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The First Base Race Remains Tight in NL All-Star Balloting

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The latest balloting is in for the NL All-Star team and the race to start at first base remains tight.

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman has 1,404,251 votes and remains slightly ahead of Chicago’s Anthony Rizzo, who has 1,247,219. Zimmerman is batting .349 on the season with 19 home runs and 54 RBI. If he holds on, this would be Zimmerman’s first ever elected start at first base. Rizzo was the starter in 2016.

The remaining NL leaders include second baseman Daniel Murphy of the Nationals, third baseman Kris Bryant of the Cubs, Cincinnati shortstop Zack Cozart, catcher Buster Posey of the Giants and outfielders Bryce Harper, Charlie Blackmon and Jason Heyward of the Nationals, Rockies and Cubs, respectively.

Here are all of the top vote getters:

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 12, Dodgers 5: Lonnie Chisenhall didn’t start this game but he sure as hell helped finish it. The Indians outfielder came in as a pinch hitter in the fifth and smacked a three-run homer. Then he singled in two more runs in the sixth to give him five on the day. The Dodgers’ six-game winning streak was snapped.

Twins 6, Mariners 2: Chris Gimenez hit two homers and Eduardo Escobar homered for the second straight game. He’s 10-for-14 over the past three games, in fact, with five driven in. Jose Berrios allowed two runs over eight innings, dropping his ERA to 2.74 and giving him his sixth win on the year.

White Sox 5, Orioles 2: A four-run sixth inning for the Sox knocked out Chris Tillman and the O’s. Rookie Matt Davidson homered for the fourth straight game. Avisail Garcia and Rick Renteria were both ejected following a called strike on a check swing. Was it because of a crazy, over-the-top argument? Nah. It was because Garcia did this to the first base umpire:

Guess he saw you too, Avisail.

Phillies 1, Red Sox 0: Normally when you allow one run over eight innings and strike out ten you’re gonna win. Yesterday was not normal for Chris Sale and the Red Sox, though, as Phillies starter Nick Pivetta tossed seven shutout innings, striking out nine and Pete Neshek and Hector Neris each tossed a shutout inning in relief. A pinch-hit RBI double for Ty Kelly in the eighth was the game’s only scoring on this very getaway day game.

Nationals 8, Mets 3: Bryce Harper smacked the hardest-hit home run in baseball since they began measuring such things. A laser beam that left his bat at 116.3 miles per hour, only flew 49 feet high and ricocheted off the bleachers and bounced back onto the field:

Michael Taylor homered too and Daniel Murphy continued his usual abuse of his old teammates by getting three hits himself. Oh, and the Mets suffered another injury when Juan Lagares broke his thumb, so this was a red letter day for old New York.

Tigers 5, Rays 3: Miguel Cabrera hasn’t been his usual power hitting self this year. Indeed, coming into this one he hadn’t hit a dinger since May 20th. Here, however, he hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth to give Detroit the walkoff win. They needed to walk if off because Francisco Rodriguez gave up a tying homer in the eighth to Steven Souza. Earlier this week K-Rod had complained about how he was being used since he lost his closing gig. If he thinks it was bad before, he’s in for a rude awakening.

Brewers 6, Cardinals 4: Keon Broxton and Eric Thames each homered, with the former going 489 feet and the latter just barely getting out. They all count, though, and Thames’ was a tie-breaker in the eighth inning to boot. Milwaukee takes the series against St. Louis. That’s the second straight series they’ve taken against the Cardinals after going 17 straight series against them without winning one.

Rockies 10, Giants 9: Your typical Coors Field non-pitcher’s duel, in which the Giants came back from an 8-0 deficit and tying it at nine in the ninth. Things weren’t decided here until rookie Raimel Tapia hit a walkoff RBI single. Nolan Arenado doubled three times and drove in four and D.J. LeMahieu got four hits. The Rockies have won 10 of their last 14. The Giants have lost 10 of their last 14.

Athletics 8, Yankees 7: A wild one, as Oakland took a 3-0 lead by the second and New York tied at three in the sixth. From there on it became tied at 4, at 5 and at 6 and went to extra innings. Khris Davis ended all of that with a walkoff bloop single in the tenth. The A’s end a three-game skid in this four hour and twenty nine minute affair.

Royals 7, Angels 2Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon hit solo home runs That’s five straight wins for the Royals, coming in San Diego, San Francisco and Anaheim. The west coast has been the best coast for the Royals. Yep, they have really enjoyed those California nights.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Dodgers 7, Indians 5: Just the other day I said something about how doomed you are if you have to go at the end of the Indians bullpen. It’s till daunting, but the Dodgers showed last night that it’s not a complete lot cause. Here Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer each allowed two runs a piece before Terry Francona called on Andrew Miller. Miller got the last out of the sixth and made it through the seventh unscathed. Cody Bellinger led off the eighth inning. A rookie lefty like him would seem to be a dead duck against baseball’s top relief ace.

Bellinger had different ideas, though, and took Miller deep to break the 2-2 tie. Miller made way for Bryan Shaw, also a tough one, but he walked two guys, one of whom came around to score on a throwing error. Bellinger would homer for a second time in the ninth to give the Dodgers some needed insurance. The kid is still making adjustments, but he’s slugging .630 on the year. He’s on a 42-homer pace despite spending almost the first month of the season in the minors. Oh, and Yasiel Puig flipped a fan off:

Nationals 10, Braves 5: Ryan Zimmerman came back after missing a few games due to a sore back. His back seemed fine as he smacked two homers as the Nats romped, ending their losing streak. Daniel Murphy homered, doubled and had three hits and drove in two. He also got into a little tiff with second base umpire Alan Porter. Normally, if a player doesn’t like an ump’s positioning for some reason, he’ll ask him to move a bit. The umpire almost always obliges. Porter got testy:

People cite instances like this when they call for robot umpires, but frankly, I’d be way more upset if a robot said “F— you” to me than a person with actual feelings.

Cardinals 6, Brewers 0; Brewers 8, Cardinals 5: Jose Martinez hit two homers and a sac fly in game 1 of the doubleheader, backing Lance Lynn who tossed five shutout innings. In the nightcap, Keon Broxton and Travis Shaw hit solo home runs and combined for five RBI as the Brewers and Cardinals split. That’s a lot of baseball played only to end up with a complete lack of movement according to Newtonian mechanics.

Pirates 5, Rockies 2: Andrew McCutchen hit two homers and John Jaso hit a pinch-hit two-run homer to break a 1-1 tie in the seventh. McCutchen is hitting .396 with four home runs and 13 RBI since being dropped from third to sixth in the batting order on May 26.

Rays 8, Blue Jays 1: Jake Faria scattered six hits over six and a third innings, striking out eight and giving up one run in his second big league start. Corey Dickerson went 4-for-5 with his 15th homer of the year. Taylor Featherston  and Logan Morrison also went deep.  The Rays have won six of seven.

Red Sox 4, Phillies 3: Second game in a row between these two which ended with a walkoff base hit in extra innings. Here Andrew Benintendi did the honors, knocking in Xander Bogaerts with a single in the 12th. Benintendi also made a key defensive play, throwing out Howie Kendrick at home in the eighth inning as he tried to score the go-ahead run. The Phillies have lost seven in a row.

Diamondbacks 7, Tigers 6: David Peralta led off the ninth inning and swung at the first pitch from Tigers closer Justin Wilson. He deposited that pitch in the seats to break a 6-6 tie. That it was even that close is sort of crazy as the Snakes had a 6-0 lead heading into the sixth and the Tigers had barely been able to touch starter Zack Greinke. The roughed him up for five that frame and the stage was set for the late inning heroics.

Cubs 14, Mets 3Ian Happ hit a grand slam. Antony Rizzo — batting leadoff! — led off the game with a homer. The rout was on, but the Cubs still got a strong start from Jon Lester struck out 10 and allowed one run and five hits over seven.

Marlins 8, Athletics 1: Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer after missing a game by being hit by a pitch in the wrist. Nothin’s stopping him lately. He’s batting .354 with six homers in 18 games since moving to the No. 2 spot in the batting order. Ichiro Suzuki had a pinch-hit single. That was his 364th career hit in interleague play, tying Derek Jeter’s major league record. There are more hallowed marks I suppose, but a record is a record.

White Sox 6, Orioles 1: Give credit to the Orioles pitching staff for keeping it under ten this time. Matt Davidson hit a grand slam and Derek Holland allowed one run over six.

Twins 20, Mariners 7: Speaking of double digit run totals, the Twins allowed more than ten runs in back-to-back losses — 14-3 to the Mariners, 13-8 to the Giants — entering this one. Here they turned the tables by scoring 20. Eddie Rosario homered three times — two two-run homers and a solo shot. Max Kepler and Brian Dozier also homered. The team had 28 hits in all, with every starter in the lineup getting at least one. Seven Twins had two or more RBI. Kennys Vargas, Jason Castro, and Rosario each had four hits. Eduardo Escobar had five hits. Bad day at the office for M’s pitchers.

Rangers 4, Astros 2: Rougned Odor hit a solo homer in the seventh inning and a tie-breaking two-run shot in the eighth to help the Rangers to their fifth straight win. Odor has hit four homers in the last eight games.

Angels 3, Yankees 2: Eric Young Jr. was the hero of the game, tying it up with a solo homer in the eighth and the winning RBI single with two outs in the 11th. The Yankees winning streak is snapped at six. And some bad news accompanied it: CC Sabathia left the game with a strained hamstring. He’ll be heading to the DL, no doubt. We’ll update this later this morning.

Padres 6, Reds 2: Clayton Richard took a shutout into the ninth. He didn’t hold it or complete the game as the Reds mounted a modest little rally, but two runs over eight and two-third is not bad. Franchy Cordero hit two homers. Also: I like to say “Franchy Cordero.” Say it. It’s fun!

Royals 8, Giants 1: The Royals pounded six runs in the sixth inning and seven overall against the Giants starter Ty Blech. Er, sorry, Ty Blach. Jason Vargas allowed one run over seven and notched his ninth win of the year. Where the hell did this guy come from?