And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

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Dodgers
6, Reds 2
: Clayton Kershaw gave up one run on seven hits with seven
strikeouts. At least one of those strikeouts was baloney, though.  Check out the call here by Hunter Wendelstedt.
Rolen and Dusty Baker got run, sure, but it’s not like they didn’t have
a beef. Bonus: lip readers among you can easily figure out exactly what
Dusty thought of that call!

Braves 6, Rays 2:  Things I haven’t had to say in several years: the Braves win, staying just ahead of the Mets in the race for the N.L. East lead. Seven scoreless innings for Tommy Hanson, who looked pretty damn dominant.

Mets 8, Indians 4: I totally should have gone up to Progressive Field to watch this one from the Tribe Social Deck. Why? Because for the first time this year a home run was hit into the assembled bloggeratti. What’s more, it was hit by Shelley Duncan!  If I had been there, my daughter Anna would have gotten a souvenir from her favorite player. That is, if I could have fought off the vicious, vicious bloggers.

Rangers 6, Marlins 3: Michael Young broke the Rangers’ all-time hit record, passing Ivan Rodriguez.  I’m going to go out on a limb and guess 3-5:  Pete O’Brien, Bump Wills and Cesar Tovar. Am I right? Nah, don’t bother looking. I’m pretty sure I’m right.

Red Sox 6, Diamondbacks 2: The young starter goes seven strong, many contribute on offense and the home team wins 6-2. So this was pretty much a carbon copy of the Braves-Rays game. Well, except for Dustin Pedroia hitting a home run and then, after the game saying I’m strong – I drink milk.”

Angels 5, Brewers 1: Pfun stupf: Brandon Wood played shortstop. I did not know he did that. Were it the late 1960s or early 19-teens, his bat might even play there.

Blue Jays 7, Padres 1: John Buck hit his third home run of the series. Yesterday’s smacked off the balcony on the fourth floor of the Western Metal Supply Co.
Building in the left-field corner. You can hit the ball farther than that to other parts of the park and not get a homer, but it’s more impressive to measure home runs in building-based units such as supply companies, railroad warehouses and the like.

Phillies 6, Yankees 3: Jamie Moyer goes eight innings, allowing only three hits and Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth hit back-to-back homers for the first time in forever. By the way, the thing in all the game stories — Jamie Moyer is the oldest pitcher to ever beat the Yankees! — is another of those silly, “we’re only talking about it because it’s a New York team” things. Moyer is the oldest pitcher to beat a whole bunch of teams, I’d imagine, and we generally don’t care. But because he’s facing New York, which means that there are a bunch more writers covering it, all of whom are looking for an angle, we get factoids disguised as records like this one.

Giants 6, Orioles 3: Lincecum allowed eight hits, walked four and got smacked in the shoulder with a batted ball, but he also struck out ten Orioles and got the win.  His shoulder will be OK — Bruce Bochy says ’tis but a scratch; a mere flesh wound — but he certainly ain’t making anything easy for himself this year.

Tigers 8, Nationals 3: I’ve been waiting, not eagerly or anything, but waiting all the same, for the real Livan Hernandez to show himself this year. And that he did, giving up eight runs on seven hits in six and two-thirds, while issuing six free passes. Verlander had 11K. Brennan Boesch continues being a beast, going 3-4 with a homer and 4 RBI.

White Sox 7, Pirates 2: Pedro Alvarez was 0-2 with a strikeout, a walk and scored a run in his debut, but that and $5.79 will get you a knockwurst & cheese at Primanti Bros., because the Pirates lost again. Alvarez had an error too, but he wasn’t alone as Pittsburgh committed six of them. John Danks handcuffed the Pirates all night, but these days so too would the pitching machine from a fun-park batting cage. Yellow balls and everything.

Cubs 6, Athletics 2: Derek Lee was 2-4 with a homer, breaking up his current slump. Or maybe just interrupting it. When does anything really begin, anyway? And let us not forget, today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Twins 2, Rockies 1: Scott Baker was positively Strasburgian: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12K.  And he needed to be as the Twins couldn’t do much more off the Rockies.

Mariners 2, Cardinals 1: Matt Holliday struck out with the tying run at third in the eighth inning and went 0 for 4 on the night. You have to assume he’ll hit soon enough, but its understandable why Cardinals fans are starting to get restless about him.

Astros 4, Royals 2: Oswalt holds the Royals — who unleashed a 15-run attack the night before — to two runs on six hits. If he can get two more wins before he gets traded, he’ll be the Astros’ all-time win leader. Joe Niekro holds the mark right now at 144.

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

atlanta braves
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images
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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.