And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Dana Eveland.jpgRed Sox 13, Blue Jays 12: Just your standard 25 run, 34 hit, 4+ hour nine inning game. Lyle Overbay, Jose Bautista and Jason Varitek each had 4 RBI, Bill Hall, Jeremy Herminda and Travis Snider all had 0-fers, and the starting pitchers — Josh Beckett and Dana Eveland — were each tied up and were placed, sitting backwards, on the backs of donkeys while wearing giant carnival masks and then led out into some forbidding desert to die.

Brewers 17, Pirates 3: The Milwaukee Brewers! What a rotten name! We were trapped. There they stood,
between us and the alley. The Milwaukee Brewers staring out at us with their yellow
eyes. They had yellow eyes! So, help me, God! Yellow eyes!

Royals 3, Mariners 1Kyle Davies beats Felix Hernandez? OK, that’s unexpected, but weird things happen from time to time. Yuniesky Betancourt goes 2-4 and is now hitting close to .350 on the year? Well, that is a little peculiar. Bruce Chen gets a save? Screw it, I’m maxing out my credit cards and pulling the kids out of school, because the end is friggin’ nigh.

Marlins 10, Padres 1: Josh Johnson pitched a complete game, striking out 12 and giving up a lone earned run and he went 3-4 driving in three.  A guy who can do that on a regular basis is worth $25 million a year. Ryan Howard? Not so much.

Tigers 8, Rangers 6: Neftali Feliz gives up back-to-back homers to Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge in the ninth to lose the game. I hate to see Feliz struggle, but any little thing that may push him out of Certified Closer land and back into being a starting pitcher is fine by me.

Cubs 4, Nationals 3: The Nats battled back from 3-0 to send the game to extras, and then Brian Bruney comes in and allows a single, a walk, a single and a walk to end it. His former team, the World Champion New York Yankees, were in Washington yesterday meeting President Obama. There’s a reason he did not accompany them.

Cardinals 4, Braves 3: “Commonly, people believe that defeat is characterized by a general bustle and a feverish rush. Bustle and rush are the signs of victory, not of defeat. Victory is a thing of action. It is a house in the act of being built. Every participant in victory sweats and puffs, carrying the stones for the building of the house. But defeat is a thing of weariness, of incoherence, of boredom. And above all of futility” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery, noted observer of the Atlanta Braves.

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 3: Dan Haren was on: 8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 10K. Adam LaRoche’s three-run homer in the first was a the big blast.

Giants 5, Phillies 1: Yes, of course it makes perfect sense that the Giants would score the most runs they had in a over week — 5 — on the night they face Roy Halladay. Wait, it actually does. Before last night Halladay had faced the Giants twice in his career and on each occasion they had scored . . . five runs.

Angels 5, Indians 2: The first several paragraphs of the game story are spent here comparing Jered Weaver to Jeff Weaver. Am I the only one who finds this odd? Hideki Matsui had his 1000th major league hit last night. I saw his performance. I would like to have a player like him in my lineup.
 
Mets vs. Dodgers: Postponed:  Remember that “Happy Days” episode where the Fonz performed in “The Rainmaker?” What the hell was up with that?

What’s on Tap: Previewing Saturday’s action

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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It’s the last Clayton Kershaw start of the regular season. Prepare yourselves accordingly.

The Dodgers already have the NL West in the bag, but they’re still fighting for home-field advantage against the Nationals. Should the two teams end up with the same regular season record by Monday morning, the edge will go to the Dodgers, who have a better head-to-head record this year. Kershaw has already been announced as the starter for Game 1 of the NLDS, while the Nationals have kept their lineup close to the vest for the time being.

Facing the Dodgers is Giants’ left-hander Ty Blach, who is poised to make the second major league start of his career this afternoon. The Giants are in a precarious position heading into the last two games of the year and have the potential to force a three-way tie among NL wild card contenders. A thorough breakdown of the wild card and home-field advantage possibilities has been outlined here.

You can find more from Saturday’s action below.

New York Mets (Bartolo Colon) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Phil Klein), 1:05 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Chad Kuhl) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha), 1:05 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles (Wade Miley) @ New York Yankees (Luis Severino), 4:05 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw) @ San Francisco Giants (Ty Blach), 4:05 PM EDT

Miami Marlins (Wei-Yin Chen) @ Washington Nationals (Tanner Roark), 4:05 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester) @ Cincinnati Reds (Tim Adleman), 4:10 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians (Trevor Bauer) @ Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez), 4:15 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers (Jordan Zimmerman) @ Atlanta Braves (Aaron Blair), 7:10 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Hector Santiago) @ Chicago White Sox (James Shields), 7:10 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays (J.A. Happ) @ Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez), 7:10 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi) @ Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis), 8:05 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta) @ Colorado Rockies (Jeff Hoffman), 8:10 PM EDT

San Diego Padres (Clayton Richard) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Archie Bradley), 8:10 PM EDT

Houston Astros (Collin McHugh) @ Los Angeles Angels (Tyler Skaggs), 9:05 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Jharel Cotton) @ Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma), 9:10 PM EDT

Settling the Scores: Friday’s results

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: Norichika Aoki #8 of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run off of starting pitcher Raul Alcantara #50 of the Oakland Athletics during the second inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field on September 30, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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Raul Alcantara was in the business of distributing home runs on Friday night.

Robinson Cano caught the tail end of a 94.1 m.p.h. fastball in the first inning, driving it to center field to put the Mariners on the board. In the second, Norichika Aoka found his fourth home run of the year on a similarly-placed heater. The Mariners then targeted Alcantara’s off-speed stuff, picking on the right-hander’s changeup and slider to get two more home runs in the third: the first, another dead-center blast by Cano, and the last, a bomb by Nelson Cruz that popped off the center field wall and survived an umpire review.

Taijuan Walker, who enjoyed the spike in run support from his 3.6 average, was not immune to the home run bug either, giving up the first and only run of the night on Ryon Healy’s 102-m.p.h. home run in the sixth inning.

While Walker excelled at run prevention, he also came one walk shy of hitting a career-high mark, with five walks spread over six innings. Seattle’s bullpen stepped in for three perfect innings to close out the game and, despite six perfect frames from Oakland relievers Zach Neal and Daniel Coulombe, quashed the A’s hopes of closing a four-run gap.

The Mariners’ win on Friday puts them one game back of the wild card; if they take the rest of the series and the Tigers and Blue Jays lose one of their remaining weekend games, the Mariners will tie for the remaining wild card spot. With Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez on the hill this weekend, winning shouldn’t be an issue. Getting the Blue Jays to collapse against the Red Sox (and, to a lesser extent, the Tigers against the Braves) is another story.

Here are the rest of the box scores from Friday’s games. Keep an eye out for the first modest bat flip of Jose Bautista‘s career, Madison Bumgarner‘s eighth RBI of the year, and the Orioles’ three-homer inning.

Orioles 8, Yankees 1

Marlins 7, Nationals 4

Mets 5, Phillies 1

Cubs 7, Reds 3

Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3

Tigers 6, Braves 2

Rangers 3, Rays 1

Rockies 4, Brewers 1

White Sox 7, Twins 3

Indians 7, Royals 2

Cardinals 7, Pirates 0

Diamondbacks 5, Padres 3

Angels 7, Astros 1

Mariners 5, Athletics 1

Giants 9, Dodgers 3