Major League Baseball roundup
Twins 7, Twins 5
As much as any two teams, the Minnesota Twins and the Milwaukee Brewers are playing in a playoff-like atmosphere, as the AL Central and the NL Central feature the tightest races in the majors for a division title.
Their interleague matchup Tuesday at Miller Park didn't disappoint.
Christian Yelich returned to the starting lineup and sparked a late rally, but it wasn't enough for the Brewers as Marwin Gonzalez hit a three-run home run off of Josh Hader to propel the Twins to a come-from-behind win.
"Amazing. We fight to the end no matter who we're facing," Gonzalez said.
It was the fifth blown save for Hader, an All-Star for the second consecutive year. He has allowed 13 home runs in 44 appearances, after giving up 13 total in 90 appearances during his first two seasons.
"You've just got to repeat, repeat repeat," Hader said. "That's why this game is so hard, because you've got to repeat, you've got to be consistent, and right now, I'm struggling to be consistent."
With Milwaukee trailing 4-1 in the seventh inning, Yelich hit an RBI double and scored on Yasmani Grandal's three-run home run, his 20th of the season and his first since July 6. That gave the Brewers a 5-4 lead.
The pivotal eighth inning started with the Twins putting runners on first and second with no outs before Brewers reliever Drew Pomeranz (2-10) recorded the first out. He was replaced Matt Albers, who struck out the only batter he faced, C.J. Cron.
But then Gonzalez hit Hader's first pitch, a 96 miles-per-hour fastball, over the wall for his 14th homer of the season.
The Twins had spent a total 126 days in first place, including 113 consecutive days, until Monday, when the Indians passed them. Only the Dodgers have spent more days leading their division this season (132 entering Tuesday). With the Indians' loss Tuesday, the Twins are back in first, by a half-game over Cleveland.
The Brewers are in third, 2 1/2 games by the division-leading Cubs.
"They are draining games," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said of wins like Tuesday's. "They're not normal baseball games where someone gets a lead and they ride it out for seven innings and the game is over. We haven't played many of those lately. But that's OK. That prepares you and tests you a little bit and gets you ready for playing later on in the season."
Yelich had missed five starts due to back stiffness, although he did pinch-hit Sunday, striking out. The reigning NL MVP went 3-for-4, grounding out in his first three trips to the plate.
Grandal's homer also scored Ryan Braun, who reached first when Mitch Garver was called for catcher's interference. All four runs in the Brewers rally were given up by reliever Ryne Harper, who didn't record an out in facing four batters in the seventh.
Minnesota starter Martín Pérez, who had given up a season-high seven runs in his previous start, managed to leave nine Brewers stranded on base during six innings and gave up only an unearned run. He had allowed 11 home runs in last five starts, but gave up no homers Tuesday.
Rays 7, Padres 5
Ji-Man Choi hit a go-ahead, two-run home run with two outs in the seventh inning and rookie Austin Meadows also connected as Tampa Bay beat San Diego for its fifth straight win.
The Rays, who hold the AL's second wild-card spot, have won nine straight on the road.
Padres rookie phenom Fernando Tatis Jr. left with a lower back spasm after striking out in the sixth.
The Padres had a bullpen meltdown for the second straight night that included Craig Stammen committing an error in the sixth on what should have been a routine throw home, and then rookie Michel Baez (0-1) allowing Choi's 11th homer in the seventh.
Nick Anderson (2-0) pitched the sixth for the victory. Emilio Pagan got the final four outs — all by strikeout — for his 13th save.
Pirates 10, Angels 7
Josh Bell homered and had three RBIs as Pittsburgh rallied past Los Angeles.
José Osuna drove in two runs, and Bryan Reynolds added a solo homer for the Pirates, who have won consecutive games for the first time since July 6-7 against Milwaukee.
Justin Upton had three RBIs and Shohei Ohtani added two for the Angels, who have lost 10 of 12. Albert Pujols moved into a tie for 15th place in career hits with an RBI single in the first inning.
Trevor Williams (5-5) allowed five runs in five innings. He was tagged for three runs in the first inning but responded to take some pressure off Pittsburgh's bullpen.
Taylor Cole (2-4) took the loss.
Pujols tied Adrián Beltré (3,166) in career hits with a single during a three-run first inning.
Giants 3, Athletics 2
Madison Bumgarner struck out nine over seven innings, pitching San Francisco past Oakland.
Evan Longoria and Kevin Pillar each hit RBI doubles during a string of three straight two-out doubles by the Giants in the sixth against Brett Anderson (10-8).
Bumgarner (8-7) allowed two hits and didn't walk a batter for the sixth time this year. He also laid down a sacrifice bunt in the seventh that led to pinch-hitter Scooter Gennett's sacrifice fly and a key insurance run.
Stephen Piscotty homered in the fifth for the A's.
Will Smith picked up his 29th save in 32 chances.
Anderson struck out four and didn't have a walk in six innings, giving up two runs on six hits.
Cardinals 2, Royals 0
Jack Flaherty tossed seven innings of three-hit ball, Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt drove in the only runs and St. Louis beat Kansas City.
Flaherty (6-6) struck out seven with a lone walk. The right-hander headed for the showers after throwing 110 pitches, and the St. Louis bullpen nailed down the win. Carlos Martínez got the final two outs, completing the four-hitter and earning his 13th save.
Glenn Sparkman (3-8) did everything the Royals asked over six sharp innings. He allowed two runs, one of them earned, but still hasn't won since a July 16 shutout of the White Sox.
Royals manager Ned Yost was ejected for the third time this season.
Astros 6, White Sox 2, first game
White Sox 4, Astros 1, second game
Ivan Nova tossed a four-hitter and Chicago took advantage of an injury to Houston ace Gerrit Cole for a win and split of a doubleheader.
Houston won the first game behind six solid innings from Zack Greinke in his second start with the Astros and solo home runs by George Springer and José Altuve.
Cole didn't start because of right hamstring discomfort. Instead, righty Chris Devenski (2-1) took the mound and lasted just two innings in taking the loss.
Nova (8-9) limited high-scoring Houston to one unearned run and walked none in his second complete game this season and 10th of his career. After hitting Carlos Correa with a pitch in the fourth, the right hander retired 16 straight batters.
Ryan Goins drove in two runs with a single to cap Chicago's three-run second inning. Ryan Cordell doubled in a run and Adam Engel added an RBI single.
In the opener, Greinke (12-4) allowed two runs on seven hits in winning for the second time since Houston acquired him from Arizona in a deal at the trade deadline. He struck out six, walked two and hit a batter in a 102-pitch outing.
Will Harris, Ryan Pressly and Collin McHugh each followed Greinke with a perfect inning.
Robinson Chirinos drove in two runs late with a pair of singles.
Eloy Jiménez and José Abreu drove in runs with doubles for Chicago.
Mariners 11, Tigers 6
Kyle Seager homered three times and Tom Murphy added two to lead Seattle past Detroit.
Seager and Murphy hit back-to-back homers in the fourth and sixth innings before Seager added his third in the ninth. It was the first three-homer game of Seager's career.
Zac Grotz (1-0) picked up his first win with 1 2/3 innings of relief.
Detroit lost for the ninth time in 12 games and fell to 16-42 at home.
Matthew Boyd (6-9) allowed seven runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Blue Jays 3, Rangers 0
Five Blue Jays pitchers combined on a five-hitter, Teoscar Hernandez and Billy McKinney hit back-to-back home runs, and Toronto beat slumping Texas.
Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk celebrated his 28th birthday with a solo home run as Toronto won for the fifth time in seven games.
Texas has lost six of seven, a stretch in which the Rangers have been shut out twice and scored more than three runs just once.
Font struck out two and allowed one hit in two innings before making way for left-hander Thomas Pannone (3-5), who worked four shutout innings. Ken Giles finished for his 15th save in 16 opportunities.
Rangers right-hander Lance Lynn (14-8) allowed one run and four hits in five innings.
Phillies 4, Cubs 2
J.T. Realmuto homered and drove in the tiebreaking run with an RBI double in the seventh inning to lift Philadelphia over Chicago.
The Phillies will have a familiar face in the dugout Wednesday when new hitting coach Charlie Manuel arrives. The franchise icon was hired to replace John Mallee as hitting coach earlier in the day. He's got a lot of work to do to revive an underachieving offense that overcame 15 strikeouts for the win, but the pitching staff did the job against the NL Central leaders.
Jason Vargas allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. Blake Parker (2-2) and Mike Morin each tossed a hitless inning and Hector Neris finished for his 21st save in 25 chances.
Cubs starter Jose Quintana had a career-best 14 strikeouts in six innings, allowing two runs — one earned — and five hits. Kyle Ryan (3-2) took the loss.
Scott Kingery had a sacrifice fly and Roman Quinn hit an RBI triple in the eighth for Philadelphia. Nicholas Castellanos homered for Chicago.
Nationals 3, Reds 1
Brian Dozier hit his 17th home run and Juan Soto hit a second-deck shot for his 25th , and Joe Ross extended his scoreless streak to 17 1/3 innings as Washington beat Cincinnati.
Ross (3-3) allowed one run and five hits in his 6 2/3 innings; the run came when the final batter the righty faced, José Iglesias, delivered an RBI single.
Daniel Hudson earned his third save of the season as Washington won its third game in a row.
All of Washington's runs came off Alex Wood (1-1), who had gone 36 appearances since last allowing two homers in an inning.
Dodgers 15, Marlins 1
Rookie Will Smith had his first two-homer game, and Los Angeles twice hit back-to-back homers in a rout of Miami.
Cody Bellinger tied a career high with his 39th home run and Justin Turner hit his 20th for the Dodgers, who totaled six homers, a season-high 13 extra-base hits and no singles until there were two out in the ninth.
The six homers tied the record for most by a team at pitcher-friendly Marlins Park, which opened in 2012.
Rookie Dustin May (1-1), making his third career start, earned his first win by allowing one run in 5 2/3 innings.
Corey Seager and Smith went back-to-back in the fourth inning. Smith added a two-run homer in the sixth to make it 6-1, and Turner and Bellinger hit consecutive homers in the seventh — the 13th time Los Angeles has gone back to back this year.
Diamondbacks 9, Rockies 3
Jarrod Dyson homered on the second pitch of the game during a five-run first inning and was later involved in a quirky double play as Arizona beat Colorado.
It was Dyson's third career leadoff homer — all this season. Christian Walker, Nick Ahmed and David Peralta added two-run homers off Jeff Hoffman (1-4), who was making an emergency start following Jon Gray's late scratch due to left ankle soreness. Hoffman surrendered seven runs over two innings.
The strangest play of the night was on an inning-ending double play in the eighth that involved tagging out two Diamondbacks runners caught in rundowns. With runners on first and third, Dyson grounded a ball to first baseman Daniel Murphy, who trapped Ahmed between third and home. Ahmed was eventually tagged out and Dyson, who had broken toward second, eventually was tagged out going back to first.
Kevin Ginkel (1-0) earning the win by throwing two scoreless frames.
Rockies catcher Dom Nuñez hit a solo shot in the eighth to become the seventh player in franchise history to homer during his major league debut.
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