And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rays 5, Yankees 4: Both Travis d'Arnaud and Aroldis Chapman done blew up. That’s good for one of ’em, of course. The Yankees took a 4-2 lead into the ninth — with both Rays runs coming on d’Arnaud solo homers — when Kevin Kiermaier reached to lead off the inning and Guillermo Heredia singled right after him. Chapman bore down and struck out two but  d’Arnaud connected with a full-count slider, sending it over the right field fence for his third dinger of the game which made it 5-4. After a quick bottom of the ninth, that was that. What a dang game for d’Arnaud.

Giants 19, Rockies 2: Giants 2, Rockies 1: Brandon Crawford went 5-for-6 with two homers and eight RBI. Mike Yastrzemski went 4-for-6 with a homer and Buster Posey went deep as well. And no, I’m never gonna get used to the fact that there’s a Yastrzemski in the big leagues again. I’m afraid if I acknowledge it I’ll look up and Gerald Ford will be in the White House or something. Or Nixon? Which now makes me think of that show “Life on Mars” that was on several years ago. It was solid as hell. OK, knowing what I know now, if you HAD to drop me back in the 1970s somehow, I think I could hack it pretty well. If it does happen, it’ll definitely because I’m watching Mike Yastrzemski play, I get dizzy and then when my vision focuses it’s Carl and — bammo — it’s 1971 and I’m forced to make my way as a ball writer, out-of-time.

Sorry for the digression. Crawford homered again in the nightcap of the doubleheader and Derek Rodríguez allowed one run over five as the Giants swept. Maybe as a baby step I’m watching Rodriguez pitch, things get blurry and when I focus again I’m watching his dad catch and it’s 1993 all over again? Although, gotta be honest, finding myself in 1993 again is probably more scary for a lot of reasons I’m having a hard time explaining.

Dodgers 16, Phillies 2: Phillies fans like talking about those times they’ve traveled en masse to Washington or someplace and have taken over opposing ballparks, turning road games into home games, more or less. Last night it seems that Dodgers fans — East Coast sleeper agents as opposed to travelers — took over Citizens Bank Ballpark. They had a lot to cheer for, too, as Cody Bellinger went 4-for-6, going deep twice and six Dodgers hitters knocked in at least two runs. Clayton Kershaw, meanwhile, allowed one run over six to win his eighth of the year. The Phillies have lost three of four. Feel like I’ve been saying that for a month running or more.

Indians 8, Tigers 6: A big day for multiple homers. In addition to the guys mentioned in the previous highlights, Edwin Enacarnación hit two in a losing cause in that Yankees-Rays game, as did Tyler O’Neill in St. Louis and George Springer for Houston. In this game two guys did it: Jordy Mercer for Detroit and Oscar Mercado for the Tribe. Mercado came into the game in a 1-for-25 skid but turned that around, with his second dong breaking a 5-5 tie in the seventh. Cleveland has won eight in a row against the Tigers and nine of ten on the year. They’re six back of the Twins.

Cardinals 7, Pirates 0: Two two aforementioned Tyler O’Neill homers and his four RBI paced the offense, but Miles Mikolas was the story here, tossing a far more rare complete game shutout, scattering eight hits and striking out three and needing only a cool 100 pitches to do it. After the game, Mikolas said “It’s pretty cool. Does anyone have two [shutouts] this year? I can be tied for the league lead in something. I like that.” Congratulations, Miles, no one has two. You are in a 17-way tie for first place in the big leagues with one shutout. Last year there were 19 guys tied for first place in baseball with one each. Never before 2018, in all of baseball history, had only one shutout led the league in that category, bit it stands a decent chance of being enough once again.

Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 8: Boston jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first thanks to a Michael Chavis grand slam, the Jays made it 5-4, Boston scored five more in the third to make it 10-4 and the Jays pulled to within two late but couldn’t get any closer. After the game Chavis talked about how he was happier that he walked twice than for hitting the grand slam. Guys say that sometimes — coaches and commentators do too — and I always hear it the same way you’d hear some A-student talking about how they like homework or summer reading lists or something. There are no teachers to kiss up to in baseball but I feel like they’re kissing up to the GM or some front office analyst when they do that.  

Reds 6, Cubs 3: Kyle Hendricks allowed two over six and left with the lead, but Curt Casali, the first batter a Cubs reliever faced in the game, homered to lead off the seventh to tie things up. Cincinnati would take the lead on a single, an error and a fielder’s choice later that inning and add two more runs in the eighth to complete the comeback win. Eugenio Suárez and Yasiel Puig homered for Cincinnati. The Reds have won seven of ten from the Cubs this year.

Braves 4, Brewers 2: Max Fried tossed five shutout innings and would’ve gone more if he hadn’t started developing a blister. Freddie Freeman‘s three-run homer in the fourth inning held up, with Austin Riley knocking in a run late for insurance. Atlanta has won five in a row and lead the Nats by seven and a half, which is the second biggest division lead in baseball.

Royals 5, White Sox 2: Kansas City has started the second half in frisky fashion, winning three of four. Here Jakob Junis struck out ten while allowing one run over seven and Nicky Lopez drove in a pair of runs. Junis beat Lucas Giolito, who has owned the Royals over his career, but who hasn’t owned anyone lately. After an eight-game winning streak which upped his record to 10-1, Giolito is 1-3 with a 6.48 ERA in his last five starts.

Angels 9, Astros 6: Albert Pujols picked up the slack for the sore-calfed/benched Mike Trout and had three hits and drove in three. Andrelton Simmons homered as the Halos came back from an early three-run deficit to win their fourth in a row and their seventh of ten. I’d not, in the normal course, say something like “. . . their seventh of ten since the death of Tyler Skaggs,” because it seems just, I dunno, off to say that, but the Angels themselves are saying that, with Kevan Smith saying after the game that “Skaggs is definitely smiling down on us right now,” and lauding the focus and energy of his teammates since his death. Which, hey, you never know how people will react to things. There are certainly worse ways to react to tragedy than pounding baseballs.

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.