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And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cubs 4, Giants 1: Jon Lester tossed a complete game with 10 strikeouts and needed only 99 pitches to get it done. That’s not a “Maddux” — that requires a shutout — but in terms of efficiency it’s almost more impressive given that, you know, you need at least three pitches to strike a dude out. Schwarber, Heyward and Rizzo homered for the Cubbies.

Twins 2, Orioles 0: Ervin Santana did, in fact, shut out his opponents and he did it with a complete game two-hitter. He needed 105 pitches to do it, but I think he’s fine with that.

Indians 8, Reds 7: If you’ve talked to Indians fans much in the season’s first couple of months the thing you hear most often is disappointment in Edwin Encarnacion‘s performance. There was no problem with it here, as he hit two homers and drove in three. Worth noting that Encarnacion’s big league debut came in a Reds-Indians game. That was on June 24, 2005, when he was playing for Cincinnati in a series up in Cleveland. I’ll always remember it because earlier that day I was checking into a hotel there and Encarnacion was in front of me in line, having just made it to town from Louisville. When he gave his name the Marriott lady handed him a big envelope with maps and parking instructions and a wad of cash and all kinds of other things left there for him by the Reds. He seemed confused and overwhelmed. He also went hitless in his first six games. No matter how much he accomplishes in his career, I always think of him as that confused guy at the Cleveland Marriott and I’ll always root for him a little bit.

Braves 6, Pirates 5: Matt Adams is quickly making friends in Atlanta. He homered in the sixth to bring the Braves to within a run and then he hit a walkoff single in the bottom of the 9th to give them the win. In between those events came a three-hour rain delay. The game ended just before 2AM and, rain delay included, meant for a 6 hour, 15 minute evening. There were probably only 200 fans in Sun Trust Park when Adams hit that game winning single, but every one of those 200 people started a band.

Nationals 10, Mariners 1:Anthony Rendon homered twice and drove in five and Bryce Harper and Jayson Werth each went deep as well. Joe Ross got ten runs to work with but he didn’t need ’em, as he allowed only one run over eight innings of work. Rendon was asked how the Nats scored all those runs and said “I don’t know, I guess we were swinging at good pitches.” The reporter’s response:

Rockies 8, Phillies 2: Charlie Blackmon went deep twice, both two-run shots. He leads all of baseball with 40 RBI. He’s played in 46 games. He’s led off 45 times and batted ninth the other time. Take that, people who care about batting order.

Red Sox 11, Rangers 6Xander Bogaerts had three hits and three RBI but the stat I find most impressive is that he scored on wild pitches twice, once from Andrew Cashner, once from Jeremy Jeffress. The Sox had 11 runs on 12 hits and drew eight walks from Rangers pitching. This box score looks like it came straight out of 1999 or so.

Royals 6, Yankees 2: New York had a 2-0 lead heading into the seventh but then the Royals put up a three-spot in the next two frames. All eight runs in this one came via the longball: Cain, Bonafacio, Merrifield and Moustakas for Kansas City, Hicks and Carter for the Bombers. Danny Duffy got the win after striking out seven over seven. It was his second win over the Yankees in a week.

Mets 9, Padres 3: Michael Conforto homered twice and had a career-high four RBI. Three of those RBI came in the Mets’ seven-run first inning as New York jumped all over Jhoulys Chacin. The Mets romped, but this play by Padres catcher Austin Hedges may have been the highlight:

Angels 4, Rays 0: Matt Shoemaker tossed shutout ball into the seventh. He had a 2-0 lead six pitches into the game, as Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout went deep in the first inning. The Angels have won seven of nine.

Blue Jays 4, Brewers 3: The Jays had a 4-0 lead,thanks in part to a Kendrys Morales homer. Milwaukee pulled close, however, chasing Jays starter Joe Biagini with three runs in the fifth inning. The Jays pen then shut things down with four Toronto relievers combining to shut out the Brewers over the final four and two-thirds.

Astros 6, Tigers 2: Brian McCann is on the concussion DL, but Juan Centeno, making his Astros debut, homered in his place last night. Lance McCullers allowed a one hit in five shutout innings to extend his scoreless innings streak to 22. He had to leave early, though, as he was less than efficient. Jordan Zimmermann allowed four runs — only two of them earned — on five hits while pitching into the seventh. It was his birthday. Maybe the Tigers defense will get him something better today to make up for it.

Diamondbacks 5, White Sox 4J.J. Hoover came into the game with one out and the bases loaded in the eighth inning, the Dbacks clinging to a one-run lead. Then he struck out Kevan Smith and Yolmer Sanchez to preserve that lead and, ultimately, the win. That wasn’t even his best performance of the day, however. Earlier he won a dang cow milking contest:

 

He’s from Western Pennsylvania so, you know.

Dodgers 2, Cardinals 1: Clayton Kershaw pitched well enough to win — he went nine innings, striking out 10 and allowing only one run on a ninth inning wild pitch — but so too did Lance Lynn who went eight innings, striking out ten and allowing only one run on a first inning homer. So this one went to extras. It ended in the 13th when Jonathan Broxton issued a two-out walk to Kiké Hernandez and followed it up by allowing a walkoff double to Logan Forsythe.

Marlins 11, Athletics 9: Miami had a five-run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. The gave up three to Oakland, but that’s it. Justin Bour had four hits including his fourth home run in five games. Giancarlo Stanton and Dee Gordon had three hits each. Every Miami player had at least one by the third inning.

And That Happened: Saturday’s Scores and Highlights

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Saturday’s games featured Bryce Harper‘s impressive game-winning blast, Brandon Belt‘s first splash hit of the year and the reemergence of the infamous Rally Squirrel. Here are the rest of the day’s scores and highlights:

Blue Jays 7, Mariners 2: The Blue Jays aren’t playing like a last-place team these days. Marcus Stroman led the charge in the team’s sixth win of the week, delivering nine strikeouts and two runs over six solid innings. Jose Bautista came through with the three-run blast in the seventh, powering a five-run lead while the Mariners lost yet another starting pitcher to injury.

Giants 3, Reds 1: Whatever fatigue the Giants may have felt after their 17-inning victory the night before seemed to vanish by Saturday afternoon. Brandon Belt clubbed his first splash hit of the season, sinking a 2-1 pitch from Lisalverto Bonilla into McCovey Cove to get the Giants on the board in the first inning. Bonilla tossed the first complete game of his career, keeping the Giants to a three-run spread over eight innings and recording his first career hit, but was left hanging by a lackluster offense, who couldn’t solve Matt Moore to tie the game.

Cardinals 5, Cubs 3: Neither Jon Lester nor Carlos Martinez escaped with pristine pitching lines in Saturday’s match-up. Lester was dinged with four runs and four walks, falling victim to Jedd Gyorko‘s solo home run, an RBI single by Magneuris Sierra and a two-RBI effort from Tommy Pham. Martinez surrendered a home run to newcomer Ian Happ, who went 1-for-3 in his major league debut.

While the Cardinals eventually prevailed, taking a two-run lead for their 20th win of the season, both Lester and Martinez had another thing in common: they each produced an RBI base hit to get their respective teams on the board.

Twins 4, Indians 1: Jose Berrios cut a commanding figure on the mound during Saturday’s 4-1 win, imposing four strikeouts on the Indians and issuing just two hits, a walk and a run in his first outing of the season. Nearly as impressive: this party-crasher, who took a lap around the infield in the sixth inning and managed to evade capture after dashing into the stands.

Red Sox 6, Rays 3: Behind every great pitcher is a great offense, so the saying goes. Chris Sale‘s 12-strikeout effort was decorated with six runs from the Red Sox’ lineup, including Mookie Betts‘ sixth home run of the year:

Betts combined with Deven Marrero and Xander Bogaerts for an impressive run in the fifth inning, collecting three hits and four runs off of beleaguered Rays’ starter Blake Snell. With the win, the Sox sit 2.5 games above the Rays for third place in the AL East.

Nationals 6, Phillies 4: Bryce Harper is having a pretty remarkable weekend. Hours after inking a one-year, $21.65 million contract extension with the Nationals, Harper smashed a two-run shot off of Philadelphia reliever Edubray Ramos for his second walk-off home run of the season:

In the words of Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker: “Nobody can say he ain’t worth the money.”

Braves 3, Marlins 1: It’s probably nothing more than pure coincidence that the Marlins’ five consecutive losses overlapped with the five games they decided not to close the roof in Marlins Park this week. On Saturday evening, however, the lack of cover cost them an important run when Marcell Ozuna lost track of a ball during the fourth inning, losing it against the light-colored sky and allowing Freddie Freeman to stretch a routine fly ball into a leadoff double. Freeman came home to score two batters later on Nick Markakis‘ RBI single, putting the Braves up 1-0 and setting the stage for their eventual 3-1 win.

Brewers 11, Mets 4: With an injury-riddled rotation and the recent loss of closer Jeurys Familia, the Mets entered Saturday’s match at a clear disadvantage. Not helping matters was starter Robert Gsellman, who took his third loss of the season after the Brewers engineered an eight-run attack in the fifth inning. After dropping three straight games, the Mets sit a full seven games back of the division-leading Nationals with a 16-19 record.

White Sox 5, Padres 4: The Padres technically lost their 24th game of the year on a controversial play at the plate, but defensive miscues from starter Trevor Cahill set up the loss several innings in advance. In the fourth, Jose Abreu reached on a fielding error, then moved to second base when Cahill issued a wild pitch to Avisail Garcia:

That wild pitch was followed by another:

And another:

Not surprisingly, Abreu became the first White Sox player to score on three wild pitches since 1961.

Royals 4, Orioles 3: Striking out 12 batters in a single outing is a feat for any pitcher, but doing it in just five innings is almost unheard-of. Nate Karns delivered 12 strikeouts over five frames on Saturday, joining Jake Arrieta, Chris Archer, Andrew Cashner, Alex Cobb and Zack Greinke as the only major league hurlers to record 12+ whiffs in five or fewer innings. (Most impressive is the Rays’ Alex Cobb, who struck out 13 batters in just 4 2/3 innings back in 2013.) There was plenty of excitement at the plate, too — the Orioles’ Francisco Pena clubbed his first and second home runs of the year, while Brandon Moss went deep for the go-ahead run in the sixth inning.

Rangers 6, Athletics 5: The A’s wasted another gem from Sonny Gray on Saturday, dropping their second game of the series after the Rangers exploded for four runs in the seventh inning. Yonder Alonso brought the team within one run of tying the game with his 12th home run of the year, but the rest of the offense fell short against Texas right-hander Matt Bush, who needed just 13 pitches to send the A’s packing in the ninth.

Dodgers 4, Rockies 0: Coors Field isn’t exactly what you’d call a pitcher’s park, but its hitter-friendly reputation didn’t seem to faze the Dodgers’ Alex Wood at all. Wood crafted six scoreless innings against the Rockies, allowing five hits and a walk and striking out 10 of 23 batters for his fourth win of the season. Although the left-hander commanded an inflated 7.16 run support average through his first seven outings of 2017, he needed just four runs to clinch Saturday’s shutout, including RBI doubles from Austin Barnes and Justin Turner, Brett Eibner’s first home run of the year, and Wood’s own sacrifice bunt.

Pirates 4, Diamondbacks 3: The Pirates finally caught a break on Saturday after sustaining a six-game skid last week. Right-hander Trevor Williams, whose performance has been inconsistent at best and downright terrible at worst, rebounded to deliver five innings of one-run, four strikeout ball, even generating his own run support after reaching base on a run-scoring error in the fourth inning. The Diamondbacks put up three home runs, including Nick Ahmed’s twin blasts off of Williams and reliever Tony Watson, but stranded the tying run on a game-ending pop-out in the ninth inning.

Tigers 4, Angels 3: J.D. Martinez is back, and boy, are the Tigers glad to see him. Martinez was a welcome, if underwhelming presence in the lineup during his season debut on Friday, but returned on Saturday to go 3-for-4 at the plate with two home runs — including the game-winning shot:

The Angels did cool things, too — Mike Trout hit his longest home run of the season and Albert Pujols tied Carl Yastrzemski with the 11th most career RBI in major league history — but faltered in the ninth inning for their 21st loss of 2017.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Astros 10, Rangers 1: Remember last year when the Rangers owned the Astros, losing 14 out of 19? That’s over. Houston takes its third in a row off of Texas, powered by Marwin Gonzalez‘s fourth homer in the past three games. Carlos Correa and Brian McCann each hit solo homers and Correa went 4-for-5.

Royals 6, White Sox 1: Nate Karns allowed only one hit over six shutout innings. The AP headline for their recap on this is “Nate Karns Dazzles.” That was also the working title for my coming of age dramedy series I’ve been trying to sell to Netflix, but I guess THAT’s gotta change now. Politics, man.

Yankees 8, Blue Jays 6: Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but Aaron Judge homered again. Gonna go out on a limb here and say that maybe people should stop throwing him strikes? Matt Holliday hit a homer, his 300th. And Brett Gardner got four big hits too. Except they were all on a trash can:

Nationals 2, Diamondbacks 1: Gio Gonzalez allowed one run over five and (all together now) helped his own cause with a RBI groundout. Ryan Zimmerman, the Player of the Month for April, is doin’ OK in May as well, doubling in Bryce Harper for the go-ahead run in the sixth inning.

Red Sox 4, Orioles 2: Before the game there was a conference call with the umps and the league and everyone in which it was stated that there would be a zero tolerance policy for shenanigans given all that has happened between these two teams this year. Apparently no one on the call mentioned the fact that zero tolerance policies are almost always dumb. And this was all dumb. Kevin Gausman threw a first-pitch slider to Xander Bogaerts that stayed too far inside and hit him. It was clearly not intentional, but home plate umpire Sam Holbrook immediately ejected him anyway. Later in the game Adam Jones was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. The game itself: Boston built a 4-0 lead by the fourth inning and that was kind of it. One more game in this series to get through. My preview:

Indians 3, Tigers 2: Carlos Carrasco (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER 5K) outdueled Matt Boyd (7.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER 4K). Andrew Miller struck out four in two scoreless innings, his first multi-inning outing of the season. There will be more. Or his arm will fall off. Hard to say.

Reds 7, Pirates 2: Billy Hamilton, who hadn’t hit a homer since *mashes fingers on calculator* the Ford Administration, hit a three run blast. Wait, my calculator is broken *looks it up* it was Hamilton’s first homer since June 28 of last year. Devin Mesoraco ended a home run drought of a couple of years, but he had the excuse of being on the disabled list since *mashes fingers on calculator* the Ford Administration.

Marlins 10, Rays 6: The Fish break out for ten runs on 17 hits, including a stretch in the sixth inning when they strung together seven consecutive hits. J.T. Realmuto drove in four runs. Marcell Ozuna hit a homer that went 468 feet. Before the game players’ families played a charity softball game and Ozuna’s wife — Genesis Ozuna — hit a homer of her own:

Give that woman a contract.

Mets 16, Braves 5: Jose Reyes had five RBI, Rene Rivera drove in three and Michael Conforto and Jacob deGrom had two RBI apiece. It’s been a bad stretch for the Mets, but playing the Braves is quite a tonic for what ails ya. The victim of much of that abuse: former Met Bartolo Colon, who surrendered five runs on seven hits in four innings.

Cubs 5, Phillies 4: Willson Contreras hit a two-run double and then came around to score on a Matt Szczur infield hit on which he had no business scoring. Watch it here. Freddy Galvis held the ball forever, apparently thinking Contrearas wouldn’t try to score, but Contrearas just kept running. Then the throw stunk, otherwise he’d be out. Joe Maddon appreciated the run but you can tell the whole thing gave him heartburn:

“You plug into this guy. As he learns to play with his hair on fire — maybe not a forest fire, maybe just the burning bush or something, I don’t know — he’s going to learn how to control all that.”

Then Maddon said this:

Twins 7, Athletics 4: Kenny Vargas hit a three run homer and drove in five. Hector Santiago allowed three run over six, and pitched while wearing custom cleats showing an airbrushed picture of the late grandmother Nelly. Gettin’ dusty in here. The Twins have won seven of ten.

Mariners 8, Angels 7: A late rally for Seattle, with Jarrod Dyson hitting a two-out, two-run double in the eighth to tie things up and Jean Segura following that with a two-run single to put the M’s over. The only reason Seattle had to come back was because their bullpen blew a four-run lead by allowing six runs to the Angels in the sixth inning, but let’s try to forget that, shall we?

Giants 4, Dodgers 1Jeff Samardzija allowed only one unearned run and three hits while striking out eleven in eight innings, but he couldn’t get much in the way of run support — and Julio Urias and a handful of Dodgers relievers matched him — so we went to extras. In the 11th, Brandon Belt and Gorkys Hernandez each singled in a run and Hunter Pence hit a sac fly. All of this on the night Vin Scully was inducted into the Dodgers Ring of Honor, with the club hanging up a sign with a microphone and Scully’s name. Scully, watching the Giants rally late, said “Jesus, you frickin’ bums. Way to ruin my night — BIG VIN’s NIGHT! I’m insulted.” Then he spit on the ground and threw a few bucks at the Dodgers relievers and told them to go buy some class. Retirement has changed Scully, man.

Rockies 11, Padres 3: Ian Desmond was just activated on Sunday after missing 25 games. He hit two homers last night off of Jered Weaver, who is great to face after coming off of an injury, because it helps make up for all of that batting practice you miss when you’re hurt.

Brewers vs. Cardinals — POSTPONED:

The song came and went
Like the times that we spent
Hiding out from the rain under the carnival tent
I laughed and she’d smile
It would last for awhile
You don’t know what you got till you lose it all again
Listen to the mandolin rain
Listen to the music on the lake
Listen to my heart break every time she runs away
Listen to the banjo wind
A sad song drifting low
Listen to the tears roll
Down my face as she turns to go