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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mariners 11, Phillies 6: Carlos Ruiz came back to Philly and the fans welcomed him warmly. Then Chooch hit a three-run double. Business is business and family is family. Robinson Cano and Danny Valencia homered. Phillies left fielder Aaron Altherr hit a three-run homer for the third consecutive game.

Giants 6, Mets 5: The Mets had a 3-1 lead after four innings and took a 3-2 lead into the top of the ninth when they called on closer Jeruys Familia. A walk and then a Wilmer Flores error put two on, followed by a Hunter Pence RBI single, another walk to load the bases, and a Christian Arroyo double that plated three to make it 6-3. The Mets scored two in the bottom half but the Giants bullpen, for once, merely bent but did not break.

Astros 4, Braves 2: Houston scored three runs in the fifth, two on a Carlos Correa double and the Correa came around to score on a single from Yuli Gurriel. All this with two outs. Freddie Freeman and Adonis Garcia hit solo homers in a losing cause but, ick, it’s been a slog for the Braves lately.

Rockies 3, Cubs 0: Rockies starter German Marquez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Kris Bryant broke it up, but Marquez ended up tossing eight shutout innings, allowing only three hits. He was helped by some fantastic D from Carlos Gonzalez. He was also helped by . . . German Marquez, who drove in two runs with a seventh inning single.

Athletics 3, Angels 1: Andrew Triggs got the start for the A’s. He walked the game’s leadoff hitter. Then he walked the second hitter. Then he walked the bases loaded. Not a great way to start things out. He somehow escaped that with only one run scoring and then he somehow went the next five innings walking no one else, allowing only three hits and surrendering no more runs. Baseball is a funny game. Chad Pinder hit a two-run homer for Oakland.

Cardinals 7, Marlins 5: The Marlins scored four runs in the first inning but lost anyway. The Marlins had a four-run lead over the Cardinals the night before too, and lost that one as well. On Tuesday, Dexter Fowler was the hero, singling in the winning run with a pinch hit single. Yesterday Dexter Fowler hit a pinch-hit, go-ahead triple in the sixth. Dramatic video:

Nationals 7, Orioles 6: Can’t anyone hold a dang lead anymore? The O’s blew one too, this a 5-1 lead in the fifth. The capper came on a Matt Wieters two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning which gave Washington a walkoff win over their local rivals. The three-run rally in the ninth came against O’s acting-closer Brad Brach, who gave up a homer to Jayson Werth and a double to Bryce Harper before ex-Oriole Wieters did his thing. Miss U Zach Britton.

Blue Jays 8, Indians 7: Guess what? Cleveland had a four-run lead here and lost it. Toronto got those four runs back in the third and fourth innings and it was tied for a long time, but Ryan Goins singled home the winning run in the ninth inning for the walkoff win. I guess the worst thing in baseball these days is to have a four-run lead.

Rays 12, Royals 1Chris Archer pitched eight shutout innings and Logan Morrison, Rickie Weeks Jr., and Colby Rasmus homered for the Rays. Things got chippy late, however, as Archer hit Sal Perez on the elbow. Perez took offense. After the game, there were two different stories about it, with Perez thinking Archer was throwing at him and Archer denying it. Perez:

“Yeah, of course he threw at me. He’s going to throw at me because I had two hits against him,” Perez said. “I think he was mad. I don’t think that’s the right way.”

Archer:

“Honestly there was nothing malicious there,” Archer said. “I’ve had some great interactions with him the past. He’s a good hitter; I’m trying to pitch inside. There was no malicious intent with 96 mph.”

Who knows. All I do know is that “there was no malicious intent with 96 mph” line is a head-scratcher. Most of the time you hear guys say that a breaking ball that hits a dude was proof that it was not intended, because who hits a guy with a breaking ball? When they try to plant on one someone, it’s a heater because it’s easier to control where that goes. Like I said: I dunno.

Rangers 4, Padres 3: Texas scored four runs. Of those, one came on a wild pitch, one scored on a balk and one scored on a fielder’s choice + a throwing error. Who needs hits? Being a Padres fan is hard, I suppose, but at least they have good weather.

Brewers 7, Red Sox 4: Milwaukee did all their damage without homers. They rattled off 13 hits, though, and scored two runs on throwing errors by Sox catcher Christian Vazquez. Boston starter Kyle Kendrick allowed six runs and 10 hits in less than five innings. His ERA is now 12.96. Wondering if that “long look” John Farrell said he was gonna take at Kendrick in the rotation is gonna get shorter now.

Diamondbacks 7, Tigers 1: Zack Godley got called up from Triple-A and allowed only one run on four hits in seven innings. He was backed up by homers from Nick Ahmed, Yasmany Tomas and Brandon Drury. The game was at least moderately close until the seventh inning when the “Anibal Sanchez: relief pitcher” experiment got its latest look. Sanchez coughed up two of those homers and three runs in an inning of work. That has been an utter disaster over the past two seasons.

Dodgers 5, Pirates 2: The sweep. On a day when the Dodgers found out they’ve lost left fielder Andrew Toles for the rest of the year, they witnessed his replacement, Cody Bellinger, homer and made a nice tumbling catch in left. Sucks for Toles who had been one of L.A’s few positive offensive contributors on the young season, but I think they’ll be OK with the kid. Meanwhile, Kenta Maeda pitched shutout ball into the ninth before running out of gas and surrendering two. Grant Dayton bailed him out.

Twins vs. White Sox — POSTPONED:

Seven lonely days
And a dozen towns ago
I reached out one night and you were gone
Don’t know why you’d run
What you’re running to or from
All I know is I want to bring you home
So I’m walking in the rain
Thumbing for a ride
On this lonely Kentucky back road
I’ve loved you much too long
My love’s too strong
To let you go, never knowing
What went wrong
Kentucky rain keeps pouring down
And up ahead’s another town that I’ll go walking through.

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.”