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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 5, Orioles 2: It was 2-1 in the seventh when David Ortiz hit a three-run homer, helping the Sox to their sixth straight win. Boston now has a four-game lead over Toronto and a five-game lead over Baltimore in the AL East with 11 games left to play. For the Orioles, Trey Mancini homered in his major league debut. There was some video of his mom freaking out in the stands after he did it. At one point those “moms in the stands cheering on players in their major league debut” videos showed old ladies. Now, suddenly, they show attractive women who, if I were so inclined, would be age-appropriate for me to ask out on a date. Must be a glitch. Someone should look into that. It’s somewhat troubling.

Braves 5, Mets 4: Four wins in a row for a Braves team on which, a few months ago, I would’ve bet my life would lose 100 games. Now they’re almost certainly not going to, which speaks to just how long and strange and unpredictable a baseball season can be. The Mets, stymied by Julio Teheran once again, fall into a three-way tie with San Francisco and St. Louis for the two NL wild cards.

Cardinals 10, Rockies 5: There’s helping your own cause and then there’s what Adam Wainwright did, driving in four, with a two-run double and a two-run single. Matt Adams and Jedd Gyorko homered, but they didn’t pitch at all, so advantage: Wainwright.

Giants 2, Dodgers 0: Congratulations, Giants: your bullpen didn’t blow a close game this time! Not that things are all rosy: Johnny Cueto had to leave with a strained groin and Brandon Crawford left with a dislocated finger. Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Belt each hit solo shots.

Phillies 7, White Sox 6Odubel Herrera homered, had three hits in all and drove in three. Tommy Joseph and Roman Quinn drove in three between them. Not bad for what, statistically, is the worst offense in the National League.

Indians 2, Royals 1: Brandon Guyer with a pinch-hit, walkoff RBI single. That brings the Indians magic number down to six. If they beat the Royals tonight, the World Series champs will be eliminated.

Marlins 1, Nationals 0: Jose Fernandez tosses eight shutout innings, striking out 12. I’m not sure what the Marlins latest thinking is on this guy — in the past it’s been suggested that they’d trade him before he could reach free agency — but if they wanted to trade him this winter, they’d get a freakin’ haul.

Yankees 5, Rays 3: The Bombers post a four-run seventh inning powered by homers from Mark Teixeira and Gary Sanchez. Which makes me realize that that may have been the last time I write Mark Teixeira’s name in one of these recaps. Wait, THAT was the last time I write Teixeira’s name. Wait.

Rangers 5, Angels 4: Rangers starter A.J. Griffin had to leave early due to illness, but Nick Martinez was solid out of the pen. How solid? This solid:

[mlbvideo id=”1177896683″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

Nomar Mazara hit a go-ahead, two-run homer for the Rangers. This one got chippy too. After Mike Trout got hit by a pitch early, THREE Rangers batters were hit, eventually leading to the ejection of Mike Scioscia and Brett Oberholtzer. I guess that’s fair if you assume that Trout is three times better than anyone else. There are exchange rates for everything. At one point in there a Rangers pitcher threw behind the head of Andrelton Simmons too. I hope all those men feel more manly and validated now.

Cubs 6, Reds 1: Anthony Rizzo drove in three and Jon Lester won his 18th game. There was a bit of a scare as he was hit by a comebacker and doubled over at one point. Turns out the lefty was hit in his right hand. After the game he said “it’s my right hand, I don’t need it.” He could’ve said “that’s why God gave me two,” which is a line from an underrated movie I always think of in these sort of situations. If anyone knows the movie, put it in the comments.

Pirates 6, Brewers 3Andrew McCutchen, Jody Mercer and Josh Bell each drove in two. The Pirates have won five of six and are back at .500 which I suppose is something worth celebrating, even if it comes too late to matter.

Tigers 8, Twins 1: Matt Boyd allowed one run over eight innings and James McCann and Miguel Cabrera each homered, with three-run and two-run shots, respectively. Detroit is back one and a half games in the Wild Card with 12 games to go.

Astros 2, Athletics 1: George Springer singled in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th, set up by Tony Kemp‘s leadoff double. Kemp provided the Astros only other run with an RBI double in the seventh.

Blue Jays 10, Mariners 2: Edwin Encarnacion homered and doubled in two. Russell Martin and Michael Saunders each drove in two of their own. Seattle has teased all year and then, when they’ve had a chance to make a real move on a playoff spot, they’ve failed to deliver. Has to be frustrating for M’s fans.

Padres 5, Diamondbacks 2: Adam Rosales homered and drove in four. Then, in a tribute to the earlier part of his career, he was signed and released by Oakland and Texas 12 times before the game was over. Weird, but that’s his lot in life.

Astros sweep as Twins lose 18th straight in playoffs

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MINNEAPOLIS — Shaken up by a scandal before the virus outbreak shrunk the season, the Houston Astros barely played well enough to reach the playoffs – with the rest of baseball actively rooting against them.

Well, they’re not ready to leave yet.

Carlos Correa hit a two-out, tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning for the Astros, who produced another stifling pitching performance and swept Minnesota over two games with a 3-1 victory Wednesday that sent the Twins to a record 18th straight postseason loss.

“I know a lot of people are mad. I know a lot of people don’t want to see us here,” Correa said. “But what are they going to say now?”

Nine months after Houston’s rules-breaking, sign-stealing system was revealed, the Astros advanced to the Division Series in Los Angeles. As the sixth seed, they’ll face the Oakland Athletics or Chicago White Sox in a best-of-five matchup starting Monday at Dodger Stadium.

“I don’t think they necessarily thought that they had anything to prove. They just had to play ball,” said manager Dusty Baker, who took his fifth different team to the playoffs and advanced for the first time in seven rounds since winning the 2003 NL Division Series with the Chicago Cubs.

The Twins are 0-18 in the playoffs since winning Game 1 of their Division Series at the New York Yankees on Oct. 5, 2004, a total of seven rounds lost. Since that date, the Astros are 43-35 in postseason play, winning 10 of 15 rounds with three trips to the World Series.

Kyle Tucker hit two RBI singles for the Astros and made a key throw from left field for the inning-ending out in the fifth.

Rookie Cristian Javier worked three hitless innings in relief for the victory in his postseason debut and Ryan Pressly pitched a perfect ninth against his former team, giving the Houston bullpen a total of 9 2/3 scoreless innings in this wild card series with three hits allowed.

“From the very beginning, we envisioned ourselves back in the playoffs and playing real well,” Tucker said. “So we never counted ourselves out at any point.”

Nobody on this Twins team has had a hand in more than six of the playoffs losses, but for the second straight year one of baseball’s most potent lineups limped through a brief postseason cameo. In a three-game division series sweep by the Yankees last year, the Twins totaled seven runs and 22 hits. Against the Astros, they mustered only two runs and seven hits.

“We put a lot of balls in play, it seemed like, but they were up in the air and, yeah, it seemed like we played into their trap,” said Max Kepler, one of four starters who went hitless in the series. “At the end of the day, we didn’t get the job done.”

Nelson Cruz gave the Twins an RBI double for a second straight game, this time in the fourth inning against starter Jose Urquidy. Luis Arraez aggressively tried to score from first base, but Correa took the throw from Tucker and fired home to beat Arraez to the plate to preserve the tie after third base coach Tony Diaz waved him in.

“I don’t know why he sent him,” Correa said.

Then in the seventh against losing pitcher Cody Stashak, Correa drove a 1-0 slider into the tarp-covered seats above right-center field for his 12th home run in 52 playoff games.

After winning 101, 103 and 107 games in the last three regular seasons, winning the 2017 World Series and losing the championship in seven games to the Washington Nationals last year, the Astros stumbled through the 2020 season at 29-31 under Baker and new general manager James Click with a slew of injuries after the COVID-19 pandemic cut the schedule to 60 games.

They had the third-worst road record in the major leagues, too, but none of that mattered this week against the third-seeded Twins, who were out of sorts in their two biggest games this year.

Jose Berrios was one of the few who were locked in with five strong innings to start, with just two hits allowed. His two walks were costly, though, issued right before Tucker’s single in the fourth.

“I don’t think anyone was ready to leave, to end this way,” Cruz said. “That’s life.”


Already missing third baseman Josh Donaldson, the Twins held another one of their most valuable players out: center fielder Byron Buxton. Baldelli declined to confirm whether Buxton was experiencing a recurrence of concussion symptoms that kept him out of the last two regular season games. Buxton was picked off first base after pinch running for Cruz in the eighth.

Kepler moved to center, and Alex Kirilloff – the 2016 first-round draft pick – played right field to become the first Twins player in history to make his major league debut in a postseason game. Kirilloff singled in the fourth. With the bases loaded in the first, he flied out to end the inning.


Both teams took issue with plate umpire Manny Gonzalez’s strike zone, with Astros slugger George Springer the first to visibly complain. After being called out on strikes in the fourth, Springer barked, “No way, man!” multiple times on his way back to the dugout.

Then in the sixth, the Twins lost left fielder Eddie Rosario to ejection after he argued a called strike two that would’ve given him a walk if it were called a ball. After swinging and missing at strike three, Rosario yelled again and was quickly tossed.

First base umpire Tim Timmons missed consecutive calls in the eighth inning on grounders by the Astros when he called the runners safe. Both were reversed to outs after replay review.


The Astros, who have reached the AL Championship Series in each of the last three years, will play Monday against either the A’s or the White Sox. RHP Lance McCullers Jr. is the only member of their regular season rotation who did not pitch in Minnesota.

The Twins enter the offseason with 10 players set to become free agents, including the 40-year-old Cruz who led the team in home runs and batting average (among players with a qualifying amount of at-bats) for a second straight season. Their 2021 opener is scheduled for April 1 at Milwaukee.