And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 5, Marlins 3: The Dodgers blew a 2-1 lead in the ninth when Christian Yelich hit a two-run homer. Scott Van Slyke answered back with a three-run walkoff homer in the bottom of the inning. Quite the night for Van Slyke, who screwed up in the fifth by not running home fast enough from third after tagging up, costing his team a run when another baserunner was doubled off. In the seventh he completed a double play in the field by nailing a runner at home plate who himself was trying to tag. Then the walkoff. Great highs, great lows. Such is the stuff of well-lived lives.

Braves 2, Reds 1: For the second straight day the opposition rallies off of Aroldis Chapman in a tie game. One could choose to call it an aberration. Or one could lean into Bryan Price about breaking Old School Rules about using your closer in non-save situations thereby messing with closers’ naturally fragile egos and routines. Let’s go with aberration and leave closer usage shaming for someone else. As it was, Phil Gosselin and Nick Markakis singled off Chapman to open the ninth, Gosselin stole third base and then scored on a wild pitch to give the Braves the 2-1 lead that would hold up.

Note: I’m going to tonight’s Braves-Reds game as a media member. To, like, actually cover the game and maybe write a story about it. I have an idea of what I’m writing about, but if there’s anything particular you’d like to see explored, comment about it.

Orioles 5, Blue Jays 2: After a longer road trip than they had expected, the Orioles are back in Baltimore. And it suited them well as Manny Machado and Chris Davis homered in a three-run first inning, Adam Jones homered later and Ubaldo Jimenez was sharp once again. He struck out nine while allowing two runs, actually, and lowered his ERA to 2.41.

Pirates 4, Phillies 3: The Pirates continue their mastery of the Phillies and win their fourth of five overall. I think this year a lot of teams will discover a mastery of the Phillies, newfound or otherwise.

Yankees 11, Rays 5: CC Sabathia had something like nine runs of run support total in his previous starts this season. Last night the Yankees scored nine while he was in the game. That certainly helped the big guy finally notch his first win of the season but so too did his striking out nine in seven innings. It was a home run parade for the Bombers’ offense, with A-Rod, Chase Headley, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira all going deep. A-Rod also stole a base. That’s 323 for him. Only 15 stolen bases behind Willie Mays! I wonder if the Yankees will make note of that in their little media fliers.

Brewers 10, White Sox 7: Milwaukee had a 6-0 lead after four innings, and led 7-2 heading into the seventh. They blew that, but late homers from Elian Herrera and Khris Davis put them back on top, turning what could’ve been a game symbolic of a bad team collapsing into a symbolic game of a team with a new manager and a new attitude persevering. Speaking of attitude, Carlos Gomez hit cleanup for the first time and homered and tripled. After the game he said he felt “sexy” hitting cleanup. “It’s a different feeling. I go to the plate like, `I’m the man.'” You are. You’re bad. You’re so bad you should be in detention.

Rangers 8, Royals 2: For the second straight day Adiran Beltre hit a homer, giving him 399 for his career. Prince Fielder and recent callup Thomas Field also went deep. The Royals were understandably not at their best, as they arrived at their hotel at 5:45 AM following Sunday night’s rain-delayed game in Detroit. Say whatever you want about these guys being rich and having great jobs and charter flights and all of that, but it’s ridiculous to play that late on Sunday and then have to travel 1,200 miles and play on Monday. Teams playing Sunday night getaway games should have off-days the following Monday, full stop.

Cubs 4, Mets 3: Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo each homered in the first inning — Bryant into the newly-opened bleachers — giving Jacob deGrom a rude awakening. Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores hit back-to-back-homers of their own later in the game, but the hole was too deep for New York. Three scoreless innings for the Cubs’ pen. Which is a big deal for them given how much of a liability it’s been for them this year.

Nationals 11, Diamondbacks 1: The Nats had a 10-0 lead before folks who had to fight a little extra traffic to get to the game could find their seats. Josh Collmenter gave up nine of those ten runs before being yanked with one out in the second inning. When he is good he is very, very good, but when he is bad he is horrid.

Red Sox 5, Athletics 4: Tied at four entering in the 11th with Pablo Sandoval leading off the inning, a 5-4 Red Sox lead three pitches later. Not bad for his first game back in the Bay Area since Game 5 of the World Series. Oakland has lost six in a row. They’re 0-6 in extra innings.

Braves sweep Mets, take 2-game lead in East with 3 remaining

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered for the third straight game, Travis d'Arnaud hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning, and Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 5-3, completing a three-game sweep of their NL East rival and taking a two-game lead in the division with three games to play.

The defending World Series champion Braves have been chasing the Mets the entire season. In the final series of the season, any combination of one Atlanta win or one Mets loss would give the Braves their fifth straight division title.

New York plays its final three games of the season against worst-in-the-majors Washington. Atlanta closed out the regular season with a three-game set in Miami. Should the season end Wednesday in a tie, Atlanta would win the division after claiming the season series 10-9 with Sunday’s victory.

The Braves won five of the last six games in the series, outscoring the Mets 42-19 over that stretch. New York had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 but now is the lower in the standings than at any point this season.

It was a lost weekend for New York, which came to Atlanta hoping to clinch its first division title since 2015. Instead, aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer lost Friday and Saturday before 15-game winner Chris Bassitt lasted just 2 2/3 innings on Sunday.

Swanson took Bassitt deep to right-center in the first with his 25th homer, and Atlanta took charge with a three-run third. Bassitt (15-9) issued a bases-loaded walk to Olson before d’Arnaud delivered a single up the middle to score Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley for a 4-3 lead. That chased Bassitt, who was charged with four runs, three hits and three walks.

Olson connected for his 33rd homer to make it 5-3 leading off the sixth, his 410-foot shot landing in the seats in right-center. Olson, in his first year with Atlanta, surpassed 100 RBIs for the second straight season.

Charlie Morton stranded runners on first and second in the first, but he gave up Daniel Vogelbach‘s 18th homer that tied it at 1 in the second. The righty struck out Francisco Lindor with runners on first and second to end the threat.

Jeff McNeil went deep off Morton in the third and Vogelbach followed with an RBI single to put the Mets up 3-1. Morton entered the game having allowed 28 homers, sixth-most in the NL.

Morton scuffled throughout his start, giving up three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings as the 38-year-old made his first start since signing a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with Atlanta next season.

Dylan Lee (5-1) relieved Morton and pitched 1 1/3 innings, leaving after a walk to Brandon Nimmo with two outs in the sixth. Collin McHugh entered and struck out Francisco Lindor.

Raisel Iglesias faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen converted his third save of the series with a clean ninth.

Jansen leads the NL with 40 saves in 47 chances.

The Braves’ bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA last month, pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings the last two nights.

BIG NUMBERS

Atlanta leads the NL with 241 homers. And the Braves have their first 100-victory season since 2003.

TWO, DARN HOT

McNeil went 3 for 5 and has multiple hits in five straight games. His average is .326, one point behind the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman for the NL batting title. In 23 career games at Truist Park, McNeil is hitting .395 with 12 runs, nine doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and four walks. … Jansen tied Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for eighth place on the career list with 389. He’s also is the 10th closer to have four different seasons with at least 40 saves.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. … Braves 2B Ozzie Albies (broken right pinky finger) is still wearing a cast. … Braves RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique.

ATTENDANCE

The Braves drew 42,713 in their regular season finale, the club’s 42nd sellout of the season. Overall. that’s 3,129,931 for the season – and the most tickets sold since 2000. In 2019, the team’s last full season before the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta drew 2,655,100.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95 ERA) will face Nationals RHP Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11).

Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (2-3, 2.76 ERA) will face Marlins LHP Jesus Luzardo (3-7, 3.53).