And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Braves 5, Dodgers 3: I get that taking Ronald Acuña out of the game for not hustling is a defensible thing — when a guy loafs you deal with it — but I love that someone asked Brian Snitker after the game if the move would put Acuña’s starting job in jeopardy. Dude, my homey here has almost single-handedly carried the Braves for the past month. He’s not gonna be a fourth outfielder. You have to hustle in baseball, that goes without saying, but the culture of hustle around baseball — which is a totally different thing, almost 100% perpetuated by fans, the press and talk radio hosts — is eye-roll-worthy at times.

Apart from Acuña’s stuff, Rafael Ortega hit a grand slam off of Dustin May to help Atlanta take two of three from the best team in baseball. Not a bad weekend, even with the lollygagging.

Cardinals 5, Reds 4: Jack Flaherty‘s scoreless innings streak was snapped at 23 innings, but he allowed only one run in five innings and was backed by homers from Paul Goldschmidt and Tommy Edman to help the Cards earn a split with the Reds.  Aristides Aquino did not hit a homer. That’s normally not a noteworthy thing for a player, but in his case I think it is.

Rays 5, Tigers 4: The Tigers took a 4-1 lead into the eighth and, because absolutely nothing has gone right for them all year long, and especially of late, you knew they’d lose it. And they did. Tommy Pham hit a two-run homer in the eighth to bring the Rays to within one and Ji-Man Choi hit a pinch-hit two-run single in the bottom of the ninth to walk it off. At least the Tigers had some offense in this one after getting shut out on 24 strikeouts in 13 innings on Saturday. Only 12 strikeouts in nine on this day. Progress!

Mariners 7, Blue Jays 0: Yusei Kikuchi was highly-touted before this season began. It had seemed like a lot of empty touting as he’s been beaten around pretty good in 2019, and had gone nearly two months without a win while putting up an ERA well north of six over that time. He certainly put it all together yesterday, though, pitching a two-hit, complete game shutout on 96 pitchers which, yep, is a Maddux. I’d note that the Jays lineup was missing a couple of its big guns in Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., but when a half dozen teams are mailing games in with sub-major league lineups all year [cough] Tigers and Orioles [cough], everyone gets credit for everything. Four homers were hit in support of Kikuchi’s effort, with Kyle Seager, Austin Nola, Tom Murphy and Keon Broxton going deep.

Padres 3, Phillies 2: Austin Hedges had four hits, including a tie-breaking homer in the seventh while Joey Lucchesi allowed two runs over six. “Hedges and Lucchesi” sounds like an 80s buddy cop or private eye show, by the way. Figure it came on after “Miami Vice” on Friday nights but never quite found an audience, even with the primo lead-in. It happened. I probably watched every one of those bad efforts to strike gold in “Simon and Simon” or “Hunter” territory. Remember “Sonny Spoon?” Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Diamondbacks 6, Giants 1: Merrill Kelly pitched one-run ball into the sixth while Wilmer Flores and David Peralta homered. “Merrill Kelly,” by the say, sounds like the name of an actor who guest starred on the “Rockford Files.” One of those guys who played three or four different roles over the run of the show but no one noticed his different characters because (a) who the hell is Merrill Kelly anyway?; and (b) they used to make 22-23 episodes of those shows a year — none of this 8-episode prestige TV business we get now — and no one could keep track. In one Kelly played an old prison buddy of Rockford’s who is caught up in a murder investigation and you just know the cops aren’t gonna give a fair shake to the ex-con. In another he played a client who wanted Jim to follow his business partner around to see if he’s stealing from him but, in reality, he wanted to set Rockford up as a fall guy. That Merrill Kelly. He could play anyone.

In related news — in case you have not figured it out — I’ve been binging a lot of 70s and 80s detective shows lately. “Rockford Files” first and foremost because it’s the best. But also some “Columbo” and “Magnum P.I.” Ah, Cozi TV, where have you been all my life?

Astros 4, Athletics 1: Zack Greinke tossed seven innings of one run ball to pick up his 200th victory. 200 is, well, maybe not quite the new 300, but it’s definitely the new 250. I feel like, say, 240 is the new 300. Or we can just choose to not care about such totals, which is probably the best bet, but I know that a lot of folks will never let go of that kind of thing. Alex Bregmen hit a three-run homer. It was his 30th on the season. Thirty homers is the new 20 homers, by the way.

Angels 9, White Sox 2: Mike Trout and Albert Pujols got the day off but no worries for Los Angeles as Shohei Ohtani, Kole Calhoun, Matt Thaiss and Anthony Bemboom all homered to help the Angels take three of four from Chicago.

Rockies 7, Marlins 6: Nolan Arenado homered twice and Garrett Hampson hit a bases-loaded walkoff single in the bottom of the tenth to lead Colorado to the series sweep. The Rockies also take their fifth of seven on the season from Miami, giving it the victory in the 1993 Expansion Team Series, which is a thing at least in my mind.

Twins 6, Rangers 3: Jorge Polanco hit a tiebreaking bases-loaded triple in the eighth inning to help the Twins sweep the Rangers. Since they woke up in second place behind the Indians last week they have gone 5-1, all on the road. That’s a little bit of resilience I bet a lot of people didn’t think the Twins had in ’em after losing their big division lead.

Mets 11, Royals 5: Pete Alonso went 3-for-4 with a homer and an RBI double and scored three runs. That homer was his 40th, which sets the National League rookie record. The Mets take two of three from the Royals and remain in the thick of the Wild Card race, tied with the Brewers and Phillies, two games back of the second Wild Card-holding Cubs.

Nationals 16, Brewers 8: Washington led 13-0 after three, but a day after they scored 14 runs and lost you can understand why they may not have wanted to let up on the accelerator. The Nats hit eight homers in this one. Two by Juan Soto and Brian Dozier, and one each by Matt Adams, Víctor Robles, Adam Eaton, and Anthony Rendon. Eaton had a two-run triple as well. Washington has won six of seven. The Brewers have lost four of six.

Indians 8, Yankees 4: Mike Clevinger tossed five shutout innings, striking out ten and won his seventh straight decision and CC Sabathia . . . did not. Mike Freeman hit a three-run homer and a couple of doubles. Oscar Mercado homered and drove in three runs and Francisco Lindor went deep. Love me some CC Sabathia. I think he’ll make the Hall of Fame or come damn close to doing so. But it’s probably a good thing this is his last year because he doesn’t have it anymore.

Red Sox 13, Orioles 7: Baltimore had a 6-0 lead after three but, well, it’s Baltimore. The red hot Rafael Devers went 4-for-5 with a homer, two doubles and four RBI. He’s 20-for-37 with 12 extra-base hits and 14 RBI in his last eight games. The Sox scored 13 unanswered runs between the third and seventh innings. J.D. Martinez had three hits and two RBI and Sam Travis hit a solo homer for the Red Sox. Boston has won five straight. The Orioles have lost seven in a row and 12 of 13. They are a minor league team who heisted a major league team’s uniforms, basically.

Cubs 7, Pirates 1: Quintana, man. That creep can roll. That he did it in front of a bunch of little leaguers makes it weirder if you know the context of that line, but from what I hear we’re going to get some retconning of the whole Quintana character anyway, so we can probably let that go. Anyway, José Quintana — not Jesus — tossed seven shutout innings while Nicholas Castellanos, Jason Heyward and Anthony Rizzo homered and the Cubs won in a romp. Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes, well, he eats you. Or the Cub does. I dunno.