And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Reds 6, Braves 5Adam Duvall had a two-run single, Jose Peraza homered and scored twice and the Reds win again, taking their ninth in their last ten games. Most of those wins have been come-from-behind jobs. This has been the Reds’ best ten-game stretch in six years. Atlanta has lost five of seven.

Royals 5, Brewers 4: Mike Moustakas hit a solo homer in the seventh which kicked off a five-run rally and gave them all of the runs they’d need. I’d say more about it, but you know my heart. That’s, apparently, all you need to say to explain anything when it comes to the Royals.

Astros 7, Blue Jays 6: Toronto led 5-0 after the first half inning and led the rest of the entire game until Alex Bregman came to bat in the bottom of the ninth, Houston down by one, a man on first and one out. Jays reliever Ryan Tepera got Bregman to whiff on two straight fastballs but he did not miss on the third, smacking out off the wall above the Crawford Boxes in left to give the Astros a walkoff win. It was Bregman’s third straight game with a homer. His first since I accidentally called him “Lance Bregman” in yesterday’s recaps.

Mariners 8, Orioles 7: Kyle Seager hit a two-run homer in the ninth to force extras and Denard Span hit a sac fly in the 11th to give the M’s the lead and, eventually, the win. The M’s are now 7-0 in extra inning games and lead the majors with 25 one-run wins. The results of extra innings games and close games have a way of being rather random, and doing well in them vs. doing poorly in them by the luck of the draw can be the difference between a good season and a bad one. Not saying the M’s are simply lucky — luck is the residue of design and tends to visit the skilled more than the unskilled — but they are getting all the breaks in 2018.

Phillies 3, Yankees 0: Seven shutout innings — I can’t not make mention of pitchers doing that now — from Zach Eflin and a second inning three-run homer from Rhys Hoskins tell the whole story of the game. I mean, other stuff happened, but it was basically for naught. Eflin’s and Hoskins’ work is the brass tacks.

Red Sox 9, Angels 6: Boston put up six in the second inning thanks to a solo homer from Eduardo Nunez, a two-run shot from Sandy Leon and a three-run shot from J.D. Martinez. How very progressive of them. Martinez’s homer was his 25th, which leads all of baseball. Leon would add a late RBI single and Martinez would later score on a wild pitch. The Angels lost their fifth straight and 12th in 16 games. Even worse: Angels reliever Jake Jewell was taken off the field on a stretcher with a very ugly ankle injury sustained while covering the plate on that wild pitch. We’ll have more on that later this morning.

Athletics 3, Tigers 0: Chris Bassitt and two relievers combine to shut out Detroit. The A’s margin was wafer thin most of the game, with a fourth inning Jed Lowrie RBI double being the only scoring until the ninth, but then run-scoring doubles from Josh Phegley and Dustin Fowler provided some breathing room. Oakland will go for a four-game sweep this afternoon.

Pirates 5, Mets 3: New York led 3-0 heading into the eighth and still led 3-1 entering the top of the ninth, but the Buccos put together three singles and a walk off of Jeurys Familia, who did not record a single out for the first time in his carrer, and then got an RBI single and a sac fly off of Anthony Swarzak for a late game-winning rally. David Freese hit the go-ahead safety for Pittsburgh.

Diamondbacks 2, Marlins 1: Robbie Ray made his first start in over two months, allowing only two hits in six shutout innings. Now that he’s handled the Marlins, I suppose the Diamondbacks will end this rehab stint and let him face major leaguers.

Rangers 5, Padres 2: Mike Minor was perfect into the seventh inning and left after seven having given up only one hit and no runs. His manager pulled him after that despite having thrown only 85 pitches and, postgame, Minor was kind of annoyed, saying he’d like to get himself a complete game shutout at some point in his career. Guess no one told him that seven is the new nine. Anyway: Shin-Soo Choo reached base for the 40th straight game and Delino DeShields did this:

White Sox 6, Twins 1: James Shields pitched seven innings and shut the Twins out over that span. Kyle Gibson pitched seven innings and allowed five runs on eleven hits. Each man’s relief allowed one run. Advantage: Shields. Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia each hit a solo homer. Six White Sox hitters each had an RBI, in fact.

Indians 5, Cardinals 1: Guess St. Louis got all of its scoring out of its system on Tuesday because they couldn’t muster much of anything against Shane Bieber, who gave up only the one run over six. Cleveland got second inning solo homers from both Edwin Encarnacion and Lonnie Chisenhall and two more runs in the third. Bieber has given up just two runs in his last three starts and lowered his ERA to 2.22.

Dodgers 7, Cubs 2: L.A. jumped on Kyle Hendricks for six runs on eight hits in the first two innings, with homers from Max Muncy and Joc Pederson and a two-run double from Yasmani Grandal. The Cubs, who led 2-0 early, would close the gap to one run by the eighth but Cody Bellinger‘s eighth inning solo shot provided some insurance. Los Angeles has hit 51 homers in the month of June. With three games left this month, they have a shot to set a team record for homers in a month, which is currently 53, and have an outside shot at the all-time record for team homers in month with 58.

Giants 1, Rockies 0: Tied nil-nil — I really have been enjoying the World Cup — until the bottom of the ninth when Brandon Crawford hit a walkoff homer. That came after seven shutout innings from both Madison Bumgarner and Kyle Freeland.

Bonds, Clemens left out of Hall again; McGriff elected

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – Moments after Fred McGriff was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, almost two decades after his final game, he got the question.

Asked if Barry Bonds belonged in Cooperstown, a smiling McGriff responded: “Honestly, right now, I’m going to just enjoy this evening.”

A Hall of Fame committee delivered its answer Sunday, passing over Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling while handing McGriff the biggest honor of his impressive big league career.

The lanky first baseman, nicknamed the “Crime Dog,” hit .284 with 493 homers and 1,550 RBIs over 19 seasons with six major league teams. The five-time All-Star helped Atlanta win the 1995 World Series.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot in 2019. Now, he will be inducted into Cooperstown on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the writers’ vote, announced Jan. 24.

“It’s all good. It’s been well worth the wait,” said McGriff, who played his last big league game in 2004.

It was the first time that Bonds, Clemens and Schilling had faced a Hall committee since their 10th and final appearances on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. Bonds and Clemens have been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, and support for Schilling dropped after he made hateful remarks toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

While the 59-year-old McGriff received unanimous support from the 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee – comprised of Hall members, executives and writers – Schilling got seven votes, and Bonds and Clemens each received fewer than four.

The makeup of the committee likely will change over the years, but the vote was another indication that Bonds and Clemens might never make it to the Hall.

This year’s contemporary era panel included Greg Maddux, who played with McGriff on the Braves, along with Paul Beeston, who was an executive with Toronto when McGriff made his big league debut with the Blue Jays in 1986.

Another ex-Brave, Chipper Jones, was expected to be part of the committee, but he tested positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall.

The contemporary era committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A player needs 75% to be elected.

“It’s tough deciding on who to vote for and who not to vote for and so forth,” McGriff said. “So it’s a great honor to be unanimously voted in.”

In addition to all his big hits and memorable plays, one of McGriff’s enduring legacies is his connection to a baseball skills video from youth coach Tom Emanski. The slugger appeared in a commercial for the product that aired regularly during the late 1990s and early 2000s – wearing a blue Baseball World shirt and hat.

McGriff said he has never seen the video.

“Come Cooperstown, I’ve got to wear my blue hat,” a grinning McGriff said. “My Tom Emanski hat in Cooperstown. See that video is going to make a revival now, it’s going to come back.”

Hall of Famers Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also served on this year’s committee, which met in San Diego at baseball’s winter meetings.

Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Belle, Don Mattingly and Dale Murphy rounded out the eight-man ballot. Mattingly was next closest to election, with eight votes of 12 required. Murphy had six.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their final chances with the BBWAA. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.

Bonds has denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs, and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program.

A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) on the 2021 BBWAA ballot. The right-hander went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA in 20 seasons, winning the World Series with Arizona in 2001 and Boston in 2004 and 2007.

Theo Epstein, who also served on the contemporary era committee, was the GM in Boston when the Red Sox acquired Schilling in a trade with the Diamondbacks in November 2003.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.