And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 5, Padres 2: The Padres took an early 2-0 lead but that’s all they’d get against a sextet of Yankees relievers on what was a bullpen day for the Yankees. Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner homered in the second to give the Yankees the lead and Gary Sánchez went deep in the eighth to give them some breathing room. Oh, and Yankees fans booed Manny Machado and chanted “overrated” at him. How friggin’ brainwashed are these people for blaming their own team’s tightfisted ways and refusal to acquire the best players available on the guy who never got a competitive offer from them?

Astros 6, Cubs 5: Gerrit Cole struck out 12 in six innings of work and Cole Hamels gave up six runs in four innings of work. So, fine, you know how this game went. The biggest takeaway here is that for the second straight start, Cole Hamels took on someone with Cole in his name. The last time being Cole Irvin of the Phillies. A.J. Cole is a reliever so I guess he won’t face off against him, but at this point I suppose anything can happen.

Athletics 8, Angels 5: That’s ten wins in a row for Oakland. Here Matt Chapman homered for the third straight game and  Jurickson Profar and Josh Phegley hit bombs as well. Here’s what Bob Melvin said about the A’s current run: “We’re just a little bit relentless right now with how we’re going about out our business.” I’ve never seen the term “relentless” modified with both a diminishing factor like “a little bit” and a cliche that is aimed at making things seem mundane like “going about our business.” If I was the concept of relentlessness I’d sue Melvin for slander.

Marlins 3 Nationals 2: Max Scherzer allowed one run in six and even drove one in. He can’t do alone, though, and this year his Nats teammates have not been much help to him. He left the game with a 2-1 lead but Tanner Rainey allowed the tying run in the seventh and Kyle Barraclough allowed the go-ahead run an inning later. The defense let him down too. As a result of this loss the Nationals fell to 2-10 in games started by Scherzer. He could do almost anything to his teammates right now and I’m guessing no jury would convict him.

Orioles 5, Tigers 3: I guess someone had to win a matchup between two of the worst teams in baseball. Here Baltimore benefitted from some dumb and sloppy play by the Tigers and from homers off the bats of Renato Núñez and Jonathan Villar to take the first of a three-game set. Detroit has dropped 12 of 13.

Rays 8, Blue Jays 3: Yonny Chirinos tossed five no-hit innings but he was on a pitch count so they pulled him. The first reliever in gave up a hit so the combined no-no was gone but they still only allowed the Jays four hits on the day. A couple of those were homers which made things close in the seventh, but the Rays pulled away. Austin Meadows homered and drove in three for Tampa Bay. And Kevin Kiermaier did this:

Pirates 8, Reds 5; Reds 8, Pirates 1: Rookie Bryan Reynolds hit a tie-breaking two-run triple and then Starling Marte homered as Pittsburgh’s put up a four-spot in the eighth inning of Game 1. Josh Bell went deep too as the Pirates snapped a three-game losing streak. They began a new losing streak — one is a streak, right? — when the nightcap began with starter Mitch Keller surrendering six runs in the first, including a grand slam to José Iglesias. It never got better as Reds starter Sonny Gray looked good through six while Derek Dietrich and Yasiel Puig homered late to make it a laugher.

Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 3: Raimel Tapia singled in the winning run in the 11th inning to give the Colorado their third walkoff win in four games. It could’ve easily been the Snakes’ game as Jarrod Dyson led off the top of the tenth with a triple but was stranded. When you don’t score after a leadoff triple things just really aren’t going your way.

Red Sox 12, Indians 5: It was 5-3 Boston in the fifth when Terry Francona called Óliver Pérez from the bullpen. Before he could begin work he stopped the game because a spike broke on one of his cleats. He waited on the mound in socks while someone fetched him a new pair. Then he changed his shoes. Watch: this is the most riveting highlight you’ll see this year:

Newly-shod, Pérez promptly gave up an RBI double to Jackie Bradley Jr. and then served up a three-run homer to Sandy León to break things wide open. Boston keeps cruising. Cleveland has lost seven of eight.

Brewers 5, Twins 4: The only good news for the Indians on the day was that the Twins’ win streak was snapped at seven. Here Orlando Arcia hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth and drove in three on the evening. The Brewers bullpen gave Craig Counsell four and a third innings of scoreless relief with Jeremy JeffressJunior Guerra, Corbin Burnes and Josh Hader throwing bullets. For his part, Jeffress dodged a bullet, Neo from “The Matrix”-style:

As you can see, Jeffress took a bit more damage than Neo ever did. He left the game after that but he seems to be OK.

Dodgers 9, Mets 5: Cody Bellinger can’t be stopped. He homered again here, bringing his batting line on the year to .383/.469/.761, and he flashed some fantastic defense. Check out this putout at third as Carlos Gomez tries to tag:

Earlier he cut down Michael Conforto at home plate to save a run. The guy has MVP written all over him right now. The Dodgers have won 10 of 12 and lead the West by eight games.

Mariners 6, Rangers 2: The M’s snap a six-game losing streak. It was power and speed here. The speed: Mallex Smith, who stole four bases on the night. Three of them came in one inning after a walk. The steal of home came on a pickoff throw to first, but he still showed off his wheels with it:

The power came via Dan Vogelbach‘s big time dinger to the third deck in right field that, yes, stayed fair:

You know you hit a moon shot when the camera tracking the ball gets the retractable roof in the frame.

Royals vs. White Sox — SUSPENDED:

Talkin’ to myself and feelin’ old
Sometimes I’d like to quit
Nothin’ ever seems to fit
Hangin’ around
Nothin’ to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down
What I’ve got they used to call the blues
Nothin’ is really wrong
Feelin’ like I don’t belong
Walkin’ around
Some kind of lonely clown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year, $58.5M deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year, $58.5 million contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, gets $19.5 million in each of the next three seasons.

He spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu was scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.

He would get a $200,000 for winning an MVP award, $175,000 for finishing second in the voting, $150,000 for third, $125,000 for fourth and $100,000 for fifth. Abreu also would get $100,000 for earning World Series MVP and $75,000 for League Championship Series MVP, $75,000 for making the All-Star team and $75,000 for winning a Gold Glove or a Silver Slugger.

Abreu gets a hotel suite on road trips and the right to buy a luxury suite for all Astros home games.