And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Giants 7, Dodgers 5: So the pitching matchup I was so looking forward to kind of fizzled out, but that didn’t keep this one from being interesting.  Clayton Kershaw hit Andres Torres in the first. Then Tim Lincecum smacked Matt Kemp and Denny Bautista threw some inside heat to Russell Martin. Kershaw then did the expected thing and hit Aaron Rowand. The upshot of all of that was Joe Torre, bench coach Bob Schaefer and Kershaw were all ejected.

Don Mattingly took over as the Dodgers’ manager and — just like he did the last time he had the reins — he screwed up. This time he accidentally turned one mound visit in the ninth into two when he turned around on his way back to the dugout, thereby losing Jonathan Broxton. George Sherrill had to come in — cold, because he wasn’t warming up — and he promptly gave up a two-run double to Torres, which ended up giving the Giants the game. Look, I love Mattingly, but is this really the guy everyone considers to be Torre’s heir apparent?

Rockies 10, Marlins 0: I was reading some Nate Robertson/trade deadline speculation yesterday afternoon. This ain’t gonna help it. The Rockies crush the rec-spectacled one, led by Melvin Mora’s five RBI. Melvin Mora had a big game? Quick! Someone call President Bush! It’s 2003 and we can still avoid blundering into the quagmire that is the Iraq war!

Rangers 8, Tigers 0: All Tommy Hunter does is win ballgames. That’s seven straight in the toilet for the Tigers. Armando Galarraga and Casey Fien combine to give up seven runs right after being called up from Toledo. All I can figure is that they both stopped in at some bar in Monroe on the way back up to the ballpark and weren’t 100% at go time.

Braves 4, Padres 1: The Padres threatened in the first inning, but a potential run was killed when David Eckstein was thrown out at the plate by Melky Cabrera to end the inning. You can’t win, Melky. If you strike Eckstein down, he shall become more
powerful than you could possibly imagine
. Braves now have the best record in the NL.

Angels 10, Yankees 2: As I write this particular entry it’s about 10:45 P.M. Eastern time last night, so I haven’t yet had the benefit of reading the New York tabloids yet, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess the day’s meme: Phil Hughes has now pitched 100 innings! His arm is going to fall off! Pettitte’s hurt! Burnett is a basket case! The Yankees must trade all warm bodies for Roy Oswalt, Ted Lilly and the corpse of Red Ruffing! Maybe that’s not it, but you know there will be a meme. See, the Yankees are expected to go 162-0, and if they lose, writers must search for the root cause. Every. Single. Time.

Cardinals 7, Phillies 1: Jamie Moyer had to leave after one inning due to an elbow strain. Overheard in the clubhouse after the game: Moyer arguing with the training staff about whether to treat the strain with some Lister’s Carbolic Unguent, a Balasam Specific or Smeckler’s Powder. And I’m not going to say that Phillies fans are starting to lose faith or anything, but last night one of the biggest Phillies partisans I know tweeted “I just took a dump. I named it Baez.”

Pirates 11, Brewers 9: It was 9-0 Pirates at the end of the first inning, but the Brewers had gotten within one run by the 6th. That and $8 gets you a domestic beer in a plastic cup, however, and the Brew Crew weren’t able to complete the comeback. Oh, and no one is paying attention because it’s the Pirates and everything, but Pedro Alvarez is having a hell of a July. Last night adds to it: 2 for 4, 2 HR, 5 RBI and a walk.

Indians 4, Twins 3: Travis Hafner doubles in Carlos Santana in the seventh to but the Tribe over the top. In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t,
the Indians have managed to win a few here and there, and are
threatening to climb out of the cellar.

Blue Jays 13, Royals 1: Royals’ starter Anthony Larew left the game early when he was drilled by a comebacker. Just kind of set the tone for the beating the Royals took.

Cubs 14, Astros 7: Anyone else notice that Aramis Ramirez has basically been Ted Williams in July? Three for seven, three homers and seven RBI last night to add onto what has already been a stellar month.

Diamondbacks 3, Mets 2: Like I’ve always said: when Barry Enright takes
the hill, you probably should just pack it in and save your energy to
fight another day. OK, that’s not totally fair — Enright has been good
this year — but the Mets only getting one run off him in eight innings
doesn’t exactly bathe them in glory. Their best shot to break through in
this one came in the first when they had the bases loaded and only one
out, but both Ike Davis and Jason Bay whiffed and the threat was over. 1
for 6 with runners in scoring position overall last night. Just some
bad baseball from New York lately.

White Sox 4, Mariners 0: John Danks shuts down the punchless Mariners over seven and two-thirds and Chicago beats Seattle in a cool 2:11. One of the only really crisp games in all of baseball last night.

Athletics 5, Red Sox 4: Neither Tim Wakefield nor Dallas Braden were particularly sharp, but the bullpens kept things scoreless between the fourth and the ninth. Kevin Kouzmanoff won it with a walkoff single in the bottom of the tenth. His sac fly in the third had tied the game as well. I want to say that he did the tie-it-up, win-it thing a few weeks ago too, but I’m too lazy to look.

Reds 8, Nationals 7: The game itself lasted two hours and forty-eight
minutes. The rain delay in the middle was two hours, thirty-two minutes.
You had to be a brave and hearty soul to stay for that one. Mike Leake
got the win despite the Reds’ pen giving up six runs as soon as the
delay was over. He’s 7-1 now.

Orioles 11, Rays 10: Seven homers, 13 innings and four hours, thirty-eight minutes of baseball. I guess that’s some people’s idea of a good time. Carl Crawford left the game in the first inning and went to the hospital after getting hit in the groin on a pickoff throw from Jake Arrieta. The game was so long that Crawford came back to the ballpark before it was over and gave this choice quote regarding the throw: “You couldn’t hit it in a better spot.”  Really, Carl? I can think of a hundred places that would be preferable.

Marlins defeat the Mets, then pay their respects to Jose Fernandez on the pitcher’s mound

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Miami Marlins players all wearing jerseys bearing the number 16 and name Fernandez honor the late Jose Fernandez before the game against the New York Mets at Marlins Park on September 26, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Rob Foldy/Getty Images
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The Marlins were somehow able to muster up the strength not only to play Monday night’s game against the Mets, but also win it convincingly one day after losing Jose Fernandez in a tragic boating accident. The Marlins and Mets helped pay tribute to Fernandez prior to the start of the game as outlined here.

When the game started, the Marlins came out of the gate with a bang. Dee Gordon homered in his first at-bat, then the club hung a four-spot in the second inning. They tacked on two more in the third inning to chase starter Bartolo Colon and take a commanding 7-0 lead. The Mets chipped away for two runs in the fifth on an Asdrubal Cabrera two-run homer and tacked on one more in the eighth, but ultimately fell short by a 7-3 margin.

Gordon finished 4-for-5 with the homer and two RBI. Justin Bour went 3-for-3 with a single, double, triple, and a walk along with an RBI and two runs scored.

A.J. Ramos, who closed out the win, placed the ball on the pitcher’s mound for Fernandez. The Marlins huddled around the mound and said a prayer. The players huddled closer to the rubber on the mound, then left their hats behind as they retreated to the clubhouse as fans at Marlins Park chanted, “Jose, Jose, Jose.”

In a post-game interview, Gordon called his first-inning home run “the best moment of my life,” as NBC 6 Sports reports.

Indians defeat Tigers, clinch AL Central for first division title since 2007

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 7: Roberto Perez #55 of the Cleveland Indians hits an RBI single during the second inning against the Houston Astros at Progressive Field on September 7, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images
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The Indians beat the Tigers 7-4 at Comerica Park on Monday night, clinching the AL Central for their first division title since 2007. Starter Corey Kluber lasted only four innings before exiting with right groin tightness, but the Indians were able to overcome the adversity.

Coco Crisp gave the Indians their first two runs with a two-run home run in the second inning off of starter Buck Farmer. The Tigers would promptly tie the game on a two-run homer by J.D. Martinez in the bottom half of the inning.

In the fifth, an RBI double by Jason Kipnis and a sacrifice fly by Mike Napoli put the Tribe back on top 4-2. The Tigers answered once again with a Miguel Cabrera RBI single in the bottom half to make it 4-3.

Roberto Perez homered for the Indians in the top of the top of the seventh, and Cabrera answered with another RBI single in the bottom half to keep it within one run at 5-4.

The Indians tacked on another insurance run in the eighth on three consecutive two-out singles by Crisp, Rajai Davis, and Perez. Carlos Santana then hit what should have been the final out of the eighth inning, but J.D. Martinez botched the catch, allowing the Indians’ seventh run to score.

Cody Allen shut the Tigers down in the bottom of the ninth, protecting the 7-4 lead for his 30th save of the season.

The last time the Indians won the AL Central, their starting lineup featured a 28-year-old Victor Martinez, a 25-year-old Jhonny Peralta, a 24-year-old Grady Sizemore, and a 26-year-old CC Sabathia. It’s been a long time.

The American League playoff picture still isn’t set yet, so the Indians will be intently watching the final week of the season to see who will be their playoff opponent.