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And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are he highlights:

Cardinals 3, Nationals 2: Adam Wainwright outduels Aníbal Sánchez, which I’m sure is something I wrote in the recaps in 2010 one time. Wainwright lasted into the seventh and only allowed a couple of solo shots. Kolten Wong bunted in a run and Harrison Bader hit a two-run single that put St. Louis on top in the fourth and there they stayed. Wainwright also kicked a comebacker to first baseman Paul Goldschmidt for a just-the-way-they-drew-it-up 1-3 putout to end a bases-loaded threat:

At 19-10, the Cards have the best record in the NL and they have won four in a row. Everything’s comin’ up Redbird.

Astros 11, Twins 0: Gerrit Cole struck out 11 and allowed only one hit in seven dominating innings as the Astros snapped Minnesota’s four-game winning streak. George Springer had an RBI double and homered. Carlos Correa knocked in three. Jake Marisnick hit a two-run shot and Alex Bregman went deep as well. The win was A.J. Hinch’s 392nd as Astros manager, which ties him with Art Howe for third on the all-time franchise list. He’ll pass Larry Dierker for second place with 435 at some point this year. Then he’ll only have Bill Virdon to catch, which will most likely happen next year. The Astros have had 23 managers. At the bottom of the list is a guy named Salty Parker, who played in 11 games for the Tigers back in 1936 and managed only 12 total games in the majors, 11 in 1967 and one in 1972. I bet he knew every greasy spoon diner from Bangor to Barstow, though.

Indians 7, Marlins 4: Former Columbus Clipper Carlos González hit a three-run homer, former Columbus Clipper Carlos Santana hit a solo shot and former Columbus Clipper Trevor Bauer struck out ten over seven innings to lead the Tribe to victory. Just dropping the Columbus stuff because people suddenly remember my city exists thanks to the hockey team and I figure I may as well try to expand the brand a little bit. Bauer didn’t pitch wonderfully — he was sloppy early — but he still posted his 60th consecutive start without allowing more than four runs. According to the good folks at Elias, that’s the second longest such streak for a pitcher since 1970. The longest is held by Greg Maddux. Elias didn’t say how long his was in the thing I read, but I’m gonna assume it was, like, 120 or some crap.

UPDATE:

Tigers 3, Phillies 1: Spencer Turnbull stymied the Phillies, allowing one over six and the Tigers pen tossed three shutout innings. Miguel Cabrera singled in a run in the third and Niko Goodrum homered him in seven pitches later for all the Tigers’ runs. Thing I just learned: Goodrum’s given first name is Cartier. He’s someone to . . . watch.

Mets 4, Reds 3: A long Todd Frazier homer gave the Mets a 2-1 lead heading into the eighth. With Edwin Díaz unavailable having pitched in the previous three games, the Mets relied on Jeurys Family for a two-inning save. The eighth inning went fine. The ninth, not so much, as Familia allowed two runs which forced extras. Peter Alonso saved his bacon in the tenth, however, hitting a walkoff sac fly. Jeff McNeil had four hits on the evening.

Red Sox 5, Athletics 1: Rick Porcello tossed eight shutout innings — it was the longest outing of any Boston starter all year — striking out eight. He was backed by homers from Mookie Betts and Mitch Moreland and various and sundry other run-scoring events. Boston has won four of six.

Padres 4, Braves 3: Franmil Reyes was most of the Padres’ offense as he socked two homers and doubled in a run. Eric Hosmer homered too. That backed Chris Paddack who tossed six innings of two-run ball. Guy has high-90s heat and then shows you breaking stuff in the 70s. It’s sort of not fair.

Brewers 4, Rockies 3: Jesús Aguilar stayed hot, hitting a three-run homer in the seventh to pad what was then a 1-0 lead. It was necessary too as Colorado mounted a three-run rally in the ninth off of Junior Guerra, who Craig Counsell was pushing into this second inning of use. Unlike the Familia thing in New York it was not a save situation at the time, but not a good night if you wanted two-innings from your late game relievers, eh?

Pirates 6, Rangers 4: Texas led 3-0 heading into the ninth but the Pirates rallied for three, with an RBI single from Adam Frazier and a two-run double from Josh Bell to force extras. In the 11th the Buccos rallied for three more with homers from Bryan Reynolds and Starling Marte. A Joey Gallo homer in the bottom of the 11th was all Texas could muster as an answer and that was not enough because that’s just how math works. The win snapped an eight-game losing streak for Pittsburgh. I’m sure there were some quotes after that about how now they can get back on track and start playing well again like they did a couple of weeks ago and shake off that uncharacteristic losing stretch. God love baseball players for being intentionally oblivious to corrections and long arcs of probability and all of that.

Diamondbacks 3, Yankees 1: Zack Greinke won his fifth game of the year by allowing one run and pitching into the eighth, backed by a homer and an RBI single from Wilmer Flores. CC Sabathia made history with his 3,000th career strikeout in the loss. He’s only the third lefty in the 3,000 strikeout club. He’s not catching Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson, of course.

Unless . . .

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. . . this photo of him from last night suggests that he has the power to go all Dr. Strange and pitch as three guys at once. If he can do that — and if he doesn’t retire this year as planned — maybe he has a shot at ’em.

Dodgers 10, Giants 3: David Freese hit a three-run homer, Kiké Hernandez and Justin Turner hit solo shots. Turner’s was, somehow, his first dinger on the year. There was a delay in the start to this game due to a glitch in the replay system which prevented both teams from being able to watch plays in order to determine whether or not to challenge calls. As it couldn’t be immediately fixed, both teams retained their managerial challenges but were also given unlimited crew chief reviews if they requested one. We were probably lucky this was a blowout, then, because if it was close that might’ve really slowed things the hell down. As it was, the contest lasted only two hours and forty-five minutes.

Angels 4, Blue Jays 3: Brian Goodwin hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning. Jonathan Lucroy homered for the Halos as well. Local kid Griffin Canning made his big league debut for Los Angeles. He started out strong — he retired his first 10 batters and struck out five straight at one point — but couldn’t make it to the fifth. I’m sure the warm welcome felt nice, though. Brandon Drury hit his third homer in four games for the Blue Jays.

Cubs 6, Mariners 5: Chicago was down 5-4 in the eighth when Kyle Schwarber hit a two-run homer to save the day for the Cubs. Brad Brach pitched one and a third innings for the win and Steve Cishek got a four-out save, so let’s forget what I said above about how the multi-inning relief thing didn’t work out so good last night.

Orioles vs. White Sox; Rays vs. Royals — POSTPONED:

The rain falls hard on a humdrum town
This town has dragged you down
Oh, the rain falls hard on a humdrum town
This town has dragged you down
Oh, no, and everybody’s got to live their life
And God knows I’ve got to live mine
God knows I’ve got to live mine

William, William it was really nothing
William, William it was really nothing
It was your life

Astros claim AL pennant with walk-off win against the Yankees

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Following a rollercoaster performance on Saturday, the Astros clinched the American League Championship Series with a decisive 6-4 walk-off win against the Yankees, claiming their second AL pennant and earning a well-deserved entrance to the World Series.

Both clubs decided to preserve possible Game 7 starters Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole, electing to have a “bullpen day” for a pivotal Game 6. Chad Green took the mound for the Yankees, tossing one inning before handing the ball off to a long line of relievers, while Brad Peacock‘s rare playoff start was capped at 1 2/3 innings. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that made it the first postseason game since 1999 in which neither starting pitcher lasted two innings or longer.

All told, the two clubs utilized a total of 13 pitchers to make it through nine innings. The Astros lost Ryan Pressly to a worrisome knee injury in the third, but were able to lean on José Urquidy for 2 2/3 innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball. Although Yankees’ bullpen fought back in every inning, they had considerable difficulty recovering from Yuli Gurriel‘s three-run homer off of Green in the bottom of the first:

Still, New York managed to get in a couple of knocks as well: first, with Gary Sanchez‘s RBI single in the second inning, then with Gio Urshela‘s 395-foot blast in the fourth inning — the second of his postseason career to date. That wasn’t enough to close the gap, however, and Alex Bregman‘s productive groundout in the sixth helped cushion the Astros’ lead as they headed toward the final few innings of the series.

That lead started to look a little shaky in the ninth. Only three outs away from a ticket to the World Series, Houston closer Roberto Osuna gave up a leadoff single to Urshela, which was quickly followed by a jaw-dropping, full-count, game-tying two-run shot from DJ LeMahieu that barely cleared the right field fence.

With the threat of extra innings and a potential loss looming, the Astros engineered a last-minute rally to regain the lead and stake their claim for the pennant. With two outs and no runners on, George Springer took a five-pitch walk from Aroldis Chapman. In the next at-bat, Houston pinned their hopes on José Altuve — and he didn’t disappoint, lifting a 2-1 slider out to left field for a 406-foot, two-RBI homer that confirmed the Astros’ series win.

The 2019 World Series will mark the third Fall Classic appearance for the Astros and the first for the Nationals. It all begins on Tuesday night.