And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Hi folks. I’ll be bugging out for the day after the recaps are up and Bill and Ashley will be covering for me. The reason: I’m going on a special little baseball trip to my old home among the hills, Southern West Virginia, for a couple of Appalachian League games and a Prospect League game over the next three evenings. Tonight It’ll be Princeton, for a Princeton Rays game, tomorrow night Beckley to see the West Virginia Miners and on Sunday I’ll be in Bluefield to check out the Blue Jays’ class-A club in action.

As I’m taking in the action I’ll be guest posting on the Visit Southern West Virginia Instagram account with some photos and some live/video stuff. Give it a follow if you want to see me in my rare non-snarky, non-commie mode. I swear that mode exists, especially when I can help let people know just how darn beautiful and fun it is go visit my old stamping grounds.

Until then, here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Diamondbacks 4, Marlins 0: Zack Greinke kicks off the last day in “Seven Shutout Innings Week” with . . . seven shutout innings. He also went 2-for-3 with an RBI and scored a run. Dude stole a base, too. As I’ve always said: pitchers hitting is the best and we should always, always, make sure pitchers continue to hit.

Athletics 4, Tigers 2: The A’s very much enjoyed their trip to the Motor City, sweeping the Tigers in four games. Jed Lowrie particularly enjoyed it, going 9-for-17 with two homers and three doubles while driving in at least one run in all four games. The Tigers aren’t enjoying much of anything lately, losing their ninth straight game. They’ve played way better this year than most folks thought — a lot of people figured they’d lose 100 games — but the dog days will soon be upon us, and that’s often the time that over-achieving cease to be just that.

Twins 2, White Sox 1: Fernando Rodney walked in a dang run in the bottom of the ninth to help the White Sox force extras but then Hector Santiago walked in a dang run in the top of the 13th to help the Twins take the lead and the ballgame. Seems like there’s been a lotta dang guys walking in a lotta dang runs lately.

Mariners 4, Orioles 2: The M’s sweep the O’s N four games. P cool, A?

Cubs 11, Dodgers 5: If you had told me at any point in the past decade or so that Clayton Kershaw would allow one run in a start, that the Dodgers would score five but that the opposing team would win, I’d be inclined to disbelieve you. But that’s what happened here, primarily because Kershaw only pitched five innings and the bullpen — specifically Walker Buehler and Erik Goeddel — decided it was better to pour kerosene on the deck and drop cigarettes than to supply some decent relief pitching. Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run double and Addison Russell hit a two-run homer during the Cubs’ seven-run seventh inning and, though I didn’t watch it, there were probably a lot of shots of Kershaw on the bench in the dugout, doing that hat-off, forearms on his legs, looking kind of dumbfounded thing he tends to give whenever he’s watching a lead slip away and is unable to do anything about it. In other news, Buehler had been a starter, but after a month on the DL the Dodgers decided that, in lieu of a rehab start, they’d let him come out of the bullpen. Guess that didn’t work.

Rockies 9, Giants 8: Big day for DJ LeMahieu. he had a career-high five RBI and hit a two-run homer in the ninth that put the Rockies in the lead and ended up winning the game. Nolan Arenado homered too, tying him with Bryce Harper for the N.L. lead at 19. The Rockies snapped a four-game losing streak.

Red Sox 4, Angels 2Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run homer and Rafael Devers had a solo shot. That was the last of six games these two teams will play this year. The Red Sox won all six of ’em, outscoring the Angels 49-12. The Red Sox have won four in a row and six of seven. They now head to New York to open three-game series with the Yankees.

Phillies 4, Nationals 3: Aaron Nola allowed one run while pitching into the eighth and Rhys Hoskins hit a two-run shot in the seventh inning to give the Phillies their final two and, ultimately, deciding runs. Philly is two behind the Braves and the Nats are four back in the East.

Brewers 6, Reds 4: Eric Thames has destroyed the Reds since coming back to the United States to play and he kept that up last night, hitting a three-run homer. Jesus Aguilar hit a two-run homer. He also had a lovely moment in the benches-clearing incident spurred by Joey Votto and Brewers catcher Erik Kratz jawing at each other. Watch for Aguilar putting his arm around Reds infielder Alex Blandino when everyone gathers around and THEN he stops the Reds relievers from joining the scrum, not out of malice, but because “hey, man, we’re all just trying to calm down here.”

Feel the love triumph over hate.

Astros 1, Rays 0: And Lance McCullers ends the last day of “Seven Shutout Innings Week” with, yep, you guessed it, seven shutout innings. The pen handled the last two and Jake Marisnick’s solo homer in the fifth was all the offense there was.

Have a nice weekend, everyone.

Phillies select active duty Navy aviator in MLB Rule 5 draft

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SAN DIEGO — The Philadelphia Phillies took U.S. Navy aviator Noah Song in the Rule 5 draft Wednesday, hoping the former top pitching prospect can still be effective once he completes his military service.

There is no definitive date on when the 25-year-old Song might be able to join the Phillies.

Song was picked from the Boston Red Sox system in the draft for unprotected minor league players. Philadelphia put him on the military list while he continues his active duty and he won’t count on the 40-man roster, the pool from which major league teams can select players for the 26-man active roster.

Song impressed in his only pro season, making seven starts for Boston’s Class A Lowell affiliate in 2019, with a 1.06 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 17 innings. With a fastball clocked in the upper 90s mph, the right-hander dominated that year as a senior at the U.S. Naval Academy, going 11-1 with a 1.44 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 94 innings.

The Red Sox drafted Song in the fourth round – he likely would’ve gone much higher, but his impending military service caused teams to back off.

In November 2019, Defense Secretary Mark Esper signed a memo clearing the way for athletes at the nation’s military academies to delay their service commitments and play pro sports after graduation. Song’s request to have those new rules retroactively applied to his case was denied.

Song began school as a flight officer in the summer of 2020 and finished that phase last April. He started additional aviation training in May.

Song was among the 15 players, including three Boston pitchers, taken in the big league phase of the Rule 5 draft, which wasn’t held last year because of the MLB lockout.

Washington took righty Thad Ward from Boston’s Triple-A roster with the first pick. Baltimore took Red Sox minor league pitcher Andrew Politi with the ninth choice and the Phillies chose Song with the 11th selection.

Teams pay $100,000 to take players in the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft. The players must stay on the big league roster next season or go on waivers and, if unclaimed, be offered back to their original organization for $50,000.