And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Twins 9, Tigers 6: Congratulations Jim Thome on home run number 599 and, the very next at bat, home run number 600.  For the record, his first one came against Steve Farr on October 4, 1991. I was a freshman in college and had a lush head of hair at the time. George H.W. Bush was the president. The number one song in the country was “I Adore Mi Amor” by Color Me Badd. In the lineup for the opposing Yankees — managed by Stump Merrill — was Steve Sax, Don Mattingly, and Mel Hall.

Braves 5, Giants 4: Gimme an F! Gimme an F! What’s that stand for? Well, if you’re Brian Wilson, it stands for FFUUUUUUUU….  If you’re a Braves fan, it stands for Freddie Freeman, who hit the game winning single off Wilson on a 3-2 count with two outs, the bases loaded and the Bravos trailing 4-3.  Freeman, by the way, had just turned two when Thome hit that first homer.

Pirates 6, Cardinals 2: Ryan Doumit was 4 for 4 with a three-run homer that ended up being the game winner.

Brewers 3, Dodgers 0: Randy Wolf shut out the Dodgers for eight innings. The Brewers turned a triple play in the third inning. And it was a pretty nifty one. Not as good as a 5-4-3 bang-bang-banger, and maybe a product of a bad baserunning play by Matt Kemp trying to go home, but still solid. Definitely not one of those boring “the second baseman caught a line drive and everyone stood around wondering what was going on while he tagged anyone he could find” kind of things.

Rangers 8, Angels 4: Texas extends its lead to five games. If the Angels don’t get to work here, this could be their last meaningful series.  You hear that Mr. Anaheim? That is the sound of inevitability… It is the sound of your death… Goodbye, Mr. Anaheim.

Mets 5, Padres 4: Jim Thome wasn’t the only guy hitting a big round number last night. Jason Isringhausen saved his 300th game. Isringhausen admitted after the game that getting his 300th save was the reason he came back after a nearly two-year layoff. You don’t hear guys being that honest about milestones very often.

Rockies 7, Marlins 4: Freddie Freeman wasn’t the only guy getting a walkoff hit after a big ninth inning rally last night. Jason Giambi hit a walkoff homer — a three-run job — to turn a tie game into a 7-4 win. Before he did it, Carlos Gonzalez had tied it up with an RBI double.

Mariners 6, Blue Jays 5: Two homers for Mike Carp, who happens to lead the majors in RBI for the month of August. Bet you didn’t know that.

Orioles 6, Athletics 2: Tommy Hunter let a load of guys on base and was pitching out of trouble, but he kept things afloat and the O’s win the first game of a ten-game road trip. That’s two in a row for Baltimore, by the way, so break out the champagne and ticker tape.

Yankees 7, Royals 4: A.J. Burnett pitches into the sixth inning and gets a win. Of course, based on my Yankee-fan-filled Twitter timeline as the game was going on, it wasn’t as if it was an exercise in confidence building, what with all of the hits he gave up.  Better than nothin’, I guess. Jeter went 3-for-4 with three RBI.

Cubs 4, Astros 3: Geovany Soto had three hits and drove in two. The Cubs have won 12 of 15.

Report: Steven Matz has been pitching through pain, may need elbow surgery

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.

Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.

According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.

Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.

Clayton Kershaw’s simulated game went so well he threw an extra inning

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Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.

Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.