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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Twins 8, Angels 7: Byron Buxton and Jason Castro each hit two-run homers, Ehire Adrianza added a two-run double and the Twins needed all of that and more to hold off a late Angels rally. Minnesota has won 10 of their last 15 games

Yankees 5, Orioles 3; Yankees 3, Orioles 1: Have a day Gleyber Torres. The Yankees shortstop hit two homers in the first game and a third homer in the nightcap. Gary Sánchez and Cameron Maybin joined him in longball land in Game 1. Sánchez’s homer as a monster blast, going 449 feet and leaving the bat at nearly 115 m.p.h:

Domingo Germán was strong in the second game, tossing seven innings, allowing a run and striking out eight to notch his eighth win of the year and lowering his ERA to 2.41. Aroldis Chapman saved both ends of the twinbill. The Yankees have won 20 of 27 games despite still having 13 dudes on the injured list.

Diamondbacks 11, Pirates 1: Zack Greinke cruised in this one, pitching shutout ball into the eighth before leaving with abdominal tightness. They’re going to reevaluate him today. He may have hurt himself while batting but, hey, that’s a price worth paying for “purism” I guess. Blake Swihart hit a two-run, inside-the-park homer. Like the one the other night, it was all thanks to a bad carom and there was no play at the plate:

Eduardo Escobar and Adam Jones also homered. Jarrod Dyson had two hits, drove in two, scored three runs and stole two bases.

Giants 4, Blue Jays 3: Shaun Anderson was one of a couple of notable rookies to make his debut and to make an impact last night. Here the Giants starter did not figure in the decision but he did go five, allowing only two hits and two earned runs. His counterpart, Edwin Jackson, is about as opposite as you can get from a debuting rookie. Here he donned his record-breaking 14th uniform in 17 big league seasons as he made his Jays debut. Brandon Crawford‘s sixth inning homer broke a 3-3 tie and held up.

Reds 6, Cubs 5: Yasiel Puig hit an RBI single with the bases loaded in the 10th to give the Reds a walkoff win. Yu Darvish was pretty good for Chicago, striking out 11 and leaving with a 3-2 lead in the sixth, but the pen blew it, allowing one in the seventh and two in the eighth to force extras.

Nationals 5, Mets 1: Patrick Corbin has been a bright spot for the Nats so far this year and he lit up the Mets last night, allowing only one run on four hits and striking out 11 in eight innings of work. Not gonna say the Nats have been going poorly of late or that they were desperate for a win here, but they brought in closer Sean Doolittle for the ninth in this one with a four-run lead because (a) a closer doesn’t get much work when you’re playing like the Nats have played lately; and (b) a four-run lead is no sure thing for this crew in 2019.

Brewers 5, Phillies 2: Gio Gonzalez allowed one run and scattered seven hits while pitching into the sixth and Jesús Aguilar drove in a couple. I read two game stories about this one and both featured almost as much Milwaukee Bucks content as it did Brewers content so, yeah, the Brewers are gonna be on the back burner a bit. It happens. Bucks won if you care about such things.

Red Sox 6, Rockies 5: Boston built up a 5-0 lead after three innings, blew it by the seventh inning but then Michael Chavis hit a walkoff single in the tenth to give the Sox he win. J.D. Martinez homered for his third straight game and drove in three. Eduardo Rodríguez struck out 10. Boston won for the 12th time in their last 15 games.

Astros 5, Tigers 1: The Astros got seven impressive innings from Justin Verlander, who allowed only two hits and struck out nine guys who wore the same uniforms his old mates used to wear. Alex Bregman homered and Jake Marisnick went 2-for-3 and drove in a couple. Houston has won eight in a row. It’s only May 16 and they already lead their division by seven and a half. They have a +87 run differential and every other AL West team is negative. In 2017 they won the division by 21 games. Feel like they’re gonna shatter that this year.

Rays 1, Marlins 0: The Rays use seven pitchers to toss a seven-hit shutout and the wonderfully-named 29-year-old rookie catcher Anthony Bemboom plated the game’s only run with a second inning single. Sadly, Bemboom sprained his left knee blocking a pitch in the fifth and had to leave the game. He’ll likely be placed on the injured list. Here’s hoping it’s a short stay, he comes back and hits his first big league homer soon because you cannot have a guy named Bemboom not hit a homer. It’d be like abusing broadcasters who have waited their whole life to call such a shot. Miami has lost seven straight.

Braves 4, Cardinals 0: Braves prospect Austin Riley made his MLB debut and in his second at bat he crushed a ball 438 feet for his first major league home run. Later Charlie Culberson came in to replace him in left field and hit a two-run homer, so yeah, nice night from the 7 position. Nice night from the 1 too, as Mike Soroka tossed seven shutout innings, allowing only three hits.

In other news, Boog Sciambi was calling the game for ESPN and Hall of Famer Chipper Jones visited the booth. They told a story that Braves fans might remember but which I don’t think got a ton of wide exposure at the time. Setup: Chipper was in a slump and, before a game, had talked to then-Braves announcer Sciambi about it:

Rangers 6, Royals 1: The Rangers called up Willie Calhoun from Triple-A Nashville before this game and all he did was hit a two-run homer in the first inning. Later Ronald Guzmán singled in a run and hit a two-run shot, with Shin-Soo Choo adding a solo homer for good measure. Mike Minor continued his long audition for the trade deadline by allowing one run and scattering eight hits over five.

Dodgers 2, Padres 0: Kenta Maeda was a one man gang, pitching shutout ball into the seventh and striking out 12 while driving in the game’s only two runs with an RBI single in the second inning. Also: I’m not sure how a 2-0 game lasts three hours and six minutes, but this one did.

MLBPA: MLB’s ‘demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected’

Rob Manfred and Tony Clark
LG Patterson/MLB via Getty Images
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On Thursday evening, the Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement regarding ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. The two sides continue to hash out details concerning a 2020 season. The owners want a shorter season, around 50 games. The union recently proposed a 114-game season that also offered the possibility of salary deferrals.

MLBPA executive director Tony Clark said that the union held a conference call that included the Executive Board and MLBPA player leaders. They “resoundingly rejected” the league’s “demand for additional concessions.”

The full statement:

In this time of unprecedented suffering at home and abroad, Players want nothing more than to get back to work and provide baseball fans with the game we all love. But we cannot do this alone.

Earlier this week, Major League Baseball communicated its intention to schedule a dramatically shortened 2020 season unless Players negotiate salary concessions. The concessions being sought are in addition to billions in Player salary reductions that have already been agreed upon.

This threat came in response to an Association proposal aimed at charting a path forward. Among other things, Players proposed more games, two years of expanded playoffs, salary deferrals in the event of a 2020 playoff cancellation, and the exploration of additional jewel events and broadcast enhancements aimed at creatively bringing our Players to the fans while simultaneously increasing the value of our product. Rather than engage, the league replied it will shorten the season unless Players agree to further salary reductions.

Earlier today we held a conference call of the Association’s Executive Board and several other MLBPA Player leaders. The overwhelming consensus of the Board is that Players are ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions that could affect the health and safety of not just themselves, but their families as well. The league’s demand for additional concessions was resoundingly rejected.

Important work remains to be done in order to safely resume the season. We stand ready to complete that work and look forward to getting back on the field.

As per the current agreement signed in March, if there is a 2020 season, players will be paid on a prorated basis. Thus, fewer games means the players get paid less and the owners save more. MLB has threatened to unilaterally set a 2020 season in motion if the two sides cannot come to terms. It should come as no surprise that the union has responded strongly on both fronts.

There have been varying reports in recent days over the confidence in a 2020 season happening. The MLBPA’s statement tonight doesn’t move the needle any; it simply affirms that the union remains steadfast in its goal to avoid a second significant cut in salaries.

As I see it, the ball is in the owners’ court. The owners can strongarm the players into a short season, saving money but significantly increasing the odds of a big fight in upcoming collective bargaining agreement negotiations. Or the owners can eat more of a financial loss, agreeing to a longer season than they feel is comfortable. The latter would have the double benefit of not damaging overall perception of the sport and would not disrupt labor peace going forward.

The MLBPA statement included a declaration that the players are “ready to report, ready to get back on the field, and they are willing to do so under unprecedented conditions.” If there is no 2020 season, we will have only the owners to blame, not the players.

Update: Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty, who has been quite vocal on social media about these negotiations, chimed in: