And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Blue Jays 9, Rays 6: The Jays scored six runs between the fourth and fifth innings. Well, in the fourth and fifth. Between the fourth and fifth were commercials and things. Mark Buehrle wins again. More importantly, the Jays do. That’s eight in a row.

Red Sox 6, Braves 3: Everyone wants to be your friend when things are going great but a true friend is someone who is there for you when the chips are down. That’s the Braves for ya, man. Helping out the Red Sox when they were at their worst and giving them a confidence boost. Seriously, after the game Jonny Gomes said “it’s good for our self esteem.” Oy.

White Sox 2, Indians 1: A two hour rain delay limited Chris Sale’s outing to three innings but four relievers allowed only one run in six innings combined.

Rockies 6, Phillies 2: Wilin Rosario had been 0 for his previous 13, but then he hit a go-ahead, three-run homer. A more notable homer was Ben Revere’s in a losing effort. It was his first career major league bomb. That after 384 games without one to start his time in the bigs, which was the longest such streak since the early 70s.

Astros 3, Royals 0: Four in a row for Houston. Collin McHugh shut out the Royals for 7 innings which, sure, sucks for the Royals, but at least it inspired Ned Yost to come out of the dugout and get ejected for arguing balls and strikes, proving he’s still alive and things.

Mets 4, Pirates 2: Daniel Murphy doubled twice and Ruben Tejada reached base four times as the Mets won for the fourth time in 13 games. I’m sure the new hitting coach had everything to do with it.

Twins 4, Rangers 3: A two-run rally off Joakim Soria in the bottom of the ninth for Minnesota. One run scoring on a single, the other scoring on Soria’s own error on a dribbler next to the mound which should have resulted in out three and should have had this game heading to extra innings. Pretty dispiriting for the Rangers, who stood to win even though they had to go with emergency starter Scott Baker following Yu Darvish being scratched.

Brewers 7, Orioles 6: Pinch hit, walkoff RBI hits in extra innings aren’t the rarest of things. They happen. They don’t often come from starting pitchers doing the pinch hitting, though. That happened here with Yovani Gallardo doing the honors with a double in the tenth. Gallardo is a good hitter for a pitcher, but still. Lovely part was that just before that Buck Showalter walked Mark Reynolds, who came around to score, to get to the pitcher’s spot even though there was nobody on base.

Tigers 6, Athletics 5: The Tigers’ go-ahead run scored when Rajai Davis came home on a fielder’s choice in the eighth. He had made it to third, however, by stealing the bag as catcher Derek Norris was throwing the ball back to the pitcher, which is not something you see every day. That covered for Max Scherzer, who was roughed up again. It also snapped the Tigers’ three-game losing streak.

Cardinals 6, Yankees 0: Lance Lynn with the five-hit shutout. It was his first career complete game at any level. Allen Craig and Matt Holliday each homered. Holliday and Matt Adams had three hits and an RBI a piece. Craig drove in two.

Angels 6, Mariners 4: Not the sharpest outing for Jered Weaver, but he did notch his fifth win in six starts. Sean Burnett, who had just come back after a year off due to elbow surgery, left the game with an elbow problem that sounds a lot like another elbow surgery is in the offing. Just really starting to hate elbows here, man.

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 3: Confession: I can’t watch all of the baseball games. Especially the late games, so I’m just naturally less familiar with, say, the bullpen arms and lesser names of some of the teams out west. And if you’re choosing late games to watch and/or follow, you’re naturally more likely to pick the Dodgers, Giants or A’s over the Padres and Diamondbacks. All of this is a roundabout way of saying that it’s rather embarrassing for a national baseball writer type to read a game story from a big league game and have the top part of it — where the key players of the game are usually identified — contain all kinds of names you’ve never really heard of. But it happens. It happened here. There are thousands of baseball players, man. It’s hard to know all of them.

Dodgers 6, Reds 3: Four driven in for Andre Ethier, three of which came on a triple. Zack Greinke struck out 11 in seven and two-thirds.

Giants 4, Cubs 0: Tim Hudson is aging like fine wine. If he continues to do this for a bit longer he’s going to give Hall of Fame voters a lot to think about. Seven shutout innings, five strikeouts, no walks. Two sac flies for Buster Posey.

Marlins vs. Nationals: POSTPONED: As a man I ain’t never been much for sunny days. I’m as calm as a fruit stand in New York and maybe as strange. But when the color goes out of my eyes its usually the change. But damn Sam I love a woman that rains

The Giants are winning but they’re still gonna sell

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The state of baseball in general, the state of the National League in particular and the state of the San Francisco Giants as a competitor are conspiring to create what seems like at least a mildly absurd situation.

The Giants, a veteran-laden team that, as recently as this past offseason but definitely within the past couple of years, were at least talking about being on a win-now footing, just swept a four-game series, have won five straight games and have won 12 of 14 to pull themselves to within two and a half games of a playoff spot.

Yet, that’s all for temporary show, because they’re about to sell off. At least according to Jeff Passan at ESPN. Giants president Farhan Zaidi tried to push back on that in a radio interview yesterday, denying that the club has foreclosed the possibility of a postseason push, but I’m not really buying that and I don’t think most people are.

On one level it makes sense to ignore the recent surge and forge on with a rebuild. Sure, the Giants are winning but they’re not exactly good. They’re two and a half out of the Wild Card, but there are many teams ahead of them. There’s a lot of reason to think that they’re playing in good fortune right now and that that, rather than finding some extra gear of sustainable better play, is what’s to credit. Hot streaks can happen at any time but the trade deadline only comes once a year. When you have the best starter available in Madison Bumgarner and the best reliever available in Will Smith, you gotta make those deals. That’s what I’d probably do if I ran the Giants and I think that that’s, wisely, what Zaidi will do.

Still, it’s an odd look, less for the Giants specifically than for baseball as a whole. We may in an era of cheap front offices who don’t like to contend if it means spending money, but it’s unfair to paint the Giants with that brush. They’ve spent money and acquired talent and have done whatever they can to extend their 2010-2014 mini-dynasty a few more years and in doing so they’ve made a lot of fans happy. That team has pretty much reached the end and, even in an earlier, more competitive era, they’d not be properly criticized for starting in on a rebuild. Heck, they’d be excused if they had done it a year or two earlier, frankly.

But, because so many teams have punted on improving themselves, these aging Giants are at least superficially competitive. As such, when they do sell off in the coming days, it’ll look to some like they’re waving a white flag or something when they’re not really doing that. I mean, the Rockies and the Pirates, among other teams, should be much better than they are but didn’t seem all that interested in improving, thereby helping the Giants look better, right? It’s less a knock on the Giants for rebuilding when they’re within striking distance of the playoffs than it is on the rest of the league for allowing a team like the Giants to be within striking distance of a playoff spot.

But that’s where we are right now. An insanely competitive Wild Card race from teams that, on the whole, are rather unconcerned with being competitive. What a time to be a baseball fan.