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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Angels 13, Tigers 0: This game featured Albert Pujols’ 2,000th RBI and four RBI — and two homers — from Tommy La Stella. Pujols is a Hall of Famer and we knew he was gonna get to 2,000 eventually. La Stella, meanwhile has nine homers in 32 games. Before this season he had ten homers, total, in 396 career games. The Angels used an opener here and after he left Felix Pena threw seven scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and striking out seven.

Indians 5, White Sox 0: This game went the bare minimum — five innings — due to rain. I feel like the White Sox had enough, though. They got bupkis from Carlos Carrasco, who gave up only two hits in five shutout innings, striking out six. Jordan Luplow homered twice for Cleveland, both solo shots.

It was good that they called the game for rain, though. The outfield was getting so slippery that it was affecting not only the outfielders’ footing, but it was also affecting the official scorer’s brain:

Cubs 4, Marlins 1: A Yu Darvish special. One hit! One run! But only four innings because he walked six and struck out seven and needed 97 pitches to get even that far. The guy has talent and when he was younger he was electric to watch but my God is he . . . an experience these days. Mike Montgomery relieved him and went five innings, shutting out the Fish the rest of the way on only three hits. he needed only 71 pitches to get that far. Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo went deep for the Cubbies.

Rockies 12, Giants 11: It was 39 degrees at first pitch and there was a snowpocalypse in Denver, but that didn’t stop everyone from hitting:

It certainly didn’t stop Nolan Arenado, who went deep, had three hits and reached base five times. Ian Desmond and Mark Reynolds also homered. Colorado built an early 7-0 lead but the game was tied at eight by the sixth because, well, that’s what happens in Denver. Chris Iannetta hit a go-ahead two-run double in the sixth, though, to keep the Rockies from totally choking away the game. Giants first baseman Tyler Austin had two home runs and six RBI in a losing cause. The game lasted almost four hours and the temp barely got into the 40s. Sounds absolutely lovely.

Reds 3, Athletics 0: Tanner Roark and three relievers combined to toss as six-hit shutout, backed by homers from Derek Dietrich and Eugenio SuĂĄrez to avoid being swept in Oakland. It was Dietrich’s fifth dinger in six games. SuĂĄrez also doubled twice and flashed some leather. If you get through the offensive highlights here you can watch a pretty fantastic pick and jump throw from foul territory and a super nice stab for a hot liner after which he quickly doubled off the runner at first:

Yankees 3, Mariners 1: J.A. Happ and four Yankees relievers combined to two-hit the M’s, with their only run coming on a ninth inning homer by Domingo Santana off of Aroldis Chapman. There was some controversy here too as Happ plunked Dee Gordon on the wrist, when his wrist happened to be up near his head. Gordon was salty about it after the game because he didn’t like Happ coming up and in at him, but there’s really no reason to believe this was intentional. I get mad when I hit my thumb with a hammer too. Doesn’t mean I meant to do it. The M’s have lost nine of 11.

Cardinals 17, Pirates 4: St. Louis scored these 17 runs all without the benefit of a homer and they sent nine batters to the plate in three times in the first six innings. Marcell Ozuna drove in four of them, three on a double, one on a fielder’s choice. Paul Goldschmidt reached base four times and had three hits and two RBI. Dexter Fowler drove in three. Fowler credits the outburst to him and his wife taking several other players and their wives out for karaoke after Wednesday’s bad game. No word on what they sang, but for the record, my go-to is always “Laid” by James. And yes, I can hit those high notes.

Astros 4, Rangers 2: Josh Reddick hit the tiebreaking RBI single in the sixth and made a game-saving, home-run robbing catch off the bat of Hunter Pence with two men on base:

Wade Miley outpitched Mike Minor, allowing two runs on only two hits and striking out seven over six.

Diamondbacks 3, Braves 2: It was 1-1 in the ninth when Josh Donaldson and David Peralta traded solo homers to send it to extras. The Dbacks rallied in their half of the tenth with a walk and consecutive singles off of Braves reliever A.J. Minter, the second single was a walkoff RBI from Ketel Marte. Ballgame. Good job, Braves bullpen. Capital effort. There was a home run robbery in this one too, with Adam Jones stealing a dinger from Ronald Acuña Jr.:

My favorite thing about that is when Jones slaps his glove to his thigh, which is the gesture outfielders make to signal “I got this one.” I get that on a regular fly ball, but it’s pretty sweet to see a guy so experienced and confident that he knows he’s got one that would’ve otherwise gone over the fence.

Nationals 6, Dodgers 0: The Nats have been on the skids lately but Patrick Corbin played stopped, tossing seven innings of shutout ball. The Nats got three off of Rich Hill in the first thanks to a Howie Kendrick homer. Kendrick is one of those guys you have to remind yourself is still in the league and then you look up and see that he’s hitting .325/.383/.588 with six homers on the year.

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.