And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Cardinals 4, Brewers 0: John Lackey was fantastic, tossing seven scoreless innings, allowing five hits and striking out eight. He’s also making $500K this year because of that farkakte contract he signed with the Red Sox way back when. St. Louis’ gain, I suppose. And if Lackey keeps pitching like this, his gain this coming offseason when he signs a new deal.

Twins 8, Royals 5: Kennys Vargas was better than Jason Vargas on this day. They’re not related but I sort of wish they were so that we could invent some crazy family backstory here, but alas. Anyway, Kennys and Kurt Suzuki each hit two-run homers as the Twins win again.

Nationals 5, Phillies 2: The Phillies can shuffle their lineup all they want — Howard batting seventh, Frenchy cleaning up — and it’s not going to matter much given that they don’t have any hitters who can do a dang thing against decent pitching this year. And here Doug Fister was more than decent, allowing two runs — only one of them earned — while pitching into the seventh. Cole Hamels have up five runs in six innings, but really, he and all other Phillies pitchers are going to have to be close to perfect this year.

Rays 4, Blue Jays 2: Chris Archer struck out 11 and allowed only two hits in seven shutout innings. Steven Souza did not hit a monstrous, 450-foot or so home run last night. I wonder what’s wrong with him?

Mets 7, Marlins 5: New York spotted the Marlins three runs — one of them on Giancarlo Stanton’s first dinger of the year —  but no worries. Lucas Duda had three hits. Wilmer Flores had a three-run shot. There was a replay challenge that lasted six minutes, so that was fun, but after the game Travis d’Arnaud admitted that the replay officials got it right.

Diamondbacks 7,  Giants 6: Aaron Hill hit a two-run double with two outs in the 12th to put the Snakes ahead. The Giants have lost seven straight.

Royals, Alex Gordon close to contract agreement

Alex Gordon
Cody Glenn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports that the Royals and outfielder Alex Gordon are “getting close” to an agreement on a one-year contract. Terms of the deal aren’t yet known, but the Royals could make it official within the next few days.

Gordon, who turns 36 years old next month, hit .266/.345/.396 with 13 home runs and 76 RBI over 633 plate appearances with the Royals this past season. His offense has waned, owning an adjusted OPS of 84 since 2016 (100 is average), but he still plays decent defense.

Gordon has spent all 13 years of his major league career with the Royals. With the club in a rebuilding phase, he will serve as the clubhouse leader and be a mentor to younger players on the roster.