And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 5, Dodgers 0: You don’t hear about this much nationally or anything, but I’ve done some radio in Los Angeles lately and they’ve been asking me about a possible Freeway Series. Like, Freeway World Series, not just this interleague matchup in midseason. It’s probably a fair question to ask. The Angels have gotten less ink than just about any legit contender this year. But they keep winning and stand one game back of Oakland for the division lead and the best record in baseball. And here they are taking it to their would-be Freeway Series foes. Garrett Richards tossed a five-hit shutout, striking out nine and flashing a 98 m.p.h. heater. Trout and Pujols both had RBI doubles in a four-run first. Watch out for Anaheim, dudes.

Indians 7, Reds 1: The Battle of Ohio. The loser of which has to stay in Ohio, I assume. Corey Kluber follows up his dominant outing from last week with another dominant outing, allowing one run while pitching into the eighth inning. Lonnie Chisenhall drove in three and Michael Brantley two.

Orioles 7, Nationals 3: The Battle of the Baltimore-D.C. Area. The loser of which has to, I dunno, keeps their team owner. This wasn’t really a battle anyway. It was a makeup game from a July 8 rainout. Why it was played at night when the Orioles have a game today in another city is the kind of question I’d be asking if I was the Orioles’ shop steward, by the way, but no one listens to me. Anyway, Baltimore rallied in the seventh and added a couple of insurance runs in the eighth. Caleb Joseph homered and drove in three runs while J.J. Hardy had four hits.

Giants 4, Mets 3: Last game of a wraparound series, but at least people had the sense to schedule it for the afternoon. Pablo Sandoval drove in three runs on three hits, capped by the go-ahead double with two outs in the ninth inning. Sandoval is on fire, having gone 32 for 93 over his past 23 games and hitting .500 in with runners in scoring position over his last 25 at bats in that situation.

Yankees 2, Tigers 1: Brandon McCarthy continues his roll in New York, allowing only an unearned run into the sixth inning. Four Yankees relievers took it the rest of the way home. Great timing for McCarthy’s surge, by the way. Not only has it been a lifeline to a Yankees team in the wild card race, but it may be making McCarthy a boatload of cash. He’s a free agent after this season and this is serving as a nice audition for a Yankees team with rotation uncertainty. Or, for that matter, any other number of teams which often ask of free agent pitchers “can they handle the AL East?”

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $100,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $10,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Athletics 3, Rays 2: Derek Norris with the walkoff single in the 10th with the bases juiced against Grant Balfour. Who may have been agitated from a previous ball called against Josh Donaldson that led to a Joe Maddon argument and ejection. Balfour said after the game that he felt like he had to get “five outs.” Welp, maybe. But go get them then. In other news, a possum wandered out on to the field during the 10th inning. Which, OK, squirrels and bunnies and the occasional cat is cute. But possums are gross and disgusting. No word on whether the A’s call him “bitey.”

White Sox 5, Rangers 3: Tyler Flowers homered and tripled. The triple was almost a homer, bouncing off the top of the wall. He should probably cherish that more. He may hit two homers in a game again at some point, but triples for a catcher are rare things. That was only his second in his career. This one was shortened by rain. Anything to reduce the amount of Rangers baseball this year is welcome, however.

Umpire ejects Blue Jays manager, pitcher and catcher in the space of a minute

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We have an Ump Show in Toronto.

Umpire Will Little ejected Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman and catcher Russell Martin on the same play in today’s A’s-Jays game after they took issue with a called ball. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons had been ejected just two pitches earlier. As the above photo shows, Martin took issue with Little’s strike zone earlier in the game when he was batting.

Stroman had issued six walks before his ejection and both he and the Blue Jays bench were unhappy with Little’s strike zone all afternoon. Stroman’s unhappiness, however, did not appear to be super demonstrative. He did not visibly show up Little or get into an argument with him. If anything, he seemed to be just muttering to himself which should not be a problem.

Little felt otherwise, however — acting as if his honor was being questioned or something — and tossed him. Stroman then charged toward Little, which is not a thing you see everyday. He’ll probably get a fine or a suspension for that, but really, this was a B.S. ejection, and the fact that Little ran both the pitcher and the catcher moments after running the manager compounds the B.S. Apparently Little’s ego is worth substantially impacting a team’s ability to compete in a game.

Here is the final walk, issued to A’s catcher Bruce Maxwell, followed by Stroman’s charge.

The Nationals hit five home runs in the third inning against the Brewers

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How’s your day going? Pretty good? Mine too, thanks.

Don’t ask Milwaukee Brewers’ pitcher Michael Blazek that, however. His day has been pretty bad. Why? Because he gave up six homers to the Washington Nationals in two and a third innings. Five of those came in the bottom of the third, four from consecutive batters. The breakdown:

First inning

  • Bryce Harper hit a two-run shot to right. No other damage.

Second inning

  • Blazek retired the side in order. Yay!

Third inning

That made it 8-0 and ended Blazek’s day. Wily Peralta came in and has since given up an RBI double to Jose Lobaton, making it 9-0. As I write this, the third inning just came to an end. Mercifully.

So, take heart. Even if you are having a bad day, it’s probably not as bad as poor Michael Blazek

UPDATE: Harper doubled in a run and Bryce Harper hit a two-run shot in the fourth to make it 12-0. Someone needs to put a stop to this before someone gets killed.

UPDATE: Now Jose Loboton has homered. This is madness. And it’s something to watch. The Nats now have eight homers: