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And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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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.”

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.

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.