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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Pirates 14, Cubs 3: The Pirates scored ten runs off of Jon Lester in the first inning. Only four were earned but that’s just by virtue of one error that itself didn’t cause a run to score. They hit Lester hard — six hits, two of which were homers and one of which was a double — and walked three times. People keep wondering why the Cubs are struggling this year. There are a lot of reasons for it, including a lot of their hitters falling back from last year. But I think we all overlooked how unlikely it was to expect some of their veteran starters to repeat the years they had in 2016.

Dodgers 5, Royals 2: Clayton Kershaw, man. Complete game, two runs, 13 strikeouts no walks. Justin Turner hit two homers. The Dodgers enter the break with 60 61 wins and a 7.5 game lead in the West — their biggest of the season — and a +163 run differential. Most teams love the All-Star break. The Dodgers have to wonder if they can somehow just keep playing. And it may get even worse for the NL foes. For now the Dodgers have . . . The Rally Granny:

They should have a bobblehead night for her soon. Or at least a bobblesomething night.

Brewers 5, Yankees 3Travis Shaw hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Stephen Vogt hit a solo homer in the second. From the AP Gamer:

The Milwaukee Brewers have scored 81 runs in the first inning this season, more than any team in baseball. That’s not exactly a fluke. In fact, it’s by design . . . “A lot of starters settle in after the first inning and we’ve kind of taken that same approach with every pitcher,” Shaw said. “Try to jump on them early and grab the momentum and then work on it after that. We’ve been a really good first-inning team.”

Shaw shouldn’t say that out loud. If other teams hear him they may try to steal the Brewers’ “score a lot of runs early” strategy. Because before now no one has thought to try to do that.

Astros 19, Blue Jays 1:

Carlos Correa homered twice and drove in five. Jose Altuve got three hits for the fifth straight game. The Astros become the fifth team to notch 60 wins by the All-Star break, joining the 1998 Yankees, 2001 Mariners, 2003 Braves and this year’s Dodgers.

Rays 5, Red Sox 3Brad Miller hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth as the Rays take three of four from the Red Sox. The Rays are four over .500 and only three and a half back of the Sox.

Nationals 10, Braves 5: Nats starter Joe Ross left after just three and a third due to some triceps soreness but the Nats’ pen picked him up. Matt Wieters drove in three and Anthony Rendon drove in two and reached base five times. Freddie Freeman went 2-for-4 with three driven in in a losing cause. He’s 10-for-26 with two homers, three doubles and eight RBI in six games since coming off of a two-month DL stint. Dude is a machine.

Phillies 7, Padres 1: Six homers for the Phillies, two from Freddy Galvis. Nick Williams, Cameron RuppOdubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr went deep as well. Jerad Eickhoff struck out eight in five innings. Philly snapped a five-game losing streak.

Orioles 11, Twins 5: Adam Jones hit two homers and drove in five. Ruben Tejada and Seth Smith each had three hits. The win aside, the O’s could use the All-Star break.

Cardinals 6, Mets 0: Lance Lynn tossed seven shutout innings, allowing three hits and Trevor Rosenthal and John Brebbia .  finished off the shutout. Tommy Pham, Paul DeJong and Luke Voit all went deep.

Angels 3, Rangers 0: JC Ramirez tossed six shutout innings and three relievers finished it off. That made the Angels one reliever less-efficient than the Cardinals I guess. Albert Pujols homered, Andrelton Simmons doubled in a run and Juan Graterol hit a sac fly. Ramirez after the game, when asked about what he plans to do during the All-Star break:

“I’m going to Vegas for a couple of days. I need my mind to get away from baseball.”

I’d read the hell out of a story about what non-All Stars do during the break. They’d have to be honest, though.

Rockies 10, White Sox 0Kyle Freeland flirted with a no-no, losing it with one out in the ninth. He struck out nine and walked only three. Shortstop Pat Valaika had his back with five driven in thanks in part to a three-run homer.

Mariners 4, Athletics 0: Yet another shutout. Here Felix Hernandez looked King-like again, allowing only two hits over six innings and striking out eight in his best start of the season. Nelson Cruz hit a two-run shot. He leads the AL in RBI with 70, tied for the MLB lead with Nolan Arenado and Macell Ozuna.

Reds 2, Diamondbacks 1: Homer Bailey was shelled in his first two games back from the DL, allowing fourteen runs in four and two-thirds. In his last two: two runs in twelve and two-thirds. Here he allowed one and worked around four walks and seven hits. Joey Votto singled in a run, Scott Schebler doubled in one. The Dbacks enter the break having lost five of six.

Marlins 10, Giants 8: Giancarlo Stanton is ready for the Home Run Derby. He homered twice here, but it was A.J. Ellis‘ tie-breaking two-run home run in the 11th which loomed the largest for Miami. Not that Stanton was chopped liver: he scored four times and walked twice. He was also hit by a pitch. They needed it all as Miami blew a 7-3 lead in the seventh before winning in extras.

Tigers 5, Indians 3: First time I’ve watched Sunday Night Baseball in a few weeks. David Ross was in the booth which gave him and the other two guys an excuse to talk more about David Ross than the Indians and Tigers playing in front of them. Which is quite a trick given that the game lasted almost four dang hours. Corey Kluber was alright but inefficient, so he was out after five and the bullpen didn’t have his back. Michael Fulmer was more effective, allowing two earned runs over six innings. But again, that just distracted from us all thinking about David Ross’ career, the 2016 World Series, Dancing with the Stars and all of that. What a time to be alive.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Angels 11, Blue Jays 6: Mike Trout was a beast, homering twice and driving in seven. The second homer was a grand slam in the fourth. Honest question: do you not consider intentionally walking Trout with the bases loaded there? I guess you don’t do that when it’s tied at three and it’s so early but the thought probably at least briefly crossed Charlie Montoyo’s mind. Trout has now hit 10 home runs in his past 19 games to move into a tie for the AL lead. He’s a fairly solid ballplayer as far as these things go, yeah?

Reds 3, Astros 2: The Reds are hard to figure. A lot of the time they look like the second division club their record suggests they are. Other times they’re fun and interesting and do things like sweep the Astros. Baseball, man. Here they rallied for two in the bottom of the ninth with two outs for the comeback win. Nick Senzel singled home the tying run, took second on a throwing error and Jesse Winker singled him in for the walkoff. It was the first time the Astros have been swept all year.

Yankees 12, Rays 1: More like Blake Shelled, amirite? The reigning Cy Young winner walked four guys and gave up six runs in the first inning and was chased after getting only one out. The game at that point was basically over. CC Sabathia, meanwhile, picked up his 250th career win. Gary Sánchez hit a three-run homer and drove in four. Gleyber Torres hit a grand slam to turn an 8-1 game into a 12-1 game late. Just a general blood bath. The Yankees have won five straight games and have now built up a 3.5-game lead over the second-place Rays in the AL East. The Rays and Yankees meet again in a couple of weeks. The Yankees have to like that. They’ve taken seven of nine from Tampa Bay.

Nationals 6, Phillies 2; Nationals 2, Phillies 0: Patrick Corbin was strong, allowing one run over seven, with both Gerardo Parra and Brian Dozier homering and doubling in runs. The nightcap was the Max Scherzer show, of course, with a broken nosed and black (and brown and blue)-eyed Scherzer tossing seven shutout innings while striking out ten. He’s one of the few men who could use that “you should see the other guy” joke and have it be true. He mowed the Phillies down, jack.

Athletics 8, Orioles 3: Chris Bassitt took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and Josh Phegley had a three-run homer as the A’s completed a three-game sweep. Baltimore has lost eight in a row and is on a pace to lose 116 games.

Padres 8, Brewers 7: Franmil Reyes hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning. Eric Hosmer hit a two-run shot earlier. Manny Machado, as we noted last night, thought he had a three-run homer but didn’t, but since the Pads won they’re all probably fine with it. Yasmani Grandal, Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun all homered in a losing cause.

Mariners 8, Royals 2: Hello! My name is Domingo Santana. You killed my father. Prepare to die. Or something. Two homers and five RBI for the Mariners’ right fielder. Who is not left-handed.

Pirates 8, Tigers 7: The Tigers led 7-1 after their half of the third inning but woofed it away anyway. Bryan Reynolds hit a three-run homer in the sixth to complete the Pirates’ rally. He had three hits in all.

Braves 7, Mets 2: Freeman hit a two-run shot in the first, the Mets tied it at two in the fourth and Josh Donaldson broke that tie with a two-run homer of his own in the sixth. From then on the Braves just added with RBI doubles from Ozzie Albies and Nick Markakis, whose pinch-hit two-bagger drove in two. In the end the Braves won their eighth of ten on their ten-game home stand and pushed their NL East lead to four games over Philly.

Cubs 7, White Sox 3: Willson Contreras hit a three-run homer in the first and homered again in the third en route to a five-RBI night. Lucas Giolito lost for the first time in 13 starts, going back to April 6.

Indians 10, Rangers 4: The Tribe put up a five-spot in the first thanks to a three-run homer from Jason Kipnis and a solo shot from Roberto Pérez. Kipnis would add a second homer in the fifth. The Indians have won 10 of their last 14 games.

Red Sox 9, Twins 4: A day after a 17-inning game often comes down to whose starter can simply show up for the longest amount of time. Eduardo Rodríguez did that for Boston, going seven to pick up the Sox pen. Brock Holt drove in three with a single, a sac fly and by drawing a bases-loaded walk. Boston has won seven of eight. The Twins have dropped three of four.

Cardinals 2, Marlins 1: Offense was hard to come by here but Paul Goldschmidt — who didn’t even enter the game until the ninth inning — hit a walkoff solo shot in the bottom of the 11th to end it:

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 4: Arizona took an early 2-0 lead but it wouldn’t last as the Rockies got to Zack Greike for five runs on 11 hits over seven. Ryan McMahon was the big bat for Colorado, going 3-for-4 and driving in three. Daniel Murphy homered as well as the Rockies’ mastery of the Dbacks continued. They’ve taken seven of nine from Arizona this season.

Dodgers 9, Giants 2: Chris Taylor homered twice and Cody Bellinger went deep as the Dodgers picked up their 50th win on the season in their 75th game. The bad news: starter Rich Hill left after one inning because of left forearm discomfort. He’s going to have an MRI today but he’s headed to the injured list.