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:

 

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:

 

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:

Skaggs Case: Federal Agents have interviewed at least six current or former Angels players

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The Los Angeles Times reports that federal agents have interviewed at least six current and former Angels players as part of their investigation into the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs.

Among the players questioned: Andrew Heaney, Noé Ramirez, Trevor Cahill, and Matt Harvey. An industry source tells NBC Sports that the interviews by federal agents are part of simultaneous investigations into Skaggs’ death by United States Attorneys in both Texas and California.

There has been no suggestion that the players are under criminal scrutiny or are suspected of using opioids. Rather, they are witnesses to the ongoing investigation and their statements have been sought to shed light on drug use by Skaggs and the procurement of illegal drugs by him and others in and around the club.

Skaggs asphyxiated while under the influence of fentanyl, oxycodone, and alcohol in his Texas hotel room on July 1. This past weekend, ESPN reported that Eric Kay, the Los Angeles Angels’ Director of Communications, knew that Skaggs was an Oxycontin addict, is an addict himself, and purchased opioids for Skaggs and used them with him on multiple occasions. Kay has told DEA agents that, apart from Skaggs, at least five other Angels players are opioid users and that other Angels officials knew of Skaggs’ use. The Angels have denied Kay’s allegations.

In some ways this all resembles what happened in Pittsburgh in the 1980s, when multiple players were interviewed and subsequently called as witnesses in prosecutions that came to be known as the Pittsburgh Drug Trials. There, no baseball players were charged with crimes in connection with what was found to be a cocaine epidemic inside Major League clubhouses, but their presence as witnesses caused the prosecutions to be national news for weeks and months on end.