And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 15, Yankees 7: Steve Pearce was the big hero here, hitting three homers and knocking in six. Aaron Boone may be the goat, having pulled CC Sabathia after three innings while the Yankees held a 4-2 lead. I guess he thought it was the playoffs when that sort of nonsense happens all the time and I guess, on paper, there is an argument that this Yankees bullpen should be able to give you six shutout innings or something close to it. In the event, well, no. Mookie Betts had four hits and two walks, Pearce, J.D. MartinezIan Kinsler and Andrew Benintendi each had three hits. Boston extends its AL East lead to a season-high six and a half games. This was just a good old fashioned butt-kicking. The sort of which would lead to insane tabloid stories the next day in New York if, you know, big media conglomerates hadn’t gutted one of the tabloids, but here we are.

Rays 4, Angels 2: Tampa Bay scored all four of their runs in the fourth via C.J. Cron‘s two-run single, a wild pitch and a sac fly while Johnny Wholestaff limited the Angels to two hits. The Angels have lost four straight and Mike Trout had to sit this one out after jamming his wrist on Wednesday. A season that started so promisingly for L.A.A. has gone straight into the terlet.

Cardinals 3, Rockies 2: Down 2-1 in the ninth, the Cardinals strung together a couple of singles from Greg Garcia and Harrison Bader to put runners on the corners. Bader then stole second base after which Jose Martinez hit a two-run walkoff single. The Cardinals took three of four from Colorado.

White Sox 6, Royals 4Jose Abreu hit a tying home run in the eighth and pinch-hitter Daniel Palka hit a three-run homer a couple batters later to give the Sox a comeback win and to help them avoid a sweep. That was Palka’s third pinch-hit homer of the year. Asked about it after the game he said “I wanted to hit a homer.” None of that “just looking for a pitch to hit, just trying to make contact” jazz. Follow your dreams, kids. Reach for the stars.

Phillies 5, Marlins 2: Another late comeback, this one a four-run ninth inning rally to give the Phillies a walkoff win. Down 2-1 entering the final frame, Rhys Hoskins walked to lead things off, Carlos Santana reached on an infield single, Asdrubal Cabrera walked to load the bases and then Nick Williams grounded out to force home Hoskins’ pinch-runner, Scott Kingery. The next batter up was the last batter up: Maikel Franco, who deposited the third pitch he saw into the left field seats for a three-run homer and a Gatorade shower.

Nationals 10, Reds 4: Max Scherzer struck out ten Reds in six innings, singled in a run and laid down two sacrifice bunts, Trea Turner hit a two-run homer and knocked in two more with a single and Bryce Harper homered as a the Nats cruised. Washington has won three in a row and six of eight.

Braves 4, Mets 2: The Nats may be winning, but with the Phillies and Braves each winning they picked up no ground in the East. Indeed that’s four wins in a row for Atlanta, as they took this one thanks to Johan Camargo, who hit a two-run double in he Braves’ three-run third inning. Ozzie Albies had previous knocked in Ronald Acuña, who led off the inning with a triple. He also threw out Wilmer Flores trying to stretch a single into a double in the sixth. Mike Foltynewicz allowed two runs on five hits in six innings for the win. Atlanta is 10-3 against the Mets this year.

Rangers 17, Orioles 8: Another butt-kicking on a night full of them. Jurickson Profar hit a three-run home run and had an RBI single in just the first two innings. Texas scored 10 runs during those first two innings, in fact. Rougned Odor homered as well and walked five times. My lord, how on Earth do you walk a guy five times? Joey Gallo homered. Elvis Andrus had two singles and a double. Infielder Tim Beckham pitched for Baltimore. Just some fun, ugly times at the old ball yard. The Rangers are still in last place but they have won five of six. The Orioles are in last place but have been mentally planning their October fishing weekends for several months now.

Padres 6, Cubs 1: Robbie Erlin held the Cubs to one run over his five innings of work and Austin Hedges hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the sixth to give the Padres a lead that would hold and to give Erlin the win. Four Padres relievers held the Cubs scoreless for the final four innings as San Diego ended its seven-game losing streak.

Dodgers 21, Brewers 5: Oh, I’m so full. I couldn’t possible have another butt-kicking. Hmm, well, it does look good. Ok, one more . . . Cody Bellinger hit a grand slam, Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig hit two homers each and, hoo-boy, did the Dodgers kick the Brewers’ butts. Brian Dozier and Justin Turner hit homers too, but only one each. Slackers. All three outfielders for the Dodges had four RBI. Infielder Hernan Perez and catcher Erik Kratz pitched for the Brewers. Each of them as now pitched three times — three times! — in 2018. This on a contending team.

Giants 8, Diamondbacks 1: Most of the time a contender losing 8-1 would be considered the blowout of the day, but not on this night. Madison Bumgarner and Zack Greinke dueled, though neither was particularly sharp. Bumgarner was particularly dull, in fact, walking three and giving up seven hits in five innings but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Evan Longoria homered in the first and Bumgarner helped his own cause with an RBI single in the fifth and the bullpen held on until the Giants rallied late.

Blue Jays 7, Mariners 3: Mike Hauschild was the story here. He had just been released by Houston and had not pitched in the bigs in over a year when the Jays signed him before the game, put him in and watched him pitch six impressive innings of relief, shutting out the M’s over that span. Kendrys Morales had a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning. Tyler Clippard started — his first start in over ten years — and went one inning. Fun times. Felix Hernandez started and went five. Sad times, really, as he’s a shell of his former self these days. He didn’t figure in the decision after allowing two runs in those five, but many in Seattle are talking about him heading to the bullpen.

Yankees trade Sonny Gray to the Reds

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The deal was much talked about all weekend and now the deal is done: The Cincinnati Reds gave acquired starter Sonny Gray and lefty Reiver Sanmartin from the Yankees in exchange for second base prospect Shed Long and a 2019 competitive balance pick.

The key to making the deal happen: Gray agreeing to a a three-year, $30.5 million contract extension. The Reds will likewise hold a $12 million club option for 2023. The deal had been struck and a window granted through close of business today to get Gray to agree to the extension and, obviously, he has.

The Reds will get a pitcher coming off of a bad season in which he posted a disappointing 4.90 ERA in 23 starts and seven relief appearances. He was hammered particularly hard in Yankee Stadium but pitched better on the road. Great American Ballpark is not a great pitcher’s park itself but any change of scenery would be nice for Gray, who had become much unwanted and unloved in New York. In Cincinnati he has the assurance of a spot in the rotation and, even better for him, he will be reunited with his college pitching coach, Derek Johnson, who joined new manager David Bell’s Reds staff earlier this offseason. If he bounces back even a little bit, the Reds will have a useful starter at a below market price for four years. If he doesn’t, well, they haven’t exactly gone bankrupt taking the chance.

The Reds will also get Reiver Sanmartin, 22, who started in the Rangers system before being traded to the Yankees. He’s a soft-tosser who figures to be a reliever if he makes the big leagues. He played at four different levels last season, with one game at Double-A and the rest below that, posting a composite 2.80 ERA in 10 starts and 13 overall appearances while striking out 7.8 batters per nine.

The Yankees will get Shed Long, who is ranked as the Reds’ seventh best prospect. The 23-year old second baseman hit .261/.353/.412 at Double-A in 2018 and has hit very close to that overall line for his entire six-year minor league career. He strikes out a bit and may not stick at second base long term, shifting to a corner outfield slot perhaps, but he’s a legitimate prospect.

The Reds get another starter with some upside. The Yankees get rid of a problem and gain a prospect and a draft pick. Sonny Gray gets some job and financial security at a time when it is not at all clear what his future holds. Not a bad baseball trade.

UPDATE: Welp, the Yankees don’t have a prospect anymore. They just traded long to the Mariners for outfielder Josh Stowers. Stowers was a second-round pick in last year’s draft. He’s 21 and batted .260/.380/.410 with five homers and 20 steals over 58 games in Short-Season ball in 2018. He’s ranked by MLB.com as the Mariners’ No. 10 prospect, but now he’s New York bound.