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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:

Royals 4, Indians 3: The Indians came just four games shy of tying the 1916 Giants’ all-time 26-game winning streak, an incredible run that was stopped in its tracks by Lorenzo Cain and Mike Minor on Friday night. Cain put up the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the sixth inning, capping a four-run spread while the Indians struggled to get back on top. Minor sealed the deal for the Royals in the end, allowing a bloop single to Yandy Diaz before closing out the ninth with three straight strikeouts for his first save of the year.

Hey, think about it this way: The Indians may be done chasing history, but at least everyone will show up wearing clean underwear today.

Dodgers 7, Nationals 0: Sometimes, you have to pretend you know what you’re doing and hope no one catches on. Sometimes, you just need to read the ball better.

You can’t pin all the blame on Jayson Werth: Corey Seager exploited an Edwin Jackson fastball for a three-run homer, while the whole of the Nats’ offense couldn’t scare up more than four hits against Alex Wood and the bullpen. With the win, the Dodgers extended their winning streak to three games, their longest such run since August 25. They still need six more wins to clinch the NL West title.

Cubs 8, Cardinals 2: As long as there has been an enforceable strike zone, there have been quibbles between pitchers and umpires. Friday’s game was no exception, inciting an especially salty dispute between Cubs’ right-hander John Lackey and home plate ump Jordan Baker following a botched call in the fifth inning.

At least Joe Maddon didn’t expect anyone to keep their cool. “That’s the definition of insanity,” he told reporters following the game. “Why would I think he’s going to change in that particular moment? God bless him. I never want him to change. He’s not going to change, so why expect that? It happened, we reacted, and the rest of the group came together.”

Granted, he might have felt differently had the Cubs not won so handily, skirting their division rivals with four shutout innings and an impressive seven-run explosion in the sixth.

Athletics 4, Phillies 0: Maybe it was Daniel Mengden’s expertly-trimmed handlebar mustache or the way he slung his changeup, but whatever the case, the Phillies couldn’t figure him out. Mengden fired nine scoreless innings for his first career complete game shutout, issuing two hits and seven strikeouts and tacking on a base hit of his own.

Yankees 8, Orioles 2: The Yankees kept pace with the Red Sox again on Friday, maintaining their three-game deficit in the AL East as they try to prevent Boston from gaining a steep advantage in the last two weeks of the regular season. Luis Severino went eight strong and Didi Gregorius smashed his 22nd home run of the season, tying Derek Jeter’s single-season record for most dingers by a Yankees’ shortstop.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Red Sox 13, Rays 6 (15 innings): Let’s not pretend that this isn’t exactly what any of us (non-baseball player types) would look like against Chris Sale, Supreme Strikeout Leader:

Unlike the rest of us, Kevin Kiermaier wasn’t down for long. He stung the right field bleachers with a game-tying jack in the 14th inning and harnessed a pair of extra bases with five-star catches on the warning track. The Red Sox ran the Rays’ bullpen right into the ground in the 15th, however, piling on seven runs to take the win.

Tigers 3, White Sox 2: Friday was a day for snapping streaks, and thankfully for the Tigers, that meant the end of their six-game skid. Anibal Sanchez went toe-to-toe against Carson Fulmer, each distributing one run over six innings, and Sanchez’s 11 strikeouts decorated his best start of the season. Mikie Mahtook supplied the winning run, pouncing on a 3-2 slider from Juan Minaya to send the Tigers home with a win.

Reds 4, Pirates 2: The Reds trotted out a tried-and-true strategy during Friday’s opener: solid pitching and a lot of home runs. Homer Bailey suppressed Pittsburgh’s offense with 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball and Joey Votto, Zack Cozart and Scott Schebler swatted a handful of solo home runs for a two-run advantage. The Reds are angling to surpass the Pirates for fourth place in the NL Central, which… sounds like the epitome of September baseball.

Braves 3, Mets 2: When you’re down 26 games in the division standings and three games from elimination in the wild card race, there are things you want to see:

And things you don’t:

This one went to the Braves, who needed just one run to top the Mets after rookie Sean Newcomb settled into a groove.

Brewers 10, Marlins 2: In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the Marlins/Brewers series was relocated to Miller Park on Friday. The Brewers did everything they could to accommodate their guests, relinquishing home field advantage and decking out the ballpark with palm trees and multicolored seashells and flamingoes.

The only accommodation they couldn’t make was on the scoreboard, where they trounced the Marlins with an eight-run lead after homering for the cycle with Eric Thames‘ solo shot, Stephen Vogt‘s two-run knock, a three-run homer from Domingo Santana and Neil Walker‘s grand slam.

Astros 5, Mariners 2: James Paxton returned to the mound for Seattle, but didn’t find the conditions nearly as favorable as Felix Hernandez had on Thursday night. He nearly hit his pitch count in just 1 1/3 innings, scattering three runs over four hits and two walks before getting pulled for Ryan Garton. The Mariners are still just 3.5 games back in the wild card race, but neither the Twins nor the Angels appear ready to relinquish their hold on second and third place just yet. The Astros, meanwhile, are gunning for the title with two wins to go.

Blue Jays 4, Twins 3: The Twins played up Bartolo Colon‘s first-ever “Big Sexy” Night at the ballpark, but the Blue Jays didn’t succumb to his charms for long. After four scoreless innings, Kevin Pillar broke through with a solo homer in the fifth, while Josh Donaldson‘s long ball in the sixth snapped a homer-less streak of six consecutive games:

A two-run rally in the seventh propelled the Blue Jays to their first win of the series, dropping the Twins to a slim two-game lead in the wild card standings.

Rockies 6, Padres 1: Speaking of wild card leaders, the Rockies preserved their 2.5-game advantage over the Brewers with a solid outing from Tyler Chatwood, who turned in 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball before Wil Myers‘ 457-footer forced his exit in the sixth. Chatwood provided his own run support, too, putting the Rockies on the board with a two-RBI single in the second inning.

Angels 6, Rangers 6: Both the Angels and Rangers made compelling arguments for their place in the postseason, but it was the Angels’ five-run inning that put them over the top on Friday. The run support couldn’t have been more timely or more welcome, especially on a bullpen day. Mike Scioscia trotted out seven relievers to keep the Rangers’ bats at bay, starting with two scoreless frames from Bud Norris and ending with Blake Parker‘s sixth save of the season.

Diamondbacks 3, Giants 2: The Diamondbacks may not be in line for a division title, but they only need seven more wins to lock down a spot in the playoffs. Robbie Ray turned in seven innings of two-run, 10-strikeout ball for his 14th win of the year, while Jeff Samardzija did everything he could to play spoiler to the D-backs’ efforts, crafting his own eight-inning gem and scoring the Giants’ second and final run of the night.

Stephen Strasburg has the longest scoreless streak of the season

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Nationals’ ace Stephen Strasburg hit a new franchise milestone on Sunday afternoon, extending his scoreless streak to a record 34 innings as the Nats clinched their weekend series on a 3-2 nail-biter against the Phillies. His 34 scoreless innings are the longest such stretch among any major league starter in 2017, eclipsing Robbie Ray‘s 27 2/3 scoreless streak back in May. All told, Strasburg’s efforts spanned 19 hits, four walks and 41 strikeouts and he exited Sunday’s outing with the streak still intact.

Strasburg stifled the Phillies at the plate, fanning Nick Williams on three straight pitches to end the first inning and taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning, where Maikel Franco worked an eight-pitch count before lining a single into left field. Franco returned in the eighth for the Phillies’ second hit of the afternoon, but found himself unable to advance a second time after Aaron Altherr grounded into a double play.

The only blemish on Strasburg’s performance? Not a hit, a walk or a run, but this observation:

If anything is wrong with Strasburg’s arm, however, the Nationals have yet to address it. He was able to pitch through the eighth with little trouble and finished the 34-inning streak after battling through a nine-pitch at-bat to get a groundout from Jorge Alfaro.

Not surprisingly, the streak places the ace in pretty good company:

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.