And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Rockies 11, Giants 3: Carlos Gonzalez hit two homers for the second night in a row. This made me wonder about the longest streak of multi-homer games in baseball history. I found this answering the question — the answer was three, held by Gus Zernial of the A’s in 1951, Frank Thomas of the Mets in 1962, Lee May of the Reds in 1969, and Jeff DaVanon of the Angels in 2003 — but the data seems to have been collected a decade ago and I guess it could’ve happened again. I guess I need to re-up my expired Play Index subscription.

White Sox 6, Twins 4: J.B. Shuck hit a two-run, pinch-hit triple in the seventh inning to put the Sox ahead for good. The Twins are now one and a half games back of Texas for the second wild card and have a road trip ahead which takes them to Houston and Kansas City. So, yeah, if they’re gonna make the playoffs, they’re gonna have to earn it.

Nationals 15, Braves 1: Ryan Zimmerman was 3-for-3 with two doubles and four driven in and Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run over six innings. Each of which would’ve been plenty to beat the stanky-butt Braves, but because the Braves are the Braves and have clearly given up any pretense of being even remotely competitive this year the Nats scored 15 runs off of ’em.

Brewers 5, Pirates 3: That’s six straight wins by the Brewers over the Pirates. There’s going to be a lot of hand-wringing about how unfair it is that the Pirates, perhaps the second or third best team in all of baseball this year, are going to be stuck in a one-and-done wild card game. And I’ll agree that that stinks because one-and-dones are just not a fair test of a baseball team. But, at some point during that game, I’ll probably think “well, maybe if you didn’t roll the hell over for the Brewers this year — and the Reds for that matter, against whom the Pirates are 4-9 — you wouldn’t have been in this mess.”

Royals 15, Tigers 7: Lorenzo Cain hit a three-run homer, Paulo Orlando hit a two-run homer and Kendrys Morales drove in four. Fifteen runs on 20 hits in all for Kansas City who, I assume, can’t wait for October to get here.

Padres 10, Dodgers 7: The non-Greinke/Kershaw portion of the Dodgers’ pitching staff strikes again. Mat Latos allowed four runs in only four innings of work and the bullpen have up six more runs in the next five innings. L.A. held a 7-4 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth but couldn’t hold it. Jedd Gyorko hit a two-run homer and Yangervis Solarte had four hits. Crazy idea: Don Mattingly goes to a two-man rotation in the playoffs with whichever of Greinke or Kershaw isn’t pitching that day working from the pen. Sure, it may destroy both of their arms, but it’ll give him a 23-man offense. Could be cool?

Royals sign Drew Storen to minor league deal

Drew Storen
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The Royals are in agreement with right-handed reliever Drew Storen on a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the deal is worth $1.25 million if the veteran righty breaks camp with the club this spring. Additional, albeit unspecified incentives will be included in the contract as well.

Storen, 31, is coming off of a protracted absence from any MLB duties. After inking a one-year deal with the Reds in 2017, he sustained a right elbow sprain toward the end of the year and underwent Tommy John surgery that October. He was effectively decommissioned for the club’s entire 2018 run and generated little interest around the league this winter, perhaps due in part to the uninspired 4.45 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.9 SO/9, and career-low -0.2 fWAR he posted across 54 2/3 innings during his last healthy season.

While it’s not immediately clear what kind of performance the Royals can expect from Storen in spring training, they’re not exactly in a position to be choosy. Their bullpen ranked dead last among all MLB teams with a collective 5.04 ERA, 4.85 FIP, and -2.2 fWAR last year, and still appears to be in a state of flux as they approach Opening Day. Skipper Ned Yost told reporters Wednesday that he intends to eschew the traditional closer appointment in 2019 and will instead utilize a combination of right-handers Wily Peralta and Brad Boxberger, lefty Tim Hill, and various others as he tackles high-leverage situations in the future.