Today is Friday, May 26, 2017.
|Friday, May 26, 2017|
|Major League Baseball|
Brewers set to host D-backs without Braun
Friday, May 26 at 3:26 AM (EDT)
MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Brewers are expecting a big boost Friday night when Junior Guerra returns to the mound for the first time since Opening Day to face the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park.
However, the Brewers will have to figure out how to snap their season-high, four-game slide without left fielder Ryan Braun after a strained left calf sent him to the disabled list for the second time in a month.
Braun returned from the disabled list Sunday, played two games before a scheduled off-day Wednesday afternoon, then tweaked the leg chasing a pop fly in the third inning Thursday.
"It's not ideal," Braun said after Milwaukee's 4-0 loss to Arizona. "Same calf, same situation. I knew when I came back that I wasn't at 100 percent, but it was good enough that I was optimistic I'd be able to work through it. You never want to miss any games, and where we're at as a team, I was hoping I could work through it, contribute and help us keep winning games.
"It actually felt better (Thursday) than it did the last couple of games. It just kind of grabbed on me when I ran to catch that popup in the second inning."
It was the latest setback in what has been a rough week for Milwaukee, which fell out first place in the National League Central on Thursday after being shut out for only the second time this season.
"It's a little bit of adversity," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "That's all right. It's part of the season. We're equipped to handle it, and we will. We'll do a good job. This is just part of it."
Getting back Guerra (0-0, 6.00 ERA) is reason for optimism. He was Milwaukee's best starter a year ago, going 9-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 20 starts as a 31-year-old rookie.
After an up-and-down spring training, Guerra earned his first career Opening Day start, only to strain his right calf running to first base. He has been sidelined since.
"I feel really good," Guerra said earlier in the week. "It feels good to be back with the team."
While the Brewers are slumping, Arizona is playing some of its best baseball of the season.
The Diamondbacks (30-19) have won four in a row, nine of their last 10 and 12 of 15 to move 11 games above .500 for the first time since the end of the 2011 season, when they won the National League West with a 94-68 record then fell to the Brewers in the NL Division Series.
It will be up to right-hander Zack Godley to keep the Diamondbacks going.
Godley (1-1, 2.45 ERA) moved into the rotation when Shelby Miller landed on the 60-day disabled list in late April. In four outings, he has three quality starts. His last time out, he allowed three runs on eight hits over seven innings in a 5-1 loss at San Diego on Sunday.
Part of Godley's success comes from a strong relationship with his catchers.
"In the three games I've thrown so far, I think I've probably shaken them off a total of five or six times," Godley told the Arizona Republic before his Sunday outing. "They know what needs to be called, and I have all the trust in the world in them."
In two career outings, one start, against Milwaukee, Godley is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA. Guerra will be facing Arizona for the first time.
Orioles hope for more diversified offense vs. Astros
Friday, May 26 at 3:38 AM (EDT)
HOUSTON -- There was a clear theme developing from the Baltimore Orioles' clubhouse in the aftermath of their fourth consecutive loss Wednesday, the last three coming at home to the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins.
The Orioles, power-hitting juggernauts under manager Buck Showalter, have been a bit too reliant on the home run of late. Baltimore (25-20) has ranked no lower than fourth in the AL in home runs under Showalter, averaging 216.8 between 2011-16 while pacing the league in long balls three times during that span.
During their skid, the Orioles have clubbed five home runs -- four coming with the bases empty. Baltimore, third in the majors this season batting .311 with runners in scoring position, is 4-for-20 in that situation over the past four games.
After an off day on Thursday, the Orioles now must contend with the Houston Astros, as the teams open a three-game series Friday at Minute Maid Park.
"We're getting ready to play (an opponent) that's probably the best, so we knew the schedule was going to be tough, but it's the big leagues and you've got to beat those guys," Showalter said of the Astros. "Offensively, it's kind of been boom or bust, and that's a challenge."
Said Orioles first baseman Chris Davis: "Either boom or bust, it's kind of obvious we're scoring runs by home runs or not scoring runs at all. It's tough to win games when you don't swing the bats well, but we'll put it behind us ... get a little bit of rest and get after them in Houston."
Right-hander Kevin Gausman (2-3, 6.65 ERA) starts for the Orioles in the series opener. Gausman has only one win over his past seven starts, posting an 8.04 ERA during that stretch. Opponents have a .906 OPS against Gausman, who is 1-1 with a 6.17 ERA against the Astros in two career starts.
Right-hander Joe Musgrove (3-4, 5.63 ERA) takes the ball for the Astros. Musgrove faced the Orioles once previously, allowing eight runs on 11 hits and one walk with two strikeouts over 5 1/3 innings in a 13-5 road defeat Aug. 18, 2016.
After posting consecutive wins over the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins, Musgrove recorded only nine outs in an 8-6 loss to the Indians on Sunday. The seven earned runs he allowed were second only to the eight he permitted in his loss at Baltimore last season.
While taking three of four games from the Detroit Tigers, the Astros (32-16) exhausted their reliable bullpen. Over the past five games, Houston has received more than 15 outs from a starting pitcher only once.
"It's not ideal," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "The starters, they all want to go six and seven innings; obviously, everybody wants to go nine if you can. We've asked a lot out of our bullpen, and it's always been in trying to win games. We won a series that way. I don't know that you can sustain that for too long a time before you get a little bit of fatigue in there. We asked a lot of these guys.
"Our starters will pick up a little bit and get their fair share of outs. It just hasn't been the best week for them to get deep into games."
Friday, May 26 at 1:16 AM (EDT)
MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Archer spent the first half of last season toiling for the Tampa Bay Rays to a 4-12 record and 4.66 ERA. After the tough start, the right-hander's strong second half was somewhat overshadowed when he had a 3.25 ERA and 103 strikeouts in his final 91 1/3 innings.
Archer kept it going this season and has again been the ace at the top of the Tampa Bay rotation.
Archer (3-3, 3.76 ERA) will try to get the Rays' nine-game road trip off on good footing when he starts Friday against the Minnesota Twins.
"I focus on the process, and the process was pretty good tonight," Archer told the Tampa Bay Times after his last outing, a loss to the New York Yankees where he gave up three runs in 6 1/3 innings. "I'll take the process a hundred out of a hundred times."
Archer's performances can't be defined simply by the wins and losses, just like last year when he lost 19 games. He allowed three runs in the second inning, but kept Tampa Bay in the game. He also posted 12 strikeouts, the third time in four games he's had at least 11 strikeouts.
The Rays (25-25) have followed Archer, at least in win percentage. Tampa Bay defeated the Los Angeles Angels 4-0 on Thursday to finish a 3-3 homestand.
Minnesota (25-18) is winning games home and away, though the road has served the American League Central leaders better to this point of the season. The Twins return home after a quick trip to Baltimore where they swept the Orioles.
"It was a really exciting series," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor told MLB.com. "Every game kind of took on a different look, from a really nice comeback to start us off and (Ervin Santana's) masterpiece. Today, we kind of started fast and had to hang on. It was a little frustrating that we couldn't take advantage and maybe increase the cushion somewhat.
"... It feels good, there's no question about that. You have to give these guys credit for coming out on the road here and finding a way to beat the Orioles three days in a row."
The Twins will send Hector Santiago (4-2, 3.96) to the mound. Santiago finished with a no-decision in his last outing after giving up three runs in five innings against the Kansas City Royals.
Santiago is 1-0 in his career against the Rays, with a 4.86 ERA in four appearances, including two starts. In his last start against Tampa Bay last season, Santiago threw seven scoreless innings and struck out nine batters.
Archer is 5-1 all-time against Minnesota with a 1.73 ERA in six starts. It's his second-lowest ERA against any opponent he's faced at least five times. Archer is also 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA at Minnesota's Target Field, the second-lowest ERA in the park's history for a pitcher with at least three starts.
If Archer can continue the trend, the Rays might be able to build on the momentum from Thursday's win when Colby Rasmus drove in four runs. Tampa Bay is 9-12 this season on the road.
"The vibe in the clubhouse is good, everybody is working to try and get better every day," Rasmus told MLB.com. "We're trying to win ballgames, coming in and trying to solve those problems. But it's the big leagues and it's tough.
"The guys on the other side are getting paid a lot of money to try and get us out. You've just got to continue to try and learn and figure out what they're doing to us in those situations and try to beat them."
|Tigers||0||vs.||0||White Sox||Delayed Preview|
Tigers, White Sox open 4-game set with doubleheader
Friday, May 26 at 1:59 AM (EDT)
CHICAGO -- Coming off a 3-7 road trip, the Chicago White Sox will play host to the Detroit Tigers in a straight doubleheader Friday to open a four-game series.
The first game of the twin bill makes up for a rainout April 5 at Guaranteed Rate Field. The second game will follow 30 minutes after the conclusion of the opener.
The White Sox (20-25) will try to snap a three-game skid after being swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this week in the desert. Chicago returns home for the first time since May 14.
The Tigers (22-24) also are a cold streak, having lost four of their past five games. Detroit is 10-14 on the road and 2-3 against Chicago this season.
Right-hander Mike Pelfrey will start Game 1 of the doubleheader for the White Sox. For the second game, the team announced it would recall right-hander Tyler Danish from Triple-A Charlotte to make his first major league start.
The Tigers plan to recall right-hander Buck Farmer from Triple-A Toledo to start the opener on Friday. Left-hander Matthew Boyd will start in Game 2.
Both teams are allowed to carry a 26th player for the doubleheader, which opens up roster spots for Danish and Farmer to join their respective clubs and make spot starts.
Perhaps no player will enter the series as hot as White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu. The Cuban slugger hit .405 (17-for-42) with five home runs, 10 RBIs and 12 runs during Chicago's 10-game road trip. He is batting .291 with 10 home runs and 27 RBIs overall.
Still, the losses appear to be taking a toll on Abreu.
"It was a very disappointing road trip," Abreu said through an interpreter, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "We as a team are passing through a tough moment, a rough stretch. I'm thankful for how I performed, but I can't be happy -- we didn't win as many games as we want to. It's tough. The team is first."
Tigers left fielder Justin Upton will try to maintain a hot bat after going 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs on Thursday against Houston. Third baseman Nick Castellanos is expected to return to the lineup after being given two consecutive days off to rest.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said he hoped the break would jump-start Castellanos, who has struggled at the plate (.220, four homers, 25 RBIs) and in the field (nine errors).
"(It is) to reset more mentally than anything," Ausmus told the Detroit Free Press when asked about Castellanos. "Wipe the slate clean and just be ready to go on Friday."
Pelfrey (1-4, 4.85 ERA) is familiar with Castellanos and the rest of the Tigers lineup after making 24 appearances (22 starts) for Detroit in 2016. The 33-year-old journeyman is coming off his first victory with the White Sox.
In his career vs. the Tigers, Pelfrey is 3-5 with a 4.31 ERA in 11 starts.
Farmer is slated to make his season debut after appearing in 32 games (8 starts) over parts of the last three seasons with Detroit. The 26-year-old still is chasing his first big league victory as he sports a career record of 0-6 with a 6.84 ERA. He has no decisions and a 3.00 ERA in three career appearances vs. the White Sox, all in relief.
In Game 2, Danish also will go for his first victory in the major leagues. The 22-year-old pitched three games in relief in 2016, allowing two runs in 1 2/3 innings. One of those outings was against the Tigers, and he yielded a run in one-third of an inning.
Boyd (2-4, 5.36 ERA) is looking for his first win in his past seven starts. Since April 16, the 26-year-old is 0-3 with a 6.06 ERA and an opponents' batting average of .324. He is 0-2 with a 5.90 ERA in six career starts against Chicago.
|Cardinals||vs.||Rockies||8:40 (EDT) Preview|
Surging Rockies return home to face Cardinals
Friday, May 26 at 3:49 AM (EDT)
DENVER -- After going 7-3 on their longest road trip of the season, the Colorado Rockies will try to maintain their momentum when they return home to meet the St Louis Cardinals on Friday.
Rookie Antonio Senzatela (6-1, 3.67 ERA) will start for the Rockies against Carlos Martinez (3-3, 3.28).
Colorado, which is 12-3 in series openers, is 11-2-2 in series after winning road sets at Minnesota, Cincinnati and Philadelphia to improve to a National League-best 18-8 away from home.
The Rockies are 13-10 at Coors Field, where they went 6-4 on their last homestand and where their stay will be rather brief -- three games against the Cardinals and two against the Seattle Mariners. The Rockies are in the midst of a stretch that includes 22 of 29 games on the road from May 16-June 14.
The Cardinals are in their own unusual scheduling period. They play seven of 10 games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, a stretch broken up by the three games at Colorado.
St. Louis fell 7-3 in the rubber game of their series at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, the Cardinals' sixth loss in eight games.
In his last start Saturday, Senzatela, 22, wasn't involved in the decision in a 12-8 Colorado defeat at Cincinnati. He gave up five hits and a career-high four walks in five innings and left with an 8-4 lead after cracking the 100-pitch barrier for the first time at 105 pitches.
After working at least six innings in six straight outings, Senzatela has pitched five innings in each of his past two starts, giving up 12 hits, eight runs and seven walks with 10 strikeouts. In five starts at Coors Field, Senzatela is 4-1 with a 3.77 ERA. He has never faced the Cardinals.
Senzatela is one of four rookies to start this season for Colorado, a group that includes Kyle Freeman, German Marquez and Jeff Hoffman, who was recalled to make two spot starts in doubleheaders caused by rainouts. The Rockies are 19-7 in the 26 games started by the four rookies, and the quartet is a combined 16-5 with a 3.53 ERA.
"There is a poise to these young guys in the rotation," Colorado manager Bud Black told the Denver Post. "These guys have a nice heartbeat. Their pulse is good. They don't scare off. And the catchers have done a great job with the collaboration and the dialogue. It's been good all over the place."
Martinez has made nine starts, five of which the Cardinals have won. He is 1-2 with a 5.51 ERA in three starts on the road.
In his last start, Saturday against the San Francisco Giants, Martinez allowed two hits in a career-high nine scoreless innings but wasn't involved in the decision when the Cardinals lost 3-1 in 13 innings. Opponents are hitting .205 overall against Martinez and .175 with runners in scoring position.
Martinez is 2-0 with a 6.97 ERA in seven career games (three starts) against the Rockies and 2-0 with a 5.54 ERA in three games (two starts) at Coors Field.
Cardinals center fielder Dexter Fowler, who began his career with the Rockies, broke an 0-for-20 slide when he led off the Thursday game with a single. He is hitting .205 with a .302 on-base percentage in his first season with St. Louis after batting .276 with a career-high .393 on-base percentage with the Chicago Cubs last season. For his career, he owns a .268 batting average and a .366 on-base percentage.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said he contemplated moving Fowler out of the leadoff spot, but mindful of the veteran's success there, would prefer to wait.
"I know the kind of hitter that he is and can be, so I just don't come to too many conclusions and make too many radical adjustments right now," Matheny told MLB.com. "You can't take a month and a half of the season and say that our minds are made up."
|Cubs||vs.||Dodgers||10:10 (EDT) Preview|
Cubs' Arrieta faces Dodgers in series opener
Friday, May 26 at 4:16 AM (EDT)
LOS ANGELES -- The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers, the two best clubs in the National League last season, renew acquaintances this weekend at Dodger Stadium.
Cubs ace Jake Arrieta (5-3, 4.80 ERA) will face Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood (5-0, 1.88) on Friday in the opener of their three-game set.
It is the second and final regular-season meeting between the teams. The Cubs captured two of three from the Dodgers when the two team met at Wrigley Field in April.
Chicago beat Los Angeles in six games in the NL Championship Series last year en route to winning the World Series.
On Thursday, the Dodgers (28-20) rallied from a three-run deficit for a 7-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. That allowed Los Angeles to take two of three in the series and improve to 18-8 at home, the second-best home mark in the National League behind the Arizona Diamondbacks (21-8).
Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda was the catalyst, driving in the go-ahead runs and earning a decision. Maeda combined with Hyun-Jin Ryu, who earned a save in his first relief appearance with four scoreless innings.
"Those two guys back-to-back in a tandem situation is pretty lethal, and that's what it was tonight," Dodger manager Dave Roberts said.
Wood has been one of the Dodgers' biggest surprises this season. He began the year in the bullpen but filled in with starts for some of the club's injured starters and hasn't come out of the rotation since.
In his last outing, Wood threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a 7-2 victory over the Miami Marlins on May 19. He struck out four and walked two.
Wood has a 1-2 record in seven games (four starts) with a 3.57 ERA against the Cubs. His last start against them occurred April 10 at Wrigley Field, where he allowed two runs on three hits in 3 2/3 innings but did not factor into the decision in a 3-2 loss. Wood walked a career-high five and fanned four.
Arrieta will be making his 10th start of the season, seven of them coming on the road. In his last outing on Sunday, Arrieta limited the Milwaukee Brewers to one run (unearned) on five hits with six strikeouts and a walk in six innings during a 13-6 Cubs victory.
Arrieta is 1-2 with a 3.24 ERA in four career starts against Los Angeles. He has blanked the Dodgers in 16 consecutive innings. That stretch includes his first no-hitter on Aug. 30, 2015, at Dodger Stadium.
The Cubs (25-21) hit three solo homers to beat the San Francisco Giants 5-1 on Thursday, capping a 7-2 homestand. It was Chicago's best homestand since an 8-2 stretch from Aug. 9-18, 2016.
"We know a lot of good things can happen if we're patient and aggressive in the strike zone," said Jason Heyward, who had one of the Cubs' long balls. "You can get a lot of momentum that way."
Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist also went deep for the Cubs, who added two eighth-inning runs on a wild pitch as they took three of four from the Giants.
Chicago has 26 home runs in its past 14 games, second most in the majors in that span.
The Cubs' six-game road trip includes three games each in Los Angeles and San Diego.
|Braves||vs.||Giants||10:15 (EDT) Preview|
Braves, Giants aim to snap skids
Friday, May 26 at 3:58 AM (EDT)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Two teams shackled with losing streaks but generally feeling pretty good about their recent play knock heads Friday night when the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants open a three-game series at AT&T Park.
Braves left-hander Jaime Garcia, who will be making his major-league-leading seventh road start, and Giants righty Matt Cain, who has been about as good as they come in his four home outings, will duel in the series opener.
The Braves are coming off a homestand in which they won five of the first seven games before taking consecutive losses against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"Pretty good homestand," Braves left fielder Matt Kemp said. "You wish we would have ended it a little bit better, but we've been playing some pretty good baseball. Hopefully we can take it on the road and keep it going."
Matt Adams, acquired last Saturday in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals, contributed to Atlanta's upswing. He has belted two home runs, a triple and two doubles among seven hits in his first 22 at-bats (.318) for the Braves.
Garcia pitched once on the homestand, and while he saw his record fall to 1-3 with a 4.07 ERA, he threw arguably his best game of the season. The veteran allowed just three runs (one earned) in eight innings in a 3-2 loss to the Washington Nationals.
It was just Garcia's second home start of the season. The other six have come on the road, and the Braves have won three times in those outings.
Acquired over the offseason from the Cardinals, Garcia is no stranger to AT&T Park, where he has gone 2-1 with a 3.25 ERA in five games (including four starts). Overall, he is 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA against the Giants in eight career games (seven starts).
When last seen in San Francisco last September as a member of the Cardinals, Garcia struck out five in two innings of relief but also surrendered a two-run homer to Giants catcher Buster Posey.
Posey went hitless Thursday in a 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs, the Giants' third straight defeat after they won eight of their previous 10 games.
San Francisco went 3-4 on a trip to St. Louis and Chicago after gathering some momentum with a season-best, five-game winning streak during a 5-2 homestand.
Cain had a hand in that winning streak, limiting the Los Angeles Dodgers to one run in 6 2/3 innings in an 8-4 win on May 15.
The win improved Cain's home record this season to 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA in four starts. He begins play Friday with the fourth-best home ERA in the majors among pitchers with four or more starts.
In eight career starts vs. Atlanta, Cain is 4-2 with a 3.42 ERA.
When Giants starters look to their right in the series, it is very possible they will see a new third baseman. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy left Chicago on Thursday wondering aloud about the possibility of returning prospect Christian Arroyo to Triple-A after seeing the rookie's batting average slide to .191.
"He knows the situation," Bochy said before the Thursday game, in which Arroyo went 0-for-3. "He's a tough kid. He wants to fight through this, and he's handling it well.
"I don't want to make any assumptions on what we're going to do. These are decisions that have to be made, and they aren't easy ones."
|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.
Yankees hope Tanaka gets back on track vs. A's
Thursday, May 25 at 4:35 PM (EDT)
NEW YORK -- Heavy rain did not provide the New York Yankees with any clarity about what is wrong with Masahiro Tanaka.
Two horrific starts prompted inquiries from fans, media and even from Tanaka himself.
After a rainout on Thursday, the Yankees will be curious to see if Tanaka can correct some, if not all, of the things going wrong on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series with the Oakland Athletics.
In his last two starts, Tanaka's ERA has risen from 4.36 to 6.56. He allowed eight runs and seven hits in 1 2/3 innings during a 10-7 loss to the Houston Astros May 14 and followed it up by allowing six runs and nine hits in three innings during Saturday's 9-5 loss at Tampa Bay.
"I can't really go too much into detail of what's going on, but yes, I was able to check to see of the things that I'm doing wrong," Tanaka said through a translator. "I feel like I'm in sort of a deep hole.
"Again, I just can't put my head down. I have to lift my head up, work on the things that I need to work on and try to fix what I need to fix. Definitely it's frustrating but I'm trying to get it right."
Since pitching a three-hitter in Boston on April 27, Tanaka has a 10.50 ERA in May and hitters are batting .395 against him. His worst ERA in any month with at least four starts was a 4.12 mark in six starts last June.
Tanaka has been prone to home runs, allowing 13 in his first 48 innings.
"As far as it being one of the worst slumps in my career, I probably have to agree with that," Tanaka said. "You have to grind it out. You can't put your head down. Physically, there's no problems at all. I feel fine."
The fact that it's not physical can be viewed as a good sign for the Yankees, who are optimistic it's just a rut and not a prolonged slump.
"I think as a coach you look for signs that someone is hurt," manager Joe Girardi said. "We haven't seen a real drop in velocity, we haven't seen him not being able to make a start. We haven't seen him receiving extra treatment.
"He's just in a little rut now that he needs to get out of. He feels fine. The schedule has been favorable for starting pitchers in a sense to get extra days. We've had a ton of off days, so maybe getting on every fifth day will help. Who knows?"
Tanaka is 3-0 with a 1.31 ERA in three career starts against Oakland. He faced the Athletics on May 21, 2016, in Oakland and allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, and on July 9, 2015, in New York, he allowed one earned run and two hits in 7 2/3 innings.
Kendall Gravemen (2-2, 3.83 ERA) starts for Oakland and also is looking to reverse some recent struggles. Since returning from a strained right shoulder on April 27, he is 0-2 with a 4.97 ERA and has allowed a .289 opponents' batting average in his last five starts.
Teams are hitting him well with the bases empty (.308) but are only 6-for-37 (.162) with runners in scoring position.
Graveman took a third straight no-decision last Friday when he allowed two runs and six hits in six innings during a 3-2 win over the Boston Red Sox decided on Mark Canha's 10th inning home run.
In three starts against New York, he is 1-1 with a 3.06 ERA. He allowed two runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings on May 19, 2016, in Oakland in a 4-1 loss, but April 20, 2016 in New York Graveman allowed one run and three hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 5-2 win.
The Yankees have won three of their last four games after Luis Severino pitched eight outstanding innings in a 3-0 win over the Kansas City Royals.
It was the first time a starting pitcher completed at least seven innings for the Yankees since Tanaka on May 8 in Cincinnati.
New York will be without Jacoby Ellsbury, who is on the seven-day concussion list. Ellsbury crashed into the center field wall on Wednesday tracking down a fly ball by Alcides Escobar and was diagnosed with a concussion and a sprained neck.
Oakland is 5-3 in its last eight games following a four-game losing streak May 12-15. The A's are among the major league leaders in home runs with 68 but also lead the majors with 46 errors.
Both things showed up in Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Miami Marlins, as Khris Davis slugged his 14th homer but the defense made three more errors.
"We know that defense is part of the equation," general manager David Forst told the San Jose Mercury News. "We've pitched well. We've hit homers. We haven't done everything, and defense is a part of that."
Davis was 4-for-24 with 10 strikeouts last season vs. the Yankees and is batting .171 this month. Jed Lowrie was 4-for-4 Wednesday and is 13-for-25 (.520) in his last six games following a 4-for-31 skid.
"Really consistent the whole year," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of Lowrie.
Yonder Alonso did not play Wednesday because of an injured right hand/wrist contusion. He was hit by a pitch Tuesday but is expected to play Friday.
Pirates brace for deGrom, Mets
Friday, May 26 at 3:13 AM (EDT)
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates' offense looks to keep improving, but Pittsburgh has a tough draw in New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom for the opener of a three-game series on Friday at PNC Park.
The Pirates, who are 13th in the National League with a .233 batting average, have been held back by below-average offensive production all season, but that trend might be reversing.
Pittsburgh, averaging 4.23 runs, broke out with 12-5 and 9-4 wins over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
The offensive surge was driven by a number of factors. The Pirates got some production with the long ball, hitting six home runs over the four-game series split with the Braves, their high in a series this season.
They also have some players back from injury.
Adam Frazier and David Freese both came off the disabled list May 12 after recovering from hamstring strains. Frazier is hitting .442 with 10 RBIs in the leadoff spot since his return.
Outfielder Gregory Polanco, who also has been on the DL due to a hamstring strain, will rejoin the starting lineup Friday after being reinstated Thursday.
The Pirates have also seen some of their more established players start to break out of early-season funks. John Jaso is hitting .236 in May after seeing his batting average bottom out at .143 on the first of the month. Francisco Cervelli has also brought his numbers around, hitting .283 in May after posting a .203 mark in April.
Even so, it might be tough sledding Friday against deGrom (3-1, 3.56 ERA). The Mets fireballer is averaging 12.29 strikeouts per nine innings -- the best mark in the NL and the third best in baseball. Through four starts in May, deGrob is averaging eight strikeouts and has three wins and two no-decisions in his last five starts.
It'll be a test of strength versus strength as the strikeout-averse Pirates have been fanned only 19 percent of the time -- third-lowest in the majors. DeGrom has made four career starts against the Pirates and is 0-2 with a 2.49 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings.
The Mets pushed deGrom's start back a day because of rain that turned out to be a steady mist Thursday. The team was going to have to use a spot starter at some point this week because Tommy Milone is on the disabled list with a sprained left knee.
With weather threatening in Queens on Thursday, manager Terry Collins went with Rafael Montero as a spot starter in order to make sure deGrom would be available for a full outing. New York wound up losing 4-3 to the San Diego Padres.
"One thing we didn't want to have to do was get him warmed up, sit him down, wait, have him pitch two innings, get to 30 pitches and then have to shut him down," Collins told MLB.com. "We're not in a situation to do that right now. We were struggling for a pitcher on Saturday anyway, so we decided to push him back a day."
The Mets will be looking for some length from deGrom to help out the stretched-out bullpen, which won't have the services of Montero to start the series.
Chad Kuhl (1-4, 5.85 ERA) will start for the Pirates. The sinker specialist is coming off his best outing of the season, when he allowed one hit in five innings against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. Kuhl has never faced the Mets.
"You're going to try to stay in good habits," Kuhl said after that start. "Sometimes you fall into bad habits without realizing it. You try and stay with it, stick with it and hammer it in the flat ground and bullpen (sessions)."
The Pirates and Mets meet again next weekend in New York.
Scherzer to pitch opener for Nationals vs. Padres
Friday, May 26 at 1:43 AM (EDT)
WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals are in the midst of a homestand that has them facing two teams that they host infrequently.
The Nationals ended a three-game series Thursday against the Mariners, who had not played in Washington since 2011. Seattle salvaged the final 4-2 after dropping the first two games.
On Friday, first-place Washington will begin a series with the San Diego Padres, who make their only trip of the season to the nation's capital. The Nationals, hitting a league-best .275 with a .474 team slugging average, are 28-18, while the Padres are 18-31 after a 4-3 win over the Mets on Thursday night in New York.
Right-hander Max Scherzer (4-3, 3.02 ERA) is slated to start Friday against San Diego ground-ball specialist Luis Perdomo (0-1, 5.79), who is coming off the worst start of his career.
Perdomo gave up eight runs on 11 hits in three innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.
"I wasn't commanding my sinker well," Perdomo said after the game, through an interpreter.
"He wasn't sharp," San Diego manager Andy Green said of the right-hander following the Padres' 9-1 loss that day.
Scherzer is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in three starts against San Diego since he joined the Nationals, and he has not allowed more than two earned runs in any game against the Padres in that stretch. Overall, he is 2-2 with a 2.57 ERA in eight career starts against the Padres.
San Diego slugger Wil Myers, however, is 4-for-9 against Scherzer with two homers.
There is a good chance the catcher for Scherzer will be Matt Wieters. Backup Jose Lobaton got the start during a day game Thursday after Wieters caught Wednesday night against Seattle.
So how does a pitching staff prepare for opponents they seldom see?
"I actually watch more (tape) of the National League guys I haven't seen in a while," said Wieters, in his first year with Washington after beginning his career in the American League with the Baltimore Orioles. "The big thing is you have to execute. It is all about execution. I will try and look at (tape) a little bit more (of the Padres)."
In the Nationals' Thursday loss, the bullpen blew another lead. Right-hander Jacob Turner gave up a homer to Nelson Cruz, the first batter he faced in the sixth after starter Gio Gonzalez left with the lead at 2-0.
"We will get ready for the Padres," Washington manager Dusty Baker said after the game.
Except that Baker was on his way to California to attend the Saturday high school graduation of his son, Darren, who has committed to play college baseball at California.
Baker will miss the weekend series against San Diego and will join the team in San Francisco, where the Nationals begin a road trip Monday. Bench coach Chris Speier will fill in for Baker.
Third baseman Anthony Rendon has been on fire for the Nationals, and he hits out of the No. 6 hole, which can be intimidating for opposing pitchers.
Rendon homered in three straight games for the first time in his career in the Seattle series and had four homers against the Mariners.
"He is getting really good pitches to hit," teammate Daniel Murphy said of Rendon. "He is seeing the ball really well right now."
Last-place Seattle had lost five in a row before beating the Nationals on Thursday. It was the first win in nine games for the Mariners in Washington.
The Padres have an even worse record than Seattle, and second-year manager Andy Green hopes Perdomo, who made 20 starts as a rookie last year, can bounce back against a Washington lineup that features Ryan Zimmerman (.362), Bryce Harper (.340) and Murphy (.316).
Perdomo defeated Washington last year in his only start against the Nationals. He gave up four hits and two runs in seven innings.
The San Diego staff also includes reliever Craig Stammen, who came up through the Washington system after he was drafted out of the University of Dayton in 2005.
Phillies try to build momentum vs. Reds
Friday, May 26 at 12:21 AM (EDT)
PHILADELPHIA -- At some point, the worst stretch of baseball the Philadelphia Phillies have played in quite some time has to end.
One win isn't enough to declare a slump is over just yet after a 4-20 stretch, but it is a start.
So when the Phillies welcome the Cincinnati Reds to Citizens Bank Park on Friday to open up a three-game series, after snapping a five-game losing streak with a 2-1, 11-inning win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday, the key will be to turn that one win into two.
Otherwise, it could just be more of the same from a month that saw the Phillies go from two games over .500 in late April to last place in the National League East.
"Today was a good step in the right direction," said first baseman Tommy Joseph, who had a game-tying solo home run in the seventh inning Thursday and provided the game-winning hit in the 11th. "Winning helps with a positive environment, and looking forward to building on it."
The Phillies (16-29) will open the Cincinnati series with Aaron Nola (2-1, 3.52 ERA) on the mound. The 23-year-old right-hander will try to build off a strong start his last time out.
The Reds (22-24) are coming off a rainout on Thursday at Cleveland. With the postponement, Cincinnati right-hander Tim Adleman (2-2, 6.19 ERA), the scheduled Thursday starter, will pitch Friday against the Phillies. Bronson Arroyo had his start pushed back a day to Saturday.
Nola was effective for seven innings in Pittsburgh on Sunday while making his return after a month off with a lower back strain. He gave up just four hits and one run and threw only 89 pitches, but he took the loss as his offense failed to put up anything in a 1-0 defeat.
Nola hadn't looked quite as comfortable in his first three starts of the season, when he picked up two wins but gave up eight runs in 16 innings.
"I was confident," Nola told the Philadelphia Inquirer of his return to form. "My body felt good, back felt good. I felt like I didn't skip a beat."
In two career starts against Cincinnati, Nola is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA, giving up three runs (two earned) in 14 innings and striking out 17 Reds along the way.
A lack of offense has become a real problem for the Phillies, whose bats were absolutely dead in the Colorado series.
The Reds, meanwhile, have scored at least four runs in nine consecutive games.
Cincinnati hopes Adleman can bounce back after a pair of rough outings. He was tagged for six runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings by against the Rockies on Saturday. In his previous start, he lasted only one inning, giving up four runs (three earned) on three hits and two walks.
In his only previous appearance against the Phillies, Adleman surrendered three runs in five innings during a loss on May 14, 2016, in Citizens Bank Park.
Despite the rainout, the Reds were busy on Thursday. They claimed right-hander Jake Buchanan off waivers from the Chicago Cubs and designated first baseman/outfielder Peter O'Brien for assignment.
Cincinnati also placed left-hander Amir Garrett on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Wednesday, because of right hip inflammation. Garrett gave up seven runs on seven hits in five innings Tuesday in a no-decision against the Indians.
Injured stars set to return as Jays host Rangers
Friday, May 26 at 2:45 AM (EDT)
TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays hope to greet the Texas Rangers on Friday night at the Rogers Centre with a long-missing one-two combination.
The expectation is that the Blue Jays will have the left side of their infield back in the lineup for the first time since mid-April. Third baseman Josh Donaldson is set to return from a calf injury, and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is due back from a hamstring ailment.
It will be the teams' first meeting since the Blue Jays swept the Rangers in three games to win a head-to-head matchup in the American League Division Series for the second successive year.
"The plan is for those guys to play tomorrow," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told Sportsnet radio on Thursday regarding Donaldson and Tulowitzki. "That will be a great addition to our team."
The two injured regulars, who were playing with Class A Dunedin on rehab assignments, are expected to be reinstated from the disabled list Friday to face Rangers starter A.J. Griffin (4-1, 5.02 ERA).
Griffin is 2-0 with a 2.39 ERA in five career starts against the Blue Jays, including 1-0 with a 1.53 ERA in three starts at the Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays (21-26) counter with Mike Bolsinger (0-2, 6.32 ERA) as they open a 10-game homestand. Bolsinger has never faced the Rangers (24-24).
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said the return of Donaldson and Tulowitzki would be a lift to his team, which completed its first winning road trip of the season (4-3) by completing a two-game sweep against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.
"These other guys have filled in and done a great job, but every team is built a certain way," Gibbons said. "You have your core guys, and if you're going to do anything, you're going to need a lot of those guys. I think everyone will be glad to see them. The clubhouse will get louder."
Donaldson has been out April 13 and Tulowitzki since April 21.
Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis takes a nine-game hitting streak into Friday. He is batting .459 with eight doubles, two homers and nine RBIs in that span.
Toronto right fielder Jose Bautista has reached base in 16 consecutive games, batting .382 with six home runs, 14 RBIs, 16 runs, four doubles and a 1.274 OPS.
Griffin is 2-1 with a 5.64 ERA in four starts in May after a stint on the disabled list caused by gout in his left ankle.
His task is to end the Rangers' three-game losing streak after the Boston Red Sox completed a sweep of Texas with a 6-2 victory at Fenway Park on Thursday night.
"Forget about this one and move on," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Three games of not the brand of baseball we want to play."
The Rangers struck out 20 times Thursday, which was a club record for a nine-inning game and matched the major league record.
"I don't really think we had the best approach through the game," said Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus, who struck out three times but also homered. "We needed to make an adjustment real quick and have a better plan. But those guys pitched tough. You have to give credit to their pitchers, too."
Trout, Angels make first trip to Marlins Park
Thursday, May 25 at 6:33 PM (EDT)
MIAMI -- Friday will mark the Marlins Park debut of Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout, the 25-year-old center fielder who already is a five-time All-Star and a two-time American League MVP.
The Angels also have another attraction in Albert Pujols, who can make history this weekend against the Miami Marlins. He needs three home runs to become the ninth major-leaguer to reach 600.
"It seems like every day (Pujols) is breaking records," Trout told the Los Angeles Times. "It seems like every day he is passing somebody on some list."
Pujols, who is often used as a designated hitter in American League ballparks, could see action at first base this weekend in order to keep his bat in the lineup as the Angels (25-25) seek to snap a two-game losing skid and get back over .500.
The Marlins (16-29) are off to one of the worst starts in baseball and are limping home with two more injuries during their just-concluded 2-4 trip.
Already missing third baseman Martin Prado, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and standout utility player Miguel Rojas, the Marlins played on Wednesday without star center fielder Christian Yelich, who has a hip injury.
In addition, Derek Dietrich, who is filling in for Prado at third base, left Wednesday's game because of a hip/groin injury.
The Marlins' problems don't end there. Their original starting rotation has a 7-16 record, including Edinson Volquez, who is 0-7 after signing a two-year, $22-million contract in the offseason.
"When I signed here, I was hoping to be better than what I am right now," Volquez told the media.
The best Marlins starter has been right-hander Dan Straily (2-3, 3.70 ERA), who will start on Friday against the Angels.
Miami is 4-5 when Straily pitches, which is pretty good considering the Marlins are 13 games under .500. Straily has allowed only 28 hits in 48.2 innings this season. He has held eight straight opponents to four hits or fewer, and he leads Marlins starters in ERA and WHIP (1.03).
Right-handed batters are hitting only .156 against Straily, with five homers in 90 at-bats. Lefty batters are hitting .173 with one homer in 81 at-bats.
Straily, 28, had a breakthrough year last season when he went 14-8 with a 3.76 ERA. This year, even though his record is unimpressive, his ERA is on pace to be a career low.
Marlins Park has been kind to Straily, who has a 1.95 ERA at home and a 6.00 mark on the road.
Meanwhile, the Angels, who will start Jesse Chavez (4-5, 4.61 ERA), in their first-ever trip to Marlins Park.
Chavez, 33, has a career record of 30-45 with a 4.55 ERA. He lost five of six decisions this year before turning it around recently, winning his last two starts.
The Angels have been treading water while waiting for closer Huston Street (right lat strain) to return from injury. He and Matt Morin (neck tightness) pitched one perfect inning each on Wednesday in Triple-A minor-league rehab stints.
Los Angeles is hoping to get starting pitcher Alex Meyer (back stiffness) on the mound next week.
The Angels are already without two starting pitchers: Garrett Richards, whose biceps injury is expected to keep him out until August, and Tyler Skaggs (oblique), who is out until the All-Star break.
Los Angeles hopes to get third baseman Yunel Escobar (left hamstring) back soon. He is reportedly ready to run bases.
However, Angels outfielder Cameron Maybin left Thursday's game because of soreness in his right knee.
Rodriguez seeks 4th straight win as Red Sox host M's
Friday, May 26 at 2:18 AM (EDT)
BOSTON -- Eduardo Rodriguez no longer is the other left-hander in Boston's rotation.
Rodriguez, who has battled injuries throughout his early career, is quietly off to an outstanding start -- in a Red Sox rotation where fellow lefties Chris Sale (great), David Price (hurt, making his first start of the season on Monday night) and Drew Pomeranz (struggling before a strong outing Thursday) have received much of the attention.
Rodriguez (3-1, 3.10 ERA) takes a string of six consecutive quality starts to the mound when he faces Yovani Gallardo and the Seattle Mariners in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night at Fenway Park.
All eight starts of Rodriguez's starts have coming after Red Sox losses. The team is 6-2 in those eight games, and Rodriguez is riding a three-decision winning streak.
"I just go out there and pitch," he said after winning in Oakland on Sunday, when he threw eight innings of three-run ball. "Even if we had won 10, 11 in a row, I am just going to try and win the game. I just go out there and do my job."
This time, though, Rodriguez will be pitching after a win. The Red Sox (25-21) completed a sweep of their three-game series with the Texas Rangers with a 6-2 victory Thursday night. Boston has won four in a row, racking up 38 runs in that span.
Red Sox pitchers tied the major league record for a nine-inning game by striking out 20 on Thursday, including four in the ninth inning by closer Craig Kimbrel.
"His stuff is nasty," fellow reliever Matt Barnes said of Kimbrel. "What he is doing right now ... I have never seen anything like that."
Kimbrel has retired 53 of the last 56 batters he has faced, including 33 of his last 34. He has yet to allow a hit to a right-handed batter this season.
Like Rodriguez, Gallardo was doing his job, and he took a two-game winning streak into his last start. However, he was strafed for nine hits, including two home runs, and 10 runs -- nine earned -- in just 3 2/3 innings of a 16-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.
Gallardo (2-4, 5.84 ERA) is 2-2 with a 5.28 ERA lifetime against the Red Sox, who reached him for eight runs in 10 innings in two starts with the Baltimore Orioles last season.
Rodriguez is making just his second career start against the Mariners. He went 6 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and a run (no walk, six strikeouts) last Aug. 1.
The injury-riddled and last-place Mariners (21-27) ended a five-game losing streak -- during which they scored one run in each game -- with a 4-2 win at Washington on Thursday. Nelson Cruz's three-run homer and Robinson Cano's RBI single provided the offense.
"That's what Nelson Cruz does for our team," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "I think from a leadership standpoint, him and Robbie, those are the veteran guys. ... That's what you need, your veteran players to drive the train."
Servais was ejected with his team down 2-0 in the top of the sixth inning, and his players responded, giving the Mariners their first win in nine games in Washington.
"Our guys joke about it, I think we're 2-0 when I get kicked out of games now, so they'd like to see it probably happen more," the manager said. "It's the intensity of the game."
Dustin Pedroia is 7-for-18 (.389) against Gallardo, while both Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts are 4-for-12 (.333). Chris Young is just 2-for-18 (.167).
The current Mariners are a combined 3-for-20 against Rodriguez, with Cano collecting two hits in three at-bats. Danny Valencia is 0-for-6 against the lefty.
Red-hot Clevinger, Indians host Royals
Thursday, May 25 at 11:57 PM (EDT)
CLEVELAND -- Indians ace Corey Kluber is getting closer to coming off the disabled list, but his replacement in the rotation has filled in admirably.
Friday night, Mike Clevinger will make his fourth start in place of Kluber as Cleveland hosts the Kansas City Royals in the first contest of a three-game series. Clevinger was recalled from Triple-A Columbus on May 7 after Kluber was placed on the DL with a lower back strain.
In three starts filling in for Kluber, Clevinger is 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA. He has held opposing teams to a .113 batting average. In 17 innings, he has allowed three runs on six hits with 18 strikeouts. His only negative stat is 11 walks, but even that number is diminished in importance by Clevinger's low hit total.
Clevinger's first start in place of Kluber came May 7 against the Royals. Clevinger got the win that day, a 1-0 victory in which he pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings and allowed one hit and four walks while striking out five. In three career appearances against Kansas City (two starts), Clevinger is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA.
Clevinger is coming off his best start of the year. In his last start May 20 at Houston, Clevinger held the high-flying Astros scoreless on two hits over seven innings in a 3-0 Indians victory.
The Indians and Royals are coming off postponed games Thursday -- the Royals in New York and the Indians in Cleveland.
Ian Kennedy (0-4, 4.06), the scheduled starter Thursday against the Yankees, will start Friday against the Indians. Last year, Kennedy made six starts against the Indians and was 2-4 with a 5.30 ERA. In eight career starts versus Cleveland, he is 2-4 with a 5.19 ERA.
The Royals (19-27) come into Friday's game last in the AL Central and the lowest winning percentage (.413) in the American League.
While speculation has already begun that Kansas City will be sellers at the trade deadline, Royals general manager Dayton Moore said his team still hopes to be in the hunt this year.
"I'm not throwing up the white flag," Moore told MLB.com. "We just go. We go and we play and we do everything we can as an organization to win every game. We strive to get better every day.
"We are going to remain focused on winning in 2017, and I mean throughout 2017. We believe we owe it to our players and to our fan base. We'll remain laser-focused on winning."
The Indians are winning more than the Royals, but not as much as was expected of the defending American League champions. Cleveland is 24-21 and in second place in the division.
The Indians' biggest area of concern is the starting rotation, which was expected to be one of the best in the majors this year. Instead, the Indians have the highest starters ERA in the league at 4.98.
The Indians are also short-handed among their position players. On Thursday, outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
"He was experiencing concussion symptoms (Wednesday)," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "He got tested and was found to have a lower grade concussion."
Another outfielder, Austin Jackson, is on the DL with a hyper-extended left big toe. However, Jackson could be activated Friday, or sometime over the weekend.
|Thursday, May 25, 2017|
|Major League Baseball|
Ray, Diamondbacks shut out Brewers
Friday, May 26 at 12:19 AM (EDT)
MILWAUKEE -- Robbie Ray found a groove Thursday and because of that, the Arizona Diamondbacks stayed hot as they opened an 11-game road trip.
Ray spun seven scoreless innings while striking out nine for the Diamondbacks, who extended their winning streak to four games with a 4-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
"I went out there and I did what I needed to do," Ray said. "My fastball command was good and my off-speed was good off that, slider, curveball. I was just keeping them off balance today."
Gregor Blanco had three of Arizona's nine hits, including a leadoff home run in the first inning -- his first of the season. Chris Owings added his own solo shot to open the second, providing more than enough support for Ray, who scattered two hits over seven innings.
"The first batter of the game has a great approach, drives the ball the other way and gets you a quick point to play downhill baseball," Arizona manager Corey Lovullo said. "That's what we're all about. Robbie took it from there. We had another solo home run which is real nice.
"The day was paced by Robbie. On a night where we really needed it with a bullpen that might have been a little bit tired or short in certain places, Robbie gave us seven great innings."
Arizona has won nine of its last 10 contests to move 11 games above .500 for the first time since ending the 2011 season 94-68.
Milwaukee was shut out for only the second time this season.
Brewers starter Zach Davies held Arizona to three runs despite giving up seven hits and a pair of walks while striking out two as his five-decision winning streak came to an end.
"I thought Zach pitched well," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Two homers off the bat but I thought the command of the fastball was as good as it's been all year and I thought he used his off-speed really well tonight. There was some crispness to his pitches. He took a step forward with that tonight. The home runs make him give up (two) runs but I thought he looked pretty good tonight."
Blanco sent Davies' second offering of the game into left-center for his first home run of the season. Davies got through the rest of the inning unscathed, but Owings led off the second with a solo shot to make it 2-0.
Blanco scored again in the third, this time on a double by David Peralta.
Davies (5-3) faced one batter over the minimum the rest of the way, but the Brewers' offense couldn't do anything against Ray.
"I tried to pitch to contact, tried to keep the ball down and get through as far as I could," Davies said. "I know it went one, two, three (runs) in the first three (innings), but (I tried to) keep it there."
Right-hander Archie Bradley and lefty T.J. McFarland put up zeroes in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, to preserve the shutout.
Along with their fourth straight game, the Brewers also lost left fielder Ryan Braun to the disabled list for the second time in a month, again because of a strained left calf. Braun spent 10 days on the DL and returned Sunday but tweaked the calf chasing a third-inning pop-up from Owings.
"Same calf, same situation," Braun said. "I knew when I came back that I wasn't at 100 percent but it was good enough that I was optimistic I'd be able to work through it."
Milwaukee will announce a correlating roster move Friday, Counsell said.
NOTES: Brewers OF Ryan Braun was marking the 10th anniversary of his major league debut but had to be replaced by a pinch hitter in the fourth inning because of the calf injury. ... Milwaukee also lost C Manny Pina after hit was hit in the arm by a pitch from Diamondbacks LHP Robbie Ray in the second inning. ... OF A.J. Pollock did not join the Diamondbacks for their 11-game road trip but resumed baseball activities in Arizona as he works his way back from a strained right groin. ... Brewers RHP Junior Guerra is expected to return from the disabled list Friday and start the second contest of the four-game series. Guerra has been out since straining his right calf three innings into his Opening Day start.
Marisnick caps HR binge, lifts Astros past Tigers
Friday, May 26 at 1:03 AM (EDT)
HOUSTON -- Houston Astros center fielder Jake Marisnick has carved out a niche as a late-inning defensive specialist able to influence games with his speed on the bases. But with greater frequency this season, Marisnick has wielded a powerful bat.
Marisnick homered with one out in the eighth inning as the Astros claimed a 7-6 win over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night at Minute Maid Park.
Marisnick, who entered as a pinch runner in the sixth inning, drilled an 0-1 pitch from Tigers right-hander Alex Wilson 421 feet to left-center field for his fifth homer. The Astros' bullpen surrendered a two-run lead before Marisnick torched Wilson (1-2) and gave Houston (32-16) its final lead and a four-game series win.
"With what the wind was doing and how it was swirling, I didn't know what it would do," Marisnick said. "I knew I hit it good so I was glad it got up over there."
Carlos Correa, Marwin Gonzalez and Juan Centeno all homered off Tigers starter Justin Verlander in the fourth inning, with Correa and Gonzalez delivering two-run blasts to erase a 3-0 deficit. Correa finished 3-for-4 after missing two games with an illness and Gonzalez cranked his team-leading 11th home run out to right field.
Centeno homered for the second time in as many games during the ambush of Verlander, who allowed six runs on nine hits and three walks over 5 2/3 innings.
"A little bit of mislocation, a little bit of balls flying, a little bit of everything," Verlander said. "I think I didn't pitch great. I let those guys elevate the balls on a night when the ball was flying pretty good."
Trailing 6-4 after six innings, the Tigers (22-24) clawed back. Left fielder Justin Upton lined his ninth home run to left field off Astros right-hander Will Harris with two outs in the seventh. An inning later, shortstop Jose Iglesias drilled a game-tying RBI double just inside third base off Luke Gregerson (2-1), plating pinch-hitter Andrew Romine, who walked and stole second base to lead off the eighth.
Astros closer Ken Giles wasn't as vulnerable as his fellow relievers, recording his 13th save with a scoreless ninth to send Detroit to its fifth loss in seven games.
"You hate to lose a lead and then you battle back and ultimately, lose the game," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "It's a little frustrating. We had some good at-bats. We actually hit some balls hard.
"Yeah, it's a little frustrating. You're feeling pretty good about it. You have Justin on the mound. You get three runs to start the game, but it's baseball. Nothing is given."
Before the Astros pounced on Verlander in the fourth, the Tigers appeared poised to split the series after pounding away against Astros starter Mike Fiers.
Fiers needed an assist from left fielder Nori Aoki to escape the first inning unscathed, with Aoki erasing Miguel Cabrera at the plate following a Victor Martinez single for the final out. Fiers retired the final three batters he faced in the second but only after issuing a leadoff walk to J.D. Martinez and pushing him to second with a throwing error before surrendering an RBI single to Upton.
The Astros trailed 3-0 in the fourth when Josh Reddick spared Fiers two additional runs with a running catch in right field for the final out of that frame.
Fiers had allowed a titanic homer to J.D. Martinez, his seventh, and a run-scoring double to Iglesias. After J.D. Martinez just missed bashing a game-tying homer to straightaway center in the fifth, Fiers departed having allowed 10 hits.
By then the Astros' offense had covered for Fiers. When they bullpen needed additional help late, Marisnick was there to provide one final blast of support.
"We have a great team with a lot of talent, and our lineup is able to make adjustments to any type of pitcher so we can score some runs," Correa said. "It's really important."
NOTES: Astros C Brian McCann has resumed baseball activities, passed a concussion test and is on schedule to return from the seven-day concussion disabled list on Saturday, at which time C Juan Centeno is likely to be optioned to Triple-A Fresno. McCann suffered the concussion on May 14 in New York but wasn't diagnosed until later in the week. ... The Tigers began an arduous stretch of four games in less than 48 hours with their series finale against the Astros. Detroit is scheduled to play a doubleheader on Friday in Chicago against the White Sox, with the third game of that set for Saturday afternoon. ... Astros SS Carlos Correa returned to the starting lineup after missing two games with an upper respiratory illness. Correa said he spent most of the previous two days sleeping but awoke on Thursday morning feeling well enough to resume participation.
Maeda's bat helps Dodgers rally past Cardinals
Friday, May 26 at 3:00 AM (EDT)
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda dusted the rust off of two weeks of inactivity to beat the St. Louis Cardinals with his arm and bat.
Maeda delivered a go-ahead, two-run single, and Chase Utley homered as the Dodgers wiped out a three-run deficit to defeat the Cardinals 7-3 on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
Maeda (4-2) gave up three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks in five innings as the Dodgers (28-20) took two of three in the series.
"It was a little hard getting into the game with the long layoff, but I was able to make the adjustments, and it was a good hit," said Maeda, who had been on the disabled list since May 11 due to left hamstring tightness. "I think overall it was a good game for me."
Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, in his first relief appearance, also made a valuable contribution, striking out two and allowing two hits in four scoreless innings to earn the save.
Before the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the club was trying to determine a role for Ryu, who hadn't worked a game since his last start May 18, when he defeated the Miami Marlins.
Afterward, Roberts seemed to take glee in saying this was the Dodgers' plan all along -- using Ryu in a relief role.
"Those two guys back-to-back in a tandem situation is pretty lethal, and that's what it was tonight," Roberts said.
Dodgers center fielder Chris Taylor, who went 3-for-4, had a run-scoring double in the sixth to cap the scoring.
Cardinals starter Michael Wacha (2-2) was charged with a season-high six runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks in four-plus innings. Wacha threw 100 pitches, 69 for strikes.
Wacha said his breaking ball wasn't effective and forced him to compromise his pitches.
"They did a good job battling," said Wacha, who hadn't given up six runs since the Colorado Rockies tagged him for that many on May 19, 2016. "Whenever I'd get ahead, they'd battle to get a full count. Put up good at-bats. In some of those cases, I wasn't able to finish them off."
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was baffled with Wacha's performance.
"I can't really put my finger on it," Matheny said. "The solo (home run) wasn't a bad pitch. The next inning where we got to two outs, the RBI by (Yasiel) Puig was a pretty good at-bat. The next one that gets you is when the pitcher is able to score a couple of runs. That one really hurt, and he couldn't really get out of the fifth."
Catcher Yadier Molina went 2-for-4 with an RBI and extended his hitting streak to 14 games for the Cardinals (23-21), who lost for only the second time in their past 12 road games.
Jedd Gyorko, who went 2-for-4 and recorded his 13th multi-hit game, doubled home Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham with one out in the first inning for a 2-0 St. Louis lead. Gyorko advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Molina's base hit to make it 3-0.
Utley's solo shot to right in the second sliced the margin to 3-1. It was the first home run of the season for Utley.
In the fourth, the Dodgers rallied with three runs. Puig drove in Cody Bellinger, and Maeda's single down the third base line scored Enrique Hernandez and Puig for a 4-3 Dodgers edge.
"Just left it up in the zone a little bit," said Wacha, who hung a curveball to Maeda. "Just trying to bury it, but I ended up not doing it."
In the fifth, two wild pitches by Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil allowed Taylor, who singled and advanced to second on a walk, to score for a 5-3 advantage. Adrian Gonzalez's RBI single brought home Corey Seager for a 6-3 lead.
NOTES: Los Angeles has captured eight of its past 10 games at home to improve to 18-8 at Dodger Stadium, the second-best home mark in the National League to the Arizona Diamondbacks (21-8). ... To clear a roster spot for the return of RHP Kenta Maeda from the disabled list, the Dodgers placed CF Joc Pederson on the seven-day concussion DL. ... Los Angeles LHP Adam Liberatore was activated from the 10-day disabled list, while LHP Luis Avilan was put on the 10-day DL (retroactive to May 24) because of left triceps soreness. ... Both clubs resume play Friday in the opener of a three-game series. Cardinals RHP Carlos Martinez (3-3, 3.28 ERA) will face Colorado Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (6-1, 3.67) at Coors Field in Denver. Chicago Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (5-3, 4.80) will oppose Dodgers LHP Alex Wood (5-0, 1.88) at Dodger Stadium.
Cruz's homer helps Mariners beat Nationals
Thursday, May 25 at 4:50 PM (EDT)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Manager Scott Servais said adrenaline was running high for his team after the Seattle Mariners lost their fifth game in a row Wednesday night.
"Myself included," Servais said, with a smile, sitting at his desk in the visitors' clubhouse.
Servais, who was not happy about the effort of his club on Wednesday, was ejected in the top of the sixth inning on Thursday afternoon for complaining about a strike zone he called "very inconsistent."
But two batters later, Nelson Cruz hit a three-run homer to give Seattle a 3-2 lead and the last-place Mariners beat the first-place Washington Nationals 4-2 to prevent a three-game sweep.
"I thought our guys really responded to a disappointing effort last night," said Servais, who is in his second season as the Seattle skipper. "Our players responded. It was a total team effort."
Cruz was the first batter that right-handed reliever Jacob Turner faced after Washington starter Gio Gonzalez was lifted. Cruz was 1-for-15 against Gonzalez in his career but his homer against Turner helped snap the losing streak.
"I don't make the calls" on who pitches, Cruz said. "One swing can get you going. We needed the win."
Said Servais: "That is what Nelson Cruz does for our team. Nelson Cruz is our four-hole hitter. I don't worry about matchups."
It was another loss for the Washington bullpen, which entered the game with the highest ERA in the league.
Turner, also used as a starter this season, gave up four hits and two runs in one inning.
Meanwhile, Seattle starter Ariel Miranda lowered his ERA to 4.22 while allowing only three hits and two runs in five innings.
"The ball jumps out of his hand pretty good," said Washington second baseman Daniel Murphy, who was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
It was the first win in nine tries for the Mariners in the nation's capital. The Mariners were swept in three-game sets in Washington in 2005 and 2011.
Anthony Rendon hit a solo homer to lead off the fifth and give the Nationals a 1-0 lead. Rendon (two hits) has homered in three straight games and had four homers in the series.
"He is getting really good pitches to hit," Murphy said of Rendon. "He is seeing the ball really well right now."
Later in the inning Jayson Werth made it 2-0 with an RBI single with two outs to score Jose Lobaton, who had doubled with one out.
But Cruz hit his three-run homer off Turner (2-3), making his first appearance since May 17, to give Seattle a 3-2 lead in the sixth. Robinson Cano (2-for-5) had an RBI single off reliever Matt Grace to build the Seattle lead to 4-2 in the seventh.
The Seattle bullpen of Tony Zych, James Pazos, Nick Vincent, Marc Rzepczynski and Edwin Diaz did not allow a run in four innings.
Diaz pitched the ninth for his eighth save and got the last out with a runner on base when pinch-hitter Matt Wieters was retired on a fly ball. Pinch-hitter Adam Lind had a single with two outs off Diaz.
"We had to go to our bullpen early," Servais said. "It is a cumulative effort. We like Edwin in that spot."
Gonzalez gave up three hits and two runs with four walks and eight strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. Jean Segura was 2-for-4 for Seattle.
"We want to play better than we have been," Servais said. "Hopefully we can build upon that."
NOTES: Seattle RHP Yovani Gallardo (2-4, 5.84 ERA) is slated to face Red Sox LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (3-1, 3.10 ERA) on Friday in Boston. ... Washington RHP Max Scherzer (4-3, 3.02 ERA) is scheduled to oppose San Diego RHP Luis Perdomo (0-1, 5.79 ERA) in the series opener Friday in Washington. ... Nationals manager Dusty Baker is slated to miss the three-game series in order to attend the high school graduation of his son, Darren, in California. Bench coach Chris Speier will fill in for Baker. ... Seattle third-base coach Manny Acta was the Washington manager from 2007-09. ... Washington has not been involved in a shutout this season, but the Nationals have limited opponents to one run in five games.
Frazier's blast helps Pirates soar past Braves
Thursday, May 25 at 4:24 PM (EDT)
ATLANTA -- Pittsburgh Pirates hitters picked up where they had left off in the late going the previous night and that was more than enough support for Ivan Nova against the Atlanta Braves.
Adam Frazier had a three-run homer in a five-run second inning and Francisco Cervelli tied a career high with four hits to back Nova, who pitched into the ninth inning of 9-4 victory on Thursday.
Nova (5-3) worked 8 1/3 innings in beating the Braves for the second time this season. He was charged with four runs on 10 hits, but was in command until tiring late and losing his chance for a third complete game this season.
"It's frustrating. To go out in the ninth inning with that lead, I've got to finish it off," said Nova, who had a shutout until he gave up runs in the seventh and eighth and then two in the ninth. "I didn't make the pitches I needed to make and it almost got away from us."
Nova, though, was in command while the Pirates were building a big lead, and retired 19 batters on three pitches or less. He went to three balls on only one hitter, walking Kurt Suzuki in the second inning.
"He knows how to pitch. He knows how to attack," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "There's an art to pitching. He's not throwing. He's pitching."
The victory gave the Pirates (22-26) a split of the four-game series after they had scored twice in the ninth inning to force extra innings and then seven times in the 10th -- hitting three consecutive homers -- for a 12-5 victory Wednesday night.
Bartolo Colon, who turned 44 on Wednesday, came in with a 5-2 record and 1.94 career record against the Pirates, but so far this has been a season of struggle for the winner of 235 major league games in his first season with the Braves.
Frazier's blast with two runners on climaxed the five-run second inning. The left-handed hitter picked on a fat 0-1 pitch and sent a drive over wall in right-center field for his third homer of the season -- all three-run blasts.
Jordy Mercer's two-run double in the fifth was the 10th and final hit Colon (2-5) allowed in a rough outing that left him with a 6.96 ERA. Worse yet, opponents are batting .321.
Asked if Colon's spot in the rotation was safe, Braves manager Brian Snitker said: "As of right now, yes."
"I look at the guy's track record," Snitker said further. "I've got the feeling that a guy who has survived as long as he has will find a way to make the adjustments he needs to do to be successful."
The Braves (20-25) didn't make a couple plays in the second inning, but Colon took full responsibility for his rough outing.
"I definitely can't put anything on the defense," said Colon, who continues to miss his spots. "It's on me. I was the one who was hit hard today."
The Braves had just four base runners until the seventh, when they finally broke through against Nova on a RBI single by rookie Rio Ruiz, who had three hits, following a double by Matt Adams.
A leadoff double by Danny Santana led to a Braves' run in the eighth before the Pirates padded their lead in the ninth on Cervelli's two-run single off reliever Sam Freeman.
Brandon Phillips and Ender Inciarte had RBI singles in the ninth for the Braves, with Phillips' hit chasing Nova.
Mercer was 2-for-4 with a walk, finishing the series 9-for-17 with two homers and six RBIs.
The Pirates had 13 hits. Josh Harrison was 3-for-4 with a double and a walk.
NOTES: RHP Josh Collmenter, who gave up three consecutive homers in the Pirates' seven-run 10th inning Wednesday, was designated for assignment by the Braves. ... RHP Matt Wisler was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett by the Braves and was perfect in the sixth and seventh innings against the Pirates. ... OF Gregory Polanco (left hamstring strain) was activated from the 10-day disabled list by the Pirates and OF Danny Ortiz optioned back to Triple-A Indianapolis. ... OF Andrew McCutchen was out of the Pirates lineup for a second straight game. He had a pinch-hit single Wednesday to break a 0-for-15 streak. ... The Braves begin a nine-game road trip at San Francisco on Friday. ... The Pirates return home for six-games beginning with a weekend series against the New York Mets.
Phillies beat Rockies on Joseph's RBI in 11th
Thursday, May 25 at 6:06 PM (EDT)
PHILADELPHIA -- After three days of watching the Colorado Rockies' offense jump out to big leads and cruise to easy victories, the Philadelphia Phillies knew they needed a strong day from the pitching staff to give themselves a chance in the series finale.
Although starter Vince Velasquez was able to give them only five innings as he struggled with his pitch count, a strong effort from a bullpen that's had its ups and downs gave the Phillies just the opportunity they needed.
A walk-off RBI single by Tommy Joseph in the 11th inning gave the Phillies a 2-1 victory over the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday afternoon, ending the Phillies' five-game losing streak.
"I finally get to come in here and smile," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said after what's been a rough month of May for the club. "Took 11 innings, but I'm happy we won."
That breakthrough came only after the Phillies squandered a pair of two-on, no-out situations, putting runners at first and second to open the fifth and eighth innings, but were unable to make anything happen either time.
Finally, against Colorado reliever Scott Oberg (0-1), Michael Saunders hit a one-out double and Joseph followed with his game-winning hit. Joseph hit his seventh home run for the Phillies' other run.
The loss closed out a 10-game road swing for the Rockies (31-18), who, despite losing in the finale, went 7-3 against Minnesota, Cincinnati and Philadelphia.
"We would have liked to win today and get the sweep and go back home on a win on a travel day," starting pitcher Tyler Anderson said. "We're playing good baseball...we'll go back home and try to do the same thing."
It wasn't a perfect outing for Velasquez, who gave up eight hits in his five innings while throwing 94 pitches, continuing a string of Phillies starters who have failed to get to the eighth inning in any game this season.
But he was saved by an outstanding performance from the bullpen, with six relievers coming in to two-hit the Rockies over six innings.
"The bullpen has really done a good job all series, but today they were stellar, all six of them," Mackanin said. "I said early on that was one of our strengths, and after today I think you can see why."
Jeanmar Gomez (3-1), activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, picked up the win by pitching a perfect 11th.
Oberg pitched one-third of an inning, giving up those two hits and taking the loss.
Joseph (2-for-5, two RBIs) was the main offensive reason the Phillies (16-29) were able to snap their losing streak, part of a larger stretch that saw them lose 20 out of their last 24 games.
"Today was a good step in the right direction," Joseph said. "Winning helps with a positive environment, and looking forward to building on it."
The Rockies' only score came in the fourth, when shortstop Trevor Story drove an 0-2 pitch from Velasquez into the right-field bleachers for his seventh home run of the season.
Anderson, who turned a forgettable April into a strong May, limited the Phillies to four hits through his first six innings. But he gave up a game-tying solo home run to Joseph in the seventh inning, and was removed after Cesar Hernandez's double led off the eighth.
The 27-year-old right-hander gave up six hits in seven-plus innings, striking out seven and walking two without receiving a decision. It was the fourth consecutive strong start for the second-year big leaguer, who had a 7.71 ERA through April but has a 2.55 ERA in four May outings.
"I just think throwing more quality strikes down, the ball's down, chances are it's going to go on the ground more often and give you a chance to keep going," he said.
NOTES: Thursday's loss was the first of the year for the Rockies in a one-run game. They had been 9-0 previously, the only team that had been undefeated in one-run games. . . . RHP Adam Morgan was sent down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Wednesday night. ...The Phillies and Rockies will not meet again until a three-game series in Colorado from Aug. 4-6, their only other time facing each other this season. ...The Phillies begin a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday, with RHP Aaron Nola (2-1, 3.52 ERA) going against RHP Tim Adleman (2-2, 6.19 ERA). ...The Rockies return home Friday to start a three-game series against St. Louis. Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (6-1, 3.67 ERA) gets the start, opposed by RHP Carlos Martinez (3-3, 3.28 ERA).
Royals and Yankees rained out; makeup set for September
Thursday, May 25 at 10:49 AM (EDT)
NEW YORK -- Thursday's series finale between the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals was postponed due to heavy rain at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees announced the final game of the four-game series will be made up on Sept. 25 and a start time will be announced a later date.
The forecast in the Bronx called for heavy rains throughout Thursday, prompting the Yankees to announce the postponement roughly four hours before the scheduled first pitch.
The Yankees were slated to start Masahiro Tanaka, who is coming off the two worst outings of his career. Tanaka has allowed 14 runs and 16 hits in 4 2/3 innings in losses to the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays.
Kansas City was slated to start Miguel Almonte. Almonte was scheduled to make his first career start in place of Nate Karns, who was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a forearm injury.
Tanaka will likely start Friday's opener against the Oakland Athletics. Almonte could be pushed back to start Tuesday at home against Detroit and Friday's start in Cleveland could go to Ian Kennedy on normal rest.
The Yankees will play Friday without Jacoby Ellsbury, who is on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
Ellsbury crashed into the center field wall to catch a long fly ball from Alcides Escobar on the first pitch of Wednesday's game. He initially stayed in the game was but was removed after the first inning and diagnosed with a concussion and a sprained neck after getting checked out by doctors and trainer Steve Donahue.
"He felt like it was his neck that was bothering him a little bit. Nothing to do with his head. It was more like a whiplash," Girardi said. "After coming in at the end of the inning, he went down (to the clubhouse) and Stevie went and talked to him and declared that we should probably get him out. And then he saw the doctors and they determined that he had a concussion."
It was the second time this season Ellsbury was injured crashing into the wall. He did not start for three straight games due to a nerve injury in his left elbow after tracking down a fly ball by Toronto's Ryan Goins on May 1.
"He plays to win," Girardi said. "It's unfortunate that he's hit the wall a couple times hard. Obviously, we're going to miss him for a while now, but he plays hard."
The Yankees recalled utility man Rob Refsnyder from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Ellsbury's place on the 25-man roster.
The makeup game will now give the Yankees a season-ending seven-game homestand. The Royals will fly from Chicago to New York before playing their final six games of the season at home.
New York took two of three in the series, getting a 4-2 victory Monday and a 3-0 win Wednesday. Kansas City took Tuesday's game by hitting four home runs in a 6-2 win but did little in eight innings against Luis Severino on Wednesday.
"I don't know where they found that guy," Kansas City center fielder Lorenzo Cain said. "But he's pretty darn good, I'll tell you that."
Thursday was the second rainout of the season for the Yankees and the third for the Royals.
Rasmus supplies damage as Rays top Angels
Thursday, May 25 at 5:40 PM (EDT)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Colby Rasmus believes it's hard enough in the major leagues to get run-scoring hits in key situations. So he wasn't about to let his two golden opportunities go to waste.
Rasmus drove in all four runs for the Tampa Bay Rays in a 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
Tampa Bay (25-25) won the final two games of the four-game series to climb back to .500. The Angels (25-25) will travel to Miami to face the Marlins and close out a 10-game trip.
Ramsus, batting out of the sixth spot, came up with the bases loaded and two out in the first inning and hit a single to center that scored Corey Dickerson and Evan Longoria.
Rasmus faced a similar bases-loaded, two-out situation in the bottom of the fifth inning and hit a ground-rule double to the gap in left-center field that again sent Dickerson and Longoria to the plate.
It was the second time Rasmus has had four RBIs this month, as he hit a grand slam against the Royals on May 10.
"You're just going to stay up on what you're doing," Rasmus said. "It's tough. My swings have been pretty good. They've not going to make mistakes to me, they know who I am. I've been around long enough. There's a good enough report on me -- where not to throw the ball.
"You've got to continue to try to learn and figure out what they're doing in those situations and try to beat them."
That was more than enough offense for Rays starter Matt Andriese, who pitched eight scoreless innings, to improve his record to 5-1. He gave up six hits and struck out five over 112 pitches.
"Andriese was outstanding," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "There was one inning where he kind of battled for the feel of what he was trying to accomplish out there, but other than that he settled down and made pretty quick work with efficient innings."
Angels starter Daniel Wright (0-1) gave up four runs (two earned) in 4 1/3 innings and took the loss.
"The game is slowing down a little bit for me, which is always a good thing," Wright said. "I got in some pretty good counts, especially in the middle of the outing there. I had to scramble and hold them to two in the first, then kind of got into trouble in the fifth and they decided to take me out."
Andriese ran into trouble early when Mike Trout doubled with one out in the top of the first, but he was tagged out at home trying to score on a single from Andrelton Simmons.
"It was one of those games where I just battled through," Andriese said. "I didn't have great location on all my pitches, but early in the game I made some pitches when I needed to.
"(Steven) Souza Jr. bailed me out with a nice throw in the first inning. All day our defense made some great plays."
Los Angeles had runners in scoring position in the each of the first four innings but could not scratch across any runs. The Angels were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, with the one hit resulting in Trout's out at home.
"(Souza) was pinching shallow," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "And to get Mike, he's got to put that throw on the money and he did. It was a nice play -- nice throw from him."
GAME NOTES: Angels manager Mike Scioscia said 3B Yunel Escobar (hamstring) has begun a running program and will start running the bases in next few days. ... The Rays activated RHP Tommy Hunter from the 10-day disabled list before the game and placed RHP Jumbo Diaz on the disabled list because of arm fatigue. Hunter pitched the ninth inning on Thursday. ... Angels RHP Cam Bedrosian (groin) threw off a mound Wednesday and will begin throwing batting practice. ... Rays RHP Brad Boxberger (forearm) will throw batting practice Monday. ... Angels OF Cameron Maybin left the game in the fifth inning because of right knee soreness.
Cubs power way past Giants
Thursday, May 25 at 6:39 PM (EDT)
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs continued to flex their home run muscles on Friday.
The Cubs (25-21) hit three solo homers and closed a nine-game home stand with 20 as they beat the San Francisco Giants 5-1.
"We know a lot of good things can happen if we're patient and aggressive in the strike zone, at the plate," said Jason Heyward, who had one of the Cubs' homers. "You can get a lot of momentum that way."
Chicago got home runs from Kris Bryant, Heyward and Ben Zobrist and added two eighth-inning runs on a wild pitch as they took three of four from the Giants (20-29).
The decision wrapped up a 7-2 home stand, their best since going 8-2 between Aug. 9-18, 2016.
The Cubs have 26 home runs in their last 14 games, second most in the majors in that span.
They also had solid pitching performances from starter Eddie Butler (2-0) in a five-inning effort and an extended four-inning outing from reliever Mike Montgomery, who earned his first save.
"It could have been a little better today; a couple times I just failed to keep the ball in the zone and I really just need to attack the guys even more," said Butler, making his third start since a call up from Triple-A Iowa.
Butler, who hopes to maintain a starting spot, allowed one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out a pair.
Montgomery, meanwhile, walked one and gave up one hit.
"It was fabulous," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Montgomery's effort. "We've had him out there different times and (the Giants') lineup was really built for his abilities. The big thing with Mike is that if he's throwing strikes, he's going to pitch really well versus righties and lefties. And he did."
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija fell to 1-6 in his seven-inning appearance as San Francisco dropped its third straight.
"Against a team like (the Cubs) it's a fine line," Samardzija said. "When you're facing a lineup like theirs you've got to be on the whole time. We gave up a leadoff home run to Heyward (in the fifth inning) and that can't happen. You've got to regroup there and get your pitches down in the zone and get an out."
San Francisco scored first for the third time in the four-game series as Brandon Belt doubled home Denard Span from third base with one out in the top of the first. Span reached on a leadoff two-base hit and advanced to third on Joe Panik's sacrifice.
The Cubs replied with two out in their half of the frame when Bryant launched Samardzija's first pitch into the left-field bleachers for a solo home run, his 11th of the season.
The Giants questioned whether there was fan interference on Bryant's homer, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy said they weren't able to challenge since a phone to the dugout was not operating.
Heyward lined his solo home run to right field -- his fifth of the season -- to lead off the fifth and give the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
Zobrist connected on the Cubs' third solo shot to lead off the sixth inning, sending Samardzija's 2-1 offering to right for his sixth of the season and a 3-1 Chicago lead.
Samardzija worked through seven innings before he was pulled for a pinch hitter. He gave up three runs on six hits, struck out eight and walked one while throwing 115 pitches.
The Cubs had the bases loaded with two out in the eighth against Giants reliever Josh Osich and scored two more runs on a wild pitch and an error during Heyward's at-bat.
"We just sputtered offensively and that, to me, was probably the biggest difference," Bochy said. "The eighth, we let get away. It's a 3-1 game and you'd like to keep it that way. But wild pitches scored two runs."
NOTES: San Francisco INF Eduardo Nunez sat out the series finale after tweaking his left hamstring during Wednesday's 5-4 loss to Chicago. ... The Giants remain the only major league team without a three-run homer this season. Their 40 homers include 33 solo shots. ... San Francisco returns home for a three-game series with the Atlanta Braves and will send RHP Matt Cain (3-2, 4.91 ERA) against Braves LHP Jaime Garcia (1-3, 4.07 ERA). ... The Cubs open a three-game series on Friday at the Los Angeles Dodgers, sending RHP Jake Arrieta (5-3, 4.80 ERA) against LHP Alex Wood (5-0, 1.88 ERA) . ... The Cubs allowed their 45th first-inning earned run on Thursday and own an 8.80 ERA in the opening inning. ... 2B Ben Zobrist singled in the third inning to extend an on-base streak to 22 games, the big league's third-longest streak, topped only by Cincinnati's Joey Votto (27) and Seattle's Mitch Haniger (25). He later homered to right. ... Chicago returns to Wrigley Field on June 2 to face the St. Louis Cardinals.
Indians-Reds rained out; makeup on July 24
Thursday, May 25 at 6:13 PM (EDT)
CLEVELAND -- One day after the game between the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians ended twice, their next game never got started.
Thursday's game between the two teams was postponed due to rain. It has been rescheduled for July 24 at 7:10 p.m. ET.
The Reds won two of the three games in the interleague series, including a wild finish Wednesday night in which a game-ending double play by Cleveland was overturned following a video review, leading to a ninth-inning rally and eventual 4-3 Reds' victory.
Cincinnati opens a three-game series in Philadelphia on Friday, and the Reds have pushed back their rotation due to Thursday's postponement. So Tim Adleman, Thursday's scheduled starter, will start Friday against the Phillies.
The Indians, likewise, will push their rotation back one day, meaning Mike Clevinger, Thursday's scheduled starter, will start Friday against Kansas City, in the first of a three-game series at Progressive Field.
Although the Reds and Indians didn't play Thursday, both teams were busy.
The Reds claimed right-hander Jake Buchanan on waivers from the Chicago Cubs and designated first baseman/outfielder Peter O'Brien for assignment. The Reds also placed left-hander Amir Garrett on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Wednesday, because of to right hip inflammation.
The Indians placed outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
"He was experiencing concussion symptoms (Wednesday)," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "He got tested and was found to have a lower grade concussion."
The Indians still aren't sure when Chisenhall got the concussion, but they back-dated placing him on the disabled list to Monday, meaning he is eligible to come off the DL on May 29.
To fill Chisenhall's spot on the roster, the Indians will make a corresponding roster move prior to Friday's game against Kansas City.
That move could be the activation of outfielder Austin Jackson off the disabled list. Jackson has been on the DL since May 2 because of a hyperextended left big toe.
The Indians might also be getting close to activating right-hander Corey Kluber off the disabled list. Kluber has been on the DL since May 3 with a lower back strain. Kluber was scheduled to make a rehab start for Triple-A Columbus Thursday night, weather permitting. If that game is not played, Kluber would start for Columbus on Friday.
If Kluber makes it through his Columbus rehab start without a setback, it's possible he could be activated off the DL sometime next week.
Padres' Lamet beats Mets in major league debut
Friday, May 26 at 12:19 AM (EDT)
NEW YORK -- The San Diego Padres spent the first quarter of the season meeting the low expectations bestowed upon them. But for three days at Citi Field, the Padres' short- and long-term future looked a lot better than that of the New York Mets.
Dinelson Lamet earned the win by tossing five strong innings in his major league debut Thursday night as the rebuilding Padres earned their first series victory in almost a month by beating the reeling Mets 4-3.
"We're going to go forward with youth," Padres manager Andy Green said. "I think a lot of guys are settling into being in the big leagues."
Eleven of the 25 players on the Padres' active roster have two years or fewer of major league experience, and most of them played a key role for San Diego (18-31), which won the final two games of the series after falling 9-3 on Tuesday night.
Rookie outfielder Allen Cordoba, a Rule 5 draftee who never played above Class A prior to this season, had his second straight two-hit game Thursday. Another Rule 5 selection, catcher Luis Torrens, had his first career two-hit game Tuesday.
Rookie outfielder Hunter Renfroe had two hits Thursday after hitting the go-ahead homer in Wednesday's 6-5 victory.
Rookie left-hander Jose Torres recorded two outs in the sixth inning after tossing 1 1/3 innings on Wednesday. Second-year right-hander Ryan Buchter threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings Thursday after earning the win one day earlier.
"You're seeing young guy after young guy do something special, so that's what you want to start seeing at this time of year," Green said.
The most vital role Thursday was played by Lamet, who was promoted from Triple-A El Paso prior to the game. The 24-year-old, whose fastball was regularly clocked at 98 mph, allowed one run -- a Lucas Duda homer in the second -- on three hits and two walks while striking out eight, the most strikeouts by a Padres hurler in his major league debut since Bob Shirley whiffed 11 batters April 10, 1977.
Green was most impressed with the calm demeanor displayed by Lamet.
"Told him he was done, he took it in stride, there was like no deep breath relief of it," Green said. "Sometimes you tell a young guy they're done and you'll see them like let all the energy out. (Lamet was) like 'OK.' It's good to see a guy wired like that. Usually that type of wiring plays really well in the big leagues. And that type of stuff has a chance."
Two of the Padres' "older" players -- 26-year-old third baseman Cory Spangenberg and 27-year-old outfielder Matt Szczur -- had two RBIs apiece Thursday. Spangenberg opened and closed the scoring with an RBI single in the first inning and a run-scoring double in the ninth while Szczur drew a bases-loaded walk in the first and hit an RBI single in the third.
Torres, Buchter, Kevin Quackenbush, Brandon Maurer and Brad Hand -- the same five relievers Green used Wednesday -- combined to limit the Mets to one run over the final four innings as San Diego won a series for the first time since taking two of three from the San Francisco Giants on April 28-30.
Hand earned his second save of the season and his second in as many nights despite allowing a run in the ninth. He closed the game out by retiring the potential winning run, Jay Bruce, on a pop-out to third.
Duda added an RBI single in the eighth for the Mets (19-26), who were expected to contend for the National League East crown but have lost 10 of 13 to fall 8 1/2 games behind the Washington Nationals.
Jose Reyes added two hits and had a run-scoring fielder's choice grounder in the ninth for the Mets, who left nine men on base. On Wednesday, New York stranded 12, including three in the ninth.
"We had a number of guys on base," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Similar to last night in the ninth inning, we just didn't get a hit."
Right-hander Rafael Montero (0-4) struggled in an emergency start and took the loss after giving up three runs on five hits and three walks while striking out four over three innings. He threw a whopping 87 pitches.
Montero, who has a 8.24 ERA and has allowed 50 baserunners in 19 2/3 innings, started in place of ace right-hander Jacob deGrom, who was scratched because of a foreboding weather forecast. The game was played without interruption, albeit through a steady mist.
"We don't have a lot of options," Collins said of Montero. "So we've got to do a better job of getting him to buy into the fact that he's got to throw strikes."
NOTES: To make room for RHP Dinelson Lamet, the Padres optioned IF Carlos Asuaje to Triple-A El Paso. ... The Mets activated SS Asdrubal Cabrera from the 10-day disabled list and optioned C Kevin Plawecki to Triple-A Las Vegas. Cabrera hit into a double play as a pinch-hitter in the eighth.
|Rangers||2||vs.||6||Red Sox||Final Recap|
Red Sox fan record-tying 20, sweep Rangers
Friday, May 26 at 12:47 AM (EDT)
BOSTON -- Drew Pomeranz tied a personal best, and his teammates in the bullpen kept it going as the Boston Red Sox pitchers matched a major league record.
Pomeranz struck out 11 in just six innings, and four Boston relievers added another nine strikeouts as the Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 on Thursday night to complete a three-game series sweep.
It marked the sixth time major league history that a team struck out 20 times in a nine-inning game.
"Tonight was an outstanding display of pitching from every guy that took the mound," Boston manager John Farrell said.
All five Boston pitchers had at least one strikeout, and every Texas batter struck out at least once on a cold, wet night.
The start of the game was delayed 28 minutes by rain, but that didn't throw off Pomeranz in the slightest as he started with two quick strikeouts in the first, followed by striking out the side in the second.
Pomeranz held Texas to two runs on four hits and walked just one while putting an end to a personal two-game losing streak.
"I felt lost for a couple of starts. I wasn't satisfied," he said.
Pomeranz (4-3) was back on track Thursday, and he received some early help from Boston batters. Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland had RBI singles in the first inning for Boston (25-21), and Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run homer in the third.
Deven Marrero added a two-run homer in the eighth for the Red Sox, who won their fourth straight and tied their longest winning streak of the season.
"Big win. Texas had been hot coming in," Moreland said. "We knew with the conditions it was going to be tough."
Elvis Andrus homered for Texas, which continued to stumble following a 10-game winning streak. The Rangers lost for the fifth time in six games, falling back to .500 at 24-24.
"It is surprising, but that's the beauty of baseball, I guess," Andrus said. "You cannot take anything for granted. You cannot take any team for granted. Even when you feel you're playing at your best, stuff like this can happen."
Boston fanned 20 in a nine-inning game for the third time -- the other two solo efforts by Rogers Clemens in 1986 and 1996.
After Pomeranz exited, Heath Hembree struck out both batters he faced, and Robby Scott struck out his lone batter. Matt Barnes fanned two in a perfect eighth inning.
Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel ended up getting four strikeouts in the ninth after Nomar Mazara, leading off, fanned on a wild pitch and was able to reach first. Mazara didn't get a chance to go anywhere because Kimbrel finished off the game by striking out three more.
Pomeranz surrendered Andrus' leadoff homer in the fourth. The only walk Texas drew led to the Rangers' second run. Delino DeShields walked to lead off the sixth, stole second and scored on a one-out single by Mazara to cut Boston's lead to 4-2.
Pomeranz was able to stop the damage there, getting Jonathan Lucroy to fly out to center and striking out Rougned Odor to end the inning. It was the 11th strikeout for Pomeranz, matching the career high he set on Aug. 25, 2016, at Tampa Bay.
"Big bounce back start for him," Farrell said. "On a night when the conditions weren't ideal, he threw the ball exceptional tonight."
Nick Martinez (1-3) struggled early for the Rangers before settling down and pitching through the fifth. He allowed four runs on seven hits, striking out four and walking two.
Despite all the strikeouts, Texas manager Jeff Banister credited his team for not letting the Red Sox run away with it.
"That's this club. They continue to battle. They're going to stay in it and fight all the way to the end," Banister said. "These guys stay engaged the whole time."
The Rangers were able to keep within reach of the Red Sox by averting disaster in the sixth. Dario Alvarez started the inning and lasted only two batters, hitting Moreland and walking Jackie Bradley Jr. Tony Barnette came out of the bullpen for the Rangers and got Christian Vazquez to ground into a double play before striking out Marrero.
Marrero struck out his first three trips to the plate, then salvaged the night with a two-run shot to left in the eighth.
NOTES: LHP David Price (strained left elbow) will make his season debut for Boston on Monday when the Red Sox visit the Chicago White Sox. ... Boston LHP Drew Pomeranz needed eight strikeouts to reach 500 for his career, and he reached the milestone by getting 1B Mike Napoli swinging to end the fourth. ... Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts, who hit 21 home runs last season, hit his first of 2017 in his 42nd game of the season. ... Boston's Josh Rutledge replaced Dustin Pedroia at second base in the top of the sixth. The Red Sox said Pedroia had pain in his left knee and called the move precautionary. ... The Red Sox remain at home for the weekend with a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners. Texas plays three games in Toronto beginning Friday.