Aaron Judge homered for the 46th time this season to bring up his 100th RBI, but the New York Yankees lost again, beaten 3-2 by the Boston Red Sox in extras on Friday.

Judge cleared the green monster at the top of the third inning with a 429-foot blast to put the Yankees up 2-0.

The home run was 46th for the season, meaning he is equal with Babe Ruth (1921) for homers in the first 113 team games in MLB history. Barry Bonds is the only player to better both, with 48 in 2001.

J.D. Martinez brought in Alex Verdugo to make it 2-1 in the fourth inning, before Martinez sent the game to extras with a ninth-inning RBI with Xander Bogaerts scoring.

In extras, Tommy Pham was the hero for the Red Sox at the bottom of the 10th inning with a shot down the third-base line allowing Christian Arroyo to score.

The result means the Yankees' recent woes continue, sitting 71-42 at the top of the American League (AL) East, with the Red Sox last in that division with a 56-58 record.

 

Soto returns to D.C. to rousing reception

Juan Soto returned to the capital for the first time since his trade from the Washington Nationals to the San Diego Padres earlier this month, receiving a heroes' welcome.

Soto registered his first hit against his former team in the fifth inning, before the Padres piled on seven runs in the frame to open up an 8-0 lead.

Jefferson Profar and Soto scored from Manny Machado's two-run RBI. Soto, who went 2-6, drove in an RBI in the fifth as the Padres ran away 10-5 winners.

 

Mets' winning run halted by walk-off Phillies

The presence of Max Scherzer was not enough to prevent the Philadelphia Phillies from snapping the New York Mets' six-game win streak in a 2-1 walk-off defeat.

Scherzer pitched across seven innings with six strikeouts and nine hits, his second most this season. The Mets right-hander did not walk anyone and only allowed one earned run.

The game went to extras, before Bryson Stott got home from Alec Bohm's sacrifice fly to right fielder Starling Marte, who thundered in a throw but catcher Tomas Nido could not complete the out on the hop.

Framber Valdez threw seven shutout innings as the Houston Astros moved a half-game ahead of the New York Yankees in the race for top seed in the American League (AL) with a 7-3 win over the Texas Rangers.

Martin Maldonado and Alex Bregman both homered for the Astros as manager Dusty Baker returned to the dugout after missing five games due to COVID-19.

Valdez had eight strikeouts across seven innings, allowing only four singles and a walk, earning his third win.

The result improved the Astros to 72-41, sitting ahead of the slumping Yankees who did not play on Thursday and possess a 71-41 record.

"It was outstanding to be back, especially when you come back with the win and come back with Framber throwing the game that he threw," Baker said.

"He pitched an outstanding game. He's very serious about his work and was very composed."

Surging Orioles slip in Wild Card race

The in-form Baltimore Orioles missed a chance to surge into the AL Wild Card spots after going down 4-3 to the Boston Red Sox.

The O's were off to a 7-1 start in August and looked to preserve that with a three-run sixth-inning to square up the game, before Eric Hosmer's decisive go-ahead RBI double.

With the win, the Red Sox snap a four-game losing streak, while it leaves the O's at 58-53, behind the Tampa Bay Rays (58-52) for the third AL Wild Card spot.

Goldschmidt and Arenado fire but Cards beaten

The battle for top spot in the National League (NL) Central division rages on after the St Louis Cardinals were toppled 8-6 by the Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies piled on six runs in the seventh inning, headlined by back-to-back home runs from Brendan Rodgers and Ryan McMahon, while Paul Goldschmidt had three hits including his 27th home run of the season.

Nolan Arenado also homered for the Cards, who hold a 61-50 record, marginally ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers at 60-50 in the NL Central. The Cards have won eight of their past 10.

The San Diego Padres have won the Juan Soto sweepstakes, agreeing to a deal to acquire the superstar outfielder, as well as first baseman Josh Bell, from the Washington Nationals in a blockbuster trade on Tuesday.

The Nationals are set to acquire left-handed pitcher MacKenzie Gore and shortstop C.J. Abrams, as well as three prospects, though first baseman Eric Hosmer – who was initially expected to be included in the deal – exercised his no-trade clause, which included Washington.

When the trade does become official, Soto will go from the team with the worst record in the National League to one in possession of the league's second wild-card spot.

A two-time All-Star and World Series champion, the 23-year-old Soto is considered one of the best young players in baseball with 119 career home runs, 108 doubles, 358 RBIs, 399 runs and 464 walks in his first 565 games.

In the live-ball era, the only other players with 100+ homers, 100+ doubles, 350+ RBIs, 350+ runs and 450+ walks in the first 565 games are Hall of Famers Frank Thomas and Ted Williams. As a 21-year-old in 2020, Soto became the youngest player in NL history to win a batting title with a .351 average.

The trade comes just over two weeks after Soto turned down a 15-year, $440million extension from the Nationals, prompting Washington to seek a trade even though Soto remains under team control for two more seasons after this one.

Days after Soto rejected the extension, he went on to win the Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium over the All-Star break.

Soto homered in his final at-bat with the Nationals on Monday – his 21st of the season – and has been swinging a hot bat lately, compiling a .324/.515/.662 slash line with seven homers, 14 RBIs, 19 runs and 28 walks in 25 games since the start of July. In that span, his 1.177 OPS ranks third in baseball, among qualifying hitters.

Soto and Bell, who is batting .301 with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs in 103 games, now join a San Diego lineup that is led by six-time All-Star Manny Machado. The team is also hopeful of getting Fernando Tatis Jr. back in the coming weeks as it tries to make a run for the franchise's first World Series title.

Soto was instrumental to the Nationals' 2019 World Series championship, batting .333 with three home runs, two doubles, seven RBIs and six runs against the Houston Astros in the Fall Classic.

As part of the trade, Washington receives outfielder Robert Hassell III – the No. 1 prospect in the Padres' system – outfielder James Wood (No. 3) and right-handed pitcher Jarlin Susana (No. 14), in addition to Gore and Abrams.

Eloy Jimenez homered twice again while Lucas Giolito starred on the mound as the Chicago White Sox won 11-1 over the Minnesota Twins in MLB on Monday.

The White Sox claimed their fourth consecutive win, following up their series sweep over the Chicago Cubs, with a one-sided display.

Tim Anderson hit a leadoff home run to start the dominance, before Jimenez claimed center stage.

Jimenez hit a straight projected 454-foot two-run homer to open up a 3-0 first innings lead.

At the top of the second inning, Jimenez went high down the line into the corner for a three-run homer, stretching the White Sox lead to 7-0.

Jimenez had homered twice in Sunday's win over the Cubs and now has five home runs in his 10 appearances this season.

Giolito had eight strikeouts across eight innings, with only two hits and without any walks.

 

Yankees edges Royals in extras

The New York Yankees scored three runs in the 11th inning to win 8-6 over the Kansas City Royals as they made it eight wins from their past 10.

DJ Mahieu's go-ahead RBI double, which drove home Joey Gallo, followed by a two score on Brett Gardner's single which hopped into short-stop Nicky Lopez's jaw, opened up an 8-5 lead in the 11th before Wandy Peralta closed it out.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs-Milwaukee Brewers game was postponed and rescheduled as part of a Tuesday double-header due to inclement weather.

 

Castillo loses his touch

Luis Castillo was pulled in the fourth inning as the Cleveland Indians opened up an 8-0 lead in their 9-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds. May 29 was the last time Castillo had given up four or more runs in a game, while he had an ERA of 1.91 since June 1.

 

Hosmer reaches 100th hit

In Fernando Tatis Jr's absence, Eric Hosmer homered in the second inning and added an RBI double in the eighth as the San Diego Padres won 8-3 at the Miami Marlins. Hosmer brought up his 100th hit of the season, while he also has 52 RBI. Joe Musgrove was outstanding with eight strikeouts too.

 

Monday's results 

Cleveland Indians 9-3 Cincinnati Reds
Chicago White Sox 11-1 Minnesota Twins 
New York Yankees 8-6 Kansas City Royals
San Diego Padres 8-3 Miami Marlins
Chicago Cubs - Milwaukee Brewers (postponed)

 

Rays at Red Sox

The top two in the American League East meet when the in-form Tampa Bay Rays (68-44) travel to the Boston Red Sox (65-49), who have won two of their past 10 games.

San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler insisted Fernando Tatis Jr. was "100 per cent" not peeking at signs as he labelled the allegations "ridiculous".

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Trevor Bauer warned Tatis about allegedly peeking at signs after the latter homered twice off the 2020 American League (AL) Cy Young Award winner on Saturday.

The Padres lost 5-4, but a moment in Tatis' at-bat in the sixth inning caught the attention of the Dodgers after the 2020 Silver Slugger appeared to peek at catcher Will Smith's sign before the pitch.

Responding to the claims, Tingler told reporters on Tuesday: "I think it's ridiculous.

"I know 100 per cent he [Tatis] wasn't peeking at signs."

As the National League (NL) West rivalry dominates MLB, Bauer said in a video published via his YouTube channel on Sunday: "That's the type of stuff that would get you hit in other games.

"Now, I'm mild mannered about it. Flip the bat, do all that stuff, fine. If you're going to look at the signs, not OK, and if you do it again, the team that you're playing probably isn't going to take too kindly, and there might have to be some on-field stuff.

"That is disrespecting your opponent, look at their signs, stuff like that. Whereas the bat flips and celebrating with your team-mates is fine, in my opinion."

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also addressed the incident prior to Sunday's 8-7 loss to the Padres, telling reporters: "When you talk about peeking, that's just not the way you play baseball.

"If that is the case, which I don't know, that'll be noted."

After that epic marathon win against World Series champions the Dodgers, Eric Hosmer defended Padres team-mate Tatis.

"That was maybe a little bit of confusion on their part," Hosmer said. "I don't think Tati was looking at signs. I've never really seen him do that. I certainly didn’t see it last night."

Last season's World Series runners-up the Tampa Bay Rays made it two from two to start the 2021 MLB season with a 6-4 come-from-behind victory over the Miami Marlins on Friday.

Trailing 4-2 at the top of the ninth, Joey Wendle stepped up for a three-run homer to turn the game on its head.

Diego Castillo closed it out on the mound, backing up their 1-0 Opening Day win over the Marlins.

The Houston Astros were winners again, triumphing 9-5 over the Oakland Athletics with Alex Bregman hitting back-to-back home runs across the first two games and producing a two-run performance on  Friday.

Jose Altuve's speed was on show when he scored on a pop-up in the infield after Kyle Tucker's fly ball off the wall.

Chad Pinder pulled the As back into the game with a two-run homer at the bottom of the seventh but the Astros rounded it out with three runs in the ninth.

 

Bauer power, Mercedes drives White Sox

Trevor Bauer struck out 10 hitters in a superb first start for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 11-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies, who had beaten the World Series champs on Opening Day.

He almost completed a no-hitter at Coors Field after six tight innings before the Rockies scored six runs in the seventh.

Yermin Mercedes went five from five, including four RBIs, in his first career start as the Chicago White Sox won 12-8 against the Los Angeles Angels.

Eric Hosmer continues to impress for the San Diego Padres, blasting a homer to right field and totalling three hits in their 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks as they moved to 2-0.

Hosmer made some history with the Padres too, becoming the first player with three hits in each of their opening two games of a season.

 

Puffed-out furry field invader

The Dodgers-Rockies game was interrupted by an intruder when a cat bounded its way on to the field. It is not the first time this has happened in MLB,  but the lowlight was how puffed out the feline looked after their sprint.

 

First grand slam of 2021

Last season's American League MVP Jose Abreu registered the first grand slam of the new season, hitting to right-center to clear the bases for the White Sox.

 

Friday's results

Baltimore Orioles 3-0 Boston Red Sox
Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Miami Marlins
Los Angeles Dodgers 11-6 Colorado Rockies 
Chicago White Sox 12-8 Los Angeles Angels 
Houston Astros 9-5 Oakland Athletics  
San Diego Padres 4-2 Arizona Diamondbacks 
San Francisco Giants 6-3 Seattle Mariners

Tomorrow

There's a full 14-game slate on Saturday with Hosmer's Padres out to make it 3-0 against the Diamondbacks.

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