And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Twins 7, Blue Jays 2: Byron Buxton had tons of hype when he was a top prospect and then got a slow start in the bigs, causing some to think of him as a bust. He’s still only 23, however — over a year and a half younger than Aaron Judge — and the second half of 2017 is showing everyone that he is anything but a failed prospect. Yesterday he went 4-for-5 with three homers and five driven in. In the second half he’s hitting .333/.370/.657 with eight homers and 21 driven in. All season he has been basically the best center fielder in baseball. I think it’s safe to say Buxton has arrived.

Yankees 10, Mariners 1: The M’s made five errors in the first and the Yankees scored six runs in the first and at that point the game was basically over. Watch them all here, in their infamy. Masahiro Tanaka could’ve won a game the other team didn’t hand him, however, as he allowed one run over seven and struck out ten.

Indians 12, Royals 0: Kansas City gets shut out for the entire weekend — they were outscored 20-0 in three games —  with homers from Francisco LindorCarlos Santana, and Yan Gomes doing them in yesterday. Gomes’ blast was a grand slam. Carlos Carrasco tossed seven shutout innings. The Royals looked like they were going to give the Indians a run for a little while this season. Now they’re a game under .500, nine games behind Cleveland in the AL Central and stuck in the muck of teams battling for a second Wild Card spot. And they’re looking bad heading into the home stretch.

Pirates 5, Reds 2John Jaso and Starling Marte each drove in two for the Pirates and five pitchers bent — issuing seven walks — but kept the Reds from capitalizing on 13 base runners.

Marlins 6, Padres 2: Giancarlo Stanton hit homer number 50 on the year. It’s August. People are really gonna start up the “what if he hits 62 homers?” talk now, arguing that Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire’s higher totals are someone not the higher totals. Don’t fall for that jazz. You can be more impressed with Stanton’s home run total than those guys’ higher totals if you’d like, but there is a difference between records, which are objective things, and feats, which are subjective. Barry Bonds is the single season home run record holder. If Giancarlo Stanton hits 62, he will have the seventh most homers in a season of all time. That’s how match and records work.

Orioles 2, Red Sox 1: The Red Sox have now lost four in a row and, while they weren’t shut out like the Royals were all weekend, they were outscored 25-4 by Baltimore, so it’s not really any better. It was at least close yesterday, as Adam Jones and Trey Mancini hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the first and then held on for the rest of the day. Boston stranded 13 runners and went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Their lead in the AL East is now down to two and a half games over the Yankees.

Rockies 3, Braves 0: Jon Gray tossed six shutout innings and the pen did the rest, with a Mark Reynolds two-run homer and a Trevor Story double accounting for all of the runs.

Phillies 6, Cubs 3: Rhys Hoskins continues his rampage, hitting yet another homer. It was his 11th in his first 18 games. He started a triple play too, albeit a sort of ugly one.

Mets 6, Nationals 5; Nationals 5, Mets 4: The split doubleheader. For years they’ve amused me as the teams go to sleep having spent, like, 12 hours at the ballpark having made no progress nor suffered no setbacks in the standings. I’ve often though I should come up with a name for these beasts, but I always forget to put thought to it. Something with “zero velocity” in the title, if for no other reason than it messes with people who think velocity and speed are the same thing. I dunno. Any ideas?

White Sox 7, Tigers 1:  Lucas Giolito first game up over a year ago but yesterday he got his first win. That’s misleading of course, as he’s only made six starts, but it’s still weird to say out loud. He tossed seven scoreless innings to get it and was backed by a Matt Davidson three-run homer. The White Sox have won four of five and took two of three from Detroit.The Sox are only four games behind the Tigers in the AL Central with a little over a month to play. It’s not the sort of thing players would crow to the press about, but I bet they’ve made it a goal to try to catch them and not finish in last place. Given where the Sox are at the moment — a rebuild, having cast off most of their veteran players — that would be quite an accomplishment. And quit an embarrassment for the Tigers, though a well-earned one.

Rays 3, Cardinals 2: Logan Morrison hit two homers: one in the fourth and one for the go-ahead run in the tenth, giving him 30 and then 31 on the season. Chris Archer (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER 8K) and Lance Lynn (7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 8K) had a nice little duel but didn’t figure in the decision due to it going extras.

Astros 7, Angels 5Brian McCann tripled with the bases loaded in the eighth inning to rally the Astros back from a one-run deficit after earlier blowing a 4-0 lead. Quite an effort on a day when their minds were understandably not fully focused on baseball thanks to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey wreaking havoc back home. After this game they could only fly as far back as Dallas due to airport closures in Houston. They’ll make a decision today about whether tomorrow’s game in Minute Maid Park will go forward.

Athletics 8, Rangers 3: The sweep. Jharel Cotton allowed two runs — one earned — over six innings and struck out nine. Marcus Semien drove in three.

Brewers 3, Dodgers 2: The Brewers did what no other team has done since June 5-7: take a series from the Dodgers. Jimmy Nelson took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and Hernan Perez homered and Domingo Santana had two hits and an RBI. More important than simply taking two of three from Los Angeles, the Brewers pull to two games back of the Cubs.

Diamondbacks 11, Giants 0: This was a close one until the eighth inning. That’s when Matt Cain came in in relief for the Giants and was shelled for eight runs on five hits and walked two in two-thirds of an inning. Paul Goldschmidt’s three run homer was the big blow. Normally I’d make some jokes about a rout like this, but I’m pretty sure we’re watching the end of Matt Cain’s once excellent career, and it’s hard to see guys go out like this.

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.