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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rockies 10, Diamondbacks 3: Kyle Freelandwho, as Bill wrote last night is someone you should know better — picked up his 15th win while helping his own cause by doubling in a run. Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story homered. Arenado reached the 100 RBI plateau with his. In so doing the Rockies take three of four from Arizona, holding on to their one-and-a-half-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West — two in the loss column — and shoving the fading Dbacks four and a half back. Arizona is 3-12 in September.

Mets 4, Marlins 3; Mets 5, Marlins 2Michael Conforto and Todd Frazier hit back-to-back homers with two outs in the ninth inning to give New York a walkoff 4-3 victory in the first game. Before that the Mets only had two hits in the whole game, though one of them was a homer from starter Steven Matz. In the nightcap Conforto knocked in three more runs and rookie Tomas Nido hit his first career homer. The Mets took three of four in the series and have won nine of 12 overall.

Cubs 4, Nationals 3: A makeup game that the Cubs have been complaining about having to play for some time carried with it some good news and some bad news. The good news: Cubs win, with Javier Baez bunting in a run in the top of the 10th:

Despite what the announcer said there, it was not Joe Maddon’s call. Baez decided to bunt for himself. The runner who scored — Kris Bryant — didn’t even know it was coming. Baez also homered and drove in three runs overall, pushing himself ahead of Trevor Story for the league lead in RBI, 103-102 and keeping himself in the thick of the MVP race.

The bad news for Chicago: reliever Pedro Strop batted for himself in that 10th inning and then strained a hamstring running to first base while trying to beat a double play ball. Losing Strop — as the Cubs are likely to for at least a couple of weeks given how hamstring injuries go — is a huge blow. He’s been closing for them since Brandon Morrow went down to injury and has been doing a fine job of it. Now he’s likely out at least until the playoffs start.

Mariners 8, Angels 2: Nelson Cruz hit a three-run homer and he, Mitch HanigerRobinson Cano and Kyle Seager each had two hits as the M’s eliminate the Angels from playoff contention. Not that they were, practically speaking, in playoff contention of course. We just keep track of such things, much like Astinus — the worldly form of Gilean, God of Neutrality — who watches over the Great Library of Palanthas and scribes all history as it happens.

Wait, what?

Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: The Blue Jays rallied for two runs to tie the game up in the top of the eighth and then they coughed up a run to Boston when second baseman Yangervis Solarte dropped a popup which allowed Xander Bogaerts to score from third base to give the Sox the lead and, eventually, the game. Rafael Devers homered as Boston increased its lead in the AL East to ten and a half games and reduced its magic number for clinching the division to six.

Orioles 5, Athletics 3: The A’s had a six-game winning streak and the Orioles had a six-game losing streak coming into this one. Streaks: ended. Dylan Bundy allowed two runs on six hits and struck out eight in six innings. Tim Beckham hit a two-run single and John Andreoli and Breyvic Valera each knocked in a run as well. Jace Peterson knocked in the final O’s run with an RBI double and the O’s pen squelched a would-be eighth inning rally for Oakland.

Dodgers 9, Cardinals 7Manny Machado homered, drove in three runs and made a nifty barehand play at short as well. David Freese had a big hit against his old mates, tripling in two runs in the first inning and helping Los Angeles build an early 8-1 lead. The Cards came back late, bringing the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, but a less-than-dominant Kenley Jansen closed it out. Pretty? Nah. But L.A. pulled to within one game of the second Wild Card slot, currently held by St. Louis. Three more games to go in this series.

Royals 6, Twins 4Heath Fillmyer allowed four runs but pitched into the eighth inning and the Royals came back from a small early deficit thanks to back-to-back homers from Sal Perez and Jorge Bonafacio in the sixth. Play of the game, though, was made by a non-roster participant:

Often when such plays happen the announcer will joke “sign that guy to a contract!” Given the state of the Royals these days it’d likely only be a partial joke. Like, no, the Royals wouldn’t sign him, but I’m not willing to say that a low level intern was not at least asked to, you know, do some quick checking on the guy’s high school stats or what have you.

Report: Orioles expected to replace Buck Showalter

Buck Showalter
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Orioles manager Buck Showalter is not expected to retain his position with the club beyond the 2018 season, according to multiple reports from Jon Heyman of Fancred and Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. Nothing appears to be finalized just yet, however, and the Orioles have yet to address rumors of Showalter’s impending departure or news of a possible contract extension for general manager Dan Duquette.

Even so, it’s been a year of near-unprecedented disaster for the 62-year-old skipper, who helped lead the team to a 44-108 record prior to the outcome of Friday’s series opener against the Yankees. With the Orioles’ 108th loss — a 4-6 heartbreaker against the Blue Jays on Tuesday — they tied the 1937 St. Louis Browns for the second-most losses in a single season, eclipsed only by the 43-111 record of the 1939 Browns. As they have just 10 games remaining in the regular season, this year’s team has no chance of climbing out of last place in the AL East and may well finish with the worst record in the AL to boot.

While the Orioles’ missteps don’t bode well for Showalter’s future in Baltimore, he’s brought far more good than harm to the organization over the last eight and a half years. He assumed the managerial position from interim manager Juan Samuel in the middle of the team’s 2010 season and guided the club to five winning seasons and three postseason appearances in 2012, 2014, and 2016. Entering the 2018 season, his record sits at 666 wins and 677 losses, the winningest mark by any of the team’s skippers since Earl Weaver wrapped his 17-season run with the team in 1986. Whether the Orioles believe Showalter is capable of recovering from two consecutive losing seasons and returning the team to their former days of glory (and the occasional division title) remains to be seen, of course, though there’s plenty to recommend him as they prepare to advance a full-scale rebuild over the offseason.