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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Blue Jays 9, Rays 6: The Jays scored six runs between the fourth and fifth innings. Well, in the fourth and fifth. Between the fourth and fifth were commercials and things. Mark Buehrle wins again. More importantly, the Jays do. That’s eight in a row.

Red Sox 6, Braves 3: Everyone wants to be your friend when things are going great but a true friend is someone who is there for you when the chips are down. That’s the Braves for ya, man. Helping out the Red Sox when they were at their worst and giving them a confidence boost. Seriously, after the game Jonny Gomes said “it’s good for our self esteem.” Oy.

White Sox 2, Indians 1: A two hour rain delay limited Chris Sale’s outing to three innings but four relievers allowed only one run in six innings combined.

Rockies 6, Phillies 2: Wilin Rosario had been 0 for his previous 13, but then he hit a go-ahead, three-run homer. A more notable homer was Ben Revere’s in a losing effort. It was his first career major league bomb. That after 384 games without one to start his time in the bigs, which was the longest such streak since the early 70s.

Astros 3, Royals 0: Four in a row for Houston. Collin McHugh shut out the Royals for 7 innings which, sure, sucks for the Royals, but at least it inspired Ned Yost to come out of the dugout and get ejected for arguing balls and strikes, proving he’s still alive and things.

Mets 4, Pirates 2: Daniel Murphy doubled twice and Ruben Tejada reached base four times as the Mets won for the fourth time in 13 games. I’m sure the new hitting coach had everything to do with it.

Twins 4, Rangers 3: A two-run rally off Joakim Soria in the bottom of the ninth for Minnesota. One run scoring on a single, the other scoring on Soria’s own error on a dribbler next to the mound which should have resulted in out three and should have had this game heading to extra innings. Pretty dispiriting for the Rangers, who stood to win even though they had to go with emergency starter Scott Baker following Yu Darvish being scratched.

Brewers 7, Orioles 6: Pinch hit, walkoff RBI hits in extra innings aren’t the rarest of things. They happen. They don’t often come from starting pitchers doing the pinch hitting, though. That happened here with Yovani Gallardo doing the honors with a double in the tenth. Gallardo is a good hitter for a pitcher, but still. Lovely part was that just before that Buck Showalter walked Mark Reynolds, who came around to score, to get to the pitcher’s spot even though there was nobody on base.

Tigers 6, Athletics 5: The Tigers’ go-ahead run scored when Rajai Davis came home on a fielder’s choice in the eighth. He had made it to third, however, by stealing the bag as catcher Derek Norris was throwing the ball back to the pitcher, which is not something you see every day. That covered for Max Scherzer, who was roughed up again. It also snapped the Tigers’ three-game losing streak.

Cardinals 6, Yankees 0: Lance Lynn with the five-hit shutout. It was his first career complete game at any level. Allen Craig and Matt Holliday each homered. Holliday and Matt Adams had three hits and an RBI a piece. Craig drove in two.

Angels 6, Mariners 4: Not the sharpest outing for Jered Weaver, but he did notch his fifth win in six starts. Sean Burnett, who had just come back after a year off due to elbow surgery, left the game with an elbow problem that sounds a lot like another elbow surgery is in the offing. Just really starting to hate elbows here, man.

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 3: Confession: I can’t watch all of the baseball games. Especially the late games, so I’m just naturally less familiar with, say, the bullpen arms and lesser names of some of the teams out west. And if you’re choosing late games to watch and/or follow, you’re naturally more likely to pick the Dodgers, Giants or A’s over the Padres and Diamondbacks. All of this is a roundabout way of saying that it’s rather embarrassing for a national baseball writer type to read a game story from a big league game and have the top part of it — where the key players of the game are usually identified — contain all kinds of names you’ve never really heard of. But it happens. It happened here. There are thousands of baseball players, man. It’s hard to know all of them.

Dodgers 6, Reds 3: Four driven in for Andre Ethier, three of which came on a triple. Zack Greinke struck out 11 in seven and two-thirds.

Giants 4, Cubs 0: Tim Hudson is aging like fine wine. If he continues to do this for a bit longer he’s going to give Hall of Fame voters a lot to think about. Seven shutout innings, five strikeouts, no walks. Two sac flies for Buster Posey.

Marlins vs. Nationals: POSTPONED: As a man I ain’t never been much for sunny days. I’m as calm as a fruit stand in New York and maybe as strange. But when the color goes out of my eyes its usually the change. But damn Sam I love a woman that rains

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.