And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 9, Athletics 4: Oakland jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two but Boston jumped on ’em for six in the third. It was sort of like the Hulk-Thanos fight in “Infinity War” in which you thought, “uh oh, he’s in trouble now” as Hulk got a couple of punches in but, um, nah. I’d really like to start making references to “Endgame” in this space but I feel like I can’t do that until after the second weekend.

Anyway, Xander Bogaerts‘ two-run double in the third tied it and Michael Chavis‘ two-run single put Boston ahead. Chavis would add another RBI in the fifth. The Sox scored all of their runs without the benefit of the homer. Oakland did too for that matter.

Cardinals 6, Nationals 3: Like Boston, the Cards put up a six-spot in a single inning. Like Boston they also needed to do so to come from behind. Here a returning-for-the-disabled list Michael Wacha was shaky early, walking in a run with the bases loaded and giving up a two-run single right after that, but those three runs would be all he’d allow in five. The Redbirds’ comeback came courtesy of a Harrison Bader homer, Matt Carpenter scoring on a wild pitch, Marcel Ozuna singling in two runs, an RBI double from José Martínez and a Yadi Molina single. All of that damage was done against Patrick Corbin who, before this game, was one of the best pitchers in the National League so far this year. Life comes at you fast. St. Louis has won three straight and eight of nine.

Reds 5, Mets 4: I guess big innings were the order of the day, because the Reds scored four in the second with a couple of doubles, a single and a sac fly, staking them to an early 4-0 lead. They’d lose that lead by the fourth, when the Mets tied it scoring both their third and their fourth runs via bases-loaded walks from Tanner Roark. Jesse Winker broke that tie with a two-out, ninth inning homer off of Mets closer Edwin Díaz. Winker had seven home runs in each of the last two seasons. He has eight so far in 2019.

Brewers 5, Rockies 1: And another four-run inning, this one in the Milwaukee first which ended this one before it began. At least in hindsight. Jesús Aguilar hit the big blow, a three-run homer off of Kyle Freeland, and he’d add a second dinger off of Freeland, a solo shot, in the third. Aguilar hit 35 homers in 2018. These were his first two of 2019. After the game he said “This is going to be the first night where I’m going to sleep good.” I wonder what that’s like.

Braves 3, Padres 1: Mike Soroka have Atlanta yet another strong start, allowing only one run in six innings while striking out eight. He also played a part in the scoring, helping Atlanta score a run via a fielder’s choice, advancing to third when the Padres committed not one but two errors on the play, and scoring on an Ozzie Albies single right after that to give himself and his team a 2-1 lead. Albies would add an insurance run with a homer. It was his third in the last two games. Maybe the biggest news here was that the Braves got three scoreless innings from their bullpen. Since when does that happen?

Twins 1, Astros 0: When you score only one run off of Justin Verlander you aren’t likely to win, but Minnesota beat the odds by making a third inning solo homer from third baseman Ehire Adrianza hold up as the only run in the game. They did it mostly thanks to Jake Odorizzi, who tossed seven shutout innings, walking one and striking out seven. It was the Twins’ eighth win in ten games. Only the Rays have a better record than the Twins in all of baseball.

White Sox 5, Orioles 3: Manny Bañuelos — who before this year had not seen big league action since 2015 because, I’m assuming anyway, he got snapped by Thanos and just reappeared, um . . . somehow . . . pitched five-hit ball into the sixth inning in his first start in a dog’s age. Tim Anderson and Yonder Alonso each hit a two-run homer and James McCann had three hits as the Chisox won their third in a row. In other news, every year there’s some non-divisional matchup which seems like it has lasted 50 games even though you know it’s only like six. That’s Chicago and Baltimore for me so far this year. I know, intellectually, they’ve played only four times but it sure seems like it’s been 12.

Rays 8, Royals 5: Tommy Pham, Yandy Díaz and Ji-Man Choi each drove in two as the Rays won for the fifth time in six games. They’re such a balanced team this year. Every night someone else is contributing to a win. I know it’s still April, but it sure feels like something special is going on here.

Giants 3, Dodgers 2: The Dodgers had a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh and Ross Stripling came in to keep the shutout going. He didn’t. Joe Panik singled, Yangervis Solarte doubled him over to third and Brandon Belt walked, chasing Stripling and bringing in Dylan Floro. He struck out Buster Posey for the second out of the inning but then surrendered a bases-clearing double to Evan Longoria to give the Giants a 3-2 lead that proved to be the final score. The Dodgers’ four-game winning streak, and the Giants’ three-game losing streak, were . . . snapped.

Like I said: I would REALLY like to start talking about “Endgame” soon, you guys.

Olson blasts two HRs, Acuña has 4 hits as Strider, Braves overpower Phillies 11-4

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ATLANTA – Given a seven-run lead in the first inning, Atlanta right-hander Spencer Strider could relax and keep adding to his majors-leading strikeout total.

“That game felt like it was over pretty quick,” Strider said.

Ronald Acuña Jr. drove in three runs with four hits, including a two-run single in Atlanta’s seven-run first inning, and the Braves beat the Philadelphia Phillies 11-4 on Sunday night to split the four-game series.

“Getting a lead first is big, especially when you get that big of a lead,” Strider said. “… When we’re putting up runs, my job isn’t to be perfect. My job is to get outs.”

Following the game, Braves manager Brian Snitker announced right-hander Michael Soroka will be recalled to make his first start since the 2020 season on Monday night at Oakland.

Matt Olson hit a pair of two-run homers for Atlanta, and Strider became the fastest pitcher in modern history to reach 100 strikeouts in a season.

“It’s incredible,” said Acuña through a translator of Strider. “Every time he goes out to pitch it seems like he’s going to strike everybody out.”

Acuña hit a run-scoring triple in the fifth before Olson’s second homer to center. Acuña had two singles in the first when the Braves sent 11 batters to the plate, collected seven hits and opened a 7-0 lead. Led by Acuña and Olson, who had three hits, the Braves set a season high with 20 hits.

Strider (5-2) struck out nine while pitching six innings of two-run ball. The right-hander fired a called third strike past Nick Castellanos for the first out of the fourth, giving him 100 strikeouts in 61 innings and topping Jacob deGrom‘s 61 2/3 innings in 2021 as the fastest to 100 in the modern era.

“It’s cool,” Strider said, adding “hopefully it’ll keep going.”

Olson followed Acuña’s leadoff single with a 464-foot homer to right-center. Austin Riley added another homer before Ozzie Albies and Acuña had two-run singles in the long first inning.

Phillies shortstop Trea Turner and left fielder Kyle Schwarber each committed an error on a grounder by Orlando Arcia, setting up two unearned runs in the inning.

Strider walked Kody Clemens to open the third. Brandon Marsh followed with a two-run homer for the Phillies’ first hit. Schwarber hit a two-run homer off Collin McHugh in the seventh.


Michael Harris II celebrated the one-year anniversary of his major league debut by robbing Schwarber of a homer with a leaping catch at the center-field wall in the second. As Harris shook his head to say “No!” after coming down with the ball on the warning track, Strider pumped his fist in approval on the mound – after realizing Harris had the ball.

“He put me through an emotional roller coaster for a moment,” Strider said.


Soroka was scratched from his scheduled start at Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday, setting the stage for his final step in his comeback from two torn Achilles tendons.

“To get back is really a feather in that kid’s cap,” Snitker said.

Soroka will be making his first start in the majors since Aug. 3, 2020, against the New York Mets when he suffered a torn right Achilles tendon. Following a setback which required a follow-up surgery, he suffered another tear of the same Achilles tendon midway through the 2021 season.

Soroka suffered another complication in his comeback when a hamstring injury slowed his progress this spring.

Acuña said he was “super happy, super excited for him, super proud of him” and added “I’m just hoping for continued good health.”

Soroka looked like an emerging ace when he finished 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 2019 and placed second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting and sixth in the NL Cy Young voting.

The Braves are 0-3 in bullpen committee games as they attempt to overcome losing two key starters, Max Fried (strained left forearm) and Kyle Wright (right shoulder inflammation) to the injured list in early May. Each is expected to miss at least two months.

RHP Dereck Rodriguez, who gave up one hit in two scoreless innings, was optioned to Gwinnett after the game to clear a roster spot for Soroka.


Phillies right-hander Dylan Covey (0-1), claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 20, didn’t make it through the first inning. Covey allowed seven runs, five earned, and six hits, including the homers by Olson and Riley.


Phillies: 3B Alex Bohm was held out with hamstring tightness. … LHP José Alvarado (left elbow inflammation) threw the bullpen session originally scheduled for Saturday. Manager Rob Thomson said there was no report that Alvarado, who was placed on the injured list on May 10, had any difficulty.


Phillies: Following an off day, LHP Ranger Suárez (0-1, 9.82 ERA) is scheduled to face Mets RHP Kodai Senga (4-3, 3.94 ERA) in Tuesday night’s opener of a three-game series in New York.

Braves: Soroka was 1-2 with a 4.33 ERA in eight games with Triple-A Gwinnett. He allowed a combined four hits and two runs over 10 2/3 innings in his last two starts. RHP Paul Blackburn (7-6, 4.28 ERA in 2022) is scheduled to make his 2023 debut for Oakland as he returns from a finger injury.