And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 7, White Sox 2: Gosh, I just don’t know how the Yankees are gonna compete with the rotation in such bad shape. I mean, really, it’s dire (Ivan Nova 7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER 10K).

Phillies 3, Giants 0: Cliff Lee tosses a seven hit shutout. Microcosm game: both teams can pitch, the Giants have no offense anymore, and thus comparisons between this series and the 2010 NLCS are not exactly apt. Seven straight for the Phillies.

Rangers 5, Tigers 2: The Rangers put at least a temporary halt to their current skid behind a strong outing from Alexi Ogando. Brad Penny — who seems to only pitch in day games — got lit up again.

Cardinals 7, Marlins 4: Single, double and a homer for Albert Pujols and — thanks to Edwin Jackson totally wearing that game on Wednesday afternoon — the Cards were able to trot out seven pitchers to keep the Feesh at bay. Like I’ve always said: that Tony La Russa is a genius.

Indians 7, Red Sox 3: Justin Masterson outpitches new hire Erik Bedard. At least by a little. Same number of runs allowed in one more inning for Masterson. The bullpens were the difference, with Andrew Miller giving up two runs on four hits while walking two in two and two-thirds. Carlos Santana went 3-for-4 with three RBI and Kosuke Fukudome had three hits.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 6: An exciting twelve inning affair. Desmond Jennings hit a solo homer in the 10th to tie it up at four. Then Robinson Chirinos tied it in the 11th with a pinch-hit single and won it with a two-out single in the 12th.

Cubs 7, Pirates 6: Things were relatively under control for the Pirates until the eighth, but then four Pirates relievers managed to allow three Cubs runs, turning a 6-4 Pirates lead unto a 7-6 deficit, which proved to be the final score.

Royals 9, Orioles 4: Before the season, every time I was asked about the Orioles’ chances, I’d say something about how that young rotation needs to come around.  Guess what? They never did, and a nightmare season continues.

Angels 7, Twins 1: Dan Haren took a shutout into the eighth and Mark Trumbo drove in four. Home run number 598 for Jim Thome.

Rockies 6, Nationals 3: Esmil Rogers slid into Ubaldo Jimenez’s slot in the rotation and things went just fine (5.2 IP, 7 H. 1 ER).  A homer for Tulowitzki.

Victor Martinez played his final major league game on Saturday

Victor Martinez
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After 16 years in the majors, longtime Tigers DH Victor Martinez capped his career with one final start at Comerica Park. Although there are seven games remaining in the club’s regular season schedule, Martinez said he felt he owed it to the fans to record his final at-bat at home. He’ll still cheer the rest of the team on from the dugout when they hit the road for their last six-game stretch on Monday, though he’s not expected to slot into the lineup at any point during their back-to-back away series against the Twins and Brewers.

In order to commemorate the occasion, the Tigers arranged a pregame ceremony to celebrate the veteran infielder’s seven years with the team, during which they presented him with Topps baseball cards, a recliner, a pair of boots, and a saddle, among other honors. Martinez also put in a special request to play first base, a position he hadn’t manned in over two years.

The 39-year-old didn’t waste a single minute of his final start in the majors. He deftly handled an inning-ending out in the top of the first, then laced a rare infield single to short in his first and final at-bat of the afternoon, beating the throw to first and advancing Nicholas Castellanos to second base in order to set up the Tigers’ first run: a two-out RBI single from Niko Goodrum that brought Castellanos home to score.

“I think that at-bat was the perfect at-bat to describe my career,” Martinez told reporters after the Tigers wrapped a 5-4 win over the Royals. “I had to sweat it out. I had to sweat it out the whole way. I had to grind it. That was my whole career.”

Following the hit — and the standing ovation that greeted it — the switch-hitter was promptly replaced by pinch-runner Ronny Rodriguez, who subbed in at second base in the top of the second while Goodrum shifted from second to first base. Taking Saturday’s performance into account, Martinez polished off his big league career with a lifetime .295/.359/.455 batting line, 423 doubles, 246 home runs, 1,178 RBI, and 28.4 fWAR across 1,973 games and three separate stints for the Indians, Red Sox, and Tigers. His accomplishments at the plate have been decorated with five All-Star nominations, two Silver Slugger Awards, and the designated hitter-exclusive Edgar Martinez Award following a career-best campaign in 2014.