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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Some history was made last night, as the Minnesota Twins became the first team to make the playoffs after losing 100 games the previous season. Also, the Cubs made the playoffs for the third straight year for the first time since 1906-08. Not too bad.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cubs 5, Cardinals 1: The Cubs clinch their second straight NL Central crown, doing it this time on the field of their rival, the Cardinals. Addison Russell hit a three-run homer. John Lackey allowed one run over six innings. Michael Wacha allowed five runs over six innings, though none of those came in innings one through six. He began the seventh but would never escape it, getting hammered with hit after hit while Mike Matheney, apparently, slept with his eyes open in the Cardinals dugout, oblivious to the fact that his starter was out of gas.

Indians 4, Twins 2: The Indians won, with Danny Salazar pitching well even if he didn’t qualify for the win. Not that this game mattered too much in hindsight, as the Twins sat around afterward, watched the Angels lose and thus clinched the Wild Card, triggering a two-hours-after-the-fact champagne party in the visiting clubhouse of Progressive Field.

White Sox 6, Angels 4: Nicky Delmonico ended the Angels’ postseason hopes and clinched the Wild Card for the Twins with a tenth inning walkoff two-run home run off of Blake Parker. Well done. That was a choice bit of hitting, Nicky. Though we may not have thought much given that you — a cornfed boy from Tennessee — were selected in the 6th round, we all look forward to your prime.

Rockies 15, Marlins 9Ian Desmond hit a three-run homer as part of a six-run second inning that helped sink Miami. Six late runs by the Marlins made this one look a bit closer than it was. The Rockies have a two and a half game lead for the second Wild Card with three games to play.

Reds 6, Brewers 0: The Cubs’ clinching the division closed off one avenue to the playoffs for Milwaukee. The Rockies’ win over the Marlins narrowed a second. Their play, however, is the biggest obstacle. Here Brandon Woodruff got shelled for all six of the Reds’ runs in his two and a third innings of work. Craig Counsell went to eight different relievers after him, none of who surrendered a run, but Milwaukee’s bats couldn’t do anything against Homer Bailey, who tossed seven shutout innings. Joey Votto hit his 36th home run. Tucker Barnhart added another.

Astros 12, Rangers 2: Justin Verlander allowed two runs in six innings and struck out 11, winning his fifth straight stat. George Springer hit a grand slam. Jose Altuve notched his 200th hit for the fourth straight season, which is a pretty rare feat these days. The Astros outscored the Rangers 37-7 in the three-game series.

Athletics 6, Mariners 5: It was tied at five in the bottom of the ninth when Mark Canha hit a walkoff solo homer. Canha only has five homers this year but two of them have been walkoff jobs. Matt Joyce had three doubles. The A’s won their 15th game in the month of September, ensuring a winning month. They’ve not won more games than they’ve lost in a month since April of 2016.

Diamondbacks 4, Giants 3: Another walkoff win, this of the walkoff walk variety. David Peralta was the one showing the patience at a critical time, with his bases-loaded free pass capping a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth for the Diamondbacks. J.D. Martinez hit a homer to start off the rally. How novel that he has hit a home run. Sam Dyson was the victimized Giants reliever, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks. The season, sadly, is ending for him much the way it began when he was back with the Rangers.

Yankees 6, Rays 1: Luis Severino allowed one run on four hits over six innings, striking out nine, while Starlin Castro, Greg Bird and Aaron Hicks went deep. New York is three games behind the Red Sox in the AL East with four games to play.

Phillies 7, Nationals 5Aaron Altherr went 2-for-4 with a triple and drove in two. Phillies relievers threw four and two-thirds scoreless innings to lock this one down. The Nats now know they’re facing the Cubs in the NLDS. Otherwise they’re just trying to stay healthy until next week.

Pirates 5, Orioles 3Josh Bell hit a two-run homer in the third that made it 4-3 Buccos and the rest was academic. Gregory Polanco homered too. In a game that is meaningless, the biggest cheer may have come when Pedro Alvarez came to bat for Baltimore and was greeted warmly by the Pittsburgh crowd. Maybe more warmly than when he played for the Pirates.

Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 7: Rick Porcello was shaky, allowing five runs on seven hits in five and two-thirds, but Xander Bogaerts‘ three-run homer and four RBI led a 13-hit Boston attack that gave him a big enough margin for error. That’s not something the Sox want to see in the playoffs, of course. Boston’s magic number is two.

Mets 7, Braves 1: Robert Gsellman allowed one run over six innings and Travis d'Arnaud drove in three. This was probably Terry Collins’ last game as a manager at Citi Field.

Royals 7, Tigers 4: The Tigers had a 3-0 lead early and led 3-2 as late as the seventh but Paulo Orlando hit a two-run homer that frame to put the Royals up for good. Detroit has lost nine in a row and are planning final day gimmicks. Gonna be plenty of seats available in Comerica Park next season.

Dodgers 10, Padres 0:Rich Hill allowed two hits over seven shutout innings and Yasiel Puig, Curtis Granderson and Corey Seager homered for L.A. The Dodgers outscored the Padres 29-5 over the three game series and have won six of seven overall. Looks like lack of momentum is out as an excuse if they don’t make noise in the playoffs.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Dodgers 4, Cubs 3; Cubs 2, Dodgers 1: Kyle Farmer hit a two-run double to rally the Dodgers to victory in the top of the ninth in Game 1 and, in the nightcap, Albert Almora knocked in a walkoff single in the bottom of the tenth. Almora’s heroics were set up by a Kris Bryant leadoff triple. After the game Almora talked about how this was redemption for him in that he missed an opportunity to plate an insurance run or two late in Game 1. If the sequence and the game outcomes had been reversed, someone on the Dodgers would be telling a story about how they got redemption and didn’t let Almora beat them again. A great bit of life is colored by recency bias and the order in which things occur as opposed to that which simply occurs.

Indians 6, White Sox 3: The Indians’ four-run second inning was all Mike Clevinger needed as he struck out ten and allowed only one run in seven and two-thirds. Clevinger has three wins against the White Sox this year, striking out 11 Pale Hose batters just last week. He owns Chicago. Loves to face the Chisox. Yes, I’m just vamping here in order to get in as many nicknames for the South Siders in one blurb as a I can.

Twins 6, Red Sox 2: Jose Berrios allowed only one run while pitching into the seventh and Eduardo Escobar hit a pair of RBI doubles and then came around to score on an RBI triple from Robbie Grossman in the eighth. Escobar has 32 doubles on the year, which is on pace to break the single season doubles record of 67 which has been held by Earl Webb for 87 years. And let’s be honest, back in 1931 the science of groundskeeping and security was not what it is now, so Webb probably got a bunch of gift doubles by ricocheting balls off of rocks and trash left by orphans, anarchists and random members of the Bonus Army who were all allowed to just wander and loiter around baseball fields back then. Seriously, there were almost no laws in the early 30s. Thank you, FDR, for restoring order!

Yankees 7, Mariners 2: Four homers — from Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, Aaron Hicks and Gleyber Torres — powered the Yankees and Domingo German‘s two runs — one earned — over seven with nine strikeouts tamed the M’s. Hicks’ homer was his third in the past three days. Maybe people should be more careful with him and instead go after . . . ah, wait. Now I see the problem with trying to pitch to the Yankees. Never mind.

Giants 6, Marlins 3: This one got ugly, with the sides throwing at one another over — depending on who you believe — Evan Longoria getting his hand broken last week or Hunter Strickland getting mockingly jawed at by Lewis Brinson on Monday night. Personally, I don’t buy the “retaliation for Longoria” thing because said retaliation would’ve happened on Monday. I suspect this was over the Brinson stuff, which is dumb, but whaddaya gonna do? Not that this will end soon Jose Urena is pitching for Miami this afternoon and he hits guys like it’s his job, so no one better dig in too deeply. As for the game: Dereck Rodriguez allowed three over five but the Giants bullpen blanked Miami for the final four. Gorkys Hernandez homered and drove in three and Buster Posey went deep as well.

Nationals 9, Orioles 7Trea Turner went 4-for-4 with a homer and Anthony Rendon drove in three. At one point the Orioles led 4-1 and then loaded the bases with no one out and only got one run across. In the bottom half of the same inning Washington loaded the bases with no outs and batted around, scoring four. The O’s season in a nutshell. Washington is 4-0 against their regional rival this year and has outscored them 20-8.

Cardinals 7, Phillies 6: Matt Carpenter broke a 6-6 tie with a solo homer in the top of the ninth, two innings after his two-run double had tied it up at four. Tommy Pham and Kolten Wong each went deep for St. Louis as well. Adding to the misery for Philly: they lost infielder J.P. Crawford when he was hit by a Luke Weaver pitch in the fourth inning, fracturing his left hand. He’ll miss four to six weeks.

Brewers 3, Pirates 2: Freddy Peralta tossed six shutout innings allowing only two hits and striking out seven. Jesus Aguilar was all the offense the Brewers got or needed, homering in the first to plate himself and Lorenzo Cain and then plating Cain once again in the third with an RBI double.

Braves 11, Blue Jays 4: Johan Camargo hit a second inning grand slam, went 4-for-5 and knocked in five on the day. Atlanta had seven doubles and ten extra-base hits in all. The bottom four hitters in Atlanta’s lineup — Kurt Suzuki, Charlie CulbersonEnder Inciarte, and Camargo — combined to go 11-for-18 with five doubles and two dingers. The Braves have won six of seven and maintain a 3.5 game lead in the NL East.

Reds 9, Tigers 5: Joey Votto hit a third inning grand slam. It was his first homer in 30 games. It also came after he unsuccessfully tried to shoo a bird that was sitting on the infield out of the way. As he rounded the bases, Votto flapped his arm like a bird:

Votto is weird. Like, the good kind of weird. I’d like to hang out with him.

Rays 2, Astros 1: All good things come to an end, including winning streaks. The Rays’ snapped the Astros’ 12-gamer, thanks to Blake Snell allowing only one run over seven. He did that, somehow, despite walking seven dudes. Justin Verlander was also sharp for the Astros — he struck out ten while pitching into the seventh — but he gave up a solo shot to C.J. Cron and Wilson Ramos singled in the tie-breaking run off of Hector Rondon in the eighth. Cron’s homer broke a personal 0-for-23 skid.

Rangers 4, Royals 1: Hammels beat Hammel, with the former allowing only an unearned run in seven and the latter allowing four over five and two-thirds. The Royals have lost eight straight and 14 of 15. They are 22-51, which is the worst mark in franchise history after 73 games. Which is saying a lot given their franchise history, particularly from the 1990s-on.

Rockies 10, Mets 8Nolan ArenadoTrevor Story and Ian Desmond hit back-to-back-to-back homers in the sixth. Carlos Gonzalez went deep too. German Marquez pitched well enough to win a Coors Field game and (all together now) helped his own cause with two hits, scoring a run and driving one in as well.

Angels 5, Diamondbacks 4: Mike Trout drove in two with an RBI single — kudos to him for not being overly distracted by the unusual circumstance of there being men on base when he came to the plate — and walked a couple of times. Kole Calhoun and Ian Kinsler added solo homers, which gave the Angels a glimpse of what happens when, you know, someone besides Mike Trout contributes. Trout raises his line for he month of June to .448/.554/.776.

Athletics 4, Padres 2Stephen Piscotty hit a tying home run off closer Brad Hand with two out and with two strikes in the ninth to force extras and Jed Lowie hit a two-run shot with two outs in the 10th off of Adam Cimber to give the A’s the win. Lowrie on his homer: “I was just looking for something over the plate that I could square up.” Interesting. Never thought about it that way.