And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Phillies 7, Marlins 3: John Mayberry had a walkoff grand slam. Probably good that the Phillies won this one. After a brutally bad call by Bob Davidson in the bottom of the eighth on a Ben Revere takeout slide, the crowd didn’t stop letting the umps hear it. Apparently none of the tens of thousands in the ballpark appreciate the human element. Pity.

Red Sox 17, Rangers 5: Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast. The Red Sox scored in each of the first seven innings, including six in the second. Brick killed a guy. There were horses and a man on fire. He killed a man with a trident.

Nationals 3, Mets 2: Danny Espinosa was put on the DL and Davey Johnson wrote in Steve Lombardozzi’s name at second base. Lombardozzi hits a walkoff sac-fly to complete the Nats’ come-from-behind victory. Amazing how much easier this game is when you don’t try to play it with players who have broken bones and torn shoulders.

Yankees 4, Indians 3: Mark Teixeira homers for the second straight night. David Phelps with six shutout innings. After the game Joe Girardi called Teixeira “an RBI machine.” It’s awesome that Teixeira’s so talented that he can make those baserunners get on before him like that. Unless, perhaps, in the past two nights he has simply been a home run machine and the RBIs had a lot to do with his teammates doing well in front of him.

Tigers 10, Rays 1: Prince Fielder drove in four and Matt Moore took his first loss of the season. It was a three days rest sort of thing for Moore. I say “sort of thing” because he pitched one inning in his last outing, which was cut short due to rain. You have to wonder if it messed with his chi.

Braves 5, Pirates 4: Andrelton Simmons showed his stick in this one. More so than usual. A 3 for 5 day including a walkoff double.

Rockies 5, Reds 4: Troy Tulowitzki hit a two-run homer in the eighth to put the Rockies ahead for good. It took an umpire’s review to make it so — they initially ruled it was fan interference and thus a double — but they got the call right a minute later. More failure to trust the human element. Sigh.

Twins 3, Royals 0: Sam Deduno and four relievers combine to shut out Kansas City. This was the Royals’ 11th straight home loss. George Brett would be better off having Dayton Moore activate him than try to teach these chipwiches how to hit. The Twins have won seven of eight. I don’t think it’ll last, but for now they’re only four and a half back of the Tigers.

Brewers 4, Athletics 3: The Brewers were down 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth, scored three off Sean Doolittle, who really lived up to his name, and then won it on a Yuniesky Betancourt double in the tenth.

Orioles 4, Astros 1: All good things, and the Astros win streak was a very good thing, must come to an end. Chris Tillman allowed one run and struck out eight in seven innings.

Diamondbacks 7, Cardinals 6: The Diamondbacks beat up on Michael Wacha, the Cardinals came back by beating up on Tyler Skaggs and the Dbacks’ pen, and then after 14 innings Paul Goldschmidt won it for Arizona with an RBI single. The Cards have lost all of their extra innings games this year.

Angels 4, Cubs 3: A two-run homer for Albert Pujols in the seventh brings the Angels back from behind. El Hombre — remember when we used to call him that? — drove in three in all.

Dodgers 9, Padres 7: Yasiel Puig’s coming out party continued into its second day, with the large rookie hitting two homers and driving in five. He also committed a throwing error which helped give the Padres the lead early, but let’s leave that one aside for now since it came out in the wash.

Mariners 7, White Sox 4: Raul Ibanez homered and drove in four and the M’s actually gave Felix Hernandez some run support. There was a time when Hernandez would give up four runs like he did here and never hope to win. That time, to be fair, was all the time up to yesterday just before game time. But he’ll definitely take the runs.

Giants 2, Blue Jays 1: Something approaching vintage Tim Lincecum, as The Freak — remember when we used to call him that? — allowed one run over seven. All the scoring in this one was over by the second inning and the game lasted a cool, crisp two hours, sixteen minutes.

Reds having Michael Lorenzen prepare as a two-way player

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For decades, a legitimate “two-way player” — a player who functions as both a pitcher and as a position player — was nothing but a fantasy. The skill sets required for both are too distinct and require too much prep work, it was thought. The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani shattered that illusion in 2018, posting a .925 OPS in 367 plate appearances as a hitter while posting a 3.31 ERA in 51 2/3 innings as a pitcher.

Since then, several more players have been considered in two-way roles. The Rangers signed Matt Davidson earlier this month and could potentially use him as a corner infielder as well as a reliever. Also earlier this month, James Loney signed with the independent Atlantic League’s Sugar Land Skeeters, who plan to use him as both a first baseman and as a pitcher.

You can add Michael Lorenzen of the Reds to that list. MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports that the Reds will have Lorenzen prepare this spring as a two-way player. He could both start and relieve while occasionally playing in the outfield. Lorenzen, in fact, took batting practice with the outfielders on Thursday. Previously, he had taken batting practice as extra work following a workout with fellow pitchers.

Lorenzen said, “It’s fantastic, the effort they’re putting in. A lot of the excuses were, ‘You know, we don’t want to overwork him.’ Well, let’s just sit down and talk about it then. They were willing to sit down and talk about it, which is one of the reasons why I love this staff so much and why I think the front office did a great job [hiring] this staff. They’re willing to find solutions for problems.”

New manager David Bell said, “We’ve put together a plan for the whole spring, knowing we can adjust it at any time. We didn’t want to go into each day not knowing what he’s going to do. We all felt better, he did, too. He was part of putting it together.”

Lorenzen, 27, pitched 81 innings last year with a 3.11 ERA and a 54/34 K/BB ratio. He’s one of baseball’s best-hitting pitchers as well. Last year, he swatted four homers and knocked in 10 runs in 34 trips to the plate. The last pitcher to hit at least four homers in a season was the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner, who did it in both 2014 (four) and 2015 (five). Lorenzen also posted a 1.043 OPS. According to Baseball Reference, there have been only 11 pitchers to OPS over 1.000 (min. 30 PA). The only ones to do it in the 2000’s are Lorenzen last year, Micah Owings in 2007 (1.033) and Dontrelle Willis in 2011 (1.032).