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And That Happened Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Reds 7, Brewers 1: Luis Castillo allowed one run over eight innings and struck out ten. Yesterday Bill explained why we should all be keeping an eye on that guy going forward.

Twins 10, Rays 6: Minnesota ended a three-game skid and took back possession of second Wild Card position from the Angels. Eduardo Escobar had three hits and three RBI and Brian Dozier and Ehire Adrianza both homered

Rangers 12, Braves 8; Braves 5, Rangers 4: The first game of the doubleheader had an announced attendance of over 19,000 based on who bought tickets for the cancelled night before, but there were fewer than 1,000 people in attendance. It just looked and sounded weird, man. I’m used to seeing that at Turner Field on occasion, but in the new ballpark it’s kinda strange. Anyway, Elvis Andrus drove in three runs with four hits, including a homer, which was his 20th on the year. I’d say he did it “against his old mates” but it was about 5,000 years ago that the Braves traded him away. The Braves split the twin bill, somehow surviving five walks from starter Julio Teheran in the second game, Here’s Teheran afterward:

“I know five walks is a lot but I didn’t want to throw the ball over the plate where they could hit it.”

Hmm.

Athletics 3, Angels 1Sean Manaea pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning, Khris Davis homered and the A’s stopped an eight-game losing streak.  A’s third baseman Matt Chapman was ejected after an exchange between him and Angels catcher Juan Graterol in the bottom of the fourth inning triggered by Graterol claiming that Davis was stealing signs from second base. No word on whether he was using an Apple Newton or a Palm Treo or anything to do it. I mean, it’s the A’s. Their budget is going to be lower than the Red Sox’ for such things.

Cubs 1, Pirates 0: Gerrit Cole and Jose Quintana exchanged zeroes — Cole did it for eight innings, Quintana for six, his friends in the pen for three more — but Alex Avila tripled in a run in the top of the ninth to push the Cubs over. It wasn’t some rocket shot to the corner or anything either. The Pirates were shifting on Avila, he broke his bat and blooped one opposite the shift and Leonys Martin scored easily from second base. Tough luck for Cole after allowing only two hits in his start.

Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 1: Doug Fister gave up one run over seven innings and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run homer and drove in three. It’s crazy that on a team with Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello that Fister has been their most reliable pitcher of late.

Royals 13, Tigers 2: On Tuesday night the Tigers beat the Royals 13-2. Last night Kansas City returned the favor. This game was tied heading into the seventh, by the way, before the Royals scored four in that inning and seven runs in the eighth. That’s bad even for the Tigers bullpen. Sal Perez hit two homers. Brad Ausmus wasn’t literally reading want ads in the dugout last night, but I bet he was doing so mentally speaking.

Mets 6, Phillies 3: Robert Gsellman pitched pretty well until the sixth inning, when he gave up three runs, but thankfully for him and the Mets the game ended after six innings due to rain. Travis d'Arnaud homered. Brandon Nimmo drove in two via two sacrifice flies. I like to call that “pulling a Black Sabbath,” which is to be super great without any hits. OK, I lied, I don’t like to call it that. I just made it up on the spot.

Nationals 8, Marlins 1: Gio Gonzalez tossed five shutout innings and seven different Nats hitters drove in a run.  Ryan Zimmerman and Michael A. Taylor each hit homers. It was the Nats’ eight straight victory over Miami.

Indians 5, White Sox 1: Cleveland keeps on rolling, taking its 14th game in a row to tie a franchise record. Here Carlos Carrasco starred, allowing one run on three hits in a complete game and needing only 97 pitches to do it. The lone run came on a homer with two outs in the ninth. Carlos Santana hit a two-run home run and had three hits in all.

Giants 11, Rockies 3: San Francisco snaps its 10-game losing streak at Coors Field, thanks to Joe Panik‘s five hits. He drove in two, and went 12-for-15 in the series. Nick Hundley and Austin Slater knocked in two runs each as well while Gorkys Hernandez did them one better and knocked in three.

Astros 5, Mariners 3: It was tied 3-3 in the top of the ninth when Cameron Maybin walked up and hit a two-run homer. That gave Houston a sweep and their seventh straight win overall. After the late August skid Houston found themselves on, this little run has to give hope to the Dodgers who . . .

Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 1: . . . lost once again to the red-hot Diamondbacks, who took their 13th straight. Their streak of innings without trailing ended, but it’s all good, as pinch-hitter Adam Rosales doubled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and Taijuan Walker and three relievers held Los Angeles to one run. The Dodgers have lost six in a row and 11 of 12.

Cardinals 3, Padres 1: Jack Flaherty threw five innings of one-run ball and Stephen Piscotty hit a two-run homer in the seventh to give St. Louis their first runs — and only necessary runs — of the game. St. Louis has won four straight and six of seven.

Yankees vs. Orioles — POSTPONED:

Can someone send a runner
Through the weather that I’m under
For the feeling I lost today?
Can someone send a runner
For the feeling I lost today?
You must be somewhere in London
You must be lovin’ your life in the rain
You must be somewhere in London
Walking Abbey Lane

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.