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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Giants 6, Padres 5: San Diego led 5-3 heading into the bottom of the ninth and had All-Star reliever Brad Hand on the hill. Last year the Giants would’ve been dead men walking at this point — that team had no pluck at all — but they had pluck in spades last night. Hand led the inning off by plunking Austin Slater, but then got two strikeouts in a row. There would not be a third out. Buster Posey took a walk, and then Evan Longoria hit a bloop single against a deep outfield to knock in Slater to make it 5-4. Brandon Belt then walked to load the bases, bringing up pinch hitter Nick Hundley. Hundley did this:

Like I said: pluck.

Cubs 3, Rockies 2: The Rockies had a lot of chances — many handed to them thanks to Chicago miscues — but they couldn’t capitalize. It’s so weird to see the Rockies having basically only two hitters. When one of them — Nolan Arenado — doesn’t come through in a clutch situation, such as when he had runners on first and third in the ninth but struck out to end the game, it has to sting that much more. Anyway, that’s five wins in a row for the Cubs. They have not scored more than three runs in any of those five wins, by the way. Baseball is weird and it’s good to get good starting pitching.

Nationals 3, Pirates 2: Tanner Roark allowed two runs over seven and knocked one in himself. The Nats, like the Cubs, haven’t been scoring many runs lately. They haven’t been as lucky either, as this was only their fourth win in their last ten games. This early season business is really putting a dent my whole “super teams” preseason analysis of the season, but I suppose each of these teams are in a better position than the other NL “super team” who . . .

Diamondbacks 8, Dodgers 5: . . . lost again. And on the day they lost their star shortstop for the whole season. Ouch. L.A. was down 5-0 by the sixth inning thanks to two homers from A.J. Pollock and a homer and an RBI single from Nick Ahmed. Pollock would homer for a third time in the eighth inning, all three being solo shots. That was enough support for Zack Greinke, who struck out ten and allowed two runs over six. Arizona has the largest division lead in all of baseball right now, standing ahead of the Giants by five and a half games, the Rockies by six and the Dodgers by eight.

Indians 7, Rangers 5: Trevor Bauer and Cole Hamels struck out a bunch of guys and kept the game low scoring and close but each bullpen got got, with the Rangers bullpen being more got. Rangers reliever Chris Martin was the most got, giving up four in the eighth, with Jose Ramirez knocking a two-run double and Francisco Lindor and Yonder Alonso each singling home a run. The Rangers had a chance to rally late, but Tribe reliever Jeff Beliveau struck out Joey Gallo with two runners on in the ninth to end the game. It was a Dante-from-“Clerks” kind of game for Beliveau — he wasn’t even supposed to BE here today — but with Andrew Miller out Terry Francona tried to get a two-inning save from closer Cody Allen and it didn’t go as smoothly as planned. It’s OK, though. Worked out in the end.

Rays 3, Tigers 2: It was 0-0 until the ninth when C.J. Cron and Brad Miller each went deep off of Tigers reliever Shane Greene to give Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead. Detroit’s offense tried to rally — Victor Martinez hit a two-run single — but that’s all they’d get. Tampa Bay has won nine of ten.

Brewers 6, Reds 5: Brewers reliever Josh Hader was called on to get an eight-out save on Monday against the Reds. He was more than up to the task, getting all eight of his outs on strikeouts. His victims:  Joey Votto ,Scott Schebler in the seventh inning. In the eighth, he fanned Eugenio SuarezAlex Blandino, and Adam Duvall and he punched out Billy HamiltonJesse Winker, and Jose Peraza in the ninth to close it out. Hader now has a K/BB ratio of 39/5 in 18 innings of work on the year. His performance last night is the first time ever that a pitcher has struck out eight batters in less than three innings. On offense, Manny Pina hit a solo homer and Lorenzo Cain hit a two-run shot to end the Brewers’ four-game losing streak.

Red Sox 10, Royals 6Xander Bogaerts hit a grand slam and had three hits. Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer and had three hits as well. The Red Sox have set a pre-May record for grand slams, and reporters asked various Sox folk about it after the game. Bogaerts wins the award for the most cliche-packed quote of the night:

“Especially with the bases loaded, we’re getting some good swings. I think we’ve been really selective and looking for some good pitches to hit.”

No word on whether the Red Sox are taking them one game at a time, but that doesn’t matter I suppose. The win was Boston’s 19th in the month of April, the most the team has ever hit in the season’s traditional first month.

Marlins 8, Phillies 4: Brian Anderson homered and drove in four. He also made this catch with the bases loaded and the Fish only leading by two:

Come for the great catch, stay for the Marlins announcer saying “wow . . . wow . . . wow . . .” He’s not the best color man in the league for nothing, folks.

Blue Jays 7, Twins 5: Curtis Granderson took a bases-loaded walk in the second for the Jays second run and he scored on a passed ball in the fourth for their third run. There should be a name for a category of those sorts of runs which involve no balls in play and/or other dubious things. Justin Smoak and Russell Martin homered, but homers already have their own category.

Astros 2, Yankees 1: Charlie Morton tied up the big Yankees bats, striking out ten and allowing only one run in seven and two-thirds. Sonny Gray was actually pretty good for once, allowing only a run-scoring groundout in the first and a Yuli Gurriel RBI double in the fourth, but on this night that was enough to lose to ChazMo. Ok, maybe we’re not doing “ChazMo.” I use this feature to workshop, you know. They’re not all winners.

Tigers manager Gardenhire announces immediate retirement

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
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DETROIT — Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire announced his immediate retirement barely over an hour before Saturday night’s game against Cleveland, saying he’s been “stressed out” and not feeling well.

The news came in an abruptly called video conference around 5 p.m. as Detroit prepared to play the Indians. A message of “Thank you, Gardy” was posted on the scoreboard at Comerica Park.

Bench coach Lloyd McClendon is taking over as manager for the rest of the season, which is scheduled to end Sept. 27. Detroit was 21-29 heading into Saturday night’s game and was unlikely to make the postseason.

Gardenhire, who turns 63 next month, was in his third season as Detroit’s manager after he previously had a 13-year run with the Minnesota Twins that included six AL Central titles.

He’s had to oversee a significant rebuild with the Tigers that included a 114-loss season in 2019.

Gardenhire missed time recently because of stomach issues, and he indicated Saturday that the stress of managing was difficult.

“It’s been wonderful here, but I also know I have to take care of myself,” Gardenhire said. “When you come to the ballpark, and you’re stressed out all day, and your hands are shaking, that’s not fun. I’ve got grandbabies, I’ve got kids that I need to take care of, and my wife, and as I told Al, I’m going to step back and take care of myself and try to get healthy.”

General manager Al Avila said he made a routine visit to Gardenhire’s office Saturday, when the manager told him about the decision.

“I’d like to congratulate Gardy on one of the best managerial careers, really in major league baseball history,” Avila said. “His leadership and hard work over the last three seasons has put us in a position to get closer to our goal of bringing back winning baseball to Detroit.”

Gardenhire took over for longtime Twins manager Tom Kelly and managed the team from 2002-14, going 1,068-1,039. Minnesota won the division six times in his first nine seasons at the helm, and he was American League Manager of the Year in 2010.

He was a bench coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks before returning to the AL Central with the Tigers for the 2018 season. Detroit was 132-241 under Gardenhire.

Gardenhire played five seasons in the majors, all with the New York Mets, and was a light-hitting infielder in the 1980s.