And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

53 Comments

Mariners 4, Indians 3: The M’s just keep on winning. That’s eight in a row, with this one ending interestingly. The Indians had runners on the corners with no one out in the ninth. Then Drew Stubbs got caught in a rundown he probably shouldn’t have gotten caught in between third and home, ending the play out in a double play which erased both baserunners. Michael Bourn struck out, game over.

Reds 3, Giants 9Giants 5, Reds 3: A weird doubleheader in which the Giants were the home team in the first one and the Reds were the home team in the nightcap, batting last and wearing their home uniforms and everything. Imagine my disappointment when I learned that both games were in AT&T Park and that the Reds had agreed to make up a home rainout in San Francisco as opposed to the teams chartering jets and traveling to Ohio in between games. There was a time in this country where people had vision and ambition and such a thing would not have seemed so crazy. Thanks, Obama.

Red Sox 6, Rays 2: An eight strikeout performance from Jon Lester, who was making the start on extra rest. He gave up two runs and seven hits with no walks in six and a third. He needed that.

Dodgers 10, Blue Jays 9: Toronto had a five-run lead in the sixth and piddled it away. Adrian Gonzalez hit a three-run homer, he Andre Ethier and Mark Ellis each had three RBI. Five straight for L.A., 22 of 27 overall.

Pirates 5, Nationals 1: Gerrit Cole had no problems with the Nats, pitching seven strong and driving in a run. The Nats have lost five straight. Jayson Werth after the game: “Things aren’t going our way and we’re not winning games. We need to find a way to win a game.” That’s some keen insight there, Jayson.

Mets 4, Braves 1: Bright side for the Nats: The Braves have sucked too. Carlos Torres allowed a leadoff homer to Andrelton Simmons but nothing else of consequence. I was so depressed watching this game that I turned it off and watched episode 6 of “Sherlock” for the fourth time or so. I feel like I know how Holmes did that thing at the end now. But thanks to the BBC I’ve been waiting over a year for the resolution and will be waiting a lot longer. British TV is weird.

Yankees 5, Rangers 4: Two runs off Joe Nathan in the ninth is not the sort of thing one can count on very often, but that’s what the Yankees got thanks to an RBI triple by Eduardo Nunez who was then driven in on a Brent Lillibridge single. Weirdest part: the tying run came in the form of Vernon Wells who actually drew a walk. He doesn’t do that terribly often.

Padres 6, Brewers 2: Nick Hundley was 3 for 4 with a homer and three RBI. Just before the game Milwaukee traded Francisco Rodriguez. This has been quite a week for unloading jerks in Milwaukee. Anyone gonna argue that the team now has better chemistry? Nah, of course not. They’re not winning.

Tigers 6, White Sox 2: Seven scoreless for Rick Porcello. The White Sox committed four errors. This one night after they had three. More like the Chicago White Slops, amirite?

Cardinals 4, Phillies 1: Make that three teams in the NL East “hunt” stinking up the joint. Shelby Miller struck out six in six shutout innings to nab his tenth win. Allen Craig drove in a couple. More like the NL Least, amirite?

OK, sorry. I’ll cut that out now.

Royals 3, Orioles 2: Bruce Chen is now 4-1 with a 1.97 ERA. Only two starts and a lot of relief work in that, but you have to assume these are showcase starts for a trade, right? Of course that assumes Dayton Moore knows what he’s doing.

Marlins 4, Rockies 2: No matter how poorly the P.R. end of the offseason purge was for the Marlins, you have to admit that this team is more interesting giving a showcase to the kids while losing than it is trotting out highly-paid veterans and losing. Jose Fernandez gave up two runs over seven innings while striking out eight. Christian Yelich makes his debut after yesterday’s callup going 3 for 4 with a couple driven in.

Astros 5, Athletics 4: A three-run ninth for the Astros, with runs scoring on a Matt Dominguez homer then a passed ball/throwing error combo gave them the walkoff win. It was Grant Balfour’s first blown save in a long, long time.

Diamondbacks 10, Cubs 4: A.J. Pollock doubled, tripled and drove in three, Eric Chavez tripled and drove in three and Patrick Corbin kept the Cubs more or less contained.

Twins 10, Angels 3: Your standard seven-run 10th inning, highlighted by a Chris Herrmann grand slam. Herrmann was filling in for Joe Mauer, who high-tailed it out of there for the birth of his twins.

Rays beat Mets 8-5, clinch 1st AL East title in 10 years

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Leave a comment

NEW YORK (AP) Confetti instead of champagne. Silly string instead of beer.

The Tampa Bay Rays, long accustomed to doing more with less, figured out a way to maximize the division-clinching celebration they were allowed to enjoy during a 2020 season shortened by the coronavirus.

Randy Arozarena homered twice and the Rays clinched their first AL East title in 10 years Wednesday night with an 8-5 victory over the New York Mets.

“I’m completely dry right now, which I’m not a huge fan of,” center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, the longest-tenured Rays player, said with a grin. “But you have to adapt to what we’re asked of.”

With teams instructed to celebrate in a muted and socially distant style, the Rays went old school – or maybe elementary school – with their clinching party.

The team filed slowly onto the field after Nick Anderson fanned Andres Gimenez for the final out. A couple of players shot off canisters filled with confetti that eventually dotted the grass and dirt at Citi Field. Hugs and handshakes were exchanged before the Rays doused one another with silly string and lit some cigars in the visiting clubhouse.

Later, hooting and hollering could be heard from the visitors’ dugout.

“We’re little kids trapped in grown men’s bodies,” Kiermaier said.

Joey Wendle and Brandon Lowe also went deep for the Rays to back Tyler Glasnow‘s six solid innings. Tampa Bay will be home at quirky Tropicana Field for a best-of-three first-round playoff series beginning next Tuesday.

It is the third division crown for the thrifty Rays, whose payroll this season is just over $28 million – more than only the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles. Tampa Bay, which began play in 1998, also won the AL East, home of two big-spending powers in the Yankees and Red Sox, in 2008 and 2010.

“It feels great to win the division, no matter what division you’re in,” Kiermaier said. “But especially the American League East – it’s just a different animal.”

After missing a chance to clinch Tuesday, the Rays went into Wednesday again needing just a win or a Yankees loss against Toronto to lock up the division championship.

The Rays (37-20) broke a 2-all tie in the sixth on Arozarena’s two-run homer off Michael Wacha and pulled away, taking care of business themselves while New York was routed 14-1 by the Blue Jays.

“At the end of the day, a clinch is a clinch,” said Wendle, who homered in the second. “But to do it on a win – everybody’s kind of riding the high of winning the game along with the division. We didn’t want to see it come down to them losing a game.”

Tampa Bay also is closing in on wrapping up the top record in the AL and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

Lowe, who had an RBI fielder’s choice in the third, hit a two-run homer in the eighth. Willy Adames added an RBI single later in the inning and Arozarena homered again in the ninth.

The insurance came in handy for the Rays when the Mets scored three times off Oliver Drake in the ninth – via an RBI groundout by Robinson Cano and a two-run homer by Todd Frazier – before Anderson closed the door.

“I think we had the game pretty much in control (and) certainly recognized what was going on in Buffalo, but I don’t know if you can ever prepare for a moment like that – it’s pretty special,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Glasnow (5-1) allowed two runs on three hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.

Gimenez and Dominic Smith homered off Glasnow in the final home game of the season for the Mets, whose long-shot playoff hopes were further damaged with the loss. New York began the day 2 1/2 games out of an NL wild-card spot.

“We still have a shot with the four games left and we’re competing,” manager Luis Rojas said. “We’ve just got to do what we do – just keep fighting like we did in the ninth.”

Wacha allowed four runs on six hits and struck out four in six innings.

STABLE SHIRT

Rays pitcher Charlie Morton sported a T-shirt picturing a stable of horses as he spoke with reporters during a pregame Zoom call. Morton did little to discourage the notion the shirt was inspired by Cash’s viral rant earlier this month, when he declared the Rays have “a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 mph” after Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman threw near Mike Brousseau’s head in the ninth inning Sept. 4.

“The stable shirt?” Morton said. “It was in my locker last week and I like horses.”

With a grin obviously growing even behind his Rays mask, Morton said he rode horses as a kid.

“So I was ecstatic to see this shirt in my locker and I wore it,” he said.

As for the fireballers on the Rays’ pitching staff?

“We’ve got some guys that throw really hard,” Morton said.

ANOTHER LOSING SEASON

The loss guaranteed the Mets (25-31) will finish with a sub-.500 record for the ninth time in the last 12 seasons – a total matched or exceeded only by the Chicago White Sox (nine), Miami Marlins (10) and San Diego Padres (10). The White Sox and Padres have already clinched playoff spots and a winning record, while the Marlins are in second place in the NL East.

New York made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons in 2015 and 2016 and went 86-76 last year.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: LHP Jose Alvarado (shoulder, lat) is scheduled to throw batting practice to 3B Yandy Diaz (hamstring) and 1B Ji-Man Choi (hamstring) at Tropicana Field on Thursday. Cash said all three players are progressing and he hopes they are available for the playoffs. . Brousseau (oblique) missed a fourth consecutive game. Cash said he would have been available off the bench if needed

Mets: RF Michael Conforto (hamstring) returned to the lineup as the designated hitter after missing two games and went 0 for 4. . The Mets activated RHP Dellin Betances (lat), who last pitched Aug. 29, and optioned RHP Corey Oswalt to the alternate site.

UP NEXT

Rays: After a day off Thursday, Morton (2-2, 4.64 ERA) is scheduled to get his postseason tuneup in the opener of a series against the Phillies on Friday.

Mets: Rookie LHP David Peterson (5-2, 3.80 ERA) opens a four-game road series against the Nationals. Peterson struck out a career-high 10 against the Braves last Saturday.