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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:

Cardinals 11, Cubs 4: The Cubs finally dropped their first game following the All-Star break, snapping a six-game win streak in dramatic fashion as the Cardinals took Chicago’s bullpen for a ride in the eighth inning. Carl Edwards Jr. kicked off the rally with a double and three consecutive walks, helping the Cardinals to their first run of the inning with a bases-loaded walk. The Cards’ offense did the rest, taking the series opener after they piled on another eight runs to top the Cubs, 11-4.

Phillies 6, Brewers 1: The Brewers aren’t running away with the NL Central anymore, thanks to a skid that was extended to six games on Friday night. Aaron Nola held the club to one run in seven innings, striking out nine of 26 batters to notch his seventh win of the season. Matt Garza kept pace for five innings, but a late-game implosion gave the Phillies a four-run lead — and their 33rd win of the year.

Astros 8, Orioles 7: The Astros looked dominant for eight long innings, from Colin Moran’s first career triple and first career home run to a four-hit night for Yuli Gurriel. None of that seemed to matter in the bottom of the ninth, however, when the Orioles came roaring back with a five-run spread against James Hoyt and Chris Devenski. With two outs and Mark Trumbo at the plate, Ken Giles hung on to preserve the Astros’ lead with a four-pitch strikeout.

Marlins 3, Reds 1: The Reds finally caught a break against the Diamondbacks earlier this week, taking their first win of the second half on a 4-3 nail-biter. Friday saw a return to their slumping ways, with another close call during their series opener against the Marlins. Billy Hamilton put the club on the board with a sac fly in the third inning, but the offense couldn’t solve Jose Urena, who pitched 6 1/3 innings of three-hit, one-run ball.

Mets 7, Athletics 5: Michael Conforto‘s second two-run homer proved the difference maker in Friday’s win. The center fielder took Clayton Blackburn in the third inning with a blast to center field, and returned in the seventh to pad the Mets’ lead with another two-run shot off of Frankie Montas:

Things weren’t all doom and gloom for the A’s: Marcus Semien logged four hits, tying a career-high mark, and the team rallied with RBI singles in the eighth to bring them within two runs of tying the game. Still, it wasn’t enough to close the gap — especially after losing Ryon Healy on a grisly infield hit.

Rangers 4, Rays 3 (10 innings): With all the trade rumors swirling around Texas hurler Yu Darvish, it’s hardly surprising that both the Cubs and Dodgers had scouts in attendance during Friday’s series opener. They couldn’t have picked a better outing to attend: Darvish was lights-out, tossing eight innings with three runs and five hits and striking out a season-high 12 batters.

Indians 13, Blue Jays 3: The Indians rebounded from a series loss to the Giants this week and took their first game against the Blue Jays with a stunning eight-run inning. After carrying a two-run lead against the Blue Jays through the first six innings, the club padded their lead with four consecutive RBI hits against Toronto lefty reliever Jeff Beliveau in the seventh. With a runner on first and one out, Cesar Valdez was brought in to relieve Believau, and instead gave up another three back-to-back RBI to bring the score to a lopsided 13-3.

Tigers 6, Twins 3: Victor Martinez only needed two home runs to carry the Tigers’ 44th win of the year and move them within six games of the division lead. His big moments were only slightly overshadowed by the loss of Miguel Cabrera, who was felled by a line drive in the fourth inning and left the game with a bruised collarbone. Austin Romine replaced the slugger at first base, going 0-for-2 as the bullpen combined for 3 1/3 scoreless frames to lock down the win.

Royals 7, White Sox 6 (10 innings): Yoan Moncada is off to an auspicious start with the White Sox after plating four runs on Friday, including a bases-loaded triple in the third inning.

It wasn’t enough to top the Royals, who came storming back in the 10th with Whit Merrifield’s walk-off sac fly, but Moncada still managed to set a season record during his dash from home plate to third base:

Pirates 13, Rockies 5: After 103 days, the Pirates are back over .500 again. Rookie first baseman Josh Bell carried the Bucs through their double-digit win, going 4-for-6 at the plate and driving in four runs with an RBI single in the first inning and a three-run double in the second. He wasn’t the only one turning heads, either:

The deep fly ball landed for Jhan Marinez‘s first base hit of the year and the first by a Pirates’ reliever since Wade LeBlanc smacked his first RBI single back in May.

Diamondbacks 6, Nationals 5: One bad start does not a bad pitcher make, but this one may have stung just a little too much. Max Scherzer kickstarted his fourth no-decision of the season with not one, not two, but three consecutive home runs in the first inning:

It’s the first time the Nationals’ ace has given up three homers since May 2016, when he issued a career-high four homers to the Cubs’ Tommy La Stella, Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist. He allowed another RBI single and double before settling down, and issued three scoreless innings before making his exit in the bottom of the fifth. It wasn’t quite enough to salvage the game, however, as the Nats went on to lose in the bottom of the ninth on Brandon Drury’s walk-off single.

Red Sox 6, Angels 2: Chris Sale is pitching on another level right now. The Red Sox’ lefty took on the Angels during Friday’s series opener, mowing down nine of 24 batters en route to his 12th win of the year. One pitch — a 1-2 heater to catch Kole Calhoun swinging in the sixth — moved Sale into elite company:

The strikeout, Sale’s ninth and final whiff of the night, was also his 200th of the season. According to MLB.com’s Ian Browne and the Elias Sports Bureau, only three major league pitchers have whiffed 200+ batters by their 20th start of the year: Hall of Famer hurlers Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez.

Braves 12, Dodgers 3: Jamie Garcia’s fifth-inning grand slam was the centerpiece of the Braves’ win on Friday night, catapulting the team to a nine-run lead and giving them the cushion they needed to lock down their second win of the series.

Garcia’s antics weren’t the only thing powering the Braves’ efforts: Garcia plated his first runs of the night on a fielding error, Freddie Freeman went oppo-taco in the fifth and Tyler Flowers clubbed a three-run shot off of the Dodgers’ Grant Dayton. Dodgers fans, meanwhile, tried their best to derail everything by doing this:

Yankees 5, Mariners 1: Aaron Judge has mashed some impressive taters in his rookie year so far: the 400-footers, the base-clearing knocks, the game-winning blasts. This one ranks somewhere among his top home runs of the season, as it very nearly cleared the perimeter of Safeco Field — a feat made all the more astounding by the park’s pitcher-friendly dimensions.

The Mariners couldn’t recover after Judge’s homer or five solid innings from CC Sabathia, and have yet to produce more than one run per game in either of their back-to-back losses this series.

Padres 12, Giants 9 (11 innings): The seagulls that roost in AT&T Park have things to do and places to be, man. They don’t have time to wait around for an 11-inning marathon to reach its inevitable conclusion, nor do they have the patience to split center field territory with Denard Span:

Even a horde of low-flying gulls couldn’t keep the Padres at bay, however: George Kontos and Kyle Crick combined for back-to-back-to-back base hits, allowing San Diego to amass a three-run lead in the 11th and clinch their second win of a four-game set against the Giants.

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Tigers 6, Blue Jays 5: Miguel Cabrera wins it with a walkoff walk in the 11th. Or I suppose you could say Lucas Harrell lost it by issuing that bases loaded walk. Except, he actually didn’t get the loss because Jeff Beliveau issued the walk to the runner who was forced in on the walk and was thus responsible for the losing run. Really, though, when the bases get loaded due to a couple of walks and a fielding error and then the game-ending run is walked in, everyone can take a piece of the credit for it. Lost in all of this was that the Tigers bullpen tossed five shutout innings allowing only one hit. That’s a pretty nice collective effort too.

Royals 4, Rangers 3: If you think the walkoff walk was somewhat dubious way for a team to win a game, how about a walkoff two-run single that should’ve been a routine fly ball that would’ve sent the game into the 10th inning except for the fact that the right fielder lost the ball in the sun? Check out Shin-Soo Choo‘s follies in the bottom of the ninth:

Sun happens.

Pirates 4, Cardinals 3: How about a more conventional walkoff? Pittsburgh was down 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth and rallied for the win with a Jordy Mercer RBI double and Adam Frazier‘s walkoff RBI single, both of which came off of Brett Cecil. On Friday Josh Bell hit a walkoff three-run homer off of Seung-Hwan Oh, so I guess it didn’t matter who the Cardinals ran out there.

Yankees 3, Red Sox 0; Red Sox 3, Yankees 0: After playing for 16 innings and nearly 6 hours on Saturday I’m sure the Red Sox and Yankees loved to have a double header yesterday. Especially a day-night affair. Even better: the split here meant that, standings-wise, everything cancelled out. But they’re ballplayers and that’s what they do. In the first game CC Sabathia and three relievers combined to shut Boston out on four hits with a Didi Gregorius homer highlighting the win. In the nightcap Mookie Betts hit a two-run homer and Dustin Pedroia singled in a run as David Price tossed eight shutout innings.

Price had some help. Watch Jackie Bradley Jr. save the shutout with a home-run-robbing snag:

 

Nationals 14, Reds 4: A five-run fifth inning from Washington broke things open in this laugher as the Nats rung up Homer Bailey for eight runs on eight hits. Washington hit five homers with Daniel Murphy slugging two — three-run and a two-run jacks — and Anthony Rendon, Adam Lind and Jose Lobaton all going deep as well.

Rockies 13, Mets 4: Colorado had a 9-0 lead after three and a half innings, highlighted by a Nolan Arenado three-run blast. Seven of those nine runs came off of Steven Matz who couldn’t even retire a batter in the second inning. Late in the game Charlie Blackmon hit an inside-the-park homer. Sorta. That’s what it looked like in practice as the ball hit the wall and bounced onto the field and Blackmon motored around the bases. But the ball actually cleared the fence and Curtis Granderson — who knew that a replay review would’ve confirmed a home run — just casually retrieved it. Since either result of a replay review would’ve resulted in a home run, there was no review and it remained an inside-the-park homer since that was the initial ruling on the field.

Dodgers 3, Marlins 2: Los Angeles remains hot, winning its ninth game in a row and sweeping the Marlins. Rich Hill allowed one run over five innings and Justin Turner went 2-for-3 with a homer and a sac fly. It would’ve been a larger margin of victory but Marcell Ozuna robbed Kiké Hernandez of a homer with a great catch.

Cubs 8, Orioles 0: Jose Quintana was fantastic in his debut with the Cubs, tossing seven shutout innings and striking out 12. For years he struggled with run support on the South Side, but it was not an issue for his first game with the Northsiders as Chicago built a 4-0 lead after two innings and then got two runs homers from both Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo later.

Braves 7, Diamondbacks 1: The Braves probably want to trade Jaime Garcia. Him allowing only one run and striking out seven over seven innings helps that some. Matts Kemp and Adams hit homers for Atlanta, the former’s a three-run blast, the latter’s a solo shot.

Mariners 7, White Sox 6: Chicago had a 5-0 lead thanks to a two Avisail Garcia homers, but that didn’t hold up as the Mariners came back and Nelson Cruz hit a homer in the top of the 10th to put Seattle up for good. It was the second straight game in which he hit a go-ahead home run. Seattle has won four in a row while the White Sox have now lost fourt straight.

Phillies 5, Brewers 2: Nick Williams hit a grand slam to account for four of the Phillies’ five runs. The slam came off of Tyler Webb. The last time Williams faced Webb was in a Triple-A game last month. He homered off of Webb then too. It’s nice to be a big leaguer for only a few weeks and already have the number of another big leaguer.

Astros 5, Twins 3Mike Fiers struck out a season-high 11 over seven and Nori Aoki had two hits and drove in two. Houston took two of three from the Twins. Can we just fast-forward to the Astros-Dodgers World Series now?

 

Angels 4, Rays 3: Tied 2-2 in the eighth when C.J. Cron a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth. The Rays threatened in the ninth and did pick up one run, but the Angels escaped with the sweep-avoiding win.

Athletics 7, Indians 3: Trevor Bauer allowed four runs on three hits and walked three while working only two-thirds of an inning, losing this one before it even really began. His counterpart, Sean Manaea, allowed only two over seven innings and struck out eight. Matt Joyce, Ryon Healy and Jaycob Brugman each drove in two runs. Oakland sweeps the Indians in three, reducing Cleveland’s division lead to one and a half games.

Padres 7, Giants 1: Corey Spangenberg and Hector Sanchez each hit three-run homers before the third inning was over as San Diego wins in a laugher. Sanchez hit a two-run walk-off homer on Saturday night. That’s about as good a weekend as a backup catcher can have.

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.