And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Nationals 4, Braves 1: I have been arguing against a Stephen Strasburg shutdown for a while now, but allow me to say that if those dudes are really gonna do that, I wish they would have done it before last night. Strasburg struck out ten in six innings, allowing a single run and winning his 15th. Jesus Flores’ three-run homer was all Washington needed. The Braves are pretty much playing for the wild card now. Viva Los Nationals.

Royals 1, Rays 0: If you told me that a big time pitchers duel was going to go down involving David Price, sure, I’m on board. Luke Hochevar? Eh, color me skeptical. But that’s what we had. Each of the starters tossed eight shutout innings, with Hochevar giving up only one hit and Price three. It was decided in the 10th when Eric Hosmer singled in Jeff Francoeur, who wouldn’t have even been in scoring position but for a Ben Zobrist throwing error. In other words: offense was tough to come by here. BTW: David Price has been utterly fantastic in all of his no-decisions this year but has gotten butt for run support. Guess he doesn’t know how to win.

Rockies 6, Mets 2:  Jhoulys Chacin came back for the first time in nearly five months, holding the Mets to one run on four hits in six innings. Bad defense hurt the Mets, with Chris Young throwing a ball away, contributing to a big inning and the Mets botching a rundown. Is it Jets season yet?

Reds 5, Phillies 4: Cliff Lee was cruising until the seventh and then ran the heck out of gas in a hurry. By the time Charlie Manuel got him it was 3-1 Reds. Not that it was over by then. That’s when it went all see-saw. Philly tied it on a Jimmy Rollins RBI double in the bottom half, Todd Frazier homered in the eighth, Philly tied it back up in the bottom half, but then Zack Cozart homered in the ninth. And, yes, the Phillies threatened in the ninth, with Jimmy Rollins stealing and second and third with Chase Utley up to bat. Aroldis Chapman doesn’t give a flying eff, though, and throws a 102 m.p.h. fastball by him, leaves and presumably goes to sit in his hotel room and dream about someone who can challenge him one day.

Angels 5, Red Sox 3: The four game losing streak is over, thanks in part to Mark Trumbo’s 30th homer. Mike Trout had two hits, but the highlight of the game had to be Aaron Cook actually striking Trout out. Cook had struck out seven dudes all season before then. Trout probably saw Cook’s eminently hittable junk just hanging there and about came out of his shoes he was so excited to mash it. He didn’t, but every other Angel did, practically, so it was all good.

Tigers 5, Blues Jays 3: Max Scherzer struck out eight in seven innings, allowing one run. Rickey Romero: not so good. He lost his 10th straight decision, giving up five runs on seven hits while walking eight. EIGHT. And no, he didn’t strike out anyone. How Detroit only scored five here is a miracle.

White Sox 7, Yankees 3: It was 2-2 in the fifth when Kevin Youkilis walked up to the plate with the bases loaded. Bammo, grand slam. I’m sure the Yankees fans who came to love Youk so much over the years dug that.

Cardinals 7, Astros 0: St. Louis didn’t really need Adam Wainwright to throw eight and a third shutout innings while fanning 11 a shutout while striking out 12, but he did it anyway. Bring on Roger Clemens. Heck, bring on Mike Scott or J.R. Richard. The Astros could use a side show right around now. UPDATE: Glitch in the matrix on that Wainwright line. Wrote it last night after I saw from Twitter that the game ended, but the box score I had up didn’t refresh for some reason and I was too tired to notice. Derp.

Brewers 5, Cubs 2: Chris Rusin was meh at Iowa this year, but his major league started out well enough: 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER. But then Alberto Cabrera came in and set fire to the place, allowing one run on a wild pitch and two more on an RBI double. Is it Bears season yet?

Orioles 5, Rangers 3: Manny Machado must have heard that I talked smack about him yesterday because he went 2 for 3 with an RBI triple. Nate McLouth, who is apparently alive, homered and scored on a wild pitch.

Mariners 5, Indians 1: Johnny Vander Meer’s legacy remains safe, but Felix Hernandez was once again fantastic, allowing one run over seven and two thirds.

Giants 4, Dodgers 1: Tim Lincecum beats Joe Blanton. Had decent velocity too, which has been elusive for him this season. The Giants lead over the Dodgers is now one and a half.

Padres 7, Pirates 5: Garrett Jones had two homers but Chase Headley’s walkoff in the 10th won it for San Diego. Headley has had a fantastic August, hitting nine homers and driving in 26 to lead the bigs. The Pirates are now 7.5 back of the Reds so, like Atlanta, they too are clearly in Wild Card City.

Athletics 4, Twins 1: Brett Anderson made his first start since mid-2011 and it was pretty darn good (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 6K).  The A’s turned a 5-4-3 triple play too, which is pretty nifty. Oakland is a half game back of Baltimore for the wild card.

Marlins 6, Diamondbacks 5: Arizona jumped out to a 5-run lead in the first but that’s all they’d get, as the Fish chipped away and Giancarlo Stanton delivered an RBI single in the 10th. “We should have won that game,” Kirk Gibson said afterward. Yep, you should have.

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rockies 8, Yankees 4: James Paxton is no dummy. It was hotter than Hell’s hinges yesterday so he — I assume — decided to pitch like garbage and get to a cool shower and an air conditioned clubhouse early. He allowed seven runs — four earned — on five hits and was hosing off his frothy lather before the fourth inning was over. You just can’t teach good sense like that. Germán Marquez, meanwhile, has some learning to do. Again, it was hotter than a hay harvest and Marquez went out there and pitched really well, allowing only two runs on three hits, which meant that he was out there for seven miserably hot innings. He’s only 24, though. He’ll learn. Trevor Story, Nolan Arenado, and David Dahl each drove in two and Charlie Blackmon, who went 4-for-5, was allowed to hit a leadoff homer by the savvy Paxton.

Orioles 5, Red Sox 0: Special Agent Andrew Cashner carried out the orders he was apparently given when he was sent undercover to Boston nine days ago by tossing a couple of meatballs to former comrade Trey Mancini — he hit two homers — and allowing four runs in six innings. Orioles starter Asher Wojciechowski, in contrast, carried out his duties loyally by shutting out the Sox on one hit into the eighth inning while striking out 10. OK, I know that’s not really how it works — they all try to win for the teams that currently employ them — but I feel like baseball would be way more interesting if baseball had double agents and intrigue and crap.

Rays 4, White Sox 2: Travis d'Arnaud hit a grand slam in the second for all of the Rays’ runs and Blake Snell tossed six shutout innings, striking out ten. It’s like the Rays know I recap all these games every morning and know that, sometimes, I just need a straightforward narrative to make one of ’em really easy to wrap up, especially on 15-game days. Thanks, dudes.

Indians 5, Royals 4: Kansas City jumped out to a 2-0 lead but Francisco Lindor‘s two-run homer tied it up in the third. Cleveland added three more in the sixth, led by Jose Ramírez’s tie-breaking homer. That’s all good for a win for Cleveland, but it was clouded by an injury to a three-year-old boy who was hit by a Lindor foul ball. He was sitting well past the dugout, past where the netting at Progressive Field ends but before where a handful of teams have either extended it or have committed to extending it. Including the Royals, by the way, who just announced they were extending theirs to the foul poles after a fan was injured. Now I’d bet a fair amount of money that the Indians will announce they’ll extend the netting too, sooner rather than later. What a world we’d live in if these teams decided to do this BEFORE young children were injured. But I suppose things are impossible to foresee, eh?

Tigers 4, Blue Jays 3: I was in Detroit Saturday and yesterday and I had given serious thought to going to this game before heading back home. I decided against it at the last minute because (a) I was out until like 2AM on Saturday night, almost got into a fight with a belligerent Scottish guy, among other things, and was exhausted; (b) I had a three and a half hour drive home; and (c) it was, again, hotter than a basted turkey yesterday, so I gave it a pass. So of course they go and play what looked to be a pretty fun game and now I sit here with regret. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to tie things up at three and to force extras and then Nicholas Castellanos hit a walkoff homer. Could be Castellanos’ last big moment as a Tiger given that he’s a prime trade candidate and the deadline is nine days away. I probably shoulda been there. Dang it.

Dodgers 9, Marlins 0: Forfeit score which, as we like to mention around here, means that the Marlins would’ve been better off simply not showing up and taking their flight to Chicago for their series against the White Sox earlier in the day. Walker Buehler tossed seven shutout innings, striking out 11 and A.J. Pollock hit a three-run homer and an RBI single. Max Muncy and Joc Pederson went deep too.

Lest you think I’m a bad person for not going to the Tigers game yesterday, know that I’m taking my family to Los Angeles tomorrow for a little vacation that’ll go through the weekend and we are going to Dodger Stadium on Wednesday to see the Angels-Dodgers game. Can’t wait to show my kids Mike Trout, the best player in the game, and the Dodgers, the best team in the game, only to have them tell me “whatever,” but that’s what having teenagers is all about, I suppose.

Cardinals 3, Reds 1:  Yairo Muñoz singled, tripled and homered and drove in two. Jack Flaherty shut the Reds out into the fifth and all they ended up getting off of anyone was a solo homer by Phillip Ervin. The Cards take three of four from Cincy.

Phillies 2, Pirates 1: The Phillies signed Drew Smyly after he tanked in Texas and couldn’t get a callup to Milwaukee. When we wrote about the Phillies probably signing him last week a bunch of people made jokes and/or lamented Philly’s desperation and all that jazz. So of course he goes out and allows one run in six innings and strikes out eight. We all saw that coming, right?

Astros 5, Rangers 3: Michael Brantley hit two homers, a two-run shot and a solo shot, and José Altuve went deep as well. Rogelio Armenteros allowed one run and two hits with six strikeouts in five innings. That’s a three-game sweep of the Rangers and five wins in all for Houston.

Twins 7, Athletics 6: Minnesota led 4-0 and blew it but Max Kepler but the Twins on his back with a four-RBI day, including a walkoff single. He doubled and homered too. The walkoff was set up by Ehire Adrianza tripling in the tying run just prior. Minnesota split the four-game set with Oakland.

Padres 5, Cubs 1: Francisco Mejía homered, Fernando Tatís Jr. drove in three as the Padres avoided a sweep. Cal Quantrill didn’t start — San Diego used an opener for two and two-thirds innings — but he tossed five and two-thirds of scoreless relief.

Giants 3, Mets 2: Mike Yastrzemski hit a walkoff homer in the 12th. It was the Giants’ first hit since the fourth inning. Which makes that a couple of games in the past week in which Mets relievers were, actually, really good for a long time but just not, you know, at the end. Progress? The Giants have won 15 of 18, which, proportionally, is one better than seven of nine.

Brewers 7, Diamondbacks 4: Arizona took a 4-0 lead and Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff left the game with an oblique injury that’ll send him to the IL. But the Brewers’ pen tossed six shutout innings of relief, Tyler Saladino hit a grand slam to tie things up in the fourth and Milwaukee plated three more in the eighth to win it and take their third of four in the series.

Angels 9, Mariners 3: Brian Goodwin hit two homers for the Angels and Mike Trout and Albert Pujols each added a longball of their own as they win this one easily. Trout’s homer was his 32nd, which leads the AL, and the RBI was his 78th, which also leads the AL. He also leads the league in WAR and OPS by A LOT. Can’t wait to see who the writers twist themselves into knots to argue is a better choice for MVP this fall. Should be awesome.

Braves 7, Nationals 1: Not sure I’d have bet even a buck on Kevin Gausman allowing one run over seven innings in his first game back since early June but that’s baseball for ya. Josh Donaldson and Ronald Acuña hitting homers? Well, sure, I’d have bet on that. That’s baseball too. Those two and Nick Markakis each drove in a couple while Freddie Freeman went 3-for-5 and scored twice as Atlanta splits the four-game series with the Nats and keep their division lead at six and a half.