And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Phillies 5, Braves 2: Of course Jeff Francoeur comes back to Atlanta, riding an 0-for-19 streak, and knocks the cover off the ball. This is the place of his birth. Where he was forged like steel into a machine that destroys garbage pitching like that he faced last night. Frenchy was 4-for-5 with a double, a triple and a couple driven in. A big night all around for ex-Braves as Aaron Harang allowed one run over six. Hell, I half expected Kyle Davies to pitch a couple scoreless frames.

Rays 5, Red Sox 1: Jake Odorizzi tames the Sox’ lineup, scattering seven hits. A lineup without Hanley Ramirez, who left in the first inning with a shoulder injury. Clay Buchholz continued to struggle, giving up five runs in six and a third. After the game he said “You go out there and try to throw a lot of strikes, not walk guys.” If you read that with a lot of emphasis on the “you,” as if he’s contrasting all other pitchers with himself, it sounds like a fairly accurate description of much of his past couple of seasons.

Rangers 2, Astros 1: The winning streak is over. A Jake Smolinski RBI single in the eighth and then a Robinson Chirinos sac fly in the ninth was all the Rangers needed because a first inning Evan Gattis sac fly was all the Astros got. The streak stops at 10 despite a fine outing from April AL Pitcher of the Month Dallas Keuchel (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8K).

Mariners 3, Angels 2: The AL Player of the Month had a decent night too, with Nelson Cruz going yard to snap a scoreless tie in the seventh.That’s his 14th on the year, and Cruz is on an 87-homer pace. I am inclined to believe he won’t keep it up, but man, I don’t think most folks expected him to even keep up his 2014 pace this year.  Felix Hernandez, whose greatness is rarely confined to single month, was excellent (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 8K).

Giants 2, Padres 0: Madison Bumgarner tossed no-hit ball into the seventh and shutout ball into the eighth and the pen locked it down. In his last two starts he has beaten Clayton Kershaw and Tyson Ross and shut down the Dodgers and Padres’ potent lineups. He’s pretty good when you think about it some.

Nationals 6, Marlins 4: A comeback thanks to four in the eighth. The offensive charge was led by Yunel Escobar who had a career-high five hits. Ian Desmond hit a homer during that eighth inning. Tanner Roark got his first career save.

Blue Jays 3, Yankees 1: Russell Martin knocked in a run with a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning. We usually say “against his old mates,” and then I usually say “well maybe they weren’t his old mates because teams turn their rosters over so much” but then I remembered it was the Yankees and, yeah, they are his old mates because it’s been mostly the same guys there forever.

Brewers 4, Dodgers 3: Craig Counsell is now the all-time leader in winning percentage among Milwaukee Brewers managers. His new club rallied for three runs in the eighth inning off of a tiring Clayton Kershaw and a less-than-jake Chris Hatcher. Gomezes Hector and Carlos helped key the rally, the latter with a homer the former with an RBI double.

Cardinals 10, Cubs 9: A five-run first inning for the Cubs was met with a four-run first inning for he Cards. Having lost a five-run lead early, the Cubs then went and lost a four-run lead later. when St. Louis rallied in the sixth and seventh. Mark Reynolds hit a grand slam in the first rally. The rally in the sixth and seventh was a little more sustained. The Cardinals’ 19-6 record is their best start since 1900. And it’s not like they haven’t had a couple other halfway decent squads in the past 115 years.

Twins 8, Athletics 7: Another 4-0 first inning lead blown, this one by Oakland. The big hit: a two-out, three-run homer by Torii Hunter in the sixth to break the 5-5 tie. After that the A’s tried to claw back but couldn’t quite get there. That’s five wins in a row for Minnesota.

Diamondbacks vs. Rockies: POSTPONED:All the rain

All the rain
Cover me now
All the rain
All the rain
Cover me now

Nationals GM Rizzo won’t reveal length of Martinez’s new contract

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WASHINGTON — Dave Martinez spoke Saturday about managing the Washington Nationals for “many, many years” and over the “long term” and “quite some time,” thanks to his contract extension.

Sharing a table to a socially distanced degree with his manager on a video conference call to announce the new deal – each member of the duo sporting a 2019 World Series ring on his right hand – Nationals GM Mike Rizzo referred to the agreement’s “multiyear” nature, but repeatedly refused to reveal anything more specific in response to reporters’ questions.

“We don’t talk about terms as far as years, length and salaries and that type of thing. We’re comfortable with what we have and the consistency that we’re going to have down the road,” said Rizzo, who recently agreed to a three-year extension of his own. “That’s all we want to say about terms, because it’s private information and we don’t want you guys to know about it.”

When Martinez initially was hired by Rizzo in October 2017 – his first managing job at any level – the Nationals’ news release at the time announced that he was given a three-year contract with an option for a fourth year.

That 2021 option had not yet been picked up.

“The partnership that Davey and I have together, our communication styles are very similar. Our aspirations are similar, and kind of our mindset of how to obtain the goals that we want to obtain are similar. I think it’s a good match,” Rizzo said. “We couldn’t have hit on a more positive and enthusiastic leader in the clubhouse. I think you see it shine through even in the most trying times.”

The Nationals entered Saturday – Martinez’s 56th birthday – with a 23-34 record and in last place in the NL East, which Rizzo called “a disappointing season.” The team’s title defense was slowed by injuries and inconsistency during a 60-game season delayed and shortened by the coronavirus pandemic.

World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg threw just five innings because of a nerve issue in his pitching hand and players such as Starlin Castro, Sean Doolittle, Tanner Rainey, Adam Eaton and Carter Kieboom finished the year on the IL.

“This year, for me, we didn’t get it done. We had a lot of bumps in the road this year. But I really, fully believe, we’ve got the core guys here that we need to win another championship,” Martinez said. “I know Mike, myself, we’re going to spend hours and hours and hours trying to fill the void with guys we think can potentially help us in the future. And we’ll be back on the podium. I’m really confident about that.”

Rizzo was asked Saturday why the team announces contract lengths for players, as is common practice around the major leagues, but wouldn’t do so in this instance for Martinez.

“The reason is we don’t want anybody to know. That’s the reason,” Rizzo said, before asking the reporter: “How much do you make? How many years do you have?”

Moments later, as the back-and-forth continued, Rizzo said: “It’s kind of an individual thing with certain people. I don’t want you to know what I make or how many years I have. Davey doesn’t want you to know. And I think that it’s only fair … when people don’t want certain information out there, that we don’t give it.”

There were some calling for Martinez to lose his job last season when Washington got off to a 19-31 start. But Rizzo stood by his manager, and the team eventually turned things around, going 74-38 the rest of the way to reach the playoffs as an NL wild-card team.

The Nationals then beat the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals to reach the World Series, where they beat the Houston Astros in Game 7.

Washington joined the 1914 Boston Braves as the only teams in major league history to win a World Series after being 12 games below .500 during a season.

“Everything from Day 1 to where he’s gotten to now, he’s grown so much. He’s really become one of my favorite managers of all,” three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer said after helping Washington win Saturday’s opener of a doubleheader against the New York Mets. “Davey really understands how to manage a clubhouse, manage a team. We saw it in the postseason. He knows how to push the right buttons when everything is on the line.”