And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Associated Press

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Tigers 8, Pirates 2: Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind, Upton in here, Upton in here. Justin with four hits on the day including a 451 foot homer to a deep, deep part of Comerica Park. Like shrubs deep, where it’s really hard to get a baseball to go.

Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 2: Kenta Maeda gave the Dodgers six shutout innings and the bullpen threw the game into the toilet for the Dodgers. The eighth inning homer given up to Paul Goldschmidt was excusable, as he’s one of the best hitters on the planet and just wears out Dodgers pitching lately. The rest of it was just bad work.

Nationals 2, Braves 1: Bryce Harper‘s two-run double in the eighth was all the Nats needed to win again and to put the Braves down to 0-7. We’re getting to the point where random people are sending me unsolicited 1988 Braves callbacks on Twitter:

Which is fine. Indeed, I welcome it. As I’ve written in the past, the 1988 Braves season still stands as my favorite season as a baseball fan. They lost 106 games, including the first 10 and the first 14 of 16 overall, and German Jimenez played a large, sad, symbolic role on the year, but it was still the best. It was the year that proved to me that the enjoyment of sports is not contingent on your team winning. It was a crash course in that philosophy, actually, but it was a lesson worth learning, for sure.

Phillies 3, Padres 0: Some of you will remember a few years ago when it was said that Charlie Morton was a poor-man’s Roy Halladay. It was around 2011, I believe, and Morton had changed his delivery to specifically emulate Halladay’s and, for a brief period, it was actually pretty effective. I seem to remember him ripping off a few Halladay-esque starts at the time and everyone talking about it. Since then he hasn’t been an ace, but he’s been solid here and there. “Mid-rotation guy for a not great team” is about where he should be right now and is exactly where he is. And last night he gave the Phillies six and two-thirds of shutout ball. The Padres have now been shut out in four of their eight games.

Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2: A Brian McCann homer in the sixth tied it and a Jacoby Ellsbury single in the seventh but the Bombers ahead for good. McCann ended up leaving the game with a bruised toe. Between that and what happened to James in Detroit, it’s been a bad week for catching McCann’s, health wise. Bad night for the Jays. Just look how disillusioned this man, who I am going to assume is the new mayor of Toronto, is:

Orioles 9, Red Sox 5: Another crap outing from a Boston starter, this one from Clay Buchholz, who got all fivey, allowing five runs on five hits in five innings. J.J. Hardy had two two-run home runs and Mark Trumbo hit another. The O’s are now 7-0, which is their best start since they were the St. Louis Browns back in 1944. That year they won the AL pennant! The year after that the Browns would play an outfielder with one arm for 77 games. Just saying, it could be an interesting couple of seasons for the Orioles here.

Marlins 2, Mets 1Noah Syndergaard struck out 12 and left with the score tied after seven. Then, in the eighth, Dee Gordon put on show of grit we haven’t seen for quite a while. Leading off against Mets reliever Jim Henderson, the two battled for 15 pitches. Then, on the 16th pitch, Gordon singled. Then he stole second base and eventually came in on a sac fly. That was the longest at bat in terms of pitches in two years. Gordon’s nickname should be Grit Show or something.

Rays 5, Indians 1: There were a lot of late rallies yesterday, and the Rays were no exception. Logan Forsythe and Evan Longoria both hit two-run home runs in the eighth, one off of Corey Kluber, the other off of Cody Allen. Until the homer, Kluber was solid. Kevin Cash said this:

“We didn’t give in to a really good pitcher. He pretty much had his way with us for the better part of five, six, seven innings right there. Then we finally got something going.”

I think baseball needs to have a meeting for the purpose of firmly establishing the definition of what “give in” means. The term is used a lot, usually with reference to pitchers throwing to tough hitters. Often it’s meant to convey the idea that the pitcher did not go away from his game plan to give the hitter the kind of pitch he wanted simply to avoid a walk. Other times, however, I’ve heard it to mean the pitcher did not refuse to challenge the hitter. In the context Cash uses it here I’m not entirely sure what “we didn’t give in” meant. Maybe he meant “didn’t give up on” or something. Whatever the case, we need to take a stand here, lest the phrase lose all meaning. I mean, look what happened to the once-amazing word “nonplussed.” Misuse and use as its own opposite has rendered it a shell of its former self. Just look at it over there, slobbering in the corner. Sad, really.

Royals 3, Astros 2: Lorenzo Cain hit a three-run homer in the first, the Astros came back with two in the bottom of the innings and the score would never change. It got interesting in the ninth, however, when Wade Davis walked two batters before nailing down the save. I guess he’s just giving himself a difficulty level. My son does this by adding extra saw blades and things on Mario Maker.

Giants 7, Rockies 2: Trevor Brown hit two Trevor Bombs. What? You don’t like that? The Yankees pay John Sterling a lot of money to come up with that kind of stuff. That’s gold, man.

Angels 5, Athletics 4: Even more late heroics, this from Geovany Soto who hit a two-run homer in the ninth to complete the Angels’ comeback. This will surprise the people who think he got traded from the Indians to the Cubs the other day. On paper, the A’s eighth and ninth inning combo of Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle is one of the better 1-2 punches in the game. Sadly for them, they didn’t play the game on paper last night.

Rangers 8, Mariners 0: No late drama here besides that which people driving home from the ballpark may have faced due to construction zones or whatever. Adrian Beltre drove in five runs and Derek Holland pitched shutout ball into the eighth.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu is scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.