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And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights


Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Orioles 6, Yankees 5: The trade talk may be annoying Manny Machado, but it’s certainly not affecting his production. The O’s shortstop hit two homers last night, going 3-for-4 with three RBI to lead Baltimore over New York. The Orioles have won 26 games this year but five have come against the Yankees.

Nationals 5, Pirates 1: Jeremy Hellickson threw five shutout innings and the Nats scored two in the fifth and three in the sixth — two off of an Anthony Rendon homer and two off of bases-loaded walks — to beat Joe Musgrove and the Buccos.

Red Sox 8, Rangers 4: A five-run third inning was powered by the Red Sox’ killer B’s — Bradley, Benintendi and Bogaerts — who hit RBI doubles and an RBI triple, respectively. Mitch Moreland singled in a run that frame as well. Moreland, Bradley and Benintendi would later knock in runs six, seven and eight later in the game, again, respectively. That’s eight wins in a row for the Bosox.

Reds 7, Indians 4: I wrote about this last night but, boy howdy, that was some ninth inning, eh? Trevor Bauer dominated Cincinnati with 12 strikeouts over eight scoreless innings but the Reds scored seven off Cody Allen and Dan Otero — which should’ve been Oliver Perez, Terry Francona said after the game, but the bullpen coach got the wrong guy up — with Joey Votto‘s bases-loaded double knocking in the go-ahead runs. The Reds started the season so miserably and dug themselves too deep a hole to climb out of, but they’re downright frisky these days.

Astros 6, Athletics 5: Crazy game. Justin Verlander shut the A’s out for six innings, two relievers extended that shutout through eight, and Houston got two homers from Alex Bregman to help stake him to a 4-0 lead. But, just as was the case with Trevor Bauer and the Indians, you gotta go nine. Oakland rallied for four runs in the final frame and that sent the game to extras and then took the lead on a Stephen Piscotty homer in the top of the 11th. Victory was three outs away! In the bottom half, however, the the Astros tied it on a fielder’s choice, which featured a close slide and a missed tag by A’s catcher Jonathan Lucroy, allowing Josh Reddick to leap back to the plate and smack it. Then, with Kyle Tucker on second base, Alex Bregman hit a little dribbler in front of the plate. The thing went a total of five feet up the first base line, in fact. Lucroy grabbed it and tried to tag Bregman, who had stopped, missed, and Bregman leaped past and started down to first. He should’ve been dead to rights out at first but when Lucroy threw to first base the ball glanced off of Bregman’s helmet, allowing Tucker to come all the way around from second to score the walkoff run. Check out the entire sequence:

Phillies 7, Mets 3: Enyel De Los Santos — who the Phillies got from the Padres in the Freddy Galvis deal — made his big league debut, holding the Mets to one run over six and then tiring a bit and allowing two more in the seventh. He looked good, though. Also looking good Maikel Franco knocking in four runs, including a three-run homer. Not looking good: Rhy Hoskins, who crashed violently, face-first, into the outfield wall while chasing a ball in the third. Kind of scary given that Hoskins broke his jaw in May, but he stayed in the game and afterward said he was alright.

Brewers 8, Marlins 4: Christian Yellich wanted the heck out of Miami after they started tearing things down last offseason but he was pretty happy to be there last night as an opposing player. Yellich had three hits and a season-high four RBI against his old mates and his new mates, Travis Shaw and Tyler Saladino each had two RBI.

Rays 5, Tigers 2: Tampa Bay scored all five of their runs in the third innings thanks to RBI singles from Willy Adames and Kevin Kiermaier and a three-run homer from Wilson Ramos. They did the bullpen game thing too, collectively allowing two runs on five hits. There was a lot of skeptical talk about their pitching approach this year — and a lot of jokes — but the Rays have the seventh best team ERA overall in all of baseball this year, the third best batting average against, the second best OPS against, the second best slugging against, the third best OBP against, have the third best WHIP,  have given up the fourth fewest homers and are in the top half of the league in walks issued.

Blue Jays 6, Braves 2: Marcus Stroman was sharp, allowing one run over seven and then sat back and watched his mates score five runs in the eighth to seal the deal. Russell Martin singled in the go-ahead run and Kevin Pillar singled in what turned out, eventually, to be the winning run. The Braves’ skid continues — they’ve now lost six of seven and have fallen out of first place in the NL East for the first time since June 10.

Cardinals 14, White Sox 2: Dexter Fowler hit a grand slam — no word if the Cardinals brass thought he lollygagged his home run trot — Kolten Wong had a two-run homer and a double and Jose Martinez had three hits and two RBI as the Cardinals romped. Every St. Louis starter except catcher Yadier Molina got at least one hit and starter Miles Mikolas tossed six innings of three-hit ball.

Royals 9, Twins 4: The Royals break their ten-game losing streak by scoring more than five runs for the first time in over a month. Adalberto Mondesi had a three-run homer and four RBI in all. It wasn’t all good news for Kansas City, though, as Ian Kennedy made his first start since coming off the disabled list with a strained left oblique but lasted only three innings before leaving due to left side tightness. Welp.

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 3David Peralta and A.J. Pollock homered in Arizona’s four-run seventh inning to give the Snakes a come-from-behind win. Nick Ahmed also went deep. The Diamondbacks have won nine straight games at Coors Field.

Cubs 2, Giants 0: Jose Quintana shut San Francisco out for six innings, allowing only three hits and then then pen was perfect for the final three. Derek Holland pitched well for the Giants — allowing only one run in six and a third — but Chicago pushed two across in the seventh via a wild pitch/throwing error and a Victor Caratini RBI double.

Angels 9, Mariners 3: Good news: Kole Calhoun and Andrelton Simmons each had three hits and two RBI — and Calhoun and Albert Pujols homered — as the Angels rattled off 15 in all in an easy win. Bad news: Angels starter Garrett Richards left in the third inning due to what was called irritation in his right forearm, accompanied by about a four m.p.h. dropoff in his fastball velocity, which is not good. The Angels have had more than their fair share of injuries this year. Heck, they’ve had more than three teams’ share.

Padres 4, Dodgers 1: Padres rookie starter Eric Lauer came one out short of a complete game, leaving after allowing a Max Muncy homer in the ninth, but that was a mere blemish on an excellent start (8.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 8K). Homers by Austin Hedges and Wil Myers in the fifth gave him the cushion he needed.

The Astros continue to refuse to take responsibility for the Taubman Affair

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I’m calling it the “Taubman Affair” because writing “the incident in which a top front office executive — Astros Assistant General Manager Brandon Taubman — taunted a reporter for her past opposition to the team acquiring a domestic abuser, after which the team lied, aggressively about it, accusing another reporter of fabricating a story, then admitted that they lied but made no apology for smearing the reporter” is too unwieldy for a headline.

If you need catching up on it, though, you can read this, this or this.

The latest on it all: yesterday, after walking back their angry denial that the incident ever occurred and admitting that, yes, Taubman did in fact gleefully and profanely target a reporter for taunting, the team basically went silent and let Game 1 unfold.

Today General Manager Jeff Luhnow went on a team-friendly radio station (i.e. the station that broadcasts Astros games). In the entire segment he was asked only one question about it: “Your thoughts on the SI article, Jeff.” Luhnow said that he would withhold comment, but apologized to “everybody involved,” including the fans and the players, saying “this situation should have never happened.” You can listen to the entire segment here.

He did not, however, make any specific mention of what “this situation” was. Nor did he acknowledge that, actually, it’s at least two “situations:” (1) the initial behavior of Taubman; and (2) Monday night’s team-sanctioned attack of Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein, who reported it. Indeed, at no time in the team’s now multiple comments has anyone acknowledged that, as an organization, the Houston Astros’s first impulse in all of this was to attempt to bully and discredit a reporter for what has now been established as a truthful report to which the Astros have admitted. And they certainly have not voiced any specific regret or offered any form of accountability for it.

Major League Baseball is apparently investigating Taubman’s conduct. But it is not, presumably, investigating the Astros’ disingenuous smear of Apstein. A smear that the Astros likely undertook because they figured they could intimidate Apstein and, what may even be worse, because they assumed that the rest of the press — many of whom were witnesses to Taubman’s act — would go along or remain silent. If they did not think that, of course, releasing the statement they did would’ve been nonsensical. It speaks of an organization that believes it can either bully or manipulate the media into doing its bidding or covering for the teams’ transgressions. That part of this has gone wholly uncommented on by the Astros and apparently will for the foreseeable future. No matter how this shakes out for Taubman, if the Astros do not talk about how and why they decided to baselessly attack Apstein on Monday night, nothing they ever say should be trusted again.

More broadly, everything the Astros are doing now is the same as when they traded for Roberto Osuna in the first place.

In 2018 they wanted to do an unpopular thing — arbitrage a player’s domestic violence suspension into the acquisition of cheap relief help — while wanting to appear as though they were good actors who had a “zero tolerance for domestic violence” policy. To solve that problem they shoveled a lot of malarkey about how “zero tolerance” actually includes a fair amount of tolerance and hoped that everyone would go along. When not everyone did — when fans brought signs of protest to the ballpark or expressed their displeasure with Osuna’s presence on the roster — they confiscated them then hoped it’d all blow over and, eventually, via Taubman’s rant on Saturday night, lashed out at their critics.

Here, again, they want to do something unpopular: retain a boorish and insensitive executive in Taubman without him or the team suffering any consequences for it, be they actual consequences or mere P.R. fallout. Again, it’s kind of hard to pull that off, so to do so they falsely accused a reporter of lying and then circled the wagons when they caught heat for it.

I have no idea how long they plan to keep this up. Maybe they are calculating that people will forget and that forgetting is the same as forgiveness. Maybe they simply don’t care. All I do know is that folks will be teaching the Astros’ response to all of this as a counterexample in crisis management courses for years.