Giovanny Urshela

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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:

White Sox 13, Giants 1: The White Sox weren’t about to get shown up by the Giants two days in a row. Six home runs did the trick, from Jose Abreu‘s 372-foot blast in the first inning to Nick Delmonico‘s two-run shot in the seventh. Abreu went 4-for-5 and batted for the cycle, collecting an elusive triple in the eighth to become the sixth player in franchise history (and the first in 17 years) to replicate the feat.

Braves 6, Marlins 5: A night off did wonders for Giancarlo Stanton, who returned to the Marlins’ lineup on Saturday raring to go. He wasted no time getting on the board, hammering a 456-footer to center field in the first inning for an early lead:

The Marlins followed Stanton’s efforts with a three-run spread in the third inning, but dropped their lead in the most anticlimactic fashion: on a walk-off walk.

Yankees 3, Rangers 1: The Yankees extended their lead in the wild card race with a masterful performance from Luis Severino, who fanned 10 batters over seven innings of one-hit ball. Rangers’ right-hander Andrew Cashner was equally stingy, blanking the Yankees through the first seven innings before Chase Headley broke through with a sac fly in the eighth. Tyler Austin’s RBI single provided the go-ahead run in the ninth, and a shutdown performance from Aroldis Chapman sealed the deal.

Indians 4, Orioles 2: The Orioles may not have been able to top the Indians during their remarkable 17-win tear, but they managed to do something that no competitor had done in 16 games: They scored first. Trey Mancini‘s first-inning RBI single held up for two innings, but the Indians came storming back with a four-run spread, banking on key hits from Giovanny Urshela and Jay Bruce to regain the lead.

Athletics 11, Astros 1 (Game 1): It’s too late in the season for the A’s comeback to have any significant impact on their season, but that didn’t stop them from tanking the division-leading Astros in back-to-back double-digit performances. Daniel Gossett finally found his groove against the ‘Stros, leading the way with his first quality start of the month. His dominance was starkly contrasted by that of Houston relievers Reymin Guduan and J.D. Davis, who contributed to the A’s blowout with a cumulative four runs on six walks in the eighth inning:

Athletics 11, Astros 4 (Game 2): Things didn’t look any better for the Astros the second time around.  They kept their walk count to a minimum, with just one free pass by Michael Feliz, but the A’s opted for the long ball with blasts from Jose Altuve, Matt Olson and Chad Pinder. With the Astros’ slump and the Indians’ historic resurgence, the two are now tied for the best record in the American League, at 86-56.

Brewers 15, Cubs 2: The Brewers may have lost ace right-hander Jimmy Nelson for the season, but they didn’t look any worse for wear during Saturday’s hit parade. Chase Anderson led the way with five scoreless frames while the rest of the team tagged opposing starter Mike Montgomery for eight runs in the third. With the win, the Brewers sit just three games out of the division lead, though they’ll have to top both the Cubs and Cardinals to clinch the title.

Phillies 5, Nationals 4: There’s no doubt the Nationals will clinch the NL East title. They’re 19 games up on the second-place Marlins and could repeat as division champs as soon as Sunday, provided that they can coordinate another win with another Marlins’ loss. Doing so would make them the first repeat champions since the Phillies clinched in 2007 and 2008… and 2009, 2010 and 2011, but at least on Saturday, the Phillies weren’t quite ready to let that happen. They played spoiler to the Nationals’ efforts with a pair of home runs by Rhys Hoskins and Maikel Franco in the second inning, then returned for three insurance runs in the fourth.

Blue Jays 5, Tigers 4: The Blue Jays are still an improbable nine games out of a playoff berth, with seven teams blocking their path to a wild card spot, but on Saturday, they looked every inch the perennial contender. Kevin Pillar did it all for the club, going 4-for-4 with a leadoff RBI single and tie-breaking home run and snaring a deep fly ball to prevent the Tigers from gaining an advantage in the fifth.

Mets 6, Reds 1: The Mets will be eliminated from postseason contention in just seven games, so now’s as good a time as any to start heating up. They worked up to their fourth consecutive win on Saturday, capitalizing on five solid innings from Rafael Montero and an early lead from Kevin Plawecki to stay ahead of the Reds.

Red Sox 9, Rays 0: While the Yankees looked for an edge in the AL East race, the Red Sox extended their lead with their first shutout of September. Chris Sale improved to a 16-7 record, taking the Rays to task with six scoreless frames and fanning eight of 25 batters. At the plate, it was a group effort: Dustin Pedroia led off the first inning with a solo shot, his seventh of the year, and a smattering of base hits and productive outs took care of the rest.

Royals 5, Twins 2: With a wild card race this cutthroat, every win counts. The Royals upended the Twins to move within four wins of a postseason berth, breaking through in the eighth inning on Eric Hosmer‘s go-ahead RBI single. Mike Minor and Brandon Maurer stepped in to preserve the win for rookie Jakob Junis, whose quality start was his first since August 14.

Cardinals 4, Pirates 3: The Pirates may have put the most creative effort into their performance on Saturday, but creativity doesn’t always win games. Adam Frazier lashed an inside-the-park home run in the seventh inning and cleared the bases in just 15.7 seconds, the Pirates’ fastest home-to-home mark since 2015.

Some of the credit, however, goes to the wall in center field, which knocked Dexter Fowler out of the game and gave Frazier a head start as he charged around the basepaths. Fowler exited with a left knee contusion and the Cardinals rebounded with Matt Carpenter‘s standard-issue home run and Randal Grichuk‘s tie-breaking RBI groundout to take the lead.

Padres 8, Diamondbacks 7: Whatever slump the Dodgers and Astros have suffered from lately appears to be contagious. The Diamondbacks took their second straight loss to the Padres on Saturday, dropping their five-run lead after the Friars mounted a stunning six-run rally in the ninth. At this rate, it’s anyone’s guess how the playoffs will shake out.

Mariners 8, Angels 1: The Mariners did their part to even out the AL wild card standings, putting up their own six-run spread in the fourth inning to create some distance from the third-place Angels. Nelson Cruz saved the biggest and best blast for last, punishing an 0-2 slider from Jesse Chavez for a 398-foot home run, his 32nd of the season:

Rockies 6, Dodgers 5: The Dodgers continued their Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde routine on Saturday, skidding to their ninth straight loss — their worst since a 10-game slump in 1992 — following a breakthrough effort from Trevor Story and three scoreless innings from Colorado’s bullpen. The Rockies, meanwhile, had some fun during the nail-biter, as Story cranked out his 20th homer of the season and Charlie Blackmon collected his 88th leadoff RBI to tie Craig Biggio’s record.

The Indians have won 17 games in a row

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The Indians’ double-digit win streak may be fundamentally unsustainable, but at least on Saturday, they showed no signs of slowing down. A solid performance from Josh Tomlin and a four-run effort from the offense gave them all the ammo they needed to take their 17th consecutive win.

Tomlin surrendered an early lead to the Orioles, who got on the board in the first inning with Trey Mancini‘s RBI single. By the fourth inning, however, it was clear who was in charge. Tomlin settled down to deliver four scoreless innings while Jay Bruce piggybacked on Giovanny Urshela‘s third-inning RBI double, plating Carlos Santana on a line drive to right field.

In the fifth, Santana returned with his 35th double of the season, lifting the Indians to a 3-1 lead that was cut back to 3-2 after Tim Beckham‘s 410-foot solo shot in the sixth. If the Indians ever doubted their ability to pull off another win, however, they didn’t show it. Cleveland skipper Terry Francona cycled through five relievers to keep the Orioles at bay, and Francisco Lindor turned in his 28th blast of the year to boost the club to a two-run lead in the seventh.

With the win, the Indians need just three more victories to tie the A’s 20-win streak in 2002. Only five teams have tied or bested their 17-win single-season run in MLB history, including the 1916 Giants (26, including a mid-streak tie), 1935 Cubs (21), 1947 Yankees (19), 1953 Yankees (18), and 2002 Athletics (20). They’ll go for the sweep — and their 18th win — with right-hander Trevor Bauer during Sunday’s finale at 8:05 ET.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Tigers 10, Yankees 6: Well this sure got out of hand. I wrote up all of the fisticuffsmanship as it happened, so if you need the blow-by-blow, go here. For now, know that the best part of it was Alex Wilson admitting after the game that, yeah, he hit Todd Frazier on purpose. There’s something refreshing about that. In all five players were ejected, along with both managers and the Yankees’ bench coach. There were beanings and plunkings. It all may have been avoided if the umpires had properly warned everyone when Michael Fulmer hit Gary Sanchez, which is basically what set everyone off. No one covered themselves in glory here, though, no matter who you think was more responsible. The Tigers may have started it, but the only guy throwing at someone’s head was on the Yankees. Gary Sanchez was throwing cheap shots in the scrum, but Miguel Cabrera‘s failure to keep his cool is what set off the actual fighting. It was just a mess. Justin Upton and James McCann homered for Detroit, but it’s not like anyone cared too much about the game from the sixth inning on.

Diamondbacks 3, Mets 2: Robbie Ray returned to action for the first time since being hit in the head with a line drive last month, and he was pretty darn good, striking out nine in five innings. He allowed only one run on two hits, one of which was a Yoenis Cespedes homer. Gregor Blanco and Ketel Marte had an RBI single and sacrifice fly, respectively, and Brandon Drury singled in the Dbacks’ third run. Also, there was a super bad call in this game that made us happy that replay exists now.

Marlins 9, Phillies 8: Giancarlo Stanton hit his 47th homer on the year and  J.T. Realmuto hit an inside-the-park job. As with most inside-the-park homers, he had an assist from an outfielder who made choices, this time Nick WilliamsA.J. Ellis and Christian Yelich also homered for Miami. Rhys Hoskins went deep again for Philly, which set a new record. In the future, if this trend continues, all recap posts will be nothing but a list of home runs hit by dudes.

Rays 2, Blue Jays 0: Five pitchers combined to shut the Jays out, with starter Alex Cobb only making it through four and a third. No worries though, because even if he wasn’t efficient, Kevin Kiermaier was. Check out how far this cat ranges for these two balls:

Rockies 3, Royals 2: Greg Holland has been a hot mess of late, blowing a save and taking the loss on Wednesday night, so a lot of eyebrows were raised when Bud Black called on him to protect a one-run lead in the ninth here. No worries, though: he got the save and needed only seven pitches to do it, retiring the Royals in order. Before that the Rockies came back from a 2-0 deficit thanks to a Raimel Tapia RBI single in the sixth and a two-run homer from Pat Valaika in the eighth.

Dodgers 5, Pirates 2: If Wednesday night’s no-hitter-busting walkoff loss was demoralizing the Dodgers shook it off pretty quickly. Here Curtis Granderson homered in the fourth to give L.A. a lead they’d never relinquish and Yasmani Grandal and Adrian Gonzalez hit back-to-back homers in the eighth to give them insurance. Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed one run over six innings as the Dodgers win the series. They win basically every series.

Reds 4, Cubs 2: Jose Peraza hit a ground rule double off of Pedro Strop that scored two in the eighth and then Strop uncorked a wild pitch that allowed a third eighth inning run to score. I guess we all have bad innings sometimes. Sal Romano didn’t get the win but he did allow only two runs in seven innings AND he directed that Patio Cola commercial that was inspired by “Bye-Bye Birdie,” and that was pretty quality work for a novice.

Indians 13, Red Sox 6: Chris Sale is the Cy Young favorite in the American League and some people have even suggested him as an MVP candidate in recent weeks. Last night the Indians beat him around like a journeyman, however, lighting him up for seven runs on seven hits and three walks in just three innings. That’s not even something especially new, as  Sale is 5-8 with a 4.87 ERA in 29 career appearances vs. the Indians. Yandy Diaz was 4-for-4 with two driven in. Giovanny Urshela — who? — drove in four. Baseball is hard to explain sometimes.

Padres 4, Cardinals 3: The Padres broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the ninth when Carlos Asuaje singled home a run and added a necessary insurance run via a Jose Pirela sac fly. Luis Perdomo allowed two runs over six. The Cards bullpen allowed 12 runs in seven innings in the series.

Nationals 5, Astros 4: Anthony Rendon‘s sac fly gave the Nats the lead in extra innings and Matt Weiters singled home a necessary insurance run. Huh, sounds familiar. Extra innings wouldn’t have been necessary except the Astros got to both Sean Doolittle and Brandon Kintzler for three late runs. The Nats previously troubled bullpen had vastly improved since the trade deadline, mostly because of those two guys, but everyone gets got sometimes.

White Sox 5, Twins 1: The White Sox scored two runs on errors and one a fielder’s choice. Those were bookended by a Yolmer Sanchez homer and an RBI double from Kevan Smith. Byron Buxton homered for the Twins only run. Since the All-Star break he’s batting .302/.340/.570.

Rangers 3, Angels 0: Martin Perez shut the Angels out for seven innings and Jason Grilli and Ricky Rodriguez finished the job. Drew Robinson hit a two-run homer and Old Friend Mike Napoli hit a solo shot.