Major League Baseball roundup
Marlins 4, Orioles 0
Finally back on the baseball diamond after enduring eight days of virus testing, hotel room service and lengthy bus rides, Miami scratched out a victory worth savoring.
Following one final delay in their effort to return from a miserable coronavirus-induced hiatus, the Marlins found enough power and pitching within their vastly overhauled roster to beat Baltimore on Tuesday night.
Francisco Cervelli and Jesús Aguilar homered for the Marlins, who had their season halted after 18 players tested positive for COVID-19 following the opening series in Philadelphia.
All the happiness that playing baseball brings was displayed when Cervelli slammed a 3-1 pitch from John Means over the left-field wall to give Miami a 1-0 lead in the fifth. The players in the dugout cheered, and Cervelli saluted them as the rounded third and headed for home.
“These guys love to play, right? That’s what you see," manager Don Mattingly said. “We’ve been in a hotel for a long time. Guys are happy to be out."
Pablo López threw five innings of two-hit ball and the bullpen allowed just one hit in Miami's first shutout victory since Sept. 8 against Kansas City.
“Give him credit. He threw a really nice game," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said of Lopez. “We just didn't swing the bats well."
Late Tuesday afternoon, the Marlins were still awaiting the result of further COVID-19 tests, a process that stalled their arrival at Camden Yards and pushed back the scheduled 7:35 p.m. start by 41 minutes.
Once they finally got back on the diamond, the Marlins backed up the assertion of president of baseball operations Michael Hill, who said beforehand: “We expect to win games."
So does Mattingly.
“We lost some guys, but we like our guys who are coming up.," he said.
Who knows how it will play out? For now, however, Miami stands atop the NL East in terms of winning percentage. Before this season, the Marlins have never been in first place after June 30.
“Finally we got out on the field and we do what we’re supposed to do," Aguilar said. “Now we’ve got to keep going."
Miami put a whopping 18 players on the injured list and showed up with an equal number of replacements on their 30-man roster — some from their minor league camp, others obtained via trade and a few plucked off the waiver wire. Mattingly wrote up his lineup card, there's a good chance he had to introduce himself to a few of the newcomers.
“We’ve just got to try to hold down the fort and get some guys back, survive this trip and see where we’re at," the manager said. “This one felt good. We’ve been through a lot."
To say the least.
“I’m going to have to write a book after this one," Mattingly said. “You get tested and you persevere, and you learn from a lot of situations."
There were plenty of rookies in the dugout, but the only one in the starting lineup was highly touted prospect fielder Monte Harrison, who played center field and went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts in his major league debut.
A matchup between two teams that each lost more than 100 games last year was oddly intriguing because it was Miami’s first game since July 26 and the Orioles were coming off a three-game sweep of Tampa Bay that lifted them into second place in the AL East.
Orioles starter John Means (0-1) allowed one run and two hits in 4 2/3 innings. He retired 13 in a row before Cervelli's first long ball of the season ended the left-hander's night.
Lopez was better, striking out seven and permitting just one runner past first base. The bullpen was also impressive, including Richard Bleier, obtained from the Orioles last week.
The Marlins went up 3-0 in the sixth, and Aguilar hit his third homer in four games.
After the final out, the Marlins lined up and did “air” high-fives in which they didn’t make contact with their hands.
Because of Miami's precarious situation, the Orioles had two games in Florida postponed and opened at home against the Yankees instead of Marlins on July 29-30. In this anything goes, wacky baseball season, Miami will be the home team for the final two games of this four-game series.
Ten Marlins' pitchers were among the 18 placed on the injured list, including lefty Caleb Smith, who led the team in wins last year with 10.
Braves 10, Blue Jays 1
Max Fried boosted Atlanta’s depleted rotation by allowing only one run in six innings, and Austin Riley hit a three-run homer.
The Blue Jays played their first game since Thursday. Their weekend series against Philadelphia was postponed in this virus-interrupted season.
Riley pulled a 3-2 pitch from Matt Shoemaker (0-1) into the Blue Jays’ bullpen behind the left-field wall in the fifth. It was the third homer allowed by Shoemaker, following shots by Matt Adams and Tyler Flowers in the second.
Fried (2-0) gave up only four hits.
Astros 8, Diamondbacks 2
José Altuve and Carlos Correa hit solo homers, George Springer added a two-run double and Houston roughed up Madison Bumgarner (0-2) for eight runs in 4 1/3 innings.
The Astros put the game away in the fifth inning with five runs, including two on Springer’s bases-loaded double.
Cristian Javier (1-0) was excellent in his second career start, giving up one run on four hits over six innings. Humberto Castellanos pitched a scoreless ninth for the Astros in his big league debut.
Cubs 5, Royals 4
Jason Heyward, Jason Kipnis and Willson Contreras homered and Chicago overcame another shaky outing by closer Craig Kimbrel to beat Kansas City for its fifth straight win.
Kimbrel took over to begin the ninth inning with a 5-2 lead but struggled again and allowed two runs and two hits while getting only one out. He’s yielded six runs in 1 2/3 innings in three appearances this season.
Cubs reliever Kyle Ryan closed it out for his first save, getting Bubba Starling to ground out to third baseman Kris Bryant with a runner on third to end it.
Kyle Hendricks (2-1) tossed seven solid innings to help the Cubs improve to 9-2, their best start through 11 games since 2016 when they went on to win the World Series. Brady Singer (0-1), making his third major league start on his 24th birthday, allowed four runs.
Indians 4, Reds 2
Shane Bieber (3-0) overcame two solo home runs to pitch into the eighth inning, Franmil Reyes hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer and Cleveland snapped a four-game skid.
Reyes capped the Indians’ comeback from a 2-0 deficit with his first homer of the season after hitting 37 with San Diego and Cleveland last year. His shot in the eighth inning to deep right-center field against Nate Jones (0-1).
The Indians played their third consecutive game without manager Terry Francona, who continues to undergo tests in Cleveland for a gastrointestinal condition. There is no timetable for his return. Sandy Alomar, normally the team’s first base and catching coach, is filling in for Francona.
Brad Hand pitched the ninth for his third save.
Twins 7, Pirates 3
José Berríos (1-1) pitched six strong innings, Nelson Cruz had three hits and Minnesota beat Pittsburgh in a game briefly delayed when an unauthorized drone flew over Target Field.
The Twins won their fifth in a row and improved to 9-2 for the second time in the team’s 60-year history. The other was 2001.
Miguel Sanó doubled and Eddie Rosario dribbled a single through the shift — a swing where he reached out without moving his feet — as part of a three-run first inning off Joe Musgrove (0-3).
The game was delayed for nine minutes in the fifth inning and players were pulled off the field when the drone flew over center field. A few pitchers in the bullpen threw balls at the flying intruder but missed.
White Sox 3, Brewers 2
Jose Abreu hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Lucas Giolito (1-1) struck out nine and allowed two runs in six innings and Chicago won its sixth straight game for the first time since April 2017.
White Sox rookie second baseman Nick Madrigal left the game with an injured left shoulder in the third inning after he was thrown out trying to get from first to third on a single up the middle. Designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion departed in the sixth inning with left shoulder soreness. Both are expected to undergo examinations Wednesday.
Milwaukee’s Ben Gamel and Chicago’s Eloy Jimenez hit two-run homers before Abreu’s single off Devin Williams (0-1).
Alex Colome earned his third save when Gamel grounded out with runners on third and second after consecutive two-out hits by Ryon Healy and Omar Narvaez.
Athletics 5, Rangers 1
Stephen Piscotty hit Oakland’s second walkoff grand slam of the year and gave the club its fourth straight win.
The late-game theatrics helped the A’s win on a night when prized pitching prospect Jesus Luzardo pitched five scoreless innings in his first career start for Oakland and Texas starter Lance Lynn allowed first run of the season.
Edinson Volquez (0-1) got into trouble quickly in the ninth inning when he walked two batters and gave up a hit to load the bases with nobody out. Volquez retired Robbie Grossman on a popup before Piscotty hit a first-pitch drive over the wall in center to match the opening night 10th-inning slam by Matt Olson against the Angels.
Liam Hendriks (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth for the win.
Angels 5, Mariners 3
Mike Trout homered in his first plate appearance as a father, Albert Pujols moved one step closer to Willie Mays on the career home runs list and top prospect Jo Adell got a hit in his big league debut.
Trout missed four games while on paternity leave for the birth of his son, Beckham Aaron Trout. He returned with a solo shot to left-center in the first inning. Pujols hit a two-run homer later in the first for a 3-0 lead, giving him 659 for his career, one behind Mays on the career list. Adell legged out an infield single in his first at-bat. David Fletcher also homered.
Angels starter Andrew Heaney (1-0) struck out three, walked four and allowed a run and three hits in 5 2/3 innings.
Mariners rookie Justin Dunn (0-1) needed 37 pitches to get out of the first and was charged with three runs over four innings.
Dodgers 5, Padres 2
AJ Pollock hit a pinch, go-ahead double in the seventh inning and added a solo homer, and Dustin May struck out a career-high eight.
Mookie Betts entered the game in right field in the eighth inning after missing Monday night’s 5-4 loss in the series opener due to a finger injury.
May (1-0) held San Diego to three hits and two runs in six innings, with one walk. Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in three chances.
After knocking starter Dinelson Lamet out of the game in the sixth, the Dodgers went ahead on an unearned run in the seventh. Austin Barnes reached on a two-out, two-base throwing error by reliever Craig Stammen (1-1) and scored on Pollock’s double to right off Tim Hill.
Rockies 5, Giants 2
Germán Márquez (2-1) struck out nine in efficiently throwing into the eighth inning and benefited from an overturned home-run call for rolling Colorado. The Rockies moved to 8-2 for the second time in franchise history, joining a 2011 team that finished 73-89.
Trailing 3-0 in the fifth, the Giants thought they tied it on a three-run homer by Steven Duggar that hit off the top of the wall. A crew chief review overturned the call and awarded Duggar a two-run double. Márquez struck out Mike Yastrzemski and got Alex Dickerson to fly out to keep it a 3-2 game.
Nolan Arenado went deep for a second straight night, and Yency Almonte got five outs, including two double plays, pick up his first career save.
San Francisco starter and Denver native Kevin Gausman (0-1) threw 5 1/3 innings and allowed four runs in his first appearance at Coors Field. He struck out seven.
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