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And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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

Marlins 8, Padres 6: Getting tired of watching Giancarlo Stanton smash dingers? No? Good, neither is he. Stanton slugged a pair for the Marlins on Friday night, collecting No. 48 and 49 with a two-run, 462-footer in the first inning and a solo shot in the third.

His second blast was considerably shorter, cresting just 365 feet to put the Marlins up 3-0:

Stanton’s two-homer, five-RBI night and Marcell Ozuna‘s go-ahead home run helped cover a shaky start from Adam Conley, allowing the Marlins to slip back over .500 with their 64th win of the year. Stanton will go for home run No. 50 on Saturday to become the first Major League player with a 50-homer season since Chris Davis in 2013.

Mariners 2, Yankees 1: Following Thursday’s Yankees-Tigers melee, Friday’s loss to the Mariners was quick and quiet by comparison. Gary Sanchez, who is appealing his four-game suspension, went 1-for-5 with a base hit, while the rest of the lineup drummed up just four hits against Ariel Miranda and the Mariners’ bullpen. Yonder Alonso powered the win with a solo homer in the 11th inning, keeping Seattle just half a game under the second wild card spot.

Mets 4, Nationals 2: All things considered, Jacob deGrom is having himself a pretty nice season. The right-hander tied a career-high 14 wins during the Mets’ series opener, striking out 10 and holding the Nats to one run over 7 2/3 innings. It might have little to no implications for the playoffs, but the win was a nice breather for the team, who entered Friday with a 2-9 record over their last 11 games.

Phillies 7, Cubs 1: If you haven’t been following Rhys Hoskins’ sprint toward one of MLB’s all-time rookie home run records, now is the time to tune in. Hoskins cranked his ninth home run in 16 games, putting the Phillies up 2-1 in the first inning with a monster shot off of opposing starter Jose Quintana.

Cesar Hernandez snapped the tie in the next inning with a three-run triple, his sixth of the season. The Cubs, meanwhile, collected and promptly stranded 10 baserunners en route to their 59th loss of the season.

Twins 6, Blue Jays 1: Byron Buxton converted the Twins’ win from a potential nail-biter to a veritable blowout, going 3-for-5 with three hits, a pair of RBI singles and a run scored. His most impressive feat, however, was out in center field:

Orioles 16, Red Sox 3: Speaking of blowouts, the Orioles trounced the Red Sox with more runs than they’d seen in any single win this season. That was almost entirely due to a seven-run spread in the fifth inning, featuring one of three run-scoring errors from the Red Sox and forcing Rick Porcello to take his worst loss of the year, with 11 runs, nine hits and four strikeouts scattered over 4 2/3 innings.

Indians 4, Royals 0: Ryan Merritt has been yanked every which way this season, ping-ponging between Triple-A and the big leagues at least seven times since the start of the year. Thankfully for the Indians, he’s looked dominant in nearly every start he’s made in the majors, and Friday’s outing was no exception. The rookie left-hander fired 6 2/3 scoreless innings, limiting the Royals to seven hits, a walk and three strikeouts as Jason Vargas struggled to his eighth loss of the year.

Reds 9, Pirates 5: What Robert “Bob” Stephenson lacked in an exciting nickname, he made up for on the mound during Friday’s win over the Pirates. Stephenson exited after 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and seven hits and distributing a career-best 11 strikeouts while the Reds came one run shy of their 10th double-digit win in 2017.

Braves 5, Rockies 2: The Braves played spoiler to the Rockies’ play for the second wild card spot, keeping them 3.5 games above the Brewers with a decisive 5-2 win in Friday’s series opener. They hit Chad Bettis fast and early, building a three-run lead on Matt Kemp‘s 15th home run of the year, Kurt Suzuki‘s 15th home run of the year, and a pair of supplemental runs from Ender Inciarte and Brandon Phillips.

White Sox 3, Tigers 2: In the end, a pitcher’s duel between the hard-hitting Justin Verlander and Miguel Gonzalez could only be settled one way: with a line drive walk-off RBI single from Yolmer “El del Pinonal” Sanchez.

Rays 7, Cardinals 3: For Ryan Sherriff’s big league debut, there was no opponent more fitting than Kevin “Outlaw” Kiermaier. Sherriff went three innings strong against the surging Rays, besting the Outlaw twice with a pair of force outs in the fifth and a groundout in the seventh and finishing his patrol with two hits, a walk and four strikeouts. The Outlaw had the last laugh, however, as the Rays’ four-run third inning gave them all the cushion they needed to take their 64th win of the season.

Diamondbacks 4, Giants 3: Brandon Crawford shone at the plate on Friday, which, if you’ve followed the incredible obstacles he’s had to overcome in the last few months, was both unexpected and encouraging. The Giants’ shortstop went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored, helping bring the club within one run of tying the game. They couldn’t quite topple the Diamondbacks, however, who needed only one three-run blast from Paul Goldschmidt — his 30th of the year — to establish the lead.

Athletics 3, Rangers 1: Kendall Graveman and Nick Martinez duked it out for seven strong innings apiece, issuing a collective 13 strikeouts as their respective offenses struggled to back their efforts with an equally impressive showing at the plate. The A’s finally snapped the 1-1 tie in the seventh, banking on Khris “Khrush” Davis’ 36th homer of the year (and second of the night) and plating an insurance run with Matt Chapman‘s RBI single to force the Rangers to a two-game deficit in the wild card standings.

Astros 2, Angels 1: What Cameron Maybin lacked at the plate, he more than made up for on the field. The Angels’ speedy left fielder exhibited Gold Glove potential on Friday, snaring a pair of fly balls in the corner to keep the score knotted 1-1.

At the end of the day, defense (or lack thereof) was also responsible for the Angels’ loss, as Parker Bridwell lobbed a pitch that skipped well past the plate, allowing the Astros to hustle home for a go-ahead run in the sixth.

Dodgers 3, Brewers 1: The Dodgers improved to 8-2 in their last 10 games with another dominant performance over the Brewers this weekend, catapulting themselves to a league-best 91 wins on six innings of one-run ball from Kenta Maeda and three home runs from Domingo “Showmingo” Santana, Logan “Logie Bear” Forsythe and Yasiel “Wild Horse” Puig. The win handed Milwaukee their third loss in five games, keeping them a distant third in the NL wild card race.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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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.