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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:

Yankees 5, Rays 4: Lucas Duda went deep for the second time in a Rays’ uniform, but the team failed to capitalize on his momentum and dropped their second straight game following Brett Gardner‘s walk-off single in the ninth.

Angels 6, Blue Jays 5: With the trade deadline fast approaching, every at-bat and inning pitched becomes a prime marketing opportunity for those on the chopping block. Francisco Liriano, whose pre-deadline 5.99 ERA has yet to scare off suitors like the Astros, Cubs and Royals, delivered six quality innings of three-run, four-strikeout ball in the Blue Jays’ losing effort on Saturday. It’s the best start he’s put together in weeks after a pair of injury-shortened performances on the road, and may very well be his last in a Blue Jays uniform.

Dodgers 2, Giants 1: The Dodgers didn’t need to rally for their 73rd win of the season, taking an early two-run lead on a pair of Cody Bellinger RBI hits to stay ahead of the Giants. Hunter Pence responded with a solo shot in the fourth, his seventh of the year, but failed to inspire a bigger rally for the Giants as they wasted a gem from Ty Blach and dropped to 33.5 games back in the NL West.

Mariners 3, Mets 2: Be it the catalyst for a game-winning home run, a rally-killing strikeout or career-changing hit by pitch, one pitch is more than capable of redeeming — or spoiling — an entire game. On Saturday, that pitch was a 95 MPH fastball from Jacob deGrom, which landed near Mitch Haniger‘s nose and mouth in the second inning of the Mets’ loss to the Mariners. Haniger was alert as he was helped off the field, but is expected to require plastic surgery to repair a severe laceration of his upper lip.

Tigers 5, Astros 3: The Tigers snapped a four-game skid on Saturday, banking on 7 1/3 strong innings from Matthew Boyd and a three-run rally in the seventh to edge past the Astros. Ian Kinsler knocked in the go-ahead run on an RBI single, scoring Jose Iglesias and keeping the club just eight games back of a wild card slot.

Phillies 4, Braves 3 (11 innings): Down 2-1 in the ninth inning with the bases empty and one out, the Phillies turned to Odubel Herrera. The center fielder sized up Jim Johnson‘s first-pitch fastball and postmarked it to right field for a game-tying home run, his 10th of the season.

Two innings later, still locked into a 3-3 tie, Ty Kelly stepped up with another clutch moment. He worked an 0-1 count against Rex Brothers before lofting an RBI single to left field for his first career walk-off hit.

Rockies 4, Nationals 2: German Marquez carried a perfect game through 5 1/3 innings on Saturday, fanning a career-best 10 batters and allowing three hits in what was undoubtedly the highlight of his 2017 season. The Nationals were too good to be held at bay for long, however, and broke through with Matt Wieters’ one-out single in the sixth. A Howie Kendrick double and Wilmer Difo RBI base hit plated the Nats’ first and only runs of the day, but the team fell just shy of the win after Gerardo Parra and Mark Reynolds padded Marquez’s performance with a pair of doubles in the fifth.

Marlins 7, Reds 3: It’s been 12 days since the Marlins recalled Adam Conley from Triple-A, and he hasn’t given them a reason to doubt him since. The southpaw turned in his third consecutive quality start against the Reds, improving to 4-3 on the year with 7 2/3 innings of two-run, seven-strikeout ball. His only mistakes? Two solo shots by Joey Votto and Adam Duvall, which did little to help close a four-run gap in the Marlins’ win.

Indians 5, White Sox 4: The Indians improved to a three-game lead in the AL Central on Saturday, extending their win streak to nine games with a 12-strikeout appearance by Corey Kluber and a pair of shutdown innings from Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. In the end, however, the winning run had little to do with the Indians’ talents:

Diamondbacks 7, Cardinals 1: The Diamondbacks won’t clinch a division title anytime soon, but they maintained their third-best record in the National League with another decisive win over the Cardinals this weekend. Zack Greinke turned in his 13th win of the year, firing nine strikeouts and allowing one run over seven innings, while the D-backs wielded three home runs from Paul Goldschmidt, J.D. Martinez and Ketel Marte in their seven-run effort.

Cubs 2, Brewers 1 (11 innings): The NL Central division rivals went toe-to-toe on Saturday night, matching each other every step of the way in a superb defensive showcase. Kyle Hendricks struck out three over five innings; Junior Guerra whiffed four through three scoreless frames. Jacob Barnes retired Wilson Contreras with a runner in scoring position, escaping a jam in the seventh to prevent the Cubs from taking the lead; Pedro Strop slipped out of a tight spot in the eighth with runners on first and second and one out.

After 11 innings, the difference-maker was Jason Heyward, who needed exactly three pitches to unload a go-ahead home run and seal first place in the division with a 1.5-game lead.

Orioles 4, Rangers 0: Adrian Beltre didn’t collect his 3,000th career hit on Saturday, but he did record a single for his 2,999th hit, which means we’ll all be on pins and needles during the Rangers’ series finale on Sunday afternoon. The rest of the Rangers struggled valiantly to plate a run, falling several inches short of a run on Joey Gallo‘s near-homer in the third:

Adam Jones: Not having it.

Athletics 5, Twins 4: After losing five straight, the A’s took home a much-needed win on Saturday. Chris Smith handed the Twins an early lead, but was bailed out by the A’s offense after Rajai Davis lifted a two-run homer to walk off in the ninth.

While the win did little to move the needle in the AL West standings — or, for that matter, the wild card rankings — the A’s handed manager Bob Melvin his 1,000th career win.

Padres 4, Pirates 2: It may be too late to start angling for a postseason spot, but the Padres have definitely found their groove. They exited Saturday’s win with a four-game win streak, backing Dinelson Lamet’s quality start with a Jose Pirela pants-ripping RBI triple, RBI doubles from Hector Sanchez and Hunter Renfroe, and Manuel Margot‘s eighth blast of the season.

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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

Cubs 6, Pirates 1: The Cubs pulled within five games of first place on Friday, thanks in large part to a two-homer, four-RBI performance from Kris Bryant. Eddie Butler turned in another abbreviated performance after four innings — he’s pitched into the sixth inning just once this season — but kept the game scoreless for the bullpen, who limited the Pirates’ offense to one run and two hits.

Padres 4, Phillies 3: Austin Hedges appears to be past that bout of neck stiffness. He returned to the Padres’ lineup on Friday and dropped go-ahead sac fly into center field in the ninth inning. Things aren’t looking so good for Padres’ left-hander Christian Frederich, however, who was shut down from throwing and may miss the rest of 2017 after sustaining some discomfort in his left elbow.

Nationals 5, Braves 4 (10 innings): The Nationals are now 4-4 in extra-inning games this season, and took home their third extra-inning walk-off win on Friday night with a decisive RBI single from Daniel Murphy.

The single scored rookie journeyman Adrian Sanchez, who pinch-hit in the 10th inning and recorded his first major league hit on a line drive off of the Braves’ Ian Krol.

Brewers 9, Yankees 4: Aaron Judge has now homered in each of the Yankees’ three consecutive losses. His blast on Friday night set a new record, topping Joe DiMaggio’s 1936 rookie season record with his 30th homer of the year:

Josh Hader, the unlucky soul who surrendered the home run, went on to notch his first major league win after the Brewers stormed back to a five-run lead on Jesus Aguilar‘s go-ahead grand slam and Manny Pina‘s RBI hit in the seventh.

Astros 12, Blue Jays 2: The Astros steamrolled the Blue Jays with yet another double-digit finish — their third of the week — and improved to a ridiculous 16.5-game lead in the AL West this weekend. Their big break came in the second inning, when a six-run spread forced Toronto’s Aaron Sanchez from the game after just 1 2/3 innings in his first start since landing on the disabled list with blister issues. Charlie Morton, also back from the DL for the first time on Friday, held the Blue Jays to one run over six innings for his sixth win of the year.

Red Sox 8, Rays 3: Whatever adjustments Dustin Pedroia has been making at the plate finally paid off on Friday night. The Red Sox’ second baseman snapped his 41-game skid without a home run, taking Jake Odorizzi deep in the third inning to boost the Sox to a four-run lead.

Aside from a few nail-biters — including this 3-5-4-5 double play to extinguish runners on second and third — Boston won handily, evening the series and becoming the second American League team to reach 50 wins in 2017.

Indians 11, Tigers 2: The first Indians pitcher to record an immaculate inning was Justin Masterson, who laid down three consecutive three-pitch strikeouts on June 2, 2014 against the Red Sox’ Jonny Gomes, Grady Sizemore and Stephen Drew.

The second Indians pitcher to match the feat? Carlos Carrasco, whose one-run outing was highlighted by his first immaculate inning against the Tigers’ Nicholas Castellanos, Mikie Mahtook and Jose Iglesias in the fifth inning of Friday’s win.

Several innings earlier, in the second, Victor Martinez put his own mark in the history books with his 2,000th major league hit: an 0-1 single that bounced just shy of left fielder Michael Brantley. He’s the ninth active major league player to reach 2,000 career hits so far.

Rangers 10, Angels 0: Speaking of historic hits, Adrian Beltre swatted a three-run homer off of Ricky Nolasco during the Rangers’ shutout, padding their eight-run lead in the second inning and becoming the 21st major league player with over 5,000 career bases. (No doubt he was the first to enter the club while homering off of one knee, too.)

By the end of the night, Beltre had 5,003 bases under his belt, just 38 short of Mel Ott’s 5,041. He also inched closer to the 3,000-hit mark, though he’ll still need 23 more hits to earn a spot on that list.

Twins 9, Orioles 6: The Twins celebrated their acquisition of Bartolo Colon with a 9-6 win on Friday, taking the first of three games from the Orioles and improving to 1.5 games back of the division-leading Indians. Byron Buxton turned heads with an incredible sprint from first base, clocking in at just 9.47 seconds to race home and pad the Twins’ lead:

Meanwhile, rookie starter Felix Jorge was forced from the mound in the third inning, but a five-run fifth inning from the Twins’ offense and six shutdown innings from the bullpen salvaged the game in the end.

Mets 6, Cardinals 5: Jacob deGrom experienced a new career first this weekend, but it wasn’t a good one. The right-hander surrendered four home runs during his ninth win of the season, allowing back-to-back homers from Randal Grichuk and Paul DeJong in the third inning and another pair of consecutive homers by Dexter Fowler and Jedd Gyorko in the fourth. Despite deGrom’s command issues, the Mets’ offense rose to the occasion, powering the win with two blasts of their own and plating the winning run on T.J. Rivera’s RBI double in the seventh.

Rockies 12, White Sox 4: With just two games left to go until the All-Star Game, DJ LeMahieu, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado are soaking up every last practice session they can get. Each of the Rockies’ All-Stars went deep during the club’s series opener, twice driving in starting pitcher German Marquez, who went 2-for-3 with a double and single in his sixth win of the year.

Diamondbacks 6, Reds 3: The D-backs muscled their way back from a three-game sweep at the hands of the Dodgers as they kicked off their last homestand before the All-Star break. Zack Greinke tossed seven scoreless frames with four hits, a walk and seven strikeouts — his first scoreless outing of the season — and contributed an RBI single in the win.

Joey Votto and Scott Schebler returned with a two-homer, three-run rally in the ninth inning, but couldn’t quite close the gap against Fernando Rodney.

Dodgers 4, Royals 1: Two winning streaks went head-to-head on Friday night, and one of them had to come to an end. The Royals’ four-win streak was felled by Kenta Maeda, who guided the Dodgers to their own four-win streak with five solid innings of one-run ball. The offense generated a modest four-run backing, including Chase Utley‘s eighth inning double and 1,000th career RBI. He’s the ninth active player with over 1,000 career RBI to date.

Mariners 7, Athletics 2: Not one to be left out of the party, Nelson Cruz hit one for the record books on Friday. The Mariners’ All-Star designated hitter engineered a three-run, 433-foot drive into the Safeco Field bullpen, putting the team up by four runs in the eighth inning.

The smash was Cruz’s 16th of the season and 300th of his 13-year career. Only nine other active players have 300+ home runs, including Adrian Beltre, Carlos Beltran, Jose Bautista, Miguel Cabrera, Adrian Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson and Albert Pujols.

Marlins 6, Giants 1: While Marlins Park is being prepped for next week’s All-Star festivities, the Marlins made themselves at home in AT&T Park. Dan Straily settled the Giants’ offense with 8 1/3 innings of one-run ball, while Giancarlo Stanton practiced his swing for Monday’s Home Run Derby, becoming the first visiting right-handed hitter to drive an opposite-field home run over the right field wall since 2014.

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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

Cubs 9, Pirates 5: Of all the wacky twists and turns encapsulating the Cubs’ 33rd win of the season, none was stranger than this:

The reason for the impromptu uniform redesign? According to MLB.com’s Chris Landers and Carrie Muskat, pitchers cannot wear long white sleeves, as it obscures the baseball from the batter’s view. Luckily, the rudimentary tailoring skills of one Cubs’ trainer saved the day.

Cardinals 11, Orioles 2: The Cardinals snapped their three-game losing streak in spectacular fashion on Friday, distributing a season-best five home runs to rout the fourth-place Orioles. From Matt Carpenter’s blast in the sixth inning through Trey Mancini’s homer in the ninth, the only way either team scored was via the long ball.

Diamondbacks 5, Phillies 4: The Diamondbacks furthered their five-win streak on Friday, topping the Phillies to bring themselves within one game of the division lead. Gregor Blanco powered the D-backs’ comeback in the seventh inning, postmarking a 2-2 curveball from Aaron Nola to the right field stands, while Jake Lamb supplied the winning run on a sac fly.

White Sox 11, Blue Jays 4: The White Sox continued dominating their AL East rivals with an 11-run showing against the Blue Jays, backed by seven solid innings from Jose Quintana and a five-run display from Melky Cabrera.

Jose Quintana pitched into the seventh inning for the first time since May 19, issuing two runs on five hits and two walks and whiffing five of 25 batters. The offense carried the rest of the game, cushioning Quintana’s efforts with Jose Abreu’s three-RBI performance, Melky’s five-RBI performance and a handful of extra runs from Todd Frazier, Tim Anderson and Alex Hanson.

Tigers 13, Rays 4: After getting swept in a two-game series against the Diamondbacks earlier this week, the Tigers are turning things around. They cemented back-to-back wins against the Rays with a 13-run explosion on Friday, earning 10 of their 13 runs on two consecutive five-run innings against the Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez and Austin Pruitt. Highlighted in the win? A smattering of stellar defensive plays, including a slick throw from shortstop Jose Iglesias:

Nationals 7, Mets 2: Backing Max Scherzer‘s sterling start: Three home runs, one each from Matt Wieters, Michael Taylor and Anthony Rendon. Wieters put the Nats on the board in the third inning with a first-pitch shot off of Steven Matz:

Wieters’ leadoff solo shot was immediately followed by a long ball from Michael Taylor, his eighth of the season. Rendon rounded out the bunch, delivering a 379-foot tater to right field to cement a four-run lead in the sixth.

The Mets staged a late-game rally with solo homers from Jose Reyes and Jay Bruce in the eighth and ninth innings, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Nats, who put up another three runs in the ninth to take the game, 7-2.

Dodgers 3, Reds 1: Scooter Gennett didn’t get the opportunity to help the Reds during their 3-1 loss on Friday, taking a much-needed day off after his historic 10-RBI performance on Tuesday. The team still found a way to include him, however, hosting a pregame ceremony to honor Gennett for his four-homer performance and gifting him with a red scooter.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, continued their march toward first place with a dominant eight innings from Alex Wood, who held the Reds to just four hits and one run in his seventh win of the year.

Marlins 5, Braves 0: Perhaps The Freeze’s untimely loss was a harbinger of defeat for the Braves. It’s equally as likely that the Braves’ offense had something to do with it, collecting just four hits off of Dan Straily while the Marlins coasted to their 5-0 finish — their first team shutout since May 7.

Rangers 10, Mariners 4: Tyson Ross had been waiting for this moment since last April. The Rangers’ right-hander took the mound on Friday after battling chronic shoulder issues for the last year, and by all appearances seemed to have returned to the 3.26 ERA, 4.4 fWAR hurler the Padres saw in 2015. He limited the Mariners to just two runs in 5 2/3 innings, issuing three walks and striking out five batters in his first win of the season.

The Mariners, on the other hand, took a tough loss in what looked like James Paxton‘s worst start of the year. Paxton was forced out after 3 2/3 innings, giving up a season-high seven runs and striking out just four of 21 batters.

Brewers 6, Padres 5 (10 innings): Eric Thames is still enjoying an unprecedented power surge this season, with 19 home runs to his name and an equally impressive 1.012 OPS through his first 62 games. He smacked a walk-off home run during the 10th inning of the Brewers’ win, reaching a team-highest launch angle of 41 degrees as the ball skimmed the top of the wall and bounced into the left field bullpen.

Thames is no stranger to the hype that has surrounded his stunning return to Major League Baseball, but admitted some confusion over the Brewers’ rowdy postgame celebrations, which have improved on the shaving cream pies and Gatorade showers he was subject to during his first major league run.

I didn’t know about the jersey rip-off and the undershirt rip-off,” Thames told MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy. “It’s like, my nipple is hanging out, I’ve got all these drinks in my eyes. My eyes are still burning from it, but obviously it’s great the guys are having fun.

Red Sox 2, Astros 1: Mookie Betts‘ solo home run proved the deciding factor in Friday’s series opener, but the Red Sox nearly handed their one-run lead back to the Astros after a peculiar play in the eighth inning. With one out and runners on first and second base, the Astros’ Evan Gattis swung at a changeup from Matt Barnes. Christian Vasquez gloved the ball behind the plate and fired it to third, catching the tip of Gattis’ bat on its way out. Jose Altuve stole third base while Josh Rutledge stepped off the bag to field a ball that never arrived — it instead ricocheted toward first base, where it was scooped by Barnes.

The rest of the game was anticlimactic by comparison: Gattis hit into a rally-killing double play on the next pitch and Craig Kimbrel polished off the win with a scoreless ninth for his 19th save of the year.

Indians 8, Twins 1: The Indians are fast closing in on first place in the AL Central, thanks in part to a strong showing from Carlos Carrasco this weekend. The right-hander tossed 6 1/3 innings of four-hit ball, keeping the Twins to one run and striking out seven of 25 batters. Minnesota left-hander Nik Turley, on the other hand, has yet to win a game this season. He got shelled in 4 2/3 innings, taking his first loss after giving up eight runs on nine hits and four walks.

Rockies 10, Giants 8: Pitchers’ home runs should count more than regular home runs, right? Given their relative rarity, it only seems fair.

Unfortunately, that wouldn’t have done much good for the Giants on Friday. Jeff Samardzija‘s monster home run in the fifth inning — 446 feet, a Statcast record for power-hitting pitchers — gave the Giants a temporary 4-1 lead, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Rockies’ five-run surge in the bottom of the fifth.

Athletics 7, Yankees 6: Matt Chapman looked right at home during his first major league game. The rookie third baseman pounced on a curveball from Yankees’ right-hander Jonathan Holder, lashing it to left field to extend the A’s lead to 7-6 in the eighth inning.

That ended up being the difference maker, giving the A’s just the edge they needed to… well, maintain their last-place standing in the AL West.

Royals 3, Angels 1: Despite the flurry of no-hitters over the last five years (18, to be exact), no MLB pitcher has managed to toss a perfect game since Felix Hernandez‘s gem for the Mariners in 2012. Ian Kennedy gave it his best shot on Friday night, coming 10 outs shy of his first career perfecto before Cliff Pennington ripped a 3-1 homer in the sixth inning.

According to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan, Kennedy didn’t appear to bear any ill will towards Pennington for breaking up his bid:

I know Cliff pretty well,” Kennedy said, smiling. “I mean, he’s a terrible friend. I told him he’s a terrible friend and I was deleting his phone number. Nah, if I was going to give it up, at least it was to a friend.