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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rockies 18, Padres 4: Nolan Arenado hit an RBI single in the first, another RBI single in the second, a solo homer in the fourth, another solo homer in the fifth and a two-run homer in the sixth. He’s the seventh player this season to hit at least three home runs in a game, joining Yoenis CespedesMatt KempAnthony RendonScooter GennettEddie Rosario, and Corey Seager. And my word we’ve had a lot of big blowouts in the past week or so, have we not?

Mets 7, Cardinals 3: Jacob deGrom allowed one run on seven hits in six and two-thirds innings, winning his seventh straight start. He’s about the only bright spot for the Mets this season, so of course there are rumors that he might be traded.

Giants 5, Indians 4: Buster Posey was supposed to have the day off. And he did until the bottom of the eighth when he came off the bench as a pinch-hitter and smacked a two-out, two-run double as part of a three-run rally that inning. The Indians have lost six of seven. Oh, and Bruce Bochy gave his postgame presser in the “Game of Thrones” throne:

Winter is coming. A lot sooner for the 37-59 Giants than a lot of other teams.

Cubs 8, Braves 2: A few days ago everyone was wondering what the heck was wrong with the Cubs. A few days ago at least a few people were looking at the surprisingly frisky Braves and thinking that they could be a stealth Wild Card contender. What a difference a few days makes, eh? The Cubs win their sixth straight and the Braves drop their third in a row. Mike Montgomery allowed one run on two hits in six innings and hit his first career homer to boot. Javier Baez hit a three-run shot. Kris Bryant left in the first inning after hurting his finger and his replacement, Tommy La Stella, hit a homer. That kind of day for Chicago.

Phillies 10, Marlins 3: Philly woke up early for this early game with their hitting shoes on already. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first and racked up 10 runs on 20 hits before it was all over. Nick Williams tripled twice and drove in two. Daniel Nava had four hits and Tommy Joseph socked a homer. Giancarlo Stanton hit his 30th homer in the loss, tying him for the major league lead with Aaron Judge. But if you were expecting him to be happy about that, think again. Giancarlo: I just finished a cool book about people who fake their own death and start over again someplace else. Not saying you should read it or anything, but I’m not saying you should not read it, ya know?

Twins 6, Yankees 1: The Twins scored six runs in the game. All came in the second inning and all came with two outs, with Miguel Sano‘s three-run homer the big blow. Meanwhile, the Yankees couldn’t get much of anything off of Jose Berrios. The Yankees lose the series. They’ve lost eight of ten series, in fact. The other two were splits. Mercy.

Mariners 4, Astros 1: Ben Gamel hit a two-run homer and James Paxton allowed one run over seven. Paxton has 20 strikeouts in two wins over the Astros this year. The Mariners have won six of seven.

Athletics 7, Rays 2: Sonny Gray is getting hot at the right time: right before the trade deadlines, when many expect him to change addresses. Gray won his third straight start, striking out six while pitching into the seventh. The A’s avoid a sweep.

Orioles 10, Rangers 2Kevin Gausman pitched six innings of four-hit ball, giving up one runs, striking out eight and walking two. Not sure where this good O’s pitching has come from lately but I suppose there are small miracles happening all around us, always. O’s starters in this series have combined to allow three runs over 18 innings in three games and the O’s have outscored Texas 25-4 in that span.

Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 1: Drew Pomeranz pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning and Dustin Pedroia drove in three. The Red Sox are 9-3 in Pomeranz’s past 12 starts. Pedroia did commit an error, though, breaking his streak of 114 games without a fielding error, stretching back to last August.

Pirates 3, Brewers 2: Rookie Max Moroff entered the game as a pinch runner in the ninth, scoring the tying run to force extras, then he came to the plate in the 10th and hit a walkoff single. The Pirates have won three games in the ninth or in extras since the All-Star break. They have won 10 of 12 overall.

Reds 4, Diamondbacks 3:  Adam Duvall hit a bases-loaded walkoff single in the 11th inning to give the Reds and to end a frustrating night for the Dbacks. Frustrating in that J.D. Martinez, who had just arrived a few hours before and was playing in his first game, was hit on the hand by a pitch forcing him out. X-rays are negative — it’s just a bruise — but that kind of thing has to feel like a sign from Zeus or something.

Dodgers 9, White Sox 1: Chris Taylor led the game off with a homer, Kiké Hernandez homered in the second and fourth and Corey Seager homered in the fourth as well. That’s 11 straight for the Dodgers, who win this mercifully rain-shortened game. Yoan Moncada went 0-for-2 with a walk in his White Sox debut.

Royals 4, Tigers 3: Detroit trailed 2-1 in the ninth when Mike Mahtook hit a two-run homer to give the Tigers the lead. The Royals answered back in the bottom of the ninth, however, when Brandon Moss doubled in Alcides Escobar to tie it and then hustled to third base on the throw home. Then up came Alex Gordon who hit a sac fly to score Moss for the walkoff win. Moss also homered in the third inning. All of that obscured a pretty decent duel between Justin Verlander (7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 8K) and Jason Hammel (6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER).

Angels 7, Nationals 0: Bryce Harper took the night off but Mike Trout didn’t, hitting a two-run homer. That was just gravy, though, as the Angels’ bats had built up a 5-0 lead by then and Alex Meyer allowed only one hit over seven shutout innings, striking out seven.

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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

Cubs 9, Orioles 8: It took the Cubs three innings to construct an eight-run lead and another five innings to dismantle it, handing the Orioles eight unanswered runs to tie the game 8-8 in the eighth. According to ESPN Stats and Info, that’s fairly unheard of, at least during the 2017 season:

No thanks to the bullpen, the Cubs managed to rally in the ninth inning with their fifth home run of the night: a game-winning solo shot from Addison Russell.

Pirates 5, Cardinals 2: The Pirates’ winning streak survived the All-Star break, improving to three consecutive games after rookie Josh Bell clobbered his first walk-off home run against the Cardinals. Unlike Jedd Gyorko’s home run in the first inning, this one wasn’t hurled into the Allegheny River:

Mets 14, Rockies 2: The Mets opened a nine-game homestand with another gem from Jacob deGrom, who earned his 10th win of the season after dealing eight innings of two-run, 11-strikeout ball. He impressed at the plate, too, recording his fourth multi-hit game of the season with two base hits and an RBI to help pad the team’s 12-run lead. The same could not be said for opposing starter Jon Gray, however, who delivered eight runs in two innings for a season-worst performance and pushed the club to a 10.5-game deficit in the NL West.

Red Sox 5, Yankees 4: Aaron Judge furthered his on-base streak on Friday, reaching just once on a six-pitch walk. Excepting a rare pinch-hit at-bat, he’s successfully reached base in 40 of his past 41 games (via MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch). Even combined with Gary Sanchez‘s mammoth home run, that wasn’t enough to propel the Yankees past the Red Sox, and they dropped to third place after Andrew Benintendi drew a game-winning, bases-loaded walk in the ninth. Worse than the loss? A report that the Yankees may have seen the last of right-hander Michael Pineda, who has been battling a torn UCL and is currently considering alternatives to season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Dodgers 6, Marlins 4: Yasiel Puig was the indisputable hero of the Dodgers’ series opener, fueling the club’s division-best 62nd win with a solo home run in the fifth inning and a go-ahead, three-run homer in the ninth. The most unconventional of the Dodgers’ six runs, though, came on a caught stealing error in the first inning, which allowed Joc Pederson to swipe home plate as the Marlins chased the ball around the infield:

Nationals 5, Reds 0: The Reds haven’t turned out a home run title in 39 years, and if Friday’s shutout was any indication, it looks like they’ll have to keep waiting. They failed to generate a lead against the Nationals, who rested on two home runs from Bryce Harper and a pair of RBI base hits to secure their first win of the second half. Joey Votto, who may be in line for the NL home run title this year, went 0-for-3 with a walk and has not smashed one out of the park since July 8.

Blue Jays 7, Tigers 2: After taking a tough 19-1 loss to the Astros prior to the All-Star break, the Blue Jays came out swinging against the Tigers during their first road trip of the second half. Steve Pearce put the Blue Jays on the board in the fifth inning with a solo home run, his seventh of the season, and Josh Donaldson‘s two-run single sealed the deal for the club in the seventh.

Braves 4, Diamondbacks 3: R.A. Dickey‘s resurgence continued with another masterful performance on Friday, executing six innings of one-run ball as the D-backs struggled to hold a lead. Dickey didn’t get the run support he needed to pull off his seventh win of the year, but improved to a 1.09 ERA over his last five starts, holding opposing batters to just four runs and eight walks and striking out 27 batters in 33 innings.

Astros 10, Twins 5: Any concern about the Astros facing a second-half slump was obliterated on Friday night. Charlie Morton spun 10 strikeouts in five innings, while the offense hammered Jose Berrios with an eight-run second inning. In fact, the worst thing to happen to the Astros was Jose Altuve‘s “underwhelming” performance: he went 2-for-4 with a single, double and walk, coming one game shy of shattering the all-time record for most consecutive three-hit games.

Brewers 9, Phillies 6: Nick Pivetta laid down four strikeouts to kick off the Phillies’ series opener, a promising start for a rookie who carried a 4.73 ERA into the second half. His outing was quickly compromised in the second inning, however, when the Brewers responded with eight runs and Ryan Braun‘s sixth career grand slam:

Braun’s 400-foot home run set a new franchise record for career grand slams, breaking a four-way tie among Cecil Cooper, Jeromy Burnitz and John Jaha.

Rangers 5, Royals 3: Speaking of historical knocks, Adrian Beltre moved up another rung on the all-time home run list, drilling a 2-2 slider from Jason Hammel to center field for his 453rd career home run.

He now sits at No. 38 on the all-time list, just four home runs shy of Miguel Cabrera‘s 457 career blasts.

Mariners 4, White Sox 2: All-Star MVP Robinson Cano hogged the spotlight again on Friday, propelling the Mariners to their 44th win with a three-run homer in the third inning. The club now sits just three games back of an AL wild card berth, but will need to duke it out with the Twins, Royals, Rangers and Angels to earn a spot in the postseason this fall.

Athletics 5, Indians 0: Sonny Gray has already incurred considerable interest as the trade deadline approaches, and his performance on Friday night only boosted his appeal. The 27-year-old ace turned in six pristine innings, limiting the Indians to two hits and striking out five of 22 batters as he worked up to his fifth win of the season.

Rays 2, Angels 1 (10 innings): To the delight of fans everywhere (and the chagrin of non-Angels pitchers), Mike Trout finally made his triumphant return to Major League Baseball. The slugger punctuated his performance with a single and a stolen base, doing his part to allay any immediate concerns about his ability to return to form after a lengthy spell on the disabled list. Things didn’t go so smoothly for the rest of the Angels, whose bats went cold after Albert Pujols‘ solo home run in the second inning. With the win, the Rays now sit 3.5 games back of the division lead.

Giants 5, Padres 4: Johnny Cueto was felled by blisters on his pitching hand on Friday, exiting after just four innings and 82 pitches. According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea, the baseballs may have something to do with Cueto’s discomfort, who doesn’t remember getting blisters on his pitching hand at any point during his 10-year career. The Giants, meanwhile, rallied to take the lead in the sixth and capped their win with a Buster Posey home run in the seventh.

And That Happened: Saturday’s Scores and Highlights

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

Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 1: Chris Sale constructed his third-best outing of the year on Saturday — which, for a pitcher of Sale’s caliber, is saying something. He fanned 11 batters over seven shutout innings, tying Pedro Martinez’s 1999 record for most double-digit strikeout appearances by a Red Sox pitcher before the All-Star break (via MLB.com’s Ian Browne).

Tigers 7, Indians 4 (Game 1): Nicholas Castellanos led the charge during the Tigers’ seventh inning rally on Saturday, lining a triple into right field to start a pivotal three-run rally. Mikie Mahtook and James McCann did the rest, putting up two insurance runs with a sac fly and RBI base hit to pad the bullpen’s efforts in their first win of the day.

Indians 4, Tigers 1 (Game 2): The Indians got their revenge in the nightcap, splitting the doubleheader after a shutdown performance from Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco limited the Tigers to just four hits and one run over seven solid innings and took the lead on a four-run inning that was capped by Jose Ramirez’s 13th home run of the year.

Rangers 10, White Sox 4: Cole Hamels was sharp in his second start since coming off of the disabled list, striking out six of 23 batters and holding the White Sox to two runs over 6 2/3 innings. It was a welcome change for the Rangers, who snapped their three-game skid with 10 runs and three homers from Elvis Andrus, Mike Napoli and Rougned Odor.

Royals 11, Twins 6 (Game 1): Saturday’s second doubleheader featured double-digit performances from both the Royals and Twins, albeit not in the same game. The Royals were the first to strike, sparking an 11-run rally after rookie right-hander Luke Farrell (son of Red Sox manager John Farrell) was forced out in the third inning. Alcides Escobar did the most for the Royals, going 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI to pad 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball from the bullpen and secure the Royals’ 40th win of the season.

Twins 10, Royals 5 (Game 2): In the evening, Jason Hammel hurled four scoreless frames before the Twins’ offense came to life, led by Jason Castro‘s RBI double and Miguel Sano‘s two-run shot in the fifth inning and ending with a run-scoring fielding error in the ninth. With the win, the Twins kept their heads above water in the AL Central, sitting two games behind the division-leading Indians and one game above the third-place Royals.

Rays 10, Orioles 3: Watch out, Aaron Judge: Logan Morrison is coming for you. The Rays’ hot-hitting first baseman mashed a pair of home runs on Saturday, coming within three homers of tying the league leader and building his case for inclusion in the upcoming Home Run Derby.

Giants 2, Pirates 1 (11 innings): This is the look of someone who does not yet realize they’ve spoiled a no-hitter with their third career home run:

The Giants won in 11 innings, scoring the go-ahead run when a wild pitch from Daniel Hudson ricocheted off the plate and bounced into the Pirates’ dugout.

Braves 4, Athletics 3: Neither the Braves nor the Athletics deserved the defensive highlight of the game on Saturday, instead outsourcing their slick defense and quick reflexes to this random baseball fan in the stands:

Mets 7, Phillies 6: Asdrubal Cabrera was not to be overshadowed on his own bobblehead day. His seventh-inning home run was the difference-maker on Saturday, giving the Mets their third consecutive series win.

Reds 5, Cubs 3: Jackson Stephens doesn’t know anything about first-time jitters. The rookie right-hander made his big league debut on Saturday, proving he can hang with the best of them as he dealt three runs and eight strikeouts over five strong innings. He was a force to be reckoned with at the plate, too, muscling a first-pitch, two-run single off of Eddie Butler to help pad the Reds’ one-run lead in the fourth inning.

Brewers 8, Marlins 4: It’s safe to say this was not the triumphant return to the rotation Tom Koehler had planned. The Marlins’ righty was forced out after just 1 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs during the Brewers’ explosive rally in the second inning. Fueled by his spontaneous snack break in the fourth inning, Orlando Arcia tacked on an eighth and final run with a solo shot in the fifth, his seventh blast of the season.

Cardinals 2, Nationals 1: Both Cardinals’ skipper Mike Matheny and starting pitcher Michael Wacha hit career milestones on Saturday: Matheny recorded his 500th managerial win, the second-fastest skipper to 500 wins in franchise history, while Wacha fanned his 500th batter to become the second-fastest Cardinals pitcher to reach 500 strikeouts since Steve Carlton did it in 1969.

The Nationals, meanwhile, couldn’t rally in time to take the lead in the ninth, and instead left their mark on the game after a five-star catch in foul territory sent Anthony Rendon and Stephen Drew tumbling into the stands:

Astros 7, Yankees 6: Yankees’ top prospect Clint Frazier got the call in time for Saturday’s set against the Astros, debuting with a leadoff double in the sixth inning and becoming the club’s first right fielder to hit a double in his big league debut since Doc Cook did it for the Yankees in 1913 (via Katie Sharp of River Ave Blues). He followed that up with a 339-foot blast in the seventh:

Despite Frazier’s heroics, four scoreless innings by rookie Jordan Montgomery and Didi Gregoriusfirst career grand slam, it was the Astros who had the last laugh, surging back from a three-run deficit to clinch their 55th win with a four-run outburst in the eighth and a stunning pick by Josh Reddick, Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel to retire the Yankees in the ninth:

Angels 4, Mariners 0: The Mariners couldn’t get things started against the Angels on Saturday, slipping back to two games below .500 after Ricky Nolasco hurled his first complete game shutout of the season. Nolasco kept a perfect game going through four innings, but lost it after inadvertently plunking Danny Valencia in the fifth inning and subsequently spoiled the no-hitter when Mitch Haniger poked a single to right field in the next at-bat.

Dodgers 8, Padres 0: With Dave Roberts serving a one-game suspension following Friday’s melee, the Dodgers’ fate was left in the hands of bench coach Bob Geren on Saturday. Geren steered the team to an 8-0 shutout, helped in large part by Rich Hill‘s seven-inning, 11-strikeout performance and Chris Taylor‘s seventh-inning grand slam.

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 2: Zack Greinke was in fine form against the Rockies as he generated his first quality start in a month, allowing Trevor Story a two-run homer in the seventh inning for Colorado’s first and only RBI hit of the night. A three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh powered the D-backs’ lead, handing Greinke his 10th win of the season and snapping a three-game skid to bring them within four games of tying the Dodgers at the top of the NL West.