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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights


Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Nationals 6, Braves 3: Anthony Rendon came up big in the opener of a big series for the Nationals, hitting a tie-breaking grand slam off of Chad Sobotka that, after a few more innings of play, cut the Braves’ lead in the East down to four and a half games. Juan Soto singled home a run, Trea Turner hit an RBI double and Patrick Corbin was solid for the Nats, who were once ten games back in the division.

Watch Rendon go deep:

Marlins 11, Diamondbacks 6: A six-run second inning in which three runs came on a bases-loaded bunt from the Marlins pitcher which led to two throwing errors tells you all you need to know about how crisp the Dbacks were last night. Miguel Rojas and Brian Anderson homered, which is something I wrote yesterday morning too. This completed a four-game wraparound series in which the Marlins took three of four from Arizona. Which is good for the Marlins but which in no way justifies this appalling misuse of social media:

Reds 11, Pirates 6: It was already 6-1 when José Iglesias hit a grand slam but why not make it silly when you have the chance? That was all part of a ten-run second inning for Cincinnati. This came on a night when the Pirates had to go with an emergency starter thanks to dealing scheduled starter Jordan Lyles to the Brewers. Frankly, though, the way Lyles had been going of late can we even be sure the outcome would be all that different? No matter the case, the Pirates lost their ninth straight. It’s Steelers and Penguins season now.

Blue Jays 7, Royals 3: Cavan Biggio hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth and drove in another run in the ninth. Vlad Guerrero Jr. got a hit. Bo Bichette made his big league debut and he got a hit. Big day for kids of 1990s stars. Does Kevin Brown have a kid coming up? Edgardo Alfonso? Let’s just go all-in with this, shall we?

Rockies 9, Dodgers 1: Jon Gray shut the Dodgers down, allowing only one run on three hits over eight while David Dahl homered and drove in three and Nolan Arenado had a two-run single during Colorado’s five-run fifth. Joc Pederson got benched late in the game for not running out a ground ball that plated the Dodgers’ only run. I guess Dave Roberts thought that, when you’re having a horrible all-around day, you may as well make the most of it with a teaching moment.

Tigers 7, Angels 2: Jordan Zimmermann picked up his first win since last September after allowing two runs while pitching into the sixth. Miguel Cabrera hit his first homer since the Fourth of July and also singled in two runs. If you squint just right and let your mind go you can almost remember when the Tigers were good. The Tigers have played AL West teams 17 times this year. They have only won twice. Both wins have come off the Angles. I feel like it’s Brad Ausmus giving his old friends some sort of cosmic gift.

Padres 8, Orioles 1: Ya ever get to work and — bam! — crap gets piled on you before you even sit down at your desk? That was David Hess’ night last night. Guy wouldn’t even have his first sip of coffee or check his emails before Fernando Tatís Jr. and Franmil Reyes each homered on the game’s first two pitches. Hess would give up two more bombs — to Eric Hosmer in and Luis Urías in the fourth — but he’d be gone by the time Hosmer his his second homer of the game in the seventh. Figure by then he had left for a smoke break and was thinking hard of saying screw this job and applying to law school.

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


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.”