Atlanta Braves push win streak to eight, Shohei Ohtani extends home run lead

By Sports Desk July 02, 2023

Ozzie Albies hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the fifth inning to back 6 2/3 sharp innings from Spencer Strider as the Atlanta Braves earned a 6-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on Sunday to extend their winning streak to eight games.

Albies' 20th homer of the season gave Atlanta a 4-2 lead that Strider made hold up as the red-hot Braves completed a three-game series sweep over their closest National League East competitors. Atlanta has now won 16 of 17 to extend its lead over the second-place Marlins to nine games.

The Braves have also won 10 in a row at home and outscored Miami 29-7 for the series.

Strider, named to his first All-Star Game on Sunday, was touched for two runs in the second inning and an unearned run in the seventh, but got enough support via homers by Albies, Travis d'Arnaud and Orlando Arcia to win a fourth consecutive start. The hard-throwing right-hander recorded nine strikeouts to push his major league-leading total to 155.

Albies was also named an NL reserve for next week's All-Star Game, one of a league-high eight selections for Atlanta.

2022 NL Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara struggled again for Miami, allowing four runs in five innings to raise his season earned run average to 4.93.

Marlins All-Star Luis Arraez finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs to raise his MLB-leading batting average to .389.


Ohtani, Trout homers help Angels down Diamondbacks

American League All-Stars Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout had two of the Los Angeles Angels' three home runs in a 5-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks that prevented a sweep of the three-game series.

Mickey Moniak's three-run blast off Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen in the second inning put Los Angeles up 4-2 and helped the Angels snap a season-high four-game losing streak. Ohtani later launched a 454-foot drive into the right field seats in the eighth for his MLB-leading 31st homer of the season and sixth in seven games.

Angels starter Reid Detmers surrendered a two-run homer to Carson Kelly in the second, but held Arizona scoreless for the remainder of his six-inning stint and finished with nine strikeouts.

Gallen, named to his first All-Star Game for the NL squad earlier in the day, recorded 12 strikeouts in seven innings but was reached for four runs to fall to 10-3 on the season.


Astros hold off Rangers to close gap in AL West

Chas McCormick snapped a tie with a three-run triple in the top of the eighth inning, and the Houston Astros held on for a 5-3 win over the Texas Rangers in a matchup of the top two teams in the AL West.

McCormick's big hit off reliever Josh Sborz with the bases loaded staked Houston to a 4-1 lead, though the Rangers answered with Nathaniel Lowe's two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to pull back within one.

Jose Altuve homered in the top of the ninth to increase the lead to 5-3, however, and Ryan Pressly retired the Rangers in order in the bottom of the frame to notch his 17th save.

The win was Houston's fourth in five games and brought the reigning World Series champions within four games of first-place Texas in the division. The four-game Lone Star Series between the in-state rivals concludes Monday.

Texas lost for the sixth time in nine games and wasted a terrific start from Andrew Heaney, who struck out eight and allowed just three hits in five scoreless innings.

Jose Abreu finished 3 for 5 for the Astros, while McCormick and Altuve each collected two hits. 


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