And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Tigers 8, Indians 5: Two homers for Miguel Cabrera and yet another sweep for the Tigers. When they go 162, fine, I’ll support him for the MVP.

Cardinals 7, Reds 5: Jhonny Peralta tied it with a two-run homer in the eighth and Matt Carpenter put St. Louis up by two with a homer of his own in the 11th. This game note is really darn interesting: “Reds catcher Brayan Pena left the game in the seventh after injuring his left shoulder in a fall at first base while beating out a leadoff bunt.” Just a LOT to unpack there.

Rays 8, Marlins 5: Miami’s season sure ain’t starting well, what with them being 1-5. Actual postgame quote from Jarrod Saltalamacchia: “It could have been worse. We could have been 0-6.” He must of said that before he realized two Marlins players — Don Kelly and Jeff Mathis — each broke a finger during the game. For real.

Blue Jays 10, Orioles 7: UPDATE: Though I probably get more “you don’t respect us!” rebop from O’s and Jays fans than any other two fan bases, please trust me when I tell you that I didn’t mean to leave this one blank earlier as some sort of passive-aggressive “this game was boring comment.” I just write these hella early and sometimes the brain hasn’t kicked in yet. Anyway: the Jays hit three homers because homers are their thing. The last one — from Jose Bautista — came after Darren O’Day threw one behind him. Those two have a history, of course. And Bautista is way better than O’Day, of course, so he’s gonna get the better of them over time. Maybe O’Day should cut it out?

Mets 4, Braves 3: I suppose it was folly to think Atlanta would go undefeated this year. And, if you have to lose a game, better to lose it in one which contained some outrageously awesome performances from athletes of bleeding-edge skill.

That was Colon’s first RBI in a decade. Colon started play yesterday as a .075/.080/.081 career hitter.

Nationals 4, Phillies 3: Bryce Harper homered and Wilson Ramos drove in two, including the go-ahead run in the 10th. Max Scherzer: one run, eight strikeouts in six innings. Yet, once again, does not pitch well enough to win. I am afraid of what the intimidating, influential and wise columnists of Washington will say today.

White Sox 6, Twins 2: I guess this means that Chris Sale’s foot feels OK (6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8K). Adam LaRoche hit a homer and had an RBI single.

Pirates 10, Brewers 2: And I guess this means Andrew McCutchen’s knee feels OK (2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI). Chris Sadler got his first MLB win after allowing two runs in five innings.

Astros 6, Rangers 4: Hank Conger had a two-run homer in the 14th to win it. But he wouldn’t have had the chance to it if wasn’t for George Springer’s amazing, grand-slam-saving catch in the 10th. That gave the Rangers three of their 15 stranded runners in the game. They drew seven walks and four Rangers batters were hit by pitches on top of that. If you can’t win a game when the other team just gifts you 11 base runners like that, fate ain’t letting you win that game.

Royals 9, Angels 2: Put the Royals in the 162-0 camp with the Tigers. Alcides Escobar and Alex Rios hit two-run doubles  and Salvador Perez homered There was some chippiness here because, apparently, Yordano Ventura doesn’t like athletes on the other team to say incendiary things like “let’s go, you guys!” Um, OK.

Mariners 8, Athletics 7: A 10th inning Nelson Cruz homer put the M’s ahead for good. Earlier in the game Rickie Weeks hit a pinch-hit three-run job. This day was not perfect for Seattle, but a couple of offseason additions designed to help fix the M’s biggest problem — offense — paid off well.

Padres 6, Giants 4: Wil Nieves hit a grand slam off of Jake Peavy as the Padres take three of four from the defending champs. Nieves’ Made his big league debut in 2002 for the Padres, catching Jake Peavy. A few things have happened since then, I suppose.

Cubs 6, Rockies 5: La Troy Hawkins came in to save the game with a comfy lead in the ninth — And he needed to only get two of the three outs with a two-run lead. But then a walk-wild pitch-single combo brought Chicago to within one and a subsequent two-run homer by Dexter Fowler put the Cubs ahead. That’s three appearances for Hawkins this year, the last two of which were blown saves. He’s allowed five runs on seven hits in two and two-thirds innings. Ick.

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 4: Alex Guerrero made some waves in spring training when he said that he deserved to be in the big leagues and wouldn’t allow the Dodgers to send him down. They’re happy they have him on the big club now, I reckon. He went 3-for-5, homered and had four RBI after being pressed into service due to injuries to Justin Turner and Juan Uribe. Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson homered too, so viva youth in Los Angeles.

Yankees 14, Red Sox 4: All Yankees started got a hit and all Yankees starters scored a run in this romp. A-Rod hit a three-run double and Chase Headley and Stephen Drew hit back-to-back bombs. Masahiro Tanaka wasn’t fantastic, but he pitched five generally competent innings to get the win, so maybe the columnists will wring their hands over something else this week.

The Cubs played under protest after Joe Maddon disputed an ‘illegal’ pitching motion

Joe Maddon
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The Cubs found themselves in a disadvantageous position toward the end of their 5-2 loss to the Nationals on Saturday. Down by three in the ninth, they were finally looking to gain some ground against closer Sean Doolittle after wearying themselves against Stephen Strasburg for the first eight innings of the game. Instead, the game ended under protest when Cubs skipper Joe Maddon took umbrage with Doolittle’s delivery:

The issue appeared to stem from the motion Doolittle made with his left foot, a kind of “toe-tapping” gesture that Maddon believed had previously been made illegal. The official rules state that a pitcher may not take a second step toward home plate during his delivery, a stipulation that had previously been violated by Cubs’ pitcher Carl Edwards Jr.:

Comparing the two motions, however, one would be hard-pressed to characterize Doolittle’s tapping motion as a full step toward the plate. Maddon clearly didn’t see it that way, and emerged from the dugout to dispute the pitcher’s delivery twice. Following Doolittle’s first-pitch strike to Albert Almora, the manager informed home-plate umpire Sam Holbrook that the Cubs would play the remainder of the game under protest.

An official decision has not yet been announced regarding the illegality of the delivery and the validity of the Cubs’ protest. According to league rules, “the game will not be replayed unless it is also determined that the violation adversely affected the protesting team’s chances of winning.”

During the inning in question, however, the umpiring crew allowed Doolittle to continue his delivery. He helped secure the Nationals’ 5-2 win after inducing a groundout from Almora, striking out Kyle Schwarber, and getting a game-ending pop-out from Kris Bryant.

After the game, both Holbrook and Doolittle took issue with Maddon’s protest.

“In that moment, he’s not trying to do anything other than rattle me,” Doolittle told reporters. “And it was kind of tired. I don’t know, sometimes he has to remind people how smart he is and how much he pays attention to the game. So he put his stamp on it, for sure.”

Holbrook, meanwhile, said Doolittle did “absolutely nothing illegal at all.”