And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

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Yankees 4, Mets 0: Amazingly, the Yankees prove to be a tougher opponent for the Mets than the Orioles and Indians were. Sabtahia was tough and Teixeira’s grand slam took care of all of the day’s scoring.

Red Sox 2, Dodgers 0: It’s a close call given how well the Rangers are playing, but the Red Sox are probably the hottest team in baseball at the moment. Buchholz, Bard and Papelbon combine to shut out the Dodgers giving the Bosox the sweep. I’ll admit, though: I turned this one off fairly early. Two reasons: (1) I was really tired and the game’s slow pace was allowing me to dose; and (2) if I heard one more thing about Manny Ramirez — who was making his return to Boston, I’m told! — I was gonna barf. Really, folks, there was a baseball game happening. Concentrate on it and not the eight or ninth best player in that particular game please.

Braves 8, Royals 5: That’s five straight wins for Atlanta who — no
offense to the Royals — took advantage of the easier opposition this
weekend to put a bit of distance between themselves and the Mets and
Phillies. Lots of credit to Troy Glaus and Eric Hinske who are looking
like the best couple of bargain bin pickups this year.

White Sox 6, Nationals 3: The Sox have won six in a row, sit at .500 and are a relatively reasonable 5.5 games back of the Twins. The Nats are
skidding. I’m going to make it my mission this week to get people to
start calling it the Curse of Strasburg. Because really, they were doing
just fine before they called him up.

Twins 4, Phillies 1: This one sucked for Philly, but they were probably still reeling from Saturday night’s debacle in which they led 9-4
entering the ninth and ended up blowing it 13-10 in 11 innings. Halladay
on the mound yesterday, but Minnesota somehow knocked 11 hits off the
dude. The Phillies have lost six of Halladay’s last eight starts, by the way. I’m
going to make it my mission this week to get people to start calling
it the Curse of Halladay. Because really, they won two straight
pennants before they traded for him.

Brewers 6, Rockies 1: Huston Street comes back on Tuesday. That’s not soon enough for the Rockies, as Manny Corpas gives up five runs without retiring a batter in the ninth inning of a 1-1game. Corpas was beat up on Saturday too, by the way.

Marlins 4, Rays 1: Josh Johnson continues to be ridiculous (8 IP, 6 H, 1 ER 9K). Since returning from Tommy John surgery in July 2008, Johnson is 30-8
with a 2.95 ERA in 62 starts. The Rays drop two of three to the Feesh and are now out of first place.

Tigers 3, Diamondbacks 1: The Tigers take two of three from the Dbacks on reunion weekend, with Max Scherzer beating his old mates yesterday, Edwin Jackson beating his old pals on Saturday and Dontelle Willis getting the ND against his former compadres on Friday (but pitching poorly enough to lose). Of course for all we know Scherzer, Jackson and Willis hate their old teammates with an unholy passion, so saying they’re mates, pals and compadres may be totally presumptuous of me.

Giants 9, Blues Jays 6: Freddy Sanchez, Pat Burrell and Aubrey Huff all homered for the Giants, after which they went to a local cafeteria where they took advantage of the early bird special. Huff ate Burrell’s corn on the cob because it was tough and irritated Burrell’s partial. Sanchez fell asleep in his pudding. They then talked about their grandchildren for a while.

Mariners 1, Reds 0: The Reds scored one freakin’ run all weekend. Really: one run.  No shame in getting shut out by Cliff Lee, of course. And Felix Hernandez is tough so I understand that too. But the fact that they couldn’t scratch one across against Ryan Rowland-Smith is pretty sad.

Pirates 5, Indians 3: I know a guy who lives in Pittsburgh who took his kids to not one but two games in this series. Last I heard, Pennsylvania Children’s Services had a warrant out for his arrest and the neighbors were holding a candlelight vigil. Sir, I guess there’s just a meanness in this world.

Rangers 5, Astros 4: Josh Hamilton went 5 for 6, with the game-tying RBI in the ninth and the game-winning RBI in the 10th. He’s now hit in 16 straight games and the Rangers have won 11 of 12.

Athletics 3, Cardinals 2: A loss yesterday, but the Cardinals have to be happy that Matt Holliday is heating up. Two homers yesterday and 8 for 12 in the series with four homers and eight RBIs. Kevin Kouzamanoff was 4 for 4 for Oakland.

Cubs 12, Angels 1: Chicago loses 12-0 on Saturday and wins 12-1 on Sunday. Better than the offense for Chicago was Carlos Zambrano giving up one run in seven innings. Joe Saunders got shelled today, giving up nine hits and a couple of walks in 2.2 innings. His post-game quote: “the defense just wasn’t there for me today.” Whatever, dude.

Padres 9, Orioles 4: San Diego fell behind 4-0 in the top of the first and then scored nine unanswered runs. Baltimore hasn’t won consecutive games since May 12-14th. It’s gonna be a battle royale to figure out whether they or Houston will take the 30th slot in the Power Rankings.

Craig’s Father’s Day: Started out with a 28-mile bike ride through the country and ended with steak, some good wine and rhubarb pie. That’s definitely a win.

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)
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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.

Video: Dustin Pedroia’s base running sends Red Sox to 11th consecutive win

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 24:  Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox is greeted at the dugout by Pablo Sandoval #48, left, and Mookie Betts #50, right, after hitting a grand slam during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 24, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr. /Getty Images)
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The Red Sox defeated the Rays 3-2 on Sunday afternoon thanks to some nifty base running by second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The win marks their 11th in a row, inching them closer to a division title.

With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the tenth, Pedroia led off with a single off of reliever Eddie Gamboa. After Xander Bogaerts lined out, David Ortiz ripped a double into the right-center field gap. Pedroia, running hard the whole way, rounded third and motored towards home plate, but the relay throw home — from center fielder Jaff Decker to second baseman Logan Forsythe to catcher Luke Maile — beat Pedroia by a good 10 feet. He was a dead duck.

Pedroia danced around Maile’s glove, avoiding the tag. Maile, on his side, continued to attempt to apply the tag on Pedroia. When he finally did, the ball was knocked loose and Pedroia scored the go-ahead run. The play was reviewed but the call was upheld.

Joe Kelly kept the Rays off the board in the bottom of the 10th, securing the 3-2 victory for the Red Sox.

The Blue Jays also won on Sunday, meaning the Red Sox still have a 5.5-game lead in the AL East. Any combination of two Red Sox wins and Blue Jays losses will seal up the division for the Red Sox. The two clubs round out the regular season with a three-game set against each other in Boston.