And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 2, Athletics 1: Collin Cowgill with a two-out, walkoff homer in the bottom of the 14th inning. Which was great and gave the Angels their fifth straight win, but may not have been as impressive as the throw Yoenis Cespedes made in the eighth inning to nail Howie Kendrick at the plate:

[mlbvideo id=”33614681″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

I mean, sure, he deserves to have all of us respect-the-gamesplain to him that one shouldn’t airmail it past the cutoff man like that, but apart from his nearly inexcusable fundamental lapse there, it was, like, maybe the best throw any of us will ever see in our lifetimes.

Cardinals 1, Rays 0: Adam Wainwright won his ninth game after tossing seven shutout innings. Two more shutout innings for the Cards pen brings the Rays’ scoreless streak up to a whopping 28 innings. They have lost 14 of 15 too. The Cards have three straight shutouts too, but it’s the good kind. You know, the kind you win.

Mets 6, Brewers 2: Taylor Teagarden hit a grand slam in his Mets debut. Travis d’Arnaud sighs mightily from Las Vegas. Also: Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched six effective innings, lowering his ERA to 2.95 and upping his record to 3-0. So, yeah, it was a pretty good night for heretofore uninspiring castoffs.

Twins 4, Blue Jays 0: The power-packed Blue Jays are suddenly punchless, having been shutout for the third time in four games. See, above comment about the Cardinals for an explanation of that. Kevin Correia allowed six hits, walked one and struck out one in six innings.

Phillies 5, Padres 2: Marlon Byrd hit a three-run homer and A.J. Burnett was effective. Hard not to be effective against the Padres these days.

Diamondbacks 4, Astros 1: My daughter, Mookie, is on summer vacation. Yesterday it was raining and she walks downstairs and turns on the TV. I hear her flipping around a bit in the next room as I’m working. She passes silly documentaries about killer bees that she usually eats up like crazy, passes Nickelodeon sitcoms aimed at tweens. She lands on the only baseball game on TV — this one — and starts watching. Two last place teams on a Tuesday afternoon had the full attention of my ten-year-old daughter for a good hour or more. I walked by once to check and she was engrossed. Not in some showy way in which she was wanting to demonstrate that she likes baseball. Not because she stopped changing channels then and just got stuck. She just wanted to watch baseball on TV and did, and I can’t think of anything that would make me happier than that.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 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.

Cubs 7, Pirates 3: Gregory Polanco’s debut is why this game was interesting, but Anthony Rizzo‘s homer, two doubles and three RBI is why this game was won. Polanco went 1 for 5 and had one of Rizzo’s double bounce off his wrist so, yes, there will be better days for the big prospect.

Nationals 2, Giants 1: Doug Fister outduels Madison Bumgarner, allowing no runs over seven to Bumgarner’s two runs over seven.

Royals 9, Indians 5: The Indians scored 17 runs on Monday but they were shut out by Jason Vargas into the eighth inning last night. After that he and the pen faltered a bit, but nine runs — three driven in by Eric Hosmer — is a good cushion to play with.

Braves 13, Rockies 10: The Braves jumped out to a 7-0 lead and, given the way Coors has been playing for the past week or so, and given the Braves’ bullpen woes of late, I thought “eh, maybe get a few more just in case.” They added a touchdown and missed the extra point but they pretty much needed all of that. Atlanta had a season-highs of 16 hits and 13 runs, including a grand slam from Andrelton Simmons.

Yankees 3, Mariners 2: An RBI single for Jacoby Ellsbury helped the Yankees win and helped him extend his hitting streak to 14 games. Also, Derek Jeter was reanimated for the evening: he had two hits and scored two runs.

Red Sox 1, Orioles 0: Brandon Workman handled the first six and two-thirds innings of the shutout and the bullpen carried the rest. The game’s sole run came on a Mike Napoli RBI single in the third.

Dodgers 6, Reds 1: Josh Beckett with six shutout innings, with seven strikeouts and one walk. This after a two-hour rain delay. Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier and Justin Turner each had two hits and Beckett had one of his own. L.A. has won three in a row and four of five.

Marlins 8, Rangers 5: I had no idea they had such a streak going, but the Marlins win was their 13th in a row vs. an American League opponent. Christian Yelich had four hits and four RBI.

Tigers vs. White Sox: POSTPONED: Another rainy day New York City. Softly sweet, so silently it falls. Crosstown traffic crawls. Windy, wet and gray New York City. No one here I really want to see. Friends and family. Suddenly serene. The air is fresh and clean. Another rainy day New York City.

It’s another rainy day
Just a rainy, rainy day
It’s another rainy day
Just a rainy, rainy day

It’s another rainy day
Just a rainy, rainy day
It’s another rainy day
Just a rainy, rainy day

It’s another rainy day
Just a rainy, rainy day
It’s another rainy day
Just a rainy, rainy day

Astros owner Crane expects to hire new manager by Feb. 3

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HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Astros owner Jim Crane expects to hire a new manager by Feb. 3.

The Astros need a new manager and general manager after AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were fired Monday, hours after both were suspended by Major League Baseball for a year for the team’s sign-stealing scandal.

Crane said Friday that he’s interviewed a number of candidates this week and has some more to talk to in the coming days.

Crane refused to answer directly when asked if former Astros player and Hall of Famer Craig Biggio was a possibility for the job. But he did say that he had spoken to Biggio, fellow Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and former Astros star Lance Berkman in the days since the firings.

“We’ve talked to all of our Killer B’s,” Crane said referring to the nickname the three shared while playing for the Astros. “They’ve contacted me and they’ve all expressed that they would like to help. Berkman, Bagwell, Biggio have all called and said: ‘hey, if there’s anything I can do, I’m here for you.’”

“So we’ll continue to visit with those guys and see if there’s something there.”

Crane says his list is still rather extensive and that he hopes to have it narrowed down by the end of next week. He added that he expects most of Hinch’s staff to stay in place regardless of who is hired.

Crane has enlisted the help of three or four employees to help him with the interview process, including some in Houston’s baseball operations department.

“We compare notes,” he said. “I’ve learned a long time ago that you learn a lot if four or five people talk to a key candidate and you get a lot more information. So that’s what we’re doing.”

Crane’ top priority is finding a manager with spring training less than a month away, but he said he would start focusing on the search for a general manager after he hires a manager. He expects to hire a GM before the end of spring training.

“We should have another good season with the team pretty much intact … so I don’t know why a manager wouldn’t want to come in and manage these guys,” he said. “They’re set to win again.”

The penalties announced by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday came after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs in Houston’s run to the 2017 World Series championship and again in the 2018 season. The Astros were also fined $5 million, which is the maximum allowed under the Major League Constitution, and must forfeit their next two first- and second-round amateur draft picks.

The investigation found that the Astros used the video feed from a center field camera to see and decode the opposing catcher’s signs. Players banged on a trash can to signal to batters what was coming, believing it would improve the batter’s odds of getting a hit.

With much still in flux, Crane was asked what qualities are most important to him in his next manager.

“Someone mature that can handle the group,” he said. “Someone that’s had a little bit of experience in some areas. We’ve just got to find a leader that can handle some pressure and there’s going to be a little bit of pressure from where this team has been in the last few months.”

Despite his comment about experience, Crane said having been a major league manager before is not mandatory to him.

“We made some mistakes,” he said. “We made a decision to let that get behind us. We think the future is bright. We’ll make the adjustments … people think we’re in crisis. I certainly don’t believe that.”