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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

White Sox 5, Red Sox 2: Sox win! Reynaldo Lopez outpitched Rick Porcello, allowing two runs, one earned, in six and a third, Jose Abreu doubled in a run, Chicago scratched across a couple of more and then Daniel Palka doubled home two insurance runs in the ninth. Baseball is not a sport in which you can call any regular season outcome an “upset” but I’m not guessing too many folks figure the White Sox would take two of three from Boston.

Blue Jays 13, Orioles 3: Curtis Granderson was a wrecking crew, driving in six with a three-run homer, a two-run double and then doubling in one more later. In all the Jays racked up Alex Cobb for nine runs on 11 hits. The Orioles have lost four straight and 11 of 13. They’re the worst team in the majors. Time to trade off everything with a pulse and start over.

Indians 9, Tigers 2: Corey Kluber allowed two runs on five hits in eight innings and, once again, didn’t walk a batter as he picked up his 10th win on the year. Kluber has faced 168 consecutive batters without issuing a walk, which is the third-longest streak of its kind over the last five years. He’s 10-2 with a 1.99 ERA and a 103/10 K/BB ratio in 99.2 innings. Melky Cabrera and Erik Gonzalez each drove in three runs for Cleveland and Yan Gomes went deep.

Reds 6, Cardinals 3Billy Hamilton tripled and scored twice and put on a defensive clinic as well:

The Cards helped things along by walking 11 Reds batters. Cincinnati had lost 13 in a row to St. Louis before this one, so hopefully they cracked some champagne.

Padres 3, Marlins 1: Clayton Richard took a no-hitter into the seventh and allowed one run on two hits over those seven. Eric Hosmer hit a two-run homer. The game took a cool two hours and twenty-four minutes.

Mariners 5, Rays 4: Seattle wins with a walkoff 9-2 putout? Sure, that’s a thing. I just invented it. Mitch Haniger helped:

That was a terrible send of runner Johnny Field by the Rays’ third base coach, Matt Quatraro. Maybe he thought his name was Johnny Run. I don’t know. It’s not like the Rays had to get on a plane and go someplace yesterday. They’re at home tonight. Maybe Quatraro had friends coming over for a cookout.

Phillies 4, Brewers 3Zach Eflin struck out nine over six innings to help Philly snap a four-game skid. Rhys Hoskins drove in two as the Phillies only had four hits in all but scratched one out anyway. Milwaukee left the tying run at third in each of the final two innings, grounding out weakly each time to end the threats.

Twins 7, Angels 5: Jake Cave homered and had three hits in all. One of his hits was a double over the head of Mike Trout. After the game Cave said “I know I’m probably not allowed to say this, but he’s probably my favorite player.” Cave is less than a year and a half younger than Trout, so that’s sort of weird, but I guess adults can have favorite players too. Albert Pujols had three RBI, which allowed him to pass Stan Musial for sixth-most in baseball history with 1,954.

Pirates 7, Cubs 1Josh Harrison hit a leadoff home run, Gregory Polanco hit a bases-loaded triple and Ivan Nova came back after a two-week absence to notch his first win since mid-April. It was the Cubs first loss in five games. They now head to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers, who they trail by a half game in the Central.

Astros 8, Rangers 7: Houston had a 6-0 lead after two, blew it by the fifth, took the lead again in the seventh and lost it by the eighth and then went ahead for good on a ninth inning balk of all things. Weird thing about the balk: the umpires didn’t call it immediately. The pitch actually took place, A.J. Hinch came out to argue the balk, the umps conferred and then the balk was called. Thing is: it was totally a balk, so how mad can you get?

Astros sweep the Rangers in the four-game series.

Diamondbacks 8, Rockies 3: What gives? Paul Goldschmidt didn’t hit two homers. I had come to expect, based on recent past performance, that Paul Goldschmidt would hit two homers. I want my money back. He did double, triple and drive in two, though, so I guess we’ll let it slide. Goldschmidt was 8-for-13 with four home runs and nine RBI in the three-game sweep. Arizona scored 29 runs in those three games.

Athletics 3, Royals 2: Marcus Semien nailed a would-be go-ahead run in the top of the eighth with a nice throw and then Matt Chapman hit a an actually-was go-ahead run homer in the bottom half to give Oakland the win. The Royals have lost seven of eight.

Dodgers 7, Braves 2: First stinker Sean Newcomb has thrown in a while (5.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER), but it happens. His counterpart, Ross Stripling, did not have any problems, however (6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 6K). Max Muncy homered for the third straight game and took a bases loaded walk and Kiké Hernandez and Logan Forsythe each drove in two themselves. The Dodgers have won seven of nine.

Giants 2, Nationals 0: Max Scherzer got beat. Weird. He pitched OK, allowing two over seven innings with nine strikeouts, but Derek Holland shut the Nats out for five and four relievers each tossed a shutout inning to finish the job. Those two runs Scherzer allowed both came on a Brandon Crawford two-run homer. Stuff happens. Not that it was luck: Crawford was 4-for-4 on the day. He was just feeling good. He’s been feeling good a lot this year. He’s hitting .338 on the season.

Mets 2, Yankees 0: The Mets do what no other team has done this year and shut out the Yankees. Seth Lugo handled the first six innings and Robert Gsellman and Anthony Swarzak finished it off. Todd Frazier‘s two-run homer in the eighth was all the scoring in the game. Sort of a carbon copy of the Giants-Nats game, eh?

Report: Astros’ assistant GM yelled ‘Thank God we got Osuna!’ at female reporters

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Last year, then-closer for the Blue Jays Roberto Osuna was arrested in Toronto on an assault charge. He allegedly assaulted the mother of his then three-year-old son. The charge was eventually withdrawn in exchange for a peace bond, but Major League Baseball still suspended Osuna for 75 games without pay.

Due to the off-the-field ugliness, the Astros were able to acquire Osuna on the relative cheap, sending Ken Giles, David Paulino, and Hector Perez to the Blue Jays. Osuna has been mostly great for the Astros since the trade, finishing the 2018 season with 12 saves, a 1.99 ERA, and a 19/3 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings in his new uniform. This year, Osuna racked up an American League-high 38 saves with a 2.63 ERA and a 73/12 K/BB ratio in 65 innings.

With the Astros holding a 4-2 lead in the top of the ninth in ALCS Game 6 against the Yankees, manager A.J. Hinch called on Osuna to get the final three outs to send his team to the World Series. He ended up allowing a leadoff single to Gio Urshela, then a game-tying two-run home run to DJ LeMahieu. Nevertheless, the Astros won it in the bottom of the ninth thanks to José Altuve’s walk-off two-run homer off of Aroldis Chapman.

In the postgame celebration, Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated reports that Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman yelled towards a group of three female reporters, “Thank god we got Osuna! I’m so … glad we got Osuna!” Taubman repeated the phrase half a dozen times. One of the reporters was wearing a purple domestic violence awareness bracelet.

The Astros declined to comment on the issue and did not make Taubman available for an interview. That shouldn’t come as a shock because the Astros have organizationally failed repeatedly to meaningfully address Osuna’s behavior. GM Jeff Luhnow released a poorly thought out statement last July about Osuna, claiming that the Astros’ due diligence was “unprecedented,” and citing that Osuna is “remorseful” and “willingly complied with all consequences,” despite pleading not guilty and not having had his day in court yet, thus no consequences. The Astros released another statement in August defending their belief that “Roberto deserved a second chance.”

Later that month, Osuna went after his critics, saying, “Everybody is judging me for things they don’t know. I don’t like that.” In the postseason, teammate Ryan Pressly defended Osuna from a heckler, telling the fan, “You can talk all the sh– you want. Just don’t bring that stuff up.”

The Astros also kicked out a fan who protested Osuna’s presence by holding up a sign displaying a domestic violence hotline number. After receiving plenty of criticism for that, the Astros decided to display flyers, featuring the National Domestic Violence Hotline number, in women’s restrooms at Minute Maid Park.

Taubman’s behavior is not the first strike for the Astros on this issue. Acquiring Osuna was strike one. Luhnow’s statement and the club’s subsequent statement were strikes two and three. Osuna’s backlash was strike four, Pressly’s defense of him was strike five, and the whole issue over the DV hotline sign was strike six. The Astros are in danger of having the side strike out on this issue.

It’s also worth mentioning that Luhnow worked for McKinsey and Company, a management consulting firm, before getting into baseball. McKinsey has been consulting for the Astros since 2017, The Athletic’s Evan Drellich reported in July. McKinsey has, ahem, a checkered past.

The Astros have clearly and intentionally thrown ethics to the side in order to run a baseball-related business. That they have repeatedly mishandled a very serious domestic violence issue within the sport shouldn’t come as a surprise, and it shouldn’t be surprising that the Astros are hoping the issue goes away with the World Series set to begin on Tuesday.

Update: The Astros released a statement. Via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle:

The story posted by Sports Illustrated is misleading and completely irresponsible. An Astros player was being asked questions about a difficult outing. Our executive was supporting the player during a difficult time. His comments had everything to do about the game situation that just occurred and nothing else — they were also not directed towards any specific reporters. We are extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated’s attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist.

The Astros had an initial chance to respond to the story before publication and didn’t take Sports Illustrated up on it. They also didn’t deny that Taubman said what was reported. They’re disputing the context and the intended audience, but that doesn’t really make them look that much better. Perhaps an organization with a less spotty history would get the benefit of the doubt, the Astros certainly haven’t earned it.

Furthemore, Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle and Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports both confirmed Apstein’s report. Atkins tweeted, “The Astros called this @stephapstein report misleading. It is not. I was there. Saw it. And I should’ve said something sooner.”