And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

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Braves 15, Mets 2: Brian McCann hit a three-run homer in the second inning after five runs had already scored. And guess what: THE BRAVES DIDN’T SCORE ANOTHER RUN IN THAT INNING AFTER THE HOMER. They’re rally-killers, dude. Avoid the home run at all costs. Bright side for Mets fans: Bobby Parnell didn’t get near that 85 pitch count they’re saying he’s on: he was in the showers after 71 thrown in three innings.

White Sox 4, Royals 2: Jose Contreras allowed one run and three hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked only one. Zack Greinke only allowed six hits himself — and three of them were rally-killing home runs — but Greinke lost anyway.

Phillies 8, Diamondbacks 1: Cliff Lee (CG 2 H, 0 ER, 11K) is like a one-man army, like Charlton Heston in “Omega Man.” You ever see it? Beauty.

Pirates 3, Brewers 1: Paul Maholm is basically indestructible. In the fourth inning. Mike Cameron hit a liner off Maholm’s pitching arm and it bounced off right to the second baseman, who threw Cameron out. In the eighth inning, Alcides Escobar hit one off of Maholm’s shin, and he too was thrown out on the play. Maholm stayed in the game for another batter after that and was lifted, but it was for cause (he was tired; he gave up a single late) not injury. Final line: 7.2 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, a couple of giant bruises when he wakes up this morning.

Rays 3, Orioles 1: Three solo homers and a solid start by Jeff Niemann. You know, I don’t want to give any false hope here, but the Orioles are not out of the Bryce Harper race yet, sitting back of Washington a scant 4 games in the loss column as the bulldog goes to press.

Mariners 3, Tigers 1: Justin Verlander struck out ten and deserved a better fate, but Ian Snell + the Seattle bullpen pitched a little better. I’ve mentioned this before, but absolutely hate this kind of comment in a game story: “Verlander now has 204 strikeouts, making him the first Tigers pitcher to reach 200 since Jeremy Bonderman in 2006.” Really? All the way back to 2006? Here’s a suggestion: let’s make all such callbacks be required to stretch back at least five years. Like “Verlander is the first Tigers pitcher whose last name starts with a V since Andy Van Hekken’s September callup back in 2002.

Angels 3, Indians 0: Jered Wever shuts down the Indians (CG SHO, 7 H). The Angels are 24-8 since the All-Star break and have won five in a row. Game story: “A light rain sent fans scurrying for cover in the seventh inning as the teams kept playing. It stopped about 15 minutes later.” If I didn’t know better, pardner, I’d say that you was callin’ Clevelanders yella!

Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 1: If, a month ago, I would have told you that would Buchholz beat Halladay in this game, you would have assumed that the Jays won, wouldn’t you have?


Giants 1, Reds 0: Barry Zito and three relievers combine to shut
out the Reds. The Giants’ only run came when Wladimir Balentien tried
to lay out for a diving catch on Nate Schierholtz’s hit to the outfield
— missed it — which allowed Edgar Renteria to score.

Rockies 5, Nationals 4: Carlos Gonzalez won’t stop hitting home runs.

Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2: Adam Wainwright was throwing a no-hitter
into the sixth inning but ended up getting a no decision. The Dodgers
lead in the west is now only 3.5 games over Colorado. Yikes.

Cubs 7, Padres 1: The Cubs, behind Rich Harden’s seven innings of one-hit shutout ball, wake up to salvage one game of the series.

Yankees 3, Athletics 2: Teixeira hit a two-run homer and Derek
Jeter stays hot. After a day off today, they’re in Fenway for the
weekend with a chance to bury the Red Sox for good, one would think.

Astros 6, Marlins 3: Facts that are neat but kinda mean nothin’
department: The Marlins have had ten hits for fifteen straight games,
which is the longest such streak in baseball since the St. Louis Browns
did it in 1937. Ten hits combined with sixteen stranded runners and
three errors gets you a loss, however.

Twins 5, Rangers 4: Pudge got a big ovation, then went 3 for 4
with an RBI and run scored in his first game with the Rangers. He
couldn’t handle a throw in a play at the plate in the sixth, however,
which allowed the winning run to score.

Albert Pujols passes Mark McGwire with 584th career home run

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 11: Albert Pujols #5 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs out a double during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 11, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Angels 14-3. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.

Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.

Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.

Zach Britton allowed an earned run for the first time since April 30

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 22:  Zach Britton #53 of the Baltimore Orioles pitches for his 38th save in the ninth inning during a baseball game against the the Washington Nationals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on August 22, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  The Oriole won 4-3.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images
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Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.

The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.

Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.

Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.