And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rockies 9, Giants 8: The Rockies took a 4-0 lead off of Madison Bumgarner in the first, later had a 7-2 lead and were, seemingly, on their way to an easy win. Nothing ever comes easy at Coors Field, however, and they blew that lead thanks to pinch-hit homers from both Alen Hanson and Chris Shaw in the eighth. Colorado rallied in their half of the eighth however, with Ian Desmond and Chris Iannetta reaching after which pinch hitter Noel Cuevas singled in both of them to give Colorado the lead and, eventually, the game. Trevor Story hit two homers for the Rockies, who won their third game in a row and, thanks to the Dodgers’ loss later in the day, took possession of first place in the NL West.

Mets 4, Dodgers 2: Jacob deGrom once again did not get the win despite a strong performance, but he certainly helped the Mets earn that W by allowing one run over six and knocking in the Mets first run of the game, tying things up at one with an RBI single in the fifth inning. It stayed that way until the ninth inning when Brandon Nimmo hit a three-run homer off of Kenta Maeda which powered the Mets to the win and knocked the Dodgers out of first place.

Padres 6 Diamondbacks 2: Franmil Reyes homered twice and drove in four and with it the Padres drove the Dbacks to their fourth straight loss and knocked them back to a game and a half behind the Rockies. Reyes has a nine-game hitting streak and has homered in five of those nine games.

Brewers 4, Cubs 3: Bases loaded in the ninth, Christian Yelich grounds to third, Kris Bryant steps on third for one out and fires to first for what could’ve been an extra-innings-forcing double play, but Yelich beat it out for the rare walkoff fielder’s choice:

It was a hard-hit ball that would’ve been a really, really tough double play to turn. Bryant made his best effort, but that was great hustle by Yelich too. All of that said: why isn’t Bryant throwing home in that situation? Either to get the force play for the first out or at least to try to get a tag play on Keon Broxton? Home is closer than first, right? Oh well, it’s academic now. The Brewers take the first of several must-win games against the Cubs.

Athletics 6, Yankees 3: It’s looking very likely that the A’s and Yankees will face each other in the AL Wild Card game, but the A’s are not content with that. For starters, they still want to catch Houston and have a puncher’s chance at that. But if they can’t, they at least would like to catch New York so that Wild Card game can take place in Oakland rather than the Bronx. a tall order with less than a month to go in the season, but they took a step in that direction by jumping on CC Sabathia early, getting a homer from Mark Canha, an RBI double from Matt Chapman and beating the Yankees for the sixth time in their past eight meetings. Oakland is two and a half behind the Astros, three and a half behind the Yankees.

White Sox 4, Tigers 2: Detroit took a 2-1 lead in the top of the ninth thanks to a Victor Martinez homer and clung to that 2-1 lead heading into the bottom half as Shane Greene tried to lock down the game. He did not, however, lock it down. Rather, he gave up a tying homer to Daniel Palka, a single to Wellington Castillo and then a two-run walkoff homer to Matt Davidson:

After the game, Martinez commented on the loss: “It happened,” he said. Hey Victor, lay off. That’s my bit.

Nationals 4, Cardinals 3: Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer which tied the game in the ninth inning to force extras and then hit a walkoff sac fly in the tenth to end the game. Max Scherzer struck out 11 in the no-decision. The Cardinals have dropped three in a row.

Red Sox 8, Braves 2: A pretty close game until late, when the Sox put up five runs in the final two innings. Ian Kinsler drove in three. The Red Sox needed eight pitchers to get through this nine inning game after Nate Eovaldi issued four walks and left before he could complete four innings, making this a pretty ugly-looking box score. The results were good for Boston, though: they’ve won 23 of their last 27 games against National League teams.

Marlins 3, Phillies 1: The Braves feel better about dropping one to Boston given that the Phillies dropped this one to the Marlins. Even if a guy they hate — Jose Urena — was on the mound for Miami. He did well, allowing only one run in seven innings and striking out seven. Of course, every pitcher has done well against Philly of late: they’ve scored only five runs in their past four games. All of the scoring in this one took place in the second inning. The Phillies’ run on an Asdrubal Cabrera home run, the Marlins’ on RBI singles from Lewis Brinson and Rafael Ortega.

Pirates 5, Reds 1: Trevor Williams tossed five shutout innings to outduel Matt Harvey, who gave up dingers to Adam Frazier and Gregory Polanco. The highlight of this game was not a homer, though. It was Joey Votto exchanging an autographed jersey for a fan’s T-shirt. Really:

The t-shirt was from a promotional campaign from several years ago, which said “Votto for President.” Votto said after the game that he never got one and had been looking for one for years. Now he has one.

Astros 4, Twins 1: Dallas Keuchel allowed one run, unearned, in six innings and Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel went deep. Bregman has homered in three straight games. He’s having a very quiet — at least nationally speaking — amazing season, batting .292/.393/.542 with 28 jacks. Houston has won three in a row.

Royals 5, Indians 1: The Royals have now won six in a row — and eight of nine — and, unlike their previous few games, this one came against a good team. Here Jakob Junis allowed two hits in seven shutout innings and Ryan O'Hearn homered twice. The Tribe’s only run came on a fairly meaningless Francisco Lindor homer in the ninth. It had some meaning to Lindor, though, as it was his 30th on the season. Round numbers are satisfying.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 1: Three Rays’ pitchers combined to allow one run on four hits, with Yonny Chinros handling seven innings of that work, beginning in the second inning. Marcus Stroman got roughed up early in his first start after coming off the disabled list, allowing four runs and six hits in one and two-thirds innings. Kevin Kiermaier had a single, a double and a triple and drove in a run, Joey Wendle had three hits, Matt Duffy had two hits and two RBI, and Tommy Pham reached base three times for the red-hot Rays.

Angels 3, Rangers 1: Matt Shoemaker last pitched on March 31, the Angels third game of the season. Then he had surgery on his forearm and watched his teammates play for over five months. Back in acton here, he tossed five scoreless innings, allowing two hits and one walk while striking out three. He didn’t figure in the decision since his mates didn’t score until the seventh, but he was obviously a big part of this win all the same. Taylor Ward hit a two-run homer for the Halos.

Mariners 2, Orioles 1: Erasmo Ramirez allowed one run in five and a third and the bullpen handled things the rest of the way as the M’s held the O’s to three hits. Seattle’s runs came via a Ryon Healy RBI single and a sac fly from Dee Gordon.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.