Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts starred for the Los Angeles Dodgers swept a double-header on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs.

Kershaw dominated the opener, giving up only five hits and striking out two over 81 pitches in seven innings, as the Dodgers won 7-0.

Betts shone in the night game, smashing a three-run double in the second inning and a two-run homer in the ninth to secure a 6-2 win.

Tyler Anderson struck out seven and gave up four hits over 80 pitches in five innings as the Dodgers claimed a fifth straight win.

They moved to 18-7 for the season and lead a strong National League West division, with every team holding a record at .500 or over.

Flores leads Giants to win over Cards

Wilmer Flores hit a grand slam in the first inning and finished with a career-high six RBIs as the San Francisco Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals 13-7.

Logan Webb struck out seven but gave up eight hits and four runs over 84 pitches in five innings, while Mauricio Dubon and Darin Ruf also hit home runs for the Giants.

Yadier Molina reached 1000 career RBIs and Dylan Carlson added a three-run homer, but it was not enough as the Cards had their three-game winning streak ended.

Polanco propels Twins to victory

Jorge Polanco led the Minnesota Twins as they sent the Oakland Athletics to their eighth consecutive defeat, claiming a 1-0 win.

Polanco had three of the Twins' five hits on the night from four at-bats, including a monster home run in the sixth inning, his third for the year.

Minnesota pitchers combined to strike out 15 while allowing three hits, as they maintained their lead atop the American League Central.

Madison Bumgarner was ejected in bizarre circumstances as the Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Miami Marlins 8-7 on Wednesday.

Giving up a lead-off home run to Jon Berti in the first inning, Bumgarner retired the next three batters before he was called for a foreign substance check by first-base umpire Dan Bellino.

The notoriously fiery Bumgarner responded angrily to a prolonged check, with Bellino staring at him, and was consequently ejected for swearing at the umpire.

Daulton Varsho homered for the D-Backs, who claimed a three-game series sweep against the Marlins with the win.

After a sluggish start to the season, Arizona have claimed seven wins in their past nine games – including victories over the Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals – to get back to .500.

Dodgers dominate in NL West battle

The Dodgers claimed their second win of a two-game home series against the San Francisco Giants, earning a comfortable 9-1 victory.

Mookie Betts and Max Muncy homered and Freddie Freeman hit a two-run triple as the Dodgers broke the game open late, scoring six runs in their final two at-bats.

With the Giants dropping these two games, they now sit two and a half games behind the Dodgers, who top the NL West.

Blue Jays break Yankees streak

In another big division matchup on Wednesday, the Toronto Blue Jays ended the New York Yankees' 11-game win streak with a 2-1 victory.

Matt Chapman homered in the second inning for Toronto against their AL East rivals, before Vladimir Guerrero scored the winning RBI single in the third. 

Blue Jays starter Yusei Kikuchi pitched solidly, striking out seven and giving up only three hits over 78 pitches in a season-high six innings.

Clayton Kershaw was moved and a little surprised by the reception he was granted after breaking the Los Angeles Dodgers' long-standing strikeout record.

Kershaw, who has spent his entire MLB career with the Dodgers, recorded his 2,697th regular season strikeout in the fourth inning of Saturday's 5-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers, later adding three more to finish the game with 2,700.

Hall of Famer Don Sutton had held the record with 2,696 strikeouts, which no other Dodgers pitcher had come close to matching since his 1988 retirement until now.

Kershaw and Sutton are two of only four pitchers with over 2,000 strikeouts for the Dodgers, along with Don Drysdale (2,486) and Sandy Koufax (2,396), who were team-mates in the 1950s and 1960s.

Kershaw's achievement was greeted with a standing ovation and the game was paused as he raised his cap to the LA crowd.

"It's special," Kershaw said afterwards. "I didn't expect it.

"I understand that the Dodgers are a historic franchise and have been around a long time, so the guys that are on that list that I was fortunate enough to pass was a big deal.

"But I didn't know that fans would know or honestly care that much. It was special for me. It really was. It was cool to see.

"I tried to brush it off and keep going, but they wouldn't let me. It definitely meant a lot."

Only 25 pitchers have now recorded more strikeouts than Kershaw in the major leagues, including Sutton (3,574), who ranks seventh all-time having also turned out for the Houston Astros, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Oakland Athletics and the then California Angels.

Tensions between the St Louis Cardinals and New York Mets boiled over on Wednesday as the benches cleared for a brawl, before the Cardinals won 10-5.

J.D. Davis had to leave at the top of the eighth inning after he was hit in the foot by a Genesis Cabrera pitch, making for the 19th time a Mets hitter has struck by a pitch this season, the most in MLB so far.

Mets reliever Yoan Lopez retaliated against Nolan Arenado later in the eighth inning, launching a fastball near the Cardinals DH's head. Arenado demanded he do it again, before the benches cleared, and he was ejected from the game.

The 31-year-old nine-time Gold Glove winner had an otherwise great day out for the Cardinals, claiming three hits and three RBIs in as many at-bats.

Mets starter Carlos Carrasco had one to forget, though, giving up eight hits and as many runs in 78 pitches, not making it past the fourth inning.

Stanton propels Pinstripes to victory

Giancarlo Stanton hit his 350th career home run, as well as the go-ahead sacrifice fly, with the New York Yankees defeating the Baltimore Orioles 5-2.

Stanton ended a 14-game drought with a two-run drive off Tyler Wells in the first inning, while Joey Gallo notched his third straight game with an RBI, and homered for the second consecutive game.

Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery gave up four hits and two runs over 71 pitches, before making way for Michael King in the sixth inning.

Gallen gives Diamondbacks a shock win

Zac Gallen pitched six scoreless innings as the Arizona Diamondbacks claimed an upset 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 26-year-old starter allowed only two hits and managed five strikeouts with 90 pitches in those six innings.

D-Backs short stop Nick Ahmed homered in the fifth inning, while Mark Melancon claimed his fourth save, not giving up a hit in the final frame.

In-form Anthony Rizzo produced the first three-home run game of his career while Joey Gallo blasted his first of the season as the New York Yankees won 12-8 over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.

Rizzo opened the scoring with a three-run homer in the third inning, before Gallo slugging a two-run blast in the fourth inning to end his lean run to start the season.

Rizzo added a two-run shot in the fifth inning to put the Yankees up 6-0, while Aaron Judge also got in on the act with a homer on his 30th birthday.

The Orioles closed the gap to 11-8 before Rizzo completed a treble of home runs with a third in the eighth inning.

Rizzo sits on top of the majors charts with eight home runs this season, while he has 13 runs, 17 hits and 18 RBIs.

Twins walk-off miracle

The Minnesota Twins miraculously defeated the Detroit Tigers 5-4 after two wild walkoff runs after catcher Eric Haase's errant throw.

At the bottom of the ninth with two out, the Twins trailed 4-3 when Miguel Sano's hit to right field led to a baserunning blunder.

However, the Twins were bailed out when Haase lobbed a throw too high to third base, allowing Trevor Larnach and Gio Urshela to correct their mix-up and both get home for victory.

Trout homers in Angels win

Mike Trout homered for the fifth time this season as the Los Angeles Angels won 4-1 over the Cleveland Guardians. Trout had two hits for three RBIs in the win.

The Arizona Diamondbacks rallied from 3-0 down to win 5-3 over the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were left to rue sloppy fielding from Cody Bellinger before David Peralta's two-run eighth-inning homer.

Carlos Rodon had nine strikeouts with three hits across six innings as the San Francisco Giants improved to 13-5 with an 8-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the only team remaining in the MLB without five losses, with Sunday's 10-2 win against the San Diego Padres moving their record to 11-4.

It was another near-spotless start for Dodgers ace and future Hall-of-Famer Clayton Kershaw, conceding just one run and four base runners in five complete innings.

Padres starter Sean Manaea is a Cy Young award contender in his own right, but he did not have his best outing against a formidable Dodgers line-up, conceding six earned runs in just over four innings.

The runs were started with a Justin Turner sacrifice-fly to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the opening inning, before Freddie Freeman smashed a 425-foot home run to score two more runs in the third frame.

Los Angeles' Cody Bellinger hit a solo home run of his own the next inning, and then went again with a three-run bomb in the fifth to increase the margin to 8-1.

Buxton blasts in extra innings

Minnesota Twins center-fielder Byron Buxton hit the longest walk-off home run in the MLB Statcast era to defeat the Chicago White Sox 6-4 in extra innings.

Buxton was the hero on two occasions on Sunday, tying the game at 3-3 in the seventh inning with a 366-foot home run that barely made it over the wall, before leaving no doubt in the last at-bat of the game.

After the White Sox went up 4-3 in the top of the 10th inning, Buxton stepped to the plate trailing by one, with two runners on base. His 469-foot, three-run blast is the longest game-winner since at least 2015 when Statcast began tracking.

Cole and Rizzo lead Yankees to Guardians sweep

Gerrit Cole bounced back from his poor start against the Detroit Tigers as the New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Guardians 10-2, claiming a sweep of their three-game series.

Not even lasting two innings against the Tigers - the shortest start of his career - Cole pitched into the seventh against the Guardians, striking out nine and allowing only four hits over 92 pitches.

Anthony Rizzo's two-run home run in the first inning tied him for the American League lead with five. It was the Yankees' fifth win in the past six, heading into a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles, who sit bottom in the AL East.

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge hit two home runs to guide his side to a 4-1 win against the Cleveland Guardians at Yankee Stadium on Friday.

Judge, 29, has been vocal about his decision to test free agency ahead of next season after he and the Yankees failed to come to an agreement on a contract extension before Opening Day.

Demonstrating his value, he stepped up with two outs and one runner on base in the third inning, and crushed a fastball back over Guardians pitcher Eli Morgan's head to center-field.

His very next at-bat, Judge did it again, blasting a high fastball into the right-field bleachers for a solo shot, giving the Yankees a 4-1 lead.

The New York pitching staff did an excellent job of defending the lead throughout, as Jameson Taillon started and pitched five strong frames for five strikeouts, and one run from seven hits with no walks. He was relieved by Michael King for the sixth inning, and he was even better, striking out eight of the 10 batters he faced, conceding just one hit.

Aroldis Chapman finished things off with a save, hitting 101mp/h with the last pitch of the night for a strikeout.

Wander whacks a pair

The jewel of the Tampa Bay Rays and one of the best prospects in all of baseball, Wander Franco, hit a pair of home runs in a 4-3 home loss against the Boston Red Sox.

Franco, 21, was named the number one prospect in the majors prior to his debut, and he has done nothing to change anyone's mind as he is sporting a batting average of .393.

He hit a solo home run in the first inning, and another in the fifth inning, but the Red Sox scored twice in the opening frame and never allowed the Rays to tie things up.

Mookie mashes for the Dodgers

Mookie Betts joined the list of stars to hit two home runs on Friday in the Los Angeles Dodgers' 6-1 win against the San Diego Padres.

In a clash between two of the best teams in the league, Julio Urias put in a terrific starting pitching performance, allowing just one run and five baserunners in five innings.

The Dodgers did not take the lead until the fifth inning, when Mookie Betts bombed a 420-foot solo shot to lead off the inning and tie the game at 1-1, before Max Muncy also sent a towering fly ball over the fence just three batters later.

Muncy drove in another two runs in the seventh, before Betts put the finishing touches on in the ninth inning with his second homer.

Max Fried starred with eight strikeouts across seven innings as the Atlanta Braves won 3-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

Braves left-hander Fried went perfect across the first five innings, before allowing two hits, while Freddie Freeman was quelled against his former side.

The Dodgers' only run of the game, scored by Chris Taylor, came in the eighth inning once Fried had been relieved, with Kenley Jansen closing it out in the ninth.

Travis d'Arnaud hit a solo home run at the top of the second inning, before Orlando Arcia's RBI double in the fourth and Austin Riley's single on a line drive for Ozzie Albies to score in the fifth.

 

Franco's maiden 2022 blast... at last

Wander Franco blasted his first home run of 2022 in a three-hit game as the Tampa Bay Rays won 6-5 over the Chicago Cubs.

Franco had missed Monday's game to rest his right quad but returned in style with a two-run homer on a 2-0 pitch in the third inning.

The young Rays star has now had seven multi-hit performances across 11 games this Major League season. Franco is a joint leader in the majors for hits, with 19.

"He's unique, special, talented, and we're seeing it in every part of his game," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

 

Vintage Scherzer and Perez

Reliever Clarke Schmidt stepped up for the New York Yankees after Gerrit Cole's early struggles by tossing down six strikeouts in their 4-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cole had walked four batters, included with base loaded.

Max Scherzer was at his vintage best with 10 strikeouts in the New York Mets' 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants, which backed up their earlier 5-4 victory on a double-header.

Salvador Perez put aside blurry vision to slug two home runs as the Kansas City Royals won 4-3 over the Minnesota Twins.

Freddie Freeman said his emotions were "all over the place" as he hit his first home run for his new club, the Los Angeles Dodgers, against his former team in a 7-4 win against the Atlanta Braves.

Freeman spent 12 seasons with the Braves, earning five All-Star appearances and an MVP trophy in 2020, and faced them for the first time on Monday since signing a six-year, $162million deal with the Dodgers this past offseason.

In his first at-bat, from just the second pitch he saw, he blasted a home run over the fence at left-center, and later scored a second run when he was brought home by Trea Turner's base-clearing double in the fourth inning.

"Obviously there's just a lot of emotion going on right now," Freeman said afterwards. "But a lot of good emotion.

"I’m just happy to be able to see all the guys. We won a championship together last year, so that's what we're all talking about over there.

"I love every single person on [the Braves'] side of that field – but I do hope they don’t do good for these next three games.”

When asked if the game represented some closure for Freeman, he insisted that was not the case.

"I don't know if any of us are really looking for closure," he said. 

"I had a great 12 years; I'm not trying to close anything. I'm just trying to move on, obviously. 

"But I had so many great memories with the Braves, with the guys over there. That's always going to be there, I think."

He added: "As the game went on, there were a couple smiles here and there from staff members and people I spent a lot of time with.

"It's just a special day, one I'll always remember."

Early National League Rookie of the Year favourite Seiya Suzuki continued the remarkable start to his MLB career on Monday with another two hits in the Chicago Cubs' 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Suzuki, 27, was named National League Player of the Week in his first full week in the majors, and with his first of two hits on Monday, he tied Akinori Iwamura for the longest hitting streak by a Japanese player to start their career at nine games.

He is also the first Cub to hit safely in the first nine games of their career (with an official at-bat) since 1943. He sits fifth in the majors in batting average (.429) and is tied for fourth in home runs (four).

Of the Cubs' four runs, Suzuki scored two, as he was driven in by a Patrick Wisdom two-run homer in the second inning, before getting hit by a pitch in the seventh inning, eventually coming around to score again off an Ian Happ hit.

With the Cubs up 3-2 in the eighth inning, Frank Schwindel gave Chicago a little breathing room with a solo home run for the last score of the game.

Despite the loss, it was a terrific performance on the mound for Rays Cy Young candidate Shane McClanahan, striking out nine batters in six innings, allowing only four hits and no walks for one earned run.

Yelich grand slams for Brewers

Leading 2-1 in the fourth inning, Christian Yelich stepped up to the plate with bases loaded and slogged a massive 429-foot grand slam to give the Milwaukee Brewers their 6-1 final score against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Brewers starting pitcher Eric Lauer was excellent, striking out five batters in six innings, conceding only one run and six baserunners in the process.

Freeman goes deep against old friends

After spending the first 12 years of his MLB career with the Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman hit a home run against them in the first inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 7-4 home win against his visiting former team.

From just the second pitch he faced against his old side, Freeman hammered it for a 386-foot home run to center field for the early lead.

The Braves rallied in the sixth frame to get Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw out of the game with seven strikeouts and four earned runs through five complete innings, but it was not enough to deny the Dodgers their seventh consecutive win to move to the best record in the majors at 8-2.

National League Rookie of the Year favourite Seiya Suzuki registered a hit in the eighth consecutive start of his career after a home run in the Chicago Cubs' 6-4 away win against the Colorado Rockies.

The 27-year-old, who arrived from the Hiroshima Carp this off-season on a five-year, $85million deal made more history with his home run, becoming the second Japanese player to ever start his career with an eight-game hitting streak, and the third Cubs player in the past 100 years to start a season that way,

With a hit in his next game, Suzuki will tie Akinori Iwamura for the record for longest hitting streak to start a MLB career for a player coming from Japan, which happened in 2007 for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Suzuki's home run was his fourth of the season – trailing only C.J. Kron and Vladimir Guerrero Jr (five each) for most home runs in the entire MLB.

It came at an important time on Sunday, after the Rockies had cut the Cubs' 5-0 lead back to 5-3 going into the seventh inning, before Suzuki tacked on the extra insurance run.

Nick Madrigal was also terrific for the Cubs, going three-for-five at the plate, including a double, while the biggest hit of the game was Ryan McMahon's 447-foot two-run blast for the Rockies in the sixth inning.

Freeman and Heaney fit right in as Dodgers sweep Reds

Freddie Freeman had four hits and three RBIs as the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds, claiming a 9-1 win on Sunday.

Andrew Heaney struck out 11 over six innings in a scoreless home debut, while Max Muncy, Will Smith and Chris Taylor.

Heaney was dominant, posting his 15th career start with at least 10 strikeouts, while walking three and only allowing a double from Kyle Farmer in the third inning.

Darvish bounces back against Braves

Yu Darvish pitched into the seventh inning as the San Diego Padres beat the Atlanta Braves 2-1 with only three hits.

Following the shortest outing of his career, not even covering two innings against the San Francisco Giants on the prior Tuesday, the 35-year-old allowed his only run against the reigning World Series champions via Marcell Ozuna's home run in the seventh.

Taylor Rogers closed out the four-hitter for San Diego, to save what was an otherwise off day at the plate for the Padres, with Jake Cronenworth particularly going zero-for-three.

Freddie Freeman vowed to never forget his winning home Los Angeles Dodgers debut, saying: "I don't think it could have gone much better than that."

Freeman joined the Dodgers in free agency after leaving the Atlanta Braves, where he won the World Series last season, the National League MVP the year before and was a five-time All-Star.

The 32-year-old first baseman had made a steady start to life as a Dodger prior to Thursday's game against the Cincinnati Reds, batting .286/.375/.381 with six hits and two runs through five games.

But against the Reds in the first game of the year at Dodger Stadium, Freeman gave a flavour of why Los Angeles had invested $162million over six years in him.

Freeman finished with two hits and two runs, with his leadoff double at the bottom of the eighth with the game tied setting in motion a six-run inning that prompted his name to be chanted by the home crowd and sealed a 9-3 win.

"That's as special as it gets right there," Freeman said.

"You have those feelings before, coming out on the line for the intros, but usually once the game starts those feelings go away. For the fans to be able to create a moment for me in the eighth inning is something I'll never forget.

"It's definitely been nice. The last month has been pretty special, from the first game at [spring training] to tonight, they've been welcoming me with open arms.

"First game at Dodger Stadium with the Dodgers, I don't think it could have gone much better than that."

The 4-2 Dodgers have three more games against the Reds this weekend before the Braves visit LA next week in what is sure to be a big series for Freeman, who was unhappy with the nature of his exit from Atlanta.

Playing at Dodger Stadium as a Brave, Freeman batted .296/.353/.512 with seven home runs in 33 regular season games.

The Milwaukee Brewers rode a quality start from Brandon Woodruff to a 5-1 home win against the St Louis Cardinals.

After a horrible first showing where he conceded seven runs in less than four innings, Woodruff was terrific in a bounce-back performance on Thursday, pitching five scoreless frames and allowing only four baserunners.

Milwaukee was always in control of the contest, leading 4-0 after three innings thanks to a big home run from Omar Narvaez and RBI hits to Andrew McCutchen and Hunter Renfroe.

However, the best hit of the game belonged to the Cardinals, as Tommy Edman blasted a big 423-foot consolation home run in the eighth inning for the visiting side's only score.

After going one-for-four with a double, Brewers star Christian Yelich now has hits in five of his past six games as he looks to return to form following two down seasons by his standards.

Ohtani gets grand-slammed

Reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani was on the receiving end of a Jonah Heim grand slam as the Los Angeles Angels lost to the Texas Rangers 10-5.

Ohtani, who was the Angels' starting pitcher and lead-off hitter, was disappointing on the mound on Thursday, giving up six runs in less than four innings, and finished the game one-for-four in the batter's box after a ninth-inning double.

It was a frustrating game for the Angels after it started so well, as Mike Trout hit one of the biggest home runs of his career in the first inning, travelling 472 feet.

Yankees get out of a jam

Leading 3-0 heading into the ninth inning, the New York Yankees found themselves in a sticky situation when closer Aroldis Chapman walked three consecutive Toronto Blue Jays batters to load the bases with no outs.

Chapman was pulled from the game and replaced with Michael King, who struck out George Springer. 

King then got Bo Bichette to line out to second base for a game-ending double play as Matt Chapman got caught too far away from first base when the catch was made.

Clayton Kershaw agreed with Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts' decision to pull the plug on his potential perfect game after seven innings.

There have only been 23 perfect games thrown in MLB history, and through seven innings in the Dodgers' 7-0 win against the Minnesota Twins, Kershaw had faced 21 batters and retired them all.

But he would be denied his chance at history when he did not return to the mound for the eighth inning, getting pulled to allow the bullpen to finish off the win.

Kershaw, 34, said there were a number of factors to blame for his withdrawal from the game, but not his manager's decision-making.

"Blame it on the lockout, blame it on me not picking up a baseball until January," he said. "My slider was horrible the last two innings. It didn’t have the bite – it was time.

"At the end of the day, those are individual things, those are selfish goals. We’re trying to win. That’s really all we’re here for. 

"As much as I would have wanted to do it, I’ve thrown 75 pitches in a [simulated] game. I hadn’t gone six innings, let alone seven. 

"Sure, I would have loved to do it, but maybe we get another chance. Who knows?"

Kershaw became only the second player to ever get pulled that late into a perfect game – with Roberts pulling the plug on the first instance too, with Rich Hill in 2016.

Speaking about his decision after the game, Roberts said it was a decision no manager likes to make, but he feels it was the correct call.

"I love the idea that we’re preventing runs in that particular game," he said. "It’s not a great spot as far as the decision, ultimately, that I have to make.

"But I think if I can look back and I feel it’s the best decision – in the best interest of the player’s health and for the ball club – looking out, then I feel good about it. 

"But those guys make it tough on me – but we have good players.

"[Kershaw is] pretty honest and understanding of where he was at, how he was feeling, what’s at stake – the win, the no-hitter, the potential health risk, all that stuff matters.

"There’s no right, 100 per cent answer, but in this case I felt it was very clear to me the right decision was."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.