Aaron Judge's magical season continued on Friday night as he blasted another two home runs to help the New York Yankees defeat the Kansas City Royals 11-5 at Yankee Stadium.

New York got off to a perfect start in the first inning thanks to a 422-foot Anthony Rizzo solo homer, before Judge connected on his own monstrous 449-foot nuke in the third inning to make it 3-0.

It was smooth sailing for Yankees ace Gerrit Cole on the mound through four innings, but he struggled mightily in the fifth, giving up five runs after a three-run homer to Salvador Perez. Cole finished with five earned runs and nine strikeouts from his six innings of work.

The Royals' 5-3 lead would hold until the eighth inning, when newly acquired Andrew Benintendi trimmed the margin by one with his RBI infield single, before Aaron Hicks was gifted a bases-loaded walk to tie the game at 5-5.

Their damage in the eighth inning was far from done, with Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jose Trevino driving in a run each, bringing Judge to the plate with bases loaded.

The American League MVP co-favourite took full advantage, crushing a grand slam to bring his RBI tally for the day up to six, putting a bow on the win.

His home runs were his 40th and 41st of the season – nine clear of second-placed Philadelphia Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber (32).

Mets get to Alcantara

Arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball this year, Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara, had his worst start of the season as his side went down 6-4 at home against the New York Mets.

The NL Cy Young award favourite was clearly off from the beginning, needing 53 pitches to get through the first two innings, allowing four hits, three walks and three runs in the process. 

With the game tied at 4-4 in the eighth inning, it was Mets lead-off hitter Brandon Nimmo who was the hero with a two-run home run, which proved to be the difference.

Alvarez stays hot for Houston

Yordan Alvarez may not have the home run total of Aaron Judge, but the Houston Astros All-Star has been statistically the best hitter in all of baseball this season, showing his talent in an 11-1 drubbing of the Seattle Mariners.

He got on-base from all five of his at-bats, finishing three-for-three at the plate with two walks, including his 30th home run of the season – third-most in the majors.

Incredibly, he leads the league in both on-base percentage (.423) and slugging percentage (.687).

Despite missing a pair of National League MVP candidates, the St Louis Cardinals rode a big performance from future Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols to a 6-1 away win against the Toronto Blue Jays.

With both Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado unavailable for their side's trip to Toronto due to their vaccination status, it was a combination of new blood and a blast from the past as they made it look easy.

40-year-old starting pitcher Adam Wainwright was at the peak of his powers, giving up just five hits and no walks for one earned run in seven innings, striking out eight batters. 

While Wainwright controlled the contest with the ball, 42-year-old Pujols made noise with the bat, knocking a single in his first at-bat, a double in his second try, and then a massive 439-foot, three-run homer with his third trip to the plate. It was longer than any home run Pujols hit in this year's Home Run Derby.

Rookie Nolan Gorman – 20 years younger than Pujols – also went deep with a solo home run, while he and 24-year-old Lars Nootbaar were two of five Cardinals to collect multiple hits.

Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr finished two-for-four at the plate, while ace pitcher Kevin Gausman struggled in one of his worst performances of the season. 

Gausman gave up five runs in less than five innings, allowing eight hits and a walk with his six strikeouts.

Mets walk-off against Yankees

The New York Mets threatened to waste a spectacular start from pitcher Max Scherzer, but ultimately got the job done in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the New York Yankees 3-2 in walk-off fashion.

Pete Alonso's solo home run in the second inning and Francisco Lindor's RBI single in the third frame were the only runs before Max Scherzer was withdrawn, having pitched seven shut-out innings.

As soon as Scherzer was removed, the Yankees came back with a two-run homer from Gleyber Torres, but Eduardo Escobar led off the ninth inning with a double, setting up Starling Marte to be the hero and drive him in with a base hit.

J-Rod does it again for the Mariners

Rookie All-Star Julio Rodriguez showed once again why he is one of the most exciting young talents in all of baseball, blasting a three-run home run to give his Seattle Mariners a 4-2 home win against the Texas Rangers.

Rodriguez, 21, stepped up to the plate in the seventh inning with two runners on base, trailing 2-1, and he connected on a 419-foot no-doubter over the left-field wall to snatch back the lead.

This season, Rodriguez leads all rookies in hits (96), runs (54), home runs (17), RBIs (53), and stolen bases (21).

Eduardo Escobar and Edwin Diaz came up big as the New York Mets beat their cross-town rival Yankees in what could be a potential World Series rehearsal on Tuesday, emerging with a 6-3 win.

Kicking off a highly anticipated Subway Series, with 2015 being the last time the two teams lead their respective divisions, the Mets made the big plays amid a charged atmosphere in Queens.

Back-to-back home runs from Anthony Rizzo and Aaron Judge put the Yankees up 2-0 in a thrilling first inning, with the Mets rallying back with four runs in their opening frame, including Escobar's huge two-run, two-out shot off Jordan Montgomery.

Before extending their lead to 6-3 in the eighth inning, Diaz came in to close for the Mets, striking out four and giving up a solitary hit for his 22nd save out of 25.

Running away with the American League at one point, the Yankees now only lead the Houston Astros by two games on 66-32, while the Mets moved to 60-37 and within five of the National League-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

Springer slam propels Blue Jays

Though his team trail the Yankees by 11.5 games in the AL East, George Springer hit the seventh grand slam of his career, as the Toronto Blue Jays claimed a 10-3 win over the St Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals were without Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, whose unvaccinated status prohibits them from entering Canadian soil, with Alejandro Kirk hitting his 12th homer of the year.

It was not enough against the Blue Jays, who notched up a tie-breaking five-run sixth inning via Springer's slam and Matt Chapman's RBI single, to extend their winning streak to seven games.

Pinder punches second slam of the night in A's win

The Houston Astros were not able to capitalise on the Yankees' defeat and edge closer in the AL standings, with the Oakland Athletics earning a 5-3 win.

The best and worst records in the AL West faced off and the latter reeled off a four-run third inning to get the eventual win, with Chad Pinder slugging a grand slam of his own off Luis Garcia.

The A's are now one game away from a shock three-game series sweep against the Astros, who remain stuck on 64-34.

The New York Mets were in the market for a power bat and made a move Friday to acquire left-hander Daniel Vogelbach from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for relief pitcher Colin Holderman.  

Vogelbach, 29, has spent most of his seven-year career as a first baseman, but has primarily served as Pittsburgh's designated hitter this season.  

He is batting .228 with 12 home runs, 38 RBIs and 29 runs in 75 games. His 11 homers from the DH position are tied for the second-most in the National League behind Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper. 

Vogelbach has been especially effective against right-handed pitching, with an .896 OPS, 12 home runs and 27 RBIs.  

His best season came with Seattle in 2019, when he hit 30 home runs with 76 RBIs in 144 games.  

The Mets had to part with Holderman, who is 4-0 with a 2.04 ERA and 18 strikeouts over 17 2/3 innings during an impressive rookie season.  

The Kansas City Royals overcame the absences of 10 unvaccinated players beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 on the road on Thursday night.

Foreign nationals who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 are not allowed to enter Canada, while unvaccinated MLB players are not among the limited exemptions that also require a 14-day quarantine.

Many teams have been affected by the restrictions this season, but the Royals had a far bigger contingent than other MLB teams to this point, with a subsequent slew of promotions from the minor leagues to compensate.

Double-A callup Angel Zerpa pitched five innings to claim his first win as a starter in the major leagues, allowing only four hits despite only striking out two batters over 73 pitches.

With 2022 All-Star Andrew Benintendi unavailable, Bobby Witt Jr. hit the tie-breaking home run off Kevin Gausman in the fifth inning, before Nate Eaton added another in the closing frame.

Carrasco helps keep Cubs to zero

Carlos Carrasco was again in impressive form for the New York Mets, as they claimed an 8-0 win over the Chicago Cubs.

Carrasco allowed only one runner to advance past first base in six solid innings, striking out six and allowing five hits over 90 pitches, before Trevor Williams closed out the final three innings for his first save in the major leagues.

Brandon Nimmo and Pete Alonso scored home runs in the sixth and eighth innings respectively to cap off the win, maintaining the Mets' 2.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves in the National League East, while moving to within three games of the NL-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

Pena propels Astros to win in Anaheim

Jeremy Pena drove in the game-winning run for the Houston Astros as they went into an extra inning, defeating the Los Angeles Angels 3-2.

The Astros effectively had to do it without eight-time All-Star selection Jose Altuve, who exited the game with a bruised left leg after he was hit with Reid Detmers' first pitch of the game.

Houston moved to within 3.5 games of the American League-leading New York Yankees, extending their record for the season to 58-30.

The New York Mets prevailed 7-3 against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday in a clash between two of the National League's top-three teams.

Both sides hit three home runs, with the Mets jumping out to the early advantage through a solo homer to Eduardo Escobar in the second inning.

An inning later, after a walk to Tomas Nido and a base hit to Brandon Nimmo, Francisco Lindor came through with a much-needed, three-run blast to right-field as he looks to return to the kind of form that saw him become a four-time All-Star with the Cleveland Guardians.

Mark Canha made it 5-0 for the Mets in the sixth inning with his own solo shot, before Matt Olson's 412-foot home run in the bottom of the frame finally put the Braves on the scoreboard.

Olson's launch was the only run Mets starting pitcher Chris Bassitt conceded, finished with one earned run from six full innings, giving up five hits and two walks while striking out six.

Luis Guillorme added one more run for the Mets in the seventh inning with his RBI double, which also put Lindor on third base in the process. Lindor then scored in one of the more unique ways in baseball, with Braves relief pitcher Jesse Chavez being called for a balk.

Austin Riley and Eddie Rosario added consolation home runs in the eighth and ninth inning respectively, with Riley hitting his 25th of the season. Only three players have more: Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros (26), Kyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies (28) and Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees (30).

Twins win with walk-off whack

The Minnesota Twins sent their fans home happy after Jose Miranda's walk-off home run to defeat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-1.

Both starting pitchers performed well, with Milwaukee's Aaron Ashby giving up one run in four-and-two-thirds innings, while rookie Joe Ryan gave up only two hits and two walks for one run in five-and-a-third.

An RBI single from Gilberto Celestino in the second inning and a solo home run from Jace Peterson in the third were the only scores prior to the final frame.

With star Brewers closer Josh Hader on the mound trying to force extra innings, Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler both got on base as the first two batters of the inning, setting up Miranda to drill the game-winning shot over the left-field wall.

Orioles and Mariners both win 10th in a row

The Baltimore Orioles defeated the Chicago Cubs 7-1 for their 10th consecutive win, while the Seattle Mariners accomplished the same feat with their 2-1 and 6-4 victories in their double-header against the Washington Nationals.

For the Orioles, it is their longest winning streak since 1999, and the first time since 2005 that they have swept three series in a row. Austin Hays was the star on Wednesday, collecting four hits from his five at-bats, while Spenser Watkins was credited with the win on the mound.

Meanwhile, the Mariners have not won 10 straight since 2002, and they also have the heavy favourite for AL Rookie of the Year in star center-fielder Julio Rodriguez, who is the only rookie to be named for the All-Star Game. 

New York Mets star pitcher Max Scherzer appeared back to his best in Monday's 4-1 win against the reigning champion Atlanta Braves in his second game back from injury.

Scherzer, who struck out 11 batters against the Cincinnati Reds last week in his return from six weeks on the sidelines, was a match-winner against the Braves, striking out nine while only allowing three hits and no walks in seven innings.

The Mets jumped out to a lead in the third inning through Pete Alonso's RBI double, before Alonso came around to score and make it 2-0 off Luis Guillorme's ground-out.

Those would be the only two runs from the first six innings, with Atlanta's one and only run coming from a solo homer in the seventh inning from Austin Riley as Scherzer approached 90 pitches, ultimately finishing his day with 93.

Guillorme drove home his second run in more emphatic fashion in the eighth inning, with his solo home run giving the Mets a 3-1 buffer, before Alonso collected an RBI ground-out in the last frame to seal the win.

Alonso's two RBIs give him a league-leading 72 for the season – six more than any other player – with Colorado Rockies first-baseman C.J. Cron and Cleveland Guardians third-baseman Jose Ramirez tied for second on 66.

With the win, the Mets move to 54-33 for the season, giving them the second-best record in the National League, three games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Mikolas deals on the mound for Cardinals

The St Louis Cardinals came from some early adversity to comfortably defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-1 at home, with Miles Mikolas pitching a strong seven innings.

Mikolas' day started in bumpy fashion, giving up a first-inning home run to Rhys Hoskins, but the Phillies would score no more runs the rest of the way as Mikolas found his footing. He finished with seven-and-a-third innings pitched, giving up six hits and no walks while striking out five.

With the bat, Edmundo Sosa, Andrew Knizner and Corey Dickerson drove in a run each with three consecutive hits in the fifth inning, before Dickerson launched a two-run homer in the seventh and Lars Nootbaar completed the rout with a solo shot in the eighth.

Bobby Witt Jr makes history for Royals

Highly touted rookie Bobby Witt Jr had a spectacular day for the Kansas City Royals as they took both games of their double-header against the Detroit Tigers.

Witt went two-for-four at the plate in the Royals' 3-1 win in the first game, before going four-for-five with a double and a home run in his side's 7-3 victory later in the day.

He became the first player in MLB history to ever have at least six hits, three RBIs and three stolen bases in a double-header sweep.

The Boston Red Sox moved to third place in the American League after they rallied to defeat the New York Yankees 11-6 on Sunday.

The Red Sox reeled off four runs in the seventh inning to split their four-game series at Fenway Park and claim first place in the AL's wildcard race.

Nick Pivetta was pulled early after the Yankees shot out to a 6-2 lead at the top of the third inning, before Christian Vazquez's solo home run off Jameson Taillon kept them in touching distance.

It was the first of nine consecutive runs for the Red Sox, only a day after they managed three runs in the 10th inning to set up the series split.

Giancarlo Stanton and Matt Carpenter homered for the Yankees early, but the pitchers who followed Pivetta gave up only three hits over the rest of the game.

Marlins win after nine scoreless innings 

An epic pitchers' duel between Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara and New York Mets former All-Star Taijuan Walker saw the two sides reach the end of regulation without a run scored, before the Marlins won 2-0 in extra innings.

The National League's Cy Young Award favourite Alcantara pitched seven scoreless innings, giving up six hits and no walks while striking out four. Walker was just as good, allowing three hits and one walk in his seven shut-out frames.

In the top of the 10th inning, the Marlins finally broke the deadlock through a fielding error by Mets catcher Tomas Nido, before Luke Williams collected the game's only RBI with a base hit to give his side some breathing room.

Grossman drops game and record for Tigers

The Chicago White Sox took advantage of a costly error from Robbie Grossman in the eighth inning to defeat the Detroit Tigers 4-2 at home.

With the scores tied at 2-2 in the eighth, with two outs, Grossman dropped a routine pop-up in left-field, keeping the inning alive and allowing the White Sox to capitalise with two runs after RBI base hits from A.J. Pollock and Eloy Jimenez.

It was Grossman's first error in 440 games – dating back to June 13, 2018 – setting a new major league record for games between errors by a position player. He was a perfect 821-for-821 in fielding opportunities over that period.

Alex Verdugo led the way for the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, as they dramatically came from behind to defeat the New York Yankees in extra innings.

Verdugo claimed three hits from five at-bats and sparked his side's fightback, scoring the game-tying single in the eighth inning.

Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo gave the Yankees a 5-3 lead with RBI doubles in the 10th inning, both scoring off Jake Diekman.

However, the Red Sox left-fielder responded, scoring a two-run single in the bottom of the extra inning to cap off a three-run frame and hand his side the win over their old rival.

Boston moved to second in the American League East at 46-39, but the Yankees still hold a 15-game lead with the MLB's best record at 61-24.

Rodon rolls for Giants

Carlos Rodon was in spectacular form to inspire the San Francisco Giants to a 3-1 win over the San Diego Padres in divisional ball.

The Giants had lost eight of their past 10 games and Rodon's last start capped off a five-game losing streak. The 29-year-old pitched a complete game, allowing his only run in the second inning.

The left-hander retired 22 of the Padres' final 23 batters while allowing only three hits for only the third complete game of his career.

Mets make it count in extra innings

The New York Mets overcame injuries to Starling Marte and James McCann to maintain their lead in the National League, defeating the Miami Marlins 5-4 in extra innings.

Tomas Nido hit the game-tying double with two outs in the 10th inning, before scoring the winning run on a throwing error by Marlins reliever Tanner Scott.

After retiring the number 17 to honour Keith Hernandez, the Mets secured their fourth walk-off win of the season and improved to 7-0 in extra innings, while moving their record to 53-32.

Eight-time All-Star pitcher Max Scherzer tossed down 11 strikeouts across six scoreless innings in his return from injury but the New York Mets lost 1-0 to the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday.

Scherzer had not played since May 18 due to a strained left oblique muscle but showed no signs of rustiness on his return.

The 37-year-old right-hander was used across six innings for 79 pitches, allowing only two hits and no runs, with the Reds scoring the decisive run in the ninth inning.

The Reds got the victory with Mike Moustakas' sacrifice fly to Brandon Nimmo, allowing Tommy Pham to score.

Scherzer's 11 K performance was the 107th double-digit strikeout display of his career. It was also the fourth time Scherzer has struck out all nine starting hitters in his career. 

The three-time Cy Young Award winner reached a maximum velocity of 97.1 mph.

Scherzer said after the game: "I didn’t have any problems tonight. I felt good, I felt strong. I had nothing tighten up. I wanted to get to that 90-95 pitch count. They just didn't want to send me out there for the seventh. I understand that. Hopefully we'll get to that 90-95 pitch count next time out."

The Mets remain top of the National League East standings with a 50-31 record, with Scherzer 5-1 on the season with a 2.26 ERA.

Matzek magic marks Braves win

Atlanta Braves pitcher Tyler Matzek pulled off a moment of brilliance as they closed on the Mets in the NL East with a 7-1 win over the St Louis Cardinals.

Matzek's moment of magic came in the eighth inning with the Braves already leading 7-1, when he snagged Tommy Edman's one-hopper with a slick behind-the-back grab before under-arming to first base.

The Braves' win was built in the first inning, piling on five runs including two-run shots for Austin Riley – his third home run in five games - and William Contreras.

Atlanta's five-run first inning was their best opening inning of the season, with Riley moving up to 21 home runs for the season, equal eighth in the majors.

Alcantara keeps on keeping on

Sandy Alcantara continued to amaze for the Miami Marlins with another dominant and durable display, claiming 10 strikeouts across eight innings in their 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

Alcantara, who came into the game with an ERA of 1.95, gave up two hits which were both singles across eight innings. He tied the longest streak in the MLB since 2014 for seven or more innings pitched in 11 straight starts.

The 26-year-old Dominican sent down an 100 mph pitch after the sixth inning, the 12th time he has done that this season. No other starter has done that once.

Bryan De La Cruz's fifth inning homer had put the Marlins 2-0 up, before Tanner Scott closed it out despite a scare after Taylor Ward's sacrifice fly got Michael Stefanic home.

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.

A big performance from New York Mets star Francisco Lindor helped his side conquer the Miami Marlins and their ace pitcher Sandy Alcantara 5-3 away from home.

Lindor struck in the very first inning, grinding out an eight-pitch at-bat before connecting on a 404-foot solo home run to center-field.

It was also a poor beginning to the game for Mets starter Taijuan Walker, giving up four consecutive base hits to the Marlins' first four batters, but he was able to get out of the first inning only conceding one run to keep things tied. 

Alcantara, who is the favourite to win the Cy Young Award as most outstanding pitcher in his conference, found his footing through the middle stages, not allowing a baserunner through the second, third and fourth inning.

He only gave up two hits and no walks through the first five innings, but the second hit – courtesy of Mark Canha in the fifth – also travelled over the fence, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead.

Just like the first frame, the Marlins did not allow the Mets to finish the inning in the lead, tying it at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth through a Jorge Soler RBI groundout.

The sixth inning is where the Mets won the game, with an infield single to lead-off, followed by a bunt for a hit, and then a fielding error to load the bases with no outs.

Lindor cashed in, with a bases-clearing, three-run double to bust the game open, opening up a winning break that the Mets bullpen was able to defend.

Alcantara ended up pitching seven complete innings, giving up four earned runs from five hits and no walks, doing enough to remain as one of four starting pitchers with an ERA still under 2.0 this season (1.95, giving up 23 earned runs in 106.1 innings).

Walker was credited with the win, coming back from his rough start to work through six innings, giving up three runs and striking out five.

Astros snap Yankees' home streak

The New York Yankees lost at home for the first time in their past 16 games at Yankee Stadium as the Houston Astros got the job done 3-1.

Both teams finished with five hits, and both teams had all their scoring come from a single home run in the sixth inning, but while Giancarlo Stanton's homer was a solo shot, Kyle Tucker's was a three-run blast after a double from Alex Bregman and a walk to Yordan Alvarez.

It was a terrific outing for Astros ace Justin Verlander, pitching seven complete innings for four hits and one walk.

Devers, Pivetta and the Red Sox stay hot

The Boston Red Sox have now won 17 of their past 21 games after a 6-3 road win against the Cleveland Guardians.

Nick Pivetta shined on the mound, giving up two runs in seven innings, allowing nine hits, but no walks.

With the bat, AL MVP candidate Rafael Devers delivered with a 411-foot solo home run to put the Red Sox ahead in the second inning, before Carlos Arroyo's two-run shot in the seventh frame finally gave Boston some breathing room.

An explosive first inning and some big hitting from Yordan Alvarez lifted the Houston Astros to a 5-3 home win against the New York Mets on Wednesday.

It was a clash between two of the best teams in baseball, with the Mets entering the contest leading the National League at 45-25, and the Astros second in the American League at 42-25.

In a rough start for Mets pitcher Carlos Carrasco, the Astros started the game with a walk to Jose Altuve, followed by an RBI double to Michael Brantley, and then home runs to both Alex Bregman and Alvarez to lead 4-0 after the first four batters.

The Mets were able to pull one run back in the third, when Dominic Smith was brought home by a Brandon Nimmo sacrifice-fly, but Alvarez took that run straight back in the next inning when he crushed the longest hit of the game with a 412-foot homer to right-field.

Starling Marte's RBI double in the sixth inning cut the margin to 5-2, and Pete Alonso's sacrifice-fly brought home Marte for one more run, but that would be the last run of the game as both bullpens held out down the stretch.

Alonso's RBI was his league-leading 66th of the season – only Jose Ramirez (62 RBIs) and Paul Goldschmidt (58) have more than 52 this season as Alonso continues to put a gap on the field.

Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia was credited with the win after giving up three runs in five innings, striking out five, and Ryan Pressly collected his 14th save of the season to close it out.

Wacha wins it for Boston

The Boston Red Sox rode a quality start from pitcher Michael Wacha to a 6-2 home win against the Detroit Tigers.

Wacha pitched six full innings as the Red Sox moved to an 8-2 record over the past 10 games, giving up two runs from hits and two walks, striking out seven in a terrific 98-pitch outing.

After giving up a two-run homer to Javier Baez in the first inning, the Boston pitching staff held the Tigers scoreless the rest of the way.

With the bat, exciting youngster Jarren Duran tied the game in the third inning with a two-run double, before Rob Refsnyder scored another two with his home run in the next at-bat.

Hays hits for the cycle

Baltimore Orioles centre-fielder Austin Hays hit for the cycle in his side's 7-0 home win against the Washington Nationals.

Batting lead-off, Hays opened the game with an infield single, and connected on a 405-foot home run in his next plate appearance in the third inning.

An inning later, he collected the toughest leg of the cycle when the right-hander sliced a drive into the right-field corner for a triple, and he completed the feat in his fourth at-bat with a two-run double to deep centre-field.

This all took place before the game was called off in the seventh inning due to persistent rain.

Yordan Alvarez hit a two-run home run and Kyle Tucker had three RBIs to give the Houston Astros an 8-2 win over the New York Mets in Tuesday's high-profile interleague matchup.

Jose Altuve and Jose Siri contributed solo home runs for Houston, who have only gone 6-4 over their past 10 games.

Altuve and Alvarez, who missed Sunday's win over the Chicago White Sox with injury, set up a 3-0 lead in the third inning, connecting off Trevor Williams. Tucker's three-run double extended the lead to 7-0, effectively securing the victory.

With the win, the Astros moved to 42-25 and only trail the New York Yankees in the American League, while the Mets lead the National League with a record of 45-25.

It was the first of nine straight games against the Mets and Yankees, with a trip to New York following this two-game stand at home.

Yaz stands up in Giants win

Mike Yastrzemski returned to form with an important two-run double, propelling the San Francisco Giants to an 8-7 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Claiming only one hit from his previous 16 at-bats, the 31-year-old drove Collin McHugh deep into right-field, putting the Giants up 8-7.

The Giants moved ahead of the reigning World Series champions in the Nationa League standings with the win, claiming their eighth win in the past 11 games.

Gimenez gets Guardians up over Twins

The Cleveland Guardians moved to the top of the AL Central standings, beating the Minnesota Twins 6-5 in 11 innings.

Leading the major leagues with a .362 batting average, Guardians' lead-off hitter Luis Arraez hit a three-run home run in the seventh, sending Eli Morgan over right-center field.

Andres Gimenez hit the important RBI single in the 11th, as Emmanuel Clase earned his 16th save in 18 attempts. The Guardians' 35-28 record (.556) now inches them ahead of the Twins on 38-31 (.551).

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