And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Orioles 7, Rays 5: Remember last winter when no one wanted to sign Nelson Cruz because they thought he was damaged goods or that his best years were behind him or that he was a product of the Ballpark at Arlington or something? Nah, me neither. Two homers for Cruz, the second of which came in the 11th inning. He drove in seven. Had a triple too.

Royals 2, Yankees 0: How very disrespectful for the Royals to shut the Yankees out on Derek Jeter Day. Yordano Ventura pitching three-hit ball into the seventh was not at all classy. The Royals did, however, maintain a two-game lead over the Tigers in the Central. The last time they made the playoffs, Derek Jeter was only nine. This was one of five shutouts yesterday.

Marlins 4, Braves 0: Aloha, Mr. Hand: Brad Hand shut out the Braves for six innings. Then, I assume, he had a little feast on our time. The Braves, at this rate, are going to have plenty of their own time in October.

Indians 2, White Sox 0: Carlos Carrasco continues to be ridiculous. Here he was one out shy of a shutout but was lifted when the tying runner came to the plate in the ninth. He probably gets a chance to fight through that if his team has a bigger cushion, but c’est la vie. Since returning to the Indians’ rotation on August 5, he has a 0.70 ERA and 42/4 K/BB ratio over five starts and 38 and two-thirds innings. This from a guy who, a year ago, probably could’ve told you how many white lines there were on I-71 between Cleveland and Columbus.

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 2: The Dodgers sweep, and finish their season series against the Dbacks having taken 15 of 19. So much for that rivalry. Adrian Gonzalez had two three-run homers. His six driven in give him an even 100 for the year if you’re into that sort of thing.

Rangers 1, Mariners 0: The only offense of the game was an Adrian Beltre sac fly. The second strong start for Derek Holland since his return, this time with seven shutout inning, no walks and five strikeouts.

Pirates 10, Cubs 4: Four homers for Pirates batters, including one from Gerrit Cole of all people. This sweep, combined with the Brewers’ loss, puts the Pirates in the second wild card position, a half game up on Atlanta and Milwaukee.

Angels 14, Twins 4: The sweep. For both the series and the season against the Twins. And they now sport a seven game lead in the West. Mike Trout, Howie Kendrick and C.J. Cron all homered. Kendrick drove in four, with an RBI triple and RBI single accompanying his solo shot.

Cardinals 9, Brewers 1: Adam Wainwright allowed only one run while tossing a complete game, needing exactly 100 pitches to do it. The Cards took three of four and now have a four and a half game lead in the Central.

Nationals 3, Phillies 2: Another guy with two homers, this time Adam LaRoche, to help the Nats avoid the sweep. Both homers tied the game at the time. Drew Storen took over as closer for Rafael Soriano and got the save.

Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 1: Jose Bautista’s three-rum homer was all the offense the Jays would get or need. R.A. Dickey baffled Sox hitters, allowing one run on six hits while pitching into the eighth. This loss, combined with the Orioles’ win, officially eliminates the Red Sox. Not that anyone in Boston was holding their breath.

Mets 4, Reds 3: Anthony Recker and Curtis Granderson homered. All four of the Mets’ runs were unearned, however, as the Reds committed two inning or at-bat-continuing errors. There aren’t many teams which have had a more uninspiring second half than Cincinnati.

Rockies 6, Padres 0: Colorado sweeps. Four in a row overall for them. Jackson Williams and Nolan Arenado homered. Williams’ was his first career longball in the majors.

Astros 4, Athletics 3: Oh, Oakland. They had a one-run lead in the ninth and then Ryan Cook came on to close it out. He walked three of the four batters he faced. Fernando Abad came in and allowed a sac fly, then intentionally walked one guy and unintentionally walked another and there went the lead. The Astros’ win ensures that they will not lose 100 games on the year. The Athletics’ loss puts the AL West even more out of reach than it already was and keeps them closer to the second wild card leaders than they really wanna be. The A’s have lost 18 of their last 26 games.

Tigers 6, Giants 1: The Tigers have Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello is putting up a breakout year and they traded for David Price at the break. So of course a dude named Kevin Lobstein is their best pitcher at the moment. Lobstein allowed one run in five and two-thirds innings. He has a 2.11 ERA in three starts since taking over Anibal Sanchez’s rotation spot. The Tigers have won all three of those games.

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.