St Louis Cardinals star Nolan Arenado hit for the cycle on Friday, but it was not enough to get his side over the line as they went down 5-3 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Both Arenado and teammate Paul Goldschmidt are viewed as MVP candidates this season, and they combined early on to give the Cardinals an early lead. 

In the first inning, Goldschmidt got on base with a single and was driven home by an Arenado triple as the next batter, and then in the third inning after Goldschmidt doubled, Arenado drove him in again with a home run, making it 3-0.

From that point on it would be all Phillies, allowing no runs from just two hits and two walks in the last six innings. The Phillies bullpen would also strike out 10 batters from the Cardinals' last 15 outs as five different relief pitchers collected two strikeouts each.

The fifth inning was the turning point of the contest as Mickey Moniak was able to finally put the Cardinals on the scoreboard with an RBI double, with a Kyle Schwarber RBI ground-out and a Rhys Hoskins sacrifice-fly manufacturing another couple of runs to tie it at 3-3.

Phillies designated hitter Darick Hall maintained an improbable stat, hitting his third home run of the season with a solo shot in the sixth frame. Incredibly, he only has three hits for the season, with all three travelling over the fence.

Arenado also collected the third leg of his cycle in the sixth inning, with a double, meaning he needed a single from his final at-bat to complete the feat. He did so, albeit it with the help of a friendly scoring decision as the third-baseman sailed his throw on Arenado's ground-ball, but it was ruled a hit due to how firmly it was struck.

Hoskins gave the Phillies some breathing room in the seventh with a 406-foot home run, setting up Brad Hand to come in and collect the save.

Brewers beat up the Pirates

The Milwaukee Brewers pounded the Pittsburgh Pirates 19-2 on the road in a game where the visitors had two separate innings with at least seven runs.

Rowdy Tellez finished with five RBIs, Willy Adames collected four RBIs on one swing with his grand slam, while five other Brewers drove in at least one run.

Pirates starter Roansy Contreras was only able to get five outs before he was withdrawn in the second inning, having given up seven earned runs from 52 pitches.

Willy's setting off fireworks in Pittsburgh.

MLB x @DairyQueen pic.twitter.com/55vlZFuPBA

— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) July 2, 2022

Ohtani bangs in sole Angels run

Shohei Ohtani hit his 18th home run of the season, but it would be the only run his Los Angeles Angels would score in an 8-1 beating by the Houston Astros.

Ohtani's deep shot came in the very first inning, giving the Angels a 1-0 lead as the third batter of the game, but they would only collect one more hit the rest of the way as Astros starter Cristian Javier produced a career-best performance.

Javier only gave up one hit in his seven innings, while handing out no walks and striking out 14 batters, which ties the league-wide record for most strikeouts in a single game this season. 

For the second straight day a Pittsburgh Pirates player has hit three home runs in an 8-7 win – this time with Michael Perez starring against the Milwaukee Brewers.

On Wednesday it was Bryan Reynolds hitting three home runs in an 8-7 win against the Washington Nationals, and Thursday's game started in fine fashion for the Pirates at home, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning.

Those runs came first through a monster 431-foot, two-run blast from Oneil Cruz as he continues to make his case as arguably the most exciting youngster in baseball, before Jack Suwinski followed up with a 412-foot solo shot as the very next batter.

The Brewers fought back in the next couple of frames, with Christian Yelich's RBI triple and Omar Narvaez's RBI double helping to even the score at 3-3 in the fourth inning, and that is where Perez began his memorable night.

In the bottom of the fourth, Perez connected on a 377-foot, two-run homer, driving in Suwinski, and with Suwinski on base again in the sixth inning, Perez repeated the act, this time with a 391-foot, two-run smack.

Perez's longest hit of the game came in the eighth frame, extending his side's lead to 8-4 with a 408-foot solo homer.

With his third long ball of the game, Perez matched his season total entering the contest, and the third turned out to be crucial as the Brewers were able to drive in three runs in the ninth inning, ultimately falling short.

Adding salt to the wounds for the Brewers was starting pitcher Adrian Houser being forced to leave the game in the third inning due to elbow tightness, with the bullpen going on to give up five runs in the last five-and-two-thirds innings.

Guardians walk it off

The Cleveland Guardians only collected three hits in their 5-3 win against the Minnesota Twins, but they saved the best for last.

Twins pitchers Chris Archer, Tyler Duffey and Jovani Moran combined to hold the Guardians to just one hit through the first seven innings – although Archer did hand out six walks.

The Guardians were able to tie things up at 3-3 in the eighth inning as two runs came home on a fielding error from Carlos Correa, setting the table for Andres Gimenez to be the hero in the bottom of the ninth, connecting on a 411-foot, two-run, walk-off blast. 

Astros beat the Yankees again

The New York Yankees are 6-3 in their past nine games, but all three losses have come against the Houston Astros after Thursday's 2-1 defeat.

Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia put in an excellent showing, giving up one run in five-and-a-third innings, holding the Yankees to three hits and two walks from 101 pitches, striking out six.

Houston's only scoring play of the game came in the third inning, with Alex Bregman's two-run double, while the Yankees' sole run came from an Anthony Rizzo homer as the last batter before Garcia was withdrawn.

Nine years after being selected as the number one pick in the MLB Draft, Mark Appel finally made his major league debut.

Four days after being promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to the Philadelphia Phillies, Appel took the mound on Wednesday, pitching a scoreless ninth inning in a 4-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

"It's pretty surreal," Appel said. "I was trying to hold back the tears. It was emotional. It was special."

The right-hander, who turns 31 on July 15, became the oldest top overall pick to make his major league debut when he stepped foot on the rubber to face Marcell Ozuna at Citizens Bank Park.

He got Ozuna to line out to first baseman Rhys Hoskins on his first pitch for his first out.

"Having perspective and remembering even just two, three years ago," Appel said. "Even if I was just trying to come back, it's never been a straight line for me.

"Even in that whole process, I was lost. I felt like there were times when I was hopeless, that this dream would never happen. So yeah, I was choking back tears."

A native of suburban Houston, Appel was selected first overall by the Astros in the 2013 draft and spent three years in the Astros system before being traded to the Phillies in a multi-player deal in December 2015.

He struggled on the mound and battled through injuries in the minors before announcing in early 2018 that he was retiring, saying he was at peace with the decision to step away.

Three years later, Appel returned to the Phillies organisation but again scuffled at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2021, posting a 6.06 ERA in 23 appearances – 15 starts.

He came out again this past spring and this time excelled – as a full-time reliever. In 19 appearances out of the bullpen for the Iron Pigs, Appel went 5-0 with a 1.61 ERA and 24 strikeouts over 28 innings.

"This whole year has been so special for me," Appel said. "I was coming in, trying to figure out: where do I fit? What's my role going to be?

"The fact I got to go to Lehigh and learn how to be a reliever and have some success, that was fuel to my fire. I didn't need a call-up for it to be a successful year.

"In that sense, this is all just extra. I'm just really thankful for it. And I'm glad that I'm able to go out and do my best and get to face the world champions from last year. It's pretty surreal."

The second batter Appel faced, William Contreras, singled to centre, but on the next batter, Appel notched his first major league strikeout on a 97 mph fastball to Aam Duvall.

After umpire Quinn Wolcott called strike three, catcher J.T. Realmuto tossed the ball to the Phillies dugout for Appel to keep as a memento of his first major league strikeout.

The inning ended one batter later when Appel got Phil Gosselin to hit into a fielder's choice – a grounder to shortstop Didi Gregorius, who tossed it to Bryson Scott.

Appel threw 10 pitches in all – six for strikes – and when he reached the Phillies dugout upon the completion of the inning, he was congratulated by interim manager Rob Thompson and his team-mates.

"It almost felt like I was being brought into this fraternity of Major League Baseball players," Appel said.

Pittsburgh Pirates center-fielder Bryan Reynolds hit three home runs to carry his side to an 8-7 away win against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

The Nationals had it all working at the plate, collecting 16 hits compared to nine for the Pirates, but Reynolds' power made the difference.

Reynolds connected on his first home run as the second batter of the game, following up Ke'Bryan Hayes' base hit with a 389-foot shot to make it 2-0.

Washington would tie things up later in the first inning thanks to RBI hits from Nelson Cruz and Keibert Ruiz, and star right-fielder Juan Soto got in on the action in the second frame, putting the Nationals up 3-2 with his RBI double.

After Pittsburgh's Daniel Vogelbach hit a 400-foot home run, and the Nationals drove in three more through Ruiz, Cesar Hernandez and Yadiel Hernandez, Reynolds returned to the plate in the sixth inning, trailing 6-4.

His 420-foot solo home run trimmed the margin to 6-5, and followed it up an inning later with a three-run, 389-foot bomb to jump ahead 8-6.

Yadiel Hernandez made things interesting down the stretch when his home run brought the Nationals back to within one run, but Yerry De Los Santos was able to protect the lead and register his first save of the season for the Pirates.

Pirates super-prospect Oneil Cruz was quiet, with no hits, but he was walked twice from his four at-bats, and also reached base on a fielding error.

Judge blasts another in Yankees win

Only one player has more than 23 home runs this season, and Aaron Judge added to his league-leading tally as he crushed his 29th long ball in a 5-3 home win against the Oakland Athletics.

The Athletics started hot as they chained together four hits in the opening inning, highlighted by a two-run double for Stephen Piscotty to lead 3-0.

They would not score in the final eight frames as Yankees starter Jameson Taillon found his footing, and the bullpen combination of Lucas Luetge, Miguel Castro and Clay Holmes allowed just two hits and no walks in the final four innings.

Judge's home run also came in the first inning - a 429-foot, two-run launch as the Yankees' second batter of the game - before Giancarlo Stanton added three more runs with his 391-foot homer in the third inning. Stanton is also top 10 in home runs this season, with 19, while fellow Yankee Anthony Rizzo has 20.

Ohtani pitches a gem for the Angels

Shohei Ohtani struck out 11 batters in the Los Angeles Angels' 4-1 win against the Chicago White Sox, continuing his charge towards back-to-back AL MVPs.

Ohtani – who is also tied for 13th in the league with 17 home runs as a hitter – is now eighth in the league for total strikeouts as a pitcher (101) after a career-high 13 in his last start against the Kansas City Royals.

He held the White Sox scoreless through five-and-two-thirds innings, giving up five hits and one walk as he registered at least 10 strikeouts for the fifth time in his past 11 starts.

The New York Mets have yet to have their two multiple Cy Young Award winners healthy at the same time this season, though that appears closer to becoming a reality.

Jacob deGrom took the biggest step towards a return from a shoulder injury by throwing 29 pitches on Wednesday in a live batting practice session at the Mets' spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida. It could be the final hurdle the two-time National League Cy Young winner has to clear before starting a minor league rehab assignment that could have him back around the All-Star break.

"We have a schedule worked out and know what will happen if everything feels well [on Thursday]," Mets manager Buck Showalter said. "He hasn't had anything that has taken him off schedule so far."

DeGrom has not pitched for the Mets since July 7 due to two significant injuries. The ace right-hander missed the entire second half of last season with forearm tightness and came down with a stress reaction in his throwing shoulder in spring training.

While DeGrom's return is still not imminent, the Mets could have Max Scherzer back by next week. The three-time Cy Young recipient, out since mid-May with a strained left oblique, will make a second rehab start for Double-A Binghamton on Wednesday against the Hartford Yard Goats.

Scherzer threw 65 pitches – 46 for strikes – in his first outing for Binghamton on June 21. The 37-year-old struck out six while allowing two runs on three hits and one walk.

"I was going to send him a 'good luck with the Yard Goats,' but I don't think he'd take it well," said Showalter of the notoriously intense Scherzer. "I think I will, anyway."

It's believed Wednesday's start will be Scherzer's last before rejoining the Mets for their series in Cincinnati against the Reds that begins on Monday, though Showalter said a final decision won't be made until after he pitches.

"We're not going to rush him," he said. "We're not going to make that mistake."

Since signing a three-year, $130million contract with the Mets in December that made him baseball's highest-paid player in terms of annual salary, Scherzer has gone 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA in eight starts and has struck out 59 in 49.2 innings.

Kyle Tucker led the way to set up strong performances from Yordan Alvarez and Framber Valdez for the Houston Astros, who secured a 9-1 win over the New York Mets on Tuesday.

Tucker crushed a three-run home run off Carlos Carrasco at the top of the first inning, with the Astros taking the eventual 4-0 lead.

Leading the team for batting average (.321) and OBP (.415), and the major leagues for OPS (1.082), Alvarez reached base five times in claiming three hits and two RBIs.

In contrast to Carrasco for the Mets, Valdez was solid on the mound, striking out five and giving up six hits to pitch eight scoreless innings, with Enoli Paredes cleaning up in the last.

The Astros claimed the third of five games in this six-game New York stand with the win, before heading back to Houston to play the American League-leading Yankees.

Sears scorches A's in Yankees win

The Yankees maintained their lead in the American League (AL) and extended their record for the season to 55-20, defeating the Oakland Athletics 2-1.

J.P. Sears was in impressive form in only his second major league start, limiting the A's to three hits, while striking out and walking one each over 78 pitches, before he was pulled during the sixth inning.

Jose Trevino provided early support with an RBI single in the first off Frankie Montas, before Marwin Gonzalez homered in the second.

Polanco returns as Twins, Guardians split double-header

Jorge Polanco drove in three runs in his first game back from injury, as the Minnesota Twins claimed a 6-0 win in Tuesday's second game against the Cleveland Guardians.

Having lost 3-2 in the early game, the Twins restored their lead over the Guardians in the AL Central to three games, with Polanco scoring a two-run home run off rookie Konnor Pilkington in the second inning.

Byron Buxton claimed his 20th home run for the season, going long off Anthony Castro in the ninth inning. Jose Miranda also connected in the sixth inning for the Twins.

The fall-out from Sunday's wild Los Angeles Angels-Seattle Mariners brawl has continued with Angels reliever Archie Bradley ruled out for "a couple of months" with a right elbow fracture sustained amid the chaos.

The Angels right-hander fell over the dugout railing as he attempted to join the brawl which erupted in the second inning when Andrew Wantz's pitch struck Jesse Winker, with the benches clearing in Sunday's 2-1 LA win.

The all-in brawl led to a raft of suspensions, totalling 47 games, including a 10-game ban for Angels manager Phil Nevin.

The Angels have been further hit with the news of Bradley's injury, meaning he will be shut down for at least four weeks and may miss up to two months.

"With the way he’s been throwing the ball recently and what he brings to the clubhouse, it’s a huge loss," Angels acting manager Ray Montgomery said.

"In the short term, guys are going to have to step up. I think we’ve done a good job all year of picking up other guys.

"We'll miss him, for sure, but the guys down there know what they need to do."

Bradley has posted a 4.82 ERA with 15 strikeouts, seven walks and one home run allowed in 18 and two-third innings this season.

"His overall time down could be a couple of months," Angels athletic trainer Mike Frostad said.

San Diego Padres' star Fernando Tatis Jr has been cleared to ramp up as he homes in on a playing return as early as next month following March wrist surgery.

The 2021 All-Star shortstop has not played at all this season, having undergone an operation to repair the fractured scaphoid bone in his left wrist on March 16.

Tatis Jr met with his surgeon on Tuesday and Padres manager Bob Melvin revealed that he has subsequently been cleared to ramp up "on the defensive end", although hitting is still to come.

"I know he's excited about the fact that he's going to be on the field with us, no restrictions as far as taking ground balls, throwing and so forth," Melvin said.

"Hitting's going to be the last thing."

It is anticipated he will return to hitting at full speed in a fortnight's time, with a playing return floated for late July or August.

"It depends on how we kind of configure it before he starts playing games," Melvin said.

"You certainly want him coming back when he feels good about how he’s swinging the bat. More days with us is probably better than less days with us."

Tatis Jr, 23, won the Silver Slugger Award in both 2020 and 2021 along with being last year's National League home run leader. He is a two-time All-MLB First Team selection (2020 and 2021).

The Seattle Mariners acquired veteran slugger Carlos Santana from the Kansas City Royals for a pair of pitchers on Monday, helping to fill the void at first base in the wake of Ty France's injury.

The 36-year-old Santana is in the midst of a third straight sub-par season, batting .216 with four home runs and 21 RBIs in 52 games, but has shown significant improvements at the plate in the past three weeks.

After slashing .157/.291./.244 with seven extra-base hits in his first 37 games, Santana has compiled a .367/.492./.592 slash line with two home runs, five doubles and 11 RBIs in 15 contests since June 7.

An All-Star in 2019 with the Cleveland franchise, Santana's 263 career home runs are the seventh-most by a first baseman since his 2010 rookie season.

Santana will take over at first for France, who suffered a Grade 2 flexor strain in his left forearm on Thursday and is sidelined indefinitely. 

France was enjoying a stellar season before his injury, batting .316 with 10 home runs while leading Seattle with 45 RBIs.

The Mariners, who own baseball's longest active playoff drought at 20 seasons, begin play on Monday in fourth place in the AL East, seven games out of the league's second wild card spot.

As part of the trade, Seattle sent right-hander Wyatt Mills and minor league righty William Fleming to Kansas City, with the Mariners also receiving cash considerations.

Santana, who was first traded to the Mariners in 2018 but returned for a second stint in Cleveland 10 days later, is in the final year of a two-year, $17.5million contract.

Six players and both managers received ejections following a benches-clearing brawl during the second inning of Sunday’s game between the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels.

The nasty incident occurred after Angels pitcher Andrew Wantz hit Mariners outfielder Jesse Winker in the hip with a pitch to begin the second inning, after throwing behind rookie star Julio Rodriguez in the opening frame.

After exchanging words with Wantz and briefly moving towards first base, Winker then charged the Angels’ dugout on the third-base side as both teams’ benches and bullpens emptied.

Numerous punches were thrown in the resulting fracas, which delayed the Angels’ eventual 2-1 win for more than 15 minutes. When order was restored, both Winker and Wantz were ejected along with Seattle outfielder Julio Rodriguez and shortstop J.P. Crawford, Angels pitchers Raisel Iglesias and Ryan Tepera and each team’s manager – the Mariners’ Scott Servais and the Angels’ Phil Nevin.

Tensions between the American League West rivals were already running high after Seattle pitcher Erik Swanson’s errant pitch sailed over Angels star Mike Trout’s head in the Mariners’ 5-3 victory on Saturday night.

Wantz was not originally scheduled to start the game, with the change coming in the hours leading up to start time, prompting those on the Mariners' side to believe he was brought in with the intent to hit batters.

"It’s classless," Mariners starting pitcher Marco Gonzales said afterward. “To throw at Julio, who’s a kid, over something that happened last night when we were trying to win a ballgame in the ninth inning, (not) put the tying run on base. It’s just classless to come out and change your pitcher before the game.

"It’s clear. The intention is clear."

Wantz, who was making his first career major league start, denied intentionally throwing at either Rodriguez or Winker.

"I was pretty amped up for my first start and the first one just got away from me," he said. "It was sweaty. I was sweating.

"First day game I’ve pitched (in the majors), and that’s that. Second one to Winker was a cut fastball inside and just yanked it. That’s all I’ve got to say."

Nevin also downplayed the incident afterward.

"You play eight games in a matter of a week against the same team, things like this happen," he said. "The scheduling, tensions, that’s baseball sometimes – unfortunately there’s some ugly incidents once in a while. I think that’s just what happened today."

Winker later directed obscene gestures towards several Angels fans as he left the field, actions he expressed remorse for during his postgame interview.

"The only thing I’m going to apologise for is flipping the fans off. That’s it," he said. "As fans, they’re spending their hard-earned money to come watch us play a game, and they didn’t deserve that. So, I apologise to the fans, especially the women and children."

The two teams are scheduled to face one another 11 more times this season, including a four-game series in Seattle from August 5-7. The Mariners will visit Anaheim twice more in 2022, a three-game series in August and a four-game set in September.

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge continued to mount his case for AL MVP on Sunday as he crushed a three-run, walk-off home run to complete a 6-3 comeback win against the Houston Astros.

All the momentum was with the Astros early coming off Saturday's meeting where they became the first team in 19 years to hold the Yankees hit-less, and they added to that history to begin this contest.

Jose Altuve gave the Astros a 1-0 lead with a first-inning home run, before the road team jumped ahead 3-0 with a two-RBI single to Maurcio Dubon in the fourth frame.

The Yankees did not have a hit through six-and-a-third innings – making it a streak of 52 at-bats without a hit, the longest dry spell by any team since 1974.

Giancarlo Stanton finally broke the seal with a 436-foot solo homer in the seventh frame, before D.J. LeMahieu tied things up with a two-run shot an inning later.

Neither team was able to find a run in the ninth, forcing extra innings, where Michael King was able to keep the Astros from scoring, setting up Judge to connect on the walk-off winner in the bottom of the 10th.

Judge is the current favourite for AL MVP, and the home run was his 28th of the season – six more than any other player.

Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes put in a solid performance, striking out seven batters in five innings while conceding three earned runs from five hits and two walks.

Astros starter Jose Urquidy was even better, allowing just one run from one hit through seven complete innings.

With the win, the Yankees move their league-best record to 53-20, leading the second-placed New York Mets by six-and-a-half games.

McClanahan shows Cy Young quality

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan has emerged as the top choice for the AL Cy Young Award as the league's most outstanding pitcher, and he dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates in his side's 4-2 win.

McClanahan struck out 10 batters, holding the Pirates to one run from four hits and no walks through his seven full innings.

His dominance was rewarded, keeping the Rays tied at 1-1 until the seventh inning when they would finally find their rhythm and string together three consecutive two-out hits to make sure McClanahan had the lead before he was withdrawn, and was thus credited with the win.

White Sox issue Cease and desist to Orioles offense

Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease was at the top of his game on what turned out to be a great Sunday for star pitchers, striking out a career-high 13 batters in a 4-3 home win against the Baltimore Orioles.

His 13 strikeouts in seven complete innings was one shy of this season's most strikeouts in a game, set by Miami Marlins star Sandy Alcantara when he sat down 14 batters against the Atlanta Braves last month.

With the bat, the White Sox jumped ahead in the second inning courtesy of a two-run Gavin Sheets homer, and they held that lead throughout.

This is shaping up to be a season to remember for the New York Yankees, but they made history for all the wrong reasons on Sunday.

The Yankees, who boast the best record in the major leagues in 2022, had been held to a combined no-hitter by the Houston Astros in Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Yankee Stadium.

But rather than come out firing in the teams' next meeting the following day, the Yankees threatened to suffer the ignominy of a stunning second consecutive no-no.

Jose Urquidy frustrated the home team for 6.1 innings before Giancarlo Stanton finally made good contact and homered 436 feet to center field.

That was the Yankees' first hit since the eighth inning of Friday's 3-1 home loss to the Astros, a streak of 52 consecutive at-bats – the longest run by a batting team without a hit since at least 1974.

It also tied the record for the most at-bats without a pitching team allowing a hit over the same period.

The Astros matched the feats of the 2012 Los Angeles Angels against the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays and the 2014 Los Angeles Dodgers against the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds.

Houston own the only two no-hitters against the Yankees this century, with Saturday's hitless game following a 2003 no-no at Yankee Stadium.

The sputtering Arizona Diamondbacks are in need of a spark and hope a former Cy Young Award winner can ignite it.

Hoping to shake off a horrendous start to the season, Dallas Keuchel will make his Diamondbacks debut and try to help Arizona end a five-game losing streak in Sunday's series finale with the Detroit Tigers.

The 34-year-old left-hander signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks on June 6 following a desperate start to the season by the Chicago White Sox leading to his release.

The move to Arizona reunited him with pitching coach Brent Strom, who worked with Keuchel in 2015 when he won the AL Cy Young Award with the Houston Astros while going 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA.

The Diamondbacks are hopeful Keuchel can replicate the success he had with the Astros as opposed to the way he was knocked around with the White Sox over this season's first two months.

In eight starts for Chicago this season, Keuchel went 2-5 with a 7.88 ERA, permitting 49 hits and 20 walks in just 32 innings.

Among the 208 players with at least 30 innings pitched this season, Keuchel's 2.16 WHIP is the worst in the majors.

Prior to being called up by the Diamondbacks, he went 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts in the Arizona Complex League.

Reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper was ruled out indefinitely by the Philadelphia Phillies after fracturing his left thumb during Saturday's win over the San Diego Padres.

Harper sustained the injury in the fourth inning when he was hit by a 97mph fastball from Padres pitcher Blake Snell.

Set to undergo further evaluation in the coming days, Harper said: "I've never had a hand injury like this.

"Never broken anything in my life. This is new to me, so I'm just gonna go day by day, see kind of where we're at, and see the specialist in Philly. And if I do need to see another specialist somewhere, then I will."

Harper joked: "I kind of wish it would've hit me in the face. I don't break bones in my face. I can take 98 to the face, but I can't take 97 to the thumb."

General manager Dave Dombrowski was unsure in the immediate aftermath whether Harper would require surgery.

"We will put him on the injured list [on Sunday]," Dombrowski said. "I was concerned at first he got hit in the face. I was concerned right off the bat because he is a tough guy and he walked off the field immediately."

Harper is fifth in the NL with a batting average of .318. He has 15 home runs this season and is tied sixth in the NL with 48 RBIs.

"He is a guy who really isn't replaceable on an individual basis, but we are going to have to be in a position that other people are going to have to step up," Dombrowski said.

"We will make a move to try and get someone here [on Sunday]."

Houston Astros pitchers Cristian Javier, Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly combined for a stunning no-hitter in their 3-0 win over the New York Yankees on Saturday.

Javier set career highs for pitches (115) and strikeouts (13) after walking Josh Donaldson on a full count in the first at-bat, before Astros manager Dusty Baker brought Neris in to start the eighth inning.

Pressly, who gave up the game-tying three-run home run to Aaron Hicks in Thursday's loss to the Yankees, retired three-straight in the ninth for his 15th save out of 18.

Astros rookie JJ Matijevic gave the Astros the lead in the seventh inning with his second homer in the major leagues, sending Gerrit Cole deep over right-field.

Jose Altuve followed that up with a home run of his own in the eighth but Yuli Gurriel added an RBI single in the ninth, as the Astros took their second game of three in the high-profile four-game series.

Harper breaks thumb as Appel makes Phillies roster

While Mark Appel's promotion to the Philadelphia Phillies' roster was the main topic pre-game, nine years after he was selected in 2013 MLB Draft, it was overshadowed by Bryce Harper's broken thumb in their 4-2 win over the San Diego Padres.

The reigning National League MVP will be out indefinitely after a wild fast-ball from Padres starter Blake Snell tagged him on the left hand.

Alec Bohm and JT Realmuto led the way in Harper's absence, with Bohm claiming two hits and RBI from four at-bats and Realmuto's home run off Snell setting up a three-run fifth inning.

Archer and Twins combine for one-hitter

Chris Archer was instrumental as the Minnesota Twins claimed top spot in the American League Central, as they secured a 6-0 victory against the Colorado Rockies.

On a limited pitch count, Archer gave up just one hit and struck out five over 78 pitches in five innings, before Jharrel Cotton, Griffin Jax and Tyler Thornberg shut the Rockies out.

Leading the major leagues in batting average (.347) and OBP (.426), Luis Arraez claimed two hits and an RBI from five at-bats to help secure the win, moving the Twins to 40-33 for the year.

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