And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Cubs 9, Brewers 2: Kyle Schwarber hit two homers and drove in four. In 31 games since his callup he’s hitting .330/.420/.621 with eight homers. It just boggles the mind how many amazing rookies baseball has this year. The Cubs have won seven in a row and stand four and a half games ahead of the next-closest team in the wild card race. Which, in addition to being good for them, is kind of good for us as we may very well get to see two win-or-go-home division title races in the NL East and West given that no wild card may be available to them. Some real old school Thunderdome stuff, baby! Two teams enter, one team leaves! Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls . . . dyin’ time’s here! Bust a deal, face the wheel! Bartertown! Somebody stop me, please!

Reds 10, Dodgers 3: Billy Hamilton had a huge game, going 4-for-4 with a homer, stole a base and scored four times. He and his teammates took former Red Mat Latos to the woodshed, scoring five runs — four earned — in four and two-thirds. The Dodgers are certainly looking like a two-starting-pitcher club. Sadly, it’s gonna be hard to come up with a “Spahn and Sain and pray for rain” kind of slogan for them. I mean, what in the hell rhymes with “Greinke?”

Rangers 6, Twins 5: Mitch Moreland smacked a two-run homer and drove in four. After the game manager Jeff Banister said “We’ve just got to play with the grit every day from here on out that we showed today.” Rare use of “grit” in a game when a dude knocked in four and hit a homer.

Angels 7, Royals 6: The Royals had a 5-1 lead heading into the eighth before the Angels rallied big. And here I thought six runs in the eighth and ninth inning against Royals relievers violates the laws of bullpen thermodynamics. Wade Davis was a bit rusty after not pitching for a week but, still, he’s wade Davis. And the Halos rallied off of Greg Holland too: he allowed four runs and four hits and a pair of walks without retiring a batter. It was a weird game all around, of course: Albert Pujols even played third base.

Mets 12, Rockies 3: The sweep. Curtis Granderson and Kelly Johnson each homered and drove in three and Noah Syndergaard allowed three over seven innings. That’s 11 wins in the last 13 for the Mets who now sport a four and a half game lead over the Nats.

Blue Jays 4, Athletics 2: And the Blue Jays never lost again. Mark Buehrle allowed two runs in seven innings and Ryan Goins hit a three-run homer.

Yankees 8, Indians 6: The Yankees finally break their losing streak and get out of their offensive funk. Brian McCann and Stephen Drew each homered and Brett Gardner drove in three. Their big series in Toronto starts tonight.

Pirates 10, Cardinals 5: Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run homer in a seven-run first inning which helped the Buccos knock Lance Lynn out of the game after only two-thirds of an inning and snap an eight-game losing streak at Busch Stadium.

Giants 3, Nationals 1: Yunel Escobar hit the first pitch of the game for a homer and then the Nats did nothing else the rest of the night. The Nats have lost three in a row and seven of eight. Two teams that need to get moving due to that wild card getting farther and farther away. Remember where you are, guys. This is Thunderdome, and death is listening, and will take the first man that screams.

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.