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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Mariners 4, Tigers 0: Not a ton of people outside of Seattle knew what a Roenis Elias was before this game, but now they have a positive ID. He’s the beast that tossed a three-hitter while striking out eight Tigers. The game story says he’s the first Mariners rookie to record a shutout since Freddy Garcia on Aug. 24, 1999. But I’m calling b.s. on that. Freddy Garcia could not have been a rookie in 1999. He’s at least 67-years-old and I’m pretty sure he pitched some middle relief for the Pilots in ’69.

Brewers 9, Cubs 0: Kyle Lohse pitched a Roenis Elias. Which is what I’m going to start calling three-hit shutouts. Think it’ll stick? For once Jeff Samardzija got no run support in a game he unequivocally deserved to lose. The Brewers touched this season’s premiere rent-a-starter-to-be for eight runs in three innings.

White Sox 4, Padres 1: Chris Sale pitched a Roenis Elias Lite. That’s a complete game in which you allow only two hits, but you just miss the shutout because you give up a 420 foot+ homer to a dude back in the fifth. Hmm, starting to think this system is going to break down.

Indians 6, Rockies 4: A three-game sweep of the Rockies capped off with Michael Bourn hitting a walkoff homer. After the game Bourn actually said “In that situation you just look for a pitch to hit.” As opposed to those other situations when you look for a pitch with which to discuss world affairs. Perhaps over a cup of coffee.

Braves 4, Marlins 2: At times this season it has seemed as if no team really feels all that invested in winning the NL East. For one weekend at least someone at least sorta acted like it. The Braves sweep the Marlins with help from Evan Gattis’ two-run bomb in the ninth. His homer actually hit the home run sculpture thingie. You’d think that even though he’s a visiting player that they’d crank the thing up for him, but no. How petty.

Twins 7, Yankees 2: Phil Hughes tossing eight solid innings and not allowing a single dinger in Yankee Stadium is about as good as it gets these days for those of you who like to partake in Yankeefreude.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on MondayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Rangers 2, Nationals 0: Yu Darvish: eight shutout innings and 12 Ks. Nationals bats: nine shutout innings and 14 Ks. Darvish is pretty hard to beat on nine-days’ rest.

Blue Jays 4, Royals 0: Mark Buehrle won again. Edwin Encarnacion homered again. So far June is looking a lot like May for Toronto. The Royals got shut out, so I suppose the same can be said about them.

Mets 4, Phillies 3: Lucas Duda’s two-run homer in the 11th gives the Mets the game and series win. They’ve won 5 of 6, by the way. But because they’re the Mets I presume this morning’s papers are full of all kinds of stories about their dysfunction. That’s just how these things go down.

Red Sox 4, Rays 0: A week ago at this time we were all writing our “what’s wrong with the Red Sox?” posts as they skidded to ten straight losses. Since then they’ve won seven straight. Call me crazy, but I’m getting the feeling this team is streaky. Jon Lester is one of about a gabillion pitchers yesterday who pitched [pretty impressive number of] shutout innings. Brock Holt — BROCK HOLT! — had four doubles.

Giants 8, Cardinals 0: That’s five of six for the Giants in the win column, four of five for the Cardinals in the loss. Tim Hudson with seven shutout innings. I’m tellin’ ya: bald dudes born on July 14th are the new inefficiency.

Orioles 9, Astros 4: Manny Machado hit his first career grand slam as part of a six-run sixth. Nelson Cruz was hit on the hand and left the game but it’s just a bruise so he’s day-today.

Reds 4, Diamondbacks 3: Four runs on solo shots from Chris Heisey, Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier and Ryan Ludwick. All off Wade Miley. After the game manager Kirk Gibson said this about Miley’s outing: “He pitched well except for the four pitches.” And apart from all of that, Mrs. Lincoln quite enjoyed the play,

Athletics 6, Angels 3: The Angels were charging and surging and stuff and then they got to Oakland and dropped three straight. Jed Lowrie homered and drove in two and Josh Donaldson drove in two more. Time for the Angels to roll that boulder back up the hill.

Pirates 5, Dodgers 3: Andrew McCutchen had a homer and a pair of doubles, Pedro Alvarez drove in three and the Pirates won a series at Dodger Stadium for the first time in seven years.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Saturday’s action

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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It’s the last Clayton Kershaw start of the regular season. Prepare yourselves accordingly.

The Dodgers already have the NL West in the bag, but they’re still fighting for home-field advantage against the Nationals. Should the two teams end up with the same regular season record by Monday morning, the edge will go to the Dodgers, who have a better head-to-head record this year. Kershaw has already been announced as the starter for Game 1 of the NLDS, while the Nationals have kept their lineup close to the vest for the time being.

Facing the Dodgers is Giants’ left-hander Ty Blach, who is poised to make the second major league start of his career this afternoon. The Giants are in a precarious position heading into the last two games of the year and have the potential to force a three-way tie among NL wild card contenders. A thorough breakdown of the wild card and home-field advantage possibilities has been outlined here.

You can find more from Saturday’s action below.

New York Mets (Bartolo Colon) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Phil Klein), 1:05 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Chad Kuhl) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha), 1:05 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles (Wade Miley) @ New York Yankees (Luis Severino), 4:05 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw) @ San Francisco Giants (Ty Blach), 4:05 PM EDT

Miami Marlins (Wei-Yin Chen) @ Washington Nationals (Tanner Roark), 4:05 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester) @ Cincinnati Reds (Tim Adleman), 4:10 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians (Trevor Bauer) @ Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez), 4:15 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers (Jordan Zimmerman) @ Atlanta Braves (Aaron Blair), 7:10 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Hector Santiago) @ Chicago White Sox (James Shields), 7:10 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays (J.A. Happ) @ Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez), 7:10 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi) @ Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis), 8:05 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta) @ Colorado Rockies (Jeff Hoffman), 8:10 PM EDT

San Diego Padres (Clayton Richard) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Archie Bradley), 8:10 PM EDT

Houston Astros (Collin McHugh) @ Los Angeles Angels (Tyler Skaggs), 9:05 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Jharel Cotton) @ Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma), 9:10 PM EDT

Settling the Scores: Friday’s results

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 30: Norichika Aoki #8 of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by teammates in the dugout after hitting a solo home run off of starting pitcher Raul Alcantara #50 of the Oakland Athletics during the second inning of a game against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field on September 30, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
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Raul Alcantara was in the business of distributing home runs on Friday night.

Robinson Cano caught the tail end of a 94.1 m.p.h. fastball in the first inning, driving it to center field to put the Mariners on the board. In the second, Norichika Aoka found his fourth home run of the year on a similarly-placed heater. The Mariners then targeted Alcantara’s off-speed stuff, picking on the right-hander’s changeup and slider to get two more home runs in the third: the first, another dead-center blast by Cano, and the last, a bomb by Nelson Cruz that popped off the center field wall and survived an umpire review.

Taijuan Walker, who enjoyed the spike in run support from his 3.6 average, was not immune to the home run bug either, giving up the first and only run of the night on Ryon Healy’s 102-m.p.h. home run in the sixth inning.

While Walker excelled at run prevention, he also came one walk shy of hitting a career-high mark, with five walks spread over six innings. Seattle’s bullpen stepped in for three perfect innings to close out the game and, despite six perfect frames from Oakland relievers Zach Neal and Daniel Coulombe, quashed the A’s hopes of closing a four-run gap.

The Mariners’ win on Friday puts them one game back of the wild card; if they take the rest of the series and the Tigers and Blue Jays lose one of their remaining weekend games, the Mariners will tie for the remaining wild card spot. With Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez on the hill this weekend, winning shouldn’t be an issue. Getting the Blue Jays to collapse against the Red Sox (and, to a lesser extent, the Tigers against the Braves) is another story.

Here are the rest of the box scores from Friday’s games. Keep an eye out for the first modest bat flip of Jose Bautista‘s career, Madison Bumgarner‘s eighth RBI of the year, and the Orioles’ three-homer inning.

Orioles 8, Yankees 1

Marlins 7, Nationals 4

Mets 5, Phillies 1

Cubs 7, Reds 3

Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3

Tigers 6, Braves 2

Rangers 3, Rays 1

Rockies 4, Brewers 1

White Sox 7, Twins 3

Indians 7, Royals 2

Cardinals 7, Pirates 0

Diamondbacks 5, Padres 3

Angels 7, Astros 1

Mariners 5, Athletics 1

Giants 9, Dodgers 3