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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Twins 14, Orioles 7: Baltimore jumped out to a 5-0 lead and led 6-2 after four but then the Twins started bashing. Actually, it wasn’t so much bashing as the ten runs they scored between the fifth and sixth innings all came without the benefit of a homer. Max Kepler and Miguel Sano did homer at other times in the game, however. Kepler drove in four. Sano and Eduardo Escobar each knocked in three. Minnesota even scored on a balk. This game had a bit of everything. Adam Jones hit a homer. It was his 125th dinger at Camden Yards, giving him the all-time lead in that park. The old record holder: Rafael Palmeiro.

Yankees 4, Royals 2: Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius and Chris Carter all went deep as the Yankees beat Jason Vargas. Vargas had a 1.01 ERA through his first seven starts. In his last two he’s allowed nine runs on 11 hits in ten innings. Both of those games have come against the Yankees, though, so maybe it’s more them having his number than him turning into a pumpkin.

Rockies 8, Phillies 1: Top prospect Jeff Hoffman got called up for a spot start and struck out seven over seven three-hit, one-run innings. Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer. Philly has lost 18 of 22.

Reds 5, Indians 1: The Battle for Ohio Begins. With the loss, Cleveland is in the early lead to be stuck with Ohio. OK, I kid — I’m an Ohioan, I can do that — but I don’t know for sure what the winner gets. It’s either some cup or a trophy or maybe they get to cut in line at Cedar Point or something. Anyway, Scott Feldman was sharp, allowing one run and striking out nine in six innings, and Scott Schebler homered for the third straight game. Great Scott.

Angels 3, Rays 2: J.C. Ramirez outdueled Jake Odorizzi and the Angels broke a 2-2 tie on a Jumbo Diaz wild pitch in the seventh. Five total runs scored and 12 hits between the teams over nine innings yet this game went three hours and thirty seven minutes. Eleven walks and 20 strikeouts is the likely culprit. Sounds like a slog.

Braves 5, Pirates 2: Welcome to Atlanta Matt Adams. The newest Brave hit a two-run homer in his second start since being acquired from the Cardinals and Brandon Phillips hit his 200th career homer. Center fielder Ender Inciarte had a career-high five hits for the Braves who were not fooled at all by Gerrit Cole. Meanwhile, Mike Foltynewicz and four relievers held the Buccos in check.

Giants 6, Cubs 4: Joe Panik homered to lead off the game and doubled twice. Not to lead off the game, though. It’d be impossible to do all of that in one plate appearance. Brandon Belt and Justin Ruggiano homered as well, also in their own distinct at bats. There are rules here.

Astros 1, Tigers 0: A combined one-hitter in a bullpen game. The bullpen game was necessitated by a pinched nerve in Dallas Keuchel‘s neck. Brad Peacock got the start and allowed only one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over four and a third. Chris Devenski, Will Harris and Ken Giles went the rest of the way for a combined four and two-thirds perfect innings. Michael Fulmer only made one mistake in walking George Springer to lead off the game and then giving up an RBI double to Jose Altuve. Otherwise he scattered eight hits and allowed only that one run in seven innings. That, however, was enough to lose the game.

Diamondbacks 5, White Sox 1: Zack Greinke struck out a season-high 12, allowing only one run in eight and two-thirds. Daniel Descalso hit a three-run homer in the fourth that provided all of the cushion Greinke needed.

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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Friday’s games featured extra-inning drama between the Reds and Giants, Joe Biagini‘s first win of the year and Matt Harvey‘s unsuccessful return from a three-day suspension. Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Astros 5, Yankees 1: There’s little doubt as to why the Astros currently have a lock on the AL West. Lance McCullers Jr. fired seven strikeouts in six shutout innings against the Yankees on Friday, backed by a strong showing from the bullpen that didn’t see a run until Didi Gregorius’ ninth-inning RBI single. At the plate, it was all up to Brian McCann, who unleashed a three-run bomb in the fourth inning to secure the Astros’ four-run lead and improve to 25 wins on the season.

If you’ve been keeping track, that’s the Astros’ fifth consecutive win of the week, making their 25-11 record the best in either league.

Blue Jays 4, Mariners 0: It was a good day for Joe Biagini, who prevailed in a five spotless innings against the Mariners to secure his first win as a starting pitcher. The Blue Jays are in a tight spot with the bulk of their starters sitting on the disabled list, and it looks like Biagini may provide some answers for the rotation going forward. He was helped by a four-run effort from the Jays’ lineup, who scored on two productive outs and a two-run shot by Jose Bautista to keep the Mariners at bay.

Braves 8, Marlins 4: The Marlins are off to a rocky start this year, a point that was only reinforced by their fourth consecutive loss on Friday. They came up empty-handed against Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz in the first three innings, finally getting on the board with Justin Bour’s home run in the fourth inning and returning for another pair of homers by J.T. Realmuto in the seventh and Derek Dietrich in the ninth. They were no match for Tyler Flowers, however, whose second-inning blast and two-RBI single in the seventh locked down the Braves’ 12th win of the year.

Rays 5, Red Sox 4: The Red Sox’ infield situation is… something of a mess right now, to put it kindly. Not only do they hold a league-leading 31 errors in 2017, but 13 of those errors have been committed at third base. Utility infielder Josh Rutledge added to that total on Friday, filling in at third base and botching several key plays during the Sox’ 5-4 loss to the Rays. He bounced a throw to first base in the fourth inning, allowing Evan Longoria to reach first and giving the Rays room to score on Tim Beckham‘s RBI single for a two-run lead.

The Rays committed their fair share of errors, too, allowing Jackie Bradley Jr. to reach first base in the seventh inning when Brad Miller inadvertently kicked the ball into center field, then was dinged with a second throwing error that allowed Bradley to reach second base and bring Sandy Leon home to score. Even with that freebie, however, the Sox couldn’t find a way to squeeze one more run out of Tampa Bay’s bullpen, who delivered six consecutive outs to preserve their lead and win the game.

Twins 1, Indians 0: Forget what you saw last Sunday: Ervin Santana is still one of the best arms in the American League. The former ERA leader issued two hits and a season-high five walks over seven scoreless frames, punctuated with four strikeouts against an Indians’ offense that just couldn’t get the ball rolling. Miguel Sano powered Santana’s efforts with a leadoff home run in the first inning, the only blemish on Josh Tomlin‘s pitching line as he went eight innings with six hits and seven strikeouts.

Rangers 5, Athletics 2: Don’t look now, but the Rangers are on a roll. They’ve won their last four games in a row, capping both Thursday and Friday’s contests with three-run, walk-off home runs by Mike Napoli and Joey Gallo. The A’s, meanwhile, struggled to gain a foothold against Texas starter Andrew Cashner, squeaking by on a solo home run through the first six innings. Neither outcome matters too much in light of the recent division standings, however, which have both teams tied for last place behind the second-place Mariners and Angels.

Padres 6, White Sox 3: The Padres and White Sox slugged their way through a mini-Home Run Derby on Friday night, putting up a cumulative five home runs en route to a 6-3 finish in the Padres’ favor. Matt Szczur went yard on the first pitch of the game, skying it 431 feet to left field. His efforts were succeeded by a two-homer game from Leurys Garcia and solo shots from Austin Hedges and Wil Myers, the latter of whom cemented the Padres’ win with a ninth-inning blast off of Chicago’s Chris Beck.

Brewers 7, Mets 4: An extra five days of rest did not do wonders for Matt Harvey, who returned to the mound on Friday after serving a three-day suspension last week. He delivered six strikeouts in six innings, which was overshadowed by the five runs, five walks and three home runs they accompanied. The Mets put up a good fight in the ninth inning, scoring two on a groundout and wild pitch from Milwaukee right-hander Jacob Barnes, but couldn’t close the three-run gap needed to tie the game.

Cubs 3, Cardinals 2: The Cardinals’ six-game win streak game to a disappointing end on Friday, almost entirely due to a two-homer performance from Cubs’ catcher Willson Contreras. Contreras slugged his third and fourth home runs of the year, getting the Cubs out to an early lead while Eddie Butler quieted the Cards’ bats with five strikeouts over six shutout innings. Unfortunately for the Cubs, the win did nothing to improve their standing in the NL Central, where they rank fourth behind the Cardinals, Reds and Brewers.

Royals 3, Orioles 2: Good pitching characterized both sides of the Royals’ 3-2 nail-biter, which hinged on standout performances from Danny Duffy and Dylan Bundy. Orioles’ backstop Caleb Joseph picked up three extra-base hits, doubling home a run in the second inning and scoring on a wild pitch in the seventh to tie the game. The pitchers’ duel was laid to rest in the eighth inning, however, when Eric Hosmer’s double secured the third and final run of the night off of Vidal Nuno.

Dodgers 6, Rockies 2: Clayton Kershaw has yet to pitch a scoreless outing in 2017, but don’t let that fool you — the lefty was every bit as dominant as you’d expect on Friday. He struck out four of 26 batters and held the Rockies to just two runs in seven innings, clinching his sixth win of the year on a six-run effort from the Dodgers’ lineup. It doesn’t hurt that his run support average is a healthy 6.26 runs per game, either.

Diamondbacks 11, Pirates 4: The Diamondbacks jumped out to an impressive lead after putting up a seven-spot in the third inning. Neither Tyler Glasnow nor Josh Lindblom could corral Arizona’s offense, and by the time Johnny Barbato got the ball in the seventh, it was too late to stage a comeback. Barbato closed out the game with two scoreless frames, but his strong performance was marred by an errant 93 m.p.h. fastball that hit Diamondbacks’ catcher Chris Iannetta in the nose and mouth and forced his early exit in the seventh inning.

Angels 7, Tigers 0: On any given night, we all expect Mike Trout to do what Mike Trout does best — crush home runs, make standout defensive plays and generally perform a cut above the rest. He didn’t disappoint in the Angels’ 7-0 shutout on Friday, returning from a five-game absence to smash a 430-foot home run to center field for his longest home run of the year:

Giants 3, Reds 2 (17 innings): Umpiring a professional baseball game requires incredible mental and physical resilience, particularly on days like Friday, when home plate ump Tony Randazzo took three pitches to the face, shoulder and chest during a 17-inning marathon. Randazzo was struck in the fifth inning after Billy Hamilton abandoned a bunt attempt, allowing the ball a clear path to Randazzo’s face mask and throat guard.

The umpire went down immediately and received care from Giants’ trainer Dave Groeschener, but remained in the game to call another nine innings before turning his duties over to second base umpire Clint Fagan. The game continued with just three umpires until the 17th inning, when Buster Posey recorded his longest blast in the Statcast era, cresting 431 feet with a walk-off homer to bring the Giants their much-needed win.

And That Happened: Saturday’s Scores and Highlights

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Clayton Kershaw did Clayton Kershaw things, the Blue Jays were awarded a strange home run and Josh Harrison hit a walk-off home run during Saturday’s slate. Here are the rest of the day’s scores and highlights:

Red Sox 11, Twins 1: Some days, it’s difficult to identify the tipping point that pushes a team toward a loss. Other days, it’s all too easy. Saturday’s loss hinged on a slippery ground ball in the second inning, which missed Jorge Polanco’s glove for the third out and allowed Josh Rutledge to reach on a force attempt. That opened the floodgates for the Red Sox’ offense, which stormed back from a two-out, zero-baserunner situation to an eight-run onslaught, paving the way for their 10-run lead and the win.

Rays 6, Blue Jays 1: The Blue Jays’ 20th loss of the season was largely unremarkable, except for the one play that has yet to receive an official ruling:

According to MLB.com’s Jeff Odom, the play was ruled an inside-the-park home run after replay review, but an official determination has yet to be made by the Elias Sports Bureau, who will take a second look at the home run on Monday.

Indians 3, Royals 1: Of all the ways to break out of a slump, this is one of the best. Carlos Santana snapped an 0-for-14 run with a 412-foot, game-winning solo shot in the ninth inning, followed by a back-to-back blast from Francisco Lindor for the insurance run:

Orioles 6, White Sox 5: The Orioles have had a tough break lately, with Chris Tillman, Wade Miley and Zach Britton all sidelined with various health issues (not to mention Kevin Gausman’s ejection on Thursday). Luckily, lack of rotation depth didn’t matter on Saturday, when Dylan Bundy locked in his fifth win of the year with three runs, six hits and three strikeouts in six innings. Baltimore’s lineup took care of the rest, putting up a cushy five-run lead on a smattering of hits that included home runs from Manny Machado and Trey Mancini and a bases-loaded balk, courtesy of Chicago starter Dylan Covey.

Pirates 2, Brewers 1 (10 innings): If things had gone a different way in the 10th inning, we’d be talking about John Jaso‘s gaffes on the basepaths, about the seven baserunners stranded by the Pirates in the first nine innings, about Gerrit Cole‘s rundown in the sixth inning, squandering a perfectly good bases-loaded opportunity to score the go-ahead run. Instead, the narrative shifted directions in the 10th. Gift Ngoepe led off with a base hit, advancing to second base on a wild pitch and scoring the walk-off run on an RBI single off the bat of Josh Harrison. Simple, right?

Nationals 6, Phillies 2: Dusty Baker thinks that Ryan Zimmerman is beginning to look a lot like Barry Bonds these days. No doubt the comparison comes on the heels of Zimmerman’s hot start to the season. The slugger is batting an unsustainable .435/.475/.907 in 118 PA, including a two-run homer (his 13th of the year) and RBI double during Saturday’s decisive 6-2 win in Philadelphia.

Whether or not that comparison has merit is debatable, but let’s pull the numbers just for fun. Bonds slashed .288/.408/.551 in his first 12 seasons, amassing 374 home runs and a staggering 90.7 fWAR with the Pirates and Giants. Zimmerman, by comparison, carried a .278/.343/.467 batting line, 215 homers and cumulative 35.6 fWAR through his 12th season with the Nationals in 2016 — impressive totals, but not quite the elite marks set by Bonds in years past. Still, there’s no doubt the Nationals’ infielder is onto something special this year, provided he can sustain some of the success he’s already found.

Mets 11, Marlins 3: Mets’ general manager Sandy Alderson had just stepped into the broadcast booth to discuss the club’s latest rash of injuries when Asdrubal Cabrera jammed his mitt into the ground, sustaining a left thumb injury that forced his early exit in the third inning. Thankfully, the Mets avoided further setbacks during the remainder of the game, exploiting veteran right-handers Odrisamer Despaigne and Dustin McGowan for an 11-run spread to bring them within seven games of catching the division-leading Nationals.

Reds 14, Giants 2: “Everybody should be upset about what’s going on,” Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy told reporters after the Giants dropped their second double-digit loss of the week. The team lost their series opener by a score of 13-2 on Friday, and their luck was even worse during a 14-2 beatdown on Saturday evening. Starter Ty Blach pitched his way out of the game after three innings, issuing 11 hits, 10 runs and failing to strike out a single batter on 75 pitches.

The Reds, meanwhile, hit their stride in the third inning, battering the strike zone with six runs and scoring on nearly every kind of play imaginable, from an RBI wild pitch to Patrick Kivlehan‘s first home run of the year. Assuming Bochy’s sentiments are shared by the rest of the team, the kind of loss might be enough to light a fire under the Giants during their series finale on Sunday. Given their last-place status in the NL West, though, any drastic turnaround seems unlikely at this point.

Yankees 11, Cubs 6: Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon would like to see his starting rotation give the bullpen a break, he told reporters prior to Saturday’s loss. The fifth-best bullpen in the National League has now become one of the most overworked, and it comes as little surprise that Cubs’ starters are averaging fewer than six innings per outing.

Maddon’s complaint preceded yet another snafu when starter Brett Anderson was forced out of Saturday’s appearance after issuing just 23 pitches, citing lower back tightness and leaving Felix Pena, Rob Zastryzny and Miguel Montero to cover the remaining 8 2/3 innings. The task proved too arduous for the ‘pen, who followed Anderson’s five-run inning with another six runs on a Didi Gregorius fielding error and two home runs from Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks.

Rockies 9, Diamondbacks 1: The worst of Tyler Anderson‘s pitching woes appear to be behind him, at least for the time being. The Diamondbacks’ southpaw tossed the first quality start of his sophomore season, striking out 10 of 24 batters and allowing just six hits and one run over six innings.

Dodgers 10, Padres 2: If you showed up to Saturday’s game expecting a Clayton Kershaw gem, five-run ninth inning and Cody Bellinger‘s first career grand slam, well, you were in luck. Kershaw lasted 7 1/3 innings on five hits, a run and nine strikeouts, backed in part by Bellinger’s mammoth slam in the ninth.

The only thing missing from an otherwise-perfect night? The dulcet tones of one Vin Scully.

Athletics 6, Tigers 5: It only took one pitch to unravel the hard work Detroit has put into their bullpen this month. They entered Saturday’s loss with a scoreless streak of 14 1/3 innings, which promptly ended when Francisco Rodriguez served up a first-pitch fastball to Adam Rosales, who took it for a walk-off base hit:

The hit returned the Tigers’ bullpen to the bottom of the league, where they rank 27th among major league teams with an -0.4 fWAR and league-worst 5.87 ERA.

Angels 2, Astros 1: The Angels took the field for their second game without Mike Trout, and… didn’t look too bad, to be perfectly honest. While the reigning MVP was sidelined with another case of hamstring tightness, the rest of Anaheim’s lineup coasted on an eight-inning effort from JC Ramirez, returning in the ninth inning to knock in the game-winning single:

Mariners 8, Rangers 2: It only takes one inning to win a game, particularly if that inning comes with a side of seven runs. The Mariners’ bats erupted in the seventh inning, when they collectively solved the Rangers’ bullpen with five hits, a sac fly and a run-scoring hit by pitch. Seattle starter Chase De Jong, meanwhile, assuaged some of the Mariners’ concerns about the state of their rotation with his first quality start of the year, delivering three strikeouts, four hits and a run over six innings.