And That Happened: Tuesday's scores and highlights

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Nationals 4, Mets 0: Not to take too much away from John Lannan
(CG, SHO, 7 H, 1K 0 BB), but David Wright was the only player in the
Mets’ lineup who has any business starting for a Major League team, let
alone one that still pretends that it’s contending.

Indians 2, Blue Jays 1: Cliff Lee’s starts are beginning to take on the air of street sale rather than a baseball game:

Live from 47th Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue-you can’t miss
it!-it’s SABRA PRICE IS RIGHT! Alright so let’s go with the game then.
Here is the host, URI SHURINSON!

Uri: Alright-alright-alright! Good-good-good! Yes-yes,
welcome-welcome to Sabra Price Is Right! I am Uri! Okay so we show you
beautiful merchandise; and you people, you guess price. So okay let’s
look at first merchandise!

[Shot: 30 year-old lefthander]

Harvey: Alright is Cliff Lee! Is pitcher from Cleveland. Is good! (CG, 7 H, 1 ER, 4 K 0 BB)

Uri: Okay-okay now who can tell me the correct price for the Cliff Lee?

Brewers 2, Pirates 0: Milwaukee blanks the Pirates. And Braden Looper beaned five guys because Kevin Young hit a homer off of Doug Jones back in May of 1998. Maybe you think that’s extreme, but that’s just how the Brew Crew rolls.

Angels 8, Royals 5: You’re not going to believe this, but Sidney
Ponson got rocked (5 IP, 8 H, 6 ER). Jose Guillen drove in two. It’s
amazing what you can do when you take ownership over your problems.

Yankees 6, Orioles 4: Neyer yesterday:

The Yankees are probably good enough to get into the playoffs with
Sergio Mitre in their rotation … but is it really worth the risk? And
I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe it must take a month to get Hughes
conditioned for 100 pitches. Anyway, why is that the threshold for
acceptability? How many times do the Yankees think that Mitre’s going
to last for 100 pitches?

Last night’s results: 91 pitches, even when pitching with a four-run
lead. It’s great that he won and everything, but is there any doubt
that Phil Hughes could do at least that and maybe save the bullpen some
innings?

Braves 8, Giants 1: It’s amazing what ridding your lineup of
automatic outs can do. With Jordan Schafer, Kelly Johnson and Jeff
Francoeur gone, the Braves have been on an offensive tear. In this one,
Martin Prado had three hits and scored three runs and Brian McCann hit
a three-run homer and drove in four. Now if only the Phillies would
lose a game . . .

Phillies 4, Cubs 1: Damn. Jayson Werth with a walkoff three-run homer in the bottom of the 13th.

Tigers 9, Mariners 7: Not a lot of pitching in this one, as
seven homers were hit, two by Jack Hannahan of the Ms and one grand
slam by Magglio Ordonez. Franklin Gutierrez slammed into the wall and
had to leave the game, but x-rays were negative. Which, strangely
enough, is a positive thing.

Rangers 4, Red Sox 2: Losing four of five out the gate in the
second half is probably not what the Sox had in mind, but that’s what
happens when you can’t figure out rookies with names like Tommy Hunter.
They should trade him to the Braves to team up with Hanson. Both
“Hunter & Hanson” and “Tommy and Tommy” sound like 1980s
action/adventure shows that I totally would have watched back then. It
would air right before “Riptide” and right after “The A-Team.”

Rays 3, White Sox 2: Bobby Jenks loaded the bases in the ninth
but got out of it on Monday night, but last night he wasn’t so lucky.
Coming in with a one run lead, Jenks allowed
single-HBP-single-walk-sacrifice-hit-walk before getting out of it.
Spoiled a nice Clayton Richard start too (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7K).

Astros 11, Cardinals 6: This has to have been Todd Wellemeyer’s
last start for the Cardinals, no? That one nice start against the
Giants back on July 2nd didn’t buy him a mile of rope, did it? Wandy
Rodriguez (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER), Carlos Lee (grand slam) and Miguel Tejada
(2-3, 3 RBI) lead the charge for the Astros.

Angels 10, Royals 2: Erik Aybar was a beast in this
doubleheader, smacking seven hits between the two games. He’s also 24
for his last 43. Kansas City used nine pitchers in yesterday’s games.

Dodgers 12, Reds 3: I think the Homer Bailey experiment is
nearing its end as he has a 14.53 ERA over his past two starts and
isn’t fooling anyone. And I’d like to think that this Dusty Baker quote
was meant as a dig at Joe Torre, though it probably wasn’t: “You know
you’ve got a good lineup when your eighth hitter’s hitting
.320-something. I don’t know If I’ve seen that ever.” He’s referring to
Matt Kemp, of course, who has no business hitting eighth. Not that it’s
hurting the Dodgers at the moment or anything.

Twins 3, A’s 2: Runs were a bit more scarce in this one. And,
unlike yesterday, Mike Muchlinski called Michael Cuddyer safe when it
mattered, this time on his 10th inning RBI triple.

Marlins 3, Padres 2: I have absolutely nothing interesting to
say about this game, so I’ll just note that “Stripes” was on AMC last
night. It’s been years since I’ve seen it, and yes, it holds up. Lee
Harvey, you are a madman. When you stole that cow, and your friend
tried to make it with the cow. I want to party with you, cowboy. If the
two of us together, forget it.

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 5: Same here, really. Sorry, I guess
last nights west coast games just aren’t speaking to me like Monday
night’s did. C’mon, it’s Czechoslovakia. We zip in, we pick ’em up, we
zip right out again. We’re not going to Moscow. It’s Czechoslovakia.
It’s like going into Wisconsin.

Young Blue Jays say they aren’t intimidated by top seed Rays

Blue Jays roster and schedule
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) When the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays opened the pandemic-delayed season a little over two months ago, there was little to indicate the AL East rivals might meet again to begin the playoffs.

While the Rays launched the truncated 60-game schedule with expectations of making a strong bid for their first division title in a decade, the Blue Jays generally were viewed as an immensely talented young team still years away from postseason contention.

Tampa Bay didn’t disappoint, shrugging off a slow start to go a league-best 40-20 and claim the No. 1 seed in the AL playoffs that begin Tuesday.

Lefty Blake Snell, who’ll start Game 1 of the best-of-three wild-card series against Toronto at Tropicana Field, also isn’t surprised that the eighth-seeded Blue Jays earned a spot, too.

The Rays won six of 10 games between the teams during the regular season, but were outscored 48-44 and outhomered 17-11.

And while Toronto (32-28) lacks the playoff experience Tampa Bay gained last season when the Rays beat Oakland in the AL wild-card game before falling to Houston in the divisional round, the Blue Jays are building with exciting young players such as Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

“They’ve got a lot of young guys who can ball over there,” Snell said. “It’s going to be fun to compete and see how we do.”

Rays defensive whiz Kevin Kiermaier said Tampa Bay, in the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the second time franchise history, will not take the Blue Jays lightly.

“We know we’re playing a real good team,” Kiermaier said. “It’s not going to be easy, regardless of what a team is seeded.”

The Blue Jays, who’ll start right-hander Matt Shoemaker, aren’t conceding anything.

Bichette said he and his teammates respect how good Tampa Bay is, but are not intimidated by facing the No. 1 seed.

“I would say that we didn’t care who we played. I would say that we didn’t mind playing Tampa, that’s for sure. We’re familiar with them. We’ve played them well,” Bichette said.

“I think we’re confident in our ability against them. Our talent matches up well,” Bichette added. “We think if we play well we’ve got a good chance.”

NO FANS

The stands at Tropicana Field will be empty, leaving players to wonder what the atmosphere will be like for the playoffs.

Tampa Bay routinely rank at or near the bottom of the majors in attendance, but usually pack the stands in the domed stadium during the postseason.

“It will be different,” Bichette said. “Normally when you think of your first postseason you think 40,000, you think about not being able to think it’s so loud, stuff like that.”

The Blue Jays open the playoffs near where they hold spring training in Dunedin, Florida. It’s been a winding road for Toronto, which played its home games in Buffalo, New York, at the site of its Triple-A affiliate after the Canadian government barred the Blue Jays from hosting games at their own stadium because of coronavirus concerns.

CONFIDENT RAYS

Tampa Bay’s five-game loss to Houston in last year’s divisional round was a source of motivation during the regular season.

“It definitely lit a fire under everybody. It really showed us we belong. … We gave them a tough series,” second baseman Brandon Lowe said.

“We won the wild-card game. We belong in the postseason. I think that did a lot for us to understand that we should be in the postseason and we can go a lot farther. We know what to expect this time around. I think everyone in our clubhouse expects to be playing until the end of October,” he said.

CLOSE FRIENDS

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash has the Rays in the playoffs for the second time. His close friend and former Rays third base and bench coach Charlie Montoyo is in his second year as manager of the Blue Jays, who last made the playoffs in 2016.

“Pretty special,” Cash said of his relationship with Montoyo.

“I really learned a lot from him being around him. The way he carried himself. His hand print is throughout this organization,” Cash added. “A pretty big impact and a positive one. … When they clinched I talked to him, we face-timed at 1:30 in the morning. I’m so happy for him.”