And That Happened: Thursday's scores and highlights

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Royals 9, Tigers 2: Five shutout innings by Greinke lowers his
ERA to 2.14. No starter has been that low to finish the season since
Clemens in 2005. No non-jackass starter has had one that low since
Pedro in 2000. Allow me to echo Aaron in asking for someone to please explain to me again the basis for not
giving this man the Cy Young award.

Brewers 7, Cubs 4: Prince Fielder hit a triple to lead off the fifth. I’m as shocked as you are, but it’s not like this sort of thing wasn’t predicted. Note: scroll down to read the lefthand column before reading the portion that appears at the top of the page.

Reds 3, Marlins 2: A first inning Darnell McDonald homer and a
bases loaded single by Jay Bruce held up all night. Random game story
goodness: “Reds RHP Aaron Harang bought a souped-up golf cart as a gift
to clubhouse attendants, to help them transport equipment and players
around the ballpark.” I’m not sure why Bob isn’t impressed with this. Word on the street is that it’s got a cop motor,
a 440 cubic inch plant, it’s got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks
and it’s a model made before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on
regular gas.

Angels 4, Red Sox 3: Brian Fuentes bounces back and holds the
lead in the ninth after his compadres break a tie in the top of the
ninth. I guess the umps were timid or scared last night like they were
on Wednesday.

Rays 3, Orioles 0: Wade Davis was destroyed by the Red Sox in
his second career start, but dismantled Baltimore in his third (CG SHO
4 H 10K). He three 124 pitches, but struck out the side in the ninth,
so either he wasn’t tired of the Orioles gave the hell up.

Phillies 4, Nationals 2: Cole Hamels was perfect into the sixth
inning and finished with ten strikeouts and one earned run over eight
innings. Manuel allowed Lidge to pitch in a save situation. He got the
save, but still gave up a run on a triple and a fielder’s choice. If
the Phillies bats are alive in the playoffs they’re my choice to win
the NL. If they play a lot of close games that are decided late, well,
forget it.

Mariners 4, White Sox 3: Jon Danks only gave up one run over
eight innings, but ended up getting hosed out of the win after this
baby went 14. A 14 inning game, by the way, that was eight minutes
shorter than Wednesday night’s nine-inning Red Sox-Angels affair.

Braves 7, Mets 3: The Braves have won seven straight. The Mets
have lost nine of their last 10. These are things that will keep me
warm all winter even in the very likely event that the Braves fall
short of the playoffs.

Athletics 5, Indians 2: “We’re going through a tough stretch
right now,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said after the game. We know. It
began in early April.

Red Sox set a new major league record with 11 strikeouts in a row

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez #52 of the Boston Red Sox works the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.

The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.

For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

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)
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.