18 games since moving to the No. 2 spot in the batting order. Ichiro Suzuki had a pinch-hit single. That was his 364th career hit in interleague play, tying Derek Jeter’s major league record. There are more hallowed marks I suppose, but a record is a record.

White Sox 6, Orioles 1: Give credit to the Orioles pitching staff for keeping it under ten this time. Matt Davidson hit a grand slam and Derek Holland allowed one run over six.

Twins 20, Mariners 7: Speaking of double digit run totals, the Twins allowed more than ten runs in back-to-back losses — 14-3 to the Mariners, 13-8 to the Giants — entering this one. Here they turned the tables by scoring 20. Eddie Rosario homered three times — two two-run homers and a solo shot. Max Kepler and Brian Dozier also homered. The team had 28 hits in all, with every starter in the lineup getting at least one. Seven Twins had two or more RBI. Kennys Vargas, Jason Castro, and Rosario each had four hits. Eduardo Escobar had five hits. Bad day at the office for M’s pitchers.

Rangers 4, Astros 2: Rougned Odor hit a solo homer in the seventh inning and a tie-breaking two-run shot in the eighth to help the Rangers to their fifth straight win. Odor has hit four homers in the last eight games.

Angels 3, Yankees 2: Eric Young Jr. was the hero of the game, tying it up with a solo homer in the eighth and the winning RBI single with two outs in the 11th. The Yankees winning streak is snapped at six. And some bad news accompanied it: CC Sabathia left the game with a strained hamstring. He’ll be heading to the DL, no doubt. We’ll update this later this morning.

Padres 6, Reds 2: Clayton Richard took a shutout into the ninth. He didn’t hold it or complete the game as the Reds mounted a modest little rally, but two runs over eight and two-third is not bad. Franchy Cordero hit two homers. Also: I like to say “Franchy Cordero.” Say it. It’s fun!

Royals 8, Giants 1: The Royals pounded six runs in the sixth inning and seven overall against the Giants starter Ty Blech. Er, sorry, Ty Blach. Jason Vargas allowed one run over seven and notched his ninth win of the year. Where the hell did this guy come from?