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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores, here are the highlights:

Orioles 5, Yankees 4; Yankees 10, Orioles 2: CC Sabathia pitched five decent innings in this one. Unfortunately he was asked to pitch a sixth too, didn’t have anything and the O’s rallied for three off of him, with Danny Valencia‘s three-run homer knocking them all in. Mark Trumbo‘s two-run homer in the fourth accounted for the O’s other two runs in the first game. The nightcap was all New York, though, with the Yankees building a small lead into a big lead over the course of the game, taking an 8-0 lead by the eighth. Brett Gardner and Austin Romine each homered and drove in three. Nice redemption for Gardner who pinch hit in the ninth of the first game with a runner on third and failed to knock in the tying run.

Mets 4, Phillies 3; Phillies 3, Mets 1: Wilmer Flores hit a walkoff tenth inning homer in the first one. It also pushed him past David Wright for the most walkoff RBI in Mets’ history. He got a lucky break here too, in that he thought the pitch called ball three hit him, started walking to first base and even prompted a replay review of it. Good thing he was wrong. Game two featured Aaron Nola allowing one hit and striking out ten in seven shutout innings and driving in all three runs the Phillies would score in the game with a bases-loaded double in the fifth.

Pirates 6, Nationals 3: Gregory Polanco drove in four runs in the first two innings via a two-run double and a two-run homer. Pittsburgh scored all six of its runs in the first two innings in fact, as the Pirates sent Washington to their seventh defeat in their past ten games. Ten of their last fourteen too. An amusing thing happened here when the benches briefly cleared in the sixth inning. Adam Eaton was taking issue with a strike call with the home plate ump, stepping out of the box and taking forever to come back in. Pirates catcher Francisco Cervell walked away from the plate which angered Eaton for, as he said after the game, “making it a bigger deal than what it is” and “kind of isolate us” in the argument. I lost track of what you’re supposed to do and not supposed to in baseball a long time ago, but even when I tried to keep up I can’t say that I’ve heard someone get mad about this sort of thing. Whatever:

Red Sox 5, Rangers 0: Eduardo Rodriguez and four relievers combine to blank the Rangers. Steve Pearce hit a two-run shot in the first for Boston and J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer in the eighth to make their lead nice and cozy. Martinez is hitting .331/.394/.654 with 28 homers and 77 RBI. He leads the AL in the latter two categories and trails only teammate Mookie Betts (.344) and Jose Altuve (.337) in average. I don’t suspect he has the contact skills to catch those two guys, but it’s close enough to where it’s worth flying the Triple Crown Watch flags down at the lighthouse.

Reds 7, Indians 5: Cincinnati had a 7-1 lead heading into the ninth and ended up winning but there was a four-run Cleveland rally in the final frame which at least made it interesting. Anthony DeSclafani allowed one run over seven and Scott Schebler was 4-for-5 with a homer. The Reds and Indians’ interleague battle each year is a contest for The Ohio Cup, which goes to the series the winner. The loser is forced to keep Ohio.

Marlins 4, Brewers 3: Bryan Holaday hit a walkoff single in the bottom of the tenth to lead the Fish to victory. He also hit a sac fly in the fourth. Holaday was only in the game because J.T. Realmuto was at the hospital with his wife who was giving birth. Starlin Castro and Brian Anderson hit back-to-back homers in the seventh as the worst team in the N.L. beat the best team in the N.L. That happens in baseball and no one bats an eye, which is one of the many things I love about baseball.

Rays 10, Tigers 9: The Rays had a 5-0 lead after the first inning but this one was just getting started at that point, with Detroit clawing back as the game went on. They tied it with a four-run seventh, the Rays scored two more in the bottom half but then the Tigers tied it up in the eighth to force extras. In the tenth we got yet another extra innings walkoff hit — there were three in all yesterday — when Daniel Robertson singled in Kevin Kiermaeir, who led off the inning with a triple — to give Tampa Bay the win.

Twins 3, Royals 1: Jose Berrios allowed one run over seven but left the game poised to lose it thanks to Danny Duffy shutting out Minnesota for six innings. The Twins’ bats rallied for a couple of that inning to give him the W and added an insurance run in the eighth. Eduardo Escobar had three hits and drove in the go-ahead run. The Royals have lost ten games in a row.

Athletics 2, Astros 0: Gerrit Cole and Frankie Montas each tossed six shutout innings and Cole struck out 11, but then Stephen Piscotty happened. The A’s right fielder homered off of Brad Peacock in the seventh and then singled in a run off of Will Harris in the eighth on his 3-for-4 night. The Astros managed only five hits off of Oakland pitching all night.

Dodgers 8, Padres 2: Clayton Kershaw is looking more like Clayton Kershaw with each of his starts since coming off the disabled list. Here he was vintage Kershaw, shutting out San Diego on only two hits over six. Andrew Toles and Justin Turner each drove in a couple. Turner and Cody Bellinger each had three hits.

Giants 2, Cubs 1: Kyle Hendricks was fantastic, allowing only an unearned run in eight and a third innings of work. But check out the unearned run, which scored on an Hendricks’ errant pickoff throw to first and somehow allowed the baserunner, Alen Hanson, to come all the way around:

Maybe Hendricks should’ve thrown it better and maybe Anthony Rizzo — who was charged with the error — should’ve dug it out, but I’m mostly wondering if Javier Baez, who fielded it, was conserving his energy because he had a triathlon or something after the game. Oh well. This one went extras with Pablo Sandoval delivering the walkoff win with a bases-loaded single in the 11th.

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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