Settling the Scores: Saturday’s results

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While wild card races were expanding and contracting across the league, the Rockies were not-so-quietly having one of their best games of the season. Colorado right-hander Jon Gray, he of the 4.42 ERA, 9.76 K/9, and 3.01 BB/9, shelved the first complete game shutout of his career after holding the Padres to four hits and a franchise-best 16 strikeouts.

In the Rockies’ storied 23-year history, only three pitchers have reached single-game totals of 13 or more strikeouts. Until Saturday evening, the franchise record was held by one Darryl Kile, a veteran right-hander whose 14-strikeout performance against the 1998 Expos was the first notable mark he made since signing with the Rockies in the 1997 offseason. Among his 2016 peers, Gray’s feat looks only slightly less impressive, as he and his 16 strikeouts rank second behind the inimitable Max Scherzer and his 20-whiff outing in May.

Colorado didn’t skimp on run support, either, boosting Gray’s 5.79 average run support with an eight-run showing, including a four-run first inning that featured home runs from Nolan Arenado and Tom Murphy. While Gray busied himself with controversial tag plays and four-strikeout innings, the Rockies’ offense added another four runs in the fourth and fifth innings with a Charlie Blackmon RBI triple and a second homer from Murphy.

With the win, the Rockies improved to 71-77 on the season and have now scored 16 runs in their last two games combined. It’s the best kind of payback for the club, who, despite sitting nine games up on the Padres, found themselves outscored 19-11 during their last four-game set in San Diego.

Here are the rest of the scores for Saturday. Keep an eye out for Albert Pujols’ 30th home run of the season, five innings of a Justin Verlander no-hitter, and one of the slowest home runs of 2016.

Pirates 10, Reds 4

Pirates 7, Reds 3

Red Sox 6, Yankees 5

Braves 7, Nationals 3

Brewers 11, Cubs 3

Indians 1, Tigers 0 (10 innings)

Phillies 8, Marlins 0

Rays 5, Orioles 2

Mets 3, Twins 2 (12 innings)

Royals 3, White Sox 2

Athletics 11, Rangers 2

Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 2

Rockies 8, Padres 0

Cardinals 3, Giants 2

Angels 6, Blue Jays 1

Astros 2, Mariners 1

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.