And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rockies 3, Padres 2: Thing I learned yesterday: Ryan Hanigan is still playing baseball. I can’t remember him signing with the Rockies, but he did, hanging out on his minor league deal for a while. He got called up on Wednesday and yesterday played his first game with them, hitting an RBI infield single in the 11th inning to give Colorado a 3-2 victory. Makes me wonder what other backup catchers are still roaming the Earth, below the radar. Is Curt Casali still knocking about someplace? Hank Conger? Are there some Molinas still yet unaccounted for? It’s rather unsettling to be honest.

Nationals 4, Diamondbacks 2: Max Scherzer struck out 11, allowing one run and two hits in seven innings. This against the Diamondbacks, who I still have a hard time remembering Scherzer played for. Dusty Baker, commenting on Scherzer after the game:

“He came out strong and had that look in his eye”

Um, which eye had that look, Dusty?

Orioles 8, Red Sox 3: Manny Machado hit his third homer of the series and no one hit him, so I suppose that’s progress. His homer went an estimated 466 feet so it wasn’t a cheapie. Baltimore rattled off 14 hits. Seth Smith had four of them. Kyle Kendrick made his season debut for the Sox and allowed six runs and eight hits in four innings. After the game John Farrell said Kendrick will get a longer look in the rotation. You think he’d seen enough.

Cubs 5, Phillies 4: Albert Almora doubled leading off the 13th inning and scored on a throwing error by shortstop Freddy Galvis to give the Cubs a walkoff win. This is not to be confused with the game on Wednesday the Cubs won 5-4, in part because Galvis held the ball too long while Willson Contreras scampered home to score. Kris Bryant had four hits, Miguel Montero homered and drove in two. But really, guys, you may want to have someone come look at that defective Galvis unit.

White Sox 8, Royals 3: Derek Holland allowed two runs — one earned — on only three hits while pitching into the seventh inning. Jose Abreu, Avisail Garcia and Cody Asche each drove in two. Holland has allowed two earned runs or fewer in each of his first six outings this season. He’s gonna be in every trade rumor column there is from June until August.

Rangers 10, Astros 4Joey GalloRougned Odor and Elvis Andrus all homered and the Rangers snapped a four-game skid. Marwin Gonzalez homered in his fifth straight start, a winning effort in a losing cause.

Athletics 8, Twins 5Jharel Cotton allowed three runs — two earned — and struck out nine in six innings of work as the A’s avoid a three-game sweep. Miguel Sano, who we have talked up a bit around here lately, wore the Golden Sombrero with his last strikeout coming with two out and the bases loaded in the ninth. Baseball is a humbling game.

Reds 4, Pirates 2: The Reds are 6-1 against the Pirates this year, 8-13 against the rest of baseball. Here Joey Votto doubled twice and drove in two and Adam Duvall drove Votto in twice himself. The Reds have won four of five. They might be a see-saw team all season long. Which, to be honest, is way better than a lot of people were predicting for them. Most just anticipated the saw. Or, um, the see. Whichever the bad one is.

Rays 5, Marlins 1: I used to play on a Scoresheet sim league back in 2008-09. It was a keeper league where you picked up minor leaguers too, keeping prospects on your 40-man roster and waiting for them to develop. I only did so-so with my actual team, but when I left the league after 2009 I told the guy who took over my team that he’d be pretty happy with the young players I had. One of them was Clayton Kershaw. I hope whoever is playing that team now has given me some mental high fives over the years for snagging him when he was a rookie. Another one I was super proud of was Tim Beckham, who the Rays drafted in the first round back in 2008. I’m assuming that whoever took over the team did not keep him. But, on the off-off chance he did, well, you’re welcome for last night as Beckham hit two homers and drove in four. Hell, he hit two homers in a game last week too, and has six on the year. Playin’ the long game, I was. Yep.

Brewers 5, Cardinals 4Jesus Aguilar hit his first big league homer, breaking a seventh inning tie. The game was more costly for St. Louis than just one game in the loss column. Cardinals right fielder Stephen Piscotty left after the second inning with a strained right hamstring and center fielder Dexter Fowler came out following the third with a strained right shoulder.

Mariners 11, Angels 3Danny Valencia homered and had four hits, driving in three. M’s starter Ariel Miranda pitched seven strong innings. Not bad for Miranda, who took a comebacker off his leg early in the game but played through. Ever see a baseball player’s bruise after being hit by a pitch or a batted ball? Nastiest thing ever.

Indians vs. Tigers, Mets vs. Braves: — POSTPONED:

If it keeps on rainin’ levee’s goin’ to break
If it keeps on rainin’ levee’s goin’ to break
When the levee breaks I’ll have no place to stay.

Mets and Braves made it to the fourth inning, actually, but because it wasn’t an official game, nothing counts. Except for pitchers being burned and stuff, which I’m sure doesn’t make anyone happy. Maybe pay closer attention to the ol’ doppler radar, you guys?

Astros owner Crane expects to hire new manager by Feb. 3

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HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Astros owner Jim Crane expects to hire a new manager by Feb. 3.

The Astros need a new manager and general manager after AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were fired Monday, hours after both were suspended by Major League Baseball for a year for the team’s sign-stealing scandal.

Crane said Friday that he’s interviewed a number of candidates this week and has some more to talk to in the coming days.

Crane refused to answer directly when asked if former Astros player and Hall of Famer Craig Biggio was a possibility for the job. But he did say that he had spoken to Biggio, fellow Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and former Astros star Lance Berkman in the days since the firings.

“We’ve talked to all of our Killer B’s,” Crane said referring to the nickname the three shared while playing for the Astros. “They’ve contacted me and they’ve all expressed that they would like to help. Berkman, Bagwell, Biggio have all called and said: ‘hey, if there’s anything I can do, I’m here for you.’”

“So we’ll continue to visit with those guys and see if there’s something there.”

Crane says his list is still rather extensive and that he hopes to have it narrowed down by the end of next week. He added that he expects most of Hinch’s staff to stay in place regardless of who is hired.

Crane has enlisted the help of three or four employees to help him with the interview process, including some in Houston’s baseball operations department.

“We compare notes,” he said. “I’ve learned a long time ago that you learn a lot if four or five people talk to a key candidate and you get a lot more information. So that’s what we’re doing.”

Crane’ top priority is finding a manager with spring training less than a month away, but he said he would start focusing on the search for a general manager after he hires a manager. He expects to hire a GM before the end of spring training.

“We should have another good season with the team pretty much intact … so I don’t know why a manager wouldn’t want to come in and manage these guys,” he said. “They’re set to win again.”

The penalties announced by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday came after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs in Houston’s run to the 2017 World Series championship and again in the 2018 season. The Astros were also fined $5 million, which is the maximum allowed under the Major League Constitution, and must forfeit their next two first- and second-round amateur draft picks.

The investigation found that the Astros used the video feed from a center field camera to see and decode the opposing catcher’s signs. Players banged on a trash can to signal to batters what was coming, believing it would improve the batter’s odds of getting a hit.

With much still in flux, Crane was asked what qualities are most important to him in his next manager.

“Someone mature that can handle the group,” he said. “Someone that’s had a little bit of experience in some areas. We’ve just got to find a leader that can handle some pressure and there’s going to be a little bit of pressure from where this team has been in the last few months.”

Despite his comment about experience, Crane said having been a major league manager before is not mandatory to him.

“We made some mistakes,” he said. “We made a decision to let that get behind us. We think the future is bright. We’ll make the adjustments … people think we’re in crisis. I certainly don’t believe that.”