And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

Associated Press
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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 6, Rays 1: Aaron Hicks was activated from the disabled list yesterday and in the first dang inning the ball found him. Luckily for him and the Yankees, het got that ball, robbing Wilson Ramos of a grand slam with a fantastic catch. A run scored on the pay as a sacrifice fly, but after that disaster was averted, Jordan Montgomery allowed only one run over six innings for the win. Starlin Castro homered and Rays starter Blake Snell walked in two runs with the bases loaded at one point. The Rays were officially eliminated from playoff contention. The Yankees clinched home field for the Wild Card game.

Phillies 4, Nationals 1: Bryce Harper came back and was 0-for-2 with a walk, but no one else did much for the Nats either. Jake Thompson allowed one run over five innings and the Philly pen shut the Nats out over four innings. Cameron Rupp doubled in a couple of runs. The win guarantees that the Phillies will not lose 100 games, so that’s something.

Pirates 10, Orioles 1: Andrew McCutchen hit a grand slam, a three-run homer and an RBI double to give him eight driven in on the night. It was, amazingly, McCutchen’s first ever grand slam. It was the most RBI in a game for a Pirate since Jason Bay knocked in eight back in 2004. Remember Jason Bay?

Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 4: Josh Donaldson hit two homers — it was the sixth time he’s done that this year — and the Jays hit five in all, four of which came off of Chris Sale of all people. Teoscar Hernandez also hit two and Kendrys Morales added one of his own. J.A. Happ allowed one run over seven. Chris Sale has not looked sharp of late and this was probably his last start before the playoffs, where Boston will face Houston on the road. Interesting.

Twins 8, Indians 6: Minnesota was trailing 6-4 in the eighth when Brian Dozier hit a three-run homer off of Bryan Shaw. Byron Buxton added an insurance run the following frame. Buxton also did this:

Thank goodness all of that StatCast noise is all over the view or else you’d never have any IDEA that that was a good catch. That aside, the Twins are now one win from clinching the second Wild Card.

Mets 4, Braves 3: The Mets were down 3-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh. They scored two there via a Kevin Plawecki two-run homer and tied it up with an Asdrubal Cabrera sac fly in the bottom of the eighth. Then Travis Taijeron singled home the winning run with one out in the bottom of the ninth for the walkoff win.

Brewers 7, Reds 6Domingo Santana hit a three-run homer early and the Brewers never trailed, but the Reds scratched and clawed all game to make Milwaukee earn their win. Zach Davies only lasted four innings due to an illness so Josh Hader picked up the win by striking out six over two and two-thirds innings of relief, bending, but not breaking. As it was, Cincinnati went to its seventh straight loss and the Brewers kept pace with the Rockies, who won and remain one and a half up on Milwaukee for the second Wild Card.

Cardinals 8, Cubs 7: Technically the Brewers could still force a tie in the Central. All it would take is them winning out and the Cubs losing out, leading to a tie-breaker. That’s not likely, but the Cubs did their part last night, falling to the Cards in St. Louis. Tommy Pham and Randal Grichuk homered and drove in two runs each. These two have two more games in Busch Stadium against each other. I’m guessing Chicago would like to clinch there. I’m guessing the Cardinals don’t want ’em to.

Astros 14, Rangers 3Carlos Correa, Brian McCann and Cameron Maybin had three RBIs each and Dallas Keuchel allowed one earned run and five hits in six innings as the Astros win in a romp. The Astros clinched home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs and with Cleveland’s loss are now one game behind the Indians for best record in the AL, which will determine who gets to face the Wild Card winner and who, alternatively, faces the Red Sox.

Angels 9, White Sox 3Mike Trout hit his 31st homer and he, Brandon Phillips and Luis Valbuena all homered in the Angels’ six-run second inning. Albert Pujols was 2-for-4 and drove in two. In the process he joined Alex Rodriguez as the only other player to knock in 100 runs in 14 seasons. The Angels are five games back of Minnesota for the second Wild Card with five games to play. Parker Bridwell:

“We’re not out yet. We’ve still got a chance. We’ve got to be optimistic. I’m excited to see where it goes. Things have to fall in place for us, but you never know.”

via GIPHY

Royals 2, Tigers 1: Jason Vargas won his 18th game of the year with a one-run, six inning performance against the Tigers. Eric Hosmer doubled in a run. Whit Merrifield hit a sac fly. Ian Kinsler‘s 2018 option vested. I’m sure he’s super happy about that given where Detroit is headed in 2018 but I guess it’s better than a kick to the can.

Rockies 6, Marlins 0: Tyler Anderson tossed shutout ball for seven innings and Trevor Story hit a three-run homer in the Rockies’ four-run first inning in a game Colorado needed badly. Nolan Arenado hit a two-run homer. The Rockies remain one and a half up on the Brewers for the second Wild Card. Only one game in the loss column.

Diamondbacks 11, Giants 4J.D. Martinez hit a grand slam and drove in six. He’s been stupidly good since coming to Arizona in a trade on July 18, hitting 28 home, 30 in the second half, 15 in the month of September and 44 on the season. His OPS since coming over from Detroit: 1.133.

Mariners 6, Athletics 3Danny Valencia hit a three-run homer and Yonder Alonso added a two-run shot. For those of you who don’t pay super close attention to west coast baseball, they did it for Seattle, not for Oakland, where each of them used to play. That had to make the A’s feel good.

Dodgers 9, Padres 2: Adrian Gonzalez homered. Yasmani Grandal and Corey Seager each had a three-run homer and Alex Wood was solid. The Dodgers have won three and a row and five of six, suggesting that their late swoon is finally past them. With the win the Dodgers clinch home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs. They still have a line on that for the World Series if they make it that far too.

Braves sweep Mets, take 2-game lead in East with 3 remaining

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered for the third straight game, Travis d'Arnaud hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning, and Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 5-3, completing a three-game sweep of their NL East rival and taking a two-game lead in the division with three games to play.

The defending World Series champion Braves have been chasing the Mets the entire season. In the final series of the season, any combination of one Atlanta win or one Mets loss would give the Braves their fifth straight division title.

New York plays its final three games of the season against worst-in-the-majors Washington. Atlanta closed out the regular season with a three-game set in Miami. Should the season end Wednesday in a tie, Atlanta would win the division after claiming the season series 10-9 with Sunday’s victory.

The Braves won five of the last six games in the series, outscoring the Mets 42-19 over that stretch. New York had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 but now is the lower in the standings than at any point this season.

It was a lost weekend for New York, which came to Atlanta hoping to clinch its first division title since 2015. Instead, aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer lost Friday and Saturday before 15-game winner Chris Bassitt lasted just 2 2/3 innings on Sunday.

Swanson took Bassitt deep to right-center in the first with his 25th homer, and Atlanta took charge with a three-run third. Bassitt (15-9) issued a bases-loaded walk to Olson before d’Arnaud delivered a single up the middle to score Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley for a 4-3 lead. That chased Bassitt, who was charged with four runs, three hits and three walks.

Olson connected for his 33rd homer to make it 5-3 leading off the sixth, his 410-foot shot landing in the seats in right-center. Olson, in his first year with Atlanta, surpassed 100 RBIs for the second straight season.

Charlie Morton stranded runners on first and second in the first, but he gave up Daniel Vogelbach‘s 18th homer that tied it at 1 in the second. The righty struck out Francisco Lindor with runners on first and second to end the threat.

Jeff McNeil went deep off Morton in the third and Vogelbach followed with an RBI single to put the Mets up 3-1. Morton entered the game having allowed 28 homers, sixth-most in the NL.

Morton scuffled throughout his start, giving up three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings as the 38-year-old made his first start since signing a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with Atlanta next season.

Dylan Lee (5-1) relieved Morton and pitched 1 1/3 innings, leaving after a walk to Brandon Nimmo with two outs in the sixth. Collin McHugh entered and struck out Francisco Lindor.

Raisel Iglesias faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen converted his third save of the series with a clean ninth.

Jansen leads the NL with 40 saves in 47 chances.

The Braves’ bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA last month, pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings the last two nights.

BIG NUMBERS

Atlanta leads the NL with 241 homers. And the Braves have their first 100-victory season since 2003.

TWO, DARN HOT

McNeil went 3 for 5 and has multiple hits in five straight games. His average is .326, one point behind the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman for the NL batting title. In 23 career games at Truist Park, McNeil is hitting .395 with 12 runs, nine doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and four walks. … Jansen tied Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for eighth place on the career list with 389. He’s also is the 10th closer to have four different seasons with at least 40 saves.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. … Braves 2B Ozzie Albies (broken right pinky finger) is still wearing a cast. … Braves RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique.

ATTENDANCE

The Braves drew 42,713 in their regular season finale, the club’s 42nd sellout of the season. Overall. that’s 3,129,931 for the season – and the most tickets sold since 2000. In 2019, the team’s last full season before the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta drew 2,655,100.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95 ERA) will face Nationals RHP Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11).

Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (2-3, 2.76 ERA) will face Marlins LHP Jesus Luzardo (3-7, 3.53).