And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

Associated Press

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 3, Twins 0: Nathan Eovaldi did not disappoint in his Red Sox debut, tossing seven shutout innings, allowing four hits, striking out five and not walking a batter. J.D. Martinez supplied all the offense as he doubled in two runs in the second and singled in a third in the fourth. Boston takes three of four from Minnesota.

Orioles 11, Rays 5: Chris Davis has had a horrendous year but he hit two dingers and drove in four yesterday. Austin Wynns and Jonathan Schoop also hit homers, with Schoop driving in three as the O’s take three of four from the Rays. Speaking of series, the AP gamer I read had this line in it: “Baltimore took three of four from the Rays to improve to 8-24-3 in series play.” It took me a minute to process that, because even though we often make reference to teams winning a series or things like “the Mudville Nine have won nine of their 11 past series” or “have dropped six straight series,” we generally do not keep a running count of a teams “series record.” You can’t easily find that sort of thing on most standings boards either. It sounds really soccer-y, doesn’t it? I wonder if the AP assigned a soccer guy to do its gamer yesterday.

Yankees 6, Royals 3: The Yankees’ new starter, J.A. Happ, looked pretty good in his team debut as well, allowing one run on three hits over six innings to pick up the win. Aaron Hicks hit a two-run homer early and the Bombers never trailed. While it’s not as exciting because the Royals are having a miserable season, Brett Phillips made his debut for his new team. He did this:

It looks like his eyes were closed too. That’s some Les Nessman playing softball for WKRP while flashing back to his childhood violin lessons stuff.

Wait, what? Moving on . . .

Indians 8, Tigers 1: Corey Kluber has been struggling lately but he looked just dandy in Detroit yesterday, allowing one run while pitching into the eighth. He was backed by homers from Yonder AlonsoMelky Cabrera and Edwin EncarnacionRajai Davis added a triple and two doubles. The Indians have a nine-game lead in the Central.

Reds 4, Phillies 0: Luis Castillo shut the Phillies out over seven, striking out nine and allowing four hits while Scooter Gennett‘s two-run homer provided half the Reds’ runs. The Reds take three of four from the Phillies.

Marlins 5, Nationals 0: Jose Urena is one of those guys who looks bad a lot but when he looks good looks really good. Here he was really good, shutting out the Nats through six with the pen finishing the job. He also singled in the Marlins’ first run of the game. Martin Prado knocked in a couple to help Miami earn the series split from Washington. Now the big question: it was reported last week that the Nats could become sellers based on the outcome of this series. They’ve been hovering around .500 and not making headway. They had a .500 series and have picked up only one game on Philly over the past several days. If they don’t sell, what did they see in the past few days, exactly, which gave them confidence?

Braves 4, Dodgers 1: As you probably know by now, Sean Newcomb came one out away from a no-hitter, with Chris Taylor breaking it up. You’ve probably also read that this was not the end of the news involving Newcomb yesterday. Heck, it wasn’t even the end of news about ballplayers’ crappy old tweets surfacing yesterday, about which we’ll have more later this morning. What a day. Anyway, Nick Markakis drove in three of the Braves’ four runs, hitting a homer in the process. Markakis, by the way, has a reputation for being taciturn and about as unexcitable of a player you’ll ever come across. If you asked Nick Markakis about old tweets he’d likely, truthfully say “what’s a tweet?” Let’s check, shall we?


Mets 1, Pirates 0: Zack Wheeler did it all for New York, tossing six shutout innings and knocking in the game’s only run with an RBI double in the fifth. Austin Jackson made his first start as a Met, going 2-for-3 with a walk. The Mets and Buccos split the series.

Blue Jays 7, White Sox 4: A five-run ninth from the Blue Jays stuns the White Sox. Teoscar Hernandez homered to lead off the innings, new Jay Brandon Drury knocked in the go-ahead runs with a two-run double and Luke Maile hit an RBI double as well. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. was a part of that rally too, hitting an RBI single in the eighth inning and another RBI single in the ninth, but he hurt himself trying to stretch to second base on that play and had to be helped off the field. It looked terrible, but afterward he was revealed to “only” have a sprained left ankle and a bruised left knee. He’ll have an MRI today to make sure there is no more damage, but regardless, it’s a shame given how good Gurriel has been since his debut. The Jays took two of three from Chicago.

Rangers 4, Astros 3: Texas looked like garbage vs. the A’s last week and then they come in to Houston and sweep the Astros in three. Baseball, man. Astros manager A.J. Hinch:

“I don’t really want to talk about it . . . we’re getting beat up. I think we need to get to the next series. We have some things to address. We are not working as perfectly as we normally do.”

That’s like what Commander Data says after he experiences anomalies in his positronic net on “Star Trek: TNG” episodes. Which, sure, I suppose the Astros are closest thing to that sort of machine in baseball, so I guess it’s appropriate.

Rockies 3, Athletics 2: Tom Murphy hit a two-run shot and Ryan McMahon hit an RBI double to give Colorado a 3-0 lead after three and German Marquez limited the damage to a pair of solo homers from Matt Chapman and Khris Davis while pitching into the eighth inning to give the Rockies a three-game sweep over the A’s in Oakland. That snaps the A’s six-game winning streak and keeps the Rockies, who have the NL’s best record over the past two weeks, on a roll.

Mariners 8, Angels 5: A seven-run top of the first from Seattle off of Angels’ starter Felix Pena ended this one before it began and Marco Gonzalez limited Anaheim to two runs on seven hits over the first six innings. Mike Zunino led the M’s with three RBI, hitting a two-run double in that big first inning and adding another RBI double in the third. Justin Upton hit a two-run homer and drove in three in a losing cause. The Angels still took two of three from Seattle.

Giants 8, Brewers 5Buster Posey had four hits, including a three-run double and Pablo Sandoval hit a two-run triple — wait, a triple? — yes, a triple, as the Giants avoided a four-game sweep. Right after the triple Sandoval strained his hamstring scoring from third, however, so that may be his last hit for a while. It was a standup triple, too:

Don’t hurry to get that ball or anything, Christian Yelich.

Diamondbacks 5, Padres 4: Paul Goldschmidt, Nick Ahmed and A.J. Pollock all homered for the Snakes, with the first two guys hitting two-run blasts. That’s all they would get and that’s all they would need as the completed a three-game sweep of the Padres.

Cubs 5, Cardinals 2: Ben Zobrist and Anthony Rizzo homered, Javier Baez hit a two-run double and Kyle Hendricks settled down after giving up two early runs, retiring the final 17 batters he faced. That salvaged the series for Chicago, which dropped two of three to the Cards. The Cubs maintain a one and a half game lead in the NL Central.

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

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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.