And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Blue Jays 3, Yankees 2Justin Smoak smacked a two-run homer to tie it up in the sixth and Josh Donaldson hit a solo homer to break that tie in the eighth. It was Donaldson’s bobblehead day too. I wonder how many guys knock in game-winning runs on their bobblehead day? I wonder if anyone’s been ejected on their bobblehead day?

Pirates 11, Mets 1: The Pirates had a 5-1 lead in the seventh when John Jaso grounded into an inning-ending double play. The players went to their dugouts to get ready for the bottom half of the inning, the fans stood and “God Bless America” was sung. Then, because Clint Hurdle had actually challenged the call on the double play and because he won the challenge, the Pirates went back to bat, making this the first time the top of the seventh inning was finished before the seventh inning stretch. When play resumed, David Freese singled home a run to make it 6-1 before the Mets finally recorded the third out. They played “Take me out to the Ballgame” for the second seventh inning stretch. And you thought replay made the game less interesting.

Mariners 7, Rays 1: Seattle’s Ariel Miranda pitched a four-hitter complete game, striking out nine, as the M’s sweep the Rays. All that’s great, but this play by Jarod Dyson is really all that matters:

Red Sox 7, Orioles 3Andrew Benintendi hit two solo homers and added an RBI single. They scored two more runs when opposing catcher Francisco Pena tried to keep a runner at third base close by firing the ball down the line after fielding a pitch in the dirt but airmailed it. When I saw this in the box score at first, it didn’t say where Pena was throwing it, but did say that Pablo Sandoval was safe at second base after it was all said and done, so for a moment I imagined it all kicking off with Sandoval trying to steal a base. Alas, that was not what happened and we are all worse off for it not happening.

Phillies 9, Giants 7: , Freddy Galvis homered from both sides of the plate and Maikel Franco and Odubel Herrera went deep too. The Phillies win back-to-back games for the first time since April. The Giants have lost their seventh of ten. After the game, Bruce Bochy said “We just didn’t execute pitches very well today and we got what you’re going to get when you don’t make pitches.” I have a bit of a rant coming up later this morning about “executing pitches.” It’s not the most well thought-out rant, but it’s been a long time coming. Stay tuned.

Brewers 3, Dodgers 0: Zach Davies tossed six shutout innings, allowing three hits, and the bullpen added three hitless innings onto that to shut the Dodgers out. Eric Thames and Domingo Santana homered for Milwaukee. No one went deep for L.A., because as I said, they were shut out. In this homer-happy age, though, I’m sure some team will find its way around that at some point this year.

Nationals 11, Athletics 10Ryan Zimmerman hit a three-run homer to give the Nats a 6-3 lead in the eighth and the A’s made it 6-4 in the bottom half. The Nats scored five in the top of the ninth thanks in part to back-to-back homers from Matt Wieters and Michael Taylor to make it 11-4 but the A’s scored six in the bottom half to make this one really dang close. The Nats have a 10.5 game lead in their division but boy howdy do they need a closer. The A’s have lost seven of nine.

Tigers 7, White Sox 4: Tied at four in the bottom of the ninth and Justin Upton hit a walkoff three-run homer. The White Sox have dropped five in a row and were outscored 32-10 in the series. The win makes what was otherwise a bad day for Detroit more tolerable.

Braves 13, Reds 8: Ender Inciarte had five hits, reached on a walk and knocked in five runs. Danny Santana had four hits and three RBI and Matt Adams hit his third homer in two days. Fourteen hits in all for Atlanta, who took two of three from the Redlegs. Zack Cozart homered twice and drove in five runs in a winning effort in a losing cause.

Marlins 6, Diamondbacks 5: Tyler Moore hit a three-run homer, Derek Dietrich drove in two and A.J. Ellis knocked in the go-ahead run with an RBI single on the 14th pitch of his seventh inning at bat. The Marlins have won seven of eight and eight of ten.

Indians 8, Royals 0: Daniel Robertson drove in three, Roberto Perez knocked in two and Jason Kipnis homered and drove in two as the Indians pound the Royals to avoid the sweep. Trevor Bauer didn’t figure in the decision here because of a two-hour rain delay that chased him out of the game, but he probably had the highlight of the game anyway when he kicked a ball to start a double play.

Astros 7, Rangers 2: Two homers for George Springer and four homers in all for the Astros as they sweep the Rangers and win their tenth game in a row. The Astros have won six of seven from the Rangers this year after going 4-15 against them. Houston has a 13.5 lead over the Angels and Mariners in the division.

Twins 3, Angels 2Miguel Sano hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth as the Twins take three of four from the Angels. The game ended on an overturned call on an attempted steal of second base by Ben Revere.

Rockies 3, Padres 1: Rockies starter allowed one run on three hits over seven innings and Trevor Story drove in a couple as the Rockies jump back into first place in the NL West. Hoffman, who the Rockies acquired in the Troy Tulowitzki trade, is 3-0 with a 2.61 ERA and has struck out 26 dudes while walking only two in 20.2 innings this year. He has mid-90s heat and kills you with curveballs. This kid’s gonna be a good one.

Cubs 7, Cardinals 6: Rookie Ian Happ hit two homers and pinch hitter Jon Jay drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh with an RBI single as the Cubs sweep the Cards and move back over .500. The Cards have lost 8 of 11.

Athletics tie for first place in AL West

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The Athletics are tied for first place in the AL West for the first time since Opening Day. They took the first of a three-game series against the Astros on Friday with a wild (and controversial) overturned replay call in the ninth and Matt Olson‘s decisive walk-off home run in the 10th — the first of his career to date — then returned on Saturday and bested the Astros 7-1 to take first place.

Saturday’s win was less of a nail-biter than Friday’s had been, but its rewards were just as sweet. Trevor Cahill led the A’s through the first seven innings of one-hit, seven-strikeout ball, backed by seven runs on five RBI doubles from Khris Davis, Matt Olson, Stephen Piscotty and Josh Phegley. All told, the four players struck eight doubles to tie the franchise single-game record.

The Astros, meanwhile, were stymied by both Cahill and the A’s bullpen through the first eight innings of the game. Following Cahill’s seven shutout innings, Jeurys Familia took the ball in the eighth and blanked the Astros to preserve the seven-run lead. Yusmeiro Petit wasn’t quite so lucky: with one out in the top of the ninth, he pitched to a full count against Tony Kemp, then saw his 90.1-MPH fastball returned to right field for a home run. That was the first and last time the Astros crossed home plate, however, as Kyle Tucker popped out to third base and Alex Bregman cemented the loss with a fly ball to right.

Entering Saturday’s game, the Astros had not been out of first place since June 13, when they played second fiddle to the now third-place Mariners. They’ll share first-place honors with the Athletics until Sunday’s finale; it’ll take a series sweep for Oakland to take the lead in the division, but they’ve already delivered incredible results over the last two weeks (and it’s worth noting, as MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart pointed out, that Houston has now lost seven of their last eight games). The A’s climbed out of the no. 3 spot at the start of August and have steadily progressed toward first place ever since, driven by two separate four-win streaks and their two decisive wins this weekend. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle also notes that the club has not been in first place in a non-April month since August 25, 2014 — the last year they qualified for the playoffs.