And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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What a dead night for baseball. Only six games plus the day tilt in New York. All night my Twitter feed was filled with people talking about the NBA (15%) and the damn spelling bee (85%).  And between the two of those things I don’t think there’s any more human misery possible to unleash on the world.

Whatever. Seven baseball games is better than none, so let us be thankful for what we have.

Giants 12, Cardinals 7: Three homers and six RBI for Aubrey Huff makes him easily the biggest RBI whore of the day (Update: I missed that Colby Rasmus had six RBI as well, so let’s call them co-RBI whores). For St. Louis, Lance Lynn not only makes his major league debut, but he makes it on short rest against the defending World Series champs. Oh, and his defense decided not to show up either. No errors while he was in the game but all manner of misplays that make Lynn’s line look misleading (5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 5K), though due to Huff’s heroics, it probably doesn’t matter.  While we’re talking about the Giants, after this mean-spirited display of jackassery, I kind of want Brian Sabean to get fired for some reason and never find another job for as long as he lives. There. How do you like it, Brian?

Mets 9, Pirates 8: I hit this one up yesterday. Shorter version: On Wednesday the Mets did a pretty decent Pirates imitation. On Thursday, the Pirates did a pretty decent Mets imitation. These are two teams that deserve one another.

Rangers 7, Indians 4: Indians’ pitchers did not strike out a single Rangers hitter. Hurm. Cleveland is 4-6 in their last 10. A mere bump in the road or are we on pumpkin watch?

Twins 8, Royals 2: The six-run third pretty much ended this one before it started. I guess if you have to look on the bright side for Kansas City it’s that Joakim Soria pitched two innings without getting his head blown off.

Astros 7, Padres 4: That’s four wins in a row for Houston, all on the road. I like to imagine that, if a team wins every game on a road trip, little music plays at the end and applause is heard sort of like when you clear all the coins in a row in Super Mario.

Nationals 6, Diamondbacks 1: A three-run first inning and thirteen hits overall made this an easy night for Washington. Another strong start for Jordan Zimmermann, and this time — unlike most of his good starts lately — he actually gets a win.

Mariners 8, Rays 2: Two home runs for Carlos Peguero and the M’s hit four overall off James Shields.  Meanwhile, a typical day at the office for Felix Hernandez (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 11K).

OK, now, can we get back to a nice 15-game schedule tonight? Thanks.

Nationals blow 6-run lead, rebound to beat Phillies 8-7

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WASHINGTON (AP) Lane Thomas singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals sent the Philadelphia Phillies to their fifth straight loss, winning 8-7 after blowing a six-run lead.

The defending NL champion Phillies have just five victories in their last 18 games and are tied with the Nationals at the bottom of the NL East at 25-32.

“We’ve got to overcome it,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “We’ve got to play better, get consistent in all phases and keep moving forward.”

Alex Call drew a two-out walk against Connor Brogdon (2-1) in the eighth, stole second on a low pitch that catcher JT Realmuto couldn’t make a throw on and scored on Thomas’ single to right center.

“The way Lane’s swinging the bat, if you can get on second base, we can win the game,” Call said. “I look over and the ball’s in the dirt, he doesn’t catch it. Now I’m saying: ‘All right, Lane. Come on!’”

Kyle Finnegan (3-2) pitched 1 2/3 innings for the victory, stranding the tying run on second in the ninth.

Nick Castellanos homered twice, singled, doubled and drove in five runs for Philadelphia, which had scored just three runs in its past three games.

“There’s definitely a lot of positives as a group,” Castellanos said. “Showing some fight. It would have been really, really easy to lay down and allow the way the game started to be the way that it finished.”

Down 7-1 after four innings, Philadelphia tied it at 7 in the eighth. Brandon Marsh worked a nine-pitch walk against Mason Thompson leading off, and Drew Ellis singled with one out. Finnegan came on to face Kyle Schwarber, who hit a ground ball up the middle. Shortstop CJ Abrams fielded it behind it behind second base, touched second for one out, but threw wildly to first and Marsh came home with the tying run.

Castellanos’s second homer, a two-run shot to center in the sixth, pulled the Phillies to 7-3 and Marsh added an RBI single in the inning.

In the seventh, Schwarber doubled with one out and Bryson Scott reached on an infield single. Hunter Harvey came on and walked Bryce Harper to load the bases. Castellanos singled to center scoring two runs to make it 7-6.

Luis Garcia homered and Jeimer Candelario doubled twice and drove in three runs for the Nationals, who have won seven of 12.

Philadelphia starter Zack Wheeler, coming off eight shutout innings against Atlanta, allowed seven runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

“This one’s on me really,” Wheeler said. “Guys battled back. Just couldn’t finish it out. We know who we have in this room and what we’ve got to do.”

Josiah Gray gave up four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings for Washington.

Candelario doubled just beyond the reach of left fielder Schwarber to drive in the first of Washington’s two runs in the first.

In the second, Abrams hit a one-out drive to deep center that Marsh misplayed into a double. With two outs and two on, Candelario doubled off the wall in right center to make it 5-0.

Garcia ended Wheeler’s night with a solo homer in the fourth.

“When you come out the way we did, you’ve got to tack on,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “It didn’t happen tonight, but we got one more than the other guys.”

CANDY MAN

Candelario is 9 for 26 (.346) with four doubles, a home run, nine RBIs, five walks, and seven runs scored in his last seven games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: Thomson said RHP Taijuan Walker played catch Friday and there are “no worries about his next start.” In a four-inning outing against the Mets on Thursday, Walker’s sinker velocity averaged 90.6 mph, down from 92.7 mph for the season. His fastball, splitter and curveball velocity also dropped.

Nationals: OF Victor Robles (back spasms) took batting practice on the field for the first time since going on the injured list. … LHP Sean Doolittle (elbow) gave up a run on two hits and struck out two batters in 2/3 of an inning working his second straight night for Class A Fredericksburg.

UP NEXT

Phillies: LHP Matt Strahm (4-3, 3.20) will start a bullpen game on Saturday.

Nationals: LHP MacKenzie Gore (3-3, 3.57) went seven innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters in his previous outing – a no decision against the Royals.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports