And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

Associated Press
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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Nationals 14, Marlins 12: The Marlins jumped out to a 9-0 lead after four innings and a bunch of smart alecks tweeted things about where the Nationals are in the standings and the efficacy of that team-only meeting they had. Trea Turner decided enough was enough at that point, however, hit a solo homer, knocked in a run on a fielder’s choice, smacked a grand slam and later singled in two runs on his eight-RBI night to lead a massive comeback. That salami put the Nats on top 10-9 in the sixth, they’d add four more in the seventh and then hold on as the Marlins mounted a too-little, too-late comeback. Washington had dropped 17 of 22 but they own the Marlins, so it’s hard to put too much narrative weight on a single game. That said, if the Nats go on a run now and get back into the division race like a lot of people figured they eventually would, this game will feature pretty centrally in the tale-telling of the 2018 season.

Rangers 7, Tigers 5: The Rangers jumped out to a 7-0 lead and, unlike the Marlins, didn’t blow it. They tried — the Tigers mounted a five-run rally following a rain delay and had the potential winning run at the plate with no one out in the ninth inning, but Keone Kela locked it down. Joey Gallo hit a massive two-run homer that went behind the lower deck in right field at Comerica Park, which is not close. Ronald Guzman added a two-run shot of his own that did not go as far but which counted for just as much.

Brewers 7, Braves 2: Jhoulys Chacin started out a bit rocky, giving up two quick runs, but that’s all he or any other Brewer pitcher would allow. Hernan Perez homered and had three hits in all. Milwaukee has won four straight. Atlanta has dropped three straight.

Twins 5, Orioles 2: Twins starter Aaron Slegers allowed one run over six, Jake Cave doubled home a run and reached base all four times he came to the dish and Logan Morrison went deep. Jonathan Schoop hit two homers for Baltimore’s only offense. Baltimore has lost 10 of 11. My God, are they terrible.

Astros 4, White Sox 3: Down 3-2 in the ninth, George Springer hit an RBI single to tie things up and then Yuli Gurriel hit a walkoff RBI single to give Houston the comeback win. Springer had been in a bad slump leading up to that hit, so he used Jose Altuve‘s bat in an effort to change his luck. Springer:

“My bat wasn’t seeming to work, so I figured I would try somebody else’s bat so I went with the hit king. I went with 27.”

Attorneys for Pete Rose are drafting a cease and desist letter as we speak, strongly urging Springer t reconsider his use of the phrase “hit king” to refer to anyone else but Rose. He’s rather sensitive about that, you may recall.

Padres 6, Diamondbacks 3Wil Myers tripled, singled and drove in two, Carlos Asuaje reached base four times and knocked in a run, Austin Hedges homered and starter Eric Lauer was solid. The Dbacks have now dropped six of seven and fell percentage points behind the idle Dodgers for first place in the NL West with the loss.

Mariners 4, Angels 1: Check out Dee Gordon being ridiculous:

That came as the Angles had a couple men on and were trying to mount a rally in the eighth. There would be no rallies thanks in part to Gordon and, it should be noted, thanks in part to the Angels bats, which were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Marco Gonzalez allowed one run over six, Gordon also singled in a run and tripled in the seventh, going on to score the M’s fourth of the game. Seattle has won 10 of 12.

Cardinals 11, Giants 2: Luke Weaver pitched two-hit ball over eight innings. He actually had a perfect game heading into the sixth, in fact. Alen Hanson‘s two-run shot that frame would be all the runs he’d allow, however. Jedd Gyorko hit a three-run homer and doubled in a couple more on his five RBI night as the Cards cruised. Johnny Cueto made his return from the disabled list for the Giants. he was lit up for four runs in the first and five runs on ten hits in five innings in all.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.