Aramis Ramirez, Starlin Castro

Rockies-Cubs game first in five years to feature three multihomer guys

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The final score was a modest 7-3, but Monday’s Rockies-Cubs game at Wrigley, won by Chicago, was the first in five years to include three multi-homer performances.

The Cubs’ Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez and the Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez all went deep twice in the contest.  Gonzalez led off the top of the first with his homer and later ended winning pitcher Matt Garza’s afternoon with another solo shot in the eighth.

Ramirez and Pena, despite batting back-to-back in the orders, never did go back-to-back in the game. Ramirez homered in the first and seventh, while Pena hit his in the fourth and fifth innings.

Today’s outcome was fueled by a modest breeze out to left at Wrigley Field.  Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin, who had allowed a total of three runs in four starts this month, gave up three homers for the first time in his career.

The last such game with three multihomer guys took place on July 14, 2006, at Petco Park of all places.  The Braves beat the Padres 15-12 in that one, with Adam LaRoche, Chipper Jones and Adrian Gonzalez all going deep twice.

The last game to have four different players hit multiple homers took place at a much more likely location, Coors Field, on Aug. 14, 1999.  Dante Bichette, Todd Helton and Edgard Clemente all homered twice for the Rockies, while the Expos got two homers from Geoff Blum.  The Rockies won that one 11-8.

Red Sox set a new major league record with 11 strikeouts in a row

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez #52 of the Boston Red Sox works the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
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Lost in the nifty base running by Dustin Pedroia that won Sunday’s game against the Rays, the Red Sox set a new major league record by striking out 11 batters in a row, per Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe. Starter Eduardo Rodriguez struck out the final six Rays he faced and reliever Heath Hembree struck out five Rays in a row after that. Tom Seaver had the previous consecutive strikeout streak of 10, set on April 22, 1970 against the Padres.

The Red Sox also set a team record with 23 strikeouts in total: 13 by Rodriguez, five by Hembree, one by Matt Barnes, and four by Joe Kelly. Per Abraham, that’s the most strikeouts in a 10-inning game since at least 1913 and the most in a game of any length since 2004.

For Rodriguez, Sunday marked the first double-digit strikeout game of his career. He has pitched quite well since returning to the rotation at the start of the second half. Over 13 starts, the lefty has a 3.10 ERA with a 70/23 K/BB ratio in 72 2/3 innings.

Dodgers clinch NL West on Charlie Culberson’s walk-off home run

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Charlie Culberson #6 of the Los Angeles Dodgers runs to first base after hitting a single RBI in the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on July 20, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
Matt Hazlett/Getty Images
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Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.

The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.

Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.

It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.