And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Cardinals 3, Brewers 2: A walkoff single in the 13th for Tony Cruz in the 13th inning gives the Cards two of three in a series the Brewers really needed to sweep in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. Between both teams, 12 runs were scored all series long. And, thanks to two extra innings games, that amounted to 36 innings. Milwaukee is now down three and a half for the second wild card which, no, does not look doable with a bit more than a week to play.

Rangers 7, Athletics 2: Just when you think the A’s have hit rock bottom they show you that they still have farther to fall. Oakland was swept by the worst team in baseball and now they find themselves out of the first wild card slot and into the second, only one game ahead of Seattle. Here Sonny Gray was touched for four runs in the first inning and five overall. Not that it matters. If and when this collapse is complete, most A’s fans will think of it as one giant blur of a collapse, unable to truly pin it on any one guy. Believe me, I know from experience.

Mariners 3, Angels 1: The A’s loss is Seattle’s gain, as they beat what was pretty much a Salt Lake City lineup the day after the Angels clinched. Not that they had an easy time of it. They were shut out by Wade LeBlanc and four relievers until the ninth when they got through against Kevin Jespen with a three-run homer from Logan Morrison. Felix Hernandez, meanwhile, was right in his element, getting a no decision after striking out 11 in seven shutout innings. Unlike in years past, however, hardly anyone in Seattle gives a rip about King Felix’s W-L record. They can taste the playoffs, sitting only one game out with a dead team walking in Oakland in front of them.

Pirates 3, Red Sox 2: Fortune smiles on Pittsburgh as Sox baserunner Jemile Weeks, who was on third base, was called out when he was hit by Will Middlebrooks’ infield single to third. That’s an out, of course. The Sox went on to score one more run meaning that if Weeks hadn’t been hit, welp, they probably would’ve tied the game. It’s been that kind of season for the Red Sox.

Nationals 6, Marlins 2: The Nats keep winning, now with the best record in the NL in their sights. Gio Gonzalez allowed two runs in seven innings, Bryce Harper had three hits. They put up five runs in the fourth, all with two outs. That’s the kind of hitting that plays well in October. Just think back to all of those annoying Yankees teams in the late 90s doing that kind of thing just as it looked as if their opponents were out of the inning.

Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2: Derek Jeter hit a home run. This is not a drill. Please report to your nearest fallout shelter and tune all radios to the emergency band and await further instructions.

Dodgers 8, Cubs 4: A big inning for L.A, plating five in the seventh thanks to RBI doubles from Dee Gordon and Andre Ethier. Crazy stat: this was only the second time this year the Dodgers won a game when trailing after six innings. Second win in in 56 such games. I can’t imagine there are playoff-bound teams with fewer late inning comebacks than that.

Indians 2, Astros 1: A thirteen inning game featuring three total runs between two teams playing out the string that ends on a sac fly. Feel the excitement. OK, Cleveland would tell you that they’re not merely playing out the string. But while five games doesn’t feel like a lot in, say, June, it is damn nigh insurmountable with a week to go and multiple teams in front of you. Why people — mostly reporters who cover these games — don’t make that more clear rather than talk up playoff implications is beyond me, but it happens every year. I’ll say it now: if the Indians make the playoffs I’ll do the HBT Daily video the next day while wearing my daughter’s dance recital costume and an Cleveland Indians cap.

Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 6: Willin Rosario hit a two-out, two-run walkoff homer and had four hits in all to lead the Rockies past the Snakes. Arizona blew a five-run lead overall. If I was a betting man, I’d say we are seeing the final few games of Kirk Gibson’s tenure managing the Diamondbacks,

Padres 7, Phillies 3: This feels like the 10th straight game these two have played. It’s a ten-game series, is it not? Robbie Erlin pitched well — he’s a Padres pitcher, by the way, which you would be forgiven for not knowing — and Alexi Amarista and Will Venable homered.

 

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.