Rafael Montero

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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:

White Sox 13, Giants 1: The White Sox weren’t about to get shown up by the Giants two days in a row. Six home runs did the trick, from Jose Abreu‘s 372-foot blast in the first inning to Nick Delmonico‘s two-run shot in the seventh. Abreu went 4-for-5 and batted for the cycle, collecting an elusive triple in the eighth to become the sixth player in franchise history (and the first in 17 years) to replicate the feat.

Braves 6, Marlins 5: A night off did wonders for Giancarlo Stanton, who returned to the Marlins’ lineup on Saturday raring to go. He wasted no time getting on the board, hammering a 456-footer to center field in the first inning for an early lead:

The Marlins followed Stanton’s efforts with a three-run spread in the third inning, but dropped their lead in the most anticlimactic fashion: on a walk-off walk.

Yankees 3, Rangers 1: The Yankees extended their lead in the wild card race with a masterful performance from Luis Severino, who fanned 10 batters over seven innings of one-hit ball. Rangers’ right-hander Andrew Cashner was equally stingy, blanking the Yankees through the first seven innings before Chase Headley broke through with a sac fly in the eighth. Tyler Austin’s RBI single provided the go-ahead run in the ninth, and a shutdown performance from Aroldis Chapman sealed the deal.

Indians 4, Orioles 2: The Orioles may not have been able to top the Indians during their remarkable 17-win tear, but they managed to do something that no competitor had done in 16 games: They scored first. Trey Mancini‘s first-inning RBI single held up for two innings, but the Indians came storming back with a four-run spread, banking on key hits from Giovanny Urshela and Jay Bruce to regain the lead.

Athletics 11, Astros 1 (Game 1): It’s too late in the season for the A’s comeback to have any significant impact on their season, but that didn’t stop them from tanking the division-leading Astros in back-to-back double-digit performances. Daniel Gossett finally found his groove against the ‘Stros, leading the way with his first quality start of the month. His dominance was starkly contrasted by that of Houston relievers Reymin Guduan and J.D. Davis, who contributed to the A’s blowout with a cumulative four runs on six walks in the eighth inning:

Athletics 11, Astros 4 (Game 2): Things didn’t look any better for the Astros the second time around.  They kept their walk count to a minimum, with just one free pass by Michael Feliz, but the A’s opted for the long ball with blasts from Jose Altuve, Matt Olson and Chad Pinder. With the Astros’ slump and the Indians’ historic resurgence, the two are now tied for the best record in the American League, at 86-56.

Brewers 15, Cubs 2: The Brewers may have lost ace right-hander Jimmy Nelson for the season, but they didn’t look any worse for wear during Saturday’s hit parade. Chase Anderson led the way with five scoreless frames while the rest of the team tagged opposing starter Mike Montgomery for eight runs in the third. With the win, the Brewers sit just three games out of the division lead, though they’ll have to top both the Cubs and Cardinals to clinch the title.

Phillies 5, Nationals 4: There’s no doubt the Nationals will clinch the NL East title. They’re 19 games up on the second-place Marlins and could repeat as division champs as soon as Sunday, provided that they can coordinate another win with another Marlins’ loss. Doing so would make them the first repeat champions since the Phillies clinched in 2007 and 2008… and 2009, 2010 and 2011, but at least on Saturday, the Phillies weren’t quite ready to let that happen. They played spoiler to the Nationals’ efforts with a pair of home runs by Rhys Hoskins and Maikel Franco in the second inning, then returned for three insurance runs in the fourth.

Blue Jays 5, Tigers 4: The Blue Jays are still an improbable nine games out of a playoff berth, with seven teams blocking their path to a wild card spot, but on Saturday, they looked every inch the perennial contender. Kevin Pillar did it all for the club, going 4-for-4 with a leadoff RBI single and tie-breaking home run and snaring a deep fly ball to prevent the Tigers from gaining an advantage in the fifth.

Mets 6, Reds 1: The Mets will be eliminated from postseason contention in just seven games, so now’s as good a time as any to start heating up. They worked up to their fourth consecutive win on Saturday, capitalizing on five solid innings from Rafael Montero and an early lead from Kevin Plawecki to stay ahead of the Reds.

Red Sox 9, Rays 0: While the Yankees looked for an edge in the AL East race, the Red Sox extended their lead with their first shutout of September. Chris Sale improved to a 16-7 record, taking the Rays to task with six scoreless frames and fanning eight of 25 batters. At the plate, it was a group effort: Dustin Pedroia led off the first inning with a solo shot, his seventh of the year, and a smattering of base hits and productive outs took care of the rest.

Royals 5, Twins 2: With a wild card race this cutthroat, every win counts. The Royals upended the Twins to move within four wins of a postseason berth, breaking through in the eighth inning on Eric Hosmer‘s go-ahead RBI single. Mike Minor and Brandon Maurer stepped in to preserve the win for rookie Jakob Junis, whose quality start was his first since August 14.

Cardinals 4, Pirates 3: The Pirates may have put the most creative effort into their performance on Saturday, but creativity doesn’t always win games. Adam Frazier lashed an inside-the-park home run in the seventh inning and cleared the bases in just 15.7 seconds, the Pirates’ fastest home-to-home mark since 2015.

Some of the credit, however, goes to the wall in center field, which knocked Dexter Fowler out of the game and gave Frazier a head start as he charged around the basepaths. Fowler exited with a left knee contusion and the Cardinals rebounded with Matt Carpenter‘s standard-issue home run and Randal Grichuk‘s tie-breaking RBI groundout to take the lead.

Padres 8, Diamondbacks 7: Whatever slump the Dodgers and Astros have suffered from lately appears to be contagious. The Diamondbacks took their second straight loss to the Padres on Saturday, dropping their five-run lead after the Friars mounted a stunning six-run rally in the ninth. At this rate, it’s anyone’s guess how the playoffs will shake out.

Mariners 8, Angels 1: The Mariners did their part to even out the AL wild card standings, putting up their own six-run spread in the fourth inning to create some distance from the third-place Angels. Nelson Cruz saved the biggest and best blast for last, punishing an 0-2 slider from Jesse Chavez for a 398-foot home run, his 32nd of the season:

Rockies 6, Dodgers 5: The Dodgers continued their Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde routine on Saturday, skidding to their ninth straight loss — their worst since a 10-game slump in 1992 — following a breakthrough effort from Trevor Story and three scoreless innings from Colorado’s bullpen. The Rockies, meanwhile, had some fun during the nail-biter, as Story cranked out his 20th homer of the season and Charlie Blackmon collected his 88th leadoff RBI to tie Craig Biggio’s record.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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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: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Braves 9, Phillies 1; Braves 5, Phillies 2Ender Inciarte went 5-for-5 with four driven in in game one and 3-for-5 with a run driven in in the nightcap. His eight total hits in the two games was one short of the record for hits in a doubleheader. R.A. Dickey struck out nine over eight innings in the first game and Julio Teheran allowed one run and five hits, striking out eight in six and a third in the second game.

Indians 2, Yankees 1; Indians 9, Yankees 4: Trevor Bauer outdueled Jaime Garcia in the first game and a four-run first inning in game two set the pace for an Indians sweep. The sweep dropped the Yankees to five and a half games behind Boston heading into a four-game series against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium starting tonight.

Brewers 6, Cardinals 5: With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, Brewers center fielder Keon Broxton robbed Randal Grichuk of what would have been a go-ahead two-run home run to end the game. Broxton was a defensive replacement in the eighth, by the way. Good call, Craig Counsel:

Orioles 8, Mariners 7:  t one point Baltimore was down 6-2, but they rallied back thanks to Welington Castillo‘s  4-for-4, three RBI day and Jonathan Schoop‘s go-ahead RBI single in the eighth. That’s seven in a row for the Orioles. Five straight losses for Seattle.

Tigers 6, Rockies 2: Justin Verlander struck out nine over six innings and drove in the Tigers first run with an RBI single. It was his first career RBI. On Tigers broadcasts, they often talk about how big a talker Verlander is about hitting, which is pretty hilarious because he is a poor hitter, even for an American League pitcher, going 4-for-43 in his career. I can only imagine that he was insufferable on the flight back to Detroit yesterday.

Nationals 4, Marlins 0: Stephen Strasburg tossed a complete game shutout on six hits and he hit a homer to give the Nats their first run and the only run they’d actually need. Strasburg has looked great since coming off the disabled list. The Nats have looked great of late too, winning four in a row.

Rangers 8, Astros 1: Texas rode a six-run fourth inning, capped by Mike Napoli‘s three-run homer. Andrew Cashner allowed one run on three hits over eight. The clubs have one more game in Tropicana Field before the Astros get to fly home to Houston for their series against the Mets and, more importantly, their reunion with families and friends who’ve been contending with Hurricane Harvey.

Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 1: Rick Porcello tossed one-run ball into the seventh and Mitch Moreland, who entered the game as a pinch hitter in the seventh inning, hit a two-run homer and drove in two more with a single in the eighth. The Red Sox sweep the Jays and look a lot better heading into their series with the Yankees than they did just a few short days ago.

Mets 2, Reds 0Rafael Montero pitched shutout ball into the ninth — it was a one-hitter as he entered the final inning, in fact — making two first inning runs by the Mets hold up. Montero ran out of gas in the final frame, allowing two base runners and then intentionally walking Joey Votto with one out to load things up, but A.J. Ramos put out the fire and preserved Montero’s win.

Cubs 17, Pirates 3Kyle Schwarber hit two home runs and Ian Happ and Anthony Rizzo each went deep as the Cubs romped. Chicago notched 20 hits — their most in three years — as they outscored the Pirates 27-5 in the three-game sweep.

Twins 11, White Sox 1: Jose Berrios pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out 11, including seven of the last nine batters he faced. Brian Dozier had four hits and Eddie Rosario homered twice to keep the surprising Twins humming along. They’re 19-10 in August and now they’re only a game back of the Yankees for the AL’s top Wild Card spot.

Rays 5, Royals 3Logan MorrisonSteven Souza Jr. and Adeiny Hechavarria all homered for the Rays. Morrison’s was his 33rd on the year. He has four home runs, eight RBI and six runs scored in the Rays’ last six games. The Royals finish August 10-18 and have lost six of their last seven.

Padres 5, Giants 0: Travis Wood started and didn’t allow any runs. He also homered. He didn’t get the win, though, as he tossed 97 pitches in four and a third innings before being yanked as the Giants mounted a rally. The rally amounted to nothing, though, as Craig Stammen and three other relievers continued to blank San Francisco the rest of the way. Jose Pirela also homered for San Diego. The Padres have beaten the Giants in nine of their last 12 meetings.

Diamondbacks 6, Dodgers 4: The Dodgers lose their fourth game in a row for the first time all season. The Diamondbacks extend their win streak to six. Adam Rosales, Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Herrmann all homered for Arizona, who built a 6-0 lead and then held on as the Dodgers late rally fell short. I suppose every good team goes through a bad stretch.

Angels 10, Athletics 8Mike Trout was slumping and then he sat out a couple of games with a stiff neck. He was back last night, though, and went 4-for-4 with a homer and scored four times. Albert Pujols hit two homers, tying him with Jim Thome on the all-time list at 612. He’s on pace for 25 homers and 100 RBI on the season, which are nice numbers, aesthetically speaking. That’s deceiving, as basically every one of his other stats are terrible, but I suppose it will look nice on the back of the baseball card.