And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

Getty Images

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 6, Astros 5: Boston blew a four-run lead in the sixth inning but Mitch Moreland singled in the winning run with a walkoff single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to help the Sox avoid the sweep at the hands of the red-hot Astros. J.D. Martinez hit his 40th homer and drove in four for Boston.

Braves 9, Diamondbacks 5: Another day, another late comeback for the Braves against the Diamondbacks. Trailing 4-2 in the top of the eighth, Freddie Freeman singled in a run to cut the deficit to one. In the ninth, Tyler Flowers and Ozzie Albies reached via singles and then Ender Inciarte hit a go-ahead three-run home run. The bombs kept coming after that, too. Lucas Duda hit a solo homer and then, after a Ronald Acuña triple, Johan Camargo hit a two-run shot. Their win, plus the Phillies’ loss puts them four and a half games up — four in the loss column — in the NL East, with 19 games to play.

Brewers 6, Giants 3: There’s red ass, there’s MAJOR red ass and then there’s Red Ass: Madison Bumgarner level. So red that, because Ryan Braun had hit an RBI double off of him, stole a base and hit a hard warning track shot earlier, Bumgarner gave him some chin music inside, the two jawed back and forth a bit and then plunked him loading the bases in a one-run game to do it. Which, hey, fine, if you’re mad, you’re mad. Except then Jonathan Schoop took Bumgarner deep for a grand slam the next batter later, so I guess that bit him in that red ass of his:

After the game everyone said that he didn’t hit Braun on purpose — and maybe he didn’t — but the high inside heat was no doubt purposeful. You pitch mad, you’re gonna get burnt and Bumgarner got burnt. The Giants have lost eight straight.

Blue Jays 6, Indians 2: Justin Smoak homered and drove in three and Teoscar Hernandez hit a three-run homer late to give the Jays a nice cushion. In other news, Randal Grichuk took a nasty header into a metal stool, sustaining what at the time was feared to be a possible concussion and some facial injuries. Manager John Gibbons after the game, talking about Grichuk:

“He was laughing a bit, so that was a good sign . . . He’s a pretty boy, you don’t want to hurt that face.”

All of us pretty boys have been there, Randal. Here’s hoping that face is OK.

Cardinals 5, Tigers 2: St. Louis scored five runs in the seventh. They had help, too, from the . . . Rally Squirrel:

The rally was rodent-scaled too, full of infield singles and errors and stuff. They did, however, avoid a series sweep and ended the Tigers’ four-game winning streak.

Mets 6, Phillies 4: Jacob deGrom was scratched because the weather was crappy but it didn’t make a difference. Michael Conforto hit a three-run homer and drove in four and the Mets — who have the best record in the NL East over the past couple of months if you can believe it — overcame an early 2-0 deficit to take two of three in the series. The Phillies have lost seven straight series, in fact, and have lost 17 of 26 games.

Rays 8, Orioles 3: The sweep. Brandon Lowe hit a three-run homer in a five-run first inning as the Rays just keep on winning. Sixteen of nineteen overall, in fact. Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos didn’t get the start — Ryne Stanek pitched the first third of the first inning — but he kept the O’s scoreless until the seventh all the same. The Rays pitching staff in 2018 is like that quote about how life must be lived going forward but can only be understood looking backward.

Dodgers 9, Rockies 6: Justin Turner hit a two-run homer and had four hits in all as the Dodgers take two of three from the Rockies to move to within a half-game of the lead in the NL West. The standings I look at have percent chance of making the playoffs and, despite Colorado being up by a half game, lists the Rockies’ chance at the postseason at 49% and the Dodgers’ at 83%. I’m sure there are reasons having to do with the schedule, current trends and, like, cosmic justice and balance at work there, but I’m probably too dumb to figure it out and, frankly, not terribly interested in doing so. Live life forward and understand it looking back, remember?

Angels 1, White Sox 0: Andrew Heaney tossed seven shutout innings and struck out 12 and Kole Calhoun‘s seventh inning RBI single is all the runs the Angels either got or needed. Mike Trout went 2-for-4 and finished the series 8-for-11 with two homers and five RBI. The White Sox have dropped five straight.

Twins 3, Royals 1: Minnesota only got seven hits in the game but one of them was a Willians Astudillo walkoff two-run homer. The Royals got only three hits in the whole game. One of them was an Adalberto Mondesi homer. As it was only a solo shot it, quite obviously, was not enough.

Mariners 3, Yankees 2: The Mitch Haniger show. In the eighth inning Haniger drew a walk, stole second with a nifty slide and then advanced to third on a bunt. The, with Robinson Cano at the plate and the infield playing in, Haniger broke home on the old contact play and scored the go-ahead run by sliding in to juuussst beat the tag. Then in the ninth Haniger made the game’s final out, and ended what could’ve quickly grown into a rally, on a sweet diving catch on a Giancarlo Stanton fly ball:

The win helps the M’s avoid a sweep.

Athletics 7, Rangers 3: Oakland fell behind early but seven A’s relievers combined for six and a third scoreless innings of two-hit ball, giving the offense a chance to rally. Most of that rally came in a five-run fourth inning which featured three hits, three walks, an error, a wild pitch and a passed ball. Stephen Piscotty homered later to please the folks who are into the whole, you know, conventional thing. It was the Athletics’ fourth straight win and sixth win in seven games. They trail New York by two and a half for the top Wild Card.

Padres 7, Reds 6: A soggy weekend which featured over five hours of cumulative delays made for a seriously long day for these two clubs. First pitch was pushed back three hours from the scheduled 1:10 p.m start to wait out the system that soaked the middle of the country all weekend. There were still bits of it lingering, however, so there was a delay of 1 hour, 32 minutes in the eighth inning as the game stood tied at 6. After play resumed Eric Hosmer‘s homer — his third in three games — in the top of the ninth broke that 6-6 tie and gave San Diego the win and the series split. I’m sure, everyone just loved sitting through all those delays on getaway day, but we don’t do ties in baseball, folks, and a team from California does not come back to Ohio for a makeup game in September when both clubs involved are playing out the string.

Speaking of rain . . .

Cubs vs. Nationals; Marlins vs. Pirates — POSTPONED:

I’ve been loving you a long time
Down all the years, down all the days
And I’ve cried for all your troubles
Smiled at your funny little ways
We watched our friends grow up together
And we saw them as they fell
Some of them fell into Heaven
Some of them fell into Hell
I took shelter from a shower
And I stepped into your arms
On a rainy night in Soho
The wind was whistling all its charms

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.