Mike Moustakas

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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: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mets 9, Cubs 4: A five-run eighth inning, kicked off by Curtis Granderson‘s 300th career homer and extended by Lucas Duda‘s three-run blast put the Mets ahead comfortably. Neil Walker left the game with hamstring injury as he ran down the line. That’s a blow for the Mets, as he’s been en fuego of late, batting .321 with 23 RBI, 7 HR, 9 doubles & 26 runs scored over his previous 36 games. Also: Kyle Schwarber hit a moon shot homer.

Diamondbacks 2, Tigers 1: Jordan Zimmermann pitched his best game of the year (8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER) but it didn’t matter because Taijuan Walker, Randall Delgado and Fernando Rodney combined to pitch a better one. The two runs scored by the Dbacks in the first inning held up. I watched this game and, as it unfolded, my belief that Zimmermann looks like the well-meaning dad in a TV movie was solidified. The one who doesn’t see eye-to-eye with his teenage daughter and whose misunderstanding of her leads to a lot of drama in the middle section, but who toward the end, when some sort of teenage crisis emerges, shows that he’s always there for her, despite their differences. He’s a good man, and his daughter comes to realize it too:

“Heather, I know the dance is important to you, but there are REASONS your mother and I are not letting you go.”

Blue Jays 7, Rays 6: Kendrys Morales drove in four via a three-run homer and a fielder’s choice, but it took an eighth inning Russell Martin homer for the Jays to win after they coughed up a lead. Also, this came from the AP game story, as it stood at 6am this morning:

Obviously it’s Francisco, not Nelson, who hasn’t played since 1998. But I don’t offer this as mockery. Any of you who have been reading this feature for any length of time know that I routinely sub in the first name of long-retired players when a current player has the same last name. Carlos Quintana for Jose, etc. I am TERRIBLE about that. Whoever this AP writer is has my sympathy and thanks for making me not feel so alone in this old man habit.

Braves 13, Nationals 2Brandon Phillips had four hits and three RBI and Julio Teheran had a strong outing as the Braves takes two of three from the Nats. How did you pitch so well against a tough team, Julio?

“I just have to stay focused and execute pitches,” Teheran said. “That’s something I was doing really good — getting ahead in counts and throwing strike one. It was big today.”

Good to know.

Royals 7, Giants 2: Mike Moustakas, Jorge Bonifacio and Lorenzo Cain all homered as the Royals win both in a two-game series. Two-game series are dumb, by the way, but getting only two games in one of the best road cities in the country seems like a super big ripoff for the Royals. They just had three in San Diego and now get four in L.A. so that’s OK, but I’d want more than two days in San Francisco.

Padres 4, Reds 2: Hunter Renfroe hit a two-run shot that tied the score 2-2 in the sixth inning and an RBI groundout for the game’s final run. In between Franchy Cordero hit a go-ahead RBI single. This is the third day in a row I have written “Franchy Cordero,” and this fact makes me enormously happy. Franchy. Franchy. Franchy. Franchy.

Marlins 11, Athletics 6: The A’s took an early 4-0 lead, but then Marcel Ozuna and Tyler Moore hit second inning homers and the comeback began. Ozuna’s third inning groundout RBI tied things up and Dee Gordon‘s RBI single in the fourth put the fish ahead for good. Ozuna knocked in three, Gordon and Christian Yelich knocked in two a piece.

Angels 7, Yankees 5: Leads of 4-0 weren’t very safe yesterday. The Yankees leapt out to that score in the first inning, but the bad Michael Pineda showed up in Anaheim last night, allowing five runs on ten hits in six innings. Andrelton Simmons‘ two-run homer in the seventh gave the Angels the winning margin, but credit to Parker Bridwell and Blake Parker — the Parkers — for picking up a shaky Matt Shoemaker and tossing five innings of one-run ball in middle relief.

Brewers 7, Cardinals 6: Milwaukee mounted an early 6-0 lead. That proved safe, even if the Cards made it close. Three of those early runs came off the bat of Eric Thames, who hit a two-run homer and doubled in a run. And yes, I have written “Marcus Thames” a good half dozen times this year, though I don’t think any have made it to the final post yet.

Astros 13, Rangers 2: Top prospect Derek Fisher got called up yesterday and he didn’t take long to make a good first impression. Fisher homered and had an RBI single in the Astros’ nine-run sixth inning. Factoid from the AP gamer: Fisher is the first player to get the first two hits of his career in the same inning since Adam Laroche did it for the Braves on April 7, 2004. Which means it’s only 12 more years until Fisher retires in a huff because his kid isn’t allowed to be the bench coach or whatever.

Although, really, he may have grandkids already. His bio says he’s only 23, but this looks like a guy who has been playing for 13 years and is just easing into part-time play:

He could play Jordan Zimmermann’s golf buddy in the TV movies. Says stuff like, “I’ve had the same trouble with my daughter, Jordan. But Julie and I are seeing things more eye-to-eye now. You and Heather will soon too.”

Mariners 6, Twins 4Mike Zunino hit a three-run homer. He’s hitting .396 with five home runs since being called up a couple of weeks ago. Mitch Haniger hit a two-run homer too, as the M’s put up an early 5-0 lead on Ervin Santana. The Twins mounted a comeback but it was too little, too late. Eduardo EscobarByron Buxton and Miguel Sano all homered for Minnesota.

Orioles 10, White Sox 6: The White Sox blew a 5-1 lead here, thanks in part to a Wellington Castillo grand slam. Castillo drove in five overall. Trey Mancini had a double and two singles and scored three times. Matt Davidson homered in his third straight game for the Sox.

Dodgers 6, Indians 4: Andrew Miller is supposed to be close to unhittable, but no one has told that to the Dodgers. One night after Cody Bellinger — I will call him Clay at some point — homered off of the Indians’ relief ace, Kiké Hernandez hit a tiebreaking homer off of him in the eighth inning. Miller gave up four runs in two-thirds of an inning, in fact, as the Indians fall to .500. The Dodgers, meanwhile, have won six straight.

Rockies 5, Pirates 1German Marquez allowed only one run over five innings and Ian Desmond homered as the Rockies snap a three-game losing streak. Marquez also knocked in a run on a squeeze play. Benches cleared briefly in this one when Marquez hit Francisco Cervelli with a first pitch fastball, but it was clearly unintentional and only shade, not punches, was thrown.

Red Sox 7, Phillies 3: Mookie Betts hit two homers, hit an RBI double while collecting four hits in all, driving in three. Xander Bogaerts drove in three as well. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that it’s not the Phillies’ year.

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 14, Orioles 3: Aaron Judge went 4-for-4 with two homers, one of which was the longest home run hit in baseball this year. He also doubled, walked and scored four times. Judge has 21 homers on the year. Eight of them have come against the Orioles in a mere 12 games. Lost in all of that was Starlin Castro driving in five. New York has won five in a row and has scored 55 runs in those five games. They’re just ridiculous right now, and they’re being led by the most ridiculously good story of 2017.

Indians 4, White Sox 2: Carlos Carrasco allowed two runs in five and a third and got pulled when the White Sox were rallying. The Indians bullpen, however, does not abide rallies. Andrew Miller came in to put out the fire and he, Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen smothered whatever embers there were in the Chicago bats, tossing three and two-thirds of one-hit relief in total. When Cleveland has those horses rested and ready to go like they did here, the game is short for the opposition.

Rangers 5, Nationals 1: Austin Bibens-Dirkx allowed a run and three hits in seven innings while making his second big league start. In other news I refuse to believe that someone with a name like “Austin Bibens-Dirkx” is a 32-year-old rookie pitcher for the Texas Rangers and not am intense, high-powered, flamboyantly-dressed British magazine publisher with a dark secret. I mean, honestly, if someone showed you these two guys and asked you pick which one you think is named “Austin Bibens-Dirkx,” which would you choose?

Dang right.

Oh, Max Scherzer lost the game but he also struck out ten and topped 2,000 strikeouts for his career.

Giants 13, Twins 8: The Giants’ offense broke out just in time to help them avoid a three-game sweep. Buster Posey had three hits and four RBI. Hunter Pence added three doubles and scored three times. Oh, speaking of baseball names: it’s a well-known fact that every person named “Hunter” is or was at one time a top baseball prospect. Really, if you ever meet a Hunter, it is 100% the case that they reached at least Double-A for some organization.

Rays 5, Athletics 4Mallex Smith was called up on Friday to take the spot of the injured Kevin Kiermaier and quickly contributed, going 8-for-14 over the weekend including three hits in this one as the Rays take three of four from Oakland. The A’s have dropped eight straight series on the road.

Mets 2, Braves 1: Seth Lugo, who has been on the DL all year, made his season debut and gave up only one run and six hits, striking out seven and walking two as New York takes three of four. Lugo also doubled and scored. Mets pitchers have given up only nine runs in the past five games.

Pirates 3, Marlins 1Ivan Nova pitched six shutout innings and catcher Elias Diaz drove in two of the Pirates’ three runs and scored the third one. Ichiro hit a homer. It was his second of the year. He last hit more than one homer in a year in 2013. That doesn’t exactly validate that weird “Ichiro could totally have been a home run hitter if he wanted to” thing that used to float around baseball circles, but it’s kind of cool anyway. With Bartolo Colon sort of imploding this year it’s good to see another of baseball’s 40-something club still functioning.

Angels 12, Astros 6: The Angles took a 3-0 lead, the Astros scored six to take a 6-3 lead and then the Angels said “screw this,” and piled on twelve unanswered runs after that. Unanswered on the scoreboard at least. In the dugout they were probably answered by A.J. Hinch with a bunch of profanity and stuff. Eric Young Jr. drove in four, including a three run homer. Albert Pujols homered too. Young is hitting .318/.412/.523 with seven driven in and four stolen bases in the 13 games he’s played since taking Mike Trout‘s place on the roster. That’s not Wally Pipp/Lou Gehrig stuff, but it’s been a nice pick-me-up for the Angels.

Cardinals 6, Phillies 5: After a seven game losing streak, the Cardinals shook up their coaching staff on Friday afternoon. Then they won three straight over the weekend. Coincidence?! Well, yeah, probably actually. That and playing the hapless Phillies (Note: the Phillies weren’t hapless from 2007-2010, as they had Happ). Dexter Fowler hit a three-run homer.

Cubs 7, Rockies 5: The Cubs salvage one here and snap their five-game losing streak. In so doing they snap the Rockies seven-game winning streak. Addison RussellKyle SchwarberMiguel Montero and Ben Zobrist all homered as the Cubs climb back to .500.

Blue Jays 4, Mariners 0Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer and drove in three. J.A. Happ tossed six shutout innings and the pen took it from there. And it really was a group effort: it took six Blue Jays relievers — six! — to record the final nine outs. If Billy Martin were alive today and you told him that a team won 4-0 and needed six guys for the last three innings he’d . . . well, be super drunk and angry and would probably try to pick a fight with you because he doesn’t “like you FACE,” but the point remains. I guess. I don’t know.

Dodgers 9, Reds 7: Cincinnati had a 7-3 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth but the Dodgers rallied for six. Four of those came on a Corey Seager grand slam. Cody Bellinger hit a solo shot to lead off that evening. The Dodgers may be the $200-gabillion dollar team and all of that but the low-paid kids are pretty dang good, eh?

Diamondbacks 11, Brewers 1: Robbie Ray continues his torrid run, striking out 12 batters in six and two-thirds shutout innings. Ray is 5-0 in his last five starts and has given up just one run over 37 innings while striking out 48 in that span. Paul Goldschmidt had a grand slam.

Royals 8, Padres 3: Two homers for Mike Moustakas. Jake Junis allowed three runs over seven innings. I’m inclined to riff on his name too, but these recaps are already kinda late today, so let’s move on.

Tigers 8, Red Sox 3: The Tigers avoid a sweep thanks in part to a Justin Upton grand slam in the course of a five-run fifth inning. Nicholas Castellanos added a two-run homer. This game took more than four hours. Which made me happy that the kids commandeered my TV last night to watch the Tony Awards, preventing me from sitting through this.

What, don’t all 11-year-old boys and 13-year-old girls watch the Tony Awards?