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And That Happened: Saturday’s Scores and Highlights

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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.

Mariners 7, Athletics 6: Welcome to September baseball, where Matt Joyce is allowed to patrol center field and Bruce Maxwell forgets to block game-winning wild pitches.

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.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mets 6, Nationals 4: Carlos Gómez hit the big blast here, socking an eighth inning, go-ahead three-run homer. This after the Nats themselves had come behind following Dave Martinez getting ejected. Maybe there’s something to the whole idea of the Nats playing better without Martinez, but it’s trumped by the unreliability of the Washington bullpen, who would probably even make Casey Stengel look bad. So it would seem, at the moment anyway, the conditions for testing that idea are scientifically are not optimal. Washington should probably fix both of those things, though. Maybe they’ll have something if the season is not already lost by now.

Now let’s watch Carlos Gomez (a) lose his shoe running first to third; and (b) be all Carlos Gomez-y on that home run trot:

Pirates 14, Rockies 6: Pittsburgh was leading 8-0 when the Rockies put up a six-run sixth to make things interesting, but a big seventh featuring homers from Josh BellBryan Reynolds and Starling Marte put things back out of reach. Josh Bell on the season: .339/.408/.718 and he’s on pace for 55 homers and 162 RBI. Holy Moly.

Yankees 6, Orioles 5: New York took a 5-1 lead into the eighth and it looked like another cakewalk, but the O’s at least made it interesting with a four-run eighth to tie things up. Brandon Hyde sent reliever Mychal Givens out for the top of the ninth and . . . it didn’t go well. Well, it went well at first, as Givens struck out the first two batters he faced. Then:

If I’m an Orioles fan I suppose I’m happy that game-losing rally didn’t come via even more dinger — at least in the ninth; Clint Frazier and Luke Voit homered earlier — but I suppose that’s cold comfort. Hell, at this point of the season if I’m an Orioles fan I probably want dingers because the infamy of shattering the all-time single season home runs allowed record is gonna be a season highlight. Of sorts.

Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 2: Close for the first two thirds of the game but, unfortunately for the Jays, we usually play three-thirds in this game. Boston scored two in the sixth, one each in the seventh and eighth and then opened up with a three-run ninth to make this one not-so-close. Sox starter Ryan Weber allowed one run over six to give a breather to a bullpen which pitched in a thirteen inning game the night before and Steve Pearce homered and had three RBI. The highlight of the game, though, came from a Jays player. Watch Vlad Jr. through out Rafael Devers from his butt:

Marlins 5, Tigers 2: Make it six straight wins for the Marlins. This one was particularly fun for the Fish and particularly gutting for the Tigers, as Detroit took a 2-0 lead into the ninth only to see reliever Shane Greene cough up all five of the runs Miami would score on the day. First an RBI single to Neil Walker to made it 2-1. A few batters later Ron Gardenhire intentionally walked Curtis Granderson to load the bases, setting up Garrett Cooper for his two-out grand slam. Cooper hit his first big league dinger on Wednesday, so I guess he’s getting the hang of this game. That’s nine straight losses for Detroit. Could’ve been ten as they were trailing in a game against Oakland last weekend that got suspended. Of course it probably feels like 25.

Phillies 9, Cubs 7: Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto homered and Andrew McCutchen had two hits and two RBI as a fairly wild series ends up in a split. Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber homered for Chicago but Jon Lester was kinda shaky. Philly has won five of seven.

Braves 5, Giants 4: Austin Riley hit a game-tying home run in the eighth and then drove in the go-ahead run in the 13th with an RBI single. The kid just got called up nine days ago but he’s already got five homers in those nine games while hitting .389/.421/.833. Someone tell him this game at that easy. Riley and Ozzie Albies each had three hits and Tyler Flowers homered too. The Braves have won 10 of 13 and have pulled to within a game and a half of Philly.

Twins 16, Angels 7: The Angels probably would’ve preferred another rainout. No dice, though, and as it was they gave up eight — 8! VIII! — homers to the Twins. Four of those were surrendered by Matt Harvey, who couldn’t get out of the third inning and whose ERA ballooned to 7.50 on the season. So, um, yeah, that whole experiment has not worked out too well. As for the dingers: Miguel Sanó and Jonathan Schoop went deep twice while C.J. Cron, Max KeplerJorge Polanco and Eddie Rosario had a homer a piece. It was the second time this year Minnesota hit eight homers in a game. The Twins are on pace for 324 homers. The all-time record was set by the Yankees last year with 267. Minnesota is likewise only the second team to hit eight homers in a game twice in a season. The last was the 2005 Rangers. Which, yeah, every game these days sort of feels like old Rangers games. Not that that’s really a compliment, aesthetically speaking. Indeed, longtime readers will know that I tend to default to “1990s-2000s Rangers” as a shorthand for rather boring, offense-heavy baseball. Not that Twins fans should mind, of course.

Rays 7, Indians 2: The “highlight” of this one was a Kevin Kiermaeir inside-the-park homer which was, in reality, a real drag of a play given that it only happened because Tribe outfielders Oscar Mercado and Leonys Martín slammed into each other and got hurt:

Each of the outfielders would stay in the game, thankfully. Both for their own sake and because the Indians are probably one injury or cold streak away from activating Cory Snyder or Albert Belle or someone to play outfield. The Rays got more conventional homers from Tommy Pham, Avisail García and Willy Adames.

White Sox 4, Astros 0: Lucas Giolio went the distance, spinning a four-hit shutout while striking out nine to help the Chisox earn a series split. That’s two straight complete games for Giolito. The last one was a rain-shortened four and a half inning number, but CGs are rare these days. He should own it.