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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Athletics 5, Rays 4: Tampa Bay is reeling, having lost four in a row and eight of ten. This loss was particularly dispiriting as they rode a strong Charlie Morton start into a 1-1 tie in the ninth and then scored three to put the A’s in a three-run hole in the final frame. Oakland rallied, though, and Matt Chapman won it for them with a three-run walkoff homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. It was the A’s fourth straight win and their seventh of nine.

Rangers 4, Indians 2: Mike Minor was excellent again, going eight while allowing one run on three hits, all singles. Elvis Andrus homered and tripled in a run. It was a hot day — 95 with a 110 degree heat index — and Rangers manager Chris Woodword was impressed with Minor’s stamina:

Woodward hadn’t planned to send Minor back out for the eighth inning, but the pitcher told him he was doing fine.

“He didn’t even have sweat on his face,” Woodward said.

Dude, lack of sweat is TOTALLY a symptom of heat stroke. Just sayin.’

Blue Jays 7, Angels 5: The Jays blew a 5-3 lead as the Halos forced extras but Billy McKinney, who had earlier entered the game as a pinch runner, smacked a walkoff two-run homer in the tenth to end it. Kawhi Leonard showed up at the game in the fourth inning and sat behind home plate and the crowd chanted “MVP, MVP” at him. McKinney later said he noticed him there and praised Leonard for “the way he goes about his business.” Which is funny because if a baseball player wore the baseball equivalent of a “board man gets paid” t-shirt — maybe “Good leather earns Gold” —  people would be writing columns decrying his me-first attitude and stuff.

Marlins 7, Cardinals 6: Rookie pinch hitter Tommy Edman homered for the Cardinals late to help them rally from a 5-3 deficit — they also trailed 4-1 earlier —  to tie it, but JT Riddle hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning off of Andrew Miller to put the Fish over. Earlier they got yet another nice starting pitching performance from a rookie, with Zac Gallen — a man whose parents eschewed both ks and hs — allowing one run in five innings while striking out six in his big league debut.

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 4: It was tied at four in the ninth when Tony Wolters pinch hit and singled in a run to force extras. In the tenth Chris Iannetta singled in two for the win. Charlie Blackmon and Ian Desmond homered for the Rockies, who swept the Dbacks. Indeed, they’ve taken eight in a row from Arizona.

Yankees 10, Astros 6: New York put up a six spot in the fourth thanks to homers from Gary Sánchez, Gleyber Torres and D.J. LeMahieu, extended their lead to 8-2 in the fifth via a two-run double from Cameron Maybin and then got a two-run shot from Edwin Encarnación to make it 10-3 by the seventh. New York is bashing people’s brains in and they’re not really getting anything from Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton or Aaron Hicks and they are only getting Aaron Judge back today. Those guys are all gonna hit soon too, you know. I just can’t remember a team that has had this sort of performance from a group of players who were either not supposed to be on the roster or, at the very least, were not supposed to be contributors.

Nationals 7, Phillies 4: Anthony Rendon hit a solo shot and Víctor Robles hit a three-run blast in the Nats’ four-run sixth to put was at that point a tie game out of reach. Kurt Suzuki also went deep for the Nationals. Washington wins its fourth in a row and its fifth of six. Philly loses its fourth in a row and its sixth of seven.

Reds 7, Brewers 1: I’m gonna go out on a limb and suggest that, maybe, Jimmy Nelson was not ready to come back. The Brewers starter who missed all of the 2018 season and the first couple months of this season while recovering from a torn labrum, has pitched three times so far and he’s allowed 13 earned runs on 16 hits in 12 innings while walking 10. His counterpart, Tanner Roark, allowed one run on a homer by Christian Yelich, but everyone gives up homers to Yelich. Jose Iglesias, meanwhile, homered and drove in four.

Cubs 7, Mets 4: Javier Báez tripled in a run and homered and Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run double. The Cubs rode a six-run third inning to an easy win and then watched it debuting rookie Adbert Alzolay toss four strong innings in relief. Not a bad night for the Cubbies. Meanwhile the Mets drop their seventh of their last ten and fall five games under .500  I guess firing their pitching coach didn’t work on Day 1. Maybe give it time.

Royals 4, Twins 1: Kansas City was down 0-1 before they even came to bat but by the time the first inning ended they led 3-1 and that was basically that. Alex Gordon doubled in two and Lucas Duda singled in a run off of Jake Odorizzi in that first frame. They’d later get an RBI double from Martin Maldonado. Glenn Sparkman went seven innings, allowing only the one run for the Royals.

Dodgers 9, Giants 8: The Dodgers built leads of 6-0 and 7-1 and still lead 9-4 heading into the top of the ninth but the Giants gave ’em a scare. San Francisco mounted a four-run rally in the final frame and fell just short when Cody Bellinger made a close putout at third for the game’s final out. It was reviewed on replay but upheld. After the game Bruce Bochy was still fuming about it not being overturned. You be the judge:

Before all that the Dodgers roughed up nemesis Madison Bumgarner good. Kyle Garlick, Austin Barnes and Joc Pederson each hit two-run homers and Justin Turner had three hits. The Dodgers sent 11 batters to the plate and had eight of their 16 hits in the fourth inning, when they chased Bumgarner

Mariners 5, Orioles 2: Domingo Santana‘s homer kicked off a three-run six inning for the M’s and Wade LeBlanc struck out seven while pitching into the seventh. The Mariners have won back-to-back games for the first time in over a month. Break out the bubbly.

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.