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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Braves 5, Dodgers 3Tyler Flowers hit a tiebreaking, pinch-hit, two-run home run in the eighth inning to give the Braves the victory.  The Dodgers have lost only three games since the All-Star break. All three have come against the Braves, strangely enough. L.A. lead this one 3-2 in the fifth but still lost. That’s not a shocking thing based on the score alone — a lot of teams lost games when they had one-run leads at one point — but it is the first time in 54 games that the Dodgers lost a game that, at one point or another, they had once led. That was an all-time record.

Rangers 5, Mariners 1: For the second straight night Joey Gallo hit a crazy-long homer to center in Arlington. Gallo’s take on these monster dongs: “I just feel like I’m getting a pitch to hit and not missing it.” Thanks for the insight, Joey. Delino DeShields and Elvis Andrus also homered. Presumably they too were just looking for a pitch to hit. Seriously, though, just once would I like to hear a baseball player say “Man, I knocked the living crap outta that ball! Just DESTROYED that bad boy! New it as soon as I swung too. Hot damn!”

Diamondbacks 3, Cubs 0: Six shutout innings from Dbacks starter Zack Godley. I’d like him to throw a no-hitter one day so I can use the headline “More like Zack GodMODE, amirite?” Jake Lamb drove in all three of the Snakes’ runs.

Cardinals 5, Brewers 4: Molina hit two solo home runs. He also doubled. After the game, Kolten Wong said this about Molina:

“He is our captain, he is our leader, he is the St. Louis Cardinals. We are going to hop on his back whenever he is going. He is our man. When he goes, we go.”

It’s hard, based on the couple of Instagram incidents of the past week in which Molina has undercut Mike Matheny, to not hear stuff like that as players taking a side.

Twins 5, Padres 2: Ervin Santana tossed a complete game — his fifth on the year — while allowing two runs on four hits and striking out nine. His five complete games lead all of baseball. Right now two guys, Max Scherzer and Ivan Nova, are tied for the NL lead with two. Never in baseball history has a league leader in CGs had fewer than four. On five occasions in baseball history has a league leader in complete games had exactly four: NL and AL 2015; AL 2013; NL 2009 and NL 2007. Which means that, yeah, the NL leader this year may have the lowest number complete games for a league leader in baseball history.

Tigers 2, Yankees 0: Jordan Zimmermann tosses seven shutout innings and — after a three hour rain delay — Bruce Rondon and Shane Greene handle the final two innings to complete the job. I guess the Tigers should’ve just traded away their best reliever in April if they wanted to stabilize their bullpen. Justin Upton and James McCann drove in the Tigers runs.

Orioles 6, Royals 0: Jeremy Hellickson shuts the Royals out for seven and Mychal Givens and Darren O'Day handle the rest of it. I wonder if the Tigers pitching staff plans to sue the Orioles’ pitching staff for copyright infringement over all of this. Tim Beckham doubled in one run and tripled in another. Nice day for the O’s new pickups.

Reds 5, Pirates 2: A Jesse Winker solo homer broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh and an Adam Duvall two-run homer in the ninth gave the Redlegs some insurance. Winker’s homer came off of Joaquin Benoit. Not a nice day for the Pirates’ new pickup. Not a nice couple weeks or so for the Pirates as a team, really. They had a six-game winning streak that got some people raising their eyebrows a while back and since then they’ve lost eight of ten.

Marlins 7, Nationals 0: Vance Worley tossed seven shutout innings allowing only two hits and Christian Yelich and Derek Dietrich hit homers. Yelich drove in three in all. Giancarlo Stanton ended the game with a home run robbery.

Blue Jays 5, White Sox 1: J.A. Happ struck out ten dudes in seven innings. Steve Pearce and Josh Donaldson hit homers and Justin Smoak reached base three times. The Jays have won three of four. The Blue Jays now get their first day off since the All-Star break. They have to spend it in Houston, but I guess it’ll still be OK.

 

 

Rays 3, Astros 0: Austin Pruitt and three relievers combined to shut out the Astros. It’s the second time in a week that the Astros — who lead all of baseball in scoring — have been shut out in a week. Everyone goes through stretches like this. Houston would obviously rather have it happen in early August with a 15-game division lead than in early October in a best-of-five series.

Mets 10, Rockies 5: The Rockies had a 5-0 lead heading into the fourth. Then they watched the Mets plate ten runs over the next three innings while they themselves would not score again. Curtis Granderson hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the sixth, Jay Bruce homered and Asdrubal Cabrera had three hits.

Angels 7, Phillies 0: All seven Angels runs came in the third inning with five of them coming via three longballs. Mike Trout and C.J. Cron hit two-run shots and Kaleb Cowart hit a solo shot. JC Ramirez tossed eight shutout innings, scattering six hits.

Athletics 6, Giants 1Daniel Gossett allowed one run on three hits over seven innings and got plenty of offense to back him. Ryon Healy homered Jed Lowrie doubled twice and scored, Matt Chapman got two hits and an RBI and Chad Pinder singled twice

Indians vs. Red Sox — POSTPONED: No lyrics today, but there’s a good reason for it:

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.”