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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Athletics 5, Rays 4: Tampa Bay is reeling, having lost four in a row and eight of ten. This loss was particularly dispiriting as they rode a strong Charlie Morton start into a 1-1 tie in the ninth and then scored three to put the A’s in a three-run hole in the final frame. Oakland rallied, though, and Matt Chapman won it for them with a three-run walkoff homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. It was the A’s fourth straight win and their seventh of nine.

Rangers 4, Indians 2: Mike Minor was excellent again, going eight while allowing one run on three hits, all singles. Elvis Andrus homered and tripled in a run. It was a hot day — 95 with a 110 degree heat index — and Rangers manager Chris Woodword was impressed with Minor’s stamina:

Woodward hadn’t planned to send Minor back out for the eighth inning, but the pitcher told him he was doing fine.

“He didn’t even have sweat on his face,” Woodward said.

Dude, lack of sweat is TOTALLY a symptom of heat stroke. Just sayin.’

Blue Jays 7, Angels 5: The Jays blew a 5-3 lead as the Halos forced extras but Billy McKinney, who had earlier entered the game as a pinch runner, smacked a walkoff two-run homer in the tenth to end it. Kawhi Leonard showed up at the game in the fourth inning and sat behind home plate and the crowd chanted “MVP, MVP” at him. McKinney later said he noticed him there and praised Leonard for “the way he goes about his business.” Which is funny because if a baseball player wore the baseball equivalent of a “board man gets paid” t-shirt — maybe “Good leather earns Gold” —  people would be writing columns decrying his me-first attitude and stuff.

Marlins 7, Cardinals 6: Rookie pinch hitter Tommy Edman homered for the Cardinals late to help them rally from a 5-3 deficit — they also trailed 4-1 earlier —  to tie it, but JT Riddle hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning off of Andrew Miller to put the Fish over. Earlier they got yet another nice starting pitching performance from a rookie, with Zac Gallen — a man whose parents eschewed both ks and hs — allowing one run in five innings while striking out six in his big league debut.

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 4: It was tied at four in the ninth when Tony Wolters pinch hit and singled in a run to force extras. In the tenth Chris Iannetta singled in two for the win. Charlie Blackmon and Ian Desmond homered for the Rockies, who swept the Dbacks. Indeed, they’ve taken eight in a row from Arizona.

Yankees 10, Astros 6: New York put up a six spot in the fourth thanks to homers from Gary Sánchez, Gleyber Torres and D.J. LeMahieu, extended their lead to 8-2 in the fifth via a two-run double from Cameron Maybin and then got a two-run shot from Edwin Encarnación to make it 10-3 by the seventh. New York is bashing people’s brains in and they’re not really getting anything from Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Hicks and they are only getting Aaron Judge back today. Those guys are all gonna hit soon too, you know. I just can’t remember a team that has had this sort of performance from a group of players who were either not supposed to be on the roster or, at the very least, were not supposed to be contributors.

Nationals 7, Phillies 4: Anthony Rendon hit a solo shot and Víctor Robles hit a three-run blast in the Nats’ four-run sixth to put was at that point a tie game out of reach. Kurt Suzuki also went deep for the Nationals. Washington wins its fourth in a row and its fifth of six. Philly loses its fourth in a row and its sixth of seven.

Reds 7, Brewers 1: I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that, maybe, Jimmy Nelson was not ready to come back. The Brewers starter who missed all of the 2018 season and the first couple months of this season while recovering from a torn labrum, has pitched three times so far and he’s allowed 13 earned runs on 16 hits in 12 innings while walking 10. His counterpart, Tanner Roark, allowed one run on a homer by Christian Yelich, but everyone gives up homers to Yelich. Jose Iglesias, meanwhile, homered and drove in four.

Cubs 7, Mets 4: Javier Báez tripled in a run and homered and Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run double. The Cubs rode a six-run third inning to an easy win and then watched it debuting rookie Adbert Alzolay toss four strong innings in relief. Not a bad night for the Cubbies. Meanwhile the Mets drop their seventh of their last ten and fall five games under .500  I guess firing their pitching coach didn’t work on Day 1. Maybe give it time.

Royals 4, Twins 1: Kansas City was down 0-1 before they even came to bat but by the time the first inning ended they led 3-1 and that was basically that. Alex Gordon doubled in two and Lucas Duda singled in a run off of Jake Odorizzi in that first frame. They’d later get an RBI double from Martin Maldonado. Glenn Sparkman went seven innings, allowing only the one run for the Royals.

Dodgers 9, Giants 8: The Dodgers built leads of 6-0 and 7-1 and still lead 9-4 heading into the top of the ninth but the Giants gave ’em a scare. San Francisco mounted a four-run rally in the final frame and fell just short when Cody Bellinger made a close putout at third for the game’s final out. It was reviewed on replay but upheld. After the game Bruce Bochy was still fuming about it not being overturned. You be the judge:

Before all that the Dodgers roughed up nemesis Madison Bumgarner good. Kyle Garlick, Austin Barnes and Joc Pederson each hit two-run homers and Justin Turner had three hits. The Dodgers sent 11 batters to the plate and had eight of their 16 hits in the fourth inning, when they chased Bumgarner

Mariners 5, Orioles 2: Domingo Santana‘s homer kicked off a three-run six inning for the M’s and Wade LeBlanc struck out seven while pitching into the seventh. The Mariners have won back-to-back games for the first time in over a month. Break out the bubbly.

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.

If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.

Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.