And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Yankees 8, Rays 7: There won’t be complaints about the bullpen management this morning. After Ivan Nova got beat up through four and two-thirds (and Boone Logan gave up a homer), Chamberlain, Wood, Robertson and Rivera held the Rays scoreless. The Rays pen was a bit more porous, allowing the Yankees to tie it in the sixth and surrendering the game-winning homer to Jorge Posada in the 10th. Oh, and Carl Crawford got thrown out at third to end the game, trying to advance on a fly out to right. Why would the Yankees want to sign that palooka this winter when they have Greg Golson?

Twins 9, White Sox 3: The White Sox have not yet been pronounced, but they see a bright white light and an almost unnatural feeling of calm is washing over them. Wait! Who’s that? Why, it’s the White Sox’ beloved dead grandma, beckoning for them to join her! Run toward the light, Chicago! Run towards the light!

Padres 7, Rockies 6: That sound you hear is Colorado blowing a great opportunity. The Padres take another from them, thanks in part to a Matt Stairs two-run homer in the eighth, and now have a three and a half game lead over the Rockies. I’m not gonna lie: I thought the Padres would crumble in this series, but they’re showing some serious fortitude.

Dodgers 1, Giants 0: The Dodgers were one-hit — really, just one hit — but scored on a Juan Uribe error in the sixth. Clayton Kershaw allowed four hits, but nothing but blanks on the scoreboard, for his first career complete game shutout. The Giants get pushed a game and a half back in the West.

Nationals 6, Braves 0: I guess that means the Braves still lead the wild card race, but it’s a fact: you are not deserving of a playoff spot if you go out and get shut the hell down by Livan freakin’ Hernandez in mid-September. You’re just not. Dude has been a nemesis since 1997, but I can’t muster any ill-will towards him. The Braves are just not good enough to see this thing out, and I and anyone who roots for them are just going to have to get cool with that.

Phillies 2, Marlins 1: The Phillies, on the other hand, are good enough. Cole Hamels struck out 13 in six and two-thirds. The Phillies, by the way, have set their rotation up so that Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt all face the Braves next week. Way things are going, they could throw Matt Beech, Danny Cox and Shane Rawley at Atlanta and they’d be just fine.

Mets 9, Pirates 1: R.A. Dickey was spectacular (CG, 5 H, 1 ER). Zach Duke got shelled, with Angel Pagan and Carlos Beltran combining to drive in six. I just started reading “Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging 70s.” I know they had their problems and everything, but the 1970s Pirates were way more interesting than this crew.

Cubs 7, Cardinals 2: Randy Wells pitched eight strong innings against a Pujolsless lineup and the Cubbies denied Adam Wainwright his 19th win. The Cardinals season is ending on about as lousy a note as it can for a contender, yet they still draw 40,000 fans a game.

Royals 11, Athletics 3: Anyone wanna tell me where Wilson Betemit’s .313/.394/.537 season came from? Because, really, this is nuts. Not a ton of plate appearances, I realize, but someone is going to pay this dude too much money based on this partial season of near-brilliance. Yeah, it’ll probably be the Royals, but still. A two-run homer and two RBI singles in this one.

Astros 3, Brewers 2: Houston has won 11 of 15. They’re 70-75. It may be a long shot, but if the Braves continue crumbling, my official rooting interest for the last two weeks of the season may have to be Houston to finish at .500.

Diamondbacks 3, Reds 1: Daniel Hudson was pretty darn awesome against the National League’s best offense (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 8K). Bet the White Sox woulda liked having him around these past few weeks, no? I won’t even speculate about these next few years lest a bunch of south siders put their heads in ovens.

Indians 4, Angels 3: Shelley Duncan hit two home runs. This will make my daughter extremely happy when I tell her this over her pancakes later this morning. He’ll forever be her Joe Shlabotnik.

And speaking of my kids: I do almost all of my writing in my den. My den is directly below my son’s room. A couple of minutes ago, something large slammed into the floor of his room above my head. I ran up the stairs and found the boy crawling back into bed. He managed to whisper “fell . . . out” before he put his head down and started snoring again. Anyway.

Orioles 11, Blue Jays 3: Six runs in the seventh inning and six shutout innings from Jake Arrieta. The Orioles need now only go 6-11 in their final 17 to finish with fewer with 100 losses.

Rangers 11, Tigers 4: Texas was down 4-1 in the fourth and then scored ten unanswered runs. Well, they weren’t totally unanswered. They were just answered by a ton of creative profanity from Jim Leyland rather than any other runs.

Red Sox 9, Mariners 6: The Bosox trailed 5-4 before David Ortiz hit a three-run eighth inning homer off Brandon League to take the lead. Why M’s manager Daren Brown even let League — a righty — pitch to Ortiz when he had a lefty ready in the pen is a mystery. But hey, I suppose there’s value in hastening the Mariners season to as quick an end as possible at this point.

Yankees in, Red Sox out on Edwin Encarnacion

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on against the Cleveland Indians during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler AustinGreg Bird combo in 2017.

The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.

Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.

Report: The Nationals are still in on Chris Sale and Andrew McCutchen

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 05: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning on September 5, 2016 at U. S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
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The Nationals are trying to go big this offseason, and FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal notes that they are still in trade talks for White Sox’ left-hander Chris Sale and Pirates’ center fielder Andrew McCutchen. Both players figure to command a big return, as Sale delivered another Cy Young-worthy performance in 2016 and, despite a downturn in his production rate, McCutchen is still one of the more coveted sluggers in the National League.

In 2016, Sale led the league in complete games, with six, and turned in a 3.34 ERA and 5.2 fWAR in 226 2/3 innings. While teams have been sniffing around the White Sox’ ace since the trade deadline, the club is expected to maintain a high asking price — so high, said FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, that it may keep the left-hander in Chicago for the foreseeable future.

According to Heyman, four other teams are reportedly in the mix for Sale, including the Red Sox, Astros, Rangers, and Braves, though parts of Rosenthal’s tweet hinted that the Red Sox were maintaining their interest in hopes of striking a more affordable deal. Should the Nationals pursue a deal for Sale, it’s likely that they’d have to move shortstop/center fielder Trea Turner, which they appear reluctant to do.

McCutchen, meanwhile, is also drawing interest around the league after batting .256/.336/.430 with 24 home runs in 675 PA during 2016. He didn’t appear to lose much power in his eighth season with the Pirates, but took considerably fewer walks and struck out at a career-high clip.

The Nationals were said to be in the lead for McCutchen on Thursday, and there was some expectation that the club would wrap up a trade for the center fielder by the non-tender deadline on Friday. FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi pointed out that the Rangers were also talking to the Pirates, however, and no deal has come to fruition as of yet.