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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Astros 2, Angels 0: Justin Verlander was dealing. He shut out the Angels, giving up just five hits and a walk with seven strikeouts on 118 pitches. His seventh came in the ninth inning against Shohei Ohtani and marked the 2,500th strikeout of his career. Verlander is the 33rd member of the exclusive club. The Astros’ two runs came in the second inning on an Evan Gattis homer. Angels starter Garrett Richards wasn’t too shabby himself, giving up the runs (both unearned) on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts in seven innings.

Rangers 5, Mariners 1: Bartolo Colon held the Mariners scoreless over 7 2/3 innings, giving up only four hits and walking none while striking out three on 96 pitches. And he got hit by a comebacker, which didn’t faze him at all. Colon, who turns 45 years old next week, has a 2.82 ERA — 10th-best in the American League. Delino DeShields broke the scoreless tie in the top of the eighth with a double off of Nick Vincent. The Rangers tacked on four more in the top of the ninth. The Mariners’ lone run came on a Kyle Seager home run off of Keone Kela in the bottom of the ninth.

Blue Jays 12, Mets 1: Ugly day for the Mets. Zack Wheeler couldn’t get an out in the fifth inning. In fact, he led off the frame walking opposing pitcher J.A. Happ. In four-plus innings, Wheeler was on the hook for six runs on seven hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. The Mets’ lone run came in the bottom of the ninth on a solo homer from Brandon Nimmo. The Jays got homers from Justin Smoak, Teoscar Hernandez, and Jose Urena. Happ went 2-for-3 with the walk, and tossed seven shutout innings on two hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts. Almost Rick Wiseian.

Cardinals 7, Twins 5: This one was a group effort for the Cardinals. Six different hitters knocked in a run. Matt Carpenter, Dexter Fowler, Jose Martinez, and Tommy Pham had multiple hits. The Cardinals came close to giving up the lead but never actually trailed or were tied during the game. Logan Morrison homered and knocked in two for the Twins. Meanwhile, Eddie Rosario went 3-for-4 with a walk. Lance Lynn‘s struggles with the Twins continued — he lasted just three innings, giving up three runs on four hits and four walks with five strikeouts. His ERA is now 7.47.

Rays 5, Royals 3: Jake Faria was bad, but Jason Hammel was worse. Faria yielded three runs on four hits and four walks with two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings; Hammel surrendered five runs on 10 hits and no walks with two strikeouts in six innings. C.J. Cron hit his 10th homer for the Rays. He’s been a real bright spot, considering he literally took the roster spot of Corey Dickerson. Denard Span and Wilson Ramos also picked up a couple of hits. For the Royals, Jon Jay went 3-for-4 with a double and a walk.

Brewers 8, Diamondbacks 2: Brewers hitters blasted four home runs, one each from Travis Shaw, Domingo Santana, Christian Yelich, and Tyler Saladino. All four homers came off of D-Backs starter Matt Koch, who couldn’t escape the fifth inning. He went 4 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits and a walk with no strikeouts. Brandon Woodruff got the start for the Brewers, going five solid frames and yielding two runs on a hit and four walks with six strikeouts. Not pretty, but it got the job done.

Reds 6, Giants 3: The Reds scored four runs in the top of the first on Joey Votto‘s single and a three-run home run from Adam Duvall. Scooter Gennett hit a solo homer in the seventh. The Giants’ Brandon Belt stayed hot, homering in his third consecutive game. He has also now homered in each of his last five games against the Reds, dating back to last season. Matt Harvey got the start for the Reds. He went four innings, serving up three runs on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts.

Red Sox 6, Athletics 4: The Athletics fought tough, but home runs by J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts proved to be too much. Martinez’s home run extended Boston’s lead to 3-0 in the first inning; Bogaerts’ homer made it a 6-2 game in the sixth. The A’s got homers from Marcus Semien, Matt Joyce, and Matt Olson. Chris Sale went just five innings, throwing 102 pitches, but he gave up just two runs on two hits and four walks with nine strikeouts. He’s now carrying a 2.29 ERA with an 87/15 K/BB ratio in 63 innings this season. Sale hasn’t been the American League’s best starter this season, but it will be interesting to see who hangs with him through the end of the season to compete for the Cy Young Award.

Marlins 6, Dodgers 5: J.T. Realmuto hit a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning off of Pedro Baez to break a 5-5 tie, which turned out to be the game-winning run. Starlin Castro also had a great game, racking up four hits in five at-bats. Walker Buehler had his first bumpy start for the Dodgers, giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. His ERA rises all the way up to 2.67.

Braves 4, Cubs 1: Carl Edwards, Jr. melted down in the eighth inning, forking over three runs to the Braves to break a 1-1 tie. He gave up a one-out triple to Ozzie Albies, then consecutive singles to Ronald Acuna and Freddie Freeman. He intentionally walked Nick Markakis to load the bases, then unintentionally walked Tyler Flowers to force in a run. Justin Hancock relieved Edwards only to issue a two-out walk to Johan Camargo to force in another run, charged to Edwards. Both starters, Tyler Chatwood and Brandon McCarthy, pitched well, yielding a lone run each in 5 1/3 and six innings, respectively. The Braves still lead the NL East, now with a 26-16 record. Who saw the Braves and Phillies being No. 1-2 in the NL East midway through May?

Phillies 4, Orioles 1: Nick Pivetta struck out 11 Orioles, giving up just one run over seven innings. Aside from a disastrous outing on May 4 against the Nationals, Pivetta has mostly been outstanding for the Phillies this year. While we shouldn’t expect double-digit strikeouts from him on a regular basis, if he can hold his own, the Phillies are legitimately scary in the NL East. Cesar Hernandez homered and tripled for the Phils. He has quietly been one of the better infielders in baseball over the last few years. Baseball Reference credits him with 3.2 WAR in 2016, 3.1 last year, and 1.3 already in 2018. Odubel Herrera extended his on-base streak to 42 games. On the Orioles’ side of things, Adam Jones homered, which was really the only thing worth writing home about.

Indians 6, Tigers 0: Trevor Bauer fired eight shutout innings, holding the Tigers to four hits while walking none and striking out 10. Something, something, spin rate. So far, it looks like Bauer is having a career year. He’s been steadily improving in a lot of areas over the last few years. Since 2015, his ERA has gone 4.55, 4.26, 4.19, and now 2.59 this year. K-rate since 2016: 20.7%, 26.2%, 27.2%. BB-rate since 2015: 10.6%, 8.6%, 8.0%, and 8.5% this year. Anyway, Michael Brantley had three hits including a solo homer.

Pirates 3, White Sox 2: Josh Bell hit an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to break a 2-2 tie, proving to be the game-winning hit. Jameson Taillon, who recently said he’d consider some alternative measures to heal a cut on his hand, gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts. Leury Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez both hit solo home runs for the White Sox off Taillon.

Yankees @ Nationals: Postponed due to inclement weather. The two clubs were going to play the remainder of Tuesday’s suspended game, but both that and Wednesday’s game have been rescheduled for Monday, June 18 at 5:05 PM ET.

Brewers won’t punish Josh Hader for offensive tweets

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Some old tweets of Josh Hader‘s surfaced during the All-Star Game on Tuesday, containing offensive and hateful language. Major League Baseball responded by ordering Hader to attend sensitivity training and attend diversity initiatives.

The Brewers won’t punish Hader themselves, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. GM David Stearns says the club is taking its lead from MLB, which has already handed down its punishment to Hader. Additionally, the Brewers’ lack of punishment has to do with the tweets occurring when Hader was younger — 17 years old — and not involved with professional baseball.

Stearns also said of Hader’s tweets, “I don’t think they’re representative of who he is. I think they’re offensive. I think they’re ill-informed and ignorant but I don’t think they represent who he is as a person right now.” Stearns added, “I don’t know how he’s going to work through it. The truth is he has put himself in this situation. And he’s going to have to work very hard to get through it.”

Hader apologized on Wednesday, saying, “I was 17 years old, and as a child I was immature, and obviously I said some things that were inexcusable. That doesn’t reflect on who I am as a person today.” Hader said, “I’m deeply sorry for what I’ve said. I’m ready for any consequences that happen for what happened seven years ago.”

Lorenzo Cain, a black outfielder and teammate of Hader’s, said, “I know Hader; he’s a great guy. I know he’s a great teammate. I’m fine. Everybody will be O.K. We’ll move on.” Cain further defended Hader, saying, “We’ve all said crazy stuff growing up, even when we were 17, 18 years old. If we could follow each other around with a recorder every day, I’m sure we all said some dumb stuff. We’re going to move on from this.”

First baseman Jesús Aguilar also came to Hader’s defense:

However, Aguilar also retweeted a tweet from Scott Wheeler of The Athletic which had screencaps of Royals 2B/OF Whit Merrifield and Angels outfielder Mike Trout using the word “gay” pejoratively in tweets. Merrifield also used the word “retard” pejoratively.

The “he was 17” defense rings hollow. At 17 years old, one is able to join the military, get a full driver’s license (in many states), apply for student loans, and get married (in some states). Additionally, one is not far off from being able to legally buy cigarettes and guns. Given all of these other responsibilities we give to teenagers, asking them not to use racial and homophobic slurs is not unreasonable. Punishing them when they do so is also not unreasonable.

A study from several years ago found that black boys are viewed as older and less innocent than white boys. A similar study from last year found that black girls are viewed as less innocent than white girls. Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Cameron Tillman, among many others, never got the benefit of the doubt that Hader and countless other white kids have gotten and continue to get in our society. When we start giving the same benefit of the doubt to members of marginalized groups, then we can break out the “but he was only 17” defense for Hader.

We also need to ask ourselves what our inaction regarding Hader’s words will say to members of those marginalized communities. Will it tell them that we value the comfort of those in power above everyone else? Will it tell members of marginalized groups that they are not welcome? In this case, it absolutely will. It communicates the message that, as long as you are white and can perform athletic feats, there’s no level of bigotry the league won’t tolerate. Furthermore, as the league and its 30 individual teams make more efforts towards inclusiveness with events like “Pride Night,” the inaction comes off as two-faced and hypocritical. This is why Major League Baseball — and the Brewers — should have done more to respond to Hader’s tweets.