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.

The New York Mets will have to make do without a key piece of their rotation after right-hander Carlos Carrasco was diagnosed with a strained left oblique on Tuesday. 

The 35-year-old Carrasco suffered the injury in Monday’s 13-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. He returned following a 55-minute rain delay in the second inning and got the last out but winced on his final pitch and was pulled after allowing three runs in two innings. 

"It just got tight a little bit and I don’t want to push more," Carrasco told reporters after the game. 

An MRI Tuesday revealed a low-grade strain on the left side and the team said a typical timeline for this type of injury is three to four weeks. 

Carrasco has been a big part of the Mets’ success this season, going 13-5 with a 3.92 ERA in 23 starts. He was 5-0 with a 1.69 ERA over his previous seven starts and his 126 1/3 innings pitched rank second on the team to Chris Bassitt, with both Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom limited by injuries.  

David Peterson would seem a possible replacement for Carrasco in the rotation. Peterson is 6-2 with a 3.30 ERA in 18 appearances, including 14 starts, though he was optioned to Triple-A earlier this month.  

The first-place Mets entered Tuesday with a four-and-a-half game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the NL East as they try to secure their first postseason berth since 2016.  

The Kansas City Royals overcame the absences of 10 unvaccinated players beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 on the road on Thursday night.

Foreign nationals who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 are not allowed to enter Canada, while unvaccinated MLB players are not among the limited exemptions that also require a 14-day quarantine.

Many teams have been affected by the restrictions this season, but the Royals had a far bigger contingent than other MLB teams to this point, with a subsequent slew of promotions from the minor leagues to compensate.

Double-A callup Angel Zerpa pitched five innings to claim his first win as a starter in the major leagues, allowing only four hits despite only striking out two batters over 73 pitches.

With 2022 All-Star Andrew Benintendi unavailable, Bobby Witt Jr. hit the tie-breaking home run off Kevin Gausman in the fifth inning, before Nate Eaton added another in the closing frame.

Carrasco helps keep Cubs to zero

Carlos Carrasco was again in impressive form for the New York Mets, as they claimed an 8-0 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Carrasco allowed only one runner to advance past first base in six solid innings, striking out six and allowing five hits over 90 pitches, before Trevor Williams closed out the final three innings for his first save in the major leagues.

Brandon Nimmo and Pete Alonso scored home runs in the sixth and eighth innings respectively to cap off the win, maintaining the Mets' 2.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East, while moving to within three games of the NL-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

Pena propels Astros to win in Anaheim

Jeremy Pena drove in the game-winning run for the Houston Astros as they went into an extra inning, defeating the Los Angeles Angels 3-2.

The Astros effectively had to do it without eight-time All-Star selection Jose Altuve, who exited the game with a bruised left leg after he was hit with Reid Detmers' first pitch of the game.

Houston moved to within 3.5 games of the American League-leading New York Yankees, extending their record for the season to 58-30.

Francisco Lindor's time in Cleveland has come to an end, as the Indians moved the four-time All-Star to the New York Mets in a blockbuster six-player trade announced on Thursday. 

The Mets will also receive starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco in the deal, with Cleveland getting infielders Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez and a pair of prospects in pitcher Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Greene. 

Lindor has been one of the game's premier shortstops, and the face of the Cleveland franchise, since breaking into the majors in 2015. The 27-year-old was the runner-up in voting for the American League's Rookie of the Year in 2015 and has won two Silver Slugger awards as well as a pair of Gold Gloves during his six-year career. 

The Puerto Rico native is set to be a free agent after this season, however, and an inability to agree to terms on a contract extension forced Cleveland to field offers from interested teams. 

Lindor joins a Mets organisation with grand designs under new owner Steve Cohen and who have been one of the more aggressive teams this offseason. New York previously added catcher James McCann and reliever Trevor May in free agency, while pitcher Marcus Stroman accepted an $18.9million qualifying offer to return. 

A career .285 hitter, Lindor has averaged 29 home runs, 86 RBIs and 21 steals over his six major league seasons. 

The Mets also add a valuable piece to the rotation in Carrasco, who went 88-73 with a 3.77 ERA in 11 seasons with Cleveland. The 33-year-old right-hander won 35 games between the 2017 and 2018 seasons before missing most of the 2019 campaign when diagnosed with leukaemia. 

Carrasco successfully fought off the disease to make 12 regular-season starts in 2020, going 3-4 with a 2.91 ERA and winning a second straight AL Comeback Player of the Year award. 

Rosario is the most experienced of the players Cleveland got in return and figures to slot in as Lindor's replacement at shortstop. The 25-year-old's last full season in the majors was a solid one as he batted .287 with 15 homers, 72 RBIs and 19 stolen bases. 

Gimenez, 22, made his major league debut last season and hit .263 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 49 games. 

Wolf and Greene were ranked as the Mets' number nine and number 10 overall prospects by MLB.com. Wolf was a second-round pick by New York in 2019, while Greene was taken in the second round of the 2020 draft and has yet to make his professional debut.

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