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MLB scores and more: Mariners demote Montero, Carpenter ahead of schedule, Rangers release Lowe

Tom Szczerbowski

Thursday’s scores

Pirates 4, Cubs 2 - Pittsburgh continued its winning ways with the help of Andrew McCutchen on Wednesday. The star outfielder had three hits, two stolen bases, and two RBI on the day to seal the sweep. Jason Grilli notched his league-leading 19th save.

Blue Jays 12, Orioles 6 - Kevin Gausman showed flashes of stellar stuff in his big-league debut, but the Blue Jays eventually proved too much for the rookie. JP Arencibia homered to give Toronto the lead, then Edwin Encarnacion followed in the next inning with a grand slam to put the game on ice.

Tigers 7, Twins 6 - Teams continue to pitch to Miguel Cabrera, and he continues to punish them for that decision. Miggy homered Wednesday for the sixth time in his last four games. It was Prince Fielder, however, who started and finished the Tigers' late-innings rally with a pair of singles.

Indians 12, Red Sox 3 - Terry Francona's first trip back to Fenway started about as well as he could have hoped. Every Cleveland starter had at least one hit, with Mark Reynolds and Drew Stubbs each plating three runs.

Angels 5, Royals 4 - Joe Blanton finally got his first win with the Halos as the offense teed off on former teammate Ervin Santana. Home runs from Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Chris Iannetta, and Mark Trumbo accounting for all the Angels' scoring on the day.


The Big Three

1. After a season-plus of injury and replacement-level performance, I think it may be safe to conclude that no one actually won the 2012 Michael Pineda/Jesus Montero trade. Many were quick to crown the Mariners as getting the better end of the deal when Pineda went down with his major shoulder injury, but Montero's subpar performance has made the whole thing a wash thus far. Following an abysmal start to 2013 for Montero -- .208/.264/.327 in 100 PAs -- the M's finally decided to send him packing to Triple-A on Thursday. Neither Montero nor Pineda are a lost cause just yet -- they're still just 23 and 24, respectively -- but both have a ways to go to prove they're worth the hype that was bestowed on them two winters ago.

2. Chris Carpenter is not only not retired, but he could be inserted into the Cardinals' rotation by some time in July. The big right-hander's rehab from the chronic nerve issues in his neck and back is going much better than expected, meaning that it's possible St. Louis' plan to store Carp solely in the bullpen may prove false. Carpenter's brief return to the pitching staff in late 2012 was shaky, so fans have every right to be wary about him possibly taking starts away from a bevy of young, talented pitching arms.

3. Derek Lowe is officially without a home. If this goes anything like the previous Lowe the Rangers released (aka Mark Lowe), he'll sign on with the Angels following a very brief stint with the Dodgers. The veteran sinker-baller is a strong candidate to latch on elsewhere, though it may be difficult to find any takers given his poor performance this season. Dodger Stadium would be a solid destination for Lowe, but there's no reason to believe LA wants him back at this point in time.