And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

28 Comments

Giants 2, Twins 1: Welcome back to the land of the living, Tim Lincecum.  Timmy fans 12 and allows only three hits in seven shutout innings, notching his best start in over a month. No managers resigned after this game.

Nationals 1, Mariners 0: Hit this one up yesterday, but the game itself got lost in the shuffle of Riggleman going all Johnny Paycheck on the Nats’ butts. The Nats have won 11 of 12. No matter what they do going forward, it’s gonna suck for Riggleman’s legacy. If they continue to win, well, he wasn’t that important. If they lose, he quit on the team and sent them into a tailspin.

Mets 4, Athletics 1: Chris Capuano pitched six scoreless innings but left early because his side was hurting. Jose Reyes was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Rain delay of 2:15. Game time of 2:37.

Cardinals 12, Phillies 2: Oswalt’s exit — and his rather fatalistic attitude about it after the game — is obviously the big story here. After a pretty crappy week, the Cards managed a 14-hit onslaught supporting Chris Carpenter, who got his first win in ages. Best part of the game, pointed out to me by Kiwicricket: Fernando Salas was brought into a 6-1 game with two outs in the eighth and threw one pitch which ended the inning. Then, despite a six-run outburst by the Cards in the bottom of the inning, La Russa sent out a different pitcher to finish the ninth. Viva la specialization.

Diamondbacks 5, Royals 3: Daniel Hudson becomes roughly the 2,305th pitcher in major league baseball to get his ninth win this year. The Dbacks sweep Kansas City, winning their 15th of the their last 19 road games.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

Getty Images
11 Comments

There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).