And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 12, Marlins 2: I got home from dinner with the kids at about 7:30 last night and turned on the game figuring, heck, it’s probably just the second inning at best. I probably didn’t miss anything. As I turned the game on the top of the first was just ending and the Braves were up 7-0. This is why I always try to be on time for things. Mat Latos’ ERA is 94.50 on the year. But his FIP is much better, so let’s not go crazy, OK? The Braves got 14 hits and drew seven walks. Come June or so, I figure this will be a week’s worth of production. It’s fun now, however.

Orioles 6, Rays 5: Baltimore jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first and 6-0 after two and held on as the Rays tried to rally back. Steve Pearce homered for the second straight game, which is not all that good for people who bet the mortgage on “Steve Pearce will fall back to earth after a surprisingly great 2014 season.” Really, though, bookies shouldn’t take that action. It seems shockingly specific and somewhat mean spirited.

Diamondbacks 7, Giants 6: Jake Lamb and David Peralta each hit three-run homers for the snakes, and Lamb drove in another one on a groundout. He had three in the season’s first game. I don’t think that pace is sustainable, but it’s cool. The Giants have played two games and have had three key injuries. That’s not a ratio that’s all that sustainable itself. Here it was Brandon Belt, who strained his groin going after a foul ball.

Rangers 3, Athletics 1: Prince Fielder is back, hitting two RBI singles. Colby Lewis was effective, allowing one run over six. Jeff Banister picks up his first ever win as a manager and afterward was doused in a beer shower. Mmmm . . . beer shoooowwweer.

Angels 2, Mariners 0: A key for the Angels this year is to get one of their erstwhile aces to pitch something like they used to once again. C.J. Wilson is one of those two and in his 2015 debut he did, allowing two hits in eight shutout innings. David Freese being a threat once again is also pretty key for the Angels. He was that last night too, hitting a two-run homer for the game’s only runs. This one lasted a mere two hours and thirteen minutes, by the way. Staying in the box and between innings clocks may help some, but shutdown pitching is pretty key to improving the pace of play as well.

Padres 7, Dodgers 3: On Opening Day the Dodgers scored three late to break a tie and win the game. Last night, tied 3-3 heading into the ninth, the Padres were the ones who broke out, scoring four. One of the runs scored as a result of a bunt that catcher Yasmani Grandal overran while fielding and then threw directly into the back of the batter as he ran to first. That put runners on the corners and an RBI single by Wil Myers broke the tie, with the floodgates opening thereafter. Speaking of floods — or, at the very least, rain — this one was delayed 30 minutes by rain at the outset. Which doesn’t happen in Los Angeles all that much. But at this point I imagine California will endure hundreds of rain delays if they can get some drought relief from it. Speaking of that, go read this. It’s extremely enlightening about why California’s drought is not just California’s problem or fault and why us back east looking down our nose at Californians as somehow the architects of their own disaster is fundamentally wrong.

Rockies 5, Brewers 2: Rockies hitters have 12 doubles in the first two games of the season, tying a major league record that was set in 1912. Six on Opening Day, six last night. Meanwhile, Jordan Lyles allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.

Cardinals vs. Cubs: POSTPONED: Frank Lloyd Wright once had a client who phoned him to complain of rain leaking through the roof of the house onto the dining table. Wright’s response: “Move the table.”

Blue Jays clinch 1st playoff spot since 2016, beat Yanks 4-1

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Barred from playing in their own ballpark this year because of COVID-19, the vagabond Toronto Blue Jays have found a home in the playoffs.

The slumping New York Yankees, meanwhile, look likely to play on the road in the postseason, where they’ve struggled all year.

Hyun Jin Ryu pitched seven shutout innings and the Blue Jays clinched their first postseason spot since 2016, beating the Yankees 4-1 Thursday night and further damaging New York’s chances of hosting a first-round series.

New York lost for the fourth time in five games following a 10-game winning stretch and remained two games behind the slumping White Sox for the fourth seed. Chicago lost 5-4 at Cleveland, its fifth straight defeat.

“We’ve got to get it rolling again, obviously, if we’re going to get to where we want to go,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I’m confident we can do it.

New York went 21-7 at home this season but was 11-18 on the road. Boone said he’s not concerned about that split even as a potential road playoff series looms next week.

“We’ve got to get ourselves in order and start playing really good baseball if we’re going to give ourselves a chance,” Boone said.

Toronto secured at least an AL wild-card spot and ensured its eighth trip overall to the postseason. The Blue Jays had endured three losing campaigns since their previous playoff trip, going 67-95 last season.

“I’m just so proud of my club and everything we’ve gone through all year,” second-year manager Charlie Montoyo said.

Canada’s federal government refused to allow games at Toronto’s Rogers Centre this season, citing the closed Canada-U.S. border and the travel risk associated with the pandemic. Stuck on the road to start the season, the Blue Jays eventually ended up at their Triple-A ballpark, Sahlen Field in Buffalo, but didn’t gripe about their fate.

“They never complained,” Montoyo said. “They had their mind set on getting to this moment right now.”

Blue Jays players embraced after Rafael Dolis struck out Aaron Hicks to end it, donning blue T-shirts that said “Respect Toronto.”

“This is something we want to make an every year thing,” infielder Cavan Biggio said. “For us, we’re happy, we’re excited we’re able to put ourselves in this position, but this is only the start of hopefully something special for a long time.”

The Blue Jays trail the Yankees by two games for second place in the AL East. Both teams have three games remaining. Toronto hosts Baltimore in Buffalo this weekend while the Yankees host the Marlins.

New York failed to hit a homer for the fourth straight game, matching its longest streak since June 2016. It’s the first time the Yankees have failed to homer in a four-game series since doing so at Texas in July 2013.

“I’m concerned with the way we’ve played recently,” outfielder Brett Gardner said. “Any time you’re not playing your best baseball and the postseason is right around the corner, something needs to be corrected rather quickly.”

New York loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but pinch-hitter Gary Sanchez flied out to deep center, where Randal Grichuk made a leaping catch at the wall.

“It’s good to see him get a really good swing off in a big spot,” Boone said of Sanchez. “Just unfortunately, that short.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered for Toronto, his eighth.

Ryu (5-2) scattered five hits, walked two and struck out four. Luke Voit and Hicks hit back-to-back singles to begin the sixth but Ryu struck out Giancarlo Stanton, got Gleyber Torres to fly out, and retired Gio Urshela on a groundball.

“He’s an ace and he did what an ace does,” Montoyo said.

The left-hander lowered his ERA from 3.00 to 2.69.

Dolis got four outs for his fifth save in six chances.

Guerrero opened the scoring with a solo homer off left-hander Jordan Montgomery (2-3) in the second.

The Blue Jays extended their lead when Biggio and Bo Bichette hit back-to-back, two-out doubles in the third.

Toronto made it 4-0 in the sixth. Grichuk chased Montgomery with a single and Guerrero singled off Adam Ottavino before rookie Alejandro Kirk hit a two-out, two-run double.

Montgomery lost for the first time in four starts. He allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

The Blue Jays finished 5-5 in their 10-game regular season series against the Yankees.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Nate Pearson (elbow) was activated off the injured list and RHP Wilmer Font was designated for assignment. . RHP Jordan Romano (strained right middle finger) will throw a second bullpen session Friday.

Yankees: Aaron Judge came on as a pinch-hitter but is expected to start all three remaining regular season games, Boone said.

SHARED DUTY

Boone said he expects to use both Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka at catcher in the postseason. Higashioka has hit well while working with ace Gerrit Cole, while Sanchez has struggled with both offense and his defense down the stretch.

SEVEN UP

Ryu became the first Blue Jays starting pitcher since Aug. 22, 2019, to pitch into the seventh. It had been an MLB-record 88 games since RHP Jacob Waguespack pitched into the seventh at Dodger Stadium last year.

UP NEXT

Yankees: LHP J.A. Happ (2-2, 3.25) starts Friday as New York returns home to begin a three-game series against Miami. RHP Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.12) starts for the Marlins.

Blue Jays: RHP Taijuan Walker (4-3, 2.86) starts Friday in the opener of a three-game series against Baltimore. The Orioles have not named a starter.