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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights


Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Braves 10, Phillies 1: Ozzie Albies led off the game with his ninth homer of the year, doubled in a run and Ronald Acuña went 2-for-3 with an RBI double himself — it should’ve been a triple but he fell down rounding second — reaching base four times. The 1-2 punch at the top of the Braves order is both exciting and young, their combined ages less than Bartolo Colon‘s 44 years. They had help from a Johan Camargo three-run homer. He’s 24 so I suppose the Braves have some old men contributing as well. Brandon McCarthy allowed one run while pitching into the sixth. McCarthy is 34. He has to feel positively ancient on this club. I’m sure no one cares, though, as the Braves have won four of five.

Royals 5, White Sox 4Cheslor Cuthbert homered twice and drove in four runs. No word if Sal Perez was OK with how he carried himself on his trots or if he should be “excited” given that Cuthbert has never been in a playoff game, but something tells me Perez would be OK with cartwheels and back handsprings given that it’s his teammate.

Cubs 2, Brewers 0: There are, like, 47 “Tylers” in baseball right now and likely more on the way given the naming conventions of the mid-to-late 1990s, but only one Tyler — Chatwood, of the Cubs –tossed seven, two-hit shutout innings yesterday and singled in a run to help his own cause. I guess we almost had two Tyler shutouts, what with Mahle for the Reds pitching well too, but we only had one. I’m guessing we stand a decent shot of having multiple Tyler shutouts on one day soon. At least as long as no Taylors or Zacks or Bradens or Hunters or whatever break ’em up with homers.

Mets 14, Padres 2: Adrian Gonzalez homered and drove in five as he returned to Petco Park and his home town. Padres fans booed him when he pinch hit on Saturday, which is about as dumb a thing as I can imagine. Dude is the biggest star the Padres have had in the post Tony Gwynn-era and he didn’t choose to leave. He was traded. One of the guys he was traded for was Anthony Rizzo, by the way, and then the Padres traded him away too. Maybe Padres fans should boo their front office. Anyway, the Mets batted around in both the seventh and eighth innings, scoring five runs each frame. Zack Wheeler struck out nine in five innings and enjoyed 14 runs and 19 hits of support.

Orioles 5, Tigers 3: Moderate power dudes over 30 who are defensive liabilities are all but extinct in Major League Baseball these days, but if you look in the undergrowth of the big league rain forest you can still see some out there, struggling for survival but still exhibiting the same characteristics from back when they flourished. You see stuff like Pedro Alvarez hitting two homers and getting starts at third base, as he did yesterday. Life finds a way.

Red Sox 4, Rays 3Sandy Leon hit a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning, J.D. Martinez had four hits and drove in two and Craig Kimbrel worked out of trouble in an inning and a third of work to help the Red Sox snap the Rays’ eight-game winning streak. Denard Span had a two-run homer in the loss.

Blue Jays 7, Rangers 2: Kevin Pillar Teoscar Hernandez and Yangervis Solarte homered to help the Jays avoid being swept. Randal Grichuk helped too, with this:

He freakin’ fell, but still controlled his body enough to be in the position to catch that ball and, with a little luck at the end, brought it in without even seeing it. Unbelievable.

Mariners 10, Indians 4: Ryon Healey hit two homers and drove in four and Robinson Cano and Mitch Haniger went deep too in this rout. Cano’s bomb was his 100th as a Mariner. The M’s won three of four in the series and hit ten homers in all. Healey had three himself.

Marlins 3, Rockies 0: Caleb Smith twirled seven innings of two-hit shutout ball, striking out nine for his first big league win. Miguel Rojas homered and Lewis Brinson singled in a run. Only nine runs total were scored in this three-game series, with the Rockies scoring only two and notching only fifteen hits.

Nationals 3, Diamondbacks 1: Gio Gonzalez struck out eight over seven innings as the Nats avoid a sweep. Worse for the Dbacks than the loss was losing starter Robbie Ray to a strained oblique muscle. He’ll have an MRI today but the disabled list is waiting. The Dbacks did manage to win their ninth straight series to start the season with their wins on Friday and Saturday, and that’s pretty cool.

Pirates 5, Cardinals 0: Pirates starter Nick Kingham made his major league debut in this one and all he did was take a perfect game into the seventh. He ended having giving up just the single which broke up the perfecto, walked no one and struck out nine on 98 pitches. This was supposed to be a spot start due the Pirates playing a double header last week. I suppose we’ll see about that. The Pirates swept the Cards and won their fifth straight.

Reds 8, Twins 2: Tyler Mahle was impressive for the second time in a row, allowing one run over six and a third and striking out seven while Jose Peraza had three hits and Adam Duvall homered. The Reds took two of three from the Twins, giving them their first series win of the year.

Astros 8, Athletics 4: Gerrit Cole continues to be impressive as all get-out for Houston, striking out 12 in six and two-thirds innings of work. It was the fourth time in six starts this year that he has struck out 10 or more batters. He only had six double-digit strikeout performances in his five previous seasons combined. George Springer and Jose Altuve each drove in two. The A’s committed four errors on the day, including two in the bottom of the seventh which helped Houston take the lead for good.

Giants 4, Dodgers 2: Ty Blach outpitched Kenta Maeda, backed with Evan Longoria‘s three-run homer and a Brandon Belt RBI double. Cody Bellinger was benched for dogging it and the Dodgers dropped three of four to the Giants. It’s been a bad early go of it for the men in blue this year. They have a four-game set against the Dbacks starting today. It’s time to shake off the cobwebs and realize that preseason predictions and last season performance have no bearing on the standings once the season begins.

Yankees 2, Angels 1: Gary Sanchez hit a massive two-run dong and that was all CC Sabathia needed in support, as he twirled seven innings of one-run ball. The Yankees have won nine in a row.

Braves clinch postseason spot with 10-1 win over Nationals

Dansby Swanson
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The Braves clinched a postseason berth with Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Nationals. Now, the only question is whether they’ll get there with an NL East division title or via one of two wild card spots currently up for grabs.

Granted, things are looking pretty good on the division title front. After losing their second straight game to the Braves, the Nationals sit 10.5 games back of first place in the NL East, and every other division rival is at least 15 games out. The Braves, meanwhile, carry a magic number of four; should they clinch, it’ll be their 19th franchise title and 14th since they migrated to the East division in 1994.

They certainly looked like postseason contenders on Saturday. Mike Foltynewicz led the charge with six innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball, limiting the Nationals to four hits while rookie right-hander Austin Voth kept the Braves scoreless through 5 2/3 frames. Things started to tip in Atlanta’s favor in the sixth inning: Nick Markakis put the team on the board with an RBI single, and a four-run breakout in the seventh helped cement a sizable lead. Over the last three innings, the Braves found opportunity after opportunity against the Nationals’ bullpen, capitalizing on walks, throwing errors, and productive outs as they climbed toward a double-digit finish.

The win didn’t come without some sacrifice, however. The Braves lost Charlie Culberson to a facial injury after he was struck by a Fernando Rodney fastball in the seventh inning, and they’ll likely be without him for the remainder of the regular season — pending a formal diagnosis, of course. Culberson’s loss isn’t the only one the club is feeling right now, either, as Johan Camargo ended his season with a hairline fracture in his right shin and Freddie Freeman is playing through a minor bout of elbow soreness after making an early exit from Friday’s 5-0 shutout.