arroyo getty

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


Reds 4, Brewers 3: Bronson Arroyo had a no-hitter through seven and then ended up with a no-decision. Guess that happens when you ask a starter who usually throws less than seven innings a start to go eight, eh?  Still a nice game until that eighth, and a win for the Redlegs.

Giants 2, Dodgers 0: Two games against the their division-leading rivals, two shutouts by the Giants. This one led by Ryan Vogelsong, who blanked L.A. for seven innings, out-pitching Clayton Kershaw. This is NOT the Dodgers team we saw in April and May. They have dropped seven of eight, being outscored 35-13 during that time.

Cubs 5, Mets 3: Anthony Rizzo’s Cubs debut: 2 for 4 with an RBI, with said RBI putting the Cubs ahead to stay in the fourth inning.

Cardinals 5, Marlins 2: Carlos Zambrano has blown up in the past when a fielder makes an error which leads to a big inning. Last night Zambrano made a throwing error in the first that led to five unearned runs. No word on whether he yelled at himself. In other news, Miami is in freefall mode, losers of 17 of their last 20.

Red Sox 5, Blues Jays 1: Aaron Laffey, pressed into service as a starter after spending the last couple of years in the pen, pitched really well, shutting out the Sox over six innings. Then the Jays pen came in and the Sox rallied for five runs in the seventh and eighth innings. That came against the backdrop of an effective Daisuke Matsuzaka start (5.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 5K).

Rangers 7, Tigers 5: Yu Darvish struck out ten Tigers in seven innings and won his tenth game. Josh Hamilton homered for the second straight night, so maybe his recent swoon is ending.

Braves 8, Diamondbacks 1: Hudson beats Hudson. Tim over Daniel to be precise. The former cruised for eight innings, giving up a single run. The latter was beaten up for five in an inning and two-thirds before leaving with forearm tightness as the Braves racked up 17 hits against Dbacks pitching.

Angels 7, Orioles 3: Anaheim had 17 hits of their own last night — four of them homers — with everyone in the lineup reaching at least once and six guys having multiple hit nights. Brian Matusz gave up 13 of them in his five innings. The Angels have won 12 of 16 overall and 12 of their last 13 on the road.

Nationals 12, Rockies 5: Pfft, 17 hits? How about 21? Well, 21 may translate to something less than 17 after adjusting for Coors, but it was still quite an offensive eruption for the Nats, especially considering that 11 of them were for extra bases. Including Adam LaRoche, who hit two homers. Ian Desmond added a 4 for 5.

Yankees 6, Indians 4: Phil Hughes is something of an adventure. He pitched eight shutout innings last night after a start in which he gave up six to the Braves last Wednesday. Also an adventure: Cory Wade who allowed four runs to the Tribe in the ninth before Rafael Soriano had to be summoned on a night that didn’t figure to require a save before the ninth inning.

Phillies 5, Pirates 4: Carlos Ruiz had three hits and a homer to raise his average to .361. Man, where would Philly be without him?

Royals 8, Rays 2: A couple of errors by Sean Rodriguez put Chris Archer in the danger zone in the third inning, but Brandon Gomes allowing four runs in a third of an inning later on doomed any chance Tampa Bay had. Bruce Chen, meanwhile, pitched seven effective innings and Jeff Francoeur hit a three-run bomb to put the game out of reach. The Rays have dropped five of seven games.

White Sox 3, Twins 2: Chicago took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth behind Gavin Floyd’s seven shutout innings and Matt Thornton’s one, but then Addison Reed allowed two runs on two hits and a walk. He held on, though. Just wanted to make sure everyone was awake, you know.

Astros 5, Padres 1: Kip Wells got a spot start — his first big league action in years — and, not surprisingly, didn’t do that well (5 IP, 7 H, 5 ER and a run-scoring wild pitch).

Mariners 3, Athletics 2: Brendan Ryan hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth. I searched all over this this box score for something else interesting and I swear I couldn’t find anything.

Maybe Alcides Escobar shouldn’t bat leadoff

Alcides Escobar
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Alcides Escobar finished with a .292 OBP this year. He came in at .246 in 117 at-bats in August and .257 in 109 at-bats between September and October, so he wasn’t exactly flying high entering the postseason. Still, that didn’t stop Ned Yost from putting him into the leadoff spot for Thursday’s Game 1 against the Astros.

Yost finally did reconsider hitting Escobar first in September. It took Alex Gordon‘s return to health, plus the previous addition of Ben Zobrist to the lineup, in order to make that happen. However, it didn’t stick. Escobar hit ninth in each of his starts from Sept. 7-26, batting .236 with a .276 OBP during that span. With five games left to go, he was suddenly returned to the leadoff spot. The Royals went on to win all five games. Yost saw it as a sign, even though Escobar went 5-for-22 with no walks in those games.

Escobar went 0-for-4 in Thursday’s loss to the Astros. He did not swing at the first pitch of the game, which probably explains the defeat.

It’s been difficult to argue with Yost since last year’s World Series run and this year’s incredible run out of the game. The blind spot with Escobar, though, gets rather infuriating. One can defend hitting him leadoff against the Astros’ lefties. His career OBP against southpaws is .319 (.316 this year). Against righties, he’s the most obvious No. 9 hitter alive, with a career .258/.290/.342 line (.252/.284/.314 this year). He’s not a pace-setter. He’s not a spark plug. He’s a liability.

Astros top Royals in Game 1 of ALDS

Houston Astros' Jose Altuve, left, celebrates with teammate Luis Valbuena after scoring a run during the first inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Division Series against the Kansas City Royals, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

After shutting out the Yankees in the AL Wild Card game on Tuesday, the Astros beat the Royals 5-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium. Road teams are now 4-0 to begin the 2015 postseason.

The Astros grabbed an early 3-0 lead against Yordano Ventura through two innings. Chris Young took over for the Royals after a 47-minute rain delay and was very effective for the most part, allowing just a solo homer to George Springer over four innings while striking out seven batters. Colby Rasmus, who homered in the Wild Card game, took Ryan Madson deep in the eighth inning to give the Astros’ bullpen some extra breathing room.

Collin McHugh stayed in after the rain delay and ended up tossing six innings while allowing just four hits and one walk. Kendrys Morales did all the damage against him with a pair of solo homers. He’s the first Royals player to hit two home runs in a postseason game since George Brett in the 1985 ALCS.

The Royals’ offense showed some signs of life in the bottom of the eighth inning with back-to-back two-out hits against Will Harris, but Oliver Perez got Eric Hosmer to foul out to end the threat. Luke Gregerson tossed a scoreless ninth inning to finish off the victory.

Consistent with their identity during the regular season, the Astros won despite striking out 14 times. The same goes for the Royals, as they struck out just four times. Despite putting the ball into play more often, the Kansas City lineup wasn’t able to muster anything aside from the home runs by Morales.

Game 2 of the ALDS will begin Friday at 3:45 p.m. ET. Scott Kazmir will pitch for the Astros and Johnny Cueto will get the ball for the Royals.

George Springer homers to extend Astros’ lead over Royals

Houston Astros' George Springer (4) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run in the first inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Division Series against the Kansas City Royals, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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After Kendrys Morales brought the Royals within one run in the bottom of the fourth inning with his second solo home run of the game, George Springer took Chris Young deep in the top of the fifth to extend the Astros’ lead to 4-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS.

According to Statcast, the ball traveled an estimated 422 feet and left Springer’s bat at 109 mph. Royals fans are happy it was just a solo home run. It could have been worse, as Jose Altuve singled to lead off the fifth inning before being thrown out trying to steal second base during Springer’s at-bat.

The Royals will try to answer as we move to the bottom of the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium.