And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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White Sox 5, Athletics 4: This is how a season is woofed away. Not with a bang, but a whimper. The A’s took a 4-3 lead into the ninth, but Eric O’Flaherty gave up a homer to Tyler Flowers which tied the game. Onto extras where, in the twelfth, Jesse Chavez gave up another homer to Flowers. OK, so I guess that was with a bang — two actually — but not from Oakland.

Mariners 4, Astros 1: And I do mean woofed away. As it may potentially be, with the M’s now only a game behind the A’s. Here Brad Miller’s eighth inning triple plated two and then he came in on a subsequent Austin Jackson single. Felix Hernandes tossed six shutout innings but got the no-decision because, well, that’s more in keeping with what has always happened to him as opposed to all the winning he’s done this year.

Blue Jays 8, Cubs 0: Marcus Stroman with The Maddux (i.e. a shuout in under 100 pitches). His took 93 pitches. He allowed three hits and struck out eight against Maddux’s former team.

Tigers 9, Royals 5: A crucial head-to-head series starts with the Tigers on top, pulling to within one game in the Central. A six-run third inning was the difference-maker here. Justin Verlander was OK, allowing four runs in seven innings, but the Tigers will accept OK from him these days. The win was the 9,000th in Tigers franchise history.

Orioles 4, Red Sox 0: The Orioles have a ten-game lead in the East. That’s their largest since they won the pennant in 1979. One guess as to the last time any team had a lead as big in the AL East. Guess all you want, you’ll never get it. The answer: the 1984 Tigers. Which, yes, us old people still remember being in the AL East, but no one else does. [UPDATE: I have no idea whey I said that. It was part of an online conversation that I badly misinterpreted and mangled. Carry on]. Miguel Gonzalez with six and a third shutout innings. Nelson Cruz with a couple of hits.

Dodgers 9, Padres 4: Clayton Kershaw wins his 18th, allowing only one earned run in eight innings and reducing his ERA to a silly 1.67. Carl Crawford hit a three-run homer. But boy, you gotta see those unearned runs.

Mets 3, Rockies 2: Two runs in the ninth as the Mets rally to win it. Curtis Granderson was the engine here, with the RBI triple to plate one of those runs and by coming in to score the second.

Cardinals 5, Reds 0: St. Louis has won their ninth of ten to keep their surge alive. A two-run single for Matt Carpenter broke the scoreless tie in the seventh and a three-run Matt Adams homer broke it wide open in the ninth. Cincinnati’s bullpen has a record of 0-14 since the All-Star break.

Pirates 6, Phillies 4: Jeff Locke allowed one run over seven and struck out nine. Though most of the action took place in the eighth with the Pirates plating four of their six runs and the Phillies three of their four. Starling Marte singled, doubled and homered. Pittsburgh remains in the second wild card slot, a game and a half up on Milwaukee and Atlanta.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,500. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Nationals 2, Braves 1: Doug Fister shut the Braves the heck down for seven innings, allowing only two hits. Atlanta still had a shot against the Nats’ bullpen in the eighth, but strikeouts and a foul out by Justin Upton with men on killed any hope. Braves couldn’t hit their way out of a paper bag. No one in Atlanta seems to care all that much, so I’m struggling to think why I should at this point. Oh, Atlanta. What an uninspiring bunch.

Angels 12, Indians 3: Jered Weaver wins his 16th, which leads the AL. Albert Pujols was 3 for 5 with a homer and three driven in. Kole Calhoun hit a two-run homer and David Freese had a three-run shot of his own in the makeup game.

Marlins 6, Brewers 4: The Brewers continue to skid out of control. A Marlins slugger hit a monster home run. But this time it wasn’t Giancarlo Stanton. Watch Marcell Ozuna go way, way out of here. Off the dang scoreboard:

 

 

 

 

 

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.