And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

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Dave Bush has a sad.jpgCubs
12, Brewers 2
: The Cubs sweep the Brewers in convincing fashion,
outscoring them 25-4. It’s like they’re the Pirates’ older brother or
something, kicking the bully’s butt after that 20-0 beatdown.

Astros
10, Pirates 3
: Of course at some point the best way to defend your
little brother is to let him get his butt kicked a bit so as to toughen
him up. The sixth straight loss for Pittsburgh, most of which have been
ugly. Brett Myers allowed 12 base runners in six innings, yet the Buccos
could still only score two runs off him.  And this has to be the last
start for Charlie Morton, doesn’t it? His earned runs allowed in each
game: 8,6,5 and 5.

Angels
8, Yankees 4
: I’ll concede this much: we’re several days closer to
the day when it is acceptable to boo Javy Vazquez than we were when I
started complaining about it a couple of weeks ago. Vazquez was hit up
for five runs on five hits in three and two-thirds.

Mets 1, Braves 0: I suppose you could say that the fact the game was rain-shortened foreclosed the possibility of a comeback or something, but the Braves had ample opportunity to score before this one was called and couldn’t deliver so they don’t deserve any benefit of the doubt. Mike Pelfrey extends his scoreless innings streak to 24 and the Mets sweep the free-falling Braves.

Royals
4, Twins 3
: Jose Guillen homered and drove in two, continuing his
hot start (.352/.371/.716). This would be encouraging for Royals fans if
they they had any faith that Dayton Moore would do the right thing
(i.e. shop Guillen while he’s hot) instead of the Dayton Moore thing
(i.e. announce a new organizational strategy built around the slugging
prowess of Jose Guillen).  Brian Bannister had a Brett Myersy kind of
day: oodles of base runners in his 6+ innings, but only two runs
allowed.

Rangers
8, Tigers 4
: Pre-season optimism for the Tigers had a lot to do
with the emergence of Rick Porcello last year. His last two starts: six
earned runs in each of them, going four and a third innings against the
Angels last Tuesday and four innings against Texas yesterday. Ten hits
allowed as well, and his ERA is up to 7.91 on the season. Five RBI for
Michael Young, on a three-run double and a two-run single.

Nationals 1, Dodgers 0: An exciting one for pitching perverts like me,
but boring for everyone else. Scott Olsen, Tyler Clippard and Matt Capps
combine to shut out the Dodgers. Chad Billingsely was great too, giving
up only the one run on four hits in six innings and allowing the game’s
only run scored on an Adam Dunn ground out. It was Olsen’s first
victory since July 5th of last year.

Rays 6, Blue Jays 0: When the story of the Tampa Bay Rays season is told, the emergence of David Price is going to be a big part of it. Price dominated the Jays, pitching a four-hit shutout and striking out 9. The highlight of the day for the Blue Jays was Jose Molina throwing out would-be base stealers in four consecutive innings. Alex Anthopoulos, you have a Mr. Epstein holding on line two . . .

Cardinals 2, Giants 0: Combine Dave Duncan’s genius with Brad Penny’s stuff and the San Francisco Giants’ offense and this sort of thing is gonna happen once in a while. Penny is now 3-0 with a 0.94 ERA on the season.  Nine total runs were scored in this series.

Orioles 7, Red Sox 6: The O’s were down 4-1 entering the seventh, having not been able to figure out Tim Wakefield, but then the Bosox’ bullpen collapsed, with Okajima and Atchinson throwing gas on the fire. Rhyne Hughes and Matt Weiters were the 10th-inning heroes for Baltimore, each with RBI singles. The Sox made a valiant effort to come back in the 10th with RBIs from J.D. Drew and Bill Hall, but it was too little, too late. It was a 4-6 homestand for Boston.

Reds 5, Padres 4: The Reds come from behind to end the Padres’ 8-game winning streak. Scott Rolen was 2 for 3 and scored three times. Jay Bruce was 3 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI.

White Sox 3, Mariners 2: A crisp one after a 42-minute rain delay, with John Danks throwing a strong eight innings and a Paul Konerko homer breaking a 2-2 tie in the eighth. Konerko leads all of baseball with eight homers. The won all three of their games against Seattle on late homers, with Andruw Jones and Alexis Rios providing walkoff jobs on Friday and Saturday.

Athletics 11, Indians 0: Gio Gonzalez didn’t have to shut out the Indians over seven innings, but he did it anyway. Three RBI a piece for Eric Chavez, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Eric Patterson. Cleveland lost 10-0 to the A’s on Friday, so this loss bookended their 6-1 victory on Saturday quite nicely.

Diamondbacks 8, Phillies 6: Mark Reynolds had four RBI including a three-run homer and an RBI double.  Justin Upton left the game after fouling a ball off his shin.

Rockies 8, Marlins 4: The third 8-4 game of the day yesterday which means . . . well, nothing, but you just sort of notice that sort of thing when you look at box scores all evening like I do. Seth Smith hit two homers and had 4 RBI. With Brad Hawpe on the DL now, viva outfield depth.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Sunday’s action

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 19:  Starting pitcher Taijuan Walker #44 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth inning at Safeco Field on September 19, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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The last time the Mariners qualified for a postseason berth, I was eleven years old. My lone memory of the Mariners’ historic 116-win season has been reduced to a brief conversation with my father over nachos at our local Mexican restaurant. The details of our conversation are lost to me now; with an upbringing specifically tailored to Seattle Seahawks football, even the best and brightest of the Mariners’ glory days appeared as little more than a blip on my radar.

The Mariners enter Sunday with a 14% chance of securing a ticket to the playoffs. They’ll kick off the series finale at 2:10 PM EDT, during which Seattle’s Taijuan Walker will take on Minnesota lefty Hector Santiago. Neither pitcher looked dominant on the mound last week, with both Walker and Santiago lasting just 5  innings in their previous starts and giving up three runs and six runs in their respective outings.

What should have been an easy sweep for Seattle turned ugly on Saturday night as the Mariners battled their way to a 3-2 loss in Minnesota. Nelson Cruz‘s mammoth two-run homer was the only saving grace for an offense that has produced at a .263/.334/.437 clip in September. With a three-game set against the Astros on Monday and a final homestand against the A’s next weekend, it’ll take a significant push to propel the Mariners into October baseball.

Should they beat the odds and snap a 15-year playoff drought, however, I’ll be following every step of the way this time — whether the postseason goes the way of the Double or a Geronimo Berroa home run. (Just don’t make me give up my nachos.)

You can find more from Sunday’s action below.

New York Yankees (Michael Pineda) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Marco Estrada), 1:07 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi), 1:10 PM EDT

Chicago White Sox (Carlos Rodon) @ Cleveland Indians (Josh Tomlin), 1:10 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez) @ Detroit Tigers (Matt Boyd), 1:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Jake Thompson) @ New York Mets (Robert Gsellman), 1:10 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks (Braden Shipley) @ Baltimore Orioles (Dylan Bundy), 1:35 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (A.J. Cole) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Tyler Glasnow), 1:35 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Brandon Finnegan) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta), 2:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Daniel Wright) @ Houston Astros (Joe Musgrove), 2:10 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (Taijuan Walker) @ Minnesota Twins (Hector Santiago), 2:10 PM EDT

Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis) @ Oakland Athletics (Jharel Cotton), 4:05 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies (Tyler Anderson) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Brandon McCarthy), 4:10 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Ty Blach) @ San Diego Padres (Clayton Richard), 4:40 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Carlos Martinez) @ Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester), 8:08 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves vs. Miami Marlins: POSTPONED

Settling the Scores: Saturday’s results

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Denard Span #2 of the San Francisco Giants, right, is congratulated by Roberto Kelly #39 after hitting a two-run home run during the tenth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on September 24, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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Amid the clash and clatter of division races, wild card nail-biters, and postseason finishes, the Giants and Padres played a baseball game.

It wasn’t a particularly brilliant game — Madison Bumgarner surrendered five runs and a season-high three homers over six frames, while the bullpen blew a one-run lead in the seventh — but it served its purpose in the end. Denard Span’s 10th inning home run cemented the Giants’ 82nd win of the season, scooting them half a game up in the wild card standings and keeping the Dodgers from clinching the division.

Granted, the Dodgers only need one more win (or, alternatively, a Giants’ loss) to lay claim to the division title, and it’s almost certain that they’ll take the NL West on Sunday. A division title may be out of reach for the Giants, but they’ll still face fierce competition from the Mets and Cardinals for a wild card spot heading into the last week of the season.

Here are the rest of the box scores from Saturday’s games. Keep an eye out for Dustin Pedroia‘s grand slam, Josh Reddick‘s grand slam, and Hunter Renfroe’s first career home run.

Royals 7, Tigers 4

Cardinals 10, Cubs 4

Rangers 5, Athletics 0

Blue Jays 3, Yankees 0

Red Sox 6, Rays 4

Orioles 6, Diamondbacks 1

Nationals 6, Pirates 1

Marlins 6, Braves 4

White Sox 8, Indians 1

Reds 6, Brewers 1

Angels 10, Astros 4

Phillies 10, Mets 8

Twins 3, Mariners 2

Giants 9, Padres 6 (10 innings)

Dodgers 14, Rockies 1