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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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There were ten games last night. Four were shutouts. Three ended 7-6. This is important. This means something.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 6: The Jays jumped out to a 5-0 lead and Boston tied it by the seventh thanks to a Mitch Moreland homer. The Jays went back up, 6-5, when Freddy Galvis homered in the eighth, but Moreland struck again in the ninth with an RBI double to tie it. Then Rafael Devers hit a walkoff RBI single to give the Red Sox a rare, so far win and their first unscripted celebration of the year.

Of further interest: Jays first baseman Rowdy Tellez hit a homer in the third inning which went an estimated at 505 feet by Statcast:

If it went 505 feet, that’s the longest homer in Fenway history, passing Ted Williams’ famous 502-foot homer, which is memorialized by a red-painted seat in the right field stands. The ball appeared to land a bit short of the famous red seat, though, but some have said it may have ricocheted there or hit a facade or something first. At the moment whether this is an actual record is unclear. My guess is that this will all result in a test of wills: between Sox fans and, possibly, Sox officials who would really prefer that Williams, and not Tellez, holds the record for longest homer and MLB officials who will do anything they can to portray StatCast as infallible. What say you as of now, MLB?

A message left with Major League Baseball seeking clarification was not immediately returned.

I eagerly await clarification on that.

UPDATE: Just got this tweet from Mike Petriello, who is The Man when it comes to Statcast:

The Splendid Splinter’s record remains intact.

Reds 5, Marlins 0: Sonny Gray tossed four shutout innings and five relievers handled the final five frames after Gray had to leave the game when he was hit in the leg by a comebacker and it stiffened up on him. The injury aside, it was the second strong outing from Gray in a row, after allowing only one run and pitching into the seventh five days prior. He seemed OK but we’ll hear today or tomorrow, I imagine, if he’ll have to skip a start. On offense Eugenio Suárez had three hits, including a solo homer and Yasiel Puig doubled in two runs in his first game back following his suspension for fighting.

Athletics 8, Orioles 5: Khris Davis hit a pair of home runs for the second straight game. I’ll check this later, but for now I’ll note that I’ve been doing these recaps for Davis’ entire career and he seems to have more multi-homer games over that span than anyone else I’ve covered by a factor of, like, ten. I bet he has more multi-homer games since 2013 than anyone and that it’s not anywhere near close. The other Davis — Chris — was 0-for-3 with a walk — yay, a walk! — and extended his record hitless streak to 53 at-bats. Josh PhegleyKendrys Morales and Marcus Semien also homered for the A’s, who hit 16 homers while taking three of four from Baltimore.

UPDATE: Bill Baer, who is apparently suffering from insomnia, just emailed me with the multi-homer game data. It seems that, since 2013, Giancarlo Stanton leads all of baseball with 26 multi-homer games. Davis is third with 23, but he leads all of baseball since 2015, with 22 multi-homer games (Stanton has 19 since then).

Indians 4, Tigers 0: Shane Bieber tossed seven shutout innings and former Tiger Leonys Martin had three hits, homered and drove in three in all. Cleveland has won six of seven.

Cardinals 11, Dodgers 7: The sweep. Matt Wieters hit a two-run double, drove in a three runs and stole a base which is, frankly, inexcusable. I know Yasmani Grandal had a bunch of defensive miscues in the postseason for L.A., but I feel like if he had stuck around he wouldn’t let Wieters steal a base. Maybe I’m crazy. Also weird: Harrison Bader was hit by pitches with the bases loaded . . . twice. That’s gotta be the hardest way to get two RBIs there is. In other news, Dodgers starters allowed 16 runs in 16 innings of work in this series. They need Clayton Kershaw back, it seems.

Mets 6, Braves 3: Pete Alonso hit a two-run homer and Amed Rosario homered and drove in four. Ronald Acuña Jr. tripled and homered — a long, long homer — in a losing cause.

Mariners 7, Royals 6: The M’s were down 4-0 after five and 6-3 after seven, but they’re just charmed this year so that didn’t hold. Mitch Haniger tied the game with a two-run triple in the 9th and then Daniel Vogelbach hit a go-ahead homer in the 10th for a dramatic come-from-behind win. Seattle is now 13-2. They have homered in 15 consecutive games to start the season, and that’s a new major league record. Unbelievable beginning of the year for these guys.

Padres 7, Diamondbacks 6: San Diego led 6-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh and starter Pedro Avila stood to get the win in his major league debut, but relievers Robert Stock and Brad Wieck combined to blow it, with Eduardo Escobar‘s three-run homer capping off a five-run rally. Archie Bradley returned the favor in the eighth, however, but surrendering a solo shot to Manuel Margot, giving the Padres the victory. Franmil Reyes and Austin Hedges also went deep for San Diego. Dbacks announcer Bob Brenly had himself a night too, calling Fernando Tatis Jr.’s necklace a “bicycle chain,” as if it’s any concern of Brenly’s what Tatis is wearing:

I guess Tatis Jr. just doesn’t play the game the white– er, I mean the right way.

Cubs 2, Pirates 0: José Quintana with seven shutout innings and 11 Ks. That creep can roll, man. Pirates starter Joe Musgrove matched him most of the way, but got touched for two unearned runs in the seventh, delivered by post-error RBIs from Daniel Descalso and Victor Caratini. The game was delayed 69 minutes by rain before the eighth inning which was not nice.

Giants 1, Rockies 0: Kevin Pillar did it again, hitting a solo homer in the seventh for the only offense in the game. Pillar has now homered in three of the last four games and has driven in ten runs in those four contests. Jeff Samardzija tossed seven, three-hit shutout innings, outdueling Jon Gray of the Rockies. Colorado, by the way, has one of the worst offenses in all of baseball so far in the early going. Not the kind of thing on which one builds success in Denver or, well, anyplace else for that matter.

Astros block Detroit Free Press from clubhouse at Justin Verlander’s request

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Last night a BBWAA-credentialed reporter from the Detroit Free Press was barred from the Houston Astros’ clubhouse by team security following the Tigers win over the Astros. The reporter — who was almost certainly Anthony Fenech, who covers the Tigers — was kept out at the request of Astros starter Justin Verlander. Here’s the scene as described by the Free Press. The article contains a photo, taken by Fenech, of the three Astros officials who blocked the door to prevent him access:

At 9:35 p.m., the Astros opened their clubhouse to credentialed media in coordination with MLB rules. As other media members entered the clubhouse, the Free Press reporter with a valid BBWAA-issued credential was blocked from entering by three Astros security officials . . . The reporter contacted Mike Teevan, MLB vice president of communications, who said he would immediately reach out to Dias regarding the issue. Dias eventually gave the reporter access to the clubhouse at 9:41 p.m., after Verlander’s media session had ended . . . Once inside, the reporter approached Verlander, who said: “I’m not answering your questions.” When asked to comment on Wednesday’s loss, Verlander walked away.

That after-the-fact access for the reporter came only after he called Major League Baseball who, in turn, called Astros officials, presumably, to tell them that they cannot bar credentialed media.

It’s unclear at the moment what the beef is between Verlander and either the Free Press or the reporter. For what it’s worth, I follow Fenech and, while he’s a bit more witty and, occasionally, cutting than your average beat reporter, he’s self-effacing and doesn’t do cheap shots. Though he talks often about former Tigers and has made a point to highlight Verlander’s post-Tigers career whenever relevant, to my knowledge he hasn’t said or done anything specific to tweak Verlander in the past.

I will note, though, that last night, about eight minutes before Fenech was barred access, the Free Press Twitter account sent this tongue-in-cheek tweet out. It’s unclear if he or someone else at the paper wrote it:

Maybe that pissed off Verlander, who is known to be active on social media and is usually pretty aware of what’s being said about him. Hard to say.

What’s easy to say, though, is that no matter what has hurt Verlander’s fragile ego, the Astros barring the reporter from the clubhouse is in blatant violation of the agreement between Major League Baseball and the Baseball Writers Association of America, which ensures access for credentialed reporters. Verlander doesn’t have to talk to the guy — he doesn’t have to talk to anyone he doesn’t want to talk to — but the team honoring Verlander’s wishes to bar access is totally unacceptable and, frankly, about as low-rent as it gets from a media relations perspective.

We’ll probably hear more about this later today.