And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 8, Mariners 1: The Angels become the first team to clinch a playoff spot. It took a couple of bumps and bruises to get there. Matt Shoemaker got the took a shutout into the eighth inning, but felt some discomfort in his left side after leaving the game. Albert Pujols left with a hamstring injury. Both injuries appear to be minor. David Freese and Brennan Boesch each went deep. Pujols had a three-run double. Seattle is now two back in the wild card.

Royals 4, White Sox 3: Last week Ned Yost took a lot of crap — from this corner of the Internet included — for trying to run his way into a rally by having pinch runner Jarrod Dyson steal third. Here it set off a much more happier sequence. In the bottom of the ninth inning with the White Sox up 3-2, Dyson stole third base and kept on running after a wild pitch to score the tying run. Nori Aoki then doubled and was replaced by pinch-runner Terrance Gore. Lorenzo Cain then drove Gore in with an infield chopper which allowed Gore to come all the way around from second base to score the winning run. So viva speed and viva Ned Yost. At least for last night.

Nationals 4, Braves 2: The Nats inch closer to their inevitable NL East title. Stephen Strasburg pitched seven scoreless innings. The Braves rallied a bit in the ninth but it ended when B.J. Upton — who was somehow allowed to bat while a rally was in progress — grounded out to end it. The Nats can clinch if they win tonight. If they do, they’ll dance on the Turner Field while the Braves watch. And then, this offseason (a) no Braves coaches will be fired because someone will say “hey, it wasn’t the coaches’ fault”; and (b) no wholesale personnel moves will be made either because “[insert comments about believing in these players].” Accountability for this uninspiring disaster of a season is pretty unlikely. Wheeee!

Orioles 5, Blue Jays 2: The O’s too are within one win of a division title. Wei-Yin Chen won his 16th. Ryan Flaherty homered and Adam Jones had three hits and an RBI as the Orioles won their eighth of nine.

Marlins 6, Mets 5: Jacob deGrom continues his fantastic rookie season, this time striking out 13 Marlins hitters in seven innings while allowing three runs. He struck out the first eight batters in the game, actually, before allowing a single to the opposing pitcher of all people. The win, however, eluded him thanks to the Marlins rallying for three against him and then three more against his compatriots in the bullpen. The Mets old friend Jordany Valdespin hit a two-run single. Adeiny Hechavarria hit a two-run single of his own.

Dodgers 11, Rockies 3: Those eight-run sixth innings will really hurt ya, ya know? L.A. got seven hits that innings, including a Justin Turner two-run double. Matt Kemp hit a homer. He also had words with Yasiel Puig in the dugout over something no one would talk about afterward. I presume it was about Puig asserting that Pitt the Elder was the superior prime minister while Barney argued for Lord Palmerston.

Diamondbacks 6, Giants 2: Mark Trumbo hit a grand slam off Ryan Vogelsong and the Giants couldn’t muster much against Wade Miley. That puts San Francisco four games back of L.A. in the West.

Tigers 8, Twins 6: The Tigers keep their one and a half game cushion over K.C. by winning their fourth straight. Tied in the ninth, Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera went back-to-back. The Tigers get six more games against the Twins after this one. That helps matters.

Astros 3, Indians 1: Jose Altuve went three for four with a triple and an RBI single, raising his average to .342. Altuve is one hit away from tying the Astros’ single-season hit mark, held by Craig Biggio. Four straight losses for Cleveland. They can start putting deposits on their October vacations as well.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $60,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Cubs 1, Reds 0: Anthony Rizzo with the walkoff homer was the only offense here. It was his first game back after missing 18 games due to back problems. I could’ve shoe-horned a Berman-esque “back, back, back” there to add a few more “backs” but that would not be in keeping with the high quality craftsmanship to which you are accustomed in this feature. Back.

Padres 1, Phillies 0: Andrew Cashner tosses a two-hit shutout and helped plate the game’s only run by reaching on an E-5 thanks to which Rene Rivera scored. This one ended in a cool 2:09. Everyone involved in this one probably has a rockin’ October vacation planned and they’re doing what they can to hasten its arrival.

Rays 1, Yankees 0: The third 1-0 game of the night and the second which ended on a walkoff. This time a single by Ben Zobrist. This time in a game that lasted 3:28 because, god, who the heck knows. The Yankees were eliminated from contention for the division title.

Bryce Harper is on paternity leave

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Several years ago, Bryce Harper made news when it was revealed that he thought the word “meme” was pronounced “may-may.” That may be my favorite Bryce Harper moment ever.

As it was announced by the Phillies a little while ago that Harper has been placed on paternity leave, I’m wondering if he pronounces the word “baby” “bébé.”

I wouldn’t think less of him if he did, actually. One of my favorite people in the world does that.

Anyway, congratulations to Bryce Harper on becoming a dad. And it’s good news not just for him but for the Phillies and their fans as well. Why? Because as Bill noted earlier this week, Harper seems to hit better when he’s being taunted and mocked. For now that’s not very important, as the child won’t be talking for some time. As a father of teenagers, I can tell you that eventually the little monsters live to disrespect their dear old dads. If Harper’s current motivational patterns hold, by the time that kid is ten Harper will be winning the dang Triple Crown every year.

But again, congratulations to the Harpers.