Monday brought us a light nine-game big league slate, but games with pennant-race implications weren’t hard to find. Here is everything you need to know about Monday’s MLB action.
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Baseball scores for Monday, Aug. 12
Santana picks up Hand again, Indians move into first place
For the second successive day, Indians closer Brad Hand blew a save. And also for the second successive day, Carlos Santana picked him up with a home run in the next half-inning. Hand blew the save Sunday afternoon at Target Field and Santana swatted a decisive grand slam in the top of the 10th.
On Monday, Hand blew another save, this time against the Red Sox. A Mookie Betts walk and a loud Xander Bogaerts double did him in. In the bottom of the ninth, though, Santana hit another winning homer, this one a walk-off shot. Check it out:
The victory moves the Indians into sole possession of first place in the AL Central. They are a half-game up on the idle Twins. It is the first time Cleveland sits in sole possession of first place since April 17.
Keep in mind the Twins had an 11-game lead as recently as June 15. The Indians chased them down in less than two months. These two teams still have two three-game series remaining this season, so the AL Central race is far from over. Right now, though, it’s the Indians who will go to bed in first place.
As for the Red Sox, they have now lost 12 of their past 15 games, and are currently eight games behind the second wild-card spot. It is looking more and more likely the defending World Series champions will be watching the postseason at home.
O’s make AL homer history (not in a good way)
The Orioles went into their Monday doubleheader against the Yankees having allowed 241 home runs on the season. That figure was one shy of the AL record for home runs allowed, shared by the 2017 Orioles and 2017 White Sox.
In the first inning, Didi Gregorius homered, which meant the Orioles tied the mark. Then Gleyber Torres went yard for the 11th time against Baltimore this season, and Gio Urshela and Cameron Maybin added insurance homers later in the game.
The Yankees added another three homers in the second game of the doubleheader, including two more by Torres. He has 13 homers against the O’s this year..
The O’s have now allowed 248 home runs this season, a new AL record. It took them only 119 games to set that record. Oh, and 59 of those 248 home runs belong to the Yankees. Need more? OK: Thirty-two different Orioles pitchers this season have allowed at least one home run. Nine Orioles pitchers have allowed at least 10 home runs, including Tom Eshelman who’s given up 11 in only 34 innings.
Looking ahead, the MLB record for home runs allowed in a season belongs to the 2016 Reds, who permitted 268. Obviously, the current Orioles model is on pace to surpass that figure by quite a bit.
Nationals hang on to beat Reds
Not a day goes by that the Nationals bullpen doesn’t make a mess of things. Thanks largely to Trea Turner and Erick Fedde, the Nationals took a 7-4 lead into the ninth inning against the Reds on Monday night. That’s when it got interesting.
Phillip Ervin hit Sean Doolittle’s first pitch out for a solo home run, then Joey Votto capped off a nine-pitch at-bat with a run-scoring double off the wall to get Cincinnati to within 7-6. Doolittle got Josh VanMeter to pop up to end the game, but he was charged with two runs and four baserunners in one inning. The Reds had the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base when the game ended.
The Nationals have won five of their past seven games and currently sit one game up for the top wild-card spot. Their bullpen remains an issue, though, especially now that Doolittle has hit a bit of a rough patch.
Highlight of the Day: Tatis robs Aguilar
It did not take long for Padres rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. to become one of the most exciting players in baseball. He is positively electric on the field. Consider this leaping catch to rob Jesus Aguilar of a base hit Monday:
According to Statcast, batted balls with similar exit velocity and trajectory as Aguilar’s go for a base hit 84 percent of the time. Tatis is the other 16 percent. What a catch. What a player. There is no much incredible young talent in the game right now and Tatis is as good as it gets.
Stat of the Day: Bichette makes extra-base hit history
The Blue Jays bludgeoned the Rangers on Monday night, and during the game wunderkind Bo Bichette made extra-base hit history. His two doubles give him 15 extra base hits in his 15 MLB games. No player has done that before. Here are the players with the most extra-base hits through 15 big-league games:
- Bo Bichette, 2019 Blue Jays: 15 (11 doubles and 4 homers)
- Pete Alonso, 2019 Mets: 13 (7 doubles and 6 homers)
- Trevor Story, 2016 Rockies: 12 (2 doubles, 2 triples, and 8 homers)
- Chris Dickerson, 2008 Reds: 12 (7 doubles, 1 triple, and 4 homers)
- Daric Barton, 2007 Athletics: 12 (9 doubles and 3 homers)
- Joe DiMaggio, 1936 Yankees: 12 (9 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers)
- Mandy Brooks, 1925 Cubs: 12 (4 doubles, 2 triples, 6 homers)
And to think, Bichette might only be his team’s second best young hitter. He and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. are going to terrorize pitchers for next few years.