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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores: Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 4, Brewers 1: It was 1-1 in the top of the ninth when Mookie Betts hit a three-run homer and that took care of that. It was Betts’ third homer in the past four games. He went 7-for-11 with eight RBI and five runs scored in the series. John Farrell on Betts: “He’s certainly impacting the baseball.” Which sounds like what an alien from Proxima Centauri would say via his language chip in an effort to fit in among the humans talking bout baseball, only to have them realize something was just a . . . tad off.

Royals 6, Rays 0: Jason Vargas tossed seven shutout innings to move his record to 5-1 and lower his ERA to 1.01. Talk about a nice season coming out of nowhere. And it’s his free agency walk year too, so the dude is making himself a lot of money right now. A dude having a lot of trouble? Kevin KiermaierWhit Merrifield knocked a single to center that turned into a little league home run when the guy who most think is the best center fielder in baseball let the ball go under his glove:

That was the third error of the series for Kiermaier, and the second time in the series a ball just rolled under his glove like that to allow a little league homer. Strange to see a guy with catlike reflexes get a case of the fielding yips like this.

Astros 3, Yankees 2: Houston took a 3-0 lead thanks to a Carlos Correa two-run homer and a George Springer RBI single. The Yankees scored one on a catcher’s interference call in the fifth. In the ninth, New York put runners on second and third and Gary Sanchez hit a single to left. That scored Aaron Hicks. Jacoby Ellsbury, who was on second, was waved home. Jake Marisnick fielded Sanchez’s hit, fired home a perfect strike and nailed Ellsbury at the plate to end the game:

Bad send. Slow run. Bad slide. Great throw.

Blue Jays 7, Mariners 2Steve Pearce hit a three-run home run and Justin Smoak hit a solo shot and drove in four. Marco Estrada got touched for two runs on a Nelson Cruz homer in the first but then settled down and held the M’s scoreless for the next five innings. The M’s four-game winning streak was snapped.

Rangers 5, Padres 2: San Diego led 2-0 in the eighth when Mike Napoli hit a solo homer. San Diego and Texas were tied 2-2 in the ninth when Mike Napoli hit a three-run homer, ending it. It was Napoli’s fourth career walkoff homer. Party at Napoli’s.

Twins 7, White Sox 6: Eduardo Escobar hit a three-run homer and an RBI double and Miguel Sano and Brian Dozier each hit solo shots. The Twins built an early 6-0 lead and Chicago made it close, but ultimately dropped their fifth straight.

Rockies 10, Dodgers 7: Colorado built a 10-0 lead by the fourth inning. The Dodgers chipped away at that lead, but in Colorado you need more than to chip to dig yourself out. You need a backhoe. Of the ten runs the Rockies scored off Hyun-Jin Ryu, only five were earned, but really, you walk six dudes in four innings in Coors Field you’re lucky to only give up ten.

Diamondbacks 2, Pirates 1: Zack Greinke took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, only to see it broken up by a Gregory Polanco solo homer. That’s the only hit the Pirates would get all night, however, as Greinke struck out 11 over eight and Fernando Rodney saved it in the ninth. Greinke is putting together a nice bounceback season.

Tigers 7, Angels 1: Michael Fulmer shut the Angels down, including holding Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun to a combined 0-for-12. Justin Upton hit a first-inning three-run homer that, it would turn out, ended the game before it started. Andrew Romine hit an early homer of his own. Angels pitcher J.C. Ramirez on giving up the Upton shot, which came on a slider out over the plate:”I hang it, they bang it.” That’s some good postgame quote. Hell of a lot better than some baloney about his failure to “execute pitches.”

Reds 3, Giants 2: The Reds were down 1-0 and 2-1 and won it. No, those aren’t monumental comebacks, but when you got a lot of young guys it’s amazing how easily they can wither. Zack Cozart had hit an RBI double in the top of the eighth inning to score the go-ahead run that proved to be the game winner.

Orioles vs. Nationals — POSTPONED:

You know I never meant to see you again
But I only passed by as a friend, yeah
All this time I stayed out of sight
I started wondering why
Now I, I wish it would rain down, down on me
Ooh yes I wish it would rain, rain down on me now
Ooh yes I wish it would rain, down on me
Ooh yes I wish it would rain on me
You said you didn’t need me in your life
Oh I guess you were right, yeah
Ooh I never meant to cause you no pain
But it looks like I did it again
Now I, now I know I wish it would rain down, down on me
Ooh yes I wish it would rain, rain down on me now
Ooh girl I wish it would rain, down on me
Ooh yes I wish it would rain on me

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.