Marcell Ozuna, Adeiny Hechavarria, Derek Dietrich

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 1, Mets 0: A three-game sweep and an 8-1 homestand for Miami. Three of the Marlins past four games have been walkoff wins, including this one, which was won on a walkoff sac fly. Tom Kohler and Steve Cishek combined for a two-hit shutout.

Indians 4, Twins 3: Mike Aviles with a walkoff single. The Twins carry a eight-man bullpen and Joe Mauer is hurt, but not on the DL. That means they have 11 position players available, which means that shortstop Eduardo Escobar played left field. The Indians’ ninth inning rally kicked off when Escobar got turned around on a fly ball and it ended up landing on the track for a double. Maybe — and this is just a suggestion — teams don’t need eight-man bullpens.

Pirates 4, Giants 3: Pittsburgh takes two of three as Gerrit Cole pitches a nice game. Overall the Pirates have won 4 of 6 following a bad slide before that. Meanwhile, the Giants’ hot run has been cooled off a bit. If this is where their season turns south, let’s all claim it was because of that walkoff reply from Tuesday night. We can call it “The Curse of Technology” or something.

Mariners 6, Athletics 4; Athletics 2, Mariners 0: Felix Hernandez was no great shakes in the opener, but the M’s won. Erasmo Ramirez was pretty good in the nightcap but the M’s lost. Jim Johnson saved that one. While his Tuesday performance was pretty gross — two hits, two walks and four unearned runs — Johnson hasn’t allowed an earned run since April 9.

Nationals 3, Dodgers 2: A shaky first inning for Stephen Strasburg but after that he cruised, pitching into the eighth inning and allowing only those two first inning runs. That’s sort of been his m.o. this year, but that pattern — shaky at first then settling in and going deep into the game — is probably preferable to the old Strasburg who would kick everyone’s butt but be gone by the sixth, either because he was gassed or because everyone was babying him.

Blue Jays 10, Phillies 0: A swell pitchers’ duel until the Jays put up a nine-spot in the seventh. Mark Buehrle cruised, winning his sixth game and setting a pace that had this one over in less than two and a half hours. Cliff Lee summed it up best afterward: “They flat out beat us in every way. Shut us out and scored 10 runs. That’s a pretty good beating right there.” Yup. Jays have won four straight.

Diamondbacks 3, Brewers 2: Signs of life for Arizona, as the Snakes have won five of seven. Bronson Arroyo has turned it around personally too, notching his third straight solid start after a horrific April.

Red Sox 4, Reds 3: The Sox climb back to .500 with a sweep of the Reds. The Reds have lost 11 one-run games this year, which is the sort of thing that has to just gnaw at a team.

Royals 8, Padres 0: James Shields wasn’t terribly sharp, but he did manage seven shutout innings all the same. Eric Hosmer drove in four. Andrew Cashner was beat around. After the game he said “we’re kinda in a team-wide funk.” Which would be cool if he meant, like, a Bootsy Collins funk, but that’s not what he means.

Orioles 4, Rays 3: Two homers for Adam Jones and a two-run homer for Jonathan Schoop to break a 2-2- tie.

Cardinals 7, Braves 1: Adam Wainwright shut ’em down and Mike Minor looked awful yet again. The Braves’ offense looked worse. Of course they’ve had a ton of practice looking terrible. Wainwright had two hits and scored twice too and is hitting .400 on the season.

Tigers 3, Astros 2: Miguel Cabrera and the Tigers continue their hot streaks. Cabrera and Victor Martinez homered and the Tigers won their eighth in a row.

White Sox 8, Cubs 3: Gordon Beckham homered for the second straight game, Jose Abreu had two doubles and Paul Konerko shook off the rust and hit a three-run double. Four wins in a row for the Chisox.

Rockies 9, Rangers 2: Nolan Arenado extends his hitting streak to 27 games, tying the Rockies’ all-time mark. Three straight easy wins for the Rockies over the listless looking Rangers.

Yankees 9, Angels 2: Derek Jeter with his first homer of the year. People have been suggesting that maybe he needs a break or something, but he’s had slow starts like this in the past and came around to be perfectly Jeterian for the rest of the year. While, sure, he’s more likely to break down at 40 than he was at 30, there’s no reason to think he can’t be his old self at the plate for long stretches this season.

Video: Nelson Cruz hits second-longest home run of 2016

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 14:  Nelson Cruz #23 of the Seattle Mariners celebrates his solo homerun with Daniel Vogelbach #20 of the Seattle Mariners to take a 2-1 lead over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the seventh inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on September 14, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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There’s certainly never a bad time to hit a home run, but when you get the opportunity to crush a triple-deck, 493-foot shot off of Tyler Duffey, you should take it. With the Mariners down 2-0 to the Twins in the fourth inning, Cruz hammered a fastball to deep left field for his 39th long ball of the season — and the second-longest home run hit in 2016, to boot.

It doesn’t hurt that the Mariners are 1.5 games back of a playoff spot, although they’ll have to oust the Blue Jays, Orioles, or Tigers to get a wild card. They’ve gone 3-3 in the last week, dropping two consecutive series to the Astros and Blue Jays and taking their series opener against Minnesota 10-1 on Friday night.

Cruz, for his part, entered Saturday’s game with a .299/.337/.610 batting line and six home runs in September. According to ESPN.com’s Home Run Tracker, Cruz sits behind Edwin Encarnacion and Mike Napoli with 13 “no-doubt” home runs in 2016, third-most among major league sluggers. It’s safe to say he can add Saturday’s moonshot to that list.

Marlins’ outfielder and undisputed home run king Giancarlo Stanton remains untouched at the top of the Statcast leaderboard with a 504-ft. home run, and it’s difficult to envision any slugger reaching beyond that before the end of the season. Even so, Cruz won’t need to clear 500 feet to extend an impressive hitting record. One more home run will put the 36-year-old at 40 on the year, making 2016 his third consecutive season with at least 40 homers, and his second such season doing so in Seattle.

Report: John Farrell won’t rule out a postseason return for Pablo Sandoval

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 11:  Pablo Sandoval #48 of the Boston Red Sox looks on from the dugout before the Red Sox home opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on April 11, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Orioles defeat the Red Sox 9-7.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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It’s been a strange season for Red Sox’ third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who lost his starting role in spring training, went 0-for-6 in three regular season appearances, and underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in May. That was the last the Red Sox were supposed to hear about Sandoval until spring 2017, when he was expected to rejoin the team after a lengthy rehab stint in Florida.

On Saturday, manager John Farrell was telling a different story. Per MLB.com’s Sam Blum, Farrell hinted that Sandoval could return to the team as soon as October, albeit in a very limited capacity.

At the time of the surgery, it was all looking at the start of next Spring Training,” Farrell said. “We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves here, but at the same time, we compliment him for the work he’s put in, the way he’s responded to the rehab, the way he’s worked himself into better condition. We’re staying open-minded.

If the 30-year-old does return in 2016, don’t expect him to look like the three-home run hitter of the 2012 World Series. Should the Red Sox lose another player to injury, Sandoval might be called on as a backup option, but he’s unlikely to see substantial playing time under any other circumstances. Despite making two appearances at DH in the instructional league, Sandoval has not started at third base since undergoing surgery, though Farrell noted that a return to third base would be the next logical step in his recovery process.

Sandoval has yet to hit his stride within the Red Sox’ organization after hitting career-worst numbers in 2015. According to FanGraphs, his Offensive Runs Above Average (Off) plummeted to -20.2, contributing approximately two wins fewer than the average offensive player in 2015. (The Diamondbacks’ Chris Owings held the lowest Off mark in 2015, with -26.3 runs below average.) Sandoval has not appeared in a postseason race since the Giants’ championship run in 2014.

Heading into Saturday evening, the Red Sox could clinch their spot in the postseason with a win over the Rays and an Orioles’ loss.