Jacob deGrom's stunning 15-strikeout display in the New York Mets' 6-0 shutout win over the Washington Nationals proves he is "from a different planet".

That is the view of Mets team-mate Brandon Nimmo, who witnessed DeGrom become the first MLB player to have 15-plus strikeouts and score two-plus runs in a game since Tom Seaver with the Mets in 1973, per Stats Perform.

The three-time All-Star also became the first player in the modern era with 15 strikeouts, two runs scored and no runs allowed, while he is the second pitcher in the modern era with 50-plus strikeouts and five or more base hits at the plate over any four-start span.

DeGrom's 50 strikeouts are the most by any pitcher across the first four starts of a season, surpassing the 48 of Shane Bieber (2021) and Nolan Ryan (1978).

Such feats left outfielder Nimmo questioning if DeGrom was even of this world.

"Jake is unbelievable," he said.

"He has to be from a different planet, because he does things that seem out of this world."

DeGrom himself was far more modest.

"It goes down to just one pitch at a time," he said.

"That's how I concentrate on a game. Hit my spot. If you end up missing it, so what. You've got to make the next pitch.

"But it's that focus on that pitch that you're about to throw that you can control. The previous games, those are over with.

"I knew 14 was the most I have had, so when I looked up there and saw 12, I said, 'Okay, I have to figure out a way to strike out three guys.' I was fortunate enough to be able to do it."

Mets manager Luis Rojas was also full of praise for the 32-year-old, describing his latest exploits as "unbelievable".

"It's still surprising to me," he said. "I think we're all in witnessing something special. It's unbelievable.

"Everyone in there is excited to be part of the team and witnessing what Jake is doing every time he gets the ball."

Jacob deGrom produced a masterful performance amid 'MVP' chants to lead the New York Mets to a 6-0 shut-out win over the Washington Nationals.

DeGrom was dominant with bat and ball on Friday, firing a two-hitter for his second career shutout, setting a career best with 15 strikeouts against the Nationals in MLB.

The Mets ace also went two-for-four at the plate, the two-time National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner finishing with a double, two runs scored and an RBI.

DeGrom became the first MLB player to have 15-plus strikeouts and score two-plus runs in a game since Tom Seaver with the Mets in 1973, per Stats Perform.

The three-time All-Star also became the first player in the modern era with 15 strikeouts, two runs scored and no runs allowed, while he is the second pitcher in the modern era with 50-plus strikeouts and five or more base hits at the plate over any four-start span.

DeGrom's 50 strikeouts are the most by any pitcher across the first four starts of a season, surpassing the 48 of Shane Bieber (2021) and Nolan Ryan (1978).

 

A's stay hot

The Oakland Athletics extended their winning streak to 12 games by beating the Baltimore Orioles 3-1. The A's are in the midst of their longest streak since tallying a franchise-record 20 wins in a row in 2002.

Giancarlo Stanton hit two home runs to lead the struggling New York Yankees to a 5-3 victory at the Cleveland Indians.

Rookie sensation Yermin Mercedes had four hits, including a double in the seventh inning, as the Chicago White Sox topped the Texas Rangers 9-7. Yoan Moncada tallied three hits and a home run.

J.A. Happ flirted with a no-hitter in the Minnesota Twins' 2-0 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Happ lost his no-hit bid in the eighth inning. The 38-year-old walked two batters and struck out three.

 

Glasnow costly

Tyler Glasnow's seven-game winning streak, dating back to last year, came to an end in the Tampa Bay Rays' 5-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Glasnow became the second pitcher in MLB history to have four-plus strikeouts and allow four-plus runs in the same inning after Marcus Semien hit a three-run homer in the first inning, per Stats Perform. Rays ace Glasnow allowed five runs, five hits and struck out 10 in six innings.

 

Tatis takes down Kershaw's Dodgers

Fernando Tatis Jr. put on a show for the San Diego Padres, who trumped World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1. Tatis homered twice against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. On April 23 in 1999, father Fernando Tatis Sr. hit two grand slams in one inning at Dodger Stadium. They are the first father-son duo to each record a multi-homer game at the same venue on the same calendar date.

 

Friday's results

Chicago Cubs 15-2 Milwaukee Brewers
Oakland Athletics 3-1 Baltimore Orioles
Kansas City Royals 6-2 Detroit Tigers
New York Yankees 5-3 Cleveland Indians
Boston Red Sox 6-5 Seattle Mariners
Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 Tampa Bay Rays
New York Mets 6-0 Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves 5-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Houston Astros 5-4 Los Angeles Angels
Minnesota Twins 2-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago White Sox 9-7 Texas Rangers
St Louis Cardinals 5-4 Cincinnati Reds
Colorado Rockies 5-4 Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco Giants 5-3 Miami Marlins
San Diego Padres 6-1 Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Padres at Dodgers

The Padres (12-10) will look to claim the four-game series against the Dodgers (14-6) in game three on Saturday. Blake Snell gets the start as the Dodgers counter with Trevor Bauer in Los Angeles.

Trent Grisham homered and the San Diego Padres produced some stout defense to prevail 3-2 over World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers as the two teams renewed their MLB rivalry.

The Dodgers won two of three games in a thrilling National League (NL) West showdown in San Diego last week.

They met again on Thursday, this time at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for the series opener, and the Padres came out on top.

Leading 1-0 following the fourth inning, Grisham hit a sixth-inning home run to give the Padres a 2-0 lead before back-to-back homers from A.J. Pollock and Sheldon Neuse levelled the game in the seventh.

The Padres restored their lead in the eighth inning when Fernando Tatis Jr. grounded a double as Jurickson Profar scored.

A stunning double play in the bottom of the inning, sparked by Jake Cronenworth ensured the Padres held off the Dodgers.

 

Javier lifts Astros as Casali makes history

Each of the first eight outs recorded by Cristian Javier in the Houston Astros' 8-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels came via swinging strikeouts. Per Stats Perform, he is the first Astros pitcher to claim his first eight outs in a game by strikeout since Jim Deshaies in 1986.

Curt Casali put on a show as the San Francisco Giants blanked the Miami Marlins 3-0. He became the first catcher in the modern era (since 1900) with at least five successive shutouts in his starts, joining Francisco Cervelli (2015), Chris Hoiles (1995), Alan Ashby (1986), Ed Phelps (1903 – six straight). Casali became the first to do so with five different starting pitchers.

The Arizona Diamondbacks outlasted the Cincinnati Reds 14-11 thanks to David Peralta's three-run triple in a six-run 10th inning. Peralta finished with five hits and a career-high seven RBI as the Diamondbacks swept the Reds in Cincinnati.

Mitch Haniger hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning as the Seattle Mariners rallied past the Boston Red Sox 7-3. The Mariners are 12-7 for the season and tied for the best record in the American League (AL).

 

Cobb crumbles

The Astros jumped on Angels pitcher Alex Cobb for five runs in less than three innings. Cobb gave up six hits, four earned runs and three walks.

 

Walk-off win in Chicago

A game-ending, pinch-hit single from Jason Heyward in the 10th inning helped give the Chicago Cubs a 4-3 walk-off victory against the New York Mets. The Cubs completed a three-game sweep of the Mets.

 

Thursday's results

New York Yankees 6-3 Cleveland Indians
Seattle Mariners 7-3 Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs 4-3 New York Mets
Houston Astros 8-2 Los Angeles Angels
Arizona Diamondbacks 14-11 Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 Detroit Tigers
San Francisco Giants 3-0 Miami Marlins
San Diego Padres 3-2 Los Angeles Dodgers

 

Athletics at Orioles

The Oakland Athletics (12-7) will put their 11-game winning streak on the line when they face the Baltimore Orioles (8-10) on Friday. Cole Irvin starts for the A's as the Orioles counter with Jorge Lopez on the mound.

Toronto Blue Jays star George Springer is moving closer to his long-awaited debut following an injury-hit start to life with the MLB franchise.

Springer was lured to Toronto on a six-year, $150million contract from the Houston Astros via free agency – the largest deal in Blue Jays history – but injuries have prevented the 2017 World Series champion and MVP from debuting for the MLB hopefuls.

The three-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger had been nearing a return from a left oblique strain, but tightness in his right quad has sidelined Springer.

However, Springer will play in Friday's intra-squad game and could make his much-anticipated Blue Jays bow in the upcoming three-game series against American League (AL) East rivals the Tampa Bay Rays, with the final two games played on Saturday and Sunday.

"He's excited; we're exceptionally excited," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said on Thursday. "Tomorrow is a great day for George.

"He's doing all baseball activity, he's extremely confident and strong. Now it's just a matter of recovery and putting him in a position to play nine innings and feel like he can face elite major league pitching.

"Tomorrow will be a very important day to determine what that next step is and what's best for him."

Heading into the 2021 season, Springer had led MLB with 136 home runs from the lead-off spot since 2015.

Springer has 39 lead-off home runs in his career – fourth most all-time behind Rickey Henderson (73), Ian Kinsler (48) and Brady Anderson (44).

The 31-year-old Springer has recorded seven career World Series home runs – most from the lead-off spot all-time – and he is 19-for-56 (.339) in the World Series in his career. No other current Blue Jays player has a World Series hit in their career.

Springer's 174 home runs since debuting in MLB via Houston are third most by an Astro in a player's first seven career seasons, behind only Jeff Bagwell (187) and Lance Berkman (180).

Meanwhile, in another boost for the Blue Jays, star Nate Pearson (groin) will start and pitch two-three innings in Friday's intra-squad game.

The Blue Jays (8-10) are third in the AL East, behind leaders the Boston Red Sox (12-7) and Rays (10-9).

The Oakland Athletics continued their remarkable season turnaround by extended their winning run to 11 games, with a thrilling 13-12 win over the Minnesota Twins.

The As had started the 2021 MLB season 0-6 and were challenged by the Twins on Wednesday night yet got home in extras, as center-fielder Roman Laureano says they "could smell we were going to win".

Matt Olson had the second home run of the game at the bottom of the third, followed by Seth Brown to give the Athletics a 7-4 lead.

But the Twins refused to go away, with Nelson Cruz having a big game, including his second home run, recording his 38th career multi-run game.

Laureano got home after a Matt Chapman fly ball forcing a 10th, where Byron Buxton teed off for the Twins to establish a 12-10 lead.

Minnesota, though, were let down by sloppy fielding, firstly with an error from Major League second-gamer Travis Blankenhorn with bases loaded, before Luis Arraez's wayward throw allowed Tony Kemp and Elvis Andrus home to seal the walkoff win.

The As are now the first-ever team to win 11 straight at any point in an MLB season after being 0-6.

 

Rangers deny Angel, Baez grand slam

The Texas Rangers came from behind to deny Mike Trout's Los Angeles Angels 7-4 on Wednesday night.

The Rangers had trailed 3-1 after four innings, after home runs from Trout and Shohei Ohtani for the Angels.

Adolis Garcia hit a home run from Mike Mayers and that opened up a lead they would not give up, with another homer from next batter Nate Lowe.

Javier Baez had a day out for the Chicago Cubs in their 16-4 win over the New York Mets, with his sixth career grand slam.

For the Mets, Pete Alonso scored his third home-run of the year with a 429 foot monster.

There was late drama as the Philadelphia Phillies got past the San Francisco Giants 6-5 with Andrew Knapp hitting to left-field at the bottom of the ninth, allowing Bryce Harper to get the winning run.

Late heroics from Salvador Perez guided the Kansas City Royals to a 9-8 win over the Tampa Bay Rays after trailing 8-7 at the bottom of the ninth.

 

Tough trot for J.D.

Mets third baseman J.D. Davis is not having a good run, with his third misfield in two games hardly helping his side's cause in their 16-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

 

Shohei Showtime

Ohtani keeps on delivering in MLB this season but after launching a home run against the Rangers he sped around the bases, making it home in a Majors season record of 17.3 seconds.

 

Wednesday's results: 

Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 San Francisco Giants
Miami Marlins 3-0 Baltimore Orioles
Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Detroit Tigers
Colorado Rockies 6-3 Houston Astros
Oakland Athletics 13-12 Minnesota Twins
Washington Nationals 1-0 St. Louis Cardinals
Texas Rangers 7-4 Los Angeles Angels
Milwaukee 4-2 San Diego Padres
Atlanta Braves 4-1 New York Yankees
Arizona Diamonds 8-5 Cincinnati Reds
Detroit Tigers 5-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs 16-4 New York Mets
Kansas City Royals 9-8 Tampa Bay Rays

 

Padres at Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers will start their series against the San Diego Padres in an all-Calfiornia battle.

The Angels' stars were on display Tuesday in Anaheim, as Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hit towering home runs to back two-way star Shohei Ohtani and the pitching staff in a 6-2 win over the Texas Rangers. 

Making his second start of the season, Ohtani baffled Rangers hitters for better or for worse in his four shutout innings. He allowed just one hit, but walked six and struck out seven as he worked his way into and out of jams throughout his stint on the mound. 

Though Ohtani's 11 walks through two starts are a concern, MLB hitters have yet to demonstrate they can do much damage against him with the bat. 

The same cannot be said for the heart of the Angels' lineup. After Trout hammered a 446-foot home run in the sixth inning, Pujols hit one exactly the same distance in the seventh. It was Pujols' second homer of the season and the 664th of his career.

 

Urias takes pitchers' duel

There was little margin for error between the Dodgers' Julio Urias (seven innings, one hit, career-high 11 strikeouts) and the Mariners' Marco Gonzales (seven innings, two hits, six strikeouts) on Tuesday.

The two teams combined for just three hits -- a single and a double by Los Angeles and a single by Seattle -- as the World Series champions prevailed 1-0.

According to Stats Perform, the four combined total bases were the fewest ever in an interleague game. 

 

Cardinals' bullpen blows up

Adam Wainwright turned in a vintage start for St. Louis against the Nationals, but a meltdown by the Cardinals' bullpen led to a 3-2 loss in Washington. Wainwright left after seven innings, holding a 2-1 lead after striking out 10. 

But his replacement, Giovanny Gallegos, could not close the door. He walked the first batter he faced and hit the second before eventually walking Josh Harrison with the bases loaded and two outs to force in what proved to be the winning run. 

 

Spectacular catch backs spectacular pitching

Corbin Burnes had another remarkable outing for the Brewers, striking out 10 without walking a batter to give him 40 strikeouts and zero walks this season. According to Stats Perform, Burnes is the first pitcher to fan at least 40 without walking a man over any four-game span in the modern era.

Impressive as those numbers are, Burnes would not have kept the Padres off the scoreboard in a 6-0 win without an incredible diving catch by Billy McKinney in left field to end the fourth inning with two San Diego runners stranded on base. 

 

Tuesday's results

New York Yankees 3-1 Atlanta Braves
Oakland Athletics 7-0 Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics 1-0 Minnesota Twins
Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 Seattle Mariners
Chicago White Sox 8-5 Cleveland Indians
Baltimore Orioles 7-5 Miami Marlins
Washington Nationals 3-2 St. Louis Cardinals
San Francisco Giants 10-7 Philadelphia Phillies
Boston Red Sox 4-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago Cubs 3-1 New York Mets
Tampa Bay Rays 14-7 Kansas City Royals
Colorado Rockies 6-2 Houston Astros
Los Angeles Angels 6-2 Texas Rangers
Milwaukee Brewers 6-0 San Diego Padres
Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 Cincinnati Reds (suspended)
Pittsburgh Pirates-Detroit Tigers (postponed)

 

Giants at Phillies

San Francisco (10-6) will turn to pitcher Anthony DeSclafani to try to complete a three-game sweep of the Phillies (8-8). The right-hander has allowed just two runs over 17 innings in three starts this season, for a 1.06 ERA. 

After winning eight consecutive games, MLB World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of a different streak following their 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

The Dodgers had their winning streak snapped by National League (NL) West rivals the San Diego Padres on Sunday and the star-studded champions lost again on Monday.

In the series opener, the American League (AL) West-leading Mariners used two home runs from rookie Taylor Trammell and Jose Marmolejos to take down the Dodgers.

Corey Seager hit a homer for the Dodgers, but it was not enough as Dustin May was tagged with the loss after giving up four hits and four runs – including both homers – in five innings.

 

Musgrove stays hot

The San Diego Padres lost 3-1 to the Milwaukee Brewers, but Joe Musgrove impressed again. In four starts this season, Musgrove has 37 strikeouts while allowing just three walks and three runs. According to Stats Perform, he is the first pitcher in the modern era to have 35-plus strikeouts while allowing no more than three walks or three runs over his first four starts of a season. Musgrove set a career high with his 13 strikeouts against the Brewers.

 

Giolito accepts blame for White Sox loss

The Chicago White Sox were beaten 11-4 by the Boston Red Sox. Lucas Giolito was removed in the second inning, having allowed eight runs – seven earned – and eight hits as his ERA went from 2.55 to 5.79.

"I lost us the game in the first inning, and its not a good feeling," Giolito said. "I think that they had a good approach against me, and I pitched into it and they didn't miss."

 

Grand slam!

Paul DeJong hit two of the St Louis Cardinals' five home runs, including a grand slam in the fifth inning, as the team crushed the Washington Nationals 12-5.

 

 

Monday's results

Boston Red Sox 11-4 Chicago White Sox
San Francisco Giants 2-0 Philadelphia Phillies
St Louis Cardinals 12-5 Washington Nationals
Tampa Bay Rays 4-1 Kansas City Royals
Texas Rangers 6-4 Los Angeles Angels
Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 San Diego Padres
Seattle Mariners 4-3 Los Angeles Dodgers
Minnesota Twins-Oakland Athletics (postponed)

 

Jays at Red Sox

AL East rivals the Toronto Blue Jays (7-9) and Red Sox (11-6) will go head-to-head at Fenway Park, starting Monday. Ryu Hyun-jin gets the start for the Blue Jays, while Eduardo Rodriguez will be on the mound for leaders the Red Sox in Boston.

Mookie Betts pulled off a spectacular outfield catch to seal victory for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 2-0 win over the San Diego Padres in MLB on Saturday night.

The 28-year-old center fielder dived to his left for Tommy Pham's curving hit, getting it inch-perfect for a walk-off catch in the ninth.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said: "Mookie has played a lot of innings in center field, but with that said, it takes an elite defender in center to make that play."

In a blockbuster tussle, Clayton Kershaw was crucial for the Dodgers with eight strikeouts across six innings, while Padres pitcher Yu Darvish had nine.

Earlier, Justin Turner hit a ninth inning home run to open up the 2-0 buffer, following Zach McKinstry's fifth inning run.

The result improves the Dodgers' 2021 record to 13-2, while the Padres are 9-7.

 

De Grom within a whisker of record

New York Mets right-hander Jacob de Grom came within one of Tom Seaver's 51-year-old record for consecutive strikeouts in their 4-3 win over the Colorado Rapids in the first game of their double-header.

De Grom finished the game with 14 strikeouts although the Mets lost the second of their double-header, going down 7-2.

Jorge Alfaro was the hero as the Miami Marlins scored twice at the bottom of the 10th to claim a dramatic 7-6 win over the San Francisco Giants.

Salvatore Perez came up trumps with a monster home-run at the bottom of the seventh to secure the Kansas City Royals a 3-2 walk-off win over the Toronto Blue Jays in the second of their double-header.

The win lifts the Royals to a 8-5 record, while the Blue Jays are 7-8.

The Oakland Athletics won their seventh straight, knocking off the Detroit Tigers 7-0, while the Boston Red Sox beat the Chicago White Sox 7-4.

The Tampa Bay Rays won 6-3 over the New York Yankees despite a bizarre moment when Tyer Glasnow's right leg and left hand suddenly cramped up.

 

Braves cop six home-runs

The Atlanta Braves saw six home-runs sail over their heads in their 13-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs, struggling on the mound, trying five different pitches on a rough night.

 

Greinke's double play

Houston Astros pitcher Zach Greinke pulled off an unusual 1-5-6 double play in their 1-0 win over the Seattle Mariners after dropping a red hot drive.

 

Saturday's results

Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 New York Yankees
Washington Nationals 6-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 Kansas City Royals
Chicago Cubs 13-4 Atlanta Braves
St Louis Cardinals 9-4 Philadelphia Phillies
Boston White Sox 7-4 Chicago Red Sox
Oakland Athletics 7-0 Detroit Tigers
Cincinnati Reds 3-2 Cleveland Indians
New York Mets 4-3 Colorado Rockies
Miami Marlins 7-6 San Francisco Giants
Kansas City Royals 3-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles 6-1 Texas Rangers
Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 Pittsburgh Pirates
Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies 7-2 New York Mets
Houston Astros 1-0 Seattle Mariners

 

Dodgers in San Diego

The rivalry resumes between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, with tempers spilling over at times during their series already.

The Los Angeles Dodgers outlasted the San Diego Padres 11-6 after 12 innings in an enthralling MLB showdown between the National League West rivals.

Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr returned from a shoulder injury to face World Series champions the Dodgers in the series opener and he hit a home run in the fifth inning – a 410-foot bomb – to mark his comeback on Friday.

The Padres tied the game in the bottom of the ninth after Eric Hosmer's single allowed Manny Machado to score in San Diego.

Tensions threatened to boil over after benches cleared in the 10th when Dodgers pitcher Dennis Santana struck Jorge Mateo.

San Diego and Los Angeles could not be separated until Corey Seager's two-run homer sparked a Dodgers onslaught in the top of the 12th inning, which finished with five runs.

The red-hot Dodgers extended their winning streak to seven games, while improving to an MLB-best 12-2.

 

Reds stay hot

The Cincinnati Reds eased past the Cleveland Indians 10-3. Cincinnati are now 6-1 at home this season with 67 runs scored (9.6 per game). Per Stats Perform, it is the most runs by a team in their first seven home games of a season since the 1900 Boston Beaneaters (Braves franchise) had 71. The Reds' plus-38 run differential (67-29) at Great American Ball Park is the highest by any National League squad through seven home games since the 1894 Cleveland Spiders (plus-44).

Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer surpassed Cy Young for the 22nd most strikeouts (2,807) of all-time. Three-time Cy Young Award winner Scherzer struck out the side in the seventh inning, finishing with 10 and 2,808 for his career. The Nationals edged the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0.

Justin Upton smashed a grand slam as the Los Angeles Angels crushed the Minnesota Twins 10-3.

 

Yankees continue to underwhelm

The star-studded New York Yankees dropped to an American League (AL) East-worst 5-8 following an 8-2 loss to rivals the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees walked seven Rays batters, had just three hits, struck out 14 times and tallied three errors that led to three unearned runs. Yankees fans made their feelings known after throwing balls onto the field, which led to a stoppage.

 

Schwarber lifts Nationals

Kyle Schwarber's walk-off homer saw the Nationals beat the Diamondbacks. His 463-foot shot was Schwarber's first home run for Washington.

 

Friday's results

Atlanta Braves 5-2 Chicago Cubs
Washington Nationals 1-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
Philadelphia Phillies 9-2 St Louis Cardinals
Tampa Bay Rays 8-2 New York Yankees
Cincinnati Reds 10-3 Cleveland Indians
Miami Marlins 4-1 San Francisco Giants
Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Texas Rangers
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Angels 10-3 Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics 3-0 Detroit Tigers
Los Angeles Dodgers 11-6 San Diego Padres
Seattle Mariners 6-5 Houston Astros
Chicago White Sox-Boston Red Sox (postponed)
Toronto Blue Jays-Kansas City Royals (postponed)
New York Mets-Colorado Rockies (postponed)

 

Blue Jays at Royals

After Friday's game was postponed, the Toronto Blue Jays (6-7) and Kansas City Royals (7-4) will contest a doubleheader on Saturday. Steven Matz will start game one for the Blue Jays as the Royals counter with Mike Minor. Toronto's Tommy Milone will take to the mound in the game two, with Ervin Santana handed a Kansas City start.

Los Angeles Dodgers star Cody Bellinger has been diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his left fibula.

World Series champions the Dodgers have been without 2019 National League (NL) MVP Bellinger since April 5 with what was initially described as a bruised calf.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts provided an update on two-time All-Star Bellinger before Friday's blockbuster against NL rivals the San Diego Padres.

"At least we know what Cody is dealing with," Roberts told reporters.

"Certain players heal differently, so I just don't know where Cody is going to be at.

"But I can say comfortably that it's not a day-to-day thing, and we can just put it on the back burner, let Cody do his rehab and join us hopefully soon."

Bellinger is hitting .211 (four-for-19) with two RBIs in four games this season.

The high-flying Dodgers are 6-1 since Bellinger went down with the injury.

Roberts added: "Now, it's just more of getting that thing healed up, and when he's ready to go, he'll be back with us.

"He's just rehabbing and doing everything he can to join us as soon as possible."

The Dodgers' 11-2 record is the best in the majors and tied for the best in team history through 13 games in a season (four other times, most recently 2005).

Roberts' Dodgers won the season series with San Diego last season, 6-4 – their 10th consecutive year doing so.

Their .659 winning percentage against the Padres since 2011 (118-61) is the best by any team against a current divisional opponent over that span, per Stats Perform.

San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. has been cleared to face World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tatis had been on the injured list with a subluxation of his left shoulder suffered on April 5, but the Padres activated the shortstop for Friday's blockbuster opener against the Dodgers.

The 22-year-old – who signed an eye-popping 14-year, $340million contract extension with the Padres before the start of the season – will start second in the line-up, behind lead-off team-mate Trent Grisham as the National League (NL) West rivals go head-to-head.

"He's a game-changing player, as I'm sure you all know," Grisham said. "We're excited to have him back.

"He's very dynamic, and he's very excited to get back. We're pumped to have him in the line-up."

Tatis won a Silver Slugger award last season, having hit .277 with 17 home runs and 45 RBIs in the coronavirus-shortened 2020 campaign.

He is the first player in MLB history to have at least 35 home runs and 25 stolen bases within the first 150 games of his career.

Tatis packs a punch with the bat – he led the majors in average exit velocity (95.9 mph), hard hit percentage (62.2), and balls hit 95-plus MPH (102) last season.

The Padres (9-5) are third in the NL West, behind red-hot leaders the Dodgers (11-2) – who have won six straight games.

The Boston Red Sox lost for the first time since the opening series of the season as the Minnesota Twins snapped a five-game losing streak of their own Thursday. 

German-born outfielder Max Kepler's bloop single in the ninth inning brought home Luis Arraez to end Boston's remarkable run of nine consecutive victories with a 4-3 Minnesota triumph.

On a day when every player in MLB wore number 42 to honour Jackie Robinson's barrier-breaking debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, a sea of 42 jerseys gathered in celebration at Target Field.  

It was a gutsy display from the Twins, who built a 3-0 lead to back Michael Pineda's seven scoreless innings but watched the red-hot Red Sox score three in the eighth inning to equalise. 

Arraez sparked the winning rally in the final inning, though, allowing the Twins to relax a bit after a rough stretch.

"It's impossible to go out and play baseball and not feel it when it's going really well or when it's not going really well," said Twins manager Rocco Baldelli. "It's really how you harness that and control it at times and sometimes how you just let it go."

 

Braves stage rally of their own

The Atlanta Braves followed the same blueprint as the Twins, stopping a four-game skid of their own after blowing a lead and then rallying to win in their final at-bat. 

Atlanta avoided a four-game sweep by the Miami Marlins with a 7-6 victory capped by Dansby Swanson's game-ending single in the ninth. 

It was a fitting finish for a contest packed with momentum swings, as Miami went out to a 3-0 lead before the Braves jumped ahead 5-3 on home runs by Ronald Acuna Jr. and Pablo Sandoval. 

The Marlins scored three of their own to surge back in front before five of the six Braves to bat in the ninth reached base, ending in the win.

 

Corbin has no answers for Diamondbacks

Washington Nationals starter Patrick Corbin got bombed in an 11-6 loss to Arizona, surrendering 10 Diamondbacks runs (nine earned) on six hits and four walks in just two innings. Corbin watched the second and third batters of the game, Carson Kelly and Eduardo Escobar, hit solo homers, then gave up a grand slam to Andrew Young in the second inning. He departed the game against his former club with an unsightly 21.32 ERA.

 

Mercedes' monster moon shot

Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. muscled up on a hanging slider from Royals pitcher Kyle Zimmer for a 456-foot blast, the longest home run of his career, in the seventh inning of a 7-5 loss to Kansas City. 

 

Thursday's results
Atlanta Braves 7-6 Miami Marlins
San Diego Padres 8-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
Seattle Mariners 4-2 Baltimore Orioles
Seattle Mariners 2-1 Baltimore Orioles
Minnesota Twins 4-3 Boston Red Sox
Cleveland Indians 4-2 Chicago White Sox
Arizona Diamondbacks 11-6 Washington Nationals
Texas Rangers 6-4 Tampa Bay Rays
Kansas City Royals 7-5 Toronto Blue Jays
Oakland Athletics 8-4 Detroit Tigers
Los Angeles Dodgers 7-5 Colorado Rockies
Philadelphia Phillies-New York Mets (postponed)

 

Dodgers at Padres

The match-up of division rivals will feature the first MLB start for pitcher Ryan Weathers of the Padres (9-5) as he takes on Walker Buehler and the Dodgers (11-2).

The San Diego Padres are "optimistic" star Fernando Tatis Jr. will return for Friday's showdown with MLB World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tatis – who signed an eye-popping 14-year, $340million contract extension with the Padres before the start of the season – has been on the injured list since suffering a subluxation of his left shoulder on April 5.

But the 22-year-old shortstop is poised to make his comeback, according to Padres manager Jayce Tingler.

"He took a live [batting practice] today," Tinger told reporters on Thursday. "Probably had his best day today as far as the at-bats.

"We have to go over a couple of things with the medical team.

"We're optimistic that he has a good chance to be ready to play tomorrow."

Tatis won a Silver Slugger award last season, having hit .277 with 17 home runs and 45 RBIs in the coronavirus-shortened 2020 campaign.

He is the first player in MLB history to have at least 35 home runs and 25 stolen bases within the first 150 games of his career.

Tatis packs a punch with the bat – he led the majors in average exit velocity (95.9 mph), hard hit percentage (62.2), and balls hit 95-plus MPH (102) last season.

 

Akil Baddoo is the name on everyone's lips.

Baddoo has shattered records from his very first pitch in MLB this month amid an incredible rise from unheralded Rule 5 pick to the biggest sensation in baseball.

The 22-year-old Detroit Tigers outfielder is already the first player in modern MLB history (dating back to 1901) to hit a grand slam, another home run and a walk-off hit in his first three career games.

But Baddoo's story is one of perseverance. Let's rewind back to May 2019. He was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery.

If sitting out the 2019 campaign was not bad enough, he missed last season when the minor leagues were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

During the winter's Rule five draft in December, Baddoo was taken by the Tigers, having initially been drafted out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in 2016.

The Rule 5 draft aims at preventing franchises from stockpiling too many young players on their minor league affiliate teams when other clubs would be prepared to play them in the major leagues. If chosen, a player must be kept on the selecting team's major league active roster for the entire season.

"If you think about it, he's gone through so much," Baddoo's mother Akilah said. "And then this opportunity came, and it was like, 'This can't be a joke. There's a plan for you. You got to know that'."

In the least likely of places, the Tigers appear to have landed a gem, and Baddoo is making the most of his opportunity, immediately becoming a cult hero in Detroit.

Baddoo had 233 career minor leagues games to his name, but none above Class A as he earned a place on the Opening Day roster after hitting .325 in Spring Training with five home runs. However, the Maryland native looked like a man for the big stage.

In his opening at-bat on April 4, Baddoo homered in a memorable maiden outing for the Tigers, driving to left field in the bottom of the third inning against the Cleveland Indians.

"I'm just living in the moment," Baddoo said post-game after becoming the ninth player in Tigers franchise history to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat and only the second to do so on the first pitch, following George Vico in 1948. "I got a good pitch to hit, and I was able to hit it in front of my family and everyone."

If that was not enough, Baddoo continued the fairy-tale week by hitting his first career grand slam against the Twins the following day. He became the first Tiger to homer in each of his first two MLB games and the first player in major league history to homer out of the ninth spot of the batting order in his first two career games. Baddoo was also the first player in franchise history to hit a slam within his opening two games.

Baddoo has continually showed maturity beyond his years as the rookie adds to his growing legend. Taking over Motor City, he then delivered a walk-off shot to sink his old team the Twins 24 hours later.

His game-winning hit saw him become the first Detroit player with a walk-off shot within his first three MLB games since 1998.

Baddoo is yet to drop off, his history-making season continuing with a homer against the Houston Astros on Tuesday. Through eight games, he took his tally to four home runs, a double and a triple. According to Stats Perform, his slugging percentage at the time – 1.043 – was the highest in American League (AL) history after eight games.

After his RBI double against the Astros on Wednesday, Baddoo has now driven in at least one run in seven of his first nine career games, the second Tiger in franchise history to do so, following Dale Alexander in 1929.

Since 1920, only George Shuba (eight) managed more RBIs in his first nine career games across MLB, according to Stats Perform.

As it stands, Baddoo's slugging percentage stands at .963 (which ranks eighth all-time through first nine career games since 1901) with 11 RBI. If you combine his RBI and SLG percentage, he is one of four players to have 11-plus RBI and a 900-plus SLG over his first nine career games, after Trevor Story (13/.974 – 38/39 in 2016), Taylor Teagarden (12/1.000 – 29/29 in 2008) and Dave Kingman (11/1.105 – 21/19 in 1971).

Baddoo was rated as Detroit's fifth outfielder before the start of the season, so how does he compare to his team-mates?

Counting only plate appearances while playing outfielder, Baddoo's .370 average, .379 on-base percentage, .963 SLG, 1.342 OPS, four homers and 11 RBI are more than the team's other outfielders combined –.190 AVG, .277 OBP, .330 SLG, .607 OPS, three home runs and nine RBI.

As for the team who left their prospect unprotected, Minnesota's outfielders have tallied a .263 AVG, .331 OBS and .474 SLG so far this season – numbers surpassed by Baddoo.

Baddoo is flying the flag for Rule 5 picks – Roberto Clemente is the only player out of that unheralded draft to earn Hall of Fame honours.

Following an 18-season career, Clemente – who died in a plane crash at the age of 38 in 1972 – was a 15-time All-Star, two-time World Series champion, 1966 National League (NL) MVP, World Series MVP and 12-time Gold Glove winner.

Is Baddoo destined for a Hall of Fame career?

At the same stage of their careers, Baddoo trumps Clemente in all categories: AVG (.370 to .316), OBP (.379 to .325), SLG (.963 to .500), OPS (1.342 to .825), home runs (four to one), RBI (11 to six) and runs (five to three).

"Obviously he has the talent to do a lot of different things, I knew he'd give me everything he's got," Tigers manager AJ Hinch has said previously. "That was evident from the beginning."

The red-hot Boston Red Sox made history in MLB after extending their winning streak to nine games on Wednesday.

In a midweek doubleheader, the Red Sox swept the Minnesota Twins 3-2 and 7-1 as they became the first team in history to start a season with a three-game losing streak and then immediately win nine in succession.

After tallying two hits in game one and making a diving catch to thwart the Twins, Boston outfielder Alex Verdugo fuelled the Red Sox with three hits – including a solo homer in the seventh inning – in the second encounter.

The Red Sox (9-3) are the only team in the American League (AL) East to own a winning record this season.

"We did a good job," said manager Alex Cora, who returned to Boston this season after leaving the Red Sox amid the sign-stealing scandal, having guided the franchise to World Series glory in 2018. "Overall, a great day for the Red Sox. That’s a good baseball team and to win both games, win the series, it makes it special.

"We know we have a good baseball team and we have to keep working on it, and we have to keep getting better. But days like today, they’re very gratifying."

 

Rodon has game to remember

Carlos Rodon threw a no-hitter for the Chicago White Sox, just missing out on a rare perfect game in an 8-0 rout of the Cleveland Indians. Rodon retired the first 25 batters he faced, leaving him two outs away from what would have been the 24th perfect game in MLB history. But Rodon lost out on joining that exclusive group when a two-strike pitch hit Roberto Perez in the foot. Rodon, though, still managed to secure the 20th no-hitter in White Sox history and the second in MLB this season. According to Stats Perform, Rodon (two wins and two hits allowed) is the first pitcher in AL history to win his first two starts of a season while allowing no more than two hits.

Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers became the first pitcher since 1906 to have 30 strikeouts and 0 walks in his first three starts of a season. He struck out 10 in six dominant innings as the Brewers shut out the Chicago Cubs 7-0.

The Toronto Blue Jays edged the New York Yankees 5-4 thanks to Bo Bichette and his walk-off homer. Bichette finished with two home runs as the Blue Jays clinched their series with the Yankees. The 23-year-old tied Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio for the most multi-extra-base hit games (14) in his first 87 MLB appearances. Bichette's single in the opening inning also extended his hitting streak to 11 games, matching a career high.

 

Cubs crumble in toothless display

After being blanked by the Brewers, the Cubs are now hitting .163 for the season. Per Stats Perform, it is the second-lowest average by any team through 12 games in the modern era, behind only the 2003 Tigers (.159)

 

Mercedes' monster moon shot

White Sox rookie designated hitter Yermin Mercedes delivered a 431-foot bomb against Cleveland. He launched a three-run homer off Zach Plesac during a six-run opening inning.

 

Wednesday's results

Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 New York Yankees
Washington Nationals 6-0 St Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers 7-0 Chicago Cubs
Kansas City Royals 6-1 Los Angeles Angels
Boston Red Sox 3-2 Minnesota Twins
Boston Red Sox 7-1 Minnesota Twins
San Francisco Giants 3-0 Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates 5-1 San Diego Padres
Detroit Tigers 6-4 Houston Astros
New York Mets 5-1 Philadelphia Phillies
Texas Rangers 5-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Miami Marlins 6-5 Atlanta Braves
Chicago White Sox 8-0 Cleveland Indians
Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 Colorado Rockies
Seattle Mariners-Baltimore Orioles (postponed)

 

Blue Jays at Royals

The Blue Jays (6-6) will hit the road on Thursday for the opening game of their series against AL Central leaders the Royals (6-4).

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