Nelson Cruz

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Giants 8, Dodgers 4: Four wins in a row for the Giants. They had a four-run fourth inning off of Brandon McCarthy, partially due to hitting him well, partially due to a brain lock he had, cutting off a Corey Seager throw intended to nail a runner who was dead to rights at home. We all have bad days at the office, I guess. Sometimes we misplace a file. Sometimes we lose a sale. Sometimes we lose track of a baserunner. Sometimes we intentionally reveal classified secrets to foreign agents which seriously jeopardize national security and intelligence-gathering. You just shake it off and try again tomorrow, ya know?

Diamondbacks 7, Mets 3Yasmany Tomas, Jeff Mathis and Daniel Descalso homered in a six-run eighth inning as the Mets lost their fifth straight. When the Noah Syndergaard injury fiasco and the Matt Harvey fiasco were going down and I was saying the Mets were in trouble, a non-trivial number of you said stuff like “they’ve won their last couple of series” or “they’re in second place.” I suppose that was technically correct at the time, but as I wake up and look at the news today, I am somewhat less impressed with people making technical arguments than I normally am.

Braves 10, Blue Jays 6: The Jays’ five-game winning streak comes to an end. Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer, somehow not passing out with shock first at seeing actual men on base when he came to the plate. Nick Markakis homered and drove in three.

Angels 5, White Sox 3Mike Trout hit a solo shot off of Mike Pelfrey, breaking a 3-3 tie. It’s the fourth consecutive game in which Trout has homered, leaving him one shy of the Angels’ record. He’s at .352/.450/.752 and is on a pace to hit 47 homers. He will also never get the full-court promotional press from MLB the way a guy who has been retired for three years just did.

Mariners 6, Athletics 5Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager each hit a two-run homer and reliever Tony Zych put out a ninth inning fire to stop a would-be A’s comeback. The fire was started by M’s closer Edwin Diaz who walked four of the five batters he faced. There were 15 walks overall in this game. Sounds riveting.

Indians 8, Rays 7: Indians starter Carlos Carrasco exited in the fourth inning because of tightness in his left pectoral muscle, but at least the Indians had a three-run lead when he did. The Cleveland bullpen allowed an inherited runner to score and Andrew Miller and Cody Allen of all people gave up two more later, but for the most part  they didn’t break over the final five innings.

Astros 7, Marlins 2: Yuli Gurriel hit a grand slam and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three as the Astros win despite not getting to their hotel in Miami until 5am yesterday morning. And despite the “momentum” the Marlins were supposed to have after winning on Sunday. Momentum is not a thing in baseball. Often sleep isn’t a thing either.

Padres 6, Brewers 5: This one went to extras and Eric Sogard put Milwaukee up with a 10th inning homer. Hunter Renfroe did him one better, though, smacking a two-run walkoff homer in the bottom half. Renfroe drove in four runs overall.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores: Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 4, Brewers 1: It was 1-1 in the top of the ninth when Mookie Betts hit a three-run homer and that took care of that. It was Betts’ third homer in the past four games. He went 7-for-11 with eight RBI and five runs scored in the series. John Farrell on Betts: “He’s certainly impacting the baseball.” Which sounds like what an alien from Proxima Centauri would say via his language chip in an effort to fit in among the humans talking bout baseball, only to have them realize something was just a . . . tad off.

Royals 6, Rays 0: Jason Vargas tossed seven shutout innings to move his record to 5-1 and lower his ERA to 1.01. Talk about a nice season coming out of nowhere. And it’s his free agency walk year too, so the dude is making himself a lot of money right now. A dude having a lot of trouble? Kevin KiermaierWhit Merrifield knocked a single to center that turned into a little league home run when the guy who most think is the best center fielder in baseball let the ball go under his glove:

That was the third error of the series for Kiermaier, and the second time in the series a ball just rolled under his glove like that to allow a little league homer. Strange to see a guy with catlike reflexes get a case of the fielding yips like this.

Astros 3, Yankees 2: Houston took a 3-0 lead thanks to a Carlos Correa two-run homer and a George Springer RBI single. The Yankees scored one on a catcher’s interference call in the fifth. In the ninth, New York put runners on second and third and Gary Sanchez hit a single to left. That scored Aaron Hicks. Jacoby Ellsbury, who was on second, was waved home. Jake Marisnick fielded Sanchez’s hit, fired home a perfect strike and nailed Ellsbury at the plate to end the game:

Bad send. Slow run. Bad slide. Great throw.

Blue Jays 7, Mariners 2Steve Pearce hit a three-run home run and Justin Smoak hit a solo shot and drove in four. Marco Estrada got touched for two runs on a Nelson Cruz homer in the first but then settled down and held the M’s scoreless for the next five innings. The M’s four-game winning streak was snapped.

Rangers 5, Padres 2: San Diego led 2-0 in the eighth when Mike Napoli hit a solo homer. San Diego and Texas were tied 2-2 in the ninth when Mike Napoli hit a three-run homer, ending it. It was Napoli’s fourth career walkoff homer. Party at Napoli’s.

Twins 7, White Sox 6: Eduardo Escobar hit a three-run homer and an RBI double and Miguel Sano and Brian Dozier each hit solo shots. The Twins built an early 6-0 lead and Chicago made it close, but ultimately dropped their fifth straight.

Rockies 10, Dodgers 7: Colorado built a 10-0 lead by the fourth inning. The Dodgers chipped away at that lead, but in Colorado you need more than to chip to dig yourself out. You need a backhoe. Of the ten runs the Rockies scored off Hyun-Jin Ryu, only five were earned, but really, you walk six dudes in four innings in Coors Field you’re lucky to only give up ten.

Diamondbacks 2, Pirates 1: Zack Greinke took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, only to see it broken up by a Gregory Polanco solo homer. That’s the only hit the Pirates would get all night, however, as Greinke struck out 11 over eight and Fernando Rodney saved it in the ninth. Greinke is putting together a nice bounceback season.

Tigers 7, Angels 1: Michael Fulmer shut the Angels down, including holding Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun to a combined 0-for-12. Justin Upton hit a first-inning three-run homer that, it would turn out, ended the game before it started. Andrew Romine hit an early homer of his own. Angels pitcher J.C. Ramirez on giving up the Upton shot, which came on a slider out over the plate:”I hang it, they bang it.” That’s some good postgame quote. Hell of a lot better than some baloney about his failure to “execute pitches.”

Reds 3, Giants 2: The Reds were down 1-0 and 2-1 and won it. No, those aren’t monumental comebacks, but when you got a lot of young guys it’s amazing how easily they can wither. Zack Cozart had hit an RBI double in the top of the eighth inning to score the go-ahead run that proved to be the game winner.

Orioles vs. Nationals — POSTPONED:

You know I never meant to see you again
But I only passed by as a friend, yeah
All this time I stayed out of sight
I started wondering why
Now I, I wish it would rain down, down on me
Ooh yes I wish it would rain, rain down on me now
Ooh yes I wish it would rain, down on me
Ooh yes I wish it would rain on me
You said you didn’t need me in your life
Oh I guess you were right, yeah
Ooh I never meant to cause you no pain
But it looks like I did it again
Now I, now I know I wish it would rain down, down on me
Ooh yes I wish it would rain, rain down on me now
Ooh girl I wish it would rain, down on me
Ooh yes I wish it would rain on me

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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Friday’s weekend series kicked off with Gift Ngoepe’s first major league start, Mike Trout‘s important anniversary and an informal home run derby between the Yankees and Orioles. Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Yankees 14, Orioles 11 (10 innings): Manny Machado may have hit 2017’s longest home run on Friday night, but he was forced to share the spotlight as the Orioles and Yankees combined for eight home runs in their 10-inning slug-fest. In the end, the only home run that mattered was the last one of the night: a walk-off, three-run 411-footer by Matt Holliday to clinch the Yankees’ first win of the series.

Mets 7, Nationals 5: In a battle of elite arms, the Mets took the lead with Jacob deGrom‘s 12-strikeout performance. Max Scherzer struck out seven over six innings, but a couple of timely knocks from Travis d'Arnaud in the second and fourth innings unraveled the Mets’ flimsy one-run lead and eventually, their hold on the game altogether.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 4: Home runs are swell, as are late-game comebacks and solid pitching performances, but it’s not every day that you get a full highlight reel’s worth of plays from Steven Souza Jr.:

Red Sox 5, Cubs 4: Visiting Cubs fans monopolized a good section of Fenway Park on Friday, and the Cubs played nearly as well as if they were playing against the ivy backdrop of Wrigley Field. Although the Sox jumped out to an early five-run lead in the first inning, the Cubs worked a four-run comeback and put the game-tying run on second base when Ben Zobrist lined a double in the ninth inning. That’s as far as they got, however, leaving Zobrist stranded to drop their second consecutive loss of the week.

White Sox 7, Tigers 3: The White Sox extended their win streak to five consecutive games on Friday, clinching first place in the AL Central after a shutdown performance from the bullpen and a late-game comeback spearheaded by Geovany Soto and Tim Anderson. Tigers’ third baseman Nicholas Castellanos helped, too, committing three errors in the sixth and eighth innings to facilitate the White Sox’ rally and cement their 12th win of the year.

Pirates 12, Marlins 2: If you haven’t gotten up to speed on Gift Ngoepe’s intriguing path to the major leagues, do yourself a favor and peruse this excellent 2009 profile by Sports Illustrated’s Gary Smith. Ngoepe was promoted to the bigs last Wednesday and has already garnered some attention for hitting a single in his first career at-bat. He was no less impressive on Friday, going 3-for-3 with two base hits, two walks and an opposite-field triple that just cleared Giancarlo Stanton‘s head at the wall.

Mariners 3, Indians 1: The Mariners may be short one Felix Hernandez, Mitch Haniger and Nelson Cruz, but they looked more than capable of taking on the Indians during Friday’s series opener. Robinson Cano and Ben Gamel combined for a three-run lead on two home runs and Ariel Miranda allowed just one run in 5 1/3 innings, effectively stifling several rally attempts by the Indians and clinching his second win of the year.

Angels 6, Rangers 3: It’s been five years since Mike Trout received his permanent call-up from the minors, and he celebrated in true Mike Trout fashion, engineering an impressive catch on the warning track and collecting a two-run homer against Rangers’ right-hander Nick Martinez:

The Rangers, meanwhile, would have been better off spending their Friday like Yu Darvish:

Braves 10, Brewers 8: Don’t look now, but the Braves are no longer in last place. They relinquished their spot at the bottom of the NL East on Friday, scooting half a game above the Mets after they mounted a six-run rally in the last few innings of a 10-8 win over the Brewers. That’s thanks in large part to their bullpen, which stifled Milwaukee’s comeback attempts with four scoreless frames, giving Ender Inciarte and Adonis Garcia just enough time to clear the bases in the seventh inning and take the lead on Kurt Suzuki’s RBI single in the eighth.

Astros 9, Athletics 4: Consistency isn’t exactly what Charlie Morton is known for, and Friday’s outing was no exception. The veteran right-hander got off to a rocky start in the first inning, putting runners on first and second and watching Khris Davis unleash a three-run bomb for an early lead. While Morton eventually settled down to strike out a career-high 12 batters, Davis still had the righty’s number, and took him deep a second time for the Astros’ fourth and final run of the night.

Cardinals 7, Reds 5: Reason #7 why you should never sleep on the job:

Twins 6, Royals 4: It looked like the Royals finally caught a break on Friday. They built a modest three-run lead early in the game and were able to keep their heads above water even after Miguel Sano brought the Twins within a run of tying the game on a two-run homer in the fourth inning. Everything looked hunky-dory for Kansas City until the eighth, when Joakim Soria loaded the bases for Sano, home plate umpire CB Bucknor took a 92 m.p.h. fastball to the face mask, and the Twins jumped out to a two-run lead to secure the Royals’ eighth consecutive loss.

Rockies 3, Diamondbacks 1: Just as we all predicted, neither the Giants nor the Dodgers are anywhere near the top of the NL West this year. The top two spots appear reserved for the Rockies and Diamondbacks, who have traded first place several times during the month of April. Colorado reclaimed the division on Friday, spearing their 15th win on a one-run outing by rookie southpaw Kyle Freeland and a handful of hits from Carlos Gonzalez, Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon.

Dodgers 5, Phillies 3: Kenta Maeda is finally looking like the starter the Dodgers need him to be, and not a moment too soon. The right-hander struck out eight over seven innings, holding the Phillies to five hits and two runs in his second winning effort this season. It’ll still take some time to get that ERA below 6.00, however, and the Dodgers have to dig themselves out of a three-game deficit if they want to reclaim first place in the NL West this spring.

Giants 4, Padres 3: So much for rookie jitters. Christian Arroyo has made a comfortable home in the major leagues, slugging .250/.250/.800 through his first four career games and topping it off with his second home run against the Padres on Friday night.