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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

White Sox 10, Phillies 5: Leury Garcia smacked a grand slam, Eloy Jimenéz hit a three-run shot and Tim Anderson hit a solo shot as the White Sox won easily. What do the Phillies need to do to turn this recent skid around, Bryce Harper?

“Just keep playing Philly baseball,” Harper said. “Keep being the same team.”

Uh, isn’t that part of the problem, dude?

Orioles 6, Blue Jays 5: I got a smoker for my birthday and made ribs for the first time yesterday and they came out awesome. Did a Texas-style dry rub. No brown sugar. No barbecue sauce. I know that’s not everyone’s jam, but it’s my favorite way to eat ’em. Despite never having made ribs myself I was really happy with the results too. I think next time I’m gonna do a dry brine and change up the rub a bit. Yeah, I’m mentioning all of this to keep me from having to talk about a sloppy as hell game between a couple of teams going nowhere that turned on wild pitches and errors more than competent baseball. ProudlyCanadian reads this feature every day and is one of our most active commenters. I’m sure he has opinions about all of it, at least from the Jays perspective, that are way better than anything I could come up with. O’s folks can chime in too. I can’t bring myself to do it. In the meantime, anyone with a good recipe for a smoked chicken or brisket or something, let me know.

Indians 6, Angels 2: Shane Bieber tossed his third complete game of the year, allowing two runs on five hits and was backed by homers from Oscar Mercado, Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis, who knocked in three in all. The Tribe sweeps the Angels. After the game Terry Francona said this about Bieber, who has stepped into the ace role that Corey Kluber once held:

“You can go back six or seven years and see everything I said about Kluber, then put Bieber’s name in there and it would be true. You know how we feel about Kluber and his work ethic, so to put Justin in there with him, I meant it as a huge compliment.”

I do realize he meant that as a compliment but I’m getting some “All About Eve” vibes, here, with Kluber in the Margo Channing role and Bieber as Eve Harrington. I’m not sure who the Bill Simpson or Addison DeWitt figure are in all of this, but give me some time and I’ll sketch it out.

Rays 7, Marlins 2: Six straight wins for the Rays. Yonny Chirinos got the start for Tampa Bay and pitched well but had to leave due to an inflammation to his right middle finger. Probably best to keep it isolated and elevated. And that’s whether it’s injured or not, frankly. Mike Brosseau and Jesus Aguilar each homered and drove in a couple.

Reds 6, Braves 4: The Shane Greene acquisition hasn’t worked out so well for the Braves so far. He blew a save in his first appearance for Atlanta on Saturday and yesterday he gave up a three-run homer to Tucker Barnhart in the tenth inning and took the loss. And it wasn’t just the homer. He gave up three singles before that to set the big fly up, so, yah. Sonny Gray tossed seven shutout innings. After he left Josh Donaldson and Ronald Acuña each homered to tie it and force extras. That was pretty exciting. Until it wasn’t.

Mets 13, Pirates 2: Noah Syndergaard allowed one on only three hits over seven. He didn’t need to be that good, as the Mets unloaded a can of whoopass on Joe Musgrove and the Pirates’ staff. J.D. Davis, Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil all homered. Syndergaard had a couple of hits himself. The only bad thing for the Mets yesterday was Robinson Canó leaving with a messed up hamstring. Right when he was heating up too. The Mets have won nine of ten and are three back in the Wild Card.

Astros 3, Mariners 1: Justin Verlander was Justin Verlander, striking out 10 over six innings to help the Astros win their fourth in a row. They’ve allowed four runs in those games so I’d say their pitching is in order at the moment. And Zack Greinke still hasn’t made his first appearance for Houston. That comes Tuesday.

Twins 3, Royals 0: Devin Smeltzer and three relievers shut the Royals out on two hits, Jason Castro homered and and Eddie Rosario drove in two. That whole “the Twins are collapsing as the Indians surge” thing is not playing out the way it was before. Minnesota has won eight of ten and that three-game cushion seems to be holding steady.

Cubs 7, Brewers 2: Big day for Cubs players who have caught a lot of hell over the past couple of years. Jason Heyward drove in three. He homered as did Kyle Schwarber, and Yu Darvish allowed one run over five. The Brewers have lost six of seven and this three-game sweep shoves them four games back in the Central.

Rockies 6, Giants 2: Two dingers for Nolan Arenado. Trevor Story homered too. It was his fifth straight game with a homer against the Giants. He’s a . . . what’s a good word for someone who constantly does well against Giants? If only someone had an idea for a phrase that describes such a thing? Wait, I’ve got it — he’s a . . . do-gooder-against-Giants-person!

Rangers 9, Tigers 4: A three-game sweep of the Tigers which, once you adjust for it being the Tigers is more of a .75 game sweep, right? Willie Calhoun hit a tie-breaking three-run triple in the seventh. Danny Santana hit a two-run homer earlier. The Rangers won all six games against the Tigers this year.

Athletics 4, Cardinals 2: Tanner Roark made his A’s debut and he did a pretty good job of it, allowing one run over five. Dustin Garneau doubled in a couple. Jurickson Profar homered. A two-game sweep for the A’s. But, like, since when do you have a two-game weekend series? There’s a total glitch in the matrix, man.

Dodgers 11, Padres 10: A wild one. Max Muncy went 4-for-5 with a home run, three RBI and three runs scored, including a walk-off, two-run double to help the Dodgers come back from a late three-run deficit. That wasted Eric Hosmer‘s grand slam and five RBI day. Dodgers take three of four from the Padres and have won five of six.

Diamondbacks 7, Nationals 5: Ketel Marte had three hits including an inside-the-park homer and Adam Jones drove in four, which included a tie-breaking RBI single. That inside the parker was, as a lot of them are, a function of a poor defensive choice, but such is life:

The Nats have lost seven of ten.

Yankees 7, Red Sox 4: David Price couldn’t make it out of the third and was pounded for seven runs on nine hits. New York plated six runs in that third inning with Gio Urshela hitting a two-run home run, Cameron Maybin hitting an RBI double, Mike Ford knocking in a run with a single, and Mike Tauchman hitting his own RBI single. The Yankees complete the four-game sweep and hand the Sox their eighth straight loss, which now has them 14.5 games behind New York and six and a half games back of the Rays for the second Wild Card.

Yankees keep ALCS hopes alive with 4-1 win over Astros

Gio Urshela
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The Yankees defeated the Astros 4-1 during Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night, staving off a potential postseason elimination and forcing the series to at least six games.

In just the third playoff appearance of his career, Yankees southpaw James Paxton turned in another impressive performance, limiting the Astros to four hits and four walks over six innings of one-run ball. According to MLB Stats, his nine strikeouts made him the second Yankees lefty to record multiple starts of 8+ strikeouts in the same postseason campaign, two decades after David Wells did so for the 1998 championship-winning club.

Paxton’s strong outing was backed by a handful of runs from DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks, both of whom went deep against Astros ace Justin Verlander in the bottom of the first inning. LeMahieu’s leadoff solo shot marked his first postseason home run since Game 1 of the ALDS, while Hicks’ three-run 347-footer was his first home run of any variety since July 24 (and his first in the playoffs since the 2017 ALDS).

Neither team managed a single run after the first inning, leaving the two pitching staffs to duke it out for eight quick innings. Verlander outlasted Paxton — taking the game through the seventh with five hits, four runs, and nine strikeouts — but even with a flawless contribution from Brad Peacock in the eighth, there was little the hurlers could do to help the Astros solve Paxton and an airtight Yankees bullpen.

With the win, the Yankees will try to push the series to a full seven games in order to snatch the AL pennant from the Astros. They’ll have to do in Houston, however, as the Astros will regain home field advantage when Game 6 kicks off on Saturday at 8:08 PM EDT. Neither starter has been announced yet; per Houston skipper A.J. Hinch, it will likely be a bullpen day.