And That Happened: Monday's scores and highlights

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Reds 4, Pirates 3; Reds 6, Pirates 3: Darnell McDonald scored on a wild pitch by Jesse Chavez with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to win the first game of the doubleheader. There was no one there. Like, 2000 people. Which is a crime considering how nice a day it was in Ohio yesterday. Sure, it was just a makeup game and sure it was the Pirates, but if there aren’t at least a couple thousand more office drones, college students, and other assorted knuckleheads that can make it to a walkable ballpark on a glorious afternoon then our civilization is circling the damn drain.

Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 3: It had to be kind of hard to play this game while this is looming beyond left field. Arizona managed, however, getting two runs off of James McDonald in the 10th. The Dodgers finish August with a record of 14-15, but hey, they’ve got reinforcements now. You excited Jim Thome? “I just want to be honest with you. I’d love to come. I want to help you guys any way I can. But playing first base is not something I’m going to be able to do — maybe in an emergency situation, perhaps.” Fear the Dodgers.

Braves 5, Marlins 2: Life comes at you fast. Josh Johnson didn’t give up a hit until Matt Diaz singled in the 6th, but he wouldn’t survive the seventh inning following a couple of hits from Chipper Jones and Yunel Escobar followed by an Omar Infante triple and a David Ross RBI single.

Blue Jays 18, Rangers 10: Toronto led this game 11-0 at one point but thought it wasn’t sporting to embarrass their host in their very home and thus allowed them to make a go of it, watching the lead shrink down to a single run before scoring seven in the ninth. Adam Lind had eight (8) (VIII) RBI in this game. I’m assuming Nolan Ryan had people killed after it was over.

Yankees 5, Orioles 1: Without looking, I’m going to assume that this was Andy Pettitte’s best start of the year (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 8K) [time passes] OK, I looked, and yes it was his best start of the year. In fact, if you go by game score, it was Pettitte’s best start since June 30, 2002, when he threw a three-hit shutout against the Mets.

Rays 11, Tigers 7: If the best trade deadline pickup was Cliff Lee or Adam LaRoche, then the worst is no doubt Jarrod Washburn (5.2 IP, 9 H, 8 ER). Harkins says it best: “Tigers fans must feel like they got hoodwinked.”

Twins 4, White Sox 1: The White Sox: sinking like whale fall. Not only did Joe Mauer hit a homer, but he stole a base. What’s more, as he slid into second, he caught the errant throw after it deflected off of Jayson Nix’s glove. Mauer doesn’t always drink beer, when he does, he prefers Dos Equis.

Astros 5, Cubs 3: Carlos Lee was 2-4 with a homer and 4 RBI. Rich Harden, who had a busy day of not being traded and everything, gave up five runs on five hits and walked six in five innings.

Angels 10, Mariners 0: Two homers for Vlad, who went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI. Joe Saunders and Trevor Bell allow only three hits which, after what happened to against Zack Greinke on Sunday, was a veritable breakout performance by the M’s bats.

Padres 3, Nationals 1: Livan Hernandez does what he was hired to do: pitch a bunch of innings, save the bullpen, and still lose so as not to mess up the whole Bryce Harper thing. OK, maybe that’s not the real intention — Hernandez actually pitched well last night — but it’s a nice little byproduct of his Livanness, no?

Athletics 8, Royals 5: Oakland trailed 4-0 after two innings, but scored five runs in the third and then added three more in the sixth. One of those runs came after when Luke Hochevar allowed Rajai Davis to advance to third while Hochevar was wiping his brow, mistakenly believing that play was dead. Oops.

Athletics tie for first place in AL West

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The Athletics are tied for first place in the AL West for the first time since Opening Day. They took the first of a three-game series against the Astros on Friday with a wild (and controversial) overturned replay call in the ninth and Matt Olson‘s decisive walk-off home run in the 10th — the first of his career to date — then returned on Saturday and bested the Astros 7-1 to take first place.

Saturday’s win was less of a nail-biter than Friday’s had been, but its rewards were just as sweet. Trevor Cahill led the A’s through the first seven innings of one-hit, seven-strikeout ball, backed by seven runs on five RBI doubles from Khris Davis, Matt Olson, Stephen Piscotty and Josh Phegley. All told, the four players struck eight doubles to tie the franchise single-game record.

The Astros, meanwhile, were stymied by both Cahill and the A’s bullpen through the first eight innings of the game. Following Cahill’s seven shutout innings, Jeurys Familia took the ball in the eighth and blanked the Astros to preserve the seven-run lead. Yusmeiro Petit wasn’t quite so lucky: with one out in the top of the ninth, he pitched to a full count against Tony Kemp, then saw his 90.1-MPH fastball returned to right field for a home run. That was the first and last time the Astros crossed home plate, however, as Kyle Tucker popped out to third base and Alex Bregman cemented the loss with a fly ball to right.

Entering Saturday’s game, the Astros had not been out of first place since June 13, when they played second fiddle to the now third-place Mariners. They’ll share first-place honors with the Athletics until Sunday’s finale; it’ll take a series sweep for Oakland to take the lead in the division, but they’ve already delivered incredible results over the last two weeks (and it’s worth noting, as MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart pointed out, that Houston has now lost seven of their last eight games). The A’s climbed out of the no. 3 spot at the start of August and have steadily progressed toward first place ever since, driven by two separate four-win streaks and their two decisive wins this weekend. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle also notes that the club has not been in first place in a non-April month since August 25, 2014 — the last year they qualified for the playoffs.