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And That Happened: Saturday’s Scores and Highlights

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From Rio Ruiz’s first major league home run to Mike Clevinger’s first seven-inning shutout, here are the rest of Saturday’s scores and highlights:

Braves 5, Nationals 2: The Braves hammered Max Scherzer and Matt Albers for three home runs on Saturday, putting the cherry on a week that has already seen five wins in seven games. No home run was sweeter than that of rookie third baseman Rio Ruiz, whose 372-foot bomb in the second inning was also his second extra base hit in the major leagues.

Pirates 6, Phillies 3: Whatever glimmer of hope Jeremy Hellickson gave the Phillies on Friday was gone by Saturday afternoon. Vince Velasquez hurled his fourth loss of the year, exiting after 5 1/3 innings with five runs, two walks and six strikeouts. The Pirates, meanwhile, picked up their fourth win of the week on a four-run inning from Francisco Cervelli and Adam Frazier, though it wasn’t quite enough to dig them out of last place in the NL Central.

Athletics 8, Red Sox 3: All eyes were on the A’s on Saturday. Mark Canha, Khris Davis and Chad Pinder dominated in the fifth inning, muscling three home runs to put the A’s up 7-3 after five. Jed Lowrie returned in the seventh to unleash the final home run of the day, a 409-foot blast that landed in the right field bleachers and cemented Oakland’s third consecutive win.

Rays 9, Yankees 5: A feud between Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi and home plate umpire Scott Barry escalated during the club’s 9-5 loss on Saturday. Girardi and pitching coach Larry Rothschild told Barry that he missed a few pitches during Logan Morrison‘s at-bat against Giovanny Gallegos, which eventually led to a two-RBI single in the fifth inning. Both Rothschild and Girardi (who also claimed Barry had been giving his players odd looks) were ejected, but not before the skipper expressed the full extent of his irritation:

Reds 12, Rockies 8: No pitcher was safe at Great American Ball Park this weekend. Both Tim Adleman and Antonio Senzatela had vanished by the sixth inning, leaving 12 runs in their wake — including the Rockies’ six-run spread in the fifth. The Reds returned in the sixth with a six-run spread of their own, grabbing the go-ahead run on a three-run shot by Scott Schebler, his 11th of the season:

Indians 3, Astros 0: Mike Clevinger hasn’t looked this good since… well, maybe ever. The Indians’ right-hander hurled seven pristine innings against the league-leading Astros on Saturday, holding them to two hits and two walks and setting down a career-high eight strikeouts. Backed by the dynamic duo of Andrew Miller and Cody Allen, each of whom also set down scoreless innings, the shutout was in the books in just two and a half hours.

Mets 7, Angels 5: Jose Reyes isn’t exactly having a banner year, but he managed to worm his way into the exclusive 2,000-hit club on Saturday. He lined a base hit off of the Angels’ Alex Meyer in the first inning, joining Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera, Carlos Beltran, Ichiro Suzuki, Albert Pujols, Robinson Cano and Matt Holliday as the eighth active major leaguer with at least 2,000 hits under his belt.

Giants 3, Cardinals 1 (13 innings): The Giants currently rank second-worst among major league teams with just 154 runs scored in 44 games, good for an average of 4.53 runs per game. Their focus on small ball was evident during Saturday’s extra-inning win, driven by eight shutout innings from Jeff Samardzija and a shutdown performance by the ‘pen.

Rookie sensation Christian Arroyo finally broke through in the 13th inning, smashing a one-out, two-run double to the left field wall to get the Giants on the board. Nick Hundley followed with a sac fly in the next at-bat and Mark Melancon did the rest, allowing the Cardinals a single run before shutting the rest of the lineup down for his eighth save of the season.

Tigers 9, Rangers 3: The Rangers’ 10-game win streak came to an abrupt and dramatic end on Saturday. Justin Verlander led the charge against Texas, silencing the Rangers’ bats through three frames before allowing a two-run double in the fourth. Jonathan Lucroy returned for a solo shot in the sixth inning, but that’s about as much damage as the Rangers could muster. The Tigers, on the other hand, lost no time building their lead, going back-to-back-to-back with three long blasts in the first inning:

The win brought the Tigers within 1.5 games of the division lead, though they might find it difficult to unseat the 21-17 Twins (a concept that, for some reason, doesn’t seem entirely ludicrous in 2017).

Diamondbacks 9, Padres 1: The Diamondbacks continued building their case for first place in the NL West on Saturday, stymieing the Padres’ efforts with a nine-run effort and chasing right-hander Luis Perdomo out of the fourth inning. They only needed one inning’s worth of runs to secure their 26th win of the year, however, putting up a five-run lead on Paul Goldschmidt‘s two-run single, Jake Lamb‘s RBI double and a center field blast for Chris Herrmann:

White Sox 16, Mariners 1: It was a big day for the White Sox, who netted Cuban prospect Luis Robert and celebrated with a season-high 16 runs against the Mariners. Seattle right-hander Yovani Gallardo was tagged for 10 runs in his fourth loss of the season, spreading nine hits, two walks and four strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings. The bullpen fared little better against Chicago’s explosive offense, giving up another five runs in the seventh inning with Todd Frazier‘s two-RBI single and a pair of home runs from Matt Davidson and Willy Garcia:

Garcia’s blast was his first in the majors, a double-deck shot that put the White Sox up 15-1 through seven innings. The win marked the Sox’ highest-scoring game since April 2014, and their highest-scoring game against the Mariners since 2000.

Royals, Twins (postponed): The Twins will host a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon, led by Minnesota lefty Adalberto Mejia and Kansas City right-hander Ian Kennedy for Game 1 and followed by Phil Hughes and an unnamed starter in Game 2.

Brewers, Cubs (postponed): Just because there wasn’t baseball at Wrigley Field on Saturday doesn’t mean there wasn’t fun to be had:

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Pirates 10, Nationals 4: Adam Frazier had a heck of a game out of the leadoff spot for the Buccos, going 3-for-5 with four RBI. Tanner Roark started for the Nationals but gave up seven runs in five-plus frames. Roark finished 10th in NL Cy Young Voting last year with a 2.83 ERA, but he’s now sporting a 4.73 ERA this season over nine starts.

Rockies 5, Twins 1 (Game 1): Nolan Arenado hit a solo home run in the first inning to put the Rockies up early and they never looked back. Arenado also made a sweet backhand play in the bottom half of the first. While he hasn’t had an explosive month and a half the way Bryce Harper has, it still would not be surprising if he once again winds up in the NL MVP race.

Twins 2, Rockies 0 (Game 2): Jose Berrios pitched one of the best games of the year, blanking the Rockies on two hits and a walk with 11 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. Berrios looked lost last year, when he put up an 8.02 ERA in 14 starts, but he’s been much better so far this season. He held the Indians to one run in 7 2/3 innings last Saturday. The Twins now have a slight first-place lead in the AL Central now. Who’dathunkit.

Cubs 9, Reds 5: Six losses in a row for the Reds now. Javier Baez gave the Cubs a large early cushion, crushing a grand slam in the first inning off of Amir Garrett. Kris Bryant also crushed a solo home run to center field in the fourth. Ian Happ collected two more hits to raise his average to .353 and his OPS to 1.324 since being called up.

Tigers 6, Orioles 5: J.D. Martinez stays red-hot as he blasted another homer, a three-run shot. He also drew three walks. In six games since making his season debut, Martinez has five homers and 11 RBI in 25 PA. Three Orioles homered: Chris Davis, Adam Jones, and Seth Smith. But the Tigers’ bullpen, surprisingly, was able to hold onto a narrow lead — something that has been a rarity this season.

Rangers 8, Phillies 4: Nine wins in a row for the Rangers now. To be fair, they’ve beaten up on the lowly Padres, Athletics, and Phillies, but still. Ryan Rua struck the big blow in this one, as his fifth-inning three-run home run capped off a five run inning. Martin Perez pitched well, holding the Phillies to two runs on five hits and no walks with eight strikeouts over seven innings.

Brewers 4, Padres 2: The first-place Brewers added to their lead in the NL Central as the Cardinals had the night off. Leadoff man Eric Sogard collected four hits and three RBI. Eric Thames finally made an appearance, but as a pinch-hitter and he made an out, stranding two runners. Zach Davies put up a quality start, yielding two runs in six innings. For the Padres, Hunter Renfroe went yard again, giving him three in his last five ballgames.

Blue Jays 9, Braves 0: After Wednesday’s fracas, the storyline going into Thursday’s game was centered around Jose Bautista, who flipped his bat after hitting a home run last night. Sure enough, Julio Teheran threw an inside fastball and hit Bautista on the thigh. Both benches were warned and nothing else happened. Thankfully, a better narrative emerged as catcher Luke Maile and starter Marcus Stroman hit back-to-back home runs, becoming the first American League battery to go back-to-back since May 9, 1970, per Sportsnet. That’s before the DH era began. As for the pitching, Stroman was solid but inefficient, lasting only 5 2/3 innings after throwing 103 pitches.

Royals 5, Yankees 1: Danny Duffy’s excellence continued, as he tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts. Mike Moustakas gave the Royals plenty of breathing room with a three-run home run in the fifth.

Athletics 8, Red Sox 3: Red Sox starter Hector Velasquez got knocked around for six runs in five frames in his major league debut. The A’s hit three homers, including Khris Davis who now has 12 on the year. Trevor Plouffe collected three hits. Every regular in the Athletics’ lineup had a hit except Stephen Vogt.

Dodgers 7, Marlins 2: Hyun-Jin Ryu held the Marlins to two runs in 5 1/3 innings. Yasiel Puig crushed a two-run home run halfway up the bleachers in left field off of Edinson Volquez in the second inning. Statcast measured that one at 442 feet. Kenley Jansen turned in an immaculate inning in the ninth to close out the game. There were a total of three immaculate innings in 2015 and ’16 combined, but we’ve already had four this season: Drew Storen, Craig Kimbrel, Max Scherzer, and Jansen.

Mariners 5, White Sox 4: The Mariners picked up their fifth walk-off win of the season as Guillermo Heredia singled to bring in Jarrod Dyson in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jean Segura hit a three-run home run to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. He now has a .359 average and a .915 OPS.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rays 12, Yankees 3: Evan Longoria was 3-for-4 with a couple of doubles and four driven in. Dude just rakes at Yankee Stadium. The Rays rocked Luis Severino for seven runs on eight hits in less than four innings. Friday night was a nice farewell, Saturday afternoon was a nice hello, but rebuilding is hard.

Blue Jays 9, Astros 2: A two-run shot and an RBI single for Troy Tulowitzki. Russel Martin went back-to-back with Tulo in the fifth inning, becoming the fourth Blue Jay to top 20 homers this year. Toronto has feasted on the Astros, taking two of three in this series and eight of the last ten matchups between them.

Indians 5, Angels 4: The Angels have lost ten straight. This one after holding a 4-1 lead. It wasn’t even a fun way to get swept: three of the four games were rain delayed, totaling nearly five hours of sitting around time. In other news, there probably aren’t actually fun ways to get swept in a four game series.

Mets 5, Padres 1: Steven Matz took a no-hitter into the eighth before Alexi Ramirez broke it up. Neil Walker and Wilmer Flores homered as the Mets took two of three, taking some of the heat off of their super crappy last week.

Marlins 5, White Sox 4: A pitcher, Tom Koehler, drove in two with an infield single. Ichiro drove in a runner from second with a bunt. The game ended when Christian Yelich nailed a runner at the plate. Not the most typical way to win, but if the Marlins are gonna live life without Giancarlo Stanton, they’re gonna have to get a little weird sometimes.

Red Sox 16, Diamondbacks 2: Mookie Betts was 4-for-6 with three homers and eight driven in. Jackie Bradley Jr. homered and drove in three. Dustin Pedroia had five hits. It was the second time this season Betts hit three out in a game. Zack Greinke was the Dbacks’ starter too, so it’s not like they were feasting on scrubs. At least until after the chased Greinke. What a nightmare of a season for Arizona, who many thought might contend this year.

Nationals 9, Braves 1Anthony Rendon homered and drove in four runs and Bryce Harper hit an RBI double, walked and scored twice in his return to the lineup after a five game absence. Dusty Baker didn’t originally have him in the lineup but he said Harper came to him before the game and asked in, saying “please.” Yes, Dusty said he really said “please” and that’s what swayed him:

“I was going to give him another day, but he came in and told me he wanted to play. I told him no and he told me `Please.’ How do you tell a grown man no that says so politely that he wants to play? So, I put him back in the lineup. He actually sounded like a little kid when he said so and you know I’m partial to kids sometimes.”

The Nats clubhouse: better this year than it was last year.

Phillies 7, Rockies 6: Colorado was gettin’ kind of frisky for a while but then they get swept by Philly of all teams. Jimmy Paredes singled, doubled, homered and drove in three. He doesn’t play much and doesn’t hit all that much when he plays, but we all have good days sometimes.

Brewers 7, Reds 3: Ryan Braun homered twice, doubled and drove in six. Braun is hitting .328/.391/.571 with 22 homers and 65 driven in. Given how little he’s talked about these for a superstar of his caliber these days, I imagine most non-Brewers fans think he was killed in a junta or something three years ago.

Royals 11, Twins 4: Paulo Orlando continued his torrid post-All-Star break hitting, homering, tripling, hitting a couple of singles and driving in three. Lorenzo Cain had four hits and drove in three as well. Edinson Volquez was solid over six innings. Chris Young got a three inning save. Those are always fun.

Tigers 7, Rangers 0: Michael Fulmer tossed a four-hit complete game shutout with nine strikeouts. Nuff said. Well, not completely nuff: it was the second straight day the Tigers held the Rangers scoreless.

Mariners 8, Athletics 4Kyle Seager doubled twice and drove in four. The Mariners have won eight of nine and now sit only five and a half games behind Texas and two back in the Wild Card.

Orioles 8, Giants 7: The Giants led 7-1 after five innings but blew it, with the killing blow being Jonathan Schoop‘s three-run blast in the ninth off of Santiago Casilla. The Giants are 9-18 since the All-Star break and their division lead is down to one. It could’ve been worse, but . . .

Pirates 11, Dodgers 3: . . . The Dodgers lost too. This thanks to Pittsburgh’s five-run first inning against Brett Anderson in his disappointing season debut. Josh Harrison and Adam Frazier each had four hits, Sean Rodriguez homered and had four RBI. Anderson left with a sprained wrist. In two days the Dodgers lost starting pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Anderson after an inning and two-thirds and an inning, respectively. L.A.’s rotation has somehow persevered despite injuries to its biggest names, but now they need someone to suck up some serious innings to give that bullpen a breather.

Cardinals 6, Cubs 4: The Cubs led 3-1 entering the top of the eighth when the Cards opened up the floodgates, led by Stephen Piscotty‘s three-run homer and followed up with a Brandon Moss solo shot. Randal Grichuk doubled in a run to cap it off.