And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Nationals 6, Braves 3: The Braves normally enjoy hitting against Gio Gonzalez, but that wasn’t the case yesterday. Gonzalez allowed only one run and scattered six hits over seven innings of work. Meanwhile, Braves starter Anibal Sanchez left early after taking a comebacker to the leg. Once he left, the Nats bats teed off on relievers Wes Parsons and Adam McCreery. By the by, “Parsons and McCreery” sounds like the name of a West Virginia funeral home. If there was a “Lilly” in there it’d sound specifically like a Southern West Virginia funeral home. The, like, two of you out there besides me who are from West Virginia are nodding at that and the rest of you are wondering how I wasn’t fired from this job ages ago. Life is full of mysteries, but I am right about the funeral home thing.

Yankees 7, Rangers 3: Neil Walker hit two homers for the Yankees and Aaron Hicks and Miguel Andujar each went deep too, but the homer everyone was talking about was hit by Giancarlo Stanton.

You may or may not be a fan of Statcast, but according to the metrics it tracks, Stanton’s homer was the hardest hit since it began recoding such data:

I, personally, don’t think Statcast adds much to my enjoyment of baseball — even old man John Sterling knew that ball was hit about as hard as a ball could be hit as soon as he saw it, as would anyone who has watched a bit of baseball in their life — but it is something, I suppose, to be at the top of that particular leader board.

Indians 5, Twins 4: Another day, another walkoff loss for the Twins at the hands of the Indians. It was Michael Brantley doing the deed yesterday with an RBI single off of Addison Reed. This one has to hurt for the Twins, because they were down 4-0 to Corey Kluber of all people and rallied to tie it, with Jorge Polanco hitting a three-run jack off of him in the fifth. It’s, the 12th walkoff loss for the Twins this year. Yikes.

Padres 8, Brewers 4: The Brewers’ bullpen was a major strength for the club in the first half. It sure as hell wasn’t yesterday. Milwaukee took a 4-2 lead into the top of the ninth and entered the bottom of the ninth trailing 8-4. The damage in terms of runs allowed came mostly against Corey Knebel, who walked three batters and gave up a hit with all four baserunners eventually scoring. The damage in terms of the fireworks lit was attributable to Joakim Soria, who entered into the bases-loaded situation created by Knebel and served up a grand slam to Hunter Renfroe‘s. Soria was replaced by Jacob Barnes who immediately threw a gopher ball to Franmil Reyes to complete the meltdown. Milwaukee drops two games behind the first-place Cubs.

Blue Jays 8, Red Sox 5: Mookie Betts hit for the cycle but that only amounted to one RBI, on the homer, thanks to most of the rest of the order not doing a whole heck of a lot. Meanwhile, the Jays battered Rick Porcello for seven runs in four innings, with Teoscar Hernandez and Randall Grichuk each taking him deep. Justin Smoak went 3-for-4 and drove in a couple as well. It was Boston’s first loss in seven games.

Rays 5, Orioles 4Jake Bauers drove in three, with two of ’em coming on a go-ahead two-run single in the seventh inning. The Orioles are now one loss away from being eliminated from the AL East race. But hey: the Wild Card is still, mathematically anyway, in play!

Mariners 8, Astros 6: Homers from Mitch Haniger, Denard Span and Jean Segura gave the M’s a six-run lead after two innings, all off of Justin Verlander of all people. Seattle got a couple more RBIs from Haniger and Span in the sixth which provided enough insurance to withstand Houston’s late push.

Dodgers 8, Rockies 5: This was a 1-1 game, nicely pitched by Ross Stripling and Tyler Anderson, heading into the seventh. At that point it was turned over to the bullpens, each of which decided that they weren’t interested in doing their job too well. Joc Pederson and Max Muncy each hit homers in the top of the seventh and the Rockies scored four in their half of the frame with three coming off of a Chris Iannetta homer. Cody Bellinger hit a two-run homer in the eighth to tie things up at five and L.A. added three more in the ninth via a solo shot from Chris Taylor and a two-run homer from Brian Dozier. The Dodgers have won six straight at Coors Field. They also pulled into a first-place tie with idle Arizona in the West.

Pirates 10, Giants 5: Ivan Nova allowed two runs in six innings and he was backed by three homers, including David Freese‘s 100th career bomb. Elias Diaz and Josh Bell were the other two Buccos to go yard. The Giants have dropped five of six and are now two games below .500. Pittsburgh has won three in a row.

Report: Mike Clevinger agrees to 1-year deal with White Sox

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox bolstered their rotation, agreeing to a one-year contract with right-hander Mike Clevinger, a person familiar with the agreement told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was subject to a successful physical.

The 31-year-old Clevinger went 7-7 with a 4.33 ERA in 23 games, including 22 starts, for San Diego this year. He missed the 2021 season after he had Tommy John surgery.

Chicago is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 season, when it went 81-81 and finished 11 games back of surprising AL Central champion Cleveland. Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa stepped down in October and Pedro Grifol was hired on Nov. 1.

The White Sox got a big lift from Johnny Cueto this year, but the 36-year-old right-hander is a free agent after going 8-10 with a 3.35 ERA in 25 appearances. Clevinger slots into a rotation that likely will include Dylan Cease, Lance Lynn, Lucas Giolito and Michael Kopech.

The move puts the 6-foot-4 Clevinger back in the AL Central after he made his major league debut with Cleveland in 2016. He went 42-22 with a 3.20 ERA in four-plus seasons with Cleveland before he was traded to San Diego in a multiplayer deal in August 2020.

Clevinger was selected by the Los Angeles Angels in the fourth round of the 2011 amateur draft. He was traded to Cleveland in 2014.

Clevinger is 51-30 with a 3.39 ERA in 128 career big league games. He also has 694 strikeouts in 656 2/3 innings.