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And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rangers 5, Tigers 3: Jesse Chavez gave up just one unearned run in six and a third and Ronald Guzmán homered. Detroit has lost five straight and nine of ten.

Yankees 4, Blue Jays 3: All four of the Yankees’ runs came on solo home runs, with D.J. LeMahieu and Aaron Judge going back-to-back in the first and later Gleyber Torres and Edwin Encarnación going deep. LeMahieu’s broke a record, making this the 28th straight game in which New York homered, passing the 2002 Rangers in that department. The Yankees have won 10 of 11.

Mariners 8, Brewers 3: J.P. Crawford tripled in a run and drove in two on the night and Daniel Vogelbach hit a two-run homer. Seattle led 7-1 by the fifth and 7-3 after the fifth was over, but four M’s relief pitchers combined to shut out Milwaukee over the final four frames. When you have a big lead like that there’s a chance a relief pitcher is gonna hit. Austin Adams of the Mariners got that call last night, and he had a tonic for all of you weirdos who say that pitchers should totally hit and could totally do better at it if they simply practiced:

“I got to hit and that was not fun. I never want to do that again. I got a piece of three (pitches), and they were waving the white flag over there in the first-base dugout. Hitting is extremely hard.”

That was against Jimmy Nelson of all people. Imagine if he had to face a guy who has actually been effective any time recently.

Phillies 7, Mets 5: The Mets had an early 4-1 lead and led 5-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth but Philly rallied for five in that frame, with Maikel Franco and Brad Miller homers capping the rally. The Phillies credit bamboo:

Hoping to snap the Phillies out of their funk, Miller visited a store in Chinatown and bought a small bamboo plant. He put it in his locker Monday as a good-luck charm, and the Phillies snapped a seven-game losing streak.

So Miller purchased a larger bamboo plant on Tuesday and stuck it in the middle of the clubhouse, the floral centerpiece perhaps planting the seeds for a long winning streak.

“They’re gonna think I’m crazy going back tomorrow,” Miller said.

He should definitely go back today.

Padres 8, Orioles 3: Manny Machado returned to Baltimore. He got a standing ovation in his first at bat and hit a homer to give the Padres a 5-1 lead in his second at bat. That came after Fernando Tatís Jr. hit a two-run shot. Manuel Margot and Francisco Mejía would later homer — Margot drove in three on the night — as Manny’s new team beat Manny’s old team easily.

Red Sox 6, White Sox 3: Sox win! Christian Vázquez drove in two in the third to tie it and Xander Bogaerts hit a tie-breaking two-run shot in the fifth. David Price went six allowing two earned runs and striking out nine. Worse than just losing for Chicago: they lost Tim Anderson to a sprained ankle, degree to be determined. It was a wet night in Boston and much of the game was played on a slick field. Anderson was hurt when he had trouble planting his foot on a fielding play.

Royals 8, Indians 6: A close one, with the Indians giving themselves a bit of breathing room thanks to a sixth inning Tyler Naquin homer and a seventh inning Carlos Santana homer putting them up 6-3. Kansas City came back, though, with a five-run ninth including a grand slam from Hunter Dozier. That five-run rally came against Brad Hand, who had been 22-for-22 in save chances entering this one. His ERA went from 1.08 to 2.36 as a result. Life comes at you fast when you’re a reliever.

Nationals 6, Marlins 1: Max Scherzer continues to show that having a broken nose is the new inefficiency. He struck out ten Miami batters here, allowing one run over eight and throwing 71 of 94 pitches for strikes. It was his fifth straight win and the third straight start in which he’s struck out exactly ten. Trea Turner hit a three-run homer and Juan Soto knocked in two for the Nationals, who have won six of eight.

Braves 3, Cubs 2: Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies each homered — Albies’ was a two-run shot — and Max Fried allowed only two over six innings with the Braves pen shutting Chicago out over the final three frames. Albies absolutely owns Chicago pitching: he’s 11-for-20 against the Cubs this season, and is 29-for-60 against them in his career.

Astros 5, Pirates 1: Gerrit Cole faced the team with which he came up and had no trouble, allowing one run over seven. He only struck out three, which is super odd for him, but a win’s a win. Yuli Gurriel and Alex Bregman homered for Houston, which became the fourth team to reach 50 wins on the year.

Twins 9, Rays 4: Blake Snell was lit up for the second straight start, this time giving up seven runs on 11 hits while not making it out of the fourth inning. The Cy Young winner is now 4-7 with an ERA over 5. In five starts in June, he has a 12.11 ERA and has given up six or more runs three times. The kicker: he says he feels totally fine. Even better, health wise, than he did last year. Go figure. Eddie Rosario had four hits for the Twins, Willians Astudillo had three and Jonathan Schoop and C.J. Cron hit solo homers.

Athletics 7, Cardinals 3: Chad Pinder, Marcus Semien, and Matt Olson all homered and the A’s rode a five-run six inning to victory. Oakland has won six of eight. Blake Snell is not the only starter experiencing June gloom: Cards pitcher Jack Flaherty is winless in five starts this month and has allowed nine homers in those games. This was the fifth time Flaherty has given up a lead of two or more runs this season.

Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 2: Kiké Hernandez and Justin Turner homered and Chris Taylor doubled in a run to break a 2-2 tie in the sixth. Ross Stripling was on a pitch count and only went three innings, but the Dodgers bullpen tossed six scoreless innings. L.A reaches the season halfway point with 55 wins. The Diamondbacks have lost seven of nine.

Giants 4, Rockies 2: Madison Bumgarner‘s audition for teams interested in trading for him continues to hum along nicely, as he strikes out 11 and gives up only two runs on three hits over six innings. One of those runs came on a “double” one of his outfielders lost in the lights. Bumgarner also singled in a run in the fourth. I think it’d be funny to see him traded to an AL team, though, as I bet he’d offer up some grumpy quote about it.

Angels 5, Reds 1: Luis Rengifo hit a three-run homer and Tommy La Stella hit a solo shot to back Andrew Heaney‘s one-run ball into the sixth. La Stella’s was an inside-the-parker:

Nick Senzel probably should’ve caught that, someone probably should’ve gotten to the rolling ball more quickly than they did and the throw in to the infield probably could’ve been better but a run’s a run. Overall the Reds had a number of lazy-ass plays that benefitted the Angels, including Jose Peraza lollygagging to let an Angels runner score on a sac fly from second base and he and Eugenio Suárez each getting caught on the bases due to lackadaisical running. Must’ve been a fun offday in the O.C.

Justin Verlander laughed at after saying Astros were “technologically and analytically advanced”

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Justin Verlander was at the annual Baseball Writers Association of America banquet last night, on hand to accept the 2019 Cy Young Award. Normally such things are pretty routine events, but nothing is routine with the Houston Astros these days.

During his acceptance speech, Verlander made some comments about the Astros’ “technological and analytical advancements.” The comments were greeted by some laughter in the room as well as some groans. At least one person on hand claimed that other players present were visibly angry.

It’s hard to tell the context of it all without a full video — maybe Verlander meant it as a joke, maybe the reactions were more varied than is being described — but here’s how reporters on hand for it last night are describing it:

If it was a joke it was ill-timed, as not many around the game think the sign-stealing stuff is funny at the moment. Especially in light of the fact that, despite having several opportunities to do so, Astros players have failed to show any accountability for their cheating.

And yes, that includes former Astros Dallas Keuchel, who was praised for “apologizing” at a White Sox fan event on Friday, but whose “apology” was couched in a lot of deflection and excuse-making about how it was just something that was done at the time and about how technology was to blame. Keuchel also tried to minimize it, saying that the Astros didn’t do it all the time. Which is rich given that the most prominent video evidence of their trash can-banging scheme came from a blowout Astros win in a meaningless August game against a losing team. If they were doing it in that situation, please, do not tell me they weren’t doing it when games really mattered.

Anyway, I’d like to think Verlander was just trying to take a stab at a joke here, because Verlander is the wrong guy to be sending to be sending any kind of messages diminishing the cheating given that he has a pretty solid track record of holding other players’ feet to the fire when they get busted.

For example, here he was in 2018 after Robinson Canó got busted for PEDs:

Of course, consistency can be a problem for Verlander when his teammates are on the ones who are on the hook. Here was his response to Tigers infielder Jhonny Peralta being suspended in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal:

“Everybody makes mistakes. He’s my brother. We fight and bleed and sweat together on the baseball field. If my brother makes a mistake, especially if he owns up to it and serves his time, I don’t see how you can hold a grudge or anything like that. “It’s one thing to step up and be a man and own up to his mistake.”

Verlander, it should also be noted, was very outspoken about teams engaging in advanced sign-stealing schemes once upon a time. here he was in 2017, while still with the Tigers, talking about such things in a June 2017 interview with MLive.com.

“We don’t have somebody, but I’m sure teams have a person that can break down signals and codes and they’ll have the signs before you even get out there on the mound.  It’s not about gamesmanship anymore. It used to be, ‘Hey, if you can get my signs, good for you.’ In the past, if a guy on second (base) was able to decipher it on a few pitches, I guess that was kind of part of the game. I think it’s a different level now. It’s not good.”

Which makes me wonder how he felt when he landed on the Astros two months later and realized they had a sophisticated cheating operation underway. If the feelings were mixed, he was able to bury the part of them which had a problem with it, because he’s said jack about it since this all blew up in November. And, of course, has happily accepted the accolades and the hardware he he has received since joining Houston, some of which was no doubt acquired by virtue of a little extra, ill-gotten run support.

Anyway, wake me up when someone — anyone — associated with the Astros shows some genuine accountability about this.