And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 11, Angels 3: Holy cow, Alfonso Soriano. Two homers and seven RBI. The old guy has four homers, six runs scored and 13 RBI in his last two games. The Yankees have won four straight.

Reds 5, Cubs 0: Seven shutout innings from Bronson Arroyo helps the Redlegs snag the three-game sweep. My friend Mark, a Reds fan, still calls them the Redlegs, by the way. No, he is not some fervent anti-communist from the 1950s. He’s like 35.

Indians 9, Twins 8:  Down 7-3 entering the eighth inning, the Indians rallied thanks to a couple baserunners reaching followed by a Michael Brantley RBI single and a Jason Giambi three-run homer. Brantley then won it with a sac fly in the 12th. Joe Mauer had five hits in a winning effort (personally) in a losing effort (collectively).

Tigers 6, White Sox 4: Miguel Cabrera can hardly walk right now but he can still turn like nothing else on inside fastballs and send them over the fence. It’s like he’s adding last season on top of Kirk Gibson’s 1988. Just give him the MVP now.

Rockies 4, Padres 2: What the heck, Yorvit Torrealba? That was pretty spiffy. It was assisted strongly by some dumb, dumb baserunning by the Padres but you can’t take anything away from Torrealba. I mean, how could he have expected the Padres to be so stupid? Give him kudos for not stopping and blinking in confusion at what San Diego was doing and instead simply reacting and acting.

Marlins 5, Royals 2: Neither the Royals bullpen nor defense could hold a late 2-1 lead and the Marlins rallied. Justin Ruggiano broke an 0 for 42 slump with three hits and an RBI.

Diamondbacks 5, Orioles 4: Another day another walkoff win for the Dbacks over the Orioles. This time in the 14th via an Aaron Hill RBI single. Jim Johnson has blown nine saves now for the Orioles. They’re six games out in the East and 2.5 back in the wild card. You do the math.

Nationals 6, Giants 5: Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run in seven innings and win his NL-best 14th. The game was really won, however, when Denard Span made this sweet catch with two on and two out in the ninth. That drops, the Giants are up heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Braves 6, Phillies 3: Chris Johnson drove in three and Jason Heyward homered to lead off the game but perhaps the most important thing for the Braves was the continued improvement of Brandon Beachy. He wasn’t as good as his last time out but in his fourth start since returning from Tommy John he was throwing sliders and didn’t walk anyone.

Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 3: The Red Sox rallied for two in the ninth to force extras. It could have been a bigger rally but they left the bases loaded. They left a couple more runners stranded in their half of the tenth and then Brett Lawrie singled home the winning run in the bottom half to give Toronto the win. Boston has lost four of six.

Pirates 5, Cardinals 1: Francisco Liriano was great, allowing a single run on four hits while going the distance, Shelby Miller: not so great, allowing five runs — three earned — in six in his first game back after being hit by that comebacker. Pittsburgh’s lead in the Central goes back to three games.

Rays 5, Mariners 4: Tampa Bay snaps their six-game skid thanks to a ninth inning rally. Ben Zobrist tripled to lead it off, Matt Joyce singled to tie it, Evan Longoria doubled and Wil Myers was intentionally walked to load the bases. Then Jason Bourgeois, who had entered the game as a pinch runner earlier, singled to right over the Mariners’ drawn-in outfield. Ballgame.

Dodgers 5, Mets 4: The Mets had a 4-0 lead in the sixth and blew it because the Dodgers winning is the most inevitable thing in baseball these days. They’re such a force that every time the Dodgers win people change their basic unit of baseball measurement. The other day it was “the best record in 46 games,” then “the best record in 47 games,” now “the best record in 48 games.” June 22 — the date from which all of these games are being measured — has taken on the feeling of a sacred holiday. We can all it the Feast of St. Arbitrarious or something.

Rangers 5, Brewers 4: A come-from-behind win for the Rangers thanks to an Elvis Andrus RBI single and an Ian Kinsler a two-run single in the eighth. The Rangers only had one extra base hit all game. The Brewers issued six walks. Not gonna go in Milwaukee’s memory book.

Astros 2, Athletics 1: Carlos Corporan hit an RBI double off reliever Sean Doolittle in the 11th inning to win it. He was given the chance to do so thanks in part to this catch by Robbie Grossman in the 10th which robbed Chris Young’s would-be walkoff homer. Lotsa nice plays yesterday, no?

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).