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And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 7, White Sox 3: Michael Brantley went 3-for-4 and hit a solo homer while extending his hitting streak to 18 games and Mike Clevinger was stingy. The top three in the Indians lineup went 7-for-13 with five RBI and four runs scored. The bottom three in the order went 6-for-12 with three runs scored. I’d say that’s balance.

Nationals 3, Orioles 2: Bryce Harper and Mark Reynolds went deep and Jeremy Hellickson outdueled Dylan Bundy. If you can call giving up 11 hits, as Bundy did, “dueling.” How the Nats only scored three runs off that I have no idea, but I am not the sort of person who turns on an Orioles game by choice on a Tuesday night when I’m four episodes behind on “The Americans” and the series finale is a day away.

Yankees 6, Astros 5: Brett Gardner hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth — his second homer of the game — to force extras and then Gleyber Torres hit a walkoff RBI single — knocking in Miguel Andujar, who hit a two-out double — to give the Bombers the win. Nice bit of redemption for Torres who made two errors in the game. Despite those errors, though, there was a pretty spiffy, if lucky, defensive play for the Yankees. Check this out, from the top of the 10th:

In other news, the “what a wacky play, is that wacky or what?” commentary is . . . definitely something. So is the fact that Astros pitchers struck out 17 Yankees batters and the Yankees still friggin’ won.

Cubs 8, Pirates 6: The Pirates led 3-0 and 4-2 but Chicago scored five runs off of Pittsburgh relievers and sent the Buccos to their ninth loss in eleven games. Anthony Rizzo — booed like crazy due to that slide the other day — didn’t seem to be all too shaken by it, hitting a homer and doubling. There were a couple of HBPs in this one — Willson Contreras got plunked twice — and Pirates reliever Michael Feliz game in tight on Rizzo three times in the eighth inning, but everyone kept their cool.

Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 3: Catcher Sandy Leon homered, hit a couple of doubles and drove in three, Xander Bogaerts, and J.D. Martinez collectively matched him, with the former hitting a homer and the latter hitting two doubles. Neat. Rick Porcello was solid. The Red Sox have won eight of ten.

Angels 9, Tigers 2: The Angels’ six, seven and eight hitters — Luis Valbuena, Ian Kinsler and Martin Maldonado — each homered and each knocked in three runs. Valbuena homered twice, actually. The win was Mike Scioscia’s 1,600th as a manager. That moved him ahead of his old manager, Tommy Lasorda, for 20th on the career win list. My lord he has managed that team a long time. I was 26 freakin’ years old when Scioscia managed his first game with the Angels. Tim Belcher, Ken Hill and Ron Gant were on that team for Pete’s sake.

Braves 7, Mets 6: Third game in two days between these two, second won by the Braves in walkoff fashion. Here it was Johan Carmago doing the walkoff dinger duties, an inning after Ender Inciarte hit a two-run triple to tie the game at 6. The Mets led this one 4-0 at one point and 6-2 as late as the seventh inning, by the way. Mets starter Steven Matz left the game early with a sore finger. This hours after Noah Syndergaard was placed on the disabled list with a strained finger ligament. The Mets, if you are unaware, are cursed.

Cardinals 6, Brewers 1: A four-run second inning by St. Louis sealed this one up early. Matt Carpenter, Harrison Bader and Francisco Pena each homered — Pena had three hits on the night — and Michael Wacha tamed the Brewers’ bats with six and two-thirds innings of one-run ball.

Royals 2, Twins 1: Alcides Escobar — yes, Alcides Escobar — hit a walkoff homer in the bottom of the 14th. It was his first homer since mid-April. His postgame quote was fantastic: “Of all my home runs, this is the best one because this is my first walk-off homer.” He has all of 38 homers in 11 years. Don’t care, though: if I hit that I’d be talking up my power too.

Rockies 11, Giants 4: Giants starter Jeff Samardzija left after only one inning due to shoulder soreness. He was relieved by Dereck Rodriguez — son of Pudge Rodriguez — who was making his major league debut. He got knocked out too when a comebacker hit him in the shin. It was that kind of night for the Giants, for whom Coors Field has become a house of horrors lately. For the Rockies, David Dahl had a two-run homer, Trevor Story had an RBI triple and Nolan Arenado, Gerardo Parra and Ian Desmond each had an RBI doubles. Evan Longoria hit two solo homers in a losing cause.

Diamondbacks 5, Reds 2: The Diamondbacks only had four hits, but one of them was a two-run homer from Daniel Descalso. Ketel Marte hit an RBI double and two more runs scored via a sac fly and an error, respectively. Zack Godley limited the Reds to two runs over six and the pen shut ’em down. The Reds have lost 10 of 15. The AP game story referred to them as “the reeling Reds” but I assume that’s just implied upon any reference to the Reds now.

Rays 4, Athletics 3: C.J. Cron, Joey Wendle and Wilson Ramos went back-to-back-to-back in the third inning. Daniel Gossett was the victimized pitcher. Daniel Robertson also homered and Matt Duffy had three hits.

Rangers 9, Mariners 5: Tied at five heading into the ninth when Rougned Odor hit a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double followed directly by Ronald Guzman doubling in Odor. All four runs that inning were charged to Edwin Diaz who gave up a walk, a couple of singles and one of those doubles. Guzman went 4-for-4 with three RBI on the night as the M’s four-game winning streak came to an end.

Phillies 6, Dodgers 1: Jake Arrieta was outstanding, shutting out the Dodgers for seven innings, notching his fifth win and lowering his ERA to 2.16 on the year. Kenta Maeda left early due to a strained hip but the Phillies didn’t care who was in there, notching six runs and 12 hits on the night.

Padres 9, Marlins 5: Franmil Reyes hit a two-run homer, which I have to think puts him in the all-time lead in career homers for dudes named “Franmil.” Eric Hosmer had three hits. Announced attendance was 16.231 for this battle of last place teams. Without looking at video, I’m gonna guess many came disguised as empty seats.

Astros defend barring reporter from clubhouse

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As we wrote about this morning, last night the Houston Astros, at the request of Justin Verlander, barred Detroit Free Press reporter Anthony Fenech from the clubhouse during Verlander’s media availability following the Tigers-Astros game. After Verlander was done talking to the press in the scrum setting — and after a call was placed to Major League Baseball about the matter — Fenech was allowed in.

As we noted, this was done in violation of agreements to which Major League Baseball, the Houston Astros and the Baseball Writers Association of America are parties. The agreements are meant to ensure full access to BBWAA-accredited reporters as long as they have not violated the terms of their credentials.  In no case do the clubs — and certainly not the players — have the right to bar access to BBWAA-accredited reporters. Indeed, the whole point of the BBWAA is to ensure such access and to ensure that teams cannot bar them simply because they are unhappy with their coverage or what have you.

This morning Verlander tweeted, obliquely, about “unethical behavior” on the part of Fenech that led to his request to the Astros to bar him. As we noted at the time, such an allegation — however interesting it might be — is of no consequence to the admission or barring of a reporter. If Fenech has acted unethically it’s a matter between him and his employer and, potentially, between him and the BBWAA. At the very least, if Verlander has a specific concern, it would be incumbent upon him or the Astros to take the matter up with either the Free Press or the BBWAA.

In light of all of this, it’s hard to make a case for Verlander’s request and the Astros’ honoring it. A few moments ago, however, the Astros released as statement on the matter which, basically, says, “so what?”

Which is to say, the Astros have made a decades-long agreement between the BBWAA and MLB regarding reporter access optional, because a player does not like a reporter who is covering him.  Someone without the power to alter the BBWAA-MLB relationship has just done so unilaterally. And they have done so in such a way that any player, should they decide they don’t like a reporter, will now presumably rely on it as precedent. Finally, it should be noted that in issuing this statement, the Astros have given at least some tacit credence to Verlander’s thus far unsubstantiated and unspecified allegations of unethical behavior on the part of Fenech, which seems less-than-ideal at best.

It’s your move, Major League Baseball and BBWAA. Whatcha gonna do about it?