With the MLB trade deadline still a day away, the big dominoes started falling on Thursday as rumours swirled around numerous star players. 

While multiple reports said Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer and All-Star shortstop Trea Turner were on the verge of being dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Yankees finalised another addition to their lineup. 

A day after acquiring slugger Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers, New York got Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Kevin Alcantara and pitcher Alexandro Vizcaino, adding a power-hitting first baseman renowned for his clubhouse presence. 

Though he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox and made his MLB debut with the San Diego Padres, Rizzo had been a beloved Cubs fixture for years, making three All-Star teams and helping Chicago to a long-awaited World Series title in 2016. 

Rizzo did not play in the Cubs' 7-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds earlier Thursday, prompting fans at Wrigley Field to chant "We want Rizzo!" during the game. 

The 31-year-old is hitting .248 with 14 home runs, 40 RBIs and a .792 OPS and will become the Yankees' primary first baseman. 

Red Sox swoop for Schwarber

Rizzo's former Cubs team-mate Kyle Schwarber also was on the move Thursday as the Nationals traded him to the Boston Red Sox for minor league pitcher Aldo Ramirez.

Schwarber is on the injured list with a hamstring strain but is expected back soon.

The All-Star is hitting .253 with 25 home runs and 53 RBIs, with 16 of those homers coming in an 18-game stretch in June. 

He figures to see time as an outfielder and designated hitter for the Red Sox. 

Mariners get Castillo as relievers on the move

In other moves Thursday, the Seattle Mariners acquired closer Diego Castillo from the Tampa Bay Rays for pitcher JT Chargois and third baseman Austin Shenton. 

The Chicago White Sox made a pair of moves, picking up infielder Cesar Hernandez from the Cleveland Indians for left-hander Konnor Pilkington and getting relief pitcher Ryan Tepera from the Cubs for pitching prospect Bailey Horn. 

Lefty reliever Brad Hand moved from Washington to the Toronto Blue Jays for catcher Riley Adams, while the Dodgers picked up left-hander Danny Duffy from the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named. 

With the MLB trade deadline still a day away, the big dominoes started falling on Thursday as rumours swirled around numerous star players. 

While multiple reports said Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer and All-Star shortstop Trea Turner were on the verge of being dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Yankees finalised another addition to their lineup. 

A day after acquiring slugger Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers, New York got Anthony Rizzo from the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Kevin Alcantara and pitcher Alexandro Vizcaino, adding a power-hitting first baseman renowned for his clubhouse presence. 

Though he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox and made his MLB debut with the San Diego Padres, Rizzo had been a beloved Cubs fixture for years, making three All-Star teams and helping Chicago to a long-awaited World Series title in 2016. 

Rizzo did not play in the Cubs' 7-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds earlier Thursday, prompting fans at Wrigley Field to chant "We want Rizzo!" during the game. 

The 31-year-old is hitting .248 with 14 home runs, 40 RBIs and a .792 OPS and will become the Yankees' primary first baseman. 

Mariners get Castillo as relievers on the move

In other moves Thursday, the Seattle Mariners acquired closer Diego Castillo from the Tampa Bay Rays for pitcher JT Chargois and third baseman Austin Shenton. 

The Chicago White Sox made a pair of moves, picking up infielder Cesar Hernandez from the Cleveland Indians for left-hander Konnor Pilkington and getting relief pitcher Ryan Tepera from the Cubs for pitching prospect Bailey Horn. 

Lefty reliever Brad Hand moved from Washington to the Toronto Blue Jays for catcher Riley Adams, while the Dodgers picked up left-hander Danny Duffy from the Kansas City Royals for a player to be named. 

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona is stepping down for the rest of the season for health reasons, the team said Thursday. 

The move is effective immediately, with bench coach DeMarlo Hale set to run the team in his absence. 

Francona has battled health problems for years and missed much of the 2020 season, including the playoffs, with a gastrointestinal problem and blood clotting issues. 

The 62-year-old has long been a fixture in MLB dugouts, beginning his managerial career with the Philadelphia Phillies (1997-2000) before leading the Boston Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007 during his eight seasons there. 

Francona has been Cleveland's manager since 2013, compiling a 723-568 record (.560) and reaching the World Series in 2016.

He has a 1,752-1,483 mark (.542) overall, with his win total putting him third among active MLB managers behind Tony La Russa (2,788) and Dusty Baker (1,955).

Hale, 60, is a longtime MLB coach who previously served on Francona's staff with the Red Sox and reunited with him in Cleveland for this season. 

 

Max Scherzer will always hold fond World Series-winning memories with the Washington Nationals after potentially making his final appearance on Thursday, amid reports he could be on the move to the San Diego Padres.

The starting pitcher allowed one run over six innings as the Nationals picked up a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, though he now awaits confirmation on his future.

Scherzer, who helped the Nationals to a 2019 World Series win and is 8-4 this season with a 2.76 ERA and 147 strikeouts in 111 innings, wanted to focus on the positives after Yan Gomes' two-run homer secured victory over the Phillies in the first game of a doubleheader.

"I don't want to look at this as a negative thing," Scherzer told the media after the game. "I'd rather look at this as a positive thing. I signed a seven-year deal here and we won a World Series.

"That's the first thing I said when I signed, that I was here to win. And we won. We won a World Series.

"That's a lifelong dream come true and something I'll always be proud of with these guys here, to be part of a championship team, looking forward to reunions and stuff like that."

The 37-year-old is being tipped for a trade to the Padres, according to the Athletic, as they attempt to pair up the three-time Cy Young winner with Yu Darvish.

Scherzer's potential final game nearly did not happen due to triceps discomfort, but the pitcher pulled through for the Nationals to show the world he was still fit and healthy.

"Just working through it, getting back in the groove of things," he said about his injury. "I never like missing starts. For me to get back here, get six innings in, get back in my routines, that's when everything feels great."

Indeed, Scherzer has continually performed during his six-year spell at the Nationals which appears to be coming to an amicable end.

Since joining in 2015, Scherzer's 1,610 strikeouts lead the pitcher charts, with Gerrit Cole's 1,366 providing not much competition way back in second – such is the quality of the Nationals starter.

Amid growing trade rumours, with the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox among the original favourites, Scherzer reflected glowingly on his experiences with the Nationals.

"For me, this is where my family started. I came here without kids and now I have three kids. I've watched my girls grow up here," he said.

"What can you say about the fans? That championship will always mean something to all of us and we'll always have that flag."

Walker Buehler celebrated his 27th birthday with a dominant performance as the Los Angeles Dodgers routed the San Francisco Giants 8-0 in MLB action Wednesday. 

Buehler improved to 11-1 as he allowed only three hits and two walks in seven shutout innings while striking out eight. 

In the meantime, the Dodgers knocked San Francisco starter Anthony DeSclafani out of the game in the third inning, scoring four times in that frame on RBI singles by Justin Turner and AJ Pollock and a two-run triple by Will Smith. 

Cody Bellinger capped off the rout for LA with a solo homer in the eighth one night after his throwing error cost the Dodgers the game. He had been one-for-35 agains the Giants this season before that hit.

Making matters worst for the first-place Giants, catcher Buster Posey left the game following the third inning after taking a foul ball of his mask. 

Manager Gabe Kapler told reporters after the game that Posey had some dizziness but was not immediately diagnosed with a concussion. 

The rivals wrap up their three-game series Thursday in their seventh meeting in a 10-day span.

 

Judge, Yankees down Rays in 10th

Aaron Judge's 10th-inning single drove in the go-ahead run as the New York Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1. Yankees pitchers held the Rays hitless for the final six innings after Tampa Bay scored their only run on a Brandon Lowe double in the fourth. 

The Atlanta Braves could not back up a solid seven-inning start from Max Fried, falling 2-1 to the New York Mets on Brandon Drury's solo home run in the seventh after Austin Riley had tied the game with a solo shot of his own in the sixth.

Shohei Ohtani homered for the third time in four games, with his 37th of the season keying a five-run fourth inning as the Los Angeles Angels took an early lead and held on to beat the Colorado Rockies 8-7. 

Not to be outdone, Joey Votto hit a pair of home runs for the second consecutive game as the Cincinnati Reds topped the Chicago Cubs 8-2. 

 

Tigers allow seven homers, still beat Twins

Detroit pitchers allowed seven home runs while Tigers batters hit none of their own, but the visitors still managed to beat the Minnesota Twins in an NFL-worthy final score of 17-14. Every player in the Detroit lineup scored and drove in at least one run as the Tigers became the first team in MLB history to win despite being out-homered by seven or more. According to Stats Perform, teams on the wrong side of that equation had been 0-41 before Wednesday's game. 

 

Perez stuns White Sox

Salvador Perez hit a monster 438-foot home run off All-Star Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks to tie the game in the ninth inning and the Kansas City Royals would go on to defeat the division-leading Sox 3-2 on Michael A. Taylor's run-scoring single in the 10th. 

 

Wednesday's results

Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox 4-1 Toronto Blue Jays
Milwaukee Brewers 7-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
Baltimore Orioles 8-7 Miami Marlins
New York Mets 2-1 Atlanta Braves
New York Yankees 3-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Cleveland Indians 7-2 St Louis Cardinals
Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 Texas Rangers
Cincinnati Reds 8-2 Chicago Cubs
Kansas City Royals 3-2 Chicago White Sox
Detroit Tigers 17-14 Minnesota Twins
Los Angeles Angels 8-7 Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Dodgers 8-0 San Francisco Giants
Oakland Athletics 10-4 San Diego Padres
Houston Astros 11-4 Seattle Mariners
Washington Nationals-Philadelphia Phillies (postponed)

 

Braves at Mets

The Atlanta Braves (50-52) send Drew Smyly to the mound as they wrap up a rare five-game series with the New York Mets (54-46), who will start Taijuan Walker in the game at Citi Field. 

Los Angeles Dodgers' star Cody Bellinger produced an unbelievable error gifting the San Francisco Giants a decisive run in their 2-1 victory in the MLB on Tuesday.

With scores locked at 1-1 after the sides traded runs in the fifth and sixth innings, Bellinger inexplicably threw several feet over third baseman Justin Turner, allowing Buster Posey in for the go-ahead run.

Bellinger is normally at center field but was moved to first base to ease the stress on his sore hamstring, but that came back to bite the Dodgers.

At the bottom of the eighth, Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen had walked Posey and Mike Yastrzemski, before Darin Ruf grounded to second baseman Max Muncy who threw to Bellinger for an out.

But then the first baseman opted to send the ball to third to try out Posey, only to deliver a costly wayward throw.

"I don’t know how I would have thrown it that high. It was a horrible throw," Bellinger said. "I’ll go back and watch it on video and see what happened on that play.”

 

Home runs for Ohtani and Tatis

Shohei Ohtani's Los Angeles Angels may have lost 12-3 to the Colorado Rockies at home but he provided a highlight with a two-run home run in the fifth inning with his side 10-0 down.

The homer registered 110.4 mph exit velocity and a projected distance of 463 feet. It was also Ohtani's league-high 36th home run this season.

Fernando Tatis Jr also homered, bringing up his 31st of the season, with a two-run shot in the San Diego Padres' 7-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics. The Padres were trailing 3-0 at the time.

Eloy Jimenez creamed a decisive three-run homer which travelled 459 feet to lift the Chicago White Sox to a 5-3 triumph over the Kansas City Royals.

Bryce Harper hit a rare inside-the-park home run as the Philadelphia Phillies lost 6-4 to the Washington Nationals.

Joey Votto was feeling it as he hit two home runs as the Cincinnati Reds won 7-4 over the Chicago Cubs.

 

Diamondbacks downed by struggling Rangers

The Texas Rangers ended their 10-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks, who continue to struggle. The Diamondbacks allowed all five runs in the fourth inning and slump to a 31-71 record, having only won 12 games on the road from 53, which is the best worst away record in the majors.

 

Riley's six-RBI game

Austin Riley hit a grand slam and a two-run home run as the Atlanta Braves won 12-5 over the New York Mets. The third baseman moved up to 19 homers for the season, recording his second-ever career grand slam, totalling six RBI for the game.

Tuesday's results

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

 

Dodgers at Giants

Two of the best meet on Wednesday when the San Francisco Giants (63-37), leaders in the National League, host reigning world champions, the Los Angeles Dodgers (61-41).

Washington Nationals short-stop Trea Turner has been pulled mid-game on Tuesday after testing positive to COVID-19.

Turner had already hit an infield single and scored on a home run in Tuesday's game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The 28-year-old went down the tunnel after touching down on home plate and did not re-appear to take to the field at the bottom of the first inning.

The Nationals later confirmed that Turner's premature removal was due to testing positive to COVID-19.

Turner, who has hit .320/.368/.519 in 95 games this season with 124 hits and 18 home runs, has been linked with a move away from Washington ahead of Friday's MLB Trade Deadline.

Shohei Ohtani once again starred for the Los Angeles Angels on Monday, leading Joe Maddon to declare nobody else is even in the running for this season's MVP award in the American League.

The two-way superstar produced another inspired performance during the Angels' 6-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Ohtani gave up just one run during a dominant seven innings at Angel Stadium, lowering his ERA for the season to 3.04.

The 27-year-old, who became the first player to start as a pitcher and a hitter in an All-Star game earlier this year, also recorded his 100th strikeout of 2021 after pitching at well over 100mph.

Then there is his tally of 35 home runs before the end of July - the best in the MLB. He is the first pitcher to hit more than nine while recording triple-digit strikeouts in the same season.

Not only that, but Ohtani became only the fourth pitcher in the past 30 seasons to have a hit, run, RBI and stolen base in a single inning.

Angels manager Maddon thinks the numbers make a strong case as to why the Japanese player is a clear favourite to be named MVP.

"To me, it's not even close," he said. "When people talk about it being close, it's not.

"What he's doing is so unique. It's just so different compared to anybody else right now.

"Nobody's doing what he's doing, and nobody's done what he's doing, if that makes any sense. He is so motivated."

Shohei Ohtani continues to amaze after doing it all again as the Los Angeles Angels won 6-2 over the Colorado Rockies in the MLS on Monday.

In the first inning, Ohtani drove in an RBI single as David Fletcher scored, before stealing a base to second.

Ohtani stepped up on the mound throughout too, tossing down five strikeouts, including a handful of outstanding sliders across seven innings, allowing five hits.

Jack Mayfield came up with a two-run shot down the line in the seventh inning to put the Angels 4-1 up.

The Angels added another two in the eighth inning to round out the win which lifts them to 50-49.

 

Walkoffs and a go-ahead grand slam

Andrew McCutchen launched a massive three-run home run to earn the Philadelphia Phillies an exhilarating 6-5 walk-off win over the Washington Nationals.

With two runners on base down 5-3 in the ninth inning, McCutchen hit Brad Hand high over Juan Soto's head in right-field for a homer.

Javier Baez also walked it off with an RBI single to lead the Chicago Cubs past the Cincinnati Reds 6-5.

Alex Verdugo hit a two-run go-ahead homer as the Boston Red Sox continued their recent dominance over the Toronto Blue Jays with a 5-4 win. Boston now have 33 comeback wins this season.

Kyle Tucker hit a three-run home run as the Houston Astros raced to a 6-0 first inning lead which they surrendered, eventually losing 11-8 to the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners trailed 8-7 at the bottom of the eighth inning when Dylan Moore hit a decisive go-ahead grand slam to left field from Brooks Raley.

 

Rockies rocky road

Ohtani claimed the win against the Rockies, but Colorado's road record is a major concern, suffering their third straight away defeat. The Rockies have the worst road record in the majors, going at 10-37, compared to 33-20 at home.

 

Cabrera closes in on 500

The Detroit Tigers may have lost 6-5 to the Minnesota Twins but veteran slugger Miguel Cabrera moved a step closer to his 500th home run, with a two-run homer. Cabrera, 38, now has 495 career home runs.

Monday's results

Atlanta Braves 2-0 New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 Washington Nationals
Boston Red Sox 5-4 Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago Cubs 6-5 Cincinnati Reds
Kansas City Royals 4-3 Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins 6-5 Detroit Tigers
New York Mets 1-0 Atlanta Braves
Los Angeles Angels 6-2 Colorado Rockies
Seattle Mariners 11-8 Houston Astros

 

Yankees at Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays (60-40) take on American League East contenders, the New York Yankees (51-47), in the opening game of their series.

The Boston Red Sox looked like they might get no-hit Sunday, but they ended up tormenting their biggest rivals once again. 

Boston erased a dominant showing by New York Yankees starter Domingo German, collecting their first hit of the game to open the eighth and scoring five times in the inning for a 5-4 win at Fenway Park.

The MLB-leading 32nd come-from-behind win for Boston was a mirror image of Saturday's game, which saw the Yankees rally for four in the eighth to win 4-3. 

Better yet, this one gave the Red Sox the series win and put them back in first place in the American League (AL) East division.

It was an outcome few would have anticipated after German struck out four Boston batters in the seventh inning (Xander Bogaerts reached first base on a passed ball on his strike three) to give him 10 for the game. 

But Alex Verdugo led off the eighth with a double that opened the floodgates for the Red Sox, chasing German from the game and beginning a string of  five straight hits that brought Boston within one. 

New York summoned their third pitcher of the inning, former All-Star closer Zack Britton, but Boston pushed the tying and go-ahead runs across the plate on a groundout and a sacrifice fly. 

Giancarlo Stanton made things interesting in the ninth with a two-out single, but Matt Barnes retired Rougned Odor to end the game. 

 

Lynn does it all for White Sox

Lance Lynn helped himself with a two-run single and shut down the Milwaukee Brewers for six innings as the Chicago White Sox avoided a sweep in the series matching the AL and NL Central division leaders with a 3-1 win. 

The Cleveland Indians got an RBI single from Harold Ramirez and a sacrifice fly from Bobby Bradley in the eighth to rally past the Tampa Bay Rays for a 3-2 victory. 

The Baltimore Orioles scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to pull out a 5-4 win over the Washington Nationals, completing a three-game sweep. The Orioles had been 0-51 when trailing after eight innings. 

Pete Alonso's two-run homer in the sixth tied the game and Jeff McNeil provided the go-ahead runs with a two-run double as the New York Mets downed the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4. 

Aaron Nola prevailed in a pitchers' duel with Touki Toussaint as the Philadelphia Phillies edged the Atlanta Braves 2-1.

Solo homers from Chris Taylor in the fifth and Will Smith in the eighth rallied the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-2 triumph over the Colorado Rockies. 

A seven-run fourth inning featuring homers by Harrison Bader and Dylan Carlson propelled the St Louis Cardinals to a 10-6 win over the Cincinnati Reds. 

 

Rangers drop 12th straight

Held to one run or fewer for the sixth time in 10 games since the All-Star break, the Texas Rangers fell 3-1 to the Houston Astros for their 12th consecutive defeat. 

 

Shohei smashes another one

With the game tied 2-2 in the sixth inning, Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani took an 85.3 mph pitch from Minnesota Twins reliever Danny Coulombe out of the park at 112.6 mph for his MLB-leading 35th home run this season on the way to a 6-2 win. 

 

Sunday's results

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

 

Rockies at Angels

A pair of All-Stars will take the mound as German Marquez starts for the Colorado Rockies (43-56) against Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels (49-49) in Anaheim. 

The New York Yankees piled on four eighth-inning runs to claim a thrilling 4-3 win over the Boston Red Sox in MLB on Saturday.

Trailing 3-0 after seven innings from Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, Brett Gardner drove in Estevan Florial with a line drive to right field.

Adam Ottavino stepped up on the mound but Rougned Odor hit a two-run score off the Green Monster to tie it up.

Odor scored when the in-form Gleyber Torres skied one to shallow right-field in a dramatic turnaround.

The result means the Yankees improve their record to 51-46, while the Red Sox are 60-39.

 

Sandoval's near no-hitter, Haniger double

Los Angeles Angels' pitcher Patrick Sandoval almost had a no-hitter, going eight and a third innings with no hits before Brent Rooker's double in the ninth as the Minnesota Twins won 2-1.

Mitch Haniger continued his exceptional 2021 season with two home runs, taking his season tally to 25, as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics 5-4.

New recruit Rowdy Tellez also hit two homers as the Milwaukee Brewers won 6-1 over the Chicago White Sox. Tellez joined the Brewers from the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this month.

George Springer produced an incredible diving catch in the outfield as the Blue Jays won 10-3 over the New York Mets.

 

Phillies pitching woes

The Atlanta Braves piled on the runs late against the Philadelphia Phillies to win 15-3. The Braves scored eight runs in the final two innings as in-fielder Ronald Torreyes stepped up to the mound, allowing six hits, after starter Vince Velasquez was pulled. Freddie Freeman, Abraham Almonte, Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley and Joc Peterson all homered for the Braves.

 

Tatis make slugging history

Fernando Tatis Jr made history with his 30th home run of the season in the San Diego Padres' 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins. Tatis' 409-foot homer means he becomes the youngest Padre, at 22-years-old, to reach 30 home runs. It only took Tatis 82 games, which is the fewest for any player his age or younger.

 

Saturday's results

Arizona Diamondbacks 7-3 Chicago Cubs
New York Yankees 4-3 Boston Red Sox
Atlanta Braves 15-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Miami Marlins 3-2 San Diego Padres
Baltimore Orioles 5-3 Washington Nationals
Cincinnati Reds 5-3 St Louis Cardinals
Milwaukee Brewers 6-1 Chicago White Sox
Toronto Blue Jays 10-3 New York Mets
Los Angeles Angels 2-1 Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays 8-2 Cleveland Indians
Kansas City Royals 9-8 Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros 4-1 Texas Rangers
Pittsburgh Pirates 10-2 San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 Colorado Rockies
Seattle Mariners 5-4 Oakland Athletics

 

Blue Jays at Mets

The New York Mets (51-44), leaders in the National League East, will host the Toronto Blue Jays (49-45) with both sides needing to find some consistent form.

Whatever the Boston Red Sox had in mind heading into Friday's showdown with Gerrit Cole and the New York Yankees, it did not include their own starting pitcher leaving the game after recording just three outs.

Even after Eduardo Rodriguez was forced to leave the game in the second inning due to what the team described as migraine symptoms, the Red Sox had enough firepower to defeat their rivals 6-2 at Fenway Park.

After Rodriguez's unexpectedly early exit, Phillips Valdez stepped in to get out of a second-inning jam and strike out seven in three scoreless innings of relief on the day he was called up from the minor leagues.

Rafael Devers gave the home side the lead with a two-run homer off Cole in the fifth and added a three-run shot against Nestor Cortes in the seventh to put the game away. The latter was the 100th home run of Devers' career.

 

Mets blank Blue Jays

Pete Alonso accounted for all of the New York Mets' runs with a pair of homers and Tylor Megill had the best start of his career with six shutout innings in a 3-0 defeat of the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Colorado Rockies picked up their 10th road win in 44 games away from Coors Field this season, rallying to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-6 as Charlie Blackmon had three hits incluing the extra-inning homer that sealed the victory.

Nelson Cruz homered in his first game after being traded to Tampa Bay and Ji-Man Choi's three-run homer in the ninth blew open a close game as the Rays beat the Cleveland Indians 10-5.

 

Rangers pounded again

Kolby Allard surrendered a three-run homer to Kyle Tucker to cap a five-run third inning for the Houston Astros that helped send the Texas Rangers to a 7-3 loss, their 10th consecutive defeat. The Rangers have been outscored 73-18 in that span and have not held a lead for 86 straight innings. According to Stats Perform, that drought is the longest since the Atlanta Braves went 96 innings without a lead in April and May 1977.

 

Brewers slam White Sox

In a matchup of NL and AL Central division leaders, the Milwaukee Brewers got a boost from Tyrone Taylor's seventh-inning grand slam to down the Chicago White Sox 7-1.

 

Friday's results

Chicago Cubs 8-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
Tampa Bay Rays 10-5 Cleveland Indians
Philadelphia Phillies 5-1 Atlanta Braves
Boston Red Sox 6-2 New York Yankees
New York Mets 3-0 Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles 6-1 Washington Nationals
San Diego Padres 5-2 Miami Marlins
Cincinnati Reds 6-5 St Louis Cardinals
Kansas City Royals 5-3 Detroit Tigers
Minnesota Twins 5-4 Los Angeles Angels
Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 Chicago White Sox
Houston Astros 7-3 Texas Rangers
Seattle Mariners 4-3 Oakland Athletics
Pittsburgh Pirates 6-4 San Francisco Giants
Colorado Rockies 9-6 Los Angeles Dodgers

White Sox at Brewers

A pair of All-Star pitchers go head-to-head as Carlos Rodon and the Chicago White Sox (58-39) continue their series against Corbin Burnes and the Milwaukee Brewers (57-41).

Cleveland's MLB team will be known as the Guardians once the 2021 season has been completed.

Known as the Indians since 1915, the organisation announced in December 2020 that they were to begin the search for a new nickname, having held discussions with a number of different groups, including the Cleveland Indigenous Coalition and the National Congress of American Indians.

Team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said in a statement confirming the decision to make a change: "Hearing first-hand the stories and experiences of Native American people, we gained a deep understanding of how tribal communities feel about the team name and the detrimental effects it has on them.

"We also spoke to local civic leaders who represent diverse populations in our city and who highlighted the negative impact our team name has had on our broader population and on under-represented groups across our community.

"I am truly grateful for their engagement and input, which I found enlightening and insightful. When a sports team is aligned with its community, it unlocks the ability to unite people from different backgrounds and bring people together in support of their home team.

"While Indians will always be a part of our history, it is time to move forward and work to unify our stakeholders and fans through a new name."

Guardians was announced as the choice through a video, narrated by Tom Hanks, which was posted on social media on Friday, though the red, white and navy colour scheme will remain.

The name was selected following extensive interviews with fans, community leaders and front office staff, with over 40,000 supporters surveyed during the process.

"To protect, to keep watch, to defend. For Clevelanders, this is a way of life. We fight together for what we believe in. And if we get knocked down, we pick each other right back up and keep fighting. We're resilient, hard working and loyal – to this city and to each other. That's what it means to be Cleveland Guardians," a statement read on the team's website.

Cleveland has a 48-46 record during the current campaign to sit second in the AL Central, nine games back of the Chicago White Sox.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants produced an MLB first as a controversial end to the latest series in their historic rivalry left ejected manager Dave Roberts apoplectic.

Dodgers manager Roberts sprinted to confront first-base umpire Ed Hickox in the ninth inning after he ruled Darin Ruf did not swing on a pitch outside the strike zone on a full 3-2 count with two men out and the bases loaded, awarding the Giants a walk that tied the game at 3-3.

Los Angeles thought the game was over moments earlier when Jason Vosler was ruled to have been thrown out at second base, only for the umpires to rule him safe on review, with Sheldon Neuse unable to keep his foot on the bag as he caught Chris Taylor's throw, meaning Thairo Estrada's groundball trimmed the Dodgers' lead to 3-2.

Hickox's contentious decision followed, setting up LaMonte Wade Jr to give the Giants a 5-3 lead with the next at-bat with a two-run single to right field.

The Giants held on to that advantage to take a three-game lead over the Dodgers in the National League West, with Los Angeles left to pick up the pieces after a third successive blown save from closer Kenley Jansen and his second in as many nights against San Francisco.

San Francisco prevailed 3-1 in the four-game series, which is the first in the modern era to have three games in which the team trailing in the ninth inning scored three runs to win, according to Stats Perform data. The Dodgers scored three runs in the last to emerge victorious on Tuesday, before the Giants scored three on Wednesday and four on Thursday to solidify their grip on the division.

But that piece of league history will have been of no interest to a furious Roberts.

"There's no doubt in my mind that he went [around and swung] and the game should have been over," Roberts said. "Eddie's a very good umpire, been around a long time. But in that spot, two contending teams, you just can't miss that call.

"The game should have been over and there's no other way to look at it.

"There's a lot of people that are really p****d off and I'm leading the way. We should have won that game. It's a game we really wanted, we had and we didn't. The game should have been over, man. I don't think the blame should be all on Kenley at all.

"I thought that play at second base, if we stretch, he's out and the game's over. The checked swing, the game's over and we're not having this conversation. I'm not reconsidering his [Jansen's] role."

Ruf, meanwhile, was able to reflect on the turning point with a smile.

"At that point, I'm just trying to have a good at-bat," Ruf said. "The 2-0 pitch was probably outside, but those things happen throughout the course of an at-bat. You just have to move on.

"After I got to 2-2, I just really wanted to see a pitch in the middle. He has three pretty good pitches and luckily I laid off the 2-2. The 3-2 was kind of a high backup cutter and luckily that call went our way.

"I'm just thinking, 'Please say I didn't go [and swing]. I think at full speed it was really, really close.

"Luckily that call went our way tonight and then LaMonte came up huge."

The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees have faced each other more than 2,000 times dating back to 1901, but they have never had a game end quite like Thursday's. 

Four wild pitches by New York reliever Brooks Kriske in the 10th inning brought home the tying run and set up the winning run as Boston prevailed 5-4 at Fenway Park. 

The Red Sox had trailed 3-1 with two outs in the ninth inning when Kike Hernandez ripped a two-run double to left-center off Chad Green to tie the game and send it to the 10th.

Thanks to MLB's second-year rule that puts a runner on second base to start each extra inning, New York was able to take a 4-3 lead on a groundout and a Brett Gardner sacrifice fly in the top of the inning, but Boston did them one better. 

Two wild pitches by Kriske brought Rafael Devers home from second to make it 4-4, and after Xander Bogaerts drew a walk, two more wild pitches moved him to third. 

After J.D. Martinez struck out, Hunter Renfroe lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to drive home Bogaerts with the winning run – all without benefit of a hit. 

According to Stats Perform, Kriske is the first pitcher in MLB history to throw at least four wild pitches in one extra ininng. 

"There's a lot of guys battling their butts off and it sucks to be the one to blow it for the team," Kriske told reporters. 

The Yankees sent him to the minor leagues after the game. 

 

Giants stun Dodgers late

The San Francisco Giants scored four runs in the ninth inning for a shock 5-3 victory over the rival Los Angeles Dodgers as they opened up a three-game lead over LA in the National League (NL) West division.

Down 3-1 with two out in the ninth, the Giants loaded the bases and earned a reprieve when video replay overturned a call at second base that would have been the final out of the game. Darin Ruf then walked on a controversial checked-swing call to force in the tying run before LaMonte Wade's two-run single off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen broke it open. 

The Tampa Bay Rays pulled out another late victory, scoring twice in the ninth inning and again in the 10th to defeat the Cleveland Indians 5-4. Entering the ninth trailing 4-2, the Rays got a leadoff homer from Yandy Diaz and a two-out double by Brandon Lowe to tie the game, then brought home the go-ahead run on Austin Meadows' single in the 10th. 

The Detroit Tigers remain undefeated since the All-Star break, getting a three-run first-inning homer from Eric Haase and going on to beat the Texas Rangers 7-5 to complete a four-game sweep and extend their winning streak to seven games. The Tigers were 9-24 on May 7 but are 38-27 since.  

Sean Manaea struck out a career-high 13 for the Oakland Athletics in a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners. 

 

Braves get to Moore

After allowing six earned runs over his last four outings combined, Philadelphia Phillies starter Matt Moore gave up six in the first four innings of a 7-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Dansby Swanson's third-inning grand slam was the big blow for Atlanta. 

 

Another robbery by Bader

St Louis Cardinals center fielder Harrison Bader made a maximum-effort play to end the top of the seventh inning, robbing Nico Hoerner of a bloop single to help the Cardinals hang on to a lead and eventually defeat the Chicago Cubs 3-2. 

 

Thursday's results

Detroit Tigers 7-5 Texas Rangers
Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Cleveland Indians
Atlanta Braves 7-2 Philadelphia Phillies
Boston Red Sox 5-4 New York Yankees
San Diego Padres 3-2 Miami Marlins
St Louis Cardinals 3-2 Chicago Cubs
Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Minnesota Twins
Oakland Athletics 4-1 Seattle Mariners
San Francisco Giants 5-3 Los Angeles Dodgers
 

White Sox at Brewers

The Chicago White Sox (58-38) and Milwaukee Brewers (56-41) both have healthy leads in their divisions heading into a week-end showdown in Milwaukee. 

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.