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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 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

The Players’ Weekend uniforms are terrible

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The Yankees and the Dodgers have a storied World Series history, having met in the Fall Classic 11 times. Part of what made those falls so classic was the livery worn by each club.

The Yankees’ uniforms have gone unchanged since 1936. The Dodgers, though changing cities in 1958, have had the same basic, classic look with only minor derivations for almost as long. You can’t even say the names of these teams without picturing pinstripes, those red Dodgers numbers, both teams’ clean road grays, the Yankees navy and the Dodgers’ Dodger blue.

They looked like a couple of expansion teams last night however, at least sartorially speaking.

As you probably know it’s Players’ Weekend this weekend, and teams all over the league wore either all black or all white with player-chosen nicknames on the back. We’ve had the nicknames for a couple of years now and that’s fine, but the black and white combo is new. It doesn’t look great, frankly. I riffed on that on Twitter yesterday a good bit. But beyond my mere distaste for the ensembles, they present a pretty problematic palette, too.

For one thing the guys in black blend in with the umpires. Quick, look at these infields and tell me who’s playing and who’s officiating:

The white batting helmets look especially bad:

But some guys — like Enrique Hernandez of the Dodgers, realized that pine tar makes the white helmets look super special:

There was also a general issue with the white-on-white uniforms in that it’s rather hard to read the names and the numbers on the backs of the jerseys. This was especially true during the Cubs-Nationals game in the afternoon sunlight. You’ll note this as a much bigger problem on Sunday. It’s all rather ironic, of course, that the players have been given the right to put fun, quirky nicknames on the backs of their jerseys but no one can really see them.

The SNY booth was reading many people’s minds last night, noting how much Mad Magazine “Spy vs. Spy” energy this is throwing off:

I’ll also note that if you’re flipping between games or looking at highlights on social media it’s super hard to even tell which team is which — and even what game’s highlights you’re seeing — just by looking which, you know, is sort of the point of having uniforms in the first place.

I’m glad the players have a weekend in which they’re allowed to wear what they want. I just wish they’d wear something better.