And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

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Blue Jays 1, Rays 0: A single by Evan Longoria with two outs in the ninth saved the Rays from being no-hit for the third time this year.  What can you say about Brandon Morrow? Seventeen Ks, a one-hitter and the highest game score by a pitcher since Randy Johnson’s perfect game back in 2004. The only negative is that he threw 137 pitches in this one. Hopefully Cito Gaston gives him some extra rest in the coming weeks.

Braves 6, Giants 3: Atlanta threw out a JV lineup — no Heyward, no Chipper, no McCann, and of course Prado is still hurt — but it didn’t matter as Derek Lowe and a cast of relievers kept the Giants’ bats pretty darn quiet. Query: has anyone ever done a study of the Giants’ and Athletics’ won-loss record based on temperature? It was damn hot in Atlanta over the weekend. In San Francisco, however, the highs are only in the upper 60s at best this time of the summer.  I watched a lot of the action over the weekend and can’t say the Giants’ looked gassed — maybe Sandoval at times — but I can’t help but think an August series in Atlanta has to bug a team that hails from a place where there’s virtually no weather.

Phillies 6, Mets 5: The R.A. Dickey Express was bound to hit a bump in the road at some point, and this was it. The Phillies scored six runs on eight hits against the knuckler, including a Raul Ibanez rocket shot to dead center in the third that scored three. Ibanez has been insanely hot lately, by the way.

Reds 11, Cubs 4: The Reds had an 8-0 lead in the seventh before the Cubs broke through for all four of their runs with the help of some bad Reds defense. Cincy got three of the four back though and won this one pretty easily. Reds pitchers needed only 107 pitches compared to the Cubs’ 174. Jonny Gomes walked four times. The Reds have won nine of 11 and now head into a three-game series at home against the Cardinals.

Brewers 11, Astros 6: Milwaukee effectively ended this one quickly, scoring all 11 of its runs before the end of the fourth inning. Which was considerate of them inasmuch as it gave the citizens of Houston that much more time to attend to personal matters on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking of personal matters, I ordered a bunch of fun baseball shirts yesterday. A Columbus Jets number, and from the old PCL a Hollywood Stars t-shirt and a San Francisco Seals 3/4 length sleeve job. I was going to get a Portland Beavers one but I figured that would make me look like that guy who’s trying to hard to be clever. Anyway, no reason for sharing this here other than that I’m quite excited about my new shirts and felt like sharing and no one in my house gives a crap about it.

Orioles 4, White Sox 3: The Orioles won’t win their way out of the AL East cellar this year, but if Buck’s boys keep winning like this they may give 2011’s season tickets sales a boost. Baltimore has won five of six since Showalter took over. Mark Buehrle — who took the loss — said this after the game: “You’re playing one of the worst teams in baseball. We should come in here and beat these guys.”  Any given Sunday, dude. Any given Sunday.

Twins 5, Indians 4: Jim Thome hit a two-run shot against his old team to help the Twins pull to a half game of another one of his old teams. The Phillies and Dodgers are safe for now, but there’s a definite pattern here, so they best watch their backs.

Rockies 8, Pirates 4: Carlos Gonzalez went 4 for 5 with a homer and continues to be absolutely ridiculous this year. Dude’s at .327/.355/.579, and I bet that unless you live in Denver, none of the casual fans you talk to at the office know who the hell he is.

Tigers 9, Angels 4: Detroit avoids a sweep. Will Rhymes had three hits and two RBI and was sent down right after the game. I’d like to think he spent last night in a bar in Toledo talking about “damn politics, man. That’s all it is.”

Mariners 3, Royals 2: Jason Vargas and Kyle Davies had a little pitchers duel that probably said more about the teams’ respective offenses than it did about Vargas and Davies.

Athletics 3, Rangers 2: Trevor Cahill does it again: Only three strikeouts, but he (a) didn’t walk anyone; (b) got more grounders than fly balls; and (c) kept the ball in the yard.

Padres 10, Diamondbacks 1:  San Diego averts a sweep at the hands of the lowly Dbacks and does so in impressive fashion. Jerry Hairston had three hits, one of which was a homer, scored four times and drove in two. Mat Latos threw six shutout innings and combined with the pen to throw a three hitter.

Dodgers 8, Nationals 3: Jason Marquis made his triumphant return, going four innings, allowing five hits and five runs, but only two of them were earned. OK, I guess that’s not terribly triumphant, but he’s back for whatever that’s worth. Ted Lilly gets his second win in a row in a Dodgers uniform. Jamey Carroll went 3 for 3 with a walk and drove in a couple.

Yankees 7, Red Sox 2: I’m not gonna lie to you: I didn’t watch this one. I watched “Hot Tub Time Machine” instead. I’m not sure if I made the right choice. “Hot Tub Time Machine” wasn’t good, but at times it had some so-bad-it’s-good elements. And the more I think about it, a three hour Yankees-Red Sox game whose outcome wasn’t in doubt after the fifth inning and in which there was a legitimate reason to compare Derek Jeter to Babe Ruth would have been way, way too much for me.

Cardinals vs. Marlins: POSTPONED:  
I opened my eyes and looked up at the rain, and it dripped in my head and flowed into my brain. And all that I hear as I lie in my bed is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head. I step very softly, I walk very slow, I can’t do a handstand– I might overflow. So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said– I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 26: Cleveland Indians player celebrate clinching the Central Division Championship after defeating the Detroit Tigers 7-4 at Comerica Park on September 26, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Marlins 7, Mets 3: Giancarlo Stanton exhorting his teammates to “play the game like Jose would play the game.” The club kneeling in prayer beforehand. Dee Gordon’s right-handed hitting tribute and dramatic home run. A team which had every reason to be lost in a fog playing dominant baseball. Leaving their caps on the mound after the game. It was moving and sad but simultaneously triumphant and uplifting. A reminder of how beloved a teammate and person Jose Fernandez was to those who knew him. A reminder that people play this game and their personal bonds are tighter than we usually acknowledge.

Diamondbacks 14, Nationals 4: One of many routs last night. Here. Cubs over Pirates. Reds over Cardinals. Clinton over Trump. It’s almost as if one side showed up prepared and ready to play and the other side was clearly overmatched and out of their depth. At least the baseball teams get to do this 161 other times rather than have it be a mere three games. Oh well. Here Yasmany Tomas drove in five with a three-run homer and an RBI double. Jean Segura homered twice, driving in three. If the loss wasn’t bad enough, losing Wilson Ramos to a knee injury is something that could severely impact the Nationals’ prospects in the playoffs. Just as disastrous night all around.

Cubs 12, Pirates 2: Chicago picks up its 100th win of the year thanks in large part to a huge night from Javier Baez who drove in six with a grand slam and a two-run single. Meanwhile Kyle Hendricks continued to make his Cy Young case, scattering seven hits across six scoreless innings while watching his ERA sink to 1.99 and picking up his 16th win.

Yankees 7, Blue Jays 5: Maturity abounds as Luis Severino hit Josh Donaldson, the Jays throw at Chase Headley in retaliation and then the Yankees throw at Justin Smoak in retaliation for the retaliation. Based on the video and the game situation it did not appear as if Dondaldson was hit intentionally, but big macho baseball men gotta be big macho baseball men. After Headley was hit the Yankees had to put their big macho baseball men pants on too, apparently. They’re lucky no one was hurt. Luis Severino and J.A. Happ will almost certainly face fines or suspensions. As for the game, Mark Teixeira hit a tying homer in the ninth inning, flipping his bat and then jawing from his dugout, yelling “blown save!” to Jason Grilli. Aaron Hicks subsequently hit a two-run homer and the Yankees’ four-run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth was too much for the Jays to overcome.

Indians 7, Tigers 4: The Indians clinch the AL Central, but it wasn’t all champagne and Budweiser, as ace Corey Kluber had to leave the game with groin tightness. Assuming he’s given an off day for what would’ve been his final start he’ll get a good week and a half or so of rest if he needs it before the ALDS starts. Coco Crisp and Roberto Perez homered for the Indians, and Jason Kipnis doubled in a run. The Tigers are now two games back of the idle Orioles in the Wild Card.

Brewers 8, Rangers 3Jonathan Villar homered twice and had a career-high five RBI as the Brewers put the Rangers a game back in the loss column of the Red Sox for home field advantage in the playoffs.

White Sox 7, Rays 1Justin Morneau and Carlos Sanchez each hit a two-run homer and James Shields won his first game in two months. He’s 4-11 since coming over from San Diego.

Mariners 4, Astros 3: Robinson Cano homered in the top of the 11th to give the M’s the win. He hit a homer in the third inning too. The victory moves Seattle into a tie with Detroit, two games behind Baltimore for the second AL Wild Card. Houston has droppd four of five,and is now three and a half games back in the race.

Reds 15, Cardinals 2: Cincinnati jumped out to a 10-0 lead by the top of the fourth. Four homers from the Reds, two from Adam Duvall, who was 4-for-6 with five RBI on the night. The Cards are one game out of Wild Card position behind the Giants now.

Angels 2, Athletics 1: The clubs exchanged solo shots — Mike Trout for the Angels, Steven Vogt for the A’s — but the tie was broken by Albert Pujols‘ run-scoring groundout in the eighth.

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)
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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.