Kyle Schwarber

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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 9, Twins 3; Twins 4, Indians 2: Yan Gomes and Jason Kipnis each had three hits and a homer in the first game, helping the Indians win their sixth straight. That streak ended in the second game, however, as Aaron Slegers, making his big league debut, allowed only two runs while pitching into the seventh and Max Kepler hit a go-ahead homer that inning. Eduardo Escobar knocked in two on a 3-for-5 evening.

Diamondbacks 4, Astros 0: Patrick Corbin fell one out short of a shutout, allowing only four hits in eight and two-thirds, and Archie Bradley retired the final batter to make it a team effort. Jake Lamb homered. Daniel Delscalso hit an inside-the-park homer. Lamb called that weirdness and raised by striking out on a wild pitch that allowed David Peralta to scores from third.

Reds 13, Cubs 10: The Reds scored nine runs in the second inning. Normally that’d be enough to ensure a win, but this one was wild, with the Cubs coming back to tie it in the fifth. The Reds kept scoring, however, winning it going away. Lots of crooked numbers in this box score, with Reds outfielder Phillip Ervin driving in four, including the two-run homer which broke the 9-9 ties, and Jose Peraza and Joey Votto each driving in three for Cincinnati. The Cubs hit six homers: Ian Happ had two and Kris Bryant, Alex Avila, Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber each hitting one. Jon Lester gave up nine runs — seven earned — and left before he could finish two innings. Scott Feldman allowed six in less than four.

Braves 10, Rockies 4Ender Inciarte hit two of Atlanta’s four homers as the Braves bounced back from Wednesday’s rout. Freddie Freeman and Tyler Flowers also homered as Colorado and Atlanta split their four-game set. A scare for the Rockies: Nolan Arenado had a ball smack his hand as he tried to field it at third, forcing him out of the game. X-rays came back negative, however, which is positive.

Blue Jays 5, Rays 3: It was tied 3-3 in the eighth, thanks in part to two solo homers from Josh Donaldson, when Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer. Donaldson is on fire, having hit 11 home runs over his past 19 games, including four times in this series. He’s batting .400 (20 for 50) with 21 RBI in the month of August. There are nine teams in the AL realistically competing for two Wild Card spots, with the Blue Jays — previously written off for dead — among them, three games out of the second spot. September is gonna be nuts.

Cardinals 11, Pirates 7: Dexter Fowler drove in three, two of which coming on a triple, as the Cardinals come back after being down 5-0. Game highlight, though, was Josh Harrison dancing.

Yankees 7, Mets 5Gary Sanchez homered and drove in five runs as the Yankees sweep the Mets in the Subway Series. Which is misnamed, as I figure that few if any of the players involved actually take the subway to the games anymore, what with the subway being an absolute disaster these days.

Rangers 9, White Sox 8: Nomar Mazara homered in drove in five too, hitting a tie-breaking three-run homer in the fifth. The Rangers have won four straight and seven of eight, climbing back to .500. Mazara has 25 RBI in his past 19 games and is on a pace for 111.

Nationals 2, Padres 1: The Nats only had four hits in the game, but one of them was a Ryan Zimmerman homer to break a 1-1 tie in the eighth. Edwin Jackson — who, at this point, we must refer to as “Edwin Jackson of all people” every time he’s mentioned — allowed one run over seven, scattering eight hits.

Giants 5, Phillies 4Jeff Samardzija was solid, winning for the fourth time in his last five starts and Jarrett Parker hit a two-run double in the fifth that led to Denard Span and Hunter Pence scoring within seconds of each other after Pence almost caught up with Span on the base paths:

Don’t look back, somethin’ might be gainin’ on ya.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 7, Red Sox 3: The Indians jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Rafael Devers homered twice, making it three homers in his last two games, and tying the score up at three. Then it was Edwin Encarnacion‘s turn to homer twice. He hit a two-run shot in the fifth to break that tie and added another two-run shot in the seventh to put Cleveland comfortably ahead. Trevor Bauer struck out 11 in six and two-thirds, allowing those Devers dingers and one to Andrew Benintendi, all solo shots. Cleveland has won four in a row.

Yankees 4, Mets 2: The Yankees bats have struggled in the second half, but last night Aarons Judge and Hicks and Gary Sanchez went deep. It was the 40th career homer for both Judge and Sanchez. Judge reached the mark in his 140th game and Sanchez in his 139th. Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes homered in a losing cause for the Mets.

Blue Jays 2, Rays 1: There aren’t a lot of games where all the scoring is confined to the first inning or two, but it seems like an inordinate number of them involve the Rays. Here Josh Donaldson hit a two-run shot for Toronto in the first, Wilson Ramos hit a solo shot for Tampa Bay in the second and the rest of the game was quiet, scoring wise. Nick Tepesch’s only flaw in six innings was that Ramos dinger and his counterpart Jake Odorizzi also went six, with Donaldson’s homer the only damage.

Marlins 8, Giants 3: Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer in the first and later drove in a run with a single. That was his 43rd bomb, breaking Gary Sheffield’s franchise record for homers in a season and putting him on a 60-homer pace. That’s five straight games with a homer for Stanton. Since July 17, Stanton has 17 home runs. Since July 17 the Giants, as an entire teams, have 17 homers.

Rangers 6, Tigers 2Rougned Odor had three hits and scored three times, with the go-ahead run in the game coming on a safety squeeze:

Joey Gallo had another homer, his 33rd.

Cubs 15, Reds 5: Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit homers, Rizzo drove in five, and Jon Jay had a single, double and a triple as the Cubs romped. My favorite play of the game, however, came from Joey Votto. With Chicago up 7-2 in the fifth inning, Joe Maddon tried something different, in an effort to stop the Reds’ big bat from getting extra bases: he played four outfielders, shifting Kris Bryant from third to join Kyle Schwarber, Jon Jay and Jason Heyward. How did that go? Poorly, as Votto to proceed to double down the first base line:

With most hitters you’d say they got lucky, but Votto is the sort of player, in both skill and strategic thinking, that you figure made a point to try to specifically do that. And had the best shot of actually doing it.

Chad Bettis 1, Cancer 0: The Rockies also happened to beat the Braves 3-0, but the important thing in this game is that Chad Bettis came back from fighting cancer and, in his first start of the year, held the Braves them scoreless over seven innings. He didn’t get the W in the box score because his counterpart, Julio Teheran held Colorado scoreless while Bettis was still the pitcher of record, but the win he got was a lot more important.

Diamondbacks 2, Astros 0: Zack Greinke shut Houston out for six and two-thirds, striking out nine on five hits. He was backed by Ketel Marte doubling a run in the second and J.D. Martinez doubling in a run in the sixth. The Dbacks had eight hits in the game. Five of them were doubles.

Royals 6, Athletics 2: Kansas City held a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Cam Gallagher stepped up to the plate and socked a grand slam. It was his first career homer, so it’s all downhill from here I guess. Gallagher has spent a load of time in the minors, blocked by Sal Perez, so he’s played a lot with Jake Junis, the Royals starter who has also played a lot down on the farm. His bush league compadre allowed two runs and four hits in six innings with two strikeouts and no walks.

Orioles 11, Mariners 3: The O’s jumped on the M’s for a 7-1 lead by the top of the second inning and that was pretty much that. Tim Beckham hit the first pitch of the game out for a homer and Manny Machado hit a grand slam in the second. Machado in August: .355/.349/.694 five homers and 20 RBI.

Padres 7, Phillies 4Cory Spangenberg homered and had three hits in all, scoring three times. Phillies rookie Rhys Hoskins hit two home runs, the first two of his career, in a losing cause. In other news, Spangenberg & Rhys would be a pretty good law firm name. It’s all in the rhythm with those things, really.

Kyle Schwarber struck out in eight consecutive plate appearances

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Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber has been better since returning from a stint in the minor leagues. Through June 21, he was hitting .171/.295/.378. Since then, he’s hitting .241/.327/.552. Problem is he’s still striking out a bunch. Entering Monday’s action, he had struck out 38 times in 98 plate appearances since being brought back up to the big leagues, and he had struck out in seven consecutive plate appearances.

Schwarber extended the streak to eight when he whiffed in his first at-bat of the night against Reds starter Asher Wojciechowski. Fortunately for him, Schwarber’s streak ended in the third inning when he was hit by a 3-2 Wojciechowski change-up.

Despite Schwarber’s two-week demotion, he still ranks 25th among all hitters (min. 350 PA) in total strikeouts at 114. His 31.6 percent strikeout rate ranks eighth in baseball.