Getty Images

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

17 Comments

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Blue Jays 13, Indians 11; Indians 13, Blue Jays 4: This was a long day for everyone. The first game in the doubleheader experienced a nearly two-hour rain delay and then lasted nearly five hours of game time. It was still a good day for Yangervis Solarte, though. He had five hits, a walk and six RBI in seven plate appearances, capped off with an 11th inning grand slam which gave the Jays a 13-9 lead which held up despite Roberto Osuna‘s best efforts. Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin also had two-run blasts. Francisco Lindor homered twice in a losing cause.  And that was just in the FIRST game of the twin bill. He had three hits in Game 2 despite the fact that he cut his lip on a face-plant slide in Game 1. Beyond that, though, in Game 2 the Indians offense kept going while the Jays’ did not. Jose Ramirez hit a two-run homer and Erik Gonzalez knocked in four with a couple of RBI doubles. The win was Terry Francona’s 1,500th as a manager. After this day, however, all he probably wanted was sleep.

Yankees 6, Astros 5: New York built a 3-0 lead after three, Houston took a 5-3 lead by the eighth and the Yankees came back with a three-run top of the ninth via a Gleyber Torres two-run single and an Aaron Judge ground out RBI. The Astros put two men on via a strikeout/wild pitch and an single and that left Aroldis Chapman facing reigning MVP Jose Altuve with the game on the line. Altuve saw three pitches, all triple-digit fastballs and a whif-look-whif later, the game was over:

White Sox 6, Twins 5: Trayce Thompson hit a walkoff homer for the Sox, putting an end to their four-game losing streak. What was the secret, Trayce?

“I was just looking for a fastball to hit and trying not to do too much with it. Luckily, I got a pitch that I could handle and didn’t miss it.”

I really want someone to put together a supercut of players saying that. Because they say it all the time, almost verbatim. I used to just think it was an informal copying of what they hear other players say in such situations, but I’m increasingly of the belief that they actually teach them to say exactly that in formal media training sessions. “Bull Durham” is 30 years old but it got so much right about baseball and, if anything, it’s more accurate today than it was in 1988.

Braves 11, Mets 0: This was a whuppin.’ Julio Teheran had a no-hitter until there were two outs in the seventh and the bullpen completed the shutout. Meanwhile, Jason Vargas, Matt Harvey were no match for the Braves bats, giving up six runs and five runs, respectively. Kurt Suzuki, Ronald Acuña, Nick Markakis and Ozzie Albies all homered with the latter two driving in three a piece. The Braves sweep the Mets in the three-game series. New York has lost 11 of 17 after an 11-1 start.

Nationals 3, Pirates 1: Five wins in a row for the Nats. Jeremy Hellickson tossed five and two-thirds innings of shutout ball, backed by homers from Trea Turner and Ryan Zimmerman. Sean Doolittle picked up a five-out save. Washington is back to .500.

Royals 10, Tigers 6: Lucas Duda had three hits and drove in four, and Jorge Soler, Alex Gordon and Sal Perez all went deep. Miguel Cabrera left with a strained hamstring on a bad day for Detroit.

Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 2: The Dodgers rode a four-run eighth to victory. Those four runs came courtesy of Jorge De La Rosa who was all over the place, balking to advance the runners he inherited and then uncorking two run-scoring wild pitches. Two wins in a row for the Dodgers have to make them feel good after how crappy they’d been playing. Two losses in a row for the Diamondbacks resulted in a split of the four-game set, which put an end to their series victory streak at nine.

Rangers 11, Red Sox 5: Nomar Mazara homered for the third straight game — a three run shot — and drove in five on the night. David Price got rocked for nine runs, seven earned. He’s lost three in a row, giving up 19 runs — 16 earned — in that span. Mookie Betts homered again in the loss. In other news, check out this nifty slide from Eduardo Nunez. He was called out at first but it was overturned on replay:

Angels 12, Orioles 3: Albert Pujols picked up hit number 2,999 on a two-run double as the Angels put up double digits on the Orioles once again. Mike Trout had an RBI triple during the Halos’ five-run first inning, and added an RBI single in the three-run second. The Angels scored 25 runs in the three game series. The Orioles have lost 15 of their last 18 games.

Mariners 4, Athletics 1: Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz knocked in a couple each in the first post-Ichiro-Era game for the Mariners. Wade LeBlanc and a bunch of relievers combined to stifle the A’s offense. The highlight of the game, though, was Dee Gordon striking the bat-out Ichiro pose in tribute before his first at bat of the game. Which, unfortunately, is not up at the MLB video site or any of our licensed photo sites, so jut pretend you can see him doing it and pretend you were touched.

Dodgers clinch NL’s top seed, West title with win over A’s

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

Wrapping up an NL West title has become routine for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but in a year in which no one was sure three months ago if there would be a baseball season, manager Dave Roberts wanted his team to still savor the moment.

The Dodgers clinched the NL’s top postseason seed and eighth straight division title Tuesday night with a 7-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics. They are third team to win at least eight straight division titles, joining the Atlanta Braves (14 straight from 1991-2005) and New York Yankees (nine straight from 1998-2006).

“To fast forward a couple months and be crowned NL West champs is a credit to everyone. It should never be taken for granted,” Roberts said. “Truth be told a lot of guys didn’t know we could clinch. We were responsible but I let it know that it has to be appreciated.”

The Dodgers, who own the best record in the majors at 39-16, were the first team in the majors to clinch a playoff berth on Sept. 16. They will open postseason play on Sept. 30 by hosting every game in a best-of-three series against the No. 8 seed.

Los Angeles came into the day with a magic number of two and got help with the Angels’ 4-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Instead of a wild celebration on the mound after Jake McGee struck out Sean Murphy for the final out, players briskly walked out of the dugout to celebrate with teammates. Everyone grabbed a division clinching shirt and cap before heading to the mound for a group photo.

The clubhouse celebration was also muted. Champagne was still involved, but it was players toasting each other with a glass instead of being showered in it.

“We talked about it instead of dumping stuff on people. It’s a moment you need to celebrate and we did,” said Corey Seager, who had three hits and one of Los Angeles’ four home runs, “It stinks not being able to do champagne and beer showers because some of the younger guys haven’t been able to experience that.”

Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and AJ Pollock also went deep for Los Angeles, which leads the majors with 104 home runs.

“This whole year has been weird. There’s no other way to describe it,” Muncy said. “It’s sad not to be celebrate as usual but we know there is a lot more at stake.”

Dustin May (2-1) went five innings and allowed two runs on three hits. The 22-year-old red-headed righty set a team record by not allowing more than three earned runs in his first 13 career starts, which include 10 this season.

Robbie Grossman homered for Oakland, which clinched its first AL West crown in seven years on Monday during a day off. The Athletics, in the postseason for the third straight year, currently are the AL’s No. 3 seed.

Mark Canha had two of Oakland’s five hits.

Seager tied it at 1 in the first with an RBI single and then led off the fifth with a drive to center off T.J. McFarland to extend LA’s lead to 6-2.

Muncy gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the third inning with a two-run homer. Taylor and Pollock extended it with solo shots in the fourth off Oakland starter Frankie Montas (3-5).

Grossman quickly gave Oakland a 1-0 lead when he homered off the left-field pole in the first inning. Sean Murphy briefly gave the Athletics a 2-1 advantage when he led off the third with a walk and scored on a wild pitch by May with two outs.

Montas, who allowed only four home runs in his first seven starts, has given up six in his past three. The right-hander went four innings and yielded five runs on seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts.

“They’re a pretty good team that when you make mistakes, they make you pay,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “They’re pretty good laying off and making you throw it over the plate. They made Montas pay, unfortunately.”

Cody Bellinger added two hits for the Dodgers, including an RBI single with the bases loaded in the seventh.

ATHLETICS ADVANCE

The A’s have a team text thread they used to celebrate clinching their first AL West title since 2013 during their off day Monday, when the Mariners beat Houston.

“We didn’t really celebrate too much yet. It’s exciting,” Chad Pinder said. “We wanted to do it on our own terms. We still won the division and that was our goal. It’s nice to know we’ll be playing home for the series.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: INF/OF Pinder (strained right hamstring) planned to run at Dodger Stadium and test his leg with hopes of still playing before the conclusion of the regular season. …. RHP Daniel Mengden has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Las Vegas. He was designated for assignment after being medically cleared and reinstated from the COVID-19 injured list following a positive test from Aug. 28.

Dodgers: 3B Justin Turner was scratched from the lineup less than an hour before first pitch due to left hamstring discomfort He came off the injured list on Sept. 15 and has not played in the field since Aug. 28. … Joc Pederson was in the lineup at DH after missing five games while on the family emergency medical list. Roberts said before the game that he wasn’t sure if Pederson will remain with the team during the entire postseason.

UP NEXT

Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (4-3, 4.50) is 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA over his last five starts dating to Aug. 20.

Dodgers: LHP Julio Urias (3-0, 3.49) will make his team-leading 11th start.

AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this story.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports