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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 5, Twins 2: The Indians had been looking up at the Twins in the standings for much of the season, but this series seemed like a turning point. Cleveland completed a four game sweep yesterday, thanks to Edwin Encarnacion hitting two dingers and Tevor Bauer allowing two runs while striking out eight over seven innings of work. Jose Ramirez gets special honors for abusing the Twins all weekend long. He went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and two runs scored in this one. For the series, Ramirez was 11-for-18 with four doubles, two homers, six runs and four RBI.

Rockies 7, Giants 5: Have a day Nolan Freakin’ Arenado. He hit for the cycle, completing it with a walk-off three-run home run off of Mark Melancon, turning a 5-4 deficit into a 7-5 win. The Rockies are in first place and are tied for the most wins in baseball. As for the Giants, they are losers of six in a row, sit in last place in the NL West and have a better record than only one other team in baseball: the Phillies. This time last year San Francisco had the best record in baseball and we asked if they’d continue the even year World Series magic. Now we have to ask whether it’s time to blow it all up.

Athletics 4, Yankees 3: A week ago yesterday The Yankees hopped a flight to L.A. riding high. Yesterday afternoon they got back the plane to New York with a 1-6 road trip behind them. If there was a soundtrack to all of this it was probably “California Love” when they headed west and “Free Fallin'” when heading home. Khris Davis hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the third, right on the heels of Chad Pinder‘s two-run double tied it at two. New York would probably like to forget about California now, but they start a home series against the Angels on Tuesday.

Red Sox 6, Astros 5: Xander Bogaerts hit two homers and hit an RBI single in the seventh — his fourth RBI of the game — to give Boston the winning margin in this one. With the win the Red Sox move into a virtual tie for first place with the Yankees.

Blue Jays 7, White Sox 3: The Jays spotted the Sox a 3-0 lead by the fifth inning, but Russell Martin hit a two-run homer to tie things up in the sixth and Ryan Goins RBI triple two batters later gave Toronto the lead for good. Kendrys Morales hit a two-run homer to rub things in an inning later.

Rays 9, Tigers 1: Jacob Faria allowed one run over seven innings and struck out nine, but he didn’t have to be that good given the beating the Rays put on Buck Farmer (2.1 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 3 HR). Farmer has made four starts this year. In the first two he tossed shutout ball into the seventh inning and came away with wins. In his last two he’s allowed 13 runs in four and two-thirds innings. Steven Souza drove in four. Logan Morrison knocked in three. LoMo is having an improbably good season.

Dodgers 8, Reds 7: Kenta Maeda allowed one run over five and doubled in a couple of runs. Bronson Arroyo allowed five runs over three. It may very well have been Arroyo’s last appearance in the majors. If so, a tip of the hat to Arroyo, who most thought was done three years ago and who had himself a damn fine career. As for the rest of the game, Logan Forsythe and Justin Turner homered for L.A. The Reds almost rallied all the way back from an 8-1 deficit but it was not to be. Cincinnati has lost nine in a row.

Mets 5, Nationals 1: Jacob deGrom allowed one run — unearned — in eight innings, allowing only three singles. He smacked his first career homer to boot. Trea Turner stole four bases in a losing effort.

Cubs 7, Pirates 1: Anthony Rizzo continues to take out of the leadoff spot, knocking three hits including a double and a homer in this one. Willson Contreras drove in three runs. John Lackey allowed two hits and struck out four over six innings.

Orioles 8, Cardinals 5: Ubaldo Jimenez had lost his starter’s job but the guy who took it from him sucked too so Jimenez got another crack at it. Not a bad crack, allowing two runs on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks over seven innings as the O’s take two of three from St. Louis. Now to see if he can string a couple together in a row.

Braves 5, Marlins 4: Brandon Phillips hit a walkoff single. He also hit a walkoff single on Saturday night. Phillips is having a solid year for Atlanta, hitting .306/.351/.431. Not bad for a guy who was picked up a couple of days before pitchers and catchers reported.

Diamondbacks 5, Phillies 4: Arizona jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first and then blew it. Gregor Blanco tied it back up in the ninth with a single, however, and Reymond Fuentes, who came into the game as a pinch runner in the eighth put the snakes ahead to stay with a homer in the 10th.

Brewers 2, Padres 1: Jimmy Nelson tossed a complete game, allowing one run on six hits and striking out ten. That was his first career complete game in 89 starts over five seasons. Hernan Perez and Manny Pina hit solo homers in the sixth for all of the scoring Nelson would need.

Mariners 7, Rangers 3: Texas beat the M’s by a combined score of 20-6 on Friday and Saturday nights, but the M’s salvaged one here thanks to Kyle Seager‘s three double, three RBI afternoon. Danny Valencia hit a two-run homer off of Yu Darvish in the first as Seattle scored four that inning and never trailed.

Royals 7, Angels 3: Jason Vargas keeps on doin’ the do, picking up his 10th win of the year. Mike Moustakas hit a three-run double and Salvador Perez hit a three-run homer in support. Vargas’ career high in wins was 14 with the Mariners in 2012. This is only the fourth time he’s gotten to double digit wins in his 12-year career.

 

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Blue Jays 7, Athletics 5: Josh Donaldson hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the 10th. Brett Lawrie, I dunno, sat in his house and binge-watched season two of “Master of None” last night, very satisfied with the season overall, but somewhat troubled at the overly-dramatic and contrived conclusion to the Dev-Francesca arc which, while potentially satisfying in another context, was tonally off compared to the show’s otherwise grounded milieu.

Orioles 9, Pirates 6: Trey Mancini rode pine for eight innings before coming in as a pinch hitter in the ninth. He tied the game with a two-run homer there, stayed in the game, and hit a three-run walkoff homer in the 11th. I think we should all take this as an excuse to come in late to work today, telling our bosses that it’s not how you begin the day that matters, but how you end it.

Rays 3, White Sox 1: Rays starter Jacob Faria made his big league debut last night. All he did was take a three-hitter into the seventh inning for his first big league win. After the game, Faria called this the “best two-week span of my life.” The game story then goes on to note that, in a two week period in late May and early June 2011, Faria was drafted by the Rays and then got engaged to be married. I feel like whoever wrote that story was throwing some subtle shade, trying to get Faria in trouble with the missus.

Dodgers 2, Nationals 1: Clayton Kershaw (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 9K) and Stephen Strasburg (6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 8K) had themselves a pitcher’s duel. Kershaw won it, but it he got an assist from Nats catcher Jose Lobaton, who allowed Adrian Gonzalez to reach on a passed ball strike three. Yasmani Grandal then drove him in with a tiebreaking RBI double in the sixth.

Rockies 8, Indians 1: Colorado wins its fourth in a row as Nolan Arenado drove in three runs and Charlie Blackmon drove in two more. That was plenty of support for Kyle Freeland, who allowed only one run on six hits while pitching into the seventh. His counterpart, Trevor Bauer, didn’t do so hot. His diagnosis included an ~executed pitches~ moment:

Got myself in trouble by walking people. When I got in jams I feel like I executed pitches to try and get out of them and did the best I could to minimize the damage. The ball didn’t go to people today. I don’t know why.”

I don’t read all the postgame quotes, but any time any of you see some ~executed pitches~ talk, please let me know.

 

Yankees 8, Red Sox 0: CC Sabathia tossed eight shutout innings in the Year of Our Lord 2017, conclusively proving that there is, indeed, life after death. Chris Carter — who has been mostly dead all season — hit a three-run homer and drove in a fourth run with a single. Then again, there’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive.

Tigers 4, Angels 0: Buck Farmer has made two starts this year. The first one, on May 27, featured him pitching shutout ball into the seventh, striking out 11. This one featured him pitching shutout ball into the seventh, striking out five. Farmer left the game with a 1-0 lead, but Justin Upton provided a bunch of insurance with a three-run homer in the eighth.

Reds 6, Cardinals 4: St. Louis had a 4-1 lead in the seventh, but the Reds rallied for five in the bottom half of that inning, thanks mostly to Patrick Kivlehan‘s  pinch-hit three-run homer. Big day for the late arrivers yesterday. The Cardinals, who have been killed by utility guys two nights in a row, have lost six in a row.

Braves 14, Phillies 1Mike Foltynewicz has always had amazing stuff, but like a lot of young fireballers, he hasn’t always been able to control it. If his last two starts are any indication, he’s figuring it out. Foltynewicz tossed seven shutout innings for the second game in a row. Nick Markakis hit three RBI doubles, driving in five as the Braves romped

Mets 4, Rangers 3: The Mets starting pitching was supposed to be their strength coming into the season but for various reasons it’s been their achilles heel. Zack Wheeler, however, helped straighten things out, at least for a night, with seven innings of one run ball. Jay Bruce helped with two homers which drove in three of the Mets’ four runs. Despite all of that it still took a ninth inning error by the Rangers to allow the Mets to score the go-ahead run.

Marlins 6, Cubs 5J.T. Realmuto and Marcell Ozuna homered as the Marlins avoid the sweep. Addison Russell had the night off. Yep, just a relaxing night off in which he could clear is mind and sharpen the saw, as the motivational types say. He should be good to go today, refreshed and renewed for the dog days just around the corner, with nothing to trouble his mind.

Brewers 6, Giants 3: Jimmy Nelson had been lights out his last two starts. He wasn’t as sharp last night against the Giants as he was against the Dodgers and Dbacks in those outings, but he still got the job done, scattering seven hits and allowing three runs over seven innings. Sometimes a pitcher just needs some help. Nelson got it from Jesus Aguilar, who went 2-for-4 and drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out double in the fifth.

Royals 7, Astros 5Jason Vargas scattered six hits over five innings. Cheslor Cuthbert drove in three and Lorenzo Cain hit a solo homer. The Royals were likely happy to have avoided Dallas Keuchel, who was scratched before the game with an unspecified illness that involved barfing and stuff due to what sounds like stomach flu.

Diamondbacks 7, Padres 4Jake Lamb and Brandon Drury homered in the Snakes’ five-run third inning to back Zack Greinke, who wasn’t as sharp as usual but still got the win. The Padres have dropped four straight.

Mariners 6, Twins 5: Mike Zunino hit two homers, his second one a two-run shot with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, giving Seattle a walkoff come-from-behind win. Kyle Seager and Carlos Ruiz also homered as the M’s win their ninth in ten games.

Indians defeat Tigers, clinch AL Central for first division title since 2007

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The Indians beat the Tigers 7-4 at Comerica Park on Monday night, clinching the AL Central for their first division title since 2007. Starter Corey Kluber lasted only four innings before exiting with right groin tightness, but the Indians were able to overcome the adversity.

Coco Crisp gave the Indians their first two runs with a two-run home run in the second inning off of starter Buck Farmer. The Tigers would promptly tie the game on a two-run homer by J.D. Martinez in the bottom half of the inning.

In the fifth, an RBI double by Jason Kipnis and a sacrifice fly by Mike Napoli put the Tribe back on top 4-2. The Tigers answered once again with a Miguel Cabrera RBI single in the bottom half to make it 4-3.

Roberto Perez homered for the Indians in the top of the top of the seventh, and Cabrera answered with another RBI single in the bottom half to keep it within one run at 5-4.

The Indians tacked on another insurance run in the eighth on three consecutive two-out singles by Crisp, Rajai Davis, and Perez. Carlos Santana then hit what should have been the final out of the eighth inning, but J.D. Martinez botched the catch, allowing the Indians’ seventh run to score.

Cody Allen shut the Tigers down in the bottom of the ninth, protecting the 7-4 lead for his 30th save of the season.

The last time the Indians won the AL Central, their starting lineup featured a 28-year-old Victor Martinez, a 25-year-old Jhonny Peralta, a 24-year-old Grady Sizemore, and a 26-year-old CC Sabathia. It’s been a long time.

The American League playoff picture still isn’t set yet, so the Indians will be intently watching the final week of the season to see who will be their playoff opponent.