And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Rays 6, Rangers 4: Once again, a highly touted pitching matchup fails to yield a great pitchers duel. David Price walked five guys, but only gave up two runs. Cliff Lee was cruising, striking out ten guys, but he hit a brick wall in the eighth, giving up a series of hits while watching his 4-2 led turn into a 6-4 deficit. Circumstances conspired to keep me from watching this game, but anyone who did: why did Ron Washington wait so long to pull Lee when he was apparently throwing batting practice by the time the eighth rolled around?  It seems like Lee has gone really long quite often since coming over to Texas. Does anyone realize that, yes, they’re going to need him come October, so maybe he could use a bit of a rest? Especially when he’s in trouble?

Blue Jays 3, Athletics 1: Shaun Marcum is the latest to flirt with a no-no, losing his in the seventh on a Connor Jackson homer. That’s all he’d give up, however, finishing with a complete game one-hitter. Jose Bautista hit what, at the time, was ruled an inside-the-park home run because my fellow New Albany, Ohio resident — umpire Tim Timmons — ruled the ball in play. After the game it was ruled that the ball actually left the park, making it a regular homer. Strange. People from my town never make mistakes.

Pirates 7, Marlins 1: Pittsburgh breaks its seven game losing streak. Garrett Jones and Pedro Alvarez each had three RBI and James McDonald gave up one run on three hits in seven innings. The Pirates are 13-48 on the road and 27-30 at home. Is this heaven? No, it’s Pittsburgh.

Braves 4, Dodgers 3: If you would have told me last winter that Melky Carbrera and Rick Ankiel would be hitting back-to-back in the Braves lineup in August I would have killed myself. But there they are. On Sunday Ankiel took a couple of walks and was a key contributor to a 13-run outburst and last night Melky had a clutch two-run single to bring the Braves back from 3-1 deficit to win the game in the bottom of the ninth.  I don’t recommend counting on these guys to be heroes — and I may still kill myself before this is all said and done — but on those rare occasions they do come through it is, well, not satisfying really, but certainly something.

Orioles 5, Mariners 4: A walkoff bunt single for Adam Jones. That’s something you don’t see every day.

Mets 3, Astros 1: Taking the lead on a ninth inning wild pitch. That’s something you don’t see every day. You also don’t see RBI triples from Jeff Francoeur that often, but he provided the insurance. And, introducing your new Mets closer: Hisanori Takahashi. I was hoping for Oliver Perez, but you can’t always get what you want.

Padres 9, Cubs 5: Who went and woke up Miguel Tejada? Dude went 4 for 5
with a double and a couple of RBI. He’s been a nice pickup for the
Padres so far. Rare shaky night for the Padres’ pen, though. It took
five relievers to nail this one down.

Tigers 3, Yankees 1: Max Scherzer keeps the Yankees bats silent (6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 6K). A-Rod and Nick Swisher left the game early with various ailments. Derek Jeter grounded out into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded. I’m sure the people who keep track of how clutch he is and inform the rest of us about it all the damn time missed the play while watering flowers or walking the dog of holding their hands over their ears, eyes closed, yelling “LA LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!” Oh, and expect Scherzer’s performance to bring forth “The Yankees do poorly against guys they face for the first time” stuff we’ve been hearing so much of lately. Anyone have any numbers on this? It seems like fans of every team says this sort of thing.

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

Dodgers move within a game of division win

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Josh Reddick #11 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (R) celebrates with Yasmani Grandal #9, Adrian Gonzalez #23, and Justin Turner #10 after all score on Reddick's grand slam home run in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.   The Dodgets won 14-1.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Yesterday, the Nationals staked their claim in the NL East and the Red Sox secured a postseason berth. Today, the Dodgers stand on the cusp of their fourth consecutive division title, with only Tyler Anderson and Ty Blach in their way.

Any combination of a Dodgers win and Giants loss will secure the NL West for Los Angeles, who missed their opportunity to clinch last night despite a 14-1 drubbing at Dodger Stadium. In the end, it came down to the Giants, who pulled off an extra-inning victory against the Padres and delayed the Dodgers’ playoff revelry for another day.

In lieu of starter Rich Hill, whom manager Dave Roberts intends to reserve for next weekend’s set against the Giants, the Dodgers will go to right-hander Brandon McCarthy on the mound. It’s been a rough year for McCarthy, who has not made a regular season start for the club since August 13, when he left the game with stiffness in his right hip after 1  innings. According to Baseball Injury Consultants, the 33-year-old missed 179 days on the disabled list in 2016, due in large part to a prolonged recovery from the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2015.

Thankfully for the Dodgers, their fallback is a good, old-fashioned offense. They’ve outscored their opponents 46-23 in the last week and are currently riding a five-game winning streak after taking back-to-back series against the Giants and Rockies. Should they win on Sunday, they’ll face off against the Nationals in Game 1 of the NLDS on October 7.