Josh Reddick

Getty Images

The Astros could clinch the AL West on Sunday

3 Comments

A division title wasn’t in the cards for the Astros on Saturday. The team got off to a hot start: Dallas Keuchel fended off the Mariners for five scoreless innings and the offense built a six-run lead, relying on key hits from Derek Fisher, George Springer, Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran to distance themselves from their third-place rivals.

In fact, everything looked hunky-dory until the sixth, when Jean Segura ripped a 1-1 slider into the left field stands to spoil the shutout. Robinson Cano kicked off a four-run rally in the eighth, followed by Mitch Haniger‘s two-out, ninth-inning blast, but in the end, it was too little, too late. Beltran and Reddick returned with a pair of RBI hits to preserve the advantage and Joe Musgrove shut the door in the ninth, battling through a seven-pitch at-bat to catch Cano swinging to end the game.

Just as the Indians needed a Twins’ loss in order to clinch their division, however, the Astros couldn’t secure the AL West on their own. Clinching on Saturday would have necessitated an Angels’ loss to the Rangers — something their division rivals just weren’t willing to do. Parker Bridwell stymied the Rangers’ offense through six strong frames and the bullpen chased his quality start with three innings of no-hit ball to complete the shutout. Justin Upton, meanwhile, supplied the whole of the Angels’ offense with a pair of home runs — his 30th and 31st shots of the season.

With the Angels’ win, the Astros will sit tight until they get another shot to wrap things up on Sunday. It’s not a bad day for clinching, either, with newly-minted ace Justin Verlander set to make his final home start of the regular season. He’ll go up against the Mariners’ Andrew Moore at 2:10 ET as Houston hunts for the sweep and the division title.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

Getty Images
13 Comments

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Diamondbacks 13, Dodgers 0: That was a slaughter. And the man swinging the biggest meat cleaver was J.D. Martinez who went deep four times and drove in six. He’s the second guy to hit four bombs in a game this season, following Scooter Gennett, and only the 18th man to do it in major league history. What’s more, Martinez had more homers than the Dodgers had hits (4-3). Robbie Ray was responsible for that, shutting out Los Angeles for seven and two-thirds and striking out 14 Dodgers batters. Arizona has now won 11 games in a row. The Dodgers have lost nine of ten.

Here are Martinez’s blasts:

 

Angels 11, Athletics 9Kole Calhoun hit a two-run triple in the 11th inning to give the Angels the win but the news here was that the Angels used 12 pitchers to get through those 11 innings. Every manager who worked before, say, 1988 is rolling in their graves. Even the ones who aren’t dead yet. Three Angels pitchers didn’t record an out, which is just, oh my God. The major league record is 13 pitchers, but that was in a 16-inning game. Someone had best go check on Mike Scioscia today, because he probably hasn’t gotten that much exercise since he was trying to make his first big league team in camp 40 years ago.

Reds 5, Brewers 4: If you’re gonna guess who hit a big walkoff homer on any given day in Major League Baseball you’d probably go a long dang time before you picked Billy Hamilton. Hamilton had his day yesterday, however, smacking a walkoff solo shot to beat the Brewers. Hamilton also threw a runner out at home for his 12th assist of the year. After the game he said this:

“Saving a run was better for me. Me and [Adam] Duvall go out there every day to try to outdo each other. He still has one up on me. I’d rather throw a guy out than hit the big homer. but I’ll take both of them.”

Hmmmm. Can’t say I’d feel the same way, but given that he’s done both things and I’ll never do either, he’s in a better position to know.

Royals 7, Tigers 6: Alex Gordon had a day in the field. Doing this:

And this. Both in the fourth inning. Eric HosmerSalvador Perez and Alcides Escobar homered for the Royals as well. The Tigers have lost five straight and have very apparently given up on the year.

Mets 11, Phillies 7: Jose Reyes and Asrbubal Cabrera homered to back Rafael Montero who wasn’t great but was good enough. After the game all 25 men on the Mets roster had season ending surgery, probably.

Yankees 7, Orioles 4Starlin Castro homered and drove in three runs and Didi Gregorius went deep as well as the Yankees won their fourth in their last five. Aaron Judge drew four walks, singled and scored a run, which seems to go against the whole idea of throwing stuff in on Judge and making him show you his shoulder doesn’t hurt. The Orioles have now lost three of five. Seems like they were on a roll just ten minutes ago.

Indians 5, White Sox 3: That’s 12 straight wins for Cleveland. Trevor Bauer allowed two runs on three hits with nine strikeouts and one walk over six and a third to win his eighth decision in a row. The Indians’ franchise record winning streak is 14, set just last year. Oh, Bauer and Avisail Garcia had a little exchange in this one over whether it’s OK to throw breaking balls to big league batters. Watch the body language in this sequence:

And now listen to Bauer’s explanation:

Rockies 4, Giants 3: Carlos Gonzalez won the game on a walkoff walk, ending the Rockies’ four-game losing streak. Charlie Blackmon hit his 33rd homer of the season and DJ LeMahieu extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Colorado is now 8-0 at home against the Giants this season.

Pirates 12, Cubs 0Chad Kuhl shut the Cubs out on four hits over seven innings and two relievers took it the rest of the way. Max Moroff and Josh Bell each went 3-for-5 with four RBI for the Pirates. Jake Arrieta left with a hamstring injury for Chicago. He says it was just a cramp and believes he’ll make his next start.

Cardinals 2, Padres 0: Carlos Martinez tossed a three-hit complete game shutout with ten strikeouts and Yadi Molina hit a two-run RBI single in the fourth. That’s it. You now know everything of note that happened in that game.

Astros 6, Mariners 2:  Alex Bregman had a tiebreaking two-run double in Houston’s four-run seventh inning and Josh Reddick knocked in two that frame as well. Yuli Gurriel and Brian McCann had solo homers and Dallas Keuchel allowed two runs while pitching into the eighth. Houston has won five straight.

Blue Jays 10, Red Sox 4:  Kendrys Morales, Jose Bautista and Raffy Lopez all took Rick Porcello deep on a day when the reigning Cy Young Award winner was tagged for seven runs on ten hits and was handed his 16th loss on the year. Meanwhile his counterpart J.A. Happ allowed just one earned run in five and two-thirds. Boston has lost four of five and its division lead is down to two and a half games.

Nationals 7, Marlins 2: Anthony Rendon And Daniel Murphy each hit homers and had two-run doubles, wth Rendon driving in four runs and Murphy driving in three. With that the Nats won easily, but as always, Giancarlo Stanton gets some press in a losing cause. He hit his 53rd homer of the year. And he dented a TV camera as he did it, breaking its zoom lens function. Really:

Rays 11, Twins 4:  Corey Dickerson homered and doubled twice. He, Logan Morrison and Kevin Kiermaier drove in two runs a piece. Evan Longoria drove in three. The Rays are now three games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card with 23 left to play.

Rangers 8, Braves 2Elvis AndrusRougned Odor and Mazara homered as the Rangers won in a laugher. Andrus had homered twice on Sunday too. The Rangers lead all of baseball with 215 homers on the year.

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

Associated Press
18 Comments

Happy Labor Day. I hope you have an enjoyable one. But I also hope you take some time to think about the reason for the holiday. It’s not just a day off for grilling meat, even if a lot of us plan to spend it that way.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Brewers 7, Nationals 2: Hello. My name is Domingo Santana. You killed my father. Prepare to die. Not sure why Washington even pitched to Santana. You knew it’d be his day. Dang day was named after him for cryin’ out loud.

Rangers 7, Angels 6: I can’t decide if I want to hug or boo the headline writer responsible for this: 

Probably hug. I love headline puns. This one described Elvis Andrus going deep twice, of course.  Robinson Chirinos and Delino DeShields hit back-to-back homers. The Angels rallied in the ninth, though, scoring three times and loading the bases before Luis Valbuena grounded out to end things.

Braves 5, Cubs 1: Rookie Max Fried made his first big league start against the defending World Series champions who came into the game on a six-game winning streak. No worries: Fried allowed one run over five innings and four relievers shut the Cubs out for the final four to give Fried the win. Rio Ruiz backed them offensively, going 3-for-4 and driving in three.

 

Orioles 5, Blue Jays 4: This one ended in the twelfth too, with Mark Trumbo hitting a walkoff RBI double for Baltimore. His cohort in clutchiness was Welington Castillo, who hit two home runs, including a game-tying shot in the ninth. Baltimore has won eight of ten and is now tied with the Angels, 1.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card spot. They’re three and a half back of the Yankees, who they meet this afternoon.

Indians 11, Tigers 1:  Jose Ramirez had five extra base hits on the day, smacking two homers and three doubles and driving in three. That’s not the sort of thing that happens every day. Something else that doesn’t happen every day is hitting a homer that an opposing outfielder helps over the wall. Cleveland outscored the Tigers 29-5 while sweeping them in the four game series. They’ve won 11 in a row overall.

Phillies 3, Marlins 1:  Nick Williams hit a two-run single with two out in the 12th to give Philly the win. Lost in the extra innings heroics was a nice little duel between starters Jose Urena of Miami and Jake Thompson of Philly, who went seven and six innings, respectively, each allowing one run.

Pirates 3, Reds 1: Trevor Williams tossed seven scoreless innings despite allowing eight hits and walking a guy. Cincinnati went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 10 runners on base. That’s no way to go through life, son.

White Sox 6, Rays 2: Tim Anderson singled in a run, doubled in a run and homered in a run (sure, that’s a thing) on his 3-for-4 day. Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer after missing three games with an elbow injury. Guess he’s feeling better. Lucas Giolito allowed one run on three hits and struck out 10 in seven innings of work.

Royals 5, Twins 4: Lorenzo Cain hit a go-ahead, two-run triple in the seventh inning to lift Kansas City. Melky Cabrera hit a two-run homer. Not a bad bounce back day for the Royals, who lost 17-0 on Saturday.

Astros 8, Mets 6: Two guys who weren’t around for Houston a week ago — Cameron Maybin and Carlos Correa — came up big. Maybin hit a three-run homer and Correa drove in a run. George Springer homered and Josh Reddick had two hits and three RBI as the Astros sweep the Mets in the two-day, three-game series.

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 1: Arizona seems unstoppable lately, winning ten in a row. Ketel Marte and Brandon Drury homered and Zack Godley pitched out of trouble, allowing only one run on three hits despite walking six. Striking out seven helps. The Dbacks lead for the top Wild Card spot is now six and a half games. The Rockies, who once looked to be locks for the second Wild Card, are now only up by a half game over the Brewers.

Cardinals 7, Giants 3: Madison Bumgarner hit a homer to tie things up at two in the fifth inning but Harrison Bader homered off of him in the sixth to put St. Louis up for good. Tommy DeJong and Jose Martinez took Bumgarner out too. Martinez drove in three on the day.

Mariners 10, Athletics 2: Robinson Cano had a day, going 4-for-5 and driving in four, thanks in part to a two-run homer. Andrew Albers took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before running out of gas, but he’d only allow one run on the day. The M’s sweep the A’s in three.

Padres 6, Dodgers 4: The Dodgers continue to struggle, dropping three of four to San Diego. Here Erick Aybar hit a go-ahead, two-run homer and Jose Pirela went deep as well. Los Angeles has lost eight of nine.

Yankees 9, Red Sox 2: New York takes three of four from Boston and moves to within 3.5 games back of the Sox for the division lead. Aaron Judge snapped his longest home run drought of the season, Chase Headley went deep and Matt Holliday and Todd Frazier hit back-to-back home runs. Chris Sale didn’t make it out of the fifth inning as he falls to the Yankees for the third time this year.