And That Happened: Thursdays’s scores and highlights

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Rockies 5, Dodgers 4: The Rockies’ nightmarish 11-game losing streak is over, thanks to Carlos Gonzalez’ three-run homer with two outs in the ninth. There was an 85-minute rain delay during the sixth inning. In Los Angeles. Everything Albert Hammond ever told me was a lie. Wait, maybe not everything. He also had a song called “I Don’t Wanna Die in an Air Disaster,” and I’ll take him at his word for that.

Cubs, 6, Mets 5: Dexter Fowler homered and scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball in the seventh as the Cubs complete a four game sweep of the Mets. This after New York took a 5-1 lead in the fifth. Anthony Recker had a pair of solo home runs but, you know, also allowed that passed ball. After that play, every Mets fan I know on Twitter reverted to classic “everything is awful and we are doomed” mode. Which is to say, everything is normal again.

Padres 8, Nationals 3: Cory Spangenberg hit two homers. He also has a name that really belongs on a tight end in the NFL circa 1979 or so. Derek Norris homered, tripled and drove in five runs. His name is pretty standard-issue 2000-teens baseball.

Astros 6, Blue Jays 4: Astros batters were struck out 13 times by Jays pitchers. Jays batters were only struck out once by Astros pitchers. If you didn’t know the score and you were wagering I’d imagine you’d put a ton of money on the proposition that the Jays won this game, but such is life with the hacktastic Astros. Preston Tucker had three hits and an RBI and the Astros rallied for four runs in the seventh for the come-from-behind victory. They’ve won ten come-from-behind games already this year.

Cardinals 2, Indians 1: After being dominated by Corey Kluber on Wednesday, Trevor Bauer shut the Cardinals down again on Thursday, striking out ten and not allowing any runs while pitching into the eighth. Then, with his 110th pitch Bauer gave up a walk. Terry Francona took that as a sign that he was losing it and replaced him with Marc Rzepczynski, who promptly have up a two-run homer to Matt Carpenter and that’s all that ended up mattering. Baseball, man.

Phillies 4, Pirates 2: Aaron Harang tossed eight shutout innings as he continues to audition to be traded to a contender at some point this summer. He’s now 4-3 with a 2.03 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Ryan Howard hit a homer which I guess still happens sometimes.

Tigers 13, Twins 1: Miguel Cabrera had two homers and five RBI as the Tigers’ offensive attack was ridiculous. But what makes the Tigers better this year than last may not be the offense but this sort of thing:

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Royals 6, Rangers 3: I guess the Royals are the opposite. Known for their defense and stuff, what makes them better this year is that they’re beating the hell out of the ball. Tops in batting average in all of baseball, third in runs per game. Alcides Escobar drove in three on three hits and scored twice. Eric Hosmer hit a two-run homer. He’s got an 11-game hitting streak working.

Reds 4, Giants 3: Tim Lincecum had thrown 15 scoreless innings heading into the game but was a mess in this one, walking five, hitting a batter, throwing a wild pitch and allowing three runs in four and two-thirds. He also did this:

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He plants his foot way farther ahead than a lot of guys do, so you have to assume there were some issues with the mound. Either way, not his best night. Marlon Byrd, in contrast, had a good night: He hit a two-run single and a tiebreaking solo homer.

Rays 6, Yankees 1: Erasmo Ramirez and Matt Andriese combined on a five-hitter to stifle the Bombers. The only misstep was a solo homer given up to A-Rod, but that was in the ninth inning and there was nothing doing for the Yankees otherwise. Rene Rivera provided all the pop the Rays needed and then some, hitting a three-run homer in the second and an RBI single in the fourth.

Red Sox 2, Mariners 1: Two good starting pitching performances in a row for Boston. What is this world coming to? Here it was Joe Kelly, allowing one run in six and a third. He got a no-decision, though, as it was tied into the ninth until Brock Holt doubled and scored the go-ahead run on a Rickie Weeks error. Big game for Shane Victorino who hit a solo homer in the fourth and made this gem of a play in the seventh, ranging to the track for the catch and doubling off the runner at first:

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Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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