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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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It was a slow night, as Major League Baseball cleared most of the decks so as not to interfere with the draft. Which, being honest, is not a great bit of entertainment so it’s not likely to draw many eyes. I don’t blame them, but on the whole, they probably should’ve just scheduled more games. Oh well.

Here are the scores, here are the highlights:

Angels 9, Royals 6Mike Trout had three hits, scored three times and knocked in two, and broke a tie in the eighth inning with an RBI single. Justin Upton and Albert Pujols each drove in two themselves and Jefry Marte went 4-for-4 with a solo home run. Trout is on a 50-homer, 138-run pace and has, by far, the highest OPS of his career so far this year. He has two MVPs already — should probably have four — and is having his best season of his career. They often say “you’re gonna tell your grandkids about him” but your grandkids are gonna obviously know who he is. Spend your time telling them about someone they’ll forget in fifty years. Like, I dunno, Craig Gentry. No, I have no idea what you’ll tell them about Craig Gentry. They’re not my grandkids, you figure it out.

Yankees 7, Tigers 4; Tigers 4, Yankees 2: Austin Romine hit a three-run homer in the first one and is now, somehow, hitting .373/.456/.661. Someone on Twitter yesterday asked me if, in light of him suddenly turning into Yogi Berra, the Yankees should trade Gary Sanchez. I am mostly sure they were just being sarcastic. But just mostly. Luis Severino, Meanwhile, struck out 10 in eight innings because that’s just what he does, seemingly every dang game he pitches. Wins don’t matter, but that was his ninth and he’s on a 26-win pace right now which I thought wasn’t supposed to happen anymore. The Tigers won the nightcap, thanks in part to them striking out Aaron Judge five times. He struck out three times in the first game. Those eight Ks in a twin bill is a new record. Yay? In other news, Giancarlo Stanton got hit in the face by Mike Fiers a few years back, putting him out for a long, long time with facial injuries. Fiers plunked Stanton in the arm last night. You can imagine that Stanton didn’t care for that too much. Stanton also hit a homer off of Fiers so I guess it’s all good.

Giants 10, Diamondbacks 3Andrew McCutchen and Brandon Crawford hit back-to-back bombs to start off the fourth inning and Alen Hanson and Buster Posey each added two-run doubles in that seven-run frame. That effectively ended the contest. With the win, the Giants are back to .500. Two games separate the top four teams in the NL West. The Last place Padres are only 4.5 out. No one has covered themselves with glory in that division this year, but it may be an entertaining race at least.

Padres 11, Braves 4Cory Spangenberg, Raffy Lopez, Eric Hosmer and Franmil Reyes all went deep as the Padres keep up their winning ways. They really thumped Atlanta pitching too, with nine of their 13 hits going for extra bases. Some of that was due to Braves starter Julio Teheran coming out of the game early with a bruised thumb, making way for reliever Luiz Gohara who came in and promptly allowed six runs on six hits. To be fair, though, Teheran wasn’t exactly setting the world afire himself.

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

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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.