Associated Press

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights


Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 3, Twins 0: Nathan Eovaldi did not disappoint in his Red Sox debut, tossing seven shutout innings, allowing four hits, striking out five and not walking a batter. J.D. Martinez supplied all the offense as he doubled in two runs in the second and singled in a third in the fourth. Boston takes three of four from Minnesota.

Orioles 11, Rays 5: Chris Davis has had a horrendous year but he hit two dingers and drove in four yesterday. Austin Wynns and Jonathan Schoop also hit homers, with Schoop driving in three as the O’s take three of four from the Rays. Speaking of series, the AP gamer I read had this line in it: “Baltimore took three of four from the Rays to improve to 8-24-3 in series play.” It took me a minute to process that, because even though we often make reference to teams winning a series or things like “the Mudville Nine have won nine of their 11 past series” or “have dropped six straight series,” we generally do not keep a running count of a teams “series record.” You can’t easily find that sort of thing on most standings boards either. It sounds really soccer-y, doesn’t it? I wonder if the AP assigned a soccer guy to do its gamer yesterday.

Yankees 6, Royals 3: The Yankees’ new starter, J.A. Happ, looked pretty good in his team debut as well, allowing one run on three hits over six innings to pick up the win. Aaron Hicks hit a two-run homer early and the Bombers never trailed. While it’s not as exciting because the Royals are having a miserable season, Brett Phillips made his debut for his new team. He did this:

It looks like his eyes were closed too. That’s some Les Nessman playing softball for WKRP while flashing back to his childhood violin lessons stuff.

Wait, what? Moving on . . .

Indians 8, Tigers 1: Corey Kluber has been struggling lately but he looked just dandy in Detroit yesterday, allowing one run while pitching into the eighth. He was backed by homers from Yonder AlonsoMelky Cabrera and Edwin EncarnacionRajai Davis added a triple and two doubles. The Indians have a nine-game lead in the Central.

Reds 4, Phillies 0: Luis Castillo shut the Phillies out over seven, striking out nine and allowing four hits while Scooter Gennett‘s two-run homer provided half the Reds’ runs. The Reds take three of four from the Phillies.

Marlins 5, Nationals 0: Jose Urena is one of those guys who looks bad a lot but when he looks good looks really good. Here he was really good, shutting out the Nats through six with the pen finishing the job. He also singled in the Marlins’ first run of the game. Martin Prado knocked in a couple to help Miami earn the series split from Washington. Now the big question: it was reported last week that the Nats could become sellers based on the outcome of this series. They’ve been hovering around .500 and not making headway. They had a .500 series and have picked up only one game on Philly over the past several days. If they don’t sell, what did they see in the past few days, exactly, which gave them confidence?

Braves 4, Dodgers 1: As you probably know by now, Sean Newcomb came one out away from a no-hitter, with Chris Taylor breaking it up. You’ve probably also read that this was not the end of the news involving Newcomb yesterday. Heck, it wasn’t even the end of news about ballplayers’ crappy old tweets surfacing yesterday, about which we’ll have more later this morning. What a day. Anyway, Nick Markakis drove in three of the Braves’ four runs, hitting a homer in the process. Markakis, by the way, has a reputation for being taciturn and about as unexcitable of a player you’ll ever come across. If you asked Nick Markakis about old tweets he’d likely, truthfully say “what’s a tweet?” Let’s check, shall we?


Mets 1, Pirates 0: Zack Wheeler did it all for New York, tossing six shutout innings and knocking in the game’s only run with an RBI double in the fifth. Austin Jackson made his first start as a Met, going 2-for-3 with a walk. The Mets and Buccos split the series.

Blue Jays 7, White Sox 4: A five-run ninth from the Blue Jays stuns the White Sox. Teoscar Hernandez homered to lead off the innings, new Jay Brandon Drury knocked in the go-ahead runs with a two-run double and Luke Maile hit an RBI double as well. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was a part of that rally too, hitting an RBI single in the eighth inning and another RBI single in the ninth, but he hurt himself trying to stretch to second base on that play and had to be helped off the field. It looked terrible, but afterward he was revealed to “only” have a sprained left ankle and a bruised left knee. He’ll have an MRI today to make sure there is no more damage, but regardless, it’s a shame given how good Gurriel has been since his debut. The Jays took two of three from Chicago.

Rangers 4, Astros 3: Texas looked like garbage vs. the A’s last week and then they come in to Houston and sweep the Astros in three. Baseball, man. Astros manager A.J. Hinch:

“I don’t really want to talk about it . . . we’re getting beat up. I think we need to get to the next series. We have some things to address. We are not working as perfectly as we normally do.”

That’s like what Commander Data says after he experiences anomalies in his positronic net on “Star Trek: TNG” episodes. Which, sure, I suppose the Astros are closest thing to that sort of machine in baseball, so I guess it’s appropriate.

Rockies 3, Athletics 2: Tom Murphy hit a two-run shot and Ryan McMahon hit an RBI double to give Colorado a 3-0 lead after three and German Marquez limited the damage to a pair of solo homers from Matt Chapman and Khris Davis while pitching into the eighth inning to give the Rockies a three-game sweep over the A’s in Oakland. That snaps the A’s six-game winning streak and keeps the Rockies, who have the NL’s best record over the past two weeks, on a roll.

Mariners 8, Angels 5: A seven-run top of the first from Seattle off of Angels’ starter Felix Pena ended this one before it began and Marco Gonzalez limited Anaheim to two runs on seven hits over the first six innings. Mike Zunino led the M’s with three RBI, hitting a two-run double in that big first inning and adding another RBI double in the third. Justin Upton hit a two-run homer and drove in three in a losing cause. The Angels still took two of three from Seattle.

Giants 8, Brewers 5Buster Posey had four hits, including a three-run double and Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run triple — wait, a triple? — yes, a triple, as the Giants avoided a four-game sweep. Right after the triple Sandoval strained his hamstring scoring from third, however, so that may be his last hit for a while. It was a standup triple, too:

Don’t hurry to get that ball or anything, Christian Yelich.

Diamondbacks 5, Padres 4: Paul Goldschmidt, Nick Ahmed and A.J. Pollock all homered for the Snakes, with the first two guys hitting two-run blasts. That’s all they would get and that’s all they would need as the completed a three-game sweep of the Padres.

Cubs 5, Cardinals 2: Ben Zobrist and Anthony Rizzo homered, Javier Baez hit a two-run double and Kyle Hendricks settled down after giving up two early runs, retiring the final 17 batters he faced. That salvaged the series for Chicago, which dropped two of three to the Cards. The Cubs maintain a one and a half game lead in the NL Central.

Justin Verlander laughed at after saying Astros were “technologically and analytically advanced”

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Justin Verlander was at the annual Baseball Writers Association of America banquet last night, on hand to accept the 2019 Cy Young Award. Normally such things are pretty routine events, but nothing is routine with the Houston Astros these days.

During his acceptance speech, Verlander made some comments about the Astros’ “technological and analytical advancements.” The comments were greeted by some laughter in the room as well as some groans. At least one person on hand claimed that other players present were visibly angry.

It’s hard to tell the context of it all without a full video — maybe Verlander meant it as a joke, maybe the reactions were more varied than is being described — but here’s how reporters on hand for it last night are describing it:

If it was a joke it was ill-timed, as not many around the game think the sign-stealing stuff is funny at the moment. Especially in light of the fact that, despite having several opportunities to do so, Astros players have failed to show any accountability for their cheating.

And yes, that includes former Astros Dallas Keuchel, who was praised for “apologizing” at a White Sox fan event on Friday, but whose “apology” was couched in a lot of deflection and excuse-making about how it was just something that was done at the time and about how technology was to blame. Keuchel also tried to minimize it, saying that the Astros didn’t do it all the time. Which is rich given that the most prominent video evidence of their trash can-banging scheme came from a blowout Astros win in a meaningless August game against a losing team. If they were doing it in that situation, please, do not tell me they weren’t doing it when games really mattered.

Anyway, I’d like to think Verlander was just trying to take a stab at a joke here, because Verlander is the wrong guy to be sending to be sending any kind of messages diminishing the cheating given that he has a pretty solid track record of holding other players’ feet to the fire when they get busted.

For example, here he was in 2018 after Robinson Canó got busted for PEDs:

Of course, consistency can be a problem for Verlander when his teammates are on the ones who are on the hook. Here was his response to Tigers infielder Jhonny Peralta being suspended in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal:

“Everybody makes mistakes. He’s my brother. We fight and bleed and sweat together on the baseball field. If my brother makes a mistake, especially if he owns up to it and serves his time, I don’t see how you can hold a grudge or anything like that. “It’s one thing to step up and be a man and own up to his mistake.”

Verlander, it should also be noted, was very outspoken about teams engaging in advanced sign-stealing schemes once upon a time. here he was in 2017, while still with the Tigers, talking about such things in a June 2017 interview with

“We don’t have somebody, but I’m sure teams have a person that can break down signals and codes and they’ll have the signs before you even get out there on the mound.  It’s not about gamesmanship anymore. It used to be, ‘Hey, if you can get my signs, good for you.’ In the past, if a guy on second (base) was able to decipher it on a few pitches, I guess that was kind of part of the game. I think it’s a different level now. It’s not good.”

Which makes me wonder how he felt when he landed on the Astros two months later and realized they had a sophisticated cheating operation underway. If the feelings were mixed, he was able to bury the part of them which had a problem with it, because he’s said jack about it since this all blew up in November. And, of course, has happily accepted the accolades and the hardware he he has received since joining Houston, some of which was no doubt acquired by virtue of a little extra, ill-gotten run support.

Anyway, wake me up when someone — anyone — associated with the Astros shows some genuine accountability about this.