And That Happened: Thursday's scores and recaps

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Red Sox 3, Twins 1:
Varitek homers twice and gets run for getting up in the ump’s face
arguing balls and strikes. I can’t criticize him; I like to go home
early on days on which I get a lot done too. Mike Redmond, Terry
Francona and Ron Gardenhire were also ejected, and I picture all four
of them pounding the Budweiser together while watching the rest of the
game on a plasma TV in one of the clubhouses. Oh, and the Captain is
now at .248/.320/.541, which is more than respectable for a guy who was
basically in a coffin this time last year.

Indians 2, Rays 1:
The Rays were just swept 4-0 by one of the five or six worst teams in
baseball, which I think relieves us all of the obligation of pretending
they are one of the five or six best, as we have been since
last year. And it could have been worse: thanks to a nearly three-hour
rain delay, the Rays were spared from further embarrassment at the
hands of a rookie starting pitcher who had an ERA of 17.55 entering the
game. As it was, young David Huff shut Tampa Bay down for four innings,
with a random assemblage of Cleveland’s bullpen fodder coming in to
finish off the job.

Orioles 5, Tigers 1:
Let the record reflect that on this night, Greg Zaun joined (1) Chuck
Diering; (2) Mark Belanger; and (3) the Earth, without form and void
and darkness upon the face of the deep, as the last things which
preceded an appearance of God in Baltimore.

Dodgers 2, Cubs 1:
Another day, another multi-hit game for Juan Pierre. Randy Wolf was the
real story, though, as he goes seven strong innings giving up a single
run. The bullpen got out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth to preserve
the win. Bobby Scales was sent down to Iowa on Wednesday and called
back up yesterday because Ryan Freel went on the DL. Despite being
jerked around, dude hit a homer, so the fairy tale continues.

Diamondbacks 5, Braves 2:
Danny Haren allowed two runs and seven hits in eight innings, striking
out eight and now has a K/BB ratio of 71/9 on the season. He’s pretty
good.

Diamondbacks, T.J. McFarland avoid arbitration

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Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the Diamondbacks and reliever T.J. McFarland have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. McFarland, in his third of four years of arbitration eligibility, filed for $1.675 million while the Diamondbacks countered at $1.275 million. McFarland ended up settling for just under the midpoint of those two figures.

McFarland, 29, was terrific out of the bullpen for the D-Backs last season, finishing with a 2.00 ERA and a 42/22 K/BB ratio in 72 innings. While the lefty may not miss a lot of bats, he does induce quite a few grounders. His 67.9 percent ground ball rate last season was the third highest among relievers with at least 50 innings, trailing only Brad Ziegler (71.1%) and Scott Alexander (70.6%).

McFarland was dominant against left-handed hitters, limiting them to a .388 OPS last season, but the D-Backs deployed him nearly twice as often against right-handed hitters, who posted an aggregate .764 OPS against him. It will be interesting to see if the club decides to use him more as a platoon reliever in 2019.