And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights


Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mets 8, Nationals 4: I guess Tuesday’s rip-you-heart-out loss didn’t really rip the Mets’ hearts out. They bounced back just fine last night, getting five solid innings from Zack Wheeler and three and a third scoreless innings to close out the game from the bullpen. In between Wheeler and those innings Jeurys Familia got tagged for three runs, but details, details. Juan Lagares, Robinson Canó and Pete Alonso homered for New York and Jeff McNeill knocked in a couple. Alonso’s homer was his 45th, which leads all of baseball.

Yankees 4, Rangers 1: A bullpen game for the Yankees with six relievers combining to allow one run on seven hits. Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres homered for the Bombers. Fun thing: Rangers starter Lance Lynn thought umpire Will Little was throwing too many balls out of play, so after he did it again Lynn yelled “We’ve got a plane to catch” at him. Little responded professionally but if it was me I probably would’ve shot back “It’s a charter, they’ll wait for ya.”

Reds 8, Phillies 5: Cincinnati built up a 5-0 lead after two innings, blew it by the seventh, but then got homers from José Iglesias and Michael Lorenzen in the seventh and eighth to pull back ahead and win it. Lorenzen had an interesting game: In addition to that homer he pitched two innings — blowing the save by giving up a game-tying homer to Jay Bruce — but vulturing a win — and also appeared in center field to finish the game. It’s the first time a player had pitched, played outfield and homered in a game since Babe Ruth did it in 1921.

Pirates 6, Marlins 5: Maybe Tuesday’s save from José Ureña was not a precursor of future greatness at closer, because here he came into the game to protect a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth and promptly gave up a leadoff homer to pinch-hitter Elias Díaz, walked a guy, gave up a double and then surrendered a two-run single to Bryan Reynolds to give the Pirates a walkoff win. Reynolds, a rookie, is now batting .332 and trails Anthony Rendon, who is hitting .338 in the race of the NL batting title.

Indians 8, White Sox 6: The Indians were barely holding on as the White Sox mounted a rally in the final two frames. What cut the rally short: Oscar Mercado making this catch with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth inning:

That probably saved the whole game for Cleveland, allowing them to gain a game on the Twins and kept them tied with Oakland for the second Wild Card. Just a spectacular catch. In other news, Franmil Reyes went 2-for-3 with a homer, two driven in and scored three times and Shane Bieber went seven innings, allowing two runs and striking out nine.

Red Sox 6, Twins 2: Mookie Betts had a big game, going 4-for-5 with two homers and five driven in. Eduardo Rodriguez had a nice game too, tossing seven shutout innings and notching his 17th win on the year. The highlight of the game for the Twins: Max Kepler, was listed on the lineup card as the center fielder and Jake Cave was listed on the lineup card as the right fielder began the game in the opposite positions, with Kepler in right and Cave in center. Seems an earlier version of the card had them listed that way and they didn’t get the message that it had been switched before game time. They were where they were supposed to be by the second.

Giants 9, Cardinals 8: Kevin Pillar had four hits, including a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth. Brandon Crawford and Mike Yastrzemski also homered for the Giants. Paul Goldschmidt drove in four and Paul DeJong homered for St. Louis in a losing cause. The loss came despite the Giants’ best efforts to give them the game, blowing leads of 4-0 and 7-4 at various times.

Royals 5, Tigers 4: Jorge Soler hit his 40th homer of the season and Hunter Dozier and Alex Gordon had three hits each to give the Royals their fourth straight win. That’s their longest winning streak of the year. Of course their last five games have been against the Orioles and Tigers, who are the only two teams worse than them in the American League, so yeah.

Diamondbacks 4, Padres 1: Rookie right-hander Zac Gallen took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, which he had to, because his hitters were being shut out through six by Chris Paddack and Craig Stammen. Stammen put two on to start the seventh, however, and his relief, Luis Perdomo put on one more before surrendering a grand slam to Ketel Marte which blew it open. The Snakes complete the three-game sweep of the Friars.

Athletics 4, Angels 0: Tanner Roark shut the Halos out into the seventh and three relievers completed the five-hitter. Solo homers from Jurickson Profar and Sean Murphy and a two-run shot from Marcus Semien provided the offense as the A’s keep pace with Cleveland in the Wild Card race.

Dodgers 7, Rockies 3: Hyun-Jin Ryu was once again mortal but at least this time he wasn’t totally shellacked, allowing three runs while working into the fifth. Four relievers, working four and two-thirds shutout innings saved his bacon, however, as did Joc Pederson who hit two homers and drove in three. Pederson has been on a tear. He sat out Tuesday’s game with sore ribs but between Sunday and yesterday he hit five homers and a double in a string of six at-bats. L.A. swept the three-game series against the Rockies, reducing their magic number to four. They also hit 12 homers in the series, allowing them to set the National League record for homers in a season with 250, breaking the 2000 Astros’ record of 249.

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.”