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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 9, Royals 3: Francisco Lindor hit two homers — one of which was a grand slam — and drove in seven runs as the Indians won in a laugher. This a day after he hit two doubles and hit a homer in Oakland.

In other Indians news, my colleague Charean Williams over at ProFootballTalk posted a story yesterday quoting tweets from a bunch of Browns players in which they said that, with LeBron James leaving town, the Browns are now poised to take over the Cleveland sports scene. Third baseman Jose Ramirez scratched his head at that a bit:

The Browns are 1-31 over the past two seasons. The Indians won their division the past two seasons, are going to win it again this season and won the AL Pennant in 2016. I’ll grant that even a terrible Browns team will always, always get more press in Cleveland than the Indians will under almost any circumstance, but jeez, guys, maybe at least acknowledge that the Tribe leads their division by almost ten games before the All-Star break? Maybe at least acknowledge that they exist? Of course, given what I read this morning, everyone has totally lost perspective when it comes to anything related to the LeBron James business, so perhaps I’m asking too much.

Dodgers 17, Pirates 1: Well that was a good old fashioned butt whuppin’. Matt Kemp went 5-for-5 with a three-run homer. It was the second straight game in which he’s driven in four and has hits in eight straight at bats. He also scored four times. Yasiel Puig drove in four as well, doing so with one run driven in in four separate plate appearances. Cody Bellingers, Joc Pederson, Max Muncy added homers too. The Dodgers rattled off 21 hits and batted around in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Maybe the best part of it, though, was that Caleb Ferguson picked up a save in a 16-run game. It was a gift save, obviously, but it happened to be Ferguson’s birthday yesterday, so I suppose he was entitled to the gift.

Braves 5, Yankees 3: Ronald Acuna gave the Braves a one-run lead in the fourth inning with an RBI double, the Yankees tied it an inning later and it remained that way until the top of the 11th. Then Acuna came up again with a runner on and hit a go-ahead two-run shot off of David Roberton to give the Braves the game. After the game Robertson said that it really bugs him to give up homers to the short right field porch in Yankee Stadium:

“That short porch gets you in right field . . . I mean, it’s just, I don’t know. There’s no other word for it. It just sucks when that happens.”

Acuna’s homer went 361 feet. Robertson, notably, did not have an opinion about teammate Aaron Judge‘s homer to right which went only 340 feet. Funny that.

Tigers 3, Blue Jays 2: The Jays tied things up at two to force extras with a ninth-inning bases loaded walk but the Tigers took the lead and won the game in the 10th when Jose Iglesias hit a sac fly to bring in Niko Goodrum, who had tripled with one out just prior. Mike Fiers pitched eight innings of one-run ball for Detroit.

Red Sox 4, Nationals 3: Rick Porcello did it all. Well, almost all. He drove in three of the Sox’ four runs with a bases-loaded double off of Max Scherzer in the second and tossed six innings of two-run ball to get his 10th win on the year. Mookie Betts‘ seventh inning homer was insurance which, thanks to homers from Daniel Murphy, Anthony Rendon and Bryce Harper, was constituted a necessary policy. The Nationals have played 24 one-run games. They have lost 16 of them.

Reds 5, White Sox 3: The Reds were down 3-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth but they mounted a four-run rally via an Adam Duvall fielder’s choice, a Billy Hamilton sac fly and a two-run pinch-hit double from Alex Blandino. The rally — or at least most of it — was made possible by White Sox first baseman Matt Davidson fielding a one-out, bases-loaded grounder and then getting flummoxed between stepping on the bag for one out and throwing home for another or throwing home for a force first. He who hesitates is lost, Davidson hesitated and the White Sox lost.

Marlins 3, Rays 2: 6,000 souls were on hand at Marlins Park, thousands of would-be fans missed the home town boys win via a 10th inning walkoff infield single by Yadiel Rivera. All the folks who didn’t show up likewise missed J.T. Realmuto hitting a homer and singling in the 10th to move the eventual winning run to third base, setting up Rivera’s heroics. They’ve also missed Realmuto hitting .311/.366/.552 on the season. One suspects that, pretty soon, if they bother to show up, they’ll be missing Realmuto himself.

Brewers 6, Twins 5: The Brewers won thanks to a bases-loaded walk by Brad Miller — yes, a walkoff walk — in the bottom of the 10th. Four of the Brewers’ six runs scored on plays without hits. That walkoff walk, a sac fly, a fielder’s choice groundout and an error. Even that 10th inning rally was kicked off via a non-hit when the inning’s leadoff batter was hit by a pitch. Major League Baseball: feel the action.

Rockies 5, Giants 2: Kyle Freeland allowed two runs over seven and five Rockies runs in the seventh and eighth helped him to beat Madison Bumgarner and the Giants. A key, and rare, throwing error by shortstop Brandon Crawford is what put the Rockies ahead, but Bumgarner running out of gas and the Giants pen not bailing him out were bigger problems in the grand perspective.

Cardinals 6, Diamondbacks 3: Yadier Molina hit a two-run single in the Cards’ four-run first and later added a solo homer. Jedd Gyorko also had an RBI single in the first and later hit a homer. Meanwhile, Carlos Martinez allowed two over six and struck out seven. Paul Goldschmidt had four hits in the Dbacks’ loss.

The Nationals have inquired about Kris Bryant

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The Washington Nationals, fresh off signing Stephen Strasburg to a $245 million deal, are now turning their attention to their third base hole. Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that they have made inquiries to the Chicago Cubs about trading for Kris Bryant.

Emphasis on the word “inquiry” because it’d be premature for the Cubs to trade Bryant at the moment, even if they are reported to be considering the possibility.

Bryant and the Cubs are awaiting word from an arbitrator about Bryant’s years-old service time grievance. If Bryant wins, he becomes a free agent after the 2020 season. If the Cubs win they control him for two more years. The team may or may not choose to trade him in either case as they are reportedly trying to cut payroll, but the price for him will vary pretty significantly depending on whether or not the acquiring club will receive one or two years of control over the former MVP.

For Washington, this would be a means of replacing free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon. Or, perhaps, the inquiries are a means of creating a tad more leverage for the Nats as they talk to Rendon’s agent about re-signing him.

Which, in the past, the Nats said they could not do if they also re-signed Strasburg, though I suspect that’s just posturing too. They may not want to spend big money to keep their World Series core together, but they can afford it. They’re going to see, I suspect, an eight-figure uptick in revenue by virtue of being the defending World Series champs. They are poised to receive a significant payout as a result of recent rulings in their own multi-year dispute with the Orioles and the MASN network. They are, of course, owned by billionaire real estate moguls. All of that taken together means that, if they choose to, they can bring back Rendon. Assuming he chooses to come back too.

But, if that doesn’t happen, they appear to be giving themselves options at the hot corner.