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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Pirates 7, Rockies 2: Jameson Taillon hadn’t pitched since May 3 due to surgery for testicular cancer he underwent on May 8. A month and three days later he came back to the mound and held one of the best offenses in baseball scoreless over five innings. It was nice that he was able to do this against the Rockies too, as Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis underwent the same testicular cancer surgery six months earlier and has talked to Taillon during his rehab. Bettis was in the Rockies’ dugout for the game, no doubt unhappy at the fact that his team lost, but maybe less unhappy than he might’ve been in just about any other situation.

Braves 11, Nationals 10: The Braves and Nats traded punches early, but the Nats settled in with a three-run lead after a four-run fourth inning. Atlanta scored two in the eighth to draw close and then, in the ninth, Tyler Flowers hit a go-ahead three-run home run off of Matt Albers for what proved to be the winning runs. Matt Adams had two dongs for Atlanta. The Nats are on a four-game losing streak and have blown a couple of saves in that span. They’re gonna run away with the East but they’re gonna need to do something with that pen eventually.

Mariners 14, Twins 3: Quite the day for comebacks, eh? Here the M’s didn’t have to come back like the Braves did and Mitch Haniger certainly didn’t have to come back from an ailment anywhere near as serious as Taillon did, but he was pretty impressive all the same. On the disabled list since late April with an oblique injury, Haniger, in his second game back, went 4-for-6 and scored four runs. Nelson Cruz drove in four. Danny Valencia and Mike Zunino hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning to rub it in.

Red Sox 6, Phillies 5: Another comeback. Boston was down 4-0 after the top of the first inning but they clawed back, tying it on a Hanley Ramirez homer in the bottom of the eighth and winning it when Dustin Pedroia singled home Deven Marrero in the 11th. Mookie Betts had four hits — three of which were doubles — and Andrew Benintendi homered. Boston has won three of four.

Mets 6, Cubs 1: Jacob deGrom tossed a complete game, allowing only one run on five hits. Asdrubal Cabrera hit two homers and Jay Bruce hit a two-run shot of his own. That’s four wins in a row for the Mets. That’s the fifth loss in six games for the Cubs.

White Sox 10, Orioles 7: The O’s left the Bronx, but they still gave up double digit runs. They’ve given up 40 runs in their last three games, in fact, which suggests to me that, just maybe, they have some pitching problems. Kevan Smith hit his first career homer and drove in three for the Chisox. Avisail Garcia drove in three as well.

Rangers 6, Astros 1: Yu Darvish allowed one run on one hit in seven innings. Nomar Mazara hit a three-run homer, but that came late, after the Rangers had the lead. They got the lead when Rougned Odor and Joey Gallo hit back-to-back triples in the third inning.

Yankees 5, Angels 3: Masahiro Tanaka got bumped a day for some extra rest. Turned out to work, as the recently struggling Yankees ace allowed only one earned run — three overall — in six and two-thirds innings of work.

Also, whoever runs the Angels Twitter account needs to learn patience. During the game, they tweeted this:

Then, in the eighth inning, Judge hit a two-run homer that broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Yankees the game. So, yeah, the shelf life on that burn was pretty short.

Padres 9, Reds 3: The Padres battered Bronson Arroyo for nine runs on thirteen hits over four and two-thirds, including a six run second inning. Franchy Cordero hit his first big league home run and drove in two. Austin Hedges was 3-for-4 and drove in three. Today’s post started with some interesting and inspiring comebacks. My gut tells me that we shouldn’t get too attached to the Bronson Arroyo comeback story, however, as I suspect it won’t be going on much longer.

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.