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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Nationals 14, Marlins 12: The Marlins jumped out to a 9-0 lead after four innings and a bunch of smart alecks tweeted things about where the Nationals are in the standings and the efficacy of that team-only meeting they had. Trea Turner decided enough was enough at that point, however, hit a solo homer, knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice, smacked a grand slam and later singled in two runs on his eight-RBI night to lead a massive comeback. That salami put the Nats on top 10-9 in the sixth, they’d add four more in the seventh and then hold on as the Marlins mounted a too-little, too-late comeback. Washington had dropped 17 of 22 but they own the Marlins, so it’s hard to put too much narrative weight on a single game. That said, if the Nats go on a run now and get back into the division race like a lot of people figured they eventually would, this game will feature pretty centrally in the tale-telling of the 2018 season.

Rangers 7, Tigers 5: The Rangers jumped out to a 7-0 lead and, unlike the Marlins, didn’t blow it. They tried — the Tigers mounted a five-run rally following a rain delay and had the potential winning run at the plate with no one out in the ninth inning, but Keone Kela locked it down. Joey Gallo hit a massive two-run homer that went behind the lower deck in right field at Comerica Park, which is not close. Ronald Guzman added a two-run shot of his own that did not go as far but which counted for just as much.

Brewers 7, Braves 2: Jhoulys Chacin started out a bit rocky, giving up two quick runs, but that’s all he or any other Brewer pitcher would allow. Hernan Perez homered and had three hits in all. Milwaukee has won four straight. Atlanta has dropped three straight.

Twins 5, Orioles 2: Twins starter Aaron Slegers allowed one run over six, Jake Cave doubled home a run and reached base all four times he came to the dish and Logan Morrison went deep. Jonathan Schoop hit two homers for Baltimore’s only offense. Baltimore has lost 10 of 11. My God, are they terrible.

Astros 4, White Sox 3: Down 3-2 in the ninth, George Springer hit an RBI single to tie things up and then Yuli Gurriel hit a walkoff RBI single to give Houston the comeback win. Springer had been in a bad slump leading up to that hit, so he used Jose Altuve‘s bat in an effort to change his luck. Springer:

“My bat wasn’t seeming to work, so I figured I would try somebody else’s bat so I went with the hit king. I went with 27.”

Attorneys for Pete Rose are drafting a cease and desist letter as we speak, strongly urging Springer t reconsider his use of the phrase “hit king” to refer to anyone else but Rose. He’s rather sensitive about that, you may recall.

Padres 6, Diamondbacks 3Wil Myers tripled, singled and drove in two, Carlos Asuaje reached base four times and knocked in a run, Austin Hedges homered and starter Eric Lauer was solid. The Dbacks have now dropped six of seven and fell percentage points behind the idle Dodgers for first place in the NL West with the loss.

Mariners 4, Angels 1: Check out Dee Gordon being ridiculous:

That came as the Angles had a couple men on and were trying to mount a rally in the eighth. There would be no rallies thanks in part to Gordon and, it should be noted, thanks in part to the Angels bats, which were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Marco Gonzalez allowed one run over six, Gordon also singled in a run and tripled in the seventh, going on to score the M’s fourth of the game. Seattle has won 10 of 12.

Cardinals 11, Giants 2: Luke Weaver pitched two-hit ball over eight innings. He actually had a perfect game heading into the sixth, in fact. Alen Hanson‘s two-run shot that frame would be all the runs he’d allow, however. Jedd Gyorko hit a three-run homer and doubled in a couple more on his five RBI night as the Cards cruised. Johnny Cueto made his return from the disabled list for the Giants. he was lit up for four runs in the first and five runs on ten hits in five innings in all.

Hinch, Luhnow, will be eligible in 2021 even if there are no games in 2020

A.J. Hinch (left) and Jeff Luhnow (right)
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You no doubt recall that former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and ex-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow were given the one-year bans and were subsequently fired in January due to the Astros sign-stealing scandal. It’s possible, however, that each of them could be back in baseball without having missed a single game.

That’s the report from Buster Olney of ESPN, who has learned that Hinch and Luhnow will become eligible in 2021 even if there are no games played in the 2020 season. The reason: Hinch and Luhnow’s suspensions are tied to “the end of the 2020 postseason.” In contrast, players who are suspended for PED offenses for violations of the league’s domestic violence policies are suspended for a set number of games. Their suspensions will not begin until games begin and, if the number of games in the 2020 season ends up being fewer than the number of games in their suspension, it will carry over to 2021.

It would not shock me a bit if another team hired Hinch at some point down the road. And, despite the league’s finding that Luhnow fostered a “toxic” environment in the Astros’ front office, I would not be at all surprised if he were hired as some sort of advisor down the road and, potentially, found himself running a team again. His tenure in Houston was discovered to be objectively awful from an ethical perspective, but (a) he won; and (b) he cut costs, and those are the two biggest priorities for most teams. Not necessarily in that order.