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And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Braves 3, Athletics 1: In the same month that saw MLB batters break an all-time record for most home runs hit in a single month, Mike Foltynewicz nearly pitched the second no-hitter of the season — and the first by a Braves’ pitcher since 1994. He was foiled in the ninth inning by Matt Olson, whose nine-pitch at-bat gave way to a monster home run and spoiled the no-no with three outs left to go.

Foltynewicz was pulled after Olson’s blast hit the nest of bleacher creatures in right field, not only losing his no-hit bid but the opportunity to record the first complete game of his career. The A’s, meanwhile, have now played 4,139 consecutive games without getting no-hit (via MLB.com’s Adrian Garro).

Giants 13, Pirates 5: No one seems to know when or how Austin Slater cracked his bat, but it clearly didn’t slow the rookie down one bit on Friday night. He went 2-for-5 with a pair of base hits and roped a long fly ball to the warning track in center field before the broken bat was pointed out. Slater wouldn’t get another at-bat, nor would he need one: the Giants won handily after a five-run inning and a smattering of insurance runs boosted them to an eight-run lead over the Pirates.

Slater wasn’t the only rookie to make an impression, either. Ryder Jones finally broke an 0-for-17 streak, hacking his way to an 0-1 count against Jhan Mariñez and bouncing a leadoff single up the middle for his first career hit in the seventh:

While the Giants aren’t about to start climbing of the 23-game hole they dug for themselves this season, they’re riding a nice little winning streak this week, extending their run to four straight games after sweeping the Rockies at home.

Rays 6, Orioles 4 (10 innings): With two outs and the bases empty, all Brad Brach needed to do was retire Shane Peterson to push the Orioles over .500. Instead, he walked Peterson on seven pitches, moved him to second base on a balk, moved him to third on a wild pitch, and gave up a game-tying RBI single to Adeiny Hechavarria. That opened the door just wide enough for the Rays, who completed their rally with Steven Souza Jr.’s game-winning three-run homer in the 10th:

Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 4 (11 innings): Justin Smoak put the Blue Jays on the board with a first-inning home run, marking the 1,070th home run hit by a major league player in the month of June. Even the long ball wasn’t enough to bail the Jays out of another loss, however, and they dropped to 7.5 games back of the division lead after Xander Bogaerts and Deven Marrero singled their way to a win in extras.

Reds 5, Cubs 0: Scott Feldman didn’t advance his no-hit bid nearly as far as Mike Foltynewicz, but he gave it a solid effort on Friday night with 5 2/3 hitless innings against the visiting Cubs. A fielding error got Jon Jay to first base in the sixth inning, followed by the Cubs’ first hit of the game: Ian Happ‘s two-out single to right field. Feldman worked out of the jam, inducing a fly out to retire Anthony Rizzo, and allowed just one more hit in the seventh before leaving the Reds’ bullpen to sort out the remaining two innings.

Mets 2, Phillies 1: Jacob deGrom is untouchable right now. The Mets’ righty delivered his fourth straight win against the Phillies, extending a streak of one-run outings that goes back through June 12. He nearly reached his season-high strikeout total, too, fanning 12 of 25 batters over seven innings of three-hit ball.

Like Foltynewicz and Feldman, deGrom no-hit the Phillies through 4 2/3 innings, finally losing the bid when Curtis Granderson lost a deep fly ball in the lights and gifted Andrew Knapp with his first career triple. Grandy’s explanation?

“You can’t catch what you can’t see,” he told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo.

Brewers 3, Marlins 2: The Brewers kicked off their six-game homestand in fine fashion on Friday: Corey Hart was honored in a pregame retirement ceremony, Corey Knebel set a new MLB single-season record with at least one strikeout in 40 consecutive appearances, and Stephen Vogt lifted the Brewers with two home runs and three RBI.

All in all, it was a dazzling day except for one moment in the fourth inning, when first base umpire Joe West was hit in the back of the head by a baseball… from the crowd. West didn’t appear to be seriously injured, and MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the team made a serious effort to identify the culprit following the game, though they have yet to release any further information pertaining to the incident. Still, this should go without saying: Unless you’re returning a home run ball for some petty reason, don’t throw baseballs onto the field, and don’t throw them at anyone’s head.

Yankees 13, Astros 4: Norichika Aoki doesn’t always take the mound, but when he does, he retires Aaron Judge on three pitches:

White Sox 8, Rangers 7: The Rangers swung for the fences on Friday, but it wasn’t quite enough to cork the White Sox’ offensive drive. Joey Gallo slugged his way onto the Statcast leaderboard with the longest opposite-field home run of 2017, a 454-footer that sailed into the left field bleachers during the third inning.

The Rangers put up a four-run inning in the fourth, but lost the game on a last-minute rally from the Sox, who won a challenged fair/foul call in the bottom of the ninth and clinched with a one-run lead.

Royals 8, Twins 1: Jason Vargas twirled his 12th win of the season on Friday, extending his streak to seven straight outings as he held the Twins to two hits and a run over seven innings. His 12 wins currently tie Clayton Kershaw for most in the league, and are the most by a Royals’ pitcher through the month of June since Bret Saberhagen racked up 13 wins for the club in 1987 (per MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan and Rhett Bollinger). In case you were wondering, this is all very normal and predictable baseball.

Cardinals 8, Nationals 1: The Cardinals rolled their way to a three-game win streak and now sit just 3.5 games back of the division lead in the NL Central. They put up a cumulative eight runs in the third and fourth innings, featuring a pair of two-RBI singles by Yadier Molina (extending his hitting streak to 15 games) and Paul DeJong‘s sixth blast of the season while Mike Leake stifled the Nats over eight pristine innings.

Mariners 10, Angels 0: Is Mike Zunino turning into a home run hitter? The Mariners’ backstop muscled his 11th blast of the season during Friday’s 10-run blowout, bringing his home run total to an even 10 in the month of June. He wasn’t the only one to go deep against the Angels: In more predictable fashion, Robinson Cano cranked two homers and Kyle Seager logged a ninth-inning solo shot to boost the Mariners’ lead to double digits. Fellow slugger Nelson Cruz, on the other hand, has now gone a full 21 games without recording a home run.

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 3: The Rockies have been scrambling against their NL West rivals after losing their second-place standing last weekend, but surged back to win their series opener against the Diamondbacks with a decisive performance from right-hander Jon Gray. Gray notched his first win of the year with his first quality start, striking out 10 batters and holding the D-backs to just two runs over six innings.

Dodgers 10, Padres 4: Drama erupted in the first inning of the Dodgers’ 10-run outburst when starter Alex Wood complained that Padres’ baserunner Alex Pirela was sneaking signs to Manuel Margot at home plate. While no Harper/Strickland meeting of punches, voluminous hair and bad helmet throws ensued, the conflict featured some squabbling and shoving between managers Dave Roberts and Andy Green.

When the dust settled, both skippers had been ejected and Wood had “forgotten” his complaint against Pirela, who predictably denied stealing signs to begin with. The Dodgers kept their 3.5-game grip on the NL West with their 54th win of the season, just half a game behind the Astros for the second-best record in the league.

Indians, Tigers: Postponed for split doubleheader on September 1. Anibal Sanchez and Josh Tomlin have been bumped to Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader, another makeup of another rainout from May 4. That means fans won’t get to see Tigers’ reliever Dan Otero take the mound for his first career start, as Tomlin and Carlos Carrasco will handle back-to-back matches on Saturday and Mike Clevinger will get the ball on Sunday.

Report: Astros’ assistant GM yelled ‘Thank God we got Osuna!’ at female reporters

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Last year, then-closer for the Blue Jays Roberto Osuna was arrested in Toronto on an assault charge. He allegedly assaulted the mother of his then three-year-old son. The charge was eventually withdrawn in exchange for a peace bond, but Major League Baseball still suspended Osuna for 75 games without pay.

Due to the off-the-field ugliness, the Astros were able to acquire Osuna on the relative cheap, sending Ken Giles, David Paulino, and Hector Perez to the Blue Jays. Osuna has been mostly great for the Astros since the trade, finishing the 2018 season with 12 saves, a 1.99 ERA, and a 19/3 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings in his new uniform. This year, Osuna racked up an American League-high 38 saves with a 2.63 ERA and a 73/12 K/BB ratio in 65 innings.

With the Astros holding a 4-2 lead in the top of the ninth in ALCS Game 6 against the Yankees, manager A.J. Hinch called on Osuna to get the final three outs to send his team to the World Series. He ended up allowing a leadoff single to Gio Urshela, then a game-tying two-run home run to DJ LeMahieu. Nevertheless, the Astros won it in the bottom of the ninth thanks to José Altuve’s walk-off two-run homer off of Aroldis Chapman.

In the postgame celebration, Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated reports that Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman yelled towards a group of three female reporters, “Thank god we got Osuna! I’m so … glad we got Osuna!” Taubman repeated the phrase half a dozen times. One of the reporters was wearing a purple domestic violence awareness bracelet.

The Astros declined to comment on the issue and did not make Taubman available for an interview. That shouldn’t come as a shock because the Astros have organizationally failed repeatedly to meaningfully address Osuna’s behavior. GM Jeff Luhnow released a poorly thought out statement last July about Osuna, claiming that the Astros’ due diligence was “unprecedented,” and citing that Osuna is “remorseful” and “willingly complied with all consequences,” despite pleading not guilty and not having had his day in court yet, thus no consequences. The Astros released another statement in August defending their belief that “Roberto deserved a second chance.”

Later that month, Osuna went after his critics, saying, “Everybody is judging me for things they don’t know. I don’t like that.” In the postseason, teammate Ryan Pressly defended Osuna from a heckler, telling the fan, “You can talk all the sh– you want. Just don’t bring that stuff up.”

The Astros also kicked out a fan who protested Osuna’s presence by holding up a sign displaying a domestic violence hotline number. After receiving plenty of criticism for that, the Astros decided to display flyers, featuring the National Domestic Violence Hotline number, in women’s restrooms at Minute Maid Park.

Taubman’s behavior is not the first strike for the Astros on this issue. Acquiring Osuna was strike one. Luhnow’s statement and the club’s subsequent statement were strikes two and three. Osuna’s backlash was strike four, Pressly’s defense of him was strike five, and the whole issue over the DV hotline sign was strike six. The Astros are in danger of having the side strike out on this issue.

It’s also worth mentioning that Luhnow worked for McKinsey and Company, a management consulting firm, before getting into baseball. McKinsey has been consulting for the Astros since 2017, The Athletic’s Evan Drellich reported in July. McKinsey has, ahem, a checkered past.

The Astros have clearly and intentionally thrown ethics to the side in order to run a baseball-related business. That they have repeatedly mishandled a very serious domestic violence issue within the sport shouldn’t come as a surprise, and it shouldn’t be surprising that the Astros are hoping the issue goes away with the World Series set to begin on Tuesday.

Update: The Astros released a statement. Via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle:

The story posted by Sports Illustrated is misleading and completely irresponsible. An Astros player was being asked questions about a difficult outing. Our executive was supporting the player during a difficult time. His comments had everything to do about the game situation that just occurred and nothing else — they were also not directed towards any specific reporters. We are extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated’s attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist.

The Astros had an initial chance to respond to the story before publication and didn’t take Sports Illustrated up on it. They also didn’t deny that Taubman said what was reported. They’re disputing the context and the intended audience, but that doesn’t really make them look that much better. Perhaps an organization with a less spotty history would get the benefit of the doubt, the Astros certainly haven’t earned it.

Furthemore, Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle and Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports both confirmed Apstein’s report. Atkins tweeted, “The Astros called this @stephapstein report misleading. It is not. I was there. Saw it. And I should’ve said something sooner.”