Max Scherzer

Getty Images

And That Happened: Saturday’s Scores and Highlights

6 Comments

From Rio Ruiz’s first major league home run to Mike Clevinger’s first seven-inning shutout, here are the rest of Saturday’s scores and highlights:

Braves 5, Nationals 2: The Braves hammered Max Scherzer and Matt Albers for three home runs on Saturday, putting the cherry on a week that has already seen five wins in seven games. No home run was sweeter than that of rookie third baseman Rio Ruiz, whose 372-foot bomb in the second inning was also his second extra base hit in the major leagues.

Pirates 6, Phillies 3: Whatever glimmer of hope Jeremy Hellickson gave the Phillies on Friday was gone by Saturday afternoon. Vince Velasquez hurled his fourth loss of the year, exiting after 5 1/3 innings with five runs, two walks and six strikeouts. The Pirates, meanwhile, picked up their fourth win of the week on a four-run inning from Francisco Cervelli and Adam Frazier, though it wasn’t quite enough to dig them out of last place in the NL Central.

Athletics 8, Red Sox 3: All eyes were on the A’s on Saturday. Mark Canha, Khris Davis and Chad Pinder dominated in the fifth inning, muscling three home runs to put the A’s up 7-3 after five. Jed Lowrie returned in the seventh to unleash the final home run of the day, a 409-foot blast that landed in the right field bleachers and cemented Oakland’s third consecutive win.

Rays 9, Yankees 5: A feud between Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi and home plate umpire Scott Barry escalated during the club’s 9-5 loss on Saturday. Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild told Barry that he missed a few pitches during Logan Morrison‘s at-bat against Giovanny Gallegos, which eventually led to a two-RBI single in the fifth inning. Both Rothschild and Girardi (who also claimed Barry had been giving his players odd looks) were ejected, but not before the skipper expressed the full extent of his irritation:

Reds 12, Rockies 8: No pitcher was safe at Great American Ball Park this weekend. Both Tim Adleman and Antonio Senzatela had vanished by the sixth inning, leaving 12 runs in their wake — including the Rockies’ six-run spread in the fifth. The Reds returned in the sixth with a six-run spread of their own, grabbing the go-ahead run on a three-run shot by Scott Schebler, his 11th of the season:

Indians 3, Astros 0: Mike Clevinger hasn’t looked this good since… well, maybe ever. The Indians’ right-hander hurled seven pristine innings against the league-leading Astros on Saturday, holding them to two hits and two walks and setting down a career-high eight strikeouts. Backed by the dynamic duo of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, each of whom also set down scoreless innings, the shutout was in the books in just two and a half hours.

Mets 7, Angels 5: Jose Reyes isn’t exactly having a banner year, but he managed to worm his way into the exclusive 2,000-hit club on Saturday. He lined a base hit off of the Angels’ Alex Meyer in the first inning, joining Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Beltran, Ichiro Suzuki, Albert Pujols, Robinson Cano and Matt Holliday as the eighth active major leaguer with at least 2,000 hits under his belt.

Giants 3, Cardinals 1 (13 innings): The Giants currently rank second-worst among major league teams with just 154 runs scored in 44 games, good for an average of 4.53 runs per game. Their focus on small ball was evident during Saturday’s extra-inning win, driven by eight shutout innings from Jeff Samardzija and a shutdown performance by the ‘pen.

Rookie sensation Christian Arroyo finally broke through in the 13th inning, smashing a one-out, two-run double to the left field wall to get the Giants on the board. Nick Hundley followed with a sac fly in the next at-bat and Mark Melancon did the rest, allowing the Cardinals a single run before shutting the rest of the lineup down for his eighth save of the season.

Tigers 9, Rangers 3: The Rangers’ 10-game win streak came to an abrupt and dramatic end on Saturday. Justin Verlander led the charge against Texas, silencing the Rangers’ bats through three frames before allowing a two-run double in the fourth. Jonathan Lucroy returned for a solo shot in the sixth inning, but that’s about as much damage as the Rangers could muster. The Tigers, on the other hand, lost no time building their lead, going back-to-back-to-back with three long blasts in the first inning:

The win brought the Tigers within 1.5 games of the division lead, though they might find it difficult to unseat the 21-17 Twins (a concept that, for some reason, doesn’t seem entirely ludicrous in 2017).

Diamondbacks 9, Padres 1: The Diamondbacks continued building their case for first place in the NL West on Saturday, stymieing the Padres’ efforts with a nine-run effort and chasing right-hander Luis Perdomo out of the fourth inning. They only needed one inning’s worth of runs to secure their 26th win of the year, however, putting up a five-run lead on Paul Goldschmidt‘s two-run single, Jake Lamb‘s RBI double and a center field blast for Chris Herrmann:

White Sox 16, Mariners 1: It was a big day for the White Sox, who netted Cuban prospect Luis Robert and celebrated with a season-high 16 runs against the Mariners. Seattle right-hander Yovani Gallardo was tagged for 10 runs in his fourth loss of the season, spreading nine hits, two walks and four strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings. The bullpen fared little better against Chicago’s explosive offense, giving up another five runs in the seventh inning with Todd Frazier‘s two-RBI single and a pair of home runs from Matt Davidson and Willy Garcia:

Garcia’s blast was his first in the majors, a double-deck shot that put the White Sox up 15-1 through seven innings. The win marked the Sox’ highest-scoring game since April 2014, and their highest-scoring game against the Mariners since 2000.

Royals, Twins (postponed): The Twins will host a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon, led by Minnesota lefty Adalberto Mejia and Kansas City right-hander Ian Kennedy for Game 1 and followed by Phil Hughes and an unnamed starter in Game 2.

Brewers, Cubs (postponed): Just because there wasn’t baseball at Wrigley Field on Saturday doesn’t mean there wasn’t fun to be had:

Kenley Jansen threw an immaculate inning

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
16 Comments

Kenley Jansen threw the third immaculate inning — completing an inning with three strikeouts on the minimum nine pitches — in the span of eight days on Thursday night against the Marlins. He initially came in to get the final out of the eighth inning, when the Marlins threatened with runners on first and second. Jansen got J.T. Realmuto on a called strike three to end the frame.

In the top of the ninth, Jansen hit for himself with runners on first and second base and two outs. He hit a ground ball that deflected off of first baseman Justin Bour, loading the bases. The Dodgers would tack on a couple of extra runs to make the lead 7-2.

Then, in the bottom half of the inning, Jansen threw nine pitches, all strikes against Derek Dietrich, J.T. Riddle, and Ichiro Suzuki to end the game.

Jansen joins Craig Kimbrel (May 11) and Max Scherzer (May 14) as authors of the three immaculate innings in the last eight days. Drew Storen also accomplished the feat on April 18 for four total this season. Baseball saw three combined immaculate innings in 2015 and ’16 combined.

During the offseason, Jansen re-signed with the Dodgers on a five-year, $80 million contract. So far, so good. He has eight saves, a 1.13 ERA, and a 32/0 K/BB ratio in 16 innings this season.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images
13 Comments

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.