Torii Hunter, Mark Trumbo

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 10, Rockies 8: Mark Trumbo hit two three-run homers to help the Angels complete what was nothing short of an annihilation of the Rockies’ pitching staff. Trumbo is at .326/.380/.632. It would have been optimistic to predict those numbers from Pujols before the season started.

Nationals 4, Red Sox 3: Bryce Harper had the day off until the ninth inning when he was inserted as a pinch hitter. Drew a walk and then hauled it all the way home from first on a Roger Bernadina double that proved to be the game-winner. Washington swept Boston.

Yankees 5, Mets 4: Russell Martin hit two homers including the walkoff as the Yankees sweep the Mets after finding themselves down 3-0 in the seventh. All of the blown saves, bad defense and late-inning heroics obscured the fact that Andy Pettitte and Jon Niese both pitched really well. Especially good news for Niese after the rapid heartbeat stuff from last week.

Rangers 5, Giants 0: Tim Lincecum’s nightmare season continues. Five runs on nine hits in five and two-thirds. Bad game for the Rangers’ starter too: Alexi Ogando strained a groin running the bases. All the anti-DH people like me are sitting over in the corner, hat pulled low, trying to be inconspicuous.

Astros 11, White Sox 9: Four homers from Astros hitters. Apropos of nothing, I went to Huntington Park and watched the Columbus Clippers play the Charlotte Knights — Chicago’s Triple-A team — on Saturday night. Thing I did not know:  Pete Rose, Jr. is the first base coach of the Knights. He wears number 14, natch. Also, their manager is Joel Skinner and he got ejected in hilarious fashion. A really fun, arms waving in the air rant. Oh, and there’s a place in that park where there are paintings of all of the Columbus Clippers teams from the time they were a Yankees affiliate. This one is my favorite. My second favorite is the one with Hideki Irabu.

Dodgers 8, Mariners 2: A six-run second inning capped by an Andre Ethier grand slam. Remember when the M’s no-hit the Dodgers on Friday? Nah, me neither.

Brewers 6, Padres 5: Ryan Braun homered and drove in three. Martin Maldonado drove in three more with a homer as Milwaukee takes two of three from the lowly Padres.

Diamondbacks 4, Athletics 3: Five in a row for the Snakes and seven of eight overall. Paul Goldschmidt’s hitting streak is at 17 games.

Indians 4, Cardinals 1: Jason Kipnis — who most people don’t know but who is all kinds of awesome and you should get to know him a bit — hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the ninth. Chris Perez got the save despite basically barfing between pitches in the ninth. He blamed it on drinking warm water that “just didn’t settle well.” Maybe go with the cold next time, big guy.

Cubs 8, Twins 2: Ryan Dempster throws eight shutout innings. The other Cubs look at him like the inmates look at the inmate who’s gonna be released soon.

Pirates 3, Royals 2: Andrew McCutchen homered and drove in three runs. A.J. Burnett won his fifth straight. He’s 6-2 with a 3.61 ERA on the year and is really making it hard for those of us who think that “some guys just can’t pitch in New York” thing is baloney. Four in a row for Pittsburgh and eight of ten. Oh, and the Pirates are tied for first place now.

Blue Jays 12, Braves 4: Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus combined for six RBI at the top of the order. Atlanta had a 4-0 lead at one point in this one but nope. Braves relievers Livan Hernandez and Cristhian Martinez got whupped up on in particularly fierce fashion.

Orioles 5, Phillies 4: Baltimore beats Philly in extra innings. This is not a rerun from Saturday night. Instead of an Adam Jones homer it was a Matt Weiters double that drove home the game-winner.

Rays 4, Marlins 2: The Rays outscored the Marlins 22-7. At one point the bullpen phone didn’t work. Probably some new crazy phone technology for the new park. They should go old school like Commander Adama and insist on old school land lines.

Tigers 7, Reds 6: Aroldis Chapman came in with two men on in the eighth and the Reds up 6-3, allowed both runners to score and allowed two of his own to score in what was easily his worst appearance of the year. In other news, Angel Hernandez was behind the plate and decided that it was “mess with Ryan Ludwick” night. I’ve never seen a batter get messed with by an ump like Hernandez did with Ludwick. Everything was a strike. Like, Tigers pitchers could throw it to Newport, Kentucky and it would be a strike.

Video: Nelson Cruz hits second-longest home run of 2016

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Nelson Cruz #23 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates his solo homerun with Daniel Vogelbach #20 of the Seattle Mariners to take a 2-1 lead over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the seventh inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 14, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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There’s certainly never a bad time to hit a home run, but when you get the opportunity to crush a triple-deck, 493-foot shot off of Tyler Duffey, you should take it. With the Mariners down 2-0 to the Twins in the fourth inning, Cruz hammered a fastball to deep left field for his 39th long ball of the season — and the second-longest home run hit in 2016, to boot.

It doesn’t hurt that the Mariners are 1.5 games back of a playoff spot, although they’ll have to oust the Blue Jays, Orioles, or Tigers to get a wild card. They’ve gone 3-3 in the last week, dropping two consecutive series to the Astros and Blue Jays and taking their series opener against Minnesota 10-1 on Friday night.

Cruz, for his part, entered Saturday’s game with a .299/.337/.610 batting line and six home runs in September. According to ESPN.com’s Home Run Tracker, Cruz sits behind Edwin Encarnacion and Mike Napoli with 13 “no-doubt” home runs in 2016, third-most among major league sluggers. It’s safe to say he can add Saturday’s moonshot to that list.

Marlins’ outfielder and undisputed home run king Giancarlo Stanton remains untouched at the top of the Statcast leaderboard with a 504-ft. home run, and it’s difficult to envision any slugger reaching beyond that before the end of the season. Even so, Cruz won’t need to clear 500 feet to extend an impressive hitting record. One more home run will put the 36-year-old at 40 on the year, making 2016 his third consecutive season with at least 40 homers, and his second such season doing so in Seattle.

Report: John Farrell won’t rule out a postseason return for Pablo Sandoval

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 11:  Pablo Sandoval #48 of the Boston Red Sox looks on from the dugout before the Red Sox home opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on April 11, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Orioles defeat the Red Sox 9-7.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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It’s been a strange season for Red Sox’ third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who lost his starting role in spring training, went 0-for-6 in three regular season appearances, and underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in May. That was the last the Red Sox were supposed to hear about Sandoval until spring 2017, when he was expected to rejoin the team after a lengthy rehab stint in Florida.

On Saturday, manager John Farrell was telling a different story. Per MLB.com’s Sam Blum, Farrell hinted that Sandoval could return to the team as soon as October, albeit in a very limited capacity.

At the time of the surgery, it was all looking at the start of next Spring Training,” Farrell said. “We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves here, but at the same time, we compliment him for the work he’s put in, the way he’s responded to the rehab, the way he’s worked himself into better condition. We’re staying open-minded.

If the 30-year-old does return in 2016, don’t expect him to look like the three-home run hitter of the 2012 World Series. Should the Red Sox lose another player to injury, Sandoval might be called on as a backup option, but he’s unlikely to see substantial playing time under any other circumstances. Despite making two appearances at DH in the instructional league, Sandoval has not started at third base since undergoing surgery, though Farrell noted that a return to third base would be the next logical step in his recovery process.

Sandoval has yet to hit his stride within the Red Sox’ organization after hitting career-worst numbers in 2015. According to FanGraphs, his Offensive Runs Above Average (Off) plummeted to -20.2, contributing approximately two wins fewer than the average offensive player in 2015. (The Diamondbacks’ Chris Owings held the lowest Off mark in 2015, with -26.3 runs below average.) Sandoval has not appeared in a postseason race since the Giants’ championship run in 2014.

Heading into Saturday evening, the Red Sox could clinch their spot in the postseason with a win over the Rays and an Orioles’ loss.