C.J. Cron

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Albert Pujols is eighth on the all-time home run list

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Albert Pujols kicked things off for the Angels in dramatic fashion on Friday night, cranking a two-RBI home run off of the Orioles’ Jeremy Hellickson to give the club an early lead in the first inning. The 350-footer was his 18th home run of the year and No. 609 in his 17-season career, tying Sammy Sosa on the all-time home run list for eighth overall and most home runs hit by a player born outside of the United States.

With the home run, Pujols sits just three homers shy of tying Jim Thome’s 612-home run record for seventh on the all-time list. That figures to be the last major milestone still ahead of the designated hitter this season, with Ken Griffey Jr.’s 630-home run mark still a distant 21 blasts away.

The Angels, meanwhile, ran with Pujols’ lead, collecting home runs from Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron, Kaleb Cowart and Mike Trout. It wasn’t quite enough to quash the Orioles, however, who surged to a 9-7 finale after Manny Machado went 3-for-5 with three home runs and struck a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth.

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Giants 4, Nationals 2; Nationals 6, Giants 2: In Game 1 of the day-night twin bill Chris Stratton struck out 10 in six and two-thirds shutout innings and the Nats couldn’t break through until Anthony Rendon hit a two-run homer in the eighth, but it was too little, too late. Game 2 was much more dramatic as the clubs took a 2-2 tie into the 11th — Pablo Sandoval of all people tied it up with a homer to send it to extras — before Howie Kendrick hit a walkoff grand slam. Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman also homered and Max Scherzer struck out ten in seven innings.

Blue Jays 7, Pirates 1: Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer and Darwin Barney and Justin Smoak each hit solo shots. J.A. Happ won his third in a row. Manager John Gibbons won his 700th game. Not in a row, though. That would be a record.

Indians 4, Rays 3: Corey Kluber won again, striking out nine in seven innings and working around trouble. Austin Jackson made him a winner by hitting a solo homer to break a 3-3 tie in the top of the eighth while Kluber was still the pitcher of record. Jay Bruce and Carlos Santana hit RBI doubles and Edwin Encarnacion hit his 24th homer.

Twins 6, Tigers 4Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano homered to help give Minnesota a 4-0 lead. They blew it, though, before Byron Buxton singled in a run to put the Twins up 5-4 in the eighth. The Twins win their seventh of eight. The Tigers, ah, who cares, lose their 64th in their last 117.

Marlins 5, Rockies 3: Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but Giancarlo Stanton homered again. It was his 42nd. He’s hit homers in the past four games and his 21st in his past 33 games. Even worse for Colorado was Nolan Arenado leaving the game in the fifth inning with a bruised left hand after being hit by a Vance Worley fastball. Imagine how bad it’d be if Worley actually threw hard.

Mets 6, Phillies 2: Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson hit two-run homers as the Mets take three of four from the Phillies. Odubel Herrera singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. That’s the longest hit streak for a Phillies player in seven years. He’s also hitting .342 with a .970 OPS since June 1. Nonetheless, he was booed the rest of his at-bats following a brain lock on the base paths in the fifth inning, helping to kill a rally, with some fans yelling at him that he should go back to the minors. I get the anger at the mental mistakes, but I’ll never understand why, on crappy teams, the best player tends to draw the most ire. Fine, he’s frustrating. He’s also better than anyone else out there, so maybe cut him some slack?

Royals 14, White Sox 6: Merrifield hit a three-run homer and drove in a five and Drew Butera had four hit. Jason Vargas bounced back from a terrible start, allowing three runs and six hits in six innings, stricking out seven and walking two. He got his 14th win, which ties his career high.

Brewers 7, Reds 4: Neil Walker got traded from the Mets to the Brewers on Saturday, got three and a half hours of sleep after making it to Milwaukee, was penciled in at third base, which he doesn’t play often, and knocked a couple of hits and scored a run. Domingo Santana got more sleep, presumably, and hit a three-run bomb. Joey Votto‘s 17-game hitting streak was snapped.

Braves 6, Cardinals 3: The Cardinals eight-game winning streak ends — as does the Braves’ five-game losing streak — as Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer and R.A. Dickey allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings.

Astros 2, Rangers 1: Keuchel took a shutout into the sixth inning and ended up allowing one run over six-and two-thirds as Jose Altuve homered and Carlos Beltran knocked in a run to end the Astros’ five-game losing streak. It was still just their third win in 12 games, but they still hold a 12-game lead in the West.

Athletics 9, Orioles 3: Baltimore took a 2-0 lead, but Matt Chapman hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in a five-run fourth inning as the A’s won going away. Wait, Kansas City comes in to town tomorrow. The A’s aren’t going anywhere.

Angels 4, Mariners 2: That’s six straight wins for the Angels. Parker Bridwell allowed one run over six, C.J. Cron homered and Martin Maldonado hit a two-run single. Andrelton Simmons did this:

Dodgers 6, Padres 4: Justin Turner hit two homers and drove in four. The Dodgers won for the 28th time in 33 games. They now lead the NL West by 18 games, which is the largest lead the team has had in its franchise history. They are 16-0-3 in their last 19 series, and haven’t lost one since June 5-7 to Washington.

Cubs 7, Diamondbacks 2: Jake Arrieta allowed one run in six innings and Javier Baez and Ian Happ hit back-to-back home runs in the Cubs’ four-run eighth inning and Kris Bryant went deep in the ninth. Chicago’s win and the Cardinals’ loss gives the Cubs a one-game lead in the central.

Red Sox 3, Yankees 2:  Rafael Devers homered off of Aroldis Chapman — it was a fastball that clocked in at 103 m.p.h. — to tie the game up in the ninth and force extras and Andrew Benintendi singled home the go-ahead run in the 10th. Chris Sale didn’t figure in the decision but he struck out 12 in seven innings of one-run work, and that definitely figured in the result. Boston took two of three from New York in the Bronx and now have a five and a half game lead in the East.

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Yankees 5, Red Sox 4: Aaron Hicks found Addison Reed‘s weak spot on Friday, working a full count before unleashing a 335-foot bomb off of Reed’s slider:

The homer uncorked a five-run rally in the eighth inning, giving the Yankees just enough fuel to outpace the Red Sox and spoil the lofty plans John Farrell had for his new setup man.

Mets 7, Phillies 6: Dominic Smith may have had a whirlwind rise to the big leagues, but he delivered with all the poise of a professional Major Leaguer on Friday, collecting his first MLB hit off of the Phillies’ Nick Pivetta in the fourth inning.

He wasn’t the only rookie to steal the show, as the Mets’ go-ahead run was delivered by No. 1 prospect Amed Rosario with his first career homer in the ninth:

Pirates 4, Blue Jays 2: The Pirates found some equilibrium behind Jameson Taillon‘s big night, reaching .500 for the first time in August and sitting just three games back of the division lead. Taillon couldn’t hang on as long as opposing starter Marcus Stroman, who let four unearned runs slip through the cracks over eight innings, but emerged with the win after six innings of two-run, seven-strikeout ball.

Indians 5, Rays 0: It’s been almost exactly five years since the Rays found themselves on the wrong end of a no-hitter, and on Friday, they narrowly avoided another such incident with Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco blanked Tampa bay through 6 2/3 spotless innings, striking out seven batters before Logan Morrison prevailed with a line drive in the seventh.

It isn’t the first attempt Carrasco has made against the Rays — his first was in July 2015 — but completing a nine-inning no-no would put him in rare company, as no Indians’ pitcher has managed the feat since Len Barker’s perfect game in 1981.

Marlins 6, Rockies 3: Giancarlo Stanton became the first Major Leaguer to reach 40 home runs this season, mashing another solo shot off of Jon Gray in the eighth inning:

Given Aaron Judge‘s compelling case for Rookie of the Year, not to mention the blistering pace at which Mike Moustakas and Cody Bellinger have been collecting homers, Stanton may not be atop the leaderboard for long. His knock helped decide the game on Friday, however, as the Marlins capitalized on their slugger’s efforts to rout the Rockies with a three-run spread in the eighth. They’ll look for their first win streak since July 29 on Saturday.

Twins 9, Tigers 4: The Twins steamrolled their division rivals with their sixth straight win, eclipsing both the Angels and Mariners to slide into the second American League wild card spot. While it wasn’t Kyle Gibson’s finest night (five hits, three runs, two walks and six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings), a solid backing from the bullpen and a steady stream of run support gave the team the boost they needed to top the fourth-place Tigers.

Rangers 6, Astros 4: A sharp comebacker struck Cole Hamels in the left knee during Friday’s contest, but the Rangers’ left-hander powered through the pain to complete seven scoreless frames and hand the Astros their fourth consecutive loss of the week. Credit for the assist goes to Adrian Beltre, who helped pad the Rangers’ lead with an RBI double and coordinated his defensive efforts with Elvis Andrus by shoving his teammate in the face:

Reds 11, Brewers 10: No lead is safe until the game is over, and never was that illustrated better than during the Reds’ nail-biter on Friday night. They constructed an eight-run lead by the fourth inning, then watched it implode during the Brewers’ seven-run rally in the sixth with a handful of RBI singles and Eric Thames‘ 26th home run of the year. Jonathan Villar‘s ninth-inning blast brought Milwaukee to the cusp of a much-needed win, but Raisel Iglesias managed to strand Thames on first base and hang on for his 20th save.

White Sox 6, Royals 3: If Reynaldo Lopez was feeling jittery during his Major League debut, he masked it well. The 23-year-old rookie played it cool against the Royals, subduing the competition with four hits, two runs, three walks and six strikeouts. Mike Moustakas proved his one and only foil, delivering not one, but two solo home runs in the fourth and sixth innings to put the Royals on the board. With the loss, the Royals have taken five consecutive losses and nine in their last 11 games.

Cardinals 8, Braves 5: The Cardinals’ Rally Kitten has been officially recovered, as confirmed by the St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach on Friday, and the Cardinals are looking similarly revived after taking a decisive win over the Braves during their series opener. Well, perhaps “revived” is the wrong word. The win marked the Cardinals’ seventh consecutive victory, their longest streak of the year and enough to keep them within one game of the division-leading Cubs. Adam Wainwright pulled off an impressive win despite failing to register a single strikeout or throw a ball faster than 90 MPH, and clocked the competition with four hits, a run and three walks over five innings.

Cubs 8, Diamondbacks 3: Speaking of the Cubs, they’re looking to reverse their fortunes after dropping three back-to-back-to-back series against the Diamondbacks, Nationals and Giants. They returned to Chase Field for a little revenge on Friday, blurring Taijuan Walker‘s pitching line with five innings of five-run, two-homer ball and handing John Lackey his 10th win of the season. It was a reassuring effort for the defending champs, who lost starting catcher Wilson Contreras to a four-week DL stint earlier in the day.

Angels 6, Mariners 5: The Mariners had plenty to celebrate on Friday night, from the kickoff of Edgar Martinez Weekend to Nelson Cruz‘s three extra bases, but still couldn’t find that elusive final run in their one-run loss to the Angels. Righty reliever Andrew Moore singlehandedly unraveled Seattle’s four-run lead in the seventh, blowing his first save of the season after RBI singles from Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron and an Andrelton Simmons’ double helped the Angels tie the game. Cron retuned for the go-ahead run in the ninth, capitalizing on an error from Jean Segura to plate Mike Trout and move within a game of the second AL wild card.

Athletics 5, Orioles 4: It was a bittersweet way to kick off the weekend for Ubaldo Jimenez, who registered a season-best 11 strikeouts before a line drive felled him in the sixth inning:

While he didn’t appear to be in a great deal of pain at the time of the incident, he was removed from the mound immediately following the at-bat and left the rest of the game in the less-than-capable hands of Baltimore’s bullpen. Brad Brach registered his fifth blown save of the year after a two-run effort from Jed Lowrie and Chad Pinder, whose combined productivity got the job done for the A’s in the eighth.

Padres 4, Dodgers 3: There are some moments that remind us how pure this game can be, how simple the thrill is of taking in a game at the ballpark, looking up from your seat and watching one of your heroes seamlessly execute a routine play:

Other plays, like Yasiel Puig‘s 270-foot laser to catch Hunter Renfroe at home plate, offer the crowd a less intimate (but no less impressive) view of the game:

(And honestly, at 96 MPH, this is a play that belongs nowhere near the stands.)

Despite their run-saving acrobatics in the field, the Dodgers took home a rare loss after Jose Pirela unleashed a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning. The win moved San Diego within 13 games of an NL wild card spot, but they’ll still have to vault over seven other teams to earn a chance to compete in the postseason.

Giants, Nationals (postponed): The Giants and Nats are set for a twin bill on Sunday, when the two teams will do their best not to repeat the Hunter Strickland/Bryce Harper fracas that disrupted their last meeting.