And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Twins 1, White Sox 0: The no-no! Francisco Liriano came into the game with a 9+ ERA and his job on the line and he didn’t allow a hit.  It wasn’t the most dominant no hitter you’ll ever see. He walked six guys, only struck out two and threw 123 pitches, but it doesn’t really matter. Liriano had never even had a complete game before. This is the kind of thing that makes baseball beautiful. A team and a player, both of which are having a crappy year, can have one night where everything is perfect. You play every day, and every day there’s the possibility for something wonderful.

Rays 3, Blue Jays 2: And that, my friends, is B.J. Upton. Belt-high fastball with zilch movement from Jon Rauch turns into a walkoff job.

Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 3: It wasn’t a walkoff, but Justin Upton joined his brother in the game-winning homer club, his coming in the eighth. My brother and I talked on the phone with each other and complained about how we get aches and pains for seemingly no reason anymore. And can’t sleep through the night without having to wake up and pee. So it was almost the same.

Phillies 4, Nationals 1: Cole Hamels allowed only five hits. Raul Ibanez broke his 0-for-gajillion streak with a couple of doubles. Jayson Werth, in his return to Philly, was getting booed when he came to the plate, then he stopped and tipped his cap to the crowd. Then the boos quickly turned into cheers. I can’t decide if that’s beautiful or if the Phillies fans’ lack of conviction on the matter is mock-worthy.

Astros 10, Reds 4: Since their four-game losing streak ended on April 20th, the Reds have alternated wins and losses every day … until last night, when they lost their second in a row. On ESPN.com, the team schedule lists wins in green and losses in red. As Lt. Giardello used to tell the homicide unit: there’s a lot of red on that board.

Red Sox 7, Angels 3: Jon Lester vs. Dan Haren was something to look forward to. So of course I missed it because I had 18 things to do and then decided to watch the Liriano no hitter once I was able to turn my attention to TV.  Lester got the better of it, striking out 11 in seven innings, holding the Sox close in a 1-0 ballgame before they helped him out with seven runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth.

Giants 7, Mets 6: Mets jumped out to a 3-0 lead and blew it, took a 5-4 lead and blew it and then battled back to make it 6-6 and send it into extras. Then Aubrey Huff went yard in the 10th, ending a personal 0 for 20 slump.

Tigers 4, Yankees 2: Detroit snaps a seven-game losing streak. Scott Sizemore gets three hits and drives in a run in his first action since being called up from Toledo. Lots of people thrive when they leave Toledo.

Cubs 4, Dodgers 1: Going forward, unless someone hits four homers or something, Andre Ethier’s hitting streak is what we’re going to care about most in Dodgers games. So: yes, he got a hit, so he’s at 29. More improbable than an extended hitting streak was Carlos Pena actually putting good wood on the ball, but he did that too with a homer.

Padres 6, Pirates 5: Speaking of “good wood” this one was helped along by some bad wood. Specifically, bad Brandon Wood who, after reaching second base with one out in the ninth decided to try to take third on a pitch in the dirt but was thrown out. Clint Hurdle’s opinion of the play: “You’re already in scoring position and if you’re safe, we’re all happy. But he pushed the envelope a little bit. At times you have to be smart, so when you’re out at third like that, it never looks good.”

Mariners 4, Rangers 3: The M’s have won six of seven and — get this — while still in last place in the West, are only two games back of co-leaders Anaheim and Texas.

Indians 4, Athletics 1: Key series for the Indians, as they have to prove that they can be more consistent on the road and that they can beat good pitching. So far so good, as they take this one for their seventh straight victory. Strong outing for Fausto Carmona, who gave up only the one run in eight innings of work.

Royals 6, Orioles 5: A game-winning sac fly by Jeff Francoeur in the 10th. He also had the homer that tied the game for Kansas City to send it to extras. He’s at .315/.362/.604 with 7 homers and 23 RBI on the year. But no, I am not yet preparing my hat for consumption purposes.

Cardinals 7, Marlins 5:  Daniel Descalso hit a go-ahead three-run shot in the seventh inning — his first ever homer — to give this one to St. Louis. On the less-than-bright side, Albert Pujols was 0-for-5, hit into his 10th double play of the year and stranded eight runners. Hurm. I still think he’ll bust out of it, but man, if he doesn’t, and turns in a poor year by his standards, it only makes the free agent stuff harder for the Cardinals, doesn’t it? It’s one thing to commit a boatload of cash to the best player in baseball. But do you commit a boatload to one who you’re not sure will continue to be elite?  Because it’s not like one bad year will cut his demands down to 3/$30 million or something.

Brewers vs. Braves: POSTPONED:  Don’t come around here no more, bringing me all of your bad rain. Can’t you see I’ve got troubles of my own. I ain’t got time to be messing with all of your bad rain. Why in the world can’t you just leave that stuff alone?

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 5, Mariners 0: Chris Sale dominated Seattle with seven shutout innings, allowing only four hits and striking out 13 dudes. I’m so old that I still remember people saying he was too lanky and slight to hold up in the big leagues. Hell, I probably even said it once or twice. I’m not necessarily a fan of his really, but his continued dominance in the big leagues makes me happy if, for no other reason, than it reminds us that none of us know anything and that cool stuff happens all the time.

Indians 12, Tigers 2: I was watching the England-Panama World Cup match yesterday morning and, once it got to 5-0, I asked people on Twitter who know more about soccer than I do (i.e. everyone) to characterize the level of blowout that was in baseball terms to help me understand what I was seeing. Most people described it as the sort of score that, while not occurring often in league or international play, was not necessarily newsworthy. A good shellacking to be sure, the sort of which you do not see every day, but one which is not historic or anything. The point was, that while you may see an occasional comeback from, say, 3-0, you NEVER see it from 5-0 (or later 6-0). Which was to say, in baseball terms, it was like the Tigers getting beat 12-2 by Cleveland.  I didn’t watch this game, so I have no opinion if anyone’s heroics here — say, Edwin Encarnacion‘s five RBI or the homers from Francisco Lindor or Jose Ramirez — were as cheap as Harry Kane’s hat trick (two PKs and an accidental deflection), but like Kane’s hat trick, the numbers still count.

Reds 8, Cubs 6: The Reds sweep the Chicago Cubs and have won seven in a row overall. The Cincinnati Reds. That team with Joey Votto, Eugenio Suarez and a bunch of guys you don’t think about all that often. This after they were down 5-0 early and 6-1 as late as the seventh inning. Jesse Winker — who on Friday I described as someone who “while not necessarily one of baseball’s future stars” — came off the bench to hit a rally-stoking three-run homer. Pitcher Mike Lorenzen, actually started the rally with a homer. This a week or so after my last time making a comment about how pitchers hitting is dumb and the DH should be universal. The Reds are surging too late to truly get back into the playoff picture, I suspect, but there are worse ways to spend the rest of the season than simply making everyone who thinks they know anything about baseball look silly.

Dodgers 8, Mets 7: The Dodgers hit seven — seven! — solo home runs. Kiké Hernandez and Cody Bellinger each hit two and Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and Justin Turner each smacked one. They needed all of them too, with Turner’s coming in the 11th inning to win the game. The Mets had a couple bombs themselves, with Kevin Plawecki hitting a three-run shot in the eighth to tie things up and force extras. The seven solo homers ties the record for the most in a big league game. The Dodgers win was their 12th straight victory over the Mets. L.A. has gone 25-9 since falling 10 games under .500 on May 16.

Rays 7, Yankees 6: Jake Bauers hit a walkoff homer in the bottom of the 12th to give the Rays a three-game sweep of the Yankees. In the ninth inning Clint Frazier of the Yankees hit a bomb that would’ve been a homer anyplace, but which hit a speaker hanging from a Tropicana Field catwalk which was caught on the ricochet for an out. That does sort of suck, but given how many homers that have flown out to the sort right field porch in Yankee Stadium would’ve been outs in other places, I think the amount of complaining Yankees fans can do about that one is somewhat limited. Everyone has a home park.

Braves 7, Orioles 3: The Braves win to avoid a four-game sweep at home at the hands of baseball’s worst team. Freddie Freeman hit a two-run single in the first, Dansby Swanson hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer late in the game and the Braves’ bullpen tossed four innings of one-hit ball against an O’s lineup that looked like it was happy to get out of town and back to their own beds in Baltimore having taken three of four.

Diamondbacks 3, Pirates 0: Clay Buchholz tossed five shutout innings but left with an injury. No worries, though, as the bullpen finished the job. David Peralta and John Ryan Murphy hit homers in the first and second innings, respectively, and there was nothing doing for anyone else for the rest of the game.

White Sox 10, Athletics 3: Yoan Moncada hit a three-run double and a three-run homer on his six-RBI day. Daniel Palka and Yolmer Sanchez also homered as the Sox broke a stretch in which they lost nine of ten. Or maybe they merely interrupted a stretch in which they lose eight of 11? I dunno, baseball has infinite end points and you can tell all kinds of stories about teams and players if you manipulate said end points.

Cardinals 8, Brewers 2Jose Martinez hit a three-run homer in the Cardinals’ five-run fourth, Harrison Bader reached four times and Luke Weaver was solid. The Cards salvage a split.

Twins 2, Rangers 0: Jose Berrios allowed only three hits in seven shutout innings, striking out 12 to help the Twins avoid a three-game sweep and to snap the Rangers’ seven-game winning streak.

Astros 11, Royals 3: Houston put up an eight-spot in the second inning with Yuli Gurriel hitting a grand slam. Jose Altuve drove in two runs and scored twice and Evan Gattis hit a pinch-hit homer. The Astros have won 15 of 17 and extend their AL West lead to 4.5 games.

Marlins 8, Rockies 5Derek Dietrich homered for this third straight game and also doubled and hit two singles. The Marlins starter, Caleb Smith, left with shoulder tightness early but the pen handled it form the second inning on, limiting the damage while Dietrich inflicted his. He’s hitting .410 in the month of June.

Giants 3, Padres 2: Hunter Pence hit a two-run double in the 11th to give the Giants the walkoff win. This after Cory Spangenberg had San Diego ahead in the top of the 11th with an RBI single. In other news, how many of you remembered that Hunter Pence was still playing?

Blue Jays 7, Angels 6: Another extra inning game, this one won by Kendrys Morales‘ homer in the top of the tenth. Curtis GrandersonAledmys Diaz and Devon Travis also homered for Toronto, who won on Saturday and Sunday to preserve a 2-2 split of the series.

Nationals 8, Phillies 6: Daniel Murphy hit a two-run single in the eighth — his third single of the night — which brought the Nats back from behind and put them ahead to stay. This after the Nats had flashed a message on the scoreboard — while they were behind — reminding fans that the last Metro train left the station in a few minutes. Nothing like the home town scoreboard encouraging fans to leave early. Anyway, Anthony Rendon homered and doubled, Bryce Harper hit three doubles. Michael A. Taylor had three singles himself as the Nats rattled off 17 safeties.