Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:
Nationals 9, White Sox 5: The White Sox scored four in the first and had a 5-0 lead after two but that’s all they’d get. The Nats chipped away with an Anthony Rendon two-run double in the third and a Howie Kendrick homer in the fourth. In the fifth they broke it wide open, scoring six thanks to Rendon and Kendrick swapping, this time with Rendon homering — a three-run shot — and Kendrick doubling in a run. Víctor Robles then hit a dinger that scored Kendrick and that was that. It wasn’t a pretty win for Nats starter Stephen Strasburg but it was his 100th career win.
Braves 12, Pirates 5: Like the Nats, the Braves came back after finding themselves in an early hole. Austin Riley hit a three-run homer in the seventh to turn a two-run deficit into a one-run lead and Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer in the eighth to turn a one-run lead into a four-run lead. Freddie Freeman‘s two-run jack in the ninth added some icing to the cake. Pirates reliever Kyle Crick gave up the homer to Riley. Here’s what he said about it:
“I just go out and try to execute my pitches. Whatever happens, happens. In that particular 0-1 slider, I think I executed the pitch. Just a better piece of hitting.”
Anyone who has been around here a while knows my feelings about “executed pitches.” The short version: a granular focus on the mechanics of an individual pitch may have a lot of benefits most of the time but a mindset about a series of pitchers to a series of batters with a sense of flow seems kind of important too. I wonder if there is not a forest-for-the-trees situation at work. A thing in which so much thought and effort is put into an 0-1 slider and not enough is put into the larger picture of what Austin Riley, standing in front of you in a close game with two-men on, truly means in a slightly more cosmic sense. I dunno. Maybe that’s unanswerable, but at the moment this might be peak “executed pitches”-speak.
Blue Jays 4, Yankees 3: Randal Grichuk and Freddy Galvis homered and Vlad Guerrero Jr. singled in a run in the Jays’ four-run fifth, which beat the bookend homers from Clint Frazier and Aaron Hicks. Both homers came off of Masahiro Tanaka, who may have been understandably shook by this pitch to Grichuk not being called a strike:
The pitch directly after that one was in the exact same place and Grichuk hit it 409 feet over the center field wall. Viva Angel Hernandez.
Indians 5, Twins 2: It’s kind of weird to call an early June game a must-win, but the Indians are sort of in must-win territory in this series if they want to climb out of the giant hole they and the Twins have dug for them in the AL Central. Well, they won, and now their deficit is only, woof, 10.5 games. Shane Bieber allowed two over seven and Francisco Lindor hit two jacks to give the Indians both their first and their go-ahead runs. Jake Bauers and Roberto Pérez also went deep for Cleveland.
Giants 9, Mets 3: Mickey Callaway pulled Noah Syndergaard while he had a one-run lead with two outs in the seventh and a runner on first. Syndergaard was livid. Then the reliever Callaway called on gave up another single and then an RBI double to tie the game. Then the pen gave up six in the 10th inning. Then, after the game, Callaway reportedly apologized to the team for pulling Syndergaard. A lot of you have gotten on my case the past two years for having Callaway too low in the handsome manager rankings. Something tells me that that won’t be an issue this December.
In the other clubhouse, Giants manager Bruce Bochy celebrated his 1,000th career win with the Giants. The AP gamer lede:
Bruce Bochy, reeking of beer after his players doused him during a postgame celebration, sat in the visiting manager’s office at Citi FIeld, a can of Bud Light behind his desk along with bottles of Woodford Reserve double oaked bourbon and 2014 Origines Coudrat from Bordeaux.
“You would think I have a problem, because I look around and there’s always liquor around,” he said with a smile and a laugh.
Moving right along.
Tigers 9, Rays 6: Miguel Cabrera was diagnosed with a chronic knee condition this week and the Tigers announced that, basically, he’s a DH now. The DH role suited him last night as he doubled in a run in the first and hit a grand slam in the fifth on a 3-for-4 night. Detroit beat up Cy Young winner Blake Snell for six runs on seven hits and didn’t let him get out of the fifth inning while their starter, Ryan Carpenter, scattered seven hits and allowed two runs over seven. Willy Adames hit a grand slam too, but the Tigers had a 9-2 lead when it happened, so, yeah.
Marlins 16, Brewers 0: Miami had a 4-0 lead when they came to the plate in the fifth inning. Six singles, two walks, three doubles, and one error by the Brewers later and they led 15-0. As my daughter is fond of saying these days, it be like that sometimes. Garrett Cooper had four hits on the night, two coming in that fifth inning. Cooper, Starlin Castro and Brian Anderson homered. The Marlins have scored 34 runs in the past three games.
Red Sox 8, Royals 3: It was a one-run game in the eighth when Eduardo Núñez hit a pinch-hit three-run homer. When that happens I wonder if it’s like when you and your team at work have been struggling with a presentation for hours and then some guy just cruises by the conference room, coffee cup in hand, leans in, glances at your deck and immediately solves your problem and then walks away. You’re like “thanks!” but part of you resents how little work it was for him to do what you couldn’t do in all that time. OK, no, it’s probably not like that at all because baseball players don’t work in dreary offices and put presentations together.
Orioles 12, Rangers 11: O’s catcher Pedro Severino hit three homers. Thanks to him — and to Dwight Smith Jr., who had six RBI — the O’s took a seven-run lead into the ninth. The Rangers scored six in the final frame, however, and were on the verge of a crazy comeback win when a wild pitch on strike three of the final out of the game forced Severino to scramble, get the ball and fire a laser down to first to get the out on a bang-bang play. Whew. That could’ve been one of the most embarrassing walkoff losses for a team in a good while but a hero’s work is never done.
Cubs 6, Rockies 3: Kyle Schwarber and Javier Báez homered and Carlos González had two RBI in his second straight start as a Cub, helping Chicago snap the eight-game winning streak of González’s old team.
Reds 4, Cardinals 1: Luis Castillo shut the Cards down for six innings, allowing one run on two hits. Yasiel Puig homered and José Peraza drove in a couple. Cards batters struck out 14 times on the night and saw their four-game winning streak come to an end.
Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 0: Hyun-Jin Ryu continues to be ridiculous, putting up his fifth scoreless outing in his last six starts, this one going seven innings. He only struck out two but that’s just how he rolls. He just pounds the zone, gets ground balls and puts up zeroes. Maybe he doesn’t think about “executing pitches” as much as just going out and pitching. Either way, he has allowed just two earned runs over his past 44.2 innings. Cody Bellinger had a two-run triple. Kiké Hernandez homered and had two RBI. The Dodgers have won seven in a row and 11 of 12. Just give them a bye the rest of the way and wake us up in October, OK?
Athletics 4, Angels 2: The A’s snap their five-game losing skid. Ramón Laureano had two hits — a double and a homer — to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. Frankie Montas allowed two runs on four hits, with both of those runs coming on a Shohei Ohtani homer. It happens.
Phillies 9, Padres 6: Welcome to the Phillies Jay Bruce. OK, it was actually Bruce’s second game with the Phillies, but it was a big one: two homers — a slam and a two-run shot — to drive in six. Maikel Franco and Scott Kingery each went deep for Philly as well.
Astros 11, Mariners 5: Alex Bregman had two hits and three RBI, and seven other Astros drove in at least one run. That’s five wins in a row for Houston. All without José Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer. Give them a bye to October as well.