And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 8, Marlins 0: Clayton Kershaw was probably happy to have all of that offense behind him, but he sure as hell didn’t need it (CG SHO 2 H, 10K).

Rays 7, Indians 0: Actually, the same can be said for Jeremy Hellickson (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 6K). Evan Longoria was 2 for 3 with two walks from the leadoff spot. It was his second day in a row there and his second day of getting on base like it’s going out of style. Which, given the depressed offensive numbers around baseball this year, it kind of is. Interesting.

Red Sox 4, Tigers 3; Tigers 3, Red Sox 0: A ninth-inning pinch hit homer by Big Papi wins the first of the twin bill. That was the second time Oritz had faced Jose Valverde in his career, and it was the second time he went long off him. In the nightcap it was all Justin Verlander, with the Tigers’ ace throwing 132 pitchers in seven and two-thirds. But (a) he didn’t allow a run; and (b) he was still throwing nearly 100 m.p.h. when he finally left the game. I think paying attention to pitch counts has saved a lot of guys’ arms. But I also think that there will always be a handful of guys who would have been just fine had they been handled like they were 1970s starters anyway. Verlander is one of those guys.

Rangers 7, Royals 6: Neftali Feliz and Joakim Soria each allowed the other team to take the lead in the ninth, but since the Rangers batted last, it was a bit more problematic that Soria did it. And check out the play at the plate that ended the game. Did Brayan Pena have images of Buster Posey dancing in his head? Is not trying to slam into the catcher the new inefficiency? Or are we trying to hard to graft narratives onto what are essentially random events?

Brewers 6, Giants 0: Sometimes someone does a way better job of distilling a game’s essence than I do. Here’s a tweet from Andrew Baggarly yesterday: “Well, this game is a turd sandwich for the Giants.” Eight shutout innings for Yovanni Gallardo. That’s twelve earned runs in just over 19 innings for Matt Cain since he agreed to be interviewed on HBT Daily that time.

Braves 2, Reds 1: Martin Prado hit a two-run homer to put the Braves up in the sixth and threw out the would-be tying run at the plate in the top of the eighth. Well, he was credited with throwing out the would-be tying run, but the replay showed pretty clearly that David Ross didn’t get the tag on Paul Janish before he crossed the plate. In this case the lack of replay helped my rooting interest, but I don’t care, we really do need replay to correct these kinds of calls. TV viewers knew within 20 seconds that the call was wrong. An ump in the booth could have known just as quickly, if not quicker given that he wouldn’t be sifting through reaction shots. Anyway, another solid outing for Jair Jurrjens (8 IP, 6 H, 1 ER).

Cardinals 4, Rockies 3: Seven wins for Kyle Lohse as the Cards finish up their nine-game road trip with a 6-3 mark. Of course six of those games came against the Royals and the Padres, but hey, they’re winnin’ the ones they’re supposed to win.

Angels 6, Twins 5: I can’t decide if I’m more impressed by Mark Trumbo’s 436-foot home run or by the fact that Russell Branyan stole a base.  Well, I suppose Branyan does average one a year or so for his career, so maybe this was inevitable.

Athletics 6, Orioles 4: The Athletics give Zach Britton his worst day as a major league starter, touching him up for six runs on ten hits. More significantly, the A’s see the return of Andrew Bailey, who pitched a perfect seventh inning and allowed Bob Geren to do what a lot of people figured he could do this year, trotting out Bailey, Fuentes, Balfour and Breslow one after another (though not necessarily in that order).

Diamondbacks 4, Astros 2: J.A. Happ was pretty solid and hit a home run to — wait for it — help his own cause, but the Dbacks rallied because they are now apparently invincible. Really, since the five-game losing streak they had in the middle of May, the Diamondbacks are 14-2. And now they are alone in first place at the top of the NL West.

Yankees 7, Mariners 1: Andruw Jones (a three-run double in the third) and CC Sabathia (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER) help the Yankees avoid the sweep.

Padres 5, Nationals 4: Given that they had only scored 15 runs in their previous 11 games, five runs for the Padres is pretty impressive. And they needed all five. The last one came on a ninth-inning infield single by Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick had three hits and two RBI and Brad Hawpe had two hits and two RBI.  The Nats have lost nine of 11.

Mets 9, Phillies 5: Vance Worley just didn’t have it yesterday, so Charlie Manuel decided to send out Kendrick, Romero and Baez after him, which is basically the “let us live to fight another day” pupu platter.  Three RBI for Josh Thole, who also had three hits. Four hits for Jose Reyes. Seventeen in all for the Metropolitans.

Blue Jays 13, White Sox 4: This game was basically over once Aaron Hill hit a grand slam in the first inning. A 4 for 5, 3 RBI day for Corey Patterson because the world has gone crazy or something.

Cubs 3, Pirates 2: Rain delay: 2:34. Game time: 2:36. Cool. A nice start from Ryan Demptser and solid relief from Kerry Wood, Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol.

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.