And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 12, Orioles 0: Corey Kluber tossed a three-hit complete game shutout while striking out 11. He could’ve allowed 11 and still won this one, however, as Indians bats beat up on Dylan Bundy and Vidal Nuno. Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana homered and the Tribe rattled off 17 hits in all. The Orioles’ pitching has allowed five or more runs in 16 consecutive games, setting a new AL record. If they do this four more times they’ll catch the 1924 Phillies for the all-time record.

Marlins 8, Nationals 7: The Nats had a 6-0 lead after their hacks in the third innings but Tanner Roark coughed up six runs of his own in the bottom half, with four of them coming on a Justin Bour grand slam. Each team would score once more before the ninth, setting up Marcell Ozuna‘s walkoff single to end it. After the game, Don Mattingly provided all the commentary on the Nats that you need at the moment:

“These guys have been giving up runs late. You get into that bullpen, you never know what’s going to happen, but you know you have a chance to score some runs.”

That’s a far cry from the usual “they’re a tough bunch of guys over there and we’re happy to come away with a win” stuff. Thank you, Don Mattingly, for saving us from cliches.

Cubs 3, Padres 2: A couple of homers put the Padres up early but a Willson Contreras homer and then an outfield error which scored Javier Baez put the Cubs ahead in the seventh. The play everyone is talking about though was one in which Anthony Rizzo was thrown out at home, but not before barreling in to Padres catcher Austin Hedges, forcing Hedges out of the game with a bruised thigh.

The Cubs think the play was clean and the Padres thing it was dirty. If you watch the play, I think it’s pretty clear that Rizzo had a path to the plate he could’ve taken without slamming into Hedges but chose not to, making it a bad slide in my view. If you can even call it a slide. I mean, look at this:

And from another angle:

He had a country mile to his right which was a more correct patch to the plate but chose not to take it in an effort to knock the ball out of Hedges’ glove.

Rizzo said this after the game:

“It’s one of those plays where it’s very sensitive,” Rizzo said. “It’s a play where I’m out by two steps. If I slide, he runs into me.

“I’ve talked to a lot of umpires about this rule. It’s my understanding if they have the ball, it’s game on.”

That is not the rule. At all. The inquiry is whether the catcher is blocking the plate and whether the runner goes out of his way to initiate contact. Hedges was not blocking the plate, Rizzo went out of his way. It was a bad slide.

Reds 7, Rays 3: The Reds finally put an end to their losing skid, halting it at nine games. Scott Schebler and Scooter Gennett homered. Joey Votto had three hits including an RBI single in the eighth that put the Reds up for good.

Braves 9, Giants 0: R.A.Dickey threw seven scoreless innings and retired 13 Giants in a row at one point. It was only 2-0 when he left, but the Braves exploded for seven runs in the eighth to to give him all the insurance he’d need. Matt Adams homered. Since being picked up as an emergency replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman, Adams has hit .306/.361/.658 with ten homers in 28 games. The Braves have won three in a row. The Giants have lost seven straight.

Pirates 8, Brewers 1: Gerrit Cole allowed one run on three hits in seven innings as the Pirates win in one of many blowouts last night. Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer and added an RBI single. He’s hitting .377/.435/.705 in the month of June.

Blue Jays 7, Rangers 6: An ALDS rematch, except now both teams are under .500. Oh well, that doesn’t matter, it’s only the game at hand which counts. As for that, it started ugly with both team’s starters pitching lousy — the Jays blew an early 5-1 lead — and ended ugly for Texas with their closer, Matt Bush, blowing a one-run lead. RBI singles from Josh Donaldson and Kendrys Morales brought the Jays from behind and then ahead, respectively, in the top of the ninth.

Royals 4, Red Sox 2: Jason Hammel allowed two runs over seven innings of work and Whit Merrifield singled in a run to break a 2-2 tie in the seventh. The Royals, who many wrote off after a miserable April, have won eight of nine.

Mariners 6, Tigers 2: Mike Zunino hit a two-run homer to break a 2-2 tie in the sixth and homered again — another two-run shot — in the eighth. Zunino was sent down to the minors early in the season because he couldn’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag. Since being called back up on May 23 he’s hitting .338 with nine home runs and 28 RBI. That’s a tear.

Astros 4, Athletics 1: The Astros get homers from George Springer — his 20th — Jake Marisnick and Derek Fisher. Houston leads all of baseball with 112 homers. They also have the second fewest strikeouts in the game. That’s a pretty spiffy combination.

Dodgers 10, Mets 6: Rookie slugger Cody Bellinger continues his rampage through NL pitching, hitting two homers and driving in four while going 3-for-5. He’s the fastest to 20 homers — and now 21 homers — doing so in only 51 games. In those 51 games he’s hitting .269/.340/.658. He’s on a pace for 48 homers and 107 RBI and he didn’t even play his first game until April 25.

Report: Major League Baseball bans transactions with Mexican League teams

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.

Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.

Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.

There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.