And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Mets 9, Marlins 1: How about this Jacob deGrom kid? He follows up a seven inning, zero run performance against the Braves with a seven inning, one run outing here. Plus he [altogether now] helped his own cause by hitting what we would have called the Game-Winning RBI if it was the 1980s and we still tracked things like Game-Winning RBI. Then we’d go watch “Alf” or “Night Court.” Or do some coke in our Wall Street office or posture against the Soviet Union. I dunno, I was just a kid then. That whole decade blurs together for me.

Giants 8, Diamondbacks 4: Madison Bumgarner gave up four runs. But he also drove in four runs, so I guess that’s OK. A grand slam for a pitcher. Don’t see that very often. Well, unless it’s Madison Bumgarner. He’s done it twice this year. It’s the first time a pitcher has done it twice in a year in 48 years. Oh, and Buster Posey hit a grand slam too. It’s the first time each member of a battery hit grand slams in the same game in the history of Major League Baseball.

Brewers 11, Cardinals 2: The Brewers arrest a seven-game skid and reclaim sole possession of first place. It was a 19-hit attack, led by Elian Herrera, who had five hits, including a double, and scored three times. Carlos Martinez had a forgettable game, giving up four runs in four innings and getting yelled at by the umpire for tossing his bat in frustration. Take a few days off, Carlos.

Nationals 10, Phillies 3: Jayson Werth homered and knocked in four. Ryan Zimmerman homered and drove in two. Ian Desmond drove in two without a homer. If you extend that pattern out long enough you run into a Zeno’s Arrow situation, I assume. Not gonna check, though. I already clicked out of the box score.

Braves 10, Cubs 7: Chris Johnson hit his third homer in two days, accounting for three of the runs in Atlanta’s four-run third inning. The Braves and Nats finish the first half tied for first place. Washington is one better in the loss column.

Royals 5, Tigers 2: The Royals avoided a four-game sweep thanks to a five-run seventh inning. Still, they blew an opportunity to gain ground on the Tigers and hit the break six and a half back.

Rays 3, Blue Jays 0: David Price, who is still a Ray for some reason, shut ’em out over eight. It’s his fourth win in four starts. Toronto is skidding into the break, having lost eight of ten.

Reds 6, Pirates 3: Kris Negron hit a three-run homer — his first ever — and Todd Frazier added a two-run shot. Frazier is in the Home Run Derby and you all are totally sleeping on him. He’s grip-it-and-rip it. Giancarlo Stanton is the safe bet, but I bet Frazier does really damn well. You heard it here first. And if he does poorly? Hell, I’ll just delete this comment. I have total control of this website.

Indians 3, White Sox 2: Yan Gomes drove in all three runs, including a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth. Then, since he’s from Brazil, the White Sox scored seven straight goals off of him.

Red Sox 11, Astros 0: Remember when Clay Buchholz was dead back in May? Well, he’s back to life now. Three-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts. Brock Holt had five hits including a leadoff homer. Boston wins four of five heading into the break. Still nine back, but at least now their mini-vacation will be more pleasant.

Athletics 4, Mariners 1: Sonny Gray was on point once again, allowing nothin’ but an unearned run in seven and two-thirds.

Angels 10, Rangers 7: Mike Trout doubled twice and drove in four. He’s hitting .310/.400/.606 with 22 homers, 73 RBI and 10 stolen bases. And he’s younger than 14 of the 50 guys in yesterday’s Futures Game.

Twins 13, Rockies 5: Two homers for Brian Dozier. Maybe don’t sleep on him in the Home Run Derby either. It felt weird being in Target Field for baseball all day yesterday while the Twins were in Colorado. It was like having a party when your parents are out of town.

Dodgers 1, Padres 0: Four Dodgers pitchers combine to toss a four-hit shutout. I am picturing Bud Black throwing a bag of bats into the showers and telling his Padres hitter “it’s a miracle we got four.”

Orioles 3, Yankees 1: A rain-shortened win, featuring a Chris Davis two-run homer that was hit several hours before the rain shortened it. I’m sure Major League Baseball loved that the man of the week, Derek Jeter, is going to be getting to Minneapolis so late — or early, whichever — and be tired for all of the festivities.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.