Jameson Taillon

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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:

Yankees 5, Red Sox 4: Aaron Hicks found Addison Reed‘s weak spot on Friday, working a full count before unleashing a 335-foot bomb off of Reed’s slider:

The homer uncorked a five-run rally in the eighth inning, giving the Yankees just enough fuel to outpace the Red Sox and spoil the lofty plans John Farrell had for his new setup man.

Mets 7, Phillies 6: Dominic Smith may have had a whirlwind rise to the big leagues, but he delivered with all the poise of a professional Major Leaguer on Friday, collecting his first MLB hit off of the Phillies’ Nick Pivetta in the fourth inning.

He wasn’t the only rookie to steal the show, as the Mets’ go-ahead run was delivered by No. 1 prospect Amed Rosario with his first career homer in the ninth:

Pirates 4, Blue Jays 2: The Pirates found some equilibrium behind Jameson Taillon‘s big night, reaching .500 for the first time in August and sitting just three games back of the division lead. Taillon couldn’t hang on as long as opposing starter Marcus Stroman, who let four unearned runs slip through the cracks over eight innings, but emerged with the win after six innings of two-run, seven-strikeout ball.

Indians 5, Rays 0: It’s been almost exactly five years since the Rays found themselves on the wrong end of a no-hitter, and on Friday, they narrowly avoided another such incident with Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco blanked Tampa bay through 6 2/3 spotless innings, striking out seven batters before Logan Morrison prevailed with a line drive in the seventh.

It isn’t the first attempt Carrasco has made against the Rays — his first was in July 2015 — but completing a nine-inning no-no would put him in rare company, as no Indians’ pitcher has managed the feat since Len Barker’s perfect game in 1981.

Marlins 6, Rockies 3: Giancarlo Stanton became the first Major Leaguer to reach 40 home runs this season, mashing another solo shot off of Jon Gray in the eighth inning:

Given Aaron Judge‘s compelling case for Rookie of the Year, not to mention the blistering pace at which Mike Moustakas and Cody Bellinger have been collecting homers, Stanton may not be atop the leaderboard for long. His knock helped decide the game on Friday, however, as the Marlins capitalized on their slugger’s efforts to rout the Rockies with a three-run spread in the eighth. They’ll look for their first win streak since July 29 on Saturday.

Twins 9, Tigers 4: The Twins steamrolled their division rivals with their sixth straight win, eclipsing both the Angels and Mariners to slide into the second American League wild card spot. While it wasn’t Kyle Gibson’s finest night (five hits, three runs, two walks and six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings), a solid backing from the bullpen and a steady stream of run support gave the team the boost they needed to top the fourth-place Tigers.

Rangers 6, Astros 4: A sharp comebacker struck Cole Hamels in the left knee during Friday’s contest, but the Rangers’ left-hander powered through the pain to complete seven scoreless frames and hand the Astros their fourth consecutive loss of the week. Credit for the assist goes to Adrian Beltre, who helped pad the Rangers’ lead with an RBI double and coordinated his defensive efforts with Elvis Andrus by shoving his teammate in the face:

Reds 11, Brewers 10: No lead is safe until the game is over, and never was that illustrated better than during the Reds’ nail-biter on Friday night. They constructed an eight-run lead by the fourth inning, then watched it implode during the Brewers’ seven-run rally in the sixth with a handful of RBI singles and Eric Thames‘ 26th home run of the year. Jonathan Villar‘s ninth-inning blast brought Milwaukee to the cusp of a much-needed win, but Raisel Iglesias managed to strand Thames on first base and hang on for his 20th save.

White Sox 6, Royals 3: If Reynaldo Lopez was feeling jittery during his Major League debut, he masked it well. The 23-year-old rookie played it cool against the Royals, subduing the competition with four hits, two runs, three walks and six strikeouts. Mike Moustakas proved his one and only foil, delivering not one, but two solo home runs in the fourth and sixth innings to put the Royals on the board. With the loss, the Royals have taken five consecutive losses and nine in their last 11 games.

Cardinals 8, Braves 5: The Cardinals’ Rally Kitten has been officially recovered, as confirmed by the St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach on Friday, and the Cardinals are looking similarly revived after taking a decisive win over the Braves during their series opener. Well, perhaps “revived” is the wrong word. The win marked the Cardinals’ seventh consecutive victory, their longest streak of the year and enough to keep them within one game of the division-leading Cubs. Adam Wainwright pulled off an impressive win despite failing to register a single strikeout or throw a ball faster than 90 MPH, and clocked the competition with four hits, a run and three walks over five innings.

Cubs 8, Diamondbacks 3: Speaking of the Cubs, they’re looking to reverse their fortunes after dropping three back-to-back-to-back series against the Diamondbacks, Nationals and Giants. They returned to Chase Field for a little revenge on Friday, blurring Taijuan Walker‘s pitching line with five innings of five-run, two-homer ball and handing John Lackey his 10th win of the season. It was a reassuring effort for the defending champs, who lost starting catcher Wilson Contreras to a four-week DL stint earlier in the day.

Angels 6, Mariners 5: The Mariners had plenty to celebrate on Friday night, from the kickoff of Edgar Martinez Weekend to Nelson Cruz‘s three extra bases, but still couldn’t find that elusive final run in their one-run loss to the Angels. Righty reliever Andrew Moore singlehandedly unraveled Seattle’s four-run lead in the seventh, blowing his first save of the season after RBI singles from Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron and an Andrelton Simmons’ double helped the Angels tie the game. Cron retuned for the go-ahead run in the ninth, capitalizing on an error from Jean Segura to plate Mike Trout and move within a game of the second AL wild card.

Athletics 5, Orioles 4: It was a bittersweet way to kick off the weekend for Ubaldo Jimenez, who registered a season-best 11 strikeouts before a line drive felled him in the sixth inning:

While he didn’t appear to be in a great deal of pain at the time of the incident, he was removed from the mound immediately following the at-bat and left the rest of the game in the less-than-capable hands of Baltimore’s bullpen. Brad Brach registered his fifth blown save of the year after a two-run effort from Jed Lowrie and Chad Pinder, whose combined productivity got the job done for the A’s in the eighth.

Padres 4, Dodgers 3: There are some moments that remind us how pure this game can be, how simple the thrill is of taking in a game at the ballpark, looking up from your seat and watching one of your heroes seamlessly execute a routine play:

Other plays, like Yasiel Puig‘s 270-foot laser to catch Hunter Renfroe at home plate, offer the crowd a less intimate (but no less impressive) view of the game:

(And honestly, at 96 MPH, this is a play that belongs nowhere near the stands.)

Despite their run-saving acrobatics in the field, the Dodgers took home a rare loss after Jose Pirela unleashed a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning. The win moved San Diego within 13 games of an NL wild card spot, but they’ll still have to vault over seven other teams to earn a chance to compete in the postseason.

Giants, Nationals (postponed): The Giants and Nats are set for a twin bill on Sunday, when the two teams will do their best not to repeat the Hunter Strickland/Bryce Harper fracas that disrupted their last meeting.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights.

Pirates 4, Brewers 2; Orioles 9, Rangers 7: I’ve been doing these recaps for ten seasons now. In each of those ten seasons I get to a point when, due to the repetitiveness of it all, my brain starts to play tricks on me. Usually it’s around now — late July and into August. There are a lot of different tricks, but one of the recurring ones is believing that the Pirates and Brewers play each other every single night for, like, two months running, and that the Orioles and Rangers play each other about 40-50 times a year. I know, intellectually, that this is not true, but if you strapped me to a machine that reads deeply held beliefs, rooted in one’s soul, it would swear this to be the case.

Anyway, Jameson Taillon outdueled Jimmy Nelson as the Pirates sweep the staggering Brewers, reducing Milwaukee’s lead in the Central to a single game over Chicago. In Baltimore Jonathan Schoop and Adam Jones both homered and drove in three runs to help the O’s overcome a five-run deficit to sweep the Rangers. After brief series against other teams, Milwaukee will face Pittsburgh 37 more times and the O’s and Rangers will play each other . . . forever.

Mets 3, Cardinals 2: The game was tied 2-2 in the ninth and the Mets had runners on the corners with two outs. Trevor Rosenthal was on the mound for the Cards. Jose Reyes was at the plate and hit the ball down the first base line. Matt Carpenter fielded it but Rosenthal didn’t cover first base, allowing Reyes to reach safely and allowing Yoenis Cespedes to score from third, ending the game. There’s a reason pitchers spend hours and hours each spring on fielding practice. Not to get the mechanics right so much as to drill the process into them so as to make it as automatic and nearly as instinctual as possible. I guess spring was a long time ago.

Diamondbacks 12, Reds 2: Jake Lamb hit two homers — both three-run shots — and Gregor Blanco and Ketel Marte each hit two-run homers. Patrick Corbin made an emergency start, getting moved up a day, due to Taijuan Walker having to bolt for paternity leave. Didn’t matter, as Corbin allowed one run on seven hits and pitched into the eighth inning. The Reds have lost six of seven since the All-Star break and have given up 58 runs in those six losses.

Blue Jays 8, Red Sox 6: Boston jumped out to a 4-0 lead but the Jays rallied for four in the third to tie it. Brock Holt losing a Steve Pearce pop fly in the sun, allowing two runs helped. They ruled that a single, by the way, even though the ball clanked off Holt’s glove. Just one of many reasons to not look at errors or fielding percentage as a defensive metric: no one, apparently, makes errors anymore. The overall effort was helped by Justin Smoak hitting two homers. But this may have been my favorite play:

Royals 16, Tigers 4: Well, some players make errors. The Tigers were charged with three in this game. Not that it mattered as the Royals scored 13 earned runs to go on top of the three unearned ones they got. Brandon Moss drove in four, Mike Moustakas knocked in three and the Royals rattled off 19 hits in all. Kansas City has moved to within one and a half games of the Indians.

Yankees 4, Mariners 1: Luis Severino was fantastic, scattering eight hits over seven shutout innings. He was backed by a Brett Gardner homer and an RBI single from Aaron Judge. Three of the Yankees’ four runs were unearned, with two coming on a Robinson Cano throwing error. What was the secret to Severino’s outing? “”I just tried to bring my A stuff, tried to make pitches, tried to get hitters out.” No word on if he executed them as well.

Braves 6, Dodgers 3: The Dodgers’ 11-game winning streak comes to an end as Mike Foltynewicz allowed three runs on six hits in six and a third innings, striking out five. Freddie Freeman and Kurt Suzuki each knocked in two runs for Atlanta.

Padres 5, Giants 2Jhoulys Chacin and Madison Bumgarner, had each allowed a couple of runs by the seventh, but Cory Spangenberg hit a two-run homer off of the Giants’ ace to break the tie. Hunter Renfroe hit a two-run homer as well as Bumgarner lost in his first home start since coming back from the disabled list. The Giants are 0-6 in his starts this year. He’s gotten ten runs of support in those games.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Hope you had a nice holiday. Now, back to the grind. Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Reds 8, Rockies 1: Homer Bailey scattered eight hits and allowed only one run in six innings, picking up his first win since August of last year Jose Peraza, Scott Schebler and Scooter Gennett homered. The Rockies have lost 11 of 13.

Padres 1, Indians 0: Corey Kluber struck out ten dudes and allowed only one run on five hits over eight innings and got the loss. The Padres starter, Trevor Cahill, couldn’t even finish five innings so a guy who threw 12 pitches in two-thirds of an inning got the win. But please, tell me that wins and losses matter for pitchers. Six Padres hurlers combined to shut the Tribe out on five hits. The lone Padres run scored on a fielder’s friggin’ choice.

Royals 7, Mariners 3: Whit Merrifield and Mike Moustakas hit homers and the Royals ganged up on Felix Hernandez for six runs — five earned — in six innings. Hernandez has a 5.04 ERA. The man who once was king?

Brewers 6, Orioles 2: Eric Thames‘ April turned out to be a bit of a fluke — he was never gonna keep that pace up — but he hit two homers yesterday. Stephen Vogt and Travis Shaw did too, backing Jimmy Nelson who allowed one run, unearned, over seven innings. Milwaukee is in first place, three and a half up. It’s July 5, folks.

Athletics 7, White Sox 6: Melky Cabrera singled in a run to tie things up in the top of the ninth but Franklin Barreto, who had been slumping badly — hit a walkoff homer in the bottom half to give the A’s the win. He also hit an RBI triple. Yonder Alonso — who gave Barreto a pep talk just before that triple — hit two homers.

Pirates 3, Phillies 0: Jameson Taillon struck out nine over five innings but used a lot of pitches to do it, so four relievers finished off the shutout. Andrew McCutchen hit two homers, solo shots, both of them. Clint Hurdle on the homers:

“He hit the first one good and the second one more good”

Baseball man.

Rays 6, Cubs 5: The Rays put together a five-run fourth against Jon Lester as the Rays beat the Cubs in their first matchup against Joe Maddon since he skedaddled. Steven Souza and Tim Beckam each drove in two.

Marlins 5, Cardinals 2: Christian Yelich hit a three-run homer off of Lance Lynn. Lynn said this after the game:

“I would like to have that pitch back”

Sorry, Lance. We’ve reviewed your request and it has ben denied on the basis of baseball not working that way.

Twins 5, Angels 4: Byron Buxton had three hits, including a homer. Someone alert the authorities, as we may have a case of identity theft going on here. Kyle Gibson allowed two runs in six and two-thirds innings, walking two and striking out four. The cops should maybe keep an eye on that guy too, actually, because that ain’t the Kyle Gibson I know.

Tigers 5, Giants 3: The Giants’ six-game winning streak comes to an end as Victor Martinez homered and singled in a run and Michael Fulmer allowed three runs over eight innings of work. Miguel Cabrera, left after six innings due to left hip tightness. Manager Brad Ausmus said he expects Cabrera to play on Wednesday night. Cabrera, of course, would play if he had a sucking chest wound and a case of scurvy. Whether it’s a good idea that he plays Wednesday is anyone’s guess, but I’ve come to assume that if Cabrera says he’s aching but OK, he’s injured and if he actually leaves a game due to an injury, he should probably be in a hospital. On one level: admirable. On another level: that’s hurt the Tigers many times in the past.

Blue Jays 4, Yankees 1: CC Sabathia came back from his stint on the DL and couldn’t make it out of the third inning. His counterpart, J.A. Happ, allowed only one run on four hits in six innings. That one run came via an Aaron Judge homer that was an absolute rocket, denting a metal casement above a door behind the left-center field wall. He’s strong.

Nationals 11, Mets 4: Daniel Murphy did what he usually does: kill the Mets. Here he drove in five runs on four hits and Bryce Harper drove in two on three hits as the Nats won in a laugher. Murphy is hitting .341 on the season. He’s hitting .405 against the Mets since leaving them following the 2015 season.

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 3: Clayton Kershaw was dominant, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning, shutting out the Dbacks that long and striking out 11. It was probably good that the no-no got broken up by Chris Owings‘ infield single, because Kershaw was at 100 pitchers or so already. That said, the Dodgers bullpen almost cost the big guy a win here, with Brandon Morrow putting two on in the ninth and then Kenley Jansen allowing a three-run homer to Daniel Descalso. Kershaw hasn’t lost since May 6, by the way. He’s 9-0 in 12 starts since then, with a 1.98 ERA. His 13 wins is tops in the bigs.

Red Sox 11, Rangers 4Andrew Benintendi had a pretty decent day: 5 hits and two homers, driving in six. I mean, it could’ve been better. When he hit that second homer he already had one, plus a double and a couple of singles, so a triple would’ve given him a cycle. Shame, really. Yu Darvish was selected for the All-Star team the other day. Here he was torched for seven runs on eleven hits. Boston has won six straight.

Astros 16, Braves 4Jose Altuve homered and drove in four runs, Yuli Gurriel doubled twice to drive in four and Josh Reddick hit a grand slam which, yep, counts as four as well. The Astros win in a romp. Braves rookie Sean Newcomb came into the game with a 1.48 ERA in his first four career starts. He left this one at 3.58. Baseball is hard.