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Today is Saturday, August 19, 2017.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017
Major League Baseball
White Sox 4 vs. 0 Rangers In-Progress

Holland on familiar turf as White Sox visit Rangers


Saturday, August 19 at 3:57 AM (EDT)

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Chicago White Sox left-hander Derek Holland is back in familiar surroundings, sleeping in his own bed as the White Sox play the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.

But it's still odd for Holland (6-12, 5.68 ERA) to be on the other side of the field when he squares off against former teammate Martin Perez (7-10, 5.08).

Holland spent the first eight seasons of his career pitching for the Rangers and Saturday marks the first time he'll pitch at Globe Life Park as an opponent.

"Now that I'm back here at home, back here as in home in Texas, and I've got my family here again, just being able to pitch where it all started," Holland said. "This is where all the memories began. This is where my career took off and this is team that brought me into this what you call baseball world."

Holland has had a rocky baseball world in his lone season with the White Sox and has been the subject of trade talk. Holland won't be facing Texas for the first time. He allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings in a July 1 start against the Rangers in Chicago, taking the loss.

Now that the first start against Texas is out of the way, he's approaching Saturday like it's a normal outing even though he'll have family and friends in Arlington who have followed him throughout his career.

"Pitching-wise, you kind of get into your own world," said Holland, who is 2-6 with a 7.86 ERA over his last 12 starts. "Just kind of like what me and (Texas shortstop) Elvis (Andrus) talked about when we were talking about facing each other. It'll be funny at first to see each other, but at the same time in this aspect, it's going to be really cool back in front of these guys, but ... I know I've got to stay focused on what I'm trying to do just like they've got to stay focused, too."

Perez has been focused on turning his season around and has gotten solid results. After a disastrous start to open August against Minnesota, he's rebounded with consecutive quality starts and won his last two decisions. In his last 14 innings, he's allowed three earned runs and lowered his ERA from 5.46 to 5.08.

He hasn't faced the White Sox this season, but is 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA in three career starts against Chicago.

Like Holland, Perez is looking forward to the matchup Saturday. He's thankful for the way Holland helped him adjust when he was finding his way in the Texas rotation.

"Coming up that was the guy who helped me and taught me how to work on this level," Perez said. "I really would say to him 'thank you' for all the things he told me and helped me with my career and the things we did together as pitchers to help the team win."


Brewers 0 vs. 0 Rockies In-Progress

Rockies' Bettis continues comeback versus Brewers


Saturday, August 19 at 3:07 AM (EDT)

DENVER -- After his heartwarming comeback Monday, Colorado Rockies starter Chad Bettis did a series of interviews this week.

Bettis recalled one questioner asking: "'Next start's going to be normal, right?' I was like, 'No, to be honest. I don't think another start will ever be normal again for me just because everything's changed.'"

The right-hander underwent surgery for testicular cancer in November and then had to endure nine weeks of chemotherapy when cancer was detected in his lymph nodes in March.

Bettis (0-0, 0.00 ERA) pitched seven scoreless innings against Atlanta in his 2017 debut and will start Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers. He is 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA in three career starts against the Brewers.

Milwaukee will start Brandon Woodruff (1-1, 1.50 ERA). He will be making his third start after making his major league debut Aug. 4 and has never faced the Rockies.

Against the Braves, Bettis threw 89 pitches, 62 strikes, and gave up six hits with no walks and two strikeouts. He stranded five runners and held the Braves hitless in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position. After Bettis left the game, the Rockies scored three runs in the eighth and won 3-0.

Bettis took the mound after pitching 23 1/3 innings in six games, five starts, on a rehab assignment. That was more or less his spring training. In the past, Bettis has topped out at 96-97 mph with his fastball. Understandably, he sat around 90 mph with the pitch Monday.

"I did feel a little disconnection, because I think I was a little out of rhythm with everything," Bettis said. I've had way better mechanical starts than what I did Monday, but a lot of those jitters are going to be gone this next start. Still, I think I ended up getting to 92, 93 (mph), which is fine. It's always a work in progress to keep going, moving forward. This is essentially April, April in August."

Bettis said he is a much different pitcher than he was last year when he led the Rockies in wins (14), starts (32) and innings (186). He said he approached Monday's game closer to starts in the second half of last year "but still a little bit more in depth, a little bit more refined. That's a huge step for me."

Asked what he meant by more in depth, Bettis said, "Preparing smarter. I really want to give you a lot more information about it, but I can't."

Woodruff took a 4-0 loss in his last outing Aug. 9 against Minnesota, allowing three hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings with three walks and two strikeouts. Opponents are batting .225 against Woodruff, who was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs where he went 6-5 with a 4.46 ERA in 15 starts.

The altitude at Colorado Springs is 6,035 feet -- higher than Denver's 5,280 feet -- and windy conditions are the norm at the ballpark there. So while Woodruff will be making his Coors Field debut, he should benefit from having experienced the harsh pitching conditions at Colorado Springs.

"I do think it helps, I really do," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Because I think you come in here and all the players have kind of heard the stories. He's felt it already, so he knows what it's like.

"I think the (Coors Field) stories kind of get pushed down a little bit for him. It's not going to be a surprise what his breaking ball looks like. He's not going to be surprised how the ball feels in his hand. So I think it's a good thing he's pitched in this environment, for sure."


Nationals vs. Padres 8:40 (EDT) Preview

Nationals' Strasburg set to return versus Padres


Saturday, August 19 at 3:22 AM (EDT)

SAN DIEGO -- Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg is back home in San Diego.

More importantly for Washington, the right-hander has returned to the mound as the Nationals go for their second win in the four-game series.

Strasburg, a San Diego native and former San Diego State star, will be activated from the disabled list before the game. It will be his first start since July 23, when an elbow injury put him on the shelf.

The Nationals, with a commanding lead in the NL East, will be cautious in bringing Strasburg back into the fold.

"We're certainly not just going to press him to be where he is usually,'' manager Dusty Baker said. "He will be on a performance-count and we'll see how he does. Hopefully he doesn't have any long innings.''

The Nationals are looking for any bright spot for a rotation which took a haymaker on Friday night. Two-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer was a late scratch from his start because of neck issues and placed on the disabled list.

But much like the season, when a key Washington player goes down another one returns.

"That has been the story all year,'' manager Dusty Baker said. "We lose one and gain one and hopefully before it is all over we will gain them all back.''

It's hard to overstate how important Strasburg's performance is to a team that plans to play deep into October. But before that, it has to trek across another six weeks of baseball.

With Baker unsure when Scherzer will be okay, having Strasburg fit to take up the slack is significant.

"It means a lot,'' Baker said of Strasburg's return. "Hopefully he can take us relatively deep into the game and not use too many pitches. That will be back-to-back games where we will have to have used our bullpen.''

Padres manager Andy Green knows all about consecutive games against the Nationals that are noteworthy. When the Padres were in Washington earlier this year, they got a combined one run when facing Scherzer and Strasburg.

"I don't think it is any secret that those two guys dominated us,'' Green said.

The Padres didn't have to face Scherzer. But Strasburg, who is 6-1 with a 2.93 ERA lifetime against the Padres, is ready to go.

Green said the Padres have to attack him in a different manner.

"Our struggles as a team, if you were to identify them, were the high fastballs and good curveballs and that is what he throws,'' Green said of Strasburg. "But the way Manuel Margot is starting to hit curveballs and Jose Pirela is starting to hit them and Yangervis Solarte is hitting them, that is no longer a big glaring issue as it once was.

"The challenge for us is still real. But that is what you want to measure up against. It's a challenge but if you want to beat the best teams you have to beat their starting pitching.''

The Padres' starter will be Travis Wood as the left-hander looks for his second straight win. Wood, who is 1-0 with a 5.59 ERA in nine games (two starts) versus the Nationals lifetime, has been a solid pickup from the team's July trade with the Royals.

"For the most part, Travis has been pretty decent since he has been here,'' Green said. "He had two starts in Pittsburgh that were good and then in Cincinnati he picked around a bit and walked four guys. Then his last time out he was back around the zone.''


Phillies vs. Giants 9:05 (EDT) Preview

Giants go for third straight win vs. Phillies


Saturday, August 19 at 3:12 AM (EDT)

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco Giants left-hander Ty Blach gets a chance to relive a piece of individual history when he pitches and hits against the Philadelphia Phillies for the second time in his career Saturday night.

The Giants will be looking for a third consecutive win when Blach duels Phillies right-hander Jerad Eichhoff.

Left-hander Matt Moore scripted a winning formula for Blach when he took a shutout into the eighth inning in Friday's 10-2 win over the Phillies. He allowed only two hits in his 7 1/3 innings.

"He got into a good rhythm tonight," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Moore's dominant effort. "It looked like he was playing catch with (catcher) Buster (Posey)."

Blach had similar success against the Phillies when he faced them in Philadelphia in June.

The 26-year-old posted the first shutout of his career when he allowed seven hits and no walks in a 10-0 win.

What made the game all the more memorable for Blach was that he was walked three times while at the plate. The first two walks were issued by Eichhoff.

Blach came around to score twice in the Giants' most lopsided victory of the season.

Only one pitcher in Major League Baseball history had previously thrown a shutout and walked three times in the same game. That occurred 66 years earlier, when Robin Roberts of the Phillies accomplished the feat against the Chicago Cubs.

Blach (8-8, 4.37 ERA) has won just four times in 12 starts since then. He is coming off one of his worst outings of the season, having allowed six runs, nine hits and three walks in six innings of an 8-3 loss on Monday at Miami.

Eichhoff (3-7, 4.33) took the loss in the June matchup, bombed for five runs (four earned), six hits and five walks.

The 27-year-old fell to 0-7 when he lost his next start against Atlanta on June 7, but hasn't been beaten since. He's 3-0 in nine starts, allowing more than two earned runs just three times.

He did not get a decision despite allowing just one earned run in five innings in the Phillies' 7-4 loss at San Diego on Monday.

The Phillies formally announced that they will finish the series without hot-hitting center fielder Odubel Herrera, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list before Friday's game.

The Phillies played the game with just 24 players, but they're are expected to make a roster addition before Saturday's first pitch.

Herrera, who extended his hitting streak to 17 games Monday in San Diego, hadn't played since because of a strained left hamstring. His placement on the DL was made retroactive to Tuesday.

The Phillies were held to four runs or fewer Friday night for the 14th time in their last 17 games, a stretch during which they've gone 4-13.

"We got four hits," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin noted. "The bats just ain't there right now."

Hunter Pence (11th) and Brandon Crawford (10th) had home runs for the Giants in the win.


Blue Jays 3 vs. 4 Cubs Final Recap

Cubs hold on for 4-3 victory over Blue Jays


Saturday, August 19 at 7:14 PM (EDT)

CHICAGO -- Wade Davis has been consistent for months, but manager Joe Maddon thinks the closer has been getting even sharper.

Davis pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to convert his 26th consecutive save of the season and nail down the Chicago Cubs' 4-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon.

Davis tied the franchise record for the longest streak of consecutive saves. The Cubs' Ryan Dempster also saved 26 straight from 2005-06. Davis' 26 saves in 26 opportunities represent the longest streak in the majors. He has converted his last 31 chances since September with Kansas City.

"That cutter was really good today and the strike throwing is really improving," Maddon said. "When he's at that level, he can get anybody out. He's actually peaking at the right time."

Javier Baez drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the sixth inning and the Cubs hung on to pick up their second victory in the three-game series.

"The two-out hits are really devastating to the other side, and it really picks you up," Maddon said.

Ian Happ scored on Baez's single up the middle after drawing a walk and advancing on a groundout. On Friday, Baez drove in three runs in the Cubs' 7-4 series-opening victory over the Blue Jays.

Anthony Rizzo's RBI single provided an insurance run in the seventh inning.

Happ also homered and had an RBI single for the Cubs (65-57), who hold a slim lead in the National League Central.

"He keeps adjusting and keeps virtually getting better every day," Rizzo said about Happ. "It's fun seeing his success pay off."

Toronto (59-64) pulled within one in the eighth on Kevin Pillar's single off Hector Rondon to drive in Steve Pearce, who singled and took second on third baseman Kris Bryant's throwing error.

Cubs starter Jose Quintana (4-2 with the Cubs, 8-10 overall) struck out eight and allowed two runs, four hits and two walks (one intentional) in six innings. He was 6-2 with a 1.77 ERA in nine previous career starts against Toronto.

"I tried better command, so it was really better today than last time," Quintana said. "Try to get quick outs, try to (pitch) longer in the game. It was a close game, but hitters (gave) good support."

Nick Tepesch allowed two runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings in his third appearance with Toronto since he was traded from Minnesota on July 23 for cash considerations.

Happ hit his 18th home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning and tie the score at 2-2.

The Cubs had runners at second and third after a Quintana sacrifice, but Jon Jay struck out looking against reliever Danny Barnes (2-4) to end the inning. Jay disagreed with the call from home plate umpire Joe West.

Toronto went ahead 2-1 on Raffy Lopez's two-run single in the top of the fourth. Pillar singled and Darwin Barney doubled before Lopez singled to drive them in.

The Cubs loaded the bases via two walks and a hit batter in the first inning but scored just one run on a Happ single. Toronto got out of the inning with a double play.

"Started off kind of rough there, but got out of it with just giving up the one run," Tepesch said. "Barnes got us out of the inning with limited damage. Giving up the home run after we score a couple runs is the last thing you want to do there."

The Blue Jays are 8-6 all time against the Cubs, with their last visit to Wrigley being in 2005.

"We know we got a long way to go, but we're playing better baseball and competing and staying in games," Pillar said.

NOTES: The Cubs claimed C Rene Rivera off waivers from the New York Mets. He has a .215 batting average with 34 home runs in parts of nine major league seasons with Seattle, Minnesota, San Diego, Tampa Bay and New York. He was batting .230 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs with the Mets this season. Cubs manager Joe Maddon praised Rivera's defense and throwing. ... RHP Aaron Brooks was designated for assignment to make room on the Cubs' 40-man roster. He was 8-9 with a 6.20 ERA at Triple-A Iowa. ... The Blue Jays called up RHP T.J. House because of a taxed bullpen. He was 9-11 with a 4.27 ERA at Triple-A Buffalo. ... Toronto optioned LHP Tim Mayza to Triple-A. He was 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA in three appearances. ... Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson moved to shortstop in the eighth inning to play the position for the third time in his career. ... C Mike Ohlman cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo, the Blue Jays announced. He was designated for assignment Wednesday.


Cardinals 1 vs. 6 Pirates In-Progress

Pirates, Cardinals hope to continue to swing hot bats


Saturday, August 19 at 2:45 AM (EDT)

PITTSBURGH -- Offense has been king through the first half of an important four-game series between National League Central rivals St. Louis and Pittsburgh.

The Cardinals have 22 runs and 28 hits through two games, both wins over the Pirates, who have 17 runs and 25 hits.

"The offense has really been doing a great job," St. Louis' Matt Carpenter said after Friday's 11-10 game that turned into a nail-biter. "Guys have really settled in to their roles and (are) just swinging the bats with a lot of confidence, making it tough on the opposing pitcher and grinding out at-bats."

The final two games of the series Saturday and Sunday could help shape the division. If the Cardinals (63-59) can earn a sweep, it could improve their chances of overtaking the Chicago Cubs to win the division -- their win Friday pushed them into second, a half-game ahead of Milwaukee, and kept them 1 1/2 games out of first -- and at the same time potentially bury the Pirates (58-64), who have lost six straight.

"The quality of the baseball we've played in the last 2 1/2 months has been pretty good, and that's why we are where we are," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Now the offense has come around, we feel as good as we feel all year about contending and trying to win this division. We're in position to do that."

While Pittsburgh has fallen 6 1/2 games behind Chicago, the Pirates are still feeling good about themselves after they made late, though fruitless, comebacks in both games so far this series.

"They played. They continued to play. They continued to fight," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said after Pittsburgh came back from an eight-run deficit to get within one Friday.

"They worked well in the dugout together. They continued to talk baseball. We (had) lost five in a row, we're down (11-3), and the conversations they had, nobody backed off. Just keep playing."

Understandably, Matheny is just as satisfied with St. Louis' resilience.

"Guys are continuing to grind, and I think our offense is better right now," Matheny said. "This is the offense that they need to keep fresh in their minds. It does give our pitching a little bit of room for error."

On Saturday, that will be right-hander Michael Wacha (9-5, 3.85 ERA) to start. He is 6-2 with a 2.68 ERA in his past eight starts.

His last time out, Wacha sustained his first career August loss in 17 starts. He gave up four runs and eight hits, including Brandon Phillips' 407-foot homer, with one walk and one strikeout in five innings Sunday of St. Louis' 6-3 loss to Atlanta.

While Matheny lamented a lack of run support for Wacha in that game, Wacha shouldered the blame.

"I just gave up too many runs for us," Wacha told

Atlanta remains the only National League opponent against which Wacha has not won.That's not a problem with the Pirates. Against Pittsburgh, he is 4-2 with a 3.94 ERA in 12 career appearances, including 11 starts.

Chad Kuhl (5-8, 4.64 ERA) is 3-2 with a 3.35 ERA in his past nine starts and has allowed more than two earned runs just four times in his past 14 starts.

His last time out, however, he gave up five runs (four earned) and four hits in five innings with five walks and five strikeouts on Sunday in Pittsburgh's 7-1 loss to Toronto. The thing was, all five of those Blue Jays runs came in a 40-pitch first inning.

"You'd like a redo or reset button in that first inning," Kuhl told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It kind of stinks to start off that way, but it's all behind you then. Do your best to go (forward) ... I felt fine in innings two through five. Just a tough start."

Hurdle said Kuhl was stung by "below-average command," and left pitches up in.

It would be timely for Kuhl to solve the Cardinals this series. Kuhl is 0-2 with a 5.50 ERA in four career starts against St. Louis.


Dodgers 3 vs. 0 Tigers Final Recap

Dodgers blank Tigers for sixth straight win


Saturday, August 19 at 7:35 PM (EDT)

DETROIT -- Recently returned Adrian Gonzalez lined a single to right that scored new Dodger Curtis Granderson from second with two outs in the seventh, breaking a scoreless tie and starting Los Angeles on its way to a 3-0 victory over the fading Detroit Tigers on Saturday.

Los Angeles' latest win streak stands at six games with 21 wins in its last 24 games and 52 victories out of its last 61 to achieve baseball's best record at 87-34. Detroit has lost six straight, eight of nine and 12 of 14.

Ross Stripling (3-4) earned the victory with two scoreless relief innings. Brandon Morrow pitched the eighth and Kenley Jansen earned his 33rd save for working the ninth.

The Dodgers got a run in the seventh off reliever Alex Wilson, as Justin Turner grounded an RBI single up the middle with two outs after a walk, single and double play.

Yasmani Grandal reached reliever Shane Greene for his 16th home run, a long drive to left-center with one out in the ninth that made it 3-0.

Granderson, acquired late Friday night from the New York Mets, reached second when third baseman Nicholas Castellanos muffed his infield popup for an error in the sixth. Castellanos lost the ball in the sun as it drifted toward second base.

Grandal drew a walk off Michael Fulmer (10-11) and Gonzalez, one day after coming off the disabled list from a bad back, lined a 2-1 pitch to right with Granderson scoring easily on the play.

Fulmer, cuffed around for 19 earned runs on 29 hits in losing his previous four starts, had faced just two over the minimum through his first five innings. He allowed three hits in six innings, the one unearned run and struck out six while walking two.

Hyun-Jin Ryu started for Los Angeles and was removed from a scoreless game after five innings. He gave up three hits, walked four and struck out four while throwing 89 pitches.

NOTES: Los Angeles optioned OF Joc Pederson to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday to make roster room for OF Curtis Granderson, acquired from the New York Mets. RHP Dylan Floro was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot. ... "He was supposed to be out," 2B Ian Kinsler chided Detroit teammate LF Justin Upton, who violated baseball rules Friday night by retouching second base and first after hitting a ball over the left-field fence. Runners are only allowed to retouch one base but Los Angeles did not appeal. ... Dodgers RHP Yu Darvish is headed to the 10-day disabled list and will miss one start because of a sore back while OF Andre Ethier is close to being activated.


Mariners 7 vs. 5 Rays In-Progress

Rays look to get offense going against Mariners


Saturday, August 19 at 3:07 AM (EDT)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Rays manager Kevin Cash cannot point to anything different in his team's hitting approach, but the results have been crushing, with a single run again in Friday's 7-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay's 11th loss in 14 games.

"We're just missing pitches that we should hit," Cash said after his team had only four hits, continuing a slump from their last home stand that now includes nine runs scored in their last 10 home games.

As the Rays continue a three-game series against Seattle on Saturday, they'll again count on strong solid pitching from righty Jake Odorizzi. The Rays have one of the best staff ERAs in baseball in August, but little to show for it in the standings.

"You wouldn't accept playing .500 baseball. We've made that very clear," Cash said of his team's pitching success going for naught. "Pitching has been outstanding for us. We're right there at the tops in baseball from the All-Star break. You would not accept playing .500 baseball, and we're not even close. ... That's where the frustration kicks in. We're spoiling some tremendous outings from our pitchers."

Odorizzi had a quality start in his last outing -- six innings, three hits and two runs, but took the loss against Toronto. For the season, he's 6-6 with a 4.30 ERA, though he's fared better in his career against Seattle, going 1-2 with a 3.20 ERA in five career starts. His last outing wasn't so good -- only 2 1/3 innings, his shortest non-injury start in five years, giving up five unearned runs against Seattle in June.

The Mariners -- with much hotter bats on their sides, coming off back-to-back seven-run wins -- will counter with left-hander Ariel Miranda, who is 7-6 with a 4.75 ERA. He's making his second career start against the Rays -- on June 4, he threw a complete-game four-hitter against Tampa Bay, striking out nine while walking only one.

Seattle's bats are at the opposite end of the spectrum, producing enough offense to make a quality start unnecessary. Nelson Cruz alone had a 482-foot home run and two doubles in Friday's win -- his eight total bases were more than the six the Rays totaled in the entire game.

Seattle is staying in close contention for a wild-card spot despite hovering close to .500, but the Rays are starting to fall short of that, falling with Friday's loss to four games under .500 for the first time this season.

Even in opening a daunting 12-game road trip, their longest since 2010, the Mariners have momentum in their favor and will need it over the next two weeks.

"Everybody's chipping in and that's what it's going to take on this road trip," manager Scott Servais said after Friday's win. "We're off to a great start, and that's what we needed tonight."


Angels 5 vs. 1 Orioles In-Progress

Orioles look to gain more ground on Angels


Saturday, August 19 at 3:13 AM (EDT)

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles started the weekend series with the Los Angeles Angels by doing what they've done all season -- play winning baseball at home.

They rallied from an early five-run deficit to hit five homers and scored a 9-7 victory over the Angels Friday. Now, the Orioles will try to keep this roll at Camden Yards going on Saturday night.

The victory improved Baltimore (60-62) to 36-23 at home -- compared to 24-39 on the road. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he doesn't worry about the past; he just wants them to keep winning.

Showalter knows the Orioles have 40 games left and are fighting for a wild-card spot. They now are two games behind the Angels (62-60) and the Minnesota Twins (61-59), who are deadlocked for the last wild-card berth.

"You don't think about what it might have been," Showalter said. "You play again tomorrow and you play the next day and there's an opportunity around every corner. It has that potential always, but it depends on how we pitch tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next day."

Both teams hit five homers in Friday's Baltimore win, but Manny Machado has finally gotten going. He's hit three grand slams in 11 games and given the Orioles a big lift, including his walk-off grand slam Friday, a game where Machado finished with seven RBIs.

"I know sometimes because of how fluid he is, sometimes people don't know how much he cares and how hard he works," Showalter said. "For a young player to go through the struggles he did with that kind of talent, to get back is a real testament to him and his makeup."

In the middle game of the series, Kevin Gausman (9-8, 5.08) will start for the Orioles versus JC Ramirez (10-10, 4.26). Gausman has pitched much better in the second half of the season, giving a boost to an inconsistent starting rotation.

The right-hander's last outing came on Aug. 14 in an 11-3 victory over the Mariners in Seattle. He allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings as the Orioles won the first game of that three-game series.

Gausman has a 1-2 career mark against the Angels along with a 5.11 ERA.

Ramirez has an 0-1 career record with a 7.27 ERA versus Baltimore. The last time he pitched against the Orioles was last week, taking the loss in a 6-2 Baltimore win.

He gave up six runs on eight hits in seven innings in that loss, the big hit being a Machado grand slam.

For the Orioles, Chris Davis and Welington Castillo both missed Friday's game due to undisclosed illness. There might be more news about them on Saturday.

Baltimore also has not announced a starter for Sunday's series finale but there's a chance it could be Chris Tillman. His last two appearances have come from the bullpen after losing his regular spot in the rotation by going 1-7 in his first 15 starts.

The Angels placed starter Tyler Skaggs on the bereavement list Friday (three days) due to the death of his grandfather. Manager Mike Scioscia said Skaggs will be available to start on Monday at home versus Texas.

The skipper said now his team needs to shake off blowing an early 5-0 lead and bounce back on Saturday.

"We got off to a lead...those guys, they hit the ball out of the park," Scioscia said. "It's obviously a good hitters park. They 1/8just 3/8 got the last big hit."


Athletics 0 vs. 0 Astros In-Progress

Astros' McHugh goes for first win vs. A's


Saturday, August 19 at 2:38 AM (EDT)

HOUSTON -- Houston Astros closer Ken Giles continued what has been a strong individual second half on Friday night by striking out the side in the ninth inning en route to his 24th save. What was equally noteworthy were the two outs that Giles recorded in the eighth inning.

For the second time this week Giles was asked to record a multi-inning save, and on Friday night against the Oakland Athletics he accomplished the task with the same ease he did on Sunday at Texas. After inheriting baserunners against the Rangers and escaping unscathed to preserve a 2-1 win five days ago, Giles cleaned up the mess left by right-hander Chris Devenski with a double-play grounder before finishing off a 3-1 victory in Friday's opener of a three-game series.

"I've said that the last six weeks are going to be all hands on deck," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I don't want to make too much of a habit too early of using Giles in that way but when the game dictates it, it's every bit his responsibility to come in and get the outs.

"He's one of the best relievers we have. I haven't used him a ton this season. If you look at the closer usage, he's got some things left in his tank, which is good because we're going to need it."

Right-hander Collin McHugh (0-2, 4.88 ERA) will make his sixth start of the season for the Astros (75-47). McHugh has yet to face the Athletics in 2017 after missing the first three-plus months of the season, but is 6-1 with a 3.02 ERA over nine career starts against Oakland.

Right-hander Kendall Graveman (3-3, 4.70 ERA) will start on Saturday for the Athletics. In three starts since being reinstated from the 10-day disabled list on Aug. 3, Graveman is 1-1 with a 7.53 ERA and a .359 opponents batting average. Graveman is 3-2 with a 4.14 ERA in seven career starts against the Astros, including a no-decision on April 14 in a 7-2 Oakland setback.

Graveman is 2-1 with a 3.14 ERA over seven starts against the American League West but 1-3 with a 7.20 ERA in five starts on the road.

Before left-hander Sean Manaea surrendered three runs over six innings, including a pair of solo homers to Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve in the third inning, Oakland manager Bob Melvin lamented the ongoing struggles of his pitchers against the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

Prior to Friday night, the Athletics (53-69) had surrendered 33 runs over four losses to the Astros in Houston. Manaea was relatively effective measured against past performances, but the overall result was the same.

"We've been struggling pitching here recently too with our starters some, with losing some guys in the bullpen there have been some struggles for us on the pitching end of it," Melvin said. "This is the type of team that you can't really struggle too much with or they'll make you pay. Offensively we've had a little bit of an uptick but the pitching part we've got to get nailed down."


Diamondbacks 0 vs. 0 Twins In-Progress

Diamondbacks look to rebound versus Twins


Saturday, August 19 at 3:28 AM (EDT)

MINNEAPOLIS -- Byron Buxton's speed and Miguel Sano's power are keeping the Minnesota Twins in the American League playoff race.

The Arizona Diamondbacks saw the duo's potential on Friday and Zack Greinke will try to keep them down on Saturday as Arizona continues its own chase for a playoff spot.

Buxton had an inside-the-park homer and was a single away from the cycle, while Sano hit two long home runs in Friday's 10-3 Minnesota win in the first game of the interleague series.

Greinke (14-5, 3.01 ERA) will take the mound for the Diamondbacks in the second game of the series on Saturday. The Twins will counter with young right-hander Jose Berrios, who is 10-5 with a 4.27 ERA in a strong sophomore season.

Minnesota is hoping to build on Friday's big game, which included a season high-tying six homers, with important signs shown from Buxton and Sano.

"It was really good to see him," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Sano's two homers. "I know he's been working hard, just trying to stay on the ball and recognize pitches better. He's getting walks, I know he's getting close. Tonight, we saw the explosion."

It was Sano's first multi-homer game of the season as he blasted his 27th and 28th home runs of the year. Buxton tied a career high with three hits and extended his hitting streak to eight games. He's hit .464 during the streak. In 17 August games, he's hitting .345.

Once he scored sliding in head-first on his inside-the-park home run, Buxton was fired up and tried to spark the team on the bench.

"Just show a little bit more emotion," Buxton said. "They tell me a lot that I don't show enough emotion. I need to show emotion. So I just tried to do something to get us going."

Combined with a win in the final game of the previous series against Cleveland, Minnesota is feeling good again as it sits in a tie for an American League wild card spot with the Los Angeles Angels losing on Friday.

"Most definitely; we faced a great pitcher today, a good team," Buxton said of beating Arizona and starter Zack Godley. "We went out there and played Twins baseball and had a lot of fun. Went out there and swung the bats and played some good defense behind (Ervin Santana's) solid outing."

Berrios will try to follow Santana's start. The two have been the most consistent starters all season for Minnesota, which has sought improvement beyond the two all season. Berrios dazzled when he was first called up from Triple-A in May, but he's hit a rough patch.

He's allowed at least four runs in three of his last four starts. He's 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA during that span.

Berrios is working on two days extra rest. He was originally scheduled to start Thursday against the Cleveland Indians. Wednesday's rainout allowed Minnesota to recall a pitcher to start Thursday and Berrios was pushed behind Santana for Saturday and will be making his first career start against the D-backs.

Greinke has plenty of experience against the Twins. He's 5-8 with a 4.50 ERA in 23 games against Minnesota in his career. Greinke has made six starts at Target Field, going 1-3, though he hasn't faced the Twins since April 30, 2014.

The right-hander has been locked in leading the Arizona rotation as the D-backs hold a wild card spot in the National League. Greinke is 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA in his last nine starts.

"I felt like I executed pretty good. I think I made a lot of good pitches," Greinke said after holding the Houston Astros scoreless in 6 2/3 innings in his last start. "I have four pitches that have been good all year instead of two, and I can play with them."

Arizona will look to provide Greinke with more cushion. The D-backs missed chances against Minnesota on Friday, leaving three runners on in the first two innings, despite scoring three runs.

"We scored a few runs and had them on the ropes a couple more times, but (Santana) made some pitches and got out of some messes and eliminated some potential threats," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "We've got to keep building those innings and cashing them in. That's the key right now."


Marlins 0 vs. 0 Mets In-Progress

Marlins look to continue roll vs. Mets


Saturday, August 19 at 3:45 AM (EDT)

NEW YORK -- The goal for the Miami Marlins down the stretch is a more tangible and harder to achieve one than the objective identified by the New York Mets. But regardless of whether or not they climb back to .500 and inch into the National League wild-card race, the Marlins are far likely to enjoy a smoother ride than the dismantled Mets.

The Marlins will look to take another step closer to .500 on Saturday night, when they visit the Mets in the middle game of a three-game series at Citi Field. Miami's Vance Worley (2-2, 4.97 ERA) is scheduled to oppose New York's Rafael Montero (1-8, 5.80 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.

The Marlins earned their sixth win in the last seven games Friday by edging the Mets, 3-1, to improve to 59-61 -- the closest they have been to .500 since May 3. With a victory Saturday, Miami will be one game under .500 for the first time since May 1.

In addition, the Marlins are seven games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the race for the second National League wild card, though they have two other teams to climb over in the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals.

"Just try to keep the emphasis on trying to win series," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Keep marching down the road. Obviously, we've got to get back to .500 before anything can happen. (Would) be good to be able to get there."

Getting to .500 won't happen again this season for the Mets (53-67), whose fifth straight loss was overshadowed by a postgame trade in which New York dealt outfielder Curtis Granderson and cash considerations to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for cash considerations or a player to be named later.

Granderson is the fifth veteran dealt away since July 27 by the Mets, who reached the World Series in 2015 and the NL wild-card game in 2016 but are 14 games under .500 for the first time since the end of the 2013 season.

A full youth movement is underway for New York, whose lineup the rest of the season is likely to regularly include rookies Brandon Nimmo, Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith.

"This is hard for these guys," Mets manager Terry Collins said shortly before the Granderson trade was officially announced. "We came in and we started spring training with tremendous expectations, and they all had them themselves, too. To all of a sudden look around and have new people everywhere, I think it's a little bit of a culture shock for some of our guys."

Another youngster with more on his plate down the stretch than the Mets might have anticipated is Montero, the 26-year-old right-hander who has been pressed into the rotation due to injuries to stars such as Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard. Montero, who hasn't won since June 25, didn't factor into the decision in his most recent start Monday night, when he gave up two runs over six innings in the Mets' 4-2 loss to the New York Yankees. He is 0-4 with a 5.95 ERA in his last eight games (seven starts).

Worley didn't factor into the decision in his most recent start last Sunday, when he allowed three runs over four innings in the Marlins' 5-3 win over the Colorado Rockies. The no-decision ended a two-start winning streak for Worley, who allowed just one run in 13 innings during consecutive victories over the Washington Nationals.

Montero is 0-0 with a 4.15 ERA in 10 career appearances (three starts) against the Marlins. Worley is 4-4 with a 5.59 ERA in 13 career appearances (nine starts) against the Mets.


Reds 4 vs. 1 Braves In-Progress

Braves' Kemp looks to return versus Reds


Saturday, August 19 at 1:57 AM (EDT)

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves hope to have left fielder Matt Kemp back in the lineup on Saturday for the middle game of their home series with the Cincinnati Reds.

"All things are pointing to a go right now," Braves manager Brian Snitker said after the Atlanta training staff put Kemp's right hamstring through some final tests Friday at SunTrust Park.

Kemp, hitting .290 with 14 homers and 44 RBIs, hasn't played since July 28, when he strained his right hamstring for the second time this season.

The 32-year-old slugger also spent time on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring and the three DL stints have limited him to 88 games.

"That's a pretty big presence in the lineup when you don't have it," Snitker said. "It will mean a lot to our lineup to get him back in there."

Kemp was a force at the plate for the Braves after being acquired from San Diego at the end of July last season, hitting .280 with 12 homers and 39 RBIs in 56 games.

His work with the Braves allowed Kemp to finish the season with 35 homers and 108 RBIs -- his best power numbers since 2011 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Rookie right-hander Robert Stephenson (0-4, 6.64 ERA) will start Saturday's game for the Reds against Braves right-hander Julio Teheran.

Teheran hopes he's back on track after pitching seven scoreless innings in a no-decision at Colorado on Monday, but he's 1-8 with a 7.07 ERA at SunTrust Park during a disappointing season.

Teheran is 3-2 with a 3.64 ERA lifetime against the Reds, but allowed five runs and a season-worst 11 hits over five innings in a victory at Cincinnati on June 4.

Stephenson returns to the Reds rotation after following up a stint on the disabled list with two scoreless innings of relief against Milwaukee last Sunday.

Stephenson, who has made three starts and 17 relief appearances, bruised his right shoulder Aug. 2 diving for a pop up and was placed on the DL two days later.

The Reds (52-71) are starting three rookies in the series against the Braves (54-66) and the rotation could be even younger than it has been most of the season the rest of the way.

Veteran right-hander Scott Feldman was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday because of lingering right knee inflammation and may be done for the year.

He will be re-examined in Cincinnati.

"I think one of the options will be season-ending," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Feldman made two starts after returning from a DL stint of nearly a month and allowed five home runs over 3 2/3 innings Thursday against the Chicago Cubs while battling issues with the knee.

"You could tell he was more limited in yesterday's outing," Price said. "He shouldn't be out there when he can't field his position."

Feldman, the Reds' Opening Day starter, is 7-7 with a 4.77 ERA in 21 starts.

Asher Wojciechowski, bumped to the bullpen with Stephenson's rejoining the rotation, could return to a starter role in place of Feldman.


Yankees 3 vs. 0 Red Sox In-Progress

Sabathia-Sale duel spices up Yankees-Red Sox clash


Saturday, August 19 at 3:37 AM (EDT)

BOSTON -- CC Sabathia returns from his latest trip to the disabled list Saturday night.

But he almost didn't make it back to pitch for the New York Yankees against Red Sox ace Chris Sale.

Sabathia told the media before Friday night's game that he actually thought of retiring when his right knee took him out of a game in Toronto Aug. 8.

"Because it hurt," he said. "It's just not worth it."

Sabathia added, "I could go out there and I could throw four innings and hurt and pitch -- like I keep saying, I've pitched for a long time now. I'm not doing this for the money or anything like that. I'm doing this for fun and to try to win a championship and if I can't have fun and help this team win, then there's no reason for me to be out there."

But he's back -- and now he has to go against Boston's best, a night after the Yankees blew another game to their rivals.

Sabathina (9-5, 4.05 ERA) hasn't won since improving to 9-3 on July 21 and is 0-2 in his last three starts, allowing four earned runs in each and working a total of just 13 1/3 innings.

However, he has pitched twice against the Red Sox this season -- and hasn't allowed a run in 14 innings while winning both.

On July 16, at Fenway, Sabathia danced in and out of trouble but made it through six shutout innings despite a season-high five walks.

Sale got his first look at the New York part of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry when he pitched for Boston last Sunday night in the Bronx.

He noticed the difference from the days he pitched for the Chicago White Sox.

"You can feel it," Sale told WEEI earlier this week. "People in New York have never been really nice to me, but they hate me now. I heard some pretty interesting things out in the bullpen last time warming up. ... I don't go to New York to make friends."

Sale faces the Yankees for the fourth time this season -- the third at Fenway Park.

The Red Sox planned ahead when they had Sale on target to pitch in all three series between the teams in a 23-day span -- with good reason.

He is 4-2 with a ridiculous 1.18 ERA in 13 career outings -- 10 starts -- against the Yankees. He is 0-1 with a no-decision this year against New York with a 1.19 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings.

Sale, the Cy Young front-runner who is also being mentioned in the MVP talk, enters this game 14-4 with a 2.51 ERA -- and the Red Sox have scored five runs in his four losses.

Mookie Betts is Boston's leading hitter against Sabathia, who is 15-13 with a 4.22 lifetime against Boston, 6-5 with a 4.95 at Fenway Park. Betts is 7-for-16 (.353) but Hanley Ramirez is just 2-for-16 (.125, with a homer), Xander Bogaerts 4-for-24 (.167), Jackie Bradley Jr. 6-for-25 (.192) with 11 strikeouts and Chris Young 3-for-14 (.214).

The current Yankees have some ugly numbers against Sale. Aaron Judge is 0-for-7 with six strikeouts, Brett Gardner 2-for-16 (.125) and Gary Sanchez and Ronald Torreyes both 2-for-11 (.182). Aaron Hicks is 7-for-19 (.368) and Chase Headley 7-for-23 (.304) with two homers.

Friday night's comeback win was the Red Sox's second straight over the Yankees and moved them five games ahead of New York atop the American League East.


Indians 3 vs. 0 Royals In-Progress

Royals' Vargas looks to continue hold over Indians


Saturday, August 19 at 3:51 AM (EDT)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Manager Terry Francona decided to liven up the Cleveland clubhouse before Friday night's game with the Kansas City Royals.

With 23 games in 23 dates, a doubleheader on Thursday and Kansas City the last stop of an 11-game four-city trip, Francona arranged to have a DJ for the clubhouse and a Pop-A-Shot basketball competition.

"We were all getting a little tired," Francona said. "It's just kind of our way of showing them that, one, we acknowledge the fact that they're out there playing so much, but also that we care.

"The game is the most important thing, and that's where you want your energy. But in the meantime, I don't think it hurts to have a little bit of fun."

The basketball shooting competition will continue through the weekend. Francona tried his luck, but without much success. The DJ played mostly hip-hop and rap.

"That would not be my song list," Francona said, laughing.

The Indians had a laugher in thumping the Royals 10-1 in the first game of the three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

The two teams meet again Saturday with right-hander Trevor Bauer going for the Indians and left-hander Jason Vargas starting for the Royals.

How important is this series to the Royals?

"I was just waiting for that question," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "(Wondering) who was going to ask that brilliant question. It's a big series, yeah. These games are two-game swings. It's a huge series."

A Royals' victory Friday would have pulled them with 4 1/2 games of the Indians, but the loss dropped them 6 1/2 games in arrears. And with the Minnesota victory, the Royals fell into third place in the American League Central.

Bauer will be making his ninth career appearance against the Royals. He has a 1-2 career record versus Kansas City with a 3.43 ERA. This will be his 24th start of the season. He is 4-3 with a 5.82 ERA in nine road appearances, eight of them starts.

Eric Hosmer is 5-for-15 with a home run and three RBIs against Bauer. Alcides Escobar has a .316 average (6-for-19) versus Bauer, and Alex Gordon is 2-for-12 (.167) with a home run against him.

Vargas is 14-6 with a 3.45 ERA. The 14 victories match his career high set in 2012.

He has dominated the Indians in his time with the Royals, going 6-1 with a 3.17 ERA in 11 starts. Vargas is 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA -- two earned runs in 20 2/3 innings -- against the Indians this year.

Vargas is 7-3 with a 3.30 ERA in 12 home starts this year.

While the Indians have won 7 of 8, the Royals have lost 12 of 18 starting on July 31. The Royals were seven games above .500 on July 30 and two games behind the Indians after a win at Boston that date.

After the loss Friday, they are one game above .500 and have lost five of their past six Kauffman Stadium games. They still have nine games remaining with the Indians, but the last seven are in Cleveland.


Friday, August 18, 2017
Major League Baseball
White Sox 4 vs. 3 Rangers Final Recap

Delmonico's 2 HRs power White Sox past Rangers


Saturday, August 19 at 1:19 AM (EDT)

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Chicago White Sox are going nowhere in 2017, but they showed Friday night that the future is bright.

Hot-hitting rookie Nicky Delmonico hit two homers and drove in three as the White Sox snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over Texas.

Delmonico's inside-the-park homer in the eighth inning snapped a 3-3 tie and helped make a winner out of Gregory Infante and set up Juan Minaya for a save. The win was the first in the majors for Infante (1-1) and the save was the first in Minaya's career.

Delmonico's heroics also helped end a four-game winning streak for the Rangers.

Delmonico opened the eighth by lining a Ricky Rodriguez (0-1) pitch deep to right. Texas right fielder Nomar Mazara crashed into the wall and stayed down, allowing Delmonico to scoot home with the first inside-the-park homer for a Chicago player since Brett Lawrie on June 26, 2016.

It also capped a night in which he went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. He now has five homers in his first 15 games and has reached base safely in 14 of those. He already has two two-homer games, but the inside-the-parker goes to the top of the list.

"I felt like I ran out of gas right before third, but luckily I was able to score," said Delmonico, who now has four homers in his last 11 plate appearances. "I thought maybe there was a chance to get out, but luckily I beat it. In Triple-A this year I hit one. This is pretty special."

Special is the best way to describe the start for Delmonico's career.

"He's going to have an opportunity to do very well," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. "His composure, his approach, his demeanor is a big part of that. I think he's a baseball player. He's been around the block, grinding out, trying to get here. I think he appreciates the opportunity he's getting. He just goes out and plays the game."

The Rangers caught a break on the homer, too. Mazara stayed down and was looked at by the team trainers after hyperextending his left knee. He remained in the game and was examined by team doctor Keith Meister after, with no structural damage found.

""I'm okay," said Mazara, who extended his hitting streak to six by going 1-for-2 with two walks. "When I jumped and got down my leg locked a little bit and I felt something I've never felt before. And then when I got up I got scared. Thank God everything's fine. I knew right away it was my knee, the outside part. I didn't want to get up because it was hurting at the time. Then I sat down and it was kind of calming down."

Infante retired all five batters he faced, striking out one. Minaya worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to preserve the win.

The White Sox took an early 1-0 lead off Texas starter Andrew Cashner when Leury Garcia scored on an error. Chicago starter James Shields made that run stand up until Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer into the Texas bullpen in the fourth inning.

The White Sox regained the lead in the sixth when Delmonico ripped a Cashner pitch to right for a two-run homer to put Chicago up 3-2.

Texas tied the score in the bottom of the seventh on a Delino DeShields grounder. Shields was charged with two runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Cashner had his streak of quality starts end at six, allowing three runs (two earned) in 5 2/3 innings.

"I felt all right, not my best, but I found a way to grind through and give us a chance to win," Cashner said. "Everything I've been through in my career I kind of have an idea of what I need to do to get through a game without having my best stuff. My sinker was kind of hit and me. Changeup was decent and my curveball was all right. It was more working both sides of the plate with a fastball and keeping them off balance."

Tim Anderson had three of the nine Chicago hits and Jose Abreu went 2-for-5.

NOTES: Chicago will recall RHP Lucas Giolito from Triple-A Charlotte on Monday to start one of the doubleheader games against Minnesota. He is 6-10 with a 4.48 ERA for Charlotte. ... Chicago OF Avisail Garcia was out of the lineup again because of sore left wrist. He could play Saturday. ... Texas 3B Adrian Beltre moved into a tie for 27th on the career hit list with his single in the sixth inning. He's tied with Rafael Palmeiro with 3,020 hits.


Athletics 1 vs. 3 Astros Final Recap

Keuchel stellar over seven innings as Astros top A's


Saturday, August 19 at 12:27 AM (EDT)

HOUSTON -- The moment arrived early Friday night, that point when Houston Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel wields such impeccable control of his repertoire that all that remains is to marvel at his handiwork.

Keuchel was masterful while working seven shutout innings, pacing the Astros to a 3-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics at Minute Maid Park.

Keuchel (11-2) had a season-high 16 ground-ball outs while surrendering three hits and one walk. He had three strikeouts while tossing 100 pitches, 67 for strikes.

It marked his second consecutive quality start after a three-start slump that coincided with his return from a two-month stint on the disabled list. Keuchel is 3-0 against Oakland (53-69) this season.

"I thought I was commanding the ball inside when I did go in," Keuchel said. "There were a few guys I had to go in to get away. That was nice to see just for the extension purpose and to see the way the ball comes off the hand. I felt like I was back in midseason form. Happy all around with what I saw out of myself.

"I still can clean up the slider a little bit. That will come with time."

Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve slugged back-to-back home runs off Athletics left-hander Sean Manaea (8-8) in the third inning to provide Keuchel a bit of a cushion. Bregman smacked his 14th home run the opposite way to right field and Altuve belted his 19th homer to left.

"We were trying to go up and in and I just left it right over the middle of the plate," Manaea said of the pitch to Altuve. "Especially to a guy like that you can't do those kinds of things. As soon as I let go of it I kind of knew it was going to be a bad pitch. He put a good swing on it and unfortunately it was a home run."

Josh Reddick added an RBI single off Manaea with two outs in the sixth, driving home Yuli Gurriel. Houston (75-47) scored all of its runs with two outs and improved to 11-2 against Oakland this season.

Astros closer Ken Giles had his second multi-inning save of the week, inducing an inning-ending double-play grounder from pinch-hitter Matt Olson to cap the eighth before striking out the side in the ninth. Giles, who had a six-out save at Texas on Sunday, picked up his 24th save.

Keuchel entered his 16th start of the season leading the major leagues in ground-ball rate. By the close of his first inning, the direction that his performance was trending was quite clear.

Keuchel retired the side in order in the first inning on ground-ball outs. He added two more groundouts in the second, worked around a Matt Joyce bunt single against the shift with three ground-ball outs in the third, and retired the side in order again on groundouts in the fourth.

"Some guys that haven't seen him much in the past, you can look at video all you want until you get into the box and realize how much his ball moves," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said of Keuchel. "It's kind of an acquired taste."

Even when Keuchel ran into a bit of two-out trouble in the fifth, he had the ground-ball out in his pocket ready to aid his escape. With two runners on base, including Matt Chapman after his two-out double, Keuchel got Dustin Garneau to ground sharply to shortstop Marwin Gonzalez, who turned a nifty stop and accurate throw into another scoreless inning.

Gonzalez and Bregman produced a handful of solid defensive plays, efforts reflective of how an effective Keuchel keeps infielders on their toes. In concert, the performances were sublime.

"You see all the plays that Bregman played (at third base), the plays that Marwin made, even Yuli (at first) on a couple inside-out swings, you've got to be active to play infield behind Keuchel," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We know it, he knows it, and he does a good job of keeping his infielders in the game."

NOTES: The Athletics are in no hurry to reinstate C Josh Phegley from the 10-day disabled list after he made his first rehab start on Wednesday for Triple-A Nashville. Phegley has been on the DL since July 25 with a strained left oblique and the Athletics are committed to Phegley making multiple appearances with the Sounds. ... According to published reports, the Astros informed more than a half-dozen scouts that their contracts would not be renewed at season's end. GM Jeff Luhnow described the moves as a reconfiguring of the scouting department. ... Home plate umpire and crew chief Jerry Layne departed with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning after taking a foul ball off his left hand. Dan Bellino, who opened the game at second base, replaced Layne, who was diagnosed with a hand contusion, behind the plate.


Diamondbacks 3 vs. 10 Twins Final Recap

Buxton, homer-happy Twins topple Diamondbacks


Saturday, August 19 at 1:11 AM (EDT)

MINNEAPOLIS -- Byron Buxton said he saw the ball bounce away from the Arizona Diamondbacks' center fielder and made up his mind he was going to try and score.

Buxton, the Minnesota Twins' speedy center fielder, was just a couple feet past first base when he made the decision. Even a slight misstep around third base couldn't keep Buxton from an inside-the-park home run.

Buxton's energy sparked his team to a big win.

Buxton had his second career inside-the-park home run and was a single away from a cycle. Miguel Sano went deep twice and Minnesota tied a season high with six home runs in a 10-3 win over the Diamondbacks on Friday.

"About two steps around first base, once I saw the ball had kicked away from him," Buxton said of his decision to score. "It was kind of just put my head down and run."

Sano and Eduardo Escobar each hit two-run shots in the seventh inning for the Twins. Max Kepler and Brian Dozier added solo homers while Ervin Santana recovered from a tough start to pitch six steady innings.

After Buxton scored the tying run in the fourth with a headfirst slide into home, he pumped his fist and was very animated.

"Just show a little bit more emotion," Buxton said. "They tell me a lot that I don't show enough emotion. I need to show emotion. So I just tried to do something to get us going."

Santana (13-7) allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks. He struck out six batters as the Twins moved into a tie for the second American League wild card with the victory.

Zack Godley (5-6) had his shortest major league outing since April 26 in going 5 1/3 innings. He gave up four runs on nine hits and two walks. Godley, who was 2-1 with a 1.78 ERA in his previous four starts, struck out 10 batters.

"They're big league hitters, so when you make those mistakes they take advantage of it," Godley said. "I gave up a couple of big hits, it felt like every hit I gave up was a double or a triple or a home run."

Arizona wasted no time getting to Santana, the All-Star right-hander. David Peralta led off the game with a single and scored on Jake Lamb's single. Lamb came around to score on a single by Paul Goldschmidt.

Peralta added his 13th homer, a solo shot to the opposite field, in the second inning. After A.J. Pollock singled, Santana got locked in. He struck out five straight hitters and retired 10 in a row.

"I feel great and I just have a good rhythm going after that," Santana said. "So, just keep it going."

Buxton stole the show from there. He tripled to the left-center field gap in the second and trotted home on a double by Jorge Polanco. Kepler hit a solo homer leading off the bottom of the third, his 16th of the season that went to the second deck in right-center field.

Buxton tied the game an inning later with his dash around the bases. He led off the inning with a high drive off the right-field wall that bounced away from Pollock in center field. Buxton used his speed to round the bases in 13.85 seconds, according to Major League Baseball's Statcast -- the fastest time it's ever recorded.

"It's elite, to use a Gopher word," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of Buxton's speed. "It's hard to compare at that speed, but I don't know if many guys could come close to that time from home-to-home."

Turns out, Buxton's prognostication skills are elite, as well. He said he told Sano before the game that the big slugger would have two homers in the game. Sano's first shot was to the second deck in left-center field over the bullpens. His second homer reached the third deck and was estimated at 474 feet.

"Some of those balls are ridiculous," Buxton said, adding that the distance of the two homers is more impressive than his inside-the-park sprint. "I know today we was talking about each other and I said, 'You know, you're going to hit two home runs today.' I kept repeating it. Just had a feeling that he was going to get locked in.

"Right before he hit the first one, I said, 'Hey man, be you. Don't worry about anything. Just go out there and be yourself.' I think that kind of clicked for him."

NOTES: Minnesota officially placed OF Robbie Grossman on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured left thumb and recalled C Mitch Garver from Triple-A Rochester. Grossman is expected to miss at least three weeks. Garver will be making his major league debut. ... Arizona LHP Robbie Ray came out of Thursday's rehab start feeling good, according to manager Torey Lovullo. Ray will join the team in Minnesota as the Diamondbacks decide when he might rejoin the rotation. Lovullo indicated it could be sometime after Monday. Ray has been on the seven-day concussion disabled list since being hit in the head by a line drive on July 27. ... Lovullo said SS Nick Ahmed (right hand fracture) will play in a rehab game on Saturday with the Diamondbacks rookie league team in Arizona. Ahmed will play DH before returning to the field. Lovullo said RHP Randall Delgado (right elbow inflammation) felt good after throwing off flat ground on Thursday. ... Arizona bench coach Ron Gardenhire was honored before the game by Minnesota. It's Gardenhire's first trip back to Target Field with an opposing team. Gardenhire is the winningest manager in Twins history with 1,068 victories in 13 seasons.


Indians 10 vs. 1 Royals Final Recap

Bruce homers twice, Indians rout Royals


Saturday, August 19 at 1:02 AM (EDT)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The good news for the Cleveland Indians was not Jay Bruce's huge offensive night but that Corey Kluber's ankle injury is not thought to be serious.

Bruce homered twice and drove in five runs as the Indians battered the Kansas City Royals 10-1 on Friday.

Kluber sprained his right ankle and pulled up lame while running to cover first base on Eric Hosmer's sixth-inning single.

That prompted a visit from manager Terry Francona and the trainer. Kluber stayed in the game for one more batter, a Melky Cabrera single, before being led off the field by the trainer.

"It's a low ankle sprain and on the mild side," Francona said. "It's not the dreaded high ankle sprain that you hear with NFL guys."

Francona said if Kluber can throw a side session next week with no repercussions he might not miss a start. If he has any issues, Francona said he would be pushed back a start.

Bruce knows how important Kluber is to the Indians, who are trying to get back to the World Series for the second straight year.

"I've been on the other side of that too many times," Bruce said. "He anchors this thing for us. We feel pretty damn good when he's on the mound."

Bruce hit a two-run homer in a three-run first inning off Ian Kennedy and a three-run blast in the seventh off rookie Jake Junis. It was Bruce's 25th multi-homer game and his eighth game of at least five RBIs.

Since being acquired in an Aug. 9 trade with the New York Mets, Bruce is hitting .406 with four doubles, three home runs, nine runs scored and 11 RBIs in nine games.

"I just feel like I added to an already good lineup," Bruce said.

Jason Kipnis and Edwin Encarnacion also homered for the Indians.

Kluber (12-3) is 9-1 since coming off the disabled list on June 1. He threw 74 pitches in 5 1/3 innings, giving up one run and six hits while striking out four and walking one.

Andrew Miller replaced Kluber and struck out Mike Moustakas, walked Brandon Moss to load the bases and retired Alcides Escobar on a shallow fly to right. Miller came off the disabled list earlier in the day.

The Indians widened their American League Central gap to 6 1/2 games over the Royals. Cleveland has won seven of eight, and Kansas City lost for the 12th time in 18 games and fell to third place behind Minnesota in the division.

Kennedy was as bad as Kluber was good before the ankle injury.

Kennedy (4-9) was removed after 2 2/3 innings, his shortest outing since May 21, and took the loss. He has not recorded a Kauffman Stadium victory in nearly a year. He is 0-3 in his past four starts.

"We take pride on those days when it's not there, but most of the times you have one pitch going," Kennedy said. "On the A-stuff days, you expect to win. On B-stuff days, you have a better chance of winning. C-stuff where you have to grind. Today was like a D or F game, where you don't have anything.

"A lot of us are going through that tired stage. I've got to make the adjustments where I don't have that. I felt great against Chicago. This time it was a completely different story. You don't feel good, but it doesn't matter. You still go out there and you compete. You try to get outs and you put your team in a hole, 3-0 in the first inning, so it's disappointing."

After one out, Kipnis homered on a 1-1 Kennedy pitch, taking it out to right. Austin Jackson singled and with two out, Bruce went deep to right.

The Royals got a run back in the second when Moss took an 0-2 Kluber pitch over the fence in straightaway center.

The Tribe, however, made it 5-1 in the third and chased Kennedy. Kipnis walked, Bruce singled and Carlos Santana walked to load the bases. Yan Gomes, who homered and drove in four runs Thursday, singled to center to score Kipnis and Bruce.

That finished Kennedy's night. He faced 16 batters and five scored. He surrendered six hits and walked two.

Kennedy remains winless in 15 consecutive home starts, which ties a Royals record. Mac Suzuki (1999-2000) and Glendon Rusch (1997-98) registered the same dubious fete. Kennedy's last home victory was Aug. 20, 2016.

"These type of games are where you look at it and you say, 'OK, my starting pitcher just didn't have his good stuff, and they blow us out," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We got beat tonight. They were better than us tonight."

NOTES: The Indians activated LHP Andrew Miller from the disabled list. He had been out with right knee tendinitis. OF Abraham Almonte went on the DL with a strained left hamstring. ... The Royals placed RHP Jorge Soria on the 10-day DL with a Grade One left oblique strain. They recalled RHP Kevin McCarthy from Triple-A Omaha. Manager Ned Yost said RHP Brandon Maurer would be first in line to take over Soria's eighth-inning setup role. ... Royals C Salvador Perez took two rounds of batting practice on the field. He is on the disabled list with a right intercostal strain. ... Indians 3B Jose Ramirez was held out of the lineup after being struck by a pitch in his right forearm Thursday. X-rays were negative. ... Indians RHP Trevor Bauer and Royals LHP Jason Vargas are the Saturday probables.


Brewers 4 vs. 8 Rockies Final Recap

Rockies blast three homers in win over Brewers


Saturday, August 19 at 1:46 AM (EDT)

DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies' history against Milwaukee starter Matt Garza wasn't recent, but it was robust.

Picking up where they left off, the Rockies pounded Garza on Friday night and beat the Brewers 8-4.

Garza, who last faced the Rockies on June 21, 2015, gave up three homers among the nine hits he allowed and eight runs (seven earned) in 4 1/3 innings.

Charlie Blackmon hit his sixth leadoff homer and the 28th of his career. Gerardo Parra hit his 10th homer in the fifth, and two batters later Carlos Gonzalez hit a two-run homer that gave the Rockies an 8-2 lead and finished Garza's outing. He has failed to pitch six innings in six straight starts.

Garza (6-7) is 2-6 with a 6.90 ERA in eight starts against the Rockies and is 0-4 with a 10.02 ERA in four starts at Coors Field.

"We have a right-hander that we have success (against) in the past," Gonzalez said. "So we want to jump ahead and try to score some runs and give him a rough night. That's exactly what we thought about before the game and then we did it in the game. So it's always good to execute and to get the job done and to win the game."

The win was the fourth in 11 games for the Rockies, who moved one game ahead of Arizona in the National League wild-card race.

The Brewers, whose four-game winning streak ended, fell into fourth place -- 4 1/2 games behind Arizona in the chase for second wild-card spot.

Rockies starter German Marquez (10-5) gave up a career-high three home runs but all came with the bases empty.

After giving up single runs in the third and fourth, Marquez yielded back-to-back homers in the sixth to Keon Broxton and Orlando Arica, both long drives over the fence in center.

Those homers trimmed Colorado's lead to 8-4 and ended Marquez's start after 5 2/3 innings. He gave up seven hits and four runs with one walk and six strikeouts and surrendered a career-high three home runs.

"What was important today is our starting pitcher did a nice job," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "Kept us right there and when we took the lead, he kept us there. The bullpen did a nice job."

Mike Dunn, Jake McGee, Pat Neshek and closer Greg Holland -- Colorado's most reliable late-game relievers -- combined to hold the Brewers scoreless for the final 3 1/3 innings. Holland, who had gone three days without pitching, finished in a non-save situation.

"We like those guys," Black said. "We like their experience. Look at their track record. They've done this over time. So for us to get where we want to be, we have to pitch well. And they pitched well tonight."

Parra extended the Rockies' lead to 6-2 when he led off the fifth with just his second homer since July 17. Garza then struck out Mark Reynolds, who reached first base on a wild pitch thrown on the third strike, and Gonzalez followed with an opposite-field two-run homer that increased the lead to 8-2 and ended Garza's outing.

"I didn't do a great job of keeping it down," Garza said. "(Coors Field) plays small on nice days like this. You pay when you're here, and they get the ball up. That's all it is. It's just missed spots and they took advantage of it."

Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw made a sprawling stop of Trevor Story's hard grounder in the fourth, tried for a forceout but threw wide of second base. Gonzalez, who was on second, continued home to make it 5-2.

Nolan Arenado tripled home two runs in the third. He scored to give the Rockies a 4-2 lead when Parra followed with a single, lining a ball that went off the glove of leaping shortstop Arcia.

Marquez began the inning by hustling a single into a double before Blackmon singled. Both runners scored on Arenado's career-high seventh triple.

Marquez went sliding into second base on his double, giving an anxious moment to Black and pitching coach Steve Foster. Asked about his slide, Marquez smiled and said, "I thought it was terrible, man."

Marquez gave up Domingo Santana's 20th homer in the second, which tied the game at 1. He yielded a run in the third that put Milwaukee ahead 2-1 when Eric Thames led off with a triple and Neil Walker followed with a single. That was the only Brewers' hit in five at-bats with a runner in scoring position against Marquez.

"The thing is he's only 22," Rockies catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "Good stuff, good arm. And I just think he's going to get better as he learns how to pitch, as he learns how to manage innings, learns how to read swings as he gets more experience. You can't teach 98 (mph) sinkers. And he's very competive, too, and he's very intelligent.

"He knows what he's doing out there, and I think this kid's got a bright future."

NOTES: Rockies RHP Jeff Hoffman and INF Ryan McMahon were optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque and RHP Scott Oberg and OF Mike Tauchman were recalled. ... Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela will take Hoffman's place in the rotation. ... Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado was in the lineup. He left in the seventh inning Thursday with a bone bruise on his left hand where he was hit with a hard grounder. ... Brewers C Stephen Vogt (left knee sprain) was reinstated and C Andrew Susac (right trapezius strain) was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Aug. 15. ... The Brewers hit back-to-back homers for the sixth time this season and first time since July 25 at Washington.


Nationals 7 vs. 1 Padres Final Recap

Kendrick HR propels Nationals to 7-1 win over Padres


Saturday, August 19 at 2:11 AM (EDT)

SAN DIEGO -- The Washington Nationals' Matt Grace was anxious for his Southern California family to see him pitch on Friday against the San Diego Padres. They just didn't expect him to be starting in place of Max Scherzer.

"They probably heard it from you guys before they heard from me,'' Grace told the media.

Grace, a last-minute substitute, threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings and helped the Nationals beat the Padres 7-1.

"Gracie saved my bullpen where I could just go one inning or a fraction of an inning,'' Washington manager Dusty Baker said.

Howie Kendrick christened the game with his seventh homer of this season, giving Washington a lead it never relinquished.

Grace, a former UCLA standout, was a late replacement for the injured Scherzer. The Nationals ace was waylaid by a sore neck and was placed on the disabled list before the game.

That left Grace to make his first start in the majors in his 61st appearance. His last start came in 2012, when he was pitching for Class A Potomac.

But Grace, a left-hander with a fastball-sinker mix, was tough against the Padres. He surrendered two hits and a walk with a strikeout in 52 pitches.

"He threw the ball great,'' Scherzer said. "For him to go out there and give us 4 1/3 innings, that was exactly what we needed.''

Joe Blanton (2-2), who pitched a scoreless sixth, got the win. Four other Washington pitchers combined to four-hit the Padres, with Sammy Solis getting the final three outs.

"They did a great job,'' Baker said. "Things just sort of worked out. We liked the matchups that we had, especially after Gracie."

Luis Perdomo (6-8) lost for the third time in his last four starts. He worked six-plus innings and allowed five runs (three earned), six hits and three walks with five strikeouts.

"I felt really good,'' Perdomo said through a translator. "Obviously the results didn't end up the way we wanted.''

The Nationals scored twice in the seventh inning on pinch-hitter Alejandro De Aza's sacrifice fly and Kendrick's RBI single for a 5-1 cushion to end Perdomo's night.

Adam Lind's run-scoring single in the sixth scored Anthony Rendon for a 3-1 edge.

Dusty Coleman's 415-foot solo shot in the fifth, which landed in the second deck, pulled the Padres within 2-1.

Grace was in a jam in the second after a leadoff single by Carlos Asuaje and a walk to Jose Pirela. But Grace got a double-play grounder from Yangervis Solarte and Wil Myers to fly out.

"There was no room to throw more pitches than I should have,'' Grace said. "I tried to attack and be locked in early as early as possible to try and extend my outing a little bit.''

Washington forged ahead 2-0 in the second when San Diego got sloppy. Coleman's errant throw from shortstop on a force at second allowed Matt Wieters to come around and score.

Kendrick started the game with a homer for the sixth time this season as the Nationals took a 1-0 lead. He redirected Perdomo's 83 mph slider over the left-center field fence.

"Honestly he wasn't bad at all,'' Padres manager Andy Green said of Perdomo. "He hangs the slider to Kendrick to start the game off, he doesn't want to do that. From that pitch on all the way up until kind of the last inning he threw, I thought he was really good.''

NOTES: Nationals manager Dusty Baker said RHP Stephen Strasburg will be activated off the disabled list and start Saturday. ... Nationals 1B Adam Lind was the lineup over Ryan Zimmerman, although Zimmerman entered in the seventh inning. ... Padres RF Hunter Renfroe was out of the lineup. Renfroe is scuffling, with his last home run coming July 25.


Phillies 2 vs. 10 Giants Final Recap

Giants build big early lead in rout of Phillies


Saturday, August 19 at 2:22 AM (EDT)

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco Giants left-hander Matt Moore claimed he experienced some bad luck Friday night.

It was the kind of good fortune most pitchers would take any night.

Moore lost a potential shutout in the eighth inning on a near double play and a bloop hit, but had done plenty enough before that to assure the Giants a 10-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford hit early home runs, and Jarrett Parker highlighted a three-run first inning with a two-RBI double, sending the Giants to their second straight win over the Phillies in the four-game series.

"We just want to play better ball," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after his team improved to 16-18 since the All-Star break. "We owe it to the ownership and to the fans."

Freddy Galvis had a two-run single for the Phillies, who lost their sixth in a row.

"We got four hits," Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin noted. "The bats just ain't there right now."

Staked to a 6-0 lead by the end of the third, Moore coasted through seven innings, allowing only one hit.

He gave up a leadoff single to Jorge Alfaro and a one-out walk to pinch-hitter Pedro Florimon in the eighth before turning the ball over to the Giants bullpen.

"I thought I did," Moore responded when asked if he felt he had enough to finish what would have been a second career shutout. "It was one of those nights when I felt I could do it myself."

Moore was denied a 13th career combined shutout when right-hander Cory Gearrin surrendered consecutive hits, the second of which was Galvis' bases-loaded single that closed the gap to 6-2.

That was the unlucky part, Moore insisted. The first hit off Gearrin -- a hard grounder by Cesar Hernandez -- barely missed going right at Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson for a sure inning-ending, shutout-saving double play.

Galvis' hit was a bloop that Giants left fielder Parker came within inches of catching with a dive near the left field line.

"He (Gearrin) was a bit unlucky," observed Moore, assuring there were no hard feelings. "The outfield and infield had been running all over the place all night. A couple of balls were bound to fall in."

Left-hander Josh Osich and righty Hunter Strickland got out of the inning without further damage.

Right-hander Kyle Crick pitched the ninth after San Francisco had tacked on four runs in the bottom of the eighth to increase their advantage to 10-2.

In winning for the first time since June 20, Moore (4-12) was charged with two runs on two hits. He walked four and struck out four.

"He got into a good rhythm tonight," Bochy said of Moore, whose home win was his first since May 13 against the Cincinnati Reds. "It looked like he was playing catch with (catcher) Buster (Posey)."

Pence, whose homer was his 11th of the season, and Crawford (his 10th) had two hits apiece for the Giants, who improved to 9-1 in their last 10 games against the Phillies.

Denard Span had three hits and Pablo Sandoval two in the Giants' 12-hit attack.

Alfaro had two hits for the Phillies, who fell to 0-5 on their seven-game Western trip.

Right-hander Zach Eflin (1-5), Philadelphia's starter, took the loss, after which he cited tightness in his pitching shoulder.

"They were hitting me pretty hard," he observed. "I made a lot of good pitches and a lot of bad pitches. It had nothing to do with (the shoulder issue)."

It took the Giants just eight pitches to grab a 2-0 lead, with Parker's two-run double following a single by Span and double by Pence.

Sandoval made it 3-0 one out later with a single.

Pence's homer increased the lead to 4-0 in the third, and Crawford's two-run shot put the Giants on top 6-0 in the third.

Eflin was pulled after five innings, having allowed six runs and seven hits. He walked two and struck out two.

"He really just didn't pitch well," Mackanin admitted. "We've seen him much better."

NOTES: Giants RHP Matt Moore's only career shutout came July 22, 2013 on a two-hitter for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Boston Red Sox. ... Giants C Buster Posey's fifth-inning double gave him a 20-game hitting streak against the Phillies that dates back to the 2014 season. ... The Phillies placed CF Odubel Herrera (strained left hamstring) on the 10-day disabled list before the game, retroactive to Tuesday. They made no corresponding roster addition, and played the game with just 24 available players. ... Giants RHP Johnny Cueto (blisters) threw a 50-pitch bullpen session before the game. Unless the blister issue resurfaces in the next two days, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Cueto likely would be sent to the minors to make an injury rehab start on Monday. ... Upon further review: The Giants' win Thursday night was the 11,000th in franchise history. The Giants, formerly of New York, are the first Major League Baseball franchise to reach the milestone.


Blue Jays 4 vs. 7 Cubs Final Recap

Arrieta pitches Cubs past Blue Jays


Friday, August 18 at 6:48 PM (EDT)

CHICAGO -- Jake Arrieta has promised that his best pitching is yet to come.

It's hard to complain about his current production, however, as he produced his third straight win and seventh straight quality start in Friday's 7-4 interleague victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Arrieta (13-8) allowed a first-inning run and two hits and then scattered four hits the rest of the way in his 6 1/3-inning outing.

"I've located the ball really well, I've established certain things early on in the ballgame that allow me to do things differently as the game progresses," said Arrieta, who's yielded just 10 earned runs in his last seven starts.

"The game plan is always to utilize strengths and try to expose a weakness here and there with the opposing offense and try to pitch into the seventh inning."

The Cubs (64-57) maintained their perch atop the National League Central while the Blue Jays (59-63) saw a two-game winning streak come to a halt.

Toronto starter J.A. Happ (6-9) took the loss and had a three-game winning streak snapped.

"It was a battle for him," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I thought he was OK. ... He had to work, he really had to work in those early innings."

Cubs closer Wade Davis pitched a one-two-three ninth to earn his 25th save.

Chicago shortstop Javier Baez (2-for-4) clubbed a two-run homer -- his 20th -- in the eighth inning while rookie catcher Victor Caratini went 3-for-3, walked and scored a run to lead the Cubs. Albert Almora Jr. and Anthony Rizzo each also had two hits in Chicago's 13-hit attack.

Toronto jumped to a short-lived 1-0 lead in the first as Steve Pearce singled to right-center and drove in Justin Smoak with two out.

Chicago replied with three runs in the second. Leadoff batter Ben Zobrist walked, reached third on Caratini's double and came home on a Jason Heyward single. Baez drove in Caratini with a base hit and Almora singled to shallow right to bring in Heyward.

The Cubs touched up Happ for two more runs in the fifth as Rizzo's double to left-center brought home Almora and Kris Bryant.

Happ lasted five innings before departing for left-handed reliever Aaron Loup. Happ gave up five runs on nine hits, walked two and struck out eight while throwing 103 pitches.

Arrieta left in the seventh after throwing 93 pitches and 61 for strikes. Right-handed reliever Carl Edwards Jr. inherited runners on first and second with one out. He got pinch hitter Kendrys Morales to ground into a fielder's choice to first and Rizzo fired home to Caratini to catch Kevin Pillar trying to score from third. Edwards closed the frame by striking out Jose Bautista.

Arrieta allowed one run on six hits, walked two and struck out six.

"Today he threw a lot of strikes, he gets ahead in the count that's when he good," said Blue Jays catcher Miguel Montero, who caught Arrieta for several seasons while with the Cubs. "That's why he went deep in the game."

The Blue Jays hit Cubs reliever Pedro Strop for three eighth-inning runs, including a two-run single by Ryan Goins that scored Montero and Pillar and make it a one-run game.

Chicago replied with a one-out, two-run homer by Baez off reliever Tim Mayza in the bottom of the inning for a 7-4 lead.

NOTES: The weekend interleague series is the Blue Jays' first visit to Wrigley Field since June 6-8, 2005, the second longest gap beaten the Cubs and any opponent in franchise history. ... Toronto has played only four all-time games at Wrigley, the fewest by any major league team. ... The Blue Jays send RHP Nick Tepesch (1-2, 5.25 ERA) against Cubs LHP Jose Quintana (3-2, 3.86 ERA) in Saturday's game. ... The Cubs placed LHP Jon Lester (left lat tightness/general shoulder fatigue) and RHP Justin Grimm (finger infection) on the 10-day disabled list on Friday. They called up RHP Felix Pena and LHP Rob Zastryzny from Triple-A Iowa). ... With two solo homers on Thursday, Cubs rookie Ian Happ became only the second Cubs player since at least 1913 with three multi-homer games in his first 78 career games.


Angels 7 vs. 9 Orioles Final Recap

Machado's 9th-inning slam lifts Orioles past Angels in slugfest


Saturday, August 19 at 12:27 AM (EDT)

BALTIMORE -- Manny Machado took a long time to get going on offense this season. He has really heated up in the past few weeks, and the third baseman helped the Baltimore Orioles to a stunning victory on Friday night.

Machado hit a grand slam off Keynan Middleton with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, the third baseman's third homer of the night, to give the Baltimore Orioles a 9-7, come-from-behind victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

The Orioles (60-62) and Angels (62-60) each hit five homers in the game, but Machado's blast in the ninth was the biggest. It was his third grand slam in 11 games and finished off Baltimore's comeback from an early 5-0 deficit.

Albert Pujols and Mike Trout each hit two-run homers for the Angels.

Pujols' blast was the 609th of his career, tying Sammy Sosa for eighth place on the all-time list. Pujols and Sosa also are tied for first for most career homers by a foreign-born player.

Middleton (4-1) left a pitch where Machado could get it, and he sent a shot over the fence in center. Machado also hit a solo homer and a two-run homer and finished with seven RBIs -- but the last home was the biggest.

"Everybody likes to hit with people on base," Machado said. "(I) just (wanted to) put the ball up in the air. I've been fortunate to have a little more power and get a little stronger as the years go on and those fly balls keep going a little bit."

Middleton entered in the ninth with two on and one out and gave up a single to Tim Beckham that loaded the bases for Machado.

Middleton said he simply didn't put the key pitch in the right place.

"I was trying to go fastball away, and I left the fastball over the middle," he said. "I'm going to go home, get some sleep, come back tomorrow, and hopefully, I'll get the same opportunity."

Machado, whose average was at .215 on July 6, now is hitting .264 with 26 homers and 81 RBIs. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he's impressed by the way Machado kept battling to get better during his slump.

"I know sometimes because of how fluid he is, sometimes people don't know how much he cares and how hard he works," Showalter said. "For a young player to go through the struggles he did with that kind of talent, to get back is a real testament to him and his makeup."

Darren O'Day (2-3) picked up the victory with 1 1/3 scoreless innings for Baltimore.

The Angels were ranked next to last in the American League in homers but hit four in the first two innings and five in the first five. Kole Calhoun, C.J. Cron and Kaleb Cowart also homered.

The Angels hit all five of their homers off Orioles starter Jeremy Hellickson. He allowed seven runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Also, this was the 38th time in team history the Angels have hit at least five homers in a game.

The Orioles also got solo homers from Mark Trumbo and Caleb Joseph. Four of their five homers came against Angels starter Andrew Heaney in his first appearance this season.

Heaney lasted five innings and left with a 7-5 lead.

The homers started flying out of the park quickly after rain delayed the start of the game by 42 minutes.

Pujols hit a two-run homer with one out in the top of the first and Calhoun added a solo shot on the next pitch, giving the Angels a 3-0 lead.

Cron sent a solo homer to left on Hellickson's first pitch in the second, making it 4-0.

But the Orioles then used their own power to bounce back.

Trumbo made it 5-1 with a second-inning solo homer off Heaney. Joseph led off the third with a homer and Machado's two-run shot later in the inning cut the Angels' lead to 5-4.

The Angels then stretched the margin to 7-4 in the fifth with their fifth homer of the night, a two-run blast from Trout.

Machado belted his second homer in the game leading off the fifth, making it 7-5. Later, Machado came through one more time.

"We had opportunities," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We got off to a lead ... those guys, they hit the ball out of the park. We hit the ball good tonight; they did too. They got the last big hit."

NOTES: Orioles SS Tim Beckham was honored before the game after being named the American League Player of the Week on Aug. 7. ... The Orioles are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the opening of Camden Yards this weekend with number of players from the 1992 team back in town. ... Angels LHP Tyler Skaggs was placed on the bereavement list (three days) on Friday after the death of his grandfather.


Cardinals 11 vs. 10 Pirates Final Recap

Cardinals hold off Pirates in slugfest


Saturday, August 19 at 12:08 AM (EDT)

PITTSBURGH -- It's unknown whether Matt Carpenter was the only player who felt completely secure about St. Louis' ability to hold on Friday night, but he had enough confidence for everyone else.

"Never a doubt. Never a doubt," Carpenter, who drove in three runs, said after the Cardinals nearly blew an eight-run lead in their 11-10 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.

"It was interesting, for sure, but I knew we'd find a way to finish it off."

Carpenter, Tommy Pham and Paul DeJong hit home runs, three of St. Louis' 13 hits, as the Cardinals built an 11-3 lead, only to watch the Pirates come back and have a shot at winning in the ninth.

DeJong was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs as St. Louis (63-59) won its second in a row and 10th in the past 12 to remain 1 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central.

Pittsburgh (58-64) lost its sixth straight and fell five games behind the Cardinals and 6 1/2 behind Chicago, but the Pirates still felt good about their game after scoring 10 runs, including three homers, and climbing out of the early hole.

"We were able to get some positive offensive traction in our direction," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "It was fun to watch. Come up a run short at the end of the night. That's never the goal. The goal is to go out and leave everything on the field. They left everything on the field."

For the second night in a row in the divisional series, runners and runs abounded.

St. Louis scored in each of the first four innings for an 8-2 lead.

The Cardinals tacked on two more in the sixth and another in the eighth -- on Jose Martinez's two-out RBI single for the eventual winning run -- before Pittsburgh's Max Moroff hit the sixth homer of the game, a two-run, 420-foot shot in the eighth that cleared the stands in right and bounced into the Allegheny River.

"It hit the river? Bounced in? Didn't hit in the air?" Moroff deadpanned. "I hit that really well. Next time, I'll try and hit the river in the air."

Josh Bell and Elias Diaz each added an RBI double later in the eighth to make it 11-8.

The Pirates added two in the ninth on Bell's bases-loaded walk and David Freese's sacrifice fly before Seung Hwan Oh struck out Diaz with the bases loaded to end it. Oh picked up his 19th save.

"Any win we get is big," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "We're in the corner right there and we have to have somebody come in and make some big pitches for us. Oh did a nice job of that.

"Sometimes you have to figure out a way to scratch and claw your way to the end."

Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez (10-9) pitched seven innings and got stronger as he went. He allowed two early runs on homers but settled in to give up three runs on six hits, with four strikeouts and two walks.

"I started to get better toward the end, and deeper in the game I'm really trusting in my fastball," Carlos Martinez said through a translator. "It's just really helping me get this deep in the game."

The Pirates' comeback came against five relievers.

Pittsburgh starter Trevor Williams (5-6) had gone at least six innings in four of previous five games but lasted just two batters into the fourth, giving up eight runs and seven hits -- three of them homers -- with three strikeouts and two walks.

"I thought the command was there; I just wasn't getting the (call on) the low pitch," Williams said. "I had all four pitches working in the (strike) zone. It's just unfortunate the low ball was taken away from me early.

"I'm a sinker-ball pitcher. I need that pitch called to get swings below the zone."

Pham's 16th homer -- a one-out shot to right after Carpenter struck out in the first inning -- gave him homers in consecutive at-bats and St. Louis a 1-0 lead. Pham led off the ninth Thursday with a homer.

The Pirates' start mirrored that of the Cardinals. Starling Marte struck out and Josh Harrison followed with a homer to right for a 1-1 tie. It was Harrison's 14th homer, setting a career high and, as with Pham, gave him blasts in consecutive games.

The Cardinals added some distance in the second on Greg Garcia's RBI single and Carpenter's 16th homer, a two-out, three-run shot to right-center field. That gave St. Louis a 5-1 lead and five runs with four hits.

"Pham's homer didn't sound great. The one that I knew was hit was Carpenter's," Williams said. "It was a sinker I just left up."

David Freese led off the bottom of the second with his ninth homer to pull Pittsburgh within 5-2.

DeJong took his turn, hitting the fifth homer of the game to lead off the third. His shot to center, his 19th homer, gave the Cardinals a 6-2 lead.

When St. Louis put runners at the corners with no outs in the fourth and Carlos Martinez up, the Pirates pulled Williams for Steven Brault. Martinez drove in a run with a sacrifice fielder's choice, and Pham drove in another on a groundout to make it 8-2.

Marte's two-out RBI triple in the fifth drew the Pirates to 8-3.

"That was a cool game," Moroff said. "Unfortunately, we lost, but it is what it is."

NOTES: St. Louis RHP Adam Wainwright was placed on the 10-day DL because of right elbow impingement. ... St. Louis RHP Mike Mayers was recalled from Triple-A Memphis. ... St. Louis 2B Kolten Wong was a late lineup scratch because of a hip problem. ... Pittsburgh LHP Wade LeBlanc was placed on the 10-day DL because of a left quadriceps strain. ... Pittsburgh LHP Steven Brault was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. ... For the second night in a row, a Pirates pitcher (Jameson Taillon and Trevor Williams) bunted into a double play.


Dodgers 8 vs. 5 Tigers Final Recap

Hill good enough as Dodgers down Detroit


Saturday, August 19 at 2:02 AM (EDT)

DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers got a close-up look at the Los Angeles Dodgers' Traveling Record-Breaking Show on Friday night, and now they understand.

Chris Taylor banged out four hits, drove in two runs and scored once to lead the steamrolling Dodgers to an 8-5 victory over the Tigers, their fifth straight win and 20th in their last 23.

"They're confident at the plate, that's for sure," losing pitcher Jordan Zimmermann said Friday after getting tattooed for 10 hits and seven runs in 5 1/3 innings. "Every ball they see they think they can hit."

Rich Hill (9-4) wasn't dominating for the Dodgers but with Los Angeles scoring seven runs while he was in the game, he didn't have to be. Hill gave up six hits and three runs in his five innings, walking three and striking out five, leaving with a 7-3 lead.

"Richie obviously didn't have his best stuff but still found a way to compete," Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said. "He worked out of some jams.

"That ball off bat of (Justin) Upton -- the line drive off of CT's (Taylor's) glove. But to get out of that jam was big for him. And where he was at with his pitch count (84) and the trust that we have in our bullpen to go to them at that point in time made sense."

The Tigers' Victor Martinez greeted reliever Josh Fields with his 10th home run, a drive to right, making it 7-4 one batter into the sixth.

After Fields worked his inning, Pedro Baez pitched two scoreless innings and Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth. Jansen gave up Upton's second home run of the game and 25th of the season plus two more singles before striking out Martinez and James McCann to end the game.

Corey Seager hit a sacrifice fly to center, driving in Logan Forsythe to give the Dodgers a 7-3 lead in the sixth. Forsythe had doubled and stopped at third on a single to left by Taylor that ended the night for Zimmermann (7-10). Enter reliever Daniel Stumpf, who gave up the sacrifice fly.

"I thought his slider was flat, just like in his last outing," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said of his starter. "He doesn't have the same velocity that he once did. He's got enough to get outs, but he can't get through a lineup without a breaking ball. That's been the problem again in the last couple starts, after he looked much better for a stretch.

"We can't continue to give up this many runs and expect to win games. It's been a lot of home runs and a lot of walks. We were counting on some guys to build on what they were doing in late July and early August and that hasn't happened."

Upton trimmed the Los Angeles lead to 4-3 with his 24th home run in the third. Upton got just past second base but put a finger up and retreated to retouch second and then first base just in case he had missed the first bag.

Los Angeles restored its three-run margin to 6-3 in the fourth when Forsythe walked and Joc Pederson and Taylor followed with RBI doubles.

The Tigers took an early lead when Hill gave up a pair of runs in the first on a walk to Ian Kinsler plus doubles by Upton and Miguel Cabrera.

"I didn't have a great curve ball," Hill said. "That's something I've got to work on going forward. I had to be creative out there. My breaking ball wasn't really breaking all that well."

Yasmani Grandal opened the second with a walk off Zimmermann and stopped at third on Adrian Gonzalez's sharp double off the right-field wall. Forsythe singled past third to drive in Grandal. Taylor doubled to right tie the score at 2-all.

Seager gave Los Angeles a 4-2 lead with a two-run single to right.

"Offensively, we were grinding at-bats, getting on base, talking the walk, running the bases well," Roberts said. "CT at the top of the order, that's what he's done for us all year get on base He got on four times for us.

"We do a lot of answering back. When they score in the first we seem to in that next half-inning seem to respond with a run or two. We did that twice."

Los Angeles (86-34) owns the best record in baseball and has won 51 of its last 60 games.

NOTES: RHP Anibal Sanchez (left hamstring) was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday by Detroit, which called up CF JaCoby Jones from Triple-A Toledo to replace him. ... 1B Adrian Gonzalez was activated from the 60-day disabled list by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who optioned utility player Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler was fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball for his derogatory remarks about umpire Angel Hernandez earlier in the week. ... Dodgers' RHP Yu Darvish (sore back) will get an extra day of rest before making his next start, manager Dave Roberts said.


Mariners 7 vs. 1 Rays Final Recap

Mariners keep Rays in spiral


Friday, August 18 at 11:18 PM (EDT)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- When Nelson Cruz gets hot, it's the kind of record-setting hot that is measured in ridiculous distances.

Cruz launched a 482-foot home run in the ninth inning Friday, the longest ever recorded at Tropicana Field, punctuating the Seattle Mariners' 7-1 win over the slumping Tampa Bay Rays.

"It's great when he gets hot, because they're not just singles, they're doubles and home runs," Seattle manager Scott Servais said after Cruz hit not only his 30th home run of the season but two doubles as well. "The ones he hit in Minnesota last year were pretty far too. He's just seeing the ball really good right now, in a rhythm at the plate. We certainly need him."

A return home did little to slow down Tampa Bay's recent slump.

Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez (5-4) faced the team that traded him away last month and held them to one run on three hits. Seattle (62-61) stayed in the American League wild-card chase while the Rays (60-64) dropped to a season-high four games under .500, having lost 11 of their last 14 overall and eight of their last 10 at home.

"We knew the guy on the mound pretty well," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He's done it multiple times for us, and it stings probably a little more when you have it done to you. He was sharp and he was good."

Tampa Bay starter Austin Pruitt (6-4) found himself down 3-0 in a 33-pitch first inning, but helped the bullpen by lasting seven innings. He threw 107 pitches, 77 for strikes. Those strikes too often turned into Mariners hits -- they had 11, four more than Pruitt had allowed in any previous start. That included six doubles, with two each from Cruz and Mike Zunino.

"It's huge," Cruz said of starting a 12-game road trip with a win. "Every time, it starts with the pitching. Erasmo and the bullpen did the job today."

The Rays, blanked five times in their previous eight home games, managed to avoid the shutout, thanks to Lucas Duda's sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. They have scored a total of 24 runs in their 3-11 slide, less than two runs per game. Catcher Wilson Ramos had three of Tampa Bay's four hits on Friday.

A day after the Rays left 14 runners on base, they didn't have many opportunities to strand anyone. Two walks and a single loaded the bases with one out in the second inning, but Adeiny Hechavarria could only pop out to shallow center -- not deep enough to send the runner at third -- and Daniel Robertson popped out to right field to end the inning.

Former Rays pitcher Ramirez, acquired by the Mariners last month, followed with three straight 1-2-3 innings before Kevin Kiermaier doubled to lead off the sixth.

Seattle's bats had no such trouble, however, as they tagged Pruitt for three runs in the first inning. Cruz stroked an RBI double past Rays center fielder Kiermaier -- back for the first time in more than two months. Kyle Seager followed with an RBI groundout and Danny Valencia made it 3-0 with an infield single.

The Mariners added two more runs in the fourth. Ben Gamel walked, Guillermo Heredia doubled and Zunino brought both in with a two-run double for a 5-0 lead.

Gamel added another run in the fifth with an RBI single.

"All that matters is to win ballgames right now, and we didn't, so that's the main storyline tonight," Kiermaier said. "I felt good out there. I felt good in the box, defensively and on the bases."

NOTES: Before the game, the Rays activated OF Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list. He'd been sidelined since June 9 with a fractured hip, and the Rays optioned Mallex Smith to Triple-A Durham to make room. ... RHP Matt Andriese, making a rehab start in Class A Charlotte as he recovers from a hip injury, took a comebacker off his ankle in the first inning and left the game. ... Seattle not only came in at 61-61, but is 30-30 since starting the season 31-31. They went into the Rays series with an 8-8-2 record in road series. ... Friday's game kicks off a 14-day, 12-game road trip, Seattle's longest of the season and longest since 2010.


Marlins 3 vs. 1 Mets Final Recap

Marlins deal Mets their fifth straight loss


Saturday, August 19 at 1:37 AM (EDT)

NEW YORK -- The Miami Marlins moved one step closer Friday night to salvaging something out of a disappointing season. The New York Mets moved one step closer to finishing the fire sale generated by their underperformance.

J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run homer in the second inning and Justin Nicolino posted his second straight win with five solid innings as the Marlins crept closer to .500 with a 3-1 win over the Mets at Citi Field.

While the streaking Marlins (59-61) won for the sixth time in seven games to move within within two games of .500 for the first time since May 3, the fifth straight loss for the free-falling Mets (53-67) was overshadowed by a postgame trade in which New York sent outfielder Curtis Granderson and cash considerations to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations.

Granderson gained 33 games in the standings with the trade to the Dodgers, who have the best record in baseball at 86-34.

"A little bittersweet," Granderson said before exchanging hugs and phone numbers with now ex-teammates such as Robert Gsellman and Wilmer Flores. "But to get an opportunity to play in the postseason is going to be exciting."

Granderson, one of the few big-name free agent signings to work out for the Mets, was batting .228 with 19 homers and 52 RBIs this season.

He batted .239 with 95 homers and 247 RBIs while playing in 573 out of a possible 606 regular-season games for the Mets since signing as a free agent after the 2013 season. Granderson also hit .283 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 14 playoff games during the Mets' World Series run in 2015.

Granderson is the fifth veteran traded since July 27 by the Mets, who reached the National League wild-card game last year and were expected to be one of the NL's premier teams again this season.

But New York is 14 games below .500 for the first time since the end of the 2013 season and staring at the reality of trying to stay focused while playing out the string with unproven youngsters in the lineup and acres of empty seats at Citi Field, where the announced attendance Friday was 25,908.

"(With) all the rumors that are still flying, I think, yeah, the air might have been out of the building today a little bit," said Mets manager Terry Collins, who spoke a few minutes before the trade was officially announced. "That's my responsibility to make sure they get back and (are) ready for (Saturday)."

The Marlins, meanwhile, could be at .500 by the end of the weekend -- no small feat for a team that was last at the break-even mark on April 27 and fell as many as 13 games below .500.

"Just try to keep the emphasis on trying to win series," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Keep marching down the road. Obviously, we've got to get back to .500 before anything can happen. (Would) be good to be able to get there."

Marcell Ozuna lofted a sacrifice fly in the third inning for the Marlins. Giancarlo Stanton, whose six-game home run streak was snapped in Miami's previous game Wednesday, went 0-for-2 with two walks. Stanton leads the majors with 44 homers.

Nicolino (2-1) allowed one run, six hits and no walks while striking out one as he won consecutive starts for the first time since April 27-May 3, 2016. Four relievers combined to limit the Mets to one hit the rest of the way, with Brad Ziegler picking up his fifth save with a perfect ninth.

"He's kept us in the game," Mattingly said of Nicolino. "I think that's what we've tried to ask, tried to get our guys buy into.

"It's not really about six (innings), it's not really about seven (innings). It's really about leave the game with the lead, keep us in the game, let our bullpen go."

Wilmer Flores had an RBI single in the fourth for the Mets. Asdrubal Cabrera and Amed Rosario each had two hits. Rosario added a stolen base.

Rookie right-hander Chris Flexen (2-2) took the loss after allowing the three runs, five hits and four walks while striking out one in 5 1/3 innings.

NOTES: The start of the game was delayed one hour and 53 minutes by rain. ... The matchup of Marlins LHP Justin Nicolino and Mets RHP Chris Flexen marked just the third time this season both starters in a game pitched at least five innings and had one strikeout or fewer. It also happened in a Marlins-San Francisco Giants game on Monday and an Atlanta Braves-Pittsburgh Pirates game on May 25. ... Mets INF Wilmer Flores returned to the lineup after missing two games with a sore left oblique. ... Marlins LHP Wei-Yin Chen (left elbow) threw a two-inning simulated game Friday.


Yankees 6 vs. 9 Red Sox Final Recap

Late rally lifts Red Sox over Yankees


Saturday, August 19 at 1:06 AM (EDT)

BOSTON -- When you average more than six runs a game, you're going to win a lot of baseball games.

The Boston Red Sox have scored 6.27 runs per game over their last 15.

They've won 13. And when you're hitting like that, being behind doesn't really matter.

"We are pretty good at the comebacks," Mitch Moreland said after his two-run pinch single in the seventh inning capped a four-run seventh inning and gave Boston the lead in a 9-6 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

"We are never out of the game," Moreland said. "For us to come back with four in the seventh and take the game back, we just never quit. We stay on the gas pedal the entire game. It has been great for us lately."

The win, which moved the Red Sox five games ahead of their rivals atop the American League East, came after Boston survived a 65-minute seventh inning -- the Yankees scoring four to take the lead and the Red Sox answering right back with four in the bottom half.

A wild inning.

"On both sides," Boston manager John Farrell said. "You're talking about two bullpens that have performed very well throughout the course of the year. It's an hour long, eight runs combined, a lot of different things went the offensive way on both sides."

Farrell lost his starter, Drew Pomeranz, to back spasms with one out in the fourth inning and then tried to patch things together. Brandon Workman got it through the fifth with his team ahead 3-0 (on homers by Rafael Devers, his seventh in 19 games, and Christian Vazquez), but Matt Barnes gave up a two-run homer to Todd Frazier and couldn't get through the sixth.

Joe Kelly got out of that inning but gave up a long homer to Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (his ninth in his last 21 games) and he had to be rescued by Addison Reed.

With the bases loaded, one out and the Yankees up 6-3, Reed (1-1) struck out Aaron Judge (his record 35th straight game with a K) and got Sanchez on a soft liner. He worked through the eighth for his first Red Sox win and, after Jackie Bradley Jr. singled home two runs off Aroldis Chapman, Craig Kimbrel fanned the side in the ninth for his 29th save.

New York went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 14.

"We had more opportunities to score runs that we didn't cash in on too," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "You can look at a lot of different things."

It all added up to a second straight bad loss to the Red Sox.

"It's a tough loss," Girardi said. "Our guys fought really hard to get in front of the lead, really good at-bats from a lot of different people. It's frustrating but we'll be back."

Ronald Torreyes smacked a long two-run single and Aaron Hicks was hit by a pitch to give the Yankees a 6-3 lead in the top of the seventh.

A Mookie Betts sacrifice fly and an RBI single by Andrew Benintendi set the stage for Moreland's winner off Tommy Kahnle (2-4).

"The more you are in those situations, the more comfortable you will feel. I think that has shown," said Moreland. "We get in those situations and we just feed off of each other. Everyone has been a hero at one point. It has been fun to watch and be a part of."

Before the game, Girardi said Chapman, who has been bothered by a hamstring problem and poor pitching, was still his closer. But Chapman relieved with his team down in the eighth and he failed again.

"We need to get him right," his manager said, adding he would "sleep on" whether Chapman is still the closer.

Pomeranz, 6-0 in his previous 11 starts and a 12-game winner, left runners in scoring position in the first three innings. After Benintendi made a diving catch of a Didi Gregorius line drive to start the fourth, Pomeranz fell behind Chase Headley 2-0.

Pomeranz, trying to beat the Yankees for a second straight time, could be seen stretching and then, after throwing a few warmup pitches, was removed and immediately began treatment.

"He did have this last year when he first arrived here," said Farrell. "We've got to get the spasms calmed down."

Vazquez went 3-for-3 with a walk, two RBIs and three runs scored. He also stole second on the back end of a double steal with Devers in the eighth inning.

NOTES: LHP David Price didn't throw for a third straight day due to stiffness in his troublesome left elbow. ... Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka (shoulder) threw at Fenway Park on Friday and is expected to return next week in Detroit. ... Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia, on the disabled list with a sore left knee, will resume baseball activities next week in Boston with the team in Cleveland. ... RHP Rick Porcello will work the series finale against the Yankees with Doug Fister pushed back to Monday in Cleveland. ... LHP CC Sabathia, 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts Boston this season, comes off the DL to pitch against Red Sox ace Chris Sale on Saturday night. Sabathia said Friday he thought about retirement when his right knee acted up Aug. 8. Sale has pitched well in all three games against New York this season but doesn't have a win. ... The Red Sox unveiled a Tony Conigliaro display on the Fenway concourse on the 50th anniversary of his serious beaning by Jack Hamilton.


Reds 5 vs. 3 Braves Final Recap

Sixth-inning homer binge propels Reds past Braves


Saturday, August 19 at 12:05 AM (EDT)

ATLANTA -- The Cincinnati Reds, flashing their power, backed rookie Sal Romano's longest major league start with a three-homer inning off the Atlanta Braves' R.A. Dickey on the way to a 5-3 victory Friday night.

Adam Duvall, Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker hit homers off the 42-year-old Dickey in the sixth and the Reds held off the Braves in Romano's ninth career outing.

The only run off Romano (3-5) came on a second-inning homer by Matt Adams. The 23-year-old right-hander went seven innings after not going past the sixth previously, allowing five hits and two walks while striking out three.

Joey Votto led off the sixth inning with a single and then three of the next four hitters played long ball against Dickey's knuckleball in the Reds' four-run sixth.

Duvall smashed 1-0 a pitch into the left-center-field seats to make it 2-1 with his 29th homer. Then Suarez and rookie Winker went back-to-back one out later.

Suarez, connecting on a 2-0 pitch, hit his 21st home run into the left-field seats and Winker pulled a 2-0 offering just inside the right-field foul pole and just over the wall for his third homer.

Dickey (8-8) struck out a season-high nine while walking one, but allowed eight hits and four runs in six innings.

Of the 22 homers that Dickey has allowed this season, 16 have come at SunTrust Park.

The Braves, down 5-1, scored twice in the eighth inning off reliever Kevin Shackelford, the big blow an RBI double by Tyler Flowers.

Blake Wood got the Reds out of the eighth on one pitch and Rafael Iglesias pitched around a one-out walk in the ninth for his 23rd save.

Adams, who had been homerless since July 23, put the Braves ahead in the second inning with his 17th blast of the season.

NOTES: RHP Scott Feldman, placed on the disabled list by the Reds with right knee inflammation a day after giving up five homers to the Cubs, could be headed to knee surgery. "I think one of the options will be season-ending," Reds manager Bryan Price said. ... Reds SS Zack Cosart left the game in the seventh inning after being hit on the lower left leg by LHP Rex Brothers. ... The Reds activated OF Scott Schebler, out since July 30 with a left shoulder strain. ... The Braves placed OF/INF Danny Santana (left quad strain) on the disabled list and recalled OF/INF Micah Johnson from Triple-A Gwinnett. ... As part of Hank Aaron Heritage Weekend, the Braves wore throwback uniforms from 1974, the year Aaron passed Babe Ruth's home run mark. ... RHP Julio Teheran (7-10, 4.98 ERA) will start for the Braves on Saturday, with rookie RHP Robert Stephenson (0-4, 6.64 ERA) pitching for the Reds.



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