Danny Espinosa, Michael Morse

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Nationals 10, Phillies 2: Danny Espinsosa had two homers as the Nats teed off on Cliff Lee. The Cliff Lee with the losing record and and ERA creeping up near 4.00.  Hmmm. Oh, and there was a brief injury delay involving Carlos Ruiz in the bottom of the 8th. After the game Charlie Manuel described it: “He got hit in the crystals. Better him than me.”  God, I love Charlie Manuel.

White Sox 10, Red Sox 7: Chicago had a 10-1 lead heading into the eighth inning when Phil Humber started to unravel. But at some point a lead is too big to fritter away, and this one was unfritterable. Alexi Ramirez was 4 for 5 with 3 RBI. Chicago has won six straight at Fenway.

Pirates 5, Mets 1: Also at some point: you just can’t win games when you don’t have any of your real major leaguers on your active roster. That said, R.A. Dickey pitched pretty well for a guy with a torn plantar fascia. Which, while I’m not entirely sure what it is, it doesn’t sound like something you want to tear.

Brewers 7, Reds 2: In Zack Greinke’s last four starts he has allowed five, four, three and now two earned runs.  His next two opponents had best look out!

Indians 6, Blue Jays 3: Every time I see a Mitch Talbot line score (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER) I think of Mitch Hedberg. And yes, I think Bigfoot is blurry. That’s the problem. And that’s extra-scary to me, because there’s a large, out-of-focus monster.

Rays 5, Rangers 4:Arthur Rhodes really has no business facing righties who, coming into this game, were slugging .570 off him. Yet Ron Washington let him face Evan Longoria with a runner on base in the eighth inning. Longoria hit a two-run homer. Imagine.

Cardinals 4, Giants 3: Skip Schumaker’s go-ahead RBI single was the cherry on top of the Cardinals’ three-run eighth inning. In other news, Schumaker’s walk-up music is “The Stroke” by Billy Squier. Stick your right hand out and give that man a firm handshake.

Padres 5, Braves 4: Mike Minor probably deserved a better fate. He left with the game tied and a runner on first in the seventh. Cory Gearrin prompty let him in to score and then allowed the Padres to score two more after that. Ryan Ludwick had four hits.

Tigers 8, Twins 7: The Tigers scored the go-ahead run on a sac fly that wouldn’t have happened if Twins’ reliever Phil Dumatrait hadn’t thrown a bunted ball away. But hey, if there’s a team that is going to shoot themselves in the foot this year, it’s Minnesota. Two homers for Justin Morneau in a losing cause.

Astros 7, Cubs 3: Carlos Marmol got rocked for six runs in the ninth. Needless to say, the save was blown. Marmol faced seven hitters. He only got one out, and that was because the batter willingly surrendered himself with a sacrifice bunt. There are teams that lose more games than the Cubs, but there are not many who lose more ugly than they do.

Royals 7, Angels 3: Eric Hosmer drove in two and scored two and Jeff Francoeur drove in two more. Alex Gordon and Chris Getz both had three hits.

Mariners 3, Orioles 2: Jeremy Guthrie cruised for seven innings and then got two quick outs in the eighth before allowing Ichiro to reach on an error, giving up a single to Brendan Ryan and a three-run homer to Justin Smoak. All of the runs unearned, of course, but all of them are on Guthrie in reality.

Dodgers 8, Rockies 2: Los Angeles continues its recent run-scoring binge. Matt Kemp drove in four and Casey Blake three more.

Marlins 5, Diamondbacks 2: Anibal Sanchez cools off the hot Dbacks, adding a couple of RBI to HHOC.

Yankees 10, Athletics 3: The A’s aren’t exactly giving the Yankees much of a hassle in this series. Mr. Anderson was lit up for ten runs on 11 hits. Curtis Granderson went 3 for 5 with a homer and 4 RBI. A-Rod had three RBI of his own.

Stephen Strasburg unlikely to pitch in the NLDS

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 07:  Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals walks off the field after an injury in the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 7, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.

Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.

The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.

A.J. Cole fined, suspended five games for throwing at Jung Ho Kang

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Home plate umpire Jordan Baker ejects A.J. Cole #22 of the Washington Nationals in the third inning during the game at PNC Park on September 25, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.

Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.

Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.