And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Blue Jays 5, Rays 4: Josh Donaldson and big homers have been the Blue Jays’ calling card this year and both came calling in the Jay’s home finale. Donaldson hit a walkoff — his 41st homer of the year — to win the game. Justin Smoak had three hits, including a two-run homer himself. The next time the Jays play at home will be for the opener of the ALDS. You figure the joint will be as crazy then as it was after Donadlson connected yesterday.

Astros 4, Rangers 2: Dallas Keuchel was huge here, making his penultimate statement in support of his Cy Young Award, allowing one run on two hits in seven innings and striking out ten. The Astros close to two and a half of the Rangers for the division but, perhaps more importantly, they maintain their razor-thin lead in the wild card over the Angels. They’re tied in the loss column, though, so this last week is gonna be a blast.

Phillies 12, Nationals 5: In case you missed all of the ugliness here. Trading for Papelbon is gonna be remembered as successfully by Nats fans as hiring the Joker to kill the Batman was remembered by the mob bosses in “The Dark Knight.” [Michael Caine accent] The Mets hammered the Nationals to the point of desperation. And in their desperation, they turned to a man they didn’t fully understand. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

Mets 8, Reds 1: The lineup the day after a team clinches is often called the “hangover lineup,” as in everyone is generally hungover from the previous day’s celebration and the manager thus rests most of his starters and it’s accepted that the team ain’t really gonna try too hard. Terry Collins did his part, starting mostly randos, but they still scored eight runs. One guy who wasn’t a rando was Jacob deGrom, who allowed one run over six innings and struck out nine.

Red Sox 2, Orioles 0: The Red Sox complete a three-game shutout sweep of the Orioles in which they outscored Baltimore 17-0. Did the Orioles just give up or did the Red Sox finally, in the season’s last ten days, finally figure out how to pitch? I’m gonna go with “yes.”

Brewers 8, Cardinals 4: Jason Rogers hit a grand slam in the ninth, which helps put lie to the notion that homers kill rallies, as Milwaukee scored three more times that inning. All three of those runs came on a homer too, Khris Davis, putting even more lie to the idea. Of course, if you actually believed that idea beforehand you’re basically a moron, but it’s worth pointing these things out on occasion.

Royals 3, Indians 0: The Royals win their 90th behind Chris Young, who was pitching with a heavy heart yet still managed to toss five no-hit innings. He had to leave to catch a flight to be with his family following the death of his father and the bullpen picked up the no-hit bid in the sixth. Francisco Lindor broke it up with a bunt single in the seventh. It’s something you’d probably hear more grumbling about if it was a single pitcher’s no-no instead of a potential combined no hitter. Or if the score wasn’t only 2-0, making the bunt single more valuable in that situation.

Yankees 6, White Sox 1Luis Severino tossed six innings of five-hit ball and Dustin Ackley of all people hit a homer. Ackley has had a nice September, actually, which I doubt a ton of people really expected. The Yankees’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot is three.

Twins 7, Tigers 1: Byron Buxton hit an RBI double and hit his first big league homer in this rout. The Twins kept pace with Houston and the Angels and remain one and a half back.

Marlins 9, Braves 5: Martin Prado and Justin Bour each drove in three and the Marlins sweep the Braves. Bour homered twice. Bour abused the Braves in this series, going 7-for-12 with four homers and eight RBI. He has 23 homers on the year and is slugging close to .500. And I bet 90% of baseball fans couldn’t pick him out of a lineup.

Angels 3, Mariners 2: Kole Calhoun‘s RBI single in the eighth put the Angels over, gave them their fifth straight win and helped them keep pace with Houston. And the Rangers, frankly, as they’re only three back of Texas and end the season with a four-game series against ’em. The Angels have won 8 of 10 overall.

Giants 5, Athletics 4: The win at least technically keeps the Giants alive in the West, though they’re six back with seven left to play. They now face the Dodgers in a four-game series starting to night. It’s at home, where Los Angeles is 0-6 this season, so I guess that’s as good as they can expect things to be under the circumstances.

Diamondbacks 4, Padres 2Ender Inciarte hit two homers and had four hits in all. David Peralta homered as well. All three homers came off of James Shields. In his defense, this was not a particularly Big Game.

Rockies 12, Dodgers 5: On the one hand, the Dodgers got swept by a last place team. On the other hand, it now gives them a chance to clinch at AT&T Park in San Francisco, and that would annoy the hell out of Giants fans. They don’t have a pool in which they can celebrate, but if they’re not too worried about hypothermia and sharks and crap they can jump into McCovey Cove. Nolan Arenado, who deserves a hell of a lot better than playing for the Rockies, homered and drove in a career-high five runs

Cubs 4, Pirates 0: Jake Arrieta tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just one hit go win his 21st game. It’s gonna be Arrieta vs. Gerrit Cole in the Wild Card game and that’s gonna be amazing.

Seager homers, Dodgers edge Brewers 4-2 in wild-card opener

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Mookie Betts had two hits and an RBI, Corey Seager homered and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 in the opener of their NL wild-card series on Wednesday night.

The eight-time West champion Dodgers capitalized early in a bullpen game for the Brewers and can wrap up the best-of-three series on Thursday. Milwaukee – a playoff entrant despite a losing record – limped into the postseason as the No. 8 seed without its best starter and reliever, who are hurt.

The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead on a leadoff double by Betts and four walks by left-hander Brent Suter in the first, tying for the most walks by a pitcher in a single inning in postseason history. Betts scored when Will Smith drew a four-pitch walk with the bases loaded. Seager walked and scored on AJ Pollock‘s bases-loaded walk.

Suter needed 32 pitches to get out of the inning. The left-hander gave up three runs and three hits in 1 2/3 innings. His five walks were a career high, and he didn’t record a strikeout.

Chris Taylor doubled leading off the second and scored on Betts’ double, making it 3-0. Max Muncy walked with two outs and Ryan Braun caught Smith’s drive to right at the wall to end the inning, potentially saving three runs.

Braun winced as he hit the wall with his right shoulder. He was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the fifth.

The Dodgers could have inflicted more damage but were just 1 for 7 with runners in scoring position in the first two innings.

Milwaukee pitchers retired 10 straight Dodgers during one stretch.

Clinging to a one-run lead in the seventh, Seager went deep to dead-center off Freddy Peralta, who gave up just two homers during the shortened 60-game season. The Dodgers led the majors with 118 homers.

Closer Kenley Jansen walked pinch-hitter Jace Peterson with two outs in the ninth. Christian Yelich came to the plate as the potential tying run, but he struck out swinging to end the game. Jansen earned the save.

The Brewers closed to 3-2 on Orlando Arcia‘s two-strike, two-run homer with two outs in the fourth. Betts made an over-the-shoulder catch to deny Avisail Garcia with a runner on for the second out of the inning.

Milwaukee had the potential tying run on in the seventh with Yelich’s two-out double in the left-field corner. Tyrone Taylor popped up to third to end the inning.

The Brewers also threatened in the sixth. Avisail Garcia singled to right and was safe at second on first baseman Muncy’s fielding error. Muncy turned and scrambled into short right, trying to pick up the ball with a swooping motion, but it booted off his glove and rolled away. Julio Urias retired the next two batters to end the inning.

Urias got the victory, allowing three hits in three innings and striking out five.

Garcia had three hits and Yelich had two to lead the Brewers.

Pitching with a blister on his right index finger, Walker Buehler allowed two runs and three hits in four innings for Los Angeles. He struck out eight and walked two.

Milwaukee right-hander Corbin Burnes and reliever Devin Williams are missing this series with injuries that occurred in the last week of the season. Burnes has a strained left oblique and Williams has a sore right shoulder. Starter Brett Anderson also was left off the roster because of a blister issue.

WITHOUT WILLIAMS

Losing Williams is a big blow after he emerged as one of baseball’s top relievers this season and is a candidate for NL Rookie of the Year. He is 4-1 with a 0.33 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 27 innings. “It’s really crushing, honestly,” said Williams, who felt tightness after last weekend’s outing. “If we make it to the next round, I should be back. With the progress we’ve made in just a few days, it’s been encouraging.”

UP NEXT

The Dodgers give the ball to left-hander Clayton Kershaw (6-2, 2.16 ERA) for Game 2 on Thursday. He’s 9-11 with a 4.43 ERA in the postseason and lost his lone start in last year’s NLDS. The Brewers start right-hander Brandon Woodruff, who was 3-5 with a 3.05 ERA during the shortened season. He came up big last weekend with 10 strikeouts over eight shutout innings in a must-win game that helped Milwaukee eke out the No. 8 seed.

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