Associated Press

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 6, Rays 1: Aaron Hicks was activated from the disabled list yesterday and in the first dang inning the ball found him. Luckily for him and the Yankees, het got that ball, robbing Wilson Ramos of a grand slam with a fantastic catch. A run scored on the pay as a sacrifice fly, but after that disaster was averted, Jordan Montgomery allowed only one run over six innings for the win. Starlin Castro homered and Rays starter Blake Snell walked in two runs with the bases loaded at one point. The Rays were officially eliminated from playoff contention. The Yankees clinched home field for the Wild Card game.

Phillies 4, Nationals 1: Bryce Harper came back and was 0-for-2 with a walk, but no one else did much for the Nats either. Jake Thompson allowed one run over five innings and the Philly pen shut the Nats out over four innings. Cameron Rupp doubled in a couple of runs. The win guarantees that the Phillies will not lose 100 games, so that’s something.

Pirates 10, Orioles 1: Andrew McCutchen hit a grand slam, a three-run homer and an RBI double to give him eight driven in on the night. It was, amazingly, McCutchen’s first ever grand slam. It was the most RBI in a game for a Pirate since Jason Bay knocked in eight back in 2004. Remember Jason Bay?

Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 4: Josh Donaldson hit two homers — it was the sixth time he’s done that this year — and the Jays hit five in all, four of which came off of Chris Sale of all people. Teoscar Hernandez also hit two and Kendrys Morales added one of his own. J.A. Happ allowed one run over seven. Chris Sale has not looked sharp of late and this was probably his last start before the playoffs, where Boston will face Houston on the road. Interesting.

Twins 8, Indians 6: Minnesota was trailing 6-4 in the eighth when Brian Dozier hit a three-run homer off of Bryan Shaw. Byron Buxton added an insurance run the following frame. Buxton also did this:

Thank goodness all of that StatCast noise is all over the view or else you’d never have any IDEA that that was a good catch. That aside, the Twins are now one win from clinching the second Wild Card.

Mets 4, Braves 3: The Mets were down 3-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh. They scored two there via a Kevin Plawecki two-run homer and tied it up with an Asdrubal Cabrera sac fly in the bottom of the eighth. Then Travis Taijeron singled home the winning run with one out in the bottom of the ninth for the walkoff win.

Brewers 7, Reds 6Domingo Santana hit a three-run homer early and the Brewers never trailed, but the Reds scratched and clawed all game to make Milwaukee earn their win. Zach Davies only lasted four innings due to an illness so Josh Hader picked up the win by striking out six over two and two-thirds innings of relief, bending, but not breaking. As it was, Cincinnati went to its seventh straight loss and the Brewers kept pace with the Rockies, who won and remain one and a half up on Milwaukee for the second Wild Card.

Cardinals 8, Cubs 7: Technically the Brewers could still force a tie in the Central. All it would take is them winning out and the Cubs losing out, leading to a tie-breaker. That’s not likely, but the Cubs did their part last night, falling to the Cards in St. Louis. Tommy Pham and Randal Grichuk homered and drove in two runs each. These two have two more games in Busch Stadium against each other. I’m guessing Chicago would like to clinch there. I’m guessing the Cardinals don’t want ’em to.

Astros 14, Rangers 3Carlos Correa, Brian McCann and Cameron Maybin had three RBIs each and Dallas Keuchel allowed one earned run and five hits in six innings as the Astros win in a romp. The Astros clinched home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs and with Cleveland’s loss are now one game behind the Indians for best record in the AL, which will determine who gets to face the Wild Card winner and who, alternatively, faces the Red Sox.

Angels 9, White Sox 3Mike Trout hit his 31st homer and he, Brandon Phillips and Luis Valbuena all homered in the Angels’ six-run second inning. Albert Pujols was 2-for-4 and drove in two. In the process he joined Alex Rodriguez as the only other player to knock in 100 runs in 14 seasons. The Angels are five games back of Minnesota for the second Wild Card with five games to play. Parker Bridwell:

“We’re not out yet. We’ve still got a chance. We’ve got to be optimistic. I’m excited to see where it goes. Things have to fall in place for us, but you never know.”

Royals 2, Tigers 1: Jason Vargas won his 18th game of the year with a one-run, six inning performance against the Tigers. Eric Hosmer doubled in a run. Whit Merrifield hit a sac fly. Ian Kinsler‘s 2018 option vested. I’m sure he’s super happy about that given where Detroit is headed in 2018 but I guess it’s better than a kick to the can.

Rockies 6, Marlins 0: Tyler Anderson tossed shutout ball for seven innings and Trevor Story hit a three-run homer in the Rockies’ four-run first inning in a game Colorado needed badly. Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer. The Rockies remain one and a half up on the Brewers for the second Wild Card. Only one game in the loss column.

Diamondbacks 11, Giants 4J.D. Martinez hit a grand slam and drove in six. He’s been stupidly good since coming to Arizona in a trade on July 18, hitting 28 home, 30 in the second half, 15 in the month of September and 44 on the season. His OPS since coming over from Detroit: 1.133.

Mariners 6, Athletics 3Danny Valencia hit a three-run homer and Yonder Alonso added a two-run shot. For those of you who don’t pay super close attention to west coast baseball, they did it for Seattle, not for Oakland, where each of them used to play. That had to make the A’s feel good.

Dodgers 9, Padres 2: Adrian Gonzalez homered. Yasmani Grandal and Corey Seager each had a three-run homer and Alex Wood was solid. The Dodgers have won three and a row and five of six, suggesting that their late swoon is finally past them. With the win the Dodgers clinch home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs. They still have a line on that for the World Series if they make it that far too.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).