And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

White Sox 3, Nationals 1: Lede from the AP game story:

Todd Frazier wondered if going to church more would help the White Sox break out of their funk. Then the Chicago third baseman suggested a scuffle with teammate Adam Eaton.

Church or war as an answer to all of our problems? Ladies and gentleman, I give you Todd Frazier, the next nominee for President of the United States for the Republican Party!

Yeah, I know. “Stick to baseball.” Fine: Melky Cabrera doubled twice and drove in two runs. Miguel Gonzalez allowed one run on three hits over six. I’ll hit the Democrats back the next time a ballplayer claims that his kind, culturally aware statements which signal solidarity of identity excuse him from actually having to do things which help people of that identity in a practical way.

Mets 5, Brewers 2: Bartolo Colon allowed one run over seven innings while scattering eight hits. The only run scored when a ball was smashed into the chest of second baseman Neil Walker off the bat of Hernan Perez. Terry Collins: “He said it hit him right in the heart and that he couldn’t catch his breath.” I’ve never see Hernan Perez before, but I’m assuming this is him.

Does an Ox Baker reference make up for that political jab? It really should, you know. Ain’t no other baseball writer dropping Ox Baker bombs at 8am. Florida belongs to Ox Baker. Don’t you forget that, Ronnie Garvin.

Marlins 10, Twins 3Marcell Ozuna had four hits and three RBI. Christian Yelich had two hits and an RBI. Chris Johnson hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer. The Twins losing probably made them sad which, based on what I heard in response to this yesterday, likely makes a certain segment of Twins fans happy. They really want the Twins to be sad and to feel bad.

Rangers 5, Astros 3: Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland each had nice days at the plate and the Rangers could use that from those two. Fielder’s solo homer in the bottom of the fourth was smashing. Rougned Odor homered too. Bad news for Houston, apart from losing to the Rangers yet again: Carlos Correa left the game with a sprained left ankle. He’ll miss a game or two most likely.

Rockies 11, Pirates 5: Jorge De La Rosa has lost his spot in the Rockies rotation, but he came in and pitched four excellent innings in relief. Walt Weiss said after the game that his demotion “was a tough pill to swallow for a guy who’s been the best pitcher in franchise history” and I still can’t get my head around the fact that De La Rosa is the best pitcher on Rockies history. DJ LeMahieu homered, doubled and drove in three runs. Ryan RaburnCharlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado each drove in two.

Yankees 6, Angels 3: Carlos Beltran hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the Yankees’ five-run fifth, Ivan Nova was solid and the Betances, Miller, Chapman bullpen did what it was supposed to do to give the Yankees the win. New York is back at .500. But some bad news too as Chris Parmelee, a day removed from a two-homer game and a Daily News headline extolling his heroism, pulled his hamstring. Being the Yankees first baseman is like being the drummer for Spinal Tap.

Orioles 6, Blue Jays 5: Chris Davis homered and hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the ninth inning on a 2-for-3 night. That’s five wins in a row for the O’s and eight of their last nine since the calendar turned to June. Baltimore is kicking off a four-game road series against Toronto and Boston, by the way, so these are some big game for all three of what seem to be the most serious contenders for the division crown.

Cardinals 3, Reds 2: Adam Wainwright was solid after a shaky start and Yadier Molina hit a tie-breaking RBI single in the eighth. He doubled and scored a run in the second inning as well. The Cardinals have taken 18 of the past 22 series from the Reds.

Indians 5, Mariners 3Tyler Naquin hit a two-run home run off Joaquin Benoit in the eighth inning to give the Indians what ended up being their winning margin. Mariners pitchers issued eight walks. You’re not gonna win often when you do that.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.