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.

Angels’ Andrelton Simmons opts out of final 5 games

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has opted out of the remainder of the Los Angeles Angels’ season.

The Angels announced the four-time Gold Glove-winning shortstop’s decision Tuesday before they faced the San Diego Padres.

Los Angeles (24-31) is still technically in the playoff race with five games left in the regular season, and Simmons clearly caught the Angels by surprise, although the club said it respected his decision.

The 31-year-old Simmons, who can be a free agent this winter, is finishing his fifth year with the Angels. After spraining his ankle in late July and missing 22 games, Simmons is currently batting .297 with 10 RBIs while playing his usual stellar defense, albeit with four errors in 30 games.

“At this time, I feel this is the best decision for me and my family,” Simmons said in a statement. “We don’t know what the future holds, but we would like to sincerely thank the Angels organization and Angels fans for welcoming and making us feel at home.”

Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged he was caught by surprise when general manager Billy Eppler told him about Simmons’ decision Monday night after Simmons went 1 for 4 with an RBI single in the Angels’ home finale. Maddon texted Simmons, but hadn’t heard back by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’ve really enjoyed this guy a lot,” Maddon said. “I’m a big fan. This guy is a good baseball player, and I’ve enjoyed the conversations, too. It’s just unfortunate. He’s really a big part of what we’re doing right now.”

Simmons is a favorite of Angels fans for his defensive wizardry, and owner Arte Moreno has described Simmons as perhaps his favorite player to watch on the roster. Simmons has batted .281 with 36 homers and 281 RBIs during his five seasons with Los Angeles, and he won the Gold Glove in 2017 and 2018.

“He’s a thinking kind of a player, and I’ve enjoyed him a lot,” Maddon said.

Simmons will be a free agent this winter, and the Angels have an obvious replacement for him in David Fletcher, who has a .374 on-base percentage while regularly hitting leadoff for the Angels during his breakout major league season. Fletcher has been playing second base since Simmons’ return from injury.

But the Angels haven’t publicly closed the door on Simmons’ return, and he could be given a qualifying offer. Maddon has repeatedly said he would like Simmons to return in 2021 if possible.

The Angels haven’t had a winning season during Simmons’ five years in Anaheim, although Simmons said last week he wasn’t discouraged by the lack of team success. Simmons played his first four major league seasons in Atlanta, and he hasn’t appeared in the postseason since 2013.

Simmons also said he hadn’t been involved in any recent contract talks with the Angels, but he had enjoyed playing for the club. When asked if he wanted to return to the Halos, Simmons said he would have to “plead the fifth.”