Yandy Diaz smashed a three-run go-ahead homer while Shane Baz impressed on debut as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 in MLB on Monday.

Trailing 2-0 at the bottom of the fifth inning with two on base, Diaz stepped up and sent Robbie Ray over the wall at left-center field.

Tampa Bay would not be headed from that point on, with Joey Wendle and Yandy Diaz adding further runs. Wendle also hit a solo home run, before Marcus Semien's two-run homer halved the deficit in the ninth inning.

Dietrich Enns held his nerve to close out the victory for the Rays but another pitcher grabbed plenty of attention as debutant Baz sent down five strikeouts in five innings.

The 22-year-old right-hander held the in-form Blue Jays to only two solo home runs across the first five innings and did not look out of place at majors level.

"It was like a dream-come-true type thing," Baz said. "When I got on the field, it just felt right."

Rays manager Kevin Cash added: "You're not going to see many more impressive outings against Toronto's lineup. So happy for him. He was awesome. Fun to watch."

 

Flying Cardinals make it nine straight

The surging St Louis Cardinals claimed their ninth successive victory, topping the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 after Nolan Arenado's first-inning two-run homer.

The victory, which marked Cards starting pitcher Jon Lester's 200th win of his majors career, keeps St Louis three games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds in the National League (NL) Wild Card race.

The Reds got past the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-5, with Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez hitting back-to-back home runs to turn the game.

Votto enjoyed his fourth multi home-run game for this season, as well as the 17th of his career.

Salvador Perez broke the record for most home runs in a season by a primary catcher, surpassing Johnny Bench's mark of 45, with a homer in the Kansas City Royals' 7-2 win over the Cleveland Indians.

Gary Sanchez's early homer along with a strong bullpen display helped the New York Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 4-3.

 

Angels wings clipped again

Things have gone south for Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels in the second half of this season, managing only six hits and no runs in their 10-0 defeat to the Houston Astros. The Astros piled on eight runs in the final two innings, with Andrew Wantz and Jose Marte unable to stop a fourth straight loss.

 

Duvall creams monster home run

Adam Duvall provided a major highlight when he smoked a monster two-run home run in the Atlanta Braves' 11-4 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The HR travelled a projected 483 feet, per Statcast, going down as the fourth longest home run of the 2021 majors.

 

Monday's results 

Kansas City Royals 7-2 Cleveland Indians
Miami Marlins 8-7 Washington Nationals
Cincinnati Reds 9-5 Pittsburgh Pirates
Detroit Tigers 4-3 Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees 4-3 Texas Rangers
Baltimore Orioles 2-0 Philadelphia Phillies
Tampa Bay Rays 6-4 Toronto Blue Jays
St Louis Cardinals 5-2 Milwaukee Brewers
Kansas City Royals 4-2 Cleveland Indians
Houston Astros 10-0 Los Angeles Angels
Atlanta Braves 11-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Seattle Mariners 4-2 Oakland Athletics

 

Cardinals at Brewers

The Cardinals will chase their 10th consecutive victory, which would reinforce their grip on the second NL Wild Card spot, when they face the Brewers in the second game of their four-game series.

Kris Bryant hit two home runs and Brandon Crawford was perfect at the plate as the San Francisco Giants defeated the New York Mets 7-5 in MLB action Monday. 

Bryant's two-run drive in the fifth inning gave the Mets a 4-3 lead and he helped expand it in the seventh, following Brandon Belt's solo shot by homering on the next pitch. 

Crawford drove in the final San Francisco run with a triple later than inning, capping a four-for-four night. 

Whle the Giants improved to an MLB-best 77-42, the Mets (59-59) dropped the fourth in a row after being swept in Los Angeles by the Dodgers over the weekend. 

 

Cole beats Angels in return

A pair of first-inning home runs accounted for all the scoring as the New York Yankees defeated the Los Angeles Angels 2-1, with Joey Gallo's two-run shot trumping Justin Upton's solo homer. The latter was the only blemish for Yankees ace Gerrit Cole as made his first start in more than weeks thanks to a stint on the COVID-19 injured list. Cole allowed just one other hit and struck out nine in 5.2 innings. 

After Trent Grisham's three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning tied the game for the San Diego Padres, the Colorado Rockies walked off 6-5 winners on a homer in the bottom of the inning from C.J. Cron.

The Chicago White Sox expanded their division lead to an MLB-high 11 games with a 5-2 home win against the Oakland Athletics as Luis Robert homered and Seby Zavala drove in a pair of runs. 

After a two-homer game Sunday, Max Muncy's eighth-inning solo shot gave the Los Angeles Dodgers their winning margin in a 2-1 triumph over the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

Freddie Freeman and Adam Duvall homered while Ozzie Albies drove in three more runs as the Atlanta Braves routed the Miami Marlins 12-2 to extend their lead in the National League East to 1.5 games.

Jorge Polanco had his second walk-off hit in as many games for Minnesota, with his 10th-inning RBI double giving the Twins a 5-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians a day after his sacrifice fly in the ninth beat the Tampa Bay Rays. The last Twins player to produce walk-off wins in successive games was Jacque Jones in July 2005.

 

Sparse crowd in St. Pete

The Rays (72-47) have the best record in the American League, but the official attendance at Tropicana Field for Monday's 9-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles was the lowest in franchise history for a game not affected by coronavirus-related capacity restrictions. The loss was the 12th in a row for the Orioles, who have the worst record in the AL at 38-79.

 

Votto collects 2,000th hit

At age 37, Joey Votto's impressive 2021 season produced another milestone as he collected his 2,000th career hit in Cincinnati's 14-5 demoltion of the Chicago Cubs. He is the 35th player in MLB history to reach 2,000 hits and 300 home runs with one franchise, and the second Reds player to do it, joining Hall of Famer Johnny Bench.

 

Monday's results 

New York Yankees 2-1 Los Angeles Angels
Cincinnati Reds 14-5 Chicago Cubs
Tampa Bay Rays 9-2 Baltimore Orioles
Atlanta Braves 12-2 Miami Marlins
Kansas City Royals 7-6 Houston Astros
Minnesota Twins 5-4 Cleveland Indians
Chicago White Sox 6-2 Oakland Athletics
Colorado Rockies 6-5 San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants 7-5 New York Mets
Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 Pittsburgh Pirates

 

Red Sox at Yankees

Eternal rivals the Boston Red Sox (69-51) and New York Yankees (66-52) will play a doubleheader in the Bronx as both teams chase Tampa Bay in the American League East. 

Two key hits from highly touted rookie Wander Franco lifted the Tampa Bay Rays past the Boston Red Sox 9-5 on Saturday.

Tampa Bay's third consecutive win and Boston's third straight loss moved the Rays into first place in the American League (AL) East by half a game.

After the Rays' Francisco Mejia and Boston's Bobby Dalbec traded two-run homers in the fourth and fifth inning to leave the score tied 5-5, Franco's triple to right field in the sixth gave the Rays the lead.

Franco would add an RBI single in the eighth and come home on Mejia's two-run single later in the inning as the Rays sealed the win.

 

Baez homers in Mets debut

Javier Baez homered in his first game with the Mets as New York rallied past the Cincinnati Reds for a 5-4 victory. Baez's two-run shot in the sixth drew the Mets within one after Eugenio Suarez and Kyle Farmer home runs had given Cincinnati a 4-1 lead. Dominic Smith's ninth-inning single sent the game to extra innings, where Brandon Drury won it in the 10th. Joey Votto went one-for-five with a single for the Reds, ending his streak of games with a home run at seven straight.

Speaking of new New Yorkers, Anthony Rizzo continues to endear himself to Yankees fans. He reached base in all four plate appearances in a 4-2 win over the Miami Marlins, collecting two walks, a single and his second home run in as many days. According to Stats Perform, Rizzo is the first player in Yankees history to have at least two hits, including a home run, in each of his first two games with the team.

The San Francisco Giants hit five home runs to slug their way past the Houston Astros 8-6 in a matchup of division leaders. Donovan Solano, Wilmer Flores, LaMonte Wade, Darin Ruf and Mike Yastrzemski went deep for the Giants, while Houston got two homers from Aledmys Diaz and one from Martin Maldonado in a losing effort.

Kyle Hendricks is now the longest-tenured Chicago Cubs player after the team's sell-off this week, and he was his usual self in allowing one run in seven innings to beat the Washington Nationals 6-3 and win his 11th consecutive decision.

Colorado Rockies All-Star pitcher German Marquez allowed two runs in six innings and provided one of his one, homering off Yu Darvish in the fifth as the Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 5-3.

 

Rough Brewers debut for Curtiss

Making his Milwaukee Brewers debut after coming over from the Marlins in a trade this week, reliever John Curtiss allowed four hits and a walk to Atlanta, punctuated by a Dansby Swanson grand slam that would give the Braves an 8-1 win.

 

Zavala's first, second and third career homers

Entering Saturday, Chicago White Sox catcher Seby Zavala had played 17 major league games between 2019 and this season, collecting three singles, two doubles and one RBI. You could say he had a career game in Chicago's 12-11 loss to the Cleveland Indians, as the 27-year-old went four-for-four with three home runs, including a grand slam. Zavala is the first player in MLB history to collect his first three career home runs in the same game. 

 

Saturday's results 

Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Philadelphia Phillies
Chicago Cubs 6-3 Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays 4-0 Kansas City Royals
New York Mets 5-4 Cincinnati Reds
New York Yankees 4-2 Miami Marlins
Tampa Bay Rays 9-5 Boston Red Sox
Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Detroit Tigers
Atlanta Braves 8-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Texas Rangers 5-4 Seattle Mariners
Cleveland Indians 12-11 Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins 8-1 St Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Angels 1-0 Oakland Athletics
Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants 8-6 Houston Astros
Colorado Rockies 5-3 San Diego Padres

 

Red Sox at Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays (63-42) will look to hold onto first place on Sunday with a sweep of the Boston Red Sox (63-43) at Tropicana Field. 

Cincinnati Reds in-form slugger Joey Votto scored a home run for the seventh consecutive game as his side won 6-2 over the New York Mets in the MLB on Friday.

At the top of the sixth inning with the Reds up 2-1, Votto hammered Mets reliever Drew Smith deep over the fence at center field, which breaking his own franchise record.

The 37-year-old also now has nine home runs in seven games, with nine of his last 10 hits leaving the ballpark. He becomes the eighth player in MLB history to hit home runs in seven straight games.

Reds second baseman Jonathan India hit two home runs in the victory, but was overshadowed by Votto's remarkable run of form.

"I’ve never been in a place like this before. It’s exciting," Votto said. "It’s so much more fun doing it on a winning team and doing it in connection with wins."

The Reds have now won four games in a row and six of their past eight to improve their record to 55-49 and second in the National League Central.

 

Rizzo starts with a homer

Trade deadline acquisition Anthony Rizzo homered for the first time for new franchise, the New York Yankees, in a 3-1 win over the Miami Marlins.

Rizzo went two-for-three in his first appearance for the Yankees following his trade from the Chicago Cubs, scoring his 15th home run for the year.

Eduardo Escobar also marked his first game for the Milwaukee Brewers with a home run in their 9-5 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Santiago Espinal took a bare-handed catch to complete the Toronto Blue Jays' 6-4 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Espinal can backwards from Jarrod Dyson's flare and reached up to snatch the ball.

Blue Jays teammate Bo Bichette said: “That was insane. Everything, the situation, the fact he used his hand and the fact he even thought to use his hand. It was crazy, but we’ve come to expect things like that from Santiago."

The benches cleared after James Karinchak's 96 mph fastball hit Jose Abreu flush on the helmet, leaving the batter floored, in the Chicago White Sox's 6-4 win over the Cleveland Indians.

Emotions stayed in check and there were no ejections while Abreu was able to stay in the game, before White Sox short-stop Tim Anderson delivered the go-ahead hit in the eighth inning.

 

Tatis re-injures shoulder

Home-run machine Fernando Tatis Jr re-injured his left shoulder diving for third base in the San Diego Padres' 9-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Tatis, who has hit 31 home runs this season, had previously had three issues with his left shoulder this season. Ryan McMahon's grand slam was decisive for the Rockies.

 

Altuve stars for Astros

Jose Altuve starred for the Houston Astros in their 9-6 win at the San Francisco Giants, with two home runs, including a grand slam, to total up five RBI. Altuve has 25 home runs this season, along with 105 hits and 65 RBI.

 

Friday's results 

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

 

Red Sox at Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays (62-42) will host the Boston Red Sox (63-42) will both sides jousting for top spot in the competitive American League East.

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