Getty Images

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

4 Comments

Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Cubs 6, Pirates 1: The Cubs pulled within five games of first place on Friday, thanks in large part to a two-homer, four-RBI performance from Kris Bryant. Eddie Butler turned in another abbreviated performance after four innings — he’s pitched into the sixth inning just once this season — but kept the game scoreless for the bullpen, who limited the Pirates’ offense to one run and two hits.

Padres 4, Phillies 3: Austin Hedges appears to be past that bout of neck stiffness. He returned to the Padres’ lineup on Friday and dropped go-ahead sac fly into center field in the ninth inning. Things aren’t looking so good for Padres’ left-hander Christian Frederich, however, who was shut down from throwing and may miss the rest of 2017 after sustaining some discomfort in his left elbow.

Nationals 5, Braves 4 (10 innings): The Nationals are now 4-4 in extra-inning games this season, and took home their third extra-inning walk-off win on Friday night with a decisive RBI single from Daniel Murphy.

The single scored rookie journeyman Adrian Sanchez, who pinch-hit in the 10th inning and recorded his first major league hit on a line drive off of the Braves’ Ian Krol.

Brewers 9, Yankees 4: Aaron Judge has now homered in each of the Yankees’ three consecutive losses. His blast on Friday night set a new record, topping Joe DiMaggio’s 1936 rookie season record with his 30th homer of the year:

Josh Hader, the unlucky soul who surrendered the home run, went on to notch his first major league win after the Brewers stormed back to a five-run lead on Jesus Aguilar‘s go-ahead grand slam and Manny Pina‘s RBI hit in the seventh.

Astros 12, Blue Jays 2: The Astros steamrolled the Blue Jays with yet another double-digit finish — their third of the week — and improved to a ridiculous 16.5-game lead in the AL West this weekend. Their big break came in the second inning, when a six-run spread forced Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez from the game after just 1 2/3 innings in his first start since landing on the disabled list with blister issues. Charlie Morton, also back from the DL for the first time on Friday, held the Blue Jays to one run over six innings for his sixth win of the year.

Red Sox 8, Rays 3: Whatever adjustments Dustin Pedroia has been making at the plate finally paid off on Friday night. The Red Sox’ second baseman snapped his 41-game skid without a home run, taking Jake Odorizzi deep in the third inning to boost the Sox to a four-run lead.

Aside from a few nail-biters — including this 3-5-4-5 double play to extinguish runners on second and third — Boston won handily, evening the series and becoming the second American League team to reach 50 wins in 2017.

Indians 11, Tigers 2: The first Indians pitcher to record an immaculate inning was Justin Masterson, who laid down three consecutive three-pitch strikeouts on June 2, 2014 against the Red Sox’ Jonny Gomes, Grady Sizemore and Stephen Drew.

The second Indians pitcher to match the feat? Carlos Carrasco, whose one-run outing was highlighted by his first immaculate inning against the Tigers’ Nicholas Castellanos, Mikie Mahtook and Jose Iglesias in the fifth inning of Friday’s win.

Several innings earlier, in the second, Victor Martinez put his own mark in the history books with his 2,000th major league hit: an 0-1 single that bounced just shy of left fielder Michael Brantley. He’s the ninth active major league player to reach 2,000 career hits so far.

Rangers 10, Angels 0: Speaking of historic hits, Adrian Beltre swatted a three-run homer off of Ricky Nolasco during the Rangers’ shutout, padding their eight-run lead in the second inning and becoming the 21st major league player with over 5,000 career bases. (No doubt he was the first to enter the club while homering off of one knee, too.)

By the end of the night, Beltre had 5,003 bases under his belt, just 38 short of Mel Ott’s 5,041. He also inched closer to the 3,000-hit mark, though he’ll still need 23 more hits to earn a spot on that list.

Twins 9, Orioles 6: The Twins celebrated their acquisition of Bartolo Colon with a 9-6 win on Friday, taking the first of three games from the Orioles and improving to 1.5 games back of the division-leading Indians. Byron Buxton turned heads with an incredible sprint from first base, clocking in at just 9.47 seconds to race home and pad the Twins’ lead:

Meanwhile, rookie starter Felix Jorge was forced from the mound in the third inning, but a five-run fifth inning from the Twins’ offense and six shutdown innings from the bullpen salvaged the game in the end.

Mets 6, Cardinals 5: Jacob deGrom experienced a new career first this weekend, but it wasn’t a good one. The right-hander surrendered four home runs during his ninth win of the season, allowing back-to-back homers from Randal Grichuk and Paul DeJong in the third inning and another pair of consecutive homers by Dexter Fowler and Jedd Gyorko in the fourth. Despite deGrom’s command issues, the Mets’ offense rose to the occasion, powering the win with two blasts of their own and plating the winning run on T.J. Rivera’s RBI double in the seventh.

Rockies 12, White Sox 4: With just two games left to go until the All-Star Game, DJ LeMahieu, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado are soaking up every last practice session they can get. Each of the Rockies’ All-Stars went deep during the club’s series opener, twice driving in starting pitcher German Marquez, who went 2-for-3 with a double and single in his sixth win of the year.

Diamondbacks 6, Reds 3: The D-backs muscled their way back from a three-game sweep at the hands of the Dodgers as they kicked off their last homestand before the All-Star break. Zack Greinke tossed seven scoreless frames with four hits, a walk and seven strikeouts — his first scoreless outing of the season — and contributed an RBI single in the win.

Joey Votto and Scott Schebler returned with a two-homer, three-run rally in the ninth inning, but couldn’t quite close the gap against Fernando Rodney.

Dodgers 4, Royals 1: Two winning streaks went head-to-head on Friday night, and one of them had to come to an end. The Royals’ four-win streak was felled by Kenta Maeda, who guided the Dodgers to their own four-win streak with five solid innings of one-run ball. The offense generated a modest four-run backing, including Chase Utley‘s eighth inning double and 1,000th career RBI. He’s the ninth active player with over 1,000 career RBI to date.

Mariners 7, Athletics 2: Not one to be left out of the party, Nelson Cruz hit one for the record books on Friday. The Mariners’ All-Star designated hitter engineered a three-run, 433-foot drive into the Safeco Field bullpen, putting the team up by four runs in the eighth inning.

The smash was Cruz’s 16th of the season and 300th of his 13-year career. Only nine other active players have 300+ home runs, including Adrian Beltre, Carlos Beltran, Jose Bautista, Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson and Albert Pujols.

Marlins 6, Giants 1: While Marlins Park is being prepped for next week’s All-Star festivities, the Marlins made themselves at home in AT&T Park. Dan Straily settled the Giants’ offense with 8 1/3 innings of one-run ball, while Giancarlo Stanton practiced his swing for Monday’s Home Run Derby, becoming the first visiting right-handed hitter to drive an opposite-field home run over the right field wall since 2014.

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

Associated Press
2 Comments

Here are the scores. Oh, and here is the reason why, Bruce Maxwell notwithstanding, you’re not likely to see all that much protesting in Major League Baseball like we saw in football yesterday. Here are the highlights:

Diamondbacks 3, Marlins 2J.D. Martinez hit a two-out, bases-loaded RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to secure the walkoff win and, more importantly, to clinch the top Wild Card position for the Diamondbacks. They had learned they had clinched a postseason spot when it was announced in the fourth inning that the Cardinals and Brewers had each lost, but the hit and home field clincher gave them a nice boost for their postgame celebration.

Rockies 8, Padres 4: The Rockies have been faltering of late, but so has everyone else on their tail for the second Wild Card, so a split with the Padres is Ok for the moment. Gerardo Parra hit a tiebreaking single in a two-run third inning and Pat Valaika and Charlie Blackmon hit back-to-back home runs in the ninth for some insurance as Colorado extends their Wild Card lead to two games. They’ll be the last team playing meaningful games in the 2017 regular season.

Twins 10, Tigers 4: Eduardo Escobar continued his torrid second half, hitting a three run homer, as the Twins complete the four-game sweep. The other teams in the hunt for the second Wild Card should complain to the league office, though, because Minnesota getting to face a Tigers team which is mailing it in so badly that it almost insults the concept of mailing it in as many times as it does in the season’s last ten days is super unfair. They now lead the Angels by four and a half, so the entire AL playoff picture is all but over.

Blue Jays 9, Yankees 5: Jose Bautista probably played his last home game as a Blue Jay — maybe his last home game for anyone — and got a nice sendoff. He also got a couple of hits and  a walk. Aaron Judge hit a couple of homers in a losing cause and is now only one back of Mark McGwire for the rookie record. Fun thing: Jays starter Marcus Stroman warmed up in the bullpen before the game wearing a vintage black Jose Bautista jersey. He had asked a clubhouse attendant to find one for the purpose. The attendant found it in a stadium display case. Stroman: “It’s authenticated. They took it out and let me wear it. I guess they’ll probably wash it and put it back.” Someone should do that with, like, a Babe Ruth or a Willie Mays jersey.

Red Sox 5, Reds 4:  The Reds had a 4-1 lead heading into the eighth, but Mookie Betts doubled with the bases loaded to tie it and then scored from second base on a Rafael Devers infield single for the go-ahead, rally-completing run. The Red Sox’ magic number for the AL East crown is three.

Nationals 4, Mets 2: Max Scherzer struck out ten while allowing one run over six innings to pick up his 16th win of the year. Trea Turner hit a two-run bomb. The Nationals clinched home field advantage for the Division Series, which will probably be against the Cubs.

Orioles 9, Rays 4: J.J. Hardy homered and scored twice. In other news, J.J. Hardy is alive. Nice moment for him, though, as this was almost certainly his last home game as an Oriole.  Chance Sisco also homered, though you’re not going to convince me that his name wasn’t made up by a b-level Hollywood writer trying to create a franchise character. Not sure if “Chance Sisco” is a detective or a bounty hunter, though. I could see it going either way.  Between “Chance Sisco,” “Trey Mancini” and “Manny Machado,” the O’s have to have the best names, aesthetically speaking, in baseball. They should sign a utility infielder named “Cellar Door” to achieve perfection.

Phillies 2, Braves 0: Nick Pivetta and three relievers combine to shut out the Bravos. Maikel Franco homered and Aaron Altherr doubled in a run. The Braves end their inaugural season in Sun Trust Park. Not as terrible a season as some suspected.

Pirates 4, Cardinals 1Starling Marte hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth and Jameson Taillon and five relievers held the Cards to four hits. St. Louis falls two and a half games back of the Rockies for the second Wild Card and are six back of the Cubs with only seven games to play.

Cubs 5, Brewers 0: Jose Quintana pitched a three-hit complete game shutout to push the Cubs to the brink of the NL Central title. Last week’s sweep of the Cardinals and this weekend’s three-of-four from the Brewers was quite the statement from Chicago. They’ll almost certainly clinch the division in St. Louis this week.

White Sox 8, Royals 1Lucas Giolito allowed one hit and one run over seven innings and Avisail Garcia drove in three. The future looks better on the South Side than the past. That’s all that was supposed to be accomplished this season and it has been.

Athletics 8, Rangers 1Jharel Cotton pitched five shutout innings of one-hit ball and Khris Davis hit his 41st homer to give the A’s their seventh straight win. When the series started the Rangers had a legit shot at the second Wild Card. The A’s ended their season for all practical purposes.

Dodgers 3, Giants 1: Clayton Kershaw bounces back nicely from his last start to allow one run on eight hits over eight innings. He picks up his 18th win on the year and reduces his ERA to 2.21. Yasmani Grandal knocked in all of L.A.’s runs via a two-run homer and a sac fly.

Indians 4, Mariners 2: Corey Kluber joins Kershaw in the 18-win club after allowing only two unearned runs and striking out ten over seven innings. It’s his 15th start of the season in which he’s struck out at least ten dudes. I know Ks are cheaper these days, but that’s still pretty dang impressive. Jose Ramirez’s 29th homer of the year broke a 2-2 tie.

Angels 7, Astros 5Luis Valbuena hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh to help the Angels snap a six-game skid that, unfortunately, ended their season for all practical purposes. Brandon Phillips hit his first homer since being traded Aug. 31. In other news, I had forgotten that Brandon Phillips had been traded to the Angels on August 31. It’s been a long season, folks.

Another young fan was struck by a foul ball, this time at Guaranteed Rate Field

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
8 Comments

ESPN reports via the Associated Press that a young boy was struck by a line drive foul ball but was not seriously injured during Sunday afternoon’s game against the Royals. The boy and a woman were escorted by a first aid crew to the concourse area and the boy was later eating ice cream in a luxury suite.

A woman was struck in the face by a foul ball also on the first base side at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday, but she didn’t request medical assistance.

Last week, a young fan at Yankee Stadium was hit by a line drive foul ball, which motivated several teams to commit to extending protective netting at their ballparks. The Yankees, strangely, were not among them. Nor were the White Sox.