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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Orioles 5, Blue Jays 3Michael Saunders hit a two-run homer off of Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez to tie the game 3-3 in the seventh. In other news, someone thought it was a good idea for Ubaldo Jimenez to be pitching in the seventh. Never fear, though, because Matt Wieters hit a go-ahead, two-run homer off Jason Grilli in the eighth, snapping the O’s four-game losing streak.

Nationals 3, Phillies 2: Max Scherzer went eight innings, striking out 11 and not allowing a hit until the sixth. He gave up a two-run homer to Ryan Howard in the seventh but Scherzer’s own sac bunt RBI earlier had already provided the winning margin. Nice day at the office for Max.

Rays 4, Red Sox 3Luke Maile hit a two-run homer in the seventh to tie things at three and then Evan Longoria hit a solo shot in the eighth which proved to be the game winner.  Boston remains two games behind Toronto in the East with the Orioles one game behind the Red Sox.

Indians 5, Twins 4: Make it 12 straight losses for the Twins. This on a night when the opposing starter couldn’t make it out of the second inning. Between that and the Teddy Bridgewater news I’m guessing Minnesota sports fans are cranky today. The only thing which could make it worse is (a) The Timberwolves all developing mono just before training camp starts next month; (b) The Wild going on a sit-down strike over working conditions; and (c) literally anything good being said about Joe Mauer.

Tigers 8, White Sox 4: The Sox led 3-0 in the fifth but then the Tigers went to work. Much of the work was done by JaCoby Jones, making his MLB debut. The Tigers third baseman had two hits and two RBI, including a sixth-inning double to give the Tigers a 4-3 lead. Ian Kinsler had a two-run homer and a two-run single.

Braves 7, Padres 3: Julio Teheran allowed two runs in seven innings, getting his first win in nine starts, mostly because he has the worst run support in the big leagues. Not on this night, however, as rookie Dansby Swanson had an RBI single and an RBI double and the Braves managed seven runs on 12 hits. Swanson is 12-f0r-40 to start off his career.

Mets 7, Marlins 4: Curtis Granderson didn’t even start the game but still managed to hit two homers after coming off the bench in the sixth. Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Jose Reyes, who took a knock to the head on a play at the plate on Monday night, had four hits. The Mets have won eight of ten and stand two and a half back of St. Louis for the second wild card, with the Pirates in between them.

Cubs 3, Pirates 0: Kyle Hendricks tossed seven shutout innings and the Cubs got all their run scoring done in the first and second with an Anthony Rizzo two-run homer and a Miguel Montero RBI single. The Cubs are on a 103-104 win pace. The last time a team won 103 games was in 2009 when the Yankees did it. The last time anyone won more than that was 2004 when the Cardinals won 105.

Rangers 8, Mariners 7: Down 7-6 in the ninth, Rougned Odor hit a walkoff two-run homer. That was a nice bit of makeup work after he was thrown out on the base paths twice earlier. What straightened his head out? Adrian Beltre:

After getting thrown out trying to stretch a single to right in the seventh, in between RBI singles by Adrian Beltre and Jonathan Lucroy, the veteran Beltre got the aggressive youngster’s attention with a tap to the head in the dugout.

If Beltre is touching your head, you know it’s serious business.

Cardinals 2, Brewers 1: Randal Grichuk hit an RBI single in the top half of the tenth. In the bottom half, reliever Matt Bowman walked three batters to load the bases but Zach Duke got out of the jam to save the day. Adam Wainwright, mired in a crappy 2016 season, allowed only one run in seven innings while striking out seven.

Astros 3, Athletics 1: Collin McHugh won his ninth game after tossing six shutout innings. Colby Rasmus returned to the Astros lineup for the first time since August 4 and hit a solo homer.  Evan Gattis added another later.

Yankees 5, Royals 4: The Yankees jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and blew that thanks in part to a rain delay which took Masahiro Tanaka out of the game. They got their bacon saved by a tenth inning rally, however, capped off by an Jacoby Ellsbury RBI infield single, which ricocheted off of Joakim Soria‘s leg.

Angels 4, Reds 2: C. J. Cron hit two homers. He’s 8-for-12 with three homers and five drive in in his last three games. Mike Trout went 3-for-4 with two doubles and scored twice. The best player in baseball leads the American League in WAR by a win and a half over his closest pursuer, is second in OPS, tops in OBP and walks and has over 20 stolen bases while playing outstanding defense. And he won’t win the MVP award.

Diamondbacks 4, Giants 3: Zack Greinke allowed two runs — one earned — and six hits in six innings. He’s started against the Giants 13 times in his career. He’s won nine of them. Welington Castillo hit a two-run single in the Snakes’ four-run fifth and A.J. Pollock singled twice and reached base four times.

Dodgers vs. Rockies — POSTPONED:The rum pours strong and thin
Beat out the dustman
With the rain dogs
Aboard a shipwreck train
Give my umbrella to the Rain Dogs
For I am a Rain Dog too

Nationals complete NLCS sweep of Cardinals, punch ticket to World Series

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The Nationals will officially appear in the World Series for the first time in franchise history. The team that had a 19-31 record in late May, putting manager Dave Martinez on the hot seat, improbably fought back to snag a Wild Card slot, won the play-in game, beat the heavily-favored Dodgers in five games in the NLDS, and polished off a sweep of the Cardinals in the NLCS on Tuesday night, winning 7-4.

After Patrick Corbin tossed a scoreless top of the first inning, the Nationals’ offense wasted no time getting to work. Single, double, sacrifice fly, RBI double, intentional walk, reach on error, RBI single, two-run single, sacrifice bunt, two-run single. That’s how the Nats hung a seven-spot in the opening frame against Dakota Hudson and Adam Wainwright.

To the Cardinals’ credit, they cleaned things up from there. The Nationals would not score for the rest of the game while the Cardinals clawed back for a run in the fourth before plating three runs in the fifth. Yadier Molina went yard off of Corbin in the fourth. In the fifth, a Tommy Edman ground out and a José Martínez two-run double accounted for the Cardinals’ runs in the fifth.

Corbin ultimately gave up the four runs on four hits and three walks with, impressively, 12 strikeouts across five innings of work. Tanner Rainey worked a 1-2-3 sixth. Sean Doolittle did the same in the seventh.

Doolittle remained in the game in the eighth, getting the first two outs before relenting a single to Marcell Ozuna. Right-hander Daniel Hudson entered for the four-out save opportunity. Hudson hit Molina with a fastball, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Paul DeJong. DeJong worked a full count, then walked to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter emerged from the dugout to take his cuts against Hudson. After five tense pitches to Carpenter, Hudson got him to ground out to second base to end the inning.

The Nats went down quick in the bottom of the eighth. Hudson emerged from the dugout to send the Nationals into the World Series. He did just that, getting Kolten Wong to fly out to shallow left field for the first out. Matt Wieters popped up to the catcher in fair territory for out number two. At long last, Edman flied out to center field. Nationals win 7-4.

The only other time the franchise reached the Championship Series was in 1981 when the Expos lost three games to two to the Dodgers. The Expos/Nationals then went from 1982-2011 without a playoff appearance. The Nationals lost four Division Series appearances in a row in 2012, ’14, and ’16-17, three of which went the maximum five games. Now they’re in the World Series, improbably. They will await the winner of the ALCS, which the Astros currently lead 2-1.