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Four of the top five best-selling jerseys belong to Cubs players

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Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association just released their list of the most popular jerseys. Since the end of the 2016 season, more Kris Bryant jerseys have been sold than that of any other player. He has the most since the end of 2015 as well.

Second on the list is his teammate, Anthony Rizzo. Then Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, at number three. Another Cub, Javier Baez, is fourth. Fifth is yet another Cub, Kyle Schwarber. That’s right: four of the five best-selling jerseys belong to Cubs players.

Here’s the entire top 20:

Major League Baseball’s press release makes a big deal of the fact that the average age of players on this list is 26-and-a-half, which is more than 1.5 years younger than any previous list’s average age. I suppose David Ortiz retiring drops that average age quite a bit.

Baez and Schwarber are two of six new faces cracking the top 20. Also new to the list: Corey Seager, Gary Sánchez, Mookie Betts and Francisco Lindor.

Bartolo Colon was robbed.

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.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

White Sox 4, Yankees 1: The Sox snap the Yankees’ eight-game winning streak thanks to Miguel Gonzalez shutting the Bombers out until the ninth inning. And thanks to the Attack of the Garcias, with Leury homering in the third and Avisail homering in the seventh.

Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 7: The Red Sox had a four run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, with the recently-promoted Brian Johnson providing some solid work. The Blue Jays rallied for three in the final frame, but fell just short. Mookie Betts, Mitch Moreland and Pablo Sandoval had three hits a piece.

Reds 9, Orioles 3: Adam Duvall hit a grand slam and Bronson Arroyo won his first game since June 15, 2014 with five innings of three-run ball. Arroyo is the first pitcher 40 or over to win a game for the Reds since Boom-Boom Beck beat the Phillies on May 31, 1945. They don’t make nicknames like they used to.

Phillies 6, Mets 2: Extra innings are often nail-biting affairs. Then there’s this one, in which the Phillies scored four runs in the top of the tenth, making the bottom half something of a pro-forma exercise. It wouldn’t have even gotten to extras if it wasn’t for Jose Reyes dropping a two-out popup in the eighth. After that Andres Blanco tied it at 2 with an RBI double. It’d be hard to script a worse beginning to the 2017 season for Reyes.

Rays 5, Tigers 1: Matt Andriese tamed the Tigers with six innings of one-run ball. Miguel Cabrera hit a long homer on his 34th birthday, but that was the only celebrating for the Tigers on this evening.

Nationals 3, Braves 1: The Braves’ five-game winning streak is snapped. Facing Max Scherzer will do that to a team. Scherzer shut ’em out for seven innings, striking out seven. Nats closer Blake Treinen struggled in the ninth and was taken out of the game by Dusty Baker after allowing two hits and walking two dudes. Nice win, but that’s worth watching.

Cubs 9, Brewers 7: The Cubs snap a four-game skid with a comeback win. Chicago rallied for four here, with the go-ahead run coming on a wild pitch. Kyle Schwarber and Miguel Montero each hit two-run homers. Eric Thames had his games-with-a-homer streak snapped, but still had two doubles and three hits in all. Schwarber, after the game, talking about the comeback:

“I just think it shows the character of our team. We’re not gonna give up just because we’re trading blows.”

Just in case you were wondering how, over the years, sportswriters and fans have come to believe that those who win have good character and those who don’t are somehow lacking, it’s quotes like that which do it.

Indians 11, Twins 4: Jose Ramirez homered and drove in two runs and Josh Tomlin gave up three runs in six innings. Tomlin needed that. Francisco Lindor hit a two-run triple in the sixth and Edwin Encarnacion homered. They didn’t need that as bad as Ramirez and Tomlin needed theirs, but they’ll take it.

Angels 5, Astros 2: Albert Pujols hit one of the most memorable home runs of the past couple of decades in Houston back in the 2005 playoffs. He hit another big, big homer in Houston last night. A three-run blast in the fifth that put the Angels ahead and made it to those train tracks the Astros have out in left. Watch:

Giants 2, Royals 1: Matt Cain: one run over seven innings. The dude seems to be back. Still, he didn’t figure in the decision as Jason Hammel only allowed one run as well, sending this to extras. Joe Panik singled in the go-ahead run for the Giants in the 11th.

Cardinals 2, Pirates 1Dexter Fowler tripled and scored and Greg Garcia doubled in a run as Mike Leake twirled six and a third strong innings, allowing only one run against the Starling Marte-free Pirates.

Athletics 4, Rangers 2: Hope the sixth wasn’t the inning during which you decided to walk the dog, because that’s when all of the runs in this game crossed the plate. It was Yu Darvish‘s Waterloo, as he surrendered all four of the A’s runs and left before it ended. Former Ranger Adam Rosales‘ two-run homer was the big blow. Andrew Triggs survived the sixth for Oakland, allowing only two.

Marlins 5, Mariners 0: Miami had a combined no-hitter broken up with one out in the ninth inning when Mitch Haniger doubled off of Kyle BarracloughWei-Yin Chen handled the first seven innings of it, but was lifted for the eighth at the 100-pitch mark. This is the second time in three days the Marlins have had a combined no-hitter go at least seven innings, as Dan Straily and a couple of relievers had one broken up in the eighth on Sunday. Was Chen upset about being taken out even though he probably could’ve gone another inning? Nah. He had this to say after the game, through a translator:

“If given the choice, any pitcher would like to go out there and keep pitching, but Don talked to me and gave me his reasoning and wanted to keep me healthy for the whole season. So under that situation, I try not to think about it too much. It’s his decision to make.”

Not every manager and certainly not all of us would make that choice, but it’s a team game.

Rockies 4, Dodgers 3: Nolan Arenado hit two homers: a two-run shot in the first and a solo shot in the fifth. Kyle Freeland didn’t pitch long enough for the Rockies to qualify for the win but he allowed only one run to the Dodgers in four innings and five relievers helped the lead hold up.

Diamondbacks 11, Padres 2: Shelby Miller pitched seven and a third innings of four-hit ball and has a 3.50 ERA in three starts this year. That’s quite a turnaround. Yasmany Tomas hit a three-run homer. The Padres have dropped five in a row.