Associated Press

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

 

Pirates 1, Dodgers 0: I wrote up the story of Rich Hill‘s near no-hitter here, so go there for the full picture. Now I’d like to tell you about how I followed it.

For dumb, historical reasons involving the Pirates former owner living in Columbus, Ohio, my town is considered part of Pirates territory and is thus blacked out from Pirates games. No, I’ve never met a Pirates fan here and no Pirates games have never been broadcast here locally, so it’s one of baseball’s dumber blackouts. Anyway, I had to listen to it on the radio feed. Rick Monday was doing play-by-play for the Dodgers.

Monday’s call of the no-hitter-busting, walkoff homer by Josh Harrison may have been the worst call of a major moment I’ve ever heard. For starters, he said it was Starling Marte up to bat. I knew it was Harrison because I was following along with the box score online too, but I’m sure some listeners were confused. The call itself was a dead calm “fly ball to left, Granderson goes back and … [five second of silence then super calmly, as if he was ordering tea] . . . he caught it? No, it’s out.” It wasn’t a calculated, understated counterpoint to highlight a moment of tension. It wasn’t understandable disappointment by a partisan announcer. It sounded like disinterest. It was the exact opposite of what a radio listener wants and needs in order to follow the action. I was sitting there slack jawed, in disbelief, not at the way Hill lost the no-hitter and the game but at how horribly that moment was conveyed.

Anyway: blackouts are dumb and Rick Monday really needs to not call games.

Orioles 8, Athletics 7: Zach Britton blew a two-run lead and failed to get out of the ninth inning, blowing his 60-straight save streak as well, but Manny Machado saved everyone’s bacon with a leadoff walkoff homer in the 12th. After the game, Buck Showalter said “he does hold the record in my mind, OK?” This, I presume, is a reference to the real record holder, Eric Gagne, who saved 84 straight games while juiced to the gills on dinosaur steroids or whatever it was he was taking. No word on how many of Showalter’s own 1,490 wins as a manager he does not recognize due to their being obtained by lineups including PED users like Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, Andy Pettitte and others of whom we are not aware.

Royals 6, Rockies 4: Colorado took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth and called on the Royals old friend, Greg Holland, to close it out. Eric Hosmer wasn’t having it. After Alex Gordon walked and Melky Cabrera singled, Hosmer launched a 400 foot homer to right field to bring the Royals back, even and over with one swing of the bat. It’s just the latest disappointment for Holland the Rockies, who have lost four straight and 11 of 15. Holland is 0-4 with one save in four chances in his past six games, allowing 10 hits, three home runs and 12 runs over five innings.

Giants 4, Brewers 2Jarrett Parker hit a go-ahead two-run double in the seventh on a check swing. There’s nothing more satisfying than coming through in a moment when you really did not mean to do whatever it was you did but it all worked out anyway.

Phillies 8, Marlins 0Mark Leiter Jr. allowed one hit over seven shutout innings and Rhys Hoskins continued to crush it, homering and driving in five runs. In other news, the fact that Mark Leiter’s kid is pitching in the majors makes me feel super dang old all of a sudden.

Red Sox 6, Indians 1: Corey Kluber struck out 12 over seven and two-thirds, but the Sox got to him in the eighth, when Mitch Moreland homered and Mookie Betts singled home a run. That was enough for Boston as Drew Pomeranz and Joe Kelly held Cleveland scoreless for seven and — after Edwin Encarnacion homered in the eighth — Craig Kimbrel closed it out in the ninth, striking out the side.

Yankees 10, Tigers 2: Gary Sanchez homered and drove in three runs. He has ten bombs in August. Last August, when he was a rookie sensation, he hit 11. You don’t want to be a ballplayer with the nickname “Mr. August,” but I suppose someone has to claim that title. Didi Gregorius and Chase Headley also homered. Luis Severino allowed one run over six and two-thirds. The Yankees have outscored the Tigers 23-6 in the first two games of this series.

Cubs 9, Reds 3: Kyle Schwarber and Tommy La Stella each homered and drove in three. The Cubs have won eight of ten and have their biggest lead in the division all year, at three and a half games.

Mets 4, Diamondbacks 2Chris Flexen allowed two runs over six innings and Dominic Smith homered to help the Mets end a three-game skid. “Flexen! Smith! Be there!” was not exactly the Mets marketing angle heading into 2017, but even disaster seasons have their high points in baseball, usually as a result of seeing unknown dudes do good things.

Blue Jays 7, Rays 6: The Jays hit six homers, with Kevin Pillar‘s solo shot in the eighth breaking a 6-6 tie and giving Toronto the win. The other guys who went deep: Josh Donaldson, Ryan Goins, Raffy Lopez, Steve Pearce and Justin Smoak. All were solo shots except for Donaldson’s. Kevin Kiermaier hit two homers, both solo shots.

Mariners 9, Braves 6: Robinson Cano left the game with a bum hamstring and Taylor Motter replaced him. Later, in the eighth, Motter singled home the tying and go-ahead runs and then came around to score on Kyle Seager‘s three-run blast. Motter also doubled. After the game Scott Servais said that Cano’s initial prognosis seemed OK, but we’ll know more today. The Mariners also lost center fielder Guillermo Heredia, who left in the eighth after being hit on his right forearm by a pitch. Servais said he seems OK too.

White Sox 4, Twins 3: Tim Anderson singled homer with winning run with one out in the bottom of the ninth to walk things off for Chicago. It was Anderson’s first walkoff of his young career. Minnesota starter Ervin Santana allowed two runs — only one earned — on three hits in seven innings before the Chisox rallied. Jorge Polanco homered for the fourth straight game.

Astros 6, Nationals 1Alex Bregman hit a three-run homer and Jake Marisnick and Max Stassi added solo shots to help Houston snap a nine-game losing streak to the Nats. Mike Fiers allowed on run on four hits in seven to notch his first win in over a month.

Cardinals 6, Padres 2: Rookie starter Luke Weaver struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings. His counterpart, Jhoulys Chacin hit more batters (4) than he struck out (3). He also walked three and allowed five runs in four and two-thirds innings. The Cards snapped a three-game losing streak and won for just the third time in nine games.

Rangers 7, Angels 5: Adrian Beltre hit two solo homers and he and his teammates rallied for three runs in the tenth to give Texas the win. Luis Valbuena homered and drove in four runs for the Angels.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

Associated Press
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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Phillies 6, Dodgers 2: Rhys Hoskins drove in four. The first one came on an RBI single off of Yu Darvish in the sixth. The next three came in an epic at bat against Pedro Baez in the sixth in which Baez threw Hoskins ten straight fastballs in the high 90s. Baez got Hoskins to a full counts and Hoskins fouled off four straight pitches before delivering a bases-clearing double. The Phillies, one of baseball’s worst teams, have now beaten the Dodgers, the team with baseball’s best record, on two straight nights when they trotted their two best pitchers out to the mound in Clayton Kershaw and Darvish. This is why no one is a guarantee to do anything in the postseason, by the way. If a team like the Phillies can put you down 0-2 despite you going with your aces, anyone can. And if you’re down 0-2, there’s a great chance you’re not making it to the next round.

Red Sox 1, Orioles 0: Bupkis until Jackie Bradley Jr. scores on a Brad Brach wild pitch in the 11th inning for Boston’s second straight 11-inning win over the O’s in a row. Before all of that  Drew Pomeranz and Kevin Gausman tossed six and a third and eight innings, respectively, of shutout ball. Gausman, who retired the first 14 batters he faced, deserved better. Boston has won 10 of 13.The Orioles have lost 11 of 13.

Brewers 1, Pirates 0: Domingo Santana hit a solo home run off of Trevor Williams in the top of the fourth for the game’s only scoring. Chase Anderson tossed six shutout innings for Milwaukee, struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter. The Brewers won for the ninth time in 11 games and, because of the Rockies’ loss, are now only one game behind the Rockies for the second Wild Card.

Blue Jays 5, Royals 2: Marcus Stroman allowed one run over seven innings to snap a personal five-game winless streak. Darwin Barney drove in three, the first two coming on a two-run shot to open the game’s scoring. Alex Gordon hit baseball’s 5,694th home run in 2017 in the top of the eighth inning, setting a new single-season record.

Cardinals 8, Reds 7: Big night for Dexter Fowler, who hit a game-tying homer in the eighth inning and a go-ahead double in the 10th. He’d then come around to score on an error by the Reds to give the Cards a two-run margin, which was necessary given that Scooter Gennett hit a homer in the bottom of the tenth that would’ve otherwise tied the game again. Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong also homered for St. Louis.

Marlins 5, Mets 4: The Marlins rallied for three runs against their old friend A.J. Ramos in the ninth to tie things up and force extras and then J.T. Realmuto hit a walkoff solo homer in the bottom of the tenth. After the game Don Mattingly said that he knew they could get to Ramos:

“We’ve seen him have innings like that,” Mattingly said. “He gets himself in a little bit of a mix and usually gets out of those.”

Am I the only one getting the “dude talking smack about his ex-girlfriend after he sees her out with another guy but is trying not to sound upset” vibe here?

Cubs 2, Rays 1: Seven straight wins for the Cubs, this one as Joe Maddon makes his return to Tropicana Field for the first time since leaving the Rays for the Cubs. If this is also an ex-girlfriend thing, the Rays were much bigger men about it, giving Maddon a video tribute and all of that before the game. Maybe it’s more like the quintessential “California Divorce” where everyone stays friends and stuff. God, who does that? Anyway, Cubs starter Mike Montgomery took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, Kyle Schwarber hit his 28th home run of the season.

Nationals 4, Braves 2: Max Scherzer allowed two runs on five hits over seven and struck out seven. Only seven? He must’ve been sick. He did cross the 250 strikeout threshold, however, and he did avenge last week’s loss, also to the Braves, in which he gave up seven runs. It’s the fourth straight year he has struck out at least 250 batters. he’s only the fourth pitcher to ever do that, following Ferguson Jenkins, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson. Nope, Nolan Ryan never did it. You can look it up. Ryan Zimmerman drove in two to give him 101 RBI on the year.

Astros 3, White Sox 1: Jose Altuve homered and drove in two and Alex Bregman hit an RBI double. Collin McHugh allowed one run over five and four relievers finished the job.

Yankees 5, Twins 2: CC Sabathia allowed Minnesota to load the bases on his first four pitches, including two bunt singles, which likely ticked him off. He got out of that jam and then worked from behind for a bit, but ultimately righted the ship and went six inning, allowing the two runs on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Brett Gardner drove in a couple. That’s nine of 11 for the Yankees. The Twins have lost four of five, but remain a game and a half ahead of the Angels who . . .

Indians 6, Angels 4: . . . lost to Cleveland. Everyone loses to Cleveland, though, right? That’s 25 of 26 wins for them, in fact. Jay Bruce had a triple and a double among his three hits and Austin Jackson singled four times. Mike Clevinger allowed one run over six.

Athletics 9, Tigers 8: The A’s were down 8-5 in the eighth when Jed Lowrie hit a go-ahead grand slam. The A’s were down by four runs at one point, in fact, but no lead is safe when you’re the Tigers. Oakland’s Matt Olson homered for the fifth straight game and has 15 dongs in his last 21 games. As I wrote yesterday, you really should be paying attention to this guy.

Rangers 3, Mariners 1: It was 1-1 in the eight following a Martin PerezMike Leake pitchers’ duel. That’s when Carlos Gomez hit a leadoff double, Shin-Soo Choo hit a sac fly to plate the go-ahead run and Elvis Andrus knocked in Delino DeShields with a single for some insurance. DeShields wasn’t just an innocent bystander, though. He reached on a bunt that put Will Middlebrooks, Gomez’s pinch-runner, on third and in position to score on Choo’s sac fly.

Padres 6, Diamondbacks 2: A.J. Pollock hit two homers, including a leadoff blast, but Padres starter Travis Wood settled down and allowed only the two runs over six innings. He also (all together now) drove in two runs himself on an RBI single in the bottom of the third to give the Padres a 5-1 lead.

Giants 4, Rockies 3: The Rockies held an early lead but the Giants tied it and won it with a walkoff sac fly from Hunter Pence. Fun thing about that: the Rockies were playing a five-man infield, leaving only two men in the outfield, so Pence’s fly ball had a really good chance of dropping for a hit. And, given that it was a walkoff situation, it made no difference to the outcome of the game whether the ball was caught or not. Carlos Gonzalez ran hard to catch it, though, almost certainly out of instinct, turning it into a sac fly instead. I picture Pence and Gonzalez on the dinner speech circuit one day, long after they retire, beefing or bragging about that play to the laughter of crowds.

Report: Blue Jays and Marco Estrada nearing agreement on contract extension

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Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.

Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.

J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.