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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:

Nationals 11, Phillies 10: Odubel Herrera extended a league-best 21-game hitting streak on Friday night, helping power the Phillies’ 10-run drive with a single in the seventh inning. That still wasn’t enough to quell the NL East leaders, who returned to haunt Herrera with a fly ball that went just over his head in the third inning:

Michael A. Taylor only needed 15.04 seconds to scoot around the bases, taking the lead on his first-ever inside-the-park grand slam and recording the second-fastest home run of the year. It wasn’t quite enough to keep the Phillies at bay — they responded with a trifecta of home runs and an RBI single to cut their deficit to one run in the ninth — but Taylor took care of that, too, giving the Nats their go-ahead run with an RBI triple in the eighth.

Tigers 5, Blue Jays 4: While the Phillies’ defense compromised their production at the plate, the Tigers excelled on the field. Buck Farmer held the Blue Jays scoreless through four frames, getting pulled for Drew VerHagen in the sixth after Kendrys Morales singled home the Jays’ second run of the night. Jeimer Candelario had the rest of the inning covered:

The Tigers needed just two homers to take the game: Nicholas Castellanos‘ grand slam in the third inning, and an Ian Kinsler solo shot in the seventh.

Indians 5, Orioles 0: The Indians make winning look easy. Mike Clevinger flummoxed the Orioles for six straight innings, keeping them to three hits and three walks, while Edwin Encarnacion solved Wade Miley with a three-run homer in the first inning. With the win, the Indians sit just four games back of the Athletics’ historic 20-win tear in 2002 and five games back of a record-breaking 21-win streak.

Padres 10, Diamondbacks 6: The Diamondbacks may not have approached the 20-win feat set by the Athletics, but they still made franchise history after carrying a 13-win streak heading into Friday’s opener. The Padres brought that run to a swift end, however, forcing Patrick Corbin from the game with an eight-run spread over the first 4 1/3 innings. The D-backs rebounded with a pair of home runs and RBI doubles, but couldn’t muster up the requisite five runs to top the 64-78 Friars in the ninth.

Mets 5, Reds 1: Jose Reyes slugged his way into the Mets’ history books during Friday’s opener, punishing a pair of pitches from Amir Garrett for his 100th and 101st home runs with the club.

While it hasn’t been a career year for the veteran slugger by any stretch of the imagination, the home runs put Reyes in rare company as one of just 13 players to post over 100 dingers with the Mets. The twin blasts helped propel the team to their third straight win, their longest win streak since mid-July.

Red Sox 9, Rays 3: Is there anything Mookie Betts can’t do? Well, probably, but on Friday, he did it all: suppressing runs with a pair of five-star catches and snapping a streak of 120 homer-less at-bats with a 318-footer off of Chris Archer in the first inning:

Drew Pomeranz kicked in his 15th win of the year on six innings of two-run, seven-strikeout ball. The win pushed the Rays back in the wild card standings and helped extend the Sox’ lead in the AL East, though they still have a tough month ahead of them with the Yankees just 4.5 wins from the division title.

Marlins 7, Braves 1: The Marlins may not be the favorites to lock down a postseason spot, but don’t count them out just yet. Jose Urena looked sharp through 6 1/3 innings against the Braves, collecting his first big league RBI in the second and fanning five batters en route to his 13th win of the season. It’s been a banner year for the 25-year-old hurler, whose 13 wins and 3.61 ERA are both career-best marks so far. With the win, the Marlins sit eight games back of a playoff berth, though they’ll still have to beat out the Brewers, Cardinals and Rockies for a chance to extend their run past October 1.

Brewers 2, Cubs 0: While half of the American League dukes it out for a wild card spot, the division battles continue to rage on in the National League. The Brewers blanked the Cubs on Friday — the first regular-season game hosted at Wrigley Field on a Friday night — and moved within four games of first place. Jimmy Nelson led the charge, quelling the Cubs’ bats with five innings of four-hit, seven-strikeout ball, while Ryan Braun hogged the spotlight at the plate, driving in the first and only runs of the night with his 300th career home run.

We’re not saying the Brewers’ voodoo doll of Javier Baez had anything to do with the win… but hey, maybe the Brewers’ voodoo doll of Javier Baez had something to do with the win.

Rangers 11, Yankees 5: So much for making a run at the AL East title. The Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka got shelled in the first four innings of Friday’s loss, taking seven runs on eight hits as the Rangers slugged their way to a 7-3 record in their last 10 games. Elvis Andrus led the way, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a single and becoming the third Rangers’ player to reach 40 doubles, 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a single season.

Giants 9, White Sox 2: Even after losing Mark Melancon to season-ending forearm surgery, even after skidding to their worst franchise record since 1985, the Giants found some moments of redemption this week. One of those moments came on a 2-1 pitch to Pablo Sandoval, who crushed a three-run homer during Friday’s win and snapped 39 straight at-bats without a hit.

Matt Moore also gave the Giants a glimmer of hope, posting his first quality start of the month with two runs on five hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings.

Twins 8, Royals 5: As competitive as the AL wild card race looks right now, no one has been able to unseat the Twins for more than a day. They kept rolling on Friday, staying just ahead of the Angels with a four-RBI effort from Eddie Rosario and Ervin Santana‘s 15th win of the season. The Royals, meanwhile, dropped to 4.5 games back in the standings — which, in any other year, would look like a surmountable deficit with 22 games still left to play.

Cardinals 4, Pirates 1: Don’t look now, but Luke Weaver is on a roll. The Cardinals’ rookie right-hander turned in his fifth straight win on Friday, taking one from the Pirates with 5 2/3 scoreless innings of seven-hit, seven-strikeout ball. He supplied his own run support, too, plating Greg Garcia on a groundout in the third inning and earning his first big league RBI. Not only did the win help the Cardinals stay within three games of a wild card berth (and four games from the division title), but it kept the spotlight on the rookie righty as he continued to fill in for an injured Adam Wainwright. “It’s just real fun to watch him take advantage of an opportunity like this, this time of season,” manager Mike Matheny told reporters.

Athletics 9, Astros 8: The Athletics found a rare moment of clarity on Friday evening, besting the AL-leading Astros with Marcus Semien‘s seventh-inning grand slam and a Jed Lowrie walk-off in the ninth:

While the win didn’t do anything for the club’s postseason hopes this season, it spoiled the Astros’ seven-game winning streak and snapped a string of 10 consecutive wins on the A’s home turf.

Rockies 5, Dodgers 4: Speaking of league leaders, the 92-49 Dodgers aren’t looking so hot these days. They took their eighth consecutive loss during Friday’s series opener, dropping a 5-4 nail-biter after DJ LeMahieu‘s go-ahead double in the fifth inning. Yu Darvish fanned six batters and recorded his 1,000th big league strikeout, but scattered also five runs over 4 1/3 innings in one of his worst outings of the year. No one’s all that close to unseating the Dodgers in the NL West — even the second-place Diamondbacks have a 10-game deficit — but their recent struggles don’t bode well for their chances of making a deep run in the playoffs this October.

Mariners 4, Angels 3: The Mariners, on the other hand, improved their postseason odds against the Angels on Friday, breaking a three-game losing streak to move within four games of a wild card spot. Ben Gamel netted his eighth home run of the year and Mitch Haniger plated the winning run on an RBI single in the third, while the Angels struggled to solve Seattle’s pitchers with a pair of RBI singles by Justin Upton and Albert Pujols and little else. Now isn’t the time for the Mariners to get comfortable, however. They’ll still need to beat out four other teams to lay claim to that elusive playoff berth by the end of the month.

Bruce Maxwell first MLB player to kneel during National Anthem

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Athletics’ rookie catcher Bruce Maxwell did not stand for the National Anthem on Saturday night. He’s the first MLB player to do so and, like other professional athletes before him, used the moment to send a message — not just to shed light on the lack of racial equality in the United States, but to specifically protest President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire any of their players who elect to protest the anthem by sitting or kneeling.

“Bruce’s father is a proud military lifer. Anyone who knows Bruce or his parents is well aware that the Maxwells’ love and appreciation for our country is indisputable,” Maxwell’s agent, Matt Sosnick, relayed to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser on Friday. He continued:

Bruce has made it clear that he is taking a stand about what he perceives as racial injustices in this country, and his personal disappointment with President Trump’s response to a number of professional athletes’ totally peaceful, non-violent protests.

Bruce has shared with both me and his teammates that his feelings have nothing to do with a lack of patriotism or a hatred of any man, but rather everything to do with equality for men, women and children regardless of race or religion.

While Maxwell didn’t make his own statement to the media, he took to Instagram earlier in the day to express his frustration against the recent opposition to the protests, criticizing the President for endorsing “division of man and rights.”

Despite Trump’s profanity-laced directive to NFL owners on Friday, however, it’s clear the Athletics don’t share his sentiments. “The Oakland A’s pride ourselves on being inclusive,” the team said in a statement released after Maxwell’s demonstration. “We respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression.”

Whatever the fallout, kudos to Maxwell for taking a stand. He may be the first to do so in this particular arena, but he likely won’t be the last.

Alex Wilson broke his leg on a 103-MPH comebacker

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This one is brutal. Tigers’ right-handed reliever Alex Wilson was diagnosed with a broken leg after taking a blistering 103.8-MPH line drive off of his right leg during Saturday’s game against the Twins. According to the Detroit News’ Chris McCosky, it’s a non-displaced fibular fracture, but will still warrant an extended recovery period and signal the end of Wilson’s season.

Wilson replaced Drew VerHagen to start the eighth inning and worked a full count against Joe Mauer. Mauer roped an 93.3-MPH fastball back up the middle, where it struck the pitcher on his right calf. While Mauer took first base, Wilson got to his feet and tried to toss a warm-up pitch, but was in too much pain to continue and had to be helped off the field.

Even in a season that isn’t going anywhere in particular, this isn’t how you want it to end. The Tigers have yet to announce a recovery timetable for the 30-year-old reliever, but he won’t return to the mound until 2018. He exited Saturday’s outing with a 4.35 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 6.3 SO/9 over 60 innings.

The Tigers currently trail the Twins 10-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning.