Here are the rest of Saturday’s scores and highlights:
Marlins 10, Phillies 9: Giancarlo Stanton and Rhys Hoskins broke out of their respective mini-slumps on Saturday, mashing mammoth home runs in a slugfest that was finally decided with Derek Dietrich‘s two-run homer in the seventh. Stanton struck first, dealing a 445-foot blow to Aaron Nola for his 52nd dinger of the year:
Hoskins returned with his 12th home run, narrowing the Phillies’ deficit to one run in the fourth with a 401-foot blast that landed in the heart of the Marlins’ home run sculpture:
The rookie’s heroics were short-lived, however, as a 98 MPH fastball to his right hand cut his performance short in the seventh inning. He’s expected to be day-to-day for the time being.
Astros 12, Mets 8 (Game 1): After 17 years, Minute Maid Park finally opened its gates for its first-ever doubleheader. If only the circumstances were friendlier. Baseball took a back burner as the Astros honored those who assisted in hurricane relief efforts over the past week and held a moment of silence for the lives that were lost during Hurricane Harvey. While the club’s eventual 12-run finish provided a welcome respite from the devastation still lingering outside of the ballpark, skipper A.J. Hinch reminded his players that their responsibilities off the field were far from over.
I don’t want it out of their minds,” said Hinch. “I want them to think about it for this week, I want them to think about it next week, I want them to think about it next month or six months [from now] — or whenever people need something. We have time and energy and money — and whatever we can do to help, I want them to think about it.
Astros 4, Mets 1 (Game 2): The Astros kept their spirits up with another win on Saturday night, spinning a four-run sixth inning and forcing Seth Lugo from the game. The Mets, on the other hand, not only took their third consecutive loss, but lost Wilmer Flores in the fourth after an errant foul ball struck the infielder in the face and fractured his nose.
Yankees 5, Red Sox 1: While the wild card races rage on, the Yankees and Red Sox are still locked in a battle for the AL East pennant this month. The Yankees inched closer to the top of the division with their first win of the series, capitalizing on a strong showing from Masahiro Tanaka and vaulting over their first-place rivals with a pair of home runs by Chase Headley and Matt Holliday and a Gary Sanchez RBI single.
Cubs 14, Braves 12: Rene Rivera had no chill on Saturday, blasting his first career grand slam in the second inning to kickstart the Cubs’ double-digit win:
The Braves responded in full force, highlighting their own 12-run efforts with a handful of home runs from Freddie Freeman, Matt Kemp and Rio Ruiz. While it wasn’t a banner day for any pitcher tasked with corralling the teams’ respective offenses, Wade Davis eventually shut down the Braves after whiffing Freddie Freeman in the ninth, preserving the Cubs’ two-run lead and their much-needed win.
Padres 6, Dodgers 5 (Game 1): The Dodgers may have eclipsed last season’s win total, but they’re slumping something awful right now. Case in point: They dropped back-to-back sets against the fourth-place Padres on Saturday after Brock Stewart collapsed in a four-walk, five-strikeout effort and Yangervis Solarte clubbed a walk-off home run in the ninth.
Padres 7, Dodgers 2 (Game 2): Yu Darvish caught a rare case of the yips in Game 2, distributing five runs on eight hits and three walks over just three innings. Opposite Darvish, Padres’ right-hander Jordan Lyles made his first big league start since May, keeping the Dodgers to two runs, four walks and three strikeouts in 4 1/3 frames. Despite Lyles’ jitters, the Padres broke through with a four-run rally in the third inning, collecting their 61st win of the season and moving within 32 games of the first-place Dodgers.
Giants 2, Cardinals 1 (10 innings): The Giants prevailed in extras after sticking to what they know best: small ball. Jeff Samardzija led the charge for seven innings, fanning nine batters and holding the Cardinals to just one run, but it was backup catcher Nick Hundley who finally came through in the clutch with a leadoff home run in the tenth to clinch the Giants’ first win of the month. They’re still 3-7 in their last 10 games, though, so don’t get too excited.
Indians 5, Tigers 2: The Indians extended their hot streak with another win on Saturday, banking on eight pristine innings from Corey Kluber to lock in their tenth consecutive victory. With the win — his 14th of the season — the ace right-hander owns a 2.56 ERA, 1.8 BB/9 and 11.8 SO/9 in 168 2/3 innings this season: real Cy Young Award-contending stuff.
Pirates 5, Reds 0: While Jameson Taillon and Tyler Mahle duked it out on the mound, rookie outfielder Jordan Luplow snagged the spotlight at the plate, earning his first two major league hits on a second-inning single and eighth-inning three-RBI home run. Taillon’s three-hit, four-strikeout efforts were backed by an equally dominant showing from the bullpen, handing the Pirates their first shutout since Gerrit Cole‘s 1-0 masterpiece last weekend.
Blue Jays 7, Orioles 2: Watching your No. 2 pitcher take a Mark Trumbo line drive to his elbow has to rank among one of the worst feelings for a big league manager, as do the words, “It felt like my arm exploded.” Thankfully, Marcus Stroman appears to be day-to-day after sustaining a contusion on his right elbow, and should be ready to resume his post at the head of the Blue Jays’ rotation next week. The team rallied behind a cohesive 7 1/3 innings from the bullpen, producing three home runs and a bonus sac fly to top the Orioles for their first win of the weekend.
Twins 17, Royals 0: The fight for the second AL wild card spot has been furious, and no one wants it more than the Twins. At least, that’s the impression they gave off on Saturday night, blanking the Royals to the tune of 17 runs — the most single-game runs they’ve compiled since a 20-7 beatdown of the Mariners back in June. Joe Mauer opened the scoring with an RBI double in the first inning, followed by Byron Buxton’s incredible 10.52-second triple, and a pair of Eduardo Escobar home runs capped the Twins’ wild ride in the seventh. They’re not safe just yet, especially with the Angels and Orioles still within three games of securing a postseason berth, but are doing just about all they can to keep their head above water.
White Sox 5, Rays 4: It only took Chris Archer eight pitches (and two home runs) to realize that something was wrong with his arm. The Rays’ ace made his exit in the first inning, followed by a tentative diagnosis of right lateral forearm tightness. There’s been no talk about shutting Archer down for the year — the team maintains that his removal was purely precautionary — but it’s less-than-ideal news for the wild card contenders. The White Sox picked up the win in a nail-biter, edging the Rays with Avisail Garcia‘s go-ahead home run on a 100.7-MPH pitch from Ryne Stanek in the seventh.
Nationals 3, Brewers 2: A late-game surge propelled the Nats to their 82nd win of the year, but the victory came with one notable drawback: the loss of Max Scherzer, who lasted five innings against the Brewers before exiting with a calf injury. He was spotted on crutches in the clubhouse, and while it doesn’t look he’s heading to the disabled list anytime soon, it could conceivably delay his scheduled start against the Phillies on Thursday.
Angels 7, Rangers 4 (10 innings): After dropping a one-run contest in the eighth inning of Friday’s series opener, the Angels returned for some well-paced revenge on Saturday. This time, they waited until the ninth inning to strike, knotting the score 4-4 on a two-out homer from C.J. Cron. Cron returned in the 10th to finish the job, furnishing the Angels with an insurance run after Kole Calhoun produced the go-ahead RBI single off of Austin Bibens-Dirkx.
Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 2: You can forget about ousting the Diamondbacks from their wild card berth anytime soon. They rolled to their ninth straight win, dismantling the Rockies with another lights-out performance from Patrick Corbin, a pair of timely hits from J.D. Martinez (including his 30th home run of the year) and run-scoring wild pitches from Colorado right-handers Jon Gray and Tyler Chatwood. The Rockies, meanwhile, kept their 1.5-game lead over the Brewers, but could undoubtedly use some padding in the standings as they prepare for another eight-game stretch against the Dodgers and D-backs next weekend.
The Mariners maintained their 3.5-game deficit in the AL wild card standings, and thanks to a smattering of losses across the AL East on Saturday, are now the third-closest team to a playoff spot.