And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 15, Reds 6: The Ohio Series! Loser gets Ohio? They should play this series in Columbus, by the way. Actually, the exact geographic center between these the two ballparks is just north of Columbus, 3-4 miles north of the Polaris Mall on I-71, before you get to the exit for Route 37/36 a few miles east of Delaware. Lots of land to build a ballpark there. Which is also fairly close to Governor Kasich’s house. MAKE IT HAPPEN, JOHN. Anyway, the Reds actually led this one 4-0 entering the bottom of the third before the Indians went off. Yan Gomes went off more than anyone, driving in four. The Tribe notched 19 hits.

Marlins 5, Phillies 3: Marcell Ozuna has a 16-game hitting streak, and homered in this one. Bill wrote last night about how Ozuna has been using hitting coach Barry Bonds’ bats during the streak. Well, at least the same model with Bonds’ name on it, which Bonds orders for him. When he was hired as hitting coach a lot of people made jokes about how he could “help” Marlins hitters by supplying them with some of his, ahem, special products. Who knew it would be bats?

Pirates 8, Braves 5: The Pirates had a 6-0 lead before the Braves decided to wake up and start hitting, but as usual it was too little, too late for Atlanta. Actually, most of the season it’s been simply too little, full stop, so the “too late” part is an improvement. Matt Joyce homered and drove in three off the bench. Joyce is hitting .372/.500/.767 with five homers as a pinch hitter/bench dude this year. That’s the stuff of an epic player in those 1980s computer sim baseball games I used to play, none of which controlled for plate appearances and would thus give a player that kind of production over a full season’s worth of work. I DESTROYED people with Pedro Guerrero’s 1978 season. The last time I played one of those, in college, I used Chipper Jones’ 1993 line. Triples and doubles out the yang from those two.

Rays 13, Blue Jays 2: The Rays hit four homers —Curt Casali hit a three-run shot, Tim Beckham and Steve Pearce each hit two-run shots and Desmond Jennings soloed —  and won in a laugher. There are probably angry Jays fans on the Internet right now saying that they were all sucker hits or are unearthing old video of Rays hitters not signaling before turning or throwing styrofoam in recycling bins as a means of proving their poor character or something. They spent a lot of time doing that yesterday and old habits die hard.

Tigers 10, Twins 8: The Tigers blew an 8-0 lead and Brad Ausmus got ejected after one of those classic “uh-oh, they’re speculating about my job in the papers so I had better show them I still have some fire in me” meltdowns. I don’t know if him getting ejected led to the late Nick Castellanos and J.D. Martinez homers which salvaged the game for Detroit, but if the team somehow turns things around now and the season is saved, they’ll say that his meltdown did it. That’s how storytelling works.

Diamondbacks 12, Yankees 2: Jake Lamb singled, doubled and homered — a three-run shot — as the Dbacks cruised. Arizona scored six runs in four games against the Giants and doubled that in one night here. Lamb on his homer, which went over the swimming pool: “I got the barrel on it and the ball flew.” Still holding out hope that one day a hitter describes his home run with a total non-sequitur instead of a basic, literal description of what happened. Reporter: “talk about what happened with that homer in the sixth.” Player: “Well, I just I mambo dogfaced to the banana patch.”

Athletics 3, Rangers 1: Sean Manaea got his first major league win. He did so after cutting off his long, curly locks before the game. Or, as they used to say in the business back in the day, he “pulled a reverse Samson.” In the 90s my generation replaced that by saying he “listened to Pavement.” I don’t know what they say now. Damn Millennials.

Angels 7, Dodgers 6: The exact geographic midpoint between Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium is Norwalk, California. If anyone has any leads on a place where these guys could play there, forward it on to Stan Kasten or Arte Moreno or someone. We’ll figure it out. Albert Pujols and Mike Trout combined to drive in six runs as the Angels win their fourth in a row.

Red Sox vs. Royals — POSTPONED: Rain ammunition
The foreign prey
Winter is rapt
And it’s a cold, bitter trap
Ride away
Lose the virgin tribe (yeah)

Betts: Baseball didn’t do good job with response to Floyd

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LOS ANGELES (AP) Mookie Betts wasn’t moved by Major League Baseball’s response in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody, and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ newest star has a goal of getting the Black community to love baseball as much as he does.

MLB released a statement nine days after the death of Floyd, the Black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes on May 25. MLB was the last of the major pro sports leagues that either responded to Floyd’s death or condemned racism.

“I think baseball did not do a good job with that, but voices were heard,” Betts said Monday on a video conference call with reporters. “That’s the main thing, that we get our voices heard to make some changes. I know it’s not all going to be at one time, but a little change here, a change there, we’ll eventually get to where we need to be.”

Betts said his goal of bringing baseball into Black communities is “more of a personal thing.”

The percentage of Blacks in big league baseball remains low and some think the sport has an image problem because it’s too boring.

Betts, the 2018 AL Most Valuable Player with Boston, is one of the game’s biggest stars, but his national profile lags behind that of other sports stars who juggle multiple high-profile endorsements.

“Obviously, MLB can help,” Betts said, “but I think it’s on us, as in the Black players, and kind of make baseball cool because I think that’s where the disconnect is. Us, as Black people, don’t think it’s that much fun so we have to find a way to make it fun for the Black community and get more guys here.”

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the team held a video conference call to discuss issues surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement and social injustice.

“Guys asked questions, guys gave thoughts and opinions, and it was very well received,” said Roberts, the son of a Japanese mother and Black father. “I just don’t want us to lose the traction, the momentum, the conversations that we’ve had over the last month. That’s something that any person of color I think would agree with me, that it just can’t be a footnote.”

Roberts said he’d like to see more Blacks hired throughout baseball.

“To have people that look like you around you, sharing space, having those conversations daily certainly will move the needle ahead,” he said. “That’s my goal.”

NOTES: The Dodgers added right-handers A.J. Ramos and Clayton Beeter to their 60-man player pool. Ramos missed last season and part of 2018 due to labrum surgery. Before getting hurt in 2018, the 33-year-old was 2-2 with a 6.41 ERA and 22 strikeouts for the Mets. Beeter was taken 66th overall in this year’s amateur draft. The 21-year-old out of Texas Tech made four college starts this season, allowing five runs over 21 innings with 33 strikeouts and four walks.

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