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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 9, Athletics 4: Oakland jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two but Boston jumped on ’em for six in the third. It was sort of like the Hulk-Thanos fight in “Infinity War” in which you thought, “uh oh, he’s in trouble now” as Hulk got a couple of punches in but, um, nah. I’d really like to start making references to “Endgame” in this space but I feel like I can’t do that until after the second weekend.

Anyway, Xander Bogaerts‘ two-run double in the third tied it and Michael Chavis‘ two-run single put Boston ahead. Chavis would add another RBI in the fifth. The Sox scored all of their runs without the benefit of the homer. Oakland did too for that matter.

Cardinals 6, Nationals 3: Like Boston, the Cards put up a six-spot in a single inning. Like Boston they also needed to do so to come from behind. Here a returning-for-the-disabled list Michael Wacha was shaky early, walking in a run with the bases loaded and giving up a two-run single right after that, but those three runs would be all he’d allow in five. The Redbirds’ comeback came courtesy of a Harrison Bader homer, Matt Carpenter scoring on a wild pitch, Marcel Ozuna singling in two runs, an RBI double from José Martínez and a Yadi Molina single. All of that damage was done against Patrick Corbin who, before this game, was one of the best pitchers in the National League so far this year. Life comes at you fast. St. Louis has won three straight and eight of nine.

Reds 5, Mets 4: I guess big innings were the order of the day, because the Reds scored four in the second with a couple of doubles, a single and a sac fly, staking them to an early 4-0 lead. They’d lose that lead by the fourth, when the Mets tied it scoring both their third and their fourth runs via bases-loaded walks from Tanner Roark. Jesse Winker broke that tie with a two-out, ninth inning homer off of Mets closer Edwin Díaz. Winker had seven home runs in each of the last two seasons. He has eight so far in 2019.

Brewers 5, Rockies 1: And another four-run inning, this one in the Milwaukee first which ended this one before it began. At least in hindsight. Jesús Aguilar hit the big blow, a three-run homer off of Kyle Freeland, and he’d add a second dinger off of Freeland, a solo shot, in the third. Aguilar hit 35 homers in 2018. These were his first two of 2019. After the game he said “This is going to be the first night where I’m going to sleep good.” I wonder what that’s like.

Braves 3, Padres 1: Mike Soroka have Atlanta yet another strong start, allowing only one run in six innings while striking out eight. He also played a part in the scoring, helping Atlanta score a run via a fielder’s choice, advancing to third when the Padres committed not one but two errors on the play, and scoring on an Ozzie Albies single right after that to give himself and his team a 2-1 lead. Albies would add an insurance run with a homer. It was his third in the last two games. Maybe the biggest news here was that the Braves got three scoreless innings from their bullpen. Since when does that happen?

Twins 1, Astros 0: When you score only one run off of Justin Verlander you aren’t likely to win, but Minnesota beat the odds by making a third inning solo homer from third baseman Ehire Adrianza hold up as the only run in the game. They did it mostly thanks to Jake Odorizzi, who tossed seven shutout innings, walking one and striking out seven. It was the Twins’ eighth win in ten games. Only the Rays have a better record than the Twins in all of baseball.

White Sox 5, Orioles 3: Manny Bañuelos — who before this year had not seen big league action since 2015 because, I’m assuming anyway, he got snapped by Thanos and just reappeared, um . . . somehow . . . pitched five-hit ball into the sixth inning in his first start in a dog’s age. Tim Anderson and Yonder Alonso each hit a two-run homer and James McCann had three hits as the Chisox won their third in a row. In other news, every year there’s some non-divisional matchup which seems like it has lasted 50 games even though you know it’s only like six. That’s Chicago and Baltimore for me so far this year. I know, intellectually, they’ve played only four times but it sure seems like it’s been 12.

Rays 8, Royals 5: Tommy Pham, Yandy Díaz and Ji-Man Choi each drove in two as the Rays won for the fifth time in six games. They’re such a balanced team this year. Every night someone else is contributing to a win. I know it’s still April, but it sure feels like something special is going on here.

Giants 3, Dodgers 2: The Dodgers had a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh and Ross Stripling came in to keep the shutout going. He didn’t. Joe Panik singled, Yangervis Solarte doubled him over to third and Brandon Belt walked, chasing Stripling and bringing in Dylan Floro. He struck out Buster Posey for the second out of the inning but then surrendered a bases-clearing double to Evan Longoria to give the Giants a 3-2 lead that proved to be the final score. The Dodgers’ four-game winning streak, and the Giants’ three-game losing streak, were . . . snapped.

Like I said: I would REALLY like to start talking about “Endgame” soon, you guys.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here’s where we stand:

  • The Cardinals won and the Brewers and Cubs lost, putting St. Louis’ lead in the NL Central back up at three;
  • The Twins lost and the Indians won, dropping the Twins lead in the AL Central to four;
  • The top three teams in the NL Wild Card race lost and the next three all won. That means the Nationals are in top Wild Card position, a game and a half ahead of the Brewers and Cubs, who in turn are both three games ahead of the Phillies and Mets. The Diamondbacks are four and a half back; and
  • The A’s, Rays and Indians and Rays all won, keeping the AL Wild Card race at status quo with Oakland two games over the Rays who are a half game ahead of Cleveland.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cardinals 5, Nationals 1: Adam Wainwright allowed one run over seven, out-pitching Max Scherzer. Dexter Fowler robbed a home run too:

The Cards beating the Nationals reduces the Braves’ magic number to clinch the NL East to two. Which means that, for one of the first times in 16 years, the Braves trading Adam Wainwright to the Cardinals actually paid off some for ’em.

Mets 7, Rockies 4: The Mets were down 4-2 in the eighth but rallied for five runs in the final two frames for the win. The rally was pretty much all small ball too, with Pete Alonso — who had homered earlier — walking with the bases loaded and runs coming on ground outs and double play balls and a couple of singles. Jeff McNeil also homered for the Mets who passed their single season team record for dingers with 225. Something like half of all of the teams will set new home run records this year.

Athletics 1, Royals 0: Homer Bailey and Danny Duffy traded zeros for seven innings and the their relievers continued to do so into the eleventh. Jurickson Profar led off the bottom of the eleventh with a walk, however, stole second base and then scored when Mark Canha hit a walkoff double to end it. When the dust settled, A’s pitchers had gone 11 shutout innings striking out 19 Royals batters in all.

Diamondbacks 5, Marlins 4: Abraham Almonte and Christian Walker homered and Mike Leake bent but didn’t break in six and two-thirds mostly effective innings to give the Snakes the win. But who cares about a Marlins-Dbacks game? What you really should know is that I watched season 2, episode 1 of “Columbo” last night and it was great. John Cassavetes was the killer. I love him in everything. Blythe Danner played his wife. She was pregnant with Gwyneth Paltrow during the filming of this one and it aired ten days before Paltrow was born. They put Danner in bulky sweaters and stuff to hide it. The great Myrna Loy, from “The Thin Man” movies, was in it as Danner’s mom. Pat Morita had a bit part as the “house boy” even though he was like 40 when it was made. Racist much? Yeah, well, it was the 70s. George Gaynes — the guy from “Punky Brewster” and the “Police Academy” movies was in it too. The director of the episode was Nicholas Colasanto, who later played Coach on “Cheers.” And the mansion Cassavetes character lived in was the “Benson” mansion:

And yeah, that Jag served as a plot point too. Lovin’ “Columbo” these days, you guys.

Indians 2, Tigers 1: Death, taxes, Columbo acting befuddled, getting under the hubristic murderer’s skin with his constant questioning and then, just as the episode is about to end, putting it all together and catching the criminal in their web of lies and deception, and the Indians beating the Tigers. This time in extras with Yasiel Puig hitting a walkoff RBI single.

Angels 3, Yankees 2: CC Sabathia only lasted two and two-thirds innings in what was his final regular season start in Yankee Stadium. Maybe even his final game there period as there’s no guarantee he makes the postseason roster. He allowed two and Adam Ottavino gave up an unearned run in the sixth, but it was via his own throwing error and that was the difference in the game. The Angels bullpen tossed five shutout innings.

Mariners 4, Pirates 1: Four M’s pitchers combined to allow one run on six hits while Kyle Lewis and Tom Murphy each homered. The M’s have won four in a row.

Blue Jays 11, Orioles 10: Baltimore led 7-1 heading into the sixth, the Jays rallied to make it close, the O’s scored a couple more to make it 9-5 heading into the ninth but the Jays rallied even bigger, scoring six in the final inning — four of which came on a Randal Grichuk grand slam with two outs — to take an 11-9 lead and then held on 11-10. All of that offense saved Clay Buchholz‘s bacon. He allowed 10 hits, seven for extra bases, in three and two-thirds innings but got the no-decision. His ERA on the season is now 6.48 in ten starts. His nice 2018 season in Arizona seems like it was a hundred years ago. His heyday in Boston seems like a million.

Giants 11, Red Sox 3: The Giants win gave Bruce Bochy his 2,000th victory as a manager. That puts him in pretty exclusive company as he’s only the 11th guy to do that. Every single guy ahead of him on that list is in the Hall of Fame as Bochy will be too one day. Giants starter Jeff Samardzija took a no-hitter into the sixth inning while Boston pitchers for tagged for 15 hits. The Giants scored two runs in the eighth and five more in the ninth to make it a laugher. They go for the sweep this afternoon.

Phillies 4, Braves 1: Zach Eflin allowed only an unearned run while working into the seventh and was backed by homers from Bryce Harper and César Hernández. Jean Segura drew a bases-loaded walk too. The Braves have dropped three in a row.

Padres 2, Brewers 1: Padres starter Dinelson Lamet, who missed all last season with Tommy John surgery — struck out 14 dudes in six one-run innings and got just enough offense behind him — in the form of a two-run homer from rookie Seth Mejias-Brean — to make that stand up.

White Sox 3, Twins 1: Eight Sox pitchers took a combined no-hitter into the sixth inning and ended up allowing only one run on three hits in all. Zack Collins homered and Yoan Moncada doubled twice. And check out this play-off-the-wall and throw to third by Adam Engel, cutting down Eddie Rosario who was trying to stretch a double into a triple:

Worth noting that Rosario would’ve made it if he didn’t take a moment to admire what the initially thought was a homer. And, of course, if he stays on second he’s fine and the Twins have a chance to draw closer in a tight game.

Reds 3, Cubs 2: The Cubs came into this series having won five straight but the Reds have dropped them twice in a row. That’s not idea. Here José Iglesias smacked an RBI double in the top of the tenth to give Cincinnati the win. Reds pitchers played a big part too, of course, with five of them, led by Tyler Mahle, combining on a four-hitter.

Rays 8, Dodgers 7: An eighth inning Cody Bellinger homer gave L.A. a 6-4 lead but the Rays rallied for two runs off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth. Which sort of resets the recent “Jansen is back!” narrative that had begun to form. Austin Meadows led off the 11th inning with a homer and Ji-Man Choi hit a sac fly for an insurance run that, thanks to one more Dodgers run in the bottom half, ended up being needed, as the Rays held on for the victory. Just one more thing: eighteen more pitchers used in this one, which went four hours and forty minutes. At least this one was closer, seemingly more riveting baseball than the previous night.

Astros 3, Rangers 2: Gerrit Cole struck out ten and allowed only two runs in eight innings to pick up his 18th win. And, en route, picked up his 300th strikeout on the season. Cole has not lost a game since May 22, you guys. Yuli Gurriel and José Altuve each homered, supplying all of the offense.