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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 6, Astros 5: Boston blew a four-run lead in the sixth inning but Mitch Moreland singled in the winning run with a walkoff single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to help the Sox avoid the sweep at the hands of the red-hot Astros. J.D. Martinez hit his 40th homer and drove in four for Boston.

Braves 9, Diamondbacks 5: Another day, another late comeback for the Braves against the Diamondbacks. Trailing 4-2 in the top of the eighth, Freddie Freeman singled in a run to cut the deficit to one. In the ninth, Tyler Flowers and Ozzie Albies reached via singles and then Ender Inciarte hit a go-ahead three-run home run. The bombs kept coming after that, too. Lucas Duda hit a solo homer and then, after a Ronald Acuña triple, Johan Camargo hit a two-run shot. Their win, plus the Phillies’ loss puts them four and a half games up — four in the loss column — in the NL East, with 19 games to play.

Brewers 6, Giants 3: There’s red ass, there’s MAJOR red ass and then there’s Red Ass: Madison Bumgarner level. So red that, because Ryan Braun had hit an RBI double off of him, stole a base and hit a hard warning track shot earlier, Bumgarner gave him some chin music inside, the two jawed back and forth a bit and then plunked him loading the bases in a one-run game to do it. Which, hey, fine, if you’re mad, you’re mad. Except then Jonathan Schoop took Bumgarner deep for a grand slam the next batter later, so I guess that bit him in that red ass of his:

After the game everyone said that he didn’t hit Braun on purpose — and maybe he didn’t — but the high inside heat was no doubt purposeful. You pitch mad, you’re gonna get burnt and Bumgarner got burnt. The Giants have lost eight straight.

Blue Jays 6, Indians 2: Justin Smoak homered and drove in three and Teoscar Hernandez hit a three-run homer late to give the Jays a nice cushion. In other news, Randal Grichuk took a nasty header into a metal stool, sustaining what at the time was feared to be a possible concussion and some facial injuries. Manager John Gibbons after the game, talking about Grichuk:

“He was laughing a bit, so that was a good sign . . . He’s a pretty boy, you don’t want to hurt that face.”

All of us pretty boys have been there, Randal. Here’s hoping that face is OK.

Cardinals 5, Tigers 2: St. Louis scored five runs in the seventh. They had help, too, from the . . . Rally Squirrel:

The rally was rodent-scaled too, full of infield singles and errors and stuff. They did, however, avoid a series sweep and ended the Tigers’ four-game winning streak.

Mets 6, Phillies 4: Jacob deGrom was scratched because the weather was crappy but it didn’t make a difference. Michael Conforto hit a three-run homer and drove in four and the Mets — who have the best record in the NL East over the past couple of months if you can believe it — overcame an early 2-0 deficit to take two of three in the series. The Phillies have lost seven straight series, in fact, and have lost 17 of 26 games.

Rays 8, Orioles 3: The sweep. Brandon Lowe hit a three-run homer in a five-run first inning as the Rays just keep on winning. Sixteen of nineteen overall, in fact. Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos didn’t get the start — Ryne Stanek pitched the first third of the first inning — but he kept the O’s scoreless until the seventh all the same. The Rays pitching staff in 2018 is like that quote about how life must be lived going forward but can only be understood looking backward.

Dodgers 9, Rockies 6: Justin Turner hit a two-run homer and had four hits in all as the Dodgers take two of three from the Rockies to move to within a half-game of the lead in the NL West. The standings I look at have percent chance of making the playoffs and, despite Colorado being up by a half game, lists the Rockies’ chance at the postseason at 49% and the Dodgers’ at 83%. I’m sure there are reasons having to do with the schedule, current trends and, like, cosmic justice and balance at work there, but I’m probably too dumb to figure it out and, frankly, not terribly interested in doing so. Live life forward and understand it looking back, remember?

Angels 1, White Sox 0: Andrew Heaney tossed seven shutout innings and struck out 12 and Kole Calhoun‘s seventh inning RBI single is all the runs the Angels either got or needed. Mike Trout went 2-for-4 and finished the series 8-for-11 with two homers and five RBI. The White Sox have dropped five straight.

Twins 3, Royals 1: Minnesota only got seven hits in the game but one of them was a Willians Astudillo walkoff two-run homer. The Royals got only three hits in the whole game. One of them was an Adalberto Mondesi homer. As it was only a solo shot it, quite obviously, was not enough.

Mariners 3, Yankees 2: The Mitch Haniger show. In the eighth inning Haniger drew a walk, stole second with a nifty slide and then advanced to third on a bunt. The, with Robinson Cano at the plate and the infield playing in, Haniger broke home on the old contact play and scored the go-ahead run by sliding in to juuussst beat the tag. Then in the ninth Haniger made the game’s final out, and ended what could’ve quickly grown into a rally, on a sweet diving catch on a Giancarlo Stanton fly ball:

The win helps the M’s avoid a sweep.

Athletics 7, Rangers 3: Oakland fell behind early but seven A’s relievers combined for six and a third scoreless innings of two-hit ball, giving the offense a chance to rally. Most of that rally came in a five-run fourth inning which featured three hits, three walks, an error, a wild pitch and a passed ball. Stephen Piscotty homered later to please the folks who are into the whole, you know, conventional thing. It was the Athletics’ fourth straight win and sixth win in seven games. They trail New York by two and a half for the top Wild Card.

Padres 7, Reds 6: A soggy weekend which featured over five hours of cumulative delays made for a seriously long day for these two clubs. First pitch was pushed back three hours from the scheduled 1:10 p.m start to wait out the system that soaked the middle of the country all weekend. There were still bits of it lingering, however, so there was a delay of 1 hour, 32 minutes in the eighth inning as the game stood tied at 6. After play resumed Eric Hosmer‘s homer — his third in three games — in the top of the ninth broke that 6-6 tie and gave San Diego the win and the series split. I’m sure, everyone just loved sitting through all those delays on getaway day, but we don’t do ties in baseball, folks, and a team from California does not come back to Ohio for a makeup game in September when both clubs involved are playing out the string.

Speaking of rain . . .

Cubs vs. Nationals; Marlins vs. Pirates — POSTPONED:

I’ve been loving you a long time
Down all the years, down all the days
And I’ve cried for all your troubles
Smiled at your funny little ways
We watched our friends grow up together
And we saw them as they fell
Some of them fell into Heaven
Some of them fell into Hell
I took shelter from a shower
And I stepped into your arms
On a rainy night in Soho
The wind was whistling all its charms

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Diamondbacks 4, Braves 1: 🎶Stop me, oh-oh-oh, stop me . . .stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before . . .🎶

Sorry. Just waylaid by this Braves bullpen. Nothing’s changed. It’s enough to make a shy, bald, Buddhist reflect and plan a mass murder. Me watching the game: 🎶 I drank one. It became four. And when I fell on the floor I drank more.🎶

Christian Walker hit a two-run homer in the seventh off of Chad Sobotka, who, didn’t get an out and who has given up five runs in his last two outings. The Diamondbacks have won four straight.

Nationals 4, Giants 2: Patrick Corbin took a one-hitter into the eighth inning and ended having allowed only one run on two hits while punching out nine. Not literally, though. If he punched out nine guys he’d probably be arrested.

Tigers 9, White Sox 7: Detroit ends a five-game skid. Nicholas Castellanos and Miguel Cabrera led the way, with the former going 3-for-4, the latter 2-for-4 and both driving in two runs. Dustin Peterson and Grayson Greiner also each drove in two, but they don’t get to be characterized as “leading the way” because baseball has a pretty strict seniority system and if you get too loosey-goosey with it you got a big hassle with the union and I’ve already had too many fires to put out this week, OK?

Blue Jays 7, Twins 4: Randal Grichuk, who got all “play the game the right way” on Tim Anderson on Wednesday, hit a homer. After which he gently laid his bat down parallel to the base line, assumed an expression which suggested mild pleasure but copious humility and then stoically ran the bases at a speed which reflected his obvious reverence for players past, present and future. I’m assuming at least.

Here’s what he actually said:

“I’ve never been one to flip a bat or do anything like that. I run out of the box always. I’ve hit some pretty far homers and I’ve sprinted out of the box like it was a wall-scraper. It’s just who I am. (Other) guys are different.”

Someone give that guy the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Justin Smoak and Teoscar Hernández hit home runs too. No word on whether Grichuk silently judged them afterwards. The Jays took three of four from the Twinkies.

Royals 6, Yankees 1: Homer Bailey — Homer Bailey? — yes, Homer Bailey held the Bombers to one run over six. Jorge Soler and Ryan O'Hearn hit dingers. New York got four singles in the game. That’s it. I guess with the Red Sox and Cubs being off someone had to step up and satisfy the “big money teams stinkin’ up the joint” quota for the evening.

Dodgers 3, Brewers 1: Before the game Dave Roberts announced that Julio Urías would head to the bullpen after this start since the Dodgers will soon be getting a couple of veteran pitchers back. Then Urías goes out and tosses six one-hit shutout innings while striking out nine. There are teams that would kill to have the sort of depth that would allow this kid to be shuffled off to long relief after a start like this. Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy homered in a winning cause. Christian Yelich homered in a losing cause.

Orioles 6, Rays 5: Joey Rickard drove in the winning run in the 11th inning with an RBI double. To even get him up to bat required Chris Davis to hit a two-out RBI single, and I wonder what the odds of that happening were. RIckard himself was no sure bet to play the hero here after coming into the game on an 0-for-15 skid, but he reached base five times and drove in two on the night. Dude used to be a Ray, too. Or at least in their system. Baltimore swiped him from Tampa Bay in the 2015 Rule 5 Draft. Here’s another killer for the Rays: Tommy Pham, who was 4-for-5 with two driven in, was on second base with one out in the bottom of the ninth and the score tied but . . . got picked off while trying to steal third base. Ouch.

Rockies 6, Phillies 2: Ryan McMahon homered twice and had five RBI. Kyle Freeland pitched six scoreless innings but had to leave with a blister, so that’s worth watching. Colorado was won four in a row.

Mariners 11, Angels 10: The M’s had a 10-2 lead heading into the seventh and totally blew it when the Angels scored seven runs on seven hits in the seventh and got a David Fletcher homer in the eighth to tie things up. Seattle rallied in the ninth, though, with pinch hitter Jay Bruce singing in Mitch Haniger for the winning margin. Before all of that messiness the M’s bottom of the order, in the form of Omar Narváez and Ryon Healy, combined to drive in nine. Healy homered twice. Narváez hit a three-run shot. Speaking of shot, all the pitchers in this one probably should’ve been.

Reds 4, Padres 1: Joey Votto led off in this came, which was odd, and he hit a homer to start the game. Padres starter Chris Paddack said after the game that he “thought I could blow a heater by him.” Bless his heart. Fernando Tatís Jr. led off too, which is also new, and went 2-for-4. Tucker Barnhart and Jesse Winker also homered, helping Cincy snap a four-game losing skid.