And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Padres 10, Orioles 7: The O’s had a 6-3 lead heading into the seventh, thanks in part to two two-run homers from Pedro Alvarez. Then whatever chrono-synclastic infundibulum which has caused the Padres to be a potent offense team lately intersected with Camden Yards and out came their bats. San Diego rallied for four runs in the seventh and another three in the ninth to win their third game in a row and to score five or more runs for the sixth straight game.

Indians 6, Rays 0: Corey Kluber tossed a three-hit shutout and struck out nine. He had a one-hitter going into the ninth. Juan Uribe homered for the fourth straight game since coming back after getting hit in the beans with a ground ball while he wasn’t wearing a cup. It’s like a superhero origin story or something.

Giants 15, Pirates 4: The Giants scored seven runs in the fourth thanks in part to an Angel Pagan grand slam and put up another five in the eighth for the hell of it. The night before the Pirates beat the Giants 1-0, but here the bats came out. Why such different outcomes, Angel Pagan?

“Whatever happened last night, this is just another game,” Pagan said. “Obviously we were trying to win a ballgame (Monday), but we didn’t. Today we just came with a brand new opportunity to go out there and try to put together the best at-bats possible.”

I’d be curious to see a study of what players say about momentum carrying over when things are good — which they say a lot — vs. this “hey, the next day is a new day” kind of thing when stuff goes bad. I guess more broadly I’d like to read stuff about the psychological state of athletes and the ways in which they motivate themselves/psych themselves out and things like that. I imagine it requires a pretty complex handling of reality and mood and everything else in order to get yourself up for competition 162 games a year and to deal with as much failure as baseball brings.

Diamondbacks 4, Blue Jays 2: Five in a row for Arizona. They scored four runs on only three hits. Here’s to makin’ things count.

White Sox 3, Red Sox 1: Chris Sale allowed one run over seven innings and fanned nine to pick up his 12th win. Clay Buchholz returned to Boston’s rotation and, just one day before, his GM said he had to prove on Tuesday night that he can be effective. He gave up a homer on his first pitch of the game. Don’t tell Clay what to do, man. He marches to the beat of his own drummer.

Rockies 8, Yankees 4: Charlie Blackmon lead off with a homer and hit another later. Nolan Arenado hit his league-leading 21st homer, got three hits and drove in three runs. He leads the NL in those two categories of the Triple Crown race. He’s hitting “only” .295, but that’s pretty spiffy all the same. The Yankees have lost six of nine.

Tigers 4, Mariners 2: Seattle had a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth thanks to a Kyle Seager homer but the Tigers chipped away with one in the sixth, one in the seventh and two in the eighth. The Mariners have homered in 14 straight games, but they are 5-9 in those games. It’s a shame that they’re killing rallies like that.

Mets 2, Royals 1: Bartolo Colon lasted only four pitches before getting hit with a comebacker and being forced out of the game. Five Mets relievers came in to allow only one run on seven hits in eight and two-thirds innings of work, however. Twin solo shots from Asdrubal Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes were enough to carry the day. Colon’s X-rays were negative, so he was merely bruised, not broken.

Braves 3, Marlins 2: Atlanta couldn’t do jack against Jose Fernandez, who tossed seven shutout one-hit innings. David Phelps came in for the eighth, however, and gave up a two-run homer to Jace Peterson to deprive Fernandez of his W and to force extra innings. Peterson played the hero once again by singling in Chase d'Arnaud in the 10th for the win. The Braves have won six straight. In this span they have not only passed Minnesota to no longer be the worst team in baseball, but they have made up a lot of ground on Philly and are now “only” five games behind them for fourth place in the NL East. It ain’t much, obviously, but in a year that started off like this one, the battle for not-last-place is something to root for at least.

Cardinals 4, Cubs 3: Attack of the Matts. Carpenter and Holliday each homered in the Cards’ three-run third inning. Adam Wainwright scattered six hits and three runs while pitching into the seventh. The Cards will likely only be playing for a Wild Card this year, not the division, but beating the guys who are more than 10 games up on you at the moment in their home park probably feels good.

Reds 8, Rangers 2: The Reds came out swinging against Colby Lewis, plating three in the first and three in the fifth against the Rangers starter. Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer. Zack Cozart homered and drove in two with a triple. The Reds ended the Rangers seven-game winning streak and Lewis’ personal six-game winning streak.

Twins 14, Phillies 10: Viva football scores in games between two terrible teams. Kurt Suzuki went 4-for-5 with six RBI. Aaron Nola got hammered. He has allowed 20 runs over his last nine and two-thirds innings over three starts. That’s not good. Maikel Franco drove in four runs in a winning effort in a losing cause.

Astros 3, Angels 2: I guess 3-2 is technically a football score too. If it ever happened in real life it was probably a boring as hell game. In baseball, however, it can be exciting and great. Like it was here, as the Angels held a 2-1 lead entering the bottom of the ninth before Huston Street came in, loaded up the bases without recording an out and then gave up a two-run walkoff single to Carlos Correa. I haven’t looked yet, but between the location of this game, the identity of the winning team and the name of the pitcher who blew the lead, I will be shocked if we don’t have at least three examples of “Houston/Huston we have a problem” in this morning’s papers.

Athletics 5, Brewers 3: Oakland turned in a three-run seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie. Marcus Semien hit a two-run triple off Michael Blazek that inning. He had a three-hit, three RBI game in total.

Dodgers 3, Nationals 2: There were a whole lot of late rallies to bring teams from behind last night. They were all smallish rallies in terms of the total number of runs and the size of the deficits, but those are fun little rallies all the same. The last of the night came here as Yasmani Grandal hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to bring the Dodgers back after being down 2-0. The Dodgers have won five striaght games and seven of eight.

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

Jacob deGrom
USA Today

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.