Robinson Cano

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Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

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Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.

While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.

Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.

Cooperstown, here he comes.

The Astros could clinch the AL West on Sunday

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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: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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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.