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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Welcome to the All-Star Break.

Yesterday featured the last games that matter until Thursday, when there’s one game (Astros at Rangers). There isn’t a real slate of games until Friday. I know some people like the All-Star Game and all that surrounds it, but I’ve been over it for quite a long time now. Interleague play and all of that. Your mileage may vary. Either way, I tend to find this week to be the dreariest of the regular season.

For now, though, here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Blue Jays 6, Orioles 1: Trent Thornton pitched six shutout innings. I’d like to say I had some intelligent insight into that but I’m not gonna lie: I don’t think I knew who Trent Thronton was until I read this box score. *a few minutes pass* Wait, I mentioned Thornton’s name in a post from spring training. OK, maybe I need an All-Star break too. Everything is sort of blurring together. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a two-run homer. I do know him. Dude’s hitting .303/.355/.626 on the season. Not a ton has gone great for the Jays this year but Gurriel has been pretty fantastic.

Red Sox 6, Tigers 3: David Price allowed one run over five as the Sox sweep the Tigers and win their fourth game overall. Boston has a lot of work to do still — they’re nine back of the Yankees and still have two teams ahead of them for the second Wild Card, but they’re probably playing their best ball of the year right now. For them it’s a bad time for a break, really.

Rays 2, Yankees 1: On Friday night the Rays lost to the Yankees in extra innings. The team’s Twitter account posted this:

The Rays are a legitimately good team that looks like it’s going to make the playoffs but they have a bit of a habit of spinning less-than-stellar accomplishments as something greater than they really are. They have a Wild Card banner up and not every team does that. In the past team officials — and fans — have made a big deal out of their relative success in the face of frugality, as if there is some sort of award for efficiency. Last month they tweeted something out about having the best record over the previous 162 games which means, well, nothing. Then they tweeted this, as if losing a game in extras is some sort of laudable achievement. There are SO many teams who have not had the Rays’ success over the past 11 years or so — the Rays have had legitimate things to be proud of — but the way they upsell mundane things and even, on occasion, dubiousness — is just the weirdest damn thing.

Which makes me wonder if, yesterday — after winning their second straight behind Charlie Morton‘s ten strikeouts in five and a third innings and earning a split against the Yankees — they sprayed champagne all over the place.

Phillies 8, Mets 3: The Mets traded Jay Bruce (and some other players) to the Mariners in exchange for Robinson Canó (and some other players) in the offseason. Canó has four homers all year. Bruce has four homers against just the Mets this year. That’ll teach ’em to trade away Jay Bruce. Or maybe it won’t. Maybe the Mets are all too busy wallowing in their profound dysfunction to consider such things. Bruce hit two here and drove in four. Aaron Nola held the Mets hitless into the sixth inning. He ended up allowing two runs — one earned — while working into the seventh.

Indians 11, Reds 1: The Reds looked terrible baseball-wise yesterday, but they looked pretty damn spiffy sartorially speaking:

As for the baseball, Greg Allen homered and tripled and four hits in all, Tyler Naquin, Jason Kipnis and Jake Bauers also went deep and Trevor Bauer allowed one run over seven innings of work. It was the Indians’ sixth straight win. They were 11.5 games back at one point in June and were 11 back as late as June 15, but they enter the break a mere five and a half back.

Braves 4, Marlins 3: Dallas Keuchel allowed two runs into the eighth, with both of them scoring when a reliever gave up a three-run homer with two runners inherited from Keuchel onboard. Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer — his 200th career dinger — and Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis each knocked in a run. The game was saved by Charlie Culberson‘s throw home in the ninth, though. Bases loaded, no one out. Check out the game-saving hose:

A walk and a flyout later the game was over. Nice play, Charlie.

Nationals 5, Royals 2: Washington took a 2-0 lead thanks to homers from Brian Dozier and Víctor Robles and from seven stellar innings from Patrick Corbin (7IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 11K), the Royals tied it up at two but added three in the eighth thanks to RBI doubles from both Anthony Rendon and Howie Kendrick. Like the Indians, the Nats turnaround has been a hell of a thing.

Pirates 6, Brewers 5: Bryan Reynolds broke a 3-3 tie with a three-run homer in the seventh and had four RBI on the day. The Pirates are now, somehow, only two and a half games behind the Cubs in the Central. They’re in fourth place, but really, the Central is anyone’s right now and that’s a heck of a thing.

Astros 11, Angels 10:  Yuli Gurriel hit a grand slam — his fifth straight game with a homer and his ninth in his last 11 games  — and George Springer hit a walkoff RBI single in the 10th to give Houston the series win. Mike Trout homered twice in a losing cause. Jonathan Lucroy was carted off the field with a broken nose and a possible concussion after a collision with Jake Marisnick:

So yeah, a lot going on here.

White Sox 3, Cubs 1: Ivan Nova pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning and Eloy Jiménez and José Abreu homered to split the two-game series. Which is weird as hell. Since when do teams get Friday off?

Rangers 4, Twins 1: Tied at one until the 11th when Rougned Odor homered to give the Rangers the win. The real hero here may have been the Rangers’ bullpen, though: four relievers combined for nine and a third scoreless innings.

Giants 1, Cardinals 0: Jeff Samardzija was fantastic, tossing shutout ball for seven innings. Jack Flaherty matched him until the seventh when he gave up an Evan Longoria solo homer which was the only offense in the game.

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 3: Alex Young tossed six no-hit innings and . . . left the game. He was only at 71 pitches, but that’s how it goes when you’re young and you haven’t had a defined role for very long and all of that. He still got the win, though, backed by Eduardo Escobar‘s three RBI day and Nick Ahmed‘s two-run homer.

Padres 5, Dodgers 3: Fernando Tatís Jr. homered twice and had four RBI, Manuel Margot homered and the Padres took three of four from the Dodgers. Not too shabby.

Athletics 7, Mariners 4: Matt Olson, Marcus Semien and Ramón Laureano all homered. The A’s have won seven of nine.

Yankees, Astros lineups for ALCS Game 6

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Things haven’t gone quite according to plan for the Astros, who missed the opportunity to clinch the American League Championship Series after losing 4-1 to the Yankees in Game 5 on Friday. Still just one win away from a World Series invitation, they’ll try their luck again on Saturday night.

Neither lineup has been significantly altered for Game 6. The Yankees will try to push the series to a final Game 7 with right-hander Chad Green, backed by this configuration:

1. DJ LeMahieu (R) 1B
2. Aaron Judge (R) RF
3. Gleyber Torres (R) 2B
4. Aaron Hicks (S) CF
5. Edwin Encarnación (R) DH
6. Didi Gregorius (L) SS
7. Gary Sánchez (R) C
8. Gio Urshela (R) 3B
9. Brett Gardner (L) LF

The Astros, meanwhile, will send Brad Peacock to the mound in what figures to be a bullpen game for both sides, marking the righty’s first official postseason start since the 2017 ALDS. Martín Maldonado is back in the lineup, as is Josh Reddick, while both Robinson Chirinos and Jack Marisnick will be available off the bench.

1. George Springer (R) CF
2. José Altuve (R) 2B
3. Michael Brantley (L) LF
4. Alex Bregman (R) 3B
5. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
6. Carlos Correa (R) SS
7. Yordan Álvarez (L) DH
8. Martín Maldonado (R) C
9. Josh Reddick (L) RF

Starting tonight, the ALCS returns to Houston for Game 6 and a potential Game 7. Game time is set for 8:08 PM EDT.