Associated Press

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Giants 6, Marlins 3Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer, Mac Williamson went deep and Pablo Sandoval hit a tie-breaking two-run single in the top of the 16th to help the Giants salvage a win in a series that was otherwise a nightmare. The nightmare fuel: they had lost the last three and, by the time of Sandoval’s heroics, they had also lost Evan Longoria to a broken hand. In other news, if I was on the Giants and I had to play a 16-inning game in Miami before a getaway day flight all the way the hell to Los Angeles for a game against the Dodgers with no day off in between, I would be pretty cranky. Maybe that’s what motivated Sandoval.

Phillies 9, Rockies 3: When Vince Velasquez is off he can get rung up like a cash register. When he’s on he looks great. He was on yesterday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He almost had to as the game was fairly close until then with nine of the game’s 12 runs scoring from that point on.  Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams hit solo homers with the former driving in three. The Rockies, once in first place in the West, have lost 10 of 13 and have fallen to fourth.

Tigers 3, Twins 1: Michael Fulmer was excellent, allowing one run on five hits over seven. He was poised for a no-decision, however, until JaCoby Jones hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh after Fulmer had already thrown his last pitch. Despite the Tigers tearing it all down last year and over the winter, and despite them losing Miguel Cabrera for the season, they’ve been pretty respectable this year. They’re 23-17 at home and aren’t laying down like so many teams in their position might do. Credit is likely owed to Ron Gardenhire. It probably helps to have a manager who has seen it all and knows that a season of sub-.500 baseball is not the end of the damn world.

Indians 5, White Sox 2: Francisco Lindor hit a leadoff homer and scored when Jose Ramirez hit a two-run shot in the seventh. In between, Mike Clevinger allowed two runs — one earned — on five hits while striking out 11 over seven. The Indians split the four-game set with Chicago.

Astros 7, Athletics 3: Earlier this season Justin Verlander and the other Astros starters had to be near perfect to get a win due to the Astros’ bats unexpected early-season snooze. That’s not the case any longer. The day before Gerrit Cole was less than sharp but did just fine due to massive run support. So too with Justin Verlander here. I mean, no, he wasn’t bad — he allowed three runs over seven, which will usually get you a win — but he didn’t have to be April-May Justin Verlander, tossing bullets, just to have a chance. He got the win yesterday quite easily, thank you, due to Brian McCann homering and Carlos CorreaJose Altuve,  Josh Reddick, Marwin Gonzalez and Tony Kemp all getting two his each. That’s eight wins in a row for Houston, who now stands alone at the top of the AL West standings, a half game ahead of Seattle, who . . .

Red Sox 2, Mariners 1: . . . lost, thanks to David Price shutting them down over seven innings, allowing only one run on five hits as he outdueled a nearly as effective Felix Hernandez. Xander Bogaerts‘ solo homer in the sixth broke the 1-1 tie and closed the scoring.

Yankees 4, Rays 3: Youth was served, as Gleyber Torres hit his fifth three-run homer of the year — that leads the bigs, not that most folks count such things — and Domingo German struck out 10 over six innings for his first big league win. Aaron Hicks added a solo shot for New York.

Braves 4, Padres 2: Anibal Sanchez is someone I’ll never figure out. Like a longer-tenured Vince Velasquez, capable of looking really good or really bad and you never know what you’re gonna get. Yesterday we got the good Sanchez, as he shut the Padres out for seven innings, striking out six and not walking anyone. He has a 1.93 in seven games, six of which are starts. Ender Inciarte homered and drove in another run on a ground out. Ozzie Albies doubled home a run.

Diamondbacks 6, Mets 3: The Diamondbacks got two homers for David Peralta and solo shots from Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb as Matt Koch allowed only three hits in six innings. Two of ’em were homers — Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo hit solo shots — but you can work around that when you’re not putting anyone else on base.

The Red Sox AL East championship banner fell off a truck and is being held hostage

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The Red Sox haven’t won the AL East just yet. They will. For them not to, they’ll have to lose the rest of their games while the Yankees win the rest of theirs. It’s just a matter of time.

Knowing this, the club can plan some things in advance. The can begin postseason ticket sales, for example. They can decide what sort of festivities they will undertake for the first game of the ALDS that is guaranteed to begin at Fenway Park. They also, of course, can raise a banner for the division championship.

There’s only one problem with that: the banner, already printed up, fell off the dang truck that was delivering it and is being held hostage by a guy named Louie Iacuzzi from Malden. From the Boston Globe:

Iacuzzi said Wednesday by phone that he and his buddies spotted an object wrapped up on McGrath Highway in Somerville Monday morning. So he pulled over and crossed multiple lanes of busy traffic to retrieve it. Inside was a massive banner that read “ ‘2018 American League East Champions’; it’s the banner,” Iacuzzi said.

One can presume that Iacuzzi is a big Sox fan so he’s willing to do the right thing without hesitation, right? Well . . . kinda:

“We want to return it, we’re trying to do the right thing, but I’m not just going to hand it to them, know what I mean?” Iacuzzi said.

Asked if he wanted cash from the Red Sox, he said, “Yes, financial [compensation], maybe some tickets, we want something. We don’t know what we want. We want to return it, 100 percent, but we would like to get something.”

Iacuzzi didn’t have a specific asking price in mind as of Wednesday morning.

“We want to find out what the thing’s worth,” he said. “We don’t know.”

You have to click through to the Globe story to check out Iacuzzi and his friends. You also have to hear what his dad told him to do with the banner. Frankly, his dad sounds like my dad, and I’m not entirely sure that’s a compliment to anyone involved.

What’ll the Red Sox clinch first? The AL East or the return of their property? And will the movie version of this be more like “The Town,” “Celtic Pride” or “The Friends of Eddie Coyle?”

UPDATE: Oh man, there’s video: