And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Twins 3, Indians 0: In only his second major league start Andrew Albers spins a two-hit shutout on a mere 102 pitches. This goes with his eight shutout innings in his first start. As a person who has been writing about baseball professionally for nearly four years, I can tell you with absolute certainty and authority that that’s pretty spiffy.

Phillies 5, Braves 1: The good: Cole Hamels went the distance allowing only one run on six hits and striking out nine and, in the process, Charlie Manual won his 1,000th career game. The awful: a fan died after falling from the upper deck at Turner Field during the rain delay prior to the game’s start.

Diamondbacks 7, Orioles 6: The O’s held the lead from the first inning through the top of the seventh, lost it in the bottom of the seventh, tied it in the top of the eighth, lost the lead again in the bottom of the eighth, tied it in the top of the ninth and then lost the game on a walkoff homer from Adam Eaton that landed in that pool they have in the outfield at Chase Field. Whew.

Athletics 5, Blue Jays 1: This game ended yesterday before I even knew it was on and games had started. Alberto Callaspo had the go-ahead hit in the ninth. That’s two days in a row he played the hero for Oakland, and I bet it’s before even most people knew he was on the A’s.

Reds 2, Cubs 0: Mat Latos beat Travis Wood in a pitchers duel, throwing eight shutout innings. Brandon Phillips’ two-run homer was the only violence done to baseballs in this contest.

Rangers 2, Astros 1: Yu Darvish was perfect into the sixth and had a no-hitter into the eighth before Carlos Corporan turned on a 93 m.p.h. fastball and sent it over the right field wall. That was it, though, as Darvish struck out 15. He’s 4-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 50 strikeouts in five starts since returning from the disabled list.

Rockies 14, Padres 2: Hey, some offense. Someone named D.J. LeMahieu — who I was pretty sure was a winger for the Canucks —  had three hits, including a homer, a double and two RBIs. fourteen runs is a season high for the Rockies.

Yankees 2, Angels 1: Hiroki Kuroda is having a tremendous season but no one is really talking about it. Eight shutout innings here gives him his 11th win and lowers his ERA to 2.33.

White Sox 6, Tigers 2: Chris Sale went the distance, allowing two runs while scattering nine hits. Josh Phegley had a couple of RBI singles. Miguel Cabrera hit another homer.

Dodgers 4, Mets 2: L.A. wins its sixth in a row. Since June 22 — the date everyone has decided is the turnaround date for this Dodgers season — they have gone 38-8, which is their best stretch of 46 games since the team was called the Brooklyn Superbas in 1899. It’s the best stretch of 46 games since Oakland went 38-8 in 2001.

Royals 6, Marlins 2: Indians lose, Tigers lose, the Royals keep humming along. They’re now in second place, slipping ahead of Cleveland, 6.5 back of Detroit. I know it’s crazy to even think it, but the Royals — thanks to a really dumb schedule this year — still have 11 head-to-head games against the Tigers. For now they’re four out of the wild card.

Yasmani Grandal signs a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox

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The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.

Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.

The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.

The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.