And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

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It’s gonna take me a few hours to get back up to speed after a week off, so bear with me.  Can’t wait to fire up my DVR and check out those couple of Stephen Strasburg starts I missed! That kid is fantastic!

Braves 7, Marlins 6: If you thought that after a week off I wasn’t going to come back leading with a Brian McCann walkoff jack to bring the Braves back from a 6-1 eighth inning deficit then you’re just not familiar with my work.

Phillies 5, Padres 0: Swept by the Astros at home, sweep the Padres at home. I dunno man, you figure the Phillies out.

Brewers 8, Pirates 4: The Brewers have so thoroughly owned the Pirates at Miller Park the past couple of years (28-2) that they’re considering taking out an equity loan on their asses and adding a deck. Or maybe a gazebo. Save number 599 for Trevor Hoffman. I hope he gets to an even 600 and shuts himself down for good so he can (a) have a nice round number next to his name in the books; and (b) end his career with a fist pump and a high five from his catcher after closing one out, because that’s the only way it should be.

Mariners 2, Twins 1: Nice outing for Carl Pavano, but as people have been saying for years, there’s just not a hell of a lot you can do when you’re facing Luke French (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER). Well, I’m guessing someone said that once or twice. Like, his mom or his Legion coach or someone like that.

Nationals 4, Cardinals 2: The Cards are 2-5 in their last seven. Those seven were against Washington and Pittsburgh. Gettin’ your butt handed to you by last place teams is no way to win the NL Central, son.

Reds 7, Cubs 5: The Reds take advantage of the Cardinals’ loss, extending their division lead to five games. They’re now 11-4 since getting swept by the Cardinals at home. The lesson: trash talking and kicking dudes in the face = victory.

Rockies 10, Dodgers 5: For the first time in six starts since coming over to L.A. in the trade, Ted Lilly loses. In fact, he gets pummeled (4 IP, 9 H, 7 ER). Three of those seven runs came on a pair of Carlos Gonzalez bombs.

Orioles 1, Angels 0: The O’s took all six this year from the defending AL West champs. And this series was your basic flogging: the Angels scored one run on Friday night and were shut out both yesterday and Saturday night. The O’s will finish the month with a winning record and, in fact, will have the best August of any AL East team. Sadly, however, the Yankees’ and Ray’s victories yesterday eliminated them from playoff contention.

Athletics 8, Rangers 2: The A’s take two of three to pull within seven and a half of Texas. Doesn’t seem very doable for Oakland, especially with only one series left between these guys. Not impossible, I guess. In 2002 the A’s were down four and a half at the beginning of that 20-game win streak and found themselves up three and a half when they lost their next game. Now, if Oakland can find that extra run or so a game that 2002 team had over the 2010 team, they’ll be in business.

Giants 9, Diamondbacks 7: San Francisco avoids the sweep at the hands of Arizona. They did their best to lose it, though. Adam LaRoche hit a two-run RBI double to right in the seventh inning. The time it took Jose Guillen to get to that ball is best measured in epochs. Guillen got the two runs back on his own RBI single, but really, no team that considers itself a contender should be playing that guy in right every day.

Yankees 2, White Sox 1: Frank Thomas Day, as The Big Hurt gets his number retired. The Sox could have used him in the lineup, though, as Ivan Nova allowed one run and five hits and struck out seven.

Tigers 10, Blue Jays 4: Dave Stieb Day, as the Blue Jays honor Sir David. The Jays could have used him the rotation, though, as Ryan Raburn hit two homers and the Tigers rattled off 12 hits. By the way, Dave Stieb was better than Jack Morris, and no one ever goes all crazy making his Hall of Fame case.

Royals 6, Indians 2: You can’t stop Bruce Chen and Kila Ka’aihue, you can only hope to contain them.

Mets 5, Astros 1: As of 7:30 P.M. last night, the little AP game story headline was “Dickey Handcuffs Astros.”  Heh heh, “Dickey handcuffs.”  Heh heh heh heh.

Rays 5, Red Sox 3: The season is growing short for Boston. Um, wait, that’s kind of an oxymoron. But you know what I mean. They’re 6.5 back. Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford hit dingers off John Lackey.

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

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The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.

Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.

While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.