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Miguel Cabrera doesn't exactly need to remind us that he's really, really good at hitting baseballs. Coming into Sunday's game against the Texas Rangers, the reigning AL MVP and Triple Crown winner already led baseball in batting average and RBIs.
With an other-worldly display Sunday, the Detroit Tigers slugger showed why he's a Triple Crown candidate again. He hit three homers, going 4-for-4 and driving in five runs. He now has 11 home runs, which is one behind the AL lead.
But here's the reality check: The Tigers still lost to the Rangers 11-8 in a matchup that many think we could see again come playoff time. The Rangers have the best record in baseball at 29-15, while the Tigers are in second in the AL Central at 23-19, behind the surging Cleveland Indians.
En route to the victory, the Rangers pounded out 18 hits and scored 10 total runs in the fifth, six and seventh innings. Still, after the game, even Rangers manager Ron Washington was gushing about Cabrera's greatness:
''I've never seen a guy that puts the bat head on the ball as regular as he does, and on all pitches,'' Washington said. ''He's just a tremendous hitter. I'm very happy that he's headed to the airport.''
Phillies beat Reds with dramatic comeback: As good as Aroldis Chapman is, even this happens to him: Freddy Galvis and Erik Kratz hit back-to-back homers in the bottom of the ninth Sunday as the Philadelphia Phillies stunned the Cincinnati Reds, 3-2.
The Reds went into the eighth inning up 2-0 after Homer Bailey pitched seven scoreless innings. The Phillies got on the scoreboard in the eighth, when Chase Ultey singled in Ben Revere. Chapman, the fire-throwing Reds closer, blew his second straight save, something he's only done once before in his career.
Indians 6, Mariners 0: Justin Masterson gets his seventh win as the Indians improve to 17-4 since April 28.
Marlins 2, D-backs 1: Ricky Nolasco strikes out 11 for the Marlins.
Rays 3, Orioles 1: Matt Moore improves to 8-0 for the Rays after giving up five hits and one run in seven innings.
Braves 5, Dodgers 2: The Braves sweep the Dodgers after an eighth-inning rally.
Pirates 1, Astros 0: Pittsburgh pitcher Jeff Locke locks down Houston. The Pirates have won eight out of their last 10.
Red Sox 5, Twins 1: The Red Sox win their fifth straight in a rain-delayed game.
Cardinals 4, Brewers 2: The Cardinals beat ex-teammate Kyle Lohse for the third straight time.
Mets 4, Cubs 3: Daniel Murphy's go-ahead homer in the eighth is the difference-maker for the Mets.
Angels 6, White Sox 2: Jason Vargas out-pitches Jake Peavy for his third win of the year.
A's 4, Royals 3: Yoenis Cespedes hits an eighth-inning home run to push the A's past Royals for a three-game sweep. Each game was decided by one run.
Rockies 5, Giants 0: Carlos Gonzalez goes 2-for-3 with two RBIs as the Rockies top the Giants again.
Padres 13, Nationals 4: The Padres beat up on Dan Haren and the Nats to split their four-game series.
Blue Jays at Yankees (Postponed, Rain): No make-up date was announced.
"[It] made my hair stand up and I don't have any — Torii Hunter, on teammate Miguel Cabrera's three-homer night, per Tom Gage of the Detroit News.
Juan Lagares of the New York Mets isn't going to catch that one, try as he might. It wasn't all bad for Lagares, though. He hit his first big-league homer on Sunday, a two-run shot in the seventh that helped the Mets beat the Cubs, 4-3.
• Sunday was the first time Aroldis Chapman has given up two home runs in one game.
• The Cleveland Indians have faced eight pitchers this season who have won a Cy Young Award. The most recent being Felix Hernandez, who the Indians beat 6-0 on Sunday. All told, the Indians are 7-1 against the past Cy Young winners (including David Price, R.A. Dickey, Cliff Lee and Justin Verlander). The Cy Youngs haven't looked the part, with a combined 8.20 ERA. Jake Peavy is the only one to have beaten the Indians.
• Before Friday's game, the Giants had beat the Rockies 10 games in a row. The Rockies won Friday, Saturday and Sunday, outscoring San Francisco 25-11.
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The Houston Astros introduced Reid Ryan as their new president on Friday.
It's possible somewhere down the road we'll look back at that moment as the turning point in their organization's history. For now, though, they're still the same old Houston Astros, which means losing games in every way imaginable will continue.
For example, let's look at Friday night's 5-4 walkoff loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Astros held a 4-1 lead through five innings, but saw that evaporate by the time the ninth inning rolled around. The all too familiar sense of impending doom had to be consuming Astros fans at this point, and especially so when Pittsburgh loaded the bases with one out after pitcher Edgar Gonzalez botched a would be 1-6-3 double play.
However, as bleak as it looked for that moment, fans were able to let out a temporary sigh of relief after Gonzalez recovered to strikeout Neil Walker for a huge second out. Gonzalez then made the biggest pitch of the game, getting Russell Martin to hit a weak fly ball into short right field for what should have been the third and final out of the inning.
Only one little problem... Impending DOOM finally arrived at PNC Park.
In charged right fielder Jimmy Paredes. Out went second baseman Jake Elmore. They met at the baseball, and then they collided, allowing the ball to pop loose from Paredes' glove and hit the ground to give Pittsburgh the stunning victory.
Especially for Paredes, who was charged with the error.
''I'm anticipating the ball being hit to me, just like I do on every pitch,'' Paredes said. ''All I'm thinking about is catching the ball for the third out. That's all I wanted to do. I was watching the ball and then I hit into him. Sometimes things like that happen in this game, and it's frustrating to lose like this.''
You almost feel bad when a game ends on a play like that. At least initially. Then you remember how easily it could have been avoided had two professionals simply communicated.
But, hey, manager Bo Porter says that wasn't the problem here.
Honestly, that's what he said.
''It's not a lack of communication, because there's only one person that should be communicating,'' Porter said. ''The infielder is not saying anything. If he gets underneath the ball, the outfielder is running in and he's looking at the infielder. And if the infielder is waving his hands and under the ball, you let him take the ball.''
OK, but if nobody is communicating verbally and the guy who's supposed to be looking for waving arms isn't looking, then it's a lack of communication, no? And shouldn't the outfielder be looking at the ball to determine his chances while listening to the infielder? After all, he's got the better angle and the momentum. If he can get there, it should be the outfielder's ball, I would think.
Maybe I'm just confused, too. All I really know is the baseball hit the grass, the Astros are a league worst 11-31, and there's no end to their misery in sight.
Stetson Allie, Dilson Herrera and Orlando Castro all have big days, Jerry Sands seems to have found his power somewhere, Tony Sanchez does a lot better on offense than defense, and Charlie Morton continues his rehab
Joely Rodriguez had another strong outing, Stolmy Pimentel didn't, Jerry Sands may be finding his lost power, and Stetson Allie and Max Moroff each get three hits
The Pirates are off, but all four affiliates are in action this evening
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