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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Marlins 10, Rockies 7: Congratulations to Ichiro for his 3,000th major league hit. A triple no less, showing that at least some dudes over 40 still have great wheels. He’s also only the second guy to have his 3,000th hit be a triple, with Paul Molitor being the other. Molitor was Ichiro’s hitting coach in Seattle for a time and after the game Ichiro have Molitor a nod. He’ll be joining Molitor in Cooperstown the first time he’s eligible for induction. Lost in the history and in the loss was the fact that the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado homered twice and drove in five.

Yankees 3, Indians 2: A-Rod announced his retirement (or whatever it is) but doesn’t get into the game. Fellow short timer Mark Teixeira, however, hit an RBI double. He’s had extra-base hits in four of his past five games, actually, and is hitting quite well for a guy who is hanging it up. Maybe this means A-Rod will get a big hit, like, Tuesday or something.

Mets 3, Tigers 1: Neil Walker hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to break a 1-1 tie and give the Mets the win. He hit it off of Francisco Rodriguez who, despite getting the save on Saturday night, was shaky as hell doing it, requiring a putout on a play at the plate in order to stave off disaster. All of which is to say that the Tigers usual trouble — the bullpen — will likely be a source of problems as they try to make up those two games the Indians have on ’em.

Twins 6, Rays 3: Miguel Sano was rumored to be on his way back to the minors late last week. Here he homered twice. He also became the first player to hit a ball off the roof at Tropicana Field. Many have hit catwalks, but none have hit the roof. It ended up being an F-5, though, because Evan Longoria caught it.

Nationals 1, Giants 0: A tough luck loss for Madison Bumgarner, who went the distance yet gave up one run while Tanner Roark and two Nats relievers combined for a five-hit shutout. Bumgarner’s only blemish: A solo homer to Wilson Ramos in the 7th. Ramos is hitting .338/.387/.556 with 18 homers and 62 RBI. Ramos is a free agent this offseason. I feel like someone is gonna give him a really bad contract based on what looks like a fluke season. Kind of like Javy Lopez after the 2003 season.

Reds 7, Pirates 3: The Reds may be the most entertaining bad team in baseball. Billy Hamilton is a big part of that and yesterday he was particularly fun: four stolen bases, three hits and three runs scored. He also made a leaping catch. I sure hope he figures out how to get on base more than he does so that this kind of fun can happen more often. Maybe that’s too much to ask for a nearly 26-year-old player, but even if we just get one breakthrough season in which some balls find their way through the infield and he hits .315 or something with a .355 OBP, man, that would be something.

Orioles 10, White Sox 2: Manny Machado hit three homers in three innings and drove in seven. He didn’t get any hits for the rest of the day but if you come in and get all your work done early, you’re allowed to loaf by the water cooler all afternoon. Dylan Bundy didn’t need to pitch well with all of the run support he got but he did anyway, allowing two runs and striking out nine dudes over six innings.

Rangers 5, Astros 3: The manner in which the Rangers won was new — Ian Desmond and Rougned Odor hits in the 11th inning — but the fact that they beat the Astros was not. that’s 11 of 13 from Houston on the year, which explains at least part of their seven and a half game lead over Houston in the AL West. Only seven over Seattle, who has gotten past the Astros. Houston has lost 8 of 10 overall, so maybe it’s not just about their divisional foes. “Anytime I leave this podium after a loss I hate it,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said after the game. Give the man credit for knowing the difference between a podium and a lectern. 95% of people get that one wrong.

Royals 7, Blue Jays 1: It was close until the seventh when Kendrys Morlaes hit a grand slam. A decent start for Yordano Ventura, who hasn’t had many decent starts lately.

Braves 6, Cardinals 3: Atlanta took two of three from the Cards, and took them pretty decisively. This is not technically the Cardinals’ low point of the season — they’re 11.5 back now and were 12.5 back for a day in late June — but it may be their low point cosmically speaking. Matt Kemp had two hits and an RBI, Nick Markakis and Erick Aybar had two RBI each and Mike Foltynewicz allowed one run over six innings.

Cubs 3, Athletics 1: Kyle Hendricks allowed one run while pitching into the eighth. Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler homered. The Cubs sweep the A’s. Their seventh straight win gives them 69 on the season. Nice.

Mariners 3, Angels 1: James Paxton allowed one run — unearned — while pitching into the ninth. He only left because he took a line drive off his arm. X-Rays were negative, though, which is positive. Mike Trout struck out four times, but he also saved four runs by stealing a grand slam with a spectacular catch.

Diamondbacks 9, Brewers 3Jake Lamb and Phil Gosselin each hit two-run homers. The Dbacks had five extra-base hits in their five-run fifth inning. Speaking of, does anyone else remember 5 from “Peanuts?” I used to get all of the old “Peanuts” compilations and treasuries from the entire run of the strip and I loved 5. He was a pretty damn subversive character for the comics in the early 1960s.

Phillies 6, Padres 5Tommy Joseph hit a tie-breaking RBI single in the top of the seventh inning, but Maikel Franco and the Phillies D helped hold that slim lead with a triple play in the bottom half of the inning:

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A nice around-the-horn job too, not one of those weird ones with a line drive and a couple of boring runners-getting-doubled-off deals.

Dodgers 8, Red Sox 5: Rob Segedin made his major league debut for the Dodgers, playing left field, and all he did was go 2-for-4 with a double and four RBI. Adrian Gonzalez his his 300th career homer. Howie Kendrick and Justin Turner hit homers too.

Rays beat Mets 8-5, clinch 1st AL East title in 10 years

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK (AP) Confetti instead of champagne. Silly string instead of beer.

The Tampa Bay Rays, long accustomed to doing more with less, figured out a way to maximize the division-clinching celebration they were allowed to enjoy during a 2020 season shortened by the coronavirus.

Randy Arozarena homered twice and the Rays clinched their first AL East title in 10 years Wednesday night with an 8-5 victory over the New York Mets.

“I’m completely dry right now, which I’m not a huge fan of,” center fielder Kevin Kiermaier, the longest-tenured Rays player, said with a grin. “But you have to adapt to what we’re asked of.”

With teams instructed to celebrate in a muted and socially distant style, the Rays went old school – or maybe elementary school – with their clinching party.

The team filed slowly onto the field after Nick Anderson fanned Andres Gimenez for the final out. A couple of players shot off canisters filled with confetti that eventually dotted the grass and dirt at Citi Field. Hugs and handshakes were exchanged before the Rays doused one another with silly string and lit some cigars in the visiting clubhouse.

Later, hooting and hollering could be heard from the visitors’ dugout.

“We’re little kids trapped in grown men’s bodies,” Kiermaier said.

Joey Wendle and Brandon Lowe also went deep for the Rays to back Tyler Glasnow‘s six solid innings. Tampa Bay will be home at quirky Tropicana Field for a best-of-three first-round playoff series beginning next Tuesday.

It is the third division crown for the thrifty Rays, whose payroll this season is just over $28 million – more than only the Pittsburgh Pirates and Baltimore Orioles. Tampa Bay, which began play in 1998, also won the AL East, home of two big-spending powers in the Yankees and Red Sox, in 2008 and 2010.

“It feels great to win the division, no matter what division you’re in,” Kiermaier said. “But especially the American League East – it’s just a different animal.”

After missing a chance to clinch Tuesday, the Rays went into Wednesday again needing just a win or a Yankees loss against Toronto to lock up the division championship.

The Rays (37-20) broke a 2-all tie in the sixth on Arozarena’s two-run homer off Michael Wacha and pulled away, taking care of business themselves while New York was routed 14-1 by the Blue Jays.

“At the end of the day, a clinch is a clinch,” said Wendle, who homered in the second. “But to do it on a win – everybody’s kind of riding the high of winning the game along with the division. We didn’t want to see it come down to them losing a game.”

Tampa Bay also is closing in on wrapping up the top record in the AL and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs.

Lowe, who had an RBI fielder’s choice in the third, hit a two-run homer in the eighth. Willy Adames added an RBI single later in the inning and Arozarena homered again in the ninth.

The insurance came in handy for the Rays when the Mets scored three times off Oliver Drake in the ninth – via an RBI groundout by Robinson Cano and a two-run homer by Todd Frazier – before Anderson closed the door.

“I think we had the game pretty much in control (and) certainly recognized what was going on in Buffalo, but I don’t know if you can ever prepare for a moment like that – it’s pretty special,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Glasnow (5-1) allowed two runs on three hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.

Gimenez and Dominic Smith homered off Glasnow in the final home game of the season for the Mets, whose long-shot playoff hopes were further damaged with the loss. New York began the day 2 1/2 games out of an NL wild-card spot.

“We still have a shot with the four games left and we’re competing,” manager Luis Rojas said. “We’ve just got to do what we do – just keep fighting like we did in the ninth.”

Wacha allowed four runs on six hits and struck out four in six innings.

STABLE SHIRT

Rays pitcher Charlie Morton sported a T-shirt picturing a stable of horses as he spoke with reporters during a pregame Zoom call. Morton did little to discourage the notion the shirt was inspired by Cash’s viral rant earlier this month, when he declared the Rays have “a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 mph” after Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman threw near Mike Brousseau’s head in the ninth inning Sept. 4.

“The stable shirt?” Morton said. “It was in my locker last week and I like horses.”

With a grin obviously growing even behind his Rays mask, Morton said he rode horses as a kid.

“So I was ecstatic to see this shirt in my locker and I wore it,” he said.

As for the fireballers on the Rays’ pitching staff?

“We’ve got some guys that throw really hard,” Morton said.

ANOTHER LOSING SEASON

The loss guaranteed the Mets (25-31) will finish with a sub-.500 record for the ninth time in the last 12 seasons – a total matched or exceeded only by the Chicago White Sox (nine), Miami Marlins (10) and San Diego Padres (10). The White Sox and Padres have already clinched playoff spots and a winning record, while the Marlins are in second place in the NL East.

New York made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons in 2015 and 2016 and went 86-76 last year.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: LHP Jose Alvarado (shoulder, lat) is scheduled to throw batting practice to 3B Yandy Diaz (hamstring) and 1B Ji-Man Choi (hamstring) at Tropicana Field on Thursday. Cash said all three players are progressing and he hopes they are available for the playoffs. . Brousseau (oblique) missed a fourth consecutive game. Cash said he would have been available off the bench if needed

Mets: RF Michael Conforto (hamstring) returned to the lineup as the designated hitter after missing two games and went 0 for 4. . The Mets activated RHP Dellin Betances (lat), who last pitched Aug. 29, and optioned RHP Corey Oswalt to the alternate site.

UP NEXT

Rays: After a day off Thursday, Morton (2-2, 4.64 ERA) is scheduled to get his postseason tuneup in the opener of a series against the Phillies on Friday.

Mets: Rookie LHP David Peterson (5-2, 3.80 ERA) opens a four-game road series against the Nationals. Peterson struck out a career-high 10 against the Braves last Saturday.