And That Happened: Monday's scores and highlights

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Reds 4, Pirates 3; Reds 6, Pirates 3: Darnell McDonald scored on a wild pitch by Jesse Chavez with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to win the first game of the doubleheader. There was no one there. Like, 2000 people. Which is a crime considering how nice a day it was in Ohio yesterday. Sure, it was just a makeup game and sure it was the Pirates, but if there aren’t at least a couple thousand more office drones, college students, and other assorted knuckleheads that can make it to a walkable ballpark on a glorious afternoon then our civilization is circling the damn drain.

Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 3: It had to be kind of hard to play this game while this is looming beyond left field. Arizona managed, however, getting two runs off of James McDonald in the 10th. The Dodgers finish August with a record of 14-15, but hey, they’ve got reinforcements now. You excited Jim Thome? “I just want to be honest with you. I’d love to come. I want to help you guys any way I can. But playing first base is not something I’m going to be able to do — maybe in an emergency situation, perhaps.” Fear the Dodgers.

Braves 5, Marlins 2: Life comes at you fast. Josh Johnson didn’t give up a hit until Matt Diaz singled in the 6th, but he wouldn’t survive the seventh inning following a couple of hits from Chipper Jones and Yunel Escobar followed by an Omar Infante triple and a David Ross RBI single.

Blue Jays 18, Rangers 10: Toronto led this game 11-0 at one point but thought it wasn’t sporting to embarrass their host in their very home and thus allowed them to make a go of it, watching the lead shrink down to a single run before scoring seven in the ninth. Adam Lind had eight (8) (VIII) RBI in this game. I’m assuming Nolan Ryan had people killed after it was over.

Yankees 5, Orioles 1: Without looking, I’m going to assume that this was Andy Pettitte’s best start of the year (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 8K) [time passes] OK, I looked, and yes it was his best start of the year. In fact, if you go by game score, it was Pettitte’s best start since June 30, 2002, when he threw a three-hit shutout against the Mets.

Rays 11, Tigers 7: If the best trade deadline pickup was Cliff Lee or Adam LaRoche, then the worst is no doubt Jarrod Washburn (5.2 IP, 9 H, 8 ER). Harkins says it best: “Tigers fans must feel like they got hoodwinked.”

Twins 4, White Sox 1: The White Sox: sinking like whale fall. Not only did Joe Mauer hit a homer, but he stole a base. What’s more, as he slid into second, he caught the errant throw after it deflected off of Jayson Nix’s glove. Mauer doesn’t always drink beer, when he does, he prefers Dos Equis.

Astros 5, Cubs 3: Carlos Lee was 2-4 with a homer and 4 RBI. Rich Harden, who had a busy day of not being traded and everything, gave up five runs on five hits and walked six in five innings.

Angels 10, Mariners 0: Two homers for Vlad, who went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI. Joe Saunders and Trevor Bell allow only three hits which, after what happened to against Zack Greinke on Sunday, was a veritable breakout performance by the M’s bats.

Padres 3, Nationals 1: Livan Hernandez does what he was hired to do: pitch a bunch of innings, save the bullpen, and still lose so as not to mess up the whole Bryce Harper thing. OK, maybe that’s not the real intention — Hernandez actually pitched well last night — but it’s a nice little byproduct of his Livanness, no?

Athletics 8, Royals 5: Oakland trailed 4-0 after two innings, but scored five runs in the third and then added three more in the sixth. One of those runs came after when Luke Hochevar allowed Rajai Davis to advance to third while Hochevar was wiping his brow, mistakenly believing that play was dead. Oops.

And That Happened: Saturday’s Scores and Highlights

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Saturday’s games featured Jake Lamb‘s record-setting home run, Ivan Nova‘s sterling outing against the Marlins, and an impressive walk-off at Dodger Stadium. Here are the rest of the day’s scores and highlights:

Yankees 12, Orioles 4: So much for the Yankees blowing past their quota of runs on Friday night. They returned in full force on Saturday, dominating the Orioles in regulation innings with a 12-run display. Home runs were, again, the name of the game, with Brett Gardner going deep twice for his first two homers of the season and Austin Romine and Aaron Judge tacking on an extra couple of blasts to pad the Yankees’ eight-run lead. (That’s home run No. 10 for Judge, by the way, a record-tying total by a rookie in his first month of big league games.)

Mets 5, Nationals 3: The Mets are still dealing with a slew of injuries, some of which have drastically thinned their outfield reserves over the last several weeks. With Brandon Nimmo and Yoenis Cespedes hampered by hamstring issues, left fielder Michael Conforto rose to the occasion, hitting two home runs in the Mets’ 5-3 win over the Nationals on Saturday. He boosted the club to their first lead in the fifth inning, plunking a two-run homer into the right field bleachers, then reemerged in the eighth with an insurance home run off of Enny Romero.

Blue Jays 4, Rays 1: The Blue Jays still have the worst record in the majors, but you wouldn’t know it from their dominant outing on Saturday. Francisco Liriano limited the Rays to one run over five innings, backed by a strong showing from the ‘pen to maintain the club’s three-run lead. Kendrys Morales put Toronto on the map in the first inning, scoring on a fielding error by Tampa Bay’s Tim Beckham, while Russell Martin and Justin Smoak decorated the Jays’ efforts with an RBI double and two-run home run to even the series.

Cubs 7, Red Sox 4: Hanley Ramirez may not own the longest home run of 2017, but he set a record that may take longer to beat: the longest home run hit at Fenway Park.* Ramirez belted a 469-footer off of Cubs’ right-hander John Lackey in the third inning, catapulting a 1-0 pitch over the Green Monster to break the season record set by Kris Bryant’s 449-foot homer on Friday. He even snuck in a few celebratory kisses after rounding the bases.

Ramirez’s home run beat his own previous mark, measured at 468 feet last May.

*In the Statcast era

White Sox 6, Tigers 4 (10 innings): We’re only through one month of the regular season, so it’s pointless to fret about slumps and slow starts right now. Still, the White Sox were able to breathe a sigh of relief when veteran slugger Melky Cabrera finally recorded his first home run of the year, a 10th-inning game-winner off of Detroit left-hander Justin Wilson. It’s the sixth consecutive win for the White Sox, which keeps them just half a game ahead of the Indians in the AL Central.

Pirates 4, Marlins 0: It’s hardly exaggerating to call this the best game of Ivan Nova’s career. The right-hander tossed a three-hitter at Marlins Park on Saturday, striking out seven and setting down nine scoreless frames. Not only did it mark Nova’s fifth complete game in a Pirates’ uniform, but it was the third complete game shutout of his eight-year career.

Indians 4, Mariners 3: It only took one inning to decide the Mariners’ fate on Saturday. They got on the board with consecutive home runs from Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager in the first, then promptly erased their three-run lead when the Indians lassoed four runs in the bottom of the inning. From the second inning through the end of the game, neither team advanced a runner past second base, preserving the Indians’ one-run lead and bringing them within half a game of the division lead.

Rangers 6, Angels 3: Sure, hitting for the cycle is a rare feat in and of itself, but how many major league players can do it with one shoe on?

Carlos Gomez completed his second career cycle on Saturday, beginning with a first inning double that cost him exactly one cleat:

He returned (with both cleats) for a triple, base hit and a two-run homer, becoming the first Rangers’ player to hit for the cycle since Adrian Beltre defeated the Astros with his third career cycle in 2015.

Braves 11, Brewers 3: The Braves have played with a short-handed bench lately, forcing manager Brian Snitker to engineer some creative alternatives (including, but not limited to, the use of starter Julio Teheran as a pinch-hitter and -runner). Thankfully, no such alternatives were needed on Saturday, especially after Matt Kemp helped vault the Braves to an eight-run lead with the first three-homer game of his career:

Athletics 2, Astros 1: Andrew Triggs is looking more and more like a bonafide starter these days. He anchored the A’s 2-1 win with seven shutout innings, allowing five hits and fanning nine before handing the game over to the bullpen. The A’s were similarly stymied by Houston right-hander Joe Musgrove through the better part of seven innings, but rallied with a pair of home runs from Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis to secure the lead — and their 11th win.

Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 6: Is it even worth bragging about hitting the longest home run of the year when the record gets shattered every other day? Perhaps not, but it’s difficult to imagine someone hitting a ball much further than Jake Lamb’s 481-foot two-run shot off of Colorado’s Tyler Anderson this weekend:

Lamb’s home run ranks eleventh in estimated home run distance during the Statcast era. Only nine hitters have recorded longer home runs, topping out at Giancarlo Stanton‘s 504-foot blast last August.

Dodgers 6, Phillies 5: No one would have blamed you for turning off the Dodgers’ game last night. Few would have faulted you for trying to beat L.A. traffic by skipping out of Dodger Stadium in the eighth inning, when the Phillies padded their three-run lead with Andrew Knapp‘s first home run of the season. If you had, however, you would have missed a true storybook ending.

Down 5-2 in the bottom of the ninth, Yasiel Puig worked an eight-pitch at-bat against Philadelphia right-hander Hector Neris, prevailing with a 416-foot home run that sank into the center field bleachers. Neris wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. His at-bat against Cody Bellinger only lasted one-eighth as long, ending on a long fly ball that ricocheted off of the right field foul pole for the rookie’s second major league home run. Justin Turner provided the game-tying knock, going back-to-back-to-back with Puig and Bellinger, while Adrian Gonzalez polished off the rally with a two-out, game-winning base hit.

 

Padres 12, Giants 4: The Padres leapfrogged their injury-riddled division rivals on Saturday with their first double-digit win of the year, breaking out in the sixth with an eight-run inning that saw 11 batters, an RBI double, two RBI singles, a bases-loaded walk, an RBI force out, Wil Myerssixth home run of the season, and the complete implosion of the Giants’ bullpen.

Video: Mets execute a bizarre double play against the Nationals

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Double plays come in an assortment of combinations, from the standard 6-4-3 combo to some more unusual patterns. During the Mets’ 5-3 win over the Nationals on Saturday, however, what made this double play strange was less the product of an unorthodox route and almost entirely due to an unexpected collision on the basepaths instead.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, with the Mets trailing 1-0, Zack Wheeler caught Jose Lobaton swinging for strike three. Mets’ backstop Travis d'Arnaud fired the ball to second base, where the ball slipped out of Asdrubal Cabrera‘s glove as Jayson Werth slid into the bag for a stolen base. Second baseman Neil Walker fielded the ball in shallow center field, then tossed it to third base, and Jose Reyes tagged Werth easily for the second out of the play.

The Mets complimented their defensive efforts with a strong showing at the plate, reclaiming the lead with three home runs from Michael Conforto and Jose Reyes to clinch their tenth win of the year.