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Settling the Scores: Friday’s results

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The Mets may not have Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, or Matt Harvey in their rotation anymore. They may not have Noah Syndergaard, whose strep throat threatens his ability to pitch through the end of the regular season and contribute in the postseason. On Friday night, however, none of that appeared to matter.

The Mets sharpened their edge on the wild card standings with a 10-5 drubbing of the Phillies, who dropped their second consecutive start on the road behind a six-run outing from Jeremy Hellickson. Gabriel Ynoa led the charge against Philadelphia, but was pulled after two innings when manager Terry Collins decided to pinch-hit for the rookie right-hander. In Ynoa’s absence, five relievers trotted out to the mound to finish the game while the Mets’ lineup made short work of the Phillies.

If the Mets ever felt uncertain about handing off the next seven innings to a carousel of relievers, they didn’t show it. They punctuated their efforts at the plate with a six-run fifth inning, highlighted by Michael Conforto’s three-run shot off of right-hander Frank Herrmann. All told, Collins cycled through six pitchers and a total of 20 different players over the course of the evening. With the playoffs still in sight, it was a risky strategy worth taking.

The win cemented the Mets’ place atop the NL wild card standings, where they currently sit one game above the Giants, who lost 7-2 against the last-place Padres on Friday.

Here are the rest of the box scores for Friday’s games. Keep an eye out for Freddie Freeman’s 27-game hitting streak, Nolan Arenado’s 40-homer milestone, and Brewers fan TJ Marini, whose Yasiel Puig jersey appears to be the first of its kind.

Cubs 5, Cardinals 0

Orioles 3, Diamondbacks 2 (12 innings)

Pirates 6, Nationals 5 (11 innings)

Blue Jays 9, Yankees 0

Braves 3, Marlins 2

Red Sox 2, Rays 1

Indians 10, White Sox 4

Tigers 8, Royals 3

Mets 10, Phillies 5

Angels 10, Astros 6

Mariners 10, Twins 1

Rangers 3, Athletics 0

Dodgers 5, Rockies 2

Padres 7, Giants 2

Royals outfielder Gordon to retire after 14 seasons

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Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, the former first-round pick whose rollercoaster career took him from near bust to All-Star and Gold Glove winner, announced Thursday he will retire after the season.

Gordon was the second overall pick in the 2005 first-year player draft following a standout career at Nebraska, where he won the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur in baseball. He made his big league debut two years later and, after a few years shuttling back and forth to the minors, moved from third base to the outfield and finally found success.

He wound up playing his entire 14-year career in Kansas City, joining only George Brett and Frank White as position players with that much longevity with the franchise. He heads into a weekend four-game series against Detroit with the third-most walks (682), fourth-most homers (190), fifth-most doubles (357) and sixth-most games played (1,749) in club history.

The three-time All-Star also holds the dubious distinction of being the Royals’ career leader in getting hit by pitches.

While he never quite hit with the kind of average the Royals hoped he would, Gordon did through sheer grit turn himself into one of the best defensive players in the game. He is the only outfielder to earn seven Gold Gloves in a nine-year span, a number that trails only White’s eight for the most in franchise history, and there are enough replays of him crashing into the outfield wall at Kauffman Stadium or throwing out a runner at the plate to run for hours.

Gordon won the first of three defensive player of the year awards in 2014, when he helped Kansas City return to the World Series for the first time since its 1985 championship. The Royals wound up losing to the Giants in a seven-game thriller, but they returned to the Fall Classic the following year and beat the Mets in five games to win the World Series.

It was during the 2015 that Gordon hit one of the iconic homers in Royals history. His tying shot off Mets closer Jeurys Familia in Game 1 forced extra innings, and the Royals won in 14 to set the tone for the rest of the World Series.

Gordon signed a one-year contract to return this season, and he never considered opting out when the coronavirus pandemic caused spring training to be halted and forced Major League Baseball to play a dramatically reduced 60-game schedule.

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