Associated Press

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mariners 10, Yankees 1:  Yusei Kikuchi was fantastic, tossing no-hit ball into the sixth and allowing only one run into the eighth inning, but the talk of the game was the pine tar YES cameras showed that he had slathered on the underside of the brim of his hat. As is usually the case, no one seems to care too much about it because (a) the claim by almost everyone is that pine tar use is a good thing because it keeps pitchers from losing control of the ball and imperiling hitters; and (b) pitchers from all teams use the stuff, so if the Yankees barked about Kikuchi’s use of it, someone may bark about Yankees pitchers using it down the line. All of which means that we have a system where “everyone does it and it’s fine” except sometimes, when someone is being super obvious about it someone complains and Major League Baseball suspends them, like it did to Yankees’ pitcher Michael Pineda several years ago. Which, as I argued back then, is a dumb way to handle all of this. Either make it legal and treat it as such or keep it illegal and treat it as such. This middle ground of “it’s illegal, but fine, but just don’t be too obvious about it” is no way to run a railroad.

Red Sox 2, Orioles 1: One one in the bottom of the 11th, tie game, and Trey Mancini smacked a fly ball to deep center field that looked for certain to be a walk-off solo home run. Jackie Bradley Jr., however, made one of the absolute best home run robberies you will ever see:

The new life gave room for an Andrew Benintendi homer in the 12th that won the game for Boston. Chris Sale didn’t figure in the decision but he allowed only one run over eight innings and struck out 14 O’s batters.

Diamondbacks 3, Rays 2: Wilmer Flores drove in the winning run with a two-out RBI single in the 13th but the real hero here was recently-demoted reliever Archie Bradley who, after several meltdowns this year, came into this one and tossed three scoreless innings in relief to get the Dbacks into the 13th. Big day for Archies yesterday.

Rangers 9, Pirates 6: It was pretty cool of Josh Bell to hit a 472-foot homer into the Allegheny River, but Hunter Pence‘s pinch-hit, game-tying grand slam in the eighth, followed by a three-run ninth inning rally capped by a Rougned Odor two-run blast gave Texas the game. Every spring we see aging veterans take minor league deals with new teams to avoid the scrap heap and talk about their “new swing” or whatever. So rarely do those guys do anything. Pence, however, is proving an exception. He’s hitting .344/.411/.656 and is on pace for 24 homers and 100 RBI on the season. What a comeback.

Brewers 7, Nationals 3: Christian Yelich and Mike Moustakas homered in the first couple of innings, staking Brandon Woodruff and the Brewers to an early 6-0 lead and frankly nothing *gestures generally at the Nationals* here makes anyone think they’re coming back from that. Manny Pina also homered for the Brewers, who swept Washington, who in turn have lost four in a row.

Indians 5, White Sox 3: José Ramírez hit a walkoff jack on a 3-1 pitch with two outs off of Kelvin Herrera:

And that was that.

Phillies 5, Cardinals 0: Jered Eickhoff tossed eight scoreless, allowing only three hits, and César Hernández homered, doubled and drove in three. The Phillies take two of three from the Redbirds and win their fifth in their last seven games. With everyone else in the division struggling of late, the Phillies have built a 3.5 game lead in the NL East, which is the second largest division league in baseball at the moment.

Padres 3, Mets 2: Hunter Renfroe hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the seventh — his third dinger in four games — and Manuel Margot robbed Pete Alonso of a homer of his own on this grab:

Maybe that’s not Jackie Bradley Jr. sweet, but it’s sweet all the same.

Twins 9, Blue Jays 1: Jorge Polanco had five hits, including a two-run home run, C.J. Cron had four hits, including a two-run homer of his own, Jonathan Schoop went deep and Kyle Gibson struck out a career-high 11. Minnesota’s woodshedding of the Jays in this three-game series was complete and total, outscoring them 20-1.

Tigers 10, Angels 3: Ronny Rodriguez hit a go-ahead, two-run triple in the first inning, hit an RBI single in the third, and hit a run-scoring double in the fifth to drove in a career-high four runs. That backed Matt Boyd who allowed a leadoff homer but no other runs in six innings of work.

Cubs 3, Marlins 2: A Jose UrenaKyle Hendricks pitching duel was forgotten by the time this one went to extras and the story of the game ended up being offense, in the form of a Jason Heyward walkoff homer that just made it into the basket above the ivy in left field:

And this was fun too. Watch Anthony Rizzo let this sure out bunt/fly fall in order to make the double play:

UPDATE: I had a bit in here about the infield fly rule before but I’m a moron and didn’t realize there wasn’t a force at third so that doesn’t apply. Whatever. You try processing the infield fly rule at 5:45AM. It’s hard enough to do it during normal hours.

Astros 9, Royals 0: Michael Brantley hit two homers and Brad Peacock dominated the Royals, striking out 12 and allowing only three hits in seven innings of shutout ball. Houston got dingers from Carlos Correa and George Springer as well. Brantley is hitting .340/.386/.603 and is on a 39-homer pace. Nope, the Indians couldn’t have used him, no sir-ee.

Athletics 5, Reds 4: Unless I missed one, Stephen Piscotty hit the third walkoff homer of the night, this one in the bottom of the 13th.

Piscotty also had an RBI single, Jurickson Profar homered for the second straight game and Ramón Laureano had three hits. After getting no-hit and walked-off in the first two games of the series I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the Reds today.

Dodgers 9, Braves 4: Enrique HernandezMax Muncy and Justin Turner went deep as the Dodgers sweep the Braves and outscore them 23-7 in the process. Clayton Kershaw wasn’t super sharp in the process of winning the game but he didn’t have to be given how the Dodgers bats beat the Braves into a thick, pasty goo.

Giants vs. Rockies — POSTPONED:

You’re old enough some people say
To read the signs and walk away
It’s only time that heals the pain
And makes the sun come out again
It’s raining again
Oh no, my love’s at an end
Oh no, it’s raining again
Too bad I’m losing a friend
La, la, la, la, la, la, la

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.