Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:
Cardinals 5, Dodgers 2: Yadier Molina and Marcell Ozuna each hit two-run homers as the Cardinals continue their August surge. They’re now 16-4 this month and have won eight consecutive series. More importantly, with this win and the Brewers’ loss, they have now passed Milwaukee in the standings, moving into second in the Central and into the first Wild Card slot. Heck, they’re now only two and a half behind the Cubs for the NL Central lead, and given how crappy the Cubs have been lately, there’s no sense in St. Louis not setting its sights even higher.
After the game Cardinals pitcher Luke Weaver said, “we’re cooking on all cylinders right now.” Which some of you may assume was a mixed metaphor. Not so! The the wise among us know that it is a precise term of art:
Athletics 6, Rangers 0: The Brett Andersoniassance continues in Oakland. He spent more time on the DL over the past couple of years than practically anyone, but he’s been a key part of the A’s second half surge. Last night he put up goose eggs for the third time in his last four starts, allowing only one hit over seven shutout innings. Khris Davis homered again and drove in three. The first of those runs knocked in was his 100th on the year. He also has an outside chance at 50 dingers. The most anonymous slugger in the game, relatively speaking.
Astros 3, Mariners 2: Josh Reddick hit a tiebreaking homer in the fourth inning as the Astros keep pace with Oakland at the top of the West. Both teams here are fighting for their playoff lives yet used a bullpen day, with Brad Peacock and Nick Vincent getting starts. How thrilling. In other pitching news, despite A.J. Hinch saying yesterday that Roberto Osuna was going to get most of the save opportunities going forward he used Hector Rondon in the ninth here.
Nationals 10, Phillies 4: Of course the Nats win on the day they throw in the towel by trading away Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams. You have to figure it’s a dead cat bounce, though, and that eventually everyone will start to mail it in and start planning their October vacations. And hey, as a Braves fan, I’ll be happy if they bounce while playing the Phillies. Anyway: Andrew Stevenson, Wilmer Difo and Ryan Zimmerman went deep for the Nats. Yesterday, by the way, Mike Rizzo said Difo was one of the “young players” the Nats wanted to get a good look at now that they’ve traded away some veterans. Difo is older than Bryce Harper.
Braves 6, Pirates 1: Kevin Gausman tossed eight shutout innings and Dansby Swanson hit two two-run homers as the Braves put another game between themselves and the Phillies. Since coming over in that trade from the Orioles, Gausman is 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 17/6 in 27 innings. Not too shabby.
Blue Jays 8, Orioles 2: Justin Smoak, Kendrys Morales, Aledmys Diaz and Billy McKinney all hit homers as the Jays continue their dominance of Baltimore. The AP gamer referred to them as “the slumping Orioles.” How can you tell?
Indians 6, Red Sox 3: Shane Bieber took a shutout in the seventh before running out of gas, Melky Cabrera and Yan Gomes homered and Greg Allen made a couple of excellent plays out in center field as the Tribe handed Boston its third loss in a row. It’s just the second time all year the Sox have done that. Here are those plays from Allen. The second one was fantastic and helped blunt Boston’s would-be rally but turning extra bases and multiple runs into a mere sac fly:
Tigers 2, Cubs 1: Jordan Zimmermann and Kyle Hendricks dueled and Zimmermann won, allowing a run in six to Hendricks’ two in seven. Both of the Tigers’ runs came in the first. Zimmermann’s only blemish came when he gave up a solo tater to Anthony Rizzo in the sixth. It was the fifth straight game in which the Cubs scored only one run and in each of those games the run came via a solo homer. I’m sure Jayson Stark or some other random fact expert had all kinds of interesting things to tweet about that accomplishment last night, none of which will make Cubs fans feel any better.
Mets 6, Giants 3: Jeff McNeill went 4-for-4 and hit a go-ahead double with two outs in the eighth inning and Michael Conforto hit a three-run homer and drove in four as the Mets send the Giants to their fifth loss in six games. Evan Longoria homered. It was the first Giants homer since last Wednesday.
Yankees 2, Marlins 1: New York and Miami went into the 12th inning tied at one but New York broke through with a sac fly from Miguel Andujar in the top of that frame for the win. It was Giancarlo Stanton‘s first game back in Miami since leaving the Marlins, no doubt thrilling the Marlins’ fan. OK, maybe there is more than one. Bad news for the Yankees, though: Aroldis Chapman came in, fired some slow-for-him fastballs and then left due to knee pain. The Yankees’ disabled list is getting crowded, folks.
Rays 4, Royals 1: Blake Snell allowed one run over six and punched out 11. Not literally, or else he’d be in jail. Willy Adames homered, Joey Wendle tripled in a couple and Tommy Pham doubled in a run. Snell helped the Rays pitchers run their streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 27 before allowing a homer to Ryan O’Hearn in the fifth. He’s been pretty fantastic since coming off the disabled list earlier this month, going 3-0 with two earned runs allowed over 20 innings in four starts.
Reds 9, Brewers 7: Milwaukee put up four runs in the first inning, but that didn’t hold up thanks to the Reds putting up three in the third and four in the fourth. Milwaukee would tie things up with two runs in the eighth but the Brewers’ old friend Scooter Gennett hit a tiebreaking solo homer with two out in the ninth, Mason Williams added an RBI double and the Reds went back to their haunted hotel a winner. Not only did the Brewers not gain any ground on the slumping Cubs, but the Cardinals passed them for second place in the NL Central and moved into first position in the Wild Card race.
Twins 5, White Sox 2: Tied at two in the ninth, Eddie Rosario and Jorge Polanco each hit RBI singles — Polanco’s a two-run knock — to push the Twins past the Sox. Rain ruined top pitching prospect Michael Kopech’s big league debut for Chicago, knocking him out of the game with an outing-ending 52-minute delay after only two innings of work. Not that he would’ve stayed in long at the rate he was going. He threw 52 pitches in those two innings, striking out four, allowing three hits and plunking a guy.
Padres 4, Rockies 3: The Padres cool off the Rockies, snapping their four-game winning streak. Eric Hosmer and Austin Hedges homered for San Diego and Freddy Galvis hit a sac fly. The Padres pen tossed four shutout innings to end it.
Diamondbacks 5, Angels 4: The Rockies loss helped the Diamondbacks gain a game in the West. As did Cam Bedrosian‘s throwing error while trying to field a ninth inning sac bunt, giving the Snakes a walkoff win. In the past week we’ve seen a walkoff balk and now a walkoff error. Has there ever been a walkoff catcher’s interference? Tune in to tomorrow’s action to find out! Patrick Corbin held the Halos to two runs over six while David Peralta homered and drove in three.