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MIAMI (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton homered in his sixth consecutive game to give him a major league-leading 44, but the Miami Marlins fell 9-4 to the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.
Stanton hit a solo shot to deep left-center field off Madison Bumgarner (3-5) in the third inning, tying the game at 2. He has 11 homers in his past 12 games, and 23 in the past 35. Only Sammy Sosa (25 in 1998) and Barry Bonds (24 in 2001) have hit more in that span, according to Elias.
He is two games from tying the major league record of hitting a home run in eight straight set by Dale Long (1956), Don Mattingly (1987), and Ken Griffey Jr. (1993).
Stanton will look to make it seven straight on Wednesday in the series finale. The Giants will start right-hander Matt Cain. Stanton has four home runs in 22 at-bats against Cain.
DODGERS 6, WHITE SOX 1
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joc Pederson got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the go-ahead run in a five-run eighth inning that lifted Los Angeles over Chicago.
The victory pushed the major league-leading Dodgers (84-34) to a whopping 50 games above .500.
Pederson was hit in the right thigh by a pitch from Jake Petricka, forcing home Yasmani Grandal with two outs and opening the floodgates for a Dodgers offense that had been stifled most of the game. Pinch-hitter Austin Barnes and Corey Seager each added a two-run single.
Brandon Morrow (5-0) worked an inning of scoreless relief. Juan Minaya (1-1) took the loss.
Tim Anderson homered on the first pitch of the game from Alex Wood, who went seven innings. The left-hander remained 14-1.
Chicago has lost six straight road games and 10 of its last 11.
RED SOX 10, CARDINALS 4
BOSTON (AP) — Xander Bogaerts had three hits, Hanley Ramirez, Sandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. all added two RBIs and the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-4 on Tuesday night.
Boston blew the game open courtesy of a wild fifth inning, tallying eight hits and eight runs against Cardinals starter Mike Leake and reliever Matt Bowman. It came an inning after the Red Sox turned their first triple play in six years .
The Red Sox have won 11 of their last 13.
Box score:Red Sox 10, Cardinals 4
Rick Porcello (7-14) was mostly able to cruise, giving up eight hits and three runs over seven innings to pick up the victory. He has won his past three starts after going winless for more than a month.
Leake (7-11) got the loss and has failed to win in his last four starts. He has yielded 28 hits and 15 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings over his last three outings.
Nearly everyone had a hand in the Red Sox’s offensive onslaught in the fifth.
Eduardo Nunez and Mookie Betts reached on consecutive singles with one out, then Leake loaded the bases by hitting Andrew Benintendi’s left knee with a pitch. Benintendi needed a few moments to shake off the pain before jogging to first to load the bases for Ramirez. He then promptly doubled off the Green Monster to drive in Nunez and Betts.
Leake intentionally walked rookie Rafael Devers, loading the bases once again, and Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland followed with RBI singles to put Boston up 5-0.
Bowman replaced Leake after Moreland’s single and allowed a two-run double by Leon, Boston’s 10th hit of the game and sixth in the inning, bringing up Bradley for the second time in the inning.
Bradley, whose fly out to left remained the only out of the inning, singled to right bringing in two more runs and Nunez followed with his second single of the inning.
Betts popped out to first for the second out, ending a run of 10 straight batters reaching base.
NATIONALS 3, ANGELS 1
WASHINGTON (AP) — Gio Gonzalez allowed two hits in six scoreless innings, Howie Kendrick hit two solo home runs and Washington snapped Los Angeles’ winning streak at six.
Gonzalez (11-5) struck out four and issued three walks in lowering his home ERA to 1.79, now the best in baseball. The left-hander, who was three outs from a no-hitter July 31 at Miami, allowed his first hit two hits into the fifth against the Angels.
Los Angeles, which had climbed into an AL wild-card spot during its streak, lost for the first time since Aug. 7. Tyler Skaggs (1-3) allowed the two home runs to Kendrick and five other hits while striking out six in five innings.
Sean Doolittle picked up his 12th save of the season and his ninth with Washington.
INDIANS 8, TWINS 1
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Carlos Santana hit two of Cleveland’s five home runs and Danny Salazar continued his strong second-half stretch in the Indians’ victory over Minnesota.
Santana, Jason Kipnis and Edwin Encarnacion all hit solo homers off Bartolo Colon (4-10) as Cleveland won its fifth straight overall and stayed unbeaten in eight games in Minnesota this season. Austin Jackson added a three-run shot and Santana homered from both sides of the plate for the Indians, who have outscored the Twins 56-16 at Target Field this season.
Salazar (5-5) cruised through seven innings, allowing one run and three hits. He struck out 10 while running his mark to 2-0 with a 1.39 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings in five starts since coming off the disabled list on July 22.
YANKEES 5, METS 4
NEW YORK (AP) — Sonny Gray outpitched Jacob deGrom, Jacoby Ellsbury and Gary Sanchez homered, and the Yankees held off the Mets to sweep both Subway Series games in the Bronx.
Despite another late stumble by closer Aroldis Chapman, the Yankees kept the Empire State Building lit up in pinstripes with the win. The Mets will try to change the color scheme to blue and orange when the rivalry now shifts to Citi Field for two games beginning Wednesday night.
Gray (7-7) earned his first win in three starts since being traded from Oakland to a playoff contender. He blanked the Mets on four singles until the seventh inning, when he issued a leadoff walk and rookie Dominic Smith followed with his first major league homer.
Chapman gave up an infield single to pinch-hitter Jose Reyes and a two-run homer by rookie Amed Rosario in the ninth, then got two more outs for his 16th save in 20 chances.
DeGrom (13-6) gave up more than four earned runs for the first time in 12 starts.
BRAVES 4, ROCKIES 3
DENVER (AP) — Brandon Phillips scored the go-ahead run on a rare error by Nolan Arenado, and Atlanta beat Colorado.
Nick Markakis homered for the Braves, who snapped an 11-game skid in Denver.
The game was tied in the eighth when Phillips reached on a one-out double off Pat Neshek (3-3). One out later Tyler Flowers hit a routine grounder to Arenado at third base, but his throw to first was off line and skipped away from Mark Reynolds, allowing Phillips to score from second.
Arenado, who has won the Gold Glove at third in each of his four seasons, has five errors in 306 total chances this season.
Sam Freeman (2-0) pitched the seventh and Arodys Vizcaino worked the ninth for his seventh save.
RANGERS 10, TIGERS 4
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Joey Gallo and Mike Napoli hit back-to-back homers and Texas beat Detroit to end Justin Verlander’s three-game winning streak.
The Rangers had just gone ahead 2-1 on Nomar Mazara’s RBI single in the fourth inning when Gallo hit his 34th homer, a towering drive that landed in the second deck of seats in right-center above the Texas bullpen and was estimated at 459 feet.
Napoli followed with a 416-foot shot to left for his 24th homer, and added a two-run single in the Rangers’ four-run eighth.
Robinson Chirinos also went deep off Verlander (8-8), who struck out eight without any walks while allowing five runs in six innings.
A.J. Griffin (6-3) allowed one run and struck out four in five innings.
REDS 2, CUBS 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Scooter Gennett’s sacrifice fly drove in Joey Votto to break a scoreless tie in the eighth, and Billy Hamilton singled in a run in the ninth and Cincinnati edged Chicago.
After Votto walked for the third time and advanced to third on Adam Duvall’s single off reliever Pedro Strop (3-3), Gennett smacked a line drive to right that Jason Heyward caught on the run.
Cincinnati rookie Luis Castillo allowed only two hits over six innings. Chicago remained 1½ games ahead of both St. Louis and Milwaukee in the NL Central.
Ben Zobrist singled in a run in the ninth off Raisel Iglesias to cut the Reds’ lead to 2-1, but Iglesias worked around three hits in the ninth for his 21st save in 22 chances.
Michael Lorenzen (7-2) pitched a scoreless seventh for the win.
ASTROS 9, DIAMONDBACKS 4
PHOENIX (AP) — Houston had six extra-base hits in the first four innings, building a big enough lead to top Arizona.
Houston jumped to an 8-0 lead in the fourth inning. Starting pitcher Brad Peacock couldn’t get out of the bottom of the fifth, so Francis Martes (5-2) came on and struck out all four batters he faced in 1 1/3 innings for the victory.
Diamondbacks starter Anthony Banda (1-3) allowed eight runs and nine hits in four innings.
George Springer had a two-run double and in the second and scored on Alex Bregman’s RBI triple as the Astros opened a 5-0 lead. Peacock added a two-run double in the third.
RAYS 6, BLUE JAYS 4
TORONTO (AP) — Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer, Wilson Ramos added a solo shot and Tampa Bay beat Toronto, snapping a four-game skid.
The Rays came in having scored 12 runs in their past 10 games. According to Elias, that is the lowest total for any AL team over a 10-game stretch since the designated hitter was introduced in 1973. The Rays suffered five shutout defeats in that span, and lead the majors with 10 scoreless losses.
Blake Snell (1-6) allowed one run and four hits.
Alex Colome finished for his 35th save in 40 chances.
Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson homered for the third consecutive game, hitting a three-run shot in the fifth. Donaldson has gone deep nine times in 17 games. The blast gave him 500 RBIs.
Marco Estrada (5-8) allowed six runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings.
BREWERS 3, PIRATES 1
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Keon Broxton hit a pinch-hit home run, Manny Piña drove in two runs, Zach Davies pitched into the seventh and Milwaukee beat Pittsburgh.
Davies (14-6) allowed six hits, including Adam Frazier’s run-scoring triple in the sixth, walked two and struck out two. Jared Hughes took over and retired Josh Harrison on a bouncer back to the mound. Jacob Barnes retired the side in order in the eighth and Corey Knebel pitched the ninth for his 23rd save.
Piña capitalized on Travis Shaw’s success against Ivan Nova (10-10). Shaw came in batting .769 (10 for 13) against the big right-hander. He singled in the second and scored when Piña bounced into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded. In the sixth, Shaw walked and scored on Piña’s two-out infield hit.
MARINERS 3, ORIOLES 1
SEATTLE (AP) — Andrew Albers earned his first major league win in four years, pitching five effective innings as Seattle beat Baltimore to snap a five-game losing streak.
Called up from the minors earlier in the day, Albers (1-0) settled down after giving up Jonathan Schoop’s 26th home run in the first. He allowed six hits for his first victory since Aug. 12, 2013, when he went 2-5 in 10 starts with Minnesota.
The 31-year-old lefty was acquired in a trade with Atlanta last Friday after going 12-3 at Triple-A Gwinnett.
The Mariners’ bullpen finished with four scoreless innings. Edwin Diaz pitched a perfect ninth for his 26th save in 30 opportunities.
Seattle erased a 1-0 deficit with a run in the fourth and two in the fifth off Wade Miley (6-10).
ATHLETICS 10, ROYALS 8
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Matt Joyce hit a three-run double to cap a six-run eighth inning and Oakland rallied past Kansas City.
Joyce also homered and had four RBIs. Khris Davis added his 33rd home run and Matt Olson hit his fourth in five days for the A’s.
The Royals hit three home runs in the top of the eighth, including Mike Moustakas’ 35th, to take a four-run lead before Oakland stormed back against relievers Joakim Soria and Mike Minor (5-5).
The loss prevented the Royals from moving past the Angels in the race for the second AL wild card.
Blake Treinen (1-0) retired five batters for his first AL win.
Drew Butera, Eric Hosmer and Moustakas homered as part of the Royals’ five-run eighth. Hosmer also had a two-run double and drove in four.
PADRES 8, PHILLIES 4
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Cory Spangenberg homered and had a career-high four RBIs to back seven strong innings from Dinelson Lamet in San Diego’s victory over Philadelphia.
Spangenberg hit his career-high 12th homer and third in four games. He also had an early two-run double.
Lamet (7-4) held the Phillies hitless over the first 4 2/3 innings in winning for the fourth time in his last five starts. The rookie tied a career high by working seven innings, allowing two runs and three hits. He struck out seven.
Hector Sanchez had a two-run homer for the Padres.
Jorge Alfaro hit his first major league homer for the Phillies, who have dropped five of six. Rhys Hoskins, called up on Thursday, hit his third home run in two days.
Mark Leiter (1-3) was charged with eight runs, four earned, in five innings.
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MIAMI (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton hit his team-record 43rd home run, connecting in his fifth straight game and sending the Miami Marlins over the San Francisco Giants 8-3 on Monday night.
Stanton broke the club mark of 42 homers set by Gary Sheffield in 1996. Stanton has homered 22 times in his last 34 games.
Stanton set another club record for most consecutive games with a home run when he tagged Ty Blach (8-8) for a two-run drive in the first inning. The All-Star slugger later had an RBI single as Miami won its fourth in a row.
Marcell Ozuna also homered for the Marlins. Dee Gordon had three hits, scored twice, and drove in a run to help back Adam Conley (5-5).
ROCKIES 3, BRAVES 0
DENVER (AP) — Chad Bettis drew a standing ovation when he took the mound for the first time since cancer treatment, then threw seven impressive innings as Colorado blanked Atlanta.
Bettis scattered six hits, walked none and struck out two. He hadn’t pitched in the majors since being diagnosed with testicular cancer in November.
Bettis had surgery for the condition, but tests in March showed the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes. He later underwent chemotherapy.
The Braves’ best chance to score against Bettis came when Ender Inciarte led off with a triple, but he was thrown out trying for an inside-the-park home run.
Colorado scored three times in the eighth off Rex Brothers (2-3), who relieved starter Julio Teheran. The Rockies are tied with Arizona for the top NL wild card.
Mike Dunn (5-1) got the win and Greg Holland closed for his 35th save. Holland had blown his previous two save chances.
INDIANS 7, RED SOX 3
BOSTON (AP) — Edwin Encarnacion homered twice to help AL Central-leading Cleveland earn its fourth straight victory by beating East-leading Boston.
In a rematch of last year’s ALDS, which Cleveland won in a three-game sweep, Trevor Bauer (11-8) struck out 11 over 6 2/3 innings for his fourth consecutive win. He allowed three runs — all on solo homers by Red Sox rookies. Rafael Devers had two and Andrew Benintendi one.
The Indians improved to a season-high five games in front of second-place Minnesota. The Red Sox lost for just the second time in 12 games.
The quick visit to Fenway Park by the Indians was to make up an Aug. 2 rainout that came two days after Doug Fister (2-6) shut out Cleveland into the eighth inning. But this time he allowed five runs on seven hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings.
DIAMONDBACKS 2, ASTROS 0
PHOENIX (AP) — Zack Greinke struck out nine in six-plus innings to bounce back from his first home loss of the season, lifting Arizona over Houston.
Greinke (14-5) took his first home loss last week against the Dodgers and followed with a dominant performance against the majors’ top-hitting team to help the Diamondbacks win for the third time in nine games.
The NL All-Star struck out AL batting leader Jose Altuve three times and held the Astros to five hits in 6 2/3 innings. Fernando Rodney got his 27th save.
Ketel Marte hit a run-scoring double off Collin McHugh (0-2) in the second and J.D. Martinez had another off the right-hander in the sixth.
The AL West-leading Astros have lost six of seven.
Greinke had been dominant at Chase Field prior to his last start, going 10-0 for the best home start in franchise history.
CUBS 15, REDS 5
CHICAGO (AP) — Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo hit back-to-back homers to cap a five-run fourth inning, and Chicago continued its recent dominance of Cincinnati.
Bryant went 2 for 4 with a walk and has reached safely in 16 of his last 20 plate appearances. Rizzo was 3 for 5 with a season-high five RBIs.
Jon Jay had three hits with an RBI and finished a home run shy of the cycle as the Cubs extended their NL Central lead to 1 1/2 games over idle St. Louis. Jose Quintana (3-2) allowed two runs, one earned, and four hits in five innings to snap a three-start winless stretch.
Chicago has 25 wins in its last 32 games against the Reds.
Scooter Gennett hit a two-run homer, his 20th, in the eighth for the Reds, who have five players with at least 20 home runs to tie a club record. Gennett also mopped up on the mound after beginning the game at second base.
Joey Votto went 3 for 5 to set a Cincinnati mark by reaching base at least twice in 19 consecutive games. It’s the longest streak in the majors since Barry Bonds did it in 20 straight in 2004.
Reds starter Asher Wojciehowski (3-2) appeared to settle down after a rough first inning, but couldn’t get the final out in the fourth.
YANKEES 4, METS 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge hit a tying home run in the sixth inning, Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez went deep in the eighth and the New York Yankees rallied to beat the Mets in the first of four Subway Series matchups this week.
Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes homered in the third off Luis Cessa to give the Mets a 2-0 lead at Yankee Stadium.
Sanchez started the Yankees’ comeback with a sacrifice fly in the fourth against starter Rafael Montero. Two innings later, Judge hit his AL-leading 36th home run — just his sixth since the All-Star break.
Hicks, who returned last week from an oblique injury, homered against Hansel Robles (7-4) leading off the eighth, his career-best 12th of the season. Sanchez connected two batters later against Erik Goeddel. With 20 homers, Sanchez matched his total in his rookie season last year.
David Robertson (6-2) pitched a hitless eighth, and Dellin Betances finished the six-hitter for his seventh save.
BLUE JAYS 2, RAYS 1
TORONTO (AP) — Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer in the first inning for the second consecutive game, Nick Tepesch won for the first time in almost three years and Toronto edged slumping Tampa Bay.
The last-place Blue Jays have won 10 of 14 at home.
Wilson Ramos homered in the second to provide the only run for the offense-starved Rays, who lost their fourth straight. Tampa Bay arrived in Toronto on the heels of a 2-7 homestand in which the team totaled 11 runs and was shut out five times during an eight-game span.
Tepesch (1-2) had not won since Sept. 16, 2014, for Texas. The right-hander allowed one run and four hits in six-plus innings.
Roberto Osuna got four outs for his 30th save in 37 chances.
Making his second start after missing more than two weeks with a sore lower back, Jake Odorizzi (6-6) allowed three hits in six innings.
RANGERS 6, TIGERS 2
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Joey Gallo hit his 33rd home run and Texas also played some small ball in a victory over Detroit.
Martin Perez (7-10) had a second straight solid start for the Rangers. The lefty made it through six innings without giving up any more runs after trailing 2-0 only three batters into the game.
The Rangers led for good when Delino DeShields executed a safety squeeze to make it 3-2 in the second. Rougned Odor had three hits, including a double, and scored three times. It was Odor’s second consecutive multihit game after going 0 for 17 the previous five games.
Justin Upton hit a two-run homer for the Tigers before a spectacular catch by center fielder Drew Robinson ended the top of the first.
Michael Fulmer (10-10) gave up five runs in five innings.
ORIOLES 11, MARINERS 3
SEATTLE (AP) — Tim Beckham hit the first pitch of the game out for his first career leadoff homer, Manny Machado launched his sixth grand slam an inning later and Baltimore routed skidding Seattle.
The Orioles scored double-digit runs for the second time in three games and the sixth since the All-Star break. Beckham got them started with his 16th homer, but it was Machado’s slam that broke the game open as part of a six-run second.
Trey Mancini hit his 21st homer and Seth Smith added his 12th to turn it into a blowout.
That was plenty for starter Kevin Gausman (9-8), who stumbled early before settling into a groove. Gausman allowed one earned run in seven innings, the fifth time in his last six starts that the right-hander gave up one earned run or less.
Meanwhile, Seattle’s sudden fade from the AL wild-card race continued. The Mariners lost their fifth straight — all at home — coming off a 6-3 road trip that had helped them hold the league’s second wild-card spot.
Yovani Gallardo (5-8) was tagged for eight runs and failed to get an out in the fifth inning.
ROYALS 6, ATHLETICS 2
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Cam Gallagher hit a grand slam for his first career home run and second big league hit, leading Kansas City past Oakland.
Gallagher’s shot in the sixth inning marked the first slam by a Royals rookie since Paulo Orlando connected against Tampa Bay on July 7, 2015.
Jake Junis (5-2), recalled for his seventh stint with Kansas City this season, allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. The Royals are five games back of AL Central-leading Cleveland.
Jharel Cotton (5-10) gave up six runs and eight hits in six innings and has an 8.71 ERA in four starts since coming off the disabled list July 30 from a right thumb blister. His winless stretch reached five starts and he is 0-3 since a victory at the White Sox on June 23.
PADRES 7, PHILLIES 4
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jose Pirela’s two-out, two-run single highlighted the four-run sixth inning that carried San Diego past Philadelphia.
Cory Spangenberg hit a leadoff homer in the eighth to finish with three hits and three runs. Pirela, Austin Hedges and Carlos Asuaje each had two hits, and Hedges also drove in two runs.
Phillies rookie Rhys Hoskins hit his first two major league home runs.
The teams swapped the lead three times, with the Padres going ahead for good in the sixth on three hits and two walks off Ricardo Pinto (1-1).
Jose Torres (7-3) got the last out of the sixth and Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his 10th save.
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper sustained what appeared to be a serious left knee injury when he slipped on a wet first base and his left leg buckled while running out a grounder early in the Washington Nationals’ 3-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night.
Harper clutched at his knee while on the wet field and put no weight on his left leg as he was helped off. The 2015 NL MVP left the game immediately, and manager Dusty Baker said Harper hyperextended his knee and would have an MRI.
The result of the game meant little for Washington, which leads the NL East by 14 ½ games, or San Francisco, which is out of contention. It didn’t begin until 10:06 p.m. after another extended weather delay, and it was raining when Harper lost his footing on a base that had water on it.
The Nationals lost catcher Wilson Ramos to a torn ACL in his right knee in late September last season, another noncontact injury that came after a rain delay in Washington.
RED SOX 10, YANKEES 5
NEW YORK (AP) — For a rookie who began this month on the bench, Andrew Benintendi is putting up a monster August.
Benintendi rocketed a pair of three-run homers off All-Star Luis Severino and the Boston Red Sox bounced back from a tough loss, roughing up the New York Yankees 10-5 Saturday.
“Two beautiful swings,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
A day after blowing a late lead, the AL East leaders battered Severino for a career-worst 10 runs. Drew Pomeranz pitched the Red Sox to their ninth win in 10 games, and restored their 4½-game lead over New York.
Boston began bruising the Yankees’ staff even before the first pitch.
Starter Jordan Montgomery was hit in the head by a flyball while he signed autographs as the Red Sox took batting practice. He bled from a cut on his ear, but is set to pitch Sunday night against ace Chris Sale in the series finale.
The 6-foot-6 rookie was nailed despite standing in back of a protective screen in foul ground down the right field line.
“Just a freak accident,” Montgomery said. “I was behind the net. I mean there’s a one in a million chance it curves over like that.”
Said Boston catcher Sandy Leon, who hit the ball: “Of course, I was watching. I wasn’t trying to hit anybody. It just happened.”
The 23-year-old Benintendi, who also homered Friday night, is on quite a tear. He is 15 for 31 with four home runs and five steals this month, reaching base 20 times in eight games.
Benintendi had gone into a slump after the All-Star break, and Farrell sat him down for a couple games.
“A mental break,” Benintendi said.
Benintendi lined a drive off the top of right-field wall to cap a five-run burst in the third. Third baseman Todd Frazier’s first error in 22 games since being acquired from the Chicago White Sox came on a potential double-play grounder that would have ended the inning without a run scoring.
Benintendi hit a no-doubt drive to right in the fifth for his 16th home run. He matched a career best with six RBIs in his third multihomer game this season. He’s done a lot of damage against Severino, too, going 6 for 11 lifetime.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, Benintendi was the youngest Red Sox player to drive in six runs against the Yankees since the RBI became an official statistic in 1920.
“I guess that’s cool,” he said.
Benintendi’s performance came in front of his grandfather, who turned 85 this weekend and grew up in Brooklyn as a Yankees fan.
Severino (9-5) had been 4-0 with a sparkling 0.83 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break. Instead, he became the first Yankees pitcher to give up 10 runs at the new Yankee Stadium since it opened in 2009.
Severino was tagged for eight hits and eight earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.
“Every starter has a bad day. I mean, we’ve seen it for years and years and years,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He just didn’t have good stuff today. He wasn’t as sharp as he’s been.”
Rookie Rafael Devers had a two-run double that made it 10-2 in the fifth. Mookie Betts had a two-run single for Boston, now 4-7 against New York this season.
Benintendi and the Red Sox solved one of their biggest problems vs. the Yankees — they started the day just 3 for 64 with runners in scoring position this year against their longtime rivals, then went 4 for 11.
Pomeranz (12-4) won his career-best fifth straight decision, giving up three runs in 6 2/3 innings. The lefty also topped his high for wins, having won a combined 11 for San Diego and Boston last year.
Gary Sanchez hit his 19th homer for the Yankees, a two-run drive in the first. Chase Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury hit consecutive homers in the ninth off Robby Scott, called up by Boston from Triple-A before the game.
INDIANS 3, RAYS 0
ST. PETRSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jay Bruce drove in his first two runs for Cleveland and Mike Clevinger struck out nine.
Bruce, acquired in a trade from the New York Mets on Wednesday night, drove in the first run with a two-out fly ball that dropped for a double between left fielder Corey Dickerson and third baseman Trevor Plouffe in the first inning.
After leading off the third with a double, Francisco Lindor scored on Chris Archer’s two-out wild pitch to make it 2-0.
Bruce drove in another run with a single in the fifth after Jose Ramirez’s leadoff double.
Clevinger (6-4) won for the first time in four starts since the All-Star break, giving up four hits and one walk in seven innings.
Cody Allen pitched the ninth for his 20th save.
It was 10th time the Rays were shut out this season, most in the majors.
DODGERS 6, PADRES 3
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Corey Seager’s bases-loaded single led to three runs, Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor added solo homers and Los Angeles rallied from a sixth-inning deficit to beat San Diego.
With their 27th win in 32 games, the Dodgers improved the best record in the major leagues to 82-34, on pace for 115 wins. Los Angeles is 17-3 on Saturdays.
Trailing 3-1 in the sixth, the Dodgers loaded the bases when Chase Utley doubled between walks to Yamani Grandal and Yasiel Puig from Craig Stammen (0-2). Seager followed with a tying single to right as Yasil Puig took third, and when Seager overran first and got caught in a rundown, Puig broke for home and with a headfirst slide beat the throw from first baseman Wil Myers.
CARDINALS 6, BRAVES 5
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Randal Grichuk and Paul DeJong homered and St. Louis stretched its winning streak to eight games.
Carlos Martinez (9-9) tossed six solid innings and also drove in a run for the Cardinals, who moved within 1/2 game of the first-place Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.
Brandon Phillips homered for Atlanta, which lost its fifth in a row.
The eight-game run is the longest for St. Louis since the Cardinals won eight in a row April 28-May 5, 2015.
Grichuk hit his 15th homer of the season in the second to tie the game 2-all. He also added a double in a three-run outburst in the fifth.
DeJong led off the seventh with his team-high 17th home run.
BLUE JAYS 7, PIRATES 2
TORONTO (AP) — Chris Rowley pitched 5 1/3 innings to win his major league debut, Jose Bautista scored two runs and Toronto beat Pittsburgh.
A former first lieutenant in the United States Army, and the first graduate of the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY, to reach the majors, Rowley (1-0) missed all of the 2014 and 2015 minor league seasons while on active service, including a stint in Bulgaria.
The right-hander, who began the season at Double-A, allowed one run five hits. He walked one and struck out three. The only run off Rowley came in the second when Josh Bell hit a leadoff triple and scored on a two-out hit by Jordy Mercer.
Mercer added a solo homer off Leonel Campos in the ninth.
RANGERS 8, ASTROS 3
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Beltre had three hits with three RBIs after new Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez acknowledged his 3,000-hit milestone, and Texas handed AL-leading Houston a season-high fifth straight loss.
An RBI double and two-run single from Beltre came after Rodriguez paid tribute to the 38-year-old third baseman during a pre-game ceremony to retire Rodriguez’s No. 7. Beltre’s 3,000th hit came on the same day Rodriguez was inducted into the Hall of Fame two weeks ago.
Brett Nicholas hit a three-run homer, his first of the season, for a 3-0 lead in the second inning after a 21-minute rain delay in the first. Mike Napoli had a solo shot off Mike Fiers (7-7), who has allowed six home runs in his past two starts against the Rangers.
West Division-leading Houston dropped to 2-9 since Aug. 1 and saw its lead for the best record in the AL drop to five games over Boston.
ANGELS 6, MARINERS 3
SEATTLE (AP) — Luis Valbuena’s two-run homer in the seventh inning pulled Los Angeles even, Albert Pujols added a two-run double in the eighth and the Angels rallied to beat Seattle.
For the third straight game, the Mariners saw their bullpen problems fester while trying to hold a lead. Valbuena’s homer came off reliever Casey Lawrence and after the Mariners got six surprisingly strong innings out of starter Erasmo Ramirez.
Tony Zych (5-3) ran into even more trouble in the eighth. Zych walked the first two batters before giving up Pujols’ double to the gap. Kole Calhoun singled and Andrelton Simmons’ sacrifice fly scored Pujols for a three-run lead. Seattle’s bullpen has allowed 13 runs in the first three games of the series.
Los Angeles has won five straight and has moved into the second wild card spot in the American League.
TIGERS 12, TWINS 11
DETROIT (AP) — Justin Upton hit a two-run homer off Matt Belisle in the ninth inning, giving Detroit a win after the Tigers wasted a five-run lead and then overcame a five-run deficit.
Detroit had been 0-54 this year when trailing after eight innings and had lost six of seven but rallied to stop the Twins’ six-game winning streak.
After James McCann hit a grand slam in a five-run first inning against Jose Berrios, the Twins tied the score 5-5 in the third, then scored twice in the fourth, once in the fifth and three times in the sixth for an 11-6 lead.
Upton hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh, and McCann hit into a run-scoring forceout in the eighth and scored on Jose Iglesias’ home run against Trevor Hildenberger that cut Detroit’s gap to 11-10.
Shane Greene (3-2) escaped a bases-loaded jam when he struck out Miguel Sano on a slider. Mikie Mahtook singled against Belisle (0-2) starting the bottom half and Upton drove a high fastball into the left-field seats.
MARLINS 4, ROCKIES 3
MIAMI (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton continued his power surge with his 41st homer and drove in three runs in Miami’s victory over Colorado.
Stanton went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and is hitting .382 (13 for 34) with eight home runs and 15 RBIs in his last nine games. He needs one home run to tie Gary Sheffield for the Marlins’ single-season mark set in 1996.
Stanton has hit 20 home runs in his last 32 games. The last player to accomplish the feat in the same season was the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Shawn Green in 2002, according to STATS LLC.
Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon went 4 for 5 with two runs scored and two stolen bases. It was the 15th time this season Blackmon has had at least three hits and his third four-hit game.
ROYALS 5, WHITE SOX 4
CHICAGO (AP) — Melky Cabrera hit a go-ahead, two-run homer against his former team in the eighth inning, and Kansas City beat Chicago to stop a five-game losing streak.
Cabrera, acquired from Kansas City on July 30, homered with one out off Aaron Bummer (1-3) and drove in Lorenzo Cain, who led off the inning with a walk and Chris Beck. Cabrera has an eight-game hitting streak.
Scott Alexander (3-3) won after allowing a two-run, two-out single in the seventh to Leury Garcia that put Chicago ahead 4-3.
ORIOLES 12, ATHLETICS 5
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Tim Beckham hit a two-run double in his second plate appearance of the first inning as Baltimore matched its biggest frame of the season with a seven-run first and went on to beat the Oakland Athletics 12-5 on Saturday night.
Dylan Bundy (12-8) matched his career high with 10 strikeouts, equaling the number from his previous outing, to win his third straight start and fourth consecutive decision. The right-hander allowed three runs and seven hits with three walks as the Orioles won for only the second time in five games.
Adam Jones drove in three runs for Baltimore.
DIAMONDBACKS 6, CUBS 2
PHOENIX (AP) — Patrick Corbin pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings, David Peralta hit an inside-the-park home run and Arizona cut Chicago’s NL Central lead over St. Louis to a percentage point.
Jon Lester (8-7) allowed four runs — three earned — and seven hits in six innings as the Cubs lost for the seventh time in 10 games.
Chicago led the division by 5½ games before play on Aug. 2, but the Cardinals have closed with eight straight victories, their longest winning streak in two years.
Corbin (9-11) allowed five hits and struck out eight. He escaped trouble in the opening inning when Ian Happ hit an inning-ending groundout with runners at the corners.
Shortstop Ketel Marte threw out Javier Baez at the plate in the fifth on Ben Zobrist’s grounder — a call upheld in a video review. Anthony Rizzo hit an inning-ending flyout with the bases loaded.
PHILLIES 3, METS 1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Aaron Nola held an opponent to two runs or fewer for his 10th straight start, Freddy Galvis had a go-ahead single during a fifth-inning rally and Philadelphia beat veteran-shedding New York.
Nola (9-7) gave up one run and two hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts and two walks. He is 6-2 with a 1.71 ERA in his last 10 starts and is the only Phillies pitcher since 1900 to have 10 straight starts of at least six innings while allowing two runs or fewer, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Cesar Hernandez and Tommy Joseph also had RBIs for the Phillies, who won despite just five hits. Odubel Herrera extended his career-best hitting streak to 15 games with an eighth-inning single.
BREWERS 6, REDS 5, 10 INNINGS
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Eric Sogard scampered home with the winning run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 10th inning and Milwaukee snapped a six-game losing streak.
Sogard started the rally with a one-out double off Reds reliever Tim Adleman (5-10). After Manny Pina flew out to center field, Jesus Aguilar and Eric Thames drew walks to load the bases.
An 0-2 curveball then bounced away from Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart, allowing Sogard to slide in just ahead of Adleman’s tag attempt.
The Brewers have won three times in their last at-bat this season, two of which have come on wild pitches.
Josh Hader pitched three scoreless innings of relief for the Brewers before giving way to Corey Knebel (1-2) for the ninth and 10th.
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Madison Bumgarner allowed four hits over seven innings to win for the second time since returning from a dirt bike accident, helping the San Francisco Giants defeat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 Wednesday and complete a winning homestand for only the second time this season.
Bumgarner (2-5) struck out seven, walked one and gave up five hits — including a third-inning home run by Albert Almora Jr. Hunter Strickland pitched a one-hit eighth and Sam Dyson completed the six-hitter with a perfect ninth for his eighth save.
San Francisco won two of three against the NL Central-leading Cubs and has won consecutive home series for the first time since May.
Joe Panik hit an RBI single in the second, Jarrett Parker had a tiebreaking single in the seventh against Brian Duensing (0-1) and Hunter Pence hit an opposite-field homer to right-center in the eighth against Pedro Strop.
DODGERS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 2
PHOENIX (AP) — Yasiel Puig’s two-out single drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and Los Angeles held on for a win over the Diamondbacks, making the Dodgers the sixth team since 1913 to reach 80 wins in their first 113 games.
Puig’s hit was the third off Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke in the seventh, after Greinke had allowed only one hit through six innings. Cody Bellinger homered, doubled and scored twice for the Dodgers.
Greinke (13-5) lost for the first time in 13 starts at home this season. He is 10-1 at Chase Field. He allowed three runs on four hits in 6 2-3 innings, but lost the lead by surrendering two runs in the seventh on Bellinger’s double, a two-out double for Joc Pederson and Puig’s single. Greinke struck out eight and walked four.
Dodgers starter Alex Wood pitched six innings for the win. Wood (14-1) allowed two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
CARDINALS 8, ROYALS 5
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Yadier Molina hit a grand slam one pitch after a cat ran onto the field in the sixth inning, helping the Cardinals rally to beat the Royals.
The Cardinals loaded the bases off Royals relievers Brandon Maurer and Peter Moylan. Molina was at the plate, with two outs, when the cat came onto the field and ran toward the center field wall.
On the next pitch, Molina drilled his 14th homer of the season into the left field seats for his fifth career slam.
Melky Cabrera hit his 15th home run, a two-run shot, that had given the Royals a 5-4 lead in the fifth.
MARINERS 6, ATHLETICS 3
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Nelson Cruz homered twice, Kyle Seager also went deep off Jharel Cotton (5-9) and Seattle completed a two-game sweep.
Emilion Pagan (1-2) pitched one-hit ball over 2 2/3 innings for his first big league win, and Edwin Diaz retired three batters for his 25th save.
Khris Davis hit his 31st home run and Matt Joyce also homered for the A’s, one day after returning to the lineup following a two-game suspension for using an anti-gay slur.
ANGELS 5, ORIOLES 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — After 10 seasons in the minors and playing in his first major league game, Cesar Puello singled in the go-ahead run and C.J. Cron added a two-run homer
Troy Scribner (2-0), making his second big league start, allowed one run and two hits in five innings.
Kevin Gausman (8-8) gave up four runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.
RANGERS 5, METS 1
NEW YORK (AP) — Martin Perez (6-10) allowed three hits over eight innings, Joey Gallo hit his 32nd home run and Texas gained a two-game split.
Texas took a 3-0 lead in the first against Rafael Montero (1-8) when the pitcher balked with Shin-Soo Choo taking a sizable and distracting lead off of third, and Gallo hit a two-run drive into the upper deck in right, his 11th home run since the All-Star break
ROCKIES 3, INDIANS 2
CLEVELAND (AP) — Charlie Blackmon homered against Zach McAllister (1-2) n the 12th inning, atoning for getting doubled up at first base on a foul ball inh the eighth..
Colorado tied the score in the ninth when Carlos Gonzalez singled with one out and came home on Jonathan Lucroy’s double off Cody Allen, who blew a save for the third time in 22 chances.
Carlos Estevez (5-0) pitched two hitless innings and Tyler Chatwood threw a perfect 12th for his second big league save.
NATIONALS 10, MARLINS 1
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ryan Zimmerman had four run-scoring hits, including two solo home runs, drove in five runs and became the franchise’s all-time RBI leader as the Nationals defeated the Marlins.
Gio Gonzalez (10-5) allowed one run over seven innings after nearly tossing a no-hitter against the Marlins in his previous start. In between, he missed a turn to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.
Bryce Harper had two hits and two RBIs for Washington while Howie Kendrick added three hits, including two doubles, and drove in three runs.
Major League home run leader Giancarlo Stanton went hitless for Miami after homering twice this series.
REDS 8, PADRES 3
CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto extended his longest hitting streak of the season to 14 games, Stuart Turner hit his first major league homer, and the Reds beat the Padres.
Votto had a double and a single off left-hander Travis Wood (2-4), who made his third start since San Diego acquired him in a trade with Kansas City. Turner and Eugenio Suarez each had a two-run homer, and Jose Peraza singled with the bases loaded off Wood, who lasted five innings.
Votto’s career high is a 17-game hitting streak last season. He’s batting .477 with four homers during the current one.
Asher Wojciechowski (3-1) won his second straight start despite allowing a solo homer by Manuel Margot and a two-run shot by Wil Myers. He gave up seven hits and struck out six in 5 2/3 innings.
TIGERS 10, PIRATES 0
DETROIT (AP) — Justin Verlander allowed one hit over eight innings and the Tigers beat the Pirates.
Josh Bell ended Verlander’s attempt at a third career no-hitter in the sixth inning with a grounder off the glove of a diving Nicholas Castellanos at third base.
Ian Kinsler homered, scored four times and drove in four runs and Castellanos had five RBIs. The Tigers lost the first two games of the home-and-home series in Pittsburgh. The series concludes Thursday afternoon.
Verlander (8-7) won for the third straight start, allowing three walks while striking out six. He has allowed two runs in 21 innings in wins over the Astros, Orioles and Pirates.
He received a standing ovation at the end of the sixth, and a longer one after retiring the side in the eighth. Still the subject of constant trade rumors, he tipped his cap to the fans after the eighth.
Ivan Nova (10-9) allowed six runs, 10 hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings.
PHILLIES 3, BRAVES 2
ATLANTA (AP) — Odubel Herrera continued to feast on Atlanta pitching by driving in a run with two triples in the Phillies’ 3-2 victory that completed their third series sweep of the Braves this season.
Jerad Eickhoff (3-7) allowed two runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.
The Phillies (42-69) swept the two-game series to improve to 11-2 against the Braves this season. They swept a four-game series against Atlanta on July 28-31 and a three-game series on April 21-23 — each in Philadelphia.
Herrera lined a triple to right field in the first inning off left-hander Sean Newcomb (1-7).
TWINS 4, BREWERS 0
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Bartolo Colón pitched seven innings for his second consecutive win since joining the Twins, Brian Dozier added a home run, double and single and Minnesota beat the Brewers.
Colón (2-1) scattered five hits, struck out five and walked one in his sixth career start at Miller Park. Milwaukee failed to advance a batter past second.
The oldest active player in the majors, Colón made his 518th career start and fifth for the Twins. He was 2-8 with an 8.14 ERA in 13 starts for Atlanta before being released July 4. Three days later, the 44-year-old right-hander signed with Minnesota. He pitched the 37th complete game of his career in his last start and beat Texas 8-4.
Taylor Rogers retired the side in order in the eighth. Matt Belisle struck out the side in the ninth to seal Colón’s 237th career victory.
YANKEES 11, BLUE JAYS 5
TORONTO (AP) — Todd Frazier homered and had three RBIs, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius also went deep and the Yankees overcame a shaky start by Masahiro Tanaka to beat the Blue Jays.
Rookie Garrett Cooper had four hits for the Yankees, who had not scored in double figures since a 13-4 win at Houston on June 30. New York’s 17 hits were one shy of its season high, set June 10 against Baltimore.
Gregorius hit his 18th homer in a third, a two-out drive off Nick Tepesch (0-2).
Chad Green (2-0) earned the win.
RED SOX 8, RAYS 2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jake Odorizzi limped off the field after Eduardo Nunez lined a single off the pitcher’s foot leading off the fifth inning. The Boston Red Sox beat up the Tampa Bay Rays’ bullpen, scoring five runs in the inning and taking advantage of defensive sloppiness to extend their winning streak to a season-high eight.
Rick Porcello won consecutive starts for the first time this year, an 8-2 victory on Wednesday night.
Struck on the right foot, Odorizzi was face down on the mound for several seconds. He hobbled off with one arm wrapped around Rays manager Kevin Cash, the other around assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker. Tampa Bay said Odorizzi sustained a bruise and X-rays were negative.
“I was kind of expecting the worst, but we got the best news,” Odorizzi said. “I should be good to go for my next start. … It will be nice to avoid some baseballs moving forward. It’s been a tough year for getting them hit back at me.”
Porcello (6-14) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, throwing 82 pitches. He was 22-4 last year, when he won the AL Cy Young Award. Boston is on its longest winning streak since taking 11 in a row last September.
“We seem to be firing on all cylinders,” said Porcello, who threw 19 consecutive strikes at one point. “I feel like I did my job, and as much as I’d like to throw 110 or 115 pitches every start, sometimes it doesn’t call for that. More than anything, I’m happy to come out with a win and keep this momentum going.”
Pitching for the first time since July 23 after being sidelined by a lower back strain, Odorizzi (6-5) gave up two runs — one earned — and four hits. Tampa Bay made a pair of errors, threw a pair of run-scoring wild pitches and had a run-scoring passed ball.
Andrew Benintendi had three hits and put Boston ahead in the third inning when he doubled and scored with two outs when Mitch Moreland hit a sharp grounder down the first-base line. Trevor Plouffe made a diving stop, dropped the ball and then threw to first only for Odorizzi to drop the ball for an error.
Dan Jennings relieved Odorizzi and gave up a single to Benintendi and an RBI single to Mookie Betts. After an intentional walk to Hanley Ramirez, Benintendi scored on a passed ball on a low pitch off the glove of Wilson Ramos, and Betts came home when Jennings threw a wild pitch that bounced away from Ramos. Sandy Leon’s two-run single boosted the lead to 6-0.
Adeiny Hechevarria and Brad Miller homered off Porcello. The Rays have scored four runs in their last five games.
Plouffe threw wildly past pitcher Sergio Romo at first base as Brock Holt scored in the seventh, and Romo threw a run-scoring wild pitch.
WHITE SOX 7, ASTROS 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Tim Anderson homered and drove in three runs, Miguel Gonzalez tossed eight strong innings and the White Sox beat the Astros, their second straight win over the team with the best record in the AL.
Leury Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez each had two-run singles as Chicago won consecutive games for just the second time since last month’s All-Star break.
Gonzalez (6-10) allowed one run on five hits to record the 50th win of his career. He bounced back after getting shelled for seven runs on seven hits in 1 2/3 innings against Boston last Thursday.
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout got his 1,000th career hit and also homered on his 26th birthday, but Manny Machado hit a tiebreaking grand slam in the seventh inning of the Baltimore Orioles’ 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.
Trout doubled down the left-field line in the fourth inning to become the 11th player with 1,000 hits in an Angels uniform. The two-time AL MVP also tied it in the sixth by homering on his birthday for the fourth time in his six-year career, sending his 23rd of the season high off the left-field pole.
Machado connected moments later against J.C. Ramirez (10-10) for his fifth career grand slam.
Dylan Bundy (11-8) recorded a career-high 10 strikeouts while pitching seven innings of five-hit ball for the Orioles.
Baltimore won the opener of a three-game series between two teams on the fringe of the AL wild-card race. The Orioles have won eight of 10, while Los Angeles has followed up a 6-1 stretch with three straight losses.
NATIONALS 3, MARLINS 2
WASHINGTON (AP) — Max Scherzer pitched seven sharp innings for Washington in his first start since he was sidelined by neck spasms.
Bryce Harper homered for Washington, and pinch hitter Adam Lind singled in the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning. The Nationals expanded their lead in the NL East over second-place Miami to 14 games.
Brandon Kintzler (4-2) worked the eighth and Sean Doolittle got three outs to earn his sixth save.
Giancarlo Stanton hit his major league-leading 37th homer for the Marlins, matching his previous career high. Jarlin Garcia (0-2) got the loss.
Scherzer struck out nine and gave up two runs. The right-hander was coming off an abbreviated start against the Marlins six days earlier, when he was pulled after one inning with neck spasms.
CUBS 5, GIANTS 3
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Javier Baez hit an inside-the-park homer to back Jake Arrieta’s 11th win in the champion Cubs’ first visit to AT&T Park since eliminating San Francisco in Game 4 of the NL Division Series last October.
Baez’s 16th homer took a tricky bounce off the low wall in right-center and deflected past oncoming right fielder Carlos Moncrief nearly 100 feet back in the direction of the corner in right.
The NL Central leaders moved 1 1/2 games ahead of second-place Milwaukee, which lost 5-4 at Minnesota.
San Francisco rookie Ryder Jones hit his first career home run with a two-run shot in the sixth off Arrieta (11-8).
Wade Davis got three outs for his 24th save in 24 tries.
San Francisco left-hander Matt Moore (3-12) was charged with five runs and eight hits in six innings.
CARDINALS 11, ROYALS 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Matt Carpenter hit a three-run homer in St. Louis’ six-run fourth inning, and the Cardinals earned their third consecutive victory.
Paul DeJong and Kolten Wong also connected for the Cardinals, who returned to .500 at 56-56. Carlos Martinez (8-9) pitched eight innings of two-run ball for just his second win in his last nine starts.
Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy (4-8) was charged with seven runs, six earned, and six hits in six innings. He is winless in 14 consecutive starts at Kauffman Stadium since beating Minnesota on Aug. 20, 2016.
Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Brandon Moss homered for Kansas City, which has dropped six of eight.
TWINS 5, BREWERS 4
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Eddie Rosario doubled home the tying run in the seventh inning and scored the winning run for Minnesota on a balk.
After Eduardo Escobar drew a leadoff walk, Rosario hit a smash to right field that fooled Domingo Santana, who took two steps in before watching the ball sail over his head. Escobar scored to tie the game at 4.
Rosario was still at third with two out when the Brewers employed a dramatic shift on left-handed hitting Jason Castro. With no fielder near third base to hold him on, Rosario danced halfway down the baseline, causing Oliver Drake (3-4) to step off the rubber.
When Drake stepped back on the rubber, Rosario made another break for home. This time Drake flinched and plate umpire Bill Welke called a balk, sending Rosario home.
Buddy Boshers (1-0) retired one batter in the seventh to earn the victory. Matt Belisle worked the ninth for his second save.
PIRATES 3, TIGERS 0
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Trevor Williams pitched seven crisp innings, leading Pittsburgh to the win.
Williams (5-4) struck out five and walked two, giving up only a leadoff single to James McCann in the third. Williams threw a career-high 107 pitches and never allowed a runner to third base.
Juan Nicasio got three outs for his second save, completing Pittsburgh’s one-hitter. The Pirates have won three straight and four of five.
Francisco Cervelli put the Pirates in front with an RBI double off Jordan Zimmermann (7-9) in the second. John Jaso provided some late insurance with a pinch-hit two-run homer in the seventh.
Zimmermann struck out three and walked two in seven innings. The Tigers have dropped three straight following a four-game winning streak.
REDS 11, PADRES 3
CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto homered for the third straight game and pulled into a tie with Ted Kluszewski on the Reds’ career list.
The Reds homered four times in all, with Patrick Kivlehan hitting his first career grand slam. Adam Duvall and Zack Cozart also connected.
Votto’s 251st career homer off Jhoulys Chacin (11-8) moved him into a tie for fifth place with Big Klu, the first baseman who cut the sleeves off his uniform to free his big upper arms. Votto’s 136th homer at Great American bumped him ahead of Jay Bruce for the ballpark record.
Jose Pirela drove in all of San Diego’s runs with his first career multihomer game. The first was a two-run shot off Tim Adleman, who went only 4 2/3 innings. Adleman hasn’t won since June 27, going 0-5 in seven starts with a 6.88 ERA. Blake Wood (1-4) replaced Adleman in the fifth and pitched out of a two-on threat.
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NEW YORK (AP) — Yasiel Puig hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning and the thundering Los Angeles Dodgers went deep five times, rallying past the New York Mets 7-4 on Saturday to extend their incredible surge.
Chris Taylor, Justin Turner, Corey Seager and rookie Cody Bellinger also connected for the Dodgers, who are 43-7 since June 7. That’s the best 50-game run by a big league team since the 1912 New York Giants compiled the same mark from May 14 to July 3.
Los Angeles has won all but one of its last 13 games, upping the top record in the majors to an astounding 78-32. That puts the Dodgers at 46 games above .500 for the first time since they were 98-51 on Sept. 15, 1962.
CUBS 7, NATIONALS 4
CHICAGO (AP) — Willson Contreras homered and drove in three runs, Alex Avila homered for his first hit with the Cubs and Chicago beat Washington to even the series between division leaders.
Kris Bryant and Jon Jay each added a run-scoring hit as the Cubs snapped a three-game losing streak.
Bryce Harper hit his 28th homer and threw out a runner at third base for the Nationals.
Saturday was supposed to be a day off for Contreras — with Avila making his first start after being acquired on Monday — but manager Joe Maddon started Contreras in left field to keep his hot bat in the lineup. He entered batting .429 with two homers and eight RBIs in the first four games of the home stand.
John Lackey (9-9) allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits in five innings to win his fourth straight start. Wade Davis got the final three outs — striking out Harper, the potential tying run, to end it — for his 23rd save.
YANKEES 2, INDIANS 1
CLEVELAND (AP) — Brett Gardner and Ronald Torreyes made sensational defensive plays in the ninth inning to save Aroldis Chapman from another late-inning meltdown in Progressive Field, and New York hung on to stop a four-game losing streak.
Chapman (4-2), making his first appearance in Cleveland since Game 7 of last year’s World Series for the Chicago Cubs, allowed a leadoff single in the ninth before Jose Ramirez hit a fly to deep left that Gardner grabbed with a jump on the warning track. Edwin Encarnacion then hit a blooper toward right that Torreyes ran down with a dive.
Chapman went to a full count on Carlos Santana before striking him out with his 21st pitch of the inning for his 14th save.
The defensive gems were a nice change for the Yankees, who made three errors in the series opener and had another error, passed ball and two wild pitches on Friday.
Chase Headley homered with one out in the eighth inning off Zach McAllister (1-1) for the Yankees, who have been anything but Bronx Bombers lately.
RED SOX 4, WHITE SOX 1
BOSTON (AP) — Drew Pomeranz was trailing 1-0 after his second pitch of the game, and he knows that things can get worse — quickly — at Fenway Park.
But after giving up Tim Anderson’s leadoff homer, the Boston left-hander got out of the inning — and into the seventh — without allowing any more runs and the AL East-leading Red Sox beat the Chicago White Sox 4-1 on Saturday night for their fifth straight win.
“It’s all about not letting it snowball into something else,” said Pomeranz (11-4), who has lost just once in 15 starts since starting the season 3-3. “You give up the homer, get rid of it. Set up the next guy, try to sit him down.”
One night after Mitch Moreland hit a walkoff homer in the 11th, the Red Sox rallied early. Andrew Benintendi hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the first, and Jackie Bradley Jr. cleared the bullpen with a man on in the second to give Boston a lead it never relinquished.
“We can swing it a little bit,” Bradley said.
The Red Sox have won seven of their last nine games and are 35-20 at Fenway Park — the best home record in the AL. They maintained a three-game lead in the division over the second-place Yankees, who beat Cleveland 2-1.
Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 26th save.
James Shields (2-4) took the loss for the White Sox, who have dropped five straight games and 22 of their last 26. Shields was charged with four runs — three earned — five hits and an intentional walk, striking out six in six innings.
Shields is 1-4 with a 7.63 ERA since spending two months on the disabled list with a strained muscle in his back.
“He did a nice job keeping us in contention there for the whole ballgame,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He did a nice job working after giving those two (homers) up early.”
ORIOLES 5, TIGERS 2
BALTIMORE (AP) — Welington Castillo hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning, Adam Jones and Tim Beckham also hit solo shots, and Baltimore ended Detroit’s four-game winning streak.
Jonathan Schoop doubled in a run for Baltimore to increase his RBI total to 80, tied for the AL lead.
Justin Upton homered in a third consecutive game for the Tigers, who were unbeaten in August after trading away three stars before the non-waiver trade deadline.
After losing the first two games of the series, Baltimore fell behind 2-0 in the first inning before coming back for its sixth win in eight games.
BREWERS 3, RAYS 0
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Zach Davies gave up one hit in seven innings and Milwaukee remained a half-game behind NL Central-leading Chicago after a victory over Tampa Bay.
It was the second straight shutout for the Brewers, who have given up only one run while winning three straight.
Davies (13-5) walked two and struck out two. Two relievers helped the Brewers stretch their streak of shutout innings to 22.
Lucas Duda’s single to center with one out in the sixth was the only hit off Davies, who is 6-1 with a 2.38 ERA over his last eight starts.
Keon Broxton scored the game’s first run after a leadoff single off Rays starter Alex Cobb in the third. Broxton stole a base and scored on Orlando Arcia’s double.
BLUE JAYS 4, ASTROS 3, 10 INNINGS
HOUSTON (AP) — Ryan Goins hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the 10th inning, and Toronto rallied to beat Houston.
Goins hit the two-out single to left field off Francisco Liriano (6-7), and Rob Refsnyder touched home plate with his left hand just before Brian McCann tagged him. The Astros challenged the call, which stood after a nearly two-minute review.
Ryan Tepera (6-1) threw two innings for the win, and Roberto Osuna got the last three outs for his 28th save.
RANGERS 4, TWINS 1
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Cole Hamels threw the 16th complete game of his career — his first in nearly two years — and turned in his most efficient start of the season to lead Texas past Minnesota.
With Hamels dominating on the mound, Nomar Mazara’s first-inning, two-run homer off Kyle Gibson (6-9) was all the offense Texas needed to beat the Twins.
In his first complete game since Oct. 4, 2015, Hamels (6-1) scattered four hits and allowed only four batters to reach base. The Twins’ only run against him was unearned.
Hamels entered the game with a 6.35 career ERA against Minnesota, the highest of any opponent with at least six starts, but breezed through the lineup using 96 pitches to pick up his third career win against the Twins.
PADRES 5, PIRATES 2
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Rookie Dinelson Lamet allowed just one hit in 5 2/3 innings, Wil Myers broke out of a slump with a home run and three RBIs and San Diego quieted Pittsburgh.
Lamet (6-4) struck out five and walked three, giving up just a single to Josh Bell in the fourth to win his third consecutive start. He also picked up his first major league hit, a flare to right field off Gerrit Cole (9-8) in the sixth. Brad Hand worked a perfect ninth for his eighth save.
Myers ended an 0-for-16 slide by doubling home Cory Spangenberg in the third to give San Diego the lead. He then hit a two-run shot to center in the fifth off Cole for his 21st home run of the season. Dusty Coleman went 3 for 4 for the Padres, including his third homer.
Josh Harrison hit a solo home run in the seventh and Adam Frazier added an RBI single but couldn’t stop the Pirates from falling 5 1/2 games behind first-place Chicago in the NL Central.
BRAVES 7, MARLINS 2
ATLANTA (AP) — Mike Foltzynewicz had a career-high 11 strikeouts, Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer and Atlanta beat Miami.
Miami led 1-0 in the sixth when Giancarlo Stanton slugged his 36th homer, most in the majors. One night after homering twice, Stanton crushed Foltynewicz’s fastball deep into the seats in the left field, but the Braves took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning on Freeman’s RBI single and Nick Markakis’ RBI double.
Freeman hit his 20th homer and Brandon Phillips had a two-run single in a five-run seventh.
Foltynewicz (10-6) struck out eight of the first 12 batters he faced. He allowed four hits and one run in 6 1/3 innings and did not issue a walk for the first time in 15 starts.
CARDINALS 4, REDS 1
CINCINNATI (AP) — Paul DeJong hit a two-run homer and Lance Lynn got past Joey Votto’s first-inning home run to win his fourth straight start as St. Louis eased past Cincinnati.
Lynn (10-6) retired 12 of the last 14 batters he faced, walking Votto twice. The right-hander limited the Reds to three hits and a run with three walks and four strikeouts.
Seung Hwan Oh allowed a harmless two-out single in the seventh, Tyler Lyons struck out all three batters he faced in the eighth – including Votto looking to end the inning – and Trevor Rosenthal worked around a walk and a single in the ninth for his eighth save in 10 chances.
The win was the Cardinals’ first in six games at Cincinnati this season and the first in their last six overall decided by more than one run.
ATHLETICS 5, ANGELS 0
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Rookie Paul Blackburn allowed five hits in 6 2/3 innings and Oakland cooled off Los Angeles.
The Angels had their four-game winning streak snapped after they had scored at least five runs in each of their previous seven games.
Blackburn (3-1) was in control all night and didn’t walk a batter. The 2012 No. 1 draft pick of the Cubs struck out one.
Just called up last month, Blackburn, 23, has a 2.60 ERA in seven starts.
Catcher Dustin Garneau, claimed off waivers from Colorado on Friday, singled in two runs in his first game for the A’s.
Tyler Skaggs (1-2) went four innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks, in his first start since going on the disabled list April 29 with an oblique strain.
ROCKIES 8, PHILLIES 5
DENVER (AP) — Jon Gray pitched seven innings of one-run ball, Pat Valaika homered and Colorado rode a big early lead to a victory over Philadelphia.
Gerardo Parra added three hits and two RBIs for the Rockies who won for the fourth time in five games.
Daniel Nava homered, tripled and singled to finish a double shy of the cycle for the Phillies, who fell to 0-5 on their eight-game road trip.
Gray (4-2) allowed six hits and struck out four, giving the Rockies a quality start the night after they had to lean on their bullpen when starter Kyle Freeland was forced to leave in the first inning because of a left groin strain.
GIANTS 5, DIAMONDBACKS 4, 10 INNINGS
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Denard Span scored on Jarrett Parker’s two-out infield single in the 10th inning, lifting San Francisco over Arizona.
Hunter Pence homered, Nick Hundley had three hits and Pablo Sandoval doubled in three at-bats to celebrate his return to the Giants.
Span led off the 10th with a double off T.J. McFarland (4-4) past Arizona right fielder J.D. Martinez. After Kelby Tomlinson was intentionally walked and Brandon Crawford hit into a double play, Buster Posey was intentionally walked before Parker beat out a grounder to second baseman Adam Rosales as Span crossed the plate.
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CLEVELAND (AP) — Corey Kluber upstaged Sonny Gray’s debut for New York by pitching a three-hitter and leading the Cleveland Indians to a 5-1 win over the sloppy Yankees on Thursday night.
Kluber (9-3) struck out 11 and Cleveland’s ace threw his third complete game this season as the defending AL champions won the opener of a four-game series with a potential playoff opponent, ending their losing streak at three.
For five innings, Gray (6-6) was nearly as good as Kluber, but New York made three errors in the first behind the right-hander, who was acquired at Monday’s trade deadline from Oakland to help the Yankees return to the postseason.
Yan Gomes broke an 0-for-13 slide by hitting a two-run double to put Cleveland up 4-0.
With his latest dominant performance, Kluber joined Hall of Famers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers to strike out at least eight in 12 consecutive starts.
Kluber carried a two-hit shutout into the seventh before Gary Sanchez belted his 17th homer.
The Yankees sat struggling slugger Aaron Judge. The major league home run leader is batting .164 (11 of 67) with 29 strikeouts since the All-Star break.
DIAMONDBACKS 10, CUBS 8
CHICAGO (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt hit his third long homer of the game to snap a ninth-inning tie, and Arizona pulled out a rain-delayed victory over Chicago.
Goldschmidt drove a 3-2 pitch from Wade Davis (2-1) deep into the right-center bleachers with one out. J.D. Martinez followed with another solo drive off the All-Star closer.
Goldschmidt’s first career three-homer game gave him 25 for the season, and his six RBIs matched a career high.
Brandon Drury also homered for the Diamondbacks, who remained percentage points ahead of Colorado for the top NL wild card.
Willson Contreras hit two home runs and had a career-high six RBIs for the Cubs, who lost consecutive games for the first time since the All-Star break. Their NL Central lead over Milwaukee slipped to 1½ games.
Jake Barrett (1-0) got two outs in the eighth. Fernando Rodney worked around two walks in the ninth to earn his 24th save in 29 chances.
Jose Quintana was hit hard in his fourth start with the Cubs.
ROCKIES 5, METS 4
DENVER (AP) — Nolan Arenado walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Colorado a win over New York.
Charlie Blackmon and Mark Reynolds homered for the Rockies, who maintained a 5 1/2-game lead over Milwaukee for the second NL wild card.
Mets reliever Hansel Robles (6-3) began the ninth by hitting Jonathan Lucroy with a pitch. After a sacrifice by Pat Valaika, Blackmon was intentionally walked and DJ LeMahieu loaded the bases with another walk.
Robles got Arenado down 0-2 but the All-Star third baseman worked the count full. Robles sent his last pitch to the backstop behind home plate, bringing in Lucroy with the winning run.
Greg Holland (2-1) pitched the ninth for Colorado. Holland had missed two games after cutting his right index finger in his kitchen.
Yoenis Cespedes homered for the Mets.
BREWERS 2, CARDINALS 1
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Keon Broxton drove in the go-ahead run and saved one with a leaping catch, Matt Garza made a strong start in his return from the disabled list, and Milwaukee edged St. Louis.
Broxton, who robbed Jose Martinez of a homer in the second inning, gave the Brewers a 2-1 lead with a single in the fifth off reliever Brett Cecil (1-4).
Garza (5-5), making his first start since July 21 because of a right leg strain, allowed one run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings to give Milwaukee its first home series win over St. Louis since July 2012. The Brewers won for just the fifth time in their last 17 games.
Corey Knebel worked the ninth and struck out Greg Garcia with two on for his 20th save in 25 opportunities.
Jesus Aguilar homered for Milwaukee.
PIRATES 6, REDS 0
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chad Kuhl permitted four hits in seven efficient innings, Starling Marte went 3 for 4 and scored three times, and Pittsburgh had little trouble with Cincinnati.
Kuhl (4-7) struck out six and walked two as the Pirates beat the last-place Reds for only the second time in 10 tries this season. David Freese went 3 for 4 with two RBIs for Pittsburgh. Andrew McCutchen also drove in a pair of runs. John Jaso’s pinch-hit single in the seventh ended an 0-for-34 skid.
Cincinnati rookie Sal Romano (2-3) was knocked around early, allowing four runs and eight hits in six innings.
The Reds managed just four singles against Kuhl and two relievers as their three-game winning streak was snapped. Billy Hamilton was ejected in the fifth after arguing a called third strike with umpire Todd Tichenor.
DODGERS 7, BRAVES 4
ATLANTA (AP) — Alex Wood allowed one run in six innings to avenge his lone loss of the season, Chris Taylor had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Los Angeles defeated Atlanta.
Wood (13-1) evened his record this season against his former teammates. He gave up a career-high nine runs, seven earned, in a 12-3 loss to the Braves on July 21. The left-hander returned to his All-Star form in the rematch, permitting seven hits.
Tony Cingrani, who joined the Dodgers earlier in the day after he was acquired from Cincinnati on Monday, gave up a three-run homer to rookie Ozzie Albies in the ninth. It was Albies’ first major league hit.
The Dodgers, whose nine-game winning streak ended Wednesday night, won two of three in the series. They are 21-3 since July 4, with all three losses coming against the Braves.
Rookie left-hander Sean Newcomb (1-6) issued seven walks to match his seven strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.
RED SOX 9, WHITE SOX 5
BOSTON (AP) — Rafael Devers hit a three-run homer and Rick Porcello ended a four-game losing streak with his first win since June as Boston beat Chicago.
Mookie Betts hit a two-run homer and slumping Andrew Benintendi went 3 for 3, scoring twice and driving in a run as the Red Sox won their third straight. Benintendi reached base all five times he batted. Hanley Ramirez drove in two runs for Boston.
Nicky Delmonico hit his first career homer, a three-run shot, for the White Sox. Chicago lost its third in a row and fell to 3-15 since the All-Star break.
The Red Sox got 15 hits to back Porcello (5-14), winless in his previous six starts. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner pitched into the sixth inning and won for the first time since June 23 against the Angels.
Miguel Gonzalez (5-10) gave up seven runs and seven hits in 1 2/3 innings.
RAYS 5, ASTROS 3
HOUSTON (AP) — Steven Souza Jr. homered and drove in three runs, and Corey Dickerson added three hits and made a dazzling defensive play to preserve Tampa Bay’s lead against Houston.
The Rays have won three straight since dropping the series opener 14-7, and it’s the first time Houston has lost three in a row since June 11-13.
Pitching in relief for the first time this season, Francisco Liriano (6-6) lost in his Astros debut. He was acquired in a trade with Toronto on Monday.
Tampa Bay trailed 3-2 in the seventh but tied it on an error by third baseman Alex Bregman. Souza doubled to put the Rays up 5-3, and Dickerson made a terrific catch in left field to end the bottom half with two runners in scoring position.
Brad Boxberger (3-3) was part of a Tampa Bay bullpen that combined for five scoreless innings. Alex Colome pitched a perfect ninth to convert a save for the third straight day and give him 33 this season.
RANGERS 4, TWINS 1
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Joey Gallo hit another massive homer, a three-run shot in the fourth inning that spurred Texas to a victory over Minnesota.
A.J. Griffin (5-2) made his first start in more than two months, giving up one run and two hits over six innings in a resounding return from a muscle strain around his chest. He last started on May 26 and last won on May 9.
Gallo has 29 home runs this season, with four long balls in the last three games. He connected off starter Adalberto Mejia (4-5) to break a tie.
Alex Claudio closed for his fifth save.
ROYALS 6, MARINERS 4
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Brandon Moss hit two homers and Lorenzo Cain singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as Kansas City topped Seattle.
The Royals rallied from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 for their 32nd comeback victory. They snapped a three-game losing streak.
Moss homered in the fifth off Yovani Gallardo after Mike Moustakas walked. That snapped a four-game homerless drought for the Royals, which matched their longest of the season.
Moss also went deep in eighth for his 11th career multi-homer game.
Ryan Buchter (1-0) threw one pitch and picked up the win. Kelvin Herrera got his 24th save in 27 chances.
Royals manager Ned Yost was ejected for the second straight game.
Kyle Seager and Danny Valencia homered for the Mariners. Emilio Pagan (0-2) took the loss.
TIGERS 7, ORIOLES 5
BALTIMORE (AP) — Justin Upton homered and drove in two runs, and Detroit shook off two rain delays and a triple play to beat Baltimore.
Ian Kinsler hit his 45th career leadoff home run for the Tigers, who built a 7-0 lead in the third inning and ended Baltimore’s five-game winning streak.
After enduring nearly five hours of rain delays Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, Detroit ran into more troublesome weather at Camden Yards. The game began 43 minutes late, and only four batters went to the plate before another shower produced a stoppage of 59 minutes.
Baltimore’s second triple play of the season occurred in the second inning. With runners on first and second, Tigers catcher James McCann hit a grounder to third baseman Manny Machado, who stepped on third and whipped a throw to second baseman Jonathan Schoop. The relay to Chris Davis beat McCann to complete the around-the-horn triple play.
Tim Beckham had three hits, including his first homer with the Orioles to make it 7-5 in the eighth.
Kinsler connected off Chris Tillman (1-7), moving past Brady Anderson into sole possession of sixth place for career leadoff homers.
Miguel Cabrera doubled in two runs in a five-run third that ended Tillman’s ineffective outing. He allowed seven runs, five earned, in two-plus innings and has gone 14 straight starts without a win.
Tigers reliever Warwick Saupold (3-1) went 1 2/3 innings for the win, and Shane Greene worked a perfect ninth for his third save.
ANGELS 5, PHILLIES 4
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mike Trout hit an early two-run homer and Los Angeles scored twice in the eighth inning to edge Philadelphia for its 12th consecutive victory over the Phillies.
Andrelton Simmons keyed the decisive rally with a double and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by Luis Garcia (1-2).
Yusmeiro Petit (3-0) threw two scoreless innings in relief, and Bud Norris pitched the ninth for his 17th save.
Nick Williams hit a two-run homer for the Phillies.
GIANTS 11, ATHLETICS 2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ty Blach pitched eight strong innings and hit a three-run homer, and Jarrett Parker had three hits and three RBIs in his return from the disabled list as San Francisco defeated Oakland.
The teams split their four-game, home-and-home Bay Bridge Series.
Blach (7-7) allowed two runs and six hits. The left-hander has pitched at least six innings in six straight starts.
Blach connected off Chris Smith in the fifth. His first career home run cleared the 399-foot sign in center field and extended an 8-1 lead.
The Giants got 13 hits as they spoiled the return of A’s starter Kendall Graveman (2-3) from a strained shoulder that had kept him out since late May.
Parker, sidelined since breaking his right clavicle crashing into a wall on April 15, was 3 for 5 with two doubles. Brandon Belt hit a two-run homer for the Giants.
(PhatzRadio Sports / USA Today Sports) —- Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline saw aces Yu Darvish and Sonny Gray join contenders, but other big names stayed put including Justin Verlander and Zach Britton.
As the dust settles, here’s a look at the teams who did the best and worst in the trade market:
Los Angeles Dodgers – With baseball’s best record, the Dodgers went all in on 2017 by trading for Yu Darvish. This was a radical move for Los Angeles, which has held its prospects at the deadline the past few seasons, rather than deal for top pitchers. Clayton Kershaw had to pitch four times in nine days last October, and the acquisition of Darvish should alleviate some of the pressure on the team’s ace.
New York Yankees – The AL East leaders have been dealing all month, but saved their biggest trade for Monday, acquiring Sonny Gray from the Athletics. The 27-year-old is under team control through 2019. Paired with the addition of lefty Jaime Garcia, the Yankees suddenly have a formidable rotation. The Yankees already had one of the best bullpens in baseball, but the trade for David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle earlier in the month made the late innings even more imposing for opponents.
Washington Nationals – The bullpen was a major concern heading into the season, but Washington has still managed to run away with the division. With the trade for Brandon Kintzler on Monday, the Nationals completed a total overhaul that began with the deal for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson earlier in July. This looks like a group capable of finishing games in October, which has been the team’s downfall in recent years. Adding Howie Kendrick was a great move, providing some more versatility for roster that has been hit hard by injuries to position players.
Houston Astros – They’re running away with the AL West, but failed to strengthen their rotation which has been riddled by injuries. Houston’s starters do have the best ERA in the American League, but Lance McCullers was placed on the disabled list Monday and Dallas Keuchel lasted just three innings in his first start in almost two months. The Astros’ only move was dealing for lefty Francisco Liriano, who is having a very rough year and will likely be used out of the bullpen.
Detroit Tigers – Opted not to trade Justin Verlander (or Justin Upton). With multiple contenders in need of a starting pitcher, it seemed like the time might be right to deal their longtime ace. But Verlander turns 35 in February, isn’t having a great season and is owed $56 million over 2018 and 2019 – hurdles the Tigers did not come close to clearing.
Baltimore Orioles – Jeremy Hellickson will provide the team with some innings this season, but is a free agent and does nothing to address the team’s long-standing pitching concerns. Baltimore also traded for shortstop Tim Beckham, which is a mild net positive considering the former No. 1 overall pick is having a better year than the oft-injured J.J. Hardy. Zach Britton’s inconsistency since returning from a forearm injury dimmed any chance the Orioles could net a fair return on their once-dominant reliever.
A flurry of last-minute deals spiced up what had been a fairly bland stretch before Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline, but it didn’t change the reality that about seven of the 10 playoff spots have essentially been claimed. For the most part, the top contenders got stronger and the marginal ones stayed on the fringes.
With that in mind, here’s a ranking of the top eight challengers for October glory after the dust of Monday’s activity settles down:
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
What they didn’t do: L.A. did not relinquish its top prospects among pitchers (Walker Buehler) or position players (Alex Verdugo), instead surrendering infielder Willie Calhoun as the main bait to nab Darvish.
Why they could win it all: The Dodgers have a combination of depth and star power in the lineup and pitching staff, and their 31 come-from-behind victories point to a team with plenty of grit as well.
Why they could fall short: If Clayton Kershaw can’t bounce back strong from his back injury or improve on his postseason track record, L.A.’s chances could be compromised.
Consensus: The acquisition of Darvish gives them extra wiggle room if Kershaw fails to perform like his regular-season self.
2. Washington Nationals
What they did: Two weeks after finally addressing the bullpen by trading for Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson, the Nationals doubled up with their acquisition of closer Brandon Kintzler from the Minnesota Twins.
What they didn’t do: Washington did not deal for a starter to fill the void left by injuries to Stephen Strasburg and Joe Ross, knowing Strasburg will be back this week and the club won’t need a reliable fifth starter.
Why they could win it all: A rotation headed by Max Scherzer, Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez should be sturdy enough for the playoffs, and it gets plenty of backing from the league’s most prolific offense.
Why they could fall short: Kintzler is a nice addition, having converted 45 of 52 save chances in the last two years, but he’s not the dominant closer teams prefer in the postseason.
Consensus: Provided Strasburg is in top shape for the playoffs, the Nationals should prove a formidable foe. Nobody can match their middle of the order.
3. Houston Astros
What they did: Traded for veteran Francisco Liriano, who could add a much-needed lefty to the bullpen or an experienced starter to the rotation.
What they didn’t do: Deal for Sonny Gray, Darvish or another top-shelf pitcher to boost a starting corps that may be lacking behind Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers, who went on the disabled list with a back injury Monday.
Why they could win it all: Houston’s dynamic offense and athleticism will present a problem for any postseason opponent.
Why they could fall short: Keuchel has been on the DL twice this season, and his absence would leave Houston without an ace. The failure to deal for Darvish or Gray could haunt them.
Consensus: The Astros have a decent chance to prove Sports Illustrated’s forecast of a 2017 championship accurate, but one more front-line starter would have significantly strengthened their case.
4. Chicago Cubs
What they did: Building on their second-half surge, the Cubs acquired lefty reliever Justin Wilson and Alex Avila late Sunday. Chicago had previously made a big splash by acquiring Jose Quintana to fortify a disappointing rotation.
What they didn’t do: The Cubs didn’t sacrifice any major league talent in upgrading.
Why they could win it all: Most of the key pieces of last year’s championship run are still in place, even if they haven’t performed at the same level. The Cubs’ 13-3 record since the All-Star break seems like a more accurate indication of their capability than their sub-.500 first half.
Why they could fall short: Every single starting pitcher has a worse ERA this year than in 2016, by plenty, and that includes Quintana.
Consensus: The Cubs are finally clicking, and it’s not hard to envision their talent and the experience gained from last year combining to make them an October force again.
5. Cleveland Indians
What they did: The Indians plugged in another weapon in a bullpen that leads the league with a 2.78 ERA by dealing for sidearmer Joe Smith, who’s especially tough on right-handed hitters.
What they didn’t do: Cleveland was one of the teams supposedly in Gray’s pursuit, but didn’t improve its rotation. The club also left intact the catching tandem of Yan Gomes and Roberto Perez (combined .639 OPS).
Why they could win it all: The Indians can overwhelm opponents with their bullpen, part of the formula they used to make it all the way to Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, and Smith makes the relief corps even better. Also, the emergence of Mike Clevinger has added depth to their rotation.
Why they could fall short: Top-line starters Corey Kluber and Danny Salazar spent around a month or more each on the disabled list. A recurrence of their injuries could seriously hamper the Indians’ chances.
Consensus: The Indians have awoken, on a 26-15 run and looking primed for another AL Central title and October run.
6. New York Yankees
What they did: Obtained the hottest starter on the market in Gray, who put up a 1.37 ERA while holding hitters to a .164 batting average in his last six starts. The Yankees had earlier solidified third base by acquiring Todd Frazier in the same deal that brought them relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle. They also picked up veteran left-hander Jaime Garcia.
What they didn’t do: Bring in a big bopper to improve production at first base, which has been a wasteland. Yankees first basemen have produced a .706 OPS, third-lowest in the league.
Why they could win it all: A monster bullpen featuring Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Robertson and Kahnle can shorten games, and a rotation that now includes Gray, Luis Severino, CC Sabathia and Masahiro Tanaka suddenly looks postseason-capable. The Yankees also have plenty of pop, with rookie sensation Aaron Judge among six hitters who have belted 12 homers or more.
Why they could fall short: Tanaka is coming off one of his best starts of the season but yielded a 6.00 ERA in the previous three and remains vulnerable to the home run.
Consensus: In what figured to be a transition season, the Yankees have become legitimate contenders to win the division and make some noise in October. How far they go may depend on Tanaka and Gray.
7. Colorado Rockies
What they did: Added much-needed experience behind the plate by trading for catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who’s having a down year but still upgrades the position. Colorado also brought in a solid setup man in All-Star Pat Neshek.
What they didn’t do: Acquire a veteran starter to help settle down a rotation that includes up to four rookies in German Marquez, Kyle Freeland, Jeff Hoffman and, at times, Antonio Senzatela.
Why they could win it all: MVP candidate Nolan Arenado not only leads a potent offense, but also a stellar defensive team that’s tied for the league’s best fielding percentage. The Rockies don’t beat themselves.
Why they could fall short: The lack of experience in the rotation has shown as the innings have piled up, and the Rockies lack the pitching depth to make up for the rookies wearing down.
Consensus: The Rockies have served notice they’re for real, but this doesn’t figure to be their year just yet.
8. Arizona Diamondbacks
What they did: After obtaining J.D. Martinez and his powerful bat, the Diamondbacks made minor deals for utility infielder Adam Rosales – who bolsters a depleted infield – and veteran reliever David Hernandez.
What they didn’t do: Bring in a legitimate option to closer Fernando Rodney, or at least someone to share the load. Rodney has pitched better since his brutal start to the season, but he has blown five saves and, at 40, doesn’t inspire great confidence.
Why they could win it all: The Diamondbacks have the second-best ERA in the league, with Zack Greinke slowly nudging his way into Cy Young consideration and Zack Godley (3.06 ERA in 14 starts) providing an unexpected shot in the arm to the rotation.
Why they could fall short: Injuries are taking a toll, with shortstops Chris Owings and Nick Ahmed sidelined and left-hander Robbie Ray joining them on the DL after being hit in the head by a line drive.
Consensus: Arizona (7-9 since the break) may run out of gas, but a playoff spot after last year’s 93-loss season represents a remarkable turnaround
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(PhatzRadio Sports / USA Today Sports) — Major League Baseball’s trade deadline strikes at 4 p.m. ET on Monday. While there have already been a number of moves, the action figures to hit another gear as the clock winds down.
The reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs continue to tinker, acquiring lefty reliever Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila from the Detroit Tigers late Sunday night in a move that will surely be a precursor of many more to come around the league.
Where will Sonny Gray go, and does Yu Darvish follow him out of the division?
Gray has been widely connected to the New York Yankees, a team a half-game up in the AL East but one that’s also in building mode. Gray, 27, fits as a frontline pitcher under control until 2019. The Oakland A’s seemed destined to move Gray because they have once again hit the reset button. Gray has an injury history but is pitching well now — with a 3.43 ERA in 97 1/3 innings. There are several contenders — the Houston Astros, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers — who could benefit from Gray, too.
Darvish, meanwhile, has ace ability, but he’s also just a rental. The Texas Rangers are not in the AL race, so it would seem like a prudent move for general manager John Daniels to get something for the right-hander. Darvish gave up 10 earned runs in his last start … this after giving up seven five starts ago. He has a 4.01 ERA but can be among the game’s best when he’s right. The Dodgers, with Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list, have been linked.
Which hitter gets moved — and fetches the biggest return?
The market for hitting, especially rentals, does not seem robust. J.D. Martinez, potentially the best right-handed bat available, only returned three prospects (none ranked among the Arizona Diamondbacks’ best) to the Tigers on July 18.
Other hitters in the rumor mill, to varying degrees: Yonder Alonso, Rajai Davis, Jed Lowrie (A’s); Jay Bruce, Curtis Granderson, Asdrubal Cabrera (New York Mets); Zack Cozart (Cincinnati Reds, on DL); Carlos Gomez (Rangers); Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh Pirates); Jose Iglesias (Detroit Tigers).
Will Zach Britton get traded?
Britton pitched to a 0.54 ERA last season with 47 saves, but this year has been a different story. The left-handed closer missed time because of a forearm strain and has amassed a 3.32 ERA in 19 innings. Even so, Britton, who is controllable for one more season, would be a boon for any contender as he can close or pitch in high-leverage situations. But will the Baltimore Orioles move him? And will a team such as the Astros, Dodgers, or Washington Nationals pay the hefty price?
Which contender needs to make a trade the most?
Teams make moves now for the postseason. The Nationals still lead as one that could use another bullpen arm — and so could the Astros, Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and Milwaukee Brewers. Teams in the market for a starter: Dodgers, Astros, Cleveland Indians. No contender seems desperate for a bat, though the Indians could make sense for an infielder and the Brewers could stand to add a veteran hitter. Milwaukee likely won’t veer off course in their building process and trade a top prospect.
Kershaw could return for the postseason and be just fine, but would the Dodgers, with a league-leading 74 wins, risk not having another dominant pitcher in the rotation? Do the Astros feel more urgent with Lance McCullers struggling and Dallas Keuchel still getting back up to speed? Are the Indians content with essentially the same core as last season?
Who are the prospects that headline the day?
Whether they are included in trades or promoted after the deadline, prospects will be a part of deadline day. The Mets could promote shortstop Amed Rosario and first baseman Dominic Smith, if they free up space in the infield. The Rays could turn to Brett Honeywell in the rotation or bullpen. The A’s could give a longer look to shortstop Franklin Barreto, while the Chicago White Sox could infuse more youth with pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer.
And that doesn’t even include the prospects who could get moved today.
OAKLAND — To get a sense for the distinct uncertainty many players experience at this time of year, just ask Jaime Garcia — if you can track him down.
The veteran left-handed pitcher made his first start for the Minnesota Twins in Oakland on Friday, four days after joining the club in a trade with the Atlanta Braves. Garcia was granted permission to travel back to Atlanta on Saturday to gather his belongings, then was supposed to rejoin the Twins in Minneapolis when they returned from their West Coast trip.
Except Garcia’s route took a detour when the Twins sent him to the New York Yankees for two minor league pitchers in a deal completed Saturday night.
So a player who spent his first 12 seasons as a pro with the same organization — the St. Louis Cardinals drafted him in 2005 — was a member of three clubs in the same week.
How’s that for career stability?
“Unless we bring him back, he’ll go down as one of the few undefeated pitchers in Twins history,” quipped manager Paul Molitor, who watched Garcia throw 6⅔ innings of three-run ball in Friday’s 6-3 win against the Oakland Athletics.
Had he hung around Oakland long enough, Garcia might have been able to share travel advice with Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray, one of the prize catches on the trade market along with Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish and a number of relievers headlined by left-handers Zach Britton, Brad Hand and Justin Wilson.
Gray, who had his scheduled start Sunday pushed back to Monday after the 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline, is particularly coveted because he will be under team control through the 2019 season. A large number of the available players, such as Darvish, Cardinals starter Lance Lynn and New York Mets reliever Addison Reed, will become free agents after this season.
The Yankees are regarded as Gray’s strongest suitors, even after acquiring Garcia.
The trade rumors swirling around him have done little to hamper Gray’s performance, another appealing trait about the 27-year-old staff ace. After overcoming an early-season shoulder injury and inconsistency, Gray has recorded a 1.37 ERA while holding hitters to a .164 batting average over his last six starts.
“You’re not stupid. You kind of know what’s going on,” Gray told USA TODAY Sports about the trade talk. “I’ve been here since 2013. You get an understanding of the way this place works, but at the same time, I’ve seen it for so many guys. There’s nothing you can do except for going out there and pitching.”
Molitor is hoping his club takes a similar attitude after seemingly changing course in less than a week.
The Twins were widely considered to be rebuilding after losing a Minnesota-record 103 games last year. Instead, they sat atop the American League Central through mid-June and entered the All-Star break 2 1/2 games back, raising the prospect of becoming buyers instead of sellers at the deadline.
It’s a quandary several clubs have faced in recent days, with six teams in the AL and three in the National League entering the weekend no further than 4½ games behind the division or wild-card leaders.
Minnesota went for it, dealing for Garcia to fortify its rotation, but then flipped him after losing four of five to drop to seven games back in the Central as the division-leading Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals surged behind nine-game winning streaks.
“I’m sure there’s some disappointment when you make an addition that is as short term as Jaime’s stay was with us,” Molitor said. “The timing of these things, if you look externally and you want to point somewhere else, for me it was always a time if somebody’s making a move then I better look at myself. What did I do? What didn’t I do? What can I do better? If I want those things to work in our favor more frequently, look inward. Don’t look outward.”
Molitor held a meeting with the players before Sunday’s 6-5, 12-inning loss to the A’s, urging them to focus on what they could control and reminding them they were good enough to rule the division for six weeks.
Still, it would be hard for them not to notice the Royals, with a number of key pending free agents, signaled their intention to stay in the race by not only keeping them aboard but also pulling off a deal Sunday for Chicago White Sox outfielder Melky Cabrera.
“I get the business side of it, but I also get the fact we are very close in the race. It’s kind of up for grabs,” Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said. “So I don’t really believe in white flags or any of that stuff. We just have to go out and play better. There’s a lot of baseball left.”
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Beltre doubled for his 3,000th career hit Sunday, reaching the milestone in the Texas Rangers’ 10-6 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
The Rangers already were down 4-0 when the 38-year-old third baseman, who went 1 for 5 in his 2,771st game, had a hard hit down the line past third base in the fourth inning.
Beltre became the first player from the Dominican Republic, and 31st overall, to join the 3,000-hit club in the major leagues.
Jonathan Schoop and Welington Castillo homered in a five-run fifth for a 9-2 Orioles lead. Castillo also had the last of three consecutive RBI singles off lefty Martin Perez (5-9) in the fourth.
Wade Miley (5-9) went five innings and one of the four hits he allowed being to Beltre, who grounded a 3-0 pitch that went past the bag and then ricocheted off the side wall into left field.
DODGERS 3, GIANTS 2, 11 INNINGS
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kyle Farmer’s two-run double in the 11th inning in his first major league at-bat lifted the Dodgers to their eighth straight win
Corey Seager doubled down the right-field line with one out for his third hit of the game and Justin Turner was walked intentionally. Farmer then lined a 3-2 pitch from Luis Suarez (0-1) down the right-field line, scoring both runners for the Dodgers’ 31st comeback victory.
Joe Panik had given the Giants a 2-1 lead in the top of the inning with a single up the middle through a drawn-in infield that scored Kelby Tomlinson from third.
The Dodgers won for the 39th time in 45 games, and completed their 14th sweep this season. Los Angeles turned a franchise-record six double plays as it improved to 26-3 at home since June 7.
Pedro Baez (3-1) got the last two outs in the top of the 11th.
CUBS 4, BREWERS 2
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Victor Caratini hit his first career home run, a solo shot that broke a tie in the seventh and backed John Lackey’s solid six-inning start to help Chicago beat Milwaukee.
Caratini homered to straightaway center off a 1-2 fastball from Zach Davies (12-5) with one out in the seventh for a 3-2 lead, delighting the bevy of Cubs fans who made the trek north from Chicago. The Cubs took two of three games in an important series at Miller Park.
With the non-waiver trade deadline looming Monday, the Cubs increased their lead in the National League Central over the second-place Brewers to 2 1/2 games.
Lackey (8-9) struck out seven and allowed five hits over six innings, including Domingo Santana’s game-tying, two-run homer in the sixth that just landed beyond outfielder Jason Heyward’s outstretched glove in the right-field corner.
TIGERS 13, ASTROS 1
DETROIT (AP) — Justin Verlander pitched six scoreless innings in what could be his last start with Detroit.
Justin Upton matched a career best with six RBIs for the Tigers, who handed the Astros their first back-to-back losses since June 12-13.
Upton had four hits, including a seventh-inning grand slam, and scored twice.
In his last start before Monday’s trade deadline, Verlander (6-7) gave up five singles and three walks while striking out six.
The subject of trade rumors since last winter, Verlander received a long standing ovation from the crowd of 31,970 when he walked off the mound after the sixth inning.
Lance McCullers Jr. (7-3), whose dad pitched for the Tigers in 1990, allowed five runs on eight hits in five-plus innings.
MARINERS 9, METS 1
SEATTLE (AP) — James Paxton tossed six scoreless innings, becoming the first Mariners pitcher to win six games in a single month, and Nelson Cruz had a three-run homer to pace Seattle.
Cruz provided Paxton with an early cushion with a three-run shot in the first inning and Leonys Martin, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A, homered in his first at-bat and saved a possible run with a diving catch in right field.
Paxton (11-3) had runners aboard in each of his six innings. The lefthander scattered six hits, striking out eight and walking none, with two hit batters in a 108-pitch outing. Paxton, sidelined most of May with a left forearm strain, was 6-0 in six July starts, allowing six earned runs in 39 1/3 innings with no home runs.
Seth Lugo (5-3) allowed five runs on eight hits in five innings, striking out five and walking none.
PIRATES 7, PADRES 1
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Andrew McCutchen hit three home runs for the third time in his career to lift Pittsburgh over San Diego.
McCutchen’s big day backed Gerrit Cole (9-7), who pitched seven innings of five-hit ball for the Pirates.
It was just the second win in eight games for the Pirates, who ended the Padres’ four-game winning streak.
McCutchen has 22 homers. He connected with two outs in the first off left-hander Clayton Richard (5-12), with the ball clearing the fence just out of the reach of center fielder Manuel Margot. He went deep again in the eighth off rookie Jose Torres and then homered off the right-field foul pole with two outs in the ninth.
It was McCutchen’s third multi-homer game of the season and 15th of his career. He also made a nice diving catch in center field to end the eighth.
RAYS 5, YANKEES 3
NEW YORK (AP) — Corey Dickerson hit a go-ahead, two-run single in a three-run third, and Tampa Bay’S bullpen allowed one hit over five scoreless innings to salvage the finale of a four-game series.
Sergio Romo, Dan Jennings, Steve Cishek and Tommy Hunter pitched hitless relief after rookie Jacob Faria started just four of 20 batters with strikes and got only 12 outs on his 24th birthday.
Cishek (2-1) pitched 1 2/3 innings, and Colome got three outs for his 30th save in 35 chances. Brett Gardner singled with one out in the ninth, advanced on a wild pitch and Clint Frazier walked. Colome then retired Aaron Judge on a flyout and Matt Holliday on a groundout.
Tampa Bay, which had been 0-6 at Yankee Stadium this year, won despite striking out 16 times. The Rays had lost eight of their previous 10 games.
Ronald Torreyes homered and drove in a career-high three RBIs for the Yankees, who had won six straight and eight of nine.
ROYALS 5, RED SOX 3
BOSTON (AP) — Alex Gordon’s two-run triple capped a four-run eighth inning, and Kansas City rallied to beat Boston a day after its season-high, nine-game winning streak was snapped.
Alcides Escobar added a two-run single in the eighth and drove in three runs for the Royals, who lost in extra innings on Saturday after taking the series opener.
Rookie Rafael Devers hit a solo homer for Boston and starter Drew Pomeranz gave up one run on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings in his 100th career start.
Jason Hammel (5-8) allowed three runs on seven hits to end a six-start winless streak. His last victory also came against the Red Sox, at home on June 19.
Kelvin Herrera got the final three outs for his 23rd save, getting Mookie Betts to fly out with the bases loaded.
BLUE JAYS 11, ANGELS 10
TORONTO (AP) — Steve Pearce hit his second game-ending grand slam in just four days Toronto pulled off the biggest ninth-inning comeback in team history, rallying for seven runs to beat Los Angeles.
Pearce connected with one out off Bud Norris (1-4). On Thursday, Pearce’s slam with two outs in the 10th inning lifted Toronto over Oakland 8-4.
Matt Dermody (1-0) worked three innings for the win.
Albert Pujols hit two home runs for the Angels, who were bidding for their first sweep since May.
WHITE SOX 3, INDIANS 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Matt Davidson hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning, and Chicago ended Cleveland’s nine-game winning streak.
Chicago had lost 14 of 15 coming into the game, including seven straight at home, and traded fan favorite Melky Cabrera to Kansas City shortly before the first pitch as part of a roster overhaul.
Jose Abreu got the ninth-inning rally started with a double off Bryan Shaw (4-5) to set up Davidon’s heroics, the 21st home run of his rookie season.
Tyler Clippard (2-6) pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win, the first for the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field since July 2. That game featured strong pitching from Jose Quintana and David Robertson, both of whom have since been traded.
CARDINALS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 2
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Lance Lynn threw six strong innings and Jose Martinez homered and drove in three runs as St. Louis beat Arizona for its fifth win in seven games.
Lynn (9-6), the subject of trade rumors the past few days, gave up two runs and four hits. He has allowed no more than two earned runs in each of his last six starts.
Lynn retired the last eight batters he faced in improving to 5-0 lifetime against Arizona. Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the ninth to pick up his sixth save in eight opportunities.
Martinez hit a two-run drive in the fourth to tie it, then had a sacrifice fly in the sixth that scored Jedd Gyorko with the go-ahead run.
Taijuan Walker (6-5) allowed three runs on four hits over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out 10.
REDS 6, MARLINS 4
MIAMI (AP) — Rookie Luis Castillo pitched a career-best eight innings, Tucker Barnhart drove in three runs and Cincinnati ended a six-game skid.
Castillo (2-4) allowed one run on three hits, striking out six and walking one. He outpitched Dan Straily (7-7) — the right-handers were traded for each last January as part of a four-player deal.
The Marlins, who got a three-run homer from Marcell Ozuna in the ninth off reliever Raisel Iglesias, had their four-game winning streak snapped. NL home run leader Giancarlo Stanton was held out of Miami’s lineup for the first time since May 31.
PHILLIES 2, BRAVES 1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Freddy Galvis hit a bases-loaded single to right field in the ninth inning to give Philadelphia its second straight walk-off win.
Andrew Knapp led off the ninth with a double to left off Rex Brothers (1-2). Manager Brian Snitker lifted Brothers for Akeel Morris.
Morris walked pinch-hitter Ty Kelly to put runners on first and second. Cesar Hernandez was trying to advance the runners with a sacrifice, but his bunt stayed just inside the third-base line and Freddie Freeman’s throw was not in time, loading the bases with no outs.
Galvis pulled Morris’ second pitch into right to score Knapp and lift the Phillies to their fourth straight victory and eighth in the last 11.
Kelly’s RBI single in the 11th on Saturday night gave Philadelphia a 4-3 win.
Hector Neris (4-4) pitched a scoreless ninth.
ROCKIES 10, NATIONALS 6, 1ST GAME
NATIONALS 3, ROCKIES 1, 2ND GAME
WASHINGTON (AP) — Adam Lind and Brian Goodwin homered in the fifth inning, and Washington beat Colorado to split a day-night doubleheader.
In the first game, Charlie Blackmon had four hits and scored four runs, and the Rockies roughed up Erick Fedde in his major league debut.
The Rockies had a 1-0 lead in the second game before Lind’s two-run homer off Jon Gray (3-2). One out later, Goodwin followed with his homer for a two-run lead.
Edwin Jackson (2-1) allowed four hits in seven innings, striking out six. Sean Doolittle got his third save.
In the opener, Kyle Freeland (11-7) went five innings, allowing nine hits and four runs while striking out four.
ATHLETICS 6, TWINS 5, 12 INNINGS
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Yonder Alonso homered in the bottom of the 12th inning to lift the Oakland over Minnesota.
Alonzo’s 22nd homer of the season came on the first pitch he saw from Tyler Duffey (0-3) and was his second game-ending home run of his career.
Oakland, which won its second straight after a six-game skid, came in tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the major league lead with eight game-ending hits.
Josh Smith (1-0) pitched two innings to pick up the win.
The Twins lost for the sixth time in seven games and fell to 1-5 on a disastrous West Coast road trip in which they’ve blown leads in every game.
(PhatzRadio Sports / AP) —- ST. LOUIS — The sound of the showers hitting the tile floor in the Colorado Rockies’ visiting clubhouse at Busch Stadium was deafening.
The Rockies, one of baseball’s most surprising teams with their kiddie corps rotation, may still be wearing that glass slipper, but it is now cracked, chipping with every step they take.
The Rockies, appearing destined to end their eight-year postseason drought, suddenly are looking vulnerable after being swept by the St. Louis Cardinals, embarking on a weekend series against the Washington Nationals. They have dropped 19 of their last 30 games, winning just two road games since June 14, and their once-commanding National League wild-card lead has trickled down to a mere four games.
Maybe the Rockies’ kiddie-corps rotation can’t handle the stress of a pennant race. Maybe they can’t overcome the season-long struggles of outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and their catching tandem.
Maybe, they’re just not ready.
Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich, sensing their stunning performance the first half could be washed away by their sudden struggles, knew it was time for action.
He went out and scoured the market before acquiring veteran All-Star reliever Pat Neshek from the Philadelphia Phillies, giving up only three low-level prospects: infielder Jose Gomez and right-handed pitchers J.D. Hammer and Alejandro Requena. Neshek, a free agent at the season’s conclusion, is a welcome addition for a bullpen that is yielding a 4.53 ERA — third-worst in the National League.
“It’s good, it’s a really good pickup for us, it’s what we got to do,’’ Rockies All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado said. “We are a winning team, and this is what happens when you have a chance to win.
“And we need help out there.’’
Says first baseman Mark Reynolds: “It shows the guys upstairs are trying, trying to give us a little bump. It’s a pick-me-up for all of us.’’
The Rockies’ instant reaction to the Neshek trade, before the two-time All-Star even throws a single pitch, was exactly what Bridich intended with his loud and clear message from the front office:
We believe in you. Thank you what you’ve done. Now go win a playoff berth.
“These things have a way of picking the club up,’’ Rockies manager Bud Black says, “especially when a guy comes in and does what he’s capable of doing. If he pitches like he has been, it picks you up for sure.
“It sends a great message, no doubt about it.
“And I don’t think we’re done.’’
Clear out a locker for veteran All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who should be next to join the Rockies. Bridich has been in intensive talks with the Texas Rangers about Lucroy, trying to bolster their fatigued catching corps.
And no matter how Neshek fares, or even if Lucroy trade talks collapses, the Rockies’ players at least know their front office is trying, giving them an adrenaline rush that could last until October.
The Cubs, this year finding themselves in a fight for the NL Central title, are repeating their strategy from last year when they acquired closer Aroldis Chapman. This time, they grabbed Chicago White Sox ace Jose Quintana at the All-Star break for four prospects — including prized outfielder Eloy Jimenez and right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease.
Once again, instant gratification. The Cubs have gone 9-2 since the All-Star break, vaulting into first place for the first time since May 26, giving them a shot to repeat as World Series champions.
“I think when the Cubs got Quintana,’’ Arenado said, “that was their wake-up call. They’re going for this. I think we’re trying to do the same.’’
The Kansas City Royals decided to not only keep their prized free-agent quintet after losing 20 of their first 30 games, but bolstered their staff, acquiring veteran pitchers Trevor Cahill, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter from the San Diego Padres.
The Royals have yet to lose a game since the trade, and entered Thursday with a season-high eight-game winning streak, keeping pace with the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central.
The Minnesota Twins, who are fading from contention with a 5½-game deficit after being the biggest surprise in the first half, may not believe they’re real themselves, but at least rewarded the players by acquiring Jaime Garcia and Bartolo Colon from the Atlanta Braves.
The Dodgers have the best team in baseball. Yet, they have no choice but to show their team and fan base they want more than just a fifth consecutive divisional title.
They are trying to acquire Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish, and if they don’t get him, Dodgers president Andrew Friedman will grab a left-handed reliever to help out closer Kenley Jansen.
Yes, they’ve got a chance to even be better.
The same goes in Houston.
Astros GM Jeff Luhnow is aware he has to make a move. It doesn’t matter whether it’s acquiring starter Sonny Gray from the Oakland A’s, or a left-handed reliever like Brad Hand of the Padres.
He better get somebody, or be prepared for a mutiny.
It’s the same sentiment in Pittsburgh and Cleveland and any other team who believes they’ve got a chance to reach the postseason, but need a boost.
The moves won’t always work, of course. The Royals grabbed ace Johnny Cueto in 2015, only for him to go 4-7, with a 4.76 ERA in 13 starts, but getting redemption with a two-hitter in their World Series triumph over the New York Mets.
“It’s not like you want to make a trade just to make a trade,’’ Rockies first baseman/outfielder Ian Desmond said, “but it can really help. When I was with Texas last year, and we got Lucroy and (Carlos) Beltran, that was big. Real big.
“We weren’t throwing a party, but the energy just skyrocketed in there.’’
It’s that euphoria the Rockies, and other contenders, hope to capitalize on these last two months.
“It’s now up to us,’’ Arenado says. “It doesn’t matter whether we got Neshek or not, if we don’t start playing better than we are, we ain’t going nowhere.’’
Whether the Rockies make it or not, the difference this time is they’re in position at Monday’s July 31 non-waiver trade deadline for the front office to provide them a chance.
“This is what you work for,’’ says outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, the Rockies’ longest-tenured player who hasn’t been to the postseason since 2009. “You want to get these opportunities. You don’t want to be the team that sells. You want to be the team that gets players.
“It’s great to have that kind of scenario.’’
And, oh, so much better, the players will tell you, when your front office actually believes in you, too.
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SEATTLE (AP) — Chris Sale pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, 20-year-old Rafael Devers became the youngest Boston player to hit a home run since Tony Conigliaro in September 1965 and the Red Sox beat the Seattle Mariners 4-0 on Wednesday to stop a four-game losing streak.
Sale (13-4) struck out 11, reaching double digits for the 14th time this season.
A day after his big league debut, Devers homered in the third off Andrew Moore (1-3) for his first major league hit. Sandy Leon hit a two-run homer off Moore in the fourth.
YANKEES 9, REDS 5
NEW YORK (AP) — Luis Severino (7-4) struck out nine over seven innings, allowing a pair of unearned runs and three hits as New York completed a two-game sweep.
Didi Gregorius hit his fourth homer in three games and Todd Frazier hit his first homer for the Yankees, who have won consecutive series after going 0-8-2 in series after sweeping Baltimore from June 9-11. The Yankees have won eight of 12 following a 7-19 slide.
Cincinnati has lost three straight and is 2-11 since the All-Star break. Homer Bailey (2-5) lost his third start in a row, giving up seven runs — five earned — and 10 hits in six-plus innings.
RAYS 5, ORIOLES 1
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Evan Longoria and Steven Souza Jr. homered, and Alex Cobb (9-6) gave up one run and four hits in seven innings.
Longoria’s two-run homer off Ubaldo Jimenez (4-7) put Tampa Bay ahead 2-1 in the sixth, and Souza hit his 21st homer this season in the seventh against Darren O’Day.
DIAMONDBACKS 10, BRAVES 3
PHOENIX (AP) — J.D. Martinez homered twice and Ketel Marte hit an inside-the-park, two-run homer.
Martinez has homered three times in three days, his first home runs since he was acquired from Detroit.
Patrick Corbin (8-9) gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings. Aaron Blair (0-1) allowed five runs, five hits and five walks in three innings.
GIANTS 2, PIRATES 1
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Brandon Belt hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh against Tony Watson (5-3) on a routine fly that left fielder Starling Marte had trouble seeing because sun and wind.
Jeff Samardzija (5-11) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings, and Sam Dyson worked the ninth for his sixth save.
CUBS 8, WHITE SOX 3
CHICAGO (AP) — Jake Arrieta (10-7) gave up two runs and three hits in 6 2/3 innings. and the World Series champions moved a season-high six games over .500 at 53-47. Chicago leads the NL Central by a half-game over Milwaukee after trailing the Brewers by 5 1/2 games just two weeks ago.
Anthony Rizzo had three hits and four RBIs, helping the Cubs improve to 10-2 since the All-Star break. Addison Russell hit a solo homer in the ninth.
Top prospect Yoan Moncada hit his first career homer and Alen Hanson also went deep, but the White Sox lost for the 11th time in 12 games. Third baseman Yolmer Sanchez committed a costly error and James Shields (2-3) lasted just four-plus innings.
The White Sox played without All-Star outfielder Avisail Garcia, who is expected to miss a couple weeks after an MRI revealed a strained ligament in his right thumb.
NATIONALS 8, BREWERS 5
WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryce Harper extended his hitting streak to a career-high 18 games, then was ejected for arguing with plate umpire Chris Segal after striking out in the eighth inning with runners at the corners.
Washington said it will put star right-hander Stephen Strasburg on the disabled list Thursday with a nerve impingement that is causing pain in his right forearm. The move will be retroactive to Monday, and Nationals manager Dusty Baker said Strasburg will miss one turn.
Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Lind had two-run doubles in a seven-run eighth inning.
Milwaukee’s Domingo Santana hit a first-inning home run that landed on the concourse beyond the left-field stands, a drive that would have traveled 476 feet unimpeded, according to MLB’s Statcast.
Ryan Madson (1-0) pitched a scoreless inning, and Jacob Barnes (3-2) wasted a 2-1 lead.
BLUE JAYS 3, ATHLETICS 2
TORONTO (AP) — Justin Smoak hit a tying two-run homer in the ninth off Santiago Casilla (2-5) and Kendrys Morales homered on the next pitch. Toronto has hit consecutive homers six times this year, the last three occasions involving Smoak and Morales.
Joe Biagini (3-8) pitched two-thirds of an inning.
PHILLIES 9, ASTROS 0
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Aaron Nola (8-6) struck out a career-high 10 over six innings, allowing four hits. He is 5-1 with a 1.49 ERA over his last seven starts.
Cameron Rupp hit two home runs and had four RBIs. Maikel Franco homered and doubled and Tommy Joseph had two doubles for the Phillies, who had 14 hits while setting season highs with five doubles and nine extra-base hits.
Mike Fiers (7-5) allowed three runs and five hits in four innings.
ROYALS 16, TIGERS 2
DETROIT (AP) — Eric Hosmer matched his career high with five hits, including his first major league grand slam, and had six RBIs and four runs.
Hosmer entered with 117 homers but had not hit one with the bases loaded until he connected off Warwick Saupold in a nine-run seventh inning.
Bruce Rondon was ejected with one out in the ninth after hitting Mike Moustakas on the back with a pitch, which caused both benches to empty. Utilityman Andrew Romine entered in his third big league pitching appearance.
Ian Kennedy (4-6) improved to 3-0 in his last six starts, allowing one run and three hits in six innings. Anibal Sanchez (2-1) gave up four runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings.
INDIANS 10, ANGELS 4
CLEVELAND (AP) — Rookie Bradley Zimmer homered and drove in the go-ahead run with a seventh-inning double as Cleveland won its sixth in a row, matching a season high.
Zimmer hit a leadoff homer and broke a 2-all tie with a two-out double against Ricky Nolasco (4-12). Bryan Shaw (4-4) was the winner.
MARLINS 22, RANGERS 10
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dee Gordon homered on the first pitch thrown by Yu Darvish (6-9) and Miami set a franchise scoring record, topping a 20-1 win over Atlanta on July 1, 2003.
Christian Yelich hit a solo homer in the first for the Marlins, and Marcell Ozuna’s three-run triple in the fourth made it 9-2 to chase Darvish (6-9). J.T. Realmuto and Giancarlo Stanton later went deep, with Stanton hitting a 468-foot drive for his major league-leading 33rd homer.
Adrian Beltre homered and had two doubles, giving the Rangers third baseman 2,996 hits. He was ejected in the eighth in a dispute with plate umpire Gerry Davis over where Beltre stood while on deck to hit.
Jose Urena (9-4) allowed five runs, four hits and four walks in five-plus innings.
CARDINALS 10, ROCKIES 5
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Paul DeJong hit his eighth home run in July, a two-run drive in the first off Jeff Hoffman (6-3).
Randal Grichuk had a career-high four hits and Harrison Bader had three hits in his second major league game.
Carlos Martinez (7-8) struck out eight and gave up five runs and seven hits in six innings for his first win since June 16.
St. Louis has won four of five while Colorado has lost four of six. The Rockies announced after the game that they have acquired right-hander Pat Neshek from Philadelphia for minor league pitchers J.D. Hammer, Alejandro Requena and infielder Jose Gomez.
PADRES 6, METS 3
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Luis Torrens had three RBIs, Manuel Margot homered and Jhoulys Chacin (10-7) gave up two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Brad Hand got three outs for his fourth save, extending his scoreless string to 17 1/3 innings.
Steven Matz (2-4) gave up six runs and nine hits in three innings and is 0-3 in his last five starts.
DODGERS 6, TWINS 5
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Justin Turner hit a game-ending single with two outs in the ninth off All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler (2-2) as Los Angeles rallied from a 5-0 fourth-inning deficit to win their fifth straight and improve the major leagues’ best record to 71-31.
Kenley Jansen (5-0) pitched a scoreless ninth.
(PhatzRadio Sports / USA Today Sports) —- They are called prospects, minor-league players who one day have a chance to play in the big leagues.
Some will make it.
A few will become stars.
Most will be out of the game in a few years, forgotten as if they never existed.
You see, for every John Smoltz who was moved as a prospect at the trade deadline, there’s many more John Bucks and Mark Teahens, farmhands that were supposed to bolster a franchise’s future while someone like Carlos Beltran leads their new team to short-lived glory.
For every David Price who’s traded at the deadline and leads the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers into the playoffs, there are countless veterans traded who never make a difference.
And for every Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier traded, there’s a World Series banner hanging at Wrigley Field, and an American League pennant flag waving in Cleveland.
This is the week contenders have to ask themselves whether they want a chance to be on the cover of Baseball America with the best farm system, or on the cover of Sports Illustrated celebrating a World Series championship?
You think the folks in Los Angeles will be content with a fifth consecutive NL West division championship if they fall short of the World Series for the 30th consecutive season?
How about in Houston? Think they’ll be wildly celebrating a 110-victory season if they’re sitting home early in October, still looking for the first championship in franchise history?
The Dodgers had a chance to acquire David Price or Cole Hamels two years ago at the trade deadline, and passed. They still have those prospects teams coveted – with shortstop Corey Seager becoming a two-time All-Star and pitcher Julio Urias undergoing major shoulder surgery – but no pennant.
The Astros could have traded the past eight months for Chris Sale or Jose Quintana of the Chicago White Sox, but passed.
Now, they each have clubhouses clamoring for their front offices to make moves. The Dodgers want Yu Darvish of Texas, along with at least another reliever. The Astros want Sonny Gray of Oakland, or at least one more reliever themselves.
Sure, there are no guarantees that any trade will be the elixir. Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo cringes when he sees hard-throwing Felipe Rivero, who they traded a year ago to the Pittsburgh Pirates for All-Star closer Mark Melancon. If the Nats still had Rivero, they would never have had the need to bolster their bullpen last week by grabbing Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson from Oakland.
The Melancon move only flopped because the Nats lost a heartbreaking Game 5 of the Division Series to the Dodgers, keeping them winless in postseason round play. Yet, the Nat had no choice but to get a closer last year, and Melancon was the best available. It was a move that had to be made.
If you ask Boston Red Sox GM David Dombrowski if he regrets trading hard-throwing prospect Randy Johnson back in 1989 to the Seattle Mariners for Mark Langston, the answer is a resounding no. The Montreal Expos were going for the playoffs, and Langston nearly got him there, going 12-9 with a 2.39 ERA, pitching 176 2/3 innings. It just turned out that Johnson made the Hall of Fame.
The Toronto Blue Jays, under former GM Alex Anthopoulos, were sitting in fourth place, 50-51, and eight games back in 2015, when he decided to go for the jugular. He acquired All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins on July 28 from the Colorado Rockies, and doubled down two days later by grabbing Price from the Detroit Tigers. They added outfielder Ben Revere and reliever Mark Lowe the final day.
The Blue Jays promptly won 43 of their next 61 games, won the AL East by six games, and came within two games of winning the American League pennant. They completely changed the landscape in Toronto, energizing a dormant fan base. Toronto drew an American League–leading 3.39 million fans a year ago and is leading the AL this year with 1.8 million fans.
Oh, and of those 11 prospects the Blue Jays traded away, only Rockies starter Jeff Hoffman (6-6 with a 5.03 in 20 career games) is remotely having the type of success anyone projected.
And too often, a prospect ends up panning out long after the acquiring team gave up on him. The Texas Rangers went for it in 2010, sending Justin Smoak to the Seattle Mariners as the centerpiece of a package for Cliff Lee.
Lee pitched the Rangers past the Yankees and into the World Series. Smoak did blossom into an All-Star – seven years later, for the Blue Jays, three years after the Mariners waived him.
“It’s crazy the way some clubs regard prospects now,’’ said one high-ranking club executive. “They’re like stocks. They don’t hold their value forever. Some stocks rise, some go to zero at the end of the year. We’re calling every young player a prospect, when the truth is there’s very few true prospects. It’s not like owning a house. The value doesn’t always hold. They’re not prospects forever.
“It comes down to whether you want to win now, like the Cubs and Indians did last year, or you just want to hold onto your prospects. No matter what those prospects do in the future, the Cubs don’t win a World Series and the Indians don’t get to the World Series without moving them.’’
In the words of Cubs president Theo Epstein: “If not now, when?’’
The Cubs, who were going to win the NL Central with or without closer Aroldis Chapman last year, traded Torres for three months of Chapman.
If not for the Chapman trade, the Cubs still are looking for their first World Series title in 109 years.
And if the Cubs don’t trade away top prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease two weeks ago for White Sox ace Jose Quintana, they don’t win eight of their first nine games since the All-Star break, vaulting into a first place tie in the NL Central.
The Indians badly needed pitching help last year, and if they don’t acquire All-Star reliever Andrew Miller from the Yankees in a package that included Frazier, they may not reach the postseason. Without Miller, they had zero chance of reaching Game 7 of the World Series.
Today, the Indians are in first place in the AL Central, having sold more tickets than they did all of last year. And they still are seeking to trade prospects for reinforcements, just missing out on Tigers outfielder J.D. Martinez before he was traded to Arizona.
The Diamondbacks and Rockies, each who realistically have only a chance at a wild-card berth with the Dodgers running away with the NL West division, realize that this is an opportunity that may not exist in a year. The Rockies are likely going to lose All-Star closer Greg Holland. Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt, both teams’ respective franchise players, are only guaranteed to be around through 2019.
Make no mistake about it, they are going for it.
The Minnesota Twins and Milwaukee Brewers are as stunned as their contemporaries that they’re hovering around the leader board. They’re not about to rip up their farm system and abandon their future. Yet, they’re still willing to trade at least mid-level prospects for a shot at the playoffs.
If not now, when?
The Dodgers, particularly now that three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw is sidelined once again with lower back issues, must acquire a front-line starter. If they don’t believe in Gray with his history of injuries, then it’s Darvish, providing he even hits the market. If not Darvish, there’s former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander of the Tigers, with the Cubs lurking with preliminary talks.
Certainly, the Dodgers could find a spot for starter Lance Lynn, a pending free agent who the St. Louis Cardinals are expected to trade.
The Dodgers may be set up nicely for the future with their array of young talent, but their worst nightmare could be just around the corner, too. Kershaw has an opt-out clause in his contract after the 2018 season, which he is expected to exercise, testing the free-agent waters.
If the Dodgers want to keep their future Hall of Famer, it’s not a matter of giving him more money, but merely providing him a better chance to pitch in the World Series. No one wants to become the next Felix Hernandez, the Seattle Mariners’ six-time All-Star and Cy Young winner who has yet to pitch in the postseason.
Sure, winning can come at a price, too. The New York Mets traded away future All-Star pitcher Michael Fulmer to the Tigers in 2015, but Yoenis Cespedes led the Mets to the pennant. They lost to the Kansas City Royals in the World Series, who traded five prospects for starter Johnny Cueto and second baseman Ben Zobrist to win their first championships.
But go ahead, ask them if they have any regrets. Ask Brian Sabean if he regrets consistently flipping prospects to fortify three eventual World Series winners, with only Zack Wheeler (traded for Beltran in a failed 2013 playoff bid) truly coming back to haunt him.
This is the lightning round of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, and soon, we’ll know what every team is thinking.
The Pirates, who may have been sellers two weeks ago, have declared they will go for it now that they’re only three games back in the NL Central. The Royals, who looked like sellers two months ago, will keep the band together for one last hurrah now that they’re poised to either win the AL Central or a wild-card berth. And if the Rangers keep playing like they did in sweeping three games from the Tampa Bay Rays, Darvish just may not be going anywhere.
It’s the week that contenders and teams on the bubble must look in the mirror, and ask the one simple question:
If not now, when?
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(PhatzRadio Sports / AP) — MIAMI – The highly anticipated matchup of the game’s two most fearsome power hitters never materialized, but Aaron Judge still ruled supreme at the All-Star Home Run Derby.
The major league home run leader at the All-Star break with 30 never got to face off against defending champion Giancarlo Stanton, who was eliminated in the opening round.
But Judge more than lived up to his end of the bargain, hitting a total of 47 homers in the competition – including four of them over 500 feet.
“It was a blast. I enjoyed every minute of it,” Judge said, “Watching all the other guys swing. Coming here early, talking to the media. Everything about today was fantastic.”
The New York Yankees rookie – who was booed in the pregame introductions by the pro-Marlins crowd – had the fans cheering for him by the end as he defeated Miguel Sano of the Minnesota Twins for the title.
“I was expecting it,” Judge said of the initial boos. “They’re cheering on their guy. They want their guys to win. It’s all part of the atmosphere. I enjoyed it all.”
Judge was severely tested in the opening round, but a late surge propelled him past hometown favorite Justin Bour in the most dramatic slugfest of the competition.
Bour set the bar extremely high, slugging 22 homers in the opening round, including six on consecutive swings. But Judge rallied with a string of late homers, including a 501-foot blast. He hit the eventual winner in the final seconds to advance to Round 2.
He originally thought he had won on his previous swing, but umpires nullified his apparent home run because it hit the roof.
“I thought that one got out, but I guess it didn’t,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to watch it, I was so locked in, I was just trying to hit it and keep going. I thought I had 23 already, but I guess I tied him.”
So Judge merely stepped back into the batter’s box for one final swing before time ran expired.
Of course, he hit it out.
The semifinal round pitted Judge against another rookie slugger, No. 3 seed Cody Bellinger of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Bellinger, who earlier this season became the first player in baseball history to hit 27 home runs in his first 57 career games, was no match. The Yankees outfielder clinched his place in the final with an emphatic shot off the windowed back wall at Marlins Park, 507 feet away from home plate.
With a contingent of robed and white-wigged fans among the 37,027 cheering for him from the left field seats, Judge laid down the law after Sano could manage only 10 homers in the championship round.
Judge clinched it with No. 11, a blast to straightaway center field with just under two minutes still remaining on the clock.
“I had no pressure going into it,” he said. “I’m a rookie. This is my first time doing it. I’ve got no expectations. I’m just going in there and have some fun.”
The final matchup was a bit of a letdown with Stanton out of the competition. The Marlins outfielder lost to another rookie, Gary Sanchez of the Yankees, falling one homer short in bonus time – despite hitting 10 of his home runs over 440 feet and recording the five highest exit velocities of the round, all over 120 mph.
Judge hit the longest home run of the competition, one estimated at a total of 513 feet.
The Home Run Derby title capped an amazing first half for Judge, who struggled mightily in his first taste of the majors last season and wasn’t even a lock to make the Yankees roster out of spring training.
“I try not (to be) really worried about what happened last year,” he said. “I still remember it. I look at it every day what I hit — .179.
“For me, just trying to take it one day at a time really helped me out.”
(PhatzRadio Sports / AP / USA Today Sports) —- The All-Star break has finally arrived, putting a 2017 season that has been full of surprises on pause.
The Chicago Cubs are two games under .500, the Colorado Rockies have the second-best record in the National League, and the Houston Astros are just 26 wins shy of eclipsing their 2016 total.
Lest we forget the rookie pheonoms, New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge and Los Angeles Dodgers first basemen Cody Bellinger seem destined to compete for home run crowns for a long time.
Before they take aim at Marlins Park’s’ home run structure in Monday’s Home Run Derby, a look at some eye-opening numbers from the major leagues’ first half:
Dodger dominance: The Dodgers’ plus-163 run differential is the best in National League history for a team heading into the All-Star break. They have won 26 of their last 30 games. Twenty-six of 30.
The Judge: Judge’s 30 home runs are the most at the break since Chris Davis hit 37 in 2013.
With Judge on pace to finish with 57 home runs, Mark McGwire’s record for the most home runs by a rookie (49) could be in danger.
Blast off: The Astros trail only the Dodgers for the most wins at the half, and while the Dodgers may boast the best run differential entering the second half in the history of the NL, the Astros have made their own mark.
Houston’s 143 first-half home runs are the most since the Texas Rangers hit 147 in 2005. On top of that, their team slugging percentage (.500) is second all-time, trailing only the Seattle Mariners’ mark of .503 through the first half of the 1996 season.
And as if that weren’t enough, the pitching staff’s 895 total strikeouts are also a record — breaking the standard set by the Dodgers only one year ago when they struck out 866 batters before the All-Star break.
Defensive downturn: The Oakland Athletics have been doing their opponents a lot of favors, as their 77 errors lead the major leagues. So far this season, the Athletics have allowed 52 batters to reach base on an error — the most since the Padres allowed 61 in 2001.
Sale force: Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale’s 178 strikeouts at the break is the most since 2002, when Curt Schilling struck out 186 in 19 games.
For what it’s worth, Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer isn’t far behind Sale with 173.
Red legs: With 26 triples in the first half, the Reds posted the highest mark in the category since the Florida Marlins and Boston Red Sox had 31 and 30, respectively, in 2003.
A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
Fresh off launching two more longballs in Miami’s final game before the break, Giancarlo Stanton returns to Marlins Park to defend his All-Star Home Run Derby crown. No doubt, many fans want to see Stanton swing away against Yankees rookie sensation Aaron Judge for the title. The first-round matchups: Stanton vs. Gary Sanchez, Judge vs. Justin Bour, Cody Bellinger vs. Charlie Blackmon, and Mike Moustakas vs. Miguel Sano.
Maybe someone will light up the kooky home run sculpture beyond the outfield wall in Miami. Josh Hamilton put on quite a show in the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium, homering on 13 straight swings. But not every slugger does damage — Mike Piazza, Jim Thome and defending champ Robinson Cano are among those who whiffed in shutout rounds.
The starting pitchers will be announced for Tuesday night’s All-Star Game: Chris Sale and Max Scherzer are the likely choices.
Scherzer, the defending NL Cy Young Award winner, leads the majors with a 2.10 ERA and is 10-5 with 173 strikeouts for Washington. Sale has fanned a major league-most 178 and is 11-4 with a 2.75 ERA in his first year with Boston.
Clayton Kershaw is 14-2 for the Dodgers, but he pitched Sunday and is therefore ineligible to play in the summer showcase.
The Mariners are looking to add a bullpen coach after former big league pitcher Mike Hampton resigned. He was in his second season when he left following Seattle’s last game before the All-Star break. The team says a new person will be in place before its resumes play Friday. The Mariners are 43-47 and rank near the bottom of the AL in team ERA.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Scooter Gennett hit four home runs, matching the major league record, and finished with 10 RBIs as the Cincinnati Reds routed the slumping St. Louis Cardinals 13-1 on Tuesday night.
Gennett became the 17th player to homer four times in one game — and perhaps the least likely. A scrappy second baseman who was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee in late March, he began the night with 38 career home runs in five seasons, including three this year.
Josh Hamilton was the previous player to hit four home runs in one game, for Texas against Baltimore in May 2012.
The 27-year-old Gennett singled his first time up and then homered in four straight at-bats, including a grand slam. His 10 RBIs tied Cincinnati’s club record.
Gennett snapped an 0-for-19 slump during the Reds’ 4-2 win over the Cardinals on Monday. He went 5 for 5 on Tuesday and raised his batting average 32 points to .302.
Since being picked up by the Reds late in spring training, Gennett has played a utility role for Cincinnati. He started in left field Tuesday night.
Gennett hit an RBI single and his second career slam off St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright (6-4)
Tim Adleman (4-2) gave up one run — on Stephen Piscotty’s homer — in seven innings.
ROYALS 9, ASTROS 7
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning after Kansas City rallied from a six-run deficit to snap Houston’s 11-game winning streak.
Moustakas drove an 0-1 pitch from Ken Giles (1-2) out to right field with Salvador Perez aboard. Moustakas had four hits and three RBIs.
Alex Gordon also homered for the Royals, his first since Sept. 25 — a span of 192 at-bats.
Kansas City trailed 7-1 in the fourth but fought back with a four-run eighth. Whit Merrifield hit a three-run double with two outs to tie it at 7.
Merrifield has hit safely in 20 of his last 21 games. Giles blew his second save in 18 opportunities.
The Astros’ winning streak was the longest in the majors this season. They dropped to a major league-best 42-17.
Mike Minor (3-1) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
Carlos Beltran hit his 429th home run for the Astros.
NATIONALS 2, DODGERS 1
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Max Scherzer struck out a season-high 14, outpitching Brandon McCarthy and leading Washington over Los Angeles in a game that ended with a testy exchange.
With a runner on second base, Koda Glover fanned Yasiel Puig for his eighth save and shouted in the direction of home plate. Puig walked toward the mound and twice appeared to ask Glover what he said.
Glover took off his cap and tossed aside his glove as players from both teams quickly intervened to keep the two separated. Nothing escalated before the squads headed off the field.
Both starting pitchers went seven innings and allowed only three hits. The first 11 outs for Scherzer (7-3) came on strikeouts.
Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy each had a sacrifice fly for the Nationals, who have won the first two games of this series between NL pennant contenders.
McCarthy (5-3), who lasted only four innings in his previous start because of a blister, walked two and struck out four.
ROCKIES 11, INDIANS 3
DENVER (AP) — Rookie pitcher Antonio Senzatela hit a three-run double and Mark Reynolds homered twice to drive in five runs for Colorado.
Carlos Gonzalez also hit a home run for the Rockies, who can sweep the two-game interleague set on Wednesday.
Bouncing back from a loss in his previous outing, Senzatela (8-2) allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one in continuing to lead major league rookie pitchers in wins this season while also opening the scoring for Colorado.
Mike Clevinger (2-3) allowed five runs in four innings for Cleveland.
ORIOLES 6, PIRATES 5, 10 INNINGS
BALTIMORE (AP) — Jonathan Schoop tied it in the ninth inning with his second home run of the game and Mark Trumbo singled home a run in the 10th to rally Baltimore past Pittsburgh.
Baltimore trailed 4-1 after six innings and 5-3 in the ninth. Schoop’s two-run drive off closer Tony Watson knotted it at 5, setting the stage for Trumbo’s big hit.
Adam Jones singled with one out in the 10th against Wade LeBlanc (3-1) and took second when Manny Machado hit a fly ball to the warning track in left. Trumbo then lined a single to center, and Jones easily beat Andrew McCutchen’s throw to the plate.
Brad Brach (1-1) worked the 10th for the Orioles, who improved to 8-1 in extra innings.
RED SOX 5, YANKEES 4
NEW YORK (AP) — Mitch Moreland and Hanley Ramirez hit back-to-back home runs and Andrew Benintendi later connected off struggling Masahiro Tanaka, powering Boston over New York.
The Red Sox made their first visit of the season to Yankee Stadium, and the matchup between the longtime rivals and top teams in the AL East had the feel of October, mostly because of the raw weather — low 50s, windy and damp.
Overpowering closer Craig Kimbrel struck out five in 1 1/3 innings for his 17th save in 18 chances. He fanned one batter on a wild pitch, and struck out big-hitting rookie Aaron Judge on a 99 mph fastball to finish it.
Playing at the new Yankee Stadium for the first time without now-retired slugger David Ortiz on the roster, the Red Sox launched a trio of long balls and moved within a game of first-place New York.
Tanaka (5-6) lost his career-worst fifth straight start. He’s been tagged for 27 runs and 11 homers in 22 2/3 innings during that span.
Drew Pomeranz (6-3) labored through a career-high 123 pitches in five innings to win his third start in a row.
CUBS 10, MARLINS 2
CHICAGO (AP) — Jake Arrieta pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning, Anthony Rizzo drove in four runs and surging Chicago beat Miami for its season-high fifth straight win.
Arrieta (6-4) allowed two runs, struck out five and walked three in just his second win in the past month. The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner retired 16 in a row over one stretch, showing signs of rounding into form after a bumpy start to the season.
Jason Heyward had three hits and two RBIs as the Cubs remained perfect since returning home after a winless six-game road trip. Kris Bryant reached four times, scored two runs and robbed Giancarlo Stanton of a hit with a diving stop on a grounder to third in the third.
Jeff Locke (0-1) cruised into fifth inning with a 1-0 lead and retired the first two batters before everything fell apart for the Marlins in a hurry.
WHITE SOX 4, RAYS 2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Avisail Garcia, Volmer Sanchez and Todd Frazier homered to help Chicago stop a five-game losing streak with a victory over Tampa Bay.
Chris Beck (1-0) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning to win in relief of Jose Quintana, who avoided becoming the first pitcher in the major leagues to lose eight games this season.
Garcia led off the seventh with a homer, snapping a 1-all tie against Chris Archer (4-4), who also gave up a leadoff homer to Sanchez on the fourth pitch of the game.
Jose Abreu added an RBI single in the eighth before Frazier led off the ninth with a homer off Ryan Garton.
David Robertson earned his ninth save in 10 opportunities.
ANGELS 5, TIGERS 3
DETROIT (AP) — Kole Calhoun and C.J. Cron homered as Los Angeles beat Detroit.
Jesse Chavez (5-6) got the win, allowing two runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. The Tigers loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, but Bud Norris struck out Alex Avila for his 11th save.
Daniel Norris (3-3) gave up four runs — three earned — and five hits in six innings. He struck out seven, but allowed two homers.
The loss ended Detroit’s four-game winning streak. Avila homered for the Tigers.
RANGERS 10, METS 7
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Joey Gallo hit a towering two-run homer that put Texas ahead to stay, and the Rangers ended a four-game losing streak with a victory over New York.
Nomar Mazara had four hits and also homered for the Rangers. Gallo’s 17th homer put Texas up 5-4.
Mets starter Jacob deGrom (4-3) pitched only four innings for his second straight start. Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-0) got his first major league victory.
Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker went deep in the third for the Mets. In between those shots, Jay Bruce was robbed of a homer when Jared Hoying made a leaping catch just above the 8-foot wall in straightaway center.
BREWERS 5, GIANTS 2
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Chase Anderson pitched 7 2/3 shutout innings, drove in a run and won his third straight game for Milwaukee.
Anderson (5-1) extended his scoreless streak to 21 2/3 innings with the win. He walked one, struck out four and helped the Brewers beat the Giants for just the third time in the last 17 games against them.
Anderson collected his first RBI of the season and the fifth of his career in the third with a double off the wall in left.
Hernán Pérez added a homer for Milwaukee.
The Brewers roughed up Matt Cain (3-5) with four runs in the second.
PHILLIES 3, BRAVES 1
ATLANTA (AP) — Aaron Nola allowed a run over eight innings, Odubel Herrera doubled in the go-ahead run in the sixth and Philadelphia survived a ninth-inning scare to beat Atlanta.
Nola (3-3) earned his first win since April 20 and became the Phillies’ first starter to pitch past the seventh inning this season. Pat Neshek struck out Adonis Garcia and ended the game on Kurt Suzuki’s popup to catcher Cameron Rupp for his first save.
Jaime Garcia (2-4) allowed three runs in 7 2/3 innings.
ATHLETICS 4, BLUE JAYS 1
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Jesse Hahn allowed an unearned run over six innings in his return from the disabled list, pitching Oakland past Toronto.
Khris Davis drove in two runs and Adam Rosales hit a tiebreaking single with two outs in the fifth as the A’s overcame their major league-leading 59th error.
Activated before the game, Hahn (2-4) pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the fourth. The right-hander also got plenty of help from Oakland’s shaky defense.
Santiago Casilla closed for his 10th save.
Marco Estrada (4-4) took the loss.
DIAMONDBACKS 10, PADRES 2
PHOENIX (AP) — Robbie Ray struck out 11 in 6 2/3 innings and Chris Owings hit a three-run homer to help Arizona cruise past San Diego.
Jake Lamb drove in four runs, Gregor Blanco doubled twice and scored three runs, and the Diamondbacks won their seventh straight home game to equal a season high.
Owings’ career-high seventh of the season gave the Diamondbacks a homer in 10 straight home games for the first time since 2011.
Ray (6-3) had his scoreless streak stopped at 27 2/3 innings. The first of Hunter Renfroe’s two homers was the only run he allowed.
Dinelson Lamet (2-1) lasted just three innings. He gave up seven earned runs and nine hits with five walks.
The Padres lost their third straight and managed only three hits off Ray.
MARINERS 12, TWINS 3
SEATTLE (AP) — Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager each hit a three-run homer, and James Paxton was effective enough for five innings to help Seattle defeat Minnesota.
Cano staked the Mariners to a 3-0 lead in the first and Seager’s shot capped a seven-run fourth that extended the lead to 12-2 as the Mariners won for the eighth time in nine games.
Paxton (5-0) missed most of May with a left forearm strain. He allowed three runs and five hits with three walks in his second start since coming off the disabled list.
Hector Santiago (4-6) lasted just 2 2/3 innings, yielding five runs and three hits with four walks, all of which came around to score. Twins catcher Chris Gimenez pitched the eighth, retiring all three batters he faced.
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — George Springer hit two of Houston’s four home runs and the Astros matched their state rival for the longest winning streak in the major leagues this season at 10 games, beating the Texas Rangers 7-2 on Sunday.
The Astros scored in all four innings pitched by Martin Perez (2-6) and tied a club record from 1989 with their 10th straight road win. Houston’s first sweep of Texas since July 2014 dropped the Rangers to 3-11 since their 10-game streak.
Defending AL West champion Texas (26-31) is 15 games behind the division-leading Astros, who have the major leagues’ best record at 41-16 — and six wins in seven games against the Rangers.
Brad Peacock (3-0) won a major league start for the first time since Sept. 2, 2014. He struck out nine in six innings, allowing two runs.
TIGERS 7, WHITE SOX 4
DETROIT (AP) — Justin Upton hit a game-ending, three-run homer, and the Detroit Tigers overcame Justin Verlander’s groin injury to beat the Chicago White Sox 7-4 on Sunday for a sweep of their weekend series.
Nicholas Castellanos was hit by a pitch from David Robertson (3-2), and second baseman Yolmer Sanchez then misplayed a potential double-play ball and was only able to get Miguel Cabrera at first. J.D. Martinez was intentionally walked, and Upton hit his 11th homer.
Martinez also connected for the Tigers, who have won four straight. Justin Wilson (3-1) pitched a scoreless inning.
Todd Frazier led off the third with his eighth homer, lifting the White Sox to a 2-0 lead, and Verlander left after a four-pitch walk.
CUBS 7, CARDINALS 6
CHICAGO (AP) — Ian Happ hit two homers, pinch hitter Jon Jay drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh with a single and the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals to complete a three-game sweep.
Happ staked Chicago to a 6-4 lead with a solo homer in the third and a three-run drive in the fourth against Michael Wacha.
Jay, batting for reliever Pedro Strop (2-2), broke a 6-6 tie with his two-out single off Matt Bowman (1-2) in the seventh. Anthony Rizzo had three hits and scored the go-ahead run, and the Cubs (28-27) moved back over .500 with their 10th home win in 12 games. They also swept three from the Cardinals at Wrigley Field for the first time since 2006, and they did it after an 0-6 trip to the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego.
Stephen Piscotty hit a three-run homer in the fourth off Kyle Hendricks. The Cardinals tied it with two in the sixth against Hector Rondon, only to lose for the eighth time in 11 games.
NATIONALS 11, ATHLETICS 10
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Ryan Zimmerman hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth inning, sending the Nationals to the victory.
Matt Wieters and Michael Taylor added back-to-back homers off Frankie Montas during Washington’s five-run ninth, helping the NL East leaders improve to 5-1 on their nine-game West Coast trip.
But the Nationals nearly blew an 11-4 lead in the ninth, highlighting their continued trouble with closing out games. Koda Glover allowed the first five batters to reach before he was replaced by Shawn Kelley, who surrendered a grand slam by Matt Joyce with one out. Kelley then retired the next two batters for his fourth save in six tries.
Khris Davis had three hits and two RBIs for Oakland, including his 17th homer. Ryan Madsen (1-4) got the loss.
Washington right-hander Tanner Roark (6-2) allowed four runs and five hits in 7 2/3 innings in his longest start of the year.
BLUE JAYS 3, YANKEES 2
TORONTO (AP) — Justin Smoak hit a tying two-run homer off Luis Severino in the sixth inning, Josh Donaldson homered against Tyler Clippard (0-3) in the eighth as Toronto gained a four-game split despite going 0 for 24 in the series with runners in scoring position
Matt Holliday hit an RBI double in the fourth off Marcus Stroman and a run-scoring double-play grounder in the sixth.
Joe Smith (2-0) struck out two in a perfect eighth, and Roberto Osuna pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 13th save.
MARLINS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 5
MIAMI (AP) — A.J. Ellis hit a tiebreaking single on the 14th pitch of an at-bat against Archie Bradley in the seventh.
Tyler Moore hit a three-run homer and Derek Dietrich had a pair of sacrifice flies for Miami, which finished an 8-2 homestand.
Nick Wittgren (1-0) got two outs around a walk in the seventh. A.J. Ramos pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to remain perfect in eight save chances.
ROCKIES 3, PADRES 1
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jeff Hoffman cruised through seven innings for Colorado, and Trevor Story had two hits and two RBIs.
Hoffman (3-0) struck out nine after being called up from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill in for Tyler Anderson, sidelined by a left knee injury. The rookie right-hander allowed a run and San Diego’s only three hits as Colorado took three of four in the series.
Greg Holland pitched the ninth for his major league-leading 21st save in 21 chances, extending his franchise record for consecutive conversions to start a season.
Hunter Renfroe hit his 11th homer for San Diego, and Jarred Cosart (0-2) allowed three runs and six hits in four-plus innings.
BRAVES 13, REDS 8
CINCINNATI (AP) — Ender Inciarte tied his career high with five hits and drove in a career-high five runs.
Atlanta set a season high for runs. Danny Santana had four hits and three RBIs, including his first home run since being acquired from Minnesota on May 8, and Matt Adams homered for the third time in two games.
Cincinnati lost for the fifth time in six games. Zack Cozart homered twice and drove in five runs, but Amir Garrett (3-4) gave up nine runs and seven hits over 2 2/3 innings in his first start since May 23 after being sidelined with right hip inflammation.
Julio Teheran (5-4) allowed seven runs and 11 hits in five innings.
PIRATES 11, METS 1
NEW YORK (AP) — David Freese drove in three runs, including an RBI single.
Andrew McCutchen hit a three-run homer, got three hits and scored three times to back rookie Trevor Williams (3-3), who gave up one run in a career-high seven innings. Freese and Francisco Cervelli each had three hits.
The Pirates turned four double plays and took two of three at Citi Field, their first road series win since late April in Miami.
Rookie Tyler Pill (0-2) allowed five runs in five innings. Two of the runs were unearned after left fielder Michael Conforto twice overthrew bases for errors.
RED SOX 7. ORIOLES 3
BALTIMORE (AP) — Chris Sale (7-2) struck out nine in six innings to win his sixth straight decision and Boston split the four-game series.
Andrew Benintendi had his first multihomer game. Boston broke a sixth-inning tie by scoring two unearned runs on a throwing error by catcher Francisco Pena, and Benintendi’s second homer made it 6-3 in the seventh.
Chris Tillman (1-3) gave up five runs — three earned — and six hits in six innings.
PHILLIES 9, GIANTS 7
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Maikel Franco hit a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth off Derek Law (3-1) and Freddy Galvis homered from both sides of the plate. Odubel Herrera also went deep as Philadelphia earned its first series victory in six weeks.
Brandon Crawford homered and drove in four runs and Eduardo Nunez also connected for San Francisco, which has lost seven of 10.
Pat Neshek (1-1) tossed a scoreless inning, and Hector Neris got three outs for his fifth save.
BREWERS 3, DODGERS 0
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Zach Davies (6-3) pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning, Eric Thames hit his 15th homer and Milwaukee averted a three-game series sweep.
Corey Knebel struck out the side in the ninth around a walk for his fifth save.
Kenta Maeda (4-3) threw 92 pitches in working just four innings, allowing two runs and two hits.
INDIANS 8, ROYALS 0
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Roberto Perez and Daniel Robertson hit two-run doubles off Eric Skoglund (0-1) in the second inning before a 1-hour, 50-minute rain delay in the bottom half.
Dan Otero (1-0) replaced Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer after the delay and allowed one hit over 2 1/3 innings to earn his first win since Sept. 22, when he also got the decision in relief against Kansas City.
Jason Kipnis homered and drove in two for the Indians. Robertson finished with three RBIs.
TWINS 3, ANGELS 2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — A video review overturned Ben Revere’s stolen base and changed the call to a caught stealing for the final out. with the replay determining he overslid second as shortstop Ehire Adrianza tagged him on his left foot.
Miguel Sano hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth Ricky Nolasco (2-6), who lost his fourth straight start.
Revere’s RBI single in the fourth off Jose Berrios (4-1) had given the Angels a 2-1 lead. Brandon Kintzler pitched the ninth for his 15th save
MARINERS 7, RAYS 1
SEATTLE (AP) — Ariel Miranda (6-2) pitched a four-hitter, struck out a career-high nine and walked one in his first big league complete game as Seattle finished a series sweep.
Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer and Mike Zunino picked up two more RBIs in Seattle’s seventh win in eight games. Jarrod Dyson also drove in two runs.
Erasmo Ramirez (3-1) pitched 4 2/3 innings against his first major league team, allowing four runs and seven hits.
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Albert Pujols hit a grand slam for his 600th homer, becoming the ninth member of the club during the fourth inning of the Los Angeles Angels’ 7-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.
Pujols reached the milestone in theatrical style, putting a low pitch from Ervin Santana (7-3) into Angel Stadium’s short left-field porch for his 14th grand slam. He became the fourth-youngest player to reach the 600-homer club — and the first to join it with a slam. The Anaheim crowd roared while fireworks soared overhead for the 37-year-old’s ninth homer of the season and his 155th for the Angels.
The Dominican veteran is the first player to hit his 600th homer since Jim Thome in August 2011. With his ninth homer this season, Pujols has joined the club with Bonds (762), Aaron (755), Ruth (714), Rodriguez (696), Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey Jr. (630), Thome (612) and Sammy Sosa (609).
Andrelton Simmons and Kole Calhoun hit back-to-back homers in the third inning for the Angels. Matt Shoemaker (5-3) pitched five-hit ball into the seventh inning for his fourth victory in his last five starts.
Max Kepler homered for Minnesota.
MARLINS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 0
MIAMI (AP) — Edinson Volquez threw the sixth no-hitter in Marlins history, facing the minimum 27 batters and beating the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Volquez (2-7) struck out 10, and the two baserunners who reached on walks were erased by double plays. He needed 98 pitches, the last of those striking out Chris Owings to complete the masterpiece. It was the Marlins’ first no-hitter since Henderson Alvarez pitched one against Detroit on the final day of the 2013 regular season.
It’s the first no-hitter in the majors this season, and the first time Arizona was no-hit since the Marlins’ Anibal Sanchez threw one on Sept. 6, 2006. Volquez was nearly knocked out of the game after only three pitches, when he collided with Diamondbacks leadoff man Rey Fuentes as he covered first and rolled his ankle. But the 33-year-old righty from the Dominican Republic stayed in.
Randall Delgado (1-1) gave up six hits and one run in 5 1/3 innings for Arizona.
ASTROS 6, RANGERS 5
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Carlos Beltran had three hits and drove in three runs as the Houston Astros extended their major league-best winning streak to nine in a row. Jose Altuve also had three hits for Houston, including a key solo homer to lead off the ninth.
At 40-16, the Astros have the best record in the majors and their best start in franchise history. They are 14 games ahead in the AL West over two-time defending division champion Texas, which is 3-10 since a 10-game winning streak that is still the longest in the majors this season.
Chris Devenski (4-3) worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings after taking over for Lance McCullers in the fifth. Ken Giles worked the ninth for his 15th save in 16 chances even while allowing an RBI single by Adrian Beltre.
Andrew Cashner (2-5) took the loss.
RED SOX 5, ORIOLES 2
BALTIMORE (AP) — David Price took a three-hitter into the eighth inning to earn his first win of the season, Hanley Ramirez homered and drove in three runs for the Boston Red Sox.
Price (1-0) allowed one run over seven-plus innings in his second start since coming off the disabled list with a strained left elbow. After belatedly launching his 2017 season with an uneven outing against the White Sox on Monday, Price looked every bit like a five-time All-Star against Baltimore. The left-hander gave up three hits, struck out seven and did not allow a runner past first base until Manny Machado led off the seventh with a home run.
Craig Kimbrel gave up a ninth-inning run, but picked up his 16th save.
Dylan Bundy (6-4) took the loss.
YANKEES 7, BLUE JAYS 0
TORONTO (AP) — Brett Gardner, Matt Holliday, Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius all hit solo home runs in the eighth inning, leading Jordan Montgomery and the New York Yankees over the Blue Jays.
The Yankees tied the franchise record with four homers in an inning. Gardner led it off with a home run and then with two outs, Holliday, Castro and Gregorius connected in succession. Jason Grilli became the first reliever in Blue Jays history to allow four homers in a single inning.
This was the fourth time the Yankees have hit four homers in an inning — they last did it Oct. 1, 2012, against Boston. They first did it in 1977 at Toronto, with Cliff Johnson connecting twice and Lou Piniella and Thurman Munson once each.
Montgomery (3-4) gave up three singles in six innings for his first win since May 6 against the Cubs. Joe Biagini (1-4) allowed three runs in a career-high seven innings.
CUBS 5, CARDINALS 3
CHICAGO (AP) — Slumping Kyle Schwarber hit his first career grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally the Cubs to a victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Schwarber, who entered batting .163 and was dropped to the ninth spot in the lineup, hit the first pitch of the at-bat from St. Louis starter Mike Leake (5-4) deep into the bleachers in left-center. Javier Baez also homered for Chicago, which has won two straight following a six-game losing streak.
Hector Rondon (1-1) pitched a scoreless seventh to earn the win. Wade Davis got the final three outs for his 12th save.
Yadier Molina homered and Jose Martinez had two RBIs for the Cardinals.
BRAVES 6, REDS 5, 12 INNINGS
CINCINNATI (AP) — Matt Adams hit his first career grand slam and connected again for a solo shot in the 12th inning, powering the Atlanta Braves to a victory over the Cincinnati Reds that ended their three-game losing streak.
Adams’ one-out homer off Blake Wood (0-4) saved the Braves after they blew a lead for the second day in a row. It was Adams’ fourth career multi-homer game, his first since 2014.
Jim Johnson (3-1) escaped a threat in the 11th and finished it off for the win, a day after he blew a lead in the ninth. The Reds rallied for a 3-2 lead in 10 innings on Friday night. The Braves won for only the second time in seven extra-inning games this season.
ATHLETICS 10, NATIONALS 4
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Ryon Healy had two doubles and two homers, Jed Lowrie doubled twice and homered, and the Athletics beat the Washington Nationals.
A day after being outscored by 10 runs, the A’s got off to a fast start as Healy and Lowrie each hit two-run homers in the bottom of the first inning off starter Joe Ross (2-2). Healy also hit a long solo shot in a three-run seventh inning in which the A’s broke open a 7-4 game. It was Healy’s first career multi-home run game and the four extra-base hits tied a franchise record accomplished by 16 others since 1913.
Yonder Alonso hit a two-run homer — his 16th — earlier in the seventh. Adam Lind homered for the Nationals.
Liam Hendriks (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief to pick up the win.
ROYALS 12, INDIANS 5
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Lorenzo Cain capped a six-run fifth inning with a two-run homer, Jason Hammel settled down after a shaky start and the Royals routed the Cleveland Indians.
Whit Merrifield and Mike Moustakas had two-run doubles off Carlos Carrasco (5-3) during the Royals’ big inning, helping them overcome a 3-0 hole and ensure a series win over their division rival.
Hammel (2-6) gave up homers to Carlos Santana and Bradley Zimmer in the third, but he retired 15 of his next 17 batters before giving way to Mike Minor with two outs in the seventh. Hammel struck out seven without a walk for his first win since beating Cleveland on May 5.
PHILLIES 5, GIANTS 3
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ben Lively pitched seven strong innings in his major league debut, Odubel Herrera drove in three runs in Philadelphia’s four-run seventh and the Phillies held on against the San Francisco Giants.
Tommy Joseph homered for the Phillies, who snapped a five-game losing streak while winning for just the seventh time in their last 33 games. Philadelphia avoided losing its 11th straight series, which hasn’t happened since the 1941 club did it.
Lively (1-0) became the first Phillies starter to earn a victory since Jeremy Hellickson on April 27 by allowing one run and four hits with three walks and no strikeouts.
Johnny Cueto (5-5) took the loss, allowing three runs in six innings.
METS 4, PIRATES 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Neil Walker hit a two-run homer against his former team and the New York Mets also got long balls from Jay Bruce and Wilmer Flores in beating the Pittsburgh Pirates to stop a three-game slide.
Robert Gsellman (4-3) won his second consecutive start — likely his last before a move to the bullpen. The rookie right-hander tossed 5 1/3 effective innings before Fernando Salas escaped a first-and-third jam, and New York’s shaky relief corps nailed one down for a change. Jerry Blevins worked around an error in a scoreless seventh, and manager Terry Collins called on Addison Reed to get the final six outs. The substitute closer, filling in for injured Jeurys Familia, pitched out of trouble for his eighth save in 10 chances.
Pittsburgh rookie Josh Bell homered for the second straight game, and streaking Jordy Mercer doubled twice among his three hits. But the Pirates stranded 12 runners, and rookie starter Tyler Glasnow (2-5) lost to the Mets for the second time in seven days
TIGERS 10, WHITE SOX 1
DETROIT (AP) — Jordan Zimmermann tossed six solid innings and the Tigers used four home runs to power past the Chicago White Sox.
Nicholas Castellanos and Alex Presley hit back-to-back homers in the second inning, and Alex Avila and Justin Upton also homered for the Tigers, who have outscored Chicago 25-6 in the first two games of the weekend series.
Zimmermann (5-4) won for the second time in six starts, allowing one run and seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks. Detroit has won four of five.
Miguel Gonzalez (4-6) lost his fifth straight road start, giving up six runs and 10 hits in six innings, including three of Detroit’s homers. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was ejected in the bottom of the first inning after he wasn’t allowed to challenge a play at first base.
ROCKIES 10, PADRES 1
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Nolan Arenado hit his 14th homer, Ian Desmond added a grand slam and the Colorado Rockies stopped the Padres’ season-high, five-game winning streak.
Tyler Chatwood (5-7) rebounded from his worst start of the season, allowing four hits over eight innings with eight strikeouts and one walk. Chatwood also had a pair of hits as the Rockies won for just the second time in six games. Jordan Lyles pitched a perfect the ninth. In his previous outing, Chatwood gave up six runs over 4 1/3 innings in a loss to Seattle.
Former Rockies righty Jhoulys Chacin (4-5) allowed four runs — three earned — and six hits in five innings, losing for the first time this year in five starts at home. The Padres had been on their longest winning streak since August 2015; they have not won six straight since June 2013.
DODGERS 10, BREWERS 8
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Chris Taylor hit a go-ahead grand slam off Carlos Torres in a five-run ninth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied late for the second straight day to beat the Brewers.
Los Angeles led 4-3 in the seventh when Chris Hatcher walked the bases loaded and Josh Fields relieved. Travis Shaw drove Fields’ third pitch over the fence in left-center, and Hernan Perez homered two pitches later for an 8-4 lead.
The Dodgers loaded the bases with one out in the ninth against Torres (2-4). Corey Seager walked, and Yasmani Grandal hit a grounder to first baseman Jesus Aguilar, who threw to second trying for a forceout and hit Seager on the back for an error. Pinch-hitter Austin Barnes walked, Cody Bellinger walked to force in a run and Taylor homered off the batters’ eye behind the center-field fence.
MARINERS 9, RAYS 2
SEATTLE (AP) — Mike Zunino hit his first grand slam and drove in a career-high seven runs to power the Mariners past the Tampa Bay Rays.
Zunino, sent down to Triple-A Tacoma for two weeks in May after struggling offensively, had a two-run double in the second, an RBI single in the fourth, and capped a five-run fifth with his slam that put the Mariners up 9-1.
Rookie right-hander Sam Gaviglio (2-1) allowed one run — a homer by Corey Dickerson to lead off the game — and four hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked none in his fourth start since being called up May 10.
Alex Cobb (4-5) was rocked for nine runs and 14 hits in five innings.
Nelson Cruz had three hits, including a solo homer, and Danny Valencia had four singles and scored three times for the Mariners, who won for the sixth time in seven games.
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Adam Wainwright hit a two-run homer off Brandon McCarthy and pitched six innings of four-hit ball, leading the St. Louis Cardinals over the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 on Thursday for a four-game split.
Wainwright (6-3) struck out six and walked two, pitching out of two-on, one-out jams in the fourth and fifth, and extending his scoreless streak to 16 1/3 innings. Matt Bowman, Trevor Rosenthal and Seung Hwan Oh pitched an inning each to complete a five-hitter. Oh threw a one-hit ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances.
Wainwright followed Paul Dejong’s second-inning single with a drive over the left-field bullpen for his 10th career homer. Wainwright has six hits and seven RBIs this season.
McCarthy (5-2) gave up seven hits in four innings, struck out six and walked one.
DIAMONDBACKS 3, MARLINS 2
MIAMI (AP) — Zack Greinke allowed one earned run in seven innings to earn his seventh victory, and Arizona rallied to snap Miami’s four-game winning streak.
Nick Ahmed had three of Arizona’s six hits, including a two-run single in the eighth to put the Diamondbacks ahead. They won for the 13th time in the past 17 games.
Greinke (7-3), who moved into a tie for the NL lead in wins, struck out eight and allowed four hits. He also singled and scored the Diamondbacks’ first run as he improved to 5-0 in nine games against the Marlins.
Archie Bradley struck out Marcell Ozuna with two on to end the eighth. Fernando Rodney, who blew a save in Wednesday’s extra-inning win at Pittsburgh, completed a five-hitter by pitching a perfect ninth for his 14th save.
Jeff Locke allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings in his season debut for Miami, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. With the Marlins ahead 2-1, Kyle Barraclough (1-1) walked the first two batters in the eighth. The right-hander has given up 21 walks in 22 1/3 innings this season.
ORIOLES 7, RED SOX 5
BALTIMORE (AP) — Wade Miley allowed one run in seven innings, Mark Trumbo hit the first of Baltimore’s four home runs off Eduardo Rodriguez and the Orioles beat Boston.
Chris Davis and Adam Jones went deep for a second straight night and Jonathan Schoop capped the outburst with a three-run drive in the sixth that made it 7-1.
Miley (2-3) gave up five hits and a walk against the team he pitched for in 2015. Seeking his first win since April 14, the lefty did not allow a runner past first base after the second inning.
Rodriguez (4-2) allowed seven runs in 5 2/3 innings, and the four homers tied a career high. The former Orioles farmhand came in with a four-game winning streak and a 1.34 ERA in six starts at Camden Yards.
YANKEES 12, BLUE JAYS 2
TORONTO (AP) — CC Sabathia won his fourth consecutive start, Aaron Hicks had a career-high six RBIs and Gary Sanchez homered twice to lead New York over Toronto.
Sabathia (6-2) allowed one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings, struck out seven and walked none. He has won four straight starts for the first time since April and May 2012.
Hicks hit a three-run double in the first, singled in the third, had an RBI double in the seventh and a two-run double in the ninth.
Sanchez homered in consecutive at-bats against Marco Estrada (4-3), a solo drive in the second and a two-run shot in the fourth.
Brett Gardner his 999th and 1,000th hits for the Yankees, who reopened a three-game lead in the AL East.
Estrada allowed a season-high seven runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings.
ROCKIES 6, MARINERS 3
SEATTLE (AP) — Mark Reynolds and Nolan Arenado homered to back Kyle Freeland, and Colorado stopped a three-game losing streak with a win over Seattle.
Colorado closed out four straight games against the Mariners in interleague play by jumping on Yovani Gallardo (2-6) with four runs in the second inning. Reynolds provided the big blow with a two-run homer to deep left-center field, his 14th this season. Arenado led off the third inning with his 13th home run, and the Rockies stopped Seattle’s four-game winning streak.
Freeland (6-3) won for the third time in four starts despite hitting three batters. The only runs Freeland allowed came on Guillermo Heredia’s solo home run and the sacrifice fly where shortstop Jean Segura was hurt in the fourth inning.
Greg Holland pitched the ninth for his 20th save.
INDIANS 8, ATHLETICS 0
CLEVELAND (AP) — Corey Kluber pitched six shutout innings and struck out 10 in his first start since May 2, and Cleveland scored four runs during a strange sixth inning to beat Oakland.
Kluber (4-2) had been sidelined with a strained lower back, an injury that kept Cleveland’s ace sidelined for a month. Despite the long layoff, however, Kluber looked like his dominant self, allowing just two hits and recording his 26th career double-digit strikeout game.
The Indians scored four runs — three unearned — off Jharel Cotton (3-6) in the wild sixth. The game was momentarily delayed when sprinklers in left field went on automatically.
Jharel Cotton (3-6) allowed five runs, one earned, and four hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out four.
BREWERS 2, METS 1
NEW YORK (AP) — Chase Anderson pitched seven shutout innings and the Brewers benefited — temporarily, anyway — when a Milwaukee bat boy bumped into Mets infielder Wilmer Flores on a foul popup in a victory over New York.
NL Central-leading Milwaukee won the last two at Citi Field to salvage a four-game split.
Anderson (4-1) gave up three hits, walked one and struck out seven. In his previous start, he took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning to beat Arizona.
Corey Knebel pitched the ninth for his fourth save. Flores homered in the eighth on reliever Jacob Barnes’ first pitch.
Zack Wheeler (3-3) allowed two runs and 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out six.
TWINS 4, ANGELS 2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Minnesota Twins turned their first triple play in 11 years and then rallied in the ninth inning on Jason Castro’s two-run single.
The Twins overcame two solo home runs from the Angels’ Kole Calhoun, while keeping Albert Pujols stuck at career home-run No.599. Pujols had one single in four at-bats.
Miguel Sano homered in the second inning for Minnesota.
Calhoun’s second homer of the game, off reliever Taylor Rogers (3-1), put the Angels up 2-1.
The Twins went ahead in the ninth against reliever Jose Alvarez (0-2). Jorge Polanco reached on an error, Eddie Rosario followed with a double, and Castro singled them both in. Bud Norris walked in a final run.
Brandon Kintzler got the last three outs for his 14th save.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
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A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
The Red Sox visit Baltimore for a four-game series that runs through Sunday. The contentious rivalry between AL East foes ramped up this season when Manny Machado’s aggressive slide into Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia in late April led to dangerous inside pitches, harsh words and a warning from MLB officials to stop the feuding. At the center of the storm was Machado, currently in a terrible slump.
PRIMED FOR POWER
Angels slugger Albert Pujols gets his next shot at home run No. 600 when the Twins arrive in Anaheim. Pujols had a single in four at-bats Wednesday night against Atlanta, remaining at 599 homers. Rookie left-hander Adalberto Mejia (1-1, 4.64 ERA) makes his sixth major league start for a struggling Minnesota pitching staff that just gave up 40 runs in a three-game sweep by Houston. The Twins, who have lost four straight, served up six homers Wednesday to the streaking Astros.
SIGHT FOR SORE EYES
Cleveland ace Corey Kluber comes off the disabled list to make his first start since May 2 when the Indians host Oakland. Kluber, who has been sidelined with a strained lower back, is 3-2 with a 5.06 ERA. His return will be a welcome addition for a rotation that entered Wednesday with the highest ERA in the American League. He replaces right-hander Danny Salazar, sent to the bullpen with a 3-5 record and 5.50 ERA. Kluber was 18-9 with a 3.14 ERA last season and went 4-1 with a 1.83 ERA in six postseason starts. He won the AL Cy Young Award in 2014 and finished third in the voting last season.
After winning eight of their final nine games in May, the Blue Jays welcome the AL East-leading Yankees for the opener of a four-game set. “It would be nice to continue playing well right now,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “The timing would be perfect.” Toronto was 8-17 in April, but bounced back to finish May at 26-27 thanks to a barrage of home runs, 49 in all. “In the American League, especially in our division, you’ve got to hit home runs,” Gibbons said. “That’s the key.” Marco Estrada (4-2, 3.15 ERA) starts the first game against CC Sabathia (5-2, 4.42 ERA), seeking his 16th career win versus Toronto.
Miami has won four straight, its longest winning streak since last July, heading into a four-game series against visiting Arizona. Left-hander Jeff Locke makes his season debut in the opener vs. Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke (6-3, 3.24 ERA). Locke has been on the DL with left biceps tendinitis. After a difficult stretch when they went 4-19, the Marlins are winning with offense, scoring 73 runs in the past 10 games. Their latest victory Wednesday over Philadelphia came without slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who rested while recovering from hamstring cramps. He’s expected to return to the lineup against Arizona. “We’re playing better,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “Hopefully our best baseball is ahead of us.” Justin Bour hit 11 home runs for the Marlins in May.
ON A ROLL
Cardinals veteran Adam Wainwright (5-3, 4.20 ERA) pitches against Brandon McCarthy (5-1, 3.28) and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Wainwright is 5-0 with a 3.21 ERA since his last loss on April 16.
COMING OFF A GEM
Chase Anderson (3-1) starts for the NL Central-leading Brewers in the finale of a four-game series at the New York Mets. Anderson had a no-hit bid going last Saturday until Nick Ahmed’s leadoff single in the eighth at Arizona. He set career highs with 11 strikeouts and 114 pitches in seven-plus innings during a 6-1 win. Zack Wheeler (3-2) goes for the Mets.
Mike Trout, who is on the disabled list rehabbing a thumb injury, is the leading All-Star vote-getter in the American League.
Despite the honor, the Los Angeles Angels center fielder might not be able to participate in the All-Star Game as he will be recovering from surgery on his torn ligament in his left thumb. Trout, who won his second MVP award in 2016, was well on his way to a shot at a third, as he leads the AL in on-base percentage (.461) and slugging (.742) and is tied for second in home runs (16).
Trout, who received 776,937 votes, was followed by New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (730,438) and Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor (602,238) for the most in the first ballot release.
In the closest race, New York Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro (516,268) leads Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve (515,732) by a mere 536 votes.
Boston Red Sox’s Mookie Betts (337,473) is the third outfielder, followed closely behind by Indians’ Michael Brantley (333,703) and Red Sox teammate Andrew Benintendi (327,047).
The remaining AL leaders include: first baseman Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers (326,952); third baseman Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles (369,069); catcher Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals (420,268); and designated hitter Nelson Cruz of the Seattle Mariners (457,050).
Bryce Harper, who likely faces a suspension from Major League Baseball for his involvement in Monday’s brawl against the San Francisco Giants, is the leading All-Star vote-getting in the National League.
Harper, who received 900,079 votes, beat out Washington Nationals teammate and second baseman Daniel Murphy (669,643) for the most in the first ballot release.
The right fielder is batting .331 with 41 RBI and leads the NL with 44 runs scored and is tied for the league lead with 15 home runs. He is aiming for his fifth career All-Star selection and fourth fan-elected start. This would be the second time Harper led the NL in fan balloting (2015).
Joining him in the outfield is Colorado Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon (520,479) and Chicago Cubs’ Jason Heyward (344,166).
Filling out the infield — First baseman Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs (452,620); third baseman Kris Bryant of the Cubs (632,900); shortstop Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers (379,640) and catcher Buster Posey of the Giants (559,428).
The first American League update will be announced on Wednesday.
Brendan McKay is not yet ready to give up on his dream, even if baseball wisdom suggests it ends in the next month.
He’ll still envision himself peppering the short porch at Yankee Stadium with home runs one day, and beguiling hitters with a curveball he discovered almost by accident the next. He believes he can climb the ladders of professional baseball aided both by a left arm that dominates opposing hitters, and a gorgeous swing that has McKay, at 21, only now realizing his power potential.
Yet McKay knows his dual existence as a power-hitting first baseman and dominant left-handed starter may only last as long as he and the Louisville Cardinals can stay alive in the NCAA baseball regionals.
The Minnesota Twins are strongly considering selecting McKay with the first overall pick in the June 12 Major League Baseball draft, a slot with a maximum value of $7.7 million. And the Twins, McKay tells USA TODAY Sports, told him they like him more as a pitcher.
While the Twins’ plans remain fluid – regarding both McKay’s future and whether to draft him at all – McKay knows that once a big league team starts signing paychecks, the player’s wishes are secondary.
And so as Louisville opens NCAA play at home Friday against Radford, McKay will revel in his preference – both of the above – for at least one more weekend.
“The satisfaction of having a great day at the plate or on the mound – it’s tough to choose one or the other,” says McKay. “Doing both is the same fun to have.”
McKay’s situation – we won’t call it a plight, as he’s an impending multi-millionaire – along with that of California high schooler Hunter Greene has seized the draft spotlight this year, as an age-old scenario plays out, with millions of dollars at stake.
Or – against all odds – do both?
Greene, a power-hitting infielder who also has a 100-mph fastball, has a UCLA scholarship to fall back on, but is expected to be selected among the top five picks and begin his pro career on the mound. That means leaving behind a power bat that has been ranked near the top of the scouting scale, paired with an ability to play defensively in the middle of the diamond.
Regardless of how they fare professionally, McKay and Greene will have sizable signing bonuses in hand.
And that will provide some measure of comfort that they chose the right path – because there are times the scouting community can get it wrong, too.
“Sometimes, it might be fairly apparent which one of the two you’re better at, even if both are really good,” says Baltimore Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo. “And sometimes it’s really difficult. And the team makes that decision for you.”
Trumbo knows how it goes: As a high school senior he was ranked 31st on Baseball America’s 2004 prospect list – as a pitcher. At 6-5, Trumbo had raw power as a hitter, but his 97-mph fastball attracted pro scouts and a scholarship offer from USC, which he expected to accept. Then, the Los Angeles Angels took an 18th-round flyer on him and bought him out of college with a $1.4 million signing bonus.
One problem: His physical exam revealed “wear and tear in the elbow more typical of someone considerably older than me,” Trumbo recalls. An audible was called: Trumbo would shelve pitching, and hit, instead.
Talk about your good breaks: Thirteen years later, Trumbo is a two-time All-Star, with 185 career home runs, and is slated to gross nearly $60 million in major league salary.
“You have to trust there’s a lot of people in the game who’ve seen and done things you haven’t, and are qualified to make that decision,” says Trumbo. “At the same time, there’s no science to it.”
Trumbo need only look across the Orioles clubhouse to see that.
As a high school senior in 2009, Mychal Givens had a 97-mph fastball and struck out 113 batters in 78 innings for Plant High School in Tampa. The Orioles saw his hitting ability and athleticism and thought, “Shortstop.” They drafted Givens in the second round, gave him an $800,000 bonus, and then watched him struggle to hit his weight in the low minors.
By 2012, Orioles player development director Brian Graham approached Givens with a shorter, alternate path to the majors – back on the mound. Givens, 27, is now in his third season as a major league reliever – with a 15-2 record – and pitched for Team USA’s championship squad in the World Baseball Classic.
“If you’re athletic, and you know your athletic ability, go out there and do both,” says Givens, who has struck out 11 batters per nine innings in his major league career. “Don’t let a team make it one-sided. Let them make the decision, but go work hard at both and whatever path it takes you, go ahead and pursue it.”
That’s McKay’s plan.
His baseball skill set is a testament to both natural ability and some fate. At 6-2 and 220 pounds, he’s solidly built for his positions, albeit lacking the length of lefty aces like Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner and David Price.
Scouts have raved about his hand-eye coordination, which he says he partially honed when his grandfather would babysit at his home in suburban Pittsburgh. Grandpa would pitch pingpong balls at McKay, who’d try to hit it armed with only a mini wooden bat.
His finest pro tool might be his curveball, which has helped him strike out 124 batters in 91 innings this season, and hold opposing hitters to a .181 average. The pitch is not a God-given gift, but rather courtesy a kid named David Lyons, who taught McKay the grip while both were 13-year-olds playing travel ball for the Beaver Valley (Pa.) Baseball Club.
Lyons went on to become a pretty good high school wrestler. McKay? He produced a 72-inning scoreless streak in high school on his way to Louisville.
His collegiate resume is bordering on historic. McKay is a shoo-in to become just the third three-time Baseball America All-American, the first since Greg Swindell and Robin Ventura some 30 years ago. He has a career 30-10 record, with 369 strikeouts in 297 1/3 innings.
McKay took the biggest stride forward with the bat this season, upping his home runs from six to 17, while batting .363 and posting a 1.186 on base plus slugging.
What does that mean come June 12? Well, with the scouting community lacking a consensus, McKay has heard no shortage of scenarios floated by potential employers.
And yes, some teams do entertain the concept of McKay on the mound and batter’s box after he signs, even if only in short-season rookie ball as his future comes into focus.
“It could be just for that initial summer,” says McKay, “but it’d be fun to be able to do both and see where it takes you.”
Either way, it will be a whirlwind for McKay, who figures to get the ball in one of the first two games of Louisville’s regional. The Cardinals (47-10) open Friday against Radford.
Greene saw his high school season end last week. Yet for both, draft day – and a fascinating future – will come quickly.
“It can be overwhelming at times, to the point you might be overthinking it,” says Twins outfielder Byron Buxton, the second overall pick in the 2012 draft who also shelved a 99-mph fastball after high school. “You just have to relax and enjoy the moment – because it comes very fast.”
And when your tools are as diverse as McKay’s and Greene’s, it affords the luxury of a backup plan.
“I was 100% certain that if I needed to pitch, I absolutely could,” says Trumbo. “It was always that bullet in my pocket, so to speak.”
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — George Springer reached base in all six plate appearances and hit two of Houston’s season-high six home runs to lead the Astros to their seventh straight victory, 17-6 over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday.
Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez also went deep for the Astros, who scored 40 runs in the three games to set a franchise record for runs in a series of any length. They had 19 hits on Wednesday and 37 in the series.
Brian Dozier, Eddie Rosario and Jason Castro homered for the Twins, who have lost four straight. Hector Santiago (4-5) gave up six runs and eight hits and walked three in six innings, three days after he was an emergency fill-in during the 15th inning of a loss to Tampa Bay.
Springer’s two homers traveled an estimated 900 combined feet, including a moon shot off of Ryan Pressly in the six-run seventh inning that landed just short of the third deck in left-center field. That was measured at 473 feet, the second-longest homer in the majors this season behind a 481-footer by Arizona’s Jake Lamb on April 29.
Michael Feliz (2-0) got the win and left-hander Reymin Guduan also made his big league debut, allowing one run on two hits in two innings.
PADRES 2, CUBS 1
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Rookie Franchy Cordero tripled in the eighth and scored on Yangervis Solarte’s fielder’s choice and San Diego handed Chicago its season-high sixth straight loss.
Luis Perdomo and two relievers combined to hold the struggling Cubs to three hits. The rebuilding Padres won their season-high fourth straight game and swept the Cubs for the first time since Aug. 6-8, 2012.
The defending World Series champion Cubs, who were swept at the Dodgers during the weekend, finished their first winless trip of at least six games since Aug. 3-8, 2012, when they also lost three at Los Angeles and three at San Diego.
Overall the Cubs have lost seven in a row on the road.
Cordero, who made his big league debut on Saturday, tripled to right-center off Koji Uehara (1-3) leading off the eighth. Solarte hit a grounder to second baseman Ian Happ, whose throw home wasn’t in time to get Cordero.
Brad Hand (1-3) pitched a perfect eighth for the win and Brandon Maurer pitched the ninth for his eighth save.
ORIOLES 10, YANKEES 4
BALTIMORE (AP) — Adam Jones homered and drove in five runs, Chris Davis added a two-run shot and Baltimore beat Masahiro Tanaka and New York.
Baltimore took two of three from the AL East leaders after coming in with a seven-game losing streak. The Yankees have lost 11 straight series in Baltimore — the second-longest road skid in franchise history behind a 12-series drought at Oakland from 1985-91.
Back in the lineup after missing four straight games with a sore hip, Jones contributed an RBI double to a four-run third inning, hit a three-run homer in the fourth and drove in a run with an infield hit in the eighth.
Tanaka (5-5) lost his fourth straight start, extending the longest streak of his career. The right-hander gave up seven runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.
The Yankees had 11 hits but stranded 11 and went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position.
Kevin Gausman (3-4) allowed two earned runs and eight hits over 5 1/3 innings, walking five and striking out four. He twice escaped bases-loaded, two-out jams to earn his second win since April 13 and provide hope for a starting rotation that was 1-9 since May 8.
CARDINALS 2, DODGERS 1
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Dexter Fowler hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning to back Carlos Martinez and give St. Louis a victory over Los Angeles.
Martinez (4-4) allowed one run and four hits while striking out nine as he pitched eight innings to help St. Louis snap a three-game losing streak.
Ross Stripling (0-3) lost for the first time since April 26 as he allowed Fowler’s seventh home run of the season, a 429-foot shot to right-center field. The Dodgers had their six-game winning streak end.
Seung-Hwan Oh pitched a scoreless ninth for his 12th save in 14 chances.
DIAMONDBACKS 6, PIRATES 5, 14 INNINGS
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Chris Owings singled home the go-ahead run in the 14th inning and Arizona outlasted Pittsburgh in a game that took more than 4½ hours to play — plus a 93-minute rain delay.
Paul Goldschmidt and Nick Ahmed homered for the Diamondbacks, who led in the ninth and 11th before finally putting away the Pirates. T.J. McFarland (3-0) pitched three hitless innings for the win.
Ahmed hit a solo shot in the 11th but Jordy Mercer tied the score in the bottom half with a home run of his own as steady showers began to fall. The game was delayed by rain after the 11th inning for 1 hour, 33 minutes.
David Peralta singled off Jhan Marinez (0-3) to start the 14th and advanced to second on Goldschmidt’s groundout. Jake Lamb was intentionally walked, and Peralta scored when Owings singled to right field.
Marinez, the last man in the Pirates’ bullpen, worked three innings in a game that lasted 4 hours, 40 minutes.
BLUE JAYS 5, REDS 4
TORONTO (AP) — Devon Travis hit a tiebreaking two-run home run in the seventh inning, Luke Maile also hit a two-run home run, and Toronto beat Cincinnati to complete a three-game sweep.
Jason Grilli (2-4) pitched one inning for the victory as the Blue Jays won for the eighth time in nine games and finished May at 18-10. Toronto hit 49 home runs in May, going deep in 18 of its final 20 games.
Joe Smith worked the eighth and Roberto Osuna survived a shaky ninth for his 11th save. Scott Schebler homered on Osuna’s first pitch, his NL-leading 16th. A single, Ryan Goins’ fielding error, and a stolen base gave the Reds runners at second and third with one out, but Osuna preserved the win by striking out Billy Hamilton and Zack Cozart.
Travis, whose 13-game hitting streak ended Tuesday, snapped an 0-for-6 slump by connecting off Wandy Peralta (2-1).
BREWERS 7, METS 1
NEW YORK (AP) — Eric Thames hit his first home run in three weeks, Keon Broxton also went deep against an ineffective Jacob deGrom, and Milwaukee beat New York for just its third win in 10 games.
Released by the Mets following a 50-game minor league drug suspension in 2009, Junior Guerra (1-0) defeated New York for the first time. He allowed four hits in six scoreless innings, struck out four and walked three, baffling batters with his splitter.
In his previous outing, deGrom (4-2) threw 118 pitches and became the first Mets starter this year to reach the ninth inning. Against the Brewers, he allowed seven runs, eight hits and five walks in four innings, raising his ERA from 3.23 to 3.97. The right-hander has given up multiple homers in four starts, double his 2016 total.
ATHLETICS 3, INDIANS 1
CLEVELAND (AP) — Sean Manaea allowed three hits in seven innings, Chad Pinder homered twice and drove in all three Oakland runs, and the Athletics defeated Cleveland.
Manaea (4-3) retired the first 10 hitters before Francisco Lindor homered with one out in the fourth. He gave up singles to Daniel Robertson and Edwin Encarnacion, along with a walk to Jose Ramirez.
Pinder, the Athletics’ No. 9 hitter, hit a solo homer in the third and broke a 1-all tie with a two-run shot in the fifth.
Mike Clevinger (2-2) gave up both home runs.
Trevor Plouffe drew a leadoff walk in the fifth before Pinder hit a 2-2 pitch into the bleachers in left field to cap the first multi-homer game of his career.
Santiago Casilla worked the ninth for his eighth save.
MARLINS 10, PHILLIES 2
MIAMI (AP) — Justin Bour hit two home runs, increasing his season total to 15, and Miami completed its first series sweep of the season by beating Philadelphia before a sparse crowd.
Marcell Ozuna hit his 14th homer for the Marlins, who have won four games in a row, their longest winning streak since last July.
Dan Straily (4-3) struck out 10, allowed one earned run in 6 2/3 innings, and benefited from the offensive support to win his third start in a row.
The Phillies (17-34), off to their worst start since 1961, went 6-22 in May. That’s their fewest wins in a month since June 1997. Aaron Nola (2-3) lost his third start in a row. He gave up four runs and needed 73 pitches to get through three innings — his shortest outing of the year.
The Marlins were contending for the worst record in the majors before their recent turnaround, and plenty of room remains on the bandwagon. Announced attendance was 15,197, lowest of the season in Miami, and a head count put the actual crowd at 1,590, perhaps the smallest in the five-year history of Marlins Park.
NATIONALS 3, GIANTS 1
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Max Scherzer struck out 11 in a five-hitter and Washington beat San Francisco to complete a three-game sweep.
Ryan Zimmerman hit his 15th homer, a three-run shot off Matt Cain (3-4) in the first inning that stood up as Scherzer (6-3) went the distance for the first time this season.
The Nationals played without slugger Bryce Harper, who began serving a three-game suspension for his role in Monday’s bench-clearing brawl between the teams. Harper initially was suspended four games but had the penalty reduced and agreed to drop his appeal.
Scherzer retired 10 straight to begin the game. He didn’t walk a batter for the second time this season on the way to his seventh career complete game.
Cain lost his third straight.
RED SOX 4, WHITE SOX 1
CHICAGO (AP) — Pablo Sandoval hit a tiebreaking single in Boston’s four-run sixth inning and Drew Pomeranz struck out eight in his second straight win, helping the Red Sox beat Chicago.
Sandoval went 3 for 4 in his first game since he was activated from the disabled list Tuesday after being sidelined by a sprained right knee. It was an encouraging sign for the Red Sox, in need of some help at the plate with Dustin Pedroia on the DL due to a sprained left wrist.
Chicago wasted five scoreless innings from Mike Pelfrey in its second consecutive loss after winning four of five.
Anthony Swarzak (2-1) replaced Pelfrey, and the Red Sox jumped all over him. Christian Vazquez hit a two-run double to make it 4-1.
Pomeranz (5-3) allowed one run and seven hits in a season-high seven innings. Craig Kimbrel struck out the side for his 15th save in 16 chances, finishing Boston’s eighth win in 10 games.
RAYS 7, RANGERS 5, 10 INNINGS
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Logan Morrison and Derek Norris homered in a three-run 10th inning to cap a late Tampa Bay comeback against Texas.
Kevin Kiermaier tied the score with two outs in the ninth with a first-pitch homer off closer Matt Bush. The 10th-inning drives came off Sam Dyson (1-6), who began the season as the Rangers’ closer.
Stephen Souza Jr. hit a two-run homer in the second, his fifth in eight games. It came off Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who made his first major league start at age 32 following 12 seasons in the minors.
Austin Pruitt (4-1), just recalled from Triple-A Durham, earned the win with two hitless innings. Alex Colome gave up a run but got his 15th save.
Elvis Andrus had three hits and two RBIs for Texas.
TIGERS 6, ROYALS 5
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — J.D. Martinez and Justin Upton each hit a two-run double with two outs in the third inning, and Detroit held off Kansas City.
Royals starter Ian Kennedy (0-5) walked the bases loaded before giving up the doubles on consecutive pitches.
Victor Martinez and Alex Avila homered for the Tigers, who completed a 4-7 road trip.
Kennedy was pulled after allowing five runs in three innings. He is 0-7 in 13 starts since he last won on Sept. 11.
Warwick Saupold (1-0) tossed three scoreless innings in relief, and Justin Wilson closed for his fifth save.
ANGELS 2, BRAVES 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Eric Young Jr. made his first home run of the season a timely one, hitting a solo shot in the eighth inning to lift Los Angeles over Atlanta.
Angels slugger Albert Pujols remained at 599 home runs. He had one single in four at-bats.
Matt Kemp hit his 250th career homer for the Braves.
Young, called up Monday to replace injured star Mike Trout, connected off reliever Arodys Vizcaino (1-1), who had made 12 consecutive scoreless appearances.
Blake Parker (1-2) worked a hitless inning in relief, and Bud Norris got two outs for his 10th save.
MARINERS 5, ROCKIES 0
SEATTLE (AP) — James Paxton and three relievers combined on a four-hitter as Seattle blanked Colorado.
Paxton (4-0), activated from the disabled list before the game, retired 16 of his first 17 batters, allowing only a two-out infield single in the third inning. Making his first start since May 2, the left-hander struck out Pat Valaika to open the sixth, then gave up consecutive singles, ending his 74-pitch outing.
Paxton had been sidelined with a strained forearm. He struck out six and walked one.
Steve Cishek retired all five batters he faced and James Pazos worked the eighth. Nick Vincent finished up.
Rockies rookie Antonio Senzatela (7-2) permitted four runs in five innings while striking out seven. He lost for just the second time in 11 starts.
Danny Valencia had a two-run double.
This version has been corrected to delete reference to Angels sweeping Braves.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
CHICAGO (AP) — This wasn’t the way Chris Sale pictured his return to Chicago. With the way the Red Sox swung the bats, it didn’t make much of a difference.
Sale had a shaky first start back in his former home, but Deven Marrero hit two of Boston’s season-high six home runs in a 13-7 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night.
Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts and Mitch Moreland also went deep. The Red Sox won for the seventh time in nine games after an anticipated duel between aces never materialized.
Sale (6-2) got a warm reception from the crowd and a rude welcome from his old team. The five-time All-Star gave up six runs and 10 hits — both season highs — over five innings in his first appearance against the White Sox.
“I don’t know how many times I’ve given up six runs and still been in a pretty good mood after the game,” Sale said. “That says a lot about my guys behind me.”
Marrero drove in five runs and doubled his career home run total. After hitting two in his first 59 major league games, he went back-to-back with Betts in a four-run second inning and chased Jose Quintana (2-7) with a three-run drive in the third that made it 7-3.
Bradley bumped the lead to 10-6 in the fifth with a three-run drive off Dan Jennings after Chicago cut it to one.
Bogaerts added a solo homer in the eighth and finished with four of Boston’s 16 hits. Moreland knocked a two-run homer off Juan Minaya in the ninth to make it 13-7.
Craig Kimbrel worked the final 1 1/3 innings for his 14th save in 15 chances, and the Red Sox picked up the win after dropping two in a row.
Todd Frazier and Tim Anderson homered for Chicago, but the White Sox took the loss after winning four of five.
Dealt to Boston last winter for a package of prospects that included highly regarded slugger Yoan Moncada, Sale was looking forward to pitching against his old friends. He got a standing ovation when he trotted to the mound in the first inning.
But it was a rough night overall for the lanky left-hander. He threw 111 pitches and was consistently behind in the count, though he finished with nine strikeouts and two walks.
Manager John Farrell said the ballpark “played extremely small.” But Sale blamed his rough outing on a lack of command, not the conditions.
Quintana got pounded for seven runs and 10 hits in 2 2/3 innings. It was his shortest outing since he lasted one inning against the New York Yankees on Sept. 2, 2013.
“We’re just going to have to keep grinding it out,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s not the stuff. The stuff’s the same. It’s the command and the execution. If we can get that back on track, I think Q’s going to be who he is, which is a very effective major league pitcher.”
The 2016 All-Star has allowed 15 runs, 18 hits and four homers in his past two starts. And his ERA has jumped from 3.92 to 5.60.
“We were both off,” Sale said. “I think people were expecting something a little different. But they came to a 7 o’clock batting practice session.”
ANGELS 9, BRAVES 3
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Albert Pujols hit his 599th career homer during the Angels’ nine-run third inning.
Pujols moved to the brink of his latest milestone with a three-run shot off Bartolo Colon (2-6) early in Los Angeles’ biggest inning of the season.
The 37-year-old slugger has homered in back-to-back games for the first time this year. He can become the ninth player in baseball history, and fourth-youngest, to reach 600 homers with his next shot.
Parker Bridwell (1-0) earned his first major league win, pitching six-hit ball into the seventh inning.
Matt Kemp and Tyler Flowers homered for Atlanta.
DODGERS 9, CARDINALS 4
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Chase Utley, Logan Forsythe and Chris Taylor combined to reach base 11 times and totaled six runs, helping the Dodgers rally for their sixth straight win.
Utley finished a homer shy of the cycle. Forsythe reached five times, including three walks, and Taylor reached three times.
Adrian Gonzalez’s sacrifice fly and Utley’s RBI double started the Dodgers comeback in the third. Enrique Hernandez tied it at 3 with a single, and Paul DeJong’s throwing error on the same play scored Utley to give the Dodgers a 4-3 lead.
Brandon Morrow (1-0) pitched a scoreless inning for the win.
Michael Wacha (2-3) needed 77 pitches to get through three innings, the shortest outing for a St. Louis starter this season. The Cardinals have dropped 10 of 13.
NATIONALS 6, GIANTS 3
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gio Gonzalez pitched into the seventh inning to win for the first time since April 27 as Washington beat San Francisco.
Daniel Murphy and Trea Turner had three hits apiece for the NL East leaders, who won their fourth in five games. Jayson Werth added two hits and a bases-loaded walk, and Michael A. Taylor had two RBIs.
One night after a bench-clearing brawl that resulted in suspensions for Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper (four games) and Giants reliever Hunter Strickland (six games), the teams played without incident. Each player appealed his penalty.
The only reminder of the fight came when Harper was booed by the AT&T Park crowd every at-bat. The slugger went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts and twice left the bases loaded. He was the only Washington starter without a hit.
Gonzalez (4-1) allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings. He also singled home a run.
Koda Glover earned his seventh save in eight chances.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija (1-7) gave up three runs and nine hits over four innings.
ASTROS 7, TWINS 2
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jose Altuve had four hits and two RBIs, Mike Fiers struck out eight over six innings in his bid to retain a spot in Houston’s banged-up rotation, and the major league-leading Astros earned their sixth straight victory.
Alex Bregman homered and drove in two runs, providing further support for Fiers (2-2) in his best of 10 starts this season.
Fiers fell behind 2-0 in the first when Eddie Rosario drew a bases-loaded walk and Byron Buxton followed with an infield single, but Astros hacked their way back against Jose Berrios (3-1).
Buxton had two hits and drove in a run. Berrios gave up five hits and four walks in five innings, the shortest of his four starts this year.
PADRES 6, CUBS 2
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Austin Hedges homered and drove in four runs, and the Padres handed the Cubs their fifth straight loss.
Hedges hit a two-run homer and a two-run double as the Padres clinched the three-game series against the struggling Cubs. Rookie Dinelson Lamet (2-0), one of San Diego’s top prospects, struck out eight while pitching five innings of two-run ball.
Kyle Schwarber homered for Chicago, and Eddie Butler (2-1) allowed six runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
INDIANS 9, ATHLETICS 4
CLEVELAND (AP) — Trevor Bauer struck out an AL-best 14 in seven innings, leading Cleveland to the win.
Bauer’s career-best strikeout total was one shy of this season’s major league-high of 15 by Washington’s Stephen Strasburg against San Diego on Saturday.
Bauer (5-4) allowed three runs and seven hits with one walk. Four Cleveland pitchers combined to strike out 19, tying a franchise record for a nine-inning game.
Rookie Bradley Zimmer had a career-high four RBIs for the Indians, hitting a two-run double in the fourth and a two-run homer in the eighth.
Sonny Gray (2-2) allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings for Oakland, which dropped a season-high seven games below .500.
YANKEES 8, ORIOLES 3
BALTIMORE (AP) — Brett Gardner and Matt Holliday each homered twice, Aaron Judge drove in two runs and the Yankees received a solid pitching performance from Luis Severino.
Gardner set the tone for the AL East leaders by connecting on the third pitch from Chris Tillman (1-2), who had not allowed a home run in his previous four starts this season.
Holliday went deep in the first inning and again in the third for his 22nd career multihomer game. Gardner’s second solo shot sparked a three-run fourth that made it 8-0.
Severino (4-2) gave up one run and seven hits over 6 1/3 innings.
Trey Mancini had three hits and an RBI for the Orioles, who have lost eight of nine and 14 of 18.
METS 5, BREWERS 4, 12 INNINGS
NEW YORK (AP) — Jay Bruce lined a game-ending single in the 12th inning and the Mets rebounded to beat the Brewers 5-4 after shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera allowed the tying runs to score in the seventh when he flubbed a bases-loaded popup with two outs.
Wily Peralta (5-4) pitched a perfect 11th in his fourth relief outing since he was dropped from Milwaukee’s rotation in mid-May, but then allowed a single to pinch hitter T.J. Rivera leading off the 12th. Michael Conforto walked and Jose Reyes grounded into a forceout that left runners at the corners.
With the infield at double-play depth, Bruce singled up the middle to end a game that lasted 4 hours, 24 minutes.
Josh Smoker (1-2) pitched three scoreless innings in New York’s third straight win.
The NL Central-leading Brewers lost for the seventh time in nine games.
MARLINS 7, PHILLIES 2
MIAMI (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton hit his third homer since moving into the No. 2 spot in the batting order, a change that has revived Miami, which won its third game in a row.
Marcell Ozuna also homered for the Marlins, whose modest winning streak is their longest since mid-April.
Stanton hit a two-run homer, his 14th, in a five-run third. Since he moved up to the No. 2 spot, Stanton is 12 for 29 (.414) with three homers and seven RBIs in seven games, and the Marlins are 5-2 while outscoring opponents 48-22.
Both starting pitchers departed with injuries. Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez (2-5) left in the second inning because of a right elbow flexor strain, and Marlins left-hander Justin Nicolino exited after three scoreless innings due to a bruised left index finger.
Dustin McGowan (2-0) replaced Nicolino and allowed one run in three innings.
DIAMONDBACKS 3, PIRATES 0
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Arizona left-hander Robbie Ray pitched a four-hitter in his first career complete game.
Ray (5-3) struck out 10, walked none and threw 115 pitches. The left-hander set a career high by winning his third straight start and has pitched 23 2/3 scoreless innings during that run, all on the road, while also beating the San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers.
Chris Owings snapped a scoreless tie with a double in the sixth inning, and the Diamondbacks ended a three-game losing streak.
Ivan Nova (5-4) allowed three runs in seven innings, losing for the just the second time in nine starts.
ROYALS 1, TIGERS 0
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Eric Skoglund pitched 6 1/3 innings of two-hit ball in his major league debut, helping the Royals beat Justin Verlander and the Tigers.
Skoglund, a 2014 third-round draft pick out of Central Florida, struck out five and walked one. The left-hander was promoted from Triple-A Omaha when the Royals placed Danny Duffy on the disabled list Monday with an oblique strain.
Verlander (4-4) left after seven innings, allowing one run and six hits. He struck out five and walked one.
Eric Hosmer hit a two-out RBI single in the sixth for Kansas City, and Kelvin Herrera pitched the ninth for his 12th save in 14 opportunities.
MARINERS 10, ROCKIES 4
DENVER (AP) — Kyle Seager homered and drove in four runs for Seattle, and Robinson Cano also connected.
Jean Segura had four hits and Ariel Miranda (5-2) pitched five solid innings to help the Mariners sweep two games in Denver. It was just the Rockies’ third loss in 17 series and first since April 24-27 against Washington. They also fell out of first place in the NL West, dropping a half-game behind the streaking Dodgers.
Ben Gamel, who replaced slugger Nelson Cruz in the second inning, and Guillermo Heredia each had three of Seattle’s season-high 19 hits.
The Mariners jumped on Rockies lefty Tyler Anderson (3-5). Seager hit a two-run homer in a three-run second, and his two-run double in the third helped the Mariners go up 6-0.
RANGERS 9, RAYS 5
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Elvis Andrus had a career-high five RBIs for Texas, including a tying three-run homer in the seventh inning.
Andrus’ two-out drive deep into the visiting bullpen ended a stretch of five scoreless innings from the Tampa Bay bullpen after Matt Andriese left in the second with a mild groin strain.
Jared Hoying’s liner off the top of the wall in right came with the bases loaded and one out in a four-run eighth against Chase Whitley (1-1), breaking a 5-5 tie. After a sacrifice fly from Shin-Soo Choo, Andrus’ single to left scored two more.
Keone Kela (2-1) pitched a scoreless eighth, and closer Matt Bush had a perfect ninth in a non-save situation.
BLUE JAYS 6, REDS 4
TORONTO (AP) — Kendrys Morales hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning for Toronto, and Josh Donaldson belted an upper-deck drive.
All six Toronto runs came on homers. Jose Bautista and Russell Martin also connected for the Blue Jays, who have hit 47 homers in May.
Cincinnati’s Zack Cozart hit two solo home runs and Joey Votto had a third.
Morales broke a 4-all tie with a two-run blast off Blake Wood (0-3), his 10th.
Joe Smith (1-0) worked one inning for the win and Roberto Osuna finished for his 10th save. Toronto has won seven of eight.
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(PhatzRadio Sports / USA Today Sports) —- This could be the trade deadline everyone has dreamed of, flooded with sexy names, All-Star starting pitchers, and a surplus to overhaul the playoff landscape.
Sure, at the moment the two-team wild card format has plenty of dreamers hanging around the fringes of contention – in the American League, no team is further than 4 1/2 games out of a playoff slot entering Monday.
The Chicago White Sox still are the only team who have publicly declared that they’re selling off their best pieces, with an operator standing by ready to take your offer. Yet, several races – notably the AL West and NL East – have the potential to turn into runaways. Certainly, so much can change in the next two months.
As we take Turn 1 at the Major League Baseball Speedway, here are the top 25 trade candidates based on the player’s probability of being traded, and value:
1. Closer David Robertson, Chicago White Sox: Remember when the White Sox were trying to almost give away Robertson all winter, and nearly traded him to the Washington Nationals for 19-year-old left-hander Jesus Luzardo and minor-league infielder Drew Ward, while willing to eat nearly half of his contract? Well, Robertson has since yielded just 11 hits and struck out 28 in 19 2/3 innings. Considering the Nats still need a closer, and the New York Mets are desperate for one, the price tag continues to climb, particularly knowing that Robertson is under control through 2018. He’ll definitely be gone by July 31.
2. Starter Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics: The A’s finally have a healthy stud on their hands, and whoever lands him will have him under control through 2019. Anyone who saw his increased velocity and 11 strikeouts in just seven innings against the Miami Marlins are salivating. The Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros were paying attention. The A’s can act coy, but they want to move him while they have great value on their hands.
3. Starter Jose Quintana, White Sox: OK, he’s certainly not pitching like an ace these days (2-6, 4.82 ERA), but he’s still a guy who has pitched 200 innings four consecutive years and has a career 3.49 ERA. And he’s anything but a rental, owed a team-friendly $33 million through 2020.
4. Right fielder J.D. Martinez, Detroit Tigers: There will be no position player on the market with more value than Martinez, who’s tearing it up since opening the year on the DL, hitting .288 with eight homers, 17 RBI and a 1.202 on-base plus slugging percentage in his first 17 games. The Tigers have yet to determine whether they’ll trade him, but considering they want to go younger and cheaper, he’s the ideal player to start their transition phase should they continue to struggle.
5. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals: The Royals will be shopping all of their potential free agents, and no one has more value than Cain, a premier defensive center fielder getting on base at a .355 clip. The only downside is he’s a free agent after the season.
6. Starter Ervin Santana, Minnesota Twins: Let’s face it, the Twins’ success is throwing a wrench into their rebuilding project. They would love to trade Santana (7-2, 1.75 ERA), knowing his value will never be higher, but this darn winning is getting in the way. Still, as long as the front office has the stomach for it, they’ll move Santana, knowing it’s the right move for organization’s future.
7. Marcell Ozuna, Miami Marlins: The Marlins wouldn’t be stupid enough to trade Ozuna, 26, who’s having another outstanding year (.306, 12 homers, 34 RBI) and is under control for two more years, would they? Sure, it’s the Marlins. Ownership was infuriated at former manager Dan Jennings for even playing him two years ago, not wanting to start his arbitration clock. He would bring in a nice haul ransom for an organization that needs to hit the re-set button.
8. First baseman Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals: The Royals don’t want to take the chance of him walking away and getting nothing in return, so will trade him, and hope to re-sign him in the off-season. A three-time Gold Glover, Hosmer has just five homers but is batting .300.
9. Starter Alex Cobb, Tampa Bay Rays: History stands rudely in the way of Cobb finishing the year with the Rays with free agency just five months away. Melvin Upton is the only player to ever finish out his entire rookie contract with the Rays without being extended or traded. Considering the Rays have no intention of extending Cobb, he will be dealt. He’s having a solid year, 4-4, 3.67 ERA, but most important, he is healthy again.
10. Shortstop Zack Cozart, Cincinnati Reds: He’s the best offensive shortstop in baseball these days with a ridiculous slash line of .344/.422/.569, and still is an elite defender. He’s a free agent at the season’s conclusion, and the ideal trade chip for the Reds.
11. Closer Tony Watson, Pittsburgh Pirates: He may not be the ideal closer for contenders, but this lefty can fit into the back end of anyone’s bullpen. The Pirates have a history of trading away closers before hitting free agency, and Watson will be no different.
12. Reliever Brad Hand, San Diego Padres: Scouts are enamored with the lefty’s stuff, striking out 38 batters in 29 2/3 innings. The beauty of Hand also is that he’s earning just $1.375 million and is under control through 2019.
13. Starter Chris Archer, Rays: The Rays aren’t necessarily motivated to move him, but they will certainly listen, and see if anyone meets their steep asking price. The Chicago Cubs – who traded Archer to Tampa Bay in 2011 – are enamored with him, and who doesn’t love that he’s under control through 2021 at $30.25 million after this year.
14. Second baseman Jed Lowrie, Athletics: He may be 33, but he’s ranked among the top five of all second basemen with his .293 batting average and .837 OPS. He also comes with a friendly $6 million team option.
15. Reliever Kelvin Herrera, Royals: Just the latest closer to come through Kansas City that’s appetizing to every contender. The two-time All-Star is having a mediocre start, yielding 22 hits in 21 innings, but striking out 22. The Royals don’t have to trade him, since he’s under control through 2018, but it certainly increases his value.
16. First baseman Yonder Alonso, Athletics: He’s having a breakout year, as he has emerged as a completely different hitter with more home runs (14) in 148 plate appearances than he did in 934 plate appearances in 2015 and 2016. For someone looking for power, and believing his rejuvenation is real, he may be an ideal fit.
17. Third baseman Mike Moustakas, Royals: Is there a more ideal fit than Moustakas being traded to the New York Mets? Moustakas, who’s a free agent at the season’s conclusion, has 13 homers and 26 RBI. The Mets badly need the help. The question is whether they believe they can be in the race to make it worthwhile.
18. Reliever Pat Neshek, Philadelphia Phillies: Neshek, 36, is pitching as well as he ever has in his career, yielding a 0.98 ERA, allowing just 13 hits and three walks in 18 1/3 innings. The way relief pitching is coveted these days, who wouldn’t want him?
19. Starter Jason Vargas, Royals: Vargas has never had more value since joining the Royals, going 6-3 with a 2.39 ERA. Who knows how long it will last, but the Royals would be foolish to find out. This is the final year of the left-hander’s four-year, $32 million deal and he could provide nice depth for a contender such as the Yankees.
20. Third baseman Todd Frazier, White Sox: The White Sox don’t want him to be part of their future, have no need for him, but sure could use him performing better. He hit 40 homers with 98 RBI last year, but this year is batting just .181 with six homers and 21 RBI. He could be a cheap fit for the Mets too, if the White Sox pay a portion of his $12 million contract.
21. Closer A.J. Ramos, Marlins: He has a 4.67 ERA, and he’s walking too many hitters, but still this is a guy who saved 72 games in 2015-2016. He also is under control through the 2018 season.
22. Outfielder Matt Kemp, Atlanta Braves: The Braves got him in a straight salary dump with the San Diego Padres when they moved Hector Olivera, but the Braves are the ones reaping the dividends. He is hitting .305 with 20 homers and 66 RBI in 95 games since the trade, and batting .337 with eight homers and 27 RBI this year. He still is owed $21.5 million a year through 2019, but if the Braves swallow a significant part of the contract, they could find some takers, particularly in the AL.
23. Second baseman Yangervis Solarte, Padres: Who can’t use an impact infielder who’s not making much money? Solartes’ value has dropped after his career year of a year ago, hitting just .245 with a .671 OPS, but makes just $2.5 million this year, $4 million in 2018 with a $5.5 million club option in 2019.
24. Reliever Ryan Madson, Oakland A’s: He’s had a nice bounce-back season, with a 0.96 ERA, yielding 16 hits in 19 innings, but still is overpaid at $7.5 million a season through 2018. If the A’s eat some of the money, he’ll be a nice addition to anyone’s bullpen.
25. Starter Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates: If the Pirates are serious about moving him, Cole would jump to the head of the class. He not only is a bona fide ace, but under control through 2019. It will take a ransom to acquire him.
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(PhatzRadio Sports / AP) —- Big Papi was a big hitter, and that was really his only duty for most of his 20 major league seasons.
So when David Ortiz retired last year after more than 2,000 games as a designated hitter, baseball lost one of the few remaining players who rarely played the field.
Going into the 45th season since the designated hitter was approved for the American League, more managers now appear willing to spread around the DH starts instead of putting the same player in that slot just about every day.
There were 135 players who got DH starts for the 15 AL teams last season. That is an average of nine players per team, the same number that would fill an entire batting order.
“A lot of teams have gotten away from just a strict DH, and revolve it and give guys off days without really giving them off days,” Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost said.
And that may even be the case now for the Royals, whose lineup for more than a decade — including two World Series in the first half of the 1980s — featured Hal McRae , among the first players to spend most of his career as a DH. Kansas City more recently had Kendrys Morales (2015-16) and Billy Butler (2011-14) filling that role pretty much on an everyday basis.
Morales’ 139 DH starts last season matched Ortiz with Boston for the most, but he left for Toronto and a big free-agent deal.
“I’ve enjoyed it, having Billy Butler and Kendrys Morales the last couple of years just as a DH because they were both very productive guys for our team,” Yost said. “But I do see the advantage of being able to give guys half-days when the opportunity presents itself.”
Only five players started more than 100 games at DH last year, with some managers using that slot to keep key position players in the batting lineup while providing them an occasional day off from the field.
The DH spot also allowed slugging first baseman Albert Pujols to play 152 games for the Los Angeles Angels even while dealing with a foot issue through last season. He started 124 of those games as the designated hitter.
“At the very least he can be an everyday DH for us, and we need his bat in the lineup,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said this spring. “You don’t want to risk what he does in the batter’s box to get him to play first base a certain amount of games.”
The 37-year-old Pujols, who still has five seasons left on his contract, would prefer to be in the field when possible. He has played 1,704 career games at first base, and only 339 as a DH.
“I’d rather play. I don’t like (DH) much, but you have to get used to it,” Pujols said. “The last couple of years, I got used to it.”
Victor Martinez, a 38-year-old former catcher, started 138 games as Detroit’s DH last season. Nelson Cruz was Seattle’s starting DH for 107 games, and in right field for 48 other games.
“You see a lot of teams that just kind of use the rotating DH and use it as a time to get guys a day off,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “The way (Cruz) does it, and goes about it, works great for us. We have an investment in Nelson and we certainly need him out there as many days as possible.”
During the first season of the DH in 1973, when there were only 12 AL teams, eight used the same DH for more than 100 games, according to baseball-reference.com. A ninth team had the same DH for just more than half of the 162-game season.
Last year, nine of 15 teams used the same DH for more than half of the time. Tampa Bay used a league-high 16 players in that slot, and the White Sox 15. No surprise Boston and Kansas City needed only four players in the DH role.
Among the 10 Yankees DHs was Alex Rodriguez, who got a team-high 57 starts at that spot before retiring last August at age 41.
While Ortiz spent most of his career as a DH, and Edgar Martinez played two-thirds of his games over 18 seasons with Seattle (1987-2004) in that role, other players weren’t solely hitters until late in their careers.
Hank Aaron returned to Milwaukee and served as the DH for the then-still AL Brewers for his last two MLB seasons (1975-76) before retiring at age 42. Dave Kingman, another slugger, was Oakland’s DH his last three seasons (1984-86).
“You’re still going to have the David Ortiz, or the one guy who’s just a guy you want his bat in the lineup and that’s all he’s going to do, and he wraps his arms around it and he’s great,” Scioscia said. “They’re still going to crop up because I think that there’s always that veteran player that can acclimate himself to that and still be productive offensively, but maybe in the field not so much.”
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
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NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Trout has an MVP problem: He needs more help.
Widely considered baseball’s best all-around player, with modern metrics consistently supporting that assertion, the Los Angeles Angels center fielder has been runner-up in the American League three of the past four years.
The only time he took home the prize was 2014, when the Angels won 98 games and the AL West. They came in third place the other three seasons, leaving Trout to finish second despite his outstanding numbers.
It’s a similar scenario this year. Trout led the league in runs (123), on-base percentage (.441) and wins above replacement (10.6), as calculated by Baseball-Reference.com. But he did all that for a fourth-place team that went 74-88 and was never in the playoff hunt.
With other top contenders on clubs that reached the postseason, Trout could be denied yet again — perhaps in favor of dynamic outfielder Mookie Betts or retiring bopper David Ortiz from AL East champion Boston.
“It’s not really defined a certain way, so people are going to have opinions different ways. For me, I think it should go to someone that is on a winning team and has a chance to go to the playoffs,” Cleveland slugger Mike Napoli said. “But then again, you can’t take away from people that really can’t control other people having down years and you having a really great year. So I think you can go either way.”
Over in the National League, it shapes up much the same.
Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs, who led the majors with 103 wins, are joined in the MVP discussion by Daniel Murphy from NL East champion Washington and rookie shortstop Corey Seager of the NL West champion Dodgers. Some of their stiffest competition comes from players on losing clubs: Colorado’s Nolan Arenado, Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman and Cincinnati’s Joey Votto.
Both Cy Young Award races are close, too, with Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, Jon Lester and Max Scherzer among those in the mix.
Poor teams have produced MVPs before — Chicago Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson (1987) and Texas shortstop Alex Rodriguez (2003) even won for clubs that came in last place.
But until Washington slugger Bryce Harper was a unanimous winner in the NL last season, nobody in either league had been elected MVP from a team that missed the playoffs since Albert Pujols with St. Louis in 2008.
“Is it the best player in the particular league? When you look at the numbers, Trout obviously is the best player and that’s hard to argue,” said Dave Roberts, a strong candidate for NL Manager of the Year in his first season running the Dodgers.
“But for a winning team, there’s got to be some weight put on that and what that particular person means to that particular winning team. I kind of fluctuate season to season,” he added.
Voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America is conducted before the postseason begins Tuesday, and results will be announced in November.
Here are our choices for all the big awards:
AMERICAN LEAGUE MVP
The nod goes to Trout (29 HRs, 100 RBIs, 30 for 37 in steals, .991 OPS) despite his team’s flaws. He scored 17 percent of the Angels’ runs this season, the highest percentage for an AL player since Rickey Henderson with the 1985 New York Yankees.
Taking nothing away from his achievements, Betts (31 HRs, 113 RBIs, 26 for 30 on steals, .897 OPS) benefited from hitting in a loaded Boston batting order, while Trout had little protection outside of Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun. It’s not fair to look past Trout simply because the Angels pitched poorly and fielded a thin lineup.
But if Betts wins, no complaints.
NATIONAL LEAGUE MVP
Some of the stats for Bryant and Rizzo are incredibly identical. They both batted .292 with a .385 on-base percentage, while Bryant had 39 homers and 102 RBIs to Rizzo’s 32 homers and 109 RBIs. Bryant also led the league in runs (121) and WAR while providing versatility on defense. He wins MVP honors one season after he was the NL Rookie of the Year. Arenado and Murphy warrant a close look, too, though.
AL CY YOUNG
Tigers ace Justin Verlander (16-9, 3.04 ERA) nips Boston right-hander Rick Porcello (22-4, 3.15) and 2014 winner Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14). Verlander led the league with 254 strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP while throwing a few more innings than either of the other two. Porcello was fantastic but relied more on his defense, fanning 189.
NL CY YOUNG
Clayton Kershaw’s back injury might be the only reason this is a race — but it’s a close one. Some wonder whether Lester (19-5, 2.44) and Cubs teammate Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13) could split first-place votes and knock each other out after running 1-2 in ERA. Freeman said he favors Hendricks, while Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard went another way and picked Scherzer.
We think Howard’s got it right.
Washington’s ace went 20-7 with a 2.96 ERA while leading the league in strikeouts (284), innings (228 1/3) and WHIP (0.97). He even matched a major league record with 20 Ks in one game. Neither Lester nor Hendricks reached 200 strikeouts or 205 innings.
AL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Two months in the majors are not enough for Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, even with 20 home runs and a 1.032 OPS in 201 at-bats. Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer (11-7, 3.06 ERA, 159 innings) is the pick — but check out overlooked Houston reliever Chris Devenski (2.16 ERA and 104 Ks in 108 1/3 innings).
NL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
At one point it appeared this could be quite a race between a trio of talented young shortstops. Seager, however, ran away with it when Trevor Story and Aledmys Diaz got hurt.
AL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Terry Francona wins with Cleveland for the second time in four years. His team overcame several significant injuries in winning the AL Central over World Series champion Kansas City and a Detroit squad that outspent the Indians by $107 million on player payroll.
NL MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Roberts edges Terry Collins of the New York Mets. Both clubs were severely depleted by health problems and still made the playoffs, but the Dodgers were four wins better and won their division.
A look at the American League wild-card game between the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays:
Schedule: Tuesday, at Toronto, 8:08 p.m. EDT (TBS).
Season Series: Blue Jays won 10-9.
Orioles: RF Michael Bourn (.264, 5 HRs, 52 RBIs with Diamondbacks and Orioles), CF Adam Jones (.265, 29, 83), 3B Manny Machado (.294, 37, 96), DH Mark Trumbo (.256, 47, 108, 170 Ks), C Matt Wieters (.244, 17, 66), 1B Chris Davis (.221, 38, 84, 88 BBs, 219 Ks), 2B Jonathan Schoop (.267, 25, 82), LF Hyun Soo Kim (.302, 6, 22), SS J.J. Hardy (.269, 9, 48).
Blue Jays: 2B Devon Travis (.300, 11, 50), 3B Josh Donaldson (.284, 37, 99), 1B Edwin Encarnacion (.263, 42, 127), DH Jose Bautista (.234, 22, 69), C Russell Martin (.231, 20, 74), SS Troy Tulowitzki (.254, 24, 79), RF Michael Saunders (.253, 24, 57), CF Kevin Pillar (.266, 7, 53), LF Ezequiel Carrera (.248, 6, 23) or Melvin Upton Jr. (.238, 20, 61 with San Diego and Toronto).
Orioles: RH Chris Tillman (16-6, 3.77 ERA, 140Ks).
Blue Jays: RH Marcus Stroman (9-10, 4.37, career-high 204 IP).
Orioles: LH Zach Britton (2-1, 0.54, 47/47 saves, 18 BBs, 74 Ks), RH Brad Brach (10-4, 2.05, 2 saves, 92 Ks), RH Darren O’Day (3-1, 3.77, .214 BA against), RH Mychal Givens (8-2, 3.13, .220 BA against), RH Vance Worley (2-2, 3.53) RH Oliver Drake (1-0, 4.00, 21 Ks in 18 innings), LH Brian Duensing (1-0, 4.05), RH Tommy Hunter (2-2, 3.18 with Indians and Orioles).
Blue Jays: RH Roberto Osuna (1-6, 2.68, 36/39 saves), RH Jason Grilli (7-6, 1.29, 81Ks in 59 innings with Atlanta and Toronto), LH Brett Cecil (1-7, 3.96), RH Joe Biagini (4-3, 3.06 in 60 games as a rookie).
A single-elimination showdown between AL East foes that battled to the final day of the regular season to determine which one would host this game. … Toronto and Baltimore tied for second place at 89-73, four games behind division champion Boston. … This is the first postseason meeting between the teams, who have been in the same division since the Blue Jays were born in 1977. … Orioles went 4-6 in Toronto this season but took two of three there last week, winning the final two games of a pivotal series after losing six of their previous seven road games against the Blue Jays. Baltimore got a two-run homer from Kim in the ninth inning to win one game and a stout performance by Jimenez in a 4-0 victory. … Toronto outscored the Orioles 97-81 overall in 19 meetings. … Machado and Donaldson have clashed in the past, most recently last year. … Tillman went 1-0 with a 3.63 ERA in four starts against the Blue Jays this season. … Trumbo hit only one home run in 80 plate appearances against Toronto. … Blue Jays have won nine of the past 15 meetings, outscoring the Orioles 83-65. … Since moving into Rogers Centre in 1989, Toronto has gone 136-86 there against Baltimore. … The Blue Jays hit 29 home runs in the season series, while Baltimore had 28. … This is Martin’s ninth trip to the playoffs in 11 major league seasons. He has made it with four teams (also the Dodgers, Yankees and Pirates). … The winner heads to Texas to play the AL West champion Rangers in a best-of-five Division Series beginning Thursday.
Orioles: Baltimore has excelled under manager Buck Showalter, who took over in July 2010. After 14 straight losing seasons, the Orioles are in the playoffs for the third time in five years. They lost to the Yankees in 2012 ALDS and advanced to ALCS in 2014 before being swept in four games by Kansas City. … This team is built for power. Trumbo led the majors in homers and five of his teammates hit at least 22. Baltimore topped the big leagues with 253 home runs, 28 more than runner-up St. Louis. … Bourn is a threat on the bases, but the Orioles had only 19 steals — the fewest since the 1972 Detroit Tigers swiped 17. … Orioles went 52-38 at home and 39-42 on the road but finished with a 4-2 mark on their season-ending trip to Toronto and Yankee Stadium. … Baltimore won its final five series away from home. … Orioles went 21-16 in one-run games and 6-2 in extra innings.
Blue Jays: After snapping a 22-year postseason drought in 2015, Toronto reached the playoffs for the second straight season under manager John Gibbons. The last time the Blue Jays did that was a three-year run from 1991-93 that ended with back-to-back World Series titles. … The Blue Jays went 13-16 in September and October, their first losing month since April (11-14). … Toronto averaged an AL-worst 3.69 runs per game in September and October, a full run off their season average of 4.70. … Blue Jays starters were strong down the stretch, allowing no more than one earned run in 12 of the final 17 games. The bullpen struggled, however, blowing leads five times in a seven-game stretch that ended Oct. 1. … The Blue Jays went 46-35 at home, the fourth-best mark in the division. … Toronto has never played in the wild-card round before. … Toronto has several pending free agents, including Bautista, Encarnacion, Saunders, Cecil and RHP R.A. Dickey.
— Mister Perfect. Britton converted every one of his 47 save opportunities this season and allowed only four earned runs, none after Aug. 24. If the Orioles have a lead in the eighth or ninth inning, they’ll feel pretty good about Britton locking it down.
— Missing Benoit. Blue Jays reliever Joaquin Benoit went 2-0 with a 0.38 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings after being acquired from Seattle on July 26, but tore his left calf running in from the bullpen during a bench-clearing scrap with the Yankees on Sept. 26. He was ruled out for two to three weeks.
— RISP-Y Business. Toronto hit .249 with runners in scoring position, the worst mark among AL playoff teams. Over the final eight games, the Blue Jays were 13 for 66 (.197) with one double in those situatio
AP Baseball Writers Noah Trister in Detroit and Janie McCauley in San Francisco, and AP freelancer Amy Jinkner-Lloyd in Atlanta contributed to this report.