Corbin Burnes and the Milwaukee Brewers' bullpen did their job on Monday in a 3-1 defeat of the San Francisco Giants to open a series between the National League division leaders. 

The All-Star Burnes allowed four hits and a run in six innings while striking out nine, and Brad Boxberger, Devin Williams and Josh Hader held the team with MLB's best record scoreless the rest of the way. 

Burnes also helped himself with an RBI single in the second inning that gave the Brewers a 2-0 lead as the Giants ran out seven pitchers to get through the evening in a bullpen game. 

It was the third defeat in four games for the Giants, who lost their series in Atlanta over the weekend. 

 

Dodgers down Braves to close on Giants

The Los Angeles Dodgers took advantage of San Francisco's defeat, moving to within 1.5 games of the NL West lead after holding on for a 5-3 victory over the Braves.

Every run in the game was scored via a home run, with the teams combining for seven of them.

Los Angeles started things off with solo homers from Max Muncy, Will Smith and Mookie Betts and a two-run drive by Corey Seager before Atlanta answered with longballs from Jorge Soler, Freddie Freeman and Adam Duvall, but that trio of solo shots was not enough to get the Braves over the top. 

The Tampa Bay Rays won their eighth game in a row and 12th from their past 13, defeating the Boston Red Sox 6-1 as Wander Franco hit a two-run single in his final trip to the plate to extend his on-base streak to 30 games.

The only other players aged 20 or younger to have an on-base run at least that long are Hall of Famers Frank Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Mel Ott and Arky Vaughan.

The New York Yankees fell seven games back of the Rays with an 8-7 loss to the Los Angeles Angels in Corey Kluber's first start since May 25.

The former Cy Young winner served up a grand slam to Jack Mayfield as the Angels took an early lead and Shohei Ohtani later added his 42nd home run of the season, but it was Juan Lagares who won it for Los Angeles with an RBI single in the eighth after Giancarlo Stanton had levelled the game with a two-run homer the previous inning. 

 

Punchless Reds lose again

Kyle Farmer went two-for-four with a double and a home run but the rest of the Cincinnati Reds lineup were zero-for-26 in a 3-1 loss to Jon Lester and the St Louis Cardinals.

The Reds have dropped three in a row and are clinging to a half-game lead for the second NL wild card spot. 

 

Vladdy doubles up

Vladimir Guerrero hit his 37th and 38th home runs of the season while bumping his RBI total to 95 as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-3 at Rogers Centre. 

 

Monday's results 

Minnesota Twins 3-2 Detroit Tigers
St Louis Cardinals 3-1 Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies 7-4 Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays 7-3 Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Rays 6-1 Boston Red Sox
Texas Rangers 4-3 Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Angels 8-7 New York Yankees
San Diego Padres 7-5 Arizona Diamondbacks
Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 San Francisco Giants
Houston Astros 4-3 Seattle Mariners
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 Atlanta Braves

 

Braves at Dodgers

The Atlanta Braves (70-60) send veteran Charlie Morton to the mound as they try to bounce back from a series-opening loss against Walker Buehler and the Los Angeles Dodgers (83-49)

The Los Angeles Angels are pushing back Shohei Ohtani's next outing on the mound and Mike Trout may be running out of time for a return to the field this MLB season. 

Ohtani had been scheduled to pitch against the New York Yankees on Tuesday, but Angels manager Joe Maddon said his two-way star's hand is still sore after being hit by a pitch on Saturday. 

X-rays came back negative and Ohtani was in Monday's line-up as the designated hitter, however, the Angels will keep him off the pitching mound for the time being and give Jaime Barria the start against the Yankees. 

"Pitching is problematic, so we'll just have him hit until he's ready to pitch," Maddon told reporters. 

Maddon compared the issue to when Ohtani was hit in the thumb by a foul ball while sitting in the dugout last month, which led to the team moving his next pitching start back a few days. 

The Angels have no plans to shut Ohtani down from either pitching or hitting, Maddon said as the likely MVP is "in the running for some pretty big personal awards right now and I don't ever want to get in the way of anybody’s greatness."

Ohtani entered Monday's game with an MLB-leading 41 home runs and an American League (AL)-best .623 slugging percentage at the plate – not to mention 20 stolen bases – and is 8-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 19 starts on the mound, striking out 127 in 105 innings. 

Trout – a three-time AL MVP himself – appeared to be nearing a return from a calf injury that has sidelined him since May 17 after running the bases at full speed before Saturday's outing. 

While he felt fine at the time, Trout has experienced soreness since then and Maddon said the time is approaching that the Angels (64-67) might need to talk to him about shutting it down for the season. 

The Angels are fourth in the AL West and 10 games adrift in the Wild Card race.

"It's a possibility, and probably getting closer to having to say something like that," Maddon said. "But he still wants to continue the fight and we're going to honour his wishes. However Mike sees this, we're going to go that way."

The 30-year-old is hitting .333 with a 1.090 OPS and eight home runs in 36 games this season. 

After winning 13 consecutive games, the New York Yankees suffered back-to-back MLB losses following Tony Kemp's late home run as the Oakland Athletics triumphed 3-1.

With the next pitch after Mark Canha's double, Kemp produced the decisive hit in the eighth – his tie-breaking two-run homer lifting the A's on Sunday.

In 16 at-bats against the Yankees this season, Kemp slugged 1.124 and did not strike out once. According to Stats Perform, no other player in history has had a 1.100-plus slugging percentage with zero strikeouts against the Yankees in a season with at least as many at-bats.

Paul Blackburn had earlier tossed down five shut-out innings for the Athletics, before Andrew Chafin closed out the win.

Yan Gomes' fourth-inning run had put the A's ahead before Gary Sanchez scored following fielding errors from Gomes and Mark Chapman on Anthony Rizzo's nine-pitch at-bat.

The result – which completes a split of the four-game series – helped the A's (72-59) move closer in the American League (AL) Wild Card standings, two and a half games adrift as the Yankees (76-54) lead the race.

 

Franco joins exclusive group as Rays crush Orioles

The Tampa Bay Rays topped the Baltimore Orioles 12-8 to become only the third team in MLB's divisional era to win 18 games against one opponent in a single season. Joey Wendle delivered a two-homer and six-RBI performance, including a seventh-inning grand slam. Rays rookie Wander Franco, meanwhile, extended his on-base streak to 29 games with a sixth-inning single. Franco's run is the longest active streak in the majors, the sixth longest in American League/National League history and second longest in AL history. It is the longest streak by any player under the age of 21 since Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (43) in 1956.

Javier Baez hammered a two-run home run into the second deck before igniting controversy with a thumbs down gesture to his own fans after receiving boos earlier in the game as the New York Mets won 9-4 against the Washington Nationals.

The Chicago White Sox belted five home runs in their 13-1 win over the Chicago Cubs, including a pair from Luis Robert. Jose Abreu joined Paul Konerko (six) and Frank Thomas (10) as the only White Sox players with six-plus 100-RBI seasons. He became the first White Sox to reach 100 RBI in 125 games or fewer since Jermaine Dye in 2006.

Austin Riley drilled a two-run homer to help the Atlanta Braves to a commanding 9-0 shut-out victory over the high-flying San Francisco Giants.

Yoshi Tsutsugo crushed a walk-off three-run homer to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates past the St Louis Cardinals 4-3.

 

Abreu and Astros suffer blowout

Houston Astros reliever Bryan Abreu had a nightmare as the Texas Rangers powered an eight-run fifth inning in their 13-2 win. Astros pitcher Zack Greinke allowed six runs with nine hits, before Abreu stepped up in the fifth, only to allow seven runs from five hits including an Adolis Garcia grand slam, the Rangers' first since 2019. It was a blowout for the AL West-leading Astros against the Rangers, who are last in the AL West.

 

Salvy hits hot streak

Kansas City Royals star Salvador Perez homered for the fifth consecutive game in his side's 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners, tying Mike Sweeney's franchise record from 2002. Perez has also moved into second for home runs in the majors this season, behind only two-way Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani (42) and he has scored eight home runs and 15 RBIs on the Royals' current 10-game trip.

 

Sunday's results 

Philadelphia Phillies 7-4 Arizona Diamondbacks
Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 St Louis Cardinals
Tampa Bay Rays 12-8 Baltimore Orioles
Miami Marlins 2-1 Cincinnati Reds
New York Mets 9-4 Washington Nationals
Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Indians 7-5 Boston Red Sox
Atlanta Braves 9-0 San Francisco Giants
Milwaukee Brewers 6-2 Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox 13-1 Chicago Cubs
Texas Rangers 13-2 Houston Astros
Colorado Rockies 5-0 Los Angeles Dodgers
Seattle Mariners 4-3 Kansas City Royals
Oakland Athletics 3-1 New York Yankees

 

Red Sox at Rays

The Red Sox (75-57) make the trip to Tampa to take on leaders the Rays (82-48) in a crucial clash in the AL East on Monday. Nick Pivetta starts for Boston as Tampa Bay counter with Luis Patino.

New York Mets star Javier Baez insisted "if we win together, then we're going to lose together" after explaining his thumbs down celebration amid boos from the team's fans.

Baez arrived from the Chicago Cubs at the trade deadline, but the World Series champion and two-time MLB All-Star has struggled to impress in New York, where fans have voiced their dissatisfaction.

Since joining the Mets, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Baez has hit .207/.258/.414 with three homers and five RBIs in 16 appearances.

The Mets (63-67) are third in the National League (NL) East and seven games adrift in the Wild Card race.

Baez homered in Sunday's 9-4 win over the Washington Nationals and celebrated by giving the crowd a thumbs down, a gesture replicated by team-mates Francisco Lindor and Kevin Pillar.

"Just the boos that we get," Baez said. "We're not machines, we're going to struggle. We're going to struggle seven times out of 10.

"It just feels bad when I strike out and I get booed, it doesn't really get to me, but I want to let them know that we're going to do the same thing to let them know how it feels.

"If we win together, then we're going to lose together and the fans are a really big part of it. In my case, they've gotta be better. I play for the fans and I love the fans, but if they're going to do that, they're just putting more pressure on the team and that's not what we want."

Baez added: "It was my opinion, it's just how I feel. I love the fans and I like playing for the fans, but we can't have our fans against us."

The Mets released a statement afterwards, with president Sandy Alderson condemning Baez's actions.

"These comments, and any gestures by him or other players with a similar intent, are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated," Alderson said. "Mets fans are understandably frustrated over the team's recent performance.

"The players and the organisation are equally frustrated, but fans at Citi Field have every right to express their own disappointment. Booing is every fan's right.

"The Mets will not tolerate any player gesture that is unprofessional in its meaning or is directed in a negative way toward our fans. I will be meeting with our players and staff to convey this message directly. Mets fans are loyal, passionate, knowledgeable and more than willing to express themselves. We love them for every one of these qualities."

Mets manager Luis Rojas said: "Especially Mets fans, New York fans, this market, this city knows baseball probably more than any other city.

"They have the right to react however they want, and we've got to understand where they're coming from. Our job is to be ready every game to give them the best baseball.

"I haven't had many conversations with Javy about that, everything's been about the game. Getting to know Javy more and more everyday, he's an outstanding kid to be around. Javy being a new guy around here, getting to know our fanbase.

"Some of the reaction that our fanbase has, you see it's something he's learning. Our fans are like that, our fans are very passionate. They're going to demand the best out of everyone here."

The New York Yankees' 13-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of the Oakland Athletics in MLB, beaten 3-2.

The Yankees were riding their best winning streak since a 13-game run in 1961, having reached 15 in a row in 1960 and 19 in succession in 1947.

But the Yankees crashed back down to earth on Saturday as the A's snapped their six-game skid in the process, despite Aaron Judge's two-run homer in the ninth.

Frankie Montas fuelled the A's with seven shut-out innings, while Matt Chapman homered for the hosts in Oakland.

 

Ohtani celebrates another feat

Shohei Ohtani became the first Los Angeles Angels and Japanese-born player with a 40-home run and 20-stolen base season after helping his team rout the San Diego Padres 10-2. Ohtani – who already leads the majors with 41 homers – reached the mark with his 20th stolen base in 2021. According to Stats Perform, he is the third American League (AL) player with 40-plus home runs and 20-plus stolen bases before September, joining Alex Rodriguez (2007) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1999).

The Chicago Cubs blanked city rivals the Chicago White Sox 7-0 behind home runs from Patrick Wisdom and Alec Mills, and a Rafael Ortega grand slam.

The Kansas City Royals prevailed 4-2 against the Seattle Mariners after Salvador Perez homered for the fourth straight game.

 

Brault battered by Cardinals

The less said about Steven Brault's performance, the better after the Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher was put to the sword by the St Louis Cardinals in a 13-0 humbling. Brault was crushed by the Cardinals, giving up eight hits, seven runs and two walks in three innings. He fell apart in the third inning after allowing five runs on six hits.

 

Clutch Martinez

J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer in the 10th inning to lift the Boston Red Sox past the Cleveland Indians 5-3.

 

Saturday's results 

Boston Red Sox 5-3 Cleveland Indians
Oakland Athletics 3-2 New York Yankees
Kansas City Royals 4-2 Seattle Mariners
Philadelphia Phillies 7-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
Miami Marlins 6-1 Cincinnati Reds
Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros 5-2 Texas Rangers
St Louis Cardinals 13-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 Baltimore Orioles
Chicago Cubs 7-0 Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins 6-4 Milwaukee Brewers
New York Mets 5-3 Washington Nationals
San Francisco Giants 5-0 Atlanta Braves
Los Angeles Angels 10-2 San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 Colorado Rockies

 

Rays at Orioles

Now the hottest team in baseball after the Yankees' defeat, the AL East-leading Rays (81-48) visit the Orioles (40-88) riding a six-game winning streak. Chris Archer is set to start for the Rays, while Baltimore's Spenser Watkins toes the mound.

The Atlanta Braves opened a series between National League division leaders by rallying for a 6-5 win over the San Francisco Giants that improved the home side's August record to 17-5.

The NL East-leading Braves trailed 3-0 and 4-2 to the NL West-leading Giants before Ozzie Albies' RBI double in the seventh inning brought Atlanta within one and Jorge Soler's three-run homer later in the inning put the Braves on top for good. 

Adam Duvall also homered for the Braves, while Buster Posey and Wilmer Flores went deep for the GIants in the first and ninth innings, respectively. 

Joc Pederson sealed the win by leaping to rob Tommy La Stella of extra bases for the final out. 

 

Cole, streaking Yankees cruise past A's

Gerrit Cole pitched six shutout innings and reached 200 strikeouts for the season in his 24th appearance, the fastest ever for a Yankees pitcher to hit that milestone, as the Yankees defeated the Oakland Athletics 8-2. The Yankees supported him with home runs from Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, Aaron Judge and Kyle Higashioka as they won their 13th successive game – their longest winning streak since 1961.

The Philadelphia Phillies blew a two-run lead in the ninth, then rallied from a two-run deficit in the 10th to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 and keep pace with the Braves in the NL East. After Christian Walker's two-run homer sent the game to extra innings and Ketel Marte's shot gave Arizona the lead, Brad Miller kept the Phillies alive with a 10th-inning homer before Jean Segura won it in the 11th with a walk-off single. 

In his first game since July 5, Yasmani Grandal hit two homers and drove in eight runs as the Chicago White Sox rallied from a 6-0 first-inning deficit to defeat the Cubs 17-13 in an intra-city showdown. 

Wade Miley pitched seven shutout innings as the Cincinnati Reds blanked the Miami Marlins 6-0 with Tyler Naquin and Mike Moustakas hitting solo home runs for the victors. 

The San Diego Padres picked up only their third win in the last 15 games, shutting out the Los Angeles Angels 5-0 as Joe Musgrove allowed only three hits and struck out nine in a compete-game shutout. 

 

Indians lose despite allowing just three hits

Cleveland Indians pitchers held the Boston Red Sox to three hits but still managed to lose 4-3 thanks to Jonathan Arauz's first home run of the season, a three-run shot in the eighth after a walk by Christian Vazquez and a single by Jarren Duran. Boston's only other run crossed the plate on a double play in the fifth. 

 

Reyes runs Tigers into a win

Victor Reyes blazed around the bases after his sinking liner eluded Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Josh Palacios in the eighth inning, his inside-the-park home run providing the winning margin in the Detroit Tigers' 2-1 triumph. 

 

Friday's results 

Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 Baltimore Orioles
Detroit Tigers 2-1 Toronto Blue Jays
Boston Red Sox 4-3 Cleveland Indians
Cincinnati Reds 6-0 Miami Marlins
St Louis Cardinals 4-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Nationals 2-1 New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies 7-6 Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves 6-5 San Francisco Giants
Houston Astros 5-4 Texas Rangers
Chicago White Sox 17-13 Chicago Cubs
Minnesota Twins 2-0 Milwaukee Brewers
San Diego Padres 5-0 Los Angeles Angels
New York Yankees 8-2 Oakland Athletics
Colorado Rockies 4-2 Los Angeles Dodgers
Kansas City Royals 8-7 Seattle Mariners

 

Giants at Braves

The San Francisco Giants (83-45) look to bounce back from Friday's defeat as they send Logan Webb to the mound against Huascar Ynoa and the Atlanta Braves (69-58).

Chris Sale joined Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax as the only pitchers in MLB history with three immaculate innings after helping the Boston Red Sox past the Minnesota Twins 12-2.

Red Sox ace Sale pitched 5.2 innings, striking out eight batters while allowing two runs on two hits in Boston on Thursday.

Sale stole the headlines with his nine-pitch third inning after striking out Twins trio Nick Gordon, Andrelton Simmons and Rob Refsnyder on three pitches each.

"Today was probably the best my mechanics have been start-to-finish. I really felt like I was staying on top of the baseball. I really kind of found it out in the bullpen before the game," Sale said.

Boston team-mate Bobby Dalbec homered twice for the Red Sox, driving in seven runs.

 

Judge lifts Yankees to 12th straight win

The New York Yankees extended their winning streak thanks to Aaron Judge's tie-breaking single with two outs in the ninth inning as they edged the Oakland Athletics 7-6. The Yankees have won 12 games in a row – their best run since 1961.

Another day and another win for World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers, who beat the San Diego Padres 4-0 for a three-game sweep behind Max Scherzer. Dodgers star Scherzer gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out 10. The Dodgers have now gone 11 consecutive seasons without a losing record – their longest streak since the team moved to Los Angeles.

Salvador Perez became the first American League (AL) catcher with 35-plus homers in a season since 1999. Perez's grand slam run helped the Kansas City Royals to a 6-4 victory at the Seattle Mariners.

The Washington Nationals lost 7-5 to the Miami Marlins but Juan Soto joined an exclusive club. The Nationals star recorded his second season of 100-plus walks – becoming only the third player to do so through their age-22 season along with Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Mel Ott.

 

Angels grounded again

Despite Shohei Ohtani's lead-off homer, the Los Angeles Angels were humbled 13-1 by the resurgent Baltimore Orioles, who snapped a 19-game losing streak 24 hours earlier. Elvis Peguero was charged with five of the six runs the Angels allowed in the fifth inning.  

 

Grand slam!

Struggling for form before Wednesday, the Orioles celebrated back-to-back wins on Thursday. Pedro Severino fuelled Baltimore with a grand slam and six RBIs.

 

Thursday's results 

Baltimore Orioles 13-1 Los Angeles Angels
Cincinnati Reds 5-1 Milwaukee Brewers
Chicago White Sox 10-7 Toronto Blue Jays
Arizona Diamondbacks 8-7 Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates 11-7 St Louis Cardinals
Boston Red Sox 12-2 Minnesota Twins
San Francisco Giants 3-2 New York Mets
Cleveland Indians 10-6 Texas Rangers
Miami Marlins 7-5 Washington Nationals
Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 San Diego Padres
New York Yankees 7-6 Oakland Athletics
Kansas City Royals 6-4 Seattle Mariners

 

Cubs at White Sox

Bragging rights will be on the line when the White Sox (74-55) host city rivals the Cubs (56-73) on Friday. Dallas Keuchel will toe the mound for the White Sox as the Cubs counter with Keegan Thompson.

The Baltimore Orioles returned to winning ways, ending a 19-game losing streak by upstaging the Los Angeles Angels 10-6.

Baltimore celebrated an overdue victory after rallying past Shohei Ohtani and the Angels in MLB action on Wednesday, a five-run seventh inning fuelling the hosts.

Trailing 6-2 in the fourth inning and 6-4 in the sixth, the Orioles – who were two losses short of the American League (AL) record for the longest skid, an unwanted record set themselves following a 0-12 start in 1988 – came from behind.

DJ Stewart, Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander homered for the Orioles, whose losing streak became the longest in MLB history to end with the team scoring 10-plus runs, according to Stats Perform.

Two-way Angels star lasted 5.0 innings, allowing five hits, four runs and three homers in Baltimore.

 

Ray keys Jays victory

The playoff-chasing Toronto Blue Jays needed a win and they got it thanks to Robbie Ray, who inspired their 3-1 victory at home to the AL Central-leading Chicago White Sox. Blue Jays starter Ray matched his career high by striking out 14 batters over seven innings. Ray allowed five hits and just one run as he became the first ever Toronto left-handed pitcher to record 14 strikeouts in a game.

Francisco Mejia's three-run homer in the ninth inning lifted the Tampa Bay Rays past the Philadelphia Phillies 7-4. The Phillies lost but it was still a memorable day for Zack Wheeler, who became the first Philadelphia pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts in 26 games or fewer.

Brandon Woodruff dominated, striking out 10 in six shut-out innings in the Milwaukee Brewers' 4-1 win against the Cincinnati Reds.

 

Rockies mask Marquez's struggles

The Colorado Rockies split a doubleheader with the Chicago Cubs after winning 13-10 in 10 innings after dropping the opener 5-2. However, Rockies starter German Marquez failed to impress, giving up five runs on seven hits in three innings. He has 10.13 ERA over 13.2 innings in his last three starts.

 

Sano's moonshot!

The Minnesota Twins topped the Boston Red Sox 9-6 with help from Miguel Sano, who delivered a 495-foot homer in the third inning – the longest in MLB this season.

 

Wednesday's results 

St Louis Cardinals 3-2 Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros 6-5 Kansas City Royals
Chicago Cubs 5-2 Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies 13-10 Chicago Cubs
Baltimore Orioles 10-6 Los Angeles Angels
Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Tampa Bay Rays 7-4 Philadelphia Phillies
Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins 9-6 Boston Red Sox
San Francisco Giants 3-2 New York Mets
Cleveland Indians 7-2 Texas Rangers
Miami Marlins 3-2 Washington Nationals
Milwaukee Brewers 4-1 Cincinnati Reds
Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 San Diego Padres

 

Yankees at Athletics

The red-hot New York Yankees (74-52) will put their 11-game winning streak on the line when they visit the Oakland Athletics (70-57) on Thursday. Jameson Taillon is set to start for the Yankees as the A's counter with James Kaprielian.

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom resumed throwing on Wednesday as manager Luis Rojas welcomed the "great news" for the MLB franchise.

DeGrom has been sidelined since July after being shut down from throwing due to right forearm tightness.

The four-time All-Star and two-time National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner played catch at Citi Field midweek following an MRI and while there is no timeframe regarding a return, Rojas is buoyed by the news.

"Jacob was cleared to start playing catch," Rojas told reporters on Wednesday. "He started today.

"Had an MRI this morning and the doctor gave him the green light after looking at the results.

"We'll see where we go from here. There's not a progression mapped out yet on how things are going to keep going, but at least getting to play catch today, that's great news for us."

DeGrom has posted staggering numbers this season, going 7-2 with an MLB-best 1.08 ERA in 15 starts and striking out a remarkable 14.3 batters per nine innings while walking just 1.1 per nine. 

Rojas added: "It'll be huge to have him at the end. We gotta start playing better baseball, especially if our offense starts clicking. To see Jake late in the season, probably at a perfect point of the season where we're closing the gap or facing our division rivals, it would be ideal.

"But I don't know a timeline yet with Jake on how things are going to go, starting with today's clearance of playing catch. It would be huge to have him back."

Meanwhile, Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard will begin a minor league rehab assignment via the High-A Brooklyn on Thursday.

Syndergaard underwent Tommy John surgery on his elbow in March last year and has not played since sitting out the coronavirus-shorted 2020 season.

Heading into Wednesday's clash with the San Francisco Giants, the Mets (61-64) were third in the NL East, seven games adrift of the Wild Card spots.

Fresh off agreeing to a one-year extension to remain with the St. Louis Cardinals, longtime catcher Yadier Molina announced he plans to retire following the 2022 season.

Molina verified speculation that the 2022 campaign would be his last at a press conference prior to St. Louis' home game against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday. The Cardinals announced on  Tuesday that the 10-time All-Star would be returning next season on a one-year deal.

The 39-year-old has spent his entire 18-year career with St. Louis, though a return in 2021 was not finalised until he and the Cardinals were able to agree to a one-year, $9million contract just prior to the start of spring training. Molina said he wanted to avoid a similar situation this winter and informed his agent to begin negotiations as soon as possible.

"That's why my agent and myself came to [president of baseball operations John Mozeliak] and told them I want to stay here," Molina said. "I want to get it done this early and not put this on the organisation in free agency again, because it's going to be my last year and I want to finish here with this great organisation."

A key member of the Cardinals' last two World Series championship teams in 2006 and 2011, Molina's 2,120 career games played are the third-most in franchise history behind only Hall of Famers Stan Musial and Lou Brock. He holds the major league record for most games as a catcher with one team at 2,081, and his nine Gold Gloves trail only Ivan Rodriguez (13) and Johnny Bench for the most by a catcher.

"It gives me great pleasure to announce that Yadier Molina will continue his franchise legacy for another season in 2022," Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. said in Tuesday's press release. "Yadi has continued to play at an All-Star level this season and has already established himself among the greatest players to have ever worn the birds on the bat."

Molina has started 95 of the Cardinals' 124 games behind the plate this season and ranks third on the team with 51 RBIs to go along with a .259 average and eight home runs.

A.J. Pollock pulled off an amazing catch on the wall along with two RBI as the in-form Los Angeles Dodgers won 5-2 over the San Diego Padres in the MLB on Tuesday.

With the Dodgers in the field leading 1-0 at the bottom of the fourth inning, Manny Machado launched a deep shot which appeared home-run bound but Pollock leapt up for an improbable catch.

Machado's shot would have been a go-ahead two-run homer but instead Pollock robbed him and the front row of fans of a memento.

Earlier, Will Smith had put the Dodgers ahead with a solo shot in the second inning.

Pollock continued to play a key role, helping the Dodgers pull further ahead with a two-run single in the seventh inning.

Sacrifice flies from Justin Turner and Corey Seager brought home Trea Turner and Max Muncy respectively, before Jurickson Profar's two-run homer reduced it to 5-2 in the eighth inning.

Emilio Pagan had four strikeouts for the Padres who used their bullpen, while Julio Urias had four K's across five innings for the Dodgers, before Kenley Jansen closed it out.

The victory means the world champions have won 14 of their past 16 games, while the Padres slump to their 10th loss from their past 12.

 

11 straight for hot Yankees

The New York Yankees continued their hot streak with a 5-4 come-from-behind win over the Atlanta Braves to close their series making it 11 consecutive victories, capped by D.J. LeMahieu's two-run homer in the fifth inning.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was in attendance for the first time as a Milwaukee Brewers investor, cheering on the side to a 7-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds, with Omar Narvaez delivering a go-ahead double to top a four-run seventh inning rally.

Nelson Cruz's eighth inning two-run double led the Tampa Bay Rays to a hard-fought 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. It was Cruz's third hit of the game, taking his season RBI tally to 70.

Rookie of the Year prospect Luis Garcia impressed again on the mound, keeping the Kansas City Royals scoreless across six and two-third innings in the Houston Astros' 4-0 win. Garcia had seven K's and allowed only four hits.

Hunter Renfroe produced a two-homer game to lead the Boston Red Sox past the Minnesota Twins 11-9, while the Seattle Mariners improved their ordinary run differential with a 5-1 win to sweep rival the Oakland Athletics.

 

Unwanted history beckons for Orioles

The Baltimore Orioles' 14-8 loss to the Los Angeles Angels condemned them to their 19th straight defeat. The Orioles' losing streak is the equal worst in the majors in 16 years, when the Kansas City Royals lost 19 in a row in 2005. The run is also the fourth longest since 1900. The American League record is held by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1961 with 23 successive defeats.

 

Giants' home-run barrage

The San Francisco Giants slammed four home runs on their way to an 8-0 rout of the New York Mets, meaning they lead the majors with 191 homers. Brandon Belt hit two to reach a career-high 19 homers, while LaMonte Wade Hr and Mike Yastrzemski also homered. Yastrzemski's mammoth blast went a projected home-run distance of 451 feet.

 

Tuesday's results 

Seattle Mariners 5-1 Oakland Athletics
Pittsburgh Pirates 4-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Philadelphia Phillies
Los Angeles Angels 14-8 Baltimore Orioles
Chicago White Sox 5-2 Toronto Blue Jays
San Francisco Giants 8-0 New York Mets
Washington Nationals 5-1 Miami Marlins
Texas Rangers 7-3 Cleveland Indians
Boston Red Sox 11-9 Minnesota Twins
New York Yankees 5-4 Atlanta Braves
Detroit Tigers 4-3 St Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers 7-4 Cincinnati Reds
Houston Astros 4-0 Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Dodgers x-x San Diego Padres
Chicago Cubs - Colorado Rockies (postponed)

 

Giants at Mets

The Mets (61-64) have lost four of their past five games and eight of their past 10, including an 8-0 loss to the Giants (81-44), and need to find form when the two sides meet again in the second game of their three-game series.

The New York Yankees stayed hot in MLB on Monday, extending their winning streak to 10 games by seeing off the Atlanta Braves 5-1.

Giancarlo Stanton fuelled the streaking Yankees with a homer and three runs in Atlanta.

Yankees slugger Stanton homered in the second inning as the Braves had their nine-game winning run snapped.

 

Cubs snap skid

Rafael Ortega's walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning inspired the Chicago Cubs to a 6-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies. It ended the team's home losing streak at 13 games, the longest in franchise history.

According to Stats Perform, the Cubs are the first team in MLB history to hit a walk-off homer to end a 13-plus game home losing streak. The previous long home losing streak snapped by a game-ending home run was 12 in a row by the St Louis Browns in 1949.

The Toronto Blue Jays edged the Chicago White Sox 2-1 as Alek Manoah impressed on the mound. The Blue Jays starter allowed five hits and just one run while striking out five batters in six innings. His 78 strikeouts to date are the most ever by a Blue Jay in his first 13 career games.

With two outs in the ninth inning, Jake Bauers broke a tie via his two-run single to help the Seattle Mariners rally past the Oakland Athletics 5-3. In 25 of Seattle's 126 games this season, the Mariners earned the lead in their final at-bat to win the game (19.8 per cent). According to Stats Perform, only one team in American League (AL) history has had a higher percentage of their games end in a last at-bat victory – the Washington Senators in 1918 (20.0 per cent).

 

Royals pounce on Maton

It was a rough outing for the Houston Astros and reliever Phil Maton as the Kansas City Royals cruised to a 7-1 win. In just 0.2 innings of work, Astros pitcher Maton gave up three hits and three runs, one earned.

 

Shaw slam!

Travis Shaw was the hero as the Boston Red Sox outlasted the Texas Rangers 8-4 after 11 innings. A defensive replacement in the eighth inning, Shaw hit a walk-off grand slam to lift the Red Sox.

 

Monday's results 

Boston Red Sox 8-4 Texas Rangers
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 Arizona Diamondbacks
Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 Chicago White Sox
New York Yankees 5-1 Atlanta Braves
Chicago Cubs 6-4 Colorado Rockies
Kansas City Royals 7-1 Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners 5-3 Oakland Athletics

 

Dodgers at Padres

Tuesday will see a battle between World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers and National League (NL) West rivals the San Diego Padres, who are both coming off defeats.

The San Diego Padres have fired pitching coach Larry Rothschild amid a slump that has seen them fall out of contention in the National League West.

Seen as potential World Series challengers having amassed an enviable depth of talent in both hitting and pitching, the Padres have found themselves cut adrift in MLB's top division.

They have lost nine of their past 11 games, with their team earned run average of 6.20 the third-worst in MLB in that span.

Sunday's loss to the Philadelphia Phillies saw the Padres fall to 68-58 and out of the second NL Wild Card spot.

The Padres are 13 games back of the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants, who at 80-44 own the best record in MLB. The defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers are 2.5 games back of the Giants.

Padres manager Jayce Tingler said: "Larry has been a tremendous asset for our organisation over the last two seasons, and we appreciate the experience, hard work and dedication that he brought to the position. We wish him nothing but the best in the future."

Ben Fritz will serve as interim pitching coach for the rest of the season. The Padres next face a critical three-game series with the Dodgers, which starts on Tuesday.

The suddenly unstoppable Atlanta Braves won their ninth successive game, defeating the Baltimore Orioles 3-1 on Sunday to complete another sweep away from home. 

It was a staggering 18th straight loss for the Orioles, who previously endured a 14-game skid in May and are an MLB-worst 38-85 this season. 

Baltimore had their best pitcher on the mound to try and end the slump, but John Means surrendered a solo home run to Jorge Soler and a two-run double to Adam Duvall in the fourth inning for all the runs Atlanta needed. 

Touki Toussaint allowed the Orioles' only run in the bottom of the inning on a Ramon Urias double, and five relief pitchers kept Baltimore off the scoreboard after he departed. 

After going unbeaten in successive series at the Washington Nationals, Miami Marlins and Orioles, the Braves have won 13 in a row on the road. 

That road streak is the longest in franchise history and tied for the second-longest by a National League team since divisional play began in 1969, with only the 2013 Los Angeles Dodgers (15) exceeding their run. 

Atlanta have not lost away from Truist Park since July 28, when they dropped a 2-1 decision at the New York Mets.  

 

Reds move into wild card position with sweep

The Cincinnati Reds hit three solo home runs, two of them by Tyler Naquin, while Vladimir Gutierrez and two relievers held the Miami Marlins in check on the way to a 3-1 victory and a four-game sweep. The win coupled with the San Diego Padres' 7-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies put the Reds alone in the second National League wild card slot. 

Pinch-hitter Donovan Solano's two-run homer in the eighth was the difference as the San Francisco Giants edged the Oakland Athletics 2-1 for their 80th win of the season. They have done so in just 124 games, their best pace since their remarkable 1993 campaign that saw them miss the postseason despite a 103-59 record in the pre-wild card era.

The Los Angeles Dodgers saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end in a 7-2 home defeat to the New York Mets, as the World Series champions managed just five hits off Marcus Stroman and three relievers and J.D. Davis drove in four runs for New York. 

Ty France homered to tie the game in the ninth, then gave the Seattle Mariners the lead in the 11th before Kyle Seager's three-run homer blew the game open as the Mariners defeated the Houston Astros 6-3. 

Adam Wainwright allowed just two hits and struck out nine with no walks in eight innings as the St Louis Cardinals blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates 3-0. 

 

Royals light up woeful Cubs

The Kansas City Royals pounded out 16 hits in a 9-1 rout of the Chicago Cubs to complete a three-game series sweep. The Cubs have now lost 15 of their last 17 games and 21 of their last 25.

 

Miggy hits 500th

Detroit Tigers star Miguel Cabrera became the 28th player in MLB history to reach 500 home runs with his opposite-field shot in the sixth inning of a 5-3 win at the Toronto Blue Jays. 

 

Sunday's results 

Tampa Bay Rays 9-0 Chicago White Sox
Kansas City Royals 9-1 Chicago Cubs
Detroit Tigers 5-3 Toronto Blue Jays
Milwaukee Brewers 7-3 Washington Nationals
New York Mets 7-2 Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants 2-1 Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners 6-3 Houston Astros
Cincinnati Reds 3-1 Miami Marlins
Atlanta Braves 3-1 Baltimore Orioles
St Louis Cardinals 3-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4 Colorado Rockies
Philadelphia Phillies 7-4 San Diego Padres
Cleveland Indians 3-0 Los Angeles Angels
New York Yankees-Minnesota Twins (postponed)
Texas Rangers-Boston Red Sox (postponed)

 

Yankees at Braves

The two hottest teams in baseball collide as the New York Yankees (72-52) visit the Atlanta Braves (68-56) to open a brief two-game series with both clubs riding nine-game winning streaks. 

It has been a stressful couple of weeks for one of the greatest right-handed hitters in baseball history, but Miguel Cabrera finally reached a long-awaited milestone Sunday with his 500th career home run. 

The Detroit Tigers star launched a changeup by Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Steven Matz over the right-field fence at Rogers Centre for a solo homer that tied the game 1-1 in the sixth inning. The Tigers would go on to win 5-3 in 11 innings. 

That result was important to Cabrera after spending the 11 days since he hit his 499th home run with the spotlight squarely on him. 

Known for his easygoing on-field personality, Cabrera acknowledged feeling the pressure during last week's six-game homestand against the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Angels, which drew some of the largest crowds in Detroit this season.

Cabrera had four hits in 20 at-bats on the homestand and was hitless in 10 at-bats in three games in Toronto before going deep Sunday.

"Last week in Detroit was tough," Cabrera told reporters. "It was the first time in five, six years I've seen the crowd like that, excited and with a lot of energy. It was nice to see the energy back in Comerica Park.

"There was a lot of things going on in my mind, because I wanted to do it in Detroit. But it's tough to hit home runs there.

"I just have to thank God I hit it here and got it over with. Now I can try to keep playing baseball."

The 38-year-old became the first player from Venezuela to hit 500 home runs and the first to do so as a Tiger in the 120-year history of the franchise. 

An 11-time All-Star and two-time American League MVP, Cabrera is in his 14th season with Detroit after spending the first five years of his MLB career with the Marlins. 

Though Cabrera reached the milestone on the road, the fans in Toronto were appreciative, giving him a standing ovation and demanding a curtain call.

The Tigers also were thrilled to see the icon get over the hump. 

"He wants this for us as much as we wanted it for him," said manager A.J. Hinch. "He saw the stress around that was unspoken.

"It's a huge accomplishment for him and his country and what he's meant to baseball in Detroit and what he's meant to baseball in Miami, where he started his career, and obviously Team Venezuela. He's represented his country with extreme success on the field."

Cabrera is now four home runs from tying Hall of Famer Eddie Murray for 27th on the all-time list, but that is not the only milestone in his sights. 

He needs just 45 hits to reach 3,000 for his career. Only six players in MLB history have hit 500 homers while accumulating 3,000 hits: Murray, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro and Albert Pujols. 

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