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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 9, Phillies 1; Braves 5, Phillies 2Ender Inciarte went 5-for-5 with four driven in in game one and 3-for-5 with a run driven in in the nightcap. His eight total hits in the two games was one short of the record for hits in a doubleheader. R.A. Dickey struck out nine over eight innings in the first game and Julio Teheran allowed one run and five hits, striking out eight in six and a third in the second game.

Indians 2, Yankees 1; Indians 9, Yankees 4: Trevor Bauer outdueled Jaime Garcia in the first game and a four-run first inning in game two set the pace for an Indians sweep. The sweep dropped the Yankees to five and a half games behind Boston heading into a four-game series against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium starting tonight.

Brewers 6, Cardinals 5: With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Brewers center fielder Keon Broxton robbed Randal Grichuk of what would have been a go-ahead two-run home run to end the game. Broxton was a defensive replacement in the eighth, by the way. Good call, Craig Counsel:

Orioles 8, Mariners 7:  t one point Baltimore was down 6-2, but they rallied back thanks to Welington Castillo‘s  4-for-4, three RBI day and Jonathan Schoop‘s go-ahead RBI single in the eighth. That’s seven in a row for the Orioles. Five straight losses for Seattle.

Tigers 6, Rockies 2: Justin Verlander struck out nine over six innings and drove in the Tigers first run with an RBI single. It was his first career RBI. On Tigers broadcasts, they often talk about how big a talker Verlander is about hitting, which is pretty hilarious because he is a poor hitter, even for an American League pitcher, going 4-for-43 in his career. I can only imagine that he was insufferable on the flight back to Detroit yesterday.

Nationals 4, Marlins 0: Stephen Strasburg tossed a complete game shutout on six hits and he hit a homer to give the Nats their first run and the only run they’d actually need. Strasburg has looked great since coming off the disabled list. The Nats have looked great of late too, winning four in a row.

Rangers 8, Astros 1: Texas rode a six-run fourth inning, capped by Mike Napoli‘s three-run homer. Andrew Cashner allowed one run on three hits over eight. The clubs have one more game in Tropicana Field before the Astros get to fly home to Houston for their series against the Mets and, more importantly, their reunion with families and friends who’ve been contending with Hurricane Harvey.

Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 1: Rick Porcello tossed one-run ball into the seventh and Mitch Moreland, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, hit a two-run homer and drove in two more with a single in the eighth. The Red Sox sweep the Jays and look a lot better heading into their series with the Yankees than they did just a few short days ago.

Mets 2, Reds 0Rafael Montero pitched shutout ball into the ninth — it was a one-hitter as he entered the final inning, in fact — making two first inning runs by the Mets hold up. Montero ran out of gas in the final frame, allowing two base runners and then intentionally walking Joey Votto with one out to load things up, but A.J. Ramos put out the fire and preserved Montero’s win.

Cubs 17, Pirates 3Kyle Schwarber hit two home runs and Ian Happ and Anthony Rizzo each went deep as the Cubs romped. Chicago notched 20 hits — their most in three years — as they outscored the Pirates 27-5 in the three-game sweep.

Twins 11, White Sox 1: Jose Berrios pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out 11, including seven of the last nine batters he faced. Brian Dozier had four hits and Eddie Rosario homered twice to keep the surprising Twins humming along. They’re 19-10 in August and now they’re only a game back of the Yankees for the AL’s top Wild Card spot.

Rays 5, Royals 3Logan MorrisonSteven Souza Jr. and Adeiny Hechavarria all homered for the Rays. Morrison’s was his 33rd on the year. He has four home runs, eight RBI and six runs scored in the Rays’ last six games. The Royals finish August 10-18 and have lost six of their last seven.

Padres 5, Giants 0: Travis Wood started and didn’t allow any runs. He also homered. He didn’t get the win, though, as he tossed 97 pitches in four and a third innings before being yanked as the Giants mounted a rally. The rally amounted to nothing, though, as Craig Stammen and three other relievers continued to blank San Francisco the rest of the way. Jose Pirela also homered for San Diego. The Padres have beaten the Giants in nine of their last 12 meetings.

Diamondbacks 6, Dodgers 4: The Dodgers lose their fourth game in a row for the first time all season. The Diamondbacks extend their win streak to six. Adam Rosales, Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Herrmann all homered for Arizona, who built a 6-0 lead and then held on as the Dodgers late rally fell short. I suppose every good team goes through a bad stretch.

Angels 10, Athletics 8Mike Trout was slumping and then he sat out a couple of games with a stiff neck. He was back last night, though, and went 4-for-4 with a homer and scored four times. Albert Pujols hit two homers, tying him with Jim Thome on the all-time list at 612. He’s on pace for 25 homers and 100 RBI on the season, which are nice numbers, aesthetically speaking. That’s deceiving, as basically every one of his other stats are terrible, but I suppose it will look nice on the back of the baseball card.

MLBPA: MLB’s ‘demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected’

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark
LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
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On Thursday evening, the Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement regarding ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. The two sides continue to hash out details concerning a 2020 season. The owners want a shorter season, around 50 games. The union recently proposed a 114-game season that also offered the possibility of salary deferrals.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said that the union held a conference call that included the Executive Board and MLBPA player leaders. They “resoundingly rejected” the league’s “demand for additional concessions.”

The full statement:

In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, Players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love. But we cannot do this alone.

Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions. The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon.

This threat came in response to an Association proposal aimed at charting a path forward. Among other things, Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our Players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product. Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless Players agree to further salary reductions.

Earlier today we held a conference call of the Association’s Executive Board and several other MLBPA Player leaders. The overwhelming consensus of the Board is that Players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well. The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.

Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season. We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field.

As per the current agreement signed in March, if there is a 2020 season, players will be paid on a prorated basis. Thus, fewer games means the players get paid less and the owners save more. MLB has threatened to unilaterally set a 2020 season in motion if the two sides cannot come to terms. It should come as no surprise that the union has responded strongly on both fronts.

There have been varying reports in recent days over the confidence in a 2020 season happening. The MLBPA’s statement tonight doesn’t move the needle any; it simply affirms that the union remains steadfast in its goal to avoid a second significant cut in salaries.

As I see it, the ball is in the owners’ court. The owners can strongarm the players into a short season, saving money but significantly increasing the odds of a big fight in upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Or the owners can eat more of a financial loss, agreeing to a longer season than they feel is comfortable. The latter would have the double benefit of not damaging overall perception of the sport and would not disrupt labor peace going forward.

The MLBPA statement included a declaration that the players are “ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions.” If there is no 2020 season, we will have only the owners to blame, not the players.

Update: Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who has been quite vocal on social media about these negotiations, chimed in: