And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rangers 6, Astros 5: Rougned Odor hit a walkoff RBI double. Quite the knockout punch. The Rangers so thoroughly own the Astros right now that Houston has to ask permission before making any renovations at Minute Maid Park and have to pay them $30 extra a month if they want to keep a pet around.

Yankees 5, Angels 2: Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer, breaking a 2-2 tie in the eighth. After the game he said “The plan isn’t to go out and hit homers. It’s a terrible plan.” This is sort of like how I tell my kids it’s horrible to sit in front of the computer all day. Do as Carlos Beltran and I say, not as Carlos Beltran and I do. We’re creating monsters.

Orioles 4, Royals 1: Mark Trumbo, Matt Wieters and Manny Machado all went deep as the Orioles take their fifth win in six games, all of which were come-from-behind victories.  Quite a week for O’s starter Mike Wright. Last time out he got shelled by Boston and was sent down to the minors. He was recalled the next day due to an injury and was given a second chance and all he did was allow one run on five hits over seven innings against the World Series champs. Five straight losses for the Royals, who are probably going to file a lawsuit against the Orioles today for infringing on their “relentless” patent.

Tigers 11, Blue Jays 0: The Tigers jumped all over J.A. Happ early, grabbing a 6-0 lead by the third inning thanks to homers from James McCann and Justin Upton. The two of them would combine for six RBI in all. Rookie Michael Fulmer remained impressive, tossing six shutout innings. He’s won four straight, allowing just one run, in total, over those four games.

Cubs 6, Phillies 4: Jon Lester tossed eight shutout innings and struck out nine. The Cubs had a 6-0 lead entering the ninth. They held on but Philly made it interesting, plating four, as Justin Grimm certainly was. This is why the putatively best team in baseball does stuff like sign the nearly undead Joe Nathan.

Rays 6, Diamondbacks 4: Big game for Desmond Jennings who had three hits, including a homer. Tim Beckham homered too. Four straight for Tampa Bay, the only team in baseball not named after a city or a state.

Indians 3, Mariners 1: Six in a row for the Indians who were powered by Trevor Bauer‘s ten strikeouts in seven and two-thirds innings. Things are bouncing just right for Cleveland. One of their runs scored on a send of Carlos Santana which should have had him nailed at the plate but Chris Iannetta dropped the throw home. Then another run scored after that.

Rockies 6, Dodgers 1: Tyler Chatwood (eight innings) and Gonzalez Germen (the ninth) held the Dodgers to one hit — a Howie Kendrick single in the second inning — and Trevor Story and Gerardo Parra homered. Afterward Chatwood said”It wasn’t my best outing, I didn’t have good command early . . .” I was going to call BS on that but he allowed no runs over seven innings on May 27 and tossed eight shutout innings on May fourth so I suppose he’s allowed to say so. Nice year for Chatwood so far (7-4, 2.79 ERA).

Padres 7, Braves 2Yangervis Solarte hit a three-run homer in the third and Matt Kemp drove in two as the third worst team in the NL beat the worst. The AP game story described Solarte’s homer as “a towering shot that landed a few rows behind a party deck atop the right-field wall.” Imagine having a party at a Braves-Padres game.

Mets vs. Pirates — POSTPONED: I never wanted to be your weekend lover
I only wanted to be some kind of friend
Baby, I could never steal you from another
It’s such a shame our friendship had to end

Purple rain, purple rain

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.