MLB

MLB: AL West-leading Rangers cap sweep of Mariners

By Sports Desk September 24, 2023

Marcus Semien had two of a season-high six home runs for the Texas Rangers, who held on for a 9-8 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday to extend their lead atop the American League West.

Corey Seager, Adolis Garcia, Leody Tavares and Evan Carter also homered to help the Rangers complete a three-game sweep of their division rival and fellow playoff contender. Texas has now won five in a row overall to increase its lead over slumping Houston to 2 1/2 games, with the Mariners now three games back in the AL West race.

The Astros were dealt a 6-5 defeat to Kansas City as the 102-loss Royals finished a stunning three-game sweep in Houston. The defending World Series champions did remain a half-game ahead of Seattle for the AL's final wild card spot. 

Seager's 33rd homer of the season, a two-run shot off Bryan Woo, gave Texas a 3-2 lead in the third inning. The Rangers went deep three more times in the bottom of the fourth, which Garcia led off with his 36th home run before Tavares later launched a two-run blast to chase Woo and extend the margin to 6-2.

Semien, who led off the bottom of the first with a home run, connected again later in the fourth to increase Texas' lead to five runs.

Seattle scored three times in the top of the sixth before Carter's two-run shot in the bottom of the inning put the Rangers up 9-5, but the Mariners closed the gap once more as Teoscar Hernandez, Jarred Kelenic and Eugenio Suarez delivered consecutive RBI singles in the seventh to cut the lead to one.

The Mariners weren't able to score off relievers Jonathan Hernandez, Brock Burke and Jose Leclerc in the final two innings, however, despite putting the tying run in scoring position in both frames.

Hernandez and J.P. Crawford had solo homers for Seattle, while Hernandez, Kelenic and Suarez each drove in two runs.

 

Blue Jays take series from Rays to strengthen playoff hopes

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered twice and George Springer added a three-run, inside-the-park shot that helped the Toronto Blue Jays to a 9-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Bo Bichette also homered as the Blue Jays took two of three from the playoff-bound Rays in the weekend series and increased their lead in the race for the AL's second wild card. Toronto now holds a two-game advantage over Houston and leads Seattle by 2 1/2 games.

Toronto scored five times in the second inning, highlighted by Springer's third career inside-the-park homer, to take a 5-2 lead. The Rays got a run back in the fourth before Guerrero restored the three-run margin with a solo blast off Tampa starter Taj Bradley in the sixth.

Isaac Paredes' 30th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh, cut the Rays' deficit to 6-5, but Daulton Varsho's RBI triple in the eighth gave Toronto some insurance before Bichette and Guerrero connected on back-to-back homers in the ninth.

Whit Merrifield added a two-run single for Toronto, which has won seven of its last nine to boost its chances for a second straight postseason appearance.

Paredes finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs to lead the Rays offensively. Bradley pitched a career-high seven innings but surrendered six runs. 

 

Diamondbacks eliminate Yankees, keep hold on NL's second wild card

Zac Gallen threw six scoreless innings as the Arizona Diamondbacks maintained their grasp on the National League's second wild card spot with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees, who will now officially miss the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Gallen yielded just three hits and struck out eight to notch his 17th victory of the season and keep Arizona a half-game ahead of the Chicago Cubs for the second wild card. The Cubs earned a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday to maintain a one-game edge on the Miami Marlins for the No. 3 wild card.

Christian Walker and Evan Longoria each drove in two runs to back Gallen, while Gabriel Moreno went 2 for 5 with an RBI double to help the Diamondbacks (82-73) secure their first winning season since 2019.

The Yankees, who have lost four of six and are now just one game over .500 (78-77), did not score until Jake Bauers doubled to lead off the bottom of the ninth and later crossed the plate on a bases-loaded walk to Aaron Judge. 

New York starter Carlos Rodon was charged with five runs - three earned - over 6 1/3 innings. 

 

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    Gunnar Henderson hit his 15th home run of the season to back an 11-strikeout effort from Corbin Burnes as the Baltimore Orioles posted a 6-3 win over the Seattle Mariners in Sunday's finale of a three-game series between early American League contenders.

    Ryan O'Hearn also homered while Cedric Mullins went 2 for 4 with two RBIs to help the Orioles take the series with their third win in four games. Colton Cowser added three hits, including a run-scoring single, and scored twice.

    Burnes (4-2) scattered seven hits while holding AL West-leading Seattle to one run over six innings to end a run of four consecutive win-less starts. 

    Henderson, the co-MLB leader in home runs along with Houston's Kyle Tucker, quickly put the Orioles ahead with a lead-off blast off Seattle starter George Kirby in the bottom of the first inning. Jordan Westburg followed with a single and later scored on Cowser's infield hit for a 2-0 advantage.

    Luke Raley doubled off Burnes in the second and crossed the plate on a Luis Urias single to get the Mariners on the board, though the Orioles answered in their half of the inning when James McCann brought home Jorge Mateo with a double.

    O'Hearn's homer to begin the bottom of the third extended Baltimore's lead to 4-1, and Cowser later doubled during the inning and scored on a Mullins single.

    Kirby (4-4) escaped further trouble but was stuck with the loss after allowing five runs and nine hits through six innings.

    Urias' RBI double in the seventh pulled the Mariners within 5-2, and the third baseman was later brought in by Julio Rodriguez's single to close the gap further.

    The Orioles got some insurance in the eighth, however, when consecutive singles by Cowser, Austin Hays and Mullins accounted for their final run. Craig Kimbrel then retired the Mariners in order in the ninth to record his ninth save of the season and first since May 3.

    Raley finished 3 for 4 with a run scored for Seattle.

     

    Tucker's two homers power resurgent Astros past Brewers

    Kyle Tucker tied Henderson for the majors' home run lead by going deep twice in the red-hot Houston Astros' 9-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

    Tucker had a solo homer in the sixth inning and a three-run shot in the seventh to power Houston to a ninth victory in 11 games following a 12-24 start. The Astros took two of the three meetings in the weekend series with the National League Central-leading Brewers.

    Houston also received a solo homer from Jose Altuve, while Jon Singleton and Jake Meyers each knocked in two runs in the win. Meyers finished 3 for 5.

    Spencer Arrighetti (2-4) earned his second major league win after pitching a career-long 6 1/3 innings while allowing four runs and striking out six.

    Arrighetti was touched for an early run when Brice Turang opened the game with a double and scored on Christian Yelich's single, but the Astros responded with four runs off Colin Rea in the bottom of the first inning.

    Altuve got it started with a lead-off homer before Houston loaded the bases on a Yordan Alvarez double and a pair of walks issued by Rea. After Singleton plated Alvarez with a groundout, Meyers doubled to right to bring in two more for a 4-1 Astros' lead.

    Singleton again brought home Alvarez with a single in the fifth to stretch the margin, and Tucker's first homer of the day put Houston up 6-1 in the sixth.

    Arrighetti cruised along until the seventh, when Milwaukee loaded the bases with one out on a pair of singles and a walk. Turang then greeted reliever Bryan Abreu with a two-run single and Yelich later tacked on another RBI single to cut the lead to 6-4.

    Tucker would put the game out of reach in the bottom of the seventh, however, with a blast to right field off Mitch White with two aboard.

    Turang ended 3 for 5 for Milwaukee, while Rea (3-2) lasted just 4 1/3 innings and surrendered five runs on eight hits.

     

    Judge's homer sparks Yankees to seventh straight win

    Aaron Judge hit a two-run homer and Jon Berti delivered a tie-breaking three-run shot to lift the New York Yankees to their seventh consecutive win, a 7-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

    Jose Trevino added a two-run single and Carlos Rodon tossed six solid innings as the Yankees finished off a three-game sweep of a White Sox team that owns the majors' worst record at 14-33.

    Rodon (5-2), who spent seven seasons with the White Sox from 2015-21, held his former team to two runs on four hits to win his third straight start.

    Berti snapped a 2-2 tie with a drive into the bleachers in right center field off Chris Flexen in the fourth inning. The infielder's first home run as a Yankee came with Anthony Rizzo and Gleyber Torres on base after each reached on singles.

    Judge made it a 7-2 lead an inning later with his 13th home run of the season, an opposite-field shot off Flexen that followed a walk to Juan Soto.

    Rodon's lone trouble came in the second inning, when Corey Julks homered to open the scoring and Korey Lee followed with a walk before coming home on Zach Remillard's triple to left.

    New York quickly drew even in the bottom of the inning, however. Rizzo legged out an infield single and Torres doubled to put two on for Trevino, who laced a single up the middle to score both runners and tie the contest at 2-2.

    Flexen (2-4) surrendered all seven New York runs on eight hits before being removed with none out in the fifth.

    Julks had two of the six hits for Chicago, which had entered the series having won six of eight.

     

     

  • MLB: Gil's 14 strikeouts, Soto's 2 home runs keep Yankees rolling MLB: Gil's 14 strikeouts, Soto's 2 home runs keep Yankees rolling

    Luis Gil set a franchise rookie record with 14 strikeouts and was backed by Juan Soto’s two home runs as the red-hot New York Yankees rolled to their sixth straight win, 6-1 over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

    Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Trevino also homered for the Yankees, who won for the 12th time in 14 games and improved to an AL-best 32-15.

    New York is 12-2-1 in series, matching 2002 as the only time since 1950 it has won 12 of its first 15 series.

    Gil allowed one run on five hits over six innings to win his fourth straight start. He surpassed Orlando Hernandez’s 13 strikeouts on Aug. 13, 1998. Hernandez threw out the ceremonial first pitch on Saturday.

    Soto hit a 417-foot home run in the first inning, had an RBI single in the second and added another solo shot in the fifth on a 437-foot drive into the right-field bleachers. Soto, who had his 18th career multihomer game and first with the Yankees, went 4 for 4 with a walk and is batting .317 with 11 home runs and 37 RBIs.

    The White Sox struck out a season-high 16 times and fell to a major league-worst 4-18 on the road and 14-32 overall.

     

    Marlins stun Mets with late rally

    Josh Bell hit a tying three-homer to cap a four-run ninth off Edwin Diaz and the Miami Marlins pulled out an improbable 10-9 win over the struggling New York Mets.

    Diaz was called on to protect a 9-5 lead in the ninth but Jazz Chisholm Jr. singled home a run and Bryan De La Cruz reached on an infield single with one out before Bell belted Diaz’s first-pitch slider 428 feet to center field for the tying runs.

    After Tanner Scott pitched a scoreless top of the 10th, Otto Lopez singled home automatic runner Christian Bethancourt in the bottom half to give the Marlins a fourth straight win.

    Diaz has allowed seven earned runs, seven hits, three walks and two homers over 2 1/3 innings in his past three appearances.

    The Mets have lost seven of nine and dropped five games under .500 (20-25) for the first time since an 0-5 start.

     

    Royals’ Lugo gets AL-best 7th win

    Seth Lugo struck out 10 to earn his American League-leading seventh victory and Salvador Perez drove in a pair of runs in a 5-3 win over the Oakland Athletics.

    Lugo allowed two runs and six hits with a walk in 5 2/3 innings. He notched his second straight double-digit strikeout game.

    James McArthur struck out two in the ninth for his 11th save.

    Ross Stripling was saddled with his league-leading eighth loss and Oakland dropped its season-high seventh in a row.

  • MLB: Pirates' Skenes strikes out 11 in 6 no-hit innings for first major league win MLB: Pirates' Skenes strikes out 11 in 6 no-hit innings for first major league win

    Paul Skenes struck out the first seven batters and finished with 11 as part of six no-hit innings in his second major league start, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 9-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday.

    Skenes allowed just one baserunner – Michael Busch’s full-count walk in the fifth – in a dominant performance to earn his first victory. He struck out the side in the first and fanned Mike Tauchman on a 100-mph fastball on his 100th and final pitch – his 12th to reach triple digits.

    The No. 1 pick in the 2023 amateur draft became the third rookie with seven strikeouts to start a game, joining Jacob deGrom on Sept. 15, 2014, and Jim Deshaies on Sept. 23, 1986. He also became the first rookie with an outing of at least six no-hit innings and 10-plus strikeouts since Chris Heston threw a no-hitter for San Francisco against the Mets on June 9, 2015.

    The Cubs didn’t get their first hit until Christopher Morel singled against Carmen Mlodzinski with two outs in the seventh.

    Andrew McCutchen and Jared Triolo homered for the Pirates, who have won the first two games of this series after losing seven of nine.

    Kyle Hendricks allowed season highs of eight runs and 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings in his second start since returning from a lower back strain.

     

    Rays’ Alexander flirts with perfection

    Tyler Alexander took a perfect game into the 8th inning before Danny Jansen blooped an opposite-field, one-out single and the Tampa Bay Rays held on for a 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

    Alexander retired his first 22 batters, but Jansen dropped a 1-0 changeup between right fielder Josh Lowe and second baseman Richie Palacios.

    Davis Schneider homered two pitches later to draw the Blue Jays within 4-2.

    Alexander allowed three runs on three hits without a walk and struck out four. He threw 105 pitches, three more than his previous career high.

    Pete Fairbanks pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save in five chances.

    Palacios hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning off Chris Bassitt as Tampa Bay won for the 10th time in 14 games.

     

    Streaking Astros edge Brewers

    Jake Meyers hit a two-run homer and Jeremy Pena added a three-run shot to lift the Houston Astros to their sixth consecutive win, 5-4 over the Milwaukee Brewers.

    It was the eighth win in nine games for the Astros, who moved into third place in the AL West.

    Jake Bauers homered and Joey Ortiz added three hits, including a three-run home run for the Brewers, who went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

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