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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 4, Rays 3: Morning baseball on Patriots’ Day featured Andrew Benintendi hitting a go-ahead, two-run single in the second inning which put the Sox ahead for good. All three runs in that inning were unearned thanks to a Brad Miller error. In his defense, ballplayers usually either play night games on Monday or have the day off, so he’s probably usually still asleep at the time the error occurred. You try fielding something at 4 AM. Ain’t easy.

Cardinals 2, Pirates 1: The Cards snap a three-game losing streak thanks to seven shutout innings from Lance Lynn. St. Louis still has the worst record in the NL, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Yankees 7, White Sox 4: Eight straight for the Bombers, powered by a three-run homer from Matt Holliday and a homer and three RBI from Aaron Judge. Rookie Jordan Montgomery took a shutout into the seventh. There’s somethin’ special happening in the Bronx right now. Special April things are never guaranteed to last even into May, let alone October, but this hot start has got to have Yankees fans pretty stoked.

Braves 5, Padres 4: Two homers and a double from the red hot Freedie Freeman and a walkoff RBI single from Dansby Swanson, breaking a 4-4 tie with two outs. The Braves finished their first series in their new ballpark with a four-game sweep. It was only the Padres, but Ws are Ws. Overall the Braves have won five in a row. Which comes after losing five in a row. Which means, like, the last 11-12 days never happened, right? Baseball with zero velocity?

Brewers 6, Cubs 3Eric Thames brought his big bat from Korea. The newest Brewer homered again, making that five games in row with a dinger. Ryan Braun and Jett Bandy also homered, giving the Brewers their sixth win in seven games. If Jett Bandy was named after James Dean’s character in “Giant,” I am going to track down his parents and buy them a steak dinner because that’s all kinds of cool. The Cubs fall to 6-7 overall.

Indians 3, Twins 1: Michael Brantley homered and drove in two. Having him back this year is so big for Cleveland. Danny Salazar allowed one run over six innings and struck out seven. Having him back to full strength after he was barely available for the playoffs last year is big too.

Astros 3, Angels 0: Charlie Morton tossed five shutout innings and three relievers took the five-hitter rest of the way home. Jose Altuve drove in two of the Astros’ three runs.

Rangers 7, Athletics 0: A.J. Griffin stymies his former club, allowing only one hit in six shutout innings. Nomar Mazara knocked in three. Carlos Gomez and Mike Napoli each drove in two themselves.

Mariners 6, Marlins 1Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz hit back-to-back homers in the first, and the rest was just paperwork. Ariel Miranda threw seven shutout innings. Feels like every pitcher threw six or seven shutout innings last night. All 20 starters across major league baseball. All relievers did too, even if the box score says otherwise. The government is keeping that information from you. But it’s true, every pitcher tossed six or seven shutout innings last night.

Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 2: It was 2-2 heading into the eighth but then Jake Lamb hit the go-ahead solo homer. That was followed up by an RBI triple from David Peralta in the ninth. On-pace stats are stupid this time of the year, but with three bombs and 12 RBI so far, Lamb is proving that last year’s 29-homer, 91-RBI season was no fluke.

Braves clinch postseason spot with 10-1 win over Nationals

Dansby Swanson
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The Braves clinched a postseason berth with Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Nationals. Now, the only question is whether they’ll get there with an NL East division title or via one of two wild card spots currently up for grabs.

Granted, things are looking pretty good on the division title front. After losing their second straight game to the Braves, the Nationals sit 10.5 games back of first place in the NL East, and every other division rival is at least 15 games out. The Braves, meanwhile, carry a magic number of four; should they clinch, it’ll be their 19th franchise title and 14th since they migrated to the East division in 1994.

They certainly looked like postseason contenders on Saturday. Mike Foltynewicz led the charge with six innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball, limiting the Nationals to four hits while rookie right-hander Austin Voth kept the Braves scoreless through 5 2/3 frames. Things started to tip in Atlanta’s favor in the sixth inning: Nick Markakis put the team on the board with an RBI single, and a four-run breakout in the seventh helped cement a sizable lead. Over the last three innings, the Braves found opportunity after opportunity against the Nationals’ bullpen, capitalizing on walks, throwing errors, and productive outs as they climbed toward a double-digit finish.

The win didn’t come without some sacrifice, however. The Braves lost Charlie Culberson to a facial injury after he was struck by a Fernando Rodney fastball in the seventh inning, and they’ll likely be without him for the remainder of the regular season — pending a formal diagnosis, of course. Culberson’s loss isn’t the only one the club is feeling right now, either, as Johan Camargo ended his season with a hairline fracture in his right shin and Freddie Freeman is playing through a minor bout of elbow soreness after making an early exit from Friday’s 5-0 shutout.