And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Athletics 4, Rangers 0: A three-hit shutout for Sonny Gray, who ups his records to 4-1 and lowers his ERA to 1.76. Seventy-three of his 108 pitches went for strikes and the hits were only singles. His counterpart, Yu Darvish, turned in his shortest major league start ever. Three and a third innings, while allowing four runs and six hits while throwing 83 pitches and walking two.

Padres 6, Giants 4: Rene Rivera drove in five. When I saw the box score and it just said “R. Rivera,” I thought of Ruben, who played for the Padres for several years. And yes that was over a decade ago, but some things just stick in your mind. Like bad baseball players we all somehow thought would become good baseball players simply because they had a couple of decent tools. The 90s were terrible, man.

Rockies 8, Diamondbacks 5: Troy Tulowitzki homered, had two doubles and drove in three. Justin Morneau hit a two-run homer and has a 12-game hitting streak. The Rockies are averaging 5.48 runs per game, leading all of baseball.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $150,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $200 to join and first prize is $25,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Angels 6, Indians 3: It was 3-3 in the eighth when Mike Trout hit an RBI single and Raul Ibanez hit a two-run triple. I’m a year younger than him and I’m pretty sure if you asked me to run 270 feet I’d die. Joe Smith got the save. His first since taking over closer duties.

Brewers 5, Cardinals 3: Khris Davis hit a run-scoring triple in the 12th. This after he struck out four times. So, yes, a Golden Sombrero, but it had a nice pretty band on it.

White Sox 7, Rays 3: Alejandro De Aza hit a two-run homer, Adam Eaton had a two-run double and Marcus Semien doubled in the winning run. The Chisox took three of four from the Rays.

Cubs vs. Reds: POSTPONED:  We can go for a walk where it’s quiet and dry. And talk about precious things. But the rain that flattens my hair. These are the things that kill me.

Maddon: Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again for Angels this year

Shohei Ohtani
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Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again this season for the Los Angeles Angels after straining his right forearm in his second start, manager Joe Maddon says.

Ohtani likely will return to the Angels’ lineup as their designated hitter this week, Maddon said Tuesday night before the club opened a road series against the Seattle Mariners.

The Angels’ stance on Ohtani is unsurprising after the club announced he had strained the flexor pronator mass near the elbow of his pitching arm. The two-way star’s recovery from the strain requires him to abstain from throwing for four to six weeks, which covers most of the shortened 2020 season.

“I’m not anticipating him pitching at all this year,” Maddon said. “Any kind of throwing program is going to be very conservative.”

Ohtani was injured Sunday in the second inning of his second start since returning to the mound following Tommy John surgery in late 2018. Ohtani issued five walks during the 42-pitch inning against the Houston Astros, with his velocity dropping later in the frame.

The arm injury is another obstacle in Ohtani’s path to becoming the majors’ first true two-way player in decades. He made 10 mound starts as a rookie in 2018 before injuring his elbow, but he served as the Angels’ regular designated hitter last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Ohtani has pitched in only three games since June 2018, but the Angels still believe in Ohtani’s ability to be a two-way player, Maddon said.

“I’m seeing that he can,” Maddon said. “We’ve just got to get past the arm maladies and figure that out. But I’ve seen it. He’s just such a high-end arm, and we’ve seen what he can do in the batter’s box. Now maybe it might get to the point where he may choose to do one thing over the other and express that to us. I know he likes to hit. In my mind’s eye, he’s still going to be able to do this.”

The veteran manager believes Ohtani will benefit from a full spring training and a normal season. Ohtani wasn’t throwing at full strength for a starter when the coronavirus pandemic shut down spring training in March because he wasn’t expected to pitch until May as he returned from surgery.

“Going into a regular season with a normal number of starts and all the things that permit guys to be ready for a year, that’s what we need to see is some normalcy before you make that kind of determination,” Maddon said.

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