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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Sorry this is so late. I thought I scheduled it to post in the morning, but I guess I didn’t!

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Brewers 9, Diamondbacks 2: At the beginning of the month, the D-Backs were 21-8. After Wednesday afternoon’s loss — their seventh in a row and 13th loss in their last 14 games — they’re 25-24. The Brewers hung a seven-spot in the fourth inning, chasing Zack Godley from the game. Travis Shaw hit a three-run homer, Tyler Saladino also homered, and Jesus Aguilar knocked in three runs. The Brewers own the National League’s best record at 31-19.

Tigers 4, Twins 1: The struggling Tigers put an end to their five-game losing skid. Michael Fulmer held the Twins to a lone run on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Niko Goodrum hit a two-run homer. Nick Castellanos continues to hit, picking up a pair of knocks and improving his batting average to .324. Eddie Rosario was the only Twin swinging a good stick on Wednesday, singling three times in four at-bats and bringing home his team’s only run.

Royals 5, Cardinals 2 (10 innings): The lowly Royals take two of three from the Cardinals, surprisingly. Salvador Perez went yard again. Jakob Junis gave up two runs to the Cards in five innings. Michael Wacha pitched well himself, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits and no walks with six strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. Bud Norris, who has been solid all year, was victimized in the top of the 10th as the Royals scored three runs, including two on the light-hitting Drew Butera‘s tie-breaking single.

Tyler O'Neill somehow threw out Ryan Goins with this, preventing the Royals from scoring another run in the 10th:

Astros 4, Giants 1: Justin Verlander continues to dominate. The right-hander yielded a run on three hits and a walk with nine strikeouts over six innings. Verlander has been pitching so well that Wednesday’s outing actually caused his ERA to rise from 1.05 to 1.08. George Springer hit a two-run homer off of Jeff Samardzija, his 10th of the year.

Padres 3, Nationals 1: Tyson Ross might be one of the most appealing trade targets this summer. He’s signed to a relatively cheap $1.75 million one-year contract and, after pitching effectively again against the Nationals on Wednesday afternoon, now sports a 3.13 ERA. He limited the Nats to a run on five hits and a walk with nine strikeouts. The lone run came on Matt Adams‘ 11th home run. Erick Fedde, making his first major league start of 2018, surrendered three runs on five hits and a walk with six punch-outs in 5 2/3 innings.

Phillies 4, Braves 0: The Phillies have finally taken a series from the Braves, shutting them out in the rubber match. Jake Arrieta kept them off the board over 6 2/3 innings, yielding seven hits and a walk while striking out seven. He sports a low 2.45 ERA on the year. The Phillies had to scratch and claw their way for runs, scoring single runs in the third, fourth, fifth, and eighth innings. Rookie reliever Seranthony Dominguez remains untouchable, recording four outs on 12 pitches. He’s tossed nine scoreless innings in the big leagues so far and has looked incredible doing it. The Phillies are only a half-game out of first place.

Angels 5, Blue Jays 4: Tyler Clippard forked over four runs in the top of the ninth, walking the bases loaded then giving up run-scoring hits to Shohei Ohtani and Andrelton Simmons. Aaron Sanchez had been in line for the win after tossing five shutout innings (despite five walks). The Jays are really missing Roberto Osuna. The Angels, who have had closer issues of their own, handed the ball to Blake Parker in the bottom half of the ninth. Parker nearly gave up a walk-off three-run home run to Kendrys Morales, but it clanked off the wall and became an RBI single. Teoscar Hernandez then lifted a fly ball to right field and Curtis Granderson, on third base, tried to test Kole Calhoun‘s arm. Bad idea.

Rangers 12, Yankees 10: Another barnburner between the Rangers and Yankees. The two clubs combined for eight homers on Monday; they combined for six on Wednesday. Didi Gregorius, Neil Walker, Gleyber Torres, and Aaron Judge went deep for the Yankees; Nomar Mazara and Ronald Guzman went yard for the Rangers. Neither starter, veterans CC Sabathia and Doug Fister, were able to escape the fifth inning, giving up seven and eight runs, respectively. The Yankees’ bullpen coughed up five more runs after Sabathia exited.

Red Sox 4, Rays 1: David “Fortnite” Price was once again excellent, fanning nine while holding the Rays to a single run over six innings. Price also went the distance with eight strikeouts his last time out, so apparently concern that he was playing too much Fortnite may have been misplaced. Chris Archer was also solid for the Rays, holding the Red Sox to one run in six innings. The Red Sox broke through with a three-spot in the top of the ninth, breaking a 1-1 tie against Alex Colome. Craig Kimbrel fanned a pair in the bottom of the ninth to close out the game.

Marlins 2, Mets 1: Jacob deGrom was brilliant for the Mets, blanking the Marlins over seven innings with eight strikeouts. Seth Lugo worked a scoreless eighth before giving the ball to Jeurys Familia, who gave up four hits and a walk, allowing the Marlins to score two runs to take the lead. Brad Ziegler slammed the door in the bottom half to seal the heart-breaking loss for the Mets. deGrom’s ERA, by the way, is down to an NL-best 1.54.

Pirates 5, Reds 4 (12 innings): Josh Harrison tripled in Jordy Mercer to break a 4-4 tie in the top of the 12th inning. The Reds loaded the bases in the bottom half of the 12th but couldn’t bring anyone home. Harrison had a 4-for-6 night, bringing his average up to .319 and his OPS to .801. Corey Dickerson picked up four hits of his own and he’s now batting .316 with an .856 OPS. For the Reds, Scooter Gennett homered again, going 2-for-4 with a pair of walks.

Indians 1, Cubs 0: Adam Plutko, called up from Triple-A to take Josh Tomlin‘s spot in the rotation, brought a no-hit bid into the seventh inning. He lost it when Anthony Rizzo led off with a double. Willson Contreras then singled, putting runners on second and third, chasing Plutko from the game. Andrew Miller came in and wriggled out of trouble. Cody Allen got the final four outs of the ballgame to close it out. Jon Lester pitched well for the Cubs, holding the Indians to a run on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts.

White Sox 11, Orioles 1: Alex Cobb got shelled, surrendering six runs in 3 2/3 innings. Yoan Moncada, Adam Engel, and Jose Rondon all hit homers for the Sox. Engel enjoyed a 4-for-4 evening, scoring three runs.

Mariners 1, Athletics 0: Another pitcher’s duel, this time between Marco Gonzales Daniel Gossett. Gonzales tossed seven shutout frames, limiting the A’s to only two hits and two walks while fanning six. Gossett gave up a lone run (on a fielder’s choice) on four hits and a walk with five strikeouts.

Dodgers 3, Rockies 0: Kenta Maeda dominated striking out 12 over 6 2/3 scoreless frames, yielding a pair of hits and four walks. The Dodgers got their runs on an RBI ground-rule double from Logan Forsythe, a fielder’s choice from Yasiel Puig, and a sacrifice double play by Matt Kemp.

Marlins clinch 1st playoff berth since 2003, beat Yanks 4-3

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Forced from the field by COVID-19, the Miami Marlins returned with enough force to reach the playoffs for the first time since their 2003 championship.

An NL-worst 57-105 a year ago, they sealed the improbable berth on the field of the team that Miami CEO Derek Jeter and manager Don Mattingly once captained.

“I think this is a good lesson for everyone. It really goes back to the players believing,” Mattingly said Friday night after a 4-3, 10-inning win over the New York Yankees.

Miami will start the playoffs on the road Wednesday, its first postseason game since winning the 2003 World Series as the Florida Marlins, capped by a Game 6 victory in the Bronx over Jeter and his New York teammates at the previous version of Yankee Stadium.

“We play loose. We got nothing to lose. We’re playing with house money.,” said Brandon Kintzler, who got DJ LeMahieu to ground into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded after Jesus Aguilar hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th. “We are a dangerous team. And we really don’t care if anyone says we’re overachievers.”

Miami (30-28), second behind Atlanta in the NL East, became the first team to make the playoffs in the year following a 100-loss season. The Marlins achieved the feat despite being beset by a virus outbreak early this season that prevented them from playing for more than a week.

After the final out, Marlins players ran onto the field, formed a line and exchanged non socially-distant hugs, then posed for photos across the mound.

“I can’t contain the tears, because it’s a lot of grind, a lot of passion,” shortstop Miguel Rojas said. “It wasn’t just the virus. Last year we lost 100 games. But we came out this year with the hope everything was going to be better. When we had the outbreak, the guys who got an opportunity to help the organization, thank you for everything you did.”

Miami was one of baseball’s great doubts at the start of the most shortened season since 1878, forced off the field when 18 players tested positive for COVID-19 following the opening series in Philadelphia.

“Yeah, we’ve been through a lot. Other teams have been through a lot, too,” Mattingly said “This just not a been a great situation. It’s just good to be able to put the game back on the map.”

New York (32-26) had already wrapped up a playoff spot but has lost five of six following a 10-game winning streak and is assured of starting the playoffs on the road. Toronto clinched a berth by beating the Yankees on Thursday.

“I don’t like any time somebody celebrates on our field or if we’re at somebody else’s place and they celebrate on their field,” Yankees star Aaron Judge said. “I’m seeing that too much.”

Mattingly captained the Yankees from 1991-95 and is in his fifth season managing the Marlins, Jeter captained the Yankees from 2003-14 as part of a career that included five World Series titles in 20 seasons and is part of the group headed by Bruce Sherman that bought the Marlins in October 2017.

Garrett Cooper, traded to the Marlins by the Yankees after the 2017 season, hit a three-run homer in the first inning off J.A. Happ.

After the Yankees tied it on Aaron Hicks‘ two-run double off Sandy Alcantara in the third and Judge’s RBI single off Yimi Garcia in the eighth following an error by the pitcher on a pickoff throw, the Marlins regained the lead with an unearned run in the 10th against Chad Green (3-3).

Jon Berti sacrificed pinch-runner Monte Harrison to third and, with the infield in, Starling Marte grounded to shortstop. Gleyber Torres ran at Harrison and threw to the plate, and catcher Kyle Higashioka‘s throw to third hit Harrison in the back, giving the Yankees a four-error night for the second time in three games.

With runners at second and third, Aguilar hit a sacrifice fly.

Brad Boxberger (1-0) walked his leadoff batter in the ninth but got Luke Voit to ground into a double play, and Kintzler held on for his 12th save in 14 chances.

Miami ended the second-longest postseason drought in the majors – the Seattle Mariners have been absent since 2001.

Miami returned Aug. 4 following an eight-day layoff with reinforcements from its alternate training site, the trade market and the waiver wire to replace the 18 players on the injured list and won its first five games.

“We’re just starting,” said Alcantara, who handed a 3-2 lead to his bullpen in the eighth. “We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing.”

TOSSED

Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected for arguing from the dugout in the first inning. Plate umpire John Tumpane called out Judge on a full-count slider that appeared to drop well below the knees and Boone argued during the next pitch, to Hicks, then was ejected. Television microphones caught several of Boone’s profane shouts.

“Reacting to a terrible call and then following it up,” Boone said. “Obviously, we see Aaron get called a lot on some bad ones down.”

ODD

Pinch-runner Michael Tauchman stole second base in the eighth following a leadoff single by Gary Sanchez but was sent back to first because Tumpane interfered with the throw by catcher Chad Wallach. Clint Frazier struck out on the next pitch and snapped his bat over a leg.

SLOPPY

New York took the major league lead with 47 errors. Sanchez was called for catcher’s interference for the third time in five days and fourth time this month.

REMEMBERING

Mattingly thought of Jose Fernandez, the former Marlins All-Star pitcher who died four years earlier to the night at age 24 while piloting a boat that crashed. An investigation found he was legally drunk and had cocaine in his system. The night also marked the sixth anniversary of Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium.

UP NEXT

RHP Deivi Garcia (2-2, 4.88) starts Saturday for the Yankees and LHP Trevor Rogers (1-2, 6.84) for the Marlins. Garcia will be making the sixth start of his rookie season.