And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 15, Yankees 7: Steve Pearce was the big hero here, hitting three homers and knocking in six. Aaron Boone may be the goat, having pulled CC Sabathia after three innings while the Yankees held a 4-2 lead. I guess he thought it was the playoffs when that sort of nonsense happens all the time and I guess, on paper, there is an argument that this Yankees bullpen should be able to give you six shutout innings or something close to it. In the event, well, no. Mookie Betts had four hits and two walks, Pearce, J.D. MartinezIan Kinsler and Andrew Benintendi each had three hits. Boston extends its AL East lead to a season-high six and a half games. This was just a good old fashioned butt-kicking. The sort of which would lead to insane tabloid stories the next day in New York if, you know, big media conglomerates hadn’t gutted one of the tabloids, but here we are.

Rays 4, Angels 2: Tampa Bay scored all four of their runs in the fourth via C.J. Cron‘s two-run single, a wild pitch and a sac fly while Johnny Wholestaff limited the Angels to two hits. The Angels have lost four straight and Mike Trout had to sit this one out after jamming his wrist on Wednesday. A season that started so promisingly for L.A.A. has gone straight into the terlet.

Cardinals 3, Rockies 2: Down 2-1 in the ninth, the Cardinals strung together a couple of singles from Greg Garcia and Harrison Bader to put runners on the corners. Bader then stole second base after which Jose Martinez hit a two-run walkoff single. The Cardinals took three of four from Colorado.

White Sox 6, Royals 4Jose Abreu hit a tying home run in the eighth and pinch-hitter Daniel Palka hit a three-run homer a couple batters later to give the Sox a comeback win and to help them avoid a sweep. That was Palka’s third pinch-hit homer of the year. Asked about it after the game he said “I wanted to hit a homer.” None of that “just looking for a pitch to hit, just trying to make contact” jazz. Follow your dreams, kids. Reach for the stars.

Phillies 5, Marlins 2: Another late comeback, this one a four-run ninth inning rally to give the Phillies a walkoff win. Down 2-1 entering the final frame, Rhys Hoskins walked to lead things off, Carlos Santana reached on an infield single, Asdrubal Cabrera walked to load the bases and then Nick Williams grounded out to force home Hoskins’ pinch-runner, Scott Kingery. The next batter up was the last batter up: Maikel Franco, who deposited the third pitch he saw into the left field seats for a three-run homer and a Gatorade shower.

Nationals 10, Reds 4: Max Scherzer struck out ten Reds in six innings, singled in a run and laid down two sacrifice bunts, Trea Turner hit a two-run homer and knocked in two more with a single and Bryce Harper homered as a the Nats cruised. Washington has won three in a row and six of eight.

Braves 4, Mets 2: The Nats may be winning, but with the Phillies and Braves each winning they picked up no ground in the East. Indeed that’s four wins in a row for Atlanta, as they took this one thanks to Johan Camargo, who hit a two-run double in he Braves’ three-run third inning. Ozzie Albies had previous knocked in Ronald Acuña, who led off the inning with a triple. He also threw out Wilmer Flores trying to stretch a single into a double in the sixth. Mike Foltynewicz allowed two runs on five hits in six innings for the win. Atlanta is 10-3 against the Mets this year.

Rangers 17, Orioles 8: Another butt-kicking on a night full of them. Jurickson Profar hit a three-run home run and had an RBI single in just the first two innings. Texas scored 10 runs during those first two innings, in fact. Rougned Odor homered as well and walked five times. My lord, how on Earth do you walk a guy five times? Joey Gallo homered. Elvis Andrus had two singles and a double. Infielder Tim Beckham pitched for Baltimore. Just some fun, ugly times at the old ball yard. The Rangers are still in last place but they have won five of six. The Orioles are in last place but have been mentally planning their October fishing weekends for several months now.

Padres 6, Cubs 1: Robbie Erlin held the Cubs to one run over his five innings of work and Austin Hedges hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the sixth to give the Padres a lead that would hold and to give Erlin the win. Four Padres relievers held the Cubs scoreless for the final four innings as San Diego ended its seven-game losing streak.

Dodgers 21, Brewers 5: Oh, I’m so full. I couldn’t possible have another butt-kicking. Hmm, well, it does look good. Ok, one more . . . Cody Bellinger hit a grand slam, Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig hit two homers each and, hoo-boy, did the Dodgers kick the Brewers’ butts. Brian Dozier and Justin Turner hit homers too, but only one each. Slackers. All three outfielders for the Dodges had four RBI. Infielder Hernan Perez and catcher Erik Kratz pitched for the Brewers. Each of them as now pitched three times — three times! — in 2018. This on a contending team.

Giants 8, Diamondbacks 1: Most of the time a contender losing 8-1 would be considered the blowout of the day, but not on this night. Madison Bumgarner and Zack Greinke dueled, though neither was particularly sharp. Bumgarner was particularly dull, in fact, walking three and giving up seven hits in five innings but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. Evan Longoria homered in the first and Bumgarner helped his own cause with an RBI single in the fifth and the bullpen held on until the Giants rallied late.

Blue Jays 7, Mariners 3: Mike Hauschild was the story here. He had just been released by Houston and had not pitched in the bigs in over a year when the Jays signed him before the game, put him in and watched him pitch six impressive innings of relief, shutting out the M’s over that span. Kendrys Morales had a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning. Tyler Clippard started — his first start in over ten years — and went one inning. Fun times. Felix Hernandez started and went five. Sad times, really, as he’s a shell of his former self these days. He didn’t figure in the decision after allowing two runs in those five, but many in Seattle are talking about him heading to the bullpen.

Rangers don’t plan to make qualifying offer to Adrián Beltré

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Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.

Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.

Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.