And That Happened: Monday's scores and highlights

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Dunn.jpgAll law and no blogs makes Craig a dull boy. Let’s try to remedy that today, shall we?

Nationals 8, Pirates 4: The Laughingstock Series went four games, and nothing was decided. Adam Dunn went 3-for-4 and was a triple short of the cycle. He may as well have been eight unicorns, cold fusion and a perpetual motion machine short, because you were just as likely to see that stuff as an Adan Dunn triple.

Tigers 6, Orioles 5: I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that not many teams have tagged Justin Verlander for five runs right out the box and have gone on to lose the game. Heck, the Os had five hits in that first frame and only had three the rest of the night. I haven’t seen anyone start so fast and peter out so quickly since Christopher Cross won all those Grammy awards back in ’81.

Padres 4, Braves 2: Can someone explain to me why the Braves had to play the Sunday night game right before flying across the damn country and playing on the west coast without an off day? Twelve teams had friggin’ off days yesterday, but not the team who played the late game and had to fly to California? Sure, that’s fair. And tired or not tired, I couldn’t be more proud of my Bravos here, losing to perhaps the worst team in baseball on a night when they did not even play Adrian Gonzalez.

Brewers 6, Dodgers 5: And lest you think that previous bit is my Braves’ homerism coming out, it stunk that the Dodgers had to fly home and play without a day off too. Totally weak scheduling, here. At least the Dodgers had a chance here. Down 6-2 entering the ninth, the Dodgers came back to within one, loaded the bases and Manny Ramirez came to the plate . . . and flew out, alas.

Diamondbacks 6, Mets 5: The Dbacks teed off on Nelson Figueroa (1.2 IP, 10 H, 6 ER) and could have turned it into a laugher. Instead, New York clawed back, though just not quite enough. You’ll all be shocked to learn that Jeff Francoeur made the third out in the eighth inning with a bouncer to third to end a potential rally. Mark Reynolds took Sunday off, but still finished the series 5-for-12 with four homers and five RBIs.

Cubs 4, Reds 2: Thank goodness for Kevin Gregg’s tired arm, or else Lou might have been tempted to use him in this one. As it stood, Carlos Marmol just didn’t have it in him to cough this one away, instead only allowing one late run. Mike Fontenot’s three-run homer in the second was the big blow here. The Cubs are now 13-5 since the break. Paid attendance: 22,222. This means something. This is important.

Astros 4, Giants 3: You don’t see a ton of complete game losses anymore, but Matt Cain had one (8 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 5K).

Rays 10, Royals 4: Zack Greinke has his worst start of the year. He hasn’t won since June 28th, though apart from last night he hasn’t pitched too terribly. Eventually you just sort of get dragged down by the folks around you, I guess. More surprising than Greinke getting roughed up — and maybe even more surprising than an Adam Dunn triple would be — was Yunieksy Betancourt hitting a homer. As for the Rays, Willy Aybar hit two homers and Scott Kazmir got his second straight win.

A’s 3, Rangers 2: Just a thought, but if you’re going to use Neftali Feliz out of the pen, maybe you want to think about using him as the closer. Dude pitched two innings, retired all six batters he faced in order, struck out the first four, in fact, with several pitches registering at 100 miles per hour. In the ninth, C.J. Wilson gave up three singles and a pinch hit triple to Rajai Davis, blowing a 2-0 lead.

Dodgers clinch NL West on Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Charlie Culberson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first base after hitting a single RBI in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.

The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.

Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.

It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.

Video: Dustin Pedroia’s base running sends Red Sox to 11th consecutive win

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 24:  Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox is greeted at the dugout by Pablo Sandoval #48, left, and Mookie Betts #50, right, after hitting a grand slam during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 24, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images)
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The Red Sox defeated the Rays 3-2 on Sunday afternoon thanks to some nifty base running by second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The win marks their 11th in a row, inching them closer to a division title.

With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the tenth, Pedroia led off with a single off of reliever Eddie Gamboa. After Xander Bogaerts lined out, David Ortiz ripped a double into the right-center field gap. Pedroia, running hard the whole way, rounded third and motored towards home plate, but the relay throw home — from center fielder Jaff Decker to second baseman Logan Forsythe to catcher Luke Maile — beat Pedroia by a good 10 feet. He was a dead duck.

Pedroia danced around Maile’s glove, avoiding the tag. Maile, on his side, continued to attempt to apply the tag on Pedroia. When he finally did, the ball was knocked loose and Pedroia scored the go-ahead run. The play was reviewed but the call was upheld.

Joe Kelly kept the Rays off the board in the bottom of the 10th, securing the 3-2 victory for the Red Sox.

The Blue Jays also won on Sunday, meaning the Red Sox still have a 5.5-game lead in the AL East. Any combination of two Red Sox wins and Blue Jays losses will seal up the division for the Red Sox. The two clubs round out the regular season with a three-game set against each other in Boston.