And That Happened: Tuesday's scores and highlights

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Red Sox 8, Marlins 2:
David Ortiz continues to heat up, adding a homer and a two-run single
to his increasingly improving statline. Tim Wakefield was strong too.
From the game story: Wakefield is now two starts and five home wins
behind Roger Clemens for the most in Red Sox history in each category.
I suppose that’s something Boston fans were mostly aware of, but you
could stump a decent number of Midwesterners and West Coasters with
that, I imagine.

Reds 7, Braves 2:
This one had a long rain delay, and when that happens, Marty Brennaman
and Jeff Brantley take calls. I caught a bit of it last night. This is
paraphrased, but it’s pretty close to how one call went down:

Marty: Hello, you’re on Reds radio!

Caller: Hey Marty, being from North Carolina, could you tell us who your favorite professional wrestler is?

Marty: Well, I um, er . . .

Brantley [interrupting, with extreme urgency and certainty]: No question about it, my favorite wrestler was The Million Dollar Man, Ted Di-Bi-ase. He was absolutely the best.

Marty and Caller: stunned silence.

I wish to God I was making that up.

Yankees 5, Nationals 3:
Cano went 4-4 and had the tie-breaking hit in the seventh. More game
story fun: “[Alex] Rodriguez greeted fans in Monument Park before the
game. One spectator told A-Rod he was a Phillies fan but he liked him.”
I was going to scoff at the inclusion of this, but then I realized
that, yes, someone publicly admitting that they like A-Rod does
probably qualify as newsworthy.

Rangers 6, Astros 1:
Pudge v2.0 ties Pudge v1.0 for most games caught, but this was the Ian
Kinsler show (3-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI). And Kevin Millwood (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER)
is quietly putting up his best season since his he broke out all
awesome-like ten years ago.

Cardinals 11, Tigers 2:
Verlander proves human after all, posting his worst start since April
17th (4 IP, 8 H, 5 ER). In other news, with a 2-1 lead (1934 & 2006
to 1968) the Cardinals can put this series away with a win this week.

Twins 8, Pirates 2:
Some Twins fans took me to task on the NBC blog yesterday for saying
that the Tigers looked to be solidly atop a weak division. I still
think the Central is fairly weak, but I think I should have waited to
declare Detroit solidly atop anything. The Twins are two games back and
they have a force of nature on their team. I repeat: The Superman exists, and he’s Minnesotan.

Royals 5, Diamondbacks 0: Mechetastic! (SHO, 4 H, 6K). GWRBI from Miguel Olivo. What?

Blue Jays 8, Phillies 3:
Ryan Madson blew the save in the ninth, and Clay Condrey barfed the
game away in the tenth, allowing five of the six batters he faced to
score. Madson and Condrey? Weren’t they the original Midnight Express? I’ll have to ask Brantley . . .

Mets 6, Orioles 4:
Bad defense — including a dropped popup to Aubrey Huff with which I’m
guessing Luis Castillo could sympathize — doomed the O’s.

Brewers 7, Indians 5:
Gallardo wasn’t efficient — he threw 61 pitches in the first two
innings — but the Indians didn’t cash in on it like they could have
and Yovani gutted his way to five and the win. So much enthusiasm for
this Indians team in March has devolved into wondering who will trade
for Mark DeRosa. Not exactly how Mark Shapiro drew things up.

Quick rundown of the late games because I’m jammed up with other stuff this morning:

Angels 8, Giants 1: Mike Napoli had a three-run homer and three other hits.
Dodgers 5, A’s 4:
Torre ties Sparky Anderson on the all-time wins list. Anderson still
leads Torre on guest starring spots on WKRP in Cincinnatti.

Mariners 5, Padres 0:
King Felix rules: Two-hit shutout. Kevin Correia was pretty good
himself (8 IP, 2 H, 2 ER), but you can’t win if your homies don’t

Rays 12, Rockies 4:
Colorado’s winning streak ends. How much longer until the deulsion that
they’re contenders does too? Transaction junkies want to know.

White Sox at Cubs: Postponed: I can only imagine that having to
sit in the clubhouse during a rain delay makes Ozzie want to puke even
more than being in the dugout during a ballagme.

The Cubs clinch World Series berth with NLCS Game 6 win

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  The Chicago Cubs celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 in game six of the National League Championship Series to advance to the World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Getty Images

After 71 years, the Cubs are headed back to the Fall Classic.

The dominance with which Clayton Kershaw attacked the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS was nonexistent in Game 6 as the Dodgers’ ace loaded the bases to start the first inning and scattered five extra bases and five runs over five frames. By the time Dave Roberts pulled his starter in the sixth inning, Kershaw was sitting on a Game Score of 33, the lowest he’s mustered since the start of the 2015 season. Only one of his strikes came via curveball, and whether he was having difficulty locating his off-speed stuff or felt more confident with the fastball-slider combo, it was the fewest curves he’d seen land for strikes all year (per David Adler).

Where the Dodgers were able to give Kershaw the edge in Game 2, they found themselves powerless against opposing hurler Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks turned out 7 1/3 scoreless frames with two hits and six strikeouts, preserving the Cubs’ second shutout of the postseason and the first since they bested the Giants in Game 1 of the NLDS. After his 1-0 loss to the Dodgers early in the NLCS, seeing the MLB ERA leader turn out a gem was a relief for the Cubs, especially one as spectacular as an 88-pitch two-hitter.

With Hendricks effectively stymieing the Dodgers’ best attempts to get on base, the Cubs played to their strengths at the plate. Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist cleared the bases in the first inning for a two-run lead, followed by a Dexter Fowler RBI single in the second. Willson Contreras came through in the fourth inning for the Cubs, lifting an 87 m.p.h. slider to left field for his first home run of October, while Anthony Rizzo hit his second homer of the postseason on a 1-1 fastball in the fifth.

Neither bullpen allowed a single run from the sixth inning onward. Dodgers’ right-hander Kenley Jansen took the ball from Kershaw in the sixth, scattering four strikeouts over three innings and denying the Cubs so much as a single baserunner through the end of the game. Aroldis Chapman, meanwhile, issued just one walk in 1 1/3 scoreless frames, inducing a Yasiel Puig double play to clinch the Cubs’ 17th franchise pennant.

With the win, the Cubs will face off against the Indians in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at 8 PM EDT. And, in case you needed a reminder:

Video: Willson Contreras blasts first postseason home run off of Kershaw

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game six of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Getty Images

So much for Clayton Kershaw posing a threat tonight. The Cubs got their knocks in early and often against the Dodgers’ ace during Game 6 of the NLCS, racking up three runs in the first three innings before rookie catcher Willson Contreras unleashed his first postseason home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.

According to’s Phil Rogers, Contreras became the 10th Cub to homer in the 2016 playoffs, following big hits by Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero, David Ross, Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Travis Wood, and Javier Baez. Of the ten home run hitters, Contreras joins catchers David Ross and Miguel Montero as yet another backstop capable of driving the long ball (and, less importantly, as another player capable of a sweet, sweet bat flip).

Rizzo, whose last homer was a deep drive to right field off of Los Angeles right-hander Pedro Baez in Game 4 of the NLCS, piled on Kershaw’s five-run outing with another home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kershaw called it a night after five frames, and the Cubs currently lead the Dodgers 5-0 in the sixth inning.