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.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

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2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.