And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Tigers 8, Rays 6: All tied into the 11th when the Tigers scored three, the first of which came on a bases-loaded walk. Came off a guy named “Balfour” so maybe everyone shoulda seen it coming. I’m gonna guess teams that draw bases loaded walks win a lot of games. Less so because bases loaded walks suggest that they already had a lot of base runners and that the other team is getting ineffective pitching, both of which likely correlate well with the walking team winning and more so because giving up bases loaded walks utterly kill the issuing team’s soul and turns them into angry/emotional shells of their former selves. Or maybe that’s just fans of teams who issue bases loaded walks. Not sure. Oh, the next run that inning scored on a wild pitch. Let me tell you my psychological theories of wild pitches  . . .

Cardinals 5, Reds 4: Hmm. Wondering now if bases loaded HBPs are more soul-killing than bases loaded walks. Well, no matter, because this bases loaded HBP came in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth, giving the cards the walkoff plunk. Jon Jay was the plunkee,  J.J. Hoover the plunker. Hoover has a 5.37 ERA and a 1-10 record. Gives new meaning to the phrase “sucks like a Hoover.”

Marlins 4, Rangers 3: Giancarlo Stanton made an error in the seventh that led to the Rangers tying the game which led to extra innings which led to Giancarlo Stantion hitting the walkoff single. There are no accidents in this world. Everything is important. Everything means something. In other news, the Marlins now have more wins — 63 — than they had all last season. And they’re over .500 for the first time since late June. If they had Jose Fernandez around they’d probably be leading the NL wild card race.

Cubs 2, Giants 0: A rain-shortened win for the Cubs. Or, more to the point, a grounds crew-shortened win, as in the Chicago grounds crew couldn’t get the tarp on the field properly when the rains came. The rain lasted just 15 minutes. Because the tarp was all crooked and screwed up, though, it took three hours after the rain stopped for the crew to try to prepare the field for play. They couldn’t get it in good enough condition and the game was called. Bruce Bochy was not pleased:

“I hope they listen and watch what happened there,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who was visibly upset. “In this day and time, it shouldn’t happen. It can’t happen with the importance of these games. I’m going to leave it at that.”

The Giants are thought to be mulling a protest given that they’re in a pennant race, but the rules do not support a protest in this situation. Also: the Yankees and Rangers had this same situation earlier this year and that game was not resumed at a later date as it too was already a regulation game when the tarp follies began. This is a rain delay. We’ll have more on it later, obviously.

Nationals 8, Diamondbacks 1: Eight wins in a row for Washington. Stephen Strasburg gave up one run in eight. Ian Desmond drove in four, Asdrubal Cabrera knocked in three. This one not being close deprived Nats fans of yet another walkoff, but I’m guessing Matt Williams is cooler with it not being close.

Astros 7, Yankees 4: Chris Carter hit his 17th home run since July 1st, and it was a big one: a three-run shot in the ninth to snap a 4-4 tie. A hit like that will make striking out in your previous four at bats — which he did — not seem like such a big deal. Also, the fact that the ball went approximately five hundred miles will make you forget it too.

Mariners 5, Phillies 2: Hisashi Iwakuma struck out 11 in eight scoreless. The Phillies mounted a mini-rally in the ninth but it was too little to do anything besides aggravate Phillies fans and make them say things like “where was this five innings ago!” and stuff.

Angels 4, Red Sox 3: Tied up in the ninth when Chris Iannetta put the Halos up for good with an RBI double. This one could’ve been 4-0 Sox in the second inning, however, if it wasn’t for Kole Calhoun robbing Brock Holt of a three-run homer in right. He caught it right where Torii Hunter went arse-over-teakettle on the David Ortiz bomb during the playoffs last year. I didn’t see that cop anywhere this time, however.

Braves 11, Pirates 3: Andrew McCutchen made his return but went 0 for 4 and the Pirates lost yet again. Their losing streak is now at seven. The Braves’ winning streak is now at five thanks to Justin Upton driving in five and Evan Gattis hitting one of the longest homers you’ll see in PNC Park.

Orioles 5, White Sox 1: Chicago batters really had trouble in this one. As did Chicago hitters. And Chicago lost this one.

Yes, I’m trying to wind you up, Orioles fans. I’ve done these recaps for seven seasons and while fans of almost every team claim I am biased against them and in favor of someone else, Orioles fans are basically the only ones who get angry if they feel I don’t properly credit their guys with winning games instead of the other team losing. Totally serious: when it comes to complaints of this nature, like we saw in the comments of yesterday’s ATH, about 90% of them have historically come from Orioles fans. I really don’t get it — an ace like Chris Sale getting rocked is news to everyone but you guys — but that’s how you roll I guess. Which is weird given that you guys are the ones most likely to actually know what happened in the previous night’s Orioles game and thus don’t need some national person saying what happened in the form of little recaps which are, by design, superficial and not aimed at fans of any specific team. But sure, Chris Tillman did good here too. Feel better?

Indians 7, Twins 5: Yan Gomes had three hits including a home run and Tyler Holt hit a go-ahead two-run double in the sixth. This after Holt was just called up from Columbus that day and barely made it to the park in time. Good job, Tyler, but dude: you can go to Grandpa’s Cheese Barn at Exit 186 on an off day. Next time drive faster to Cleveland.

Brewers 6, Blue Jays 1: Mike Fiers allowed only one run on two hits over seven. The Brewers hit four RBI doubles.

Athletics 6, Mets 2: The A’s end their five-game losing streak. Coco Crisp hit a tiebreaking three-run triple in the fourth inning and Scott Kazmir got his 14th win. The A’s remain a half game behind the Angels in the West.

Royals 7, Rockies 4: Three doubles for Omar Infante, with four RBI. The Royals win their 22nd in 27 games and give Ned Yost a nice 60th birthday. Which is weird, because I thought that all men named Ned were automatically born at age 60 — ask yourself: you ever meet a 16-year-old kid named Ned? — but I guess not.

Dodgers 8, Padres 6: The Dodgers snap a three-game skid. They have not lost more than three in a row all year. The last time they had a season without a four-game losing streak was 1988. This is important. This means something.

Brewers hold off the Dodgers to force Game 7 of the NLCS

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Down 3-2 in the NLCS, the Brewers faced a must-win situation during Game 6 on Friday. Any residual uncertainty they might have felt about their chances of extending the series was all but resolved in the first inning, however, when Jesús Aguilar, Mike Moustakas, and Erik Kratz combined for a four-run spread to take an early lead. Powered by those early-game RBI, as well as masterful performances from Wade Miley, Corey Knebel, and Corbin Burnes, the club surged to a 7-2 win to pull even with the Dodgers and force a Game 7 tiebreaker.

Left-hander Wade Miley trounced the Dodgers in 4 1/3 innings of two-run, four-strikeout ball. He was bested by David Freese in the very first at-bat of the night, which culminated with a 402-footer to right field to put Los Angeles on the board, 1-0. After a few scoreless innings from the Dodgers, Freese returned to torment Miley in the top of the fifth, this time with an RBI double that narrowed the Brewers’ advantage from four runs to three.

Things didn’t go nearly as smoothly for opposing lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu. In the bottom of the first inning, Ryu allowed a leadoff single to Lorenzo Cain, followed by a four-pitch walk to Ryan Braun. Jesús Aguilar came up to bat with two out and two on, then smacked a two-RBI line drive double to right field. Moustakas and Kratz went back-to-back-to-back with Aguilar, putting up another three runs on an RBI double and single, respectively.

The Brewers kept rolling in the second inning. Christian Yelich and Braun each collected a double off of Ryu, bringing Milwaukee’s lead to 5-1 over Los Angeles. Braun advanced to third on a Travis Shaw groundout, but with Aguilar up to bat, Ryu wasn’t going to chance a repeat of the Dodgers’ first-inning debacle. He intentionally walked Aguilar, then whiffed Moustakas on three straight fastballs to cap the inning.

By the time both Miley and Ryu were forced from the mound, the Brewers stood 5-2 above their opponents. Right-hander Corey Knebel worked a scoreless 1 2/3 innings, striking out Manny Machado to eliminate another potential rally from the Dodgers in the fifth inning and retiring all four batters in the sixth (save for Joc Pederson, who reached base after taking a 96.3-MPH fastball to the wrist). The righty received another significant opportunity to do some damage against the Dodgers in the bottom of the fifth, when he came up to bat for the first time in his professional career with the bases loaded and two outs… but saw just four pitches before swinging at a 1-2 pitch to end the inning.

After Ryu’s unexpected departure in the third, Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts cycled through five pitchers — Julio Urías, Alex Wood, Dylan Floro, Caleb Ferguson, and Kenta Maeda — in an attempt to squelch the Brewers’ comeback. The bullpen combined for four consecutive scoreless frames, but was ultimately foiled in the seventh, when, with runners on second and third and two outs, a wild pitch from Maeda ricocheted off the front of home plate and allowed Aguilar to plate yet another insurance run. Still not content with a two-hit, two-RBI performance, Aguilar came back in the bottom of the eighth with an RBI single — only moments after a failed double play that would have ended the inning — to bring the Brewers to a cushy 7-2 advantage as they entered the ninth.

No similar last-minute rallies awaited the Dodgers there. Rookie right-hander Corbin Burnes orchestrated another flawless 1-2-3 inning in the ninth, retiring Pederson and Puig with consecutive strikeouts and inducing a game-inning, series-extending pop-up from Matt Kemp to wrap the win.

Game 7 is set for 8:09 PM EDT on Saturday. The starters for both clubs have yet to be announced.