Cleveland Indians v Minnesota Twins

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Twins 3, Indians 0: In only his second major league start Andrew Albers spins a two-hit shutout on a mere 102 pitches. This goes with his eight shutout innings in his first start. As a person who has been writing about baseball professionally for nearly four years, I can tell you with absolute certainty and authority that that’s pretty spiffy.

Phillies 5, Braves 1: The good: Cole Hamels went the distance allowing only one run on six hits and striking out nine and, in the process, Charlie Manual won his 1,000th career game. The awful: a fan died after falling from the upper deck at Turner Field during the rain delay prior to the game’s start.

Diamondbacks 7, Orioles 6: The O’s held the lead from the first inning through the top of the seventh, lost it in the bottom of the seventh, tied it in the top of the eighth, lost the lead again in the bottom of the eighth, tied it in the top of the ninth and then lost the game on a walkoff homer from Adam Eaton that landed in that pool they have in the outfield at Chase Field. Whew.

Athletics 5, Blue Jays 1: This game ended yesterday before I even knew it was on and games had started. Alberto Callaspo had the go-ahead hit in the ninth. That’s two days in a row he played the hero for Oakland, and I bet it’s before even most people knew he was on the A’s.

Reds 2, Cubs 0: Mat Latos beat Travis Wood in a pitchers duel, throwing eight shutout innings. Brandon Phillips’ two-run homer was the only violence done to baseballs in this contest.

Rangers 2, Astros 1: Yu Darvish was perfect into the sixth and had a no-hitter into the eighth before Carlos Corporan turned on a 93 m.p.h. fastball and sent it over the right field wall. That was it, though, as Darvish struck out 15. He’s 4-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 50 strikeouts in five starts since returning from the disabled list.

Rockies 14, Padres 2: Hey, some offense. Someone named D.J. LeMahieu — who I was pretty sure was a winger for the Canucks —  had three hits, including a homer, a double and two RBIs. fourteen runs is a season high for the Rockies.

Yankees 2, Angels 1: Hiroki Kuroda is having a tremendous season but no one is really talking about it. Eight shutout innings here gives him his 11th win and lowers his ERA to 2.33.

White Sox 6, Tigers 2: Chris Sale went the distance, allowing two runs while scattering nine hits. Josh Phegley had a couple of RBI singles. Miguel Cabrera hit another homer.

Dodgers 4, Mets 2: L.A. wins its sixth in a row. Since June 22 — the date everyone has decided is the turnaround date for this Dodgers season — they have gone 38-8, which is their best stretch of 46 games since the team was called the Brooklyn Superbas in 1899. It’s the best stretch of 46 games since Oakland went 38-8 in 2001.

Royals 6, Marlins 2: Indians lose, Tigers lose, the Royals keep humming along. They’re now in second place, slipping ahead of Cleveland, 6.5 back of Detroit. I know it’s crazy to even think it, but the Royals — thanks to a really dumb schedule this year — still have 11 head-to-head games against the Tigers. For now they’re four out of the wild card.

Marlins defeat the Mets, then pay their respects to Jose Fernandez on the pitcher’s mound

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 26: Miami Marlins players all wearing jerseys bearing the number 16 and name Fernandez honor the late Jose Fernandez before the game against the New York Mets at Marlins Park on September 26, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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The Marlins were somehow able to muster up the strength not only to play Monday night’s game against the Mets, but also win it convincingly one day after losing Jose Fernandez in a tragic boating accident. The Marlins and Mets helped pay tribute to Fernandez prior to the start of the game as outlined here.

When the game started, the Marlins came out of the gate with a bang. Dee Gordon homered in his first at-bat, then the club hung a four-spot in the second inning. They tacked on two more in the third inning to chase starter Bartolo Colon and take a commanding 7-0 lead. The Mets chipped away for two runs in the fifth on an Asdrubal Cabrera two-run homer and tacked on one more in the eighth, but ultimately fell short by a 7-3 margin.

Gordon finished 4-for-5 with the homer and two RBI. Justin Bour went 3-for-3 with a single, double, triple, and a walk along with an RBI and two runs scored.

A.J. Ramos, who closed out the win, placed the ball on the pitcher’s mound for Fernandez. The Marlins huddled around the mound and said a prayer. The players huddled closer to the rubber on the mound, then left their hats behind as they retreated to the clubhouse as fans at Marlins Park chanted, “Jose, Jose, Jose.”

In a post-game interview, Gordon called his first-inning home run “the best moment of my life,” as NBC 6 Sports reports.

Indians defeat Tigers, clinch AL Central for first division title since 2007

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 7: Roberto Perez #55 of the Cleveland Indians hits an RBI single during the second inning against the Houston Astros at Progressive Field on September 7, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Indians beat the Tigers 7-4 at Comerica Park on Monday night, clinching the AL Central for their first division title since 2007. Starter Corey Kluber lasted only four innings before exiting with right groin tightness, but the Indians were able to overcome the adversity.

Coco Crisp gave the Indians their first two runs with a two-run home run in the second inning off of starter Buck Farmer. The Tigers would promptly tie the game on a two-run homer by J.D. Martinez in the bottom half of the inning.

In the fifth, an RBI double by Jason Kipnis and a sacrifice fly by Mike Napoli put the Tribe back on top 4-2. The Tigers answered once again with a Miguel Cabrera RBI single in the bottom half to make it 4-3.

Roberto Perez homered for the Indians in the top of the top of the seventh, and Cabrera answered with another RBI single in the bottom half to keep it within one run at 5-4.

The Indians tacked on another insurance run in the eighth on three consecutive two-out singles by Crisp, Rajai Davis, and Perez. Carlos Santana then hit what should have been the final out of the eighth inning, but J.D. Martinez botched the catch, allowing the Indians’ seventh run to score.

Cody Allen shut the Tigers down in the bottom of the ninth, protecting the 7-4 lead for his 30th save of the season.

The last time the Indians won the AL Central, their starting lineup featured a 28-year-old Victor Martinez, a 25-year-old Jhonny Peralta, a 24-year-old Grady Sizemore, and a 26-year-old CC Sabathia. It’s been a long time.

The American League playoff picture still isn’t set yet, so the Indians will be intently watching the final week of the season to see who will be their playoff opponent.