Aaron Judge could not hit an historic 61st home run but the New York Yankees claimed a 5-4 walk-off win over the Boston Red Sox to clinch their postseason berth on Thursday.

Judge walked three times and came agonisingly close in the ninth inning with a fly out to center-field, meaning his 2022 season home-run tally remains at 60, equal with Babe Ruth and one behind Roger Maris for the American League (AL) record.

With scores locked at 4-4 in the ninth inning, Judge fell a few feet short of his historic 61st home run for the season, caught at deep center-field by Enrique Hernandez.

But there was plenty for the fans at Yankee Stadium to get excited about, with Josh Donaldson's 10th-inning RBI single getting Marwin Gonzalez home for the walk-off win. Donaldson hit a bouncing ball to the left side past third baseman Rafael Devers from Kaleb Ort for the game-winning run.

Earlier, Giancarlo Stanton headlined a four-run seventh-inning rally after trailing 3-0 with a two-run blast.

The victory means the Yankees clinch a playoffs berth for the sixth consecutive year, with an AL East-best record of 91-58 this season.

Wong's career-first three-homer game

Kolten Wong had a career game as he blasted three home runs out of the five-spot as the Milwaukee Brewers won 5-1 over the Cincinnati Reds.

Wong crushed a second-inning two-run blast to open the scoring, before backing that up with another two-run homer in the sixth inning to provide some insurance.

In the eighth inning, Wong homered again over right-field, bringing up his 15th blast of the season and his maiden three-homer game and first five-RBI game in his career.

Rookie's immaculate inning in Cubs win

Rookie Chicago Cubs pitcher Hayden Wesneski registered the first immaculate inning for the franchise since 2004 in their 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In just his second start, Wesneski struck out Jack Suwinski, Zack Collins and Jason Delay across nine second-inning pitches.

Wesneski finished the game with six strikeouts and two walks, allowing two runs on five hits, having turned in six-and-one-third innings.

Albert Pujols was the star of the show on Friday night as he moved one step closer to becoming the fourth player to ever hit 700 home runs, connecting on number 698 in the St Louis Cardinals' 6-5 win against the Cincinnati Reds.

An RBI ground ball from Jonathan India, a two-run double from Jake Fraley and an RBI single from Aristides Aquino gave the Reds a 4-1 lead heading into the sixth inning, where sparks would fly.

The stars delivered for the Cardinals to rally back from the deficit, with NL MVP favourite Paul Goldschmidt leading off the inning with a double, before fellow NL MVP candidate Nolan Arenado drove him home with a single, bringing Pujols to the plate.

On the very first pitch, Pujols crushed a no-doubt home run sailing well over the left-field wall to tie things up, with his 427-foot shot travelling further than any ball he hit at this year's Home Run Derby, and leaving him with two required to reach 700. Only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) have hit more.

Kyle Farmer put the Reds back ahead with his own solo home run in the seventh inning, but later in that inning Goldschmidt and Arenado would combine again, with back-to-back doubles scoring a pair of runs to take a 6-5 lead.

Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley came in to finish the job, and he did it in style, striking out all three batters from only nine pitches for a rare immaculate inning. It was only the third immaculate inning in Cardinals history.

Alvarez hits 1329 feet worth of home runs

Yordan Alvarez was in rare form for the Houston Astros in their 5-0 shut-out win against the Oakland Athletics, hitting home runs in each of his first three at-bats to deliver a win in Justin Verlander's return from injury.

The AL Cy Young Award favourite made his way back from the 15-day injured list to throw five hitless innings, striking out nine batters and only allowing one walk.

Helping him out with the bat, Alvarez hit a 434-foot home run in the first inning, followed by a 431-foot shot in the third inning, and from the first pitch of his third at-bat he did it again, blasting the longest ball of the night with a 464-foot nuke to center-field.

With his three homers, Alvarez is now tied for the third most in the majors with 36, although he remains 21 behind league-leader Aaron Judge (57).

Yankees blow a five-run lead

The New York Yankees led 5-0 in the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers before going down 7-6 on a walk-off hit from Garrett Mitchell.

After the Yankees jumped out to their big early lead, Willy Adames pegged back four of the runs by himself, with a three-run homer in the second inning and an RBI double in the fourth.

A fielding error in the eighth inning allowed the Brewers to take a 6-5 lead, before Josh Donaldson collected his third RBI of the game with a solo home run to tie things in the last frame.

But Yankees closer Clay Holmes could not force extra innings, giving up two hits and two walks, capped off by Mitchell's game-winning single.

The Tampa Bay Rays made MLB history with all nine hitters in their starting line-up being Latin American for the first time in their 11-0 blowout win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday.

The feat occurred on Roberto Clemente Day, the official annual date the MLB holds to coincide with the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. The late Clemente is a Hall of Fame outfielder from Puerto Rico, who was a two-time World Series winner and National League MVP.

The Rays hitters did not let him down either, with Yandy Diaz blasting a three-run homer at the top of the second inning to open up a 4-0 lead. Isaac Paredes launched a solo home run in the seventh inning, while he also had an RBI single.

Rays manager Kevin Cash claimed that he did not realise that he had made history with his side's line-up until halfway through the game.

Meanwhile, the defeat is the Blue Jays' second biggest blowout loss this season, leaving them 81-63 but still well placed in the American League Wild Card race.

Carrasco stars as Mets sink Pirates

Clemente's former side, the Pittsburgh Pirates, were brushed aside 7-1 by the New York Mets, for whom Carlos Carrasco starred.

The Mets 35-year-old right-hander tossed down 11 strikeouts across six innings, allowing only four hits, one earned run and two walks. The win was Carrasco's 15th of the season.

Francisco Lindor crushed a two-run homer into the upper deck for his 24th blast of the season, setting a Mets' single-season record for a short-stop.

Pujols' 700 chase stalls with sac fly

The cameras and phones came out with bases loaded in the ninth inning searching for history, but Albert Pujols could only deliver a sacrifice fly in the St Louis Cardinals' 3-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Pujols is three runs shy of becoming only the fourth player in majors' history to blast 700 homers, but he could not add to his tally, although his sac fly to right allowed Brendan Donovan to get home to halve the margin in the ninth.

Corey Dickerson ground out to end the game as the Reds snapped their six-game losing run, with solo blasts from Nick Senzel and Aristides Aquino.

Aaron Judge blasted his 50th home run of the season, but Shohei Ohtani had the decisive say as the Los Angeles Angels beat the New York Yankees 4-3 on Monday.

With scores locked at 2-2 at the bottom of the fifth inning, Ohtani delivered a two-run blast down right-center field from a Frankie Montas splitter in the zone.

The 398-foot home run was Ohtani's 29th of the season, boosting the two-way star's American League (AL) MVP case, with Judge likely to be his strongest opposition.

Judge produced his 434-foot solo shot over left-center field at the top of the eighth inning to halve the deficit and bring up his 50th home run for the season.

The slugger became just the seventh player to hit 50 home runs before September in AL or National League (NL) history.

Judge also became only the 10th player in MLB history to register multiple 50-home run seasons. Only three Yankees have achieved that feat; Judge, Babe Ruth (four) and Mickey Mantle (two).

"It's just another number," Judge said. "It's great, but I'm kind of upset about the loss."

The defeat leaves the Yankees with a 78-51 record having lost their last three games.

Pujols edges past Bonds all-time milestone

Albert Pujols moved a step closer to 700 career home runs and surpassed the record held by Barry Bonds in the St Louis Cardinals' 13-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Pujols' two-run blast came in the third inning from Reds left-hander Ross Detwiler, bringing up his 694th-career home run.

The blast also tagged his major league record for the 450th different pitcher for a home run, breaking the all-time mark that had been tied with Bonds .

Padres overcome delays for key NL win

The San Diego Padres boosted their NL Wild Card aspirations with a hard-fought 6-5 win over the San Francisco Giants in a game full of delays, including an injury to home plate umpire Marvin Hudson as well as stadium lighting issues.

Brandon Drury's two-run first-inning home run set the Padres on their way before the delays, with three eighth-inning runs keeping the Giants alive, before Nick Martinez closed it out.

The Padres improved to 71-59 to firm up the third NL Wild Card spot, with the Giants back at 61-66. The Milwaukee Brewers, who beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 on Monday, split the pair at 68-59.

The Los Angeles Dodgers made sure to put Monday's sorry home defeat to the Milwaukee Brewers well and truly behind them with another emphatic victory.

Having been blanked for the first time at home in 2022 in the first game of the series, the Dodgers hit back on Tuesday with a 10-1 rout of the Brewers, and they followed that win up in style a day later.

There was more resistance from Milwaukee this time around, but the Dodgers - who have the best record in Major League Baseball (86-37) and hold a huge 19.5-game lead in the National League West - still cruised to a 12-6 victory.

Pitcher Andrew Heaney appeared in his first win since April and was key as he struck out 10, one off his season best, while he has back-to-back 10 strikeout outings for the first time in over three years.

"It seems like he's got 10 punchouts every game and you don't know it until you look up at the scoreboard," Trea Turner said of Heaney. "There's always one guy that gets no run support and one that gets runs on every team. I guess he's been the lucky one."

"Feeling better, trying to get deeper in games and get more pitch efficient and stay away from a couple of mistakes that have cost me big-time the last couple games," Heaney said.

The Dodgers' emphatic win, which sees them clinch their season series against the Brewers 4-3, came on the back of huge victories for the Atlanta Braves and the Texas Rangers.

World Series champions Atlanta made light work of the Pittsburgh Pirates, winning 16-2, with Kyle Wright recording 21 outs from 73 pitches as he tied with Justin Verlander and Tony Gonsolin for the most victories in the majors. The Rangers, meanwhile, hammered the Colorado Rockies 16-4.

Quantrill does the damage in San Diego

Cal Quantrill returned to haunt his old team as the Cleveland Guardians stormed to a 7-0 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Playing in San Diego for the first time since he was traded to Cleveland in 2020, Quantrill struck out six and walked one.

"Apparently I really did care a lot. It just felt important," Quantrill told reporters of facing his former side. "I wanted that game to be clean. I didn't want to trail off."

Cubs and Cardinals set for series decider

The Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals will face off on Thursday with everything on the line in their five-game series.

That is after Zach McKinstry homered and drove in three runs to help the Cubs to a 7-1 triumph that ties the series at 2-2.

Elsewhere, the Tampa Bay Rays claimed a fifth straight win by edging out the Los Angeles Angels 4-3, while the Philadelphia Phillies are in line for a four-game clean sweep of their series with the Cincinnati Reds after a 7-5 success.

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander added to his already convincing case for the American League Cy Young Award as he pitched six innings without allowing a hit in his side's 4-2 win against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.

Verlander, 39, is almost guaranteed to finish top-five in voting for best pitcher in the league for the ninth time in his career, and he showed why against the Twins as he struck out 10 while also allowing no walks.

He was pulled after six innings and 91 pitches with a no-hitter intact, before former Astros player Carlos Correa broke it up as he collected a hit from the very first pitch thrown by reliever Ryne Stanek.

Despite some late struggles by Astros bullpen arm Hector Neris, allowing a pair of runs in the ninth inning, the early offense highlighted by Alex Bregman's two-run home run was enough to get the job done.

Mauricio Dubon and Trey Mancini drove in a run each for the Astros, while rookie Jeremy Pena collected a couple of hits and Bregman went three-for-four.

With this performance, Verlander now leads the majors in wins (16-3), ERA (1.87) and walks-plus-hits-per-inning, or WHIP (0.85).

The win moves the Astros to 79-45, giving them a three-game buffer over the Yankees for the best record in the AL.

Yankees break streak of six consecutive series losses

The New York Yankees have finally rediscovered some form after a miserable month, winning their two-game series against local rivals the New York Mets as Frankie Montas pitched his best game in pinstripes in the 4-2 victory.

Montas, who arrived in a trade from the Oakland Athletics at the deadline, pitched five-and-two-thirds innings while giving up two runs from six hits and a walk after struggling in his first few starts in a Yankees uniform.

After four scoreless innings to open the game, Aaron Judge put the first run on the board with his league-leading 48th home run of the season, launching a 453-foot bomb. He now has 14 more home runs than second-placed Kyle Schwarber (34) from the Philadelphia Phillies.

Phillies win on a walk-off

The Philadelphia Phillies blew their lead in the ninth inning against the Cincinnati Reds, but it only set up a thrilling 7-6 walk-off win for the home fans.

Leading 5-4 heading into the final frame, closing pitcher Brad Hand was not able to finish off the job, as a fielding error and an infield single allowed two runners on base, who were both driven in by a pinch-hit RBI triple to T.J. Friedl.

In response, a lead-off walk to Jean Segura led to the tying run as Bryson Stott's RBI double made it 6-6, before pinch-hitter Nick Maton was the hero with a walk-off base hit.

Aaron Judge plundered a 47th home run of the season as the New York Yankees bounced back to form with a 4-2 Subway Series win over the New York Mets.

The Yankees had gone 6-14 in August prior to Monday's derby and the pressure seemed to be on.

Manager Aaron Boone had received the backing of GM Brian Cashman ahead of the first game of the series, but the Yankees needed a big performance after a run of 14 losses in 18 games.

Up stepped Judge, whose dispatching of a Max Scherzer fastball ended a nine-game homerless streak and set the Yankees on their way to a second successive win on the back of three straight defeats to the Toronto Blue Jays. The turnaround began with a 4-2 win in the fourth game against Toronto.

Judge is closing in on Roger Maris' single-season American League record of 61 home runs, set in 1961, though he claimed to be unaware of that prospect.

"It's news to me," said Judge, who has nine homers in 20 games against the Mets and is 13 clear of next-best Kyle Schwarber across all MLB players when it comes to round trips this season. "I really don't worry about that. I was just happy to barrel something up and add to the lead that we already had against one of the best pitchers in the game.

"We've got a special group of individuals that are mentally tough enough to bounce back. It's a long season and we haven't been playing the type of ball we want to. It's time to get back to what we do."

Subway Series debutant Andrew Benintendi picked up the mantle in the later innings, and said: "To string together a couple of wins in a row against two really good pitchers, your confidence can really go up."

Daniel Vogelbach went deep for the Mets, smashing a huge two-run homer beyond the fence and into the crowd, while the Yankees' Jonathan Loaisiga pitched brilliantly alongside Ron Marinaccio.

Philadelphia hit back

The Mets went into the clash in the Bronx after three wins out of four against the Philadelphia Phillies, who responded to that disappointing run by comfortably dispatching the Cincinnati Bengals 4-1.

Noah Syndergaard (8-8) allowed one run on three hits with one strikeout and two walks, as the pitcher continued his fine start to life with the Phillies following his move from the Los Angeles Angels at the trade deadline, while Nick Castellanos and Bryson Stott both homered.

"Noah threw the ball well like he's been doing for us, and we hit the ball," Stott said, while Syndergaard added: "My time here so far has been amazing. I feel like I'm on cloud nine."

Dodgers blanked at home

The Los Angeles Dodgers do not tend to draw blanks at home. Indeed, they were on a nine-game winning streak at Dodger Stadium, yet that run came to a shuddering halt at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers, who cruised to a 4-0 triumph.

The Dodgers, who had won five of their last seven, including two successes against the Brewers last week, were blanked for a sixth time this season, but it is the first time they have failed to score on home turf in 2022.

Eric Lauer was on top form for the Brewers, claiming two strikeouts and two walk-outs, while Willy Adames, Christian Yelich, Luis Urias and Keston Hiura got the runs, with Milwaukee now 34-32 on the road for the season.

The Cincinnati Reds have announced six-time All-Star first baseman Joey Votto will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery.

The 38-year-old, who won the 2010 National League MVP, revealed the issue had been lingering for a while, dating back to the 2015 season.

Votto will have surgery on Friday, which will repair his torn left rotator cuff.

"I don't know how to explain what exactly happened, but it's been lingering for a while," he said.

"I've had a difficult time with it. Only the past maybe three months or so has it been painful to the point where it's difficult to lift [and] hurts to sleep.

"I'm not sure it's affected my performance. … I can't say that. I don't want to make an excuse."

Votto has batted .205 with 11 homers and 41 RBIs across 91 games this season for the Reds who have a 46-70 record.

The worrying form of the New York Yankees continued as they were downed the Seattle Mariners 4-3 after Carlos Santana's seventh-inning go-ahead two-run homer on Wednesday.

The Yankees have lost seven of their past eight games and are 2-7 in August, with the skid putting their top seed hopes in the American League in jeopardy.

Sam Haggerty had blasted the Mariners into a 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the sixth inning.

After Tuesday's 1-0 extras' loss to the Mariners, the Yankees actually went scoreless across 19 innings, breaking that run in the seventh inning on Wednesday.

Kyle Higashioka crushed a go-ahead two-run homer to left-center field in the seventh inning, before Aaron Judge added another, his 45th home run of the season, to extend the lead.

But the Mariners, who won the season series against the Yankees for the first time since 2002, fought back through Santana, with his two-run blast being his 11th homer of the season.

Mariners pitcher Robbie Ray played his part, striking out seven batters as well as Seattle moved to 61-52, while the Yankees are 71-41.

 

Dodgers clinch 10 straight wins

Joey Gallo blasted a three-run homer to help the Los Angeles Dodgers secure their 10th win in a row with an 8-5 triumph over the Minnesota Twins.

The Dodgers were trailing 4-2 in the fifth inning but rallied back with Chris Taylor homering the go-ahead run. Gallo, who was traded to the Dodgers from the Yankees last month, came up with his 13th home run of the season in the seventh inning.

The 10-game win streak is the Dodgers' longest since they won 11 in a row in July 2017, while they swept the four-game series against the Twins with a 32-10 run record.

Lindor stars as Mets winning run continues

The New York Mets extended their run of wins by three or more runs to six with a 10-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds fueled by Francisco Lindor again.

The shortstop helped the Mets clinch a series sweep with a second-inning two-run single, opening up a 4-0 lead and making franchise history.

Lindor, who finished with three runs, two hits and two RBIs, moved to 81 RBIs for the season, tying with Jose Reyes in 2006 for a Mets' single-season record.

The Minnesota Twins signalled their win-now mindset with a trio of pitching moves, while the Los Angeles Dodgers took on a big-name reclamation project on Tuesday's MLB trade deadline day.

Minnesota lead their division by one game from the Cleveland Guardians, so the decision to push their chips into the middle and make a run at the playoffs is one that makes sense, and to make any noise, they needed pitching reinforcements.

A strong hitting side, the Twins are sixth in the majors in both on-base percentage (.321) and slugging percentage (.419) – but sit in the bottom half of the league in key pitching stats ERA (19th, giving up 4.03 runs per nine innings), strikeouts (21st) and walks allowed (19th).

Out of all 30 teams in the majors, only the Washington Nationals have had fewer 'quality starts' than the Twins – defined by the starting pitcher conceding three or fewer runs in six complete innings. The Nationals are also the only team to have less 'saves' collected by closing pitchers than the Twins.

In a bid to remedy both of those issues, the Twins acquired starting pitcher Tyler Mahle from the Cincinnati Reds, and All-Star closing pitcher Jorge Lopez from the Baltimore Orioles.

The nature of a starting pitcher is that they will throw more innings, and accumulate more overall value, but Lopez is arguably the more significant addition.

One of the best closers in all of baseball this season, 29-year-old Lopez boasts a terrific 1.68 ERA and is 10th in the league in saves with 19. He has allowed 47 total baserunners in 48 innings of work for an impressive WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 0.97.

Mahle, 27, does not have spectacular numbers this season (4.40 ERA), but that was mainly due to a rocky start.

He has since rebounded with a run of nine starts of at least five innings pitched with no more than four runs conceded, including back-to-back showings against the Arizona Diamondbacks where he totalled 22 strikeouts and one earned run from 15 innings.

Completing their haul, the Twins also traded pitching prospect Sawyer Gipson-Long for established reliever Michael Fulmer from the Detroit Tigers in another win-now move.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers acquired Joey Gallo from the New York Yankees in the midst of the power-hitting outfielder's worst season of his career.

Gallo, who has a pair of 40 home run seasons on his resume, and is still only 28 years old, has been a disaster since being traded to the Yankees last season, batting .159 with just 37 hits compared to 106 strikeouts.

One of the best teams in baseball, the Dodgers are hoping a change of scenery is all that is needed to re-energise the hard-hitting lefty, and they were able to acquire him as a depth piece for only minor league pitcher Clayton Beeter, who did not figure to contribute in any way to the major league side this eason.

The San Diego Padres have made a key addition after trading in All-Star closer Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers ahead of Tuesday's MLB Trade Deadline.

The addition of 28-year-old left-hander Hader is a major boost for the Padres, who have struggled in late-inning situations this season.

Hader is the 2022 league leader in saves, with 29 from 31 save opportunities this season, although he has career-worst 4.24 ERA which dipped to 12 during July.

The deal sees left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers, left-handed pitching prospect Robert Gasser, right-hander Dinelson Lamet and outfielder Esteury Ruiz sent to the Brewers.

"Josh Hader is one of the best closers in the league," Padres general manager A.J. Preller said.

"He's been there, done that, pitched in big spots, big playoff games. He's got elite stuff."

Hader, who has been with the Brewers since 2017, joins the Padres who have a 57-46 record to sit second in the National League West this season.

"Thank you for the support throughout my career," Hader wrote on Instagram. "Y'all have been great to me. The people, the energy, the love! There will always be a special place in my heart for MKE."

In other moves, the New York Yankees added right-handed starting pitcher Frankie Montas and closer Lou Trivino from the Oakland Athletics, along with reliever Scott Effross from the Chicago Cubs.

The Yankees, who have a 69-34 record, had previously brought in All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals.

The Houston Astros acquired first baseman Trey Mancini from the Baltimore Orioles along with catcher Christian Vazquez from the Boston Red Sox.

According to reports, outfielder Tommy Pham is set to join the Red Sox from the Cincinnati Reds.

The Seattle Mariners are apparently going all-in on ending the longest postseason drought of the four major North American professional sports, finalising a deal to acquire starting pitcher Luis Castillo from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for four players. 

Castillo is widely regarded as the best starting pitcher available before Tuesday’s trading deadline, and Seattle have paid a high price to land the two-time All-Star.  

Heading to Cincinnati reportedly are minor leaguers Noelvi Marte and Edwin Arroyo – two of the Mariners' top-three prospects – along with pitcher Levi Stoudt, the team’s fifth-ranked prospect, and pitcher Andrew Moore.  

Castillo is 4-4 with a 2.86 ERA in 14 starts this season, striking out 90 with 28 walks in 85 innings. He has spent his entire six-year career with the Reds, going 44-53 with a 3.62 ERA In 137 starts.  

The Mariners, who have not made a playoff appearance since 2001, are 54-47 this season, well behind AL West-leading Houston, but they own one of the three wild-card spots.  

Castillo will anchor a rotation that already includes reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray and 10-game winner Logan Gilbert.  

The Philadelphia Phillies rode an improbable five-RBI night from struggling young shortstop Bryson Stott to defeat the reigning champion Atlanta Braves 6-4 on Monday.

Both starting pitchers performed well, with Braves ace Max Fried striking out eight batters in six innings, allowing three earned runs, while Phillies starter Ranger Suarez gave up no earned runs in five frames.

However, despite Suarez's effectiveness on the mound, the Braves still scored three unearned runs in the second inning, with a fielding error allowing two runs to score, and then a wild pitch bringing home the third.

Later in the second inning, Stott put the Phillies on the board with a clutch two-out, two-run double, and then catcher J.T. Realmuto tied the game at 3-3 in the third frame with his RBI single.

The Braves edged back in front in the sixth through Marcel Ozuna's RBI hit – one of three hits on the night for the left-fielder – and that lead would hold until the bottom of the eighth inning.

With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Alec Bohm and Yairo Munoz knocked singles to get on base, bringing Stott to the plate for his big moment. He connected on a 378-foot home run to right field, making him responsible for five of the Phillies' six runs.

24-year-old Stott is having a rough season so far – with a batting average of .196 – but this was his fourth multi-hit outing from his last 10 starts, batting .355 over that stretch.

Despite the loss, it was still a strong showing from Braves power bat Austin Riley, who hit a pair of doubles to bring his doubles total to 25 this season – good for 10th in the majors.

India's grand slam lifts Reds 

Jonathan India's first career grand slam was the highlight of a dominant 11-2 win for the Cincinnati Reds against the Miami Marlins.

The Reds led narrowly 3-2 in the fourth inning, but the game got out of hand quickly after Brandon Drury blasted a three-run home run – continuing his vastly improved season that could see him traded to a contender.

An inning later, India blew things out with his 409-foot, no-doubt grand slam for the designated hitter's sixth long-ball of the season.

Soto show rolls into LA

The man being discussed as arguably the most valuable trade asset in MLB history, Juan Soto, flashed the skills that have put him in the position to turn down a $440million contract.

Soto batted in a pair of runs from his two hits in the Washington Nationals' 4-1 win away against the Los Angeles Dodgers, only a week after winning the Home Run Derby in the same stadium.

He did not send any balls over the fence in this one, but he hooked a two-run triple down the right-field line to give his side some breathing room in the fifth inning.

Eight-time All-Star pitcher Max Scherzer tossed down 11 strikeouts across six scoreless innings in his return from injury but the New York Mets lost 1-0 to the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday.

Scherzer had not played since May 18 due to a strained left oblique muscle but showed no signs of rustiness on his return.

The 37-year-old right-hander was used across six innings for 79 pitches, allowing only two hits and no runs, with the Reds scoring the decisive run in the ninth inning.

The Reds got the victory with Mike Moustakas' sacrifice fly to Brandon Nimmo, allowing Tommy Pham to score.

Scherzer's 11 K performance was the 107th double-digit strikeout display of his career. It was also the fourth time Scherzer has struck out all nine starting hitters in his career. 

The three-time Cy Young Award winner reached a maximum velocity of 97.1 mph.

Scherzer said after the game: "I didn’t have any problems tonight. I felt good, I felt strong. I had nothing tighten up. I wanted to get to that 90-95 pitch count. They just didn't want to send me out there for the seventh. I understand that. Hopefully we'll get to that 90-95 pitch count next time out."

The Mets remain top of the National League East standings with a 50-31 record, with Scherzer 5-1 on the season with a 2.26 ERA.

Matzek magic marks Braves win

Atlanta Braves pitcher Tyler Matzek pulled off a moment of brilliance as they closed on the Mets in the NL East with a 7-1 win over the St Louis Cardinals.

Matzek's moment of magic came in the eighth inning with the Braves already leading 7-1, when he snagged Tommy Edman's one-hopper with a slick behind-the-back grab before under-arming to first base.

The Braves' win was built in the first inning, piling on five runs including two-run shots for Austin Riley – his third home run in five games - and William Contreras.

Atlanta's five-run first inning was their best opening inning of the season, with Riley moving up to 21 home runs for the season, equal eighth in the majors.

Alcantara keeps on keeping on

Sandy Alcantara continued to amaze for the Miami Marlins with another dominant and durable display, claiming 10 strikeouts across eight innings in their 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

Alcantara, who came into the game with an ERA of 1.95, gave up two hits which were both singles across eight innings. He tied the longest streak in the MLB since 2014 for seven or more innings pitched in 11 straight starts.

The 26-year-old Dominican sent down an 100 mph pitch after the sixth inning, the 12th time he has done that this season. No other starter has done that once.

Bryan De La Cruz's fifth inning homer had put the Marlins 2-0 up, before Tanner Scott closed it out despite a scare after Taylor Ward's sacrifice fly got Michael Stefanic home.

Aaron Judge hit a game-winning single to cap a four-run ninth inning for the New York Yankees in their 7-6 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday.

Aaron Hicks started the late rally for the Pinstripes, tying the game with a three-run home run off Astros closer Ryan Pressly.

Alex Bregman and Giancarlo Stanton traded three-run homers in the first inning, while Yordan Alvarez also added a three-run shot in the third off Jameson Taillon to put the Astros ahead.

The Yankees took the opener of a highly anticipated four-game series between the American League's two best records with the win, as the Astros kick off a six-game stand in New York, taking both games from the Mets earlier this week in Houston.

The American League leaders moved to 52-18 for the season and claimed their 19th win in the past 22 games, heading into Judge's in-season salary arbitration on Friday.

Swanson seals win for Braves

Dansby Swanson hit two home runs for the Atlanta Braves, who were able to hold out against the San Francisco Giants in a 7-6 victory.

Swanson had three hits and three RBIs as the Braves built a 7-1 lead coming into the fifth inning. Six Giants players scored multiple hits, with Austin Slater's home run starting the rally in the fifth.

They were not able to capitalise on the higher hit count however, as the Braves moved 11 games over .500 with their 18th win in the past month.

Freeman fires Dodgers to victory

Freddie Freeman's form continued in the absence of Mookie Betts, leading the way for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 10-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Freeman claimed a home run and three RBIs, moving his OBP for the season to a team-leading .386, while Max Muncy and Trea Turner each tallied three hits.

Clayton Kershaw allowed just one run and seven hits in six innings for the National League West leaders, striking out seven in 80 pitches and lowering his ERA for the season to 2.00.

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