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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Reds 6, Braves 5Adam Duvall had a two-run single, Jose Peraza homered and scored twice and the Reds win again, taking their ninth in their last ten games. Most of those wins have been come-from-behind jobs. This has been the Reds’ best ten-game stretch in six years. Atlanta has lost five of seven.

Royals 5, Brewers 4: Mike Moustakas hit a solo homer in the seventh which kicked off a five-run rally and gave them all of the runs they’d need. I’d say more about it, but you know my heart. That’s, apparently, all you need to say to explain anything when it comes to the Royals.

Astros 7, Blue Jays 6: Toronto led 5-0 after the first half inning and led the rest of the entire game until Alex Bregman came to bat in the bottom of the ninth, Houston down by one, a man on first and one out. Jays reliever Ryan Tepera got Bregman to whiff on two straight fastballs but he did not miss on the third, smacking out off the wall above the Crawford Boxes in left to give the Astros a walkoff win. It was Bregman’s third straight game with a homer. His first since I accidentally called him “Lance Bregman” in yesterday’s recaps.

Mariners 8, Orioles 7: Kyle Seager hit a two-run homer in the ninth to force extras and Denard Span hit a sac fly in the 11th to give the M’s the lead and, eventually, the win. The M’s are now 7-0 in extra inning games and lead the majors with 25 one-run wins. The results of extra innings games and close games have a way of being rather random, and doing well in them vs. doing poorly in them by the luck of the draw can be the difference between a good season and a bad one. Not saying the M’s are simply lucky — luck is the residue of design and tends to visit the skilled more than the unskilled — but they are getting all the breaks in 2018.

Phillies 3, Yankees 0: Seven shutout innings — I can’t not make mention of pitchers doing that now — from Zach Eflin and a second inning three-run homer from Rhys Hoskins tell the whole story of the game. I mean, other stuff happened, but it was basically for naught. Eflin’s and Hoskins’ work is the brass tacks.

Red Sox 9, Angels 6: Boston put up six in the second inning thanks to a solo homer from Eduardo Nunez, a two-run shot from Sandy Leon and a three-run shot from J.D. Martinez. How very progressive of them. Martinez’s homer was his 25th, which leads all of baseball. Leon would add a late RBI single and Martinez would later score on a wild pitch. The Angels lost their fifth straight and 12th in 16 games. Even worse: Angels reliever Jake Jewell was taken off the field on a stretcher with a very ugly ankle injury sustained while covering the plate on that wild pitch. We’ll have more on that later this morning.

Athletics 3, Tigers 0: Chris Bassitt and two relievers combine to shut out Detroit. The A’s margin was wafer thin most of the game, with a fourth inning Jed Lowrie RBI double being the only scoring until the ninth, but then run-scoring doubles from Josh Phegley and Dustin Fowler provided some breathing room. Oakland will go for a four-game sweep this afternoon.

Pirates 5, Mets 3: New York led 3-0 heading into the eighth and still led 3-1 entering the top of the ninth, but the Buccos put together three singles and a walk off of Jeurys Familia, who did not record a single out for the first time in his carrer, and then got an RBI single and a sac fly off of Anthony Swarzak for a late game-winning rally. David Freese hit the go-ahead safety for Pittsburgh.

Diamondbacks 2, Marlins 1: Robbie Ray made his first start in over two months, allowing only two hits in six shutout innings. Now that he’s handled the Marlins, I suppose the Diamondbacks will end this rehab stint and let him face major leaguers.

Rangers 5, Padres 2: Mike Minor was perfect into the seventh inning and left after seven having given up only one hit and no runs. His manager pulled him after that despite having thrown only 85 pitches and, postgame, Minor was kind of annoyed, saying he’d like to get himself a complete game shutout at some point in his career. Guess no one told him that seven is the new nine. Anyway: Shin-Soo Choo reached base for the 40th straight game and Delino DeShields did this:

White Sox 6, Twins 1: James Shields pitched seven innings and shut the Twins out over that span. Kyle Gibson pitched seven innings and allowed five runs on eleven hits. Each man’s relief allowed one run. Advantage: Shields. Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia each hit a solo homer. Six White Sox hitters each had an RBI, in fact.

Indians 5, Cardinals 1: Guess St. Louis got all of its scoring out of its system on Tuesday because they couldn’t muster much of anything against Shane Bieber, who gave up only the one run over six. Cleveland got second inning solo homers from both Edwin Encarnacion and Lonnie Chisenhall and two more runs in the third. Bieber has given up just two runs in his last three starts and lowered his ERA to 2.22.

Dodgers 7, Cubs 2: L.A. jumped on Kyle Hendricks for six runs on eight hits in the first two innings, with homers from Max Muncy and Joc Pederson and a two-run double from Yasmani Grandal. The Cubs, who led 2-0 early, would close the gap to one run by the eighth but Cody Bellinger‘s eighth inning solo shot provided some insurance. Los Angeles has hit 51 homers in the month of June. With three games left this month, they have a shot to set a team record for homers in a month, which is currently 53, and have an outside shot at the all-time record for team homers in month with 58.

Giants 1, Rockies 0: Tied nil-nil — I really have been enjoying the World Cup — until the bottom of the ninth when Brandon Crawford hit a walkoff homer. That came after seven shutout innings from both Madison Bumgarner and Kyle Freeland.

Mike Trout voted 2019 American League Most Valuable Player

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The Baseball Writers Association of America voted Angels outfielder Mike Trout the Most Valuable Player in the American League for the 2019 season. He received 17 of 30 first-place votes, earning the third AL MVP Award of his career.

Trout, 28, missed the final three weeks of the season due to a foot injury, but his numbers were still strong enough to overcome the competition. He led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and a 185 adjusted OPS, and led the AL with a .645 slugging percentage and 1.083 OPS. He also slugged 45 home runs, knocked in 104 runs, scored 110 runs, and stole 11 bases in 600 plate appearances. FanGraphs also gave him an edge over the competition in WAR at 8.6.

Trout, who also won the award in 2014 and ’16, is the third Angel to snag the hardware, joining Don Baylor (1979) and Vladimir Guerrero Sr. (2004). He is the 11th player to win three MVP awards, joining Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Álex Rodríguez, Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, Mike Schmidt, Albert Pujols, and Barry Bonds. Bonds is the only player to have won the award more than three times, winning a whopping seven MVP awards.

Alex Bregman finished in a close second place followed by Marcus  Semien, DJ LeMahieu, and Xander Bogaerts. Also receiving votes were Matt Chapman, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Rafael Devers, Jorge Polanco, Austin Meadows, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Gleyber Torres, Eddie Rosario, José Abreu, Max Kepler, J.D. Martinez, Yoán Moncada, Charlie Morton, Matt Olson, and Jorge Soler.