And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Giants 6, Reds 1: Six straight for Madison Bumgarner as he allows one run on three hits over eight innings. Fun times: I spent part of last night in Columbus’ wonderful Bob’s Bar — The Cultural Hub of the Midwest — and they were showing a replay of this game. Dude next to me thought the bright sunshine on the field was because the game was in San Francisco and that we were watching it live. I’d like to spend some time in his head for a while.

Astros 8, Angels 5: Jose Altuve drove in two, George Springer three and each had two a piece in the Astros’ four-run eighth inning. My favorite line of the night goes to Chris Carter, though: 0 for 0, four walks, no runs scored. There’s something beautiful about that, even if it amounted to nothing. It’s like some pure statement of purpose made with little heed for its practical impact. I shall walk.

Marlins 11, Rays 6: Ten losses in a row for the Rays. Figure they’re a couple of losses away from petitioning for the “Devil” to be returned to their name. Macrell Ozuna homered and drove in four. Something called Jacob Realmuto had three RBI in his major league debut. That sorta sounds like a made-up name. Like “Rollo Tomasi” or something.

Blue Jays 7, Tigers 3: The Blue Jays are an absolute buzzsaw right now. And no one saw it coming. Anyone who did is a liar. Six runs off of Justin Verlander, five of them earned. A serviceable outing from J.A. Happ. Just not the sort of things you might expect.

Cubs 7, Mets 4: And the Mets are swept. Travis Wood pitched five decent innings and, though he didn’t get the win, he hit a homer and drove in three. He was a one man gang, really. Like this.

Royals 3, Cardinals 2:  Yordano Ventura won it and was effective, but it was weird that he pitched to contact, relied on his defense and only struck out one. I’d like to see a few more starts out of him to know that he’s feeling better. Lots of dudes with hurt elbows were able to crafty-their-way to a a win here and there. I’d like to see him airing it out and snapping off wicked stuff before we feel better about him.

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

Nationals 4, Phillies 2: The sweep. Highlighted by Doug Fister doing this. You’re the man now, Dog.

Yankees 2, Athletics 1: Tanaka tames the A’s. He’s pretty much the lone bright spot for the Yankees this year, yes? He and Dellin Betances, maybe. Beyond that it’s pretty much “meh,” right? We’re all waiting for A-Rod to come back next year and save everyone.

Diamondbacks 12, Rockies 7: It was just a few weeks ago when people were all like “that Rockies pitching is not terrible. This could be a difference-maker for them!” My feelings were “Let’s give it some time. It’ll get warmer and drier in Colorado and then people are gonna start knocking the ball all over the place.” Well, they just dropped a three-game series to Arizona while giving up 32 runs on 48 hits. Overall the Rockies have lost seven straight and 11 of 13. So, welp.

Rangers 8, Orioles 6: The Rangers blew a 5-0 lead but scored three in the seventh thanks in part to two J.J. Hardy errors which, gah, what are the odds of that happening?

Brewers 8, Twins 5: The Brewers were down 4-0 thanks to a third inning grand slam by Oswaldo Arcia, but then they clawed back with a three-run shot by Carlos Gomez and a two-run shot by Khris Davis. Jonathan Lucroy’s two-run blast n the ninth gave them some insurance.

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.