And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Nationals 5, Diamondbacks 4: That Nationals have won seven in a row, with the last three being of the walkoff variety. This time courtesy of Adam LaRoche’s homer in the 11th inning. Leading up to it was a lot of fun: Wilson Ramos put the Nationals in front in the bottom of the seventh inning with a two-run homer and the Dbacks went back into the lead when Didi Gregorius did the same in the top of the eighth. The Nats came back in the ninth only to see Tyler Clippard blow the save in the ninth. In the Arizona half of the 11th they loaded the bases with no one out and then didn’t score, which is about the most annoying thing on the planet. If anything the LaRoche homer put them out of their misery.

Cubs 4, Mets 1: Kyle Hendricks and two relievers combined to allow one run on four hits and got all the support they’d need thanks to homers from Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez. The three of them will, hopefully for Cubs fans, represent a winning combination for years and years.

Angels 4, Red Sox 2: Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hit RBI doubles. The Sox threatened in the ninth against fill-in closer Kevin Jepsen, but Jepsen worked around trouble, allowing only one run to score.

Orioles 8, White Sox 2: An uncharacteristically poor outing for Chris Sale, who needed 121 pitches just to make it through six. The O’s took advantage, led by Nick Markakis who was 3 for 5 with a homer. He also had a pretty darn swell catch.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $125,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Phillies 4, Mariners 1: Jerome Williams allowed one run and three hits while pitching into the eighth. Andres Blanco had a three-run homer. Before coming up at the end of June, Blanco had not played in the majors since 2011.

Royals 6, Twins 4: Erik Kratz came in to replace Sal Perez in the seventh and homered twice. That’s kinda how it’s been going for the Royals. Jason Vargas allowed one run on four hits in seven innings.

Braves 7, Pirates 3: Six runs in the first — kicked off by back-to-back homers from Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons to lead things off — pretty much ended this one before it started. Six in a row dropped by the Pirates. Whose season looks like it could be ending before it’s even technically finished.

Cardinals 6, Reds 5: Jhonny Peralta hit a walkoff single in the tenth. This after Trevor Rosenthal blew the save in the ninth. Jay Bruce homered, doubled and drove in four in a winning effort in a losing effort.

Video: Jorge Soler launches first home run of spring training

Jorge Soler
Associated Press
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The Royals and Rangers played the first game of spring training today. A few other teams (the Red Sox, Tigers and Twins) played or are currently playing college squads, but Kansas City-Texas is our first matchup of big league teams. Baseball’s back, baby! And you know what baseball means?

Kansas City’s Jorge Soler, who hit 48 homers last year to lead the American League, offered us the year’s first glimpse at recreational baseball murder when he took Kolby Allard out over the left field yard.

Mmm. That’s the good stuff. Here’s to eight and a half months more of that. Bring me the dingers.

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