Orioles Tolleson, Machado, and Betemit celebrate defeating the Blue Jays during their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


Orioles 12, Blue Jays 0: Zach Britton throwing seven shutout innings + Mark Reynolds driving in four + Yankees losing = First place for the Orioles dudes.

Rays 5, Yankees 2: This is that Yankees loss I just mentioned. Freddy Garcia allowed five runs over five. I know this isn’t the case, but as I sit here today I can’t envision any Freddy Garcia starts that weren’t five runs over five innings. And the offense ain’t helping either.

Brewers 8, Marlins 4: Giancarlo Stanton hit his 30th homer of the year, but he can’t do it alone. Norichika Aoki and Jeff Bianchi each homered and drove in three.

Reds 2, Phillies 1: A two-run shot for Jay Bruce — his third homer in as many games — and Mat Latos allowed one run over seven innings.

Royals 6, Rangers 3: The Nu-Look Jeremy Guthrie continues to roll, tossing seven innings of five-hit, two-run ball.

Rockies 6, Braves 0: A quartet of Rockies pitchers shut the Braves out. Carlos Gonzalez’s solo homer in the first inning was all that Colorado needed.

Nationals 11, Cubs 5: Six homers for the Nats, including two from Adam LaRoche who is absolutely scorching hot right now. On the baseball field, I mean. He still looks like Adam LaRoche.

Indians 3, Tigers 2: Justin Masterson was in control, allowing two runs over six innings. The Tigers, meanwhile are a game away from being swept by the Indians and the Royals, interrupted by a sweep of the White Sox, which makes no damn sense at all. But that’s baseball.

Cardinals 5, Mets 1: Jamie Garcia scattered nine hits over seven and a third. That’s an official ruling, by the way. The Scattered Hits Institute certifies such statements whenever a winning pitcher allows more hits than innings pitched.

Twins 18, White Sox 9: Minnesota put up a ten-spot in the fifth inning, which made it 17-4 at that point. Mr. Perfect, Phil Humber, gave up eight runs in a third of an inning himself. DeWayne Wise pitched for Chicago. It was just one of those nights.

Diamondbacks 8, Giants 6: Aaron Hill went 5 for 5 with a homer. Jason Kubel tripled home the tiebreaking run in the 11th. The Giants used 11 pitchers which, wow, viva expanded rosters.

Padres 6, Dodgers 3: But hey, at least L.A. lost in 11 innings too. This, in part, because the Dodgers bullpen is pretty overworked at the moment, forcing Don Mattingly to use his secondary and tertiary options in late innings.  Yasmani Grandal tied it in the eighth with a two-run shot and Logan Forsythe hit a two-run single in the 11th putting San Diego ahead for good.

Red Sox 4, Mariners 3: The losing streak ends at seven. The sixth inning was where the magic happened, with homers from Cody Ross and  Ryan Lavarnway.

Angels 6, Athletics 1: Zack Greinke is finally coming around, winning his third straight start. The Angels have won four of five and 11 of 14 overall. They’re three and a half back in the wild card race.

Pirates 6, Astros 2:  Andrew McCutchen had four hits, driving in three. Pittsburgh remains two and a half back of the Cards in the wild card race. Brock Holt — BROCK HOLT! — had four hits too.

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.