And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 3, Mets 0: It’s not just Jose Fernandez in Miami. Henderson Alvarez tossed his second shutout of the year, allowing six hits, striking out seven and not walking a soul. Casey McGehee drove in two.

Braves 2, Cardinals 1: The Braves snap their seven-game losing streak and do so with a fantastic performance from Gavin Floyd, making his first start post-Tommy John surgery. Floyd went seven, allowing only one run on six hits.

Dodgers 8, Nationals 3Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Clayton Kershaw! Nine hits scattered over seven innings, nine strikeouts and nothing else doing. 

Pirates 2, Giants 1: A walkoff replay review. Well, a walkoff triple with the runner advancing home on an error, but Starling Marte was initially called out and then the call was reviewed and overturned. That’s the first time that has happened in history. And, for as odd and anticlimactic the whole thing was, this is the sort of play — a game-deciding play that the umpires on the field got wrong — that replay was designed to overturn.

Blue Jays 6, Phillies 5: Toronto jumped out to a 5-0 lead, Philly rallied for five with the help of a Cody Asche grand slam and then Toronto scored the winning run in the tenth on a sac fly. Cole Hamels gave up five runs on ten hits in six innings. He has given up 13 earned runs in 16.2 innings over three starts.

Tigers 11, Astros 4: A seven-run win and still not as close as the score would suggest. Miguel Cabrera had four hits and drove in four. The Tigers have won seven straight.

Indians 4, Twins 2: Josh Tomlin got the callup from Columbus and then got his first win since 2012, striking out four, walking one and taking a shutout into the seventh. Nice bit of bookending going on here as his last start before TJ surgery was against the Twins and he was shelled.

Diamondbacks 7, Brewers 5: Aaron Hill went 4 for 4 with a pair of RBI singles on Monday. On Tuesday he hit a two-run homer in the eighth to help the Snakes take this one. I’m sure there are other ways to have fun in Milwaukee, but this is a pretty good one for a ballplayer.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Orioles 5, Rays 3: There was a 19-minute delay in this one due to the lights going out thanks to a nearby storm. Which, sure, scoff all you want about the quality of Tropicana Field, but at least they have a roof. Ryan Flaherty and Nick Markakis drove in runs after play resumed to give Baltimore the lead and the game.

White Sox 5, Cubs 1: Gordon Beckham’s homer in the eighth broke a 1-1 tie and the Southsiders rallied for three more in the ninth to beat the Northsiders. Four hits in all for Beckham, which is pretty spiffy for a guy who has been struggling as much as he has.

Red Sox 4, Reds 3: A walkoff hit for Grady Sizemore in the 12th. He had previously singled home a run in the third and had another hit in the eighth.

Mariners 8, Athletics 3: Roenis Elias struck out six while pitching into the seventh, Justin Smoak drove in three and the M’s won their fourth straight.

Rockies 12, Rangers 1: The Rockies rap 21 hits. Carlos Gonzalez had five of them and Troy Tulowtizki and Drew Stubbs each had three. Nolan Arenado extended his hitting streak to 26 games. The 2014 Rockies are re-earning the name Blake Street Bombers. They are just destroying everyone on offense.

Royals 3, Padres 1: Alex Gordon singled in the go-ahead run in the 11th inning and Billy Butler followed with an RBI double to help the Royals snap their five-game losing streak. Jeremy Guthrie, Wade Davis and Greg Holland combined to hold the Padres to six hits.

Yankees 4, Angels 3: Most of these games last night felt the same, at least when reading the box scores. A late run to break a tie with a solo shot or something. Which, hey, OK, not every game needs to be totally dramatic. Just odd. Here Brian Roberts did the deed for New York, hitting his first one of the year.

This Day in Transaction History: Phillies acquire John Kruk from Padres

John Kruk
Bernstein Associates/Getty Images
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John Kruk is one of the more underrated hitters in baseball history. Kruk, who is currently a broadcaster for the Phillies, had a 10-year career during which he hit exactly 100 homers, batted exactly .300, and posted an excellent .397 on-base percentage. In baseball history, there are only 32 members of the admittedly arbitrary 100/.300/.395+ club. Kruk is one of only 10 members of the club that played after 1963. The others: Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Todd Helton, Chipper Jones, Manny Ramírez, Frank Thomas, Larry Walker, Edgar Martinez, and Wade Boggs. Of them, five are Hall of Famers. Trout and Votto will be, and Helton and Ramírez should be.

On this day in 1989, the Phillies made a franchise-altering trade, acquiring Kruk along with infielder Randy Ready from the Padres in exchange for outfielder Chris James. The Padres had just swept the Phillies at home and were hoping to jump into the playoff race. They immediately went into a losing skid, but caught fire at the end of the season, finishing 89-73. However, that wasn’t good enough as the Giants won the NL West with a 92-70 record. James was solid for the Padres, posting a .743 OPS with 11 homers and 46 RBI in 87 games.

Kruk had an interesting but brief major league career with the Padres. His roommate, Roy Plummer, was an armed robber. Kruk was completely unaware of this. In spring training of 1988, the FBI informed Kruk of his roommates’ activities. Kruk feared retribution from Plummer and said that the anxiety affected his baseball performance. In 1988, Kruk batted what was for him a poor .241/.369/.362 with nine homers and 44 RBI over 466 plate appearances.

The Phillies didn’t enjoy immediate success upon Kruk’s arrival in 1989. The club finished the season with a losing record and would do the same in the ensuing three seasons. None of it was Kruk’s fault, though: in aggregate, from 1990-92, he hit .303/.393/.459, earning two All-Star nominations. In this span of time, the only other first basemen to hit above .300 were Frank Thomas, Paul Molitor, Hal Morris, and Rafael Palmeiro. The Padres had used Kruk both in the corner outfield and at first base, but the Phillies made him a full-time first baseman, which turned out to be a good move.

In 1993, everything came together for the Phillies and Kruk had what was arguably the greatest season of his career. He hit .316, which was actually seven points below his average the previous year, but he drew 111 walks to push his on-base percentage up to .430. Kruk hit third in the lineup, creating plenty of RBI opportunities for Dave Hollins in the clean-up spot, Darren Daulton at No. 5, and the trio of Jim Eisenreich, Pete Incaviglia, and Wes Chamberlain in the No. 6 spot. The Phillies shocked the world in ’93, winning the NL East by three games over the Expos with a 97-65 record. They then dispatched the Braves in six games in the NLCS to advance to the World Series against the Blue Jays.

Kruk was productive in the NLCS, contributing six hits including a pair of doubles, a triple, a home run, four walks, five RBI, and four runs scored. But he turned things up a notch in the World Series, registering multi-hit performances in the first three games. He would finish the World Series with eight hits in 23 at-bats along with seven walks, four RBI, and four runs scored. The World Series was winnable for the Phillies as they lost a barnburner Game 4 15-14, and of course, dropped the deciding Game 6 on a World Series-clinching walk-off three-run home run by Joe Carter off of Mitch Williams.

1994 was tough on Kruk in many ways. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in spring training. Knee issues continued to bother him, and then Major League Baseball had a work stoppage. In an abbreviated season, Kruk hit a still-productive .823 OPS. He became a free agent and, when baseball came back, he signed with the White Sox. In the first inning of a July 30 game against the Orioles in ’95, Kruk singled to left field off of Scott Erickson. He reached first base, bowed to the fans, and walked off the field into retirement. Kruk told the media, “The desire to compete at this level is gone. When that happens, it’s time to go.”

Kruk has spent his post-playing days working in sports media as both a broadcaster (Phillies, ESPN nationally) and as a commentator (The Best Damn Sports Show Period, Baseball Tonight). The Phillies inducted him into their Wall of Fame in August 2011. One wonders if Kruk hadn’t been bit by the injury bug, and if there hadn’t been a work stoppage, if he might have been able to accrue some more numbers to have a borderline Hall of Fame case. Regardless, he’ll go down as one of the games’ quietly great hitters.