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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Nationals 8, Braves 3; Braves 3, Nationals 1: The Braves lost their starter after two innings and the guys who followed him allowed a couple of four-run innings to the Nats in Game 1, so that was kinda that. Bryce Harper homered in that one too, continuing his rather under-the-radar hot streak. Game two featured a duel between Max Scherzer and Sean Newcomb, with the latter holding his own quite nicely, leaving the game tied at one until the ninth inning. In the final frame Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte tripled home two runs to give Atlanta the split. Also: the Braves really need a new announcing team.

Astros 2, Giants 1: Madison Bumgarner pitched seven shutout innings but it was not enough as his mates only scored once and as Tyler White hit a two-run homer in the eighth to give the Astros a sweep of the two-game series. This one was just like the first game in which a Giants starter shut Houston out for seven only to see a late homer cost them the game. The Giants have lost four of five and fall to 6.5 back in both the west and in the Wild Card race. Won’t say it’s totally over for them, but this sure looks like the beginning of the end.

Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 7: Craig Kimbrel blew the save in the ninth by giving up a homer to Justin Smoak but Mitch Moreland hit a three-run homer during the Sox’ five-run 10th inning to give the Sox their fifth straight win and their 80th win on the year. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run homer in the final frame as well. J.D. Martinez hit a three-run shot in the eighth.

Twins 3, Indians 2: Mitch Garver hit a three-run homer off of Carlos Carrasco in the second inning and it held up, thanks in large part to Adalberto Mejia pitching one-hit ball over five innings for the Twins.

Reds 6, Mets 1: Sal Romano allowed one run on two hits while striking out five and pitching into the seventh inning to win in front of family and friends back in New York, which is near where he grew up. Phillip Ervin hit a two-run homer and had a sac fly as the Reds snapped a three-game skid.

Cardinals 3, Marlins 2: Down 2-0 in the seventh, Paul DeJong hit a two-run homer to tie it up and then Matt Carpenter hit a a tie-breaking solo homer in the eighth inning — his fourth homer in five games and 30th on the year — to give the Cards the victory. St. Louis has won eight of 12.

Rays 4, Orioles 3: Willy Adames hit a 434 blast with two outs in the ninth to give the Rays a comeback walkoff win. The inning before the Rays tied the game without getting a hit thanks to three walks, a wild pitch and a throwing error. Orioles baseball: it’s FAN-tastic.

Rangers 11, Mariners 4: Rougned Odor and Jurickson Profar each homered and drove in four and three runs, respectively, and Adrian Beltre homered as well as Bartolo got the win and with it became the winningest Latin American-born pitcher in baseball history. That’s 246 wins for Colon, specifically, passing Dennis Martinez.

Yankees 4, White Sox 3: The Yankees were no-hit into the sixth and were one-hit by Sox pitchers into the ninth but the Sox could only muster a single run themselves thanks to CC Sabathia striking out 12 and allowing only one run himself into the sixth inning. Jose Abreu‘s sac fly and Miguel Andujar‘s homers left it tied after regulation. In extras Giancarlo Stanton and Abreu exchanged two-run homers in the tenth and Andujar’s RBI single in the 13th ended the scoring and gave the Bombers the eventual win. The winning pitcher: Sonny Gray of all people who took his demotion to the bullpen in stride and came out and tossed three shutout innings.

Padres 11, Brewers 5: Milwaukee took a 4-0 first inning lead but chipped back thanks to Franmil Reyes and Manuel Margot homering, then tied it and took the lead thanks to Margot hitting a sac fly and Reyes driving in two on a double, respectively. Margo would later hit an RBI triple for insurance — he drove in five on the night, in fact — as the Padres won it going away.  A big tip of the cap goes to Phil MatonMatt StrahmCraig StammenRobert Stock and Trey Wingenter, who combined for five scoreless innings of relief out of the San Diego pen.

Cubs 5, Royals 0: Mike Montgomery shut the Royals out for five innings and three relievers finished the job. David Bote tripled in two and singled in one for the Cubs and a couple of sac flies plated the other two. Chicago’s win combined with the Brewers’ loss puts the Cubs up two and a half in the Central.

Pirates 10, Rockies 2: Jameson Taillon pitched a complete game, scattering ten hits and allowing only two runs and needing an economical 107 pitches for the entire thing. He beat Chad Bettis, who was roughed up pretty badly thanks in part to homers from Starling Marte, Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison. Taillon and Bettis, by the way, both are testicular cancer survivors.

Phillies 5, Diamondbacks 2: Nick Williams hit a solo homer in the third and then the Phillies put together a four-run eighth inning thanks in part to a two-run double from Asdrubal Cabrera. Nick Pivetta‘s six shutout innings gave him the win. Philadelphia remains one and a half games up on Atlanta in the East but Arizona dropped out of first in the NL West, a half-game behind the Los Angeles Dodgers who . . .

Dodgers 4, Athletics 2: . . . beat the red-hot Athletics. Rich Hill got the win, allowing two runs and pitching into the sixth inning and the Dodgers hitters took advantage of a sluggish and inefficient Sean Manaea for some early runs. The A’s six-game winning streak and eight-game home winning steak comes to an end.

Angels 11, Tigers 5: Shohei Ohtani hit a three-run homer and Francisco Arcia hit a two-run single during the Angels’ seven-run first inning and Justin Upton added a two-run homer later in the contest as the Angels romped. Jacob Turner, who last pitched for the Tigers in 2012, made his first appearance since coming back to the club. He lasted just one inning after allowing the Angels’ first eight batters to reach. Which, no, that’s not what you want.

Young Blue Jays say they aren’t intimidated by top seed Rays

Blue Jays roster and schedule
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) When the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays opened the pandemic-delayed season a little over two months ago, there was little to indicate the AL East rivals might meet again to begin the playoffs.

While the Rays launched the truncated 60-game schedule with expectations of making a strong bid for their first division title in a decade, the Blue Jays generally were viewed as an immensely talented young team still years away from postseason contention.

Tampa Bay didn’t disappoint, shrugging off a slow start to go a league-best 40-20 and claim the No. 1 seed in the AL playoffs that begin Tuesday.

Lefty Blake Snell, who’ll start Game 1 of the best-of-three wild-card series against Toronto at Tropicana Field, also isn’t surprised that the eighth-seeded Blue Jays earned a spot, too.

The Rays won six of 10 games between the teams during the regular season, but were outscored 48-44 and outhomered 17-11.

And while Toronto (32-28) lacks the playoff experience Tampa Bay gained last season when the Rays beat Oakland in the AL wild-card game before falling to Houston in the divisional round, the Blue Jays are building with exciting young players such as Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

“They’ve got a lot of young guys who can ball over there,” Snell said. “It’s going to be fun to compete and see how we do.”

Rays defensive whiz Kevin Kiermaier said Tampa Bay, in the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the second time franchise history, will not take the Blue Jays lightly.

“We know we’re playing a real good team,” Kiermaier said. “It’s not going to be easy, regardless of what a team is seeded.”

The Blue Jays, who’ll start right-hander Matt Shoemaker, aren’t conceding anything.

Bichette said he and his teammates respect how good Tampa Bay is, but are not intimidated by facing the No. 1 seed.

“I would say that we didn’t care who we played. I would say that we didn’t mind playing Tampa, that’s for sure. We’re familiar with them. We’ve played them well,” Bichette said.

“I think we’re confident in our ability against them. Our talent matches up well,” Bichette added. “We think if we play well we’ve got a good chance.”

NO FANS

The stands at Tropicana Field will be empty, leaving players to wonder what the atmosphere will be like for the playoffs.

Tampa Bay routinely rank at or near the bottom of the majors in attendance, but usually pack the stands in the domed stadium during the postseason.

“It will be different,” Bichette said. “Normally when you think of your first postseason you think 40,000, you think about not being able to think it’s so loud, stuff like that.”

The Blue Jays open the playoffs near where they hold spring training in Dunedin, Florida. It’s been a winding road for Toronto, which played its home games in Buffalo, New York, at the site of its Triple-A affiliate after the Canadian government barred the Blue Jays from hosting games at their own stadium because of coronavirus concerns.

CONFIDENT RAYS

Tampa Bay’s five-game loss to Houston in last year’s divisional round was a source of motivation during the regular season.

“It definitely lit a fire under everybody. It really showed us we belong. … We gave them a tough series,” second baseman Brandon Lowe said.

“We won the wild-card game. We belong in the postseason. I think that did a lot for us to understand that we should be in the postseason and we can go a lot farther. We know what to expect this time around. I think everyone in our clubhouse expects to be playing until the end of October,” he said.

CLOSE FRIENDS

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash has the Rays in the playoffs for the second time. His close friend and former Rays third base and bench coach Charlie Montoyo is in his second year as manager of the Blue Jays, who last made the playoffs in 2016.

“Pretty special,” Cash said of his relationship with Montoyo.

“I really learned a lot from him being around him. The way he carried himself. His hand print is throughout this organization,” Cash added. “A pretty big impact and a positive one. … When they clinched I talked to him, we face-timed at 1:30 in the morning. I’m so happy for him.”