And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Mike Krukow.jpgGiants 6, Reds 5: Jose Juan Uribe gave the Giants a 4-1 lead with a two-run single in the third and their 6-5 lead with a two-run single in the seventh. Your moment of random, from the game story: “A man wearing a Mike Krukow Giants jersey and waving a ‘Go Buster’ sign
dived over a row of seats to get a foul ball hit by Posey in the second
inning.”  Question: did he buy the Krukow jersey off the rack in 1986 or did he spend good money to have a custom one made more recently? Because God knows you can’t just run down to Dick’s Sporting Goods and find a Mike Krukow jersey these days. Well, at least outside of the imaginary world I’ve created known to me as “Kickassville, U.S.A.”

Padres 3, Phillies 1: Cole Hamels had a no-no into the seventh inning, but it didn’t hold up. And given how these Phillies bats are hitting these days, it damn nigh would have had to in order to give them the win. Two homers for Adrian Gonzalez. The Phillies haven’t had two home runs in a game since May 21st.

Cubs 6, Pirates 1: I hit this one up yesterday. Not known at the time: Silva was pitching this game with the stomach flu, which necessitated several trips to the restroom during the game. The Pirates, in contrast, could not get any runs.

Angels 4, Athletics 2: The Angels win their sixth straight and take over first place. As I said in the Power Rankings last week, in the future, every team will be in first place in the AL West for 15 minutes.

Mariners 4, Rangers 2: Cliff Lee is pretty ridiculously good (CG, 7 H, 2 ER, 7K). Indeed he’s so good that the fact that there is a decent chance that he’ll be playing for his fourth team in the space of a calendar year sometime soon is one of those things about which historians will one day write long, heavily footnoted articles.

Red Sox 4, Indians 1: A surprisingly aggressive Dice-K throws eight shutout innings.  Manny Acta on his starter, Fausto Carmona, who gave out six free passes in six innings: “I thought Fausto did well despite all the walks.” Kind of reminds me of that Marion Barry quote about how the D.C. crime rate wasn’t too bad despite all the killings.

Rockies 5, Astros 1: Jason Hammel and Dice-K are going to get together and do a seminar on how to pitch against terrible lineups without breaking a sweat. Seven and a third shutout innings for Hammel vs. the Astros.

Diamondbacks 7, Braves 4: Anything is possible against the Diamondbacks’ bullpen, but there are some holes too large to climb out of, and Derek Lowe dug one last night for Atlanta. Lowe, after totally handcuffing the Phillies last week, gave up seven runs and eight hits in four innings. Blah.

Dodgers 12, Cardinals 4: Blake DeWitt hit a homer and drove in five as the Dodgers win in a laugher. Of course if the Dodgers were actually seen laughing during the game it would have been an unwritten rules violation and their players would be subject to plunkings going forward. So no, maybe it was more of an “I’m smiling on the inside” kind of game.

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

atlanta braves
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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.