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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cardinals 13, Reds 4: Jose Martinez was a wrecking crew, homering, doubling in runs twice, singling in a run and taking a bases-loaded walk on a six-RBI night. Yadier Molina‘s one-game suspension rested him up nicely, it seems, as he homered. The Reds ended up using Cliff Pennington to pitch the ninth. The Reds fall to 2-10. This is their worst start since 1955. That team, however, finished pretty close to .500 when it was all said and done and their manager, Birdie Tebbetts, kept his job all season long. I’m feeling like neither of those things will happen with the 2018 Redlegs.

Red Sox 6, Yankees 3: Rick Porcello pitched seven scoreless innings and no-hit the Yankees for the first six, striking out six and not walking a soul to raise his record to 3-0. Sonny Gray, meanwhile, got rocked, needing 68 pitches to get through three innings and one batter in the fourth, giving up six runs on seven hits and throwing three wild pitches. A day after the big brawl only one guy got hit — Hanley Ramirez, who ended up leaving the game with a hurt wrist — but no one left the bench for that. Given that Gray couldn’t hit the side of a barn with his stuff last night, all likely agreed that it was unintentional.

Angels 7, Royals 1: Shohei Ohtani DH’d and hit a bases-loaded triple, turning a 3-0 game into a 6-0 game in the seventh inning. Ian Kinsler and Mike Trout homered and Kole Calhoun hit a two-run single on the Angels’ 15-hit night. All of that was more than enough for Nick Tropeano, who tossed six scoreless.

Pirates 6, Cubs 1: This one started out as a pitcher’s duel, but a four-run seventh fueled by a solo homer from Gregory Polanco — his second bomb of the day — and a three-run shot from Francisco Cervelli blew this one wide open. Meanwhile, Trevor Williams allowed only one run over six and the pen none over three for the Pirates.

Indians 9, Tigers 3: Cleveland jumped out to a six-run lead by the end of the second and beat up Michael Fulmer for nine runs — six earned — in three innings thanks to Francisco Lindor‘s three RBI and Jason Kipnis‘ and Jose Martinez’ two. The Tigers’ three errors in the first four innings helped too. This is the Indians’ 11th straight win against the Tigers.

Rockies 5, Nationals 1: DJ LeMahieu homered twice, hit two doubles and drove in four run. That was more than enough offense for Rockies starter Chad Bettis, who allowed one run over seven. LeMahieu has four homers on the season. He hit eight in all of 2017.

Twins 4, White Sox 0: Jose Berrios struck out 11 and allowed only three hits in seven shutout innings. He was backed by three RBI on a two-hit night from Joe Mauer. One of those hits put him in the 2,000-hit club.

Giants 7, Padres 0: Giants starter Chris Stratton held the Padres to one hit in seven shutout innings and reliever Derek Law held ’em hitless for the final two. The Friars’ only hit came from pitcher Clayton Richard, who was promptly doubled off on a line drive out. Stratton, the club’s fourth starter during spring training, has been elevated in importance due to Madison BumgarnerJohnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, all being on the disabled list, witch Bochy saying after last night’s game, “Now that makes him the No. 1 guy.”

Major League Baseball threatens to walk away from Minor League Baseball entirely

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The war between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball escalated significantly last night, with Minor League Baseball releasing a memo accusing Major League Baseball of “repeatedly and inaccurately” describing the former’s stance in negotiations and Major League Baseball responding by threatening to cut ties with Minor League Baseball entirely.

As you’re no doubt aware, negotiations of the next, 10-year Professional Baseball Agreement, which governs the relationship between the big leagues and the minors — and which is set to expire following the 2020 season — have turned acrimonious. Whereas past negotiations have been quick and uncontroversial, this time Major League Baseball presented Minor League Baseball with a plan to essentially contract 42 minor league baseball teams by eliminating their major league affiliation while demanding that Minor League Baseball undertake far more of the financial burden of player development which is normally the responsibility of the majors.

That plan became public in October when Baseball America reported on it, after which elected officials such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren began weighing in on the side of Minor League Baseball. Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball were not happy with all of that and, on Wednesday, Manfred bashed Minor League Baseball for taking the negotiations public and accused Minor League Baseball of intransigence, saying the minors had assumed a “take it or leave it” negotiating stance.

Last night Minor League Baseball bashed back in the form of a four-page public memo countering Manfred’s claims, with point-point-by-point rebuttals of Major League Baseball’s talking points on various matters ranging from stadium facilities, team travel, and player health and welfare. You can read the memo in this Twitter thread from Josh Norris of Baseball America.

Major League Baseball responded with its own public statement last night. But rather than publicly rebut Minor League Baseball’s claims, it threatened to simply drop any agreement with Minor League Baseball and, presumably start its own minor league system bypassing MiLB entirely:

“If the National Association [of Minor League Clubs] has an interest in an agreement with Major League Baseball, it must address the very significant issues with the current system at the bargaining table. Otherwise, MLB clubs will be free to affiliate with any minor league team or potential team in the United States, including independent league teams and cities which are not permitted to compete for an affiliate under the current agreement.”

So, in the space of about 48 hours, Manfred has gone from being angry at the existence of public negotiations to negotiating in public, angrily.

As for Minor League Baseball going public itself, one Minor League Baseball owner’s comments to the Los Angeles Times seems to sum up the thinking pretty well:

“Rob is attempting to decimate the industry, destroy baseball in communities and eliminate thousands of jobs, and he’s upset that the owners of the teams have gone public with that information in an effort to save their teams. That’s rich.”

Things, it seems, are going to get far worse before they get better. If, in fact, they do get better.