Orioles 7, Rays 5: Remember last winter when no one wanted to sign Nelson Cruz because they thought he was damaged goods or that his best years were behind him or that he was a product of the Ballpark at Arlington or something? Nah, me neither. Two homers for Cruz, the second of which came in the 11th inning. He drove in seven. Had a triple too.
Royals 2, Yankees 0: How very disrespectful for the Royals to shut the Yankees out on Derek Jeter Day. Yordano Ventura pitching three-hit ball into the seventh was not at all classy. The Royals did, however, maintain a two-game lead over the Tigers in the Central. The last time they made the playoffs, Derek Jeter was only nine. This was one of five shutouts yesterday.
Marlins 4, Braves 0: Aloha, Mr. Hand: Brad Hand shut out the Braves for six innings. Then, I assume, he had a little feast on our time. The Braves, at this rate, are going to have plenty of their own time in October.
Indians 2, White Sox 0: Carlos Carrasco continues to be ridiculous. Here he was one out shy of a shutout but was lifted when the tying runner came to the plate in the ninth. He probably gets a chance to fight through that if his team has a bigger cushion, but c’est la vie. Since returning to the Indians’ rotation on August 5, he has a 0.70 ERA and 42/4 K/BB ratio over five starts and 38 and two-thirds innings. This from a guy who, a year ago, probably could’ve told you how many white lines there were on I-71 between Cleveland and Columbus.
Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 2: The Dodgers sweep, and finish their season series against the Dbacks having taken 15 of 19. So much for that rivalry. Adrian Gonzalez had two three-run homers. His six driven in give him an even 100 for the year if you’re into that sort of thing.
Rangers 1, Mariners 0: The only offense of the game was an Adrian Beltre sac fly. The second strong start for Derek Holland since his return, this time with seven shutout inning, no walks and five strikeouts.
Pirates 10, Cubs 4: Four homers for Pirates batters, including one from Gerrit Cole of all people. This sweep, combined with the Brewers’ loss, puts the Pirates in the second wild card position, a half game up on Atlanta and Milwaukee.
Angels 14, Twins 4: The sweep. For both the series and the season against the Twins. And they now sport a seven game lead in the West. Mike Trout, Howie Kendrick and C.J. Cron all homered. Kendrick drove in four, with an RBI triple and RBI single accompanying his solo shot.
Cardinals 9, Brewers 1: Adam Wainwright allowed only one run while tossing a complete game, needing exactly 100 pitches to do it. The Cards took three of four and now have a four and a half game lead in the Central.
Nationals 3, Phillies 2: Another guy with two homers, this time Adam LaRoche, to help the Nats avoid the sweep. Both homers tied the game at the time. Drew Storen took over as closer for Rafael Soriano and got the save.
Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 1: Jose Bautista’s three-rum homer was all the offense the Jays would get or need. R.A. Dickey baffled Sox hitters, allowing one run on six hits while pitching into the eighth. This loss, combined with the Orioles’ win, officially eliminates the Red Sox. Not that anyone in Boston was holding their breath.
Mets 4, Reds 3: Anthony Recker and Curtis Granderson homered. All four of the Mets’ runs were unearned, however, as the Reds committed two inning or at-bat-continuing errors. There aren’t many teams which have had a more uninspiring second half than Cincinnati.
Rockies 6, Padres 0: Colorado sweeps. Four in a row overall for them. Jackson Williams and Nolan Arenado homered. Williams’ was his first career longball in the majors.
Astros 4, Athletics 3: Oh, Oakland. They had a one-run lead in the ninth and then Ryan Cook came on to close it out. He walked three of the four batters he faced. Fernando Abad came in and allowed a sac fly, then intentionally walked one guy and unintentionally walked another and there went the lead. The Astros’ win ensures that they will not lose 100 games on the year. The Athletics’ loss puts the AL West even more out of reach than it already was and keeps them closer to the second wild card leaders than they really wanna be. The A’s have lost 18 of their last 26 games.
Tigers 6, Giants 1: The Tigers have Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello is putting up a breakout year and they traded for David Price at the break. So of course a dude named Kevin Lobstein is their best pitcher at the moment. Lobstein allowed one run in five and two-thirds innings. He has a 2.11 ERA in three starts since taking over Anibal Sanchez’s rotation spot. The Tigers have won all three of those games.