Don Kelly

Miguel Cabrera

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Tigers 8, Indians 5: Two homers for Miguel Cabrera and yet another sweep for the Tigers. When they go 162, fine, I’ll support him for the MVP.

Cardinals 7, Reds 5: Jhonny Peralta tied it with a two-run homer in the eighth and Matt Carpenter put St. Louis up by two with a homer of his own in the 11th. This game note is really darn interesting: “Reds catcher Brayan Pena left the game in the seventh after injuring his left shoulder in a fall at first base while beating out a leadoff bunt.” Just a LOT to unpack there.

Rays 8, Marlins 5: Miami’s season sure ain’t starting well, what with them being 1-5. Actual postgame quote from Jarrod Saltalamacchia: “It could have been worse. We could have been 0-6.” He must of said that before he realized two Marlins players — Don Kelly and Jeff Mathis — each broke a finger during the game. For real.

Blue Jays 10, Orioles 7: UPDATE: Though I probably get more “you don’t respect us!” rebop from O’s and Jays fans than any other two fan bases, please trust me when I tell you that I didn’t mean to leave this one blank earlier as some sort of passive-aggressive “this game was boring comment.” I just write these hella early and sometimes the brain hasn’t kicked in yet. Anyway: the Jays hit three homers because homers are their thing. The last one — from Jose Bautista — came after Darren O’Day threw one behind him. Those two have a history, of course. And Bautista is way better than O’Day, of course, so he’s gonna get the better of them over time. Maybe O’Day should cut it out?

Mets 4, Braves 3: I suppose it was folly to think Atlanta would go undefeated this year. And, if you have to lose a game, better to lose it in one which contained some outrageously awesome performances from athletes of bleeding-edge skill.

That was Colon’s first RBI in a decade. Colon started play yesterday as a .075/.080/.081 career hitter.

Nationals 4, Phillies 3: Bryce Harper homered and Wilson Ramos drove in two, including the go-ahead run in the 10th. Max Scherzer: one run, eight strikeouts in six innings. Yet, once again, does not pitch well enough to win. I am afraid of what the intimidating, influential and wise columnists of Washington will say today.

White Sox 6, Twins 2: I guess this means that Chris Sale’s foot feels OK (6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8K). Adam LaRoche hit a homer and had an RBI single.

Pirates 10, Brewers 2: And I guess this means Andrew McCutchen’s knee feels OK (2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI). Chris Sadler got his first MLB win after allowing two runs in five innings.

Astros 6, Rangers 4: Hank Conger had a two-run homer in the 14th to win it. But he wouldn’t have had the chance to it if wasn’t for George Springer’s amazing, grand-slam-saving catch in the 10th. That gave the Rangers three of their 15 stranded runners in the game. They drew seven walks and four Rangers batters were hit by pitches on top of that. If you can’t win a game when the other team just gifts you 11 base runners like that, fate ain’t letting you win that game.

Royals 9, Angels 2: Put the Royals in the 162-0 camp with the Tigers. Alcides Escobar and Alex Rios hit two-run doubles  and Salvador Perez homered There was some chippiness here because, apparently, Yordano Ventura doesn’t like athletes on the other team to say incendiary things like “let’s go, you guys!” Um, OK.

Mariners 8, Athletics 7: A 10th inning Nelson Cruz homer put the M’s ahead for good. Earlier in the game Rickie Weeks hit a pinch-hit three-run job. This day was not perfect for Seattle, but a couple of offseason additions designed to help fix the M’s biggest problem — offense — paid off well.

Padres 6, Giants 4: Wil Nieves hit a grand slam off of Jake Peavy as the Padres take three of four from the defending champs. Nieves’ Made his big league debut in 2002 for the Padres, catching Jake Peavy. A few things have happened since then, I suppose.

Cubs 6, Rockies 5: La Troy Hawkins came in to save the game with a comfy lead in the ninth — And he needed to only get two of the three outs with a two-run lead. But then a walk-wild pitch-single combo brought Chicago to within one and a subsequent two-run homer by Dexter Fowler put the Cubs ahead. That’s three appearances for Hawkins this year, the last two of which were blown saves. He’s allowed five runs on seven hits in two and two-thirds innings. Ick.

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 4: Alex Guerrero made some waves in spring training when he said that he deserved to be in the big leagues and wouldn’t allow the Dodgers to send him down. They’re happy they have him on the big club now, I reckon. He went 3-for-5, homered and had four RBI after being pressed into service due to injuries to Justin Turner and Juan Uribe. Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson homered too, so viva youth in Los Angeles.

Yankees 14, Red Sox 4: All Yankees started got a hit and all Yankees starters scored a run in this romp. A-Rod hit a three-run double and Chase Headley and Stephen Drew hit back-to-back bombs. Masahiro Tanaka wasn’t fantastic, but he pitched five generally competent innings to get the win, so maybe the columnists will wring their hands over something else this week.

Marlins sign Don Kelly to a minor league deal

Don Kelly, Miguel Cabrera
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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that the Marlins have signed utilityman Don Kelly to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.

Kelly, 35 in February, had been with the Tigers since 2009. A veteran of seven seasons in the majors, he owns a career .232/.296/.336 batting line with 23 home runs and 95 RBI in 1,189 plate appearances. Despite his offensive shortcomings, Kelly is quite versatile as he has experience at every position on the diamond, including pitcher and catcher.

Orioles complete sweep of Tigers, advance to the ALCS

Nelson Cruz, Adam Jones
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The Orioles are headed to the American League Championship Series for the first time since 1997. The AL East champs defeated the AL Central champion Tigers 2-1 in Game 3 of the ALDS in Detroit on Saturday, completing a series sweep.

Starter Bud Norris blanked the Tigers over 6 1/3 innings, holding them to just two hits and two walks while striking out six. Nelson Cruz helped put Norris in line for the win in the top of the sixth when he laced a David Price change-up down the right field line for a two-run home run, breaking a scoreless tie.

Andrew Miller fired 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief, and closer Zach Britton escaped danger after allowing back-to-back doubles to Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez to open up the ninth inning. Britton struck out Bryan Holaday. Then, after intentionally walking Nick Castellanos to set up a double play, induced a 5-4-3 double play out of pinch-hitter Hernan Perez to finish off the ballgame.

Price was strong, despite allowing the home run to Cruz. He went eight innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a pair of walks while striking out six. That’s enough for a win most of the time, just not on this particular evening.

Game 3 had two controversial calls by umpires. One occurred in the second inning, when Andrew Romine dragged a bunt towards the first base side with a runner on third base and two outs. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop charged, scooped the ball with his glove-hand, and shoveled it to first baseman Steve Pearce. First base umpire Jim Wolf ruled Romine out, which was promptly challenged by Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. Replays showed that the play was extremely close, but there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the initial call. As expected, the call was upheld and the Tigers were denied the run and the base runner, ending the inning.

The second controversial ruling came in the bottom of the third. The Tigers had Don Kelly on second base and one out with Torii Hunter at the plate. Hunter hit a ground ball to the left side, fielded quickly by shortstop J.J. Hardy, who was shifted further to his right with the right-handed Hunter at the plate. Hardy threw to Schoop at second base as Kelly had ventured too far off of the bag. Schoop, however, did not catch the ball cleanly and it dropped. Schoops momentum had taken him into the base path, and he blocked Kelly’s lane back to the bag. Schoop reached over Kelly for the ball and tagged him out. Ausmus asked the umpires to confer about possible obstruction. After discussing the issue, the umpires ruled that there had been no obstruction.

While the Tigers could very easily have won Game 3 had either umpire ruling gone differently, or if Cruz’s home run had been a couple feet shorter or to the right, they are ultimately out of the playoffs due to their bullpen, which allowed seven runs in Game 1 and four runs in Game 2.