Tim Beckham

Associated Press

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

18 Comments

Here are the scores. Below are the highlights. A bit later than usual for a Monday morning because I spent last night at a Dead Milkmen concert. Not even lying. They were my favorite band for a time in the mid-to-late 1980s. As for them in 2017? Not bad for a bunch of 50-somethings playing music that I liked as a ten-something. In fact, it was pretty amazing.

Oh, and because I’m an old man, I never know what to wear to concerts anymore. This one was easy, though. The Dead Milkmen are from Philly, so I wore my Jeff Francoeur Phillies shirsey (you remember that I bought that, right?). I’d like to think they appreciated the gesture and that, maybe, they liked me because I wasn’t like all of the other people there, in the trailer park.

Anyway:

Astros 7, Mariners 1: And with that the Astros clinch the AL West. Justin Verlander continues to do what he was picked up to do, striking out ten in seven innings and allowing only one run on three hits. Verlander is doing his best Doyle Alexander impression. Those of us of a certain age certainly remember that 1987 Tigers season. If not for Alexander’s fantastic late run after his midseason pickup from the Braves, then for the fact that Tigers outfielder Jim Walewander made the news that summer when it was revealed that he was the most famous Dead Milkmen fan around. It was even listed on his baseball card. During that season, he met the band at Tiger Stadium after they played a gig nearby. That same day he also hit his only major league home run. Rodney, Joe, Dave (RIP) and Dean did not see him do it, though. They had to get in their van before the game started and head on to the next town. By the way: the band still tours in a white van. Saw it parked outside the club last night. They set up their own instruments and stuff too. They never made it so big that they got a bus or roadies or anything. In fact, I think they all have day jobs now. It must be weird to have something of a cult national following but to never have really gotten past the “we tour in a van that we drive ourselves and have day jobs” mode. But respect to them for still doin’ it.

Oh, congratulations, Astros.

Athletics 6, Phillies 3: Down 3-2 in the sixth, the A’s Joey Wendle hit a go-ahead grand slam for Oakland. From the AP writeup:

Growing up near Philadelphia, Joey Wendle dreamed of coming to the plate and hitting a game-winning home run for the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

My first thought was “how could any adult have dreamt about hitting a homer in CPB when they were a kid? The place is new!” Then I looked it up and realized that that park opened in 2004 and that Wendle was just a tad older than my daughter is now when it made its debut. My god, where has time gone? *puts on “Bucky Fellini” and pretends it’s still July 1987, when I turned 14 years old*

Orioles 6, Yankees 4Ubaldo Jimenez struck out 10 in just five innings and Tim Beckham hit a three-run homer. Also: Buck Showalter had Zach Britton walk Aaron Judge with two outs in the ninth, bringing the potential winning run to the plate in the form of Gary Sanchez. It worked — Sanchez struck out — and to be honest, given how much Judge has abused the Orioles this year, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have done the same thing. You may remember that Showalter was also the guy who once ordered an intentional walk to Barry Bonds with the bases loaded back when Showalter managed the Diamondbacks. A man has to have a code.

Indians 3, Royals 2: The Indians technically clinched the AL Central on Saturday, but they celebrated it after yesterday’s win. And it wasn’t one of those bittersweet, we-backed-in sort of things, as they just kept on rolling with the 3-2 win. Corey Kluber — who is probably going to win the Cy Young given his amazing second half — tossed seven shutout innings to notch his 17th win and push his ERA down to 2.34. Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer. Friday night’s loss ended that winning streak but nothing seems to be stopping them otherwise.

Tigers 12, White Sox 0: Matt Boyd lost his no-hitter with two out in the ninth but Tim Anderson‘s double to break things up was all he allowed. Nine innings, the one hit, one walk and five strikeouts for Boyd. On offense the Tigers rolled. Jeimer Candelario hit a three-run shot and drove in four. Nicholas Castellanos hit a two-run homer and doubled in two more. Miguel Cabrera sat with aches and pains, but what else is new?

Reds 5, Pirates 2Eugenio Suarez and Scooter Gennett each hit two-run homers and Tucker Barnhart triples home a run as Cincinnati scored all five of their runs in the sixth inning. They were backed by Robert Stephenson‘s six innings of one-hit, shutout ball.

Rays 3, Red Sox 2: Jake Odorizzi allowed only one hit in six innings, though it was a two-run homer to Jackie Bradley Jr. That tied things up at two, but Jesus Sucre‘s solo shot in the bottom half of the sixth put the Rays ahead. David Price returned and tossed two hitless innings in relief against his old team. He’ll be an intriguing piece of the postseason puzzle for Boston. He could be anything from the most expensive lefty specialist of all time to their version of Andrew Miller.

Mets 5, Braves 1: Robert Gsellman didn’t allow an earned run over seven innings and Asdrubal Cabrera had a two-run, pinch hit homer as the Mets cruised. The Braves are officially eliminated from playoff contention. So sad. Really thought they had a run in them. Oh well, they could still finish at .500 if they win every single one of their last 14 games. Let’s do it, Bravos!

 

Twins 13, Blue Jays 7: Toronto took a 5-0 lead behind two Josh Donaldson homers in the first inning and a half but the Twins came roaring back with seven in the second and then six more in the fifth before the Jays would cross home plate again. Eddie Rosario hit two homers and Joe Mauer hit a grand slam. Byron Buxton homered and doubled in a run. The Twins remain two games up on the Angels for the second Wild Card.

Brewers 10, Marlins 3Travis ShawJesus Aguilar and Manny Pina each had two hits and Shaw and Domingo Santana each drove in three as the Brewers take two of three from the displaced Miami Marlins. The Brewers stayed four games behind the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central and got within two and a half games of Colorado for the final NL wild-card spot. Miami has lost 17 of 20 games.

Cubs 4, Cardinals 3: The Cubs sweep the Cardinals in their three-game series and take their sixth game in a row to push St. Louis six back in the Central with only thirteen games left to play. So much for that frisky little run from the Cardinals. Jason Heyward hit a tiebreaking RBI in the seventh. Ben Zobrist drove in two and Kyle Schwarber hit a homer.

Rangers 4, Angels 2: Joey Gallo hit a solo homer that went nearly 500 feet. Mercy. Really, NO ONE hits a ball to this part of Angels Stadium:

Adrian Beltre hit a two-run double and had two hits on the day. I would’ve bet the ranch that he wouldn’t play again this season too.

Giants 7, Diamondbacks 2: If I didn’t think Beltre would play again, I didn’t think Pablo Sandoval was even alive. But here he is, hitting a homer and driving in three. J.D. Martinez hit yet another homer — his 40th overall and his 24th in 51 games as a Diamondbacks. The Dbacks’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot is six.

Nationals 7, Dodgers 1: Stephen Strasburg‘s scoreless innings streak ends at 35 but he allowed only the one run in six innings en route to a win. Ryan Zimmerman hit two homers in this possible NLCS matchup. Weirdest thing about the Dodgers and Nats meeting in the NLCS: one of them would have to actually win it and advance to the World Series. Not sure that’s in either team’s DNA, but I guess we’ll see. Indeed, if that series happens, it will be such an interesting matchup you’ll want to drive your car up here from the Bahamas to check it out.

Now, the important thing here is, you ask me what kind of car it is.

The Indians have won 17 games in a row

Getty Images
9 Comments

The Indians’ double-digit win streak may be fundamentally unsustainable, but at least on Saturday, they showed no signs of slowing down. A solid performance from Josh Tomlin and a four-run effort from the offense gave them all the ammo they needed to take their 17th consecutive win.

Tomlin surrendered an early lead to the Orioles, who got on the board in the first inning with Trey Mancini‘s RBI single. By the fourth inning, however, it was clear who was in charge. Tomlin settled down to deliver four scoreless innings while Jay Bruce piggybacked on Giovanny Urshela‘s third-inning RBI double, plating Carlos Santana on a line drive to right field.

In the fifth, Santana returned with his 35th double of the season, lifting the Indians to a 3-1 lead that was cut back to 3-2 after Tim Beckham‘s 410-foot solo shot in the sixth. If the Indians ever doubted their ability to pull off another win, however, they didn’t show it. Cleveland skipper Terry Francona cycled through five relievers to keep the Orioles at bay, and Francisco Lindor turned in his 28th blast of the year to boost the club to a two-run lead in the seventh.

With the win, the Indians need just three more victories to tie the A’s 20-win streak in 2002. Only five teams have tied or bested their 17-win single-season run in MLB history, including the 1916 Giants (26, including a mid-streak tie), 1935 Cubs (21), 1947 Yankees (19), 1953 Yankees (18), and 2002 Athletics (20). They’ll go for the sweep — and their 18th win — with right-hander Trevor Bauer during Sunday’s finale at 8:05 ET.

And That Happened: Saturday’s Scores and Highlights

Getty Images
1 Comment

Here are the rest of Saturday’s scores and highlights:

Cubs 17, Phillies 2: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Rhys Hoskins lit up another Cubs pitcher for another home run that extended his rookie home record for yet another day. This time, he victimized Kyle Hendricks with a two-run shot in the first inning, collecting his 10th home run in just 17 games.

Unfortunately for the Phillies, that was all they were able to muster against Hendricks and a scorching Cubs’ offense. The Cubs rode Drew Anderson and Jesen Therrien for seven runs in the seventh, building to a season-best 17-run spread that culminated with another two homers and four runs in the ninth.

Yankees 6, Mariners 3: The Mariners missed an opportunity to slide into the second wild card spot on Saturday, coming up empty-handed against Sonny Gray in seven innings of one-run ball. Kyle Seager and Guillermo Heredia rallied in the eighth, but couldn’t quite close the door against a less-forgiving Dellin Betances in the ninth.

Blue Jays 10, Twins 9: Max “Papa Slam” Kepler did all he could for the Twins during Saturday’s nail-biter, and it still wasn’t enough. The outfielder muscled a grand slam in the eighth inning, bringing the Twins within one run of tying the game.

That narrow lead vanished with the Blue Jays’ two-run response in the bottom of the inning, however, and even a Brian “Doz” Dozier RBI single and run-scoring double play from Joe “Mauer” Mauer wasn’t enough to topple their AL rivals.

Orioles 7, Red Sox 0: Kevin Gausman posted his first shutout of the month, holding the Red Sox scoreless through 7 2/3 while home runs from Tim Beckham and Jonathan Schoop highlighted the offense’s seven-run effort. While this hasn’t been Gausman’s finest season by a long shot, he’s looked marginally better in the second half, lowering his ERA to 4.02 and lighting up batters at a clip of 10.0 SO/9.

Nationals 9, Mets 4: The Nationals would like to hand off a three-game winning streak to Max Scherzer on Monday. That’s still up in the air, at least for now, but with a strong performance from Gio “Double G” Gonzalez and a nine-run rebound on Saturday, they’re heading in the right direction. The Nats didn’t score on a single extra-base hit against the Mets’ Robert Gsellman, building their five-run lead on a smattering of singles and productive outs to stay a comfortable 12.5 games above the second-place Marlins in the NL East.

Athletics 8, Rangers 3: The Rangers picked up right-handed journeyman reliever Paolo Espino on Saturday, which looked like a prudent move on their part after another of their right-handers imploded against the A’s earlier in the day. Granted, Tony Barnette‘s two-run flub was the final nail in the coffin following a similarly disastrous outing from Cole Hamels, who led the club to their second straight loss by giving up six runs on nine hits and three walks. Chad Pinder collected two home runs and Jed Lowrie reached 40 doubles (five shy of his career-best single-season total) to boost the A’s to a 57-72 record.

Pirates 1, Reds 0: This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill shutout, if such things even exist. Gerrit Cole turned in his 11th win of the year and arguably his best start, too, flashing six strikeouts and five hits over seven innings. He made his solo home run look equally as effortless, launching a 95-MPH heater off of Welington Castillo in the sixth inning and setting a new franchise record:

Indians 4, Royals 0: Jason Hammel took a perfect game into the sixth inning on Saturday, but finally met his match in Bradley Zimmer, whose stunning fifth-inning grab and perfecto-snapping single helped lock down the Indians’ third consecutive win.

Edwin Encarnacion also helped the Indians’ winning streak with a seventh-inning home run, his 30th of the year. The slugger now owns 30+ home runs in each of his past six seasons.

Tigers 6, White Sox 3: Like the rest of those suspended over Thursday’s Tigers-Yankees brawl, Miguel Cabrera is waiting for a ruling on his appeal. In the meantime, he’s still eligible to play, and made the most of his time on Saturday after going 3-for-4 with a solo home run in the third.

In related news, it looks like there might be additional repercussions from Thursday’s incidents. Nicholas Castellanos reported a ligament sprain in his left wrist following the fracas, though he couldn’t tell reporters exactly how he sustained the injury or give a definite timetable for his return to the field. He’s expected to have it checked out before resuming his post at third base and, in a best-case scenario, will rejoin the team for Sunday’s finale in Chicago.

Cardinals 6, Rays 4: Tommy “T. Pham” Pham played the hero on Saturday night, clubbing a walk-off 419-footer after the Cardinals stunned the Rays with a four-run comeback to take the lead — and the game.

The win went to Tyler Lyons, who combined with John Brebbia for two shutout innings following Mike Leake‘s four-run, three-homer appearance.

Diamondbacks 2, Giants 1: Madison Bumgarner stymied the Diamondbacks with seven beautiful innings of two-run ball, which proved too great a task for the Giants’ offense as they dropped their 20th one-run loss of the year. Taijuan Walker, whose 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball were rewarded by a pair of homers from A.J. Pollock and J.D. Martinez, improved to 7-7 on the year as the D-backs cruised to a 1.5-game lead in the wild card standings. In other words, just your standard Giants/Diamondbacks 2017 matchup.

Marlins 2, Padres 1 (11 innings): Both the Marlins’ Odrisamer Despaigne and Padres’ Dinelson Lamet played hard to get on Saturday, allowing a collective two runs and six strikeouts over the first six innings. Cory Spangenberg stole home to put the Padres on the board, while Marcell Ozuna grabbed hold of his 31st home run of the season to knot the game 1-1. Miguel Rojas plated the deciding run in the 11th inning, scoring Derek Dietrich on a sac fly for the Marlins’ walk-off win and their sixth victory in seven games.

Amid all the hubbub, Ichiro Suzuki and his lone pinch-hit single made franchise history, too:

Rockies 7, Braves 6: The Rockies still need another 1.5 games to catch the Diamondbacks for the first NL wild card spot, and they made a good-faith effort to close the gap with a late rally against the Braves. Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu stepped up in the ninth, smashing a pair of home runs to give the Rockies a much-needed three-run lead.

Things got too close for comfort in the bottom of the inning with Matt Adamstwo-run shot, but it took Jake McGee just one Brandon Phillips double play to polish off the win.

Brewers 3, Dodgers 0: Clayton Kershaw‘s return can’t come soon enough. The Dodgers’ ace lasted five innings in his Triple-A rehab start on Saturday, issuing one run and eight strikeouts as he continued to work back from a back injury. Things didn’t go nearly as well for his big league teammates, who were felled in a five-hit shutout by Zach Davies and an airtight Milwaukee bullpen.

Angels 7, Astros 6: It’s never too early or too late in the season to be reminded of this helpful PSA:

Of course, it’s much easier to weather a 40-minute delay and five-run deficit if you can be assured of an Andrelton Simmons three-run, go-ahead home run for your troubles.