Associated Press

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

48 Comments

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rays 9, Red Sox 1: Boston’s August swoon and the Rays’ August surge continues, with Tampa Bay sweeping the Sox and outscoring baseball’s best team 24-5 in the three-game series. Blake Snell tossed two-hit ball over six innings, allowing one run and striking out eight. Rays sleeper agent Nate Eovaldi dug a hole for the Red Sox and Kevin Kiermaier hit a two-run triple. That’s eight in a row for the Rays and 10 of 12. Boston, meanwhile, has lost six of eight and find their lead over the Yankees reduced to a mere five games in the loss column. September may very well be more interesting in the AL East than we first assumed.

Yankees 5, Orioles 3: The Yankees cutting into the Sox’ division lead was certainly aided by visiting the Orioles for a four-game set this weekend. Baltimore lost its eight straight thanks to Luke Voit going 3-for-3 with a two-run homer, Miguel Andujar picking up three hits and two RBI and Luis Severino picking up his 17th win. As Joe Sheehan wrote overnight in his newsletter — which you should definitely sign up for, as it provides a constant stream of fascinating baseball analysis — the Orioles are on course to make history for finishing the most games out of first place in the divisional era. Not only that, they are on course to finish more games behind the second-to-last team in divisional history. Just a towering achievement in comparative futility.

Athletics 6, Twins 2: Matt Chapman hit a pair of homers as the A’s finish the series having taken three of four from the Twins and open up a five-game lead over the Mariners for the second Wild Card slot. Tyler Austin also had two homers but he plays for the team that lost and teams that lost get less ink unless they do historic things like the Orioles are. Oakland now goes on to Houston, who they trail in the division by one and a half, for a big three-game series. After that it’s a four-game set at home against the M’s. Hell of a week coming up for the AL West.

Phillies 8, Blue Jays 3Rhys Hoskins and Carlos Santana hit back-to-back homers in the first inning and Maikel Franco and Wilson Ramos each hit two-run shots later in the game to help the Phillies avoid a sweep and to avoid losing more ground the East. The homer more people were talking about, however, was the one Kendrys Morales hit in the third inning, which gives him a seven-game homer streak. That puts him one game shy of matching the major league record, held by Ken Griffey, Jr. (1993), Don Mattingly (1987), and Dale Long (1956).

White Sox 7, Tigers 2: Michael Kopech’s actual big league debut was cut short due to rain, so he’ll likely think of this as his debut even if it wasn’t. It helps that it was a memorable performance on the merits too (6 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4K). Daniel Palka hit a two-run homer and Yoan Moncada tripled in a run for the Chisox. For the Tigers it was most memorable as the day Alan Trammell’s number was retired. Which should’ve been done AGES ago rather than allowing Gary Sheffield and Ian Kinsler to wear it in the interim, but c’est la vie.

Nationals 15, Mets 0: Washington had not scored a run since Wednesday heading into this game. And they didn’t score a run until the sixth inning here. Heck, it was only 1-0 Washington heading into the top of the eighth, but then the business got out of control. It got out of control and the Mets were lucky to live through it. Specifically, the Nats unloaded for eight runs, after which they scored six in the ninth. A great deal of that offense was delivered via homers from Adam Eaton and Wilmer Difo, a three-run double by Bryce Harper and a grand slam from Mark Reynolds. From the AP gamer: “Mets manager Mickey Callaway was startled by how quickly a one-run game turned into a blowout.” I guess at some point it’s just like watching it on TV, wondering what’s gonna happen next.

Braves 4, Marlins 0: Another Kevin Gausman start in a Braves uniform, another bunch of goose eggs. Here he allowed one hit over five shutout innings to grab his fourth win in five starts as a Braves, lowering is ERA as a Brave to 1.69. The Marlins ended up with only two hits in all as Atlanta earns a split in a series in which their bats were mostly silent.

Brewers 7, Pirates 4Mike Moustakas and Manny Pina each hit two-run homers in Chris Archer‘s disastrous third inning and Jonathan Schoop hit a dinger later. Overall Archer gave up six runs in four innings, at one point surrendering five hits in a row. As noted at the time, the Pirates picking up Archer was a double-faceted move: they were mildly hot at the time, had a chance ant putting themselves into contention and saw Archer as a nice piece to help the stretch run. They also got him because he’s under team control for a couple of more years and he’s a good piece to build around for short-to-mid-term contention. The latter considerations still apply, but that former consideration hasn’t really worked out too well. As a Pirate, Archer is 1-2 with a 6.45 ERA in five starts since the Buccos acquired him.

Indians 12, Royals 5: Jason Kipnis had four hits and drove in four runs, including a two-run inside-the-park homer. Which, like a lot of inside-the-park homers, involved a bad bounce, an outfielder falling down and another outfielder not coming over to back up his fallen comrade. Meh:

Cleveland avoids a series sweep at the hands of the lowly Royals.

Cubs 9, Reds 0: Kyle Hendricks allowed only two hits in seven shutout innings and Kyle Schwarber and David Bote hit homers in the Cubs’ rout. Or Rote. Jason Heyward went 4-for-4 with a triple and drove in two. The Reds were shut out for their ninth time this year.

Cardinals 12, Rockies 3:  The Cards scored six runs in the first inning — all with two outs — and the rest was all stats accumulation. Matt Carpenter hit four doubles. That’s a pretty neat stat. The Cards took two of three from the Rockies and won their ninth straight series.

Giants 3, Rangers 1: Derek Holland allowed one run on only three hits while pitching into the seventh, upping his record to 1-0 all time in games following moderately embarrassing TV spots that resulted in an apology for racial insensitivity. Steven Duggar hit a two-run triple. Bruce Bochy on Holland’s performance after the game:

“Just pitched a beautiful game. It’s great to see players like Derek, who it looks like they may be toward the end of their career, bounce back and show that there’s a lot of game left in what they have.”

Holland is 31. I know it’s a younger man’s game now than it was even a few short years ago, but man that’s a hell of a quote.

Astros 3, Angels 1Framber Valdez gave up one run over five in his first career start and Carlos Correa drove in two. Houston wins its fifth in a row to keep its lead over the A’s in anticipation of their big series.

Dodgers 7, Padres 3: Justin Turner went 3-for-5, hit two doubles and drove in five runs, Manny Machado hit a two-run homer and the Dodgers swept San Diego. Turner has been on fire in August, hitting .405 this month with five home runs, 19 RBI, 19 runs and 10 doubles. The Padres had their chances against Hyun-Jin Ryu, but despite knocking 11 hits and drawing a walk off of him in less than six innings, they only plated two.

Diamondbacks 5, Mariners 2: Zack Greike allowed one run — unearned — while pitching into the seventh. Paul Goldschmidt‘s three-run homer in the third was the big blow for the Snakes, who put a game between themselves and Colorado in the NL West.

Red Sox survive back-and-forth affair with Astros, win 8-6 to take 3-1 lead in ALCS

Elsa/Getty Images
5 Comments

Game 4 of the ALCS on Wednesday night between the Red Sox and Astros was a thrilling back-and-forth affair with seven lead changes. Ultimately, the Red Sox emerged victorious with a hard-fought 7-5 victory.

The Red Sox wasted no time getting on the board, plating two runs in the top of the first inning against Charlie Morton thanks to a walk, hit-by-pitch, wild pitch, and a Rafael Devers single. In the bottom half, José Altuve hit what appeared to be a game-tying two-run home run to right field off of Rick Porcello. Mookie Betts leaped and was interfered with by fans in the stands, so Altuve was called out instead. The ruling was upheld after review.

In the bottom of the second, the Astros officially scored their first run when Carlos Correa knocked home a run with a single. The Red Sox immediately got it back when Xander Bogaerts doubled in a run in the top of the third, running the score to 3-1. In what would become a trend, the Astros also responded as George Springer drilled a solo homer and Josh Reddick hit an RBI single of his own to tie the game at 3-3. Tony Kemp added a solo homer down the right field line in the fourth to put the Astros on top for the first time. Bogaerts hit another RBI single in the top of the fifth to re-tie the game at 4-4. Correa followed suit in the bottom half, hitting his second RBI single of the game to give the Astros back the lead.

Jackie Bradley, Jr., who hit a soul-crushing grand slam off of Roberto Osuna in Game 3, hit another homer in Game 4, a two-run shot in the sixth off of Josh James. In the seventh, the Red Sox loaded the bases with two outs and Lance McCullers, Jr. entered to try to put out the fire. He did not, briefly, walking Brock Holt to force in a run and make the score 7-5. McCullers did end up getting out of the inning without any further damage. Just for good measure, though, J.D. Martinez tacked on a run in the eighth with an RBI single to make it 8-5.

Ryan Brasier got five outs and Matt Barnes one in the sixth and seventh. Manager Alex Cora decided to call on Craig Kimbrel for a six-out save when the bottom of the eighth rolled around. The 2018 postseason hasn’t been kind to Kimbrel as he had given up runs in all three of his appearances. Kimbrel gave up hits to the first three batters he faced. Kemp led off with a single but he tried to stretch it into a double and was thrown out at second base by Betts. Kimbrel then hit Alex Bregman with a pitch and surrendered a double to George Springer, putting runners at second and third with one out. Altuve knocked in a run with a ground out to make it 8-6, but Kimbrel saw his way out of the inning by striking out Marwin González.

In the ninth, Cora decided to keep Kimbrel in the ballgame despite his continued struggles. Kimbrel got Yuli Gurriel to pop up to start the inning, but then issued back-to-back walks to Reddick and Correa. Kimbrel got out number two by getting Brian McCann to fly out to right field, then walked Tony Kemp to load the bases. Cora decided to stay with Kimbrel as Bregman came to the plate. Kimbrel threw a first-pitch, 97 MPH fastball that Bregman laced into shallow left field. Andrew Benintendi charged in and dived, catching the ball just in time to save the game, ending it for an 8-6 victory. Of the 18 half-innings, the two sides failed to score in only seven of them.

The Red Sox, now up three games to one in the ALCS, will try to close it out on Thursday night in Houston. If the Red Sox win, they will return to the World Series for the first time since 2013.