And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 7, Royals 3: Chase Headley homered. When I heard that he did I gathered my children close and prepared myself for the meteor or for some great cosmic beast to come and consume us all, for this is End Times stuff. Didi Gregorius hit a two-run homer and Starlin Castro added a solo shot. That’s less ominous.

Orioles 7, Tigers 5: Stop me if you heard this one: the Tigers had a big lead, the starter faltered, Brad Ausmus went to his bullpen, some of you changed the channel for a bit or went upstairs to tuck the kids in and then, bam, you look up and the Tigers are losing. The five-spot the O’s put up in the seventh inning was done by virtue of five singles and Jonathan Schoop‘s  tiebreaking two-run triple. Brad Ausmus:

“We had a lead, couldn’t hold it. That’s the story of the game. There’s really not much else to it.”

No, that’s the story of the past half decade or more of Detroit Tigers baseball.

Red Sox 11, Astros 1: In a battle of aces only one ace came in and, um, aced. David Price struck out 12 and allowed only one run in six and two-thirds. Dallas Keuchel, however, was lit up for eight runs on ten hits in six. I’m sure it was all Carlos Gomez‘s fault somehow. Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts each drove in three runs. Red Sox’ run totals in the past four games: 14, 13, 13 and 11. That came against the A’s and now the Astros. In other news, the Red Sox have petitioned Rob Manfred to allow them to move to the American League West.

Phillies 7, Braves 4: Cameron Rupp hit a three-run double with two outs in the 10th inning to put the Phillies over. You’re not going to believe this, but Rupp said after the game that his hit came as a result of him “looking for a pitch I could drive.” I can’t believe Pete Mackanin is allowing his players to divulge trade secrets like that. Call this a moral victory for Atlanta as they were down 4-0 in the seventh before coming back to tie it and force extras. In late July everyone probably curls up into the fetal position and lets it end in nine.

Padres 3, Brewers 0: James Shields struck out a nine over seven shutout innings. Melvin Upton Jr. homered, had three hits in all, drove in two and scored twice. San Diego has won three in a row.

Giants 4, Diamondbacks 2: Johnny Cueto scattered eight hits over seven innings while striking out nine. Zack Greinke continues to be bafflingly bad, allowing four runs on eight hits in six. He’s 3-3 with a 5.26 ERA on the season.

Cardinals 12, Angels 10: Attack of the Matts. Two homers from Holliday and three RBI from him, Carpenter and Adams. The whole lineup should change their first names to Matt. Like the reverse Ramones or something.

Dodgers 5, Mets 0: Clayton Kershaw isn’t single-handedly keeping the Dodgers afloat, but he almost is. He pushes his record to 5-1 after a monster game in which he struck out 13 in a complete game shutout, lowering his ERA to 1.74. Just a total beast of a man, amused at the notion that people are thinking there is someone else who can wear the title of “best pitcher in baseball” right now.

Texas Rangers ink free-agent ace Jacob deGrom to 5-year deal

Jacob deGrom
USA Today
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ARLINGTON, Texas — Jacob deGrom is headed to the free-spending Texas Rangers, who believe the health risk is worth the potential reward in trying to end a six-year run of losing.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner agreed to a $185 million, five-year contract Friday, leaving the New York Mets after nine seasons – the past two shortened substantially by injuries.

“We acknowledge the risk, but we also acknowledge that in order to get great players, there is a risk and a cost associated with that,” Rangers general manager Chris Young said. “And one we feel like is worth taking with a player of Jacob’s caliber.”

Texas announced the signing after the 34-year-old deGrom passed his physical. A person with direct knowledge of the deal disclosed the financial terms to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the club did not announce those details.

The Rangers were also big spenders in free agency last offseason, signing shortstop Corey Seager ($325 million, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175 million, seven years).

The team said deGrom will be introduced in a news conference at Globe Life Field next week following the winter meetings in San Diego.

“It fits in so many ways in terms of what we need,” Young said. “He’s a tremendous person. I have a number of close friends and teammates who played with Jacob and love him. I think he’s going to be just a perfect fit for our clubhouse and our fans.”

Texas had modest expectations after adding Seager, Semien and starter Jon Gray ($56 million, four years) last offseason but still fell short of them.

The Rangers went 68-94, firing manager Chris Woodward during the season, and then hired Bruce Bochy, a three-time World Series champion with San Francisco. Texas’ six straight losing seasons are its worst skid since the franchise moved from Washington in 1972.

Rangers owner Ray Davis said the club wouldn’t hesitate to keep adding payroll. Including the $19.65 million qualifying offer accepted by Martin Perez, the team’s best pitcher last season, the Rangers have spent nearly $761 million in free agency over the past year.

“I hate losing, but I think there’s one person in our organization who hates losing worse than me, and I think it’s Ray Davis,” Young said. “He’s tired of losing. I’m tired of losing. Our organization is tired of losing.”

After making his first start in early August last season, deGrom went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 outings. He helped the Mets reach the playoffs, then passed up a $30.5 million salary for 2023 and opted out of his contract to become a free agent for the first time.

That ended his deal with the Mets at $107 million over four years, and deGrom rejected their $19.65 million qualifying offer in November. New York will receive draft-pick compensation for losing him.

The fan favorite becomes the latest in a long line of ace pitchers to leave the Mets for one reason or another, including Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and David Cone.

The Rangers visit Citi Field from Aug. 28-30.

When healthy, deGrom is perhaps baseball’s most dominant pitcher. His 2.52 career ERA ranks third in the expansion era (since 1961) behind Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (2.48) and Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax (2.19) among those with at least 200 starts.

The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA in five career postseason starts, including a win over San Diego in the wild-card round this year that extended the Mets’ season. New York was eliminated the next night.

A four-time All-Star and the 2014 NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom was a ninth-round draft pick by the Mets in 2010 out of Stetson, where he played shortstop before moving to the mound. He was slowed by Tommy John surgery early in his career and didn’t reach the majors until age 26.

Once he arrived, though, he blossomed. He helped the Mets reach the 2015 World Series and earn a 2016 playoff berth before winning consecutive NL Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019.

But injuries to his elbow, forearm and shoulder blade have limited him to 26 starts over the past two seasons. He compiled a career-low 1.08 ERA over 92 innings in 2021, but did not pitch after July 7 that year because of arm trouble.

DeGrom is 82-57 with 1,607 strikeouts in 1,326 innings over nine big league seasons. He gets $30 million next year, $40 million in 2024 and 2025, $38 million in 2026 and $37 million in 2027. The deal includes a conditional option for 2028 with no guaranteed money.

The addition of deGrom gives the Rangers three proven starters along with Gray and Perez, who went 12-8 with a career-best 2.89 ERA in his return to the team that signed him as a teenager out of Venezuela. Young didn’t rule out the addition of another starter.

With several holes on their starting staff, the Mets have shown interest in free agents Justin Verlander and Carlos Rodon to pair with 38-year-old Max Scherzer atop the rotation.

Now, with deGrom gone, signing one of those two could become a much bigger priority.