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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores: Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 4, Brewers 1: It was 1-1 in the top of the ninth when Mookie Betts hit a three-run homer and that took care of that. It was Betts’ third homer in the past four games. He went 7-for-11 with eight RBI and five runs scored in the series. John Farrell on Betts: “He’s certainly impacting the baseball.” Which sounds like what an alien from Proxima Centauri would say via his language chip in an effort to fit in among the humans talking bout baseball, only to have them realize something was just a . . . tad off.

Royals 6, Rays 0: Jason Vargas tossed seven shutout innings to move his record to 5-1 and lower his ERA to 1.01. Talk about a nice season coming out of nowhere. And it’s his free agency walk year too, so the dude is making himself a lot of money right now. A dude having a lot of trouble? Kevin KiermaierWhit Merrifield knocked a single to center that turned into a little league home run when the guy who most think is the best center fielder in baseball let the ball go under his glove:

That was the third error of the series for Kiermaier, and the second time in the series a ball just rolled under his glove like that to allow a little league homer. Strange to see a guy with catlike reflexes get a case of the fielding yips like this.

Astros 3, Yankees 2: Houston took a 3-0 lead thanks to a Carlos Correa two-run homer and a George Springer RBI single. The Yankees scored one on a catcher’s interference call in the fifth. In the ninth, New York put runners on second and third and Gary Sanchez hit a single to left. That scored Aaron Hicks. Jacoby Ellsbury, who was on second, was waved home. Jake Marisnick fielded Sanchez’s hit, fired home a perfect strike and nailed Ellsbury at the plate to end the game:

Bad send. Slow run. Bad slide. Great throw.

Blue Jays 7, Mariners 2Steve Pearce hit a three-run home run and Justin Smoak hit a solo shot and drove in four. Marco Estrada got touched for two runs on a Nelson Cruz homer in the first but then settled down and held the M’s scoreless for the next five innings. The M’s four-game winning streak was snapped.

Rangers 5, Padres 2: San Diego led 2-0 in the eighth when Mike Napoli hit a solo homer. San Diego and Texas were tied 2-2 in the ninth when Mike Napoli hit a three-run homer, ending it. It was Napoli’s fourth career walkoff homer. Party at Napoli’s.

Twins 7, White Sox 6: Eduardo Escobar hit a three-run homer and an RBI double and Miguel Sano and Brian Dozier each hit solo shots. The Twins built an early 6-0 lead and Chicago made it close, but ultimately dropped their fifth straight.

Rockies 10, Dodgers 7: Colorado built a 10-0 lead by the fourth inning. The Dodgers chipped away at that lead, but in Colorado you need more than to chip to dig yourself out. You need a backhoe. Of the ten runs the Rockies scored off Hyun-Jin Ryu, only five were earned, but really, you walk six dudes in four innings in Coors Field you’re lucky to only give up ten.

Diamondbacks 2, Pirates 1: Zack Greinke took a no-hitter into the eighth inning, only to see it broken up by a Gregory Polanco solo homer. That’s the only hit the Pirates would get all night, however, as Greinke struck out 11 over eight and Fernando Rodney saved it in the ninth. Greinke is putting together a nice bounceback season.

Tigers 7, Angels 1: Michael Fulmer shut the Angels down, including holding Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun to a combined 0-for-12. Justin Upton hit a first-inning three-run homer that, it would turn out, ended the game before it started. Andrew Romine hit an early homer of his own. Angels pitcher J.C. Ramirez on giving up the Upton shot, which came on a slider out over the plate:”I hang it, they bang it.” That’s some good postgame quote. Hell of a lot better than some baloney about his failure to “execute pitches.”

Reds 3, Giants 2: The Reds were down 1-0 and 2-1 and won it. No, those aren’t monumental comebacks, but when you got a lot of young guys it’s amazing how easily they can wither. Zack Cozart had hit an RBI double in the top of the eighth inning to score the go-ahead run that proved to be the game winner.

Orioles vs. Nationals — POSTPONED:

You know I never meant to see you again
But I only passed by as a friend, yeah
All this time I stayed out of sight
I started wondering why
Now I, I wish it would rain down, down on me
Ooh yes I wish it would rain, rain down on me now
Ooh yes I wish it would rain, down on me
Ooh yes I wish it would rain on me
You said you didn’t need me in your life
Oh I guess you were right, yeah
Ooh I never meant to cause you no pain
But it looks like I did it again
Now I, now I know I wish it would rain down, down on me
Ooh yes I wish it would rain, rain down on me now
Ooh girl I wish it would rain, down on me
Ooh yes I wish it would rain on me

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mariners 11, Phillies 6: Carlos Ruiz came back to Philly and the fans welcomed him warmly. Then Chooch hit a three-run double. Business is business and family is family. Robinson Cano and Danny Valencia homered. Phillies left fielder Aaron Altherr hit a three-run homer for the third consecutive game.

Giants 6, Mets 5: The Mets had a 3-1 lead after four innings and took a 3-2 lead into the top of the ninth when they called on closer Jeruys Familia. A walk and then a Wilmer Flores error put two on, followed by a Hunter Pence RBI single, another walk to load the bases, and a Christian Arroyo double that plated three to make it 6-3. The Mets scored two in the bottom half but the Giants bullpen, for once, merely bent but did not break.

Astros 4, Braves 2: Houston scored three runs in the fifth, two on a Carlos Correa double and the Correa came around to score on a single from Yuli Gurriel. All this with two outs. Freddie Freeman and Adonis Garcia hit solo homers in a losing cause but, ick, it’s been a slog for the Braves lately.

Rockies 3, Cubs 0: Rockies starter German Marquez took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. Kris Bryant broke it up, but Marquez ended up tossing eight shutout innings, allowing only three hits. He was helped by some fantastic D from Carlos Gonzalez. He was also helped by . . . German Marquez, who drove in two runs with a seventh inning single.

Athletics 3, Angels 1: Andrew Triggs got the start for the A’s. He walked the game’s leadoff hitter. Then he walked the second hitter. Then he walked the bases loaded. Not a great way to start things out. He somehow escaped that with only one run scoring and then he somehow went the next five innings walking no one else, allowing only three hits and surrendering no more runs. Baseball is a funny game. Chad Pinder hit a two-run homer for Oakland.

Cardinals 7, Marlins 5: The Marlins scored four runs in the first inning but lost anyway. The Marlins had a four-run lead over the Cardinals the night before too, and lost that one as well. On Tuesday, Dexter Fowler was the hero, singling in the winning run with a pinch hit single. Yesterday Dexter Fowler hit a pinch-hit, go-ahead triple in the sixth. Dramatic video:

Nationals 7, Orioles 6: Can’t anyone hold a dang lead anymore? The O’s blew one too, this a 5-1 lead in the fifth. The capper came on a Matt Wieters two-run single in the bottom of the ninth inning which gave Washington a walkoff win over their local rivals. The three-run rally in the ninth came against O’s acting-closer Brad Brach, who gave up a homer to Jayson Werth and a double to Bryce Harper before ex-Oriole Wieters did his thing. Miss U Zach Britton.

Blue Jays 8, Indians 7: Guess what? Cleveland had a four-run lead here and lost it. Toronto got those four runs back in the third and fourth innings and it was tied for a long time, but Ryan Goins singled home the winning run in the ninth inning for the walkoff win. I guess the worst thing in baseball these days is to have a four-run lead.

Rays 12, Royals 1Chris Archer pitched eight shutout innings and Logan Morrison, Rickie Weeks Jr., and Colby Rasmus homered for the Rays. Things got chippy late, however, as Archer hit Sal Perez on the elbow. Perez took offense. After the game, there were two different stories about it, with Perez thinking Archer was throwing at him and Archer denying it. Perez:

“Yeah, of course he threw at me. He’s going to throw at me because I had two hits against him,” Perez said. “I think he was mad. I don’t think that’s the right way.”

Archer:

“Honestly there was nothing malicious there,” Archer said. “I’ve had some great interactions with him the past. He’s a good hitter; I’m trying to pitch inside. There was no malicious intent with 96 mph.”

Who knows. All I do know is that “there was no malicious intent with 96 mph” line is a head-scratcher. Most of the time you hear guys say that a breaking ball that hits a dude was proof that it was not intended, because who hits a guy with a breaking ball? When they try to plant on one someone, it’s a heater because it’s easier to control where that goes. Like I said: I dunno.

Rangers 4, Padres 3: Texas scored four runs. Of those, one came on a wild pitch, one scored on a balk and one scored on a fielder’s choice + a throwing error. Who needs hits? Being a Padres fan is hard, I suppose, but at least they have good weather.

Brewers 7, Red Sox 4: Milwaukee did all their damage without homers. They rattled off 13 hits, though, and scored two runs on throwing errors by Sox catcher Christian Vazquez. Boston starter Kyle Kendrick allowed six runs and 10 hits in less than five innings. His ERA is now 12.96. Wondering if that “long look” John Farrell said he was gonna take at Kendrick in the rotation is gonna get shorter now.

Diamondbacks 7, Tigers 1: Zack Godley got called up from Triple-A and allowed only one run on four hits in seven innings. He was backed up by homers from Nick Ahmed, Yasmany Tomas and Brandon Drury. The game was at least moderately close until the seventh inning when the “Anibal Sanchez: relief pitcher” experiment got its latest look. Sanchez coughed up two of those homers and three runs in an inning of work. That has been an utter disaster over the past two seasons.

Dodgers 5, Pirates 2: The sweep. On a day when the Dodgers found out they’ve lost left fielder Andrew Toles for the rest of the year, they witnessed his replacement, Cody Bellinger, homer and made a nice tumbling catch in left. Sucks for Toles who had been one of L.A’s few positive offensive contributors on the young season, but I think they’ll be OK with the kid. Meanwhile, Kenta Maeda pitched shutout ball into the ninth before running out of gas and surrendering two. Grant Dayton bailed him out.

Twins vs. White Sox — POSTPONED:

Seven lonely days
And a dozen towns ago
I reached out one night and you were gone
Don’t know why you’d run
What you’re running to or from
All I know is I want to bring you home
So I’m walking in the rain
Thumbing for a ride
On this lonely Kentucky back road
I’ve loved you much too long
My love’s too strong
To let you go, never knowing
What went wrong
Kentucky rain keeps pouring down
And up ahead’s another town that I’ll go walking through.

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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Friday’s slate featured Joe Mauer‘s first career walk-off home run, Zack Greinke‘s impressive run at Coors Field, and Tommy Pham’s breakthrough at the plate. Here are the rest of last night’s scores and highlights:

Yankees 3, Cubs 2: Brett Gardner has been on a tear lately, and Friday was no exception. Down 2-0 in the ninth inning, the Yankees’ left fielder deposited a three-run homer just under the scoreboard in Wrigley Field, his sixth such blast in six games.

Behind Gardner’s game-winning knock, the Yankees turned in a solid performance against the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks. Michael Pineda allowed two runs and struck out six batters in six innings (and recorded his first hit as a Yankee, to boot), and Aroldis Chapman capped the bullpen’s three scoreless innings with his seventh save of the season.

Reds 13, Giants 3: Amid the Reds’ 13-run onslaught, the Giants’ Christian Arroyo did something cool: he hit a home run off of Bronson Arroyo. (Get it? It’s cool because they have the same last name. Oh, and they attended the same high school, too, albeit 18 years apart.)

Despite the nifty coincidence, the Giants lost badly after Matt Cain imploded, allowing ten hits, nine runs and six walks and leaving the bullpen to bear the remaining four runs and seal their 19th loss of the year.

Pirates 4, Brewers 0: A two-hour, 27-minute rain delay dampened the Brewers’ chances of getting a run on Friday evening. The gloomy weather forced starter Chad Kuhl to pitch through just three innings before the tarp was rolled out, and when the rain finally let up, Wade LeBlanc took the mound — and the win — in his stead. LeBlanc helped the Pirates’ efforts at the plate, too, contributing his first RBI base hit since 2011 and lifting the club to a 3-0 lead in the fourth.

Orioles 4, White Sox 2: The Orioles had to improvise a new game plan after Wade Miley exited in the first inning, taking back-to-back line drives off of his left wrist and leg. Luckily, Miley’s injuries were minor, and Baltimore soldiered on with right-hander Gabriel Ynoa, who tossed six scoreless frames to hold a 2-0 lead through the seventh inning. It didn’t hurt that Chris Davis had a monster night as well, going 3-for-3 with a 427-foot home run to clinch the Orioles’ 18th win of the year.

Mets 8, Marlins 7: If the Mets were concerned about their four-run deficit, they didn’t show it. Following a catastrophic six-run inning, during which they issued six hits, an intentional walk and a hit by pitch to the Marlins, the Mets rebounded for a five-run spread in the seventh, collecting two RBI singles and an RBI double to knot the score 7-7. The game-winning knock was decidedly less impressive, ending on Wilmer Flores’ bases-loaded walk to drive in the go-ahead run and cement the Mets’ first win of the series.

Blue Jays 8, Rays 4: If there’s unresolved beef between the Blue Jays and Rays, Kevin Kiermaier doesn’t want any part of it. The Rays center fielder was forced to exit in the fourth inning of Friday’s 8-4 win after taking a 91.5 m.p.h. fastball to his right hand. It was unclear whether or not the hit by pitch was intentional, but it follows another tense moment between the teams from last Sunday, when Chris Archer appeared to target Jose Bautista with a pitch that just missed the slugger’s hip. “Who knows what his thought process is or anything,” Kiermaier told reporters following the game, “but any time you miss up and in, I think us batters, no matter what the situation, you have a reason to be mad about it.”

Cardinals 10, Braves 0: Tommy Pham has been a kind of enigma for the Cardinals over the last four years, but one thing was clear during last night’s win: the center fielder can rake.

Behind Pham’s breakout? Not tweaked mechanics or a new swing, but contact lenses. The 29-year-old’s new lenses helped him manage a chronic eye disease called kertoconus, which causes blurry vision due to a misshapen cornea, allowing him to literally see the ball and hit it.

Nationals 4, Phillies 2: Some historical records are better left unbroken. Just ask Nationals’ reliever Matt Albers, who snapped his 102-game streak of games finished without a save during Friday’s series opener against the Phillies. Albers converted his first save opportunity in the ninth inning, plunking Cesar Hernandez before inducing two strikeouts and a game-ending groundout from Maikel Franco.

It was a grueling path to the most basic benchmark for relief pitchers, taking Albers through 12 seasons in the majors and bringing him within three games of tying former major leaguer Ryan Webb and his 105-game streak. No one else has come within miles of the record, which is now being chased by the Giants’ George Kontos, with 63 consecutive games finished sans save.

Twins 4, Red Sox 3: It took Joe Mauer 14 years and 132 home runs, but circumstance and power finally aligned for his first career walk-off homer during Friday’s 4-3 nail-biter against the Red Sox. After leading 3-1 through eight innings, Minnesota hurler Brandon Kintzler handed Boston the game-tying runs in the ninth, allowing Chris Young a two-RBI single that threatened to bring extra innings. In the bottom of the ninth, Eddie Rosario and Kenny Vargas grounded out in consecutive at-bats, and Mauer worked a 1-2 count before belting the walk-off homer:

Royals 3, Indians 1: There’s no stopping Eric Hosmer this week. The Royals’ power-hitting first baseman had a banner night on Friday, highlighted by a career-best 458-foot home run that effectively quashed the Indians’ chances of making a comeback. Danny Salazar, despite his best efforts, couldn’t pitch around the zone to retire Hosmer and found his first-pitch fastball down the middle parked well beyond the right field wall.

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 3: Few visiting pitchers have gone undefeated in the homer-happy confines of Coors Field, but then again, few pitchers are as dominant as Zack Greinke. The Diamondbacks’ right-hander lasted seven innings in Friday’s series opener, issuing two runs and striking out seven to bring the D-backs within half a game of the division lead.

In eight career starts at Coors Field, Greinke is 3-0 with a 4.14 ERA in 50 innings. He has yet to lose a game in Colorado, and at least on Friday night, found his win streak upheld by a strong showing from Paul Goldschmidt (3-for-3 with two home runs and an RBI single) and the rest of the D-backs’ lineup. His only thoughts on the streak?

“I hate pitching here,” Greinke told MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert. “It’s really tough.”

Tigers 7, Athletics 2: Michael Fulmer‘s resume is looking good these days. The former AL Rookie of the Year handcrafted eight innings against the Athletics, striking out a season-high nine batters and allowing two runs on eight hits. The A’s got a bit of a breather in the ninth inning, when Oakland outfielder Rajai Davis recorded his 1,000th career hit, but left their only baserunner stranded and dropped the game by a five-run deficit.

Astros 7, Angels 6 (10 innings): The Astros clawed their way to the best record in the American League on Friday, battling through 10 innings before Carlos Correa‘s two-out RBI single sent them home with their 20th win.

The last time Houston started the season this well was in 1973, when they jumped out to a 20-10 record before regressing to a fourth-place finish in the NL West. The landscape of the West division was a little different than it is today, and it was the 99-63 Reds who pocketed the division title that year, leaving the Astros to labor through another seven seasons before getting their first chance at the playoffs in 1980.

Dodgers 8, Padres 2: With Adrian Gonzalez on the disabled list for the first time in his career, it was up to rookie first baseman Cody Bellinger to make his presence felt in the lineup on Friday. The 21-year-old rose to the occasion, catapulting a pair of home runs to put the Dodgers on the board in the fourth inning and boost them to a six-run lead in the ninth.

Even more remarkable: it marked Bellinger’s second two-homer game of the season. Add those totals to a .303/.361/.576 batting line through his first 36 PA, and it’s clear the rookie has made a home for himself in the big leagues.

“The best thing for our team right now is for Cody to keep playing, because he is playing well, and let me get right,” Gonzalez told MLB.com’s Tim Powers. “Obviously, if he keeps playing well, he should be in the lineup. But when I’m ready, when I’m right, I know I can contribute and we’ll reassess at that point.”

Rangers 3, Mariners 1 (13 innings): It’s been a taxing week for the Mariners’ pitching staff. After Hisashi Iwakuma‘s injury scare on Wednesday and James Paxton‘s forearm strain on Friday, the last thing Seattle needed was a five-hour marathon designed to wear out the rest of their staff. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what they got. The Rangers cycled through eight of Seattle’s pitchers, collecting seven hits and a game-winning, two-run shot by Rougned Odor to take the win after 13 innings.