And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Twins 1, Indians 0: Our season-long tribute to 1968 continued last night with four games in which the losing team was shut out. Here both teams posted goose eggs for nine innings and Eduardo Escobar’s 10th inning homer was the only offense.

Nationals 4, Dodgers 0: A three hour-plus rain delay chased Zack Greinke and Jordan Zimmermann. Five Nats relievers finished what Zimmermann started, however, completing the shutout. Anthony Rendon and Danny Espinosa two-run homers bookended the scoring here.

Tigers 2, Astros 0: Max Scherzer gambled by not taking what was reported to be a huge long term contract offer from the Tigers this past offseason, but so far the gamble is looking pretty good. He’s 4-1 with a 1.72 ERA after shutting down the Astros for eight innings on three hits while striking out nine. Anthony Bass pitched an inning for the Astros. He’s from the Detroit area and pitched at Wayne State. His mom was in the stands and the Fox Sports Detroit crew interviewed her and had the camera trained on her. Then he gave up a homer to Victor Martinez. So that was an uncomfortable bit of narrative building gone awry.

Blue Jays 3, Phillies 0: Old friend J.A. Happ shut out the Phillies for five and the bullpen carried it home. Kyle Kendrick gave up three runs in the first two innings. A costly win for the Jays, as they lost Brett Lawrie with a hamstring injury.

Cardinals 4, Braves 3: Lucky number seven losses in a row for Atlanta. This one despite Fredi Gonzalez’s tribute to Tony La Russa via batting the pitcher eighth. Ninth hitter Ramiro Pena went 2 for 4 and homered so I guess that sorta worked, but Gonzalez can manage the hell out of a game and it’s all for naught if the Uptons and Chris Johnson go a collective 0 for 11 and you spot the opposition a 5-0 lead. In other news, on April 10, Freddie Freeman said “pitchers got nothin’ to get me out with.” He went 2 for 4 last night but since then he’s batting .258. In the past ten days he’s batting .225. Guess those pitchers found something.

Angels 4, Yankees 1: Jered Weaver allowed one run over eight and Ernesto Frieri, apparently restored to closing duties by Mike Scioscia, handled the ninth. Joe Girardi and Yankees pitcher Shawn Kelley were ejected in the eighth for arguing balls and strikes. I wonder if we’ll have a lot more of those this year. Managers can’t argue anything else anymore now that replay is here, so they have to channel that stuff someplace else, right?

Mariners 4, Athletics 2: Stefen Romero’s first major league homer broke the tie in the fifth and put Seattle up for good. Chris Young allowed two hits over six strong innings to win his second straight start

Marlins 4, Mets 3: The Mets took a 3-0 lead into the eighth but the Fish rallied for three that inning and walked off in the ninth on a Casey McGehee RBI single. That eighth inning rally came while Dice-K was pitching for the Mets, ruining a Jon Niese gem, so I assume that bullpen experiment with him is nearing an end.

Giants 11, Pirates 10: If the shutouts were an homage to 1968 this one was an homage to 1999: a long game with crappy pitching which ended on a bad defensive play. Of course that run scored on a bunt by one pitcher to the opposing pitcher, so there was some element of small-ball at play here. The Giants win their sixth straight after being down by six runs after five innings. In other news, one of the Pirates’ pleasant surprises last year — Jeff Locke — made his first big league start of the season here and looked terrible. Then again the Pirates as a whole, at 12-20, are reminding us all that it’s not 2013 again.

White Sox 3, Cubs 1: Baseball used to pump up these big city crosstown interleague rivalries with P.R. and weekend starts. Guess we don’t do that anymore, because I didn’t hear a peep about this one until I looked at the scores before bed last night. Anyway, Jose Quintana freakin’ rolled, allowing only one hit and a sac fly over seven innings and Marcus Semien hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the top of the 12th. Jeff Samardzija deserved a better fate: he went nine, allowing only an unearned run on a sac fly in the first inning, but got no decision.

Brewers 8, Diamondbacks 3: Carlos Gomez hit a leadoff homer, walked three times, singled and drove in three. A lot of people say Gomez doesn’t respect the game. Who cares if he can play it this well. He’s at .291/.360/.567 on the season and is probably the best defensive center fielder in baseball. The game should respect him.

Rockies 8, Rangers 2: Troy Tulowitzki won the April Player of the Month Award yesterday then went out and hit two homers and drove in four. Meanwhile, Jordan Lyles improved to 4-0 with a 2.62 ERA so, despite the guff the Rockies took for dealing Dexter Fowler, that trade is working out for Colorado so far.

Padres 6, Royals 5: Another 12-inning game, this one ending on a Will Venable two-run single. It was the second walkoff in a row for the Padres. And that wasn’t the only drama: Jedd Gyorko’s ninth inning homer forced extras.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.