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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.

Victor Martinez played his final major league game on Saturday

Victor Martinez
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After 16 years in the majors, longtime Tigers DH Victor Martinez capped his career with one final start at Comerica Park. Although there are seven games remaining in the club’s regular season schedule, Martinez said he felt he owed it to the fans to record his final at-bat at home. He’ll still cheer the rest of the team on from the dugout when they hit the road for their last six-game stretch on Monday, though he’s not expected to slot into the lineup at any point during their back-to-back away series against the Twins and Brewers.

In order to commemorate the occasion, the Tigers arranged a pregame ceremony to celebrate the veteran infielder’s seven years with the team, during which they presented him with Topps baseball cards, a recliner, a pair of boots, and a saddle, among other honors. Martinez also put in a special request to play first base, a position he hadn’t manned in over two years.

The 39-year-old didn’t waste a single minute of his final start in the majors. He deftly handled an inning-ending out in the top of the first, then laced a rare infield single to short in his first and final at-bat of the afternoon, beating the throw to first and advancing Nicholas Castellanos to second base in order to set up the Tigers’ first run: a two-out RBI single from Niko Goodrum that brought Castellanos home to score.

“I think that at-bat was the perfect at-bat to describe my career,” Martinez told reporters after the Tigers wrapped a 5-4 win over the Royals. “I had to sweat it out. I had to sweat it out the whole way. I had to grind it. That was my whole career.”

Following the hit — and the standing ovation that greeted it — the switch-hitter was promptly replaced by pinch-runner Ronny Rodriguez, who subbed in at second base in the top of the second while Goodrum shifted from second to first base. Taking Saturday’s performance into account, Martinez polished off his big league career with a lifetime .295/.360/.455 batting line, 423 doubles, 246 home runs, 1,178 RBI, and 28.4 fWAR across 1,973 games and three separate stints for the Indians, Red Sox, and Tigers. His accomplishments at the plate have been decorated with five All-Star nominations, two Silver Slugger Awards, and the designated hitter-exclusive Edgar Martinez Award following a career-best campaign in 2014.