And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Two teams without wins enter the weekend and each of them sweep their series. This, my friends, is why baseball does not lend itself well to two-hour pregame shows and hours and upon hours of talk radio breaking things down to the nth degree. Things change fast in this sport and what happened yesterday has little bearing on what happens today. Baseball isn’t prone to IN DEPTH BREAKDOWNS. Baseball just . . . happens. Maybe someone should do a show about that. About how that just happened. Hmmm . . .

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights.

Yankees 4, Mariners 3: A-Rod was 0-for-19 and then hit a two-run homer. Maybe he’s done. I have no idea. 40-year-olds are often toast before they realize it, but he got around on that one. Masahiro Tanaka beat Hisashi Iwakuma. They used to play together for Rakuten in NPB. All the stories about this make some reference to “his old friend . . . ” in some way. They probably are friends. I’m going to choose to believe, however, without reading further, that they actually have a long-simmering feud over, say, a woman. Or a promise one made to another over strong drink, later broken. “Ah, yes, I beat my old friend,” Tanka says to the press. But deep down there are scars that will never heal. Sorry, just makes it all the more interesting for me.

Mets 6, Indians 0: Steven Matz was declared dead and there was much panic after his first start but then came back and struck out nine and allowed three hits over seven innings, which makes me think that the Mets coverage tends to skew toward unreasonable extremes. He was just mostly dead, I guess. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do . . . go through his clothes and look for loose change.

Braves 6, Marlins 5: Braves win three in a row! They gonna go 153-9 now, I presume. In other news, on Friday night as I was watching them win their first game of the season, one of my Twitter correspondents informed me that Peter Buck of R.E.M. came up with the idea for — and the mandolin line to — “Losing My Religion” while watching the 54-106 1988 Atlanta Braves on TV with the sound down. I was probably watching the same games as him at the time and all I came up with were increasingly implausible fantasies about how I was gonna get some sophomore girl to notice me. Oh well, genius works in varying ways. OK, the 2016 Braves aren’t going to win 153 games. But here’s hoping they, like their similarly futile 1988 counterparts, inspire a great song in a couple of years.

Twins 3, Angels 2: Oswaldo Arcia walked ’em off with a single to score Byron Buxton in the 12th inning, giving the Twins a three-game sweep. I’m going to assume that Prince or the Replacements or someone wrote a great song while watching the Twins lose 91 games in 1986 and that someone will likewise do so in Minneapolis this summer.

Rays 3, White Sox 2: Matt Moore struck out 10 over six and a third innings and Brandon Guyer had four hits. It seems like forever ago that Moore had Tommy John surgery, but he’s still just coming back from it, having made only 12 starts last year in that “man, I just don’t have my command back yet” phase of TJ recovery.

Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 3: The Jays salvage one. Edwin Encarnacion has two singles and an RBI and Jose Bautista went long. Aaron Sanchez allowed two hits in seven innings of one-run ball.

Phillies 4, Nationals 2: Jonathan Papelbon came into the game in the bottom of the 10th for the one-run save against his former team. And his former team shoved it down his throat, with Andres Blanco hitting an RBI single and Freddy Galvis hitting an RBI double as Papelbon gave up three hits in all.

Pirates 9, Brewers 3: The Buccos rattled off 17 hits against Brewers pitchers. Andrew McCutchen homered for the second day in a row, Sean Rodriguez had a two-run homer and Josh Harrison and John Jaso each had two hits as the Pirates took two of three from Milwaukee to end a brief four-game skid.

Astros 5, Tigers 4Jose Altuve hit a leadoff home run and had three RBI while George Springer hit a solo shot. While it came in a loss, Ian Kinsler had a helluva day. He hit a two-run homer and then, in the field, he let a Tyler White pop up fall in front of him in order to throw out Colby Rasmus at second. The announcers thought it was an infield fly rule situation at first but it wasn’t because that only applies with force outs at multiple bases. This was just a thing where Kinsler made it so the faster runner, Rasmus, was exchanged for a slower runner in White. Some good deep diving on this play here, including some history as to how this kind of play actually led to the creation of the infield fly rule, even though it didn’t actually apply in this case.

Cardinals 4, Reds 3: Subbing for Yadi Molina, Eric Fryer had three hits, including a go-ahead double with two outs in the eighth inning. He’s 6-for-6 on the year. He should retire now, tied for the all-time highest single-season batting average.

Rockies 2, Cubs 0: Two homers for Nolan Arenado who continues to remind everyone that he’s a ridiculously good baseball player trapped on an otherwise bad team. Also good: Tyler Chatwood, who had seven shutout innings while allowing only two hits. He’s had two TJ surgeries, by the way. It’s always good to see a guy like that come up big.

Athletics 3, Royals 2Josh Reddick hit a sacrifice fly to score the go-ahead run in the eighth, but that run came in the form of Billy Burns, who had just tripled to set it all up. Reddick gets the RBI, but Burns would get the assist if this was somehow basketball.

Diamondbacks 7, Padres 3: Yasmany Tomas homered twice, drove in three and scored three. This all came hours after the Dbacks dropped a 14-inning game that took 5 hours, 25 minutes, so you figure they were all gassed. Probably felt like I did all day Sunday after giving blood on Saturday. I’ve given blood a bunch of times before, but for some reason this time it made me crazy-fatigued. So basically I’m just like a professional ballplayer who just played a 14-inning game.

Dodgers 3, Giants 1: Down 1-0 in the fifth, Joc Pederson hit a two-run homer that ended up being enough to win the game even if L.A. added an insurance run later. Kenta Maeda allowed his first run of the year, but only that run, to get the win. He’s now 2-0 with 0.47 ERA and 15 strikeouts and four walks in 19 innings.

Orioles vs. Rangers — POSTPONED: I feel the toxins fill my blood stream as I’m walking through the parking lot
Over and over and over and over and over and over
The clouds hanging over
Choking the life out of me
The motto seems to be
“We work in order to be free”

It’s the black sheets of rain
Following me again
Everywhere I go
Everywhere I’ve been
Following me again

Cubs acquire Martín Maldonado from the Royals

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Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.

Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.

Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.