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And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Astros 9, Diamondbacks 4: The Astros built an 8-0 lead in the first four innings thanks to six extra-base hits and then put it on cruise control. It wasn’t all rosy, though. Astros starter Brad Peacock hit a double that plated a run, but he didn’t do so well in is primary task, failing to get past the fifth inning. Houston won here, but they’ve scuffled of late and still aren’t where they’d like to be once the playoffs start.

Yankees 5, Mets 4: Good news: Sonny Gray allowed two runs over six and got his first win in pinstripes. Bad news: Aroldis Chapman was terrible again, allowing two runs on two hits in his just-barely-a-save and then winced coming off the mound, which later was revealed to be due to a tweaked hamstring. It’s unclear if he’ll miss any time. If he doesn’t, he going to need to figure out how to miss some bats, because he ain’t been doing that lately.

Nationals 3, Angels 1: Gio Gonzalez snaps the Angels’ winning streak at six thanks to six innings of two-hit, shutout ball. He was backed by two Howie Kendrick solo homers. Kendrick has been on fire since coming over from Philly at the deadline. Since the trade he’s hitting .386/.413/.727 with four homers and 11 RBI in 14 games. Nice pickup.

Rays 6, Blue Jays 4Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer and Wilson Ramos added a solo shot to help the Rays end their four-game losing streak and giving them what, for them anyway, is an absolute offensive explosion. Josh Donaldson homered for the third straight game in a losing cause.

Red Sox 10, Cardinals 4: An eight-run fifth inning by the Sox did in the Cards. Xander Bogaerts had three hits and Hanley RamirezSandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. each knocked in two. The play of the game was a defensive one, though, as the Sox turned an around-the-horn triple play:

Boston has won 11 of 13.

Giants 9, Marlins 4: Giancarlo Stanton homered in his sixth straight game. The record for consecutive games with a home run is eight, held by Stanton’s manager, Don Mattingly, Dale Long, and Ken Griffey, Jr., so keep watching. That was it for the Marlins, though, as the Giants offense did some damage. Denard Span had three hits including a homer. He and Hunter Pence each drove in a pair. Ryder Jones homered. Madison Bumgarner may have given up that shot to Stanton, but he knocked in a run of his own with a single while scattering nine hits and allowing four runs in six innings.

Brewers 3, Pirates 1: Zach Davies outdueled Ivan Nova, allowing one run over six. Manny Pina drove in two and Keon Broxton hit a pinch hit solo homer for the Brew Crew.

Rangers 10, Tigers 4: Texas beat up Justin Verlander for three homers and five runs over six innings, with the dingers coming off the bats of Joey Gallo (natch), Mike Napoli and Robinson Chirinos. Gallo’s homer was estimated at 459 feet, but the most impressive part of it was that the strikeout friendly slugger did it after coming back from an 0-2 count and laying off some high heat from Verlander, who had struck him out on three pitches in his previous at bat.

Reds 2, Cubs 1: Starters Luis Castillo and Kyle Hendricks each tossed six scoreless innings, but Scooter Gennett drove in Joey Votto with a sacrifice fly in the eighth to break a scoreless tie and Billy Hamilton singled home the go-ahead run in the ninth. Votto reached base three times, all on walks, to bring himself to within a game of Ted Williams’ record for the most consecutive games of reaching twice.

Indians 8, Twins 1: Carlos Santana hit two homers and teammates Jason Kipnis, Edwin Encarnacion and Austin Jackson each went deep as well. Danny Salazar allowed one run over seven, striking out ten. Maybe this year will be the opposite of last year for Cleveland, and they’ll peak late instead of early with healthy starting pitching heading into the playoffs.

Braves 4, Rockies 3: Nolan Arenado committed a rare throwing error which allowed Brandon Phillips to score the go-ahead run for Atlanta in the eighth inning. Nick Markakis homered as the Braves get a rare win in Coors Field. Back in the day (like, 20 years ago) they owned Colorado, but the Rockies had taken 11 straight from the Braves in Denver before this one.

Athletics 10, Royals 8: The teams combined to score 11 runs in the eighth inning. Viva bullpens. Matt Joyce hit a three-run double that inning, pulling the A’s from behind. Ned Yost walked Rajai Davis to load the bases to get to minor, too which, oops. Joyce had homered earlier in the game which made it all the more questionable, but managers like their lefty-lefty matchups and their theoretical double plays. Drew ButeraEric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas all homered in the Royals half of the run-happy eighth.

Mariners 3, Orioles 1: Andrew Albers allowed one run over five for his first win in just over four years. The last came on August 12, 2013. Don’t make any plans for mid-August, 2021 if you’re an Albers fan. He had some serious help from Jarod Dyson. Look at this throw, off friggin’ balance, too:

Dodgers 6, White Sox 1: Seems unfair to let the White Sox play the Dodgers, but that’s what the schedule called for. It looked close for a while, actually, as the game was tied 1-1 in the eighth. That’s when L.A. unloaded for five runs, with the go-ahead run coming on a bases loaded hit-by-pitch of Joc Pederson followed by two-run singles from both Austin Barnes and Corey Seager. The Dodgers are no 50 games over .500.

Padres 8, Phillies 4: Cory Spangenberg homered for the third time in four games and drove in four and starter Dinelson Lamet allowed two runs over seven innings of work, striking out seven. He also leads the league in Names That Should Totally Be That Of The Main Character In Magical Realist Novels.

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.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Blue Jays 7, Yankees 6: The Jays took a 5-0 lead thanks in part to Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales homers in the third and a Kevin Pillar homer in the fourth, but the Yankees mounted a comeback thanks to Aaron Judge and Ji-Man Choi homers and a two-run double from Didi Gregorius. Russell Martin tied it back up with a homer in the seventh and then Dellin Betances imploded in the eighth, walking four guys to force in the go-ahead run for Toronto. The walks here were concentrated, but they’re not new for Betances, who either has something wrong with him physically or is talking a walk on the Steve Blass side.

Cubs 7, Rays 3: Chicago spotted Tampa Bay three runs — very sporting of them — but then scored three in the sixth, two in the seventh and two in the eighth. Jon Jay‘s pinch-hit, three-run homer tied it up. If you’re a momentum believer you can say it was the catalyst for the win. If you’re into the whole universe-is-random thing you can say it was an isolated incident that, like everything else, was an independently-sewn image in the great tapestry that is existence. Your call.

Athletics 7, White Sox 4Jed Lowrie had three hits and drove in two and Bruce Maxwell doubled in two. Rajai Davis went 2-for-4 and stole four bases. He only scored once, though, and given what happened in that inning — guy behind him walked, which put him on second — Davis probably scores anyway, even without the stolen bases. Which puts me in mind of one of my favorite scenes from the best movie you probably haven’t seen:

Daryl Zero: I did find one other thing of interest, though.
Steve Arlo: Holy s**t, those are the keys. You found the gold Swiss Army knife.
Daryl Zero: I know.
Steve Arlo: And this is the safe deposit box key. Where’d you find them?
Daryl Zero: They were in the sofa, under the cushion.
Steve Arlo: What?
Daryl Zero: They were stuck in the couch in his office.
Steve Arlo: Was he hiding them there? Is that possible?
Daryl Zero: Not possible. That’s where they fell out of his pocket, over a year ago.
Steve Arlo: So… what do you make of this?
Daryl Zero: I think that just as I feared, Ms. Sullivan doesn’t know a thing about these keys.
Steve Arlo: Wait – the keys are a coincidence?
Daryl Zero: Yes.
Steve Arlo: That’s – confusing.
Daryl Zero: Yep.
Steve Arlo: Doesn’t seem like a good thing.
Daryl Zero: Sure it is. It’s good because the man has been looking for his keys for a *year*. And I’ve found them.

Like I said: some things just happen. The idea that there is a grand narrative to life is mostly a myth.

Pirates 5, Phillies 2: Gerrit Cole allowed two runs over six innings, striking out eight and singled in two runs in the fourth to break a 2-2 tie and put the Pirates up for good. Artist’s rendering:

Padres 6, Indians 2Cory Spangenberg hit a two-run homer and Luis Perdomo allowed only one earned run in five innings. Cleveland got 14 hits and only scored two runs. That’s a pretty frustrating ratio.

Giants 5, Tigers 4: San Francisco took a 5-0 lead thanks to Hunter Pence‘s three RBI, which included a two-run triple. Detroit mounted a comeback with a four-run seventh inning rally but it fell short. Oh, Pence’s other RBI came via a line drive out to the pitcher which, somehow, scored the runner from third base. I can’t find video of that on MLB’s site or on Twitter and the game story doesn’t describe it. Anyone who saw this: how does that happen? Was the liner so hard that carried the pitcher out 300 feet, allowing the runner to tag up? Did it kill the pitcher but, somehow, his corpse was able to hang on to the ball? No, that can’t be it. Bill probably would’ve posted about it. Anyway: sounds weird via the box score.

Brewers 4, Orioles 0: Matt Garza tossed shutout ball into the seventh inning and Keon Broxton hit a two-run homer and reached on an error which scored a run, so we’ll put that one, unofficially, in his column too. The Brewers sweep the three game series thanks to great starting pitching as Garza, Brent Suter and Jimmy Nelson did not allow a single earned run and combined for 20 strikeouts in 19.1 innings.

Astros 10, Braves 4: Houston’s onslaught through the regular season continues as they win their four straight and 12th of 15. Here Jose Altuve and Marwin Gonzalez drove in three a piece and George Springer picked up three hits, driving in two. Braves starter Jaime Garcia has allowed 23 runs in 22 innings in his last four starts. That’s not good.

Rangers 8, Red Sox 2: Andrew Cashner allowed two runs — unearned — over seven innings. The unearned run did come on a homer, though, which followed an error with two outs, which is just a reminder that unearned runs are tricky things sometimes. Rougned Odor hit a  two-run homer as the Rangers stop the Sox’ winning streak at six games.

Angels 2, Twins 1: Parker Bridwell shut out the Twins for six innings and the Angels pen handled the final three frames. Tough luck loss for Ervin Santana who tossed a complete game, allowing only two runs. The two came off of a Kole Calhoun homer in the first and a double steal in the sixth, with Cameron Maybin swiping home as Calhoun swiped second. Longtime readers know that such steals of home don’t impress me as much as the rare straight steal of home does — we really should call them something else, because they get people’s hopes up — but a go ahead run is a go ahead run.

Marlins 9, Cardinals 6: Giancarlo Stanton hit a solo homer and a three-run homer and Justin Bour and Marcell Ozuna each added dingers of their own. I think Stanton is ready for the Home Run Derby. Bour too, although I’m not sure the public is ready for him:

Tough crowd.

Rockies 5, Reds 3: Jon Gray was workmanlike on the mound for five innings and Aaron Judge-like at the plate in the second:

Pat Valaika hit a two-run homer and drove in another run with an RBI single, but everyone was talking about Gray.

Royals 9, Mariners 6: Tied at 6 in regulation, Sal Perez put the Royals up in the 10th with a two-run homer and Alex Gordon padded the lead with an RBI single. Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain went deep earlier in the game as the Royals sweep the M’s.

Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0: Alex Wood pitched three-hit ball over seven innings to improve his record to a, frankly, weird-looking 10-0. His 1.67 ERA and 97Ks in 80.2 innings isn’t all that weird, though. Yasmani Grandal‘s RBI double in the second was the only run in this contest, which still, somehow, lasted almost three hours.

Mets vs. Nationals — POSTPONED: As a man I ain’t never been much for sunny days
I’m as calm as a fruit stand in New York and maybe as strange
But when the color goes out of my eyes its usually the change
But damn Sam I love a woman that rains