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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:

Rockies 10, Cubs 4; Cubs 8, Rockies 1: Let’s play two! Let’s split two! Let’s realize that we’ve made no real forward progress as a result of these two games and that we’re, essentially, in the same place we were when the day began! Let’s contemplate our mortality and the notion that, ultimately, our time on Earth is inconsequential except for the way in which we touch the lives of others! Let’s remember that those others die eventually too and, absent some rare, transcendent accomplishment, the universe will go on, ignorant and uncaring of our very existence! Mark Reynolds homered in his fourth straight game in the first one. John Lackey struck out ten in seven shutout innings in the second.

Rangers 11, Padres 0: Your eyes go to the 11 runs, but they should go further down to the pitching lines, which reveal that A.J. Griffin tossed a complete game shutout, allowing only four hits. Griffin grew up in nearby El Cajon and went to the University of San Diego, so it was a nice dang homecoming. If he ate at Pokez it’d be even better. Always eat at Pokez. Joey GalloRyan Rua and Robinson Chirinos all homered.

Orioles 5, Nationals 4: Max Scherzer was cruising until the eighth, up 4-1 with six outs to go. Then Adam Jones homered to bring the O’s within two. Enter Enny Romero, who walked a guy, balked and then gave up a run-scoring double to Jonathan Schoop and a subsequent RBI single to J.J. Hardy, sending things to extras. In the 12th, Jacob Turner gave up two singles, loaded the bases with an intentional walk and then gave up a walkoff single to Mark Trumbo. Mark Trumbo hits singles? Who knew?

Mariners 10, Phillies 9: Philly had leads of 4-0 and 9-5. The M’s chipped away, however, and Taylor Motter hit a go-ahead-for-good double in the ninth inning. Ben Gamel went 4-for-5 with a three-run home run, two singles, a double and three runs scored. He keeps this up and, maybe, one day, I’ll stop writing “Mat Gamel” each time he does something.

Haha, just kidding. I’ll be writing Mat Gamel for him until the day I die. Just like I keep writing Carlos Quintana every time Jose comes up and Marcus Thames whenever I go to write about Eric. My brain just calcified sometime in the past six months. Sorry every other baseball player who starts his career going forward!

Indians 6, Blue Jays 0: Carlos Carrasco and two relievers combined on a four-hit shutout. Carrasco went seven, allowing only three hits and not walking a soul. Yan Gomes hit a three-run homer.

Reds 5, Yankees 3: Two early homers didn’t stand up for the Yankees, who saw the Reds rally for all five of their runs in the second inning. Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto each singled in two and Adam Duvall knocked in another one. CC Sabathia allowed three total earned runs in his first three starts this season. In his lat four he’s allowed 22 in 20 and two-thirds innings. Ouch.

Mets 6, Giants 1: Zack Wheeler allowed one run over six innings, with a Buster Posey homer being one of only two hits the Giants managed in the entire game. The Mets, despite all of their recent injuries and controversies, have won 8 of 11. Remember, narrative writers, if they keep this up, late April and early May will be “when the team came together to overcome adversity.” If they do not, that time will be when the season became “troubled” and “embroiled in turmoil.” Thankfully, no one will make you decide which one of those things this all is until much later, and no one will look back on what you’re saying about it now to see if you changed your story.

Cardinals 6, Marlins 5: Yet another comeback on a night filled with ’em. The Fish led 5-1 heading into the eighth. That’s when pinch-hitter Matt Adams hi5 an RBI single, Randal Grichuk hit a sac fly and Jedd Gyorko hit a two-run single to tie the game.    Pinch hitter Dexter Fowler singled home the go-ahead run in the ninth. The Cards have won five in a row and seven of ten and sit in first place in the Central.

Royals 7, Rays 6: Another team blows a decent lead. This one the Rays, who led 4-0 after two innings and 5-1 as late as the sixth. That didn’t hold up, as Sal Perez hit a two-run homer that inning to bring Kansas City closer and Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer had seventh inning RBIs to make it a one-run game. Alex Gordon sent it to extras by driving in Perez in the eighth. Moustakas played the hero in the top of the 12th by smacking a solo shot off of Diego Moreno and Kelvin Herrera shut things down in the bottom half. “Well, tough loss,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said after the game. Given that he was ejected way back in the third inning, he thankfully didn’t have to see it.

Brewers 11, Red Sox 7: Baseball game: pitchers need not inquire. The clubs combined for 18 runs on 25 hits and neither starter made it out of the fifth inning. Eric Thames hit his 13th homer and Keon Broxton drove in four for Milwaukee. Mookie Betts was 4-for-4 with four RBI on two doubles and a homer. Here’s a photo of him in action.

Twins 7, White Sox 2: Hector Santiago allowed two runs, over six and two-thirds. A 2006 White Sox draftee who played in Chicago for three seasons, Santiago is 5-1 with a 1.59 ERA against the White Sox. I’d say he “beat his old mates,” but outside of Jose Quintana there’s no one of note from the last Chisox team he played for on the current roster. I’m sure Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn would feel weird about it all if they weren’t busy playing parcheesi in the common room at whatever Old Ballplayers Home they’re living in these days.

Astros 8, Braves 3: Five runs in the first inning for Houston thanks to homers from Carloses Correa and Beltran. They came off of Bartolo Colon. Colon was playing at Burlington in the Appalachian League the year Correa was born. He and Beltran are a combined 83 years old. In any event, the Braves couldn’t come back from an early 5-0 deficit against their own mother on the comebackingest day of their lives if they had an electrified comeback machine.

Tigers 7, Diamondbacks 3Justin Upton and James McCann homered and Mikie Mahtook singled in two runs. Justin Verlander, pitching on a couple of days extra rest due to some high pitch counts in recent games, allowed three runs and struck out seven over six. Afterward he said he had too much rest and his arm was too fresh, messing with the rhythm of his curveball. Pitchers are like Italian sports cars.

Angels 7, Athletics 3: Yunel Escobar hit a three-run homer and drove in four. Albert Pujols and Ben Revere hit solo shots. The A’s had won three straight games via walkoffs, but to have done it here would’ve taken a five-run homer. Those are pretty rare.

Dodgers 4, Pirates 3: The Dodgers, however, would walk off. That thanks to pinch hitter Austin Barnes doubling in pinch runner Ross Stipling in the bottom of the 10th. Julio Urias took a no-hitter into the seventh, where it was broken up by an Andrew McCutchen leadoff double. Probably for the best as the hit came on Urias’ 95th pitch and he doesn’t do the high pitch count thing. The Dodgers have won four in a row and are creeping up on the Rockies. Who, as we noted at the outset this morning, are battling universal entropy, as are we all.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1: Chris Sale was ridiculously dominant, striking out 13 over eight shutout innings. Unfortunately, the Boston offense only managed one run while he was the pitcher of record and Craig Kimbrel gave up a homer in the bottom of the ninth, forcing extras and giving Sale the no-decision. A bases-clearing doubly by Mookie Betts in the 10th gave the game to Boston. Pitcher wins aren’t important, we know that. And his team won the game. But that’s still some tough luck for Sale. Oh, in other news, Jose Bautista went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and is now hitting .109/.242/.145 on the season. Yikes.

Brewers 7, Cardinals 5Jett Bandy and Eric Thames hit two-run homers and Travis Shaw hit a three-run blast. Milwaukee leads all of baseball with 29 homers on the year — the next closest team has 22 — and that’s putting them in the same company as some blastin’ Brewers teams of the past. Last night their beat writer sought a nickname for this crew:

Naming them after the manager, Craig Counsell, is in keeping with historical Brewers’ nicknames like “Harvey’s Wallbangers,” named after manager Harvey Keunn, and “Bambi’s Bombers” named after manager George Bamburger. Personally, however, I’d go with . . . The Thamesmen. As long as it’s OK with Chris Bosio and John Lackey.

Indians 6, Twins 2:  Trevor Bauer struck out seven and pitched into the seventh and Carlos Santana had two doubles and two RBI. Bauer balked in a run once. That’s probably a funny thing to do if you win and a thing that keeps you up late at night if you lose.

Rays 8, Tigers 1: The Rays sweep Detroit. Steven Souza homered, tripled and doubled, driving in three. Erasmo Ramirez made a rare start and allowed one run and two hits in five innings with five strikeouts. He and a couple of relievers combined to allow only five hits.

Astros 2, Angels 1: We talked a lot about Dallas Keuchel yesterday, but Lance McCullers is just as important for the Astros’ chances this year. With him pitching like this, their chances look good. McCullers shut the Angels out into the seventh. Carlos Beltran and Jake Marisnick hit solo homers for Houston’s two runs. A ninth inning Mike Trout solo shot was the only run for the Halos.

Orioles 2, Reds 1: Wade Miley allowed only one run on two hits, striking out 11. It was like a mini-Chris Sale performance, as he got the no-decision as well. In the 10th J.J. Hardy singled in Mark Trumbo for what would prove to be the winning run.

Phillies 6, Mets 4: Maikel Franco homered and doubled, ending an 0-for-22 streak as the Phillies take two of three from the Mets. It was their first series win against New York in a dog’s age. Bad news for the Mets: Yoenis Cespedes limped off the field with pain in his left hamstring. He’ll be reevaluated today, but he’s gonna miss some time.

Nationals 3, Braves 2: Washington sweeps Atlanta. R.A. Dickey was doing pretty well until the sixth when Ryan Zimmerman hit one of his flutterballs for a a two-run homer. Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 while allowing two runs on six hits in seven innings. Worth watching, again, is the back end of the Nats’ pen. Shawn Kelley, now apparently closing for Dusty Baker, retired the first two batters he faced but then allowed two runners to reach before the game ended with an Ender Inciarte flyout. There will be bullpen adventures for Washington aplenty this season.

Rangers 1, Royals 0: A 0-0 tie into the 13th inning as Andrew Cashner and Danny Duffy traded zeroes. Eight relievers between the two teams also put up goose eggs, but in the 13th Travis Wood retired one batter before Joey Gallo doubled to right Delino DeShields singled him in for the walkoff win.

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 1: Clayton Richard allowed one run while scattering nine hits in six and two-thirds. Wil Myers and Austin Hedges homered and Erick Aybar doubled in two.

Athletics 9, Mariners 6: Ten pitchers used and 15 runs scored yet the game took just over three hours. I feel like that many pitching changes and runs scored would usually lead to a much longer game elsewhere. There have been a lot of short games in the Coliseum so far this year. I wonder if they do something different there than they do everyplace else. Some psychological thing that makes pitchers want to work faster or batters stay in the box longer.