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And That Happened: Saturday’s Scores and Highlights

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

Blue Jays 7, Pirates 2: Chris Rowley got his first taste of the majors this weekend, holding the Pirates to a single run over 5 1/3 innings and making history as the only West Point graduate to break into Major League Baseball.

Despite ranking fourth-to-last among Major League teams in run production, the Blue Jays scrounged together seven runs of support for their starter, capitalizing on a a pair of force outs and fielding errors to build a five-run lead and clinch their 55th win of the year.

Red Sox 10, Yankees 5: Andrew Benintendi was the one-man wrecking crew the Red Sox needed on Saturday, mashing two three-run jacks as the team coasted to their first win of the series.

Benintendi’s two-homer, six-RBI performance was hardly the worst thing to happen to the Yankees this weekend. Luis Severino was tagged for 10 hits and eight runs over 4 2/3 innings, his worst start of the season to date, while Masahiro Tanaka landed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation and Jordan Montgomery took a line drive to the head prior to the game.

Indians 3, Rays 0: Chris Archer has been the picture of consistency for the Rays, lasting at least six innings in each of his previous 15 starts. That streak came to an abrupt end with the Indians’ surge on Saturday, forcing Archer to bow out early after pitching into a jam after 5 1/3 innings. With the loss, the Rays sit pat at .500 and remain one full game back of an AL wild card spot.

Tigers 12, Twins 11: The Tigers went big in their second win of the week, staging an impressive six-run rally to topple the second-place Twins. Brian McCann helped the team to an early five-run lead in the first inning, destroying a Jose Berrios curveball with his first grand slam of the season, but Justin Upton‘s late-game heroics proved the difference-maker for the Tigers after he smashed a game-winning two-RBI home run in the ninth:

Phillies 3, Mets 1: The Phillies’ win, on the other hand, was anything but a slugfest as Steven Matz crafted four innings of a no-hitter and Aaron Nola clinched his 10th consecutive quality start. Yoenis Cespedes collected a lone home run against Nola for the Mets’ first and only run of the night, while a couple of mistake pitches to Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis gave the Phillies the edge they needed.

Nationals 3, Giants 1: After a rainout on Friday and a three-hour delay on Saturday, the Nats and Giants finally got a chance to face off in a late-night series opener. The field was dry enough for the contest, but not dry enough to prevent Bryce Harper from slipping on first base while attempting to beat out an infield single.

The Nationals rallied without their star slugger, putting up a two-spot in the first inning and returning in the sixth to cap their win with Adam Lind‘s RBI double.

Brewers 6, Reds 5 (10 innings): Every streak has to find an endpoint sometime, and on Saturday, the Brewers’ six-game losing streak found theirs. Milwaukee bested their division rivals with five airtight innings from the bullpen and a walk-off wild pitch to score Eric Sogard in the 10th:

Marlins 4, Rockies 3: If the rumors are true, the Marlins’ home run sculpture will be on the chopping block once the Sherman-Jeter group assumes control of the team. Unless the Marlins have something even gaudier in the works, that means we have precious few moments left to enjoy Giancarlo Stanton dingers commemorated in full Technicolor spectacle and glory:

Royals 5, White Sox 4: Most hitters undergo a protracted adjustment period when they begin to face big league competitors, but Jose Abreu just isn’t one of them. The White Sox’ first baseman cranked two home runs in a 5-4 loss to the Royals on Saturday night, becoming the first player in franchise history to start his career with four consecutive 20+ homer seasons.

Melky Cabrera, meanwhile, reminded his former team exactly what they’re missing after unleashing a tie-breaking 397-footer in the eighth to snap the Royals’ five-game losing streak.

Rangers 8, Astros 3: Rotation issues continue to plague the Astros, whose 12-game lead in the AL West masks this week’s five-game skid. The latest culprit: Mike Fiers, who exited in the fifth inning after issuing six runs on five hits and four walks. The Rangers’ Tyson Ross fared little better, registering three runs and five walks over 5 2/3 innings, but was bailed out by an explosive performance from the offense, including three RBI from Adrian Beltre and a pair of home runs from Brett Nicholas and Mike Napoli.

Diamondbacks 6, Cubs 2: Good luck catching David Peralta at the plate — or anywhere else on the basepaths, for that matter. The Diamondbacks’ left fielder clocked an inside-the-park home run in 15.59 seconds to secure the win on Saturday night, beating the relay from Ian Happ and narrowly avoiding Alex Avila‘s tag at the plate.

The Cubs broke through in the ninth on Kris Bryant‘s two-run single, but failed to close the four-run gap and tie the game. With the loss, the club relinquished sole possession of first place in the NL Central after 15 consecutive days at the top of the standings.

Cardinals 6, Braves 5: Thanks to an eight-game win streak, another solid outing from Carlos Martinez and the blessings of the Rally Kitten, the Cardinals are back on top of the division for the first time since May 16. Martinez evened his win-loss record with six innings of three-run, seven-strikeout ball, while the Cardinals turned to Paul DeJong for the tie-breaking knock:

Orioles 12, Athletics 5: You know what they say: It only takes one seven-run inning to win the game. The Orioles wasted no time booting Sean Manaea from the mound on Saturday, batting around in the first and collecting seven straight bases before the A’s managed to record the first out of the game.

When the dust settled, the Orioles were standing atop a seven-run lead, one that catapulted them to their 58th win of the season and brought them within 1.5 games of a wild card spot.

Angels 6, Mariners 3: Speaking of the AL wild card race, the Mariners dropped out of the running with their third straight loss on Saturday, despite a strong performance from Erasmo Ramirez and Kyle Seager‘s two-RBI effort. Ramirez went six innings on three hits and an unearned run, but couldn’t do much to prevent Tony Zych from imploding in the eighth:

Dodgers 6, Padres 3: Don’t look now, but Cody Bellinger is one home run shy of breaking a franchise record. The rookie first baseman smashed his 34th homer on Saturday, taking Carter Capps deep in the seventh inning to pad the club’s two-run lead. Another blast will tie him with the Dodgers’ all-time rookie home run record set by Mike Piazza in 1993.

It’s been a banner year for the team as a whole after they amassed a league-leading 82 wins on Saturday, reaching the 82-win mark faster than any National League team since the 1944 Cardinals.

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.

And That Happened: Saturday’s Scores and Highlights

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Saturday’s games featured Tyler Chatwood‘s two-hit shutout, a walk-off blast for Kendrys Morales and 12 strikeouts for Red Sox’ ace Chris Sale. Here are the rest of the day’s scores and highlights:

Phillies 4, Nationals 2: Joe Blanton did not pitch well on Saturday, and he pinned the blame on a minor mechanical issue that appears to be messing with his fastball delivery. According to MLB.com’s Jamal Collier, the right-handed reliever has not yet pinpointed the root of the issue, but has not been able to settle into a groove this season. Whatever the reason, Phillies’ second baseman Cesar Hernandez was grateful for the help, going deep on an 0-1 count in the eighth inning to drive in the winning run on a two-RBI shot.

Yankees 3, Cardinals 2: The Yankees saw nothing but wins this week, capping a six-game streak with another gem from CC Sabathia. Sabathia took the mound for Jackie Robinson day, holding the Cardinals to 7 1/3 innings of three-hit, one-run ball, the only blemish on his pitching line a solo home run to Jedd Gyorko in the eighth. Neither age nor declining velocity appears to be slowing Sabathia down, and though the season is still young, he’s currently leading New York’s cadre of starters with a 1.47 ERA through 18 1/3 innings.

Blue Jays 2, Orioles 1: Blue Jays’ CEO Mark Shapiro isn’t ready for a fire sale — or external acquisitions — after watching his club go 1-9 in their first ten games, and Saturday’s walk-off victory gave him another reason to be hopeful about the direction the franchise is heading in this year. Marco Estrada fired seven scoreless frames against the Orioles, backed by a one-run lead from Darwin Barney‘s RBI single that was lost when Roberto Osuna allowed a sac fly in the ninth. In the bottom of the inning, Kendrys Morales came through with a walk-off home run, snapping a seven-game skid and cementing the Jays’ second win of the season.

Reds 7, Brewers 5: Bryan Price’s starting rotation took a hit on Saturday when left-hander Brandon Finnegan was pulled after one hit, three walks, two runs and one shoulder strain in the first inning of the Reds’ hard-fought win against the Brewers. The club battled back, earning a two-run lead after Jesse Winkler’s two-run double in the sixth inning and Scooter Gennett‘s RBI double in the seventh, but the loss of Finnegan will likely have more far-reaching consequences on the Reds, especially with fellow starter Rookie Davis already sidelined with a bruised forearm. While a timetable has yet to be defined for the southpaw’s return, the Reds are expected to recall right-hander Sal Romano to make a spot start during the series finale on Sunday.

Twins 6, White Sox 0: The Twins are tied for first place in the AL Central, just as everyone predicted they would be. Ervin Santana tossed nine flawless frames in his first one-hitter of the season, the lineup put up a five-spot in the first inning off of White Sox’ ace Jose Quintana, Robbie Grossman knocked in a sixth bonus run on an RBI double in the eighth, and as many as 10,000 Twins fans left the game with first-place bragging rights and commemorate fur trapper hats.

Pirates 8, Cubs 7: Neither Tyler Glasnow nor Jake Arrieta could keep a lid on the other’s lineups on Saturday. The 24 m.p.h. winds circulating Wrigley Field helped power a three-homer effort from the Pirates, beginning with Francisco Cervelli’s solo shot in the second inning and ending with Andrew McCutchen’s poignant tribute to Jackie Robinson in the seventh. The Cubs didn’t lack opportunities to score, either, hitting for the cycle in the first inning and tallying four home runs in their 6-5 loss. Bryant muscled his first two homers of the season, but a three-pitch strikeout to Addison Russell doused the Cubs’ chances of extending the game in the ninth.

Rockies 5, Giants 0: Getting no-hit, if only for 5 2/3 innings, is enough to ruin any team’s day. Unfortunately for the Giants, things were about to get worse: left fielder Jarrett Parker made a highlight-reel worthy catch deep in the outfield, then rammed his shoulder into the wall and broke his clavicle. The Rockies went on to craft a five-run lead for their eighth win of the year, but the Giants have bigger issues to consider than a single loss — for instance, what the market looks like for free agent outfielders in mid-April.

Red Sox 2, Rays 1: The Rays stood no chance against Boston ace Chris Sale, who decimated opposing batters with a one-run, 12-strikeout performance on Saturday. It was the most strikeouts Sale had tallied in a single game since last September’s 12-whiff outing against the Royals, and the first win recorded by the lefty so far in 2017. Of course, the run support didn’t hurt, either, with Mitch Moreland‘s second-inning home run and Sandy Leon‘s RBI groundout giving the Red Sox the necessary edge to lock down their sixth win of the season.

Astros 10, Athletics 6: The Astros’ double-digit breakout on Saturday was eclipsed by this scare:

Yes, you’re seeing that right. In the ninth inning, with the Astros hanging onto an 8-6 lead, Carlos Correa took a 94 m.p.h. fastball off of his left hand and was promptly replaced by pinch-runner Mike Fiers. Much to the Astros’ relief, X-rays did not reveal any lasting damage from the hit by pitch, and Correa is currently being considered day-to-day with a contusion.

Indians 13, Tigers 6: What was billed as a showdown between two aces was… well, not that. Corey Kluber held out for 6 1/3 innings against a Tigers’ offense that is currently ranked 12th in the league, scattering eight hits, eight strikeouts and six runs en route to his first win of the season. Justin Verlander had it even worse, giving up 11 hits and nine runs and striking out four in four innings. It was the just the eighth time the former Cy Young winner had allowed at least three home runs in an outing, all multi-RBI hits by Jose Ramirez, Carlos Santana and Lonnie Chisenhall.

Marlins 5, Mets 4: There are two plays generally regarded as the most exciting events in baseball: the home run and the strikeout. Saturday’s face-off between the Marlins and Mets had an excess of both. Mets’ right-hander Jacob deGrom delivered a career-high 13 strikeouts, striking out the side in the first, fifth and seventh frames of the game while allowing just four hits and two runs. The Marlins, meanwhile, wrested four home runs away from the Mets, going back-to-back in the second and eighth innings with impressive shots by Justin Bour, Marcell Ozuna, Christain Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton:

Braves 4, Padres 2: The Braves are still undefeated at SunTrust Park, which will eventually be a meaningful piece of trivia if they can stretch their winning streak past the first two games. The Padres jumped out to an early lead with back-to-back home runs from Hunter Renfroe and Austin Hedges in the second inning, but the Braves tied the game on a pair of RBI singles in the fourth and returned in the sixth to tag San Diego’s bullpen with game-winning back-to-back home runs of their own.

Royals 3, Angels 2: On Saturday, Albert Pujols made his first appearance at first base in eight months, and it went about as well as could be expected given his lengthy hiatus and recent foot surgery. While it appears to be a temporary gig for the veteran infielder, Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia said Pujols could see more frequent starts at first base as he utilizes a “deep bench” this season. Thankfully for the Angels, Pujols wielded his bat more gracefully than his glove, going 1-for-4 with a base hit and RBI groundout in the club’s 3-2 loss.

Mariners 5, Rangers 0: Felix Hernandez may still be the incumbent ruler of the Mariners’ rotation, but James Paxton is undoubtedly the heir to his throne. Paxton hurled eight pristine innings against the Rangers on Saturday evening, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning and giving up just two hits in the effort. Not only did he extend his scoreless streak to 21 innings, but according to MLB.com’s Doug Miller and Jim Hoehn, he is the first major league pitcher since 1914 to start the year with three consecutive starts “of at least six scoreless innings and fewer than four hits in each game.” A dominant performance from the Mariners’ lineup didn’t hurt, backing the lefty’s shutout with Kyle Seager‘s two-RBI single and a three-run homer from Taylor Motter.

Dodgers 8, Diamondbacks 4: Following an emotional ceremony to honor Jackie Robinson on the 70th anniversary of his major league entrance, the Dodgers unleashed an eight-run force against the visiting Diamondbacks. NL Rookie of the Year Corey Seager brought home two runs on an RBI base hit and sacrifice fly, but Yasiel Puig stole the show in the eighth inning, hammering a three-run blast to left field off of Arizona closer Fernando Rodney.