Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:
Indians 6, Red Sox 5: Cleveland took a 5-1 lead by the third inning thanks to a two-run homer from Franmil Reyes and a three-run shot by José Ramírez, but Boston chipped away thanks to homers from J.D. Martinez, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Xander Bogaerts and an RBI double from Brock Holt. Bogaerts’ tying blast came in the top of the ninth, making it a whole new ballgame.
It was a short new ballgame, though, as Carlos Santana led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk-off solo home run — his 200th career homer and his second game-winning blast in as many games — to give the Indians sole possession of first place for the first time since April 17:
I and a whole lot of other folks left the Indians for dead a couple of months ago, but they’ve been the hottest team in baseball in July and August. What a damn summer in Cleveland.
Yankees 8, Orioles 5; Yankees 11, Orioles 8: To me, an impartial observer, it feels like the Yankees have played the Orioles 500 times this year. To the Orioles and Orioles fans it must feel like 5,000. I’d say how many home runs it feels like the Yankees have hit off of Orioles pitchers but I get dizzy dealing with numbers that large. Maybe I could just exponents? I dunno.
Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Gio Urshela and Cameron Maybin all hit homers in the first game. Gregorius’ was a three-run shot and he added a sac fly for 22 RBI. O’s pitchers held the Yankees to only three homers in the nightcap, but two of them were hit by Torres, both of which were three-run blasts. That gives him 13 homers this year against Baltimore — half of the 26 he has on the season — and that’s just stupid. It’s gotten so bad that when Torres came to the plate in the eighth inning with runners on first and second, two outs and the Yankees ahead by five runs, Brandon Hyde intentionally walked him.
The Yankees are now 15-2 against the Orioles this year and have beaten them 13 straight times. They play them again today and tomorrow and then, mercifully, they do not play again until next year. Unless, of course, Baltimore makes the playoffs.
Nationals 7, Reds 6: Some friends from out of state joined us at our house for dinner last night. One of them is a Danish engineer who, while living in the U.S. for some time, knows absolutely nothing about baseball. Indeed, I suspect baseball has occupied about zero space in his head in his entire lifetime. As I was putting dinner together he asked me — with a tone one might use when trying to pronounce the most foreign words imaginable, even though he has spoken English his entire life — “Nationals and Reds . . . are baseball teams?” I said yes. He said “well, their game is about to start. My phone tells me this. I am not sure why it’s telling me this, as I don’t care.” We both wondered if some random fluke of his location service/push notifications, realizing he’s been in Ohio for a couple of days, was just trying to give him ideas of something to do, but given that I live like 120 miles from Great American Ballpark, it’s not like we were going to pop over ten minutes before the game started. Then he wondered if it was more sinister than that and, even if he was not on my WiFi, his phone somehow knew it was a few feet away from a baseball writer or, perhaps, it was clandestinely taking photos of the random baseball junk I have in my house and was trying to help its owner assimilate by subtly suggesting baseball as a topic of conversation. All of this is disturbing on some level that none of us ever would’ve considered in, say, 1995.
Anyway, none of that matters. Just thought I’d share. Know, though, that Trea Turner and Matt Adams homered, Erick Fedde tossed six innings of two-run ball and, despite yet another shaky night from Washington’s relief corps, Washington held on. And no, we didn’t turn the game on during dinner.
Blue Jays 19, Rangers 4: There were eight games yesterday and in four of them the winning team scored at least ten runs. Hell, in five of them the losing team scored at least five. Thanks, juiced balls. Here the Jays scored eight runs in the fourth, Brandon Drury hit a grand slam and knocked in five, both Justin Smoak and Randal Grichuk knocked in four a piece, Bo Bichette went 4-for-6 and scored three times, and Toronto rattled off 13 extra-base hits in all as they put up 19 on the poor Rangers pitchers. This comes a day after the Blue Jays lost 1-0, to give them a 10-run average over the past two contests, which is totally, totally meaningful, you guys. More meaningful: the Jays won for the 10th time in 15 games.
Diamondbacks 8, Rockies 6: Arizona fell behind 4-0 in the first inning and led 6-3 after five, but the Snakes struck in the sixth with homers from Jake Lamb, Nick Ahmed and Carson Kelly in the sixth, with the latter two going back-to-back to rally them into the lead. It was a pretty quick rally too as, in the space of 13 pitches, Arizona went from trailing 6-3 to leading 7-6. The Rockies have now lost seven of nine.
Pirates 10, Angels 2: Pittsburgh snapped an eight-game losing streak thanks in part to Pirates starter Mitch Keller’s solid five innings of work. The AP game story has an extended bit about how Keller was a big Mike Trout fan when he was younger which is sorta weird given that (a) Trout doesn’t seem old enough to have adults who were big fans of his when he was younger; and (b) Keller is less than five years younger than Trout, but I suppose our heroes are our heroes and that it all works out. Especially given that he walked Trout both times he faced him, which suggests a star struck, benevolent sort of intimidation. OK, maybe I’m overthinking this. Just get to the dingers, Craig: Jacob Stallings, Kevin Newman, Josh Bell and Bryan Reynolds all went deep for the Buccos.
Rays 10, Padres 4: It was a close game until the seventh, with the Rays leading 3-2, at which point the Padres’ bullpen melted the hell down for seven runs in two innings and that was that. Avisail García had three hits, including a two-run home run and Matt Duffy had four hits and three RBI. Tampa Bay won its fourth game in a row and their eighth straight on the road and now sit at 70-50 on the season.
Which — my occasional comments mocking the Rays for celebrating dubious milestones notwithstanding — is worth noting. The Rays, as a franchise, did not win 70 games in a single season until their seventh year in existence. They didn’t win 70 for a second time until their eleventh season. Though they’ve been a very good team for the most part for over a decade, it’s still the fact that in their first 22 seasons, they only won as many as 70 eleven times, which is not great, percentage-wise. At the moment they’re on pace for their third-best season as a franchise and it’d only take a moderate hot streak to push that pace to their best-ever. All of which is to say: nice season so far, Rays.
Astros vs. White Sox — POSTPONED:
It is the springtime of my loving
The second season I am to know
You are the sunlight in my growing
So little warmth I’ve felt before
It isn’t hard to feel me glowing
I watched the fire that grew so low, oh
It is the summer of my smiles
Flee from me, keepers of the gloom
Speak to me only with your eyes
It is to you I give this tune
Ain’t so hard to recognize, oh
These things are clear to all from time to time, ooh