Today is Tuesday, July 25, 2017.
|Tuesday, July 25, 2017|
|Major League Baseball|
Rangers prepare for Marlins with Darvish still on roster
Tuesday, July 25 at 4:25 AM (EDT)
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish may be staying put after all.
The Texas Rangers ace has been the subject of rampant speculation with the non-waiver trade deadline on the horizon, but a report from MLB.com on Monday indicated that Darvish likely isn't going anywhere.
While the report added that stance could change should the Rangers get blown away by a trade package or if the club falls out of wild-card contention in the next week, the preference is to keep Darvish and make a playoff push.
Darvish met with the media Monday before Texas' 4-0 loss to the Miami Marlins in the opener of the three-game interleague series. The second game is Tuesday night at Globe Life Park.
Darvish made it clear he wouldn't discuss any trade talk. Instead, he is focused on making a playoff run. He will be a free agent after the season.
"I know we are confident we are going to make it to the postseason," said Darvish, who is scheduled to start Wednesday in the series finale. "That's how we are playing."
Texas co-ace Cole Hamels (4-1, 3.78 ERA) will oppose Miami's Dan Straily (7-5, 3.49) in the second game of the series.
Hamels is coming off his first loss in 10 starts this season, getting knocked around by the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday. The 33-year-old lefty gave up seven runs on nine hits, including three home runs, in 5 1/3 innings.
Despite the setback, Hamels has been the Rangers' most effective starter this month, going 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA. He had a scoreless streak of 24 innings end in the fourth against the Orioles.
Hamels is only 9-15 with a 3.39 ERA in 37 career starts against Miami, including 1-5 since 2013. Those are the most losses and starts for Hamels against any opponent.
Hamels figures to have his hands full with Giancarlo Stanton, who blasted two homers Monday. Stanton is tied for the major league lead with 32 home runs, and his 11 in July lead baseball.
He set the tone Monday with a two-run blast in the first.
"Punch 'em early, you know?" he said.
Straily is set to make his 21st start of the season. The 28-year-old righty is facing the Rangers for the third time this season after going 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in the previous two outings. He has yielded four runs in 12 innings against Texas, striking out eight and walking four.
Adrian Beltre looks to inch closer to his 3,000th hit after going 4-for-4 on Monday. The third baseman needs seven more hits to hit the plateau. The Rangers have eight games left on their homestand.
"I want to get it over with, obviously," Beltre said. "I really want to do it on this homestand. The fans deserve that, and I really want to do it in front of them."
Miami's Ichiro Suzuki was the last player to reach 3,000, doing it last season. His admiration for Beltre goes beyond their shared pursuit of the magical hit number.
"Obviously, he's getting close to this milestone, and people focus on his hitting," Suzuki said through his interpreter. "But I think he plays good defense. I think that's why he's been able to stick around as long as he has, because he does play good defense."
Cardinals seek another crisp showing vs. Rockies
Tuesday, July 25 at 4:41 AM (EDT)
ST. LOUIS -- Teams that possess a shaky defense and inconsistent bullpen tend to sustain their share of gut-punch losses, and the St. Louis Cardinals certainly fit that category.
On their last road trip alone, the Cardinals went 4-6. Three of those losses were of the walk-off variety, and a fourth occurred Saturday when the Chicago Cubs scored three two-out runs in the bottom of the eighth for a 3-2 verdict.
However, St. Louis manager Mike Matheny continues to tout his team's resilience. The Cardinals displayed some of it Monday night by rolling over the Colorado Rockies 8-2 and moving within four games of the idle Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the National League Central.
St. Louis (48-51) will try to build on that performance Tuesday night at Busch Stadium in the second game of its three-game series with Colorado (58-43).
"We've seen too many times where a team takes a hard loss, and they just come back and play," Matheny said. "I'm going to tell you this right now, this is a tough team. I have no doubt about their toughness."
If nothing else, St. Louis certainly produced a crisp all-around game Monday. Starter Mike Leake fired seven shutout innings, the defense was clean throughout, and the offense banged out 12 hits.
The Cardinals' hitters were on point from the outset. They forced Antonio Senzatela to throw a whopping 39 pitches in the first inning, with four plate appearances lasting six or seven pitches. The two runs they scored in the inning set the tone for the night's remainder.
"It was an uphill battle from the start," Rockies manager Bud Black said of Senzatela's performance.
Black hopes for a more polished outing from right-hander Jon Gray (3-1, 6.19 ERA), who cruised to an 18-4 win Wednesday over the San Diego Padres. Gray gave up seven hits and four runs in six innings with two walks and seven strikeouts, although all four runs scored in the sixth after Colorado established a 13-0 lead.
In his only career start against the Cardinals, Gray was roughed up for nine runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings on May 19, 2016, taking a 13-7 defeat.
Opposing Gray will be right-hander Lance Lynn (8-6, 3.30), who has enjoyed one of the best stretches of his career in the past three games. Lynn has permitted only one run over 19 1/3 innings, that occurring Thursday when New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda popped a solo homer off him in the second inning.
Lynn has faced the Rockies six times in his career, going 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA. He absorbed an 8-4 loss May 28 in Denver, permitting four runs over five innings as he dealt with a blister.
One matchup to watch could be Lynn against Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra, who is 13-for-26 in his career against him with three homers and six RBIs.
Parra clouted a three-run homer off Lynn in May and caused a stir among St. Louis players by holding the bat over his head in his follow-through after leaving the batters' box.
Colorado enters play Tuesday in a virtual tie with the Arizona Diamondbacks for the two NL wild-card spots, 5 1/2 games ahead of the Chicago Cubs.
Confident, patient Diamondbacks face Braves
Tuesday, July 25 at 4:51 AM (EDT)
PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks still lead the National League wild-card race, even if they don't look like the same team that was 22 games above .500 on June 27.
That's what a stretch of 14 losses in 20 games will do to a team. But first-year manager Torey Lovullo stayed as patient as can be during that downturn.
No roster shakeups. No pitching-staff overhauls. No public dressing down of players.
Now, the payoff may be coming, if the Diamondbacks' 10-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Monday night is any indication. The teams play the second game of a three-game series Tuesday night.
"I'm watching the same group of guys do the same thing every single day. Nothing is really changing in our clubhouse," Lovullo said. "I think we all understand we were playing a special brand of baseball and winning a lot of games, and we enjoyed that for as long as it was coming to us."
When the winning wasn't happening nearly as often, Lovullo saw no less attention to detail, no less preparation, no diminishing commitment to winning.
"Seasons are full of ups and downs. We were aware of that possibility. We're not playing lousy, awful baseball. We're just getting beat," Lovullo said. "When that happens, I'm OK with that. I just want us to digest it, get rid of it and get ready for the next day. I think we've been doing this this entire time."
His reward for being patient is finally getting to see what could be one of the majors' best batting orders. Power-hitting J.D. Martinez was added from the Detroit Tigers, and former All-Star A.J. Pollock finally is getting comfortable after missing more than 40 games with a groin injury.
Martinez hit a long, three-run homer Monday in his first full game with Arizona, while Pollock -- hitting .500 in his last five games -- drove in four runs with a two-run homer and two doubles.
"If we get everybody clicking, it's going to be pretty scary," Pollock said.
The Braves (47-51), like the Diamondbacks (57-42), are much improved after both teams lost 93 games last season. However, the two franchises are taking different approaches as the dog days of August near.
While the Diamondbacks recently picked up a big bat, Martinez, the Braves made a salary-shedding move Monday by dealing left-hander Jaime Garcia, one of the best starters still on the market, and catcher Anthony Recker to the Minnesota Twins for 19-year-old pitching prospect Huascar Ynoa.
While Garcia was an asset to the Braves -- left-handed starters always are -- so is the estimated $4.5 million that Atlanta saved in the trade. That could help them acquire a starting pitcher who was more than the rent-a-player that Garcia was this season.
For now, they will send right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (8-5, 3.87 ERA) to the mound Tuesday night at Chase Field to oppose Arizona right-hander Taijuan Walker (6-4, 3.61 ERA).
Foltynewicz has five career starts against Arizona, going 0-1 with a 5.97 ERA. Despite the high ERA, he has 31 strikeouts and only six walks against the Diamondbacks in 28 2/3 innings.
Since Foltynewicz took a no-hitter into the ninth inning June 30 at Oakland in a 3-1 Braves win, he has given up eight earned runs in 17 2/3 innings and hasn't lasted longer than 6 1/3 innings in three starts. However, Atlanta won all three, and Foltynewicz got the decision in two, including a 6 1/3-inning, three-run outing Thursday against the Dodgers.
"I got away with mistakes here and there, but they hit some good pitches, too," Foltynewicz said after Atlanta ended the Dodgers' 11-game winning streak with a 6-3 decision. "Overall, a good night."
Walker will face the Braves for a second successive start -- and the second time in his career. He hasn't started since giving up two runs and five hits over six innings in what became a 4-3 Arizona loss at Atlanta on July 14.
He missed his last scheduled start Thursday in Cincinnati so he could join wife Heather for the birth of a son.
"We're excited for him, he's here and rested and really excited for him and Heather, and he's excited to get back into his routine," Lovullo said.
Walker is looking for his first victory since June 21 at Colorado. He has given up three earned runs or fewer in 10 of his past 11 starts, but he is 0-1 in his past four starts.
Mets look to pick on rebuilding Padres
Tuesday, July 25 at 5:21 AM (EDT)
SAN DIEGO -- The present shows the New York Mets taking on the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
However, the Padres take the Petco Park field thinking more about the future. That was clear Monday when they made a multiplayer trade with the Kansas City Royals.
"No one is blindsided by this," Padres manager Andy Green said. "We are excited about the prospects."
But maybe the prospects are just as good for the Mets to take advantage of the short-handed Padres.
After San Diego lost two critical late-inning arms, Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter, the Mets will be facing a Padres bullpen filled with relievers not sure of their roles. As Green continues to mix and match while figuring out which pitcher to choose when, there could be some speed bumps along the way.
The Mets also won't have to face Trevor Cahill on Wednesday night. Cahill, who had been among the Padres' most effective pitchers, is headed to Kansas City with the Padres picking through names in the farm system for a starter that night.
So while Padres hope the swap pays dividends down the road, the Mets' road trip to San Diego just might have gotten a little more agreeable.
San Diego sends Jhoulys Chacin (9-7, 4.26 ERA) to the mound on Tuesday while the Mets counter with Seth Lugo (4-2, 4.05) in a matchup of right-handers.
Chacin has had a rough go against the Mets in his career, compiling a 1-5 record with a 6.50 ERA. However, in his four starts overall this month, he is 3-0 with a 2.31 ERA.
Lugo has seen the Padres only once, throwing 2 1/3 scoreless innings and striking out two in a relief appearance on Aug. 12, 2016.
Lugo was sensational his last time out, even if he didn't have a decision to show for it. He threw 6 2/3 innings Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals, not allowing a hit until there were two outs in the fifth. He wound up permitting one run on four hits.
"I felt like I had my legs under me so I could make the adjustment," he said after the game. "We need all the wins we can get right now. If we're going to make a good run for (the playoffs) and put up a good fight, that kind of stuff has to happen."
When the stuff hit the fan, Lugo often hit the showers. However, he has shown more mettle lately, and the results was consecutive starts in which he went 6 2/3 innings.
"Each start I try to get better, and I feel like that's happening," he said. "(Against the Rockies on July 15), I ran out of gas in the sixth and seventh, and I felt really tired out there. (Against the Cardinals), I felt great in those last couple innings, and I felt like I still had more in the tank."
Some are calling the Padres "Team Tank" as they strip away the few major league assets they possessed. The watered-day version of their squad will try to keep pace with the Mets on Tuesday. New York has won five of its past six games, including the series opener 5-3 on Monday.
"That's a good club, and they are playing good baseball," Green said of the Mets. "They hit the ball well and are pitching it well. They are enjoying a run of success right now, and I'm sure they would like to continue it."
Prized Red Sox prospect Devers set for debut vs. Mariners
Tuesday, July 25 at 5:10 AM (EDT)
SEATTLE -- No pressure, kid.
As if it weren't enough that his manager referenced the past three years the Boston Red Sox won World Series titles -- 2004, 2007 and 2013 -- when discussing the impact a young player could make on a ballclub, Rafael Devers will face a former Cy Young Award winner his first time in a major league lineup Tuesday.
"No pressure," the Boston Red Sox's top prospect said Monday through a translator while sitting in the third base dugout at Safeco Field. "It's the same baseball for me, and I'm just going to play with the same fun that I've always played with."
Devers, a 20-year-old third baseman, was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday. A left-handed hitter, he was held out of the lineup with Seattle starting left-hander James Paxton, but he is set to start Tuesday against longtime Mariners ace Felix Hernandez.
"He's an established big-leaguer. I've worked so hard because I want to be an established big-leaguer," Devers said of facing Hernandez his first time out. "Of course, I admire him. He's a pitcher who has won a Cy Young before. To be able to face him and watch him pitch will be an awesome experience."
Devers spent most of the season at Double-A Portland before a recent promotion to Triple-A. In nine games with Pawtucket, he hit .400.
After the Red Sox released Pablo Sandoval last week, they had a need at third base.
Enter Devers, who had to fly cross country to join the club as it opened a three-game series in the Pacific Northwest.
"I didn't feel any emotions really," Devers said of his flight. "I just wanted to get here so bad. I didn't even fall asleep on the plane. I was just so excited to get here."
Boston manager John Farrell said he could tell.
"He had a bigger smile today than in spring training," Farrell said. "He's an engaging young guy. He's full of life and loves to learn. We know we're going to have to protect him a little bit, but at the same time, here's a guy that's burst out -- he's 20 years old in the big leagues playing a position where you can't hide, and we're going to put him out there.
"We're hopeful he continues to do what he did in (Double-A) Portland and Pawtucket, and that's make an impact with the bat."
Devers might need some more work with the glove. He made four errors in his short stint with the PawSox, including two in his final game. He also had three hits that day.
"For me, the work is never done," Devers said. "I just want to learn how to be a superstar third baseman. Everyone tells me the only way to do that is through constant work, just like when you're hitting you have to do constant work. They told me daily work at third base is going to make a difference, make me the superstar I want to be."
As for Farrell, whose team is currently in first place in the American League East, bringing up the championship years?
"You can go back to '07, '13, probably even 2004, and it was the addition of young players from the system that might have been the element that pushed teams over the hump," Farrell said. "That's part of the energy that they bring, the newness that they bring, the thread that runs through it is original players, original Red Sox players. To me, that goes a long way."
Hernandez (5-4, 3.88 ERA) is 8-4 in 18 career starts against the Red Sox, including 5-2 with a 3.90 ERA at Safeco Field. King Felix spent nearly two months on the disabled list this season with inflammation in his right shoulder. Since his return June 23, he is 3-2 with a 3.25 ERA.
Hernandez will be looking to send the Red Sox to their fourth straight defeat, something that hasn't yet happened this season, and pull the Mariners (50-51) back to the .500 mark.
The Red Sox (55-46) plan to start left-hander Drew Pomeranz (10-4, 3.51 ERA), who has won a career-high four consecutive decisions. Pomeranz has made 12 career appearances against the Mariners, including three starts, going 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA.
Dodgers look to beat Twins again with Kershaw on DL
Tuesday, July 25 at 5:02 AM (EDT)
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers watched their best pitcher walk off the field in pain Sunday afternoon and then saw his name pop up on the 10-day disabled list on Monday.
Even that setback hasn't slowed the team down.
Los Angeles will look to win its third straight when it hosts the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday in the second game of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves on a walk-off single in the 10th inning Sunday after ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw departed early in the game with a back strain that will sideline him four to six weeks. Los Angeles then defeated the Twins 6-4 on a three-run homer by Cody Bellinger in the eighth inning Monday.
"We feel for Kersh, and he's down obviously, which makes sense, but there's nothing we can do," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "We have to get him back, which we will, and we have to try and win baseball games."
Minnesota will turn Tuesday to right-hander Jose Berrios, who is coming off one of the best starts of his two-year career, holding the New York Yankees to one run over 6 2/3 innings in a 6-1 victory on Wednesday. That outing came after his first slump of the season, when Berrios (9-3, 3.50 ERA) won just one of his previous four starts after opening the season 7-1.
Berrios, who has yet to pitch against the Dodgers in his career, has done well in two starts against NL West opponents this season. He threw 7 2/3 shutout innings and struck out a career-high 11 in a 2-0 win against the Colorado Rockies on May 18, and he was the winning pitcher in a 3-2 victory against the San Francisco Giants on June 10, allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings and striking out eight.
Twins manager Paul Molitor hopes his team will be better adjusted to playing at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.
"For a lot of the guys, (Monday) was their first time in the park, and everyone knows what the Dodgers are doing this year," Molitor said. "When the first pitch is thrown, you just try and go out and play."
Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda (8-4, 4.23 ERA) gets the start Tuesday in place of Brandon McCarthy, who went on the 10-day DL on Monday with a blister on his throwing hand. Maeda has never faced the Twins.
Maeda will be trying to win three consecutive starts for the first time since last August, and he has pitched well against AL opponents of late. His past three wins have come against the AL: a 4-0 win against the Los Angeles Angels on June 27, a 4-1 win against the Kansas City Royals on July 7, and a 9-1 victory against the Chicago White Sox on July 19. Maeda allowed two runs in a combined 17 innings in those outings.
Twins shortstop Ehire Adrianza is the only Minnesota player who has faced Maeda, and he homered in one of two at-bats against him as a member of the Giants last season.
While the Dodgers were placing two starting pitchers on the disabled list Monday, the Twins were adding to their rotation. Minnesota acquired veteran left-hander Jaime Garcia along with catcher Anthony Recker in a trade that sent pitching prospect Huascar Ynoa to the Atlanta Braves.
Garcia is due to join the Twins on Tuesday, but he isn't scheduled to start until Friday at Oakland.
Pirates aim to continue mastery of Giants in S.F.
Tuesday, July 25 at 5:31 AM (EDT)
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Pittsburgh Pirates will seek to extend a winning streak at AT&T Park that extends back to 2014 when they face the San Francisco Giants on the second night of a three-game series Tuesday.
Andrew McCutchen and Jordy Mercer powered a 10-3 victory in the series opener Monday with three-run home runs, the 10th and 11th homers in the Pirates' past nine games at San Francisco.
The Pirates have won seven straight at AT&T Park, including three-game sweeps in both 2015 and 2016.
Right-hander Jameson Taillon (6-3, 3.08 ERA) will attempt to keep the streak alive Tuesday against Giants ace Madison Bumgarner (0-4, 3.57), who is still looking for his first win of the season.
Taillon has pitched in San Francisco just once previously, in a 4-3 win last August. He did not get a decision after allowing three runs in six innings.
The second-year Pirate has rebounded well from testicular cancer surgery in May, having gone 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA in seven starts since being reinstated from the disabled list in June.
He can only hope for the type of offensive support the Pirates afforded starter Gerrit Cole and three relievers on Monday night.
Eight different Pirates contributed to a 14-hit attack.
"Everyone's showing up," McCutchen said. "This offense is good. We've shown that. We can be a real good team if we do that more consistently."
McCutchen has been on quite a roll in San Francisco. His four RBIs on Monday raised his total to 12 in his past seven games at AT&T Park.
McCutchen is just 3-for-19 (.158) without a homer in his career against Bumgarner, who has gone just 2-4 against the Pirates despite a 2.97 ERA.
Bumgarner has given up two home runs in each of the two games he has pitched since returning following the All-Star break after recovering from a dirt-bike accident. The left-hander never previously in his career allowed multiple homers in consecutive games.
Bumgarner will be pitching one night after the frustration of a last-place season boiled over in the ejections of Giants manager Bruce Bochy and pitching coach Dave Righetti in a blowout loss.
It wasn't just the floating strike zone of plate umpire Chris Conroy that raised Bochy's temperature. For the second day in a row, the Giants made a key out at third base when Brandon Belt was fooled by Pirates center fielder McCutchen and got gunned down trying to take an extra base with his club down by three runs.
McCutchen held his glove up as if to indicate he had caught Buster Posey's sinking liner on the play, causing Belt to hesitate rounding second base.
"These are little things that come back to get us, haunt us," Bochy fumed. "This past week, or really the last 10 days, we've made some outs there at third base, and (Belt's gaffe) really wasn't a close play. Just stay at second base."
Bochy added of his beef with Conroy, "There was some frustration really all night. I don't think he had a real good night, to be honest as far as consistency. But that really had nothing to do with what happened tonight. We gave up three-run homers."
|White Sox||2||vs.||7||Cubs||Final Recap|
Zobrist, Contreras help Cubs beat White Sox
Tuesday, July 25 at 7:47 PM (EDT)
CHICAGO -- It may be something as simple as a good night's sleep, but the versatile Ben Zobrist may be most dangerous when he is rested.
At least that's the theory of Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon after Zobrist reached base four times -- including his 500th career extra-base hit -- to help his team to a 7-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday at Wrigley Field.
"When he's rested, you're going to get that kind of game out of him," said Maddon as the Cubs split the two-game home portion of a four-game city series. "That's why it's so important to keep him in that shape, that mental balance by being fresh. And he was definitely fresh today."
Zobrist went 3-for-4 with two doubles plus a walk, an RBI and a stolen base. Willson Contreras was 3-for-5 with four RBIs, including a three-run homer, his 16th of the season.
Cubs starter John Lackey (7-9) made it back-to-back victories since coming off the disabled list with a successful five-plus inning outing. White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon (1-4) suffered his third straight loss.
"Eleven strikeouts today (but) high pitch counts," said White Sox manager Rick Renteria of Rodon. "The efficiency wasn't there, but he was still able to do a lot. They put a couple balls in play and scored some runs, but all in all his stuff was pretty good. It's lively, his ball is moving a lot."
The Cubs (52-47) won for the ninth time in 11 games since the All-Star break. The White Sox (39-58) have dropped 10 of their last 11.
Zobrist doubled down the third base line for his milestone extra-base hit to lead off the Cubs' first inning. After a one-out walk to Anthony Rizzo, Contreras launched an 0-1 pitch from Rodon to left for a three-run homer and a 3-0 lead.
The White Sox replied with two runs in the second as Tim Anderson and Omar Narvaez each reached on singles with one out, and Rodon helped his cause with a two-base hit to deep center to score both with his first major league hit.
Zobrist doubled again in the second, this time driving in Addison Russell from second with one out to extend the Cubs' lead to 4-2. Rodon limited further damage by striking out Kris Bryant and Rizzo.
Bryant was ejected in the fourth inning after arguing calls with home plate umpire Lance Barksdale.
Rodon worked four innings before right-hander Chris Beck entered in relief in the fifth. Rodon allowed four runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out a career high-tying 11.
Lackey walked Narvaez and gave up a double to right to Adam Engel with none out in the sixth to leave runners at second and third and end his day.
Carl Edwards Jr. entered and quelled the threat by striking out Tyler Saladino and Jose Abreu in a 1-2-3 relief inning.
"That's the game changer, that was the linchpin to the victory right there," said Maddon.
"He's still growing into becoming one of the best relief pitchers in the National League, but the strikeout with Abreu was very emotional for him. I think that's probably going to set him up going forward."
Lackey allowed two runs on five hits in five-plus innings. He struck out five and walked a pair.
The Cubs added two sixth-inning runs. Contreras singled to shallow center off Beck, driving home John Jay for a 5-2 lead. Beck then loaded the bases with a walk to Ian Happ and was pulled in favor of right-hander Gregory Infante.
Albert Almora Jr. greeted Infante with a sacrifice fly to left that drove in Rizzo for a 6-2 lead. Almora 's one-out double in the eighth brought home Happ from second to make it 7-2.
It was an occasionally ugly game as Lackey hit four White Sox batters, including three in a scoreless fifth. One White Sox batter was also hit by a pitch but there were no temper flareups and Lackey insisted he wasn't deliberately aiming at batters.
"If you look at the game, he didn't have any control inside all day, he threw a lot of balls way in, including mine," said White Sox third baseman Matt Davidson, who was hit in the fifth. "I don't think he was trying hit three guys in a row."
NOTES: White Sox rookie 3B Matt Davidson clubbed his 19th homer on Monday and is on pace to hit 32, which would rank third most by a White Sox rookie. ... Reliever Anthony Swarzak had made 225 career relief appearances without a save prior to Monday, when he earned the save in his 226th, a 3-1 White Sox victory. ... The White Sox will send RHP James Shields (2-2, 5.79 ERA) against Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.11 ERA) on Wednesday as the annual city series moves to Guaranteed Rate Field for night games on Wednesday and Thursday. ... After RF Ben Zobrist collected his 500th extra-base hit on Tuesday, the next individual goal for a Cub is by Jason Heyward, who needs eight hits to reach 1,000 for his career. Heyward had Tuesday off. ... The Cubs improved to 6-7 in interleague play while the White Sox are 4-9.
Astros' Morton returns to Philly to face former team
Tuesday, July 25 at 3:24 AM (EDT)
PHILADELPHIA -- Charlie Morton's last at-bat was certainly one to forget.
The Houston Astros right-hander takes the mound Tuesday night in Philadelphia against a Phillies club he started for four times in April 2016 before a hamstring injury knocked him out the remainder of the season.
His first at-bat in Citizens Bank Park will be his first overall since tearing a muscle running to first base on a bunt attempt on April 23, 2016.
That wasn't Morton's first or last trip to the DL. He also missed half of the 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and missed time in both 2014 and 2015 with hip inflammation. This year, Morton was out six weeks because of a lat strain.
"No more worried (about batting) than I am pitching," he told the Houston Chronicle. "I've gotten hurt pitching way more than I've gotten hurt running."
He has faced the Phillies five times in his career but hasn't generally pitched well, going 1-3 with an 8.22 ERA. This will be his first time going up against the club since 2011, when he gave up eight runs (six earned) in four innings of a 10-3 loss while he was still with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In his first season in Houston, Morton is 7-4 with a 4.18 ERA. In three starts since returning to the rotation after missing the entire month of June, he is 2-1 with a 4.58 ERA.
The Phillies' Tuesday starter, rookie Nick Pivetta (3-5, 5.58 ERA), has struggled mightily with his consistency.
He gave up three runs or fewer in three of his past four starts. His last time out, Pivetta allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings to beat the Marlins. The one time he got blasted recently, he gave up eight runs in the second inning alone (nine total) in a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on July 14.
"We've seen that with him before," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin told CSNPhilly.com. "He's pitched well, lost it for a while and got it back. Part of pitching up here is to realize what you need to do next."
Pivetta will start against the Astros for the first time in his career.
He must deal with a Houston offense that is putting up some serious numbers this season, including a 13-4 win in the series opener Monday night, a game that stretched into Tuesday morning thanks to a two-hour rain delay in the fourth inning.
The Astros (66-33) are led by second baseman Jose Altuve, who went 4-for-4 on Monday to raise his July batting average to .507 (38-for-75) and his season average to .365, tops in the major leagues.
"This guy continues to be amazing," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I don't know how else to describe him."
The scoring outburst was the sixth time this month the Astros have produced at least 10 runs in a game. They scored as many as 19 just before the All-Star break in a win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
"This is as good a team as we've seen," Mackanin said after the Monday night game. "They're very aggressive hitters, and you can't make mistakes."
Brewers, Nats square off in clash of division leaders
Tuesday, July 25 at 3:02 AM (EDT)
WASHINGTON -- With a string of losses, the Milwaukee Brewers are in danger of undoing the good work they did in the first half of the season.
With a next-man-up mentality, the Washington Nationals continue to roll despite a string of injuries.
The two division leaders meet Tuesday in a series featuring teams that seem to be headed in opposite directions.
The reeling Brewers (53-48) have seen their National League Central lead dissipate and are just a half-game ahead of the Chicago Cubs after losing seven of their past eight.
Milwaukee will turn to Zach Davies (11-4, 4.76 ERA) for the series opener against the Nationals. The young right-hander has been the Brewers' best pitcher, and he is tied for fourth in the National League in wins.
Davies, who is 1-0 in two career starts against the Nationals, said the Brewers have not placed a greater emphasis on this series despite the worthy opponent.
"I really think it's game to game for guys," Davies told reporters. "Each guy has a great mentality in that he's not looking ahead to the next game. That's one thing to keep you in the right mindset."
The Nationals return home after an impressive 7-2 road trip through Cincinnati, Anaheim and Arizona. They will turn to well-traveled Edwin Jackson, who looks to improve on an impressive first start in his second stint with Washington. He gave up just two runs in seven innings during a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on July 18.
Jackson (1-0, 2.57 ERA with Washington; 1-0, 4.50 overall) has faced Milwaukee 18 times in his career, going 6-7 with a 3.42 ERA in 15 starts.
"My biggest thing has always been walks, walks, walks, behind in the count and walks, and then you get a big hit," he told MLB.com. "I've just been trying to focus on coming out and putting an attack on hitters and make them put the ball in play."
Jackson could be a valuable addition to a team that has been hit with a spate of injuries, the latest occurring when All-Star Stephen Strasburg left his start Sunday after two innings and reliever Enny Romero sustained back spasms.
Washington has nine players on the disabled or bereavement list, forcing manager Dusty Baker to do some juggling. Still, the Nationals have the second-best record in the NL and are 12 1/2 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves in the East.
"You try not to think negative about anything," Baker said. "It's like, 'OK, boys, we know we've got a problem.' So the next thing is, we've got to try to figure out how to get out of the problem. You know you've got a problem, but you've got to figure out how to get out of it."
The Brewers need to figure out something fast, especially with a series against the Cubs looming after they play the Nationals. Milwaukee is hitting just .249 after the All-Star break, and its team ERA during that 10-game stretch is 4.73.
"The challenge is to be in first place after 162, not after 100," Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun said. "We've put ourselves in a good position. We have a challenging schedule ahead, and the goal remains to be in this position 62 games from now."
Yanks on rise entering homestand opener vs. Reds
Tuesday, July 25 at 2:34 AM (EDT)
NEW YORK -- Late in the afternoon of July 9, the New York Yankees went their separate ways for a four-day All-Star break following another frustrating loss.
The Yankees stumbled into the break with 17 losses in 25 games but returned with a somewhat successful 11-game trip. They are feeling better about things as they begin a nine-game homestand Tuesday night with the opener of a two-game series against the Cincinnati Reds.
New York was 38-23 following a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels on June 12, but the next night they started their slide out of first place in the American League East. During their 25-game stretch before the break, the Yankees lost 13 times by three runs or fewer mostly due to bullpen struggles.
On the just-completed trip, the Yankees won six times, with five of those victories occurring by three runs or fewer. Among the reasons: a revamped bullpen that now includes David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle.
Although the Yankees lost twice on walk-offs during the trip, the bullpen pitched well, posting 1.76 ERA. The bullpen's most notable appearances were nine scoreless innings in a 4-1, 16-inning win at Boston on July 15 and 5 1/3 scoreless innings Sunday during 6-4 win at Seattle.
"I felt like we played pretty good baseball," Yankees first baseman Chase Headley said. "We were struggling up until the All-Star break, so it's nice to get a series win against a (Seattle) team that's right in the swing of it, too. It's a good start to the second half."
Sunday marked the first time the Yankees won a series since their three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium from June 9-11. Despite going over a month without winning a series, the Yankees are in a decent position in the AL East standings and the crowded wild-card race.
"Everybody knows we had the rough few weeks, but we've still got to stay positive and find our way like we are right now to head in the right direction," Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius said. "From now on, it should be the right direction."
New York's first home game in more than two weeks also will see a slightly new look to the Yankees lineup involving two players with the same last name.
Clint Frazier has played well enough to remain as the starting left fielder as Brett Gardner starts in center field while Jacoby Ellsbury comes off the bench. Frazier was 11-for-37 (.298) on the trip and is hitting .295 overall.
Todd Frazier, acquired from the Chicago White Sox in a trade last week, is the new everyday third baseman, moving Headley to first base. So far, Frazier is 4-for-17 (.235) with the Yankees and is hitting .203 overall as he faces the team that drafted him in the first round 10 years ago.
"We've got a good team here," Frazier said. "We've got a great team. We've got guys that are just looking to win. I can't get wait to get home and keeping winning these series."
While the Yankees were satisfied about their first 11 games after the All-Star break, the Reds are struggling.
Cincinnati went into the break with nine wins in 15 games, but the Reds allowed 72 runs in a 2-8 homestand, then were handed a 6-2 loss Monday in a makeup game at Cleveland.
Joey Votto stopped an 0-for-14 skid with a single but is 4-for-35 (.114) in his past 11 games, lowering his average from .315 to .298.
After the Reds got five hits Monday, they are batting .227 (82-for-361) since the All-Star break.
"We need to pick it up offensively," Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. "We're a better team than we've shown in the second half."
The Tuesday pitching matchup will feature rookies with varying degrees of experience as New York's Jordan Montgomery makes his 19th start while Cincinnati's Luis Castillo makes his seventh start.
Montgomery (6-5, 4.09 ERA) is 4-2 with a 3.63 ERA in his past 11 starts, though he will be looking to rebound from a sub-par outing in Minnesota on Wednesday afternoon. Montgomery allowed six runs with two outs in the second inning, including a three-run homer to Miguel Sano, but retired his final 10 hitters to last six innings. He pitched at least six innings for the ninth time.
Castillo pitched twice on the Reds' homestand and produced a 5.25 ERA in losses to the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks. He last pitched Thursday in a 12-2 loss to Arizona when he allowed four runs and four hits in six innings in a game in which he retired 18 of his final 20 hitters.
The teams split a pair of meetings May 8-9 in Cincinnati. The Yankees are 9-8 in the all-time series, and they swept a three-game series from the Reds from July 18-20, 2014.
Votto missed the 2014 series in New York with a quadriceps injury and was 1-for-10 when the teams met in 2012 at Yankee Stadium.
Gray takes mound for A's vs. Jays amid trade rumors
Tuesday, July 25 at 3:35 AM (EDT)
TORONTO -- The Sonny Gray watch continues.
As the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches, the Oakland Athletics starter is expected to be a target for several teams.
Gray will start for the Athletics against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night in the second game of a four-game series at the Rogers Centre.
Cesar Valdez, who opened the season with Oakland, will start for the Blue Jays.
Toronto (45-54) won the series opener Monday night 4-2. Oakland (44-55) managed only two hits, one a homer by Matt Chapman, giving him home runs in three consecutive games. The season series between the teams is tied 2-2.
Gray has been on a roll, going 4-1 with a 1.62 ERA and a .155 opponents' batting average over his past five starts, which enhances his value.
The right-hander keeps his focus on the mound and not the trade talk.
"If (a trade) comes, then I'll have to address that and think of that when it comes, but as of now, it hasn't," he said when the team was in New York last weekend to play the Mets. "So, there's no reason for me to spend any time or energy because no one really knows what's going on except for a few people. No one knows, so we'll see."
A's manager Bob Melvin said in New York, "He's been around for a little while, so it's not like he's a rookie and having to deal with this. It doesn't look like at this point the distractions have been bothering him because he's been pitching as well as he has in a couple of years at this point."
The Blue Jays were 3-7 on a road trip that started their schedule after the All-Star break, and that will influence their approach to the deadline.
General manager Ross Atkins said the team will be looking to 2018 with any moves it might make.
He told a media scrum before the game Monday that there are no untouchables, "but there are a number of guys that we don't have many discussions about. When you think about an organization, it's really about young, controllable talent. So, any way that you can do that, we'll look to do that.
"We feel like we have underperformed and underachieved offensively and defensively. Our relief pitching's been pretty strong. Our starting pitching's been OK until the last couple of weeks. So, it's not position-specific right now. It's more about controllable young talent."
Gray (6-4, 3.66 ERA) will be facing the Blue Jays for the first time since July 16, 2016, at Oakland when he was the winning pitcher in a 5-4 victory. He allowed six hits, four walks and three runs.
He is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in five career starts against Toronto.
Gray has better results at home than away from Oakland. In 10 starts at the Coliseum this season, he is 5-2 with a 3.08 ERA and a .208 opponents' batting average. In five starts on the road, he is 1-2 with a 4.85 ERA and a .274 opponents' batting average.
Valdez will make his first start for the Blue Jays on Tuesday. It will be the second start for him this season and the fourth of his major league career.
His other start this season was for Oakland on April 20 when he allowed five hits, two walks and three runs (two earned) in four innings and did not factor in the decision against the Seattle Mariners. He had four strikeouts in the Athletics' 9-6 win.
Valdez's first two starts were with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010. He is 1-1 with a 6.92 ERA in his three starts.
The Blue Jays acquired him off waivers May 5, two days after Oakland designated him for assignment.
Valdez has a 2.70 ERA in four relief outings with Toronto, and he went 3-3 with a 3.23 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) with Triple-A Buffalo.
On Wednesday, he pitched four scoreless innings in relief, allowing one hit while striking out five in Toronto's 5-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox. He also allowed four hits and one run in 1 2/3 innings against the Indians on Friday, a game Cleveland won 13-3.
Valdez will be facing Oakland for the first time in his career.
Indians go for fifth straight win in opener vs. Angels
Tuesday, July 25 at 4:15 AM (EDT)
CLEVELAND -- The streaky Cleveland Indians will try to extend a four-game winning streak Tuesday night when they host the Los Angeles Angels in the opener of a three-game series.
Coming out of the All-Star break, the Indians went to the West Coast, where they lost five of six games to two last-place teams, the Oakland A's and San Francisco Giants.
The Indians (52-45) then came home, and they have won four in a row by a combined margin of 29-7. After sweeping three from the Toronto Blue Jays, Carlos Santana homered twice in a 6-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds during a makeup game on Monday.
The Indians are now 25-24 at Progressive Field, the first time this season they have had a winning record at home since they won their home opener on April 11.
Cleveland players are aware that they must be more consistent in the second half of the season in order to take control of the American League Central.
Indians pitcher Josh Tomlin said the players put the dismal West Coast trip behind them.
"You've got to have a short memory," Tomlin said. "Baseball is a game of failure. We understand what that trip was and that we've got to be better than that. We need to keep playing like we're capable of playing."
The Angels (49-51) are beginning a six-game road trip to Cleveland and Toronto, following an eight-game homestand against Tampa Bay, Washington and Boston in which they went 4-4.
Every series is important for the Angels, who are a distant second to Houston in the AL West but are still a player in the AL wild-card race. Los Angeles is three games behind the Kansas City Royals in the chase for the second wild card.
The Angels are doing it with seven pitchers currently on the disabled list and leadoff man Cameron Maybin also sidelined due to a knee injury.
"We have a couple injuries to our pitchers, Maybin, but we're still grinding," shortstop Andrelton Simmons told MLB.com. "We're still in the fight. We have to keep doing it every day and take away as many games as we can."
Right-hander Mike Clevinger, who will start for Cleveland on Tuesday, has been the Indians' second-best starter over the last month after ace Corey Kluber.
Clevinger (5-3, 2.73 ERA) was recalled from Triple-A Columbus in May to replace an injured Kluber in the rotation. Clevinger pitched so well that when Kluber returned from the DL, he stayed in the rotation.
In his past six starts, Clevinger is 3-0 with a 1.36 ERA and a .196 opponents' batting average. Clevinger has averaged 9.5 strikeouts and 4.9 hits per nine innings in that span.
Making his start Tuesday even more significant is that Clevinger will be facing the team that originally drafted him. The Angels selected him in the fourth round in June 2011. He was traded to Cleveland in 2014 for reliever Vinnie Pestano.
Clevinger has made one start against the Angels, on Aug. 13, 2016, when he was the winning pitcher in a 5-1 Indians victory. In that game, he pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up one run on one hit with three strikeouts and four walks.
Jesse Chavez (5-10, 4.88) starts Tuesday for the Angels.
Chavez has struggled of late. His last win came on June 6. In seven starts since, he is 0-4 with a 5.50 ERA. However, he pitched effectively in his most recent outing, July 18 against the Nationals, when he yielded two runs in six innings during a no-decision.
In his career, Chavez has made 12 appearances against the Indians, only one of them a start. In those 12 games, he is 1-1 with a 5.95 ERA.
Rays take 5-game skid into middle game vs. Orioles
Tuesday, July 25 at 3:46 AM (EDT)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- A week ago, the Tampa Bay Rays were building momentum as a surprise postseason contender.
Now the Rays are on a five-game losing streak and just two games over .500.
The Rays (51-49) will try to regain their momentum and snap their longest losing streak of the season when they continue a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.
After opening the series with a 5-0 loss on Monday, Tampa Bay will turn to rookie Jake Faria. The right-hander is off to a solid start to his major league career with a 4-1 record and 2.52 ERA.
Faria, still in his second month in the big leagues, has already faced the Orioles twice -- the only team he has faced more than once. His first two outings vs. Baltimore were quality starts, though he emerged with two no-decisions after yielding a total of six runs (five earned) in 12 2/3 innings.
He is coming off his first career loss, on Wednesday at Oakland when he allowed four runs in five innings.
The Rays have mustered only 13 runs in their five-game skid. They were shut out by Kevin Gausman and two Baltimore relievers on Monday, going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and hitting into three inning-ending double plays.
"We just have to continue as this little bit of a funk here goes (on)," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We need to find a way to find ourselves out of it, and come to the ballpark ready to win."
The Orioles' rotation, at least statistically, is one that gives opponents a chance to bounce back.
Baltimore's Tuesday starter, Wade Miley, is 4-8 with a 5.58 ERA, though he pitched well in his only start against the Rays this season. He took a tough-luck 2-0 loss in April after allowing four hits in seven innings.
Miley is 4-3 with a 2.60 ERA in 10 career starts against Tampa Bay.
The starting pitching is improved of late, as seen in Gausman's unlikely gem Monday, and the Orioles are taking advantage of elite defense such as Manny Machado's strong play at third base.
The Orioles (48-51) have won six of eight games to propel themselves back into the wild-card chase. Tampa Bay is one game back and Baltimore 3 1/3 back of the last postseason berth in the American League, which is occupied by the Kansas City Royals.
"It all feeds off the starting pitching," Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said. "When they go out there and attack the zone and use our defense, good things tend to happen. I just ride the wave. Baseball's a day-to-day game, and tomorrow, let's just do exactly what we did today, go out aggressive and try to swing the bats."
Momentum in late July can change a team's outlook at the trade deadline.
The Rays, eager to bolster their struggling bullpen, traded for Dodgers reliever Sergio Romo, trusting he would be better than his poor performance in Los Angeles this season.
Romo had a rough debut Monday, allowing both inherited runners to score and giving up two hits and a sacrifice fly in his inning of relief.
The Rays likely aren't done adding to their bullpen, which has been part of their late-inning struggles during the losing streak. If they don't turn things around quickly, however, they may turn themselves from buyers into sellers by the end of the month.
Tigers' Fulmer eager for rematch with surging Royals
Tuesday, July 25 at 4:01 AM (EDT)
DETROIT -- Michael Fulmer doesn't mind facing the team that pounded him in his last start for the second time in a week. He is eager to get another shot at the streaking Kansas City Royals.
The Detroit Tigers second-year right-hander gave up eight runs (five earned) in a career-low 2 2/3 innings on Thursday, The rough outing against Kansas City snapped his personal four-game winning streak.
Fulmer will face the Royals again Tuesday night, with the main differences being the venue and the momentum of the opponent. Kansas City owns a six-game winning streak after beating Detroit 5-3 in 12 innings on Monday.
The switch to Comerica Park from Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium meets with Fulmer's approval.
"A great thing, especially since we're going to face them a lot more times, too, and being a division opponent," Fulmer said of the quick rematch. "I've just got to go out there and try to do better than the last time."
That shouldn't too difficult, considering that Fulmer (10-7, 3.35 ERA) ranks second in the American League with 16 quality starts. The temperature should be in the 75-80 degree range, a welcome relief from the high heat and humidity he experienced in Kansas City.
"I'm always trying to work on stuff, but last time out it was 37 pitches in the first inning and 100-degree heat," said Fulmer, who is 2-3 with a 3.32 ERA in six career outings against the Royals. "You get tired real quick, so my second and third innings I wasn't crisp. I think it just boils down to the fact I threw way too many pitches in that first inning."
He probably will cut down on costume changes as well.
"I went through a few jerseys," he said. "Nothing seemed to work."
Royals left-hander Danny Duffy, who handled the heat better than Fulmer that night, will oppose Fulmer once again. Duffy (6-6, 3.71 ERA) pitched four scoreless innings before he gave up four runs in the fifth, his final inning. He has made four starts since being sidelined for over a month with an oblique strain and has a 2-2 record in those outings.
Duffy's return has solidified the rotation.
"It was a key for us," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "We needed to get him back, especially the quality of his arm and the way he goes and competes. We definitely missed him, so it was great to get him back in our rotation."
Duffy's control has been impeccable since he returned. He has not issued a walk to the last 81 batters he has faced, a streak that dates back to July 4.
He is 6-7 with a 4.01 ERA against Detroit in his career.
"His last two outings, he went 8 1/3 innings and ended up losing the game (to Texas) 1-0," Yost said. "His last start, he went (five innings) but that was in the oppressive heat and he kind of wore down a little bit. Kansas City went through a real heatwave, but he's been throwing the ball really, really well."
The Royals have been playing really, really well to keep the heat on the American League Central-leading Cleveland Indians, whose lead is 1 1/2 games.
Kansas City's bullpen has tossed 24 2/3 scoreless innings over the past five games.
"We always compete to win," said catcher Salvador Perez, who had the go-ahead homer on Monday. "We always play hard, and the bullpen is doing a tremendous job for us. They hold it right there, and they give you an opportunity to try to win the game."
|Monday, July 24, 2017|
|Major League Baseball|
Stanton's two home runs lead Marlins over Rangers
Tuesday, July 25 at 12:15 AM (EDT)
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Scratch another park off the list for Giancarlo Stanton.
The Miami slugger clubbed two home runs to back a masterful outing by Adam Conley in the Marlins' 4-0 win over the Texas Rangers on Monday night at Globe Life Park.
Stanton, the National League leader in home runs, is now tied for the major league lead with New York's Aaron Judge with 32 after his 25th career multi-homer game. Stanton's 11 homers in July lead the majors.
He also went yard for the first time at Texas, giving him homers in 26 stadiums. The only active parks in which he hasn't homered are in Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City, Minnesota and Oakland.
"I do want a homer in all ballparks," Stanton said. "That is one thing. I remember watching a game when I was little and Barry (Bonds) finally got his last one."
Making his second start since being recalled from the minors, Conley put together his best showing of the year in evening his record at 3-3. The 26-year-old lefty didn't allow a run for the first time in nine games this season, and his seven innings were a high for 2017.
Conley gave up seven hits, struck out five, didn't walk a batter, and threw 65 of his 97 pitches for strikes. He exited with a 4-0 lead.
"I can't really tell you what I was thinking about out there," he said. "Just grabbing the ball and feeling convicted about a pitch. That felt good. I was able to do that for a pretty good stretch tonight."
Kyle Barraclough and AJ Ramos each pitched a scoreless inning to seal the win.
Stanton hit a two-run blast to left in the first inning and an opposite-field solo homer in the eighth.
The Marlins, who won for the sixth time in their past seven road games, would win the three-game interleague series with a victory Tuesday night. Miami (45-52) had won three consecutive road sets coming to Texas.
The Rangers (48-51) saw their two-game winning streak end in the opener of a nine-game homestand. Texas also dropped to 10-3 against the NL this season.
Martin Perez fell to 5-8 despite a quality start, giving up three runs on seven hits in seven innings. It was only the third time in 19 starts that the lefty went at least seven innings.
"My focus is to go out there and do what I did tonight," Perez said after his second quality start in his past three outings. "Just go out there and throw six or seven and give my team a chance to win the game. That's all I can do."
The lone bright spot for Texas offensively was Adrian Beltre, who recorded a season-high four hits to move within seven of 3,000. His great night at the plate hardly offset the team's loss.
"You can't balance it," Beltre said. "Our job is to win ballgames here, not individual performance. It's a tough loss. We couldn't find a way out of a crafty lefty. We created some situations but could never find the big hit. That's what happened."
Stanton blasted a monster shot off Perez to give the Marlins a quick 2-0 lead two batters in. Dee Gordon had opened the game by slapping a double down the third-base line off Beltre's glove.
Miami went up 3-0 in the sixth on Marcell Ozuna's one-out double to center to score Christian Yelich, who reached on a blooper to short right that second baseman Rougned Odor nearly tracked down.
The Rangers had their chances against Conley early, stringing a pair of hits together in the first and third innings, only to come up empty.
Delino DeShields was left stranded in the fifth after a two-out triple when Carlos Gomez struck out swinging.
NOTES: Texas recalled C Brett Nicholas from Triple-A Round Rock and placed RHP Tyson Ross on the 10-day disabled list with a blister on his right index finger. Nicholas, 29, made his major league debut with Texas last season, but he has yet to play for the Rangers this season. ... Miami optioned RHP Tom Koehler to Triple-A New Orleans, with LHP Hunter Cervenka recalled from the same club to provide bullpen depth. The Marlins still need to find a starter for Friday against Cincinnati. Cervenka, acquired last year from Atlanta, is in his first stint with Miami this season.
Leake solves woes vs. Rockies in Cardinals' 8-2 win
Tuesday, July 25 at 12:27 AM (EDT)
ST. LOUIS -- As St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny put it, antennae were raised over the recent performance and comments of starter Mike Leake.
After lasting just two innings and giving up seven runs Wednesday night against the Mets in New York, Leake raised some eyebrows when he disclosed that he still hasn't regained all his weight and strength from a bout with shingles last August.
So Matheny and his coaching staff looked closely Monday night for signs that Leake wasn't feeling right. They never found any.
Just as Leake's pitches rarely found the barrel of the Colorado Rockies' bats.
Tossing seven shutout innings to earn just a second win in his past 10 starts, Leake led St. Louis to an 8-2 win at Busch Stadium.
Leake (7-8) permitted just four hits, all singles. He walked none and fanned six in a 94-pitch outing. Only one runner even made it to scoring position against him, and that was because Trevor Story stole second in the fifth.
"Good stuff, good movement," Matheny said. "He was putting it where he wanted to. We were continuing to look for signs that he wasn't rebounding, but that was one of his best games."
Leake entered the night with a 7.52 career ERA in four starts against Colorado, which had peppered him for 37 hits in 20 1/3 innings. However, a 91 mph fastball that clipped the inside corner to earn a called third strike on Nolan Arenado in the first inning presaged a change of fortunes.
Beginning with that whiff, Leake retired 10 batters in a row, fetching six grounders and allowing just one ball to leave the infield. Two of the four hits he yielded were infield singles.
"The goal today was to attack their weaknesses," Leake said, "and fortunately, I was able to hit my spots."
On the other hand, Rockies rookie Antonio Senzatela (10-4) missed the spots he found at will May 26, when he blanked the Cardinals on five hits over eight innings in a 10-0 win.
Leadoff walks to Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham lit the fuse in the first. A passed ball on Tony Wolters preceded Paul DeJong's infield single that made it 1-0. Jedd Gyorko's double-play ball plated Pham.
Senzatela found trouble again in the fourth with one out. Randal Grichuk, hitting with Kolten Wong at second after a double, lined a two-run shot into the St. Louis bullpen in right-center.
It was Grichuk's 13th blast of the year, his fourth in as many games since being activated from the 10-day disabled list Friday.
"Trusting his swing and managing the strike zone," Matheny said when asked about Grichuk's recent success. "Once he gets a better handle on that, which I'm seeing out of him every day, he's going to cause some damage."
Senzatela needed 86 pitches to make his way through four innings. He allowed six hits and four runs, walking two and striking out five.
"It was an uphill battle right from the start," Colorado manager Bud Black said of Senzatela. "He really wasn't commanding the fastball, and his slider didn't really come into play tonight, either."
Pinch hitter Jose Martinez and Pham each cracked solo homers off Chris Rusin in the seventh for a 6-0 lead, Martinez's sixth of the season and Pham's 14th.
Pat Valaika pinch-hit a two-run blast in the eighth to put Colorado on the board, his ninth. The Rockies (58-43) got the tying run to the on-deck circle after singles by Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu, but relievers John Brebbia and Kevin Siegrist kept the tying run from batting.
Wong and pinch hitter Greg Garcia capped the Cardinals' 12-hit attack with RBI infield singles in the eighth.
St. Louis (48-51) pulled within four games of the idle Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the National League Central.
NOTES: Rockies pitching coach Steve Foster was sent to the hospital during the game after experiencing chest pains. Bullpen coach Darren Holmes filled in for him. Foster is expected to return to the club on Tuesday. ... Colorado 3B Nolan Arenado was named National League Player of the Week Monday. Arenado batted .458 with four homers and 13 RBI over five games, belting three homers Wednesday against San Diego. ... St. Louis 1B Matt Carpenter (quad/dehydration) didn't play Monday night after departing the Sunday night game at Wrigley Field before the bottom of the second inning. Rookie Luke Voit got the start in his place, batting sixth, and he went 1-for-3 with a walk.
Greinke, Diamondbacks dump Braves
Tuesday, July 25 at 2:23 AM (EDT)
PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks almost always know what they are getting from Zack Greinke, and they got it again. Now they can only hope they will keep getting results from a newly reinforced lineup.
Greinke remained unbeaten at home this season with a strong eight-inning outing, and J.D. Martinez hit his first homer with Arizona, leading the Diamondbacks past the Atlanta Braves 10-2 Monday night.
A.J. Pollock added two doubles and a two-run homer, his fifth, while driving in four runs for Arizona, which had dropped two in a row and 11 of 15.
However, the Diamondbacks didn't have Martinez during that stretch, and Pollock missed about half the season with a groin injury. Now, manager Torey Lovullo finally has the kind of batting order he wanted.
"It's a fun lineup -- you look up there and there's a lot of guys who can get on," Pollock said. "That puts pressure on the other team, the pitchers get a little uncomfortable. If we get everybody clicking, it's going to be pretty scary."
As Greinke is on the Chase Field mound. Greinke (12-4) improved to 10-0 with a 2.39 ERA in 12 starts in his home ballpark, limiting the Braves to pinch hitter Sean Rodriguez's two-run homer in the fifth and retiring the final 10 batters he faced.
"He mixes it up, changes speed, keeps the ball down and he's hard to get a hold of, as evidenced by his numbers," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He's tough."
Greinke scattered five hits while striking out six and walking none. He also contributed a run-scoring double and two sacrifice bunts at the plate.
"I was throwing a lot of strikes early on," Greinke said. "The goal is to keep doing what you're doing. It's definitely happened before where you feel really good starting but you lose it a little bit. You've got to stay focused and keep making pitches."
Martinez, playing his first full game for the Diamondbacks since being acquired July 18 from the Detroit Tigers, powered a three-run shot in the sixth to boost the lead to 8-2. It was his 17th homer of the season overall.
Martinez started for the first time since being struck in the left hand by a pitch in his first game with Arizona on Wednesday.
"Everybody's excited when you're traded, you kind of want to get here and show everybody why you're here, what you can do," said Martinez, who admittedly was excited by homering in his first Arizona home game.
Pollock is enthused, too.
"He has a great swing, it looks like he's about to do damage on every pitch," Pollock said. "We're happy we have him."
Atlanta, getting its shortest start of the season from R.A. Dickey (6-7), lost its third in a row and sixth in eight games. The Braves swept Arizona in a three-game series at Atlanta immediately after the All-Star break.
The first pitching matchup between former Cy Young Award winners Greinke and Dickey didn't last long.
The knuckleball-throwing Dickey was wild from the start -- hitting a batter and walking another in just the first three plate appearances. He allowed four runs, walked five, gave up five hits and threw four wild pitches in 3 2/3 innings. The Braves threw six wild pitches altogether.
"I was fighting things out there," Dickey said. "(The knuckleball) was moving well, but the umpire was struggling with it, Tyler (Flowers, the catcher) was struggling with it, I was struggling to throw strikes."
Dickey's wildness showed up in the second.
After Dickey walked Daniel Descalso and Jeff Mathis singled a batter later, Greinke lined a double to left field -- his sixth hit of the season -- to score Descalso.
David Peralta popped up, but Pollock doubled to left to score two more runs.
The Diamondbacks chased Dickey in the fourth when Mathis singled again, moved up on Greinke's sacrifice bunt and the first of Dickey's two wild pitches in the inning and scored on Peralta's single.
"I had the stuff to get us past the fourth inning. It quite embarrassing when you can't get your club into the sixth inning, seventh," Dickey said. "I take that seriously."
The Braves finally got to Greinke in the fifth when Rodriguez -- batting .071 -- hit a two-run homer into the left field seats following Johan Camargo's two-out double. Rodriguez's homer was his first since he needed major shoulder surgery following a serious car accident last winter, and his first in the majors as a pinch hitter.
Rodriguez had been 1-for-14 since being activated July 17 following rotator cuff surgery that required months of recovery.
NOTES: The Braves traded LHP Jaime Garcia (4-7, 4.30 ERA) and C Anthony Recker to the Minnesota Twins for 19-year-old pitching prospect Huascar Ynoa. Garcia was scheduled to start Wednesday. RHP Aaron Blair, acquired from Arizona in a December 2015 trade, is expected to be called up from Triple-A Gwinnett to replace him. ... Braves All-Star OF Ender Inciarte was given a day off, only his second in 98 games. ... Diamondbacks C Jeff Mathis, who came in hitting .196, went 3-for-4 with a walk and scored twice. ... Arizona CF A.J. Pollock is 11-for-22 (.500) with four doubles, two triples, two homers, nine runs and six RBIs in his past five games.
Mets' deGrom tops Padres to win 8th straight start
Tuesday, July 25 at 2:02 AM (EDT)
SAN DIEGO -- Jacob deGrom is in a groove, proving he deserves to be mentioned among the game's top pitchers.
The right-hander worked eight solid innings, and Wilmer Flores homered, leading the New York Mets past the San Diego Padres 5-3 on Monday night.
DeGrom (12-3) struck out the first four batters he faced, and he limited the Padres to two runs and five hits. He walked two and finished with eight strikeouts as he won a career-high eighth consecutive start.
"He's as good as anyone in the league when he is on, and he was on," Padres manager Andy Green said. "That includes (Clayton) Kershaw and (Max) Scherzer."
Addison Reed handled the ninth for his 17th save. However, the Padres brought the go-ahead run to the plate after Reed gave up rookie Hunter Renfroe's second homer of the game, which got the Padres within 5-3.
Manuel Margot and Hector Sanchez singled with one out. Pinch hitter Jabari Blash nearly hit a game-winning homer, but the ball tailed just foul down the right field line.
"When I saw it go up in the air, I said, 'I got him,"' said Blash, who would strike out. "Then you saw it starting to fade."
Matt Szczur then lined out to right field to end the game.
Jay Bruce had two RBIs and two hits for New York, and Asdrubal Cabrera contributed three hits.
Jose Reyes stole his 500th career base after an eighth-inning single and scored on Travis d'Arnaud's single for a 5-1 edge as the Mets won for the fifth time in six games.
During deGrom's win streak, which dates to June 12, he has a 1.61 ERA with 58 strikeouts against 12 walks. He has pitched at least eight innings in five of the eight starts.
"I think it's just the command," deGrom said of his hot stretch. "I've been able to throw my fastball to both sides of the plate and just work off that. I think that's what helped me with success in 2015, being able to locate my fastball and pitch off that.
"I tried to stay out there as long as I can. I want to pitch into the ninth every game."
Mets manager Terry Collins sees a focused deGrom.
"The thing that stands out the most is his competitiveness," he said. "This guy just doesn't give in. With his stuff and his command, he's going to win a lot of games."
San Diego starter Clayton Richard (5-11) worked eight innings, surrendering five runs, 12 hits and two walks, both intentional. He fanned eight. Richard lost his third consecutive start and fourth decision in a row.
"We made some adjustments and ironed some things out," said Richard, who gave up a season-high 11 runs and 14 hits in his previous outing. "It was a good step in the right direction."
Carlos Asuaje's two-out RBI double in the eighth sliced the Padres' deficit to 5-2.
Renfroe's massive homer in the seventh drew the Padres to within 4-1. Renfroe's 431-foot blast landed on top of the Western Metal Supply Co. building. When Renfroe was called up last September, he hit the first ball to reach that level.
"He clearly has that kind of pop," Green said. "I was more impressed with his second one as he used the middle of the field."
Flores smacked a home run in the second for a 1-0 lead. Richard tried to fool the second baseman with a changeup, and Flores redirected it 401 feet for his 10th homer of the year.
The Mets' advantage grew to 3-0 in the third inning.
Yoenis Cespedes, who had three home runs in four games at Petco last year, hit a line-drive triple off the center field fence. That sent home Cabrera, who had led off with a single. Bruce brought in Cespedes with a single to right.
Bruce got his second RBI of the night and his team-high 67th when he singled in Michael Conforto in the fifth. That pushed the Mets ahead 4-0. It could have been more save a leaping catch by Renfroe in right field on Flores' long drive with two runners aboard.
NOTES: The Padres traded RHP Brandon Maurer, RHP Trevor Cahill and LHP Ryan Buchter to the Kansas City Royals for RHP Matt Strahm, LHP Travis Wood and a minor league infielder. ... San Diego INF Erick Aybar is out to until mid-September with a broken foot. ... The Padres called up INF Dusty Coleman from Triple-A El Paso and RHP Jose Ruiz from Class A Lake Elsinore. ... Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (stress reaction in right arm) was placed on the disabled list. New York recalled RHP Tyler Pill from Triple-A Las Vegas.
|Red Sox||0||vs.||4||Mariners||Final Recap|
Mariners' Paxton has 10 strikeouts in win over Red Sox
Tuesday, July 25 at 1:28 AM (EDT)
SEATTLE -- James Paxton pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out 10, and Kyle Seager hit a home run as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-0 Monday night at Safeco Field.
Paxton (10-3) allowed four hits and didn't walk a batter. The 10 strikeouts were a season-high.
The left-hander didn't allow a baserunner until a one-out single by Boston's Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fifth inning. Bradley was jammed by an inside pitch and muscled a single into center field.
The Red Sox put two runners on against Paxton in each of the next two innings.
Brock Holt reached on an error by first baseman Danny Valencia with one out in the sixth and Mookie Betts followed with a single to left. But Paxton struck out Andrew Benitendi and Dustin Pedroia to retire the side.
Hanley Ramirez and Bradley opened the sixth with back-to-back singles. Paxton struck out Chris Young, then got Deven Marrero to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Boston's Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3) took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
The Mariners took a 3-0 lead in the second inning against Rodriguez.
Seager led off by hitting a 2-1 pitch from the left-hander 415 feet to straightaway center field and over the fence.
With one out, Ben Gamel hit a triple down the right-field line. Guillermo Heredia followed with a chopper to first baseman Ramirez. Gamel broke from third and beat the high throw to the plate from Ramirez.
One out later, Jean Segura drove home the third run with a double to right-center field.
The Mariners tacked on a run in the fourth as Gamel led off with a single and, with two outs, moved to second when Segura was hit by a pitch. Valencia followed with run-scoring double to right.
NOTES: The Red Sox called up 3B Rafael Devers, their top prospect, and he joined the team Monday in Seattle. The plan is for Devers to be in the lineup Tuesday, when the Mariners are starting RHP Felix Hernandez (5-4, 3.88 ERA) against Boston LHP Drew Pomeranz (10-4, 3.51). To make room on the roster for Devers, the Red Sox optioned RHP Kyle Martin to Triple-A Pawtucket and transferred LHP Robbie Ross Jr. to the 60-day disabled list. ... Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts was a late scratch from the starting lineup with what manager John Farrell called "flu-like stuff." ... The Mariners signed IF Danny Espinosa, who was released by the Los Angeles Angels last Thursday after batting .162 in 77 games. Seattle optioned IF Taylor Motter to Triple-A Tacoma and transferred RHP Hisashi Iwakuma to the 60-day DL.
Bellinger's 8th-inning homer lifts Dodgers past Twins
Tuesday, July 25 at 2:12 AM (EDT)
LOS ANGELES -- Cody Bellinger had a few sour words for himself after he slammed a long foul ball down the right field line in the eighth inning Monday night.
The Dodgers' rookie first baseman made amends later in the at-bat when he drilled a go-ahead, three-run homer, lifting Los Angeles to a 6-4 victory against the Minnesota Twins at Dodger Stadium.
Minnesota led 4-3 before Bellinger hit the 28th home run of his rookie season off a 0-2 pitch from left-hander Taylor Rogers (5-2). Chris Taylor and Justin Turner singled before Bellinger's latest homer soared over the center field fence.
"It was a perfect opportunity, I just kind of pulled off it a little bit," Bellinger said of the foul ball that preceded his homer. "Luckily, I got another pitch to hit."
Edward Paredes (1-0), a 30-year-old left-hander who made his major league debut Monday after 12 seasons in the minors, pitched a perfect eighth. Kenley Jansen worked around a one-out walk in the ninth to post his 25th save after blowing his first of the season Sunday against the Atlanta Braves.
"I'm glad I had the opportunity to show what I can do," Paredes said. "I'm proud of myself because sometimes you put obstacles in front of yourself."
Eddie Rosario's third extra-base hit of the game gave Minnesota a 4-3 lead in the seventh.
Miguel Sano was hit by a pitch from Dodgers reliever Josh Fields with one out, and Rosario followed with a line drive that fell in front of Taylor in left. The ball hopped over Taylor's head for a double, scoring Sano from first.
"I think (Rosario) is understanding, if he wants to compete against the lefties, he's got to stay in there a little better, and tonight he got good results," Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
After the Twins tied the score on a home run by Rosario in the sixth, they loaded the bases with one out in the inning. Fields struck out pinch hitter Max Kepler, and Yasiel Puig then made a running catch in the right field corner off a drive by Brian Dozier to keep the score tied.
Bartolo Colon made the 515th start of his 20-year major league career and second for the Twins. The 44-year-old right-hander cruised through the first 4 1/3 innings before Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson hit back-to-back solo home runs to tie the score at 2-2.
Puig followed with a triple down the right field line and scored on Taylor's two-out single to center.
Colon managed to finish the fifth, the first time in his past five outings he lasted at least five innings. He gave up three runs on eight hits.
"They got very aggressive, a lot of first pitch-swings," Molitor said of the fifth inning. "I thought he threw the ball, overall, pretty well."
Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed two runs and five hits in five innings after being reinstated from the 10-day disabled list earlier in the day. He missed nearly a month with a left foot contusion.
Ryu was solid through the first three innings before allowing a leadoff single to Joe Mauer in the fourth. He caught a break when Sano grounded the next pitch into a double play, but Ryu then walked Eduardo Escobar. On a 3-2 pitch and with Escobar running, Rosario doubled off the wall in left-center, moving the runner to third.
Robbie Grossman then drew the second walk of the inning, and Jason Castro slashed the next pitch from Ryu down the left field line. Rosario scored easily, but Grossman was thrown out at the plate on a close call that was held up on review.
Grant Dayton relieved Ryu to start the sixth and gave up the solo home run to Rosario that tied the score at 3-3.
NOTES: The Dodgers recalled LHP Edward Paredes from Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed LHP Clayton Kershaw (back strain) and RHP Brandon McCarthy (blister on pitching hang) to the 10-day disabled list. Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said he hopes Kershaw can return in four to six weeks. ... Dodgers OF Trayce Thompson was optioned to Oklahoma City and RHP Josh Ravin was recalled. ... The Twins acquired LHP Jaime Garcia, C Anthony Recker and cash considerations from the Atlanta Braves for minor league RHP Huascar Ynoa.
Two 3-run homers spark Pirates' rout of Giants
Tuesday, July 25 at 2:53 AM (EDT)
SAN FRANCISCO -- Pittsburgh Pirates star Andrew McCutchen likes the direction his team's offense is taking lately.
At AT&T Park the past three seasons, that direction often has been out of the ballpark.
McCutchen and Jordy Mercer hit three-run home runs, and Gerrit Cole continued his impressive pitching in his home state, helping the Pirates bomb the San Francisco Giants 10-3 in the opener of a three-game series Monday night.
Winning for the seventh time in their past nine games, the Pirates scored six runs in the first two innings, during which Giants manager Bruce Bochy was ejected.
"There was some frustration really all night," Bochy said of his 72nd career ejection, his second this season. "I don't think (plate umpire Chris Conroy) had a real good night, to be honest as far as consistency. But that really had nothing to do with what happened tonight. We gave up three-run homers."
Conroy's strike zone and the Giants' seventh loss in 11 games since the All-Star break also took its toll on San Francisco pitching coach Dave Righetti, who got tossed in the ninth inning.
McCutchen drove in four runs, including three on a two-out homer that capped a four-run second inning against Matt Cain (3-9).
McCutchen already had contributed a run-scoring infield out to a two-run first inning as the Pirates built a 6-0 lead.
"It's the guys in front of me," McCutchen said of the fact that he has driven in 12 runs in his past seven games in San Francisco. "They give me the opportunity to drive them in, and I can cut loose."
Mercer's homer came off Giants left-hander Josh Osich in a game-clinching eighth inning after San Francisco had closed within 6-3. It was Mercer's third hit of the game.
"Everyone's showing up," McCutchen said after watching a 14-hit Pittsburgh attack that featured hits from eight different players. "This offense is good. We've shown that. We can be a real good team if we do that more consistently."
Cole (8-7) went six innings, allowing two runs and six hits. He walked four and struck out four. The win improved the UCLA product's record to 7-2 in nine career major league starts in California.
"A real professional effort," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said, noting Conroy's strike zone affected both starters. "It was a hard night. He had a tough zone. But when (Cole) needed to make pitches, he did."
Josh Bell collected three hits, and Josh Harrison and David Freese added two apiece for the Pirates, who won their seventh straight game in San Francisco.
The Giants swept a three-game series in Pittsburgh earlier this season.
Buster Posey drove in two runs and Brandon Crawford one as the Giants scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings to climb within 6-3.
Posey, Crawford and Eduardo Nunez had two hits apiece for San Francisco, which fell to 3-5 on its 10-game homestand.
Cain was charged with six runs, just two of which were earned, in four innings. He struck out one and walked one.
"We both exchanged a little words," Cain said of his displeasure with Conroy. "I was a little bit behind in the count on some of the guys. In the first couple of innings, I was kind of around the zone instead of attacking the zone like I should have been."
McCutchen's homer gave the Pirates a 6-0 lead in the second inning and triggered a chain of events that got Bochy tossed.
Cain, unhappy with the work of Conroy basically from the first pitch, vented his frustration of the McCutchen homer loudly upon the umpire.
Bochy quickly jumped into the middle of it, sacrificing himself to save his pitcher.
NOTES: The Pirates have won 11 consecutive games in which they have scored at least four runs. ... The home runs by CF Andrew McCutchen and SS Jordy Mercer were the Pirates' 10th and 11th in their past nine games at AT&T Park. Pittsburgh has hit at least one homer in six straight games in San Francisco. ... Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti's ejection was his fourth as a coach. ... San Francisco SS Brandon Crawford's two hits in three at-bats against Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole improved his career average to .222 (4-for-18) against his brother-in-law. ... RHP Matt Cain extended his winless streak to 11 starts, the longest run by a Giant since Cain went 15 starts without a win bridging the 2015 and 2016 seasons. ... The game was played on the 53rd birthday of LF Barry Bonds, a former star for both the Pirates and Giants. Bonds did not attend the game.
|White Sox||3||vs.||1||Cubs||Final Recap|
White Sox edge Cubs, end nine-game losing skid
Monday, July 24 at 7:31 PM (EDT)
CHICAGO -- Rick Renteria said it was an emotional victory after the Chicago White Sox topped the Chicago Cubs 3-1 on Monday at Wrigley Field.
But it had little to do with the White Sox manager beating a team he once guided.
"I was emotional just because we've been down and we've been looking for a victory and for our (pitcher) to give us some length," said Renteria, whose White Sox (39-57) halted a nine-game losing streak. "I was proud of the way we played."
Adam Engel went 2-for-4 with a go-ahead home run and Matt Davidson added an insurance shot. Jose Abreu also had two hits, including an RBI double, in the first of four games between the city rivals.
White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez (5-9) worked 7 1/3 innings to get the win and end a four-game losing streak.
Right-hander Anthony Swarzak pitched 1 1/3 innings and survived a shaky ninth with two runners on before striking out Willson Contreras to end the game and post his first career save.
"We went with the guy who's been throwing the best," said Renteria, who was dismissed by the Cubs after the 2014 season and joined the White Sox as bench coach last year.
The loss, only the second in 10 games since the All-Star break for the Cubs (51-47), knocked them out of first place in the National League Central.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks received a no-decision in his first start after a seven-week stay on the disabled list with tendinitis. Justin Grimm (1-1) gave up a home run while working 1 2/3 innings and took the loss.
"I just left one pitch over the plate," Grimm said. "For the most part, that's probably the best I've felt, control-wise, in a couple of years."
Kevan Smith also had two hits for the White Sox. Jon Jay went 4-for-4 to account for nearly half of the Cubs' attack.
Both teams had missed opportunities. The Cubs left 12 men on base and the White Sox stranded eight.
The White Sox had Engel perched at third with two outs in the second inning after a Smith single, but the threat fizzled as Gonzalez grounded to third.
The Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the second and Hendricks brought home Ben Zobrist from third for a 1-0 lead with a broken-bat fielder's choice grounder to second.
The White Sox threatened again in the fourth with runners at first and second after a Smith bloop hit to left. But Gonzalez grounded to second on a 3-2 count.
Abreu broke the shutout in the fifth with his RBI double to deep right that brought home Melky Cabrera from first.
Abreu's RBI hit marked the end for Hendricks, who worked 4 1/3 innings in his first start since early June.
Hendricks allowed one run and eight hits, struck out five and walked none while throwing 92 pitches.
"I thought he wasn't as normal. Velocity was down a little bit. There was not a lot of difference between his pitches," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "He threw like 90 pitches, which was good to get him stretched out moving into the next start. ... It's a good outing to build off of."
Engel gave the White Sox a 2-1 lead in the sixth with a one-out, first-pitch solo homer off Grimm.
"It felt good to just put us ahead," Engel said. "Any time you get a lead you give your bullpen a chance to shut things down."
The Cubs had bases loaded with two outs in the seventh, but Anthony Rizzo flied out on a long drive to the warning track in left center to end the inning.
Davidson then slammed his 19th home run of the season off Cubs reliever Koji Uehara to lead off the eighth for a 3-1 White Sox lead.
Gonzalez left after facing one batter in the Cubs' eighth. He allowed one run on seven hits, walked three and struck out three in his 7-1/3 inning outing.
After Tuesday's day game at Wrigley Field, the interleague series shifts to Guaranteed Rate Field for two night games.
NOTES: White Sox LF Melky Cabrera batted leadoff despite rumors that he could be on the trading block. Cabrera is batting .295 and went 4-for-4 last Saturday at Kansas City. ... The White Sox's nine-game losing streak was their longest since 2013. ... The White Sox send LHP Carlos Rodon (1-3, 5.75 ERA) against Cubs RHP John Lackey (6-9, 5.04) in Tuesday's game at Wrigley Field. ... The White Sox and Cubs split the season series in 2015 and 2016, but the South Siders lead the overall series 58-51. ... 1B Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch for the 17th time this season in the first inning. He's second in the big leagues behind Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison (20). ... Ben Zobrist went 0-for-3 for the Cubs and remains one extra-base hit from 500 for his career. ... The Cubs return to National League Central competition on Friday with a three-game series at the Milwaukee Brewers. Of their remaining 64 games, 34 are against division opponents.
Astros rout Phillies after two-hour rain delay
Tuesday, July 25 at 1:45 AM (EDT)
PHILADELPHIA -- Heavy rain didn't slow down the hard-hitting Houston Astros in the slightest.
After waiting nearly two hours for a line of thunderstorms to pass, the top offense in the major leagues went right back to work against the major league-worst Philadelphia Phillies, as Houston piled up 18 hits in a 13-4 romp on Monday night.
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, the top hitter in the majors (.365), led the way, going 4-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and three runs. He has been on a tear in July, hitting .506 (38-for-75) with 19 RBIs and 19 runs.
"This guy continues to be amazing," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I don't know how else to describe him."
Altuve, who has hit at least .313 in each of the past four seasons, wasn't willing to share what is making him especially successful of late.
"I can't tell you, because other guys are going to see this interview and pitch me different," Altuve said. "See the ball and hit the ball."
Alex Bregman finished 3-for-5 with a homer and three runs for Houston (66-33). Josh Reddick went 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
The Astros scored double-digit runs and picked up at least 15 hits for the sixth time this month.
"This is as good a team as we've seen," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "They've got a real aggressive team, probably the best if not one of the best we've seen. They're very aggressive hitters, and you can't make mistakes."
A 112-minute rain delay that began in the top of the fourth inning knocked both starting pitchers out of the game.
Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez (2-6) was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs on six hits and three walks in three-plus innings. He walked the opening batter of the fourth and threw two strikes to Bregman before the delay began.
"I thought his velocity was OK; I've seen him throw harder," Mackanin said. "Just one of those things, if you don't locate with a team like this, you're going to get hurt. Location wasn't the greatest."
Ricardo Pinto, who came in to relieve Velasquez out of the break, promptly gave up a double to Bregman on his first pitch. Two batters later, Altuve knocked in two runs with a single to center to extend the Astros' lead to 5-1.
"Altuve's two-out hit just ignited a big inning for us, and it happens fast with this team," Hinch said. "We get a couple hits in a row and something good happens."
Pinto's struggles didn't end there. He also gave up an RBI single to Yuli Gurriel and a two-RBI double to Carlos Beltran as the Astros ran their lead to 8-1 before Pinto finally got out of the inning.
Pinto also gave up two more runs in the fifth before finally being removed. He was tagged for seven hits and six runs (three earned) in 1 1/3 innings.
Astros starter Brad Peacock, who was trying to improve to 9-1, allowed one run on two hits in his three innings.
Joe Musgrove (5-6) pitched three scoreless innings of two-hit ball, striking out three. He picked up his first win since May 26, when he was still part of Houston's rotation.
"Musgrove coming up and getting those innings, those middle innings when you have a lead of any sort become really big, and he stepped up and made nice pitches," Hinch said.
The Astros led 12-1 in the seventh inning before the Phillies (34-63) got three back on a bases-clearing triple by Nick Williams.
The Astros took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second in a span of five pitches.
After Marwin Gonzalez and Beltran both grounded out to Velasquez to start the inning, Brian McCann hit the first pitch he saw for his 13th home run of the season. Bregman followed with his 10th homer, which landed almost in the exact same spot, on a 2-1 fastball up in the zone.
It was the sixth time that Houston went back-to-back this season and the first time since June 18.
Philadelphia got one run back in the bottom of the second on an RBI double by Tommy Joseph that scored Odubel Herrera, who had walked.
The Astros answered in the top of the third on an RBI single by Gonzalez, scoring Altuve, who had doubled.
NOTES: Astros CF George Springer left the game in the middle of the third inning due to left quad discomfort. ... Phillies RHP Nick Pivetta (3-5, 5.58 ERA) will oppose Astros RHP Charlie Morton (7-4, 4.18) in the second game of the three-game series on Tuesday. ... The Astros and Phillies met Monday for the first time since Aug. 5-7, 2014, at Citizens Bank Park. Philadelphia swept that series, but Houston now leads the all-time series in the park 17-15. ... Houston is in the middle of a nine-game road trip that began in Baltimore will also see the Astros play three games in Detroit. The Astros are 3-1 on the trip so far.
|Athletics||2||vs.||4||Blue Jays||Final Recap|
Liriano, Blue Jays limit A's to two hits
Monday, July 24 at 11:36 PM (EDT)
TORONTO -- Francisco Liriano knows that his name is popping up in rumors as the July 31 trade deadline approaches.
The Toronto left-hander has been through it previously. The Pittsburgh Pirates dealt him to the Blue Jays last year.
"I've been part of this before in my life. I try not to pay attention to that and try to concentrate on what I can control," Liriano said after pitching five innings to earn the decision in the Blue Jays' 4-2 victory night over the Oakland Athletics on Monday. "And stuff like that I cannot control."
In the first inning, Liriano had trouble controlling what he should be able to control -- his pitches.
Liriano (6-5) walked the first two batters, but he wound up allowing just two hits, two runs and the two walks to earn his first win since July 6.
Russell Martin homered, and Ezequiel Carrera added two singles, an RBI and a walk for the Blue Jays (45-54), who ended a three-game losing streak by winning the opener or the four-game series.
Ryan Goins chipped in with an RBI single and a double for Toronto in its first home game since the All-Star break following a 3-7 trip.
Oakland's Matt Chapman homered for the third game in a row.
The Athletics (44-55) have lost five of their past seven games after winning their first three games after the All-Star break. They had only two hits Monday.
Joe Biagini got around a leadoff walk in the sixth and went two innings in relief of Liriano, who was pitching on three days' rest after lasting only 1 2/3 innings in his start Thursday.
Ryan Tepera pitched a perfect top of the eighth for Toronto. Roberto Osuna struck out the side in the ninth to earn his 25th save of the season.
A's starter Chris Smith (0-1), making his third career major league start at the age of 36, allowed three runs, six hits and three walks in six innings. He left with Oakland trailing 3-2.
"It was fun but it was nerve-racking," said Smith, who made his first career start July 8.
John Axford replaced Smith in the seventh inning and issued a leadoff walk to Jose Bautista.
Martin followed with a single, and Josh Donaldson walked to load the bases. Josh Smith replaced Axford and walked Justin Smoak for force in a run and restore a two-run lead. A strikeout of Steve Pearce and a double-play grounder by Troy Tulowitzki cut the rally short.
"It's going to be tough to score enough runs to win a game with (two hits)," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said. "We tried to drive (Liriano's) pitch count up because he's pitching on three days' rest and he's probably not going to be out there too long. He did just enough, and the bullpen shut us down."
Liriano, who pitched a total of 3 2/3 innings in his previous two starts, walked Rajai Davis and Marcus Semien to start the game. Davis was thrown out trying to steal third.
Semien, who had advanced to second, scored on a single by Ryon Healy, who continued to second when the ball bounced over Pearce's head in left field for an error.
Liriano limited the damage by retiring the next two batters.
"He walked his first two guys and then he settled in," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He had great stuff tonight, there's no doubt about that, he normally does. Russ (catcher Russell Martin) ends up throwing out Raj (Rajai Davis) there at third base. (That) was huge, then he settled in and he gave us just what we needed. The bullpen did a great job again. "
Martin tied the game with one out in the bottom of the first when he hit his 10th homer of the season to left-center.
The Blue Jays scored twice in the bottom of the fourth to lead 3-1.
Donaldson led off with a double. Smoak and Tulowitzki walked to load the bases with one out. Carrera and Goins followed with RBI singles to center.
Liriano retired 12 batters in a row before Chapman homered to center in the fifth inning, his fifth of the season, to trim the lead to 3-2.
"I could have gone a little bit further in the game," Liriano said. "My last outing was really short, so my body felt great today."
NOTES: Oakland RHP Josh Smith was recalled from Nashville and INF/OF Matt Olson was optioned to the Triple-A club. It is Smith's second stint this season with the A's. He was 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA in 24 innings before being optioned to Nashville on July 1. Smith pitched two scoreless innings Monday. ... Toronto SS Troy Tulowitzki returned to the lineup Monday after missing two games with a groin injury. He went 0-for-3 with a walk. ... A's INF Ryon Healy was at DH Monday, his first state since taking a ground ball to the head Friday. He was restricted to one pinch-hit appearance in the next two games. Healy finished 1-for-4 with an RBI on Monday.
Gausman, Orioles blank Rays
Monday, July 24 at 11:11 PM (EDT)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Kevin Gausman has a 6.55 ERA against every other team in baseball, but he pitches well against the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Orioles right-hander did so again Monday night, tossing six shutout innings in Baltimore's 5-0 win over Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field.
Gausman (7-7) allowed five hits and three walks while striking out eight. He helped the Orioles (48-51) open the three-game series with a victory while sending the Rays (51-49) to a season-high, five-game losing streak.
"Kevin was good," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after his team's second consecutive win. "Kevin was throwing strikes and working with tempo and command."
Gausman also threw seven shutout innings against the Rays in a win on July 2. He had spectacular defense behind him Monday, getting three inning-ending double plays, including one in which third baseman Manny Machado turned a potential double into a double play. Tampa Bay finished another inning with a bases-loaded groundout.
"Manny made a couple of plays -- nobody takes them for granted, they're so hard, and he's one of the few guys that can make them," Showalter said.
The Rays had the tying run at the plate in the eighth, but Brad Brach struck out Jesus Sucre to strand two more runners.
Darren O'Day, Brach and Richard Bleier each threw a scoreless inning to cap the six-hit shutout.
For the fourth home game in a row, the Rays gave up runs late in a close encounter. Down only 1-0 in the eighth inning, the Rays saw new reliever Sergio Romo allow both inherited runners and one of his own to score as Baltimore built a 4-0 lead.
It was the fifth shutout for the Orioles this season and the fifth time the Rays were shut out.
The slumping Rays spoiled a strong start from right-hander Blake Snell (0-6), who left in the eighth inning trailing 1-0 after the longest start of his young career.
"I was really challenging hitters and I was proud about that," said Snell, who remains winless in 12 starts this season. "It's what I've been trying to do for some time now. ... I can see that what everyone's telling me works, and it's true, so just keep battling and keep it going."
He gave up a single and a bunt single to open the eighth before he was replaced by Romo, who was just acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations.
Romo's debut didn't go well. Adam Jones singled to load the bases against Romo, and Manny Machado singled up the middle to bring in two runs for a 3-0 lead. Jonathan Schoop followed with a sacrifice fly to extend the margin.
Snell said he was glad he could come back out in the eighth inning, saying longer outings have been a priority in his development during a frustrating season.
"It felt good -- that's been my goal for the eighth and ninth, and I have to continue to do that," Snell said.
Baltimore added an unearned run in the ninth when Adeiny Hechavarria's throwing error allowed Welington Castillo to score with two outs.
The Orioles got the only run in the first five innings when Jones hit a solo home run in the third. His 19th homer held up early, thanks to solid pitching from Gausman, who consistently worked himself into and out of jams.
Rays catcher Wilson Ramos left the game after Ruben Tejada hit him on the helmet with his bat during his backswing on a groundout. The bat broke as it hit Ramos' helmet, causing a laceration that needed six staples to close.
Ramos was replaced by Sucre in the top of the fifth.
NOTES: To make room for on the active roster for newly acquired RHP Sergio Romo, the Rays optioned RHP Andrew Kittredge to Triple-A Durham. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the Rays released 1B Rickie Weeks after activating him from the disabled list, where he had been since June 9 with a shoulder injury. Weeks hit .216 for the Rays with eight RBIs in 97 at-bats. ... Orioles LHP Wade Miley (4-8, 5.58 ERA) and Rays RHP Jacob Faria (4-1, 2.52) are the probable starters for the second game of the series Tuesday night.
Santana, Tomlin guide Indians past Reds
Monday, July 24 at 11:22 PM (EDT)
CLEVELAND -- Carlos Santana has traditionally been a good second half hitter. It's now the second half of the season, and Santana is hitting.
Santana belted two home runs, and Josh Tomlin pitched six solid innings as the Cleveland Indians beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-2, Monday night.
The game was a makeup of a contest that was postponed on May 25 and Cleveland won its fourth straight.
Tomlin (7-9) won his third consecutive start, allowing two runs on four hits with six strikeouts and one walk.
"When he's going good, that's what he can do," Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. "He works ahead, and doesn't let things rattle him. He gave our offense a chance to get going."
Andrew Miller pitched two scoreless innings, and Cody Allen pitched a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation.
Cincinnati starter Tim Adleman (5-8) lasted six innings, giving up five runs on six hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
"He pitched a competitive game. Not his best game, but competitive," Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Santana was 2-for-3, with two home runs, a walk, two RBIs and three runs scored.
Through June, Santana was hitting .225. But in July he is hitting .333, with three home runs and 11 RBI in 54 at bats.
Francona said Santana's second half surge is not unexpected.
"He doesn't wear down," Francona said. "The more at bats he gets, the better hitter he is, and it's very welcome, because he's going to play a huge part for us going forward."
Nobody appreciated Santana's two homers more than Tomlin.
"He always puts up good at bats and sees a lot of pitches," Tomlin said. "His batting average may not be sexy, but he gets on base and he plays every day."
The Indians took a 3-1 lead into the sixth inning, but Zack Cozart belted an 0-1 pitch from Tomlin over the left field wall for his 12th home run, a solo shot.
"That's a good hitting team over there," Tomlin said. "The two pitches I didn't execute, they hit both of them for home runs."
Santana's first home run, leading off the seventh inning, was a line drive over the center field wall, stretching the Indians' lead to 4-2. An RBI single by Bradley Zimmer off reliever Blake Wood later in the inning made it 5-2.
Zimmer had two hits and two RBIs.
Santana homered again in the eighth inning, his 12th of the season, off Tony Cingrani, to make it 6-2.
Cleveland took the early lead with a first-inning rally that began with a leadoff double off the center field wall by Zimmer. Francisco Lindor followed with a bunt single, moving Zimmer to third.
Zimmer then scored on a sacrifice fly by Michael Brantley.
Tomlin held the Reds scoreless on one hit through the first four innings. During one stretch, he struck out six consecutive batters.
"I'm not a strikeout guy. My game is missing barrels and getting people to put the ball in play," Tomlin said.
"Tomlin was excellent. He didn't give us much to hit," Price said.
Scooter Gennett got something to hit leading off the fifth inning, and he hit it over the wall in center field for his 18th home run, tying the score at 1-1.
Adleman had control trouble in the bottom of the fifth, and it cost him.
Santana walked leading off the inning, and after Giovanny Urshela flied out, Abraham Almonte also drew a walk.
Roberto Perez then pounded a 3-2 pitch over the head of center fielder Billy Hamilton, scoring Santana to give Cleveland a 2-1 lead. Almonte went to third on Perez's double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Zimmer to extend the Indians' lead to 3-1.
The Reds have lost nine of their first 11 games coming out of the all-star break.
"We need to pick it up offensively," Price said. "We're a better team than we've shown in the second half."
NOTES: Indians OF Austin Jackson will be activated off the disabled list on Tuesday. Jackson has been out since June 27 due to a left quad strain. ... Indians OF Lonnie Chisenhall, who has been on the DL since July 14 with a strained right hamstring, should be ready to resume playing "in a couple of weeks," according to manager Terry Francona. ... Led by Billy Hamilton with nine, Reds outfielders lead the National league with 24 outfield assists. ... RHP Anthony DeSclafani made his first rehab appearance with the Reds' rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League on Sunday, giving up three runs (two earned) in 2 1/3 innings. DeSclafani has been on the disabled list all season due to a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
Perez, Moustakas push surging Royals by Tigers
Tuesday, July 25 at 12:16 AM (EDT)
DETROIT -- The way things are going for the Kansas City Royals right now, it's a matter of when, not if they're going to deliver a key late-inning hit. In their latest dramatic finish, they got two big hits.
Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas smacked back-to-back homers to lead off the 12th inning, and the Kansas City Royals extended their winning streak to six games with a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Monday at Comerica Park.
"You knew if we could just keep getting good relief pitching to give us an opportunity, that we'd find a way," Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. "The bullpen was just absolutely outstanding."
Royals relievers posted 6 1/3 scoreless innings, extending their streak to 24 2/3 spotless innings over the past five games.
Kansas City had four walkoff victories in its latest homestand. That's not possible on the road but their two biggest power sources provided the extra-inning thunder.
Perez's 20th homer and Moustakas' 29th homer came off Drew VerHagen (0-1), who was just recalled from Triple-A Toledo. Jorge Bonifacio homered for the third consecutive game and had three hits for Kansas City (51-47).
The Royals remained 1 1/2 games behind the American League Central-leading Cleveland Indians, who defeated the Cincinnati Reds on Monday.
Jakob Junis (3-2) picked up the victory with one inning of scoreless relief. Kelvin Herrera threw a perfect inning to notch his 20th save.
Royals starter Jason Hammel was charged with three runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings.
"I want to stay in the game in that situation but I don't disagree with any of the moves made," Hammel said. "These (bullpen) guys, they kept it right there. It was seven innings worth of keeping it right there and that's special. That's hard to come by. The guys did a really good job of putting up zeroes and we got the timely hit. That's what good teams do."
Justin Verlander got a no-decision in what may have been his last start as a Tiger. Verlander, who has been the subject of trade rumors, allowed three runs on five hits over seven innings and struck out nine. He left to a thunderous ovation.
"It's kind of in the background of my mind that you never know what could happen," Verlander said. "It's back there, and there is a moment walking off the mound where you take a second to appreciate it. I know I didn't acknowledge it when I was walking off the mound, probably because we're in the middle of a tie game. Maybe I wish I could have gone back and said thank you. But who know, maybe there's a lot more of those to come."
Verlander also got a no-decision in Kansas City last week when he held the Royals to two runs in seven innings.
"The last two outings I feel like I've done a better job of attacking the zone and forcing the issue a little bit," he said.
Tigers catcher Alex Avila snapped an 0-for-14 slump with a game-tying, two-run single in the sixth.
Verlander recorded six strikeouts the first time through the order, but the Royals broke through with two runs in the fourth. Bonifacio and Lorenzo Cain hit back-to-back singles and moved up on a grounder. A wild pitch allowed Bonifacio to score, and Moustakas' sacrifice fly made it 2-0.
Bonifacio smacked his 14th homer over the left field wall to lead off the sixth.
The Tigers (45-53) tied it in the sixth.
Miguel Cabrera knocked in the first run with an RBI single. With the bases loaded and two out, Avila smacked a single over the outstretched glove of shortstop Alcides Escobar to knot the score at 3-3.
NOTES: Kansas City acquired three pitchers in a six-player trade with San Diego. RHP Trevor Cahill will move into the rotation, while RHP Brandon Maurer and LHP Ryan Buchter will fortify the bullpen. LHPs Matt Strahm and Travis Wood and minor league 2B Esteury Ruiz were shipped to San Diego. Additionally, RHPs Al Alburquerque and Luke Farrell were designated for assignment, and LHP Brian Flynn was recalled from Triple-A Omaha. ... Detroit RF Jim Adduci was optioned to Triple-A Toledo to make room for RHP Drew VerHagen, who took the loss on Monday after his recall from the Mud Hens. VerHagen started 19 games with Toledo this season, posting a 7-7 record and 4.90 ERA. ... Tigers LHP Daniel Norris had his rehab start with Triple-A Toledo cut short after two-thirds of an inning Sunday. Norris continues to experience weakness with his right quad and left groin.