Major League Baseball roundup
Brewers 1, Cubs 0
Cubs manager Joe Maddon tried almost every move in the book, but it wasn't enough to prevent a second consecutive shutout loss to Milwaukee.
Lorenzo Cain homered, and Jhoulys Chacin combined with three relievers on a six-hitter to pace the Brewers past Chicago on Wednesday, even as Maddon used two pitchers and a catcher in left field in the eighth inning.
The Brewers improved to 3-8 this season against the Cubs and moved 1 1/2 games ahead of second-place Chicago in the NL Central. Seven of the 11 games between the two have been shutouts, five by Chicago.
"We're a good baseball team and we know they're a good baseball team," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "This series wasn't going to decide anything, but we know that that's a team that's going to be there in the end, so wins against them are important."
Chacin (6-1) allowed four hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking four to win his sixth consecutive decision. Jeremy Jeffress pitched the seventh, Josh Hader struck out the side in the eighth and Cory Knebel worked a perfect ninth for his sixth save.
"Their guy was really good at keeping us off-balance," Maddon said. "He is not overpowering by any means, but he pitches well. Sometimes that gives us a lot of trouble when a guy can pitch like that. We had a couple opportunities. We didn't square him up at all really."
Mike Montgomery (2-2) allowed only two hits in six innings, both by Cain. He struck out four and walked one in his fourth start since replacing injured Yu Darvish in the rotation.
Cain drove a 3-1 pitch over the wall in left with one out in the third for his eighth homer. He also opened the first inning with a single.
"It was the only run today, but it ended up winning us a ballgame," Cain said. "That just shows how great of a job the pitching has been doing. We've definitely got to get going and score some more runs. We're definitely putting too much pressure on our pitchers as a whole."
To open the eighth, Maddon brought in right-hander Steve Cishek, who gave up an infield single to Orlando Arcia. Cishek then moved to left field for the first time in his eight-year career as left-hander Brian Duensing came on and struck out pinch-hitter Eric Thames.
Duensing then moved to left, also for the first time in his career, and Cishek returned to the mound to retire Cain on a fielder's choice. Duensing came back to pitch with left field being turned over to catcher Willson Contreras, who made a running catch on Christian Yelich's drive into the corner for the third out.
"It just popped," Maddon said. "(Kyle) Schwarber making the last out, the pitcher coming up third. And the way their batting order set up, it just played out perfectly. You can't always do it, but it worked out today."
The Cubs won Monday's series opener 7-2 with five runs in the 11th but managed just two hits in Tuesday's 4-0 loss.
"We played well the first game, but we only got two runs up to the 11th inning of that game and then shutout-shutout," Maddon said. "We almost should be grateful we won one out of three."
The Brewers stranded runners at third in each of the first two innings. In the second, rightfielder Jason Heyward prevented a run, charging in for a sensational sliding grab on Erik Kratz's one-out sinking liner and then recovering quickly to hold Hernan Perez at third.
Duensing, who said he last played left field in high school in 2001, was apprehensive when Cain came to the plate in the eighth. "I was praying he would stay away from Lorenzo Cain," Duensing said of Cishek. "It looked like he was trying to hook one (to left) and I was not appreciative of that. Cishek got the job done so were able to get through there and give our team a chance."
Maybe because it didn't affect the outcome, Counsell admired Maddon's ingenuity. "It was creative. It was smart. They got matchups they wanted. He did a nice job."
With a day off on Thursday, struggling third baseman Kris Bryant was held out to give him two days rest. Bryan is hitless in his last 15 at-bats and has not homered since May 14. Even trailing 1-0 in the ninth, Maddon resisted the urge to use Bryant as a pinch-hitter. "He has been struggling a lot," Maddon said. "Theoretically it sounds wonderful. But I thought (Chris) Gimenez had some good swings today. It's an easy dialogue to conjure up but I was really trying to give him the day off."
The Brewers 1-0 victory over the Cubs was only the second in the all-time series. Milwaukee's only other 1-0 win was on July 5, 2004 at Miller Park in which Counsell provided the only run with a first-inning homer.
Astros 13, Athletics 5
Evan Gattis hit two home runs, including the first of back-to-back shots with Marwin Gonzalez during a seven-run second inning, and streaking Houston beat Oakland for its seventh straight win.
Jake Marisnick also homered, Carlos Correa had a two-run triple and Yuli Gurriel had three hits and three RBIs to help Gerrit Cole (8-1) win his sixth straight decision.
The defending World Series champs moved a season-high 19 games over .500. This is Houston's longest winning streak since taking seven in a row from Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2017.
One night after homering and setting a career-high with five RBIs, Gattis had another huge day at the plate. He drove in five again, becoming the first player in franchise history to drive in five in consecutive games.
Dodgers 3, Rangers 2 (11)
Enrique Hernandez dodged home on a wild throw by pitcher Matt Bush in the 11th inning and, hours after a hard collision at the plate led to a bench-clearing incident and a pair of ejections, Los Angeles edged Texas.
Hernandez drew a leadoff walk from Jesse Chavez (2-1) and moved up on a long flyout. Yasiel Puig was intentionally walked and Chavez was yanked after a walk to Logan Forsythe loaded the bases.
Austin Barnes followed with a comebacker, and Bush reached out to grab it. But Bush hurried as he spun around, and his throw home for a potential forceout pulled catcher Carlos Perez off the plate. Hernandez stepped over Barnes' bat, danced around the catcher and touched home with his right hand, leaving Perez tagging nothing but thin air.
Adam Liberatore (2-1) got the win in relief.
White Sox 3, Indians 2
Dylan Covey carried a shutout into the eighth inning, continuing his impressive June and helping Chicago beat Trevor Bauer and Cleveland.
Covey (3-1) allowed 10 hits — all singles — and walked none. The 26-year-old right-hander, who was acquired from Oakland in the 2016 Rule 5 draft, improved to 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA in five starts since he was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte last month.
Covey got a warm ovation from the crowd of 19,390 when he departed after the first two batters reached in the eighth. Edwin Encarnacion hit a one-out RBI single and Yonder Alonso doubled home another run before Jace Fry struck out Melky Cabrera and Jason Kipnis, preserving Chicago's 3-2 lead.
Bauer (5-5) struck out 12 in 7 2/3 innings while becoming the third pitcher in franchise history to record at least 10 Ks in four consecutive starts, joining teammate Corey Kluber and Hall of Famer Bob Feller.
Pirates 5, Diamondbacks 4
Jordy Mercer homered and had three RBIs, Jameson Taillon pitched seven effective innings and Pittsburgh beat Arizona to avoid a sweep.
The Pirates blew a five-run lead in the opener and were knocked for 13 runs in the second game. Pittsburgh ended Arizona's sweep bid with a four-run second inning against Zack Greinke (5-5) and a sterling performance by Taillon (4-5).
Taillon gave up a two-run homer to David Peralta in the first inning when the ball popped out of left fielder Austin Meadows' glove and over the wall. Taillon worked out of a jam in the second inning and allowed two runs on six hits to help end Arizona's five-game winning streak.
Felipe Vazquez gave up a two-run single to pinch-hitter Jon Jay in the ninth before striking out Jake Lamb with the bases loaded for his 12th save.
Mariners 8, Angels 6
Mitch Haniger hit a two-run home run in the ninth inning to give Seattle a sweep of the three-game series with Los Angeles.
After Jean Segura singled to center off reliever Oliver Drake (0-1), Haniger launched his 16th homer of the season over the left-field wall. Nelson Cruz and Ryon Healy also homered for Seattle, and Healy's upper-deck shot in the eighth inning tied it at 6-6.
The Mariners have won six of their last seven games and 11 of their last 13. Roenis Elias (2-0) worked two scoreless innings of relief, and Seattle starter Marco Gonzales allowed seven hits and three runs in five innings. Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards left the game after two innings because of tightness in his left hamstring.
Rays 1, Blue Jays 0
Matt Duffy's RBI single with two outs in the ninth drove only run in Tampa Bay's victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.
Duffy drove in Mallex Smith, who doubled with one out and moved to third base on a ground ball. Diego Castillo (1-0) got his first major league win after pitching two innings of relief.
Ryan Tepera (3-2) pitched the final 1 2/3 innings for the Jays, who were swept in the three-game series and have lost five of six to the Rays this season.
Tigers 5, Twins 2
Victor Reyes's RBI single keyed a four-run eighth inning and Detroit rallied to beat Minnesota.
The Tigers, playing their first game since Miguel Cabrera's season-ending biceps injury, won for just the fourth time in 11 games.
With one out, John Hicks, Niko Goodrum and Grayson Greiner hit consecutive singles off Addison Reed (1-5) to tie the game. Jose Iglesias popped out, but Reyes grounded an RBI single to left.
Reyes, a Rule 5 pick, started the night hitting .196 with four RBIs in 30 games.
Joe Jimenez (3-0) got the win with a scoreless eighth. Shane Greene pitched the ninth for his 16th save.
Reds 7, Royals 0
Tyler Mahle allowed three hits while pitching into the seventh, Adam Duvall hit a ninth-inning grand slam and Cincinnati beat skidding Kansas City.
Mahle (5-6) allowed only one runner to touch second base in 6 1/3 innings, matching his career longest start. He is 2-0 in June, allowing two earned runs and 14 hits in 16 1/3 innings.
The Royals have lost nine of 10 and have dropped 23 of 33 home games. They have scored 11 runs in their last eight games and 23 in 12 June games. Kansas City is hitting .147 this month with runners in scoring position, including 1 for 25 in the past six games.
Royals starter Jason Hammel (2-7) allowed three runs on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings.
Rockies 7, Phillies 2
Ian Desmond hit a two-run homer in a five-run fourth inning, Tyler Anderson pitched seven strong innings and Colorado routed Philadelphia to end a five-game losing streak.
Trevor Story added three hits and drove in two for the Rockies, who had dropped nine of 11 while falling from first place to fourth in the NL West.
Anderson (4-1) allowed one run and six hits while matching his longest outing of the season, set in his last start.
Jorge Alfaro and Jesmuel Valentin homered for the Phillies, who were seeking their first three-game winning streak since May 13-17.
Nick Pivetta (4-6) struck out five straight batters in the second and third innings before allowing a walk and five straight hits to start the fifth.
Padres 4, Cardinals 2
Eric Lauer carried a shutout into the sixth inning, Manuel Margot had three hits and San Diego beat St. Louis to win its fifth straight series.
Freddy Galvis drove in two first-inning runs for San Diego, which has won five of seven. The Padres hadn't won five consecutive series since 2010.
Lauer (3-4) gave up two runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings. He's 3-0 when getting two or more runs of support.
St. Louis starter Luke Weaver (3-6) gave up four runs and nine hits over 5 1/3 innings. He has just one win over his last 11 starts. Marcell Ozuna homered for the Cardinals, who have lost three of four.
Marlins 5, Giants 4
Brian Anderson hit a game-ending sacrifice fly in the ninth inning to lift Miami over San Francisco.
J.T. Realmuto had two hits and scored twice for the Marlins, who have won three straight for the first time since winning four in a row April 28-May 1.
Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run home run and Buster Posey had three hits for the Giants, who have lost four of five.
Drew Steckenrider (3-1) pitched a scoreless top of the ninth.
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