And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

Associated Press
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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Tigers 3, Royals 2: Jordan Zimmermann won his third game, allowing no runs into the seventh inning. On the season as a whole he’s allowed no runs in his first nineteen and a third innings. So far he’s looking like the free agent pickup of the year.

Athletics 5, Yankees 2Kendall Graveman pitched strongly into the seventh. He also got to bat because the A’s gave up their DH when third baseman Danny Valencia got hurt. He hit cleanup, actually. Struck out on three pitches and after the game said it was the first time he had batted in eight years. The A’s will likely keep him for a while but think of how many pitchers who come up with an AL team and take the same path as Graveman, not hitting for close to a decade, and then get traded to the NL and are suddenly expected to bat because of the NL’s allegedly superior style of play. The Yankees, meanwhile, kind of stink in the early going.

Brewers 10, Twins 5Aaron Hill, Chris Carter and Domingo Santana all hit homers. Another Minnesota star was in the news yesterday. It may be someone you all know well:

 

Congratulations, dude.

Orioles 4, Blue Jays 3: A walkoff passed ball in the 10th inning gives the O’s the game. It happened when a slider from Joe Biagini got past Toronto catcher Josh Thole, allowing Caleb Joseph to score from third. That’s one you don’t see every day. That’s one you might not see in 10,000 days.

Phillies 5, Mets 4: Yet another walkoff in extra innings, this one more conventional, as Peter Bourjos hit an infield single with two outs in the 11th. He was batting in the ninth slot, as batting pitchers eighth has become quite a trend these days, being used by the Phillies for the first time in 37 years. Yoenis Cespedes and Lucas Duda hit back-to-back homers and Neil Walker had four hits for the Mets; winning efforts in a losing cause. Kind of like the Browncoats in “Firefly.” You can’t take the sky from them.

Red Sox 7, Rays 3: Mookie Betts hit a two-run homer and David Ortiz drove in three runs with a pair of doubles. Rick Porcello was key, though, allowing three runs and six hits in seven innings, striking out nine and walking one. The Sox needed the innings more than anything given how taxed the bullpen was after Tuesday night’s all-hands-on-deck game following Joe Kelly‘s early exit.

Dodgers 5, Braves 3: Justin Turner drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th. He had help via a rookie mistake from Braves center fielder Mallex Smith, who tried to make a diving catch of Turner’s hit and ended up kicking it away. Chase Utley scored from second on the play, but he had been waiting to tag up if necessary. If Smith just lets it fall in front of him and the left fielder who was also converging, the old man doesn’t make it home. Maybe it doesn’t matter — the Dodgers scored one more time after that — but it was some help the Dodgers didn’t need. Help the Dodgers got from their own ranks: six  relievers combining to allow only one hit over six and a third.

Nationals 3, Marlins 1: Another great team bullpen performance here, where four Nationals relievers combined to pitch seven innings after starter Joe Ross left the game in the first inning with a blister. Yusmeiro Petit led the charge, allowing one run in four innings as the fist guy up after Ross went down.

Rangers 2, Astros 1: Cole Hamels hit the first two batters he faced in the game. It wasn’t a Dock Ellis “do the do” sort of thing, as Hamels was just off, but he settled down and won his tenth straight decision. Rougned Odor hit a two-run homer for all of the Texas offense.

Padres 8, Pirates 2Drew Pomeranz notched a career-high 10 strikeouts while Matt Kemp homered and both Melvin Upton Jr. and third baseman Adam Rosales made some great plays on defense. Two in a row for San Digeo off of Pittsburgh, guaranteeing them their first series win of the year.

Diamondbacks 2, Giants 1: THAT’S the Zack Greinke we’ve been expecting: one run on six hits in six and two-thirds as he outduels Madison Bumgarner. Both Dback runs came on a Wellington Castillo homer in the seventh. Indeed, all of the game’s scoring came in the seventh, truly making a pitcher’s duel until that moment the shots were fired.

Reds 6, Rockies 5: The Reds pen blew a three-run lead in the eighth but Tucker Barnhart hit a walkoff single to salvage the game. A long replay review of a missed bag/maybe missed bag by a Rockies baserunner in the seventh cost Colorado a run, however, and that loomed pretty large too.

Cardinals 5, Cubs 3: The Cardinals salvage one thanks to two two-run innings early on, seven strong innings from Carlos Martinez and Randal Grichuk robbing Anthony Rizzo of a home run with an over-the-wall catch in the first inning. The game was delayed 3 hours, 21 minutes by rain in the middle of the seventh. The time to actually play the game was 2 hours, 40 minutes. Quite a long day at the ballpark.

White Sox 2, Angels 1: Chris Sale allowed one run — unearned — on two hits over seven. Sale has four wins. The Chisox have ten. Sale has started off strong like this before but it’s the Sox’ best start in a decade.

Mariners 2, Indians 1: Taijuan Walker pitched a mini-Sale, allowing an unearned run over six innings. Walker has owned the Indians. Too bad for him he doesn’t pitch in the AL Central.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He 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 was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.