And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Rockies 10, Reds 5: Ubaldo Jimenez won his first one in over a month, but it had a lot more to do with the offense behind him because he was all over the place. He walked six, allowed seven hits and was a hair’s breadth from getting the hook early on. Tulowitzki homered, tripled and drove in three runs and Carlos Gonzalez was 3 for 5 with a couple of RBI.

Cardinals 8, Brewers 6: The Cards pick up a game — they’re now six back — thanks to a six-spot in the eighth inning, capped by a Yadier Molina grand slam. After the game, Molina said “from now on, we have to win, that’s a rule.” Jeez, bro, if you had simply made that rule a month ago y’all wouldn’t be down six games right now, would ya?

Padres 4, Dodgers 2: The streak, she is broken. San Diego lost five and a half games of their lead in the process, but they retain a one-game advantage over the Giants. The win may have been significant from a historical perspective as well, as at least one team — the 1982 Braves — lost ten in a row and still made the playoffs, but no one has dropped eleven straight and done so. Not that it couldn’t have happened to the Padres, of course, but The Fates, man, they don’t like to be tempted like that.

Giants 2, Diamondbacks 0: Just your typical seven-pitcher shutout for the Giants, led by Madison Bumgarner. Ian Kennedy certainly deserved a better fate than his no decision (8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER). Certainly deserving better were two children who were hurt in the fourth inning, one by a flying bat, one by a foul ball, with each child being taken to the hospital.

Athletics 6, Mariners 2: We must give a golf clap to Brett Anderson for a nice outing, but really, shutting down Seattle these days is no big trick. Indeed, it’s been 12 games since they scored more than three runs.

Cubs 5, Astros 4: Geovany Soto got barreled over blocking home plate in the fourth — he held on to the ball to make the out — and then hit the game winning homer in the eighth. But then again, he’s a catcher, and that’s what they do.

Twins 5, Royals 4: Jim Thome hit a home run in the fifth inning that went so far it had to clear Canadian customs before it could land. Jason Kubel’s, however, was the go-ahead homer. The Twins have won 17 of 20.

Blue Jays 7, Rangers 2: Rangers manager Ron Washington, talking about the Jays’ offense after the game: “They got seven and six came via the long ball.” Hey Ron: I’ll refrain from filling our your lineup card if you refrain from doing my job, OK? Thanks.

Pirates 3, Braves 1: The Braves strand so many guys at first or second base that I’m beginning to think that their hitting coach is Lysistrata.

Marlins 7, Phillies 1; Phillies 7, Marlins 4: A split doubleheader combined with the Braves loss pulls Philly to within a half game of Atlanta. Marlins rookie Adalberto Mendez shut the Phils down before leaving the first game with a leg injury. Roy Oswalt continued his winning ways in the nightcap, allowing four runs and six hits and striking out seven in seven innings.

Orioles 4, Yankees 3: Brian Matusz won his fourth straight start, allowing three runs and five hits in six innings. Alex Rodriguez surpassed 100 RBI for the 13th straight season. Note: when a player people like hits a lot of RBIs, he’s a “run producer.” When Alex Rodriguez does it, he’s a selfish stat-hound.

White Sox 5, Tigers 4: A.J. Pierzynski hit the go-ahead single in the 10th inning and had three RBIs overall as the Sox with their seventh in a row. According to the game notes, Vizquel passed Rafael Palmiero for most games by a player born outside the United States in baseball history. I don’t know that I would have gotten that one right if you had given me five guesses. I would have probably guessed Tony Perez and maybe Julio Franco or someone like that ahead of those guys. Which makes no sense, because intellectually I realize that Vizquel has had a longer career than them. I think it’s a mental block because I’ve been an adult for basically all of Vizquel’s entire career so it doesn’t seem as long. Time, time, time, see what’s become of me.

Nationals 13, Mets 3: Rookie Danny Espinosa had a grand slam, a solo shot, a double, a single and six RBI. The Nats won their 60th game of the year, which is something they hadn’t done since 2007.

Red Sox 12, Rays 5: Boston jumped out to a 6-1 lead and never really looked back. Not a bad output for a lineup that only had four Opening Day starters in it.

Indians 3, Angels 2: Shin-Soo Choo broke a 2-2 with an RBI single in the ninth. The Angels’ offense continues to sputter. From the AP game story: “Cleveland’s starters have a 3.20 ERA over the last 12 games, allowing
three runs or fewer in all but one start. Every starter in the past 14
games has gone at least five innings.” [Dana Carvey doing Johnny Carson’s voice]: I did not know that. That’s some wild, wild stuff.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.