Suddenly the American League West is all tied up.
Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick both went yard and Matt Shoemaker pitched well over 5 2/3 innings as the Angels topped the Rangers 5-4 on Saturday night in Arlington, Texas. The A’s, meanwhile, got a third straight poor start from Sonny Gray and lost 4-3 to the Braves at Atlanta’s Turner Field.
It was the fourth straight loss for Oakland and for Anaheim it was the fourth straight win. The Halos, who weren’t nearly as aggressive as the A’s ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, now have a share of first place in the American League West for the first time since Opening Day 2013.
Your box scores and recaps from Saturday …
Phillies 5, Giants 6
Yankees 3, Rays 2
Orioles 0, Indians 6
Pirates 3, Nationals 4
Mariners 2, Tigers 4
Blue Jays 6, White Sox 3
Royals 1, Twins 4
Athletics 3, Braves 4
Cubs 3, Mets 7
Diamondbacks 1, Marlins 2
Astros 7, Red Sox 10
Angels 5, Rangers 4
Brewers 3, Dodgers 2
Padres 9, Cardinals 5
As we moved to the top of the eighth inning things started to loosen up. Which was good for the American League but not for the Senior Circuit.
Josh Hader of the Brewers was pitching and, in very un-2018-style, the American League strung together a couple of hits, with Shin-Soo Choo and George Springer singling. At that point Jen Segura of the Mariners came to the plate while Joe Buck spoke to National League outfielder Charlie Blackmon on the mic. Blackmon was entertaining until Joey Votto failed to corral a would-be foul out from Segura, at which point he tensed up a bit. Then Segura launched a massive three-run homer to left. Blackmon called Buck “bad luck,” Mitch Moreland singled and Blackmon said that if the next pitch wasn’t a double play ball, he was bailing on the broadcast.
With the Americans leading 5-2, Dave Roberts made a pitching change, bringing in Brad Hand with one out in the inning. Buck bid adieu to Blackmon, for which Blackmon seemed thankful. These mic’d up players are fun, but there’s a limit to how much distraction they’ll endure, even in a meaningless exhibition game.
Hand struck out Michael Brantley and then