Jose Pirela

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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: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 4, Rockies 1: Nolan Arenado made a clever play but Yan Gomes won the game with a walkoff three-run homer. This is the baseball equivalent of some smarty pants dropping a droll bon mot over a classmate’s mispronunciation of a word only to walk out of the building at three o’clock and get decked in front of the whole school. Corey Kluber, meanwhile, tossed a complete game, allowing only one run on three hits and striking out 11. Ace stuff, right there.

Red Sox 2, Rays 0: Chris Sale tossed eight shutout innings allowing only two hits and striking out 13. In the American League it’s him and Kluber, then there’s 50 feet of crap, then there’s the rest of the pitchers. OK, there’s, like, Luis Severino and some other dudes too, but I wanted to use that Brad Pitt quote from “Moneyball” for a while and I haven’t had any good chances. Either way: if there’s any justice in the world (spoiler alert: there isn’t, but go with me here) Sale and Kluber will face off in a deciding game in the playoffs this year. It will go eight and two-thirds innings, tied at zero, and then the home team will win on a walkoff inside-the-park homer. Everyone would love that except guys who write gamers on deadlines and their problems aren’t our problems.

Marlins 7, Nationals 3: Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run shot to break a 1-1 tie in the fifth. It was his 38th bomb of the year, setting a personal record and extending his league lead in dingers. Derek Dietrich also homered and drove in three. The Marlins scored seven runs on only six hits. Earl Weaver was right about three-run homers being awesome. He was also right about Alice Sweet’s tomato plants, but I suppose that’s best left for another time.

Pirates 6, Tigers 3: Chad Kuhl took a shutout into the sixth striking out six and walking one. He also (all together now) helped his own cause with a two-run single in the fourth to give the Pirates a 4-0 lead which they would not relinquish. Andrew McCutchen hit his 23rd homer of the year. The Tigers have lost four in a row.

Blue Jays 4, Yankees 2: Josh Donaldson homered twice, each of which were two-run shots. Garrett Cooper hit a sac fly and an RBI single, each of which were good for one run. 2 x 2 > 1 x 2, ergo the Blue Jays won. That’s just math. CC Sabathia left the game after three innings due to a recurrence of his old knee problems. That’s just age.

Padres 7, Reds 3Jose Pirela had four hits and scored three times and Yangervis Solarte had three hits including a homer, driving in three. Luis Perdomo pitched in and out of trouble into the seventh, inducing three double plays. The Padres got a fourth double play on a strike-em-out, throw-em-out with the throw-em-out nabbing Billy Hamilton. That doesn’t happen very often.

Mets 5, Rangers 4: The Mets snap their four-game losing streak. Chris Flexen allowed three runs over five and two-thirds for his first big league win. He was backed by homers from Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d'Arnaud which staked him to a 4-0 lead after two innings, so that helps.

Phillies 5, Braves 2: Zach Eflin — one of the increasingly hard to find Zachs in baseball who spell it with an “h” — allowed two runs on seven hits over seven and (all together now) helped his own cause by singling in the go-ahead run in the fourth. Odubel Herrera hit a two-run shot on a 3-for-4 night.

White Sox 8, Astros 5: Kevan Smith hit a two-run homer and a two-run double as the White Sox hand the Astros their fifth loss in seven games. Question: when the White Sox and Astros face off do they do any “remember the 2005 World Series” bits on the local broadcasts, or do we all pretend that never happened now that Houston is in the AL?

Twins 11, Brewers 4: Brian Dozier hit a grand slam and Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario each homered twice. The three of them went a combined 9-for-13, with seven runs and 10 RBI. According to the AP, the last time the Twins had multiple players hit multiple homers in one game was Aug. 3, 2011, when Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer each went deep twice. Blast from the past. Note: the last time Delmon Young was mentioned on this blog, apart from us talking about him either being released or arrested, was when we posted this:

Cardinals 10, Royals 3Yadier MolinaJedd Gyorko and Randal Grichuk each went deep in the service of the Cardinals’ 14-hit attack. Jason Vargas was beat up for six runs in four and two-thirds for the Royals. In the first half he was Cy Young material. In the second half Vargas is 1-3 with a 6.94 ERA and has allowed 31 hits, has walked 12 dudes and has surrendered six homers in 23.1 innings across five starts. You can’t run away and hide from a 162-game season. It will come and find you eventually and reveal you for who you truly are.

Diamondbacks 6, Dodgers 3: The Dodgers had a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. Such things have been pretty safe for them in this charmed season, but Jake Lamb‘s grand slam off of Tony Watson flipped the usual script. In Watson’s defense, he’s only been with the team for a little over a week so maybe no one told him how things are supposed to work yet. Hard to fault the matchup of a lefty specialist and a guy in Lamb who struggles against lefties. Stuff just happens sometimes.

Mariners 7, Athletics 6:  The A’s took a 6-2 lead into the sixth inning but the M’s rallied to tie it and Leonys Martin hit a solo shot in the top of the 10th to give Seattle the win. Khris Davis was 2-for-4 with a home run, a triple and four RBI in the losing cause. The M’s comeback was aided by some bad Oakland defense. The A’s lead the majors with 95 errors and 70 unearned runs allowed so, yeah.

Angels 3, Orioles 2: Every time I say “Angels and Orioles” to myself I think it sounds like the title of a 1990s art house movie. This should play before the game starts:

After that — and some pretentious, pre-credits sequence in which, I dunno, some British kids in the 1960s lose something in some tall grass — former Oriole Parker Bridwell threw seven innings of one-run ball, outdueling Jeremy Hellickson. C.J. Cron singled in the Halos’ first run and singled in their last run. Then the game ended on a dissonant note with, like, Juliette Binoche looking longingly at something, I know not what.

Giants 6, Cubs 3: Buster Posey hit a three-run homer in the first inning. He’s hitting .322/.411/.485 on the year. He’s one of the few good things going for the Giants in 2017. Ty Blach allowed two runs on seven hits over seven innings and (all together now) helped his own cause with an RBI single.

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.