And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Blue Jays 3, Mariners 2: It was tied 2-2 in the ninth when Kevin Pillar hit a two-out solo shot to walk it off. Toronto sweeps the series. The Jays were 8-17 in April. They’re 9-4 in May. It thaws later in Canada I guess.

Rockies 9, Dodgers 6Pat Valaika homered twice and drove in four. Nolan Arenado hit a homer too. Antonio Senzatela got the win. It was his sixth. He’s tied for the league lead in that department. Greg Holland got his 16th save. He leads the league in that department. The Rockies have 24 wins. They lead the league in that department.

Marlins 3, Braves 1: Miami scored only three runs. They all came on a Tyler Moore pinch-hit three-run homer. That snapped  the Marlins’ five-game losing streak. Miami’s starting pitcher Justin Nicolino:

“When we’re scuffling like this and we get a big win, momentum changes,” Nicolino said. “Momentum is on our side, and we’ve got to keep going.”

Bah. Momentum is Dan Straily.

Rays 11, Red Sox 2: Drew Pomeranz left early with a tight triceps and, while it was somewhat close for a while, the Boston pen ended up hemorrhaging runs late. Steven Souza Jr. hit a three-run homer, Jesus Sucre drove in three. It was a four and a half hour nine inning game, by the way. Baseball is the bes, but I have a hard time even doing things I love for four hours or more.

Cardinals 5, Cubs 0: Yadier Molina homered twice, Matt Carpenter hit a two-run shot and Adam Wainwright tossed seven shutout innings. The Cardinals figured out how to turn their slow start around and take over the Central: just act like it’s 2013 again. The World Series Champions are in fourth place.

Indians 8, Twins 3: Jason Kipnis has had a pretty tough go of it so far this year. Yesterday he was moved into the leadoff spot and went 4-for-5, hit a couple of homers and drove in four. Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall also homered as the Tribe snapped a three-game losing streak and avoided the sweep.

White Sox 9, Padres 3: Down 3-1 in the eighth, the White Sox put up an eight-spot. It came via bad defense and a bunch of walks by the Padres. Their manager, Andy Green, said this after the game: “That’s one of the ugliest half-innings I’ve ever seen in baseball; especially at the major league level. There’s no excuse for so many things that happened that inning.” I bet that was a long-ass fight from Chicago back to San Diego for the Padres.

Brewers 11, Mets 9: Manny Pina hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the eighth to put the cherry on the top of the Brewers’ comeback from six down. Then all the Mets fans I follow on Twitter started melting down and calling for Terry Collins’ head, as if it were his fault. Mets are a second place team right now, but that ain’t saying much in the NL East.

Royals 9, Orioles 8: The sweep. Mike Moustakas homered and drove in four. Jorge Soler and Drew Butera also homered, with Soler’s going 464-feet. The Royals have won four in a row and six of seven.

Rangers 6, Athletics 4: Lots of rallies on Sunday. Here the Rangers were down 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh when they rallied for three with Nomar Mazara hitting a tiebreaking RBI single. He did the same thing in the seventh inning on Saturday too. The Rangers have won six in a row. It hasn’t been easy to win those, though, with the last five wins being come-from-behind jobs.

Angels 4, Tigers 1: Mike Trout missed a couple of games with a hamstring, came back and has homered in each of the last three. Just a dang machine. Alex Meyer, the super tall project who has bounced around a lot as various clubs have tried to capture whatever Randy Johnson lighting there may exist in that bottle of his, allowed one run while pitching into the seventh. In this he outdueled Justin Verlander who walked five guys in six innings.

Giants 8, Reds 3: The Giants win their third game in a row for the first time all year. Brandon Belt hit his third home run in four games. Jeff Samardzija finally won his first game of the year.

Pirates 6, Diamondbacks 4: Jose Osuna broke a 10th inning tie with a two-run homer. In the bottom half the Dbacks threatened, loading the bases, but Tony Watson got out of the jam of his own creation. One of the Dbacks who helped load the bases was A.J. Pollock, who singled, but he injured his right groin running up the baseline and had to come out of the game. That’s certainly bad news as he’s no stranger to groin injuries. Paul Goldschmidt hit two homers in a losing cause.

Phillies 4, Nationals 3: Nationals 6, Phillies 5:  In the first game Washington had a 3-1 lead in the ninth only to watch Shawn Kelley give up a leadoff homer to Aaron Altherr followed by two doubles which tied the game. Dusty finally yanked him after he issued a walk. Koda Glover then game in and gave up the go-ahead and winning single to Ty Kelly. If only someone had woken Dusty up from his nap earlier that inning may not have gotten so out of hand. In the nightcap, Michael Taylor hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth. Washington needed the go-ahead homer because their bullpen blew the lead Max Scherzer had staked them to. Scherzer, by the way, took a 100 m.p.h. line drive off his knee earlier in the game and writhed in pain on the ground, only to stay in and keep pitching. Tough stuff, that one.

Yankees 11, Astros 6; Astros 10, Yankees 7:  In the day game the Astros led 3-1 and 6-4, but the Yankees rallied with a six-run seventh inning capped by a Chase Headley bases-loaded triple. Aaron Judge hit his 14th homer earlier. He leads the bigs in big flies. As for the nightcap, it was ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, on Derek Jeter Day and, at least early on, it looked to be a blowout. I didn’t watch the game itself, but given those variables, I have to imagine that the number of comments made by Shulman, Boone and Mendoza about the actual game, as opposed to Jeter stuff, was in the single digits. Never watch nationally-televised baseball before October, you guys. Stay local, where games are still, mostly, just games. In any event, the Yankees did make something of a game of it later, but Houston’s first inning 6-0 lead, thanks to homers by George Springer, Josh Reddick and Alex Bregman was too much to spot a good team.

Rob Manfred calls Astros sign-stealing investigation ‘most thorough’ MLB investigation ever

Associated Press
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SAN DIEGO — Commissioner Rob Manfred was asked today about the status of the investigation into the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. Manfred said “I think that this is probably the most thorough investigation that the Commissioner’s office has ever undertaken.”

I would assume that construction excludes the Mitchell Report, which was undertaken by an outside party, but I guess it’s still quite a claim.

Manfred said that Major League Baseball has interviewed “nearly 60 witnesses” and has reviewed 76,000 e-mails plus a “trove of instant messages.” He said that they are not done, however, and that the review so far has, “caused us to conclude that we have to do some follow-up interviewing.” He said he cannot predict how long the investigation will take, but “it is my hope to conclude the investigation just as promptly as possible.”

Manfred was asked about the sort of discipline he and his office were contemplating but said, “at this point in the investigation it would be wholly inappropriate for me to speculate” about what discipline was in play.

The investigation comes in the wake of the November 12 report in The Athletic about the Astros’ sign-stealing operation, which allegedly involved use of center field video cameras and the relaying of pitch selection to batters. Former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers confirmed the scheme to The Athletic and at least three other Astros employees confirmed it as well.

In the wake of that initial report, video and audio emerged which appeared to confirm the sign-stealing and emails from an Astros executive to scouts, asking them to use cameras and/or binoculars in an effort to steal signs have been uncovered. Major League Baseball has vowed serious punishment for Astros executives, coaches and employees who were involved in orchestrating the scheme and to any players or officials who are found to be untruthful with MLB officials in the course of the investigation.

Initially, Major League Baseball said its investigation would be a wide-ranging one, including multiple teams. Soon after that, however, Manfred controversially backtracked on that, saying instead that the probe would focus only on the Astros. Which, to be sure, is the club against whom current allegations have been lodged and whom many around the game suspect to be the worst offenders. As we have noted, however, it’s highly unreasonable to assume that the Astros are alone in perpetrating a sophisticated sign-stealing operation, as their scheme was allegedly imported by a player who learned it while playing elsewhere.

Either way, it sounds like MLB has a lot on its plate with this. When we know something, you’ll know something.