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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Astros 11, Athletics 4: The Astros were wearing t-shirts yesterday that said “dream-crushers” on them, and while Astros players are saying the shirt is about them chasing their own dreams of glory — um, that’s not what “crush” means, but whatever — it’s pretty clear they’re meant as a message to the A’s. That message: do not get too invested in a would-be dream season in which they chase down the Astros in the AL West after being down double digits in July. If that is what the shirts mean — and if they truly are taking motivation from a Gildan or a Fruit of the Loom — so far so good, because Alex Bregman and Tyler White homered and drove in four runs each, helping Houston come back from an early 4-0 deficit and win their sixth straight game. George Springer and Jose Altuve each drove in a run as well in the Astros’ five-run third, that ended Brett Anderson‘s scoreless innings streak pretty definitively. The Astros knocked the A’s down to two and a half back.

Cubs 7, Mets 4: The Cubs won their sixth straight game as well. Jon Lester allowed three runs over six innings, drove in two runs with an RBI single off of Noah Syndergaard and even made a couple of slick defensive plays. He didn’t get the win thanks to the Mets tying things up late with a Kevin Plawecki homer, but Ben Zobrist‘s seventh inning go-ahead RBI, a fielder’s choice and an eighth inning Anthony Rizzo bomb powered Chicago to victory.

Angels 10, Rockies 7: The Angels beat the Rockies in a game, the box score of which anyway, that looked like it took place in Coors Field even if it didn’t. The Angels blew a three-run lead at one point thanks to DJ LeMahieu‘s grand slam and the Rockies blew two two-run leads. Eric Young Jr. drove in a pair as the Angels took the lead last thanks to a five-run eighth inning. Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani each homered — Ohtani’s was a two-run shot — and the duo drove in two and three runs, respectively. Not the sort of game the Rockies want to lose, but ar least they did not lose any ground on the Dbacks in the west because . . .

Giants 2, Diamondbacks 0: . . . Chris Stratton shut out Arizona for eight innings, giving up only five hits and striking out six. Steven Duggar drove in two runs — these via a second inning two-run homer — for the second game in a row to account for all of the Giants scoring.

White Sox 6, Yankees 2: Masahiro Tanaka had a two-run cushion and was shutting out one of baseball’s worst teams until the sixth inning when he surrendered three to the Chisox, thanks in large part to a couple of drips and drabs that just landed in the wrong spots of the infield to put runners on. Tanaka was allowed to stay in the game after losing the lead and gave up one more in the seventh. His counterpoint, Carlos Rodon, had no such trouble. He pitched two-hit ball over seven innings, although one of those hits was a two-run homer surrendered to Gleyber Torres. Otherwise, though, it was all Chicago, with Yoan Moncada doubling in two, Nicky Delmonico popping up a sac fly, Matt Anderson doubling in a run and a couple of runs scoring on an error and a wild pitch, respectively. The Yankees only managed three hits all night. The White Sox have won four in a row.

Orioles 7, Blue Jays 0: Baltimore finally wins a game, breaking an eight-game losing streak. Trey Mancini did the bulk of the damage, driving in five via a three-run homer and a two-run double. He’d also score a run when Tim Beckham drove him in after reaching in the seventh. David Hess pitched shutout ball for six innings and three relievers each tossed a scoreless frame to complete the blanking.

Nationals 5, Phillies 3: The last we saw Stephen Strasburg he was getting his butt handed to him by the Phillies in his first game back from the disabled list. He was much better last night against the same men, giving up two runs on five hits and striking out five over six innings. Matt Wieters homered. The Phillies threw the ball around a bit too much and fell three and a half games behind the first-place Braves.

Ketel Marte shut down with back injury

Ketel Marte
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With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.

It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.

Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.

Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.