Major League Baseball roundup
Athletics 5, Astros 3
Two players key to Oakland's future helped lead the Athletics to an important win.
Sean Murphy and Marcus Semien homered, hyped pitching prospect Jesús Luzardo looked sharp in his major league debut, and the Athletics beat Houston on Wednesday.
"What we are seeing from (Luzardo) and Murph and what we feel like is going to be a bright future is coming along pretty quickly here," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
Oakland won for the fourth time in five games. The A's closed within a half-game of Tampa Bay for the top AL wild card and stand a half-game ahead of Cleveland for the second spot.
Houston fell a half-game back of the New York Yankees for the best record in the majors. New York's scheduled game with Detroit was postponed.
Luzardo was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday. He allowed one hit in three innings — a solo homer to Martin Maldonado — and struck out two.
"It's a tough spot to put him in," Melvin said. "He knew today he was coming in in the sixth and wasn't sure how long he'd pitch, but our plan was to try to get him through the eighth. He gives up a solo home run and other than that, gives up swings and misses, bad swings, used all his pitches, throws 97 (mph). Didn't look like he was afraid of the moment. It was pretty cool."
The hard-throwing left-hander retired his final seven batters, a promising sign that the starting pitching prospect could make an October impact as a reliever.
"Once I went back out for the second, I got into a groove, and all my pitches were working," Luzardo said. "I was happy that I was able to get all three of them over the plate."
Astros starter Jose Urquidy struck out 10 and pitched one-hit, one-run ball over five innings before the A's got to the bullpen.
"I felt really good with all my pitches," Urquidy said. "I think I was good with my breaking balls and my fastballs, too, and that's what worked for me."
Semien hit his career-high 28th home run leading off the fourth, and Murphy homered leading off a four-run sixth inning before Matt Olson hit a two-run double, all off Josh James (5-1). Khris Davis capped the sixth with an RBI single to up the lead to 5-2.
"I was just looking for something over the plate," Murphy said. "I saw his slider on the first pitch, so I kind of had a read on it. I was just wanting him to throw it more toward the middle for me. He did. I was able to get the barrel on it."
James said he got out of his delivery and got a bit long, and by the time he realized it, it was too late.
Houston manager AJ Hinch said the bad inning started with the homer to Murphy.
"The inning unraveled with the two-strike homer to Murphy on a breaking ball that wasn't really executed," Hinch said. "I think if he throws a good one, he's got a chance. He's punched out a lot of guys since he's come off the injured list but tonight that inning got away from us a little bit."
Aledmys Díaz gave Houston a 2-1 lead in the fourth with an RBI double, but after loading the bases, Oakland starter Brett Anderson got out of further trouble by inducing an inning-ending double play from Myles Straw.
Astros star George Springer matched a career high with his 34th home run, a solo shot in the third.
Anderson (12-9) yielded two runs and seven hits with four strikeouts in five innings.
Liam Hendriks pitched the ninth for his 20th save.
Rangers 10, Rays 9
Rougned Odor hit a go-ahead, three-run homer and Texas beat Tampa Bay to end a six-game winning streak by the Rays, who have the AL's top wild-card spot.
Tampa Bay (87-60) had four runners thrown out on the bases and saw its lead over Oakland for the top wild-card spot trimmed to a half-game after the A's won at Houston.
After their first seven-run first inning at home in 13 years, the Rangers didn't score again until Odor's 25th homer with two outs in the seventh off Nick Anderson (3-1).
Matt Duffy's two-out RBI single in the first gave the Rays an early lead. They tied the game at 7 on Ji-Man Choi's three-run homer in the second, and went ahead 8-7 when Duffy hit a sacrifice fly to deep center with the bases loaded in the fourth.
Ian Gibaut (1-0) threw two scoreless innings for his first big league victory. Jose Leclerc earned his 12th save in 16 chances.
Indians 4, Angels 3
Carlos Santana and Francisco Lindor homered, Carlos Carrasco won in relief and Cleveland defeated Los Angeles.
Cleveland is a half-game behind Oakland for the second AL wild-card spot. The Indians trail AL Central-leading Minnesota by four games heading into a three-game series at home against the Twins this weekend.
Carrasco (5-7) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
Adam Cimber struck out Albert Pujols with a runner on first for his first major league save.
Dillon Peters (3-3) took the loss.
Royals 8, White Sox 6
Jorge Soler hit a pair of two-run homers among his career high-matching four hits, leading Kansas City to a win over Chicago.
Adalberto Mondesi homered and had three hits, and Bubba Starling and Ryan O'Hearn also connected as the Royals beat Chicago for the fifth time in six games.
Rookie Eloy Jiménez homered, his 26th, and drove in four runs, and José Abreu added a two-run shot for the White Sox.
Glenn Sparkman (4-11) allowed three runs on four hits and snapped a nine-start winless streak. Ian Kennedy pitched the ninth for his 28th save.
Chicago starter Reynaldo López (9-13) was roughed up for six runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Brewers 7, Marlins 5
Mike Moustakas homered twice, including a tiebreaking, two-run shot in the ninth as Milwaukee defeated Miami in its first game following star outfielder Christian Yelich's season-ending injury.
The Brewers won their sixth in a row. They began the day one game behind Chicago for the second NL wild-card spot.
Trent Grisham, one of the outfielders expected to get additional playing time in Yelich's absence, led off the game with a home run.
Moustakas broke a 5-all tie with a homer off Miami reliever Jose Urena (4-9).
Brent Suter (2-0) pitched three innings of scoreless relief for the win. Josh Hader struck out the side in the ninth for his 30th save.
Braves 3, Phillies 1
Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer, Dallas Keuchel struck out eight in six innings and NL East-leading Atlanta beat Philadelphia.
The Braves reduced their magic number to eight. The Phillies entered two games behind the Cubs for the second NL wild-card spot.
Keuchel (8-5) gave up one run and three hits to win his fifth straight start. Mark Melancon finished for his 10th save in 10 tries with Atlanta.
Phillies starter Zach Eflin (8-12) allowed three unearned runs and three hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins hit consecutive singles to start the bottom half of the inning. Harper scored on Scott Kingery's fielder's choice grounder to cut it to 3-1.
Padres 4, Cubs 0
Rookie Chris Paddack pitched six brilliant innings and San Diego dropped Chicago into a tie with Milwaukee for the second NL wild-card spot.
Manuel Margot homered off San Diegan Cole Hamels and also made a spectacular catch in center field for the Padres.
The Cubs lost for the second straight night and for the fifth time in six games. Milwaukee beat Miami 7-5 in its first game since reigning MVP Christian Yelich suffered a season-ending knee injury. Philadelphia and the New York Mets are two games behind the Cubs and Brewers.
Hamels (7-7) didn't get out of the fifth. The left-hander allowed one run on four hits, struck out six and walked four in 4 1/3 innings.
Paddack (9-7) held Chicago to three hits while striking out seven and walking one.
Rockies 2, Cardinals 1
Antonio Senzatela pitched six strong innings for his first win in two months, Ian Desmond hit a go-ahead home run and Colorado beat St. Louis.
Tony Wolters had two hits, including an RBI double. Paul Goldschmidt had an RBI double for the Cardinals' run.
Senzatela (9-10) allowed a run on four hits. He struck out five and walked two in his first win since July 14.
Dakota Hudson (15-7) pitched nearly as well, allowing two runs on four hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked five, one intentionally, and saw his career-high five-game winning streak snapped.
Pirates 6, Giants 3
Felipe Vázquez earned his 27th save two days after fighting a teammate in the clubhouse and Pittsburgh beat San Francisco.
Cole Tucker hit an RBI double for a key insurance run in the sixth, and Jose Osuna added a pair of doubles.
Jaylin Davis singled home a run, Corban Joseph had an RBI groundout and Mauricio Dubon drew a bases-loaded walk as the Giants got on the board before winner Michael Feliz (3-4) took over.
Adam Frazier and Kevin Kramer hit RBI singles for the Pirates.
Giants righty Logan Webb (1-2), making his fifth major league start, was done after 4 2/3.
Nationals 6, Twins 2
Ryan Zimmerman homered and drove in three runs in support of Stephen Strasburg as Washington beat Minnesota for its third win in the last nine games.
Strasburg (17-6) gave up a two-run homer to Jorge Polanco in the third. He allowed only four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
Trea Turner added a late home and four relievers kept the Twins from scoring.
The Nationals, who trailed Atlanta by 9½ games entering the evening in the National League East, took a 2½-game cushion between them and the Chicago Cubs for the two wild card spots. They were 3½ games above the cut, ahead of Milwaukee.
The Twins took a five-game lead on Cleveland in the American League Central, and six fewer losses than the Indians, into the night. The Indians were playing at the Los Angeles Angels.
Pérez (10-7) finished five innings with six hits, five runs and three walks allowed and four strikeouts.
Orioles 7, Dodgers 3
Jonathan Villar hit a tiebreaking, record-setting three-run homer in the seventh inning, and Baltimore beat the Dodgers to end a six-game losing streak.
Villar's drive off Caleb Ferguson (1-2) was the 6,106th in the majors this season, breaking the previous mark of 6,105 in 2017. The milestone shot came on a fastball that Villar sent deep into the left-field seats to snap a 2-2 deadlock.
Pedro Severino added a two-run drive in the eighth.
Having clinched the NL West title on Tuesday night, manager Dave Roberts rested starters Joc Pederson and Justin Turner. Starting pitcher Ross Stripling toiled for only three innings before getting the rest of the night off and a first-inning double by David Freese was Los Angeles' only hit off John Means through the fifth.
The Dodgers finished with six hits, the most notable a two-run drive by A.J. Pollock.
The victory was Baltimore's 47th of the season, matching its total from last year. The Orioles are two defeats away from their second straight 100-loss season.
Shawn Armstrong (1-1) followed Means with 1 2/3 innings of one-hit relief to earn his second career victory in 100 appearances.
Mariners 5, Reds 3
Rookie Kyle Lewis broke up a no-hitter bid with a home run for the second consecutive game, and Seattle beat Sonny Gray and Cincinnati.
Just as he did on Tuesday night against the Reds' Trevor Bauer, Lewis delivered Seattle's first hit of the game with a towering homer. In Tuesday's 4-3 win, Lewis hit a solo home run to left field in the fifth inning for his first career hit. On Wednesday, he sent Gray's 105th pitch of the game into right field for a three-run homer in the seventh, his second major league hit.
Gray was pulled after allowing a single to Daniel Vogelbach, one batter after Lewis. He matched his season high with 111 pitches in 6 1/3 innings. It was his third career two-hit performance.
Nola and Seager added RBI hits in the eighth inning against reliever Kevin Gausman.
Marco Gonzales (15-11) struck out seven and allowed five hits in seven innings as he extended his career-best win total.
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