And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 11, Angels 3: Holy cow, Alfonso Soriano. Two homers and seven RBI. The old guy has four homers, six runs scored and 13 RBI in his last two games. The Yankees have won four straight.

Reds 5, Cubs 0: Seven shutout innings from Bronson Arroyo helps the Redlegs snag the three-game sweep. My friend Mark, a Reds fan, still calls them the Redlegs, by the way. No, he is not some fervent anti-communist from the 1950s. He’s like 35.

Indians 9, Twins 8:  Down 7-3 entering the eighth inning, the Indians rallied thanks to a couple baserunners reaching followed by a Michael Brantley RBI single and a Jason Giambi three-run homer. Brantley then won it with a sac fly in the 12th. Joe Mauer had five hits in a winning effort (personally) in a losing effort (collectively).

Tigers 6, White Sox 4: Miguel Cabrera can hardly walk right now but he can still turn like nothing else on inside fastballs and send them over the fence. It’s like he’s adding last season on top of Kirk Gibson’s 1988. Just give him the MVP now.

Rockies 4, Padres 2: What the heck, Yorvit Torrealba? That was pretty spiffy. It was assisted strongly by some dumb, dumb baserunning by the Padres but you can’t take anything away from Torrealba. I mean, how could he have expected the Padres to be so stupid? Give him kudos for not stopping and blinking in confusion at what San Diego was doing and instead simply reacting and acting.

Marlins 5, Royals 2: Neither the Royals bullpen nor defense could hold a late 2-1 lead and the Marlins rallied. Justin Ruggiano broke an 0 for 42 slump with three hits and an RBI.

Diamondbacks 5, Orioles 4: Another day another walkoff win for the Dbacks over the Orioles. This time in the 14th via an Aaron Hill RBI single. Jim Johnson has blown nine saves now for the Orioles. They’re six games out in the East and 2.5 back in the wild card. You do the math.

Nationals 6, Giants 5: Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run in seven innings and win his NL-best 14th. The game was really won, however, when Denard Span made this sweet catch with two on and two out in the ninth. That drops, the Giants are up heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Braves 6, Phillies 3: Chris Johnson drove in three and Jason Heyward homered to lead off the game but perhaps the most important thing for the Braves was the continued improvement of Brandon Beachy. He wasn’t as good as his last time out but in his fourth start since returning from Tommy John he was throwing sliders and didn’t walk anyone.

Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 3: The Red Sox rallied for two in the ninth to force extras. It could have been a bigger rally but they left the bases loaded. They left a couple more runners stranded in their half of the tenth and then Brett Lawrie singled home the winning run in the bottom half to give Toronto the win. Boston has lost four of six.

Pirates 5, Cardinals 1: Francisco Liriano was great, allowing a single run on four hits while going the distance, Shelby Miller: not so great, allowing five runs — three earned — in six in his first game back after being hit by that comebacker. Pittsburgh’s lead in the Central goes back to three games.

Rays 5, Mariners 4: Tampa Bay snaps their six-game skid thanks to a ninth inning rally. Ben Zobrist tripled to lead it off, Matt Joyce singled to tie it, Evan Longoria doubled and Wil Myers was intentionally walked to load the bases. Then Jason Bourgeois, who had entered the game as a pinch runner earlier, singled to right over the Mariners’ drawn-in outfield. Ballgame.

Dodgers 5, Mets 4: The Mets had a 4-0 lead in the sixth and blew it because the Dodgers winning is the most inevitable thing in baseball these days. They’re such a force that every time the Dodgers win people change their basic unit of baseball measurement. The other day it was “the best record in 46 games,” then “the best record in 47 games,” now “the best record in 48 games.” June 22 — the date from which all of these games are being measured — has taken on the feeling of a sacred holiday. We can all it the Feast of St. Arbitrarious or something.

Rangers 5, Brewers 4: A come-from-behind win for the Rangers thanks to an Elvis Andrus RBI single and an Ian Kinsler a two-run single in the eighth. The Rangers only had one extra base hit all game. The Brewers issued six walks. Not gonna go in Milwaukee’s memory book.

Astros 2, Athletics 1: Carlos Corporan hit an RBI double off reliever Sean Doolittle in the 11th inning to win it. He was given the chance to do so thanks in part to this catch by Robbie Grossman in the 10th which robbed Chris Young’s would-be walkoff homer. Lotsa nice plays yesterday, no?

Dodgers clinch NL’s top seed, West title with win over A’s

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
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Wrapping up an NL West title has become routine for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but in a year in which no one was sure three months ago if there would be a baseball season, manager Dave Roberts wanted his team to still savor the moment.

The Dodgers clinched the NL’s top postseason seed and eighth straight division title Tuesday night with a 7-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics. They are third team to win at least eight straight division titles, joining the Atlanta Braves (14 straight from 1991-2005) and New York Yankees (nine straight from 1998-2006).

“To fast forward a couple months and be crowned NL West champs is a credit to everyone. It should never be taken for granted,” Roberts said. “Truth be told a lot of guys didn’t know we could clinch. We were responsible but I let it know that it has to be appreciated.”

The Dodgers, who own the best record in the majors at 39-16, were the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff berth on Sept. 16. They will open postseason play on Sept. 30 by hosting every game in a best-of-three series against the No. 8 seed.

Los Angeles came into the day with a magic number of two and got help with the Angels’ 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Instead of a wild celebration on the mound after Jake McGee struck out Sean Murphy for the final out, players briskly walked out of the dugout to celebrate with teammates. Everyone grabbed a division clinching shirt and cap before heading to the mound for a group photo.

The clubhouse celebration was also muted. Champagne was still involved, but it was players toasting each other with a glass instead of being showered in it.

“We talked about it instead of dumping stuff on people. It’s a moment you need to celebrate and we did,” said Corey Seager, who had three hits and one of Los Angeles’ four home runs, “It stinks not being able to do champagne and beer showers because some of the younger guys haven’t been able to experience that.”

Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and AJ Pollock also went deep for Los Angeles, which leads the majors with 104 home runs.

“This whole year has been weird. There’s no other way to describe it,” Muncy said. “It’s sad not to be celebrate as usual but we know there is a lot more at stake.”

Dustin May (2-1) went five innings and allowed two runs on three hits. The 22-year-old red-headed righty set a team record by not allowing more than three earned runs in his first 13 career starts, which include 10 this season.

Robbie Grossman homered for Oakland, which clinched its first AL West crown in seven years on Monday during a day off. The Athletics, in the postseason for the third straight year, currently are the AL’s No. 3 seed.

Mark Canha had two of Oakland’s five hits.

Seager tied it at 1 in the first with an RBI single and then led off the fifth with a drive to center off T.J. McFarland to extend LA’s lead to 6-2.

Muncy gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the third inning with a two-run homer. Taylor and Pollock extended it with solo shots in the fourth off Oakland starter Frankie Montas (3-5).

Grossman quickly gave Oakland a 1-0 lead when he homered off the left-field pole in the first inning. Sean Murphy briefly gave the Athletics a 2-1 advantage when he led off the third with a walk and scored on a wild pitch by May with two outs.

Montas, who allowed only four home runs in his first seven starts, has given up six in his past three. The right-hander went four innings and yielded five runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

“They’re a pretty good team that when you make mistakes, they make you pay,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “They’re pretty good laying off and making you throw it over the plate. They made Montas pay, unfortunately.”

Cody Bellinger added two hits for the Dodgers, including an RBI single with the bases loaded in the seventh.

ATHLETICS ADVANCE

The A’s have a team text thread they used to celebrate clinching their first AL West title since 2013 during their off day Monday, when the Mariners beat Houston.

“We didn’t really celebrate too much yet. It’s exciting,” Chad Pinder said. “We wanted to do it on our own terms. We still won the division and that was our goal. It’s nice to know we’ll be playing home for the series.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: INF/OF Pinder (strained right hamstring) planned to run at Dodger Stadium and test his leg with hopes of still playing before the conclusion of the regular season. …. RHP Daniel Mengden has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Las Vegas. He was designated for assignment after being medically cleared and reinstated from the COVID-19 injured list following a positive test from Aug. 28.

Dodgers: 3B Justin Turner was scratched from the lineup less than an hour before first pitch due to left hamstring discomfort He came off the injured list on Sept. 15 and has not played in the field since Aug. 28. … Joc Pederson was in the lineup at DH after missing five games while on the family emergency medical list. Roberts said before the game that he wasn’t sure if Pederson will remain with the team during the entire postseason.

UP NEXT

Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (4-3, 4.50) is 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA over his last five starts dating to Aug. 20.

Dodgers: LHP Julio Urias (3-0, 3.49) will make his team-leading 11th start.

AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this story.

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