And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

Getty Images

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Angels 5, Rays 3: The power went out during the bottom of the fourth inning, delaying this one 36 minutes, but Shohei Ohtani shined, hitting for the cycle on a 4-for-4, three-RBI day. As we noted last night, Ohtani is the first Japanese-born player to hit for the cycle in the majors. He was, quite obviously, a key part of the win as his three-run homer in the first put the Angels up early, but he also came around to score on Albert Pujols‘ fifth inning two-run homer. That homer was Pujols’ 200th with the Angels, making him the sixth player in big league history to do that with two different teams.

If you had asked me point blank who the guys were who had done that I probably would’ve guessed Mark McGwire and Jimmie Foxx immediately, and then I would’ve incorrectly guessed Barry Bonds, who only had 176 in Pittsburgh. If you had given me enough time I probably would’ve gotten Rafael Palmiero and Manny Ramirez but I would’ve embarrassingly blanked on Griffey Jr. hitting more than 200 for Cincinnati because, like a lot of people, I just sort of mentally filed his Reds years away as a noble failure of the you can’t go home again variety. Thing was, he played there nine years, hit 40 in his first season and topped 30 a couple more times. It just seems like he was perpetually playing 100 games and having his season cut short by a pulled hamstring every year.

Blue Jays 12, Orioles 3: The Jays rattled off 17 hits on the day and scored a season high 12 runs and, thanks to the Raptors, ain’t no one in Toronto gonna care about it today. It happens. Cavan Biggio scored a run in Toronto’s seven-run sixth inning and hit homers in both the second and seventh. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homered in that big inning, had three hits in all and drove in three. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Danny Jansen had three hits and two RBI each.

Braves 6, Pirates 5: The Pirates led 2-1 in the fifth when the Braves rallied for five against Joe Musgrove. Freddie Freeman tripled in a run to tie things up and then Josh Donaldson — who had the “don’t look at me” fight with Musgrove just the other day — then hit a go-ahead RBI single off of him. Two batters later Ozzie Albies doubled in two to make it 5-2, chasing Musgrove. The Braves have won seven straight — sweeping the Pirates in this four-game series — and now lead the NL East by a game and a half.

Twins 10, Mariners 5: Big innings were the order of the day yesterday. Here it was the Twins putting up a six-spot in the sixth. Nelson Cruz was a rude host to his old team, knocking three hits, hitting a homer and driving in three. C.J. Cron went deep too and Max Kepler drove in a couple.

Diamondbacks 5, Nationals 0: Zack Greinke took a no-hitter into the eighth and left with seven and a third shutout innings with just a couple of hits allowed. He needed only 75 pitches to get that far and probably would’ve finished it off if it wasn’t for an hour-long rain delay that hit that inning. Alex Avila and Jarrod Dyson homered for Arizona, which has won seven of eight.

Red Sox 7, Rangers 6: The Rangers took a 4-0 first inning lead and led 6-1 after their half of the second but the Sox bashed their way back. All seven of the runs Boston scored came on homers, with Jackie Bradley Jr. hitting a three-run shot in the second, and J.D. MartinezMichael Chavis and Rafael Devers hitting solo shots. Xander Bogaerts‘ seventh inning solo blast broke a 6-6 tie and completed the comeback.

Royals 7, Tigers 3: The Royals win the first-ever major league game in Nebraska, played there as part of the festivities for the College World Series. It was a sellout crowd of 25,454, which I seriously doubt Detroit or Kansas City would’ve come close to for a Thursday night game if they had played it at home. Nicky Lopez, who played for Creighton University, which plays its games in TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, had a nice homecoming, hitting a solo homer in the second inning to kick off the game’s scoring. Whit Merrifield had a couple of hits and drove in two and Homer Bailey tossed six shutout innings.

White Sox 5, Yankees 4: New York took a 4-0 lead into the fifth when Leury García doubled in a run and then Tim Anderson hit a three-run homer to tie things up. The White Sox took the lead in the seventh when García launched a solo homer off of Adam Ottavino. García on his homer:

“I just tried to swing at good pitches. I wasn’t looking for a homer. I just wanted to try to get on base.”

He said that through a translator, which means that empty baseball cliches transcend the language barrier. The White Sox have won four of five.

Rockies 9, Padres 6: Charlie Blackmon hit two homers, tripled and finished with four hits and four RBI on the night. Since coming off the injured list Blackmon is 11-for-25 (.440) with four home runs and 10 RBI in six games. Jon Gray got off to a rough start but he ended up going six innings and struck out ten dudes. Trevor Story also homered. The Rockies have won 11 of 12 at home. Manny Machado hit two homers in a losing cause for the Padres.

Dodgers 7, Cubs 3: Clayton Kershaw found himself down 3-0 early, but that’s all he allowed and ended up going six innings and picked up his sixth win. He was picked up by his offense in a major way, as Cody Bellinger hit two homers and drove in three while Max Muncy and David Freese each had two run shots.

Cardinals 4, Mets 4 — SUSPENDED:

There’s no sensation to compare with this
Suspended animation, a state of bliss
Can’t keep my mind from the circling skies
Tongue-tied and twisted just an earth-bound misfit, I

MLB, union resume blood testing after pandemic, lockout

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK – In the first acknowledgment that MLB and the players’ association resumed blood testing for human growth hormone, the organizations said none of the 1,027 samples taken during the 2022 season tested positive.

HGH testing stopped in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Testing also was halted during the 99-day lockout that ended in mid-March, and there were supply chain issues due to COVID-19 and additional caution in testing due to coronavirus protocols.

The annual public report is issued by Thomas M. Martin, independent program administrator of MLB’s joint drug prevention and treatment program. In an announcement accompanying Thursday’s report, MLB and the union said test processing is moving form the INRS Laboratory in Quebec, Canada, to the UCLA Laboratory in California.

MLB tests for HGH using dried blood spot testing, which was a change that was agreed to during bargaining last winter. There were far fewer samples taken in 2022 compared to 2019, when there were 2,287 samples were collected – none positive.

Beyond HGH testing, 9,011 urine samples were collected in the year ending with the 2022 World Series, up from 8,436 in the previous year but down from 9,332 in 2019. And therapeutic use exemptions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder dropped for the ninth straight year, with just 72 exemptions in 2022.

Overall, the league issued six suspensions in 2022 for performance-enhancing substances: three for Boldenone (outfielder/first baseman Danny Santana, pitcher Richard Rodriguez and infielder Jose Rondon, all free agents, for 80 games apiece); one each for Clomiphene (Milwaukee catcher Pedro Severino for 80 games), Clostebol (San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. for 80 games) and Stanozolol (Milwaukee pitcher J.C. Mejia for 80 games).

There was an additional positive test for the banned stimulant Clobenzorex. A first positive test for a banned stimulant results in follow-up testing with no suspension.