And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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  • Latest Standings
  • Latest Wild Card Standings
  • Orioles 3, Yankees 2:If I told you before the season that the Orioles would lose Manny Machado and Matt Wieters to injuries and that Chris Davis would hit below .200 and then be suspended for PEDs, you’d probably assume that they’d be in fourth or fifth place this year. Yet here they are, poised to clinch their first division title in 17 years. As for this game: with Davis suspended, the Orioles are going to need Kelly Johnson. Johnson was just dandy last night, hitting a walkoff double. He did that just after Steve Pearce hit an RBI double to tie it. Viva La Fill-Ins who have made this season for Baltimore.

    Tigers 6, Indians 4: Homers from Ian Kinsler and Victor J.D. Martinez as the Tigers sweep the Indians and win their sixth of seventh and take a one and a half game lead in the Central. They have a series against Kansas City next weekend. If they tread water through the week they can put this thing away when they face the Royals.

    Red Sox 8, Royals 4: Speaking of the Royals, they deserve whatever they get with Ned Yost. The game was lost in the sixth inning when Aaron Crow gave up a walk and a homer after coming in with men on. Yost said after the game that he was frustrated because they were “one out away from getting to Kelvin Herrera.” Asked why he didn’t just go to Herrera an out earlier: “Aaron Crow’s inning is the sixth inning. Kelvin’s is the seventh.” You see why this guy got fired just before the playoffs the last time he had a team this close.

    Marlins 5, Phillies 4: Jonathan Papelbon blew a three-run lead in the top of the ninth, allowing four runs on four hits and a walk. As he left the mound he was booed by Phillies fans, then he appeared to grab his crotch and was ejected. He said he was just adjusting his cup. Joe West thought it was a rude gesture came in and rather forcefully ejected Papelbon, so who knows who was worse here. Man, it is so totally the end of the season.

    Rays 6, Blue Jays 5: Yunel Escobar walked, singled, doubled and homered. And when he homered he played it up to the crowd with a big “safe” gesture and pointed and taunted as he crossed home plate. They don’t much care for Escobar in Toronto.

    Nationals 3, Mets 0: Wilson Ramos hit a two-run homer and Jordan Zimmermann pitched shutout ball into the seventh. The Nats have taken 13 of 16 from the Mets this year.

    Pirates 7, Cubs 3: Josh Harrison hit a two-run double and started a triple play. Harrison is .317/.351/.508 on the year and has come on like crazy lately. Edinson Volquez allowed one earned run over seven innings. The Cubs are officially eliminated. In case you were still holding out hope that they’d make a playoff push.

    Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on MondayHere’s the FanDuel link.

    Twins 6, White Sox 4: Trevor May struck out ten in six innings. On Saturday Phil Hughes struck out 11 while Jose Quintana struck out 13. All kinds of Ks in these meaningless games.

    Brewers 9, Reds 2: Matt Clark his a three-run homer and Mark Reynolds hit a solo shot. The Brewers have won four of five and remain a game and a half back.

    Cardinals 4, Rockies 1: Marco Gonzales struck out nine in five and two-thirds, allowing one run, and five relievers shut out the rockies the rest of the way. Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer. Colorado has lost six straight. They’ve scored eight runs in those games. Wheeeee!

    Rangers 10, Braves 3: The Rangers sweep the Braves, who have done more in the past few weeks to show they got no business being mentioned as part of a playoff race than any team that still gets mentioned as being part of a playoff race. Now they’re four out of the wild card, which puts them out of it for good, I reckon. Just a terrible second half for a team that should not be this bad, even with the injuries to the rotation. Whether anyone actually pays for this failure of a season is an open question, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Dodgers 4, Giants 2: L.A. takes two of three from the Giants and extending its lead to three games. Clayton Kershaw picked up his 19th win, tossing eight effective innings. Matt Kemp’s sixth inning, two-run homer helped seal it.

    Astros 6, Angels 1: Dallas Keuchel allowed one run over seven and the Angels’ ten-game winning streak ends, but at this point what does it matter?

    Athletics 4, Mariners 0: Six shutout innings for Jon Lester despite him not having his best stuff with three relievers finishing off the shutout. The A’s take two of three in a critical series with Seattle. The A’s have a one and a half game lead over Kansas City and two and a half over the Mariners.

    Diamondbacks 8, Padres 6: Trevor Cahill wasn’t too effective, but the Snakes’ bullpen was up to the task for awhile. Then in the ninth Addison Reed faltered, but not enough to cost ’em the game.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.