Today is Friday, April 27, 2018.
|Friday, April 27, 2018|
|Major League Baseball|
|Athletics||vs.||Astros||8:10 (EDT) Preview|
A's Manaea looks to stay sharp against Astros
Thursday, April 26 at 7:43 PM (EDT)
HOUSTON -- The no-hit performance delivered by Oakland left-hander Sean Manaea last Saturday certainly represented the high point of the Athletics' recent string of wins, but Manaea wasn't alone in providing Oakland the quality pitching at the heart of that success.
Even in defeat on Wednesday, Oakland received a pitching performance worthy of better results, with right-hander Kendall Graveman working six solid innings in a 4-2 loss that snapped the team's four-game winning streak. Still, Oakland (13-12) has won eight of 10 games to climb above .500 in advance of a three-game series starting Friday against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Sandwiched between Manaea and Graveman, Daniel Mengden, Trevor Cahill, and Andrew Triggs combined to work 17 1/3 innings while allowing five earned runs on 14 hits and three walks with 17 strikeouts. In the appearance prior to his no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox, Manaea allowed two hits and one run over seven innings in a 2-1 win over the Mariners on April 15. Mengden followed with eight innings of one-run ball in an 8-1 win over the White Sox.
Cahill clinched the series victory over Chicago with seven scoreless innings on April 17, surrendering five hits and two walks with eight strikeouts. As Oakland manager Bob Melvin noted, there is "no coincidence" behind the Athletics' strong starting pitching and their success.
Manaea (3-2, 1.23 ERA), coming off his first nine-inning complete game and the seventh no-hitter in Oakland history, will open the series against the Astros. He matched his career high of 10 strikeouts while recording the 12th no-hitter in franchise annals, the first since left-hander Dallas Braden tossed a perfect game against the Rays on May 9, 2010. Manaea has allowed one run or fewer in four of his five starts and has worked at least seven innings on four occasions.
Manaea is 1-3 with a 2.45 ERA over eight career starts against the Astros, against whom he made his big-league debut on April 29, 2016, in a 7-4 loss at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Left-hander Dallas Keuchel (1-3, 3.10 ERA) will oppose Manaea and the Athletics. He earned his first win of the season in his previous appearance, allowing one run on four hits and two walks with six strikeouts over six innings in a 10-1 victory over the White Sox on Saturday.
Keuchel is 5-4 with a 2.59 ERA over 18 career appearances (16 starts) against the Athletics.
The Astros (17-9) salvaged the finale of their series with the Angels on Wednesday with a 5-2 victory behind another strong start from right-hander Justin Verlander, who carried a shutout into the seventh inning, and the first home run of the season from second baseman Jose Altuve. However, perhaps the most significant development was the perfect ninth tossed by closer Ken Giles.
Giles recorded his second save and his sixth consecutive appearance without allowing a baserunner, needing only seven pitches to tear through the heart of the Angels order. Giles opened the season struggling with the quality of his slider, an issue that is being rectified.
"It's progressing. It's getting there," Giles said. "Slowly but surely it's getting more comfortable out of the hand nowadays, and I'm getting really confident about it."
|Reds||vs.||Twins||8:10 (EDT) Preview|
Twins come home after extended absence to face Reds
Thursday, April 26 at 9:47 PM (EDT)
Two weeks since they last played a game at Target Field, the Minnesota Twins return home Friday hoping a little home cooking will help snap them out of an early-season funk.
The Twins beat the White Sox 4-0 on April 12 but had their next three games with Chicago wiped out by an unseasonable blizzard. They returned to action April 17 when they faced Cleveland in the opener of a two-game series in Puerto Rico and have lost eight of nine since, including their last seven in a row.
They've been outscored 59-25 during the streak -- their longest since Aug. 18-31, 2016.
"You're going to have stretches like this where you're in quite a few ballgames and the ball just can't bounce your way," said Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson, who carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning Thursday before Minnesota fell to the Yankees in New York.
"Snakebitten, unlucky, whatever you want to call it. But nobody in here is playing the victim, nobody in here is trying to make excuses. We just have to be a little bit better."
Phil Hughes goes to the mound for the second time this season as the Twins try to turn things around against the Cincinnati Reds, who own the worst record in baseball this season and have lost 15 of their last 18.
A 7-4 loss to Atlanta on Thursday made Cincinnati the first team to lose 20 games this season, a feat that left first baseman Joey Votto lost for words.
"Yeah, we have to," Votto said. "I mean, we don't have a choice. Because you know, um ... if, you know ... I don't know. We've clearly ... I don't have an answer for that."
His own slow start to the season contributed to some of the Reds' woes, but he has started to heat up. He has reached base in each of his last 11 games and comes to Minnesota lashing .256/.363/.337 for the season.
"I'm just not missing," Votto said when asked about his recent hitting surge. "I think it's just how hitting works out sometimes. I felt like I was trending in that direction, but they just weren't showing up in the games."
The Reds also hope to get a boost from the return of third baseman Eugenio Suarez, who was activated from the disabled list Thursday. He'd been out since April 8 with a broken thumb but recovered faster than expected.
Interim manager Jim Riggleman put Suarez in the lineup Thursday and despite going 0-for-4 he's hoping to build on the .296 average, two home runs and seven RBIs he had before the injury.
"I feel so excited to be back this quick," Suarez said before Thursday's game. "I feel great right now, a little bit nervous. I think that's normal. It will be all right. I feel good. My thumb has no pain at all. That's why I'm here today."
Right-hander Luis Castillo gets the start Friday. He gave up three runs, seven hits and a season-high four walks his last time out and will be a facing a Twins team desperate to get back on track.
"We're officially ---ed off now," Twins general manager Thad Levine said. "I expect that we're going to go home and play in front of the home crowd not wearing ski caps and I expect things are going to turn in short order.
"I think this is going to build up the character of this team. I don't think it will tear up the fabric at all. I'm as excited about this team as I was on opening day. We're going to be there right to the end."
Castillo has never faced Minnesota and Hughes has one career start against the Reds.
|White Sox||vs.||Royals||8:15 (EDT)|
|Yankees||vs.||Angels||10:07 (EDT) Preview|
Yankees head west with six-game win streak to play Angels
Thursday, April 26 at 9:37 PM (EDT)
The New York Yankees have won six in a row heading into a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night at Angel Stadium.
Gary Sanchez kept the winning streak alive with a three-run, walk-off homer on Thursday afternoon in a 4-3 win over the visiting Minnesota Twins.
The Yankees, who are eight games into an 18-day stretch without a day off, lead the majors with 39 home runs and the Angels are second with 36.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who went to high school about five miles from Angel Stadium, said his team's home run potential keeps them in every game.
"If we can get traffic on the bases, we're always one swing away with our guys," Boone said after Thursday's win.
Angels center fielder Mike Trout leads the majors with 10 home runs and Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius leads with 29 RBIs. Gregorius also leads the American League with a .354 batting average and is second with nine home runs.
New York right fielder Aaron Judge has reached base in 30 straight games.
Yankees first baseman Tyler Austin will miss the series as he begins serving a four-game suspension for charging the mound against the Boston Red Sox on April 18. His suspension was reduced from five games to four on Thursday.
Austin is hitting .290 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 17 games.
"I don't want to get into whether I agree with it or not, but I'm happy they knocked one game down," Austin said. "I obviously don't want to be suspended at any point in time, but it's happened, we've got to deal with it and move forward."
Los Angeles won 13 of its first 16 games this season before going 1-5 on its most recent homestand. The Angels bounced back to take two of three against the defending World Series champion Houston Astros earlier this week.
"You win two of three against a division rival, that's obviously a good morale boost," Angels pitcher Nick Tropeano said.
The Angels have won five of their past seven against the Yankees as well.
The Yankees will turn to 24-year-old right-hander Luis Severino (4-1, 2.32 ERA) in the series opener. He has combined to allow one earned run in 13 innings in his past two starts, giving him the most starts in the past two seasons without allowing more than one run (19).
Severino has faced the Angels once in his previous three years in the majors. He allowed six runs (five earned) and eight hits in six innings in a 10-5 loss at Yankee Stadium last June 22.
Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney (0-1, 9.64 ERA) is looking for his first quality start of the season.
He began the season on the disabled list because of inflammation in his pitching elbow.
Heaney made his first start on April 13 at the Kansas City Royals and allowed four runs (three earned) in five innings of the 5-4 win. He then gave up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings of an 8-1 loss to the visiting San Francisco Giants on Friday.
Heaney posted his first major league win in his only career start against the Yankees.
He allowed one run and two hits in seven innings against the visiting Yankees on June 30, 2015, in a 2-1 Angels win.
|Dodgers||vs.||Giants||10:15 (EDT) Preview|
Familiar foes: Dodgers, Giants square off again
Thursday, April 26 at 9:34 PM (EDT)
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants meet for the third time already this season when they open a three-day, four-game series Friday night.
The four games were squeezed into three days because of a rainout in the first game of the clubs' previous series at San Francisco.
The teams have split six games over the first two series.
The Giants opened the season with consecutive 1-0 wins at Los Angeles, only to have Dodgers pitching dominate the next two games 5-0 and 9-0 to earn a 2-2 split.
After the rainout April 6, the clubs went extra innings in consecutive games in San Francisco, with the Giants winning 7-5 in 14 innings before the Dodgers once again salvaged a series split with a 2-1 triumph in 10 innings.
The Dodgers return to San Francisco having won four straight on the road. They are coming off a 3-3 homestand that included losing two of three to Miami.
Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-0, 1.99 ERA), who had one of the wins on the homestand, is Friday's scheduled starter for the Dodgers.
He's pitched brilliantly after getting a no-decision in his season debut at Arizona, beating Oakland, San Diego and Washington in succession while allowing only two runs in 19 innings.
Interestingly, the Giants might benefit in the series opener by the fact that their starter, left-hander Derek Holland (0-3, 4.98), enters the game winless and unheralded.
Ryu admitted his head-to-head with Stephen Strasburg helped motivate him in one of the best starts of his career against the Nationals last weekend, a game in which he shut out Washington on two hits over seven innings in a 4-0 victory.
"It was definitely an intriguing matchup to go against a guy like Strasburg," Ryu insisted. "He's one of the best righties in the league. It definitely helped me focus more. I wanted to do well."
Ryu has not done particularly well against the Giants in his career. He has a 4-6 record with a 3.38 ERA in 12 starts, with all four wins (along with three losses) coming in his seven starts in San Francisco.
The 31-year-old has not faced the Giants yet this season.
Ryu will see a lineup that has overpowered opponents of late, with San Francisco having won three of its last four games.
Led by Mac Williamson, who has homered three times in five games since being promoted from Triple-A, the Giants have hit homers in seven of their last eight games,.
Ryu has allowed only one home run all season.
San Francisco will counter with the aforementioned Holland, who remains in search of his first win as a Giant.
Holland was on the losing end of the Giants' first loss of the season, the 5-0 defeat in Los Angeles, allowing five runs (three earned) in five innings. He gave up three hits and three walks, and struck out four.
Having rested three right-handed bats in the series finale Wednesday against Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer, the Giants are expected to have Williamson, Buster Posey and Evan Longoria back in the lineup against Ryu.
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy can't wait to see more from Williamson.
"He had a good spring swinging the bat and he's already shown it's something he can maintain," the veteran skipper observed. "Knock on wood, it will continue."
|Braves||vs.||Phillies||7:05 (EDT) Preview|
Braves, Phillies begin weekend series in Philly
Thursday, April 26 at 11:00 PM (EDT)
The Atlanta Braves will see what Ronald Acuna Jr. can do as an encore.
Acuna, the highly touted 20-year-old, crushed his first major league home run on Thursday in his second game. His third big league game should come Friday night as the Braves start a weekend series against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Ranked as the top prospect by Baseball America, Acuna was called up earlier in the week. He had one hit in his debut Wednesday and followed with a three-hit, two-RBI performance against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday. Acuna smashed a homer to the second deck of Great American Ball Park and then had the go-ahead double in the Braves' 14th win of the season.
"It's always good to get that first homer," Braves manager Brian Snitker told MLB.com. "He clocked that ball. But he just shows you what he brings. That set of legs is going to be really valuable for us, the way he can run around and how athletic he is. He definitely makes our club better."
Friday's series opener will feature a familiar pitching matchup. Aaron Nola of the Phillies will face Julio Teheran of the Braves for the third time in the season's first month.
Nola (2-1, 2.30 ERA) has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his five starts so far in 2018. The right-hander struck out a season-best nine batters and did not issue a walk during a six-inning outing in his last start against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In Nola's two games against the Braves this season -- including a start that ended after 68 pitches on opening day -- he has given up just three runs, seven hits and two walks in 11 1/3 innings. The Phillies, however, have come up short in both games.
"Noles did a good job keeping us in that game," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told reporters after Nola's six-inning, two-run showing against the Braves on April 16. "He battled really hard and started to find his curveball later in the outing, dropping his curveball in for a strike a little bit later in the outing. Definitely kept us in the game. Definitely gave us a chance to win that game."
Nola is 5-2 with a 2.04 ERA in nine career starts against the Braves. Teheran, meanwhile, is 9-6 with a 3.43 lifetime ERA versus the Phillies, a team he has made 20 starts against in his eight-year career.
Teheran (1-1, 4.00 ERA) has no-decisions in both of his games against Philadelphia this season. But the 27-year-old was much sharper in his start against the Phillies on April 16 than he was on opening day.
Teheran, who gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings in his 2018 debut, held the Phillies to one run and five hits and had nine strikeouts in six innings on April 16. He followed that with another strong showing in his last start.
Teheran had his best start of the season against the New York Mets last Saturday. The right-hander tossed seven scoreless innings and held New York to four hits.
The Braves won the first two series of 2018 against the Phillies, both at SunTrust Park, and are 4-2 against the divisional opponents this season. The Phillies lost their first home series of the season to the Arizona Diamondbacks earlier this week, but they still own a 10-3 record at Citizens Bank Park.
|Diamondbacks||vs.||Nationals||7:05 (EDT) Preview|
Diamondbacks bring series streak into matchup vs. Nationals
Thursday, April 26 at 9:22 PM (EDT)
PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks opened the season with the best run in the National League in 41 years, relaying on pitching, defense and know-how to overcome the loss of what was expected to be their Nos. 4-5 hitters.
Washington also has played without some key components, but so far the results have not been as good as the teams head into a three-game series at Nationals Park this weekend.
The Diamondbacks (17-7) are the first NL team since the 1977 Los Angeles Dodgers to win their first eight series of a season, and they will send top starter Patrick Corbin to the mound in attempt to get off on the right foot Friday.
Stephen Strasburg will start for Washington (11-14), which broke a four-game losing streak in which it had scored only eight runs by jumping all over San Francisco 15-2 on Wednesday.
Arizona took two of three from Philadelphia, clinching the series with an 8-2 victory in the rubber game Thursday.
Jarrod Dyson, Nick Ahmed and David Peralta homered and Matt Koch made his second quality start to get his first win of the season. The 2001 Mariners are the last team to open the season with nine straight series wins.
Dyson, who hit both of his homers this season in the Phillies' series, is getting a lot of run in the absence of projected right fielder and No. 5 hitter Steven Souza Jr., who suffered a pectoral muscle injury late in spring training and has returned to a throwing program after an earlier setback.
Third baseman Jake Lamb played only four games before suffering a left shoulder injury, and he suffered a setback last week when he was shut down with right elbow tendinitis.
"It's the next man up," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "It happened all last year and it's starting to happen this year.
"The players who have stepped into the two open spots have done a great job. We have a really good culture here. These guys know what it takes to go out and perform on a daily basis. That's equaled wins so far this season, and we need to continue pressing on."
The Diamondbacks have been carried by a pitching staff that has the only sub-3.00 ERA in the league and a defense that is tied for NFL lead in fewest errors and also ranks No. 1 in the more esoteric total zone fielding runs "saved" above average, according to baseballreference.com.
Corbin, the reigning NL player of the week, is 4-0 with a 1,89 ERA in five starts, with 48 strikeouts and six walks in 33 1/3 innings. He has made good use of a slider that he can command at several speeds.
Corbin is 2-1 with a 3.27 ERA in five career appearances (three starts) against the Nationals. He has not given up an earned run in 10 1/3 innings at Nationals Park.
"We pay a lot of attention to what works for our guys," Lovullo said. "We give them a menu for different reasons and different situations and they go out there knowing what pitches are important to throw. Patrick utilizes that and trusts that. He executes a tremendous game plan."
Washington's Bryce Harper is tied for the NL lead with eight homers, is second with 10 doubles and is tied for third with 19 RBIs, all of which has led some opponents to pitch around him whenever possible.
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy walked Harper with first base open and one out in the eighth inning of the Giants' 4-3 victory, preferring to put the potential go-ahead run on base rather than pitch to Harper. The Giants got a double play grounder from next batter Ryan Zimmerman and held on to win.
Harper has 32 walks, eight more than anyone else, and is on pace for 207.
Since winning their first four games, the Nationals are 7-14. They have played without offensive threat Daniel Murphy (knee) all season. Left fielder Adam Eaton (ankle) has not played since April 8, and third baseman Anthony Rendon (toe) has not played in two weeks.
Shortstop Trea Turner had six hits, Matt Adams had six RBIs and rookie outfielder Andrew Stevenson had four hits and four RBIs in the Nationals' 15-2 victory in San Francisco. They scored 14 runs with two outs.
"This could actually jump-start our offense," Washington first-year manager Dave Martinez told reporters.
Strasburg, 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA in five starts, has made three quality starts and has not given up more than four runs in any game. He is 4-2 with a 3.16 ERA in nine career starts against the Diamondbacks.
He was removed from his only start against them last July after two innings with forearm stiffness and missed almost four weeks.
|Tigers||vs.||Orioles||7:05 (EDT) Preview|
Orioles look to exact revenge from Tigers
Thursday, April 26 at 11:34 PM (EDT)
BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Orioles have battled multiple problems with injuries and hitting throughout April. Even though the pitching has improved, it was an issue when the Orioles were swept by the Tigers in Detroit earlier this month.
In fact, the Orioles gave up 23 runs in that three-game series. Baltimore will be hoping for improvement in all areas as the team tries to snap its five-game losing streak when the Tigers come to town Friday night.
Starter Chris Tillman (0-4, 9.87 ERA) threw better in his last start for the Orioles, giving up four runs on eight hits in six innings in an April 21 loss to Cleveland. But Tillman has been nowhere near the pitcher he was in the past.
The former Baltimore ace is 1-11 since the start of 2017 after dealing with shoulder problems. Now, the question is how much time the Orioles feel they can give him with an ERA hovering near 10.
Tillman will go against Mike Fiers (2-1, 3.71), who has pitched well in all three starts. He's walked three batters all season and has a 2-0 career record against the Orioles (6-19) with a 1.29 ERA.
Tillman also has done well against the Tigers, with a 6-1 career record and a 3.12 ERA.
But the Orioles are dealing with numerous injury problems and got more bad news Thursday when infielder Tim Beckham had core muscle surgery and should be out for six to seven weeks.
"I know he feels a real peace of mind to get it behind him because it's something that I think has been a challenge for him in his career some, but nothing to the extent it was here lately," Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said. "He feels good about getting it behind him. We've done four or five of those with real good results."
Showalter said second baseman Jonathan Schoop is coming along in his recovery from an oblique injury and could be coming closer to returning. No target date was given, and the Orioles could use help at this point from Schoop or other places.
The Tigers come to town having lost two of three to the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Detroit suffered a 1-0 loss Thursday on a ninth-inning homer from Corey Dickerson off Alex Wilson in the ninth.
The Tigers had their chances in the game, banging out eight hits, but they went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded six. They just could not catch a break.
"Those guys were really trying," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire told MLB.com. "How many balls did we hit right on the button that they made plays on? Over and over. That's the way the game is. Sometimes you just fall into that kind of luck."
That's unusual for a Detroit team that is the seventh-best hitting team in the majors at .257.
The Tigers (10-13) are second in the American League Central, three games behind Cleveland.
Detroit's Miguel Cabrera is 9-for-18 during a six-game hitting streak after going 1-for-4 on Thursday, dropping his average to .325.
|Rangers||vs.||Blue Jays||7:07 (EDT)|
|Mariners||vs.||Indians||7:10 (EDT) Preview|
Kluber seeks to avenge opening loss to Mariners
Thursday, April 26 at 10:56 PM (EDT)
CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Indians, who lost a key pitcher Thursday, and the Seattle Mariners, who added a first baseman, will play the second of their four-game series at Progressive Field on Friday night.
On Thursday, Cleveland placed star reliever Andrew Miller on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. To replace Miller on the roster, the Indians selected the contract of left-hander Jeff Beliveau from Triple-A Columbus.
Miller, who in 10 appearances has pitched 11 scoreless innings on five hits, with 13 strikeouts and two walks, was removed from Wednesday's game with the Chicago Cubs after throwing two pitches in the seventh inning.
"He had an MRI (Thursday) and the results were what we'd hoped: a low-grade sprain," said Indians manager Terry Francona. "There was some thought that we didn't need to put him on the DL, but since it's April and we lean on him so hard during the season, we decided to do it. As hard as it is to do, it's the right thing to do."
Beliveau, 31, was 1-1 with a 7.47 ERA in 19 relief appearances with Toronto last year. He signed with the Indians as a free agent. In seven appearances at Columbus, he pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings on two hits, with 14 strikeouts and one walk.
The Mariners' first base addition is Ryon Healy, who was activated off the disabled list on Thursday. He had been out since April 7 with a sprained right ankle. Healy, acquired from Oakland in a trade over the winter, was 2-for-22 (.091) in six games with Seattle before going on the DL.
To make room on the roster for Healy, the Mariners optioned rookie Daniel Vogelbach to Triple-A Tacoma.
Friday's pitching matchup will feature reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (3-1, 1.96 ERA) of the Indians vs. Seattle right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (0-1, 9.64).
Kluber lost on Opening Day to the Mariners in Seattle despite the fact that he pitched eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits, with eight strikeouts and one walk. Kluber gave up a two-run home run by Nelson Cruz in the first inning in a 2-1 Seattle win.
Kluber hasn't lost since that game. His last start came April 22 in Baltimore, a 7-3 win over the Orioles in which Kluber pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits, with four strikeouts and no walks. In five career starts against Seattle, Kluber is 3-2 with a 1.66 ERA.
Ramirez will be making his second start after starting the season on the 10-day disabled list with a strained lat. Ramirez's first start came on April 22, a 7-4 loss to Texas in which he pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on five hits, with one strikeout and one walk.
Ramirez's last start against Cleveland came on Sept. 22, 2017. He did not figure in the decision, a 3-1 Mariners win. Ramirez pitched eight innings, striking out 10 and giving up one run on three hits. In seven career appearances against Cleveland, Ramirez is 1-2 with a 3.51 ERA.
|Rays||vs.||Red Sox||7:10 (EDT)|
|Rockies||vs.||Marlins||7:10 (EDT) Preview|
Rockies should be comfortable on road against Marlins
Thursday, April 26 at 9:18 PM (EDT)
MIAMI -- The Colorado Rockies have been surprisingly comfortable on the road this season, going 5-7 at home but 9-5 when they venture outside their stadium.
Colorado is hoping the second half of that trend continues Friday when the Rockies open a three-game series at Marlins Park against the Miami Marlins.
The Rockies (14-12) are set to get a boost from right fielder Gerardo Parra, who is set to return from a four-game suspension for his role in a brawl against the San Diego Padres.
Another Rockies outfielder, Carlos Gonzalez, is on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. This has cleared the way for outfielder David Dahl, 24, to make his return to the Rockies.
Dahl, Colorado's first-round pick -- and 10th overall in 2012 -- made his major-league debut in 2016 and had success, boasting an OPS of .859. But he did not play in the majors at all last season because of a ribcage injury and was only recalled April 22 due to the Parra and Gonzalez absences.
But in Dahl's brief time with the Rockies this year, he has at least one hit in each of his four games, including triples in his past two games. He has three RBIs and a .915 OPS so far.
Dahl has been so impressive that Rockies manager Bud Black put him in the cleanup spot for Wednesday's 5-2 win over the Padres.
"It makes me confident," Dahl told the media when asked about his spot in the batting order. "It's a good feeling batting cleanup. I just have to cut down on my strikeouts."
The Rockies, who are in second place in the National League West, will throw left-hander Tyler Anderson (1-0, 4.32) against the Marlins, who are 7-17 and in last place in the NL East.
Miami has won two straight games but still has the fourth-worst record in the majors. The Marlins will start ace Jose Urena, who went 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA last season.
This year, however, Urena is 0-3 with a 5.88 ERA. He has just one quality start this season, which was his second outing, going seven innings and allowing one run against the Boston Red Sox.
Since then, he has allowed 11 earned runs in 15 innings. Scouts, though, have noticed that Urena, whose fastball topped out at 97 mph in his most recent start, has mixed his pitches more of late.
On Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers, Urena threw 23 changeups and 22 sliders.
"I am getting more and more comfortable with my off-speed pitches," Urena said. "That's going to make my fastball better."
Marlins hitters, meanwhile, could have a tough time with Anderson, who has allowed two earned runs or less in his past four starts.
An interesting matchup to follow on Friday will be Anderson against Marlins catcher and right-handed hitter JT Realmuto, who started the year on the disabled list but has been hot since his return.
In seven games, Realmuto has eight RBIs and is hitting .385 with an impressive 1.294 OPS.
As for Colorado's road prowess, the Rockies were just 41-40 away from home last season and plus-nine at Coors Field. Friday marks the start of a nine-game Colorado road trip, and it will be a good test to see whether the team is for real on the road.
After the Marlins, the Rockies will visit the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs.
Miami, by the way, is just 3-9 at home this season.
|Thursday, April 26, 2018|
|Major League Baseball|
Hendricks, Cubs win 1-0, stop Brewers' 8-game win streak
By JAY COHEN - AP Sports Writer
Thursday, April 26 at 11:49 PM (EDT)
CHICAGO (AP) Kyle Hendricks figured he was in great shape when he started throwing his fastball exactly where he wanted it to go.
Hendricks outpitched Chase Anderson with seven crisp innings, and the Chicago Cubs stopped Milwaukee's eight-game win streak with a 1-0 victory over the Brewers on Thursday night.
''When my fastball command was good from the start, I knew everything would work off that,'' Hendricks said. ''So I was able to throw more curveballs. The action on that was good, even got a few strikes over with it. Everything just fell in line from there.''
Hendricks (2-1) allowed four hits, struck out five and walked none in his best outing this season. Anderson (2-2) stayed with him until Kyle Schwarber drove a 0-1 pitch over the wall in right for his seventh homer with one out in the sixth.
Carl Edwards Jr. worked the eighth and Brandon Morrow finished the six-hitter for his fifth save in five chances. With two outs and Ryan Braun on first, Travis Shaw flied out to the warning track in left.
''Just a really tightly, well-played baseball game,'' Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.
The Cubs had seven hits while playing without slugger Kris Bryant, who missed his third straight game after he was beaned during a victory at Colorado last weekend. Catcher Willson Contreras rested for most of the night before entering as a defensive replacement for the eighth.
Milwaukee got a two-out double in each of the first two innings but was unable to capitalize. Shaw flied out with Braun on second in the first, and Jett Bandy took a called third strike after Orlando Arcia's hit in the second.
Anderson allowed five hits and walked one in seven innings. He had won each of his prior two starts.
''He threw a great game and I just tried to match that,'' Anderson said. ''And, you know, one pitch to Schwarber, I feel like if it's up two, three inches he either pops it up or doesn't hit it. I kind of put it where he likes it. Just one mistake.''
The right-hander got some help from Braun, who made his first start at first base since Eric Thames tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb during Tuesday night's 5-2 victory at Kansas City. Braun and Jesus Aguilar are expected to fill in at first while Thames is sidelined.
With two outs and runners on first and second in the second, Braun made a great diving stop behind the bag and flipped to Anderson to retire Jason Heyward. Braun held out his right arm and pointed as Anderson stepped on the base, and then hustled into the dugout with his mouth open and his tongue out.
''That play against Heyward was nice,'' Braun said. ''That guy has probably taken away a solid 10 to 12 extra-base hits from me over the years. There are very few guys I would want to take an extra-base hit away from more, because of all the ones he's taken from me.''
Hendricks' defense also turned in a couple of nice plays. Albert Almora Jr. chased down Lorenzo Cain's deep drive to center in the sixth, and second baseman Javier Baez robbed Braun of a hit with a leaping catch for the first out of the seventh.
STATS AND STREAKS
Baez and Almora each extended their hit streaks to a career-best nine games. Baez is batting .429 (18 for 42) during his surge, and Almora is hitting .385 (15 for 39) during his streak.
Brewers: Thames was examined by team physician Dr. William Raasch and plans to see another doctor in Phoenix on Friday. The slugger likely will have an operation. ''The injury, it's a surgery, I think you're looking at a minimum of six weeks and then you've got to see how the individual feels,'' manager Craig Counsell said.
Cubs: INF/OF Ben Zobrist (back tightness) ran the bases before the game. He could come off the disabled list when he is eligible to return on Saturday.
Yu Darvish (0-2, 6.86 ERA) starts for Chicago on Friday afternoon. The Japanese right-hander is off to a slow start in his first season with the Cubs, and Maddon said he had a conversation with the pitcher while the team was in Cleveland this week.
''This guy's good. This guy's going to show it. He's going to show up,'' Maddon said, ''and the thing (is) as a manager, as a coach, I'm just trying to get him to respect this pitch and then respect that next pitch, but don't try to over-evaluate it or make it more complicated than that because your stuff, I don't know, top 10 in baseball probably.''
Brent Suter (1-2, 5.68 ERA) pitches for Milwaukee. The left-hander is 0-2 with a 5.75 ERA in his last four starts.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Five-win White Sox, Royals open five-game set
Thursday, April 26 at 12:54 AM (EDT)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Chicago White Sox won their first two games of the season. On the road. At Kansas City.
Since then they've won three games, losing 16 of 19. The White Sox have lost nine of their past 10 games after falling 4-3 to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.
The Kansas City Royals have been doing their awful best to keep up -- or should that be down -- with the White Sox. After falling 6-2 on Wednesday night to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Royals are a major league-worst 1-9 at home. That is their worst 10-game stretch at Kauffman Stadium since beginning the 2012 season by losing their first 10 home games.
Kansas City has endured a nine-game losing streak, which it snapped Friday in Detroit.
The White Sox (5-16) and the Royals (5-17) will open a five-game series Thursday at Kauffman Stadium. Putting their win totals together, they still have eight fewer victories than the Boston Red Sox.
The series could have serious ramifications in determing which team will have the highest pick in the 2019 draft. The series is elongated with a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, making up for an April 1 snow and cold postponement.
Poor starting pitching had been a major reason for the White Sox's poor start. The starters are 2-12 with a 6.11 ERA.
Right-hander Lucas Giolito (0-3, 9.00 ERA) will start the opener for Chicago. He is coming off a Saturday loss to the Houston Astros in which he allowed nine runs on five hits and seven walks over two innings.
Giolito has a 10.93 ERA with a 2.07 WHIP with 15 walks in 14 innings during his three-game losing streak. Opponents are 14-for-54 in the three defeats. Giolito has had success against Kansas City, though. He is 1-0 with a 2.33 ERA in three career starts against the Royals.
Giolito faced the Royals this season on March 31, giving up three runs on four hits and four walks in six innings. He did not get a decision in Chicago's 4-3 victory.
Kansas City veterans Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon are each 1-for-8 and Alcides Escobar is 2-for-9 against Giolito. Lucas Duda is 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs.
The Royals have been dreadful with runners in scoring position. They went 1-for-10 in the Wednesday defeat, and for the season are batting .192 (32-for-167) with RISP. Last year, the Royals hit .266 with RISP, which ranked sixth in the American League.
Kansas City will counter with sophomore right-hander Jakob Junis, who has three of the team's five victories. Junis (3-1, 2.03 ERA) beat Detroit 3-2 in the second game of a doubleheader on Friday in his previous start. He gave up two runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts over eight innings.
His 0.75 WHIP ranks second in the American League among qualified hurlers and his 5.06 hits per nine innings checks in at fifth in the league.
Junis' 12 victories in his first 24 appearances are second most in franchise history. Rich Gale picked up 13 wins in his first 24 appearances. Junis' only loss this season was on April 14, a 5-3 setback to the Los Angeles Angels.
This will be Junis' first career start against the White Start. He is 4-1 with a 3.91 ERA against AL Central opponents.
Acuna, Albies homer as Braves win 7-4, drop Reds to 5-20
Thursday, April 26 at 5:25 PM (EDT)
CINCINNATI (AP) The Atlanta Braves' youth movement is going long.
Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies, the two youngest players in the major leagues, both homered and combined for five RBIs to lead Atlanta over the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 Thursday and give the Braves a split of the four-game series.
Acuna became the youngest player in the major leagues Wednesday at 20 years, 128 days, and went 1 for 5 in his debut. He led off the second inning Thursday with a home run five rows deep into the left-field upper deck against Homer Bailey, singled in the sixth and hit a tiebreaking double off Wandy Peralta (1-1) in the eighth following Freddie Freeman's third double of the game.
''It's truly a unique moment,'' Acuna said through interpreter Franco Garcia. ''Your first home run in the big leagues is a once-in-a-lifetime moment.''
Acuna became the youngest Braves player to homer since Andruw Jones against the Reds on Aug. 23, 1997, when he was 20 years, 122 days. He was greeted in the dugout by the traditional silent treatment and walked almost the entire length of the dugout, exchanging phantom high fives, before his teammates pounced to celebrate.
Albies, a 21-year-old who made his debut last August, hit a two-run homer in the fifth for a 4-0 lead and added an RBI double in the ninth.
''It's fun to watch,'' Braves manager Snitker said. ''It's cool to be around these young guys and the energy they bring.''
Snitker was impressed as much by Acuna's speed as his power.
''He makes the club more athletic,'' Snitker said. ''Batting, fielding, running the bases - he makes the club better.''
Sam Freeman (1-1) retired all four batters he faced, and Arodys Vizcaino pitched a one-hit ninth for his second save. Cincinnati dropped to 5-20 for the first time in franchise history.
''The Braves are playing good baseball,'' Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said. ''We didn't have an answer for the middle of their lineup.''
Every Atlanta starter except catcher Kurt Suzuki had at least one hit, including pitcher Sean Newcomb, who also was enjoying watching and being part of the youth movement.
''It's been fun,'' said Newcomb, in his second big league season. ''We're winning, and we have a lot of young guys. We have a lot of chemistry.''
Newcomb gave up four runs, five hits and three walks in six innings. He allowed just two hits through four innings, but Cincinnati tied the score in a four-run fifth that included Joey Votto's three-run homer. Votto has homered in three straight games for the sixth time.
Bailey allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings.
''My goal was to go deep in the game,'' Bailey said.
Albies' two extra-base hits lifted his total to a franchise-record 19, two more than Dale Murphy, Chipper Jones and Justin Upton.
Reds: 3B Eugenio Suarez was activated from the 10-day DL after recovering from a broken right thumb sustained April 8 when he was hit by a pitch from Pittsburgh's Jameson Taillon. ... The Reds selected the contract of INF-OF Rosell Herrera from Triple-A Louisville and optioned OF Phillip Ervin and INF Cliff Pennington to the International League farm team.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (1-1) is to start Friday at Philadelphia.
Reds: Cincinnati opens a three-game trip on Friday at Minnesota. RHP Luis Castillo (1-3) is slated to open Friday when the Reds play at Minnesota's Target Field for the first time.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Dickerson's disputed homer lifts Pirates over Tigers 1-0
By ALAN SAUNDERS - Associated Press
Thursday, April 26 at 5:15 PM (EDT)
PITTSBURGH (AP) Corey Dickerson celebrated his first game-ending home run in the major leagues. Twice.
Dickerson's disputed one-out drive in the ninth inning that lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Detroit Tigers 1-0 Thursday.
He sent an 0-1 slider from Alex Wilson (0-1) just over the 21-foot-high wall in right field, at first standing at the plate and watching the drive before starting to jog up the first-base line. A fan in a black Pirates sweatshirt reached out and caught the ball, and Wilson immediately pointed to ask for a video the initial home-run call.
''It looked like it got out enough, but you never know,'' Dickerson said.
Dickerson rounded third base, rolled his helmet toward the plate and was mobbed by teammates, with Adam Frazier dumping a jug of Gatorade over him. Nearly two minutes later, the home-run call was upheld, and the Pirates exchanged more hugs. It was just the second home run of the season for Dickerson, who was obtained from Tampa Bay during spring training.
''These guys in the clubhouse have been great,'' Dickerson said. ''I feel really comfortable here. The guys have treated me wonderfully and we get along really good together.''
Felipe Vazquez (1-0) escaped a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the ninth created by two singles and a walk. Third baseman Colin Moran fielded a hot shot from James McCann and threw home for a force out, Victor Martinez popped out and Jose Iglesias hit a ground ball that was snagged on a diving play by shortshop Sean Rodriguez, who tossed it to second to end the inning.
''I thought our defense showed up extremely well today,'' Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said.
Ivan Nova pitched eight scoreless innings and allowed six hits while striking out five. He got 13 outs on ground balls.
''When Nova puts the ball on the ground, guys are going to stay engaged and ready to make plays,'' Hurdle said.
Detroit's Michael Fulmer struck out nine in six innings while giving up four hits.
Leonys Martin was 2 for 4 with a triple and also reached on an error and went 5 for 14 (.357) in the series with two home runs and three RBIs
Hurdle was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning by crew chief Mike Winters after Frazier was ruled out for leaving the basepath while attempting to advance from second to third on Starling Marte's two-out grounder to third baseman Niko Goodrum. Winters called Frazier out from behind the play after he eluded the tag. ''I didn't like the call,'' Hurdle said. ''He said he was all over it and I just don't think he was all over it. He's the ump. He made the call.''
Detroit re-called RHP Johnny Barbato from Triple-A Toledo, where he had a 1.17 ERA in six games with nine strikeouts and three walks in 7 2/3 innings.
Pittsburgh traded minor league OF Todd Cunningham to the Chicago White Sox for future considerations. Cunningham hit .130 in nine games with Triple-A Indianapolis.
Tigers: Fulmer was examined by trainers in the fifth inning after he had a cramp in his right thumb.
Pirates: RHP Bo Schultz (Tommy John surgery) pitched on back-to-back days Tuesday and Wednesday with Class A Bradenton and is ready to move up in his rehab. He pitched 10 2/3 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts.
Tigers: RHP Mike Fiers (2-1, 3.71 ERA) is to start a three-game series at Baltimore on Friday. He beat Kansas City on Sunday despite allowing 10 hits and striking out none.
Pirates: LHP Steven Brault (2-1, 4.44 ERA) opens a three-game against visiting St. Louis on Friday.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Diamondbacks power past Phillies 8-2
By KEVIN COONEY - Associated Press
Thursday, April 26 at 7:27 PM (EDT)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Arizona Diamondbacks keep on rolling.
Jarrod Dyson, Nick Ahmed and David Peralta homered and the Arizona Diamondbacks earned an 8-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.
The Diamondbacks have won their first eight series of the season, becoming the first National League club to do so since the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977. The Seattle Mariners won each of their first nine series of the season in 2001 on their way to 116 wins.
''It's a good feeling to know that we're having success,'' Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. ''It's a byproduct of us doing what we are supposed to do.''
The Diamondbacks improved to 17-7, matching the best 24-game start in franchise history. Arizona also went 17-7 in 2008.
''We're just taking it one game at a time,'' said Dyson, who hit his second homer of the series in the first inning.
''We're not looking too far ahead. We're worried about who we are facing right here and now and not looking behind us.''
Philadelphia missed a chance to win its fourth consecutive home series to start the season.
''I learned how resilient we are,'' Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. ''I also learned the Diamondbacks are a good club. There's a really good lineup over there.
''There's a very athletic defense on the infield and in the outfield. It's challenging middle of the lineup. If you don't have your best stuff, they're going to punish you and they did today.''
Dyson hit a two-run homer in the first and Chris Owings added an RBI double off Ben Lively (0-2) to give the Diamondbacks a 3-0 lead.
''I get lucky every now and then,'' Dyson said. ''I don't go up there to hit bombs. I want to hit more line drives. Sometimes, you get a good pitch.''
Arizona added five runs in the third inning on Ahmed's three-run homer and Peralta's two-run shot. Peralta's shot was off reliever Drew Hutchinson.
Lively allowed seven runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Arizona provided plenty of run support for Matt Koch (1-0). He went six innings and allowed two runs and six hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Paul Goldschmidt went 3 for 5 with a run scored for Arizona.
For the Phillies, Aaron Altherr had an RBI double in the fourth and RBI groundout in the sixth. Odubel Herrera reached base safely in a career-high 26th straight game going back to the end of the 2017 season with a single in the sixth inning. Herrera went 2-for-4.
Peralta has multiple hits in nine of the 20 games he has played this season, including six multi-hit games out of 10 on the road. ... Altherr is 7-for-18 with two doubles a triple and a homer in his past five games with eight RBIs.
Diamondbacks: Shelby Miller is scheduled to throw a live batting practice session on Friday in Washington. Miller is on the 60-day disabled list following Tommy John surgery. Also, Jake Lamb began a light throwing program on Thursday in Arizona after being diagnosed with a right elbow tendinitis and a sprained left AC joint.
Phillies: Philadelphia will wrap up its 10-game homestand this weekend with a three-game series against Atlanta. The Phillies have already lost four of six games to the Braves this season, all of them at SunTrust Park. Aaron Nola (2-1, 2.30 ERA) will face Julio Teheran (1-1, 4.00) in the series opener on Friday night.
Diamondbacks: Arizona begins a three-game series against the Washington Nationals. Zack Godley (3-1, 3.09 ERA) will face Washington's Stephen Strasburg (2-2, 2.97) in the opener on Friday night in D.C.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Sanchez walkoff homer gives Yanks 4-3 win, sweep of Twins
By SCOTT ORGERA - Associated Press
Thursday, April 26 at 6:47 PM (EDT)
NEW YORK (AP) Gary Sanchez had a moment he will remember.
Sanchez hit a three-run homer off Fernando Rodney in the ninth inning, and the New York Yankees rallied to beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 to complete a four-game sweep and extend their winning streak to six.
''It's definitely a very exciting moment,'' Sanchez said through a translator. ''The other special moment for me was when we made it to the playoffs last year, so this one is definitely up there.''
New York was held hitless through five innings and trailed 3-0 before Aaron Hicks' sacrifice fly in the seventh. Didi Gregorius grounded to third leading off the ninth and reached second when Miguel Sano's throw went wide for an error.
''I just couldn't complete the play,'' Sano said through a translator.
Giancarlo Stanton followed with a slow roller gloved by a charging Sano, who did not make a throw as Stanton crossed first with an infield hit.
''That's just a swinging bunt,'' Twins manager Paul Molitor said. ''It's one of those plays where he split (Ehire) Adrianza and Sano there. Either one didn't have much of a chance.''
Sanchez took a strike, then sent a fastball from Rodney (1-2) down the left-field line and into the lower deck. The Yankees bounded out of the dugout to mob Sanchez as he crossed the plate and doused him with Gatorade.
''If we can get traffic on the bases, we're always one swing away with our guys,'' rookie manager Aaron Boone said.
New York finished an 8-2 homestand and has outscored opponents 47-13 during its winning streak.
''We've got a lot of fight in here, a lot of bulldogs,'' Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery said.
Minnesota completed an 0-7 trip, its first winless road swing of at least seven games since Aug. 10-16, 2001. The Twins have lost eight straight to New York, including last year's AL wild-card game, and 13 of their last 14 at Yankee Stadium, counting the postseason.
''I think this is going to build up the character of this team,'' Minnesota general manager Thad Levine said.
Dellin Betances (1-1) struck out the side on 13 pitches in the ninth for his first win since June 27. The big right-hander struggled to keep from flying open on his delivery during the second half last season and early this year, causing control problems.
''I felt really good,'' Betances said. ''I felt like I was attacking with both pitches today.''
Rodney has blown three of five save chances.
''I tried to get a ground-ball double play,'' Rodney said. ''I left the pitch a little bit high in the strike zone.''
Eduardo Escobar hit a two-run homer in the third on the ninth pitch of his at-bat against Montgomery. Robbie Grossman, who had three hits, homered in the sixth against Domingo German.
Montgomery needed 76 pitches to get through the first three innings and allowed four hits and three walks in five innings.
Twins starter Kyle Gibson struck out a career-high 10. He was perfect through three innings and didn't allow a hit until Brett Gardner's two-out single in the sixth. Gibson allowed just the one hit in six innings and was removed after 95 pitches.
Escobar was 8 for 22 with two homers and four RBIs on the trip.
RHP David Hale was claimed off waivers from the Yankees after he pitched two scoreless innings for New York in Monday's series opener, then was designated for assignment. Minnesota recalled 6-foot-10 RHP Aaron Slegers from Triple-A Rochester Thursday morning, but optioned him back to the minors following the game to make room for Hale. RHP Tyler Kinley was designated for assignment.
Tyler Austin's suspension was cut from five games to four by John McHale Jr., a special assistant to baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, and the New York first baseman will start serving the penalty on Friday.
New York has homered in 11 straight games, the longest streak in the major leagues this season.
CLIMBING THE LADDER
Betances has 521 career strikeouts out of the pen, passing Dave Righetti (519) for third place on the club's all-time list for relievers.
Aaron Judge walked twice on his 26th birthday and has reached safely in 30 consecutive home games and in all 21 games this month.
Yankees: 3B Brandon Drury (severe migraines) will continue his rehab assignment when Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre returns to action Friday. ... OF Clint Frazier (concussion) was scheduled to play for Class A Tampa on Thursday after appearing in two extended spring training games. ... CF Jacoby Ellsbury (strained right oblique) is taking part in light baseball activities, including hitting off a tee. ... 1B Greg Bird (right ankle surgery) and OF Billy McKinney (sprained left shoulder) are headed to Tampa to continue baseball activity.
Twins: Minnesota returns home for three games against last-place Cincinnati, starting RHP Phil Hughes (0-0, 5.40 ERA) in Friday's series opener.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (4-1, 2.32 ERA) starts Friday at the Los Angeles Angels.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Fowler, Pham lead Cards over Mets 4-3 in 13 innings
By JOE HARRIS - Associated Press
Thursday, April 26 at 7:20 PM (EDT)
ST. LOUIS (AP) Dexter Fowler has hit in six different lineup slots in the last six games for the St. Louis Cardinals. In the series finale against the New York Mets, he was at the right spot at the right time.
Fowler's 13th-inning single capped a comeback from a pair of deficits Thursday and gave the Cardinals a 4-3 victory .
''I'm a swing man, I'm hitting everywhere,'' Fowler quipped. ''First, second, I'm trying to get all nine. Some people play all nine positions, I just hit everywhere.''
The lineup juggling has been an attempt by Cardinals manager Mike Matheny spark Fowler and several other hitters after a slow start. Fowler has three RBIs in his last two games.
''My swing's there,'' Fowler said. ''I've just been hitting stuff off the end of the bat, not hitting it the way I want to. I'm barreling it, just towards the end.''
St. Louis trailed 2-0 in the seventh and 3-2 in the 10th. Tommy Pham had four hits and scored twice, a day after leaving a game after cutting his head with his bat while warning up in an indoor batting game. He played with a large bandage on his head.
''It could have been worse,'' Pham said. ''I'm just extremely lucky.''
Jose Martinez walked with one out in the 13th against Paul Sewald (0-1), took second on a single by Marcell Ozuna and scored when Fowler singled to right for his sixth game-ending RBI.
John Gant (1-0), recalled from Triple-A Memphis before the game, pitched three perfect innings of relief for his second big league win. His first was for Atlanta against the Mets on June 17, 2016.
''He was finishing that game,'' Matheny said. ''He did a good job of finishing that game.''
St. Louis won its second straight against the Mets after losing the series opener in 10 innings. The Mets have lost eight of 12 after an 11-1 start.
''It would be frustrating if we weren't where we are at in the standings,'' Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. ''Were still in a pretty good spot, so what has happened the last week or week-and-a-half is not going to continue to happen. That's just not going to happen, `cause we have really good pitchers and really good players.''
New York went ahead 3-2 in the 10th when Luke Gregerson loaded the bases with a walk to Adrian Gonzalez and forced in a run with a walk to Jose Lobaton.
Pham singled with two outs in the bottom half and scored when Martinez doubled off the center-field wall against Jeurys Familia, who blew a save for the third time in 12 chances.
''That guy's nasty,'' Martinez said.
Mets starter Noah Syndergaard allowed two runs - one earned - and six hits in 7 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. He retired his first 10 batters and did not allow a runner into scoring position until the seventh inning.
''I think the big thing for me today was for me to going out there and throwing in and tight to hitters,'' Syndergaard said. ''I haven't really had my slider all season, but it was nice going out there and mix and match my sinker and change up and curveball when I needed it.''
Pham said Syndergaard has gotten better.
''I faced him in Triple-A and I faced him a couple of years ago - he was more so just a thrower with great stuff,'' Pham said. ''Now he's elevated his arsenal.''
Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez gave up one run and four hits in six innings.
Yoenis Cespedes hit an RBI double in the first that ended Martinez's scoreless streak at 18 innings and made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. His 23 RBIs are one behind NL leader Javier Baez of the Chicago Cubs.
Pham doubled leading off the seventh and scored on Marcell Ozuna's single. Greg Garcia led off the eighth with a grounder that bounced off the glove of shortstop Amed Rosario, who didn't get hit glove down and was charged with an error. Garcia advanced to third on Matt Carpenter's single against Syndergaard and scored on Pham's single off Robert Gsellman.
Martinez hit Brandon Nimmo twice and Todd Frazier once. Martinez has hit a batter in a team-record seven consecutive games dating to Sept. 26, matching Pedro Martinez and Dave Bush for the fourth-longest streak in major league history.
UP AND DOWN
RHP John Brebbia was optioned to Triple-A Memphis to make room for Gant.
Mets: Assistant hitting Coach Tom Slater served as first base coach for Ruben Amaro Jr., who was ill
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (2-0, 2.53 ERA) start Friday at San Diego in the opener off a three-game series. DeGrom has reached double digits in strikeouts in his last two starts.
Cardinals: RHP Miles Mikolas (3-0, 3.46 ERA) starts Friday at Pittsburgh. Mikolas has walked two in 26 innings this season.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Miller's absence felt by Indians as Mariners win 5-4
By STEVE HERRICK - Associated Press
Thursday, April 26 at 10:20 PM (EDT)
CLEVELAND (AP) The first day without Andrew Miller didn't work out too well for the Cleveland Indians.
Kyle Seager's RBI double in the eighth off Nick Goody lifted the Seattle Mariners to a 5-4 win on Thursday night.
With Miller on the disabled list after straining his left hamstring on Wednesday, the AL Central-leading Indians used three relievers in the eighth.
Cleveland overcame a 4-0 deficit with two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings. A tie game in that spot would usually result in Miller making an appearance, but that won't be the case for at least the next 10 days.
Jean Segura hit a leadoff groundout off Dan Otero, and Robinson Cano took a called third strike from Jeff Beliveau, who was called up from the minors before the game.
Goody (0-1) relieved and allowed consecutive doubles to Nelson Cruz and Seager. Mitch Haniger was intentionally walked, and Mike Zunino popped out.
Indians manager Terry Francona knows he'll have to use more of a matchup strategy in the late innings without Miller, who hasn't allowed a run this season.
''Otero came in, did a great job,'' he said. ''Beliveau came in and got Cano, which was good. Nick, the pitch to Cruz wasn't a bad pitch. He was trying to get it down out of the zone and it didn't get out of the zone, and he left a ball up to Seager.''
Seager is batting .378 (34 for 90) with five homers and 13 RBIs in 23 games at Progressive Field.
''It hurt my feelings a little bit because it didn't get out,'' he joked of his winning hit. ''That was the best I've hit a ball in a while and it stayed in the park.''
Dan Altavilla (2-2) got the last two outs in the seventh, and Juan Nicasio pitched a perfect eighth. Edwin Diaz, the Mariners' fifth reliever, walked Francisco Lindor with one out in the ninth, then retired Jason Kipnis on a flyout and struck out Jose Ramirez. Diaz leads the major leagues with 11 saves and has not blown any chances.
''We've been winning a lot of close games and Eddie's stuff was right there, like it has been the last three games,'' Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
Seattle's James Paxton matched a career high with 10 strikeouts, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings, throwing 100 pitches.
''I felt good and I thought I did some good things, but I was upset with the (three) walks,'' he said.
Yonder Alonso hit a two-run homer in the sixth, and the Indians tied the score in the seventh on Kipnis' RBI double against Marc Rzepczynski and Edwin Encarnacion's run-scoring single off Altavilla.
Coming off his first big league shutout, a two-hitter at Baltimore, Mike Clevinger gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings.
Ryon Healy, activated from the disabled list after missing 16 games with a sprained right ankle, singled in the third as Seattle took a 3-0 lead in a seven-pitch span with two outs. Healy scored on Dee Gordon's triple, and Segura had an RBI double and came home on Cano's single.
Zunino had an RBI single in the fourth. Cano appeared to hit a two-out homer in the fifth, but his drive was to left was ruled a double after a crew chief video review.
OF Jayson Werth finalized his minor league contract with the Mariners and was 0 for 3 in his debut with Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday. The 38-year-old has a .267 average in 15 major league seasons, the last seven with Washington.
OF Melky Cabrera, who signed a minor league deal with the Indians this week, would get a $1 million salary in the major leagues if added to the 40-man roster. He could earn $1 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances: $100,000 for 200, and $150,000 each for 250, 300, 350, 400, 450 and 500.
The majority of the 12,133 fans booed when the scoreboard said the Browns selected quarterback Baker Mayfield with the first pick in the NFL draft.
Mariners RHP Erasmo Ramirez makes his second start of the season Friday after returning from a shoulder injury. He allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings against Texas last Sunday. Cleveland RHP Corey Kluber (3-1) pitched a six-hitter against the Mariners on opening day but lost 2-1 on Cruz's two-run homer in the first inning.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Rays beat Orioles 9-5 for sixth straight win
By TODD KARPOVICH - Associated Press
Thursday, April 26 at 11:26 PM (EDT)
BALTIMORE (AP) Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash said his team never lost confidence despite some struggles in the early part of the season.
Now, Tampa Bay is one of the hottest teams in baseball and Cash is looking to maintain that momentum.
C.J. Cron and Wilson Ramos homered and the Rays extended their winning streak to six games with a 9-5 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday night.
It's the Rays' longest winning streak since a nine-game run from July 12-26, 2014.
''It's pretty exciting to sit back and watch us put runs on the board, especially when we were quiet for the earlier part of the year,'' Cash said. ''I am really impressed with the guys.''
Adam Jones had three hits, including his fourth home run of the season for the Orioles, who have lost 11 of 12 and are 1-5 on the current nine-game homestand. Manny Machado had two hits and earned his team-leading 18th RBI.
Danny Valencia cut the margin to 8-5 with a homer in the eighth. Baltimore tied a season-high with 16 hits.
''We were right there. We kept creating opportunities,'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. ''You'd like to think you could have a night where you put up eight or nine runs. We just couldn't get that big blow.''
Chris Archer (2-1) allowed four runs and 11 hits with seven strikeouts and one walk over 5 1/3 innings. Archer has yielded at least one home run in each of his six starts.
''You definitely want to compete and throw high-quality pitches,'' Archer said.
The Rays got off to a fast start against Dylan Bundy (1-3) when Denard Span led off the game with a walk and Cron followed with a homer. Ramos provided a 4-0 lead an inning later with another two-run shot.
''It's kind of just a one through nine effort. We're all swinging the bat well,'' Cron said. ''That doesn't happen very often in the big leagues. So, it's pretty cool to see us all click.''
Tampa Bay continued to pull away on RBI singles by Daniel Robertson and Ramos that boosted the margin to 6-0 in the third. Bundy had given up a total of five earned runs in his five previous starts.
''They got off to a hot start there in two innings, so I couldn't really slow them down,'' Bundy said.
The Orioles scored a pair of runs in the third on a double by Trey Mancini and a single by Machado. Joey Wendle and Mallex Smith answered for the Rays with RBI singles that increased the lead to 8-2 in the fifth.
Bundy allowed eight runs (seven earned) and a career-high 11 hits with four strikeouts and one walk over 4 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season.
Adeiny Hechavarria set a Rays franchise record for a shortstop by handling 242 consecutive chances without an error, breaking the previous mark set by Chris Gomez (2002). Hechavarria has not committed an error since July 20, 2017. . Jones earned his 557th extra-base hit with the Orioles, tying him with Boog Powell for fifth place in club history.
Rays: 3B Matt Duffy (right hamstring strain) played seven innings for Single-A Charlotte and went 2 for 3 with an RBI. ... RHP Nathan Eovaldi (elbow) threw 37 pitches off a mound. He could potentially throw a bullpen Saturday and then a live batting practice before going on a rehab assignment.
Orioles: 3B Tim Beckham underwent surgery for his injured groin and is expected to be out at least six weeks. ... DH Mark Trumbo (quad strain) will play rehab games for Triple-A Norfolk on Friday and Saturday. He could be activated from the DL on Tuesday.
Rays: Blake Snell (3-1, 2.54 ERA) is trying for his fourth consecutive victory when he starts the series opener Friday against Boston.
Orioles: Chris Tillman (0-4, 9.87 ERA) takes the mound in the opener of a three-game series Friday against the Tigers. Tillman has made 22 straight starts without a win, dating back to his first outing last season.
|Red Sox||5||vs.||4||Blue Jays||Final Recap|
Martinez's 3-run homer lifts Red Sox over Blue Jays 5-4
By IAN HARRISON - Associated Press
Thursday, April 26 at 10:47 PM (EDT)
TORONTO (AP) J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer, Chris Sale won for the first time in three starts and the Boston Red Sox rallied to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Thursday night.
Andrew Benitendi had two hits and an RBI for the Red Sox, who returned home after a 6-3 trip. The Red Sox are a major league-best 19-5, including 7-1 in one-run games.
Justin Smoak and Devon Travis hit solo home runs for the Blue Jays, who have lost five of seven.
Red Sox infielder Brock Holt was replaced after injuring his left hamstring while running during a third-inning double. Holt slowed between first and second and reached for the back of his leg. Holt has four doubles in four games and is hitting 16 for 34 (.471) during a nine-game hitting streak.
.Sale (2-1) allowed three runs and four hits in six innings to improve to 5-1 in eight games at Toronto, where his ERA rose from 0.96 to 1.36. He struck out 35 over 22 scoreless innings at Rogers Centre last year.
Carson Smith got two outs, Matt Barnes worked 1 1/3 innings hitless innings and Craig Kimbrel got three straight outs for his seventh save in as many chances, finishing a six-hitter.
Ken Pillar's first-inning sacrifice fly ended Sale's 23-inning scoreless streak and Travis made it 2-0 in the second with his first home run this season.
Benintendi's RBI double in the third cut the deficit, but Smoak boosted the lead to 3-1 in the bottom half with his first home run since April 1.
Rafael Devers hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and Martinez put Boston ahead 5-3 with a two-out drive in the fifth off Marco Estrada (2-2), who allowed five runs and eight hits in five innings. Estrada has given up 14 earned runs in his past three starts, raising his ERA from 2.77 to 6.00.
Teoscar Hernandez chased Smith with a two-out RBI double in the seventh, and Barnes struck out Smoak to strand the potential tying run at second.
Red Sox: Mookie Betts made his first appearance in center field since 2015. ... Manager Alex Cora said SS Xander Bogaerts (left ankle) remains on track to rejoin the Red Sox on Friday. ''I talked to him today and he was very upbeat,'' Cora said. ''Looking forward to having him back at shortstop and the middle of the lineup.''
Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz (0-0, 7.36) starts the opener of a three-game series against Tampa Bay on Friday. It will be the second start of the season for Pomeranz, who missed the first 18 games with a forearm injury. LHP Blake Snell (3-1, 2.54) starts for the Rays.
Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (0-2, 8.55) will be on the mound for the opener of a three-game series against Texas. Stroman has allowed at least four earned runs in all four starts this season. LHP Mike Minor (1-1, 3.86) starts for the Rangers.
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