Atlanta Braves stay hot, Shohei Ohtani retakes MLB home run lead

By Sports Desk June 27, 2023

Spencer Strider struck out 10 in seven innings and Marcell Ozuna hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh for the red-hot Atlanta Braves, who recorded their 11th win in 12 games with a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Monday.

Ozuna snapped a 1-1 tie with his third homer in five games, while Ronald Acuna Jr. added a two-run shot later in the seventh to help Atlanta take the opener of this three-game series between division leaders. 

The Braves are now 18-3 since June 3 and own the National League's best record at 51-27.

Strider improved to 9-2 by holding the AL Central-leading Twins to one run and three hits while extending his MLB-leading strikeout total to 146. The right-hander's only blemish came when he allowed a solo homer to Joey Gallo in the second inning.

Minnesota starter Sonny Gray matched Strider for six innings before surrendering Ozuna's blast and a two-out single by Michael Harris that chased him from the game. He was charged with three runs and struck out five in 6 2/3 innings. 


Ohtani's 26th home run helps Angels edge White Sox

Shohei Ohtani retook sole possession of the major league home run lead and Mike Trout scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Los Angeles Angels a 2-1 win over the Chicago White Sox.

Trout led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk against Reynaldo Lopez and Ohtani greeted reliever Aaron Bummer with a walk before the two stars executed a double steal to put two on with none out. After Bummer struck out Brandon Drury, the left-hander uncorked an errant pitch that allowed Trout to slide into home plate with the deciding run.

Ohtani tied the contest at 1-1 with his 26th homer of the season, a 446-foot blast into the right field seats off Dylan Cease in the fourth inning that snapped a tie with Atlanta's Matt Olson for the most in the majors.

Both Cease and the Angels' Reid Detmers engaged in a stellar pitching duel from that point on. Detmers yielded a run on just two hits and two walks while striking out 10 in seven innings. Cease also fanned 10 while allowing one run on five hits in six innings.

Luis Robert homered for the fourth time in three games in the first inning to account for Chicago's lone run. 


Orioles withstand long delay to rout Reds

A rain delay of nearly two hours wasn't enough time to slow down the Baltimore Orioles' bats in a 10-3 win over the suddenly struggling Cincinnati Reds.

Five Baltimore players each collected two hits as the Orioles overcame a 1-hour, 44-minute stoppage in the second inning to earn their third consecutive win. Austin Hays gave Baltimore a 2-1 lead with a two-run single before the delay and finished with three RBIs, while Adley Rutschman drove in two runs in the rout.

Jordan Westburg, ranked the Orioles' No. 3 prospect by, made his big league debut and recorded his first hit with a fifth-inning single. The second baseman also drove in a run on a fielder's choice.

The Reds were dealt a third straight loss following a 12-game winning streak that was the club's longest since 1957. Cincinnati dropped a half-game behind Milwaukee for first place in the NL Central after the Brewers defeated the New York Mets, 2-1, on Monday. 

Spencer Steer homered and knocked in all three Cincinnati runs while finishing 3 for 3.

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    With a 3-2 victory in the opener, the Yankees are 12-3 for the seventh time in their history and first since 2003. They have won eight of nine road games.

    Poteet allowed one run and six hits over six innings to earn his first win since 2021 with Miami. He did not pitch in the majors last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2022.

    Soto’s three-run homer came off starter Triston McKenzie and was preceded by Anthony Volpe’s RBI single.

    Josh Naylor and Estevan Florial homered for Cleveland, which is 1-9 in its last five doubleheaders.

    In the opener, Oswaldo Cabrera hit a two-run homer and Clay Holmes survived a shaky ninth inning.


    Brewers slug way to another win

    Jake Bauers snapped a tie with a three-run homer and the Milwaukee Brewers scored at least seven runs again in an 11-5 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

    Rhys Hoskins also homered and Willy Adames and Brice Turang each added three hits for the Brewers, who have scored 58 runs in their last six games, with at least seven in each. That streak ties a franchise record set in 1982 and 1989.

    Ryan Mountcastle, Jordan Westburg and Adley Rutschman went deep for Baltimore, which has allowed 22 runs in the first two games of this series.

    Milwaukee went 6 for 10 with runners in scoring position and is 33 for 69 (.478) over the last six games.


    Cubs’ Imanaga continues strong start

    Shota Imanaga allowed one unearned run over 5 1/3 innings and Michael Busch homered in his third straight game to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 4-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.

    Imanaga has thrown 15 1/3 innings in his first three major league starts without giving up an earned run. He scattered five hits, struck out four and walked two.

    Mark Leiter Jr., Yency Almonte, Hector Neris and Adbert Alzolay surrendered just two baserunners in 3 2/3 innings of relief.

    Seiya Suzuki and Miguel Amaya added solo home runs as the Cubs improved to 2-3 on a nine-game road trip.

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    Strider, 25, had his right ulnar collateral ligament repaired by Dr. Keith Meister, the club announced Saturday.

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    The flame-throwing right-hander made two starts in 2024, allowing seven runs in nine innings.

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    Shohei Ohtani homered to tie for the most by a Japan-born player, but Jackson Merrill singled home the go-ahead run in the 11th inning to lift the San Diego Padres to an 8-7 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

    Ohtani took Michael King deep with one out in the first inning for his fourth home run of the season and 175th of his career, tying him with Hideki Matsui, who played 10 seasons in the majors from 2003-12.

    Mookie Betts, Max Muncy and Teoscar Hernandez also homered for the Dodgers, who squandered a 7-3 lead after five innings.

    Jake Cronenworth’s solo home run in the sixth drew the Padres within 7-4 and San Diego scored three in the seventh on a run-scoring groundout before Fernando Tatis Jr.’s two-run blast off Ryan Brasier tied it.

    Manny Machado and Ha-Seong Kim homered as the Padres got back to .500 (8-8) with their third win in four games.

    The Dodgers failed to score in the 10th and 11th innings, with Betts flying out to center with the tying run at third in the 11th.

    De La Cruz homers again as Reds cruise

    Elly De La Cruz hit a three-run homer for his fourth longball in his last four games to back a strong start by Andrew Abbott in the Cincinnati Reds’ 11-1 rout of the Chicago White Sox.

    Tyler Stephenson also went deep and Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Santiago Espinal each added two hits and three RBIs for the Reds.

    De La Cruz singled in the second inning to reach safely for the 18th straight game dating to last season.

    He hit his fourth home run of the season in the third after he had an inside-the-park homer and 450-foot drive during a 10-8 win over Milwaukee on Monday before going deep again in a 7-2 loss to the Brewers on Wednesday.

    De La Cruz is 8 for 15 with four home runs, seven RBIs and eight runs in his last four games.

    Rangers drop Astros 7 under .500

    Jonah Heim homered and had four RBIs and Evan Carter added three hits to help the Texas Rangers to a 12-8 victory that dropped the Houston Astros seven games under .500 for the first time in eight years.

    Houston, which has lost four straight and allowed 36 runs in its last three games, fell to 4-11. The Astros are seven below .500 for the first time since they were 22-29 before a Memorial Day win in 2016, a season in which they dropped to 20-29 before a five-game winning streak.

    Texas extended its lead to 12-3 with four runs in the sixth, as Adolis Garcia singled home a run before Heim had a run-scoring groundout and Jared Walsh stroked a two-run single.

    Kyle Tucker homered twice, and Jake Meyers drove in three runs for the Astros.

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