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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights


Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rays 3, Red Sox 2: In the bottom of the fifth, the Rays tied the game at 2-2 on a Joey Wendle RBI single and took the lead on an RBI single by Guillermo Heredia. That would be it for the offense. Things got interesting in the top of the eighth as Rays manager Kevin Cash tried to do some lineup trickery to keep lefty reliever Adam Kolarek available. Red Sox manager Alex Cora wasn’t buying it, as he chose to play the remainder of the game under protest. Here’s the post about it if you want more details. Emilio Pagán worked a scoreless ninth to close out the game.

Nationals 3, Rockies 2 (Game 1): Anthony Rendon broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning with a solo home run that proved to be the game-winner. Starters Erick Fedde and Jon Gray each allowed a run over four innings, turning the game over to their respective bullpens early.

Nationals 2, Rockies 0 (Game 2): This low-scoring affair featured the struggling Kyle Freeland and Patrick Corbin. Corbin narrowly outdueled Freeland, tossing six scoreless innings on three hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. Freeland allowed an unearned run on four hits and a walk with four punch-outs. Victor Robles opened the scoring when he reached on a fielding error in the fourth inning. The light-hitting Yan Gomes tacked on a solo homer in the seventh. The slumping Rockies are now 3-15 in July.

Phillies 4, Tigers 0: For the first time since April 19, Vince Velasquez pitched into the sixth inning. He held the Tigers scoreless over 5 2/3 innings on four hits and two walks while striking out a season-high nine batters. Nick Williams and J.T. Realmuto hit solo homers off of Jordan Zimmermann to provide run support for Velasquez. Ranger Suárez and Adam Morgan bridged the gap to struggling closer Héctor Neris, who struck out the side to end the game. The Phillies will head home to open a three-game series against the Braves, a crucial series with the trade deadline a week away.

Astros 4, Athletics 2: Justin Verlander dominated, allowing a lone unearned run on two hits and two walks with 11 strikeouts over six innings. His ERA is down to 2.86. George Springer and José Altuve each homered. For Altuve, it was a two-run shot in the fifth inning. Roberto Osuna gave up a run in the ninth but the three-run lead he was granted proved to be enough. Osuna has now allowed runs in three consecutive appearances and in five of his last seven.

Brewers 5, Reds 4: The Brewers finally snapped their five-game losing streak against the Reds. Yasmani Grandal had what proved to be the game-winning hit, coming with the bases loaded in the fifth inning when he grounded a two-run single to left field. Ryan Braun and Keston Hiura both homered in the winning effort. For the Reds, Eric VanMeter singled, doubled, and homered.

Diamondbacks 5, Orioles 2: The two sides combined to hit four homers, but it was Carson Kelly‘s three-run homer in the fourth that proved to be the difference maker. Anthony Santander and Trey Mancini hit solo homers for the O’s while Ketel Marte added a solo shot of his own for the D-Backs. Taylor Clarke allowed the two runs on four hits with no walks and seven strikeouts over six innings of work. Yoshihisa Hirano and Archie Bradley bridged the gap to Greg Holland, but Holland walked the first two batters in the ninth inning. Yoan López and slammed the door himself.

Mariners 5, Rangers 3: Daniel Vogelbach hit a pair of solo homers to pace the Mariners’ offense. Mike Leak turned in seven solid innings, hold the Rangers to three runs — all coming on Rougned Odor‘s three-run homer in the sixth — on nine hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Mike Minor, perhaps making his final start for the Rangers ahead of the trade deadline, gave up five runs (four earned) over six innings. He has allowed four earned runs in three consecutive starts, pushing his ERA into the 3.00’s for the first time since April 22.

Cubs 4, Giants 1: Jon Lester was scratched due to illness, so Tyler Chatwood made the spot start. He was solid, limiting the Giants to one run on four hits and a walk with five strikeouts over five innings. The bullpen had it the rest of the way. All four Cubs runs scored on homers. Javier Báez hit a solo shot in the first inning, Kris Bryant hit a two-run jack in the third, and Albert Almora Jr. hit a solo jack in the fourth.

Cardinals 14, Pirates 8: Wednesday’s slugfest took place in Pittsburgh with the two squads combining for 22 runs on 26 hits. Paul DeJong had himself a night, belting three homers in a four-hit, five-RBI effort. Paul Goldschmidt also homered, giving him three consecutive games with a round-tripper. As we saw last year, the first baseman can pick his numbers up in a hurry. His .759 OPS on July 21 wasn’t long for this world. Starling Marte doubled three times and knocked in three runs for the Buccos while Alex Dickerson reached base four times and scored four times.

Indians 4, Blue Jays 0: Shane Bieber brought a no-hit bid into the seventh, ultimately settling for a one-hit shutout. He walked one and struck out 10 on 102 pitches. Marcus Stroman was no slouch, allowing one run on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts over seven innings. In what may be his final start for the Blue Jays, he brought his ERA down to 2.96. Greg Allen tallied three singles for the Tribe.

Padres 7, Mets 2: Fernando Tatis Jr. paced the Padres, picking up three hits. Manny Machado, Hunter Renfroe, Franmil Reyes, and Austin Hedges also enjoyed a multi-hit evening. Noah Syndergaard was on the hook for four runs (three earned), allowing eight hits and five walks with eight strikeouts over seven innings. The Padres’ bullpen was stellar, limiting the Mets to one hit in five innings in relief of Dinelson Lamet.

Royals 2, Braves 0: Perhaps the most surprising series result among the current slate is the Royals sweeping the Braves in two games. They won 5-4 on Tuesday, then rode a stellar Brad Keller outing on Wednesday. Keller went seven scoreless, yielding four hits and a walk with three strikeouts in seven innings of work. Jake Diekman and Ian Kennedy handled the final two frames. Julio Teheran was solid, giving up two unearned runs over six innings. The Phillies have momentum heading into a three-game series in Philly against the Braves beginning on Friday. The Braves hold a 5.5 game lead over the third-place Phillies and are up four games on the second-place Nationals.

Yankees 10, Twins 7: The Yankees really seem to have the Twins’ number historically. They won again on Wednesday after escaping by the skin of their teeth on Tuesday. The Yankees survived three Twins homers with three homers of their own, matching jacks from Eddie Rosario, Marwin González, and Nelson Cruz with taters from Aaron Hicks, Gleyber Torres, and Edwin Encarnación. The 2-5 spots in the Yankees’ lineup combined to go 9-for-20 with six RBI. It was a bloodbath for starters J.A. Happ and Jake Odorizzi as neither could pitch past the fourth inning.

Marlins 2, White Sox 0: Another pitchers’ duel, this time between Zac Gallen and Reynaldo López. Gallen got the upper hand, putting up zeroes for seven innings on just two hits and a walk with nine strikeouts. López gave up two runs — both on a César Puello home run in the eighth inning — on four hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts over eight innings. Sergio Romo picked up his 17th save and now owns a 3.58 ERA. Seems like a decent chance Romo gets moved in the next week.

Angels 3, Dodgers 2: The Dodgers got swept in a two-game series against their crosstown rivals. Kole Calhoun played a big factor yet again, racking up a pair of doubles and a solo home run, knocking in two of the Angels’ three runs. Mike Trout accounted for the deciding run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. On offense for the Dodgers, Justin Turner smacked a solo dinger and Corey Seager had an RBI single. The Angels swept the season series against the Dodgers, winning all four contests.

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

“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.