And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Orioles 7, Rays 5: Remember last winter when no one wanted to sign Nelson Cruz because they thought he was damaged goods or that his best years were behind him or that he was a product of the Ballpark at Arlington or something? Nah, me neither. Two homers for Cruz, the second of which came in the 11th inning. He drove in seven. Had a triple too.

Royals 2, Yankees 0: How very disrespectful for the Royals to shut the Yankees out on Derek Jeter Day. Yordano Ventura pitching three-hit ball into the seventh was not at all classy. The Royals did, however, maintain a two-game lead over the Tigers in the Central. The last time they made the playoffs, Derek Jeter was only nine. This was one of five shutouts yesterday.

Marlins 4, Braves 0: Aloha, Mr. Hand: Brad Hand shut out the Braves for six innings. Then, I assume, he had a little feast on our time. The Braves, at this rate, are going to have plenty of their own time in October.

Indians 2, White Sox 0: Carlos Carrasco continues to be ridiculous. Here he was one out shy of a shutout but was lifted when the tying runner came to the plate in the ninth. He probably gets a chance to fight through that if his team has a bigger cushion, but c’est la vie. Since returning to the Indians’ rotation on August 5, he has a 0.70 ERA and 42/4 K/BB ratio over five starts and 38 and two-thirds innings. This from a guy who, a year ago, probably could’ve told you how many white lines there were on I-71 between Cleveland and Columbus.

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 2: The Dodgers sweep, and finish their season series against the Dbacks having taken 15 of 19. So much for that rivalry. Adrian Gonzalez had two three-run homers. His six driven in give him an even 100 for the year if you’re into that sort of thing.

Rangers 1, Mariners 0: The only offense of the game was an Adrian Beltre sac fly. The second strong start for Derek Holland since his return, this time with seven shutout inning, no walks and five strikeouts.

Pirates 10, Cubs 4: Four homers for Pirates batters, including one from Gerrit Cole of all people. This sweep, combined with the Brewers’ loss, puts the Pirates in the second wild card position, a half game up on Atlanta and Milwaukee.

Angels 14, Twins 4: The sweep. For both the series and the season against the Twins. And they now sport a seven game lead in the West. Mike Trout, Howie Kendrick and C.J. Cron all homered. Kendrick drove in four, with an RBI triple and RBI single accompanying his solo shot.

Cardinals 9, Brewers 1: Adam Wainwright allowed only one run while tossing a complete game, needing exactly 100 pitches to do it. The Cards took three of four and now have a four and a half game lead in the Central.

Nationals 3, Phillies 2: Another guy with two homers, this time Adam LaRoche, to help the Nats avoid the sweep. Both homers tied the game at the time. Drew Storen took over as closer for Rafael Soriano and got the save.

Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 1: Jose Bautista’s three-rum homer was all the offense the Jays would get or need. R.A. Dickey baffled Sox hitters, allowing one run on six hits while pitching into the eighth. This loss, combined with the Orioles’ win, officially eliminates the Red Sox. Not that anyone in Boston was holding their breath.

Mets 4, Reds 3: Anthony Recker and Curtis Granderson homered. All four of the Mets’ runs were unearned, however, as the Reds committed two inning or at-bat-continuing errors. There aren’t many teams which have had a more uninspiring second half than Cincinnati.

Rockies 6, Padres 0: Colorado sweeps. Four in a row overall for them. Jackson Williams and Nolan Arenado homered. Williams’ was his first career longball in the majors.

Astros 4, Athletics 3: Oh, Oakland. They had a one-run lead in the ninth and then Ryan Cook came on to close it out. He walked three of the four batters he faced. Fernando Abad came in and allowed a sac fly, then intentionally walked one guy and unintentionally walked another and there went the lead. The Astros’ win ensures that they will not lose 100 games on the year. The Athletics’ loss puts the AL West even more out of reach than it already was and keeps them closer to the second wild card leaders than they really wanna be. The A’s have lost 18 of their last 26 games.

Tigers 6, Giants 1: The Tigers have Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello is putting up a breakout year and they traded for David Price at the break. So of course a dude named Kevin Lobstein is their best pitcher at the moment. Lobstein allowed one run in five and two-thirds innings. He has a 2.11 ERA in three starts since taking over Anibal Sanchez’s rotation spot. The Tigers have won all three of those games.

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.”