And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Indians 5, Tigers 4: Michael Brantley with the walkoff job ends Cleveland’s four-game losing streak. It wasn’t easy to get there — Detroit’s J.D. Martinez hit a pinch-hit homer in the ninth to tie it up at four — but the Indians will take a win any way they can get it these days.

Reds 4, Nationals 3: Todd Frazier connected for a two-run homer in the 15th inning off Ross Detwiler. But the real story was the leather flashed by the Redlegs in order to get to the 15th inning in the first place. Brandon Phillips robbed Wilson Ramos of a hit with a catch behind second base with a runner on third to end the 12th inning. Then, in the 14th, Billy Hamilton made a diving grab to rob Anthony Rendon of a hit and, in all likelihood, the game-winning RBI given that there was a runner on second. Check them out here.

Braves 9, Brewers 3: Atlanta’s offense has been turrible, turrible, but they finally broke out. Every player except Chris Johnson had a hit and Freddie Freeman, Ryan Doumit And Justin Upton all had homers. I’m assuming that the offense was caused by me not watching the game, as every time I’ve tuned in lately they’ve been pathetic. Instead I watched the first four innings of the Tigers-Indians game followed by the first two hours or so of “Magnolia” because I apparently didn’t want to be happy last night.

White Sox 7, Royals 6: Kansas City was up 5-0 after one inning. But that’s why they play nine. The Chisox scored three in the third, one in the fourth and then had one run in in the fifth to make it 6-5 Kansas City before Paul Konerko connected with a two-run homer. Lots of great bullpen work from the Sox, first after Scott Carroll struggled and then after closer Matt Lindstrom ran into trouble in the ninth.

Astros 5, Angels 2: Dallas Keuchel continues to be a stopper for Houston. He ran out of gas in the ninth, falling one out short of pitching his second straight shutout, but he picked up his fifth win anyway, despite two runners he put on coming around after he gave way to a reliever. Having someone step up like he has been can be the difference between a team being super, dispiritingly bad and merely bad, as the avoidance of big losing streaks and the occasional preservation of a the bullpen is a nice thing, mentally speaking.

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

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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