Getty Images

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

21 Comments

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.

Astros owner Crane expects to hire new manager by Feb. 3

10 Comments

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Astros owner Jim Crane expects to hire a new manager by Feb. 3.

The Astros need a new manager and general manager after AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were fired Monday, hours after both were suspended by Major League Baseball for a year for the team’s sign-stealing scandal.

Crane said Friday that he’s interviewed a number of candidates this week and has some more to talk to in the coming days.

Crane refused to answer directly when asked if former Astros player and Hall of Famer Craig Biggio was a possibility for the job. But he did say that he had spoken to Biggio, fellow Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and former Astros star Lance Berkman in the days since the firings.

“We’ve talked to all of our Killer B’s,” Crane said referring to the nickname the three shared while playing for the Astros. “They’ve contacted me and they’ve all expressed that they would like to help. Berkman, Bagwell, Biggio have all called and said: ‘hey, if there’s anything I can do, I’m here for you.’”

“So we’ll continue to visit with those guys and see if there’s something there.”

Crane says his list is still rather extensive and that he hopes to have it narrowed down by the end of next week. He added that he expects most of Hinch’s staff to stay in place regardless of who is hired.

Crane has enlisted the help of three or four employees to help him with the interview process, including some in Houston’s baseball operations department.

“We compare notes,” he said. “I’ve learned a long time ago that you learn a lot if four or five people talk to a key candidate and you get a lot more information. So that’s what we’re doing.”

Crane’ top priority is finding a manager with spring training less than a month away, but he said he would start focusing on the search for a general manager after he hires a manager. He expects to hire a GM before the end of spring training.

“We should have another good season with the team pretty much intact … so I don’t know why a manager wouldn’t want to come in and manage these guys,” he said. “They’re set to win again.”

The penalties announced by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday came after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs in Houston’s run to the 2017 World Series championship and again in the 2018 season. The Astros were also fined $5 million, which is the maximum allowed under the Major League Constitution, and must forfeit their next two first- and second-round amateur draft picks.

The investigation found that the Astros used the video feed from a center field camera to see and decode the opposing catcher’s signs. Players banged on a trash can to signal to batters what was coming, believing it would improve the batter’s odds of getting a hit.

With much still in flux, Crane was asked what qualities are most important to him in his next manager.

“Someone mature that can handle the group,” he said. “Someone that’s had a little bit of experience in some areas. We’ve just got to find a leader that can handle some pressure and there’s going to be a little bit of pressure from where this team has been in the last few months.”

Despite his comment about experience, Crane said having been a major league manager before is not mandatory to him.

“We made some mistakes,” he said. “We made a decision to let that get behind us. We think the future is bright. We’ll make the adjustments … people think we’re in crisis. I certainly don’t believe that.”