Shohei Ohtani has agreed to a $30million contract with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season, avoiding the need for arbitration.

Reigning AL MVP Ohtani will now become a free agent after next year, having been handed the largest ever MLB deal for an arbitration-eligible player.

It is rich reward for the two-way superstar, who is being paid a relatively meagre $5.5m this year.

The agreement puts Ohtani in a strong position to make a decision on his future in 12 months' time.

Los Angeles will hope the Japanese recommits, though they have had a losing record in each of his four seasons in LA.

Indeed, the Angels have had seven straight years with a losing record and eight straight without reaching the playoffs.

Ohtani is in direct competition with Aaron Judge for this year's MVP award, but he will be watching from home as the New York Yankees' record-setter enters the postseason.

Despite his dual role, only seven pitchers have more wins this season than Ohtani (15), while his 15-game hitting streak is the longest active run in the major leagues.

Shohei Ohtani's no-hit bid was spoiled in the eighth inning with two outs as the Los Angeles Angels won 4-2 over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.

The reigning American League (AL) MVP was four outs shy of a no-hitter, with Conner Capel managing a two-out single in the eighth inning to end his bid.

Ohtani finished the game with 10 strikeouts across eight scoreless innings allowing two hits and one walk. Dermis Garcia singled after Capel's hit but Ohtani got out of the jam with Shea Langeliers grounding out to third.

The Angels two-way superstar also went two-for-four at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning, meaning his hit streak to reach a career-high 14 games.

Ohtani's performance adds further intrigue to the AL MVP race with New York Yankees' history-making outfielder Aaron Judge who matched Roger Maris' franchise and AL record with his 61st home run this season on Wednesday.

Blue Jays clinch playoff spot despite not taking field

The Toronto Blue Jays secured their postseason berth despite not playing on Thursday, benefitting from the Baltimore Orioles' 5-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox as J.D. Martinez hit a two-run go-ahead home run in the eighth inning.

The result means the Jays (87-69) are assured of an American League (AL) Wild Card spot, with the Orioles back at 80-76 in fourth in the AL Wild Card race.

Toronto are second in the AL East behind the New York Yankees (96-59), with the Seattle Mariners (85-70) and the Tampa Bay Rays (85-71) in the box seats for the other AL Wild Cards.

The Mariners claimed a 10-9 walk-off win over the Texas Rangers in a game that included nine homers, including two each for Seattle's MItch Haniger and Jarred Kelenic.

Garcia grand slam dents Brewers' Wild Card hopes

The Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers both lost crucial games in the National League (NL) Wild Card race.

The Phillies, who hold the third NL Wild Card spot with an 83-72 record, went down 2-0 to the Chicago Cubs with both runs scored by Seiya Suzuki.

The Brewers (83-73) looked on track to capitalise on the Phillies' loss before Avisail Garcia's eighth-inning grand slam earned the Miami Marlins a 4-2 win.

Shohei Ohtani further strengthened his MVP case after pitching seven scoreless innings, driving in one run and scoring another as the Los Angeles Angels claimed a 2-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.

The second straight victory for the Angels over the Mariners dropped the latter in the Wild Card standings, and bolstered their star man's case against the New York Yankees' Aaron Judge AL MVP.

Getting on base twice in three at-bats, Ohtani drove in his 89th run of the season. He also lowered his ERA to 2.43.

"I've said it before: He's the most valuable player of our game right now," interim Angels manager Phil Nevin said. "Until somebody can come in and do the things he does on both sides, I don't see it going any other way.

"I love Aaron Judge like a son, but I'll continue to say it: [Ohtani] can take over a baseball game like nobody can."

Ohtani was more modest in his own assessment however, adding: "I don't like to self-critique myself in any way. One thing I could say is, overall, balance-wise, I'm having a better season this year than I had last year."

The two-time All-Star's performance dropped the Mariners two games behind Toronto Blue Jays and a half game off the Tampa Bay Rays, leaving them five ahead of the Baltimore Orioles in the final Wild Card spot. The Angels improved to 63-82 in another disappointing year.

Albert Pujols blasted his 696th career home run to move into equal fourth on the all-time homers list as the St Louis Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 on Saturday.

Pujols levelled the game at the top of the sixth inning with his two-run blast, which moved him closer to the 700-homer mark, but also tied him up with Alex Rodriguez in fourth all-time behind only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).

The 42-year-old is in his final season in the majors, but was less concerned about records and more focused on the win.

"I don't care who I tied," Pujols said. "At the end of the day, it's about tying [the game] for the team and giving them an opportunity to pick up a win... It's pretty special. I think I'm aware of where I am in the history of the game. But at the end of the day, 21 years ago when I make the ballclub, that wasn't something that I was chasing."

Pujols also had a double and a single to round out a strong game, with Nolan Arenado breaking the tie with a three-run double with two outs in the ninth inning.

The National League (NL) Central-leading Cardinals improve their record to 82-58, to remain eight games clear of the Milwaukee Brewers who won 5-1 over the Cincinnati Reds.

Trout makes Angels franchise history

Mike Trout set a franchise record after homering in a sixth consecutive game as the Los Angeles Angels won 6-1 over the Houston Astros.

Trout passed Bonds' mark with a three-run homer at the top of the second inning, bringing up his 34th blast of the season.

Shohei Ohtani was hot on the mound for the Angels, with seven strikeouts, yielding one run on six hits across five innings before exiting early due to a "blister on his right index finger".

Ohtani's 101.4 mph fastball to strike out Kyle Tucker was the fastest strikeout pitch by an Angels pitcher since 2008.

Harper breaks home run drought

Bryce Harper snapped a career-worst run of 102 plate appearances without a home run in the Philadelphia Phillies 8-5 victory over the Washington Nationals.

Harper, who had not homered since June 5, slugged an opposite-field game-tying two-run home run in the third inning.

Kyle Schwarber blasted his 37th homer of the year, topping the NL charts, and bringing up his first since August 29.

Albert Pujols blasted his 696th career home run to move into equal fourth on the all-time homers list as the St Louis Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 on Saturday.

Pujols levelled the game at the top of the sixth inning with his two-run blast, which moved him closer to the 700-homer mark, but also tied him up with Alex Rodriguez in fourth all-time behind only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).

The 42-year-old is in his final season in the majors, but was less concerned about records and more focused on the win.

"I don't care who I tied," Pujols said. "At the end of the day, it's about tying [the game] for the team and giving them an opportunity to pick up a win... It's pretty special. I think I'm aware of where I am in the history of the game. But at the end of the day, 21 years ago when I make the ballclub, that wasn't something that I was chasing."

Pujols also had a double and a single to round out a strong game, with Nolan Arenado breaking the tie with a three-run double with two outs in the ninth inning.

The National League (NL) Central-leading Cardinals improve their record to 82-58, to remain eight games clear of the Milwaukee Brewers who won 5-1 over the Cincinnati Reds.

Trout makes Angels franchise history

Mike Trout set a franchise record after homering in a sixth consecutive game as the Los Angeles Angels won 6-1 over the Houston Astros.

Trout passed Bonds' mark with a three-run homer at the top of the second inning, bringing up his 34th blast of the season.

Shohei Ohtani was hot on the mound for the Angels, with seven strikeouts, yielding one run on six hits across five innings before exiting early due to a "blister on his right index finger".

Ohtani's 101.4 mph fastball to strike out Kyle Tucker was the fastest strikeout pitch by an Angels pitcher since 2008.

Harper breaks home run drought

Bryce Harper snapped a career-worst run of 102 plate appearances without a home run in the Philadelphia Phillies 8-5 victory over the Washington Nationals.

Harper, who had not homered since June 5, slugged an opposite-field game-tying two-run home run in the third inning.

Kyle Schwarber blasted his 37th homer of the year, topping the NL charts, and bringing up his first since August 29.

Shohei Ohtani continues to put forward his case for back-to-back American League (AL) MVP awards as the All-Star pitcher blasted two home runs in the Los Angeles Angels' 10-0 home win against the Detroit Tigers on Monday.

Ohtani, who was also named an All-Star as a batter, hit a double in the first inning, and then connected on a 382-foot, two-run homer with his next at-bat in the third frame.

He was robbed of another hit when his 100mph line drive was caught by the Tigers first-baseman, but there was nothing they could do about his massive 416-foot launch in the seventh inning for his second home run of the game.

Also getting in on the fun was three-time AL MVP Mike Trout, who had a single, a double and a home run as the Angels' two superstars combined to go six-for-nine at the plate with three home runs and two doubles.

Ohtani is now tied for sixth in the majors with 32 home runs this season, while Trout is tied for 10th with 30 home runs. Trout has played 16 games fewer than any other player with 30 homers, and Ohtani is also eighth in the majors for strikeouts as a pitcher (181 in 23 starts).

On the mound, Jose Suarez was spectacular for the Angels, pitching seven scoreless innings while only giving up three hits and one walk, striking out seven.

Judge homers for third consecutive day

Ohtani's biggest challenger for the AL MVP, and the heavy favourite, Aaron Judge hit a home run for the third day in a row to help his New York Yankees defeat the Minnesota Twins 5-2 at home.

Judge's hot streak has now seen him hit five home runs from his past seven games, taking his league-leading tally to 54 – 18 more than any other player. He is now seven home runs away from the Yankees' all-time record of 61 in a season, set 61 years ago, in 1961, by Roger Maris.

His big hit on Monday came at the perfect time, with his two-run homer in the sixth inning breaking a 2-2 tie to put the Yankees up 4-2, allowing Wandy Peralta and Clay Holmes to close the door with sharp pitching out of the bullpen.

Debutant pitchers make history

Two pitchers in their very first career start tossed at least six scoreless innings in shutout wins, with Ryne Nelson carrying the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 5-0 win and Hunter Brown delivering for the Houston Astros in a 1-0 result.

Nelson pitched seven innings, striking out seven batters while allowing four hits and one walk. Brown pitched six innings, giving up three hits and one walk while striking out five.

It is the first time in MLB history that two debutant starting pitchers delivered a scoreless outing with at least five strikeouts on the same day.

Shohei Ohtani became the first player in American League/National League history to record 10 wins on the mound and 30 home runs after his go-ahead blast in the Los Angeles Angels' 3-2 triumph over the New York Yankees.

The Angels two-way star homered at the bottom of the sixth inning off Gerrit Cole with two runners on and his side trailing 2-0.

Ohtani's three-run shot means he has three homers in his past four games and delivered the winning blast for the second time in the three-game series against the Yankees.

He also became the first Japanese-born player with multiple 30-homer seasons, after blasting 46 home runs last year.

Aaron Hicks had made a leaping catch on the wall in the first inning to deny Ohtani, who had four at-bats for his three RBI.

Left-hander Patrick Sandoval allowed two runs on three hits over seven innings for the Angels, while the Yankees move to 79-52.

Nimmo robs Turner with unbelievable catch

Brandon Nimmo plucked one of the catches of the season to rob Justin Turner a game-tying homer in the New York Mets' 2-1 triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

At the top of the seventh inning, Turner blasted Jacob deGrom over his head to deep center field where a leaping Nimmo produced his moment of magic.

Starling Marte hit a two-run homer, while DeGrom was typically stingy with nine strikeouts across seven innings and only three hits, before Edwin Diaz closed it out.

Aaron Judge stole the show in the New York Yankees' 7-4 win against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday, blasting yet another home run as he pushes for Roger Maris' 61-year-old record.

Maris hit 61 home runs in the 1961 season, setting a new record for a Yankees player, and with 32 games remaining, Judge is now up to 51. It is the second straight day he has hit a home run, and he has five in his past eight games.

His long-ball proved to be the difference between the two teams, with his three-run shot in the fourth inning extending his side's lead from 4-2 to 7-2.

It was the third Yankees home run of the night after Andrew Benintendi connected as the second batter of the game, giving him his second home run since being traded to New York at the deadline.

Anthony Rizzo followed suit in the second inning with his own solo homer to make it 2-0, before Los Angeles' Max Stassi tied things up later in the frame with a two-run home run.

Judge now has 15 more home runs than second-placed Kyle Schwarber from the Philadelphia Phillies as he makes his case as the AL MVP, while his biggest competitor for the award – the Angels' Shohei Ohtani – finished two-for-four at the plate with a double. 

The Yankees are seven games clear of the Toronto Blue Jays for the AL East lead.

Valdez dishes up another quality start

Houston Astros pitcher Framber Valdez produced a terrific start on the mound to help his side to a 4-2 road win against the Texas Rangers, collecting his league-leading 23rd quality start of the season.

From Valdez's 25 starts this season, 23 have been considered quality starts, meaning at least six innings pitched with no more than three earned runs, and he did it in style.

Valdez ended up pitching eight full innings, striking out eight batters while only allowing two runs, while future Hall-of-Fame teammate Jose Altuve provided run support with his 22nd home run of the campaign.

No other starting pitcher has more than 19 quality starts, with five players on that number – including Valdez's Astros teammate Justin Verlander.

Vladdy stars for the Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr went three-for-four at the plate with a home run in his side's 5-3 home win against the Chicago Cubs.

Guerrero batted in the Blue Jays' first run with an RBI single in the fifth inning, and after a three-run homer to Teoscar Hernandez in the sixth, Guerrero added a final insurance score with a solo blast in the seventh frame.

On the mound, Kevin Gausman was strong for Toronto, striking out nine batters in his six innings while giving up two runs.

Aaron Judge blasted his 50th home run of the season, but Shohei Ohtani had the decisive say as the Los Angeles Angels beat the New York Yankees 4-3 on Monday.

With scores locked at 2-2 at the bottom of the fifth inning, Ohtani delivered a two-run blast down right-center field from a Frankie Montas splitter in the zone.

The 398-foot home run was Ohtani's 29th of the season, boosting the two-way star's American League (AL) MVP case, with Judge likely to be his strongest opposition.

Judge produced his 434-foot solo shot over left-center field at the top of the eighth inning to halve the deficit and bring up his 50th home run for the season.

The slugger became just the seventh player to hit 50 home runs before September in AL or National League (NL) history.

Judge also became only the 10th player in MLB history to register multiple 50-home run seasons. Only three Yankees have achieved that feat; Judge, Babe Ruth (four) and Mickey Mantle (two).

"It's just another number," Judge said. "It's great, but I'm kind of upset about the loss."

The defeat leaves the Yankees with a 78-51 record having lost their last three games.

Pujols edges past Bonds all-time milestone

Albert Pujols moved a step closer to 700 career home runs and surpassed the record held by Barry Bonds in the St Louis Cardinals' 13-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Pujols' two-run blast came in the third inning from Reds left-hander Ross Detwiler, bringing up his 694th-career home run.

The blast also tagged his major league record for the 450th different pitcher for a home run, breaking the all-time mark that had been tied with Bonds .

Padres overcome delays for key NL win

The San Diego Padres boosted their NL Wild Card aspirations with a hard-fought 6-5 win over the San Francisco Giants in a game full of delays, including an injury to home plate umpire Marvin Hudson as well as stadium lighting issues.

Brandon Drury's two-run first-inning home run set the Padres on their way before the delays, with three eighth-inning runs keeping the Giants alive, before Nick Martinez closed it out.

The Padres improved to 71-59 to firm up the third NL Wild Card spot, with the Giants back at 61-66. The Milwaukee Brewers, who beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 on Monday, split the pair at 68-59.

Both Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout hit home runs as their Los Angeles Angels defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 8-3 on Sunday night.

The duo, who have combined for four of the past eight AL MVP awards, both hit their 28th homer of the season, with Ohtani's coming in the seventh inning to make it a 6-1 game, before Trout finished things off in the ninth frame.

They were two of four Angels home runs on the night as Luis Rengifo opened the scoring with a two-run shot in the third inning, before Kurt Suzuki also connected on a solo home run an inning later.

Overall, Ohtani reached base four time just a day after striking out nine batters on the mound, finishing three-for-four at the plate with a walk, while Trout was two-for-five. 

They are both tied for ninth in the majors for home runs, although nobody in the top-20 has had fewer at-bats than Trout, who missed over a month of action after suffering an injury in July.

Mookie mashes another moonshot

Los Angeles Dodgers right-fielder Mookie Betts hit a home run against the Miami Marlins for the third consecutive day, helping his side to a convincing 8-1 victory.

Betts, who hit two home runs in the opening game of the series on Friday before hitting one more on Saturday, wasted no time on Sunday, smashing the third pitch of the game 416 feet over the center-field wall. His 31 home runs this season tie him for fourth-most in the league.

On the mound, Julio Urias was terrific for the Dodgers, giving up just one hit in six innings, although that hit did go for a home run, and he allowed four walks.

Ray shows his Cy Young credentials

Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray was at his dominant best in the Seattle Mariners' 4-0 home win against the Cleveland Guardians.

Ray struck out seven batters in seven scoreless innings, conceding just three hits and no walks from 103 pitches.

With the bat, all of the Mariners' runs resulted from two swings, with a three-run home run to Dylan Moore, and a solo homer to Ty France.

Miami Marlins ace pitcher and heavy NL Cy Young Award favourite Sandy Alcantara shut down the best team in baseball single-handedly, pitching a complete game in his side's 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Alcantara needed 111 pitches to get all 27 outs, striking out 10 batters while giving up one run from six hits and two walks.

The one run he gave up was a solo home run to Mookie Betts in the third inning, continuing a hot series for Betts after hitting two home runs yesterday. It was Betts' 30th home run of the season – only six players have more.

Miami had to manufacture their runs the hard way, relying on small-ball. In the fourth inning, Jon Berti hit a single and then stole second base, allowing Brian Anderson to tie the game at 1-1 with an RBI base hit.

Two innings later, the Marlins took the lead when they capitalised on a fielding error as Edwin Encarnacion's single was bobbled by the left-fielder, letting Joey Wendle scamper home.

The Marlins showed incredible trust in their star in the ninth inning, as a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases, but Joey Gallo could not be the hero for the Dodgers, grounding out to first base to end the game.

Alcantara has clearly been the best pitcher in the NL this season, and might have a case as the best starter in all of baseball.

He has tossed 19 more innings than any other player, and he is the only pitcher with more than 5.4 WAR (wins above replacement) – putting a gap on the field with 6.4. Of his 26 starts, 19 have been 'quality starts', meaning at least six innings pitched with no more than three earned runs.

Ohtani blanks the Blue Jays

The most unique player in baseball was the star of the show in the Los Angeles Angels' 2-0 win against the Toronto Blue Jays, with Shohei Ohtani striking out nine batters in seven shut-out innings.

Ohtani, who has hit the 11th-most home runs this season (27), has also struck out the seventh-most batters, with 176 in his 22 starts. Among starting pitchers, only Atlanta Braves rookie Spencer Strider (13.3) has a better strikeouts-per-nine-innings figure than Ohtani's 12.4.

He did not collect a hit in his four at-bats on Saturday, but was walked twice.

Yankees sputter in extra innings loss

The New York Yankees could only muster one hit in 11 innings against the Oakland Athletics, going down 3-2 in extras.

Athletics starting pitcher Adam Oller produced a career-best showing, giving up one hit and one walk in eight complete innings, while Yankees starter Domingo German also had his best stuff, carrying a perfect game into the sixth frame.

In extras, the Yankees scored their only two runs from a bases-loaded wild pitch, but that 2-0 lead was wiped out with one swing as pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt connected on a two-run home run. In the 11th, after the Yankees failed to score, the Athletics won with a walk-off error when New York second-baseman D.J. LeMahieu could not complete a double-play.

The New York Mets won a barnburner on Sunday as they came from behind in the ninth inning to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 10-9 on the road.

It looked early on like it would be a fun night for the Philly fans in attendance, with the hosts jumping ahead 3-0 through a three-run Alec Bohm home run before they recorded a single out.

Philadelphia ended up with their first five batters reaching base, and Nick Maton batted in the fourth run of the frame with his single.

The Mets showed fight in the middle innings, with Michael Perez bringing in two runs with his base hit in the second, before Daniel Vogelbach trimmed the margin to one with his RBI double in the third, and Starling Marte tied things at 4-4 in the fourth with a single.

Just when the Phillies started to feel the pressure, Bohm came through with his second three-run homer of the night to jump back ahead 7-4 later in the fourth inning, and that score would hold until the seventh.

After Pete Alonso and Tyler Naquin got on base, Mets left-fielder Mark Canha tied things up with a single swing as his 345-foot shot barely scraped over the left-field wall, and there were plenty of fireworks still to come.

Jean Segura sent the home fans into raptures with his solo home run in the eighth inning, giving the Philles an 8-7 lead, before Canha delivered once again, connecting on a two-run shot for his second home run of the game. Brandon Nimmo then launched his own solo homer to add one more insurance run for the Mets.

That extra tally would be needed, as the Phillies were able to score once in the ninth inning through a sacrifice fly, but they could not manufacture a 10th run to force extra innings.

Bohm finished with six RBIs and Canha had five, while eight more players had multiple hits as the two sides combined for 30 knocks.

Yankees steady the ship

The New York Yankees collected a much-needed 4-2 victory at home against the Toronto Blue Jays, avoiding a series sweep, although they have now lost six consecutive series after dropping the first three games.

New York had won three of their past 17 games entering Sunday's contest, and they benefited from a strong start by pitcher Nestor Cortes, who finished with one earned run from three hits and one walk in his six innings.

With the bat, D.J. LeMahieu batted in two of the four runs, although one was not credited as an RBI due to a fielding error, before newly acquired lead-off hitter Andrew Benintendi came through with the scores tied at 2-2 with his first home run as a Yankee to grab the winning break.

Lou Trivino shut the door out of the bullpen, pitching the last two-and-a-third innings for the Yankees, giving up just one walk and no hits.

Ohtani struggles on the mound

A disappointing pitching performance from Shohei Ohtani doomed the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-0 away loss against the Detroit Tigers.

Ohtani, who has struck out no fewer than five batters in each of his past 11 starts – averaging 9.1 per game over that span – finished with just two strikeouts as he was only able to make it through four innings, making it his second-shortest start since April.

He allowed five hits, but a season-high four walks in a showing that got off to the worst possible start, with Tigers lead-off hitter Riley Greene sending Ohtani's very first pitch of the game 448 feet over the right-field wall.

Josh Donaldson produced a remarkable 10th-inning walk-off grand slam to snap the New York Yankees' slump with an 8-7 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.

Trailing 7-4 in the 10th inning after losing 11 of their past 13 games, Donaldson had his signature moment with bases loaded, blasting Jalen Beeks with a high fly ball deep right over Randy Arozarena's head into the stands.

The victory from the jaws of defeat, was the 10th walk-off grand slam win in Yankees history and first since 2016.

The win also comes amid the Yankees recent offensive struggles, with the slam marking Donaldson's 12th home run of the season.

The Rays had appeared destined for victory after Francisco Mejia's three-run double at the top of the 10th inning, but the Yankees responded by filling the bases before Donaldson's blast.

The result snapped the Yankees' third-game losing streak and ensures they avoided their first sweep at home this season, improving their record to 73-45.

Shohei's one-man show not enough

Shohei Ohtani starred with a two-run homer among his feats but it was not enough to prevent the Los Angeles Angels from being swept by the Seattle Mariners, losing 11-7 on Wednesday.

Ohtani had four hits, four RBIs, with a run-scoring triple in the seventh inning and his two-run blast in the ninth inning, marking his 27th home run of the season.

But the Mariners moved into the top American League Wild Card slot led by two homers from Cal Raleigh, along with two-run shots from Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker each.

Baty's dream major league debut

Rookie Brett Baty homered in front of his family in a fairytale MLB debut as the New York Mets won 9-7 over the Atlanta Braves.

Baty struck a two-run homer out of the yard in his first major league at-bat from the second pitch he faced from Jake Odorizzi. He becomes the fifth Met to homer in their first at-bat.

The Mets withstood a late Braves push after Max Scherzer had eight strikeouts across six-and-one-third innings.

In one of the most anticipated pitching duels of the season, the top-two American League Cy Young Award favourites went head-to-head as Dylan Cease's Chicago White Sox beat Justin Verlander's Houston Astros 4-3 on Tuesday.

The White Sox struck first in the second inning as they were able to rattle off four hits, with Josh Harrison's infield single driving in the first run of the game.

Houston were quick in their response, jumping ahead 2-1 an inning later after back-to-back doubles from Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker, and after a couple of scoreless innings, Astros star Jose Altuve made it 3-1 with the game's only home run to lead off the fifth frame.

Cease departed after the fifth inning, finishing with three earned runs from six hits and three walks, striking out four in what was not his best showing.

Verlander was the sharper of the two stars early, conceding just one run through six complete innings, but the Astros were punished for sending him back out for the seventh as he gave up a two-run double to pinch-hitter Gavin Sheets, tying the game at 3-3.

In the eighth frame, after a walk to Eloy Jimenez and a single to Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada came through with an RBI base hit to grab the decisive lead, with Australian closer Liam Hendriks shutting the door for his 27th save of the season.

Out of the entire league, Verlander owns the second-best ERA at 1.95, while Cease is third at 2.09. Both trail Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara (1.92).

Brewers beat the Dodgers in walk-off fashion

There were fireworks in the Milwaukee Brewers' 5-4 extra-innings win against the Los Angeles Dodgers, with all six runs scored in regulation coming via home runs before a walk-off hit from Victor Caratini.

Brewers Willy Adames and Christian Yelich went deep, while Joey Gallo, Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor all hit solo shots for the Dodgers to have things tied at 3-3 after nine innings.

After a scoreless 10th frame, Justin Turner was able to drive in a run to give the Dodgers a 4-3 lead, but closing pitcher Craig Kimbrel was not able to finish things off on the mound, giving up a hit and a walk to load the bases, setting up Caratini for the game-winning knock.

Ray strikes out 10 in Mariners win

Reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani and heavy favourite for AL Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez combined for six hits as the Seattle Mariners ran away late to beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-2.

Mariners starting pitcher and reigning Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray looked back to his best after an inconsistent start to the season, striking out 10 batters while giving up two runs in six innings.

Rodriguez, who made waves as he approached record-breaking numbers in last month's Home Run Derby, finished three-for-five at the plate with a home run, while Ohtani was three-for-four, including a triple, after striking out eight batters on the mound yesterday.

The New York Yankees slumped to their 10th loss from their past 12 games and were shut out for the second straight game as they lost 4-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.

The Rays were fueled by Isaac Paredes' fourth-inning RBI, after Aaron Hicks' fielding error allowed a David Peralta triple, before piling on three ninth-inning runs with Yandy Diaz driving in two.

But it was another nightmare for the Yankees, who have been shut out four times in August, with a .372 slugging percentage and 3.5 runs per game this month.

Aaron Hicks had a chance to atone for his fielding error with bases loaded in the fourth inning but grounded into a double play.

MLB home-run leader Aaron Judge suffered a similar fate while trailing 1-0 in the eighth inning.

It is the first time the Yankees have been shut out in consecutive games since 2016.

The Yankees have now lost 11 of their past 14 games and hold a 72-44 record, falling behind the Houston Astros (75-42) to be the American League's top seed.

Freeman and Lux blast Dodgers to 80th win

The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team to 80 wins in the majors this season with a 4-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Freddie Freeman blasted his first home run in 20 games in the first inning, while Gavin Lux landed a two-run homer at the top of the sixth.

Julio Urias dealt six strikeouts across five innings as the Dodgers moved to 80-34, clear of the next best in the National League, the New York Mets (75-41) after their 13-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves (71-46).

Ohtani impressive but Angels clipped

MVP candidate Shohei Ohtani tossed eight strikeouts across six innings but the Seattle Mariners pulled away with four ninth-inning runs to win 6-2 over the Los Angeles Angels.

Luis Rengifo tied it up at 1-1 in first inning when outfielders Julio Rodriguez and Mitch Haniger collided on the wall, spilling the ball above the home-run mark.

It was all square going into the ninth inning, but Sam Haggerty scored in a wild play, followed up by Dylan Moore as catcher Max Stassi could not hold a tag attempt, with runs to Julio Rodriguez and Ty France padding the win.

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