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And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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

Cubs 7, Blue Jays 4: Friday saw the Blue Jays return to Wrigley Field for their first game since 2005, and in the end, they may as well have stayed away. Jake Arrieta led the charge against Toronto, improving to a 13-8 record with 6 1/3 innings of one-run, six-strikeout ball, and even Kevin Pillar‘s eighth-inning rally couldn’t close the door against the Cubs.

Cardinals 11, Pirates 10: It just wasn’t Trevor Williams‘ night. The rookie right-hander was tagged for a career-worst eight runs in three innings, helping the Cardinals to a six-run lead by the time Steven Brault came in to relieve him in the fourth. Pittsburgh’s bullpen fared little better, propelling the club to their sixth consecutive loss and pushing them 6.5 games back of the division lead and nine games out of the NL wild card race.

Orioles 9, Angels 7: No one did more than Manny Machado on Friday night — and, during a game that saw a cumulative 10 home runs between the Orioles and Angels, that’s saying something. He started off with a two-run homer in the third inning, taking Andrew Heaney deep with a 418-foot blast into the right field stands:

In the fifth inning, with the Orioles trailing 7-4, Machado roped another 398-footer off of Heaney for Home Run No. 2:

The dinger brought Baltimore within two runs of tying the game, but they entered the ninth still down 7-5. Anthony Santander, Ryan Flaherty and Tim Beckham loaded the bases for Machado, who needed just two pitches before finding one to crush for a walk-off grand slam:

Dodgers 8, Tigers 5: The Dodgers made another push to pad their offense on Friday night, trading for Mets’ centerfielder Curtis Granderson following a decisive win over the Tigers. They didn’t appear to need any additional help toppling opposing starter Ryan Zimmerman, however, and racked up seven runs in the first six innings to earn their 86th victory lap of the year.

Marlins 3, Mets 1: Even two hours of stormy weather couldn’t put a damper on the Marlins’ road trip, which started with a bang following 5 1/3 solid innings from southpaw Justin Nicolino and a three-run spread from their offense. J.T. Realmuto stunned rookie starter Chris Flexen with a first-inning, two-RBI home run, setting a new career high with his 50th RBI of the year:

The Mets, on the other hand, extended their streak to five consecutive losses and now sit a distant 13 games out of postseason contention.

Red Sox 9, Yankees 6: The Red Sox moved a comfortable five games ahead of the Yankees on Friday, powering their second straight come-from-behind win with a monster seventh-inning rally from Mookie Betts, Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland. While almost every Red Sox-Yankees matchup has felt like a nail-biter this month, don’t expect Boston to relinquish first place that easily. They’ve won 13 of their last 15 games and taken three of four from their AL East rivals.

Mariners 7, Rays 1: The Mariners picked up their third straight win with a seven-run charge against the Rays, capping their efforts with Nelson Cruz‘s mammoth solo shot in the ninth inning:

It marked the slugger’s 30th blast of the year, making him just the fourth Mariner to record 30+ home runs in three consecutive seasons. More impressively, the homer set a new Statcast record for the longest home run recorded at Tropicana Field, at a whopping 482 feet.

Reds 5, Braves 3: It looked like it was all over for Zack Cozart in the seventh inning, when the shortstop took a fastball to his left shin. He remained on the ground for several seconds before walking to first base, but made his exit after the half inning and figures to be day-to-day while the swelling in his leg subsides. Even without their star infielder, the Reds continued to dominate the Braves, coasting to a 5-3 finish with a handful of home runs from Adam Duvall, Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker.

White Sox 4, Rangers 3: Nicky Delmonico is having himself quite the rookie campaign, slashing .382/.452/.691 with five home runs and a 1.143 OPS through his first 15 games in the majors. He padded his big league resume with his first inside-the-park home run on Friday night, clearing the bases on a first-pitch slider from Ricardo Rodriguez for his second home run of the game and the game-winning knock.

Not only did the homer help power the White Sox’ win, but it was the first rookie-engineered inside-the-park home run in almost 15 years:

Twins 10, Diamondbacks 3: Speaking of speedy outfielders legging out inside-the-park home runs, Byron Buxton stole the spotlight during the Twins’ six-homer night with his second career inside-the-parker in the fourth inning:

His 13.85-second charge around the bases set a new Statcast record for the fastest home-to-home sprint, which would be even more meaningful had he not already broken that record with a 14.05-second dash on his first inside-the-park home run last October.

Astros 3, Athletics 1: It didn’t take a big offensive surge to back Dallas Keuchel‘s gem on Friday night. The Astros’ ace held the Athletics to three hits and three strikeouts in seven strong innings, extending an impressive rebound after blowing an eight-run loss to the White Sox earlier this month. Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve swatted a pair of home runs in the third inning, giving Houston just enough of an edge to clinch their 75th win of the season.

Indians 10, Royals 1: The Indians kept spinning their carousel of injured pitchers on Friday, swapping out a healthy Andrew Miller for Corey Kluber after their starter twisted his ankle during the Royals’ attempted rally in the sixth inning. Kluber’s loss didn’t slow Cleveland down for long, however, and they completed their seventh win in eight games after taking a nine-game lead over their division rivals.

Rockies 8, Brewers 4: The Rockies still top the NL wild card standings, and this time, they’re not sharing first place with anyone. They slugged their way to eight runs on Friday night, banking on big shots from Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gonzalez to secure a one-game lead over the Diamondbacks. The Brewers’ Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana, meanwhile, had more modest goals, each reaching 20 home runs in the Brewers’ losing effort.

“All my life, I’ve always wanted to hit 20 home runs,” Broxton told reporters following the loss. “I’ve never done it, and it’s nice to actually do it in the big leagues.”

Nationals 7, Padres 1: We don’t always get to pick and choose our moments in the spotlight, and for rookie right-hander Matt Grace, his moment coincided with an untimely injury to Max Scherzer. The Nats’ ace was scratched with neck inflammation prior to the game, accelerating Grace’s big league debut against San Diego. He turned in 4 1/3 scoreless innings, holding the Padres to just two hits and registering his first major league strikeout against Dusty Coleman to help the Nationals to a cushy 14-game lead in the NL East.

Giants 10, Phillies 2: The Giants could face the rest of the season without closing pitcher Mark Melancon, but at least on Friday, a solid start from Matt Moore and an explosive run by the offense was enough to single-handedly shut down the Phillies. Moore kept the Phillies off the board for 7 1/3 innings, backed by a handful of base hits and home runs from Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford to establish the club’s first double-digit win in two weeks.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Tigers 10, Pirates 0: Are the Astros and Tigers still talking about Justin Verlander? Is he showing off to encourage a trade to Houston? I dunno, but he was fantastic here, allowing only one hit in eight innings of work. He was dealing with a small lead for most of that time, as the Tigers scored seven of their ten runs from the seventh inning on. Nick Castellanos and Ian Kinsler did most of the damage, driving in five and four, respectively.

Nationals 10, Marlins 1: Gio Gonzalez allowed one run over seven while Ryan Zimmerman did heavy damage with two homers on his 4-for-4, two-homer, four-run, five-RBI night. Zimmerman passed Tim Wallach as the all-time RBI leader for the Expos-Nationals franchise, which I realize makes many Nats fans grumpy because they like to pretend the franchise just sprung into existence out of the head of Zeus in 2005 or whatever.

Rockies 3, Indians 2: Jonathan Lucroy doubled in Carlos Gonzalez to tie things up in the ninth and Charlie Blackmon hit a homer in the top of the 12th to give Colorado the win. Blackmon is on pace for 38 homers and 105 runs and has a 1.004 OPS. He’s the leadoff hitter.

Rangers 5, Mets 1: Martin Perez allowed one run on three hits over eight innings and Joey Gallo homered again, a two-run shot. The Rangers’ other three runs scored on a balk, a fielder’s choice and a bases-loaded walk. The Mets are playing inspiring baseball.

Mariners 6, Athletics 3: Kyle Seager hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Nelson Cruz homered twice. Seattle has won four of five and is tied for the second Wild Card.

Angels 5, Orioles 1: Ten-year minor league veteran Cesar Puello got called up to make his debut and, with his first big league hit, singled in the go-ahead run in the fourth inning. Don’t stop doing what you want to do until you’re really, really sure it’s something you don’t want to do anymore.

Giants 3, Cubs 1: Madison Bumgarner allowed one run and struck out seven, scattering five hits over seven innings, Hunter Pence homered and the Giants won. It’s like 2014 or something.

Red Sox 8, Rays 2: Eight wins in a row for Boston. This one broke open when Eduardo Nunez hit a ball that slammed into Rays starter Jake Odorizzi‘s foot, knocking him out of the game and allowing the Sox to feast for five runs off of the Tampa Bay bullpen. Odorizzi’s X-Rays came back negative, which is a positive. Porcello allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. At one point he threw 19 consecutive strikes. Despite nine pitchers being used, the game lasted just less than three hours. That bit about working fast and throwing strikes is still the best pitching advice there is.

 

Reds 8, Padres 3: Joey Votto had a double and a single to extend his hitting streak to 14 games and Stuart Turner homered as the Reds won easily. Asher Wojciechowski got the win for the Reds. He also got his first big league hit. It was a single to right field, but he’s not fast and Padres right fielder Hunter Renfroe almost threw him out at first base. I love that play when the outfielder gets the putout. It has to be the most embarrassing thing for a base runner. Or base jogger, I guess.

Yankees 11, Blue Jays 5: Todd Frazier homered and doubled in a couple more runs for his best game as a Yankee.  Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius homered as well and Garrett Cooper had four hits. They needed all of that offense as Masahiro Tanaka issued five walks and three runs in four innings of work. Five Yankees relievers combined to allow two runs over the final five frames.

Phillies 3, Braves 2Odubel Herrera maintained his hot hitting of late, tripling in a run with another run scoring on the same play due to a Braves error. He’d hit another triple as well. Freddy Galvis singled in the Phillies other run while Jerad Eickhoff pitched into the seventh. The Phillies are 11-2 against Atlanta this year.

White Sox 7, Astros 1: Miguel Gonzalez flummoxed the Astros, allowing one run over eight innings and the Sox beat up on Collin McHugh for seven runs in less than six innings of work. Tim Anderson homered and drove in three and Leury Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez each had two-run singles. Houston has now dropped eight of 11 and are ensured a series loss against one of the worst teams in baseball this year.

Twins 4, Brewers 0: Bartolo Colon looked finished not too long ago, but now he’s won two straight, the last a complete game, and this one consisting of seven shutout innings. A couple more of these and someone may give the dude a major league contract next spring. Brian Dozier homered, doubled and singled.

Cardinals 8, Royals 5: The Royals had a 5-4 lead in the sixth inning when Yadier Molina came up with the bases loaded and deposited one in the left field seats for a grand slam. But don’t thank Yadi: thank the Rally Cat.

Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 2: Joc Pederson doubled in the tying run off of Zack Greinke in the seventh and Yasiel Puig singled in Pederson for the go-ahead run two pitches later to give the Dodgers a comeback win. It was their 80th win of the year. If they go 1-48 in their final 49 games, they’re a .500 team.

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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

Yankees 6, Rays 1: The Yankees took the lead in the AL East on eight brilliant innings from Masahiro Tanaka, who retired 17 straight batters and whiffed a career-best 14 in his eighth win of the year. Rays’ manager Kevin Cash credited Tanaka for utilizing deceptive pitches over raw power and getting hitters to expand the strike zone by consistently chasing low balls. While the no-hit bid was foiled on an Adeiny Hechavarria single in the sixth, the Yankees’ hurler still came out on top after Brett Gardner, Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier collected three big home runs off of Tampa Bay’s Austin Pruitt.

Phillies 10, Braves 3: It was a good night for the Phillies, whose pre-deadline deals netted a handful of prospects for infielder/outfielder Howie Kendrick and right-hander Jeremy Hellickson. The club celebrated by hitting double digits on the scoreboard, banking on a seven-run inning to hold a sizable lead over the Braves and… still stay 25 games back of first place.

Angels 7, Blue Jays 2: After getting swept by the Indians earlier this week, the Angels rebounded with seven strong frames from Parker Bridwell and another two-RBI performance from Mike Trout. Troy Tulowitzki came away with the short end of the stick after a collision with C.J. Cron caused the shortstop to roll his ankle and land on the 10-day disabled list.

Astros 6, Tigers 5: The Astros wanted to play it safe with Dallas Keuchel during his first game back from the disabled list, but even a strict pitch count couldn’t corral the damage he did in the first three innings. Keuchel racked up 79 pitches in three frames, allowing six hits, three walks and three runs to help build an early lead for the Tigers. Josh Reddick salvaged the game in the eighth, smashing his tenth home run of the season and giving the Astros the one-run edge they needed to take the win.

Royals 4, Red Sox 2: The Royals extended their win streak to nine straight games on Friday, positioning themselves within two games of the division lead following another gem from Jason Vargas. Mike Moustakas helped power the win with his 30th home run of the season, becoming the fastest player to 30 dingers in franchise history.

Indians 9, White Sox 3: The Indians, meanwhile, don’t seem fazed by the Royals’ hot streak after setting down eight consecutive wins of their own. They kept rolling against the Sox with six innings of two-run, eight-strikeout ball from Danny Salazar and home runs from Jose Ramirez and Carlos Santana. The White Sox, on the other hand, not only dropped their fourth game in a row, but failed to register a single strikeout for the first time since 2014.

Rangers 8, Orioles 2: Adrian Beltre took another stride toward his 3,ooo-hit milestone on Friday, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles in the Rangers’ series opener.

While Beltre angled for a spot in the history books, the Orioles focused their efforts on strengthening their rotation, executing a late-night trade for the Phillies’ Jeremy Hellickson after giving up eight runs on Elvis Andrus‘ two-run homer, Nomar Mazara‘s RBI double and a base hit from Carlos Gonzalez.

Marlins 7, Reds 4: Speaking of 3,000-hit players, Ichiro Suzuki clubbed his 3,060th career hit on Friday, lining a double into right field and tying Craig Biggio for the 22nd-most hits in MLB history.

Brewers 2, Cubs 1: The Cubs are still in first place, but they hardly have a lock on the NL Central after taking a tough loss on Friday night. The Brewers moved within one game of the lead, downing their division rivals with seven shutout innings from Brent Suter and a pair of run-scoring groundouts. Javier Baez pounced on a first-pitch slider from Anthony Swarzak for his 13th blast of the year, but the eighth-inning rally proved too little, too late for Chicago.

Cardinals 1, Diamondbacks 0: At the top of the list of Things You Hope To Never See at a Baseball Game is this:

Thankfully, Robbie Ray was discharged from the hospital Friday night after the CT scan came back normal, and presumably won’t require a lengthy recovery period before he returns to the mound. Back at the ballpark, the Cardinals fended off the Diamondbacks with a Jedd Gyorko single and six shutdown innings from Michael Wacha.

Twins 6, Athletics 3: Not everyone can stare down a 110 MPH line drive and have the presence of mind to move toward it. Not everyone is Matt Chapman:

Mets 7, Mariners 5: Michael Conforto had a banner night during his first career game at Safeco Field, collecting a pair of home runs to propel the Mets to their 48th win. “It’s a dream come true to be able to play out here,” Conforto told reporters after the game, citing Seattle as the place where he first fell in love with baseball. The feeling wasn’t quite so warm on the Mariners’ side, where the loss shifted Seattle several games back of the .500 mark and wasted a solid 10-strikeout effort by Ariel Miranda.

Padres 3, Pirates 2: The Padres may be a full 26 games behind first place, but that didn’t stop them from playing like contenders on Friday night. Travis Wood turned in a one-run, seven-strikeout effort in six innings, his longest and most productive start since 2015, and a wild pitch from Daniel Hudson knocked in the Padres’ go-ahead run in the sixth.

Dodgers 6, Giants 4: The Dodgers may be the winningest team in the majors, but victory hasn’t always come easily for them. Their 72-win record encompasses 30 comebacks, including Friday’s come-from-behind win against the last-place Giants. Corey Seager put the team on the board with a solo shot in the first inning and returned in the seventh to cap a four-run rally with a game-winning, two-RBI blast.

Rockies, Nationals (postponed): The forecast calls for 82-degree sunshine on Sunday, which is when the Nationals will host the Rockies for a doubleheader. This, however, was the state of Nationals Park on Friday afternoon:

Hey, at least the Nats didn’t completely waste their off day.