And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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White Sox 5, Tigers 4: For want of some leather, the empire was lost. Or something like that.  The Tigers now find themselves three back of the White Sox with no more head-to-head games. This is pretty dire for the Tigers.

Braves 7, Marlins 5: Dan Uggla continues to kill his old team. He hit a three-run homer and actually had a nice defensive game too. Martin Prado went 4 for 4 while filling in for Chipper Jones at third.

Red Sox 5, Rays 2: What’s a better way to tell that the Rays are playing out the string, the fact that Evan Longoria was being rested when every game is do-or-die or the fact that they’re playing listless baseball anyway? Jacoby Ellsbury homered and drove in three.

Phillies 3, Mets 1: Cliff Lee looked great — ten strikeouts while allowing one run in eight innings — but every pitcher looks good against the Mets these days.  R.A. Dickey fails again to move toward 20 wins which, based on how that’s all that is mentioned in every game story after he pitches, is what everyone has apparently decided for some reason is necessary for his season to be successful. He still pitched pretty good baseball. The Mets just can’t score and Cliff Lee is still friggin’ good.

Orioles 10, Mariners 4: Nate McLouth hit a leadoff homer. Matt Wieters hit one too. No, not a leadoff homer. That would be ridiculous because you can’t have two of those. Oh, and Adam Jones and Chris Tillman each had great games too, which has to make the Mariners a little unhappy. I’m sure they have an Erik Bedard poster up someplace, though.

Giants 2, Rockies 1: Brandon Crawford doubled, tripled and scored on Wilin Rosario’s 20th (20th!) passed ball of the season. Madison Bumgarner walked five dudes but Colorado just couldn’t capitalize.

Pirates 3, Cubs 0: A nearly four hour rain delay because (a) the Pirates are still technically in contention; and (b) there is no room in baseball’s hastily-constructed schedule this year to play a makeup game if necessary. That led to everyone wanting to go home, which led to Kevin Correia striking out six and pitching seven shutout innings. Folks, if your game starts after 10:30 at night, you’re doing something wrong.

Braves’ prospect Ronald Acuna wins AFL MVP, helps clinch AFL Championship Game

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The Arizona Fall League competition came to a close on Saturday, concluding with the Peoria Javelinas’ 8-2 win over the Mesa Solar Sox for the championship title. No one stood out more than Braves’ no. 1 prospect Ronald Acuna, who took home honors as the AFL MVP after slashing .325/.414/.639 with a league-leading seven home runs and second-best 1.053 OPS in 83 at-bats.

At just 19 years old, Acuna is the youngest prospect to receive the award. He made his presence felt even before he suited up for the AFL, earning promotions to the Braves’ Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett and batting a remarkable .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs across three levels in 2017.

Acuna was also a major factor in the Javelinas’ win on Saturday, but he wasn’t the first to make some noise. The Solar Sox got to right-hander T.J. Zeuch in the first inning, leading off with three singles and a run-scoring sac fly to get a 2-0 edge over the Javelinas. It was the only lead they’d get all afternoon and it lasted just two innings. Luis Urias snapped the shutout with a sac fly in the bottom of the second inning, and the Javelinas took the lead with a game-tying RBI single from Acuna and two-run base hit from Braves’ no. 16 prospect Alex Jackson in the third.

From then on, it was smooth sailing for Peoria. Andrew Case, Andres Munoz and Art Warren combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while the offense tacked on another handful of runs with Acuna’s fourth-inning two-RBI single and Michael Chavis’ eighth-inning triple. With runners at the corners and one out, the Solar Sox lifted right-hander Dakota Bacus for fellow righty Nolan Blackwood. Even he was flummoxed by Acuna, however, who grabbed hold of the first pitch he saw and returned another sac fly to center field for the Javelinas’ eighth and final run of the game.

Only 131 days left until Opening Day, folks.