MLB Scores

Today is Sunday, August 20, 2017.

Sunday, August 20, 2017
Major League Baseball
Dodgers 0 vs. 0 Tigers In-Progress

Dodgers try for seventh straight victory, sweep of Tigers

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Sunday, August 20 at 2:09 AM (EDT)

DETROIT -- You can't accuse the Los Angeles Dodgers of not trying to make great greater.

Los Angeles added Curtis Granderson to a team already in the midst of a potential season for the ages late Friday night and the veteran outfielder made it from New York, where he was with the Mets, to Detroit in time to be in the Dodgers' starting lineup.

Granderson cold be back in there Sunday when Los Angeles tries for its seventh straight victory and a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers.

Granderson was slotted fifth in the order and placed in left field. He reached second on an error on his infield popup in the seventh inning, scoring the winning run on a line single to right by Adrian Gonzalez with two out.

"This obviously is a huge addition, a coup for us," Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said. "Adding to what we already have.

"From everyone you talk to he's the consummate professional. He's a big-game player. He's been on the big stage throughout his entire career.

"(We got him) for his ability to come and hit right-handed pitching and play anywhere in the outfield. Potentially to come off the bench too if we need that obviously enhances our ball club."

Granderson will share the corner outfield spots with rookie Cody Bellinger, Roberts said, with Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez playing center. Granderson is also capable of playing center, his new manager said, although Taylor will get the bulk of the time there.

Andre Ethier is about to come off the disabled list, Roberts said.

"I think for us to see him as a bat off the bench is something we envisioned for Andre anyway throughout September and potentially the postseason,'' Roberts said. "So I don't (think) this addition of Curtis changes that."

The Dodgers will start right-hander Kenta Maeda (11-4, 3.76 ERA) on Sunday in their final interleague game. Maeda has never pitched against the Tigers.

Detroit counters with a pitcher Los Angeles was rumored to have interest in during July: Right-hander Justin Verlander (8-8, 4.11).

Verlander was thumped for three home runs in a loss at Texas in his last start but is 3-2 with a 2.72 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break.

He has only faced the Dodgers once in his career, earning a win despite giving up five runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts in six innings.

Tigers' manager Brad Ausmus noticed the comments his players made after Friday night's 8-5 loss to the Dodgers, remarks about how confident Los Angeles looked.

"They're 50-something games over .500," Ausmus noted, "why wouldn't you be confident? They come to the ballpark expecting to win every single day.

"Even when they lose they come to the come to the ballpark expecting to win the next day. They should have confidence. The hard part is being confident when you're not winning."

Newly acquired Dodgers right-hander Yu Darvish, pulled from his last start when his back tightened up, was placed on the disabled list Saturday. Left-hander Edward Paredes was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Darvish will miss at least one start, with Brock Stewart likely to take his spot Tuesday in Pittsburgh. Roberts said Darvish could return next weekend.

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Mariners 0 vs. 1 Rays In-Progress

Cruz leading Mariners' hot bats against Rays

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Sunday, August 20 at 2:48 AM (EDT)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Seattle's hot bats continue to keep them in the thick of the American League wild-card race, with Nelson Cruz leading the way.

"We are riding the boomstick right now," manager Scott Servais said after Cruz hit a two-run home run that proved the winning margin in a 7-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

A night earlier, Cruz crushed a 482-foot home run that is the longest recorded ever at Tropicana Field. On Saturday, his home run was initially ruled a double, but replay showed that it cleared the fence and bounced back into play off a railing.

"They all count," joked Servais, who has seen Cruz hit 11 home runs since July 30, matching the most in the major leagues. "It hit just far enough. Nelly is hot, he's swinging the bat great and everybody else is contributing as well."

The Mariners have won four straight games, including two against the Rays, who found their bats Saturday, scoring six runs after totaling nine in their previous 10 home games. Tampa Bay can gain confidence from their three home runs Saturday and a late rally that fell a run short, but each loss takes them farther out of postseason contention.

"The bats finally came alive," manager Kevin Cash said. "To me, that's the story of the game. We lost, and it stinks, but we needed to see some type of production, some type of positive performance from the offense, and I think we provided that."

The Rays have lost eight of nine and 12 of 15, and they'll hope to rally Sunday around left-hander Blake Snell, whose last start was his first win in 16 starts this season. Snell is 1-6 with a 4.78 ERA, and his win Tuesday wasn't his sharpest outing, allowing seven hits and four runs in six innings. Snell faced Seattle in his second major league start in June 2016, lasting only 3 1/3 innings and giving up eight hits, though four of the five runs he allowed were unearned.

The Mariners counter with righty Yovani Gallardo, who has struggled even more, with a 5-8 record and 5.84 ERA, highest among Seattle's starting rotation. He's been bounced to the bullpen and back to the rotation -- his numbers against the Rays aren't bad, with a 3-2 career record with a 4.71 ERA in seven starts. He's sharper still at Tropicana Field, with a 2-1 record and 2.82 ERA in four starts there.

The Rays' six runs Saturday were their most in any home game since June 23, but it coincided with a rare off-night on the mound. They'll try to take the positive aspect of Saturday's loss with the hopes of more of the same Sunday.

"Tonight we hit a speed bump, but we will bounce back and overcome it," Cash said. "I think the most important part is that the offense put together an inning, put together some good at-bats and ultimately, put some runs on the board."

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Marlins 2 vs. 1 Mets In-Progress

Mets look to build on win over Marlins

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Sunday, August 20 at 2:54 AM (EDT)

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets found a new look that worked Saturday night. The Miami Marlins hope to find their old form Sunday afternoon, when the two National League East rivals meet in the finale of a three-game series at Citi Field.

Mets ace right-hander Jacob deGrom (13-6, 3.35 ERA) is scheduled to face Marlins left-hander Adam Conley (5-5, 5.32 ERA). New York snapped a five-game losing streak Saturday, when it scored seven runs in the sixth inning of an 8-1 victory.

The win -- which five of the Mets' runs were scored by players who have spent of time at Triple-A Las Vegas this season -- came fewer than 24 hours after New York bid adieu to two more veterans, outfielder Curtis Granderson and catcher Rene Rivera. Granderson was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers late Friday night while Rivera was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs Saturday morning.

Manager Terry Collins said Saturday afternoon he understands the teardown -- New York has traded six players since July 27 -- can be distracting, especially to young players unaccustomed to life in the clubhouse without respected veterans such as Granderson and Rivera. But Collins' expectations for the Mets (54-67) upon their arrival at the stadium haven't changed.

"I think there's always going to be a day where maybe there's so much going on that their attention's away from the game," Collins said Saturday afternoon. "We've got to get them back on the game and go back and play the game right.

"I don't care whose name's on the uniform -- this is the big leagues and you've got to go play and you've got expectations when you were a major league uniform. We've got to go out and play better."

The Marlins will also be looking to play better after committing three errors during the Mets' big sixth inning. Miami committed three errors in an entire game just once this season prior to Saturday -- coincidentally, against New York on May 6.

"Sometimes that happens," Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton said. "Things get out of whack. It only takes a few mistakes to let a big league team take advantage of that."

The loss was just the second in the last eight games for the Marlins (59-62), who were trying to move within one game of .500 for the first time since April 28.

"Learn from the mistakes that have already been done," Stanton said. "We have another (game) in 12 hours."

DeGrom took the loss last Tuesday, when he gave up five runs over 7 1/3 innings as the Mets fell to the New York Yankees, 5-4. Conley earned the victory last Monday, when he allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings as the Marlins beat the San Francisco Giants, 8-3.

DeGrom is 4-3 with a 3.46 ERA in 11 starts against the Marlins, whom he's faced more than any other opponent. Conley is 2-1 with a 1.98 ERA in eight games (six starts) against the Mets, whom he has also faced more than any other foe.

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Angels 2 vs. 1 Orioles In-Progress

Orioles' Tillman tries to rediscover top form vs. Angels

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Sunday, August 20 at 2:32 AM (EDT)

BALTIMORE -- Chris Tillman returns to the starting rotation for the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday in the series finale with the Los Angeles Angels. The question now is if he can find his old form in this spot start, something that's eluded him all season.

Tillman will try to help the Orioles (60-63) win the rubber match of this three-game series with the Angels (63-60) on Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.

Tillman (7.83 ERA) lost his spot in the starting rotation after going 1-7 in his first 15 starts and has pitched out of the bullpen twice since.

He will go against Parker Bridwell (7-1, 2.88), the former Oriole farmhand who has flourished since Los Angeles acquired him from Baltimore on April 17 for a player to be named later and cash.

Tillman hasn't given up a run in two short appearances out of the bullpen, and this will be his first start since Aug. 3, when he gave up seven runs in two innings versus the Tigers.

He missed a month at the start of the season with arm issues and hasn't rediscovered his old form that earned him 16 wins last year and 56 over the past four seasons.

"Chris has a really good pedigree of pitching good baseball for the Orioles and he's done the things that we asked him to do to get back," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We need him to pitch well for us to get to where we want to go."

Bridwell has been a pleasant surprise since the Angels got him from the Orioles. This will be his 12th start (and 13th game) of the season, and he's given the injury-riddled Los Angeles starting rotation some much-needed help.

Since the beginning of July, he is 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA over seven starts. He even beat his old team, allowing one run on six hits in seven innings as the Angels topped the Orioles 3-2 on Aug. 8 in Anaheim.

If the Angels show the kind of power they have in the first two games, Bridwell could have a good chance to beat the Orioles again.

Los Angeles entered this series ranked next-to-last in the American League in homers but the Angels banged out five in Friday's loss and added four more -- two apiece by Mike Trout and Luis Valbuena -- in Saturday's 5-1 victory.

"We've hit them out," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We haven't hit many all year. We haven't had the slugging percentage to the level we need it. It's good to see it come alive."

Both teams will have a few injury questions heading into the series finale. The Orioles are hoping that Chris Davis will be able to return as he's missed the first two games with an unspecified illness.

Welington Castillo also was sick and missed Friday but was a late add to Saturday's lineup and played.

The Angels still are hoping that Cameron Maybin returns to the lineup Sunday or soon. He missed the first two games as his right knee hasn't felt right.

Maybin and manager Mike Scioscia said the situation is day-to-day. It's the same knee that kept him on the disabled list from July 19 to Aug. 7 (an MCL sprain).

Also, pitcher JC Ramirez, who came out of Saturday's start with irritation in his arm, will have an MRI exam on Monday. He was checked by the medical staff but they're going to do more testing.

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Reds 0 vs. 0 Braves In-Progress

Reds' Castillo to face fellow rookie Newcomb of Braves

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Sunday, August 20 at 3:07 AM (EDT)

ATLANTA -- Cincinnati Reds right-hander Luis Castillo came into the season with less of a prospect buildup than Atlanta Braves left-hander Sean Newcomb, his mound opponent on Sunday in the series finale.

It has been Castillo, though, who has fared a little better since both were called up from the minors in June.

Castillo, coming off six scoreless innings in a no-decision against the Chicago Cubs, is 2-5 with a 3.39 ERA in 11 starts.

Newcomb, a former first-round draft choice, is 1-7 with a 4.45 ERA in 12 outings and hasn't been able to maintain the promise of his first few starts.

"He's a young pitcher trying to learn on the job," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

Castillo seems to already have a handle on things, twice turning in scoreless starts of at least six innings and allowing just one run over eight innings in another.

The 24-year-old from the Dominican Republic allowed just two singles before leaving for a pinch hitter at Chicago and needed only 80 pitches while striking out seven and walking two.

"I think the main thing is to believe 100 percent in your pitches," Castillo said through a translator. "That's what I'm doing right now, trying to believe that I have really good secondary stuff and a really good fastball. I focus 100 percent to throw the pitch I want to throw in any count. I really believe in my pitches right now."

Castillo, acquired from Miami over the winter in the Dan Straily trade, has allowed just 50 hits and struck out 66 over 66 1/3 innings while employing a four-pitch mix that includes the addition of a two-seamer last month.

"Of all the things he brings to the table as far as stuff goes, the thing that is the most important is the intangibles of makeup, the ability to compete and trust and have faith in his stuff," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "He's willing to throw it over. He's willing to challenge good hitters in the strike zone with good stuff."

Newcomb made the jump to the majors from Triple-A, rather than Double-A like Castillo, and posted a 1.48 ERA in his first four starts.

The 24-year-old has struggled with control issues and high pitch counts since, though.

After allowing just 18 hits and posting 21 strikeouts to eight walks over 24 1/3 innings in June, Newcomb had a 7.61 ERA in July and is at 4.32 for August.

Newcomb, the prospect centerpiece of the 2016 trade that sent Gold Glove shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Los Angeles Angels, has walked 29 over 40 1/3 innings in his past eight starts.

Newcomb showed better fastball command in his past two starts while ditching his slider, but he still had to pitch around four walks while allowing three solo homers at Colorado in a no-decision Tuesday.

Reds shortstop Zack Cozart, batting .314, could miss his second straight game after suffering a bruised left shin when hit by a pitch Friday.

"His shin didn't respond (to treatment) as well as we'd hoped," Price said.

X-rays weren't needed, but Cozart was still limping Saturday in the clubhouse as he wore a compression wrap on his leg.

The Reds (53-71) won 11-8 on Saturday after a 5-3 victory over the Braves (54-67) on Friday and go for their first series sweep on Sunday since taking four games from St. Louis on June 5-8.

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Yankees 0 vs. 2 Red Sox In-Progress

Yankees' Gray to experience rivalry with Red Sox

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Sunday, August 20 at 2:53 AM (EDT)

BOSTON -- Sonny Gray gets officially introduced to the intensity of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry when he faces Boston in the finale of a three-game series at Fenway Park Sunday.

And he has a chance to give his new team a huge series win and move the Yankees back to within three games of Boston atop the American League East.

Gray, acquired from the Oakland A's July 31, received zero run support in his first two starts, both losses, got some backing in his first home start and defeated the New York Mets (and Jacob deGrom) last Tuesday.

"It was nice. The crowd was great," Gray said. "I was just trying to go out there and pitch my game, and not let anything from the outside affect my mindset and what I really wanted to do out there. It was a fun game overall. Any time you come away with the win, it makes it that much better."

He comes into this game 7-7 on the season but 5-4 with a 1.88 ERA over his last nine starts -- the major league's second-lowest ERA since June 25.

He faces reigning Cy Young winner Rick Porcello, who, riding his first real offensive support of the season, has turned 4-14 into 7-14 with three straight wins. After scoring 10 runs for him in his previous six starts, four in the last four, he has been backed by 27 runs his last three times out, winning each start.

He has lost three times in three starts to the Yankees this season and is 7-8 with a 3.38 ERA lifetime against New York.

Porcello induced two double plays and a triple play in the first five innings of his seven-inning outing in a 10-4 rout of the St. Louis Cardinals last Tuesday.

"He wasn't making a lot of mistakes in the middle of the plate, and he was controlling the count with everything," said Cardinals manager. "If he was missing, it was off the plate. He just had one of those days where everything was working.

Gray defeated the Red Sox May 18 in Oakland, going six innings and yielding three runs. He is just 1-2 with a 5.16 ERA in four career starts against Boston, 0-1 with an 8.38 in two Fenway Park appearances.

The Yankees rebounded from two crushing losses to their rivals in a span of six days by riding CC Sabathia (10-5, 3-0 against Boston) to a 4-3 win over Chris Sale (14-5) Saturday night.

"This team really fights," said manager Joe Girardi, who took the struggling Aroldis Chapman out of the closer role and got a save from Dellin Betances Saturday. "They do a really good job of turning the page."

Chase Headley leads the Yankee hitters against Porcello, coming in 12-for-28 (.429) with a homer whole Jacoby Ellsbury is 12-for-34 (.353) with four solo homers. On the flipside, Aaron Judge is 1-for-7 (.143) and Aaron Hicks 4-for-21 (.190) but with two home runs.

Mitch Moreland is 6-for-20 (.300) with four homers against Gray, while Hanley Ramirez is 3-for-8 (.375). On the negative side, Chris Young is 2-for-9 (.222) and Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. both 1-for-7 (.143).

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Athletics 2 vs. 0 Astros In-Progress

Astros' Peacock continues breakout season versus A's

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Sunday, August 20 at 2:17 AM (EDT)

HOUSTON -- Houston Astros right-hander Brad Peacock continues his breakout season when he faces the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

Peacock (10-1, 3.30 ERA) has been reborn this season, thriving as a starter and long reliever for the Astros (76-47).

He spent one season with the Oakland organization (he did not pitch for the Athletics in 2012) before joining Houston via trade Feb. 4, 2013. He has remade his delivery in part because of years of injury issues, and the results of his labor have paid dividends.

"It's been exceptional," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "Watching him evolve as a pitcher over the last couple of years has really come together this year with his ability to miss bats. He's had to change the way he pitches mostly out of health issues over the last couple of years.

"He's battled his control in the past. He's really found his niche in his delivery that synced up to where he can use the weapons that everyone loved from the beginning of him being a prospect to now him being arguably our most consistent pitcher this entire year outside of (Dallas) Keuchel.

"The strikeout numbers are real. It takes a lot to accumulate those kind of strikeout numbers with his strike-throwing ability which has improved, his wipeout breaking ball that he's come up with over the last six months, 12 months."

Peacock is 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA over four games (two starts) against the Athletics this season and 3-4 with a 4.25 ERA over 14 career appearances (11 starts) against Oakland.

Right-hander Jharel Cotton (5-10, 5.92 ERA) will start the series finale for Oakland (53-70).

He is 0-1 with a 3.48 ERA over two career starts against the Astros, with that loss coming in his only start against Houston this season: a 9-4 setback at Minute Maid Park on April 28 when he allowed six runs (three earned) on 10 hits and one walk with four strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings.

After shifting super utility man Chad Pinder from right field to center in the eighth inning Friday night, Athletics manager Bob Melvin revealed plans to do so again in the future. Pinder served as a middle infielder last season before assuming some corner outfield duties this year.

"We also want to take a look at (Boog) Powell and certainly Rajai (Davis) will play against the lefties," Melvin said. "We'll get (Pinder) out there, I'm not sure when. It might be more in-game type moves like (Friday), but at some point in time we'll get him a start. I'm just not sure when.

"Center field is a little different dynamic in that you're dealing with both corner guys. Usually the guy in center is more of a speed guy. But he's done a really nice job in the corners, so as of right now we feel like we have two guys that can hold down the fort in center field at least to start."

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Diamondbacks 0 vs. 0 Twins Delayed Preview

Upstart Twins looking for another win vs. Diamondbacks

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Sunday, August 20 at 3:08 AM (EDT)

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins have seemingly been written off a few times this season, particularly when the team's own front office decided to trade left-handed starter Jaime Garcia and All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler before the trade deadline.

Another win against Arizona on Saturday and Minnesota is not just surviving. The Twins are thriving.

Minnesota has won three straight games and is in a tie for the second wild-card spot in the American League entering Sunday's series finale against the Diamondbacks.

"It's been an interesting month," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We've had some changes. We've had to overcome some lesser play at times and still try to find ways to respond, and they've done that.

"We talked about it during the mini winning streak that we were winning games in different fashion. Whether that's Ervin stepping up after having a little bit of a rough start, or the offense having different guys contributing. I do know that it gives us a lot better feeling when the lineup's clicking from top to bottom. We really have been getting a lot of nice production from the bottom three, four guys."

Minnesota made Arizona's Zack Greinke work on Saturday and eventually broke through for a five-run fourth inning. Twins right-hander Jose Berrios controlled the D-backs on the way to seven scoreless innings.

Arizona, which had been led by a big offense, only had two hits.

"I know we're a pretty good offensive team, and we usually bang the ball around with anybody, but it didn't happen today," manager Torey Lovullo said. "I thought we hit a number of balls hard throughout the course of the day. We couldn't get anything rolling. Good approach. I was satisfied with that."

The D-backs still hold their own wildcard spot in the National League, but they are 14-20 since the All-Star break.

"We haven't been playing that good for more than several weeks, but we should turn it around and play better at the tail end," Greinke said. "I think we're better than we've been playing -- I feel like it's been a month and a half at least. It's been a while where we've played .500 ball or under .500 ball. It would be nice to start doing better."

The Twins are drawing confidence off beating good pitching, such as Arizona's Zack Godley on Friday and Greinke on Saturday.

"To have a good night against a pitcher of Greinke's caliber is definitely a confidence builder," said Joe Mauer, who had three hits on Saturday. "So hopefully we can keep it going, and the guys are playing really well right now."

Molitor added: "Win a couple games back-to-back against a really good team and hopefully come out tomorrow and have a chance to sweep the series."

Bartolo Colon (4-10, 6.70 ERA) starts for Minnesota on Sunday. The D-backs had waited to announce their Sunday starter until after Saturday's game. Robbie Ray has been on the concussion disabled list since July 28 and fill-in Anthony Banda had been optioned to Triple-A.

Arizona scratched right-handed starter Braden Shipley from his last minor league start in case he was needed, but made the decision to go with left-hander T.J. McFarland (4-4, 4.14 in 32 relief appearances) as Sunday's starter.

Lovullo waited until the first two games in Minnesota had finished before deciding if they could afford a bullpen game with McFarland as the starter. Shipley was activated from Triple-A and will be available out of the bullpen.

Lovullo said McFarland, who will be making his first major league start since July 1, 2014 with Baltimore, will be able to last about 60 pitches on Sunday. McFarland has faced the Twins three times in his career with a 6.75 ERA but he's never started a game against Minnesota.

McFarland might not have to face Twins slugger Miguel Sano, who left Saturday's game with left lower leg shin soreness.

"We tried to protect him with the DH role tonight, but obviously it's bothering him," Molitor said. "You can see how he ran down to first base. We got him out. We're going to get some tests on him in the morning and see how he's doing."

Colon is 0-2 with a 3.42 ERA in four career starts against the D-backs. He's coming off a five-inning, three-run loss to the Cleveland Indians on Monday in which he gave up three solo homers.

"No, fastball; that's what they all looked for," Colon said through an interpreter after the game. "Obviously those three home runs were fastball. But other than that, my off speed they couldn't hit it tonight."

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Indians 0 vs. 0 Royals In-Progress

Indians try to cap big trip with sweep of Royals

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Sunday, August 20 at 3:22 AM (EDT)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Cleveland Indians' formidable 11-game, four-city trip ends Sunday against the Kansas City Royals.

It featured stops in Tampa Bay, a makeup game in Boston, a doubleheader in Minnesota and three games at Kauffman Stadium.

Cleveland won eight of the first 10.

"That's why we go day-to-day," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Other than lining your underwear up, it's day-to-day. I just think it can look daunting, and there's no reason to think like that. Just show up and play, and you know, do the same thing tomorrow."

The first-place Indians, who lead the American League Central by six games over Minnesota and 7 1/2 over Kansas City, have outscored their opponents 54-19 on the trip. They are a season-high 15 games above .500.

"We're on a roll right now," said Trevor Bauer, who started and won Saturday night in the 5-0 shutout of the Royals. "I don't think anyone is doing anything abnormal. We're all just pitching how we can pitch.

"It's not like anyone is just on this unconscious roll. This is how we can pitch. Staying healthy is one thing, and executing pitches and all of the things that go into success, you know, got to continue doing that. The work you put in between starts, staying on routine, stuff like that. But, I don't think anyone in here is surprised at what we're doing right now."

While the Indians are steamrolling opponents, the Royals are going backward. A nine-game winning streak in late July, lifted them to seven-games above .500, but have lost 13 of 19 since July 31.

The Royals' rotation has a 5.99 ERA in August.

"It's just a run they're in," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I don't feel like it's fatigue. These guys train for this. They've done it their whole careers. Most of them are veteran guys. They've been through it many times. It's just a bit of a slump, like hitters go in slumps; pitchers go in slumps, too, a little bit."

The Royals, who entered the series 5 1/2 games behind the Indians, visit Cleveland next weekend for a three-game series.

"When any team is playing a team in their division that they're chasing and they're in a position to have a couple of series pretty close together where you have the opportunity to close the gap and unfortunately the first two games we did the opposite," said Jason Vargas, who absorbed the loss Saturday.

"We still have a lot of good baseball in us. We've got a lot of talent in this room. We all know when we get going and we put good runs together, we're pretty hard to beat."

Jason Hammel (5-9, 4.74 ERA) will start the series finale for the Royals. He has pitched well against the Indians this season, going 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA in two starts. He has limited them a .178 batting average.

After beginning the season, 1-6 with a 6.18 ERA, Hammel is 4-3 with a 3.89 ERA since June 1. He, however, does not have a victory in his last five home starts (0-2).

The Indians will start right-hander Danny Salazar, who is 2-0 with a 1.39 ERA in five starts since the All-Star break.

Salazar is 0-2 with a 4.63 ERA over 11 2/3 innings against the Royals this year.

Eric Hosmer hits well against Salazar (13-for-32) with three home runs and eight RBIs. Lorenzo Cain is 10-for-28 while Mike Moustakas is 7-for-29 with two home runs and five RBIs.

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Blue Jays 0 vs. 0 Cubs In-Progress

Maddon will keep eye on standings while Cubs play Jays

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Sunday, August 20 at 2:05 AM (EDT)

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon admits that he pays attention to the standings.

And the close National League Central race has been one to watch.

Chicago leads Milwaukee by two games and St. Louis by 2 1/2 after Saturday's 4-3 victory over Toronto.

"It's tight, it's good, it's interesting," Maddon said. "It's good for baseball. I want to believe it's going to bring out the best in us too.

"It's been an up-and-down season, no question, but the battle-testedness from the last couple seasons should help us right now."

Maddon wants to see his club more consistently win series. The Cubs (65-57) go for the series sweep against the Blue Jays (59-64) on Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field.

After finishing the first half of the season 43-45 and trailing the first-place Brewers by 5 1/2 games, the defending World Series champions have gone 22-12 after the All-Star break.

"It's that time of the year -- sink or swim now," Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. "We just have to keep going and keep playing good baseball, and I think we are."

With catcher Willson Contreras on the disabled list with a hamstring injury, the Cubs claimed catcher Rene Rivera off waivers from the New York Mets on Saturday. He is expected to join the team as soon as Sunday.

"He's a very good defensive player, very good reputation, and he's got some pop too," Maddon said. "That veteran presence, the depth it provides, is all good stuff."

Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks (4-4, 3.45 ERA) is scheduled to start Sunday. He threw six scoreless innings Tuesday against Cincinnati in his last start, tying his longest shutout outing of the season. He has faced Toronto once, giving up four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings on Sept. 10, 2004.

"That game was one of my better ones because I got stronger in those later innings," Hendricks said. "My last three innings felt much better, much more under control. Getting stronger as the game goes is always a good sign."

For Toronto, right-hander Marco Estrada (5-8, 5.09 ERA) will take the mound. He allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings against Tampa Bay for his shortest outing since June 30. Estrada is 6-1 with a 3.62 ERA in 17 career appearances, including nine starts, against the Cubs.

Estrada was claimed on revocable waivers by an undisclosed team last week, according to MLB.com, but ended up staying with Toronto.

"I felt OK," Estrada told MLB.com after his last start. "I did make some good pitches, and they just found a way against me. It's just one of those teams that has my number and I haven't been able to figure them out."

Toronto leads the all-time series against Chicago 8-6.

"We've been fortunate to have over the last couple years our fans travel well," Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar said. "This is possibly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them as well, seeing their team play at Wrigley Field against the defending World Series champs. It is an electric atmosphere to play in."

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White Sox vs. Rangers 3:05 (EDT) Preview

Rangers' improving Griffin to face White Sox

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Sunday, August 20 at 2:38 AM (EDT)

ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's no coincidence that the Texas Rangers started to make their way back up in the wild-card standings about the same time right-hander A.J. Griffin came off the disabled list.

Griffin (6-3, 5.07 ERA) has made three starts since coming off the disabled list Aug. 3 because of a left intercostal strain. Griffin has pitched well since coming off the DL. He's 2-1 in those three starts with a 3.38 ERA and opponents are batting just .198 against him.

Griffin will look to continue that trend Sunday when the Rangers face right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (6-10, 4.67 ERA) and the Chicago White Sox in the final of their four-game series. With a win, the Rangers can wrap up the homestand 8-2 after their 17-7 win over the White Sox Saturday.

Griffin is eager to see if he can keep the momentum going for himself and the Rangers.

"That was our goal the whole year," Griffin said. "It didn't go the way we wanted it to at the beginning, but I feel like we're coming together as a team right now. I feel like we're playing with good energy and we're executing. Everyone knows their roles, and we're doing a lot better job of just playing complete baseball."

He is coming off a 93-pitch start against Detroit on Tuesday in which he allowed one run on five hits in five innings in a 10-4 Texas victory. The 93 pitches are the most Griffin has thrown since his return to the rotation, and he feels like he's getting stronger.

"I've felt pretty good so far," he said. "For the most part I feel like we've done a pretty good job of keeping guys off balance and sticking to strengths and just executing pitches. I feel like it's been going pretty well. They're being a little careful with me on the pitch count so I've got to get deeper in the game on a few less pitches and keep that in mind and keep trying to execute. When I do that good things happen, and I can go deeper in the game."

Griffin has faced the White Sox just once, that coming in 2013 when he allowed four runs in 7 1/3 innings when he was with Oakland.

Like Griffin, Gonzalez will enter his Sunday start pitching well. He's 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA over his last two starts. He's also familiar with the Rangers, having made six starts against Texas with a 2-3 record and a 4.54 ERA.

Gonzalez may not have infielder Yoan Moncada helping him defensively or at the plate Sunday. Moncada, who homered in the series opener Thursday for the first road homer of his career, missed Saturday's game because of shin splints. There's a chance he could sit out Sunday's game, too.

"He's been playing with it for a couple of days," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. "He was feeling it enough like it would impede him a little bit."

Moncada, who was the club's top prospect before getting called up July 19, isn't too concerned about the issue.

"It's not something that you have to be concerned about," Moncada said.

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Brewers vs. Rockies 3:10 (EDT) Preview

Brewers' Anderson, fresh off DL, faces Rockies

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Sunday, August 20 at 3:34 AM (EDT)

DENVER -- Chase Anderson will be reinstated Sunday and start for the Milwaukee Brewers, who hope he regains his pre-injury form and bolsters their rotation in the final six weeks of the season.

The appearance against the Colorado Rockies will be Anderson's first for the Brewers since June 28, when he suffered a left oblique strain while swinging the bat.

Colorado left-hander Kyle Freeland (11-7, 3.74 ERA) starts opposite Anderson (6-2, 2.89) in the rubber match of the three-game series.

Anderson made rehab starts on Aug. 8 with Class A Wisconsin, throwing 47 pitches in 3 1/3 innings, and Aug. 13 with Triple-A Colorado Springs when he threw 67 pitches in 4 1/3 frames.

"We feel like we're past health concerns with this," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "So our decision is do you have him make another (rehab) start so that in his first game, he possibly could go into the eighth inning? That's the decision. We're probably saying that's not a possibility tomorrow, but that he's ready to pitch."

Anderson, 29, is 3-3, 4.92 in 11 career starts against the Rockies, including a no-decision in his only start against them this year on April 6 at Miller Park where he allowed one run and three hits in six innings of a 2-1 Milwaukee loss.

This has been a breakthrough season for Anderson. In 90 1/3 innings, he has allowed 73 hits -- only eight home runs -- with 27 walks and 85 strikeouts. He has limited opposing hitters to a .224 average.

"Chase has thrown 100 good innings for us and important innings and probably has pitched as well as anyone that we have," Counsell said. "We're hoping he can get back to that form quickly, and (he) certainly strengthens our rotation."

Asked to explain Anderson's success this season, Counsell said: "The curveball's better. He's throwing harder. His cutter's a better pitch. There's a couple of places that he's improved. It's not just one. And I also think he's in a good place experience-wise where he's kind of got those two full seasons under his belt, it's really close to three coming into this year. And I think that's put him in a spot to have everything kind of click for him."

Freeland, 24, will face the Brewers for the first time. He was reinstated Tuesday after missing one start while on the 10-day disabled list with a left groin strain and did not figure in Colorado's 4-3 loss against Atlanta.

Freeland gave up four hits and three runs in six innings and left with the game tied at 3. In 12 starts at Coors Field this year, Freeland is 6-4, 3.31. He leads major league rookies in wins and ERA, and is second in innings (127 2/3) and opponents batting average (.266).

"What I like about Kyle is he pitches aggressively," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "He sets the tone for the at-bat. When he's locating the fastball and the slider gets in good spots, he's going to have a good game. I know he doesn't back down. His intent is to attack. That's what I like about Kyle. I think that's always a good plan from a pitching standpoint to be the aggressor and go after hitters."

Colorado leads the National League wild-card race by one game over Arizona and is 4 1/2 ahead of Milwaukee.

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Phillies vs. Giants 4:05 (EDT) Preview

Phillies ready to close out road swing in San Francisco

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Sunday, August 20 at 3:00 AM (EDT)

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Philadelphia Phillies will go for a series split, but will have to do so against left-hander Madison Bumgarner, when they wrap up a four-game set Sunday against the San Francisco Giants.

The Phillies got a three-run homer from Rhys Hoskins and a pinch-hit grand slam from Ty Kelly in a wild 12-9 win Saturday night after having lost the first two games of the road series.

The win was the Phillies' first on a seven-game trip that ends Sunday.

"Hopefully we can take the momentum from tonight and win a game tomorrow and feel good going home to start a new series," Hoskins said afterward.

The Sacramento native thrilled an estimated 35-40 family members and friends who made the 100-mile trek from the California state capital to see him play. Hoskins admitted growing up a Giants fan.

He has homered in four of his first 10 major league games.

In order to avoid a sixth loss on their Western swing, the Phillies will have to deal with Bumgarner, who appears to have regained his All-Star form after missing nearly three months following a dirt-bike accident in April.

Bumgarner (3-5, 2.99) has gone 3-1 in his last five starts, allowing only eight runs in 32 innings.

He is 4-3 with a 3.60 in nine career starts against the Phillies.

Bumgarner will be facing a Phillies team that entered play Saturday with the worst batting average in the majors (.225) against left-handed starters.

With his team down 12-4, Giants manager pulled catcher Buster Posey from Saturday's game in order to have him a bit fresher for the series finale.

The Giants rallied without three starters to score five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning. They brought the potential tying run to the plate before Phillies closer Hector Neris had to be summoned to slam the door, striking out Carlos Moncrief for his 14th save.

"It was fun to watch," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of the improbable ninth. "There was a lot of energy in the dugout and the fans were getting into it. You love the fight. We get the tying run up after being down 12-4. That's something."

Having Posey available on Sunday figures to benefit the Giants. He has hit safely in 21 straight games against the Phillies.

The visitors will counter Sunday with rookie right-hander Ben Lively (1-4, 3.80), who hasn't won since limiting the Giants to one run on four hits in seven innings in his major league debut in June.

The 25-year-old has pitched six times since then and gone 0-4 despite never allowing more than four runs in any start.

Like the Giants, the Phillies went to their bench early and often in Saturday's game and were rewarded not only with Kelly's grand slam but also an RBI double by Pedro Florimon.

The Phillies also were able to give hot-hitting catcher Jorge Alfaro a rest of sorts, moving him to first base. He extended his hitting streak to seven games, including all six games he's played this season, with a second-inning single.

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Nationals vs. Padres 4:40 (EDT) Preview

Baker resting Murphy as Nationals end series with Padres

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Sunday, August 20 at 2:23 AM (EDT)

SAN DIEGO -- Washington Nationals manager Dusty Baker looks at Sunday's four-game series finale with the San Diego Padres with an eye toward the future.

Washington is running away with the National League East and is making plans for October. Baker is doing just that by resting second baseman Daniel Murphy for the second consecutive day.

"I just thought it would be better," Baker said. "I could see him, he wasn't moving real smoothly the last couple of days. Although he kind of waddles, anyway."

So Howie Kendrick, who has played well in the outfield, is back at second again. What Baker has learned in his second season with the Nationals is that he's more cognizant of his players' well-being.

"Part of my job is to notice personality changes, physical changes and to see the difference between one day to the next," Baker said. "Last year Murph was new to me. I didn't know what kind of signs to look for.

"Murph isn't going to come and tell me (he wants a day off). I'm going to have to go to him and kind of tell him, not ask him, because Muph wants to play. I just thought he should take some time off and he agreed with me."

Murphy is expected back when the Nationals open a three-game series with the Astros on Tuesday. So Murphy, who is 1-for-7 on the road trip, will get three days of rest.

"He is just kind of sore this time of year," Baker said. "He does a lot of squatting at second base and he hits out of a crouch last year."

Baker has the luxury of giving significant players a blow while enjoying a double-digit lead. While he would love for the Nationals to win and split the series on Sunday, what's sweeter is refreshed ball players.

"What happens when you slow down, the concentration is such that you are taking good pitches and swing at pitches out of the zone because your concentration isn't the same," Baker said.

Gio Gonzalez (11--5, 2.49) gets the nod for Washington. The southpaw, who is 2-2 with a 4.30 ERA lifetime against the Padres, is looking for his fourth straight win.

Gonzalez was stellar his last time out when throwing six innings of scoreless ball when beating the Los Angeles Angels. He carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning.

"He pitched his butt off," said the Angels' Cameron Maybin to MLB.com after breaking up Gonzalez's no-hitter with an infield single. "You got to tip your hat to him. It's about more than just throwing the ball. It's about pitching, and he did a great job."

The Padres will counter with Dinelson Lamet (7-4) and he's been keen of late, too. He's aiming for his fifth straight win in his first appearance against the Nationals.

Padres manager Andy Green said there's no mystery to Lamet's success.

"Do the same thing," Green said. "I don't think you're looking for any major change or any departure for him. Attack, attack aggressively, and attack with your two plus pitches. Be willing to throw anything at any point in time."

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Cardinals vs. Pirates 7:08 (EDT) Preview

Pirates, Cardinals to play series finale in Williamsport, Pa.

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Sunday, August 20 at 2:44 AM (EDT)

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- Now for something different.

There's still a good, old-fashioned story line to the finale of the four-game series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals, teams trying to chase down the first-place Chicago Cubs in the National League Central.

Pittsburgh (59-64) lost the first two games despite strong comebacks, then held on for a 6-4 win over the Cardinals (63-60) Saturday at PNC Park.

Sunday morning, however, the teams are scheduled to travel about 200 miles to Williamsport, Pa.

The teams will play in the MLB Little League Classic at night after spending some time during the day taking part in activities celebrating youth baseball, including a meet-and-greet with players from the ongoing Little League World Series.

It might be a thrill not just for the youth players, but for the pros who participated in Little League growing up.

"That's when it wasn't a job," St. Louis' Randal Grichuk, who played in the LLWS in 2003 and '04 with the Lamar National League team from Richmond, Texas, told MLB.com.

"It was all about winning and having fun and going out to dinner after the game. A lot of the parents are involved. It formed a love of the game for me. It formed a passion. I love playing."

Pittsburgh's John Jaso has slightly different memories -- though still fond -- of playing Little League in California.

"It wasn't too big on winning or losing, performance out there," Jaso told MLB.com. "It was just a lot of fun -- almost like playing for that snow cone at the end of the game.

"I'm excited about going to Williamsport, for sure. Just being around all those kids and allowing those kids to be around us is going to be cool for both sides. It's a cool opportunity for all of us to take advantage of this opportunity to let the kids get close and let them see what big league life is kind of about -- and for us to remember what being a kid and playing this sport is all about, too."

The teams went with a slightly modified lineup Saturday -- St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina and Pittsburgh third baseman David Freese and shortstop Jordy Mercer didn't start. That's an indication that the clubs plan on going with a regular lineup in Williamsport rather than what is typically seen on Sunday games.

Right-hander Mike Leake (7-11, 3.88 ERA) is scheduled to start the series finale for the Cardinals.

Leake is 10-5 with a 3.33 ERA in 31 career starts against the Pirates. That is more wins than he has against any other club.

Right-hander Ivan Nova (10-10, 3.77 ERA) starts for the Pirates.

Nova has lost his past four decisions since back-to-back wins last month.

In has most recent outing, Tuesday at Milwaukee, he took a loss in a 3-1 game when he allowed two runs (one earned) in six innings.

The Pirates sent Nova ahead to Williamsport on Saturday as a precaution, while Leake remained with the Cardinals.

"The key is to keep the guys fresh," Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said of the decision with Nova. "If we played longer (Saturday) night, there could have been some different challenges."

Nova, who has spent much of his career in the American League, is 0-1 with 2.25 ERA in his only career start against St. Louis, when he threw a 78-pitch complete game but still took the loss in the Cardinals' 2-1 win April 17 at Busch Stadium.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017
Major League Baseball
White Sox 7 vs. 17 Rangers Final Recap

Rangers' huge comeback sinks White Sox 17-7

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Sunday, August 20 at 1:33 AM (EDT)

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The way things are going for the Texas offense, no deficit is too big to overcome.

Saturday night second baseman Rougned Odor and first baseman Mike Napoli powered the Rangers to a 17-7 victory over the Chicago White Sox in a game the Rangers trailed 5-0 before they even came to the plate.

But by the time the 3-hour, 50-minute game wrapped up, Odor and Napoli had combined for three homers and 10 RBIs and the Rangers had overcome their largest deficit of the season. Texas scored its most runs since an April 17, 2012 game against Boston. The Rangers also finished with 20 hits, their most since that same game against the Red Sox. Texas has now scored at least nine runs in four of its last five games.

"Well, I mean this is how we envisioned being as a lineup from the beginning of the year," said Napoli, who finished 2-for-5 and his five RBIs were one shy of his career high. "We haven't really been able to do that on a consistent basis. The way we've been playing is how we envisioned us playing. It's a fun time and we're right there and just going one day at a time and having fun with it."

Texas made its comeback fueled by six-run innings in both the third and fourth innings.

Down 5-1, Texas sent nine batters to the plate against former Rangers starter Derek Holland (6-13) in the third and scored six times.

Napoli's two-run double cut the Chicago lead to 5-4 and two batters later Odor put the Rangers on top with a three-run homer to right. That ended the night for Holland, who was charged with seven runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings.

The Rangers sent nine more batters to the plate in the fourth, scoring six runs off reliever Dylan Covey. The Napoli-Odor duo led the charge again. Napoli hit a three-run homer, his 26th, to push the Texas advantage to 12-5. Two batters later, Odor's 26th homer of the season made it a 13-5 game. Odor also added an RBI walk in the seventh inning to match his career high with five RBI.

The offensive outburst made an unlikely winner of Texas left-hander Martin Perez (8-10). Perez threw 40 pitches in the first inning and allowed five runs. But he ended up pitching six innings, giving up six runs on seven hits while striking out four.

"He (Perez) can pitch," said Odor, who now has eight two-homer games in his career and three since the All-Star break. "He doesn't give up, and that's how we win the game. We have to compete and never give up, and keep doing the best we can to win the game. Keep it there, we're going to get it. Keep pitching like how you pitch, and we're going to get it, and he did it. He did a great job and we won the game."

Chicago got a two-run double from Kevan Smith and RBI singles from Leury Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez to give it the early edge.

But Holland, who spent his first nine big-league seasons with Texas, struggled.

"Today I just couldn't get rhythm," said Holland, who has allowed seven runs in each of his last two starts. "I just didn't have the tempo I usually need. I was definitely excited to be back home and pitch in front of the old fans and be back in front of Texas again. To give a showing like I did, it didn't help the cause. I don't even really know how to answer. I'm just upset with myself."

Chicago manager Rick Renteria liked the way his team started. That changed quickly though as Chicago has now dropped six of its last seven games.

"We felt good scoring five runs," Renteria said. "I think Dutch (Holland) got into a little trouble, had some traffic, ending up pulling out of pitches over the plate, which they were able to do some things with. Obviously they drove the ball out of the ballpark. That kind of took it out of him tonight in that particular inning."

Shin-Soo Choo had four hits for Texas, including a three-run homer in the sixth inning. All nine Texas starters scored at least once. Every Texas starter but Joey Gallo had at least two hits and Gallo walked three times.

Jose Abreu matched his career high with four hits for Chicago, including a solo homer in the seventh inning

NOTES: The Rangers put OF Carlos Gomez on the 15-day disabled list for the excision of a cyst behind his right shoulder. Texas recalled INF Phil Gosselin to take his spot. ... Chicago RHP Reynaldo Lopez was put on the disabled list with a strained back. The White Sox purchased the contract of RHP Danny Farquhar to take the roster spot. ... INF Yoan Moncada was scratched from the White Sox lineup with shin splints.

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Brewers 6 vs. 3 Rockies Final Recap

Brewers, Aguilar stun Rockies, Holland in ninth

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Sunday, August 20 at 1:20 AM (EDT)

DENVER -- The ninth-inning confrontation between Colorado Rockies closer Greg Holland and Milwaukee Brewers pinch hitter Jesus Aguilar was a succession of sliders.

Six of them, and with the count 3-2, Aguilar belted the last one an estimated 449 feet to left-center for a two-run homer that highlighted the three-run ninth that gave the Brewers a 6-3 win Saturday night.

Aguilar speaks through a translator. But when asked if he thought he might get a fastball from Holland, Aguilar shook his head and in English said, "Never."

Asked why, Aguilar, through the translator, said, "He throws a lot of offspeed, just looking for that."

The rally started when Holland (2-4) hit Keon Broxton in the back with an 0-2 fastball clocked at 95.6 mph with one out.

"It's painful," Broxton said, "but anytime you're 0-2 with a guy like that, it's OK to get hit by a pitch."

Broxton took second on a grounder, setting the stage for Aguilar, who is 14-for-46 with three home runs and 10 RBIs as a pinch hitter. He is tied for the most pinch-hit homers in the majors this season.

Holland said, "I threw him a few quality pitches at the bottom of the zone that were balls that he didn't offer at; 3-2 with first base open, I know it's a tie game but you can't throw a pitch, a hanging slider after he's already seen five. It was just bad execution on my part."

Holland then walked Eric Thames, who stole second and scored on a single by Neil Walker that ended Holland's outing. He had allowed three homers in 44 innings in his previous 46 appearances. But Holland has been scored upon in three of his past five games, allowing eight hits and nine runs in 4 1/3 innings in those outings and going 0-3 while elevating his ERA from 1.56 to 3.22.

"It's just one of those things where I've made a lot of mistakes," Holland said. "They've cost us. You get a fly ball in the infield or something, you still realize that you made a bad pitch but you got out of it. Recently I've been getting beat with some mistakes in the middle of the plate, and a lot of is due to not getting ahead, too."

Anthony Swarzak (2-0) pitched the eighth ahead of closer Corey Knebel, who earned his 25th save in 30 opportunities.

Despite their eighth loss in 12 games, the Rockies remained one game ahead of Arizona in the National League wild-card race. The Brewers are 3 1/2 behind the Diamondbacks.

Rockies starter Chad Bettis again pitched extremely well for the Rockies in his second start since recovering from cancer, again without figuring in the decision.

He pitched seven innings, just as he did Monday in his 2017 debut. But one inning was costly to Bettis. He gave up three runs -- all in the third -- and eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts in his efficient 92-pitch outing that included 64 strikes and nine outs on ground balls.

His scoreless streak to start the season ended at nine innings when Milwaukee scored on Thames' triple, Ryan Braun's sacrifice fly and Travis Shaw's 27th home run.

Bettis underwent surgery in November for testicular cancer. While fully participating in spring training in early March, Bettis learned the cancer had spread, forcing him to undergo nine weeks of chemotherapy.

Jonathan Lucroy singled home a run in the fourth, and Charlie Blackmon grounded a run-scoring single to left with one out in the seventh, cutting Milwaukee's lead to 3-2. The hit scored Trevor Story, who led off with a double, and finished left-hander Josh Hader, who came on after starter Brandon Woodruff gave up one run in 4 2/3 innings.

Blackmon stole second with Jacob Barnes pitching to DJ LeMahieu, who hit a soft single to center that scored Blackmon to tie the game. Nolan Arenado lined a single to right, sending LeMahieu to third. But the Rockies were unable to cash in a fourth run as Gerardo Parra struck out on three pitches, and Mark Reynolds flied to the edge of the warning track in left.

Two innings later, Aguilar stepped to the plate, only after Brewers manager Craig Counsell listened to bench coach Pat Murphy's suggestion to send up Aguilar to pinch hit rather than Eric Sogard, because Aguilar hits breaking pitches better. And with Thames on-deck and watching, Aguilar took a strike followed by two balls, fouled off a pitch, took ball three and then hit paydirt gainst Holland.

"He's nasty," Thames said, "so for us to do that against him is a huge, huge thing for a team."

NOTES: Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela will start Wednesday at Kansas City, taking the turn of Jeff Hoffman, who was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque. ... Brewers RF Domingo Santana, who has 10 hits in his past 68 at-bats, was given a rest day. ... Brewers RHP Brandon Woodruff went 2-for-2 with two singles, his first hits in the majors. ... Brewers 3B Travis Shaw has hit 16 of his 27 home runs on the road.

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Nationals 1 vs. 3 Padres Final Recap

Wood outduels Strasburg in Padres' 3-1 win over Nationals

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Sunday, August 20 at 1:09 AM (EDT)

SAN DIEGO -- The spotlight was on Stephen Strasburg Saturday night at Petco Park.

But it was Travis Wood and Yangervis Solarte who stole the show.

Pitching for the first time in 19 days, Nationals right-hander Strasburg made one mistake over six strong innings Saturday night.

But Solarte hit that mistake for a decisive two-run homer because Wood overcame a strange first inning to allow one run on three hits over seven innings to out-pitch Strasburg.

"I've never had an inning quite like the first tonight," said Wood, who needed 36 pitches to get out of a scoreless first that included a 13-pitch duel with Anthony Rendon that ended with the Nationals third baseman drawing a two-out walk.

"I threw some really good pitches and he kept fouling them off," Wood said of the Rendon battle. "Toward the end of the at-bat, he was looking out and we were both smiling and shrugging."

After getting the first two hitters in the first, Wood issued back-to-back walks to Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman before getting Howie Kendrick to line out to right to end the inning.

Then came the first of two streaks by Padres pitchers. Wood (3-4 overall and 2-1 with the Padres) retired the next nine Nationals he faced after the walks before Kendrick got Washington's first hit -- a two-out single in the fourth.

And at the end of the game, Wood, after giving up an unearned win in the fifth, and relievers Kirby Yates and Brad Hand (his 11th save) retired the last 13 Nationals they faced.

The game essentially ended in the first when Solarte followed a two-out single by Jose Pirela with a two-run homer off Strasburg (10-4), who had been out since his last start on July 23 due to a nerve impingement in his left elbow.

Strasburg allowed two runs on four hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in six innings. He threw 91 pitches with 61 strikes.

Solarte's 13th homer of the season, a 406-foot drive to right-center, came on a 1-and-2 fastball. It was Solarte's first homer since Aug. 8 and only his second since July 30 -- when he returned after missing 33 games with a left oblique strain.

"It was coming out good," Strasburg said of his pitches. "It was just getting the rust off a little bit. Obviously, with two strikes, I have to put Solarte away. I have to make a better pitch than that. But other than that, my curveball was good and my changeup was really good.

"I felt strong, so obviously it was still there. I'll probably be back to 100 percent next time. You don't really like taking time off. But sometimes you just got to make a good decision and take a step back to go two steps forward."

"He threw the ball well," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said of Strasburg, who is a native of San Diego and played for the late Tony Gwynn at San Diego State. "You wouldn't even know he had been out.

"I think this time off helped him. And hopefully, it can help him down the stretch and beyond. He did look fresh. He had good tempo. He had real good command. He just made that mistake in the first inning when he was ahead in the count and just got the ball over the plate. Other than that, he threw great. "

"You have to go in mentally thinking it was going to come out the way it did," said Solarte. "I know he throws a lot of curves, but sometimes with two strikes he uses the fastball like he did there."

Strasburg was really good," said Padres manager Andy Green. "Pirela had two singles on heaters down and away. Solarte squared that one up. Other than that, nothing."

Strasburg retired the next 10 Padres he faced after Solarte's homer before Cory Spangenberg legged out an infield single to open the fifth. Strasburg then struck out the side.

Washington scored in the fifth after Jose Lobaton singled with one out. Strasburg then sacrificed Lobaton to a second with a bunt that Wood fielded, only to draw second baseman Carlos Asuaje off the bag at first for an error. After Wood struck out Andrew Stevenson, Adrian Sanchez doubled home Lobaton to halve the Padres lead.

The Padres widened their lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh against the Nationals bullpen.

Walks to Wil Myers and Jabari Blash around a single by Spangenberg loaded the bases against left-hander Sammy Solis with none out. Right-hander Matt Albers replaced Solis and got Austin Hedges to ground into a double play with Myers scoring. Pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez then flew out to left to end the inning after hitting two long fouls.

Padres right-hander Kirby Yates struck out the side in the eighth. Hand struck out two of the three Nationals he faced.

NOTES: The Padres optioned RF Hunter Renfroe, who had started 107 of the first 122 games, to Triple-A El Paso Saturday. Renfroe was hitting .230 with 20 homers in 404 at-bats, but also had only a .285 on-base percentage with 125 strikeouts. To replace Renfroe, the Padres recalled OF Jabari Blash from El Paso. ... Jack McKeon, the Padres' former general manager (1980-90) and manager (1988-90), was the 14th inductee into the Padres Hall of Fame Saturday. ... The Nationals rested 2B Daniel Murphy Saturday due to "general leg soreness" and manager Dusty Baker said he might also rest Murphy Sunday ahead of Monday's scheduled day off. SS Wilmer Difo also got the start off Saturday night, although he entered the game in the ninth.

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Phillies 12 vs. 9 Giants Final Recap

Phillies beat Giants behind Kelly's pinch-hit grand slam

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Sunday, August 20 at 1:43 AM (EDT)

SAN FRANCISCO -- With a chance to break open a close game and possibly end a losing streak, Philadelphia Phillies manager Pete Mackanin called upon his "secret weapon" on Saturday night.

At this rate, Ty Kelly won't be a secret much longer.

Kelly capped a seven-run sixth inning with a pinch-hit grand slam, helping the Phillies rally to a 12-9 victory over the San Francisco Giants.

Rhys Hoskins had a three-run home run and Cameron Rupp a solo shot for the Phillies, who snapped a five-game losing streak and won for the first time in the four-game series after suffering losses Thursday and Friday.

"It wasn't pretty, but a win's a win and we'll take it," Mackanin insisted afterward. "I don't look happy, but I really am happy."

Denard Span drove in three runs, the first with a leadoff inside-the-park homer in the first inning, for the Giants, who lost to the Phillies at home for just the second time in their last 11 meetings.

"When you give up a three-run homer and a grand slam, that's tough to overcome," Giants manager Bruce Bochy noted. "We just unraveled there in the sixth. A couple of pitches just killed us."

The Phillies trailed 1-0 and 3-1 before entering the difference-making sixth in a 4-4 tie.

Cameron Perkins gave the Phillies the lead for good with a one-out single off Giants left-hander Ty Blach, ending his night.

Pedro Florimon and Freddy Galvis added to the lead with RBI hits off lefty Josh Osich, who then walked Nick Williams and Hoskins to load the bases with two outs.

Right-hander Cory Gearrin came on to face Kelly, who pulled the third pitch over the right-field wall for his second home run of the season and first career grand slam, pushing the Phillies' lead to 11-4.

"Pretty amazing," gushed Kelly, who had been a homerless 5-for-35 (.143) previously in his career as a pinch hitter. "Down and in is where lefties like it. The game's changing; maybe that's not the case anymore. But that's the way I grew up."

The four RBIs gave Kelly 14 with just 14 hits this season.

"You just have to take advantage of the opportunities you're given," the former New York Met said. "I've been fortunate to get a lot of great opportunities. Bases loaded ... you can't get a much greater opportunity than that."

Kelly was batting for just the second time in six games on the Phillies' Western swing.

"He's my secret weapon," Mackanin insisted. "One thing he does: He doesn't over-swing. If you make a mistake, like they did tonight, he doesn't try to over-swing. He just drops the head (of the bat) on it."

Blach (8-9), who had pitched at least six innings in each of his previous eight starts, was charged with six runs in 5 1/3 innings. He gave up eight hits and two walks, and struck out three.

"I left the ball over the middle of the plate in a hitter's count and he put a good swing on it," Blach said of Kelly's slam. "I wasn't as crisp as I have been."

Left-hander Adam Morgan (1-1), who retired the only batter he faced in relief of starter Jerad Eickhoff in the fifth inning, got the win.

Galvis had three hits and Rupp two for the Phillies, who began the night hitting just .225 against left-handed starters, the lowest in the majors.

Sandoval collected two hits and two RBIs, and Span had two hits for the Giants, who out-hit the Phillies 14-13.

Six of the Giants' hits came in a five-run rally in the bottom of the ninth that closed the gap to 12-9.

Phillies closer Hector Neris came on to record the final out, striking out Carlos Moncrief as the potential tying run, to earn his 14th save.

Sandoval had a two-run single in the uprising.

"It was fun to watch," Bochy said of the ninth. "There was a lot of energy in the dugout and the fans were getting into it. You love the fight. We get the tying run up after being down 12-4. That's something."

Span's inside-the-park home run came on Eickhoff's first pitch of the game. The ball caromed off the wall in right-center field and eluded right fielder Perkins, who reached down but inadvertently kicked the ball away.

Span was generously awarded a home run, his ninth of the season.

Span's two-run single in the second inning gave the Giants a 3-1 lead, before Hoskins' three-run shot in the third put the Phillies on top for the first time at 4-3.

Eickhoff was pulled two outs into the fifth inning of a 4-4 game, having allowed four runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out three.

NOTES: INF/OF Ty Kelly's pinch-hit grand slam was just the second in the majors this season. Cleveland Indians 3B/OF Lonnie Chisenhall had one against the Detroit Tigers on April 14. ... The seven runs scored by the Phillies in the sixth inning equaled their second-most in any inning this season. They had a 12-run first against the Washington Nationals on April 8. ... The inside-the-park home run by Giants CF Denard Span was the 11th in the 18-year history of AT&T Park and the second this month. Chicago Cubs INF Javier Baez had one against the Giants on Aug. 7. ... Before Span, the last Giant to lead off the first inning with an inside-the-park homer was CF Johnny Rucker against the Boston Braves at the Polo Grounds in New York on June 20, 1945. ... The game was played on the 60th anniversary of the day the New York Giants Board of Directors voted 9-1 in favor of moving to San Francisco.

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Blue Jays 3 vs. 4 Cubs Final Recap

Cubs hold on for 4-3 victory over Blue Jays

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Saturday, August 19 at 7:14 PM (EDT)

CHICAGO -- Wade Davis has been consistent for months, but manager Joe Maddon thinks the closer has been getting even sharper.

Davis pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to convert his 26th consecutive save of the season and nail down the Chicago Cubs' 4-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon.

Davis tied the franchise record for the longest streak of consecutive saves. The Cubs' Ryan Dempster also saved 26 straight from 2005-06. Davis' 26 saves in 26 opportunities represent the longest streak in the majors. He has converted his last 31 chances since September with Kansas City.

"That cutter was really good today and the strike throwing is really improving," Maddon said. "When he's at that level, he can get anybody out. He's actually peaking at the right time."

Javier Baez drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the sixth inning and the Cubs hung on to pick up their second victory in the three-game series.

"The two-out hits are really devastating to the other side, and it really picks you up," Maddon said.

Ian Happ scored on Baez's single up the middle after drawing a walk and advancing on a groundout. On Friday, Baez drove in three runs in the Cubs' 7-4 series-opening victory over the Blue Jays.

Anthony Rizzo's RBI single provided an insurance run in the seventh inning.

Happ also homered and had an RBI single for the Cubs (65-57), who hold a slim lead in the National League Central.

"He keeps adjusting and keeps virtually getting better every day," Rizzo said about Happ. "It's fun seeing his success pay off."

Toronto (59-64) pulled within one in the eighth on Kevin Pillar's single off Hector Rondon to drive in Steve Pearce, who singled and took second on third baseman Kris Bryant's throwing error.

Cubs starter Jose Quintana (4-2 with the Cubs, 8-10 overall) struck out eight and allowed two runs, four hits and two walks (one intentional) in six innings. He was 6-2 with a 1.77 ERA in nine previous career starts against Toronto.

"I tried better command, so it was really better today than last time," Quintana said. "Try to get quick outs, try to (pitch) longer in the game. It was a close game, but hitters (gave) good support."

Nick Tepesch allowed two runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings in his third appearance with Toronto since he was traded from Minnesota on July 23 for cash considerations.

Happ hit his 18th home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning and tie the score at 2-2.

The Cubs had runners at second and third after a Quintana sacrifice, but Jon Jay struck out looking against reliever Danny Barnes (2-4) to end the inning. Jay disagreed with the call from home plate umpire Joe West.

Toronto went ahead 2-1 on Raffy Lopez's two-run single in the top of the fourth. Pillar singled and Darwin Barney doubled before Lopez singled to drive them in.

The Cubs loaded the bases via two walks and a hit batter in the first inning but scored just one run on a Happ single. Toronto got out of the inning with a double play.

"Started off kind of rough there, but got out of it with just giving up the one run," Tepesch said. "Barnes got us out of the inning with limited damage. Giving up the home run after we score a couple runs is the last thing you want to do there."

The Blue Jays are 8-6 all time against the Cubs, with their last visit to Wrigley being in 2005.

"We know we got a long way to go, but we're playing better baseball and competing and staying in games," Pillar said.

NOTES: The Cubs claimed C Rene Rivera off waivers from the New York Mets. He has a .215 batting average with 34 home runs in parts of nine major league seasons with Seattle, Minnesota, San Diego, Tampa Bay and New York. He was batting .230 with eight home runs and 23 RBIs with the Mets this season. Cubs manager Joe Maddon praised Rivera's defense and throwing. ... RHP Aaron Brooks was designated for assignment to make room on the Cubs' 40-man roster. He was 8-9 with a 6.20 ERA at Triple-A Iowa. ... The Blue Jays called up RHP T.J. House because of a taxed bullpen. He was 9-11 with a 4.27 ERA at Triple-A Buffalo. ... Toronto optioned LHP Tim Mayza to Triple-A. He was 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA in three appearances. ... Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson moved to shortstop in the eighth inning to play the position for the third time in his career. ... C Mike Ohlman cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo, the Blue Jays announced. He was designated for assignment Wednesday.

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Cardinals 4 vs. 6 Pirates Final Recap

Pirates beat Cardinals to halt six-game slide

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Saturday, August 19 at 10:16 PM (EDT)

PITTSBURGH -- You don't get a do-over with spring training after you miss half a season, so Starling Marte has had to play some catch-up on the fly since returning a month ago from an 80-game suspension for testing positive performance-enhancing drugs.

"I was able to capture the velocity of the game again," the Pittsburgh left fielder said through a translator Saturday after he went 3-for-5 with one of three Pirates homers in a 6-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park.

"I'm watching pitches a lot better. I'm beginning to pick some better pitches off the plate and reading the pitcher a lot better. So I feel a lot more confident now."

Marte has gone 11-for-22 in his past five games after enduring a 1-for-10 stretch.

"I think it's the point of him just catching up to speed," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "I saw it start a few days ago -- I mentioned to different guys in the clubhouse -- in his walk and his demeanor at the plate."

Pittsburgh starter Chad Kuhl (6-8) didn't let a long rain delay bother him as the Pirates (59-64) broke a six-game losing streak to remain 6 1/2 games behind the first-place Chicago Cubs in the National League Central and four back of the Cardinals.

St. Louis (63-60), which had won two in a row and 10 of 13, dropped to 2 1/2 games behind the Cubs.

The series concludes Sunday night in Williamsport, Pa., in the MLB Little League Classic.

Pittsburgh pounded out 12 hits and rode a five-run second inning.

With both clubs reluctant to go to the bullpen early, both starters remained in the game after a rain delay of 1:56 in the top of the second -- with distinctly different results.

St. Louis right-hander Michael Wacha (9-6) got rocked after he pitched a perfect first and was out of the game after four innings. He gave up five runs and seven hits, including two homers, with three strikeouts and two walks. It was not only his second loss in a row but also only his second career loss in August.

Wacha stayed loose during the delay, throwing about every 15 minutes.

"Michael's been through that before. He's tough," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He just couldn't find a real good feel for his stuff after (the delay)."

Kuhl retired 11 of the 13 batters he faced after the delay, with only one hit. Overall, he gave up one run and three hits with six strikeouts and one walk in five innings.

"I had all the confidence in the world that I was going to be back out there, and never really was a question in my mind with the state of our bullpen not being so rested," said Kuhl, who had been 0-2 in four career starts against the Cardinals.

"I was 100 percent. No matter how long it took, I was ready."

Felipe Rivero gave up a run in the ninth but picked up his 13th save.

As the rain started before the delay, the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead against Kuhl in the second. Jose Martinez led off with a double to the right-field corner and scored on Kolten Wong's single to right.

Pittsburgh responded with a five-run second that included two-run homers by Adam Frazier and Marte and a run on Sean Rodriguez's double-play grounder. Kuhl doubled and scored in the inning, which ended with a 5-1 lead.

Marte's homer was his third of the season and first since April 15, before his suspension.

Jose Osuna hit his first career pinch-hit homer, a shot to right that was his sixth overall this season, to extend the Pirates' lead to 6-1 leading off the sixth.

St. Louis' Paul DeJong hit his 20th homer, a two-out, two-run shot to center, to close the Cardinals to 6-3 in the eighth, and Martinez blasted a homer to center off Rivero to lead off the ninth for the final score.

"I put us within striking distance, and Jose put us a little closer," said DeJong, whose 20 homers have come in just 70 games after he began the season with Triple-A Memphis. "You can't give away at-bats, late in a game, down by five runs, rain delay, all those factors. You've just got to try to help the team win every time.

"We didn't give up, even in the ninth. I think that's just a testament to how we're playing lately. It didn't go our way early, but it's over. We've got to win the series (Sunday)."

NOTES: St. Louis CF Dexter Fowler was out of the starting lineup because of back discomfort. ... St. Louis RHP Josh Lucas' contract was purchased from Triple-A Memphis. He made his major league debut, giving up a run on four hits in two innings. ... St. Louis RHP Mike Mayers was optioned to Triple-A Memphis. ... Pittsburgh RHP Dovydas Neverauskas was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and pitched a perfect inning. ... Pittsburgh LHP Steven Brault was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis.

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Dodgers 3 vs. 0 Tigers Final Recap

Dodgers blank Tigers for sixth straight win

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Saturday, August 19 at 9:16 PM (EDT)

DETROIT -- How a popup was handled -- mishandled if you will -- was a graphic illustration in Los Angeles' 3-0 victory on Saturday of why the Dodgers are going strong and the Detroit Tigers are struggling.

Two outs, nobody on in the seventh inning Saturday in a scoreless game. Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer (10-11) had faced just two batters over the minimum to that point.

The Dodgers' newly acquired Curtis Granderson then lifted a popup high to the left side of the infield. Tigers third baseman Nicholas Castellanos, who has taken some shots for his regression on defense this year, drifted toward short in pursuit of the ball but then lunged and missed it at the last second as he lost it in the sun.

Shortstop Jose Iglesias has made similar plays on popups all season and should have called for this one because he was looking away from the sun toward the outfield whereas Castellanos was peering directly into the sun.

"At that point, we can still get out of it," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "But we can't give a team like the Dodgers, the best team in baseball, extra outs. They took advantage of it."

Granderson, acquired late Friday night from the New York Mets, stood on second base after the misplay and, following a walk to Yasmani Grandal, scored on a line single to right by Adrian Gonzalez, who returned two days ago from the disabled list with a bad back.

The hit broke a scoreless tie and Los Angeles went on to beat Detroit to run its latest win streak to six games.

The Dodgers have 21 wins in their last 24 games and 52 victories out of its last 61 to achieve baseball's best record at 87-34. Detroit has lost six straight, eight of nine and 12 of 14.

"Fulmer is a heckuva pitcher, really good stuff," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Up and down our lineup, I thought we had good at-bats all day.

"We squared him up a lot, didn't get a whole lot to show for it. Those two-out hits by Adrian, by JT (Justin Turner), those are tough for a pitcher to handle. For us, that's kind of what we've done all year. The late homer by Yasmani was good to see."

Ross Stripling (3-4) picked up the victory with two scoreless relief innings. Brandon Morrow pitched the eighth and Kenley Jansen secured his 33rd save for working the ninth.

The Dodgers got a run in the seventh off reliever Alex Wilson. Turner grounded an RBI single up the middle with two outs after a walk, single and double play.

Grandal reached reliever Shane Greene for his 16th home run, a long drive to left-center field with one out in the ninth that made it 3-0.

"It seems like if we score some runs, we give up more," Ausmus said. "We get a good outing from a pitcher, we don't seem to scrape out enough."

Fulmer, who gave up 19 earned runs and 29 hits in losing his previous four starts, had faced just two above the minimum through his first five innings. He allowed three hits in six innings, the one unearned run, and struck out six while walking two.

Hyun-Jin Ryu started for Los Angeles and was removed from a scoreless game after five innings. He gave up three hits, walked four and struck out four while throwing 89 pitches.

"I just felt good right there, 84 pitches, to go to the 'pen," Roberts said. "Ross gives us two innings, Morrow comes in there and Kenley closes it out."

NOTES: Los Angeles optioned OF Joc Pederson to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room on the roster for OF Curtis Granderson, acquired from the New York Mets. RHP Dylan Floro was designated for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot. ... "He was supposed to be out," 2B Ian Kinsler chided Detroit teammate LF Justin Upton, who violated baseball rules Friday night by retouching second base and first after hitting a ball over the left-field fence. Runners are only allowed to retouch one base, but Los Angeles did not appeal. ... Dodgers RHP Yu Darvish is headed to the 10-day disabled list and will miss one start because of a sore back. ... Dodgers OF Andre Ethier is close to being activated.

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Mariners 7 vs. 6 Rays Final Recap

Haniger's grand slam propels Mariners past slumping Rays

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Saturday, August 19 at 11:09 PM (EDT)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The last time Mitch Haniger was on a major-league baseball field, he took a pitch to the mouth and missed three weeks recovering.

On Saturday night, there was a much better contact at the plate. His first career grand slam helped Seattle to an early lead and the Mariners held on for their fourth straight win, a 7-6 decision over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

"It's great to have Hani back -- the blow he took to the mouth, it's hard to come back," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "He was really on top of everything tonight and had a huge home run for us."

The Mariners (63-61) led 7-2 in the sixth inning and held off a rally from a Rays team that had scored nine runs in their previous 10 home games. Tampa Bay (60-65) has dropped four in a row and 12 of its last 15 as the Rays fade from the American League wild-card chase.

Logan Morrison had a pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth inning -- his 29th homer of the season -- to get Tampa Bay within a run.

Edwin Diaz regrouped to strike out Kevin Kiermaier, and pinch-hitter Corey Dickerson hit a weak ground ball as he posted his 27th save.

Seattle's Ariel Miranda (8-6) gave up three runs and five hits in five innings, but the Mariners' bats were strong enough to get him the win.

Tampa Bay's Jake Odorizzi (6-7) didn't make it through the fourth inning, struggling enough to spoil the Rays' awakening at the plate as the six runs marked their most in a home game since June 23.

"We didn't quit until the last out," Rays outfielder Steven Souza said. "Especially with the way we got down early and bounced back ... I think we just have to fight, ultimately. Tomorrow comes and we have to keep fighting."

Down 7-2 in the sixth inning, the Rays got a leadoff home run from Souza (his 26th of the season) to chase Miranda.

Reliever Emilio Pagan gave up a single to Wilson Ramos, then a two-run homer to Lucas Duda -- his 22nd of the season -- to get the Rays within 7-5.

"We had to work our way through the sixth inning," Servais said. "We got the ball to (reliever Nick) Vincent, and I thought Diaz threw the ball very well tonight."

For the second night in a row, the Mariners jumped out early.

Seattle had the bases loaded with one out in the second and came away empty, but Odorizzi wasn't as fortunate in the third. Singles by Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager sandwiched around a walk to Nelson Cruz loaded the bases before Haniger followed with his first career grand slam -- and eighth homer of the year -- for a 4-1 lead.

"One of those days where I didn't have it," Odorizzi said. "My arm felt dead. I feel fine. I had nothing coming out of today, no life on the fastball. Just one of those days where nothing was there, and there's really no more to say than that."

The Rays, who had taken an early lead on Ramos' RBI single in the first inning, got another run on Peter Bourjos' RBI double in the third to cut the lead to 4-2, but the Mariners weren't done.

Jean Segura doubled to lead off the fourth and scored on Yonder Alonso's RBI single to make it 5-2.

Cruz, who had a home run and two doubles in Friday's win, hit a shot to right field that was initially ruled a double, but replays showed it cleared the fence and bounced off a railing back into play. That made it his 31st home run and gave the Mariners a 7-2 lead.

Odorizzi lasted 3 2/3 innings, leaving after giving up seven runs and eight hits. He didn't help his cause with five walks, raising his season ERA to 4.74.

NOTES: The Mariners activated OF Mitch Haniger off the disabled list, where he'd been for three weeks since taking a pitch to the mouth. OF Jarrod Dyson was placed on the disabled list with a strained right groin, and Seattle swapped relievers, recalling RHP Casey Lawrence and optioning RHP Sam Gaviglio to Triple-A Tacoma. ... The Rays on Saturday claimed OF Cesar Puello, who had been designated for assignment by the Angels. Puello, 26, hit .397 in 44 games with the Angels' Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake, with seven home runs, 34 RBIs and 13 steals. No corresponding move was announced by the Rays. ... The Mariners' 12-game, 14-day road trip will cover 7,500 miles in the air, with stops in St. Petersburg, Atlanta, New York (Yankees) and Baltimore. ... Nelson Cruz's two-run homer was his 70th on the road since the start of 2015, easily the most in the majors. Entering Saturday, the closest was Cleveland's Edwin Encarnacion with 62.

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Angels 5 vs. 1 Orioles Final Recap

Trout, Valbuena hit 2 HRs each in Angels' 5-1 win

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Sunday, August 20 at 12:32 AM (EDT)

BALTIMORE -- The Los Angeles Angels have suddenly become a power hitting team.

Mike Trout and Luis Valbuena each homered twice in the first four innings as the Angels continued their weekend power barrage against the Baltimore Orioles in a 5-1 victory on Saturday night.

Valbuena hit a solo homer and a two-run blast and Trout banged out two solo homers to give the Angels five runs in the first four innings.

Trout's first-inning homer gave the 26-year-old 25 for the season. He became the third player in history to hit 25 homers six times before his age 26 season. Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson are the others.

"It's pretty cool," Trout said. "To be grouped up with (those) guys it's an unbelievable feeling."

The Angels (63-60) hit five homers in Friday's loss plus four in this win and now have nine in the first two games of the series -- after being ranked next-to-last in the American League in homers coming in.

In fact, all 16 runs the Angels have scored in their past four games -- the first two in Washington -- have come via home runs. Manager Mike Scioscia certainly is glad to see it.

"We've hit them out," he said. "We haven't hit many all year. We've tried to be creative and try to get men on base. We haven't had the slugging percentage to the level we need it. It's good to see it come alive."

Angels starter JC Ramirez (11-10) dodged some trouble in the early innings as the Orioles put runners in scoring position in the first and third but came away with just one run.

He went 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run and five hits, before leaving with right forearm irritation in the sixth.

Scioscia said they wanted to err on the side of caution and take him out when the pitcher informed them of his problems. The medical staff checked the pitcher out and said it was just an irritation, but he is going to have an MRI when returning to Los Angeles on Monday.

"I talked to the doctors ... they checked everything," Ramirez said. "They think it's OK because they did all the tests, and I didn't feel any pain. It's just that muscles are tight."

Kevin Gausman (9-9) didn't fare as well for the Orioles (60-63), allowing those four homers in the first four innings. He gave up five runs and six hits in four innings plus two batters and left while trailing 5-1.

The four home runs allowed tied a career high.

"Bad execution -- trying to throw some fastballs up," Gausman said. "Left two of them to Valbuena. Just left too good of pitches. Obviously, Mike Trout, missed location twice. He's a tough player. He's going to make you pay for it."

There also was a 40-minute rain delay after the seventh inning, the second straight night for a weather delay.

Trout belted a solo home run in the first inning that made it 1-0. After Tim Beckham scored on a wild pitch in the first, Valbuena broke the tie with a solo homer leading off the second.

Then Trout added his second solo shot in the third and Valbuena hit a two-run homer to left-center field in the fourth to put the Angels ahead 5-1.

"We had trouble keeping it in the park," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "You make good pitches, you get outs. Mistakes get magnified up here with power being so prevalent at the major league level. Mistakes go a lot farther."

Home plate umpire Tom Hallion had to be replaced in the top of the second by second-base umpire Vic Carapazza after Martin Maldonado fouled one off Hallion's face mask. The game was delayed for several minutes while the change was made.

NOTES: Former Orioles OF Brady Anderson won the pregame Home Run Derby for players from the 1992 team as the Orioles are celebrating 25 years at Camden Yards this weekend. The team also wore 1992 uniforms. ... Orioles 1B Chris Davis, who has missed the first two games of the series with an illness, could be back Sunday. ... Angels OF Cameron Maybin did not play again as his right knee is still bothering him. Manager Mike Scioscia said Maybin is day to day. ... Angels 3B Luis Valbuena's two home runs gave him nine since the All-Star break.

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Athletics 0 vs. 3 Astros Final Recap

Astros get boost from bullpen in victory over A's

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Saturday, August 19 at 11:25 PM (EDT)

HOUSTON -- Astros right-hander Joe Musgrove, an unexpected revelation out of the bullpen, helped crystalize how much things can change during a six-month season.

Right-hander Collin McHugh worked six shutout innings before a reconfigured bullpen completed the Houston Astros' 3-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.

McHugh (1-2) earned his first victory on the season in his sixth start after missing three-plus months with an elbow injury. However, it was a bit of a rocky road for McHugh, who retired the side in order only once and relied on timely grounders and his defense to negate baserunners.

The Astros (76-47) turned three double plays behind McHugh, who allowed six hits and walked one batter while striking out three, and six overall. Oakland went 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position thanks in large part to baserunners being eliminated before reaching second.

"It just didn't roll our way today," Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell said. "Slightly to the left or the right or maybe a little bit in the air and it's a different ballgame. But tonight, that was our kryptonite."

Athletics right-hander Kendall Graveman (3-4) matched McHugh by working six innings, allowing six hits and striking out three. But he surrendered a two-run single to Marwin Gonzalez in the fourth inning, a grounder that clipped the glove of lunging second baseman Jed Lowrie.

Astros third baseman Alex Bregman supplied an insurance tally in the eighth inning, his 15th home run of the season and second in as many games.

Francisco Liriano, Musgrove and Tyler Clippard, relative newcomers to the Houston bullpen, worked an inning apiece to close out the Astros' 12th victory in 14 games against Oakland (53-70) this season. Liriano and Clippard were acquired via trade over the last three weeks while Musgrove continued his excellent work since being bumped from the rotation in mid-June.

In nine relief appearances since June 22, Musgrove has allowed one run with 15 strikeouts over 14 1/3 innings. He induced a double play and struck out Marcus Semien in the eighth.

"Musgrove's really pitched his way to more interesting outings out of the bullpen," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "His velocity is up, his slider has gotten better. His energy on the mound is exceptional. There's a better vibe about him so it was a good test for him today with the two-run lead."

McHugh labored early and needed 24 pitches to complete the second inning. He snagged a fielder's choice grounder to erase Semien, who had doubled with one out in the first inning, and worked around a one-out walk to Matt Olson in the second.

Double plays in the third, fourth and sixth helped ease McHugh along when Oakland created traffic on the bases.

"The shift has been working the last two days big time," said Bregman, who finished 2-for-3 with a walk. "We work on it a lot during practice and before (batting practice). We take our work very seriously. (Shortstop) Marwin (Gonzalez) and (second baseman Jose) Altuve are doing a heck of a job turning double plays, so it's been fun to watch."

A nine-pitch fifth inning in which McHugh retired the side in order allowed him to complete the sixth and, despite some tense early moments, depart with a scoreless card and the lead.

"Just not very good swings at times," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "Got to give the pitcher some credit. He threw the ball pretty well but I expect us to hit some balls harder than we did tonight."

NOTES: With RHP Will Harris (right shoulder inflammation) and LHP Tony Sipp (right calf soreness) having faced live hitters Friday and C Evan Gattis (concussion) completing a position-specific workout, the Astros are poised to send all three out for a rehab assignment to Double-A Corpus Christi early next week. ... Athletics UTL Chad Pinder made his first career appearance in center field Friday night, shifting from right field in the bottom of the eighth inning. Oakland manager Bob Melvin acknowledged that Pinder could log additional innings in center over the final six weeks of the season. ... After exiting the game Friday night with a left hand contusion, crew chief Jerry Layne was back umpiring at third base. Layne was hit by a foul ball in the seventh inning in the series opener.

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Diamondbacks 0 vs. 5 Twins Final Recap

Berrios sharp as Twins rough up Greinke, D-backs

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Sunday, August 20 at 12:17 AM (EDT)

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jose Berrios walked Jake Lamb and was staring at Paul Goldschmidt in the batter's box; the first inning on the precipice of spinning out of control as it had too often in recent starts.

This time, Berrios locked in and the Minnesota Twins' second-year right-hander struck out Goldschmidt to end the inning.

Full of confidence after the strikeout and armed with a dominating fastball, Berrios posted seven scoreless innings, and Minnesota exploded for five runs in the fourth inning against Zack Greinke to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 on Saturday.

"I don't like giving walks," Berrios said. "So, when the next hitter came up, to get him out, it was huge. They're both having great seasons, so being able to get them out was good. It gave me a lot of energy and put me back into the game."

Joe Mauer had three hits, a walk and an RBI, and Brian Dozier added a pair of hits as the Twins (62-59) maintained a spot as one of the American League wild-card teams with their third straight victory.

Berrios (11-5) allowed two hits and struck out seven batters, lowering his ERA to 3.99 in a strong sophomore season.

"To imagine where he is now compared to a year ago, it's just leaps and bounds in terms of how he handles adversity in the game and bouncing back from starts that maybe aren't as good as others," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "Tonight was as good and clean and crisp as you want a guy to be. Velocity was there; got some really good hitters out in tough situations."

Berrios was 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA in his previous four starts, and had given up five runs in the first inning in each of his last two outings. But working with two extra days of rest after the Twins had a mid-week rainout, Berrios had his second outing of at least seven innings and no runs allowed this season.

"If there was a first-inning hurdle, he leaped over it and he just seemed to get stronger," Molitor said. "I really thought him establishing his fastball, holding on to that changeup probably until the mid-innings for the most part. He was solid all the way through."

Greinke (14-6) lasted only four innings, giving up five runs (four earned), seven hits and a season high-tying four walks. He struck out four. It was the shortest outing of the season for Greinke and the first time he hasn't reached the fifth inning since Aug. 14, 2016, a span of 33 starts.

Greinke, who was 6-1 with a 2.78 ERA in his previous nine starts, was in trouble early. He gave up a leadoff single to Dozier and walked two batters to load the bases, but got out of the inning with two flyouts to third.

"He was throwing some quality pitches just off the edge of the plate and they were grinding out their at-bats," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "From what I could tell, they look like a team that's pretty locked in right now offensively, so it made it tough on Zach. He's our No. 1, he's our ace, and they wore him down and waited for the mistakes, and that was the key."

The Twins got to Greinke in the third after Daniel Descalso's error at second base. Eddie Rosario led off with a single and Eduardo Escobar hit a groundball to second. Descalso tried to scoop the ball quickly and tag Rosario, who was running by. The ball bounced away from Descalso and the inning got away from Greinke.

Minnesota had five hits in the inning. Greinke walked No. 9 hitter Jason Castro with the bases loaded. Dozier brought in one run on an infield single. Max Kepler added a two-run single and Mauer plated Dozier with a single.

"I haven't done a good job figuring out the answer," Greinke said of his performance. "I've been trying to figure it out but don't have an answer really for it."

NOTES: Minnesota DH Miguel Sano left the game with left lower leg shin soreness. He was replaced in the seventh inning by Mitch Garver, who made his major league debut and struck out. ... Arizona announced that LHP Robbie Ray (concussion disabled list) would rejoin the rotation this week. Ray will start Thursday. Taijuan Walker will start Monday, followed by Patrick Corbin and Zach Godley. ... Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo announced that LHP T.J. McFarland would come out of the bullpen and start Sunday's finale. RHP Braden Shipley was also recalled from Triple-A with the team optioning RHPs J.J. Hoover and Silvino Bracho after the game. ... Twins manager Paul Molitor announced that RHP Tim Melville will be recalled to start one game of Monday's doubleheader in Chicago with RHP Dillon Gee starting the other. ... Arizona RF J.D. Martinez was back in the lineup after missing one game with an illness.

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Marlins 1 vs. 8 Mets Final Recap

Seven-run sixth helps Mets halt five-game skid

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Sunday, August 20 at 12:02 AM (EDT)

NEW YORK -- Between the two of them, Rafael Montero and Kevin Plawecki have combined for 16 stints in the majors with the New York Mets. The duo certainly performed Saturday like they know a 17th and 18th opportunity may not be forthcoming if they don't maximize their 15th and 16th chances.

Montero picked up the win by tossing six solid innings and Plawecki, promoted hours earlier from Triple-A Las Vegas, hit one of the Mets' two two-run homers during a seven-run sixth inning that lifted New York to an 8-1 victory over the Miami Marlins at Citi Field.

"Lot of circumstances in the past they can look in the mirror and say, geez, all I'm doing is filling in," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Montero and Plawecki, each of whom were ranked among the team's top 10 prospects entering the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

But there's no filling in now for Montero and Plawecki, who are sure to get extended auditions down the stretch for the Mets (54-67). New York, which snapped a five-game losing streak, shifted into rebuilding mode by trading six veterans -- including backup catcher Rene Rivera, who was claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs on Saturday to open up a roster spot for Plawecki -- in the last three-plus weeks.

Montero (2-8), who started the 2013 Futures Game for the World Team at Citi Field but lost most of the 2015 season to a shoulder injury before posting a 5.66 ERA between the Mets and two minor league affiliates in 2016, is locked into a rotation spot thanks to injuries suffered by Matt Harvey, Seth Lugo and Noah Syndergaard.

The right-hander allowed one run, six hits and three walks while striking out five and inducing four double plays in six innings on Saturday.

Since being promoted from Las Vegas on June 14, Montero has a 4.53 ERA while striking out 59 and walking 23 in 57 2/3 innings -- a marked improvement from the 8.24 ERA and 20/17 strikeout-to-walk ratio he posted in his first 19 2/3 big league innings this season.

"Raffy, he knows, with what's happened this summer with our starting pitching, that there's a possibility of a job here, especially next year," Collins said. "When you pitch like he did tonight, against a very, very good lineup, those are the kind of guys you want in your rotation."

Before Saturday's game, Collins said Plawecki -- a lifetime .206 hitter in 132 big league games -- would split time behind the plate the rest of the way with d'Arnaud. Plawecki's homer Saturday was his first for the Mets since May 9, 2016, a span of 110 at-bats.

"With what's occurred here (the) last couple weeks, I think Kevin Plawecki's said to himself that this is his ultimate opportunity to show that he should stay here," Collins said.

Plawecki said he was focused more on building on his improvements at Las Vegas, where he batted .328 with nine homers and 45 RBIs this season, and less on thinking of his latest trip to the big leagues as a now-or-never opportunity.

"Hopefully take that work that I've put in down there and hopefully see some results up here," Plawecki said. "I'm happy with the work I've been able to put in and I'm really looking forward to the last six weeks of the season and hopefully on to next year."

The Marlins and Mets were locked in a scoreless duel through five innings before Marcell Ozuna's third hit, an RBI single, gave Miami the lead in the top of the sixth.

But the Mets sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth, when they benefited from three Marlins errors. Asdrubal Cabrera tied the score with a sacrifice fly before the Mets took the lead when two runs scored after Miguel Rojas allowed a hard grounder by Michael Conforto to go between his legs.

Flores followed with a two-run homer to extend the Mets' lead to 5-1 and Smith reached on another error by Rojas to set up Plawecki's two-out homer.

"Pretty sloppy inning on our part," Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton said. "Gave them extra chances."

Smith, who was promoted from Las Vegas on Aug. 11, hit his first Citi Field homer in the eighth.

Ozuna was the only player with multiple hits for the Marlins (59-62), who tied a team record by hitting into five double plays. The five double plays induced by the Mets also tied a franchise record.

"A few double plays there in the first five where we get some guys on," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "A chance to get to (Montero) and he made some pitches."

Vance Worley (2-3) took the loss after giving up two runs, three hits and two walks while striking out two in 5 1/3 innings.

NOTES: The Mets last induced five double plays in a 15-inning loss to the Marlins on April 29, 2013. The Marlins last hit into five double plays on July 1, 2015, against the San Francisco Giants. ... To replace OF Curtis Granderson -- dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers late Friday night -- the Mets activated LHP Tommy Milone from the 10-day disabled list. ... The Marlins traded Triple-A RHP Tom Koehler to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Class A RHP Osman Gutierrez.

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Reds 11 vs. 8 Braves Final Recap

Schebler, Gennett power Reds past Braves

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Sunday, August 20 at 12:13 AM (EDT)

ATLANTA -- Cincinnati Reds outfielder Scott Schebler appears to have his hitting stroke back after a stint on the disabled list to rest a strained left shoulder.

Schebler broke out of a 2-for-40 slump and Scooter Gennett hit his third grand slam of the season as the Reds went up by seven runs and held on for an 11-8 victory Saturday night over the Atlanta Braves.

"That would have been a horrible one to lose," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Schebler was 3-for-4 with a double, walk, two runs scored and a RBI in his first start since late July after coming off the DL the day before and drawing a walk as a pinch hitter.

Gennett's slam, his 21st homer of the year, came in the ninth inning off reliever Jim Johnson and gave him five RBIs for the game. He was 2-for-3 with a walk and sacrifice fly, scoring twice.

"That's just the time to focus up and lock it in," Gennett said of coming up with the bases loaded. "Every time you have runners on, you want to get them across. It's not like I'm trying to hit homers, but you want to come through. To get some more runs there was huge, especially the way the game ended up."

Claimed off waivers from Milwaukee at the end of spring training, Gennett had a four-homer game with 10 RBIs that included one of his other grand slams. He is hitting .288 with 20 homers this season.

"I don't think anybody expected this," Price said.

Schebler, who has 23 homers, hurt the shoulder in June and was 4-for-52 since the All-Star break before finally being shut down. His average had dropped to .228.

"I believe this kid is a really good, dynamic player waiting to break out," Price said. "The power is the obvious thing, but he's got a lot to bring to the table. He's just got to get out of his own way sometimes and not press so much."

The Braves lost despite three homers, the last a three-run pinch shot by Matt Adams in the ninth inning off Blake Wood.

Freddie Freeman added a RBI single and the Braves got the tying run to the plate before Michael Lorenzen got Matt Kemp, just off the disabled list, to bounce into a force at third base to end the game.

Reds rookie starter Robert Stephenson was the beneficiary of the big nights by Schebler and Gennett, going five innings for his first victory of the season after four losses. He allowed five hits, including a homer by Brandon Phillips, and three runs (two earned).

Julio Teheran (7-11) took the loss, falling to 1-9 at SunTrust Park. He gave up eight hits and five runs (four earned) in six innings. He struck out seven, walked three and threw a wild pitch for a Reds run.

"I think it's part of baseball," Teheran said of his struggles at home. "Every time I get the ball I try to win. I haven't won since the first game, but it's not like I'm going to worry about it. I'm just trying to get better."

The home run by Adams was his 18th of the season. Kurt Suzuki hit a two-run homer in the seventh off Aaron Wojciechowski.

The Reds scored three times in the fourth inning to go up 4-1, with one of the runs unearned thanks to an error by Gold Glove center fielder Ender Inciarte. Eugenio Suarez and Schebler had RBI singles after a double by Adam Duvall.

The Braves took advantage of a throwing error by Stephenson on a bunt by Teheran to get a run back in the bottom of the inning as Inciarte atoned with a sacrifice fly.

Phillips' 11th homer and first against his former team leading off the bottom of the third for the Braves matched a Reds run in the top of the inning courtesy of a Billy Hamilton groundout.

Phillips was 3-for-6 after going 2-for-5 in the first game of the series.

NOTES: Braves LF Matt Kemp was activated after missing 19 games with a strained right hamstring and was 1-for-6. ... SS Zack Cozart was out of the Reds' lineup after being hit in the left shin by a pitch Friday. ... The Braves placed RHP Luke Jackson (shoulder strain) on the DL and recalled RHP Matt Wisler from Triple-A Gwinnett. ... OF/INF Micah Johnson was optioned back to Gwinnett when Kemp came off the DL. ... RHP Luis Castillo (2-5, 3.39 ERA) will start Sunday's series finale for the Reds against LHP Sean Newcomb (1-7, 4.45 ERA) in a matchup of rookies.

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Yankees 4 vs. 3 Red Sox Final Recap

Sabathia comes off DL to pitch Yankees past Red Sox

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Saturday, August 19 at 11:55 PM (EDT)

BOSTON -- It was less than two weeks ago when CC Sabathia contemplated retirement after injuring his right knee in Toronto.

Fortunately for his team, he changed his mind

"I know that he was pretty emotional that night because he thought he was heading for surgery," New York manager Joe Girardi said after Sabathia came off the disabled list and outpitched Chris Sale while leading the Yankees to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Saturday night.

"We said, 'Let's just see.' If you would have listened to the tone in his voice, you probably wouldn't have guessed that (he'd be back)."

The pain subsided and Sabathia returned to beat the Red Sox for the third time in as many tries this season -- going six innings and yielding two runs.

"I would have said, 'No way.' But everything's worked out," Sabathia (10-5) said after not only winning but also setting the American League record for career strikeouts by a left-hander. "I want to keep going out there and helping the team."

As far as the knee, he said, "I felt it a little bit, but nothing like Toronto. I feel like where it's at now I can manage."

Sabathia passed Mickey Lolich with his 2,680th career strikeout, in the third inning. He has allowed two runs in 20 innings against Boston this season and this performance helped his team out after two crushing losses to the first-place Red Sox.

"I felt confident coming in," he said. "But to be able to go out and pitch well against that team and get us a big win, feels really good."

Sabathia improved to 7-0 with a 1.46 ERA after Yankee losses this season.

The win reduced Boston's lead over the Yankees atop the American League East to four games.

The loss was only the third in 16 games for the Red Sox, while the Yankees have won five of their last six.

Tyler Austin crashed a three-run homer in his first career at-bat against Sale (14-5) in the second inning and Todd Frazier hit his second homer in as many nights for the Yankees.

"Anytime I give up two homers in a game, it's not gonna work out so much," said Sale, who has failed to beat the Yankees in four starts this season. "Solo shot's not that big of a deal. But when guys get on base, I just gotta be better than that."

Austin, robbed of extra bases by Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fourth, doubled to lead off the ninth.

Adam Warren gave up a solo homer to rookie sensation Rafael Devers -- his eighth home run in 20 major league games, in another two-hit game -- in the seventh and David Robertson struck Xander Bogaerts out on three breaking pitches to end an eighth-inning threat created by a wild pitch on a strikeout that should have ended a 1-2-3 inning.

With Aroldis Chapman demoted from the closer role, Dellin Betances worked the ninth for his ninth save -- and he also had to pitch around a strikeout/wild pitch. Gary Sanchez caught pinch runner Brock Holt stealing for the second out and Bradley flied out to end it.

"We have full confidence in his ability to steal a base right there, particularly in a 2-0 count where typically a pitcher is going to get a little bit longer to throw a strike," Boston manager John Farrell said, "and Dellin is a guy that's got a fairly long, if not long, unloading time. Sanchez threw a bullet right to second base. That's an aggressive baserunning play and I think a calculated risk."

Didi Gregorius had three hits for New York.

The Red Sox have scored five runs in Sale's five losses. He went seven innings, allowing a season high-tying-four extra-base hits and striking out nine.

The Yankees went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position and are 2 for 17 in that department in the two games, stranding 22 runners.

Aaron Judge struck out his last three times up to break a tie with former pitcher Bill Stoneman with a strikeout in 36 straight games. He also tied Adam Dunn's record of 36 straight games with a K stretching over two seasons.

NOTES: Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before the game he is taking LHP Aroldis Chapman out of the closer's role as Chapman continues to struggle, saying, "I will use him at any point" and adding Chapman was OK with the decision. ... The umpires were wearing dark blue sweatbands on their left arms in solidarity with their union, which is complaining over Ian Kinsler's recent harsh words aimed at ump Angel Hernandez. Umps earlier in the day wore white bands. ... RHP Masahiro Tanaka (shoulder inflammation) is tentatively scheduled to come off the disabled list to pitch for the Yankees in Detroit on Tuesday. ... LHP Jordan Montgomery, whose innings are being watched, was sent back to Triple-A to make room for CC Sabathia. ... RHP Sonny Gray faces the Red Sox for the first time in a Yankees uniform when he opposes RH Rick Porcello in Sunday's series finale. ... LHP David Price (elbow) received treatment and didn't throw for a fourth straight day.

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Indians 5 vs. 0 Royals Final Recap

Indians shut out Royals

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Sunday, August 20 at 12:16 AM (EDT)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Cleveland Indians' starting pitching is dominant. Just ask the Kansas City Royals or look at the statistics.

Trevor Bauer, Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen combined on a seven-hit shutout as the Indians beat the skidding Royals 5-0 on Saturday night.

The Indians have outscored the Royals 15-1 in the first two games of this series. The loss dropped the Royals back to .500 and 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Indians.

Bauer (12-8) gave up seven hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings with four strikeouts. Shaw and Allen did not allow a hit and only one baserunner on a walk.

"It's backwards as all hell," Bauer said. "I think this is my first scoreless outing all year, and I wasn't sharp, I didn't punch people out, I had a lot of balls hit hard ... and no runs. I don't know, I'll take it for sure. But it makes no sense."

Indians starting pitchers have allowed one or no earned runs in 10 of their past dozen games. Bauer just continued the stretch of the Indians' superb rotation.

"I thought he came out and had a real good breaking ball," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "And he held his stuff. But he really competed. He had a couple innings there where, I mean, I know the scoreboard didn't reflect it, but they were competing too."

Bauer has won his past five decisions.

"You know how Trevor is," said catcher Roberto Perez, who had a clutch two-run single. "His head starts spinning on the mound. I mean, it was a battle. I think lately he has figured it out. He doesn't let walks affect him, and umpires missing calls, and all that. He's on a roll right now, so I don't want to mess with him."

Austin Jackson's eighth-inning single scored Carlos Santana, who had doubled, with the Indians' fifth run.

Jason Kipnis and Jose Ramirez hit back-to-back doubles in the first inning to produce a Cleveland run. Ramirez, who did not play Friday after being hit in the right forearm pitch Thursday, drilled a Jason Vargas pitch to center, scoring Kipnis.

The Indians loaded the bases in the fourth with one out on a walk and singles by Santana and Jackson. It appeared Vargas would wriggle out of this jam when he struck out Brandon Guyer swinging on a full-count pitch for the second out.

Perez, who was in a 3-for-25 skid, fell behind in the count 1-and-2 before lacing a two-run single to left, scoring Jay Bruce and Santana.

The Indians tacked on a run in the fifth and chased Vargas.

Ramirez walked with one out, advanced to second on Edwin Encarnacion's groundout and scored on Bruce's double to right on Vargas' 96th and final pitch.

"It is more attributed more to their ability to lay off tough pitches," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Vargy is not going to groove pitches to them. He's going to pitch to corners. He's going to try to stay down. And they did a really good job of staying off of that."

Vargas, who has only two wins since June 30 after being named to the All-Star Game, yielded four runs, six hits and three walks while striking out seven in 4 2/3 innings. He was replaced by Mike Minor.

"I just made mistakes with off-speed pitches up in the zone when it really counted," Vargas said. "It's frustrating."

The Royals had opportunities early but came away with zilch. Lorenzo Cain doubled with one out in the first and Brandon Moss with two outs in the fourth but went no farther. Drew Butera and Cain singled in the fifth, but Bauer prevented them from scoring.

NOTES: The Royals placed RHP Neftali Feliz on the disabled list with right ulnar nerve palsy. LHP Eric Skoglund was recalled from Triple-A Omaha, where he was 4-5 with a 4.07 ERA in 20 starts. Skoglund will be used as a reliever. ... Indians manager Terry Francona said according to the training staff it is 50-50 whether RHP Corey Kluber will make his Wednesday start against Boston. Kluber exited in the sixth inning on Friday with a sprained right ankle. ... Royals C Salvador Perez took a full batting practice before the game for the first time since going on the DL with a right intercostal strain. ... Royals manager Ned Yost celebrated his 62nd birthday. ... RHPs Danny Salazar of the Indians and Jason Hammel of the Royals are the Sunday probables.

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