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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Braves 9, Phillies 1; Braves 5, Phillies 2Ender Inciarte went 5-for-5 with four driven in in game one and 3-for-5 with a run driven in in the nightcap. His eight total hits in the two games was one short of the record for hits in a doubleheader. R.A. Dickey struck out nine over eight innings in the first game and Julio Teheran allowed one run and five hits, striking out eight in six and a third in the second game.

Indians 2, Yankees 1; Indians 9, Yankees 4: Trevor Bauer outdueled Jaime Garcia in the first game and a four-run first inning in game two set the pace for an Indians sweep. The sweep dropped the Yankees to five and a half games behind Boston heading into a four-game series against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium starting tonight.

Brewers 6, Cardinals 5: With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Brewers center fielder Keon Broxton robbed Randal Grichuk of what would have been a go-ahead two-run home run to end the game. Broxton was a defensive replacement in the eighth, by the way. Good call, Craig Counsel:

Orioles 8, Mariners 7:  t one point Baltimore was down 6-2, but they rallied back thanks to Welington Castillo‘s  4-for-4, three RBI day and Jonathan Schoop‘s go-ahead RBI single in the eighth. That’s seven in a row for the Orioles. Five straight losses for Seattle.

Tigers 6, Rockies 2: Justin Verlander struck out nine over six innings and drove in the Tigers first run with an RBI single. It was his first career RBI. On Tigers broadcasts, they often talk about how big a talker Verlander is about hitting, which is pretty hilarious because he is a poor hitter, even for an American League pitcher, going 4-for-43 in his career. I can only imagine that he was insufferable on the flight back to Detroit yesterday.

Nationals 4, Marlins 0: Stephen Strasburg tossed a complete game shutout on six hits and he hit a homer to give the Nats their first run and the only run they’d actually need. Strasburg has looked great since coming off the disabled list. The Nats have looked great of late too, winning four in a row.

Rangers 8, Astros 1: Texas rode a six-run fourth inning, capped by Mike Napoli‘s three-run homer. Andrew Cashner allowed one run on three hits over eight. The clubs have one more game in Tropicana Field before the Astros get to fly home to Houston for their series against the Mets and, more importantly, their reunion with families and friends who’ve been contending with Hurricane Harvey.

Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 1: Rick Porcello tossed one-run ball into the seventh and Mitch Moreland, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, hit a two-run homer and drove in two more with a single in the eighth. The Red Sox sweep the Jays and look a lot better heading into their series with the Yankees than they did just a few short days ago.

Mets 2, Reds 0Rafael Montero pitched shutout ball into the ninth — it was a one-hitter as he entered the final inning, in fact — making two first inning runs by the Mets hold up. Montero ran out of gas in the final frame, allowing two base runners and then intentionally walking Joey Votto with one out to load things up, but A.J. Ramos put out the fire and preserved Montero’s win.

Cubs 17, Pirates 3Kyle Schwarber hit two home runs and Ian Happ and Anthony Rizzo each went deep as the Cubs romped. Chicago notched 20 hits — their most in three years — as they outscored the Pirates 27-5 in the three-game sweep.

Twins 11, White Sox 1: Jose Berrios pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out 11, including seven of the last nine batters he faced. Brian Dozier had four hits and Eddie Rosario homered twice to keep the surprising Twins humming along. They’re 19-10 in August and now they’re only a game back of the Yankees for the AL’s top Wild Card spot.

Rays 5, Royals 3Logan MorrisonSteven Souza Jr. and Adeiny Hechavarria all homered for the Rays. Morrison’s was his 33rd on the year. He has four home runs, eight RBI and six runs scored in the Rays’ last six games. The Royals finish August 10-18 and have lost six of their last seven.

Padres 5, Giants 0: Travis Wood started and didn’t allow any runs. He also homered. He didn’t get the win, though, as he tossed 97 pitches in four and a third innings before being yanked as the Giants mounted a rally. The rally amounted to nothing, though, as Craig Stammen and three other relievers continued to blank San Francisco the rest of the way. Jose Pirela also homered for San Diego. The Padres have beaten the Giants in nine of their last 12 meetings.

Diamondbacks 6, Dodgers 4: The Dodgers lose their fourth game in a row for the first time all season. The Diamondbacks extend their win streak to six. Adam Rosales, Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Herrmann all homered for Arizona, who built a 6-0 lead and then held on as the Dodgers late rally fell short. I suppose every good team goes through a bad stretch.

Angels 10, Athletics 8Mike Trout was slumping and then he sat out a couple of games with a stiff neck. He was back last night, though, and went 4-for-4 with a homer and scored four times. Albert Pujols hit two homers, tying him with Jim Thome on the all-time list at 612. He’s on pace for 25 homers and 100 RBI on the season, which are nice numbers, aesthetically speaking. That’s deceiving, as basically every one of his other stats are terrible, but I suppose it will look nice on the back of the baseball card.

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.