Craig Calcaterra

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Video: Yoenis Cespedes has got this

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The sun was a problem for left fielders in Kauffman Stadium yesterday. But not too big a problem for Yoenis Cespedes:

You can’t teach cool, man.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Evan Gattis
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Astros 7, Mariners 6: Make it ten in a row for Houston. Evan Gattis, whose name seems to be leading the Astros’ game stories every day, hit two homers. That’s five homers in six games for him now. As for the Astros, they’re 18-7 and in first place with an astounding seven-game lead. Now, to be sure, it’s early, and to be surer, the AL West has had a history of teams leaping out to big leads only to see them go away over the course of the summer. But this is really somethin’ so far, eh?

Athletics 7, Rangers 1: Sonny Gray walked seven. He also struck out ten. In addition he hit the sportswriter, the public address announcer, the bull mascot twice . . . Stephen Vogt homered twice, driving in four.

Giants 5, Angels 0: The good Tim Lincecum came time-traveling from five or six years ago to grace us all with his presence and provide eight shutout innings. The current Jered Weaver remained, however, allowing five runs on ten hits in five innings. The dude has just fallen off a cliff.

Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0: Anderson tossed six shutout innings. So too did Anderson. Neither Brett nor Chase figured in the decision, however, as this one went scoreless for 13 before Yasmani Grandal hit a walkoff homer. The half-inning before Grandal recovered from a wild pitch nicely to throw out a runner trying to score from third. A 13-inning game that ends 1-0 is some serious 1968 noise.

Indians 10, Blue Jays 7: They Jays had a 6-1 lead in the fourth, but unfortunately for them we play nine around these parts. The Indians rallied, featuring a six-run fifth inning. Players said they had a little team meeting in the dugout in the middle of the game and that made a big difference:

“Guys were very forward in being vocal and said what needed to be said,” Kipnis said. “We’re not good enough to play that stupid the way we did in the first couple of innings.”

The worst thing about life is when you find that, very often, people get by with being stupid quite well. They shouldn’t, and they should really be concerned that they are so stupid, but they seem to manage and not care. We’re all Frank Grimes watching Homer Simpson, incredulous that their system works for them and wondering why they don’t have far worse lives than they do, but there they are.

Nationals 1, Mets 0: Losing a 1-0 game feels like a gut-punch. The Mets just lost two in a row. This one thanks to Doug Fister, who pitched shutout ball into the seventh and was backed up by four relievers. The game’s only scoring came on a Ryan Zimmerman RBI single in the first.  The Mets have lost seven of their last ten. The Nats have won five of six. Everyone who wrote “what have we learned?” columns after the first week or two of the season is a moron.

Phillies 6, Marlins 2: Ryan Howard had a triple (!) and an RBI single, helping the Phillies avert the sweep. Before I saw the triple I would’ve guessed “ball kicks off the base of the ball and rolls for a year.” Not quite! Marcel Ozuna took a bad route to it and couldn’t cut it off, and it did kick a bit, but this was a legit, leg-it-out triple to the deepest part of the park. Respect for the big man:

Orioles 4, Rays 2: The “home” team Orioles take two of three from Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg. Adam Jones had four hits, including a tie-breaking single. Afterward he talked about his hitting philosophy:

“I’ve got one simple philosophy … get the heater and try not to miss it,” Jones said.

He’s the Ricky Jay of hitting. He’s going to tell you he’s waiting for your fastball. He’s going to make you throw him your fastball and he’s going to hit your fastball anyway.

Braves 5, Reds 0: Julio Terhran gave up three singles in six shutout innings as the Braves and Reds split. Teheran needed that following three straight starts with too many crooked numbers. Atlanta got to Johnny Cueto. Fredi Gonzalez:

“If you would have told me we’d score five runs against Johnny Cueto, and he would only go six innings, I’m may have stopped and got some Lotto tickets”

People older than, say, 45, say “Lotto tickets.” People younger tend to say “Power Ball” or “Mega Millions.” Older people also say “cash machine” instead of “ATM” a lot. These are the sorts of things I used to make fun of more until it was pointed out to me by someone that I say “Lotto” and “cash machine.” Get off my lawn.

Tigers 6, Royals 4: Anibal Sanchez had a perfect game into the sixth to help give the Tigers the series split. Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Alex Avila drove in three. The Royals sold out all four games and had their biggest four-day attendance total since their ballpark’s capacity was reduced in a renovation back in 2009.

Twins 13 White Sox 3: Trevor Plouffe smacked a grand slam and drove in five and Brian Dozier had four hits. The Twins are 13-12. Not bad for a club that was supposed to be one of the worst if not the worst team in the majors this year.

Cardinals 3, Pirates 2: Kolten Wong with a 14th inning walkoff homer to give the Cards the sweep. I said earlier that a 1-0 loss is like a gut punch? An extra inning loss is like a gut punch too. The Cards won all three of the games in extras.

Brewers 5, Cubs 3: The Brewers won consecutive games for the first time all year. After the game, they fired Ron Roenicke. I’m guessing the decision to can him was made a few days before and that the timing of it had to do with getting back to Milwaukee after the road trip and stuff, but it’s still weird. It’s also likely to be of little consequence. This club just doesn’t have the horses. They’re going to be down a horse for a bit too, it seems, as Jean Segura left after he was hit on the helmet by a pitch from Pedro Strop, feeling nauseous.

Padres 8, Rockies 6: Lots of homers here, as the Padres and Rockies played a Coors Field Special in Petco Park somehow. The ball just flies better there during the day. Justin Upton, Derek Norris and Jedd Gyorko went yard. Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon each homered twice. Thirty homers were hit in Petco in the nine-game homestand which just ended. Twenty by the opposition, ten by Padres hitters.

Yankees 8, Red Sox 5: The Yankees sweep the Sox and keep their good thing going. It was the first sweep of the Red Sox for New York since 2006. Unless you count two-game series which, really, never count those for they are an abomination unto God. Jacoby Ellsbury reached base four six times, including a walk and being hit by a pitch once. The Yankees have won 13 of 16.

Quote of the Day: Terry Francona is anti-moping

Terry Francona
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There’s this expectation among sports fans that if a team isn’t playing well, the team shouldn’t be happy about it. They like conspicuous moping and, in the past have, with the help of the media, turned non-sad athletes on losing teams into bad guys who are expected to answer for not deporting themselves in a funereal fashion.

The Indians aren’t playing well. But Terry Francona will not have them mope. Not for a second:

Francona, of course, lost his job in Boston, in part, because he had some players who just wanted to eat a fine meal in a comfortable room and not, I dunno, sit on the bench trying to out-grim one another.

I’m glad Francona didn’t pay any attention to those scolds and that he’s fine with his players relaxing and enjoying themselves, even when they’re losing. Life sucks an awful lot of the time and we all die at the end of it. It makes no sense to create more dreariness than there already is. It’s the emotional equivalent of false hustle.

Rob Manfred is pro-status quo on the DH

Rob Manfred AP
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Not at all surprising as he’s said as much in the past. But he said it again today:

“I understand why there’s talk because we had a couple pitcher injuries while they were batting,” Manfred said before Friday’s game between the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers at Wrigley Field. “Over the long haul, I’m a status quo person on the DH. I think the difference between the two leagues is a source of debate among fans, and I’m a big believer in the idea of when people are talking about baseball it’s a good thing.”

Like anything else, if and when a number of NL owners want the DH, Manfred will support it. Whether that comes via some sort of change of sentiment by the NL owners or because they see a good opportunity to give the union 15 more good-paying jobs for veterans in exchange for something else they want is of little consequence. Given how people feel so strongly, pro and con, about the designated hitter, there is no reason whatsoever for the commissioner to take a side.

Contrast this with radical changes made in the past such as interleague play and expanded playoffs which had a clear financial driver. In those cases it was OK to risk angering some traditionalists. There was a greater prize. Here there is nothing so compelling. It’d be a bad thing for those who hate the DH. It’d be an improvement for those who like it. But it would not be some sort of no-brainer business decision.

As for that last line — about how he believes people talking about baseball is a good thing — I’m going to take that as a clear endorsement for hardball talk. Not HardballTalk necessarily, but certainly hardball talk.

Homer Bailey to have Tommy John surgery

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The Reds were going to shut Homer Bailey down for two months. Think bigger, Cincinnati:

Bad news for Bailey and the Reds, who are in the in the second season of a six-year, $105 million contract together.

Bailey made two poor appearances this season before going on the DL. Last year he was shut down early with arm problems. 2012 and 2013 are the only two seasons in his nine years in the majors in which he made as many as 30 starts, pitched as many as 200 innings and had an ERA that was better than league average.