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The Monday Takeaway

Before their game against the division rival Mariners, the Astros held a ceremony in the outfield at Minute Maid Park. It was a make-believe memorial service for Carlos Beltran’s glove. You see, Beltran hadn’t played the outfield, and has served primarily as a designated hitter, since May, so his teammates Brian McCann and George Springer thought it would be funny to do since he never uses the glove anyway. Springer brought foam tombstones to mark the occasion and McCann served as the pastor for the service, complete with a black robe.

Beltran captured the ceremony on video, but informed reporters that McCann said a few things he “couldn’t put out into the media.” Not sure a pastor should be using such language, but since it was a fake memorial, it doesn’t really matter.

You can do that sort of thing when your team has a double-digit lead in the standings and is cruising toward a division title.

Well, then the Astros had to play a game and Seattle ended up burying Houston, in a manner of speaking. But before we get to the end result, let’s go on a journey through the craziness of the game. It was one of those up-and-down, back-and-forth contests that fans of the game enjoy because they’re exciting to watch, but that fans of the teams involved don’t necessarily love unless theirs the one that ends up victorious.

The game was tied 1-1 after one inning and the runs didn’t come off home runs or anything particularly exciting, they were off a throwing error and a sac fly, respectively. Houston got its first lead thanks to a Jake Marisnick home run.

Seattle scored three in the fourth—thanks to doubles by Danny Valencia and Mike Zunino—and one in the fifth to go ahead 5-2. Houston then scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, including a game-tying home run from Beltran.

Beltran’s glove may be buried but his bat isn’t. It was his 12th of the year.

Then, right after the Astros went ahead in the bottom of the sixth, the Mariners scored a run off Chris Devenski in the top of the seventh, tying the game again. This time, Nelson Cruz took Devenski deep for his 20th of the season. It was his third in his last three games and only the fifth home run Devenski has given up this season.

And the Mariners went ahead in the top of the eighth after this monster shot from Zunino off Luke Gregerson.

Houston tied the game in the bottom of the eighth on a sac fly and the game went into extra innings, but not before the Astros made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth. Josh Reddick led off the inning with a double, was thrown out at home, and the Astros couldn’t score the winning run. As soon as the game went into extra innings, Seattle decided they had had enough.

Kyle Seager led off the top of the 10th inning with a home run.

And Danny Valencia followed suit with a home run of his own.

It was the first time the Mariners hit back-to-back home runs in extra innings since September 8, 2002, when Ben Davis and Mike Cameron went back-to-back off Kris Wilson in Kansas City. And in fun news from that game nearly 15 years ago, the Mariners scored eight runs in the top of 11th inning and ended up winning by a score of 16-9.

The Astros went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 10th and the Mariners won, 9-7. Seattle has now won five in a row and are in the thick of the Wild Card race.

Quick Hits

The Nationals completed a sweep of the Reds in Cincinnati. Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer, his 23rd of the year, while Brian Goodwin and Ryan Zimmerman added solo shots.

Goodwin’s was his eighth of the year.

Zimmerman’s was the 235th of his career and he became the franchise’s all-time home run leader.

Stephen Strasburg won his 10th game. He struck out 11 batters for his sixth double-digit-strikeout game of the season and the 35th of his career. He gave up one run on four hits.

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Don’t look now, but the Cubs are coming. They’re now just three games back of the Brewers in the NL Central thanks to a 4-3 win over the Braves. And helping his own cause? Cubs starter Jon Lester, who hit a double, worked a walk, and stole a base. He’s the first Cubs pitcher to do that since Charlie Root way back in 1930.

Here’s his double.

Here’s the steal.

And Kyle Schwarber made a nice catch and then fell into the stands.

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Cardinals rookie Paul DeJong enjoys playing the Mets, evidently. On Monday, he hit the go-ahead home run in the sixth inning and the Cardinals went on to win 6-3

It was DeJong’s 10th home run of the year and he has now homered in four straight games against New York. Four of his 10 home runs have been against the Mets and he’s hitting .588 with 10 hits and six RBIs in four games against them. The Cards are in town for three more games, so DeJong will have plenty of chances to punish the Mets’ pitching.

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Giancarlo Stanton hit two more homers on Monday against the Phillies, his 27th and 28th of the year.

Here’s the first one.

Here’s the second one.

Stanton is a bad, bad man.

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The Giants’ sellout streak ended on Monday night. It dated back to 2010, the first of their “even-year magic” championship years.

And they lost to the Indians, 5-3.

Defensive Play of the Day

Aaron Judge may not be having a great time at the plate post-All-Star break, but he’s still doing okay in the field. Watch as he nails Brian Dozier at home.

What to Watch on Tuesday

Bartolo Colon will be making his triumphant return to the majors, this time as a member of the Twins and facing Luis Cessa and the Yankees. All eyes will be on 44-year-old, who did not have a good time with Atlanta (8.14 ERA, 118 cFIP). (8:10 ET)

At the same time, Clayton Kershaw (2.18 ERA, 78 cFIP) will be going for win no. 15 against the White Sox. Trying to stop him from reaching that milestone is White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez (5.15 ERA, 115 cFIP). (8:10 ET)

Blake Snell of the Rays (4.85 ERA, 103 cFIP) is still looking for his first win of the season, but with the way the Rays are playing of late, and with their opponent being the A’s, this could be Snell’s chance to finally get into the win column. (10:05 ET)