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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Nationals 3, Phillies 2: The Nats become the first team to clinch a playoff spot this year, though they had to wait until the Braves-Marlins game ended to make it official. Here Stephen Strasburg tossed eight shutout innings — making it 34 straight scoreless innings for him — and struck out ten. It’s the Nats’ fourth division title in six years. Now all they have to do is figure out how to advance past the Division Series. Until then, at least we have this video of Anthony Rendon pouring his celebratory Budweiser down Bryce Harper‘s butt crack:

Braves 10, Marlins 8: The Braves made the Nats wait for the champagne, but they handed the division to Washington all the same with this win. Quite a late rally for the Braves who were trailing 8-5 in the ninth and then saw Rio Ruiz hit a two-run single with two outs to force extras. They then watched Lane Adams hit a two-run homer to walk things off in the 11th. Earlier the Marlins blew a 3-0 lead, then the Braves blew a 5-3 lead, so yeah it was one of those days.

Indians 3, Orioles 2: That’s 18 straight wins for Cleveland. Roberto Perez and Francisco Lindor each hit solo home runs off of Jeremy Hellickson in the bottom of the sixth to give the Tribe the lead for good. The Indians are now in a five-way tie for ninth longest winning streak of all time. Next on the list is the 1947 New York Yankees and the 1906 White Sox, each of which won 19 in a row. At the top the list: the 1916 Giants who won 26 in a row.

Cardinals 7, Pirates 0: Michael Wacha tossed eight shutout innings and Yadier Molina knocked in five runs. St. Louis has won seven of eight and move to within two games behind Chicago in the NL Central.

Brewers 3, Cubs 1: The Brewers are only two back as well after sweeping the Cubs. Travis Shaw hit a two-run homer in the sixth and Zach Davies allowed one run over seven innings. Chicago scored three runs in the whole dang series. The last month will give us a race in the Central after all, it seems.

Rockies 8, Dodgers 1: Holy crap, the Dodgers keep losing. Ten straight now, and 15 of 16. They are the only team in baseball history to both lose 15 of 16 and win 15 of 16 in the same season, so at least their futility is accompanied by some fun trivia. Tyler Chatwood shut ’em out for five innings and three relievers did it for three more innings. Rich Hill ran out of gas at five innings and then the L.A. bullpen imploded, mostly via a Mark Reynolds grand slam, surrendered by Walker Buehler. Frankly it’d be way better if he had given it up on Saturday when L.A. dropped their ninth so we could use that video clip we all like to see when something bad happens for the ninth time. Oh, hell, I had the day off yesterday so let’s use it anyway:

Diamondbacks 3, Padres 2: J.D. Martinez hit two homers and Paul Goldschmidt hit one himself and that’s all there was. Still not gonna say that the Dodgers will choke this thing away, but the Dbacks are now only nine games back. Nine games? NINE GAMES.

Blue Jays 8, Tigers 2:  Teoscar Hernandez is not a player most of us think about all that much but he probably gave Anibal Sanchez nightmares last night after he hit two homers and drove in five. Heck, every Jays batter probably gave Sanchez nightmares after they scored seven runs on 12 hits off of him in less than five innings.

Reds 10, Mets 5: New York had a 5-2 lead heading into the seventh but the Reds tied it up with three that inning and poured it on with two more in the eighth and three more in the ninth. Highlight of the game: Reds manager Bryan Price came out to argue after one of his batters was ejected to end the top of the seventh, then halted the argument during “God Bless America,” and then put his hat back on and continued to argue after the song was over:

Rays 4, Red Sox 1: Wilson Ramos and Lucas Duda each hit a solo homer for the Rays who handed Rick Porcello his 17th loss of the year. There have been 204 20-game losers going back to 1900, but unless I’m missing one, none of them have pitched for a playoff team. Porcello’s Red Sox appear playoff bound and, if he takes all of his remaining turns, he has three starts left. I’m guessing the Sox won’t let it happen, but it sure would be something.

White Sox 8, Giants 1: I thought I had a pretty good weekend — I got a good hike in, made a couple of good meals and on Friday I met two of our commenters emeritus, Paper Lions and Historiophiliac, in actual person — but Jose Abreu hit for the cycle on Saturday and hit two homers and drove in three yesterday, so I guess he wins. Carson Fulmer — who sounds more like a quarterback than a pitcher — allowed one run over six innings and struck out nine. For the record, Paper Lions and Historiophiliac are cool people. Just thought you should know that.

Royals 11, Twins 3Brandon Moss homered and drove in four and Jason Vargas won for the first time in a good while by allowing one run over five innings. Eric Hosmer had four hits. He had 11 hits in the four-game series against the Twins.

Yankees 16, Rangers 7: Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez each hit two homers. Judge is now over 40 homers for the year, and is eight behind Mark McGwire’s rookie record. Sanchez now has 30 on the year and 50 in his first 161 big league games. That one-two punch is gonna be fun to watch for years. Meanwhile, all Didi Gregorius did was notch four hits while driving in four. The Yankees have won three straight series and stand three and a half games ahead of Minnesota for the AL’s top Wild Card spot.

Athletics 10, Astros 2: A four-game sweep of the mighty Astros by the lowly Athletics, who outscored Houston 41-15 in the series. Matt ChapmanRyon HealyBoog Powell and Matt Olson all homered and Kendall Graveman allowed one run over six. The A’s then used five pitchers to finish the final three innings because September.

Angels 5, Mariners 3Mike Trout and Luis Valbuena hit solo homers and Justin Upton hit a two-run double in the Angels’ decisive three-run eighth inning. The Angels pull to within one game of the Twins for the second Wild Card.

Mike Trout sets Angels franchise record with a walk in 14 consecutive games

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With a walk in the first inning of Wednesday afternoon’s match with the Athletics, Mike Trout set a new Angels franchise record with a walk in 14 consecutive ballgames, per Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times. The record was previously held by Eddie Yost (June 14-28, 1961) and Albie Pearson (August 18-30, 1961).

Trout, of course, does it all, even drawing walks. He walked again in the third inning, giving him 82 free passes on the season. He has five more of those than strikeouts. Among players who have come to the plate at least 400 times this season, Trout, Joey Votto (116/71), Justin Turner (51/45), and Dustin Pedroia (42/42) are the only players with at least as many walks as strikeouts.

Trout entered Wednesday’s action batting .326/.463/.655 with 27 home runs, 61 RBI, 79 runs scored, and 20 stolen bases in 417 plate appearances. Despite missing a month and a half with a torn thumb ligament, he still has the third-highest WAR (6.2) in baseball, according to FanGraphs. He trails Jose Altuve (6.4) and Anthony Rendon (6.4). Giancarlo Stanton (6.0) and Joey Votto (6.0) are the only other players with at least 6 WAR.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Diamondbacks 13, Dodgers 0: That was a slaughter. And the man swinging the biggest meat cleaver was J.D. Martinez who went deep four times and drove in six. He’s the second guy to hit four bombs in a game this season, following Scooter Gennett, and only the 18th man to do it in major league history. What’s more, Martinez had more homers than the Dodgers had hits (4-3). Robbie Ray was responsible for that, shutting out Los Angeles for seven and two-thirds and striking out 14 Dodgers batters. Arizona has now won 11 games in a row. The Dodgers have lost nine of ten.

Here are Martinez’s blasts:

 

Angels 11, Athletics 9Kole Calhoun hit a two-run triple in the 11th inning to give the Angels the win but the news here was that the Angels used 12 pitchers to get through those 11 innings. Every manager who worked before, say, 1988 is rolling in their graves. Even the ones who aren’t dead yet. Three Angels pitchers didn’t record an out, which is just, oh my God. The major league record is 13 pitchers, but that was in a 16-inning game. Someone had best go check on Mike Scioscia today, because he probably hasn’t gotten that much exercise since he was trying to make his first big league team in camp 40 years ago.

Reds 5, Brewers 4: If you’re gonna guess who hit a big walkoff homer on any given day in Major League Baseball you’d probably go a long dang time before you picked Billy Hamilton. Hamilton had his day yesterday, however, smacking a walkoff solo shot to beat the Brewers. Hamilton also threw a runner out at home for his 12th assist of the year. After the game he said this:

“Saving a run was better for me. Me and [Adam] Duvall go out there every day to try to outdo each other. He still has one up on me. I’d rather throw a guy out than hit the big homer. but I’ll take both of them.”

Hmmmm. Can’t say I’d feel the same way, but given that he’s done both things and I’ll never do either, he’s in a better position to know.

Royals 7, Tigers 6: Alex Gordon had a day in the field. Doing this:

And this. Both in the fourth inning. Eric HosmerSalvador Perez and Alcides Escobar homered for the Royals as well. The Tigers have lost five straight and have very apparently given up on the year.

Mets 11, Phillies 7: Jose Reyes and Asrbubal Cabrera homered to back Rafael Montero who wasn’t great but was good enough. After the game all 25 men on the Mets roster had season ending surgery, probably.

Yankees 7, Orioles 4Starlin Castro homered and drove in three runs and Didi Gregorius went deep as well as the Yankees won their fourth in their last five. Aaron Judge drew four walks, singled and scored a run, which seems to go against the whole idea of throwing stuff in on Judge and making him show you his shoulder doesn’t hurt. The Orioles have now lost three of five. Seems like they were on a roll just ten minutes ago.

Indians 5, White Sox 3: That’s 12 straight wins for Cleveland. Trevor Bauer allowed two runs on three hits with nine strikeouts and one walk over six and a third to win his eighth decision in a row. The Indians’ franchise record winning streak is 14, set just last year. Oh, Bauer and Avisail Garcia had a little exchange in this one over whether it’s OK to throw breaking balls to big league batters. Watch the body language in this sequence:

And now listen to Bauer’s explanation:

Rockies 4, Giants 3: Carlos Gonzalez won the game on a walkoff walk, ending the Rockies’ four-game losing streak. Charlie Blackmon hit his 33rd homer of the season and DJ LeMahieu extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Colorado is now 8-0 at home against the Giants this season.

Pirates 12, Cubs 0Chad Kuhl shut the Cubs out on four hits over seven innings and two relievers took it the rest of the way. Max Moroff and Josh Bell each went 3-for-5 with four RBI for the Pirates. Jake Arrieta left with a hamstring injury for Chicago. He says it was just a cramp and believes he’ll make his next start.

Cardinals 2, Padres 0: Carlos Martinez tossed a three-hit complete game shutout with ten strikeouts and Yadi Molina hit a two-run RBI single in the fourth. That’s it. You now know everything of note that happened in that game.

Astros 6, Mariners 2:  Alex Bregman had a tiebreaking two-run double in Houston’s four-run seventh inning and Josh Reddick knocked in two that frame as well. Yuli Gurriel and Brian McCann had solo homers and Dallas Keuchel allowed two runs while pitching into the eighth. Houston has won five straight.

Blue Jays 10, Red Sox 4:  Kendrys Morales, Jose Bautista and Raffy Lopez all took Rick Porcello deep on a day when the reigning Cy Young Award winner was tagged for seven runs on ten hits and was handed his 16th loss on the year. Meanwhile his counterpart J.A. Happ allowed just one earned run in five and two-thirds. Boston has lost four of five and its division lead is down to two and a half games.

Nationals 7, Marlins 2: Anthony Rendon And Daniel Murphy each hit homers and had two-run doubles, wth Rendon driving in four runs and Murphy driving in three. With that the Nats won easily, but as always, Giancarlo Stanton gets some press in a losing cause. He hit his 53rd homer of the year. And he dented a TV camera as he did it, breaking its zoom lens function. Really:

Rays 11, Twins 4:  Corey Dickerson homered and doubled twice. He, Logan Morrison and Kevin Kiermaier drove in two runs a piece. Evan Longoria drove in three. The Rays are now three games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card with 23 left to play.

Rangers 8, Braves 2Elvis AndrusRougned Odor and Mazara homered as the Rangers won in a laugher. Andrus had homered twice on Sunday too. The Rangers lead all of baseball with 215 homers on the year.