Getty Images

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

19 Comments

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cardinals 13, Reds 4: Jose Martinez was a wrecking crew, homering, doubling in runs twice, singling in a run and taking a bases-loaded walk on a six-RBI night. Yadier Molina‘s one-game suspension rested him up nicely, it seems, as he homered. The Reds ended up using Cliff Pennington to pitch the ninth. The Reds fall to 2-10. This is their worst start since 1955. That team, however, finished pretty close to .500 when it was all said and done and their manager, Birdie Tebbetts, kept his job all season long. I’m feeling like neither of those things will happen with the 2018 Redlegs.

Red Sox 6, Yankees 3: Rick Porcello pitched seven scoreless innings and no-hit the Yankees for the first six, striking out six and not walking a soul to raise his record to 3-0. Sonny Gray, meanwhile, got rocked, needing 68 pitches to get through three innings and one batter in the fourth, giving up six runs on seven hits and throwing three wild pitches. A day after the big brawl only one guy got hit — Hanley Ramirez, who ended up leaving the game with a hurt wrist — but no one left the bench for that. Given that Gray couldn’t hit the side of a barn with his stuff last night, all likely agreed that it was unintentional.

Angels 7, Royals 1: Shohei Ohtani DH’d and hit a bases-loaded triple, turning a 3-0 game into a 6-0 game in the seventh inning. Ian Kinsler and Mike Trout homered and Kole Calhoun hit a two-run single on the Angels’ 15-hit night. All of that was more than enough for Nick Tropeano, who tossed six scoreless.

Pirates 6, Cubs 1: This one started out as a pitcher’s duel, but a four-run seventh fueled by a solo homer from Gregory Polanco — his second bomb of the day — and a three-run shot from Francisco Cervelli blew this one wide open. Meanwhile, Trevor Williams allowed only one run over six and the pen none over three for the Pirates.

Indians 9, Tigers 3: Cleveland jumped out to a six-run lead by the end of the second and beat up Michael Fulmer for nine runs — six earned — in three innings thanks to Francisco Lindor‘s three RBI and Jason Kipnis‘ and Jose Martinez’ two. The Tigers’ three errors in the first four innings helped too. This is the Indians’ 11th straight win against the Tigers.

Rockies 5, Nationals 1: DJ LeMahieu homered twice, hit two doubles and drove in four run. That was more than enough offense for Rockies starter Chad Bettis, who allowed one run over seven. LeMahieu has four homers on the season. He hit eight in all of 2017.

Twins 4, White Sox 0: Jose Berrios struck out 11 and allowed only three hits in seven shutout innings. He was backed by three RBI on a two-hit night from Joe Mauer. One of those hits put him in the 2,000-hit club.

Giants 7, Padres 0: Giants starter Chris Stratton held the Padres to one hit in seven shutout innings and reliever Derek Law held ’em hitless for the final two. The Friars’ only hit came from pitcher Clayton Richard, who was promptly doubled off on a line drive out. Stratton, the club’s fourth starter during spring training, has been elevated in importance due to Madison BumgarnerJohnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, all being on the disabled list, witch Bochy saying after last night’s game, “Now that makes him the No. 1 guy.”

Blue Jays clinch 1st playoff spot since 2016, beat Yanks 4-1

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Leave a comment

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Barred from playing in their own ballpark this year because of COVID-19, the vagabond Toronto Blue Jays have found a home in the playoffs.

The slumping New York Yankees, meanwhile, look likely to play on the road in the postseason, where they’ve struggled all year.

Hyun Jin Ryu pitched seven shutout innings and the Blue Jays clinched their first postseason spot since 2016, beating the Yankees 4-1 Thursday night and further damaging New York’s chances of hosting a first-round series.

New York lost for the fourth time in five games following a 10-game winning stretch and remained two games behind the slumping White Sox for the fourth seed. Chicago lost 5-4 at Cleveland, its fifth straight defeat.

“We’ve got to get it rolling again, obviously, if we’re going to get to where we want to go,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I’m confident we can do it.

New York went 21-7 at home this season but was 11-18 on the road. Boone said he’s not concerned about that split even as a potential road playoff series looms next week.

“We’ve got to get ourselves in order and start playing really good baseball if we’re going to give ourselves a chance,” Boone said.

Toronto secured at least an AL wild-card spot and ensured its eighth trip overall to the postseason. The Blue Jays had endured three losing campaigns since their previous playoff trip, going 67-95 last season.

“I’m just so proud of my club and everything we’ve gone through all year,” second-year manager Charlie Montoyo said.

Canada’s federal government refused to allow games at Toronto’s Rogers Centre this season, citing the closed Canada-U.S. border and the travel risk associated with the pandemic. Stuck on the road to start the season, the Blue Jays eventually ended up at their Triple-A ballpark, Sahlen Field in Buffalo, but didn’t gripe about their fate.

“They never complained,” Montoyo said. “They had their mind set on getting to this moment right now.”

Blue Jays players embraced after Rafael Dolis struck out Aaron Hicks to end it, donning blue T-shirts that said “Respect Toronto.”

“This is something we want to make an every year thing,” infielder Cavan Biggio said. “For us, we’re happy, we’re excited we’re able to put ourselves in this position, but this is only the start of hopefully something special for a long time.”

The Blue Jays trail the Yankees by two games for second place in the AL East. Both teams have three games remaining. Toronto hosts Baltimore in Buffalo this weekend while the Yankees host the Marlins.

New York failed to hit a homer for the fourth straight game, matching its longest streak since June 2016. It’s the first time the Yankees have failed to homer in a four-game series since doing so at Texas in July 2013.

“I’m concerned with the way we’ve played recently,” outfielder Brett Gardner said. “Any time you’re not playing your best baseball and the postseason is right around the corner, something needs to be corrected rather quickly.”

New York loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, but pinch-hitter Gary Sanchez flied out to deep center, where Randal Grichuk made a leaping catch at the wall.

“It’s good to see him get a really good swing off in a big spot,” Boone said of Sanchez. “Just unfortunately, that short.”

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered for Toronto, his eighth.

Ryu (5-2) scattered five hits, walked two and struck out four. Luke Voit and Hicks hit back-to-back singles to begin the sixth but Ryu struck out Giancarlo Stanton, got Gleyber Torres to fly out, and retired Gio Urshela on a groundball.

“He’s an ace and he did what an ace does,” Montoyo said.

The left-hander lowered his ERA from 3.00 to 2.69.

Dolis got four outs for his fifth save in six chances.

Guerrero opened the scoring with a solo homer off left-hander Jordan Montgomery (2-3) in the second.

The Blue Jays extended their lead when Biggio and Bo Bichette hit back-to-back, two-out doubles in the third.

Toronto made it 4-0 in the sixth. Grichuk chased Montgomery with a single and Guerrero singled off Adam Ottavino before rookie Alejandro Kirk hit a two-out, two-run double.

Montgomery lost for the first time in four starts. He allowed three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

The Blue Jays finished 5-5 in their 10-game regular season series against the Yankees.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Nate Pearson (elbow) was activated off the injured list and RHP Wilmer Font was designated for assignment. . RHP Jordan Romano (strained right middle finger) will throw a second bullpen session Friday.

Yankees: Aaron Judge came on as a pinch-hitter but is expected to start all three remaining regular season games, Boone said.

SHARED DUTY

Boone said he expects to use both Sanchez and Kyle Higashioka at catcher in the postseason. Higashioka has hit well while working with ace Gerrit Cole, while Sanchez has struggled with both offense and his defense down the stretch.

SEVEN UP

Ryu became the first Blue Jays starting pitcher since Aug. 22, 2019, to pitch into the seventh. It had been an MLB-record 88 games since RHP Jacob Waguespack pitched into the seventh at Dodger Stadium last year.

UP NEXT

Yankees: LHP J.A. Happ (2-2, 3.25) starts Friday as New York returns home to begin a three-game series against Miami. RHP Sandy Alcantara (3-2, 3.12) starts for the Marlins.

Blue Jays: RHP Taijuan Walker (4-3, 2.86) starts Friday in the opener of a three-game series against Baltimore. The Orioles have not named a starter.