Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Twins 10, Astros 6: Rookie and independent league veteran Chris Colabello homered twice including a grand slam to break a 6-6 tie in the ninth. Entering Sunday he was on an 0 for 23 skid and now here he is having the best day of his life. Probably the best day he’ll ever have at a ballpark.

Athletics 4, Rangers 2: Coco Crisp broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run homer in the fifth and now the AL West is tied. I feel like it’s going to go down to the last day once again.

Blue Jays 4, Diamondbacks 1: Esmil Rogers pitched six and a third innings of one-hit ball, winning his first game since June 18. The Dbacks hit into four double plays, including twin killings that ended the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Dodgers 10, Rockies 8: Clayton Kershaw didn’t have a great day, allowing five runs on 11 hits in five innings. And Yasiel Puig left with a strained knee. Still, the Dodgers won because the Dodgers always seem to win. Well, that and because the Rockies are pretty bad. Andre Eithier homered, doubled and drove in three.

Padres 4, Giants 1: For the first time in 12 starts against NL West opponents this year, Ian Kennedy got the win. Not exactly what you’d expect for a guy who won 20 for an NL West team just two years ago, but the Padres will take it. Barry Zito lost his eighth straight decision as he winds down his career in San Francisco.

Orioles 7, Indians 2: Justin Masterson left early with a sore side and the Indians wild card chances feel like they’re leaving with him. Nate McLouth homers and had three RBI. Bud Norris allowed only one run in seven, improving to 4-1 as an O. The Orioles are one and a half back in the wild card.

Marlins 4, Cubs 3: Henderson Alvarez hit his first career home run, helping his own cause as he pitched six innings allowing three runs. He also pulled his hamstring so, yeah, kind of a mixed bag day.

Pirates 5, Brewers 2: Pittsburgh regains sole possession of first with this win — thanks to a solid effort from Charlie Morton — and the Cardinals’ loss. This was win number 80 for the Pirates. One more to break the string of losing seasons, two more to have their first winning season since 1992.

Royals 4, Mariners 1: Felix Hernandez loses his fourth straight start and left the game with a sore back in the seventh. Royals starter Danny Duffy wasn’t any great shakes either, but he was relieved by Will Smith who struck out eight in four and a third innings of relief. Five of Smith’s strikeouts came on three pitches so, hey, great effort Seattle.

Reds 7, Cardinals 2: An awful day for the Cards as Yadier Molina left early due to a sore left wrist and Adam Wainwright got shelled by the Reds for the second straight start. Meanwhile Mat Latos was sharp. The Cards fall a game behind Pittsburgh. The Reds are 3.5 out.

Tigers 3, Red Sox 0: So Miguel Cabrera? No problem. At least once the seventh inning started and the Tigers were finally able to get to John Lackey a bit. No Red Sox bat got to Doug Fister, who tossed seven shutout innings.

Braves 13, Mets 5: Freddie Freeman hit a homer and had five RBI. Daisuke Matsuzaka was shelled and was his usual slow, frustrating inefficient self. You have to wonder if this wasn’t his last major league start.

Yankees 9, White Sox 1: Man the White Sox look awful. Derek Jeter had a couple of RBI singles and the Yankees scored eight in the fourth inning. Bad defense by the Sox, lots of rain, lots of overall sloppy play. This looked like Tampa in February, not New York in September.

Phillies 3, Nationals 2: Hamels beats Strasburg despite a sore back and a crappy bullpen session, allowing only two hits with eight strikeouts and no walks in seven innings. The Nats little surge toward the wild card seems to have been somewhat illusory.

Angels 11, Rays 2: Erick Aybar drove in four and the entire Angels lineup had a nice night roughing up the heretofore reliable Chris Archer. Not that Garrett Richards was much better for the Angels. He walked seven dudes, but the Rays couldn’t take advantage and now find themselves the losers of five straight.

Yankees in, Red Sox out on Edwin Encarnacion

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays looks on against the Cleveland Indians during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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In light of the Astros’ deal for veteran designated hitter Carlos Beltran on Saturday, the Yankees are thought to be intensifying their pursuit of free agent Edwin Encarnacion, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. The Yankees never made an official offer to Beltran, but remain in need of a DH/first baseman to give them a little more power outside of a Tyler AustinGreg Bird combo in 2017.

The Red Sox, on the other hand, are reportedly withdrawing their interest when it comes to the Encarnacion sweepstakes. According to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, they will look for a hitter to beef up their lineup without taking a “big plunge” on the 34-year-old.

Encarnacion enjoyed another All-Star run with the Blue Jays in 2016, hitting at a .263/.357/.529 clip with 42 homers and a league-leading 127 RBI in 702 PA. He’s expected to command a significant contract in free agency, and agent Paul Kinzer said that a potential deal is unlikely to be finalized before the Winter Meetings as Encarnacion is not close to agreeing to any offer. Interested teams include the Blue Jays and the Astros, though Beltran’s signing appears to have effectively taken Houston out of the running for the slugger.

Report: The Nationals are still in on Chris Sale and Andrew McCutchen

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 05: Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning on September 5, 2016 at U. S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
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The Nationals are trying to go big this offseason, and FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal notes that they are still in trade talks for White Sox’ left-hander Chris Sale and Pirates’ center fielder Andrew McCutchen. Both players figure to command a big return, as Sale delivered another Cy Young-worthy performance in 2016 and, despite a downturn in his production rate, McCutchen is still one of the more coveted sluggers in the National League.

In 2016, Sale led the league in complete games, with six, and turned in a 3.34 ERA and 5.2 fWAR in 226 2/3 innings. While teams have been sniffing around the White Sox’ ace since the trade deadline, the club is expected to maintain a high asking price — so high, said FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, that it may keep the left-hander in Chicago for the foreseeable future.

According to Heyman, four other teams are reportedly in the mix for Sale, including the Red Sox, Astros, Rangers, and Braves, though parts of Rosenthal’s tweet hinted that the Red Sox were maintaining their interest in hopes of striking a more affordable deal. Should the Nationals pursue a deal for Sale, it’s likely that they’d have to move shortstop/center fielder Trea Turner, which they appear reluctant to do.

McCutchen, meanwhile, is also drawing interest around the league after batting .256/.336/.430 with 24 home runs in 675 PA during 2016. He didn’t appear to lose much power in his eighth season with the Pirates, but took considerably fewer walks and struck out at a career-high clip.

The Nationals were said to be in the lead for McCutchen on Thursday, and there was some expectation that the club would wrap up a trade for the center fielder by the non-tender deadline on Friday. FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi pointed out that the Rangers were also talking to the Pirates, however, and no deal has come to fruition as of yet.