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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rangers 3, Astros 2: Texas did it again to the Astros, who are probably gonna spend the entire winter having nightmares about the Rangers. Down 2-1 in the ninth, the wheels fell off again. Ken Giles retired the first batter he faced and struck out the second in Rougned Odor but . . . wild pitch, Odor on first. That led to Odor stealing second, Elvis Andrus tripling him home and Jurickson Profar plating Andrus with a single. The Astros are now 3-15 against the Rangers, four and a half back in the Wild Card with five teams ahead of them. Their October free time is going to be pretty much the direct result of their inability to beat the Rangers.

Padres 6, Giants 4: The Giants’ second half nightmare continues. This particular monster came in the form of a blown 4-1 lead in the ninth inning, thanks to a five-run Padres rally. Hunter Strickland poured the kerosene, allowing two runs via three singles and a bases-loaded walk. Then Steven Okert lit the match by giving up a three-run homer to Ryan Schimpf with two outs. Brutal.

Yankees 3, Dodgers 0: Jacoby Ellsbury and Didi Gregorius didn’t start but they came off the bench to give the Yankees their first runs in the seventh via the longball. Gary Sanchez went deep himself in the eighth. CC Sabathia pitched shutout ball into the seventh. Julio Urias pitched shutout ball too, but only into the fourth, and when you’re 20 and throw 80 pitches in that short a time you’re not gonna have a long night.

Mets 4, Nationals 3: T.J. Rivera gave the Mets their first run with an RBI single, their third run with a sac fly in the fifth and their last run with a homer in the 10th. Noah Syndergaard struck out 10 over seven innings. The game went 10, though, because Jeurys Familia coughed up a two-run lead in the ninth. Everyone gets to have an off day from time to time I suppose.

Pirates 5, Phillies 3: Down 3-2 in the ninth, The Pirates’ Sean Rodriguez hit a pinch-hit three-run homer. Yesterday I mentioned the Phillies’ Roman Quinn as being one of those guys whose future is unpredictable. Well, he had two more hits last night, so maybe he won’t be an accountant in 2022 or whatever it was I said.

Rays 6, Blue Jays 2: Alexi Ramirez and Steven Souza Jr. hit home runs. The last homer Ramirez hit was when he played for the Padres. He hit off of Drew Smyly, who got the win in this one. And, even more amazing, Smyly’s secretary is named Ramirez and Ramirez’s secretary’s name is Smyly!

Orioles 6, Red Sox 3: Most games last night seemed to be defined by a couple of homers from the winning team and a solid but not spectacular start from the pitcher. This, in the morning recap business, is what you call “boring.” It’s way more fun to write up a 16-6 game or a 1-0 pitcher’s duel. These “J.J. Hardy hit a three-run homer and Nolan Reimold hit a two-run shot while Dylan Bundy gave them five serviceable innings” things are the ham sandwich with mayo of recaps.

Twins 8, Tigers 1: OK, this is a little more like it. A bad team rolling up eight on a contender while the normally pedestrian starter like Kyle Gibson was stingy for eight innings and the unheralded shortstop like Jorge Polanco drove in four sings a bit more.

Marlins 7, Braves 5: Ichiro went 2-for-4, scored two and drove in a run. Freddie Freeman and Matt Kemp homered for the Braves. They’re sort of like the camp counselors at the end of the summer on this club. The Marlins are technically still alive for the Wild Card, but the odds are pretty long.

Reds 6, Brewers 4: Break up the Reds! They’ve won five in a row. Dan Straily went eight innings, allowing two runs and striking out eight. Four of the Reds’ six runs were unearned thanks to two errors by the Brewers to start off the bottom half of the third inning.

Athletics 5, Royals 4: Oakland mounted a four-run rally in the eighth, courtesy of Joakim Soria, who ain’t exactly a 2014-15 vintage Wade Davis or Kelvin Herrera, to push the dagger a little deeper into the Royals’ gut. They’re now five games out of the wild card with 18 to play. Yonder Alonso‘s two-run pinch hit double put the A’s ahead for good.

White Sox 8, Indians 1: It was a 1-1 game heading into the bottom of the sixth when the wheels fell off for Trevor Bauer. The Chisox rallied that frame with three RBI singles, a triple and a ground rule double. Meanwhile Jose Quintana did Jose Quintana things, allowing one run over eight innings and wondering how nice life would be if he always got run support.

Cardinals 4, Cubs 2: The Cubs are going to win the NL Central, but they won’t get to have their champagne celebration at Busch Stadium. Not after the Cardinals bullpen tossed seven and a third scoreless innings against them and Aledmys Diaz and Brandon Moss hit a pair of two-run homers. Those bullpen innings, by the way, were necessitated by Jaime Garcia‘s ineffectiveness, which has become something of a problem lately, at least in home starts.

Diamondbacks 11, Rockies 4: These two sure are playing some ugly games of late. Jean Segura homered twice and Brandon Drury hit a homer for the second game in a row. Drury’s went into that pool in right field. Paul Goldschmidt had three hits, scored three runs and stole a base.

Mariners 8, Angels 0: Taijuan took a no-hitter into the seventh and ended up with a three-hit shutout, striking out 11. He had three homers and a sac fly from his mates in support. The M’s have won seven in a row and eight of nine to pull to within two and a half of the second Wild Card.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.