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And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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Friday’s slate featured Joe Mauer‘s first career walk-off home run, Zack Greinke‘s impressive run at Coors Field, and Tommy Pham’s breakthrough at the plate. Here are the rest of last night’s scores and highlights:

Yankees 3, Cubs 2: Brett Gardner has been on a tear lately, and Friday was no exception. Down 2-0 in the ninth inning, the Yankees’ left fielder deposited a three-run homer just under the scoreboard in Wrigley Field, his sixth such blast in six games.

Behind Gardner’s game-winning knock, the Yankees turned in a solid performance against the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks. Michael Pineda allowed two runs and struck out six batters in six innings (and recorded his first hit as a Yankee, to boot), and Aroldis Chapman capped the bullpen’s three scoreless innings with his seventh save of the season.

Reds 13, Giants 3: Amid the Reds’ 13-run onslaught, the Giants’ Christian Arroyo did something cool: he hit a home run off of Bronson Arroyo. (Get it? It’s cool because they have the same last name. Oh, and they attended the same high school, too, albeit 18 years apart.)

Despite the nifty coincidence, the Giants lost badly after Matt Cain imploded, allowing ten hits, nine runs and six walks and leaving the bullpen to bear the remaining four runs and seal their 19th loss of the year.

Pirates 4, Brewers 0: A two-hour, 27-minute rain delay dampened the Brewers’ chances of getting a run on Friday evening. The gloomy weather forced starter Chad Kuhl to pitch through just three innings before the tarp was rolled out, and when the rain finally let up, Wade LeBlanc took the mound — and the win — in his stead. LeBlanc helped the Pirates’ efforts at the plate, too, contributing his first RBI base hit since 2011 and lifting the club to a 3-0 lead in the fourth.

Orioles 4, White Sox 2: The Orioles had to improvise a new game plan after Wade Miley exited in the first inning, taking back-to-back line drives off of his left wrist and leg. Luckily, Miley’s injuries were minor, and Baltimore soldiered on with right-hander Gabriel Ynoa, who tossed six scoreless frames to hold a 2-0 lead through the seventh inning. It didn’t hurt that Chris Davis had a monster night as well, going 3-for-3 with a 427-foot home run to clinch the Orioles’ 18th win of the year.

Mets 8, Marlins 7: If the Mets were concerned about their four-run deficit, they didn’t show it. Following a catastrophic six-run inning, during which they issued six hits, an intentional walk and a hit by pitch to the Marlins, the Mets rebounded for a five-run spread in the seventh, collecting two RBI singles and an RBI double to knot the score 7-7. The game-winning knock was decidedly less impressive, ending on Wilmer Flores’ bases-loaded walk to drive in the go-ahead run and cement the Mets’ first win of the series.

Blue Jays 8, Rays 4: If there’s unresolved beef between the Blue Jays and Rays, Kevin Kiermaier doesn’t want any part of it. The Rays center fielder was forced to exit in the fourth inning of Friday’s 8-4 win after taking a 91.5 m.p.h. fastball to his right hand. It was unclear whether or not the hit by pitch was intentional, but it follows another tense moment between the teams from last Sunday, when Chris Archer appeared to target Jose Bautista with a pitch that just missed the slugger’s hip. “Who knows what his thought process is or anything,” Kiermaier told reporters following the game, “but any time you miss up and in, I think us batters, no matter what the situation, you have a reason to be mad about it.”

Cardinals 10, Braves 0: Tommy Pham has been a kind of enigma for the Cardinals over the last four years, but one thing was clear during last night’s win: the center fielder can rake.

Behind Pham’s breakout? Not tweaked mechanics or a new swing, but contact lenses. The 29-year-old’s new lenses helped him manage a chronic eye disease called kertoconus, which causes blurry vision due to a misshapen cornea, allowing him to literally see the ball and hit it.

Nationals 4, Phillies 2: Some historical records are better left unbroken. Just ask Nationals’ reliever Matt Albers, who snapped his 102-game streak of games finished without a save during Friday’s series opener against the Phillies. Albers converted his first save opportunity in the ninth inning, plunking Cesar Hernandez before inducing two strikeouts and a game-ending groundout from Maikel Franco.

It was a grueling path to the most basic benchmark for relief pitchers, taking Albers through 12 seasons in the majors and bringing him within three games of tying former major leaguer Ryan Webb and his 105-game streak. No one else has come within miles of the record, which is now being chased by the Giants’ George Kontos, with 63 consecutive games finished sans save.

Twins 4, Red Sox 3: It took Joe Mauer 14 years and 132 home runs, but circumstance and power finally aligned for his first career walk-off homer during Friday’s 4-3 nail-biter against the Red Sox. After leading 3-1 through eight innings, Minnesota hurler Brandon Kintzler handed Boston the game-tying runs in the ninth, allowing Chris Young a two-RBI single that threatened to bring extra innings. In the bottom of the ninth, Eddie Rosario and Kenny Vargas grounded out in consecutive at-bats, and Mauer worked a 1-2 count before belting the walk-off homer:

Royals 3, Indians 1: There’s no stopping Eric Hosmer this week. The Royals’ power-hitting first baseman had a banner night on Friday, highlighted by a career-best 458-foot home run that effectively quashed the Indians’ chances of making a comeback. Danny Salazar, despite his best efforts, couldn’t pitch around the zone to retire Hosmer and found his first-pitch fastball down the middle parked well beyond the right field wall.

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 3: Few visiting pitchers have gone undefeated in the homer-happy confines of Coors Field, but then again, few pitchers are as dominant as Zack Greinke. The Diamondbacks’ right-hander lasted seven innings in Friday’s series opener, issuing two runs and striking out seven to bring the D-backs within half a game of the division lead.

In eight career starts at Coors Field, Greinke is 3-0 with a 4.14 ERA in 50 innings. He has yet to lose a game in Colorado, and at least on Friday night, found his win streak upheld by a strong showing from Paul Goldschmidt (3-for-3 with two home runs and an RBI single) and the rest of the D-backs’ lineup. His only thoughts on the streak?

“I hate pitching here,” Greinke told MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. “It’s really tough.”

Tigers 7, Athletics 2: Michael Fulmer‘s resume is looking good these days. The former AL Rookie of the Year handcrafted eight innings against the Athletics, striking out a season-high nine batters and allowing two runs on eight hits. The A’s got a bit of a breather in the ninth inning, when Oakland outfielder Rajai Davis recorded his 1,000th career hit, but left their only baserunner stranded and dropped the game by a five-run deficit.

Astros 7, Angels 6 (10 innings): The Astros clawed their way to the best record in the American League on Friday, battling through 10 innings before Carlos Correa‘s two-out RBI single sent them home with their 20th win.

The last time Houston started the season this well was in 1973, when they jumped out to a 20-10 record before regressing to a fourth-place finish in the NL West. The landscape of the West division was a little different than it is today, and it was the 99-63 Reds who pocketed the division title that year, leaving the Astros to labor through another seven seasons before getting their first chance at the playoffs in 1980.

Dodgers 8, Padres 2: With Adrian Gonzalez on the disabled list for the first time in his career, it was up to rookie first baseman Cody Bellinger to make his presence felt in the lineup on Friday. The 21-year-old rose to the occasion, catapulting a pair of home runs to put the Dodgers on the board in the fourth inning and boost them to a six-run lead in the ninth.

Even more remarkable: it marked Bellinger’s second two-homer game of the season. Add those totals to a .303/.361/.576 batting line through his first 36 PA, and it’s clear the rookie has made a home for himself in the big leagues.

“The best thing for our team right now is for Cody to keep playing, because he is playing well, and let me get right,” Gonzalez told MLB.com’s Tim Powers. “Obviously, if he keeps playing well, he should be in the lineup. But when I’m ready, when I’m right, I know I can contribute and we’ll reassess at that point.”

Rangers 3, Mariners 1 (13 innings): It’s been a taxing week for the Mariners’ pitching staff. After Hisashi Iwakuma‘s injury scare on Wednesday and James Paxton‘s forearm strain on Friday, the last thing Seattle needed was a five-hour marathon designed to wear out the rest of their staff. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what they got. The Rangers cycled through eight of Seattle’s pitchers, collecting seven hits and a game-winning, two-run shot by Rougned Odor to take the win after 13 innings.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rockies 3, Padres 2: Thing I learned yesterday: Ryan Hanigan is still playing baseball. I can’t remember him signing with the Rockies, but he did, hanging out on his minor league deal for a while. He got called up on Wednesday and yesterday played his first game with them, hitting an RBI infield single in the 11th inning to give Colorado a 3-2 victory. Makes me wonder what other backup catchers are still roaming the Earth, below the radar. Is Curt Casali still knocking about someplace? Hank Conger? Are there some Molinas still yet unaccounted for? It’s rather unsettling to be honest.

Nationals 4, Diamondbacks 2: Max Scherzer struck out 11, allowing one run and two hits in seven innings. This against the Diamondbacks, who I still have a hard time remembering Scherzer played for. Dusty Baker, commenting on Scherzer after the game:

“He came out strong and had that look in his eye”

Um, which eye had that look, Dusty?

Orioles 8, Red Sox 3: Manny Machado hit his third homer of the series and no one hit him, so I suppose that’s progress. His homer went an estimated 466 feet so it wasn’t a cheapie. Baltimore rattled off 14 hits. Seth Smith had four of them. Kyle Kendrick made his season debut for the Sox and allowed six runs and eight hits in four innings. After the game John Farrell said Kendrick will get a longer look in the rotation. You think he’d seen enough.

Cubs 5, Phillies 4: Albert Almora doubled leading off the 13th inning and scored on a throwing error by shortstop Freddy Galvis to give the Cubs a walkoff win. This is not to be confused with the game on Wednesday the Cubs won 5-4, in part because Galvis held the ball too long while Willson Contreras scampered home to score. Kris Bryant had four hits, Miguel Montero homered and drove in two. But really, guys, you may want to have someone come look at that defective Galvis unit.

White Sox 8, Royals 3: Derek Holland allowed two runs — one earned — on only three hits while pitching into the seventh inning. Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia and Cody Asche each drove in two. Holland has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his first six outings this season. He’s gonna be in every trade rumor column there is from June until August.

Rangers 10, Astros 4Joey GalloRougned Odor and Elvis Andrus all homered and the Rangers snapped a four-game skid. Marwin Gonzalez homered in his fifth straight start, a winning effort in a losing cause.

Athletics 8, Twins 5Jharel Cotton allowed three runs — two earned — and struck out nine in six innings of work as the A’s avoid a three-game sweep. Miguel Sano, who we have talked up a bit around here lately, wore the Golden Sombrero with his last strikeout coming with two out and the bases loaded in the ninth. Baseball is a humbling game.

Reds 4, Pirates 2: The Reds are 6-1 against the Pirates this year, 8-13 against the rest of baseball. Here Joey Votto doubled twice and drove in two and Adam Duvall drove Votto in twice himself. The Reds have won four of five. They might be a see-saw team all season long. Which, to be honest, is way better than a lot of people were predicting for them. Most just anticipated the saw. Or, um, the see. Whichever the bad one is.

Rays 5, Marlins 1: I used to play on a Scoresheet sim league back in 2008-09. It was a keeper league where you picked up minor leaguers too, keeping prospects on your 40-man roster and waiting for them to develop. I only did so-so with my actual team, but when I left the league after 2009 I told the guy who took over my team that he’d be pretty happy with the young players I had. One of them was Clayton Kershaw. I hope whoever is playing that team now has given me some mental high fives over the years for snagging him when he was a rookie. Another one I was super proud of was Tim Beckham, who the Rays drafted in the first round back in 2008. I’m assuming that whoever took over the team did not keep him. But, on the off-off chance he did, well, you’re welcome for last night as Beckham hit two homers and drove in four. Hell, he hit two homers in a game last week too, and has six on the year. Playin’ the long game, I was. Yep.

Brewers 5, Cardinals 4Jesus Aguilar hit his first big league homer, breaking a seventh inning tie. The game was more costly for St. Louis than just one game in the loss column. Cardinals right fielder Stephen Piscotty left after the second inning with a strained right hamstring and center fielder Dexter Fowler came out following the third with a strained right shoulder.

Mariners 11, Angels 3Danny Valencia homered and had four hits, driving in three. M’s starter Ariel Miranda pitched seven strong innings. Not bad for Miranda, who took a comebacker off his leg early in the game but played through. Ever see a baseball player’s bruise after being hit by a pitch or a batted ball? Nastiest thing ever.

Indians vs. Tigers, Mets vs. Braves: — POSTPONED:

If it keeps on rainin’ levee’s goin’ to break
If it keeps on rainin’ levee’s goin’ to break
When the levee breaks I’ll have no place to stay.

Mets and Braves made it to the fourth inning, actually, but because it wasn’t an official game, nothing counts. Except for pitchers being burned and stuff, which I’m sure doesn’t make anyone happy. Maybe pay closer attention to the ol’ doppler radar, you guys?

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mets 6, Braves 0: This was riveting for the first six innings when Noah Syndergaard and Julio Teheran exchanged zeroes. Once the Braves bullpen came in it was all over. Speaking as a Braves fan, watching Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman get on base all year only to see Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis fail to drive them in due to the massive forks sticking out of their backs is going to be supremely frustrating.

Nationals 4, Marlins 2: You’ve heard hack comedians make the joke about making the whole plane out of the black box? Bryce Harper would like them to make the whole schedule out of Opening Day. The Nats’ young star has five homers on Opening Day now. Adam Lind added a homer too. Meanwhile, some fans unfurled an “Impeach Trump” sign in the stands:

They did it after the game, though, apparently not wanting to risk getting kicked out before they got their money’s worth. True revolutionaries, them.

Red Sox 5, Pirates 3Andrew Benintendi hit a three-run homer in the five-run fifth. I picked him to be the the 2017 Rookie of the Year in our annual predictions post. I like my choice so far.

Rockies 7, Brewers 5: Like the Red Sox, the Brewers scored five runs in the fifth. Unlike the Red Sox they gave up two runs in second, fourth and seventh and an insurance run in the ninth to the Colorado Rockies. It would’ve been weird if the Red Sox had done that, though, as they were not playing the Rockies. Greg Holland picked up his first save since September 17, 2015. The next day he blew a save and blew out his elbow. Nice to see him back.

Dodgers 14, Padres 3: Entering this game Clayton Kershaw was 84-0 when given four runs of support or more. Here the Dodgers gave him 12 before he left the game so, no, the outcome was not exactly in doubt. The best pitcher in the galaxy game up one earned run while striking out eight in seven innings, needing only 84 pitches to do so.

I watched this one on the Dodgers network, SNLA, and not ESPN so I could take in the first Dodger home broadcast without Vin Scully. Joe Davis, the play-by-play guy was pretty good, but he’s not my real dad. I’ll have a lot more to say about the Dodgers booth and broadcasting in general in a post later this morning, so stay tuned.

Orioles 3, Blue Jays 2: A walkoff homer for Mark Trumbo in the 11th inning. I hope it was a gritty, blue collar homer and not some showboaty, Jose Bautista homer. After the game he said “I was just looking for a pitch to hit.” I guess that’s gritty. It’s boring, but it’s gritty. By the way: that walkoff homer wasn’t even the coolest thing that happened in the 11th inning of this game. This ridiculous play by Manny Machado was.

Twins 7, Royals 1: Minnesota started 0-9 last year, so it must be nice to get off to a 1-0 start. Miguel Sano homered and drew a bases-loaded walk. After Royals starter Danny Duffy gave up only one run over six innings, the Royals bullpen barfed up six runs in the seventh inning. It’s not 2015 for those guys anymore, that’s for sure. I wonder if they miss Greg Holland ’round about now.

Phillies 4, Reds 3: Starter Jeremy Hellickson drove in the fourth and ultimately deciding run with a sixth inning triple. Pitchers don’t hit many triples, that’s for dang sure.

Indians 8, Rangers 5: Cleveland was down 5-3 heading into the seventh but rallied for five runs in the final three frames. Not quite as impressive as, say, a team coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the World Series, but still pretty good. Newcomer Edwin Encarnacion hit the game-tying homer in the eighth, so Cleveland’s big free agent investment is already paying dividends. Rougned Odor hit two bombs.

Astros 3, Mariners 0: The platonic ideal of an Astros game, at least from Houston’s point of view. Dallas Keuchel allowed two hits over seven innings and combined with two relievers for a three-hit shutout. Carlos Correa homered and drove in two runs while George Springer led off the game with a dinger of his own. Meanwhile, it was the anti-ideal of a Mariners game as starter Felix Hernandez left after five innings with tightness in his groin. One game into the season and the Mariners are down two starters, what with Drew Smyly being placed on the disabled list the other day. Sheesh.

Athletics 4, Angels 2: In my season preview of the Athletics I noted that, basically, all they have is Khris Davis and a ton of holes. On this night Khris Davis was almost enough on his own, hitting two homers, one of which represented the go-ahead run, while going 3-for-4. Stephen Vogt hit a solo shot of his own and Yonder Alonso singled in one. In my season preview of the Angels, I said that Mike Trout will be amazing but he won’t have enough help. Here the MVP hit a homer in a winning effort in a losing cause while no one else in the lineup did any damage. See? Not all previews and predictions are wrong.

Tigers vs. White Sox — POSTPONED:

Buckets of rain
Buckets of tears
Got all them buckets comin’ out of my ears
Buckets of moonbeams in my hand
You got all the love
Honey baby, I can stand