And That Happened: Thursdays’s scores and highlights

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Rockies 5, Dodgers 4: The Rockies’ nightmarish 11-game losing streak is over, thanks to Carlos Gonzalez’ three-run homer with two outs in the ninth. There was an 85-minute rain delay during the sixth inning. In Los Angeles. Everything Albert Hammond ever told me was a lie. Wait, maybe not everything. He also had a song called “I Don’t Wanna Die in an Air Disaster,” and I’ll take him at his word for that.

Cubs, 6, Mets 5: Dexter Fowler homered and scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball in the seventh as the Cubs complete a four game sweep of the Mets. This after New York took a 5-1 lead in the fifth. Anthony Recker had a pair of solo home runs but, you know, also allowed that passed ball. After that play, every Mets fan I know on Twitter reverted to classic “everything is awful and we are doomed” mode. Which is to say, everything is normal again.

Padres 8, Nationals 3: Cory Spangenberg hit two homers. He also has a name that really belongs on a tight end in the NFL circa 1979 or so. Derek Norris homered, tripled and drove in five runs. His name is pretty standard-issue 2000-teens baseball.

Astros 6, Blue Jays 4: Astros batters were struck out 13 times by Jays pitchers. Jays batters were only struck out once by Astros pitchers. If you didn’t know the score and you were wagering I’d imagine you’d put a ton of money on the proposition that the Jays won this game, but such is life with the hacktastic Astros. Preston Tucker had three hits and an RBI and the Astros rallied for four runs in the seventh for the come-from-behind victory. They’ve won ten come-from-behind games already this year.

Cardinals 2, Indians 1: After being dominated by Corey Kluber on Wednesday, Trevor Bauer shut the Cardinals down again on Thursday, striking out ten and not allowing any runs while pitching into the eighth. Then, with his 110th pitch Bauer gave up a walk. Terry Francona took that as a sign that he was losing it and replaced him with Marc Rzepczynski, who promptly have up a two-run homer to Matt Carpenter and that’s all that ended up mattering. Baseball, man.

Phillies 4, Pirates 2: Aaron Harang tossed eight shutout innings as he continues to audition to be traded to a contender at some point this summer. He’s now 4-3 with a 2.03 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Ryan Howard hit a homer which I guess still happens sometimes.

Tigers 13, Twins 1: Miguel Cabrera had two homers and five RBI as the Tigers’ offensive attack was ridiculous. But what makes the Tigers better this year than last may not be the offense but this sort of thing:

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Royals 6, Rangers 3: I guess the Royals are the opposite. Known for their defense and stuff, what makes them better this year is that they’re beating the hell out of the ball. Tops in batting average in all of baseball, third in runs per game. Alcides Escobar drove in three on three hits and scored twice. Eric Hosmer hit a two-run homer. He’s got an 11-game hitting streak working.

Reds 4, Giants 3: Tim Lincecum had thrown 15 scoreless innings heading into the game but was a mess in this one, walking five, hitting a batter, throwing a wild pitch and allowing three runs in four and two-thirds. He also did this:

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He plants his foot way farther ahead than a lot of guys do, so you have to assume there were some issues with the mound. Either way, not his best night. Marlon Byrd, in contrast, had a good night: He hit a two-run single and a tiebreaking solo homer.

Rays 6, Yankees 1: Erasmo Ramirez and Matt Andriese combined on a five-hitter to stifle the Bombers. The only misstep was a solo homer given up to A-Rod, but that was in the ninth inning and there was nothing doing for the Yankees otherwise. Rene Rivera provided all the pop the Rays needed and then some, hitting a three-run homer in the second and an RBI single in the fourth.

Red Sox 2, Mariners 1: Two good starting pitching performances in a row for Boston. What is this world coming to? Here it was Joe Kelly, allowing one run in six and a third. He got a no-decision, though, as it was tied into the ninth until Brock Holt doubled and scored the go-ahead run on a Rickie Weeks error. Big game for Shane Victorino who hit a solo homer in the fourth and made this gem of a play in the seventh, ranging to the track for the catch and doubling off the runner at first:

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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).