Today is Saturday, May 27, 2017.

Saturday, May 27, 2017
National Basketball Assoc.
Celtics vs. Cavaliers 8:30 (EDT)
Friday, May 26, 2017
National Basketball Assoc.
Warriors vs. Spurs 9:00 (EDT)
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Major League Baseball
Cardinals vs. Rockies 9:10 (EDT) Preview

Wainwright has had the right stuff against Rockies


Saturday, May 27 at 3:32 AM (EDT)

DENVER -- Adam Wainwright will try to continue his domination over the Colorado Rockies and his success at Coors Field when the St. Louis Cardinals try to even their series on Saturday.

The Rockies walloped the Cardinals 10-0 in the series opener on Friday night. It was Colorado's most lopsided win and St. Louis' most lopsided loss of the season.

Wainwright (4-3, 4.81 ERA) will be opposed by rookie left-hander Kyle Freeland (5-2, 3.31), who will face the Cardinals for the first time.

Wainwright is 9-1 with a 1.70 ERA in 14 games (10 starts) against the Rockies. That is the lowest all-time ERA against the Rockies among opposing pitchers. He has beaten them more times than any other team outside the National League Central.

At Coors Field, Wainwright is 3-0 with a 2.73 ERA in five games (four starts).

While winning his past two starts, Wainwright has allowed one run and nine hits in 13 1/3 innings for a 0.68 ERA. In his first seven starts of the season, Wainwright was 2-3 with a 6.37 ERA.

"The last couple starts I think was a culmination of getting some of the timing in my delivery back in a better place," Wainwright said.

He said he "was leaning out with my leg" while trying to get it farther down the mound, which caused his arm to drag and his pitches to rise.

"But more than anything," Wainwright said, "is finding the correct intensity to go with every pitch. I had gotten to a point where I sort of sacrificed stuff for trying to be more fine on the corners. I went at a higher intensity level before.

"What I've learned in this game is you've got to be a good self-evaluator or not be a very good player. Those first few starts, I had decent stuff, which wasn't translating. I'm thinking, 'All right, why is it that when I get runners on, I've been throwing 93-94 (mph), but nobody's on, I've been throwing 87, 88, 89?'

"There needed to be more of a middle ground, almost towards that top end kind of intensity level all the time."

Wainwright said he also dropped the speed of his signature curveball "pretty dramatically" a couple starts ago.

"So what that allowed me to do," Wainwright said, "is get hitters out of that in-between spot where they could sit in the middle and just react one way or the other because the cutter was two miles off the fastball and the breaking ball was close enough to the cutter that they could kind of sit there."

Freeland ranks second in the majors and first in the National League with a 63.5 ground ball percentage. In his last start Sunday at Cincinnati, Freeland gave up four runs (three earned) in 5 2/3 innings with five hits and posted his second consecutive win in Colorado's 6-4 victory. The Rockies are 7-2 in Freeland's nine starts.

Colorado right fielder Carlos Gonzalez went 0-for-4 in Friday night's romp over the Cardinals, but Gonzalez has come out of his early-season slump that saw his average dwindle to .188 on May 10 with two homers and seven RBIs in 30 games.

Gonzalez, who has raised his average to .250, has at least one hit in 13 of his past 15 games. He went 15-for-33 (.455) in the eight-game hitting streak that ended Friday and included three doubles, two homers, five RBIs and seven runs.

"It's nice to see my bat get going to help the club," he said. "It's all about timing. I can go into batting practice and hit bomb after bomb everywhere, but I'm trying to put that swing into a game. You want to get that (front) foot down and let your hands go to work and be on time. When I'm able to do that, good things happen.

"I'm more ready to hit. I got back to being aggressive. They were throwing me a lot of balls, so when they throw you a lot of balls, you start to take more. You start to walk more, also you start to take a lot of good pitches."


Braves vs. Giants 10:05 (EDT) Preview

Braves face tall task of beating Giants' Blach at home


Saturday, May 27 at 3:00 AM (EDT)

SAN FRANCISCO -- A team that struggles to hit at AT&T Park will encounter a pitcher who has been near-perfect at home when the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants meet for the second time in their three-game series Saturday night.

The Braves scratched out just seven hits and two runs (one unearned) on Friday night, but it was enough to post a 2-0 victory, their sixth straight win in a series opener.

The victory was just the Braves' second in their last six games in San Francisco, a stretch during which they've scored only 11 runs.

They've never seen Giants left-hander Ty Blach during that run, which is probably a good thing. The second-year starter already has established quite a record at home.

Blach (2-2, 4.10 ERA) has pitched well in all four of his home starts this season, allowing just five runs and 17 hits in 26 innings.

When three relief outings are added in, Blach's home ERA (1.59) is the fifth best in baseball this season among pitchers who have made at least four home starts.

Remarkably, the Braves will be seeing a left-handed starting pitcher for just the fourth time all season. They've gone 2-1 with an impressive .299 batting average against lefty starters in the small sample size.

Atlanta had the lefty going Friday night, and he was the difference in the game both on the mound and at the plate.

Jaime Garcia combined with three relievers on a four-hit shutout, and he produced the game's only runs with an RBI single on which a throwing error allowed a second baserunner to score.

"I expect that," Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Garcia's pitching, not his hitting. "It's good to see him coming around."

Seeking a second straight win to start a nine-game trip, Snitker will go with right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, who enjoyed his last visit to San Francisco.

The 25-year-old swept the Giants in two games last season, including a 3-1 victory at AT&T Park in August in which he allowed just one run and five hits in 7 2/3 innings, his second-longest outing of the season.

Foltynewicz (3-4, 3.86) enters the game on a bit of a roll, having won his last three starts while allowing a total of just five runs.

He hasn't had a bad start on the road all season, having compiled a 2.55 ERA -- the 14th best in baseball -- in five outings, including four starts.

Foltynewicz will see a Giants team that's struggling offensively. The shutout in Friday's series opener was their fifth of the season, and they've been held to six runs during their four-game losing streak.

He's 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA in four career starts against the Giants.

San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy was expecting more from his team than he got in Friday's loss.

"We're in this offensive struggle right now," Bochy noted after the opener of his team's six-game homestand. "I thought we'd come home and gets some rips in, but it didn't happen. Their guy was good."

One Giant who got his rips in Friday night was third baseman Eduardo Nunez, who had two of the team's four hits while extending his hitting streak to 12 games.


Athletics vs. Yankees 1:05 (EDT) Preview

Yankees' Sabathia looks to stay effective against A's


Saturday, May 27 at 2:06 AM (EDT)

NEW YORK -- In his last two starts, CC Sabathia's pitches appear to be crisper coming out of his left hand.

On Saturday, the Yankees hope Sabathia can turn in a third straight effective start when he faces the Oakland Athletics.

Sabathia will reach 10 starts for the 16th time in his career, and in starts eight and nine, he allowed a combined two runs and nine hits in 11 2/3 innings.

Before getting wins at Kansas City and Tampa Bay, Sabathia allowed 22 earned runs and 30 hits in 20 2/3 innings during his previous four starts.

On Sunday, in a 3-2 win at Tampa Bay, he allowed two runs (one earned) and four hits in five innings. He threw 95 pitches and matched a season high with six strikeouts while pitching to Gary Sanchez.

"I just think my stuff was a little bit crisper today," Sabathia said. "Sanchez did a great job behind the plate again. We got two-strike counts and even though they fouled a lot of pitches and ran my pitch count up a little we were able to finish when we needed to."

Sabathia is 10-11 with a 4.61 ERA in 30 career starts against Oakland. With the Yankees, he is 7-4 with a 3.38 ERA in 15 starts against the Athletics.

Last season, he allowed one run and three hits in six innings in an 8-3 win at Oakland on May 20.

Sean Manaea was scheduled to pitch for the A's Saturday, but he pitched Friday after Kendall Graveman stayed behind to get his sore right shoulder checked out. Instead Jharel Cotton will make his eighth start Saturday after finding out Thursday, he was rejoining Oakland. This will be the first time he faces the Yankees.

Cotton had mixed results during his first stint on the major league roster. He was 3-4 with a 5.68 ERA and a .282 opponents' batting average before being sent down to Triple-A Nashville on May 11.

"I worked on keeping the ball down, mixing my pitches, throwing in, getting better fastball command, that's about it right there," Cotton said Friday.

Cotton posted a 7.36 ERA in his last two starts, but in the minors the right-hander was 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and a .200 opponents' batting average in two starts. He walked one hitter in 12 innings there after walking 16 in his 38 innings with Oakland.

"You come to the big leagues like he did last year," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "You had a lot of success and then you have teams start to make adjustments to you and that's what longevity in the big leagues is all about. So you got to figure out what the next adjustment that you need to make and that's probably one of the areas he needs to concentrate on."

He last pitched Sunday at Sacramento when he struck out nine and allowed three hits in seven innings of a 4-0 win.

Saturday will be his first start in the Eastern Time Zone and he is 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA in five road starts compared to the 4.95 ERA in seven career starts in Oakland.

But regardless of where the game is being played, Cotton is excited to be back after a short trip to the minors.

"It feels good, he said. "It feels great. I can't stop smiling."

The Yankees will be smiling if Sabathia pitches as well as Masahiro Tanaka did Friday, although they would prefer a win.

Tanaka struck out a career-high 13 in 7 1/3 innings but Oakland opened the series with a 4-1 victory.

The Yankees were held to five hits and scored their lone run on a sacrifice fly by Didi Gregorius in the ninth.

"We're not going to score seven, eight runs every night," New York manager Joe Girardi said. "We haven't had any big offensive outbursts lately but we'll get going again."

Oakland won for the sixth time in nine games. Jed Lowrie had three hits, including the tie-breaking RBI single in the eighth off Tyler Clippard.

He is 16-for-29 in his last seven games after going 4-for-31.

"It's great," Oakland left fielder Khris Davis said. "Somebody's got to hit .300. All year he's been our most consistent hitter, our best hitter."


Rangers vs. Blue Jays 1:07 (EDT) Preview

Rangers seek quality start from Darvish vs. Blue Lays


Saturday, May 27 at 2:07 AM (EDT)

TORONTO -- The Texas Rangers are looking for a good starting performance Saturday afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays after injury limited their Friday night starter, A.J. Griffin, to 1 1/3 innings.

The Rangers' bullpen has pitched 24 of the team's past 58 innings.

"We kind of need to get back to the run of quality starts," Texas manager Jeff Banister said after the 7-6 loss to the Blue Jays. "We've had a couple of outings where a couple of relievers didn't record an out."

The Rangers could not have a better candidate to accomplish what is needed than the starter they send out Saturday: Yu Darvish.

Darvish is 4-0 with a 2.54 ERA in his past six starts and is 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA in his regular-season career against the Blue Jays. He did take the loss to Toronto in Game 2 of the American League Division Series last year.

The Blue Jays will counter with Marco Estrada, who is 2-0 with a 3.66 ERA in his past three starts. He is coming off a 12-strikeout performance over 7 2/3 innings in a 3-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards Sunday.

In four career starts against the Rangers, Estrada is 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA, allowing 15 hits and striking out 16 in 24 innings. He is 3-2 with a 3.30 ERA for the season.

Darvish (5-2, 2.83 ERA) is not expected to have to face Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki on Saturday. The infielders returned from the disabled list and both played Friday with Donaldson hitting a double and Tulowitzki taking two walks and hitting a single.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said he planned to give both a day off Saturday as they work their way into the lineup after being out since mid-April.

The Rangers will put Griffin, who left in the second inning with an intercostal strain, on the 10-day list Saturday and Dillon Gee will be called up from Triple-A Round Rock. Gee will pitch out of the bullpen.

The Blue Jays (22-26) are gradually digging out of an early-season hole and have won four games in a row. The Rangers (24-25), who had a 10-game winning streak May 9-19, have lost four straight.

Second baseman Devon Travis, who hit his second career grand slam in the second inning Friday in extending his hit streak to 10 games, gushed about the return of Donaldson and Tulowitzki.

"Awesome, you can't explain the presence that those guys bring, not just to other teams but to guys in this clubhouse," said Travis, who also had a single and a double Friday. "When those guys step in the clubhouse and you see their names on the lineup card you know it's business, you can feel it, you can feel it in the clubhouse, you can feel it on the field, you can feel it in the crowd. We've got our team back; it's nice."

The Rangers made the game close Friday when Rougned Odor hit a three-run homer with two out in the ninth against Joe Smith.

"I think the story more than anything else is 2-for-15 in run-scoring opportunities," Banister said. "Anytime you have that ratio, it becomes a challenge. Our bullpen is still in decent shape. We've got Darvish going for us (Saturday). We'll look for him to give us some length and see if we can't freshen up some of those arms out there in the bullpen."


Rays vs. Twins 2:10 (EDT) Preview

Twins look to bounce back at home vs. Rays


Saturday, May 27 at 1:45 AM (EDT)

MINNEAPOLIS -- Ace Chris Archer got the Tampa Bay Rays' nine-game road trip off to a great start. Jake Odorizzi will try and follow suit on Saturday.

Odorizzi (3-2, 3.14 ERA) will start the Saturday matinee contest against the Minnesota Twins, who will counter with rookie Adalberto Mejia (1-1, 4.96).

"We've got a long trip," Rays manager Kevin Cash said before Friday's game. "Obviously you want to do whatever you can to win as many games as quickly as possible. It's always nice to put yourself in a position to where you start with a W for sure, and that's why we're excited with Arch."

Archer did his part, allowing just one baserunner through the first six innings. He struck out 11 batters and Alex Colome earned a four-out save in Friday's 5-2 win.

"That was an awesome night for all of us, especially Arch the way he went after that team, and that's a good team over there," said Steven Souza, who hit one of three Rays homers in the game. Logan Morrison and Kevin Kiemaier each added two-run homers in the win.

Morrison increased his team-leading totals to 13 home runs and 34 RBIs. The lefty-swinging first baseman is one off his homer total from all of last season and has been a big part in the middle of the Tampa Bay lineup.

"The damage that Lo Mo is doing and the big hits that he gets, he just gives a solid at-bat," Cash said. "You rarely see him early on here expanding out of the zone. He's patient waiting for his pitch. He's really been nice to be able to plug right in the middle of the lineup."

Morrison has enjoyed hitting in Minnesota's Target Field. He has homers in four straight games against the Twins and has hit .409 with five homers in seven career games at Target Field.

Morrison downplayed his impact, though, noting the team's struggles at times this year. Tampa Bay went to 26-25 with Friday's win and are 10-12 on the road.

"I absolutely take a lot of pride in that," Morrison said of leading the offense. "I'm hitting fourth. This team depends on me to drive in runs, get on base and score runs. Our record isn't good enough, so I haven't been good enough. That's the way I look at it. As a team we have to be better, but I have to be better too."

Morrison homered against left-hander starter Hector Santiago on Friday and will see another lefty in Mejia. Mejia was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to make Saturday's start as the Twins designated left-hander Adam Wilk for assignment.

Mejia returns after giving up three runs in 7 1/3 innings in his last major league outing on Sunday against the Kansas City Royals. He earned his first major league win but had to be optioned back to Triple-A after the game since he was the 26th player for the doubleheader that day.

Mejia returned to Rochester and got his routine work in, with the Twins likely recalling the rookie as soon as they needed another starter. Minnesota has juggled the fifth spot in its rotation as they search for reliability at the back end.

Twins manager Paul Molitor said minor league coaches "really tried to emphasize to just make your pitches" with Mejia.

"Don't worry about who's in the box, this and that," Molitor added. "We'll give you a plan and just try to execute. Control what you can control and see how it plays out. I thought he was better at that last week."

Mejia has never faced the Rays. Odorizzi hasn't enjoyed his starts against the Twins.

Odorizzi is 0-1 with a 5.28 ERA in three career starts against Minnesota.

The right-hander has settled in this season, though, and has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his five May starts. Odorizzi gave up two runs in six innings in his last outing, a no-decision at home against the Los Angeles Angels when he had a season-high eight strikeouts.

Friday's loss snapped the Twins' four-game winning streak and continued their own lopsided ways. The American League Central leaders are 11-14 at home.

"I try not to overthink that," Molitor said. "It's a great trait for a young team to have, to kind of take your show on the road, and go out there and show that you're more than capable of competing and hopefully winning more than your share. I would love to see it translate home a little bit better. I can't explain why it hasn't gone quite as well here. It's just kind of timing more than anything, for me."


Tigers vs. White Sox 2:10 (EDT) Preview

Tigers, White Sox gear up for doubleheader after rainout


Saturday, May 27 at 3:36 AM (EDT)

CHICAGO -- After rain forced the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers to scrap the first game of Friday's doubleheader, the teams will again try to play a twin bill starting Saturday afternoon.

The revised schedule calls for the White Sox and Twins to play a straight doubleheader beginning with the originally scheduled game at 1:10 p.m. CT. The second game will start 30 minutes after the conclusion of the opening contest.

The White Sox (21-25) will go for their second win in a row after knocking off the Tigers (22-25) in Friday's series opener. Both teams spent more than 12 hours at the ballpark on Friday and likely will spend at least that long at Guaranteed Rate Field again on Saturday.

"They're long (days), but you don't realize how long they are until the day is over," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "In the midst of the games, you're not thinking about it too much."

Left-hander Derek Holland (4-3, 2.47 ERA) is scheduled to start the first game for the White Sox. Holland has recorded seven quality starts in nine outings this season. He is 1-0 with a 2.73 ERA in five career starts against the Tigers.

Detroit will counter with right-hander Buck Farmer (0-0, 0.00 ERA) opposite Holland in Game 1. Farmer, 26, will make his season debut after appearing in 32 games (eight starts) over parts of the past three seasons. He is 0-6 with a 6.84 ERA during his big league career, but he sports a 3.00 ERA in three relief appearances against the White Sox.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus could try to help Farmer by starting John Hicks at catcher in Game 1. Hicks was recalled from Triple-A Toledo on Friday and knows Farmer well from the minor leagues.

"I know what he wants to do, and that helps both of us," Hicks told the Detroit News. "We have a comfort level with each other.

"Here, you have so much more information. I've already gone through (the White Sox) lineup and wrote down some information that I want. I've watched video on them so I have a visual of what each guy looks like and what their approach is going to be."

In Saturday's second game, the White Sox will turn to right-hander Tyler Danish (0-0, 0.00 ERA). Danish will make his first big league start after appearing in three games out of the bullpen in 2016. He has a 27.00 ERA against the Tigers after giving up one run in one-third of an inning last season.

The Tigers will turn to right-hander Michael Fulmer to oppose Danish in Game 2. Fulmer has posted nine consecutive quality starts to open the season and will try to increase the streak to double digits. The 24-year-old is 0-0 with a 4.08 ERA in three career starts against the White Sox.

Back spasms forced White Sox second baseman Tyler Saladino to exit Friday's game during the fourth inning. His status is uncertain for Saturday's doubleheader. If Saladino is unable to play, second baseman Yolmer Sanchez could start in his place.


Mariners vs. Red Sox 4:05 (EDT) Preview

Young pitchers square off as Red Sox host Mariners


Saturday, May 27 at 2:22 AM (EDT)

BOSTON -- Two pitchers who have combined for exactly two major league wins face each other when Rob Whalen makes his Seattle Mariners debut against the Boston Red Sox's Brian Johnson in Game 2 of a three-game series at Fenway Park on Saturday.

Whalen, acquired by Seattle from the Atlanta Braves last Nov. 28, is 1-2 with a 6.57 ERA in five career games, all starts and all with the Braves in 2016. He was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday while the Mariners were in Washington in the middle of this eight-game road trip.

Johnson, being recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket for the second time this season, is 1-1 with a 7.71 ERA in two big league starts, picking up a win over the Toronto Blue Jays on April 18 -- when he went five innings and allowed four runs.

"We've seen a gradual increase in stuff overall," Boston manager John Farrell said Friday, before his team won its fifth game in a row. "There's been better crispness, there's been consistent strike throwing, there's been the ability to put guys away with the breaking ball -- a slight uptick in velocity.

"I think more than anything, the two years that Brian, in his own journey, has gone through, he's coming out the back side of it, regaining the form that was a good-looking left-handed pitcher a couple of years ago in spring training -- the elbow injury, some of the off-field things that he's worked through."

Johnson didn't have Tommy John surgery but did miss last season with an elbow injury. He has also battled anxiety and was a victim of a carjacking.

"He's in a much better place right now," said Farrell.

Johnson comes back to Fenway having delivered quality starts his last four times out at Pawtucket, going 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA.

Whalen, recalled for the second time this season, was 0-2 with a 4.09 ERA in four starts at Tacoma, but did throw a complete game and did not allow a home run in 22 innings. He walked 10 and struck out 18.

"I'm extremely excited," he said Friday. "The one day I came up here and didn't get to throw was a little disappointing. But (general manager) Jerry (Dipoto) promised there'd be opportunities here when I got traded. That's all I can ask for.

"I've been feeling healthy. My time in Triple-A, the numbers might not look good, but I felt I was getting better every start. Starting to shake that rust off a little bit."

Whalen will be the 12th starting pitcher and 43rd player to work for the Mariners this season -- both major league highs for a club that has had a rough ride and has lost six of the last seven, including Friday night's 3-0 defeat at Fenway Park.

Having 12 starting pitchers in the first 49 games is ... well, too many.

"We're not looking for him to throw seven shutout innings," manager Scott Servais said. "I'll take it ... but keep us in the ballgame. Do what he does. Good slider. Good curveball."

Whalen arrived at Fenway Park early Friday so he could look around.

"I've been wanting to come to this park since I dreamed of playing baseball," he said. "I'd always been a low-key Red Sox fan growing up. So it's really cool to be here. The history here is amazing. To take the mound is going to be really cool."

After Friday night's game, the Red Sox announced they were sending reliever Ben Taylor back to Pawtucket to make room for Johnson.


Padres vs. Nationals 4:05 (EDT) Preview

After facing Scherzer, Padres must deal with Nationals' Strasburg


Saturday, May 27 at 1:50 AM (EDT)

WASHINGTON -- The East Coast road trip doesn't get any easier Saturday for the San Diego Padres, who fell to 9-18 away from home with a 5-1 loss on Friday night to the Washington Nationals.

After facing Max Scherzer on Friday, the Padres get to contend in the late Saturday afternoon shadows with right-hander Stephen Strasburg (5-1, 3.28 ERA), who will make his seventh career start against his hometown Padres.

Strasburg, a former San Diego State standout and the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2009, is 5-1 with a 3.50 ERA in six career outings against the Padres.

"As effective as any one-two (starters). Most people who have a one don't have a two," Padres manager Andy Green said Friday of Scherzer and Strasburg.

Scherzer went 8 2/3 innings and allowed just three hits with 13 strikeouts in the win Friday.

"On any given day, they are dominant starters. Every team wants a challenge," Green said. "We get two of the best pitchers in the game in the next two days."

Strasburg has limited experience against current San Diego hitters. Infielder Erick Aybar is 2-for-9 (.222) against Strasburg.

Washington bench coach Chris Speier is filling in for manager Dusty Baker, who is in northern California for the Saturday high school graduation of his son, Darren. Baker will miss all three games of the series against San Diego.

"Dusty is doing what he should do," said Speier, who said players and managers sacrifice a lot of family events during a long season.

The former big league shortstop said he thinks the Nationals are doing more defensive shifts this year than last season, when he joined Baker in Washington.

"I want my pitchers to be confident with it," Speier said of the shifts. "All of our pitchers have the ability not to have it."

Speier has been around the game nearly his whole life and doesn't see shifts going away.

"It does work more times than not," he said.

San Diego's starter on Saturday will be left-hander Clayton Richard (3-5, 4.31 ERA), who tossed his fourth career complete game in his last start on Sunday against Arizona. He allowed one run and five hits with six strikeouts.

Richard is 1-3 in 10 career games, with six starts, against Washington. He has a 3.56 ERA in 43 innings and has given up 16 walks with 27 strikeouts.

Richard will face a Washington team that leads the National League in hitting at .274 and has a league-high 74 homers, including homers Friday by Trea Turner, Michael A. Taylor and Bryce Harper.

"It is definitely a challenge," Richard said Friday. "It seems like this year we have run into a lot of good offenses. You really have to focus pitch-by-pitch."

The Nationals have three of the top hitters in the league in first baseman Ryan Zimmerman (.362), right fielder Harper (.340) and second baseman Daniel Murphy (.316). They have combined for 37 homers, and third baseman Anthony Rendon has nine.

Harper hit his eighth two-strike homer on Friday. He entered the day tied with Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees and Eric Thames of the Milwaukee Brewers for the major league lead in that category with seven, according to the Nationals.

"You have to try and get each of them out," Richard said. "You have to sell out to the guy who is in the box."

How does a team prepare for an opponent it does not face often?

"There are not as many adjustments," said Richard, who said that is not the case against divisional foes. "We have to trust the scouting report and go off that."

Zimmerman and Murphy got the night off Friday so both should be in the lineup Saturday.

Speier has been impressed with the leadership of Murphy and his defense since he came over from the New York Mets after the 2015 season.

"He is always willing to speak to anybody about hitting," Speier said of Murphy.


Reds vs. Phillies 4:05 (EDT) Preview

Reds face Phillies with eye on returning to .500


Saturday, May 27 at 1:58 AM (EDT)

The Reds are currently going the right way during an up-and-down first two months of the season.

They're looking to get back to .500 with their fourth win in five games as they face the Phillies on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. The Phillies, meanwhile, are trying to salvage the series and some wins in what has been a forgettable month of May.

The Reds were 5-2 winners in the series opener Friday night. The win pushed the club to 23-24, and they have not been .500 since May 16 when they were 19-19.

Bronson Arroyo will be on the mound for Cincinnati, looking to shake off a string of back-to-back tough outings. Arroyo, 40, has combined to surrender 11 earned runs and 17 hits in his last two starts against the Cubs and Rockies. He didn't make it out of the sixth inning in either outing.

In his last start, Arroyo gave up four home runs to the Cubs, who tagged the righty for six earned runs in 5 1/3 innings.

"He's a big part of the culture here in our clubhouse," Reds manager Bryan Price told of Arroyo after his last start. "It's a challenging game. It's unforgiving. It doesn't even respect the best of people or the best of pitchers and players. I just have a lot of optimism with him because he knows how to pitch and he's been a winner."

The veteran will be faced by 26-year-old Jerad Eickhoff. The Phillies are just 1-8 in games started by Eickhoff (0-5, 4.70 ERA) this season, and the right-hander has not received much run support in either of his last two starts.

In his last start, Eickhoff gave up four runs on nine hits against Colorado, though the majority of damage against him came from an RBI blooper and a seeing-eye single.

"I executed pitches. I was doing my job," Eickhoff told "It was out of my control. I thought I was in a good spot, but they did a good job putting enough on it to put it where the guys weren't."

Eickhoff has gone six innings in both of his last two appearances, allowing two earned runs to the Rangers and four against the Rockies. He has 12 strikeouts in those 12 innings, but the Phillies have scored just one run in both games.

Scoring runs has been a major problem for the Phillies in the last two weeks. Philadelphia has not scored more than three runs in a game since beating the Pirates 7-2 on May 19. In their last 14 contests, the Phillies have averaged 2.9 runs per game.

Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said there was a team meeting after Friday's loss as his squad looks for answers.

"We need to step it up. We're better than this. I know we're better than this," he said. "We've just got to start playing as aggressive as we can and take it to the other team. Be aggressive at the plate and pound the strike zone."


Angels vs. Marlins 4:10 (EDT) Preview

Angels now know Marlins have some offense


Saturday, May 27 at 1:30 AM (EDT)

MIAMI -- The slumping Miami Marlins, who are 17-29 and have lost 21 of their past 28 games, earned the respect of the Los Angeles Angels in Friday night's opener of a three-game series.

"They have a pretty deep lineup, especially for the National League," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after the Marlins pounded out an impressive 8-5 win. "We had trouble getting through it."

Game two is set for Saturday afternoon at Marlins Park. The Angels will send right-hander JC Ramirez (4-3, 3.81 ERA) out to face an unusual Miami lineup that features slugger Giancarlo Stanton batting second.

Ramirez, who will be making his 12th appearance and ninth start of the season, has only faced the Marlins once in his career.

But that was a whole different animal. It was back in 2013, when Ramirez was a reliever for the Philadelphia Phillies, and he fired two scoreless innings against Miami.

On Saturday, Ramirez will face a Marlins lineup that is suddenly clicking. Stanton was only moved to No. 2 in the order on Tuesday -- a desperation move by Miami manager Don Mattingly.

On Friday, though, it worked as Dee Gordon, Stanton and Christian Yelich -- the first three batters in the reworked lineup -- each had three hits. Each of those three batters had one extra-base hit as well.

The 4-5-6 hitters also did well as Marcell Ozuna had two RBIs, Justin Bour hit a three-run homer, and JT Realmuto hit a solo shot.

Stanton, who had been batting fourth, seems fine with the move up the batting order.

"It's a little adjustment," Stanton said. "I've got to get ready to hit sooner in the first inning. But I also know I'm going to batting in the first inning 100 percent.

"At the end of the day, it's just two spots (up), but I think it will pay dividends in the late innings and in close games. There are some innings where I get cut off when I'm fourth."

Stanton said it is too early to tell if he is getting better pitches to hit batting behind Gordon.

But Stanton said his main concern is to move Gordon once the Marlins' leadoff batter gets on base.

"If he gets a good jump (on a steal attempt), see if it is a good ball to hit," Stanton said. "I did my job (on Friday). I've just got to make sure I move him over. That's all I'm worried about.

"I want to get a pitch I can drive. If it bloops over an infielder, and Dee scores, that's good, too."

While the Angels wrestle with Miami's batting order, they will also try to get to Vance Worley (0-1, 6.75 ERA), who made his Marlins debut last week in a 6-3 loss at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Signed as a free agent by the Marlins on April 4, Worley did not impress against the Dodgers, allowing three runs in four innings. This will be Worley's first career start against the Angels.

Ramirez may have a slight edge over Worley due to recent history. Ramirez is 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA in his past six starts.


Diamondbacks vs. Brewers 4:10 (EDT) Preview

Diamondbacks face Brewers, look to win 7th straight


Saturday, May 27 at 2:19 AM (EDT)

MILWAUKEE -- Things are going good these days for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who will try to extend their winning streak to seven games Saturday when they take on the Brewers in Milwaukee.

Arizona rallied late Friday night and has now won 10 of its last 11 and 13 of 16 to stay within a game of first-place Colorado in the NL West.

"It's been fun," said veteran catcher Chris Iannetta, whose game-tying home run in the ninth inning set the stage for the Diamondbacks' go-ahead 10th. "This is the way baseball should be. It's not always going to happen but the way we're playing the game right now is the way you want to play the game. You want to play hard, you want to hustle, you want to pitch and play good defense. That's what we're doing."

Arizona stands a good chance to keep it going Saturday as Zack Greinke (6-2, 2.82 ERA) takes the mound. He's won each of his last four starts and five decisions in a row overall.

The right-hander has been absolutely dominant this month, posting an 0.66 WHIP and striking out 12 in his last outing while allowing four hits over 8 2/3 innings against the White Sox.

"Everything was pretty good and that's what really made it good -- that everything was working well for the most part," Greinke said. "They hit my curveball pretty good even though it felt good coming out of my fingers, but they took their best swings on that pitch."

On top of that, some of his best performances have come at Milwaukee's Miller Park, where he played for the Brewers from 2011 until mid-2013 and is 16-2 with a 3.07 ERA in 27 career appearances, including 26 starts.

Greinke hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 12 2/3 innings against a former team.

That doesn't bode well for a Milwaukee offense that has scored just nine runs in its last four games and has dropped a season-high five in a row overall.

"Our team is showing heart," first baseman Eric Thames said. "But everything that can go wrong -- knock on wood; I don't want anybody to get hurt or anything -- is going wrong. We're hitting balls hard right at guys, tough calls are going the opposite way. But that's the way it goes. You have to kind of wear it and wait for the game to change."

Like Greinke, Brewers right-hander Chase Anderson (2-1, 4.25) will also be facing his former team Saturday. Acquired from the Diamondbacks prior to last season, Anderson posted a 1.12 ERA through his first four outings of 2017 but has struggled since, posting a 7.30 mark in his last five starts and allowing a season-high six earned runs in his last outing Sunday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

"I just got a little out of whack with my mechanics this month," Anderson said. "I've been forcing a couple of things, working too hard. Not letting my body do what it's supposed to do.

"I'm not attacking like I was in April. I'm trying to, but when you feel like you're fighting yourself sometimes, it's hard to do that because you don't want to throw it down the middle of the plate. I'm just trying to get my mechanics smoothed out, work on that and get back on track."

In two previous outings against Arizona, Anderson is 1-0 with a 3.37 ERA.


Royals vs. Indians 4:10 (EDT) Preview

Royals hope bats stay hot vs. Indians


Saturday, May 27 at 2:49 AM (EDT)

CLEVELAND -- The Kansas City Royals have had trouble scoring runs this season, but they will go into their game in Cleveland on Saturday fresh off one of their most impressive offensive displays of the season.

On Friday night, in the first game of their three-game series, the Royals trailed 4-0 after three innings, but scored six unanswered runs over the last six innings in a 6-4 win over the Indians.

Kansas City pitchers held Cleveland hitters scoreless on three hits over the final six innings.

Coming into the game the Royals were last in the American League in 10 offensive categories, including batting average, runs, hits, doubles, slugging percentage and on base percentage.

However, Kansas City's hitters are starting to show some signs of life. The win Friday was the third time in their last 16 games that the Royals came back from a deficit of four or more runs to win a game.

"It was a great comeback. Down by four, but the guys found a way to come back and win it," manager Ned Yost said.

Cleveland's pitching staff was expected to be among the best in the American League this year. That prediction has been half right. Indians relievers lead the American League with a 2.29 ERA, but their starting pitchers are last in the league with a 4.98 ERA.

Closer Chad Allen is averaging 13.7 strikeouts per nine innings with a 2.29 ERA, and he is tied for the league lead with 13 saves. Andrew Miller is 3-0 with an 0.72 ERA. Miller is averaging 12 strikeouts per nine innings and opposing batters are hitting .145 against him.

Manager Terry Francona loves the durability and the availability of his relief corps.

"I love our 'pen," Francona said. "They take a lot of pride in being available. They all want to take the ball."

Struggling right-hander Danny Salazar (3-4, 5.55 ERA) will start for Cleveland on Saturday. In four starts in the month of May, Salazar is 1-2 with a 7.50 ERA. Opposing teams are hitting .311 against him in those four starts, during which he has allowed eight home runs in 18 innings. Salazar's penchant for giving up home runs could be a problem for him against a Royals team that has hit 15 in its last seven games.

Salazar last faced the Royals on May 5, a 3-1 loss at Kansas City in which Salazar gave up two runs on eight hits, with seven strikeouts and two walks. In 13 career starts against Kansas City, Salazar is 7-6 with a 3.63 ERA.

The Royals will counter with Jason Vargas, who is 5-2 with a 2.30 ERA that ranks third in the American League. Like Salazar, Vargas has been struggling in recent starts. In his last two outings, he is 0-2 with an 8.10 ERA.

In a start against Cleveland on May 6, Vargas pitched six scoreless innings on four hits, with six strikeouts and two walks. In 14 career starts against the Indians, Vargas is 6-3 with a 4.33 ERA.


Tigers vs. White Sox 5:40 (EDT) Preview

Tigers, White Sox gear up for doubleheader after rainout


Saturday, May 27 at 3:36 AM (EDT)

CHICAGO -- After rain forced the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers to scrap the first game of Friday's doubleheader, the teams will again try to play a twin bill starting Saturday afternoon.

The revised schedule calls for the White Sox and Twins to play a straight doubleheader beginning with the originally scheduled game at 1:10 p.m. CT. The second game will start 30 minutes after the conclusion of the opening contest.

The White Sox (21-25) will go for their second win in a row after knocking off the Tigers (22-25) in Friday's series opener. Both teams spent more than 12 hours at the ballpark on Friday and likely will spend at least that long at Guaranteed Rate Field again on Saturday.

"They're long (days), but you don't realize how long they are until the day is over," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "In the midst of the games, you're not thinking about it too much."

Left-hander Derek Holland (4-3, 2.47 ERA) is scheduled to start the first game for the White Sox. Holland has recorded seven quality starts in nine outings this season. He is 1-0 with a 2.73 ERA in five career starts against the Tigers.

Detroit will counter with right-hander Buck Farmer (0-0, 0.00 ERA) opposite Holland in Game 1. Farmer, 26, will make his season debut after appearing in 32 games (eight starts) over parts of the past three seasons. He is 0-6 with a 6.84 ERA during his big league career, but he sports a 3.00 ERA in three relief appearances against the White Sox.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus could try to help Farmer by starting John Hicks at catcher in Game 1. Hicks was recalled from Triple-A Toledo on Friday and knows Farmer well from the minor leagues.

"I know what he wants to do, and that helps both of us," Hicks told the Detroit News. "We have a comfort level with each other.

"Here, you have so much more information. I've already gone through (the White Sox) lineup and wrote down some information that I want. I've watched video on them so I have a visual of what each guy looks like and what their approach is going to be."

In Saturday's second game, the White Sox will turn to right-hander Tyler Danish (0-0, 0.00 ERA). Danish will make his first big league start after appearing in three games out of the bullpen in 2016. He has a 27.00 ERA against the Tigers after giving up one run in one-third of an inning last season.

The Tigers will turn to right-hander Michael Fulmer to oppose Danish in Game 2. Fulmer has posted nine consecutive quality starts to open the season and will try to increase the streak to double digits. The 24-year-old is 0-0 with a 4.08 ERA in three career starts against the White Sox.

Back spasms forced White Sox second baseman Tyler Saladino to exit Friday's game during the fourth inning. His status is uncertain for Saturday's doubleheader. If Saladino is unable to play, second baseman Yolmer Sanchez could start in his place.


Cubs vs. Dodgers 7:15 (EDT) Preview

Lackey opposes Wood in middle game of Cubs-Dodgers series


Saturday, May 27 at 3:30 AM (EDT)

LOS ANGELES -- A pair of right-handers will take the stage in the second game of a three-game series between the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

Chicago's John Lackey (4-4, 4.82 ERA) will oppose Brandon McCarthy (4-1, 3.76) after the Dodgers (29-20) took the opening game Friday in a 4-0 win behind another standout performance by Alex Wood.

Wood (6-0) dominated with a two-hitter in five shutout innings and extended his string of scoreless innings to 25 1/3. Wood, who has won his last five games, struck out eight, walked two and hit a batter. He threw 91 pitches, 59 strikes.

"I definitely feel confident right now, for sure," said Wood, who is 10-2 in 20 career games (15 starts) at home. "But at the same time, like I say every week, the consistency of my stuff has been there, and that's kind of where my confidence is coming from. I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and give us a chance to win every time out and keep going from there."

Lackey, who has experienced success against the Dodgers, will attempt to slow them again offensively. In his career against Los Angeles, Lackey is 6-4 with a 1.73 ERA in 13 games (12 starts).

However, he wasn't so fortunate the last time they met. Lackey was on the losing end of a 2-0 decision on April 12 at Wrigley Field as McCarthy tossed a four-hit shutout in six innings, striking out four, walking three and capturing the win. It was the only setback for the Cubs during their three-game set with the Dodgers.

Lackey, who is making his 10th start this season, will try to rebound from his last start when he allowed five runs in seven innings in a 6-4 setback to the San Francisco Giants on May 21. That loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Lackey.

The key for many teams has been getting to Lackey early. Lackey has an ERA of 8.00 in the first inning this season and 4.15 from the second inning.

In four career games against Chicago, McCarthy is 1-1 with a 1.47 ERA.

Some of the Chicago players admitted that they believe the Dodgers are more improved than last year's squad that took the Cubs to six games before they won the National League Championship Series.

"They've got a good team. They've got a good team pretty much every year," said Cubs ace Jake Arrieta, the losing pitcher in Friday's setback. "Obviously, what (Clayton) Kershaw does year in and year out the guy that goes against him has to be lights out to win a game. The way Alex is pitching this year that pretty much adds another dominant starter to their rotation. Their bullpen has been tremendous.

"They've added some pieces, they've got a couple of young guys in the lineup and they're a good club year in and year out. They're a little bit better all around. They're a team we're going to have to compete against."


Mets vs. Pirates 7:15 (EDT) Preview

Could more changes be in order for Pirates' McCutchen vs. Mets?


Saturday, May 27 at 1:53 AM (EDT)

PITTSBURGH -- Where will Andrew McCutchen be Saturday when the Pittsburgh Pirates play the second game of a weekend series against the New York Mets at PNC Park?

The Pirates are trying everything they can think of to get the center fielder and former National League MVP untracked. McCutchen was benched for a couple of games in Atlanta at the end of a road trip this week, then Friday night was moved to sixth in the lineup -- the first time as a starter he has been slotted lower than fourth. His usual spot is third.

McCutchen went 1-for-4 with a solid one-out single up the middle in the seventh inning of the Pirates' 8-1 loss to New York.

On one hand, it was one of just six Pirates hits. On the other, it only boosted McCutchen's average from .203 to .205, and there is no telling if it might have been the start of something positive.

For his part, McCutchen isn't balking at the move. Far from it.

"I was cool with it," he said. "Different experience for me, but I understand where this could help me get things going. I discussed it with (manager Clint) Hurdle and I wasn't opposed it at all. I was, like, 'Let's go, man. I'm ready. Whatever we've got to do, let's do it.'"

In fact, McCutchen wonders if the move down the lineup might relieve some pressure after he stranded several runners before he was given the two days off from starting.

"Three-hole sometimes can be one of those spots where you feel like you've got to produce and deliver, come through, especially early in the game or middle of the game," McCutchen said. "I've had plenty of opportunities the last few series, runners in scoring position, and it might have put a little added pressure on me.

"I feel like I've got to do a little more. I think being a little further down the lineup is going to help me be able to not put pressure on myself."

The Pirates' scheduled starter Saturday, Gerrit Cole (2-5, 3.36 ERA), has been the victim of poor run support much of the season. But in his 11th and most recent start Monday, it was on him.

Cole allowed five runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings in a 5-2 loss at Atlanta. Perhaps coming back to PNC Park will help. The right-hander is 1-1 at home with a 1.67 ERA in four starts.

For New York, right-hander Zack Wheeler (3-2, 3.74 ERA) is more of a road specialist. He is 13-6 with a 2.84 ERA in 32 career starts on the road, where he has won six of his past seven starts. This season, he is 1-0 with a 2.76 ERA in three road starts.

Wheeler has been arguably the Mets' most consistent starter, but that comes with a future asterisk. After missing two seasons following Tommy John surgery, Wheeler has a 125-inning limit this season. He is already at 43 1/3, or more than a third of the way to his limit, on Memorial Day weekend.

How well he holds up and how well he does, including Saturday's game, could induce the Mets to lift or extend his limit.

"What we try to do is establish a target, and then we constantly re-evaluate," general manager Sandy Alderson told Newsday last weekend. "And that's what we'll do in his case."


Orioles vs. Astros 7:15 (EDT) Preview

Keuchel returning as Astros host Orioles


Saturday, May 27 at 3:02 AM (EDT)

HOUSTON -- When the Astros placed ace left-hander Dallas Keuchel on the 10-day disabled list on May 20, manager A.J. Hinch was hopeful that Keuchel would miss just one start and could resume his exceptional pitching in short order.

With Keuchel (7-0, 1.84 ERA) set to return on Saturday in the second game of a three-game set with the Baltimore Orioles (25-21), Hinch now faces a decision borne of rotation maneuvering that came while Keuchel was sidelined.

Right-hander Brad Peacock delivered 4 1/3 scoreless innings while making a spot start for Keuchel, and Hinch is taking that performance into consideration as he maps out his likely rotation when Houston (33-16) visits Minnesota next week.

"I'm still contemplating the thought of him making a start in Minnesota," Hinch said of Peacock. "We're not going to do anything with the rotation in this series. The next decision that we have is in the Minnesota series on the road. He's still under consideration for a start there but no determination has been made because I don't know if I'm going to need him (this series).

"We're trying to be smart about rest for our rotation. I'm even considering giving everybody an extra day. All of that's on the table and we'll have a determination at the end of the weekend."

If Peacock does get a second start, he could bump right-hander Mike Fiers (1-2, 5.40 ERA) to the bullpen or, as Hinch noted, simple provide the other starters additional rest. How Keuchel, 2-2 with a 3.18 ERA over five career starts against Baltimore, performs will have some influence on any forthcoming decision.

Left-hander Wade Miley (1-2, 2.59 ERA) will start for the Orioles. Miley is 2-1 with a 3.99 ERA over seven career starts against the Astros, suffering that loss last season while posting a 6.28 ERA over three starts with the Orioles and Mariners.

The Orioles are facing a rotation change of their own, with right-hander Alec Asher (1-2, 2.17 ERA) scheduled to replace Ubaldo Jimenez in the rotation on Sunday. Jimenez has struggled of late, going 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA over his last three starts. Asher, meanwhile, has pitched effectively this season, particularly out of the bullpen, where he is 1-1 with a 1.62 ERA over nine appearances.

"I think he's deserving of the opportunity," Showalter said of Asher. "He's presented himself well since we had him in the spring, his start up here, and out of the bullpen. The challenge is it takes guys who've pitched well out of our pen but we've been challenged trying to figure out a way to get a little deeper into games. It doesn't matter who we've got in the bullpen if we don't."

Jimenez has worked out of the bullpen previously in his career; this shift in roles isn't at all foreign to him. That experience made the decision easier for Showalter.

"That's a big part of it," Showalter said. "He's got a history of going down there, coming back and pitching well. So, we'll try that.

"It's been a challenge for him. It's not like every time he's pitched it's been poor but we're trying to figure out a way to get him going."


Friday, May 26, 2017
Major League Baseball
Diamondbacks 4 vs. 2 Brewers Final Recap

Diamondbacks beat Brewers in 10 innings


Saturday, May 27 at 1:03 AM (EDT)

MILWAUKEE -- When things are going well, as they have been for the Arizona Diamondbacks lately, the unlikely suddenly becomes likely.

So it should not have been that much of a surprise to see Chris Iannetta blast a game-tying home run with two outs in the ninth inning, and to see Chris Owings score the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the 10th as the Diamondbacks extended their winning streak to five games with a 4-2 victory over the Brewers at Miller Park on Friday.

"This is the way baseball should be," said Iannetta. "It's not always going to happen but the way we're playing the game right now is the way you want to play the game. You want to play hard, you want to hustle, you want to pitch and play good defense. That's what we're doing."

The Diamondbacks got plenty of good pitching and defense from Iannetta as well as starting pitcher Zack Godley, who threw six shutout innings while striking out six.

Junior Guerra started for the first time since straining his right calf on Opening Day and held the Diamondbacks to a run on five hits and three walks while striking out five over 5 2/3 innings of work.

The only blemish on his line came in the fourth on a solo home run by Jake Lamb that staked Godley to a 1-0.

Iannetta bailed him out of a big jam in the sixth, preventing the tying run from scoring when he scrambled to retrieve a breaking ball in the dirt in time to toss it back to Godley, who tagged a sliding Eric Thames to end the inning.

"It kicked off my wrist a little bit," Iannetta said. "I got to it as fast as I could, flipped it to Zack and he made a great tag. It's what you practice in spring; rarely with the timing do you get it to actually work but it was a scenario where it worked out."

Brewers manager Craig Counsell challenged the call but after nearly two minutes of review, it was upheld by the replay center in New York. Counsell was incensed by the decision and charged out of the dugout to argue with home plate umpire Jim Reynolds before he was ultimately ejected.

"I just saw that, if you put the angles together, he didn't tag him on time, until he crossed the plate," Counsell said. "For whatever reason that's where the gray area comes in for them -- whoever's judging didn't want to overturn it."

Milwaukee finally got on the board in the seventh on a solo home run by Jett Bandy and took the lead in the eighth on an RBI single from Hernan Perez.

Corey Knebel came on to close it out in the ninth and made quick work of Yosmany Tomas and Brandon Drury, but missed his mark on a 1-1 fastball to Iannetta, who homered. Just like that, the game was tied.

"I thought he took a great approach on a 98 mph fastball and he did it without any reluctance," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "It speaks volumes about who he is. It was a very clutch moment."

After going down in order in the bottom of the ninth against T.J. McFarland, the Brewers turned to Wily Peralta to pitch the 10th.

He was making just his third relief appearance, and trouble found Peralta early as he allowed a leadoff double to Chris Owings. David Peralta's ground out moved Owings to third and he scored easily when Peralta's 1-1 offering to Lamb got past Bandy.

Lamb followed with an RBI double, and Fernando Rodney slammed the door with a scoreless ninth for his 13th save. McFarland (2-0) got the win.

"That's a tough loss," Counsell said. "We battled back nicely and did a nice job. A guy hit a 98-mph fastball. Give them credit. Give Iannetta credit. It was a good swing on a tough pitch, and they put some runs on the board in the 10th."

NOTES: Brewers OF Ryan Braun was placed on the 10-day disabled list Friday, just five days after he was activated. ... Braun's move to the DL cleared a roster spot for RHP Junior Guerra to return to action. Guerra has been sidelined since straining his right calf three innings into his Opening Day start. ... Diamondbacks LF Yasmany Tomas was back in the lineup Friday after missing two games with hip tightness. ... Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said OF AJ Pollock took batting practice Friday afternoon at the team's spring training complex but is still not expected to join team on the road trip. Pollock has been on the disabled list with a strained groin since May 15.


Orioles 0 vs. 2 Astros Final Recap

Musgrove dazzles as Astros blank Orioles


Saturday, May 27 at 12:02 AM (EDT)

HOUSTON -- While ascending through the minors, Houston Astros right-hander Joe Musgrove cultivated a reputation for pitching with energy and efficiency, qualities that have occasionally escaped him during his time in the big leagues.

But those characteristics were in full bloom during his 10th start of this season.

Musgrove twirled seven shutout innings, Jake Marisnick homered for a second consecutive game, and Chris Devenski escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the eighth inning as the Houston Astros eked out a 2-0 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

Musgrove (4-4) produced the best start of his young career, allowing four hits and accumulating six strikeouts. He did not issue a walk, faced just three batters over the minimum, and did not allow a baserunner to advance to third base.

"I'm really just happy about being able to get some of the trust back with some of my teammates," Musgrove said. "Not to say that they've been down on me, but it's tough to go out there and put together bad outing after bad outing and feel like your teammates are not really confident going into that day.

"So I'm happy that I can put a good one out and hopefully continue to build off of that."

Thanks to Marisnick, whose sixth home run came against Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman (2-4) with one out in the third inning, Musgrove had all the run support he needed. Carlos Beltran added a solo homer, his fifth home run of the season, in the sixth.

Things didn't go as smoothly for Devenski, who immediately allowed a leadoff double to Baltimore left fielder Hyun Soo Kim. Two infield singles later and the bases were loaded.

Devenski rallied to strike out Seth Smith before inducing fly-ball outs from Adam Jones and Manny Machado, with Machado sending right fielder George Springer several steps onto the warning track in right-center field.

"I was trying to breathe," Devenski said. "It was happening quick, but I'm learning from it and I'll find a way to better myself and be able to help my team out.

"He (Machado) hit it pretty good, but I saw George going back and camping under it so I knew he had it."

Astros closer Ken Giles notched his 14th save to complete the shutout for Houston (33-16). The Orioles (25-21) dropped their fifth consecutive game.

"Nobody's panicking because even though we're losing, we're playing good baseball," Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop said. "We got our chances, but we didn't come through tonight. It'll change."

There was little reason to anticipate this performance from Musgrove. He was 1-4 with a 6.44 ERA at home this season, and the worst start of his rookie campaign came in Baltimore last Aug. 18 when he allowed eight runs and 11 hits.

But Musgrove retired his first seven batters and, after allowing a one-out double to Schoop in the third inning, he rallied with three consecutive strikeouts.

Musgrove fanned Chris Davis after Machado drilled the first of his two doubles, with the Davis strikeout the first of five consecutive outs by Musgrove.

It wasn't until the sixth inning that Musgrove ran into trouble.

After J.J. Hardy reached on a swinging bunt single, Astros catcher Evan Gattis completed a crucial double play by erasing Hardy as he attempted to steal second base after Smith struck out. Musgrove then induced an Adam Jones groundout.

"Everybody in our clubhouse knows that it's been a challenge for us here lately, but he pitched well and we didn't make the adjustments so you're just got to tip your hat to him," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

NOTES: Orioles RHP Alec Asher will start the series finale on Sunday and replace RHP Ubaldo Jimenez in the rotation. Asher (1-2, 2.17 ERA) will make his third start of the season and first since allowing three runs, six hits and one walk with four strikeouts in six innings against the Boston Red Sox on May 2. Jimenez has surrendered 15 earned runs in his last 16 2/3 innings and three starts. ... Astros RHP Dallas Keuchel is expected to return from the 10-day disabled list and start against the Orioles on Saturday. Keuchel (7-0, 1.84 ERA) missed one turn in the rotation with a pinched nerve in his neck. Houston is also expecting C Brian McCann to return from the seven-day concussion DL on Saturday. ... Astros manager A.J. Hinch is undecided on whether RHP Brad Peacock will remain in the rotation after his successful spot start against the Detroit Tigers on Monday. If Peacock does start, he will do so during the series at Minnesota next week. Peacock worked 4 1/3 scoreless innings against Detroit with eight strikeouts.


Rays 5 vs. 2 Twins Final Recap

Homers back Archer as Rays topple Twins


Saturday, May 27 at 12:53 AM (EDT)

MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Archer stood in front of his locker speaking softly to reporters after another dazzling outing for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Archer deflected attention away from his outing and praised the work of his catcher, the defense behind him and a couple of big home runs to power Tampa Bay to a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.

The attention was squarely on Archer earlier.

Archer (4-3) allowed just one hit until the seventh inning and struck out 11 batters. He ended up with two runs and five hits allowed.

Alex Colome relieved Archer with two outs in the eighth and struck out Miguel Sano. Colome pitched a clean ninth for his 13th save in 15 chances as the Rays started a nine-game road trip with a big win.

"I don't like to give up the ball, at any time, any point in the game," Archer said. "But if I'm giving it to Alex Colome in that situation, I can rest well."

Logan Morrison and Kevin Kiermaier each hit two-run homers for Tampa Bay in support of Archer, who struck out at least 11 batters for the fourth time in five starts.

"Archer came out and really set the tone," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He was outstanding. I think the last two innings of work, the fastball command kind of eluded him a little bit. But building into that seventh inning, that was about as good as you're going to see any pitcher, not just him. He was just super efficient."

Morrison opened the scoring with his two-run shot in the fourth inning off Minnesota starter Hector Santiago (4-3). Santiago pitched 5 1/3 innings with three runs, four hits and two walks allowed. Santiago tied a season high with six strikeouts.

"These guys being aggressive gives you an opportunity to make some pitches," Santiago said.

Kiermaier connected in the sixth and Steven Souza Jr. added a solo homer in the eighth for Tampa Bay.

An inning earlier, Souza dived for a ball in right field that landed several feet away from him. Souza said he lost the ball in the lights and laughed when watching the replay on the big video board.

The video was played again before his at-bat and the fans cheered the miscue. Souza then hit his fourth homer estimated at 418 feet.

"I don't think anyone's ever got a standing ovation for making a bad play, so that was pretty funny," Souza said. "Just try to get back in the box and lock it back in again. ... Definitely put a good nail in a good night."

Archer started off by striking out the first three batters he faced. He retired the first eight batters before catcher Jason Castro sent a hard grounder up the middle. The ball took an unexpected hop and hit shortstop Tim Beckham in the chest. Beckham couldn't pull in the hit cleanly, ending Archer's bid at a no-hitter.

Everything else was going Archer's way on a night that seemed bound for history. Souza made a leaping grab on a ball over his head for one out. Morrison also snagged a bad throw at first base and kept his foot on first base for another out.

Archer allowed just the one runner through his first six innings. He entered the game 5-1 with a 1.73 ERA in six starts against Minnesota. He was also 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA in three career starts at Target Field.

"You got to have a plan with him for sure and just try to eliminate his nasty pitches and try to make him elevate the ball and put good contact on the ball," Twins designated hitter Kennys Vargas said of Archer. "His fastball was pretty good tonight, his breaking pitch, he was very good tonight."

NOTES: The Twins announced that RHP Nick Burdi, one of the team's prospects and a second-round pick in the 2014 draft, suffered a full tear of his ulnar collateral ligament and is likely headed for Tommy John surgery. Burdi was 2-0 with a 0.53 ERA in 14 games as a reliever for Double-A Chattanooga. ... Minnesota LHP Glen Perkins (left posterior shoulder strain) reported feeling good after a bullpen session on Friday and he could head to Florida to face hitters in extended spring training next week. Perkins has been more aggressive in his throwing sessions and he'll have one more bullpen in Minnesota on Tuesday. ... Twins RHP Phil Hughes is undergoing more tests and consultation with doctors as he deals with soreness in his right biceps. The team is trying to rule out any further issues, including to the area he had surgery on last season to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome. ... Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said LHP Adalberto Mejia (1-1, 4.96 ERA) will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start Saturday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays. RHP Jake Odorizzi (3-2, 3.14) will start for Tampa Bay.


Tigers 2 vs. 8 White Sox Final Recap

Garcia, Cabrera lead White Sox over Tigers


Saturday, May 27 at 2:39 AM (EDT)

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has known for years that Avisail Garcia is a gifted hitter.

Now, Garcia's abilities are consistently on display in games, not just during batting practice. He emptied the bases with a two-out double and propelled the Chicago White Sox to an 8-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

"He has always had that talent," Abreu said of Garcia through an interpreter. "This is right now, he's just showing all that to the people. He's working hard for it. For him, it's just a matter of keep working hard and believing in himself."

Garcia went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs for the White Sox, who tallied 14 hits in the rout. Melky Cabrera finished 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs, and Matt Davidson added a solo home run.

Chicago (21-25) snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 9-8 at home.

The outcome capped a long day for both teams, who arrived to Guaranteed Rate Field around lunchtime Friday expecting to play a doubleheader. But the late afternoon game was postponed because of rain, and the originally scheduled night game was delayed for 85 minutes as showers moved through the area.

All told, players spent more than 12 hours at the stadium before leaving after midnight local time.

"I'm not really happy with it, to be honest with you," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said when asked about his team's recent schedule. "We got in at 4 in the morning. We were supposed to have a doubleheader. ...

"It's awful, actually. It's a terrible schedule."

The Tigers' quiet bats did little to improve Ausmus' mood. Alex Avila provided a rare highlight at the plate in the fifth inning when he clubbed his sixth home run for Detroit (22-25).

White Sox right-hander Mike Pelfrey (2-4) struck out a season-high seven batters. He limited his former team to two runs, one earned, in five innings to pick up his second straight victory.

"I have a lot of respect for those guys," Pelfrey said. "Those guys were great. You make friendships, and you have to compete against them. It makes it tough, but it's part of the game."

Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd (2-5) surrendered three runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. He blamed himself for missing his location on the pitch to Garcia with the bases loaded that put Detroit behind for good.

Boyd dropped to 0-2 with a 7.07 ERA against the White Sox this season.

"I felt good, but obviously I want to keep my pitches down a little more," Boyd said. "I've got to get ahead in the counts a little better. I wish I could have that pitch back to Garcia. That did most of the damage."

Davidson's solo shot gave Chicago a two-run lead in the sixth inning. Cabrera hit a run-scoring single later in the frame to make it 5-2.

Cabrera added a three-run blast in the eighth to finish the scoring.

A successful challenge by Ausmus helped the Tigers establish a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Justin Upton initially was called out at first base to lead off the inning, but the call was overturned when replays showed Abreu did not apply the tag after catching an errant throw by shortstop Tim Anderson. Upton made it to third base on a single by Nick Castellanos and scored on a groundout by John Hicks.

The White Sox responded to grab a 3-1 lead on Garcia's two-out, bases-clearing double in the third. Garcia ripped a line drive off the left-field wall to snap an 0-for-12 skid and increase his RBI total to 37.

Avila trimmed Detroit's deficit to 3-2 with a solo home run in the fifth.

Pelfrey said the victory made the long day worthwhile.

"It was like it was never-ending," he said. "Glad we got it in."

NOTES: The game started after an 85-minute rain delay. ... The White Sox and Tigers were scheduled to play a doubleheader Friday, but the first game was postponed because of rain. Instead, the teams will meet for a straight doubleheader Saturday. ... White Sox 2B Tyler Saladino exited Friday's game because of back spasms in the fourth inning. His status is uncertain for Saturday. ... The Tigers placed C James McCann on the 10-day disabled list because of a left hand laceration and recalled C John Hicks from Triple-A Toledo. ... The White Sox placed RHP Dylan Covey on the 10-day disabled list because of a strained left oblique and recalled RHP Juan Minaya from Triple-A Charlotte. ... Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler (rest) did not start. ... White Sox RHP James Shields (strained right lat) threw about 30 pitches in a bullpen session Friday. He has been on the disabled list since April 21.


Cardinals 0 vs. 10 Rockies Final Recap

Rockies' Senzatela shuts down Cardinals


Saturday, May 27 at 12:56 AM (EDT)

DENVER -- Coming off consecutive five-inning outings, Colorado Rockies rookie Antonio Senzatela responded with the best start of his young career Friday night.

He pitched a career-high eight innings as the Rockies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-0 for their most lopsided victory this season. The Rockies blew the game open with an eight-run eighth, tying their season high for the most runs in an inning.

Senzatela, 22, gave up five hits and, thanks to four double-play grounders all on sliders, got 15 outs on ground balls. He struck out three and didn't issue a walk in his 98-pitch outing. Senzatela said in his last bullpen session he focused on throwing the ball down and honing his fastball, efforts that paid off against the Cardinals in his 10th career start.

"He threw strikes with the fastball where I think in the previous couple (starts) the fastball was just a little bit off the plate," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "He was around the zone (the past two starts); he's not all over. Today, he dialed it in."

The win was the eighth in 11 games for the Rockies, who have outscored their opponents 72-35 in that stretch. The eight-run eighth included a two-run homer by Mark Reynolds, one of nine hits -- five for extra bases -- in the uprising.

Charlie Blackmon, who finished a double shy of the cycle, went 4-for-4 and drove in three runs, increasing his major league-leading RBI total to 45. He hit his 12th homer in the eighth, giving the Rockies a 3-0 lead and driving Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez from the game after 7 1/3 innings. Later in the inning, Blackmon singled to right-center to drive in the final run of the game.

"When I hit it, I was thinking double the whole way," said Blackmon, who tripled home a run in the third and raised his average to .337. "But you have to have some respect for the game. That to me is not a situation where you try to stretch something into a double just for the sake of getting a double. This game is hard, got to have a lot of respect for it. I'm really trying hard, everybody in this league is trying hard. I think you respect the game, respect your opponents."

Through Colorado's 50 games, Senzatela and fellow rookie starters Kyle Freeland, German Marquez and Jeff Hoffman have gone 17-5 with a 3.35 ERA in a combined 27 starts, 20 of which the Rockies have won.

"I don't know if it's deception or extra life that he has," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Senzatela. "He's using a lot of hard fastballs, pounded the strike zone, (getting) swings that were just off. Everytime we'd get something going, he was able to put enough of something different to get a ground ball. We had four double plays. That accounts for a lot of putting out fires. We couldn't get much going."

The double plays came in the first, second, seventh and eighth, ending the latter three innings and were a big reason Senzatela faced just 25 batters, one over the minimum in eight innings.

Senzatela (7-1) is tied for the major league lead in wins with Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and two American Leaguers -- Minnesota's Ervin Santana and Houston's Dallas Keuchel.

"That's good for me and for the team, too," said Senzatela, who lowered his ERA to 3.19.

The shutout win was Colorado's fourth this season and third at Coors Field. The Cardinals were blanked for the third time overall and the first on the road while losing for the seventh time in nine games.

Relievers Matt Bowman and Miguel Socolovich followed Martinez to the mound in the eighth and yielded a combined eight hits and seven runs.

"Carlos was good," Matheny said. "Taking a two-run game in this park into the eighth in this park is great. The guy at the top of their order is really hot. He's taking great swings and creating damage even in situations that we think might not be that critical. ... They kept adding on and made it look a lot uglier than it was."

NOTES: Cardinals C Yadier Molina extended his hitting streak to 15 games, one shy of his career-high. ... Cardinals OF Stephen Piscotty left the team and went home for unspecified personal reasons. ... Cardinals OF/1B Jose Martinez (left groin strain) began a rehab assignment at high Class A Palm Beach. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 7. ... Rockies RHP Jon Gray (left foot stress fracture) stopped wearing his walking boot Thursday and will throw his first bullpen session without the boot Sunday. ... Rockies RHP Chad Bettis (cancer) is scheduled to have a CT scan and a blood test Monday and, if all goes well, travel Friday to Denver and meet with club officials. ... Rockies C Tom Murphy (fractured right hand), who was injured March 11, is expected to begin a rehab assignment next week.


Cubs 0 vs. 4 Dodgers Final Recap

Wood continues dominance at home as Dodgers blank Cubs


Saturday, May 27 at 2:49 AM (EDT)

LOS ANGELES -- Beating Alex Wood at Dodger Stadium has become a long-shot proposition. The Chicago Cubs found out firsthand.

Chase Utley and Adrian Gonzalez homered, and the Los Angeles Dodgers posted a 4-0 victory over the Cubs on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

In the second series of the season between teams that battled in last season's National League Championship Series, Wood (6-0) dominated with a two-hitter in five shutout innings and extended his string of scoreless innings to 25 1/3.

Wood, who has won his last five games, struck out eight, walked two and hit a batter. He threw 91 pitches, 59 strikes.

"I definitely feel confident right now, for sure," said Wood, who is 10-2 in 20 career games (15 starts) at home.

Wood dropped his ERA at Dodger Stadium to 1.62, which is the third lowest at the ballpark (minimum 100 innings), trailing only Sandy Koufax's and Bob Lee's 1.37 ERA.

"But at the same time, like I say every week, the consistency of my stuff has been there, and that's kind of where my confidence is coming from. I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and give us a chance to win every time out and keep going from there."

Wood joined teammate Clayton Kershaw (7), Colorado's Antonio Senzatela (7) and Arizona ace Zack Greinke (6) as the only National League pitchers with six or more wins.

Manager Dave Roberts said Wood has performed better than any Dodgers pitcher except Kershaw.

"You talk about confidence in a player. He's as confident as any player I've been around," Roberts said. "He prepares, he works hard and he's very confident.

Relievers Pedro Baez and Chris Hatcher each worked two hitless innings for the Dodgers (29-20), who improved to 19-8 at home.

Cubs starter Jake Arrieta (5-4) gave up four runs and five hits with nine strikeouts and a walk in six innings.

The Cubs fell to 25-22.

Gonzalez hit a two-run blast to center, his first long ball of the season, in the sixth off Arrieta to cap the scoring.

"Top to bottom, in terms of team effort, what a beautiful game," Wood said. "That's a great team across there and Arrieta is a great pitcher. We had some great hitting, scored some runs ... (Baez) and (Hatcher) just shutting it down the last four innings was pretty great."

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Arrieta pitched well with the exception of a few mistakes.

"I thought he was sharper today overall," Maddon said. "I thought his command was good and I thought his curveball was outstanding. With Gonzalez, it was a bad count (3-1) that got him. He had pitched so well before that with the two punchouts. My analysis would be that (with) the homers he's getting in some bad counts and he's making some mistakes and they're not missing them."

Arrieta echoed much of the same theme.

"For the most part, it was really good. Just a couple of mistakes again came back to get me," said Arieta, who's ERA rose to 4.92.'

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager went 2-for-3 with a walk and pair of runs.

Utley homered for the second night in a row, smacking a 1-1 pitch from Arrieta into the seats in right-center to lead off the third for a 1-0 Los Angeles edge. That ended Arrieta's scoreless-innings streak during the regular season against the Dodgers over the past three games at 18.

"He's a great pitcher, so he's going to have success," Gonzalez said. "Today, we were able to be aggressive and take advantage of the few mistakes he made. It worked out. The runs came on extra base hits, a home run, a double and a home run."

In the fourth, Yasmani Grandal doubled home Seager, who reached on a walk, for a 2-0 advantage.

NOTES: Joe Maddon was surprised to learn that the 1975 and '76 Cincinnati Reds teams were the last National League clubs to repeat as World Series champs. Maddon said parity and the grueling major league campaign are among the reasons it hasn't happened again. "I think a lot of that has to do with the length of the season and the playoffs are such a grind, and injuries are such a part of our game," Maddon said. "It's just a different animal." ... INF Mike Freeman and RHP Chris Heston were claimed off waivers by Los Angeles from the Seattle Mainers. Both were optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... Cubs RHP John Lackey (4-4, 4.82 ERA) will oppose Dodgers RHP Brandon McCarthy (4-1, 3.76) in the second game of the series on Saturday


Braves 2 vs. 0 Giants Final Recap

Braves' Garcia, three relievers shut out Giants


Saturday, May 27 at 2:17 AM (EDT)

SAN FRANCISCO -- Atlanta Braves left-hander Jaime Garcia is the first to admit he's not a very good hitter.

But that doesn't keep him from trying.

Garcia combined with three relievers on a four-hit shutout and produced the only runs of the game with a seventh-inning single, lifting the Braves to a 2-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night.

Catcher Tyler Flowers had two hits and scored the tiebreaking run for the Braves, who won their sixth straight series opener on the first night of a nine-game trip.

"I put in a lot of time on hitting," insisted Garcia, who nonetheless entered the game with a .091 batting average (1-for-11). "It allows you to stay in the game longer."

That was the case Friday, when Braves manager Brian Snitker elected to stick with his hot pitcher at a time when a pinch hit could have made the difference between winning and losing.

Turns out, Garcia got that hit himself.

"His pitch count was so low," Snitker said of Garcia's first six innings. "I didn' want to take him out, so I let him hit."

And because of it, the Giants suffered a fourth straight loss.

"We're in this offensive struggle right now," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, whose club has been held to six runs in its last four games. "I thought we'd come home and gets some rips in, but it didn't happen. Their guy was good."

Garcia's hit came after the Giants had elected to intentionally walk Dansby Swanson with two outs and Flowers on second base in the seventh inning of a scoreless game.

Hitting left-handed against Giants right-hander Matt Cain, Garcia grounded a single into left field, and the Braves elected to test the arm of Brandon Belt, the Giants' regular first baseman, even with a catcher running.

Flowers and the ball arrived in the vicinity of home plate at about the same time, with the throw deflecting off the runner's leg and away from Giants catcher Nick Hundley, allowing the run to score.

"When you're not blessed with speed, you need to find a way to get every inch you can," said Flowers, who had an aggressive lead off second base and was nearly picked off during Garcia's at-bat. "It's a game of inches."

Cain ran down Belt's deflected throw, but his relay to Hundley was too late to get a sliding Swanson, who scored from first base on the play to make it 2-0.

"Kinda like, 'Run, Forrest, run.' I just kept going," Swanson said, making a reference to the movie "Forrest Gump."

The game-winning hit was the third of Garcia's career. He had one last season for the St. Louis Cardinals against the Braves.

"I like to talk to some of the guys," Garcia said of having recently gotten batting tips from teammate Matt Kemp. "I like to take a swing and do some damage."

Cain (3-3) was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the seventh, exiting having allowed two runs, only one of which was earned, and seven hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out three.

"That's what it comes down to in a game like that when both guys are going back and forth," Cain said of Garcia's hit. "You know you're looking for that one little hit that'll scratch a run or two across. He did it. It's definitely tough when a pitcher does that."

Cain had entered the game 3-0 at home with a 1.19 ERA. He has gotten one run or fewer of offensive support in six of his 10 starts this season.

Garcia (2-3) walked Brandon Crawford leading off the Giants' half of the seventh and was pulled two batters later, with two outs and a runner on first.

Garcia allowed four hits in his 6 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked two, improving to 4-0 with a 2.57 ERA in his last seven starts against the Giants.

Right-handers Jose Ramirez, Arodys Vizcaino and Jim Johnson pitched 2 1/3 innings of hitless ball in relief of Garcia. Johnson picked up his 10th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Brandon Phillips and Nick Markakis had doubles for the Braves, who won for the 10th time in their last 15 games.

Atlanta outhit San Francisco 7-4.

Eduardo Nunez had two of the four hits for the Giants, who were opening a six-game homestand. Nunez extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

NOTES: Braves LHP Jaime Garcia had seven hits (tied for 27th best among all pitchers) and four RBIs (tied for 16th best) last season when he batted .171 (7-for-41). ... The Giants were shut out for the fifth time this season. ... The Braves appeared to pull off a successful hidden-ball trick with the Giants batting with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. But the umpires ruled timeout had been called before 2B Brandon Phillips tagged Giants 3B Eduardo Nunez near second base. ... When the Braves face Giants LHP Ty Blach in the second game of the series on Saturday, it'll be just the fourth time this season they have seen a left-handed starter. ... The Braves haven't won a season series against the Giants since 2011.


Tigers 0 vs. 0 White Sox Postponed Recap

Tigers, White Sox rained out in first game of doubleheader


Friday, May 26 at 4:02 PM (EDT)

A forecast for rain prompted the Chicago White Sox to postpone the first game of Friday's doubleheader against the visiting Detroit Tigers.

Meanwhile, the second game of the doubleheader is still scheduled to be played Friday night, the White Sox announced.

The postponed game will be played as part of a straight doubleheader Saturday. The first game of Saturday's doubleheader will start at 1:10 p.m. CT as originally scheduled. The second game will follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

White Sox right-hander Mike Pelfrey is scheduled to start Friday night. For Saturday's doubleheader, Chicago will turn to left-hander Derek Holland in the first game and right-hander Tyler Danish in the second game.

Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd is slated to start Friday night. Detroit will send right-hander Buck Farmer to the mound in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader, and right-hander Michael Fulmer will start Game 2.

Fans who have tickets to Saturday's originally scheduled game will be able to remain in the ballpark for the second game of the doubleheader, the White Sox announced.


Athletics 4 vs. 1 Yankees Final Recap

Lowrie leads A's past Yankees


Saturday, May 27 at 12:51 AM (EDT)

NEW YORK -- For most of Friday night, the Oakland Athletics were flailing and missing at Masahiro Tanaka's sliders and split-fingered fastballs.

Eventually, the Athletics did enough to see a different arm and the result was different, especially since Sean Manaea matched Tanaka.

Manaea pitched seven scoreless innings and Jed Lowrie hit the tiebreaking single with two outs in the top of the eighth inning as Oakland overcame 13 strikeouts by Tanaka and recorded a 4-1 victory over the New York Yankees.

Manaea (3-3) found out Wednesday he was being moved up a day when Kendall Graveman was scratched with a sore right shoulder and turned in one the best starts of his career. He allowed four hits, struck out eight while tying a career-high with 106 pitches.

The left-hander also had the task of going up against Tanaka, who was coming off two dismal starts. Tanaka recorded all of his strikeouts on swinging splitters or sliders but because Manaea shut the Yankees down, the right-hander took a tough loss and became the first Yankee to strike out 13 in a loss.

"He was incredible tonight," Manaea said.

Tanaka (5-4) allowed an unearned run and five hits, took his third straight loss and struck out seven hitters at least once, including Matt Joyce three times.

Adam Rosales and Lowrie were the only A's not to strike out and both factored in knocking Tanaka out and getting the lead.

Rosales followed a 10-pitch strikeout by Mark Canha by lining Tanaka's 111th pitch up the middle. Tanaka was replaced by Tyler Clippard, whose two-base throwing error on a pickoff attempt moved Rosales to third.

Rosales was thrown out at the plate by third baseman Chase Headley on a ground ball by Rajai Davis but Oakland still kept the rally alive. After Davis stole second and Joyce walked, Lowrie grounded the first pitch up the middle.

"He pitched so well but it is a kind of a relief to see him leave the game," Rosales said of Tanaka.

Lowrie's third hit was followed by Khris Davis beating out an infield single to shortstop Didi Gregorius and the A's added two more on a two-run homer by Stephen Vogt in the ninth.

"You just got to hang in there," Khris Davis said. "He didn't make many mistakes.

Oakland was able to hang in because Manaea hardly made any mistakes. He only put multiple runners on in the seventh when Aaron Judge singled and Gregorius reached on catcher's interference but escaped when Headley hit into a double play.

"It was great," Khris Davis said. "He was out there chucking. He's not an easy AB. He's got Chris Sale stuff where people were swinging and missing in the zone. So it was great to see that."

"They just didn't seem to pick Manaea tonight," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "We haven't seen him a lot and he's got a little bit different angle."

Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless eighth but Santiago Casilla wobbled in the ninth. He gave up a sacrifice fly to Gregorius but stranded two in the ninth by retiring pinch-hitter Gary Sanchez.

Tanaka looked more like the pitcher who fired a three-hitter in Boston on April 27 than the one who allowed 14 runs and 16 hits over 4 2/3 innings in his previous two starts.

"Really encouraged," Girardi said. "The two things that I thought he needed to have were his slider and his split and he had them both. I think that's why we saw him perform really well tonight."

Before Oakland knocked him out and went ahead, Tanaka struck out five of the first six hitters.

Oakland also had two on in the fourth but Tanaka struck out Trevor Plouffe to end the inning. The seventh ended when Vogt hit a fly ball that required center fielder Aaron Hicks to make the catch while crashing into the wall.

NOTES: Oakland RHPs Kendall Graveman (right shoulder soreness) and Jesse Hahn (strained triceps) were not with the team since they were getting evaluated. Manager Bob Melvin said there is a "good chance" Graveman and Hahn will be placed on the disabled list, but a move will not occur until Saturday. ... LHP Aroldis Chapman (left rotator cuff inflammation) saw the Yankees' doctor Friday and could be cleared to begin throwing Saturday. ... Yankees RF Aaron Judge was a 31st-round pick of Oakland in 2010 but did not sign because he wanted to attend college.


Mets 8 vs. 1 Pirates Final Recap

Walker helps Mets halt skid, top Pirates


Friday, May 26 at 11:23 PM (EDT)

PITTSBURGH -- New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker got his round of hugs on the field well before Friday night's game -- from his former manager, Clint Hurdle, and former teammates.

The Pittsburgh Pirates weren't necessarily as happy about Walker's visit to PNC Park a few hours later, after he went 3-for-5 with two home runs and four RBIs as the Mets clobbered Pittsburgh 8-1.

This is Walker's second season after being traded from his hometown and original club to the Mets, and he's finding the trip home is getting less stressful.

"I was able to kind of get ahead of things," Walker said. "I knew what to expect as far as kind of some of the off-the-field stuff. More than that, I was much less anxious probably than I was last year to just kind of get things going. It was a little easier than last year."

Walker eclipsed 500 career RBIs to stand at 501 and helped end his club's six-game road losing streak while also helping to end his original team's two-game winning streak.

Walker, from suburban Pittsburgh and a fan favoarite when he played here, followed his homers in the third and fifth with a bloop RBI single in the sixth that gave the Mets a 6-1 lead.

"April was tough for me this year and my timing got better at the end of April, early May. Just swinging it better," Walker said in something of an understatement.

In May, he's 30-of-85 (.353) with eight doubles, six homers and 18 RBIs.

"I've always enjoyed hitting in this ballpark, especially as a left-handed hitter," Walker said. "You can lift the ball and hit that wall or find a way over it."

New York tacked on two more that inning on Lucas Duda's double for an 8-1 lead. The Mets finished with 12 hits against four Pirates pitchers.

Mets starter Jacob deGrom (4-1) was two outs from pitching a complete game. In 8 1/3 innings, he gave up one run -- a homer by Gregory Polanco in the fourth -- and six hits, striking out 10 and walking one.

Eighty of deGrom's 118 pitches were strikes.

"This guy's got electric stuff," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. "You could see the big velocity. He was pitching with power, he pitched with spin, he elevated when he wanted to, he used his breaking stuff.

"As good a game as we've had pitched against us. He hit spots all night long."

That was not the case for Pittsburgh starter Chad Kuhl (1-5), who allowed five runs and eight hits, including both Walker homers, in 4 1/3 innings, with three strikeouts and no walks.

"It just felt like there wasn't any life to the ball. Hard but no life to it really," Kuhl said. "Just inconsistent. They hit some good pitches. Just one of those nights."

The Mets took a 1-0 lead in the second on Duda's leadoff double off the right-field wall and, one out later, Curtis Granderson's RBI double to left-center field.

Walker upped the lead to 3-0 with a homer inside the right-field foul pole in the third.

Polanco, in his first game back from the disabled list, answered with his second homer, over the bleachers in right, to lead off the Pirates' fourth and make it 3-1.

"It was just good to have him back in the lineup," Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison said of Polanco. "Nobody likes to be on the DL. It was good for him to come back and get his feet wet but also show that he's in a good spot. It was very encouraging."

In the fifth, Jay Bruce's sacrifice fly to center brought home Jose Reyes, who led off with a triple to the wall in right center, for a 4-1 Mets lead. Walker followed with a homer to right to make it 5-1.

It marked Walker's fifth career multi-homer game and gave him his 500th RBI. It also chased Kuhl.

"First one he tried to come in and was able to just get out in front of it and get down the line," Walker said of his first homer. "Second one (I) just kind of grinded it out until it got to 3-2 and was able to lift a ball. Just trying to find a barrel."

Even with the game well in hand, deGrom wanted to pitch the ninth and told manager Terry Collins so.

"I said, 'Terry, hey, I want to go back out there. I would like to stay out there and finish it,'" deGrom said.

But Polanco led off with a single and a strikeout of David Freese pushed deGrom's pitch count too high for Collins to let him go for the complete game. Fernando Salas got the final two outs.

NOTES: Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen batted sixth, the first time as a starter he slotted lower than fourth in the lineup. He was 1-for-4 with a single. ... New York promoted RHP Tyler Pill from Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned RHP Rafael Montero to Las Vegas. In a clerical move, the Mets transferred RHP Seth Lugo (elbow) from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL. ... According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Mets' flight Thursday night was delayed in New York, so 2B Neil Walker, a Pittsburgh area native, used his cell phone to stream the Pittsburgh Penguins' Game 7 win in the NHL's Eastern Conference final.


Padres 1 vs. 5 Nationals Final Recap

Scherzer's gem leads Nationals past Padres


Friday, May 26 at 11:01 PM (EDT)

WASHINGTON -- Max Scherzer was determined to make some changes after his previous start, when he lasted just five innings and threw 106 pitches in a loss to the Atlanta Braves. He said he was "lost out there without fastball command."

In his next bullpen session, Scherzer made sure to exaggerate putting his arms up higher as he prepared to throw, and he took that lesson to the mound on Friday.

The 2016 Cy Young Award winner responded with a bounce-back performance, as he struck out a season-high 13 batters and allowed just three hits and two walks in 8 2/3 innings as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 5-1.

"I made an effort to get my hands up higher," Scherzer said. "That is when everything in my mechanics works and I am able to get into the zone; throw the fastball where I want it. You just get in rhythm with your catcher. You just keep pitching your game. That is what makes it fun when your offense goes out and scores a few runs."

The outing brought forth many testimonials.

"Today was about as good as I have ever seen him," said Andy Green, the San Diego manager.

"That is the kind of (Cy Young Award) stuff he had tonight," said Washington bench coach Chris Speier, who was filling in for absent manager Dusty Baker.

Said Washington shortstop Trea Turner: "He pitched lights out. He was awesome."

Reliever Koda Glover came on with two outs in the ninth after Scherzer hit Ryan Schimpf -- he had homered earlier -- to load the bases. Glover got his fourth save as pinch-hitter Hunter Renfroe struck out swinging.

Glover began to warm up as Scherzer ran into trouble in the ninth.

"You always have to be prepared in case," Glover said. "You have to go in aggressive. He's a great pitcher and he did a great job. Hats off to him. He's always prepared."

It was a hit-by-pitch with two outs in the ninth that cost Scherzer a perfect game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at home June 20, 2015. This time the hit-by-pitch cost him a shot at his seventh complete game of his career.

Speier noted Scherzer pitched a gem and the Nationals hit three homers: by Turner, Michael A. Taylor and Bryce Harper.

"I didn't do a darn thing the whole game," Speier joked.

Scherzer got a nice ovation when he came to bat with two outs and none on in the last of the eighth, and no one seemed to care when he struck out on three pitches.

Scherzer then fanned Wil Myers for the second out in the ninth with two runners on before Glover got the last out.

Turner hit a leadoff homer in the first and Harper crushed a two-run shot in the seventh off reliever Kirby Yates to give the Nationals a 5-1 lead.

The losing pitcher was San Diego starter Luis Perdomo (0-2), who gave up three runs and six hits (including two homers) with six strikeouts.

Matt Wieters was 2-for-4 for the Nationals, who lead the league in team batting average and runs.

San Diego tied the score with its own solo homer, as Schimpf lined a shot down the right field line off Scherzer to make it 1-1 in the fourth. It was the 12th homer for the San Diego third baseman, who entered the game with a .163 average and just nine singles.

Taylor, who has hit safely in 11 of the last 13 games, smashed a two-run homer to center to give the Nationals a 3-1 lead in the last of the fourth.

Scherzer fanned the side in the third inning on just 10 pitches.

"Something special may happen" when Scherzer pitches, Harper said.

That was the case again Friday night before an energized crowd of 28,606 fans, who began their holiday weekend in style.

"That is the Cy Young version," Green said of Scherzer. "That is an ace that carves though any lineup."

NOTES: The Nationals acquired OF Ryan Raburn, 36, for cash or a player to be named in a trade with the Chicago White Sox. He has big league experience and had been with Triple-A Charlotte. He will report to Triple-A Syracuse. ... Washington manager Dusty Baker missed the first of three weekend games in order to attend the high school graduation of his son, Darren, in California. Bench coach Chris Speier filled in for Baker. ... Washington RHP Stephen Strasburg (5-1, 3.28 ERA), a former San Diego State star, will face Padres LHP Clayton Richard (3-5, 4.31) on Saturday. ... The Nationals have not been involved in a shutout this year. Washington has held opponents to one run six times, including its last three wins.


Reds 5 vs. 2 Phillies Final Recap

Adleman gem lifts Reds past Phillies


Friday, May 26 at 11:15 PM (EDT)

PHILADELPHIA -- Tim Adleman wanted to go the distance in what was already the best start of his major league career. But he understood why he came out of the game.

Adleman, a Cincinnati Reds right-hander, was pulled after eight shutout innings as his team won its third game in four tries with a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Adleman (3-2) allowed only four baserunners (one hit, two walks, one hit batter) in an effective 100-pitch outing. He did not get the chance at a complete game, however, because the Reds wanted to get Asher Wojciechowski some work so he would be ready to make a Tuesday start in Toronto.

"I wanted to stay in there pretty badly, but I understand the move," Adleman said. "Wojo needed some work, it had been awhile since he threw."

Wojciechowski, who had not pitched for the Reds since May 20, struggled in the ninth, allowing a pair of doubles. The Phillies got the tying run to the plate before Raisel Iglesias got out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam to earn a save and preserve the win for Adleman.

A second-year major leaguer, Adleman quieted the Phillies after struggling in his previous two starts. He allowed a total of nine earned runs in 5 2/3 innings during his last pair of outings, but Friday was a completely different story.

Adleman, who struck out four, retired 16 consecutive batters at one point, and the only hit he allowed was a first-inning single to Andres Blanco. The 29-year-old righty didn't allow a baserunner again until Blanco led off the seventh inning with a walk. Though he didn't get a chance at a complete game, it was the longest of Adleman's 21 starts in the majors.

Reds manager Bryan Price said it was the best he has seen Adleman pitch in a Reds uniform.

"It wasn't just because of the line score, it was command-based," Price said. "He was really good both sides of the plate. He had a nice sinking fastball, could straighten it out when he needed to. He had a really good changeup. He was that good changing speeds on two pitches."

Adleman said he did not throw a breaking ball to a Phillies position player until the eighth inning, getting outs with solid location of his fastball and changeup. Sixteen of the 24 outs Adleman recorded came on the ground -- including a pair of inning-ending double plays.

"I knew that the Phillies were a really aggressive team, and I knew that if I could get some quality strikes early, I could probably get some outs," he said. "Even if they got hits, if I could keep them to singles, the double play was always in order. I got a few of those tonight, and the defense was amazing behind me."

The Phillies recorded two of their three hits in the ninth inning as Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr both doubled. But their offense remained cold.

Philadelphia has lost 21 of its last 26 games, and the team's offense has been especially poor in the last week. In the Phillies' last six games, the team has scored a total of just nine runs.

"We need to step it up. We're better than this," said Phillies manager Pete Mackanin, who added the team held a meeting after the latest loss. "I know we're better than this. We've just got to start playing as aggressive as we can and take it to the other team. Be aggressive at the plate and pound the strike zone."

Aaron Nola pitched six innings for the Phillies, allowing five runs on six hits. Nola (2-2) sat down 10 batters in a row at one point, but Cincinnati got to him at the beginning and the end of his outing.

Outfielder Scott Schebler continued his power surge with a solo homer off Nola to give the Reds a 3-0 lead in the second inning. It was Schebler's 14th homer, and his fourth in six games. Adam Duvall added a solo homer of his own -- his 11th of the year -- off Nola in the first inning.

Jose Peraza extended his hitting streak to 12 games and gave the Reds a cushion with a two-run single in the sixth to make it 5-0.

"Nola pitched better than his line," Mackanin said. "The base hit in the hole did him in. He got hit early and came out of it."

NOTES: Phillies 2B Cesar Hernandez missed Friday's game due to a groin injury. It was the first game Hernandez, batting .289, missed this season, missed and it was just the second time he was out of the starting lineup. ... Reds 2B Jose Peraza extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an RBI single in the sixth inning. Peraza ended the game 1-for-4.


Rangers 6 vs. 7 Blue Jays Final Recap

Blue Jays hold off Rangers for fourth straight win


Saturday, May 27 at 12:41 AM (EDT)

TORONTO -- The Devon Travis Show played well on the road for the past week. And Friday night, it was an instant hit at home.

The Toronto Blue Jays second baseman hit a grand slam and added a double and a single to extend his hit streak to 10 in a 7-6 win over the Texas Rangers. He also threw out a runner at the plate in the fourth inning.

Travis has turned it on in May after a slow start in April as he returned from offseason knee surgery.

"He's driving the ball now," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Early the season he had trouble getting that ball out of the infield. You look back and he really had no spring training, that's a big part of it. He's always been able to hit, he's got a pure stroke and he's elevating the ball right now."

Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales hit solo home runs for the Blue Jays.

Rougned Odor hit a three-run homer for the Rangers with two outs in the ninth inning against Joe Smith before Roberto Osuna struck out Mike Napoli to post his eighth save.

It was the fourth win in a row for the Blue Jays (22-26) and the fourth consecutive loss for the Rangers (24-25).

Travis hit his grand slam against Texas starter A.J. Griffin in the second inning.

"The first pitch was a heater," Travis said. "I was just trying to be ready early in the count and look for something over the plate. He's real tough. The next pitch was a changeup and I stayed through it enough."

Blue Jays reliever Aaron Loup (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 perfect innings with one strikeout to gain the win.

Toronto starter Mike Bolsinger allowed six hits, four walks and three runs (two earned) in 4 2/3 innings. The right-hander struck out two.

Griffin (4-2) allowed three hits, two walks and four runs in 1 1/3 innings. The right-hander had two strikeouts before leaving with a strained left intercostal. He was put on the disabled muscle in his left side and Dillon Gee was called up from Triple-A.

"It got pretty tight there that last batter," Griffin said. "It felt more like a cramp earlier on in the game. Sometimes those come and you can just pitch through them. It just kept tightening more and more, grabbing more and more. It was uncomfortable."

Toronto increased its lead to four runs in the sixth.

Troy Tulowitzki walked with one out and Travis singled. Jeremy Jeffress replaced Austin Bibens-Dirkx and walked Ezequiel Carrera to load the bases. Kevin Pillar grounded to first to force Tulowitzki at home. Travis scored on a wild pitch.

Danny Barnes and Ryan Tepera followed Loup from the bullpen. Smith took over in the ninth before allowing a two-out infield single, a double and Odor's seventh homer of the season to cut Toronto's lead to one.

The Rangers scored an unearned run in the second inning. Napoli walked and reached third base on a throwing error by Travis in an attempted force at second on Joey Gallo's grounder to second. Jared Hoying followed with a sacrifice fly.

Travis hit his second career grand slam in the bottom of the second to give Toronto a 4-1 lead. It scored Smoak (walk), Russell Martin (singled) and Tulowitzki (walk).

Travis seemed as impressed with the return of Tulowitzki and third baseman Josh Donaldson from the disabled list as he was with his own accomplishments.

"Awesome, you can't explain the presence that those guys bring, not just to other teams but to guys in this clubhouse," Travis said. "When those guys step in the clubhouse and you see their names on the lineup card you know it's business, you can feel it, you can feel it in the clubhouse, you can feel it on the field, you can feel it in the crowd. We've got our team back, it's nice."

Griffin struck out Carrera before leaving the game with the injury. He was replaced by Bibens-Dirkx, who allowed Smoak's 11th homer in the third inning and Morales' ninth in the fifth in pitching four innings.

"Bibens-Dirkx did a heck of a job coming in, giving us some innings that we desperately needed in that situation," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "I think the story more than anything else is 2-for-15 in run-scoring opportunities. Anytime you have that ratio, it becomes a challenge."

The Rangers scored a run in the fourth. Napoli led off with a single, took second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a groundout and came home on a groundout to first by Hoying.

The Rangers added a run in the fifth on walks to Elvis Andrus, who stole second and third, and Odor, and a single by Napoli. Loup replaced Bolsinger and ended the inning on a groundout.

NOTES: Toronto 3B Josh Donaldson (strained right calf) and SS Troy Tulowitzki (strained right hamstring) were activated from the disabled list. Donaldson had been out since April 13 and Tulowitzki has been out since April 21. OF Dwight Smith Jr. was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on Wednesday after the game in Milwaukee and RHP Cesar Valdez was optioned to Buffalo. Donaldson doubled in the first inning. ... Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre (right calf strain) continued his rehabilitation with four hits, including a double, in his second extended spring training game in Arizona. ... Toronto RHP Marco Estrada (3-2, 3.30 ERA) will face Texas RHP Yu Darvish (5-2, 2.83) on Saturday in the second game of the three-game series.


Angels 5 vs. 8 Marlins Final Recap

Stanton, Bour go deep as Marlins sink Angels


Friday, May 26 at 11:46 PM (EDT)

MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton may be the most expensive -- and perhaps most dangerous -- two-hole hitter in baseball.

Stanton crushed a 460-foot, two-run homer to center, leading the Miami Marlins to an 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night at Marlins Park.

Each of the first three hitters in Miami's lineup -- Dee Gordon, Stanton and Christian Yelich -- belted out three hits, making for a tough lineup. Stanton, though, was the star.

"Whether it's the two-hole, three-hole or four-hole, he's a force," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Stanton, who is on a 13-year, $325 million contract and has been hitting second since Tuesday.

"If Gordon's going to get on base, (Stanton) is going to have a lot of opportunities to swing the bat. And power plays anywhere."

Indeed, Justin Bour added a three-run homer, his 13th blast of the season, to help power Miami (17-29), which won for just the seventh time in the past 28 games.

The Angels (25-26) have lost three games in a row.

For Stanton, it was his 12th homer of the season and his second-longest blast of the year. He hit a 468-foot homer on May 7. Stanton's homer against the Angels came on a 3-2 pitch low in the zone.

Stanton, who hadn't homered since May 8, said he doesn't necessarily need to go deep to be happy.

"If I'm hitting the ball hard and having run production, I'm OK," he said. "Home runs? Whatever."

Stanton's display of power overshadowed Angels star center fielder Mike Trout, a two-time American League MVP who made his Marlins Park debut.

Trout went 0-for-2 but drew two walks, scoring once. Angels first baseman Albert Pujols, who is three homers shy of 600 for his career, went 2-for-4 with a single and a double.

One of the Angels highlights on the night was the first career hit for rookie reserve infielder Nolan Fontana, who slugged a solo home run in the ninth.

The win went to Dan Straily (3-3), who had his streak of eight straight games allowing four hits or less broken. In 5 1/3 innings, Straily allowed six hits, two walks and three runs, striking out six.

A.J. Ramos picked up a one-out save.

Jesse Chavez (4-6) took the loss, allowing eight hits and five runs in 3 2/3 innings.

Both teams scored in the first inning.

For the Angels, Trout worked a two-out walk and advanced to second on a single by Pujols. Trout scored when Luis Valbuena hit a high fly ball that fell for a double behind left fielder Marcell Ozuna, who appeared to shy away from contact with the wall.

Pujols, coming off a hamstring injury, held up at third, and Martin Maldonado struck out to end the threat.

Straily said he wasn't happy with how he pitched, especially his inefficient, 21-pitch first inning.

"Terrible," Straily said. "I never felt in sync."

Miami took a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the first. Stanton put the Marlins on top by slugging his two-run homer to center.

"He has spectacular power," said Maldonado, the Angels' catcher. "We left a pitch there, and he took advantage."

But Miami wasn't done with just that Stanton homer.

Yelich doubled off the wall in right, advancing to third when Kole Calhoun bobbled the carom. The next batter, Marcell Ozuna, hit a broken-bat grounder to shortstop Andrelton Simmons. With half the bat floating in the air near him, Simmons still made the catch and threw home, but Yelich slid under the tag.

After Ozuna was thrown out trying to steal second, J.T. Realmuto capped the inning by hitting an opposite-field homer to right.

In the second inning, Straily started a one-out rally by hitting a hard shot off the right leg of Chavez. Straily advanced to third on a double by Gordon and ultimately scored when Chavez walked Ozuna on four pitches.

Los Angeles trimmed its deficit to 5-3 with a two-run, sixth-inning homer by Maldonado that barely got over the glove of a leaping Yelich in center field.

Bour's homer, in the bottom of the sixth, padded Miami's lead to 8-3, stopping the Angels' comeback attempt.

NOTES: Marlins RF Giancarlo Stanton has hit 10 homers in the past three years that have traveled at least 460 feet. ... Marlins CF Christian Yelich (hip) and 3B Derek Dietrich (hip/groin) started despite nagging injuries. ... Miami optioned RHP Drew Steckenrider to Triple-A New Orleans and reinstated RHP David Phelps from the bereavement list. ... Angels OF Cameron Maybin didn't start after leaving Thursday's game due to a sore right knee. ... This was the Angels' first game in Marlins Park. The Angels were the last team in the majors to visit the venue. ... The Angels have nine pitchers on the disabled list. The Angels have used 21 pitchers this year, second most in the majors. ... Saturday's pitching matchup: Marlins RHP Vance Worley (0-1, 6.75 ERA) vs. Angels RHP JC Ramirez (4-3, 3.81). Worley made his Marlins debut last week in a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Mariners 0 vs. 3 Red Sox Final Recap

Rodriguez, Red Sox relievers combine for shutout of Mariners


Friday, May 26 at 11:42 PM (EDT)

BOSTON -- John Farrell doesn't see any great mystery behind the sudden success of young left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.

"It's just a matter of his abilities coming together," the Boston manager said after Rodriguez turned in his seventh straight quality start in the Red Sox's fifth straight win, a 3-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night.

"This has always been an extremely talented young guy," Farrell said. "We've talked about his maturity, we've talked about his progression. It's been on display here for a good number of starts consecutively. He's in a very good place. Good to see him put it together."

Rodriguez (4-1) allowed five hits and walked three but battled through six innings and remained unbeaten since his first start of the year. He struck out four and has the third-most strikeouts (257) of any Boston pitcher in the modern era within his first 50 starts.

"I don't think it's any one thing you can point to," Farrell said. "He's generated a lot of talk because of the run he's on and doing a very good job. It's a combination of a lot of things that's culminated in increased confidence, pitching relaxed with very, very good stuff."

"I think just the overall consistency is special. I'm not impressed that he can do it, because we know he can do it," said teammate Jackie Bradley Jr., whose throw from left-center field cut down Danny Valencia trying for a double that would have given the Mariners second and third and nobody out in the second inning. "He's very talented and it's very fun playing behind him."

Three relievers worked an inning apiece, with Craig Kimbrel adding to his early season magic with a perfect ninth for his 13th save of the season and his 27th straight at Fenway Park.

First baseman Mitch Moreland took a hit away from Valencia that would have been the first hit by a right-handed batter off Kimbrel this season. Kimbrel finished the game by getting Taylor Motter to bounce out -- making right-handed hitters 0-for-39 against him this season, and he has retired 55 of the last 59 hitters he has faced, including 35 of the last 37.

"Every time he comes in the ninth inning and we're winning a game and he comes in we know we're gonna win," Rodriguez said. "That's all I'm thinking all the time I see him in the game. He's something special in there."

The win moved the Red Sox past the losing Baltimore Orioles and into second place in the American League East, two games behind the losing New York Yankees -- the closest Boston has been since April 25 (also two games out).

The last-place Mariners (21-28) lost for the sixth time in seven games and have scored five runs in those six losses. Their best chance to score was in the second inning, but two baserunning blunders kept them off the board.

"Again, offensively, we struggled to put innings together," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "That's kind of been the story here for the last week or so -- we just haven't gotten the line moving at all, for whatever reason.

"It seems like we're going to start something going, we don't get the big hit. Got one yesterday (a three-run homer by Nelson Cruz in Washington), didn't get one tonight." Yovani Gallardo, who lasted 5 1/3 innings, fell to 2-5 with the loss. He walked six and wild-pitched a run home.

"Yeah, I definitely had to battle," he said. "The whole night obviously wasn't consistent. But I made pitches whenever I had to."

The Red Sox (26-21) scored a second-inning run on a Bradley double and two groundouts and added two in the sixth, one scoring on the Gallardo wild pitch and the other on a passed ball by Mike Zunino.

In four games during their current homestand -- all wins -- the Red Sox have been gifted six runs -- on four wild pitches, a passed ball and a balk.

Hanley Ramirez and Christian Vazquez had two hits apiece for Boston.

Jean Segura had three of Seattle's six hits. He has five hits in the last two games and is batting .346 for the season.

Rain, heavy at one point, fell from the fifth inning on, but the game was not stopped on th second straight wet night at Fenway.

NOTES: Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia, removed from Thursday night's wet conditions because of soreness in his surgically repaired left knee, was rested after another day of rain. ... The Mariners lost RHP Chris Heston and INF Mike Freeman to waiver claims, both to the Los Angeles Dodgers. ... Boston INF/OF Brock Holt, battling vertigo, has been pulled from any game action for at least time being. He will continue to work out and travel with the team. ... RHP Rob Whalen makes his first start with the Mariners on Saturday, facing LH Brian Johnson, who will be recalled for his second start of the season for the Red Sox. ... The Red Sox optioned RHP Ben Taylor to Pawtucket after the game to make room for Johnson. ... Pregame ceremonies honored the May 29 100th birthday of John F. Kennedy, Boston's favorite sun.


Royals 6 vs. 4 Indians Final Recap

Royals overcome four-run deficit to beat Indians


Friday, May 26 at 11:35 PM (EDT)

CLEVELAND -- It was not the sort of comeback to be expected from the lowest scoring team in the American League, but the Kansas City Royals have suddenly made it their specialty.

Jorge Bonifacio had a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth inning as the Royals overcame an early four-run deficit to beat the Cleveland Indians 6-4 on Friday night at Progressive Field.

It marked the third time in their last 16 games that the Royals have come back from a deficit of four or more runs to win a game.

"It was a great comeback," said manager Ned Yost. "Down 4-0, but the guys found a way to come back and win it."

Kansas City got home runs from Brandon Moss and Mike Moustakas, while Cleveland continues to have trouble winning at home. The defending American League champions are now 8-12 at Progressive Field, the worst home record in the league.

"Up 4-0, when you jump out to a lead like that ... but from the third inning on we didn't do a lot offensively," said Indians manager Terry Francona.

Reliever Mike Minor (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings to get the win. Kelvin Herrera pitched the ninth inning to pick up his 10th save. Indians reliever Bryan Shaw (1-1) took the loss.

With the score tied at 4, Lorenzo Cain led off the top of the eighth inning with a single off Shaw. Andrew Miller relieved Shaw to pitch to Eric Hosmer, who hit a sharp grounder to short that handcuffed Francisco Lindor for an error. Cain went to third and Hosmer was safe at first.

"Frankie committed to the backhand, but the ball didn't come up as high as he thought," Francona said. "That became a really big play."

Salvador Perez popped out for the first out, but Bonifacio lined an 0-2 pitch from Miller into the gap in left-center field for a double, scoring Cain and Hosmer and giving the Royals a 6-4 lead.

"That was a great at-bat by Bonifacio. He hit a slider came back over the plate and gave us the lead," said Yost.

"I sat on his breaking ball, his best pitch. It feels amazing to get a hit like that," Bonifacio said.

Jose Ramirez's home run with two outs and nobody on base in the second inning gave Cleveland an early 1-0 lead.

The Indians added to that lead in the third inning, which began with walks to the first two batters, Bradley Zimmer and Daniel Robertson.

After Jason Kipnis flied out for the first out, Lindor stroked a single to center field, scoring Zimmer to make it 2-0. Robertson went to third on Lindor's hit and scored on a single by Michael Brantley.

Carlos Santana grounded into a force out at second, but Lindor scored from third on the play to give Cleveland a 4-0 lead.

Mike Clevinger held Kansas City scoreless through the first three innings, but with one out in the fourth, Hosmer reached on an infield single. After Perez struck out for the second out, Bonifacio singled to right field, moving Hosmer to second.

Moss then hit a line drive into the seats in right field for his ninth home run, cutting the lead to 4-3.

Kansas City tied it at 4 on Moustakas' solo home run in the fifth inning.

"It's a shame, because (Clevinger) threw well. The damage was done on two swings of the bat, but he did a lot of good things," said Francona.

Clevinger gave up four runs on eight hits, with six strikeouts and one walk in five innings.

NOTES: Prior to the game, the Indians activated OF Austin Jackson off the disabled list. Jackson had been on the DL since May 2 with a hyperextended left big toe. Jackson takes the roster spot of OF Lonnie Chisenhall, who was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Thursday. . . RHP Corey Kluber made a rehab start for Double-A Akron Friday night. Kluber has been on the disabled list since May 3 with a lower back strain. . . Royals LHP Scott Alexander began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha Friday night. Alexander has been on the disabled list since May 9 with a right hamstring strain. . . Although they rank only 10th in the American League with 54 home runs, the Royals have hit 15 homers in the first eight games of this road trip. They have had two four-homer games on the trip and are on a pace to hit 183 for the year, which would break the team record of 168 set in 1987.