Manuel Margot singled to cap a two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Tampa Bay Rays to a 5-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.

Trailing by one entering the ninth, the Rays rallied against Angels closer Carlos Estevez.

Pinch-hitter Harold Ramirez and Yandy Diaz opened the inning with singles and runners were at the corners after Curtis Mead’s fly ball.

Isaac Paredes singled home the tying run and after Randy Arozarena struck out and Josh Lowe walked to load the bases, Margot flared a single to right to win it.

Tampa Bay already holds the top AL wild card and pulled within 1 ½ games of AL East-leading Baltimore after the Orioles’ 5-2 loss in Cleveland.

The late rally kept the Rays from losing consecutive games to the Angels, who stopped a six-game skid with an 8-3 win on Wednesday.

Tampa Bay starter Zach Eflin failed in his bid to become the AL’s first 16-game winner, allowing two runs and six hits in five innings.


Cole sharp as Yankees cool Blue Jays

Gerrit Cole boosted his Cy Young Award resume with eight stellar innings and the New York Yankees snapped the Toronto Blue Jays’ five-game winning streak, 5-3.

Cole retired the first 16 batters and allowed a run and two hits in his longest start since pitching a two-hit shutout against Minnesota on April 16.

He struck out nine without a walk and lowered his AL-best ERA to 2.75.

Jake Bauers gave Cole all the offense he needed with a three-run homer in the first inning.

Toronto is one-half game ahead of Texas and Seattle for the second of three AL wild-card spots.


Acuna, Olson power Braves

Matt Olson hit his major league-leading 53rd home run and Ozzie Albies homered for one of his four hits as the Atlanta Braves rolled to a 10-3 win over the Washington Nationals.

Atlanta totalled 18 hits with every member of the lineup reaching base at least once.

The Braves need only two wins in their final nine games to reach 100 wins for the second straight season.

Olson’s solo homer in the eighth inning gave him 132 RBIs, matching Gary Sheffield in 2003 for the most by a Braves player since the club moved to Atlanta in 1966.

Ronald Acuna Jr. tripled and scored in the third inning for his 140th run, making him the first player to reach that total since Alex Rodriguez had 143 in 2007.


The Baltimore Orioles pushed home a run in the 11th inning to earn a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday and split a crucial September four-game series, though both American League East contenders secured playoff spots prior to the outcome.

A 9-2 loss by the Texas Rangers to the Cleveland Guardians earlier in the day clinched postseason berths for both Tampa Bay and Baltimore, which maintained the two-game advantage it held on the Rays for first place in the division entering the series.

The Orioles, who tied for the major league lead with 110 losses just two years ago, are in the playoffs for the first time since 2016. The Rays will be making their fifth straight appearance. 

Tampa Bay was one out away from creating a virtual tie in the AL East, but Austin Hays singled off Rays closer Pete Fairbanks with the Orioles down 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth and Adam Frazier followed with an RBI double to force extra innings. 

After both teams scored once in the 10th, Baltimore's DL Hall kept the Rays scoreless in the top of the 11th and Cedric Mullins drove in Adley Rutschman with the deciding run with a sacrifice fly in the Orioles' half of the frame.

Tampa Bay took a 3-1 lead in the top of the eighth on back-to-back solo homers from Tristan Gray and Christian Bethancourt, but Rutschman homered off Fairbanks in the bottom of the inning to cut the Orioles' deficit to one. Baltimore's All-Star catcher finished the day 3 for 5 with two RBIs.

Gray's homer was the first of his major league career, while Brandon Lowe also had a solo shot for the Rays.


Chisholm hits another slam as Marlins finish sweep of Braves

Jazz Chisholm hit a grand slam for a second consecutive game, one of four Miami homers as the Marlins cruised to a 16-2 rout of the Atlanta Braves to complete a three-game sweep of the current National League leaders.

Jake Burger added a three-run homer and Jorge Soler and Nick Fortes also went deep in the surging Marlins' 12th win in 17 games. That hot stretch has moved Miami into a tie with the slumping Chicago Cubs for the NL's final wild card spot. 

Miami's 17-hit outburst was more than enough support for starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo, who struck out eight over six scoreless innings while yielding just four hits and two walks.

After connecting for his second career grand slam in the Marlins' 11-5 win on Saturday, Chisholm repeated the feat with a drive off Atlanta starter Charlie Morton in the third inning that staked Miami to a 5-0 lead. The center fielder is the first player in franchise history with a grand slam in back-to-back games.

Fortes finished with a career-high four hits and four runs scored, while Luis Arraez went 3 for 5 with two RBIs for the Marlins.

Marcell Ozuna had two hits, including his 35th home run of the season, for Atlanta. Morton was tagged for six runs and walked five in 4 2/3 innings.


Diamondbacks leapfrog Cubs in NL wild card race after completing sweep

The Arizona Diamondbacks have now moved ahead of the sputtering Chicago Cubs in the NL wild card standings after completing a sweep of a three-game series between the teams with Sunday's 6-2 victory.

Arizona struck for three first-inning runs against Cubs rookie Jordan Wicks, while four relievers combined for 5 2/3 scoreless innings to help the Diamondbacks move a half-game ahead of Chicago and Miami for the NL's second of three wild-card spots.

Ketel Marte tacked on a two-run homer in the sixth inning for Arizona and finished 2 for 4 with two runs scored. 

Luis Frias was credited with the win after throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings after taking over for Diamondbacks starter Ryne Nelson, who allowed two runs in 3 1/3 innings.

Wicks struck out five in 4 1/3 innings but issued four walks while permitting Arizona's three early runs.

Ian Happ went 3 for 4 with a run scored for Chicago, which has now lost five straight and eight of 10. That stretch includes losing three of four meetings to the Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field earlier this month. 


Zach Eflin teamed with two relievers on a two-hitter as the Tampa Bay Rays earned a 7-1 win over the slumping Baltimore Orioles on Friday, creating a virtual tie between the American League East rivals for first place in the division.

Tampa Bay has now taken the first two matchups of this pivotal four-game series to move just percentage points behind Baltimore in the standings. The Rays, who trailed the Orioles by four games just six days ago, have won nine of 11 while Baltimore has tied a season high with four straight losses.

Harold Ramirez belted a three-run homer and Brandon Lowe had a solo shot to back a dominant outing from Eflin, who yielded only a solo homer to Heston Kjerstad and struck out eight over seven innings to collect his AL-leading 15th win of the season. 

Randy Arozarena and Manuel Margot added three hits each for the Rays, with Margot and Lowe both finishing with two RBIs.

Kjerstad's homer was the first major league hit for the 24-year-old, who was promoted from the minor leagues prior to Thursday's series opener.

Orioles starter Jack Flaherty lasted just four innings and yielded three runs despite striking out six.


Rockies no-hit Giants over eight innings, rally to win in ninth

The Colorado Rockies took a combined no-hitter into the ninth inning in their game against the San Francisco Giants, then scored twice in the bottom of the frame to rally for a dramatic 3-2 victory to open a four-game series.

Chase Anderson kept San Francisco hitless before being pulled after throwing 101 pitches in seven innings, and the no-hit bid was extended into the ninth before J.D. Davis led off the inning with a double off Nick Mears.

The Giants later loaded the bases before Rockies reliever Matt Koch walked pinch-hitter WIlmer Flores to force in a run and break a 1-1 deadlock.

The tie was short-lived, however. Charlie Blackmon began the bottom of the ninth with a double off San Francisco closer Camilo Doval, who later walked Nolan Jones with one out to put the potential winning run aboard.

Elehuris Montero then delivered a single in which Giants left fielder Mike Yastrzmeski threw errantly to home as Blackmon slid across the plate, allowing Jones to come in as well with the deciding run.

The loss could prove costly for San Francisco, which fell a game behind Arizona and Cincinnati in the race for the National League's final wild card with both the Diamondbacks and Reds winning their games.

San Francisco also wasted a terrific effort from Logan Webb, who held Colorado to one run on four hits over eight innings.


Giolito fans 12 as Guardians snap Rangers' six-game winning streak

Lucas Giolito struck out a season-high 12 batters over seven scoreless innings to help the Cleveland Guardians snap the Texas Rangers' six-game winning streak with a 12-3 rout.

Giolito permitted just two hits and one walk to record his first win since Aug. 8. The 2019 All-Star, who was claimed off waivers by Cleveland from the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 31, had posted a 7.48 ERA while losing each of his previous five starts.

Josh Naylor went 4 for 5 with three RBIs to lead Cleveland offensively, while Andres Gimenez, Ramon Laureano and Kole Calhoun all homered as part of the Guardians' 15-hit attack.

Gimenez finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs and put Cleveland up 2-0 with his second-inning homer off Texas starter Jon Gray, who was pulled after allowing three runs in 3 2/3 innings.

The Rangers remained scoreless until Sam Huff's solo homer in the ninth. Catcher Austin Hedges later added a two-run single after pitching the bottom of the eighth and retiring all three batters he faced.

Texas missed out on a chance to regain first place in the AL West from Houston, which was dealt a 4-2 loss by the Kansas City Royals on Friday. The Astros remain a half-game ahead in the standings. 

Gerrit Cole outpitched Shane McClanahan in matchup of All-Star aces, and Giancarlo Stanton drove in four runs as the New York Yankees avoided a sweep with a 7-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.

Cole allowed a two-run homer to Wander Franco in the first inning but settled down to allow those two runs and four hits over seven innings. He struck out eight, walked two and improved to 6-0 after a Yankees loss this season.

New York sent eight batters to the plate and scored five times off McClanahan in the third inning as the left-hander was denied his 12th win.

Harrison Bader led off with a double and Anthony Volpe followed with his 14th home run. Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Gleyber Torres singled before Stanton launched his 15th homer to right-centre for a 5-2 lead.

Stanton added a run-scoring single in the seventh and the Yankees won for just the eighth time in 22 games since July 4.

Tampa Bay had a three-game winning streak snapped but remained 1 ½ games behind AL East-leading Baltimore.


Happ homers twice in another big offensive showing for Cubs

Ian Happ went deep twice and and Jeimer Candelario was 4 for 4 in the Chicago Cubs’ 16-6 rout of the Cincinnati Reds.

Christopher Morel, Dansby Swanson and Seiya Suzuki homered as Chicago beat up on the Reds for the second straight night. The Cubs won 20-9 on Tuesday and the 36 runs are their most in any two-game span since 1897.

Joey Votto hit two home runs for the first-place Reds, who matched a season high with four errors.


Braves hit 3 more homers in win

Ronald Acuna Jr., Austin Riley and Matt Olson homered off Lucas Giolito and the Atlanta Braves rolled to a 12-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

Acuna belted a three-run shot off Giolito in the third inning, then Riley and Olson went back to back in the fourth to cap a six-run outburst that ended the day for the Angels’ starter.

Giolito matched his career high with nine runs allowed in 3 2/3 innings in his second start with the Angels since he was acquired from the White Sox.

Atlanta has a major league-leading 206 home runs and is on pace for 315m, which would best the major league record of 307 set by the 2019 Minnesota Twins.

The Baltimore Orioles extended their lead to two games over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East with a 5-3 victory in Sunday's finale of an important four-game series between the division rivals.

Ryan O'Hearn snapped a 3-3 tie with a solo homer in the sixth inning to back another strong performance by the Baltimore bullpen as the Orioles took three of four from the still-sputtering Rays.

Tampa Bay entered July with a 6 1/2-game lead atop the division but has gone 4-14 thus far for the month. The Orioles, on the other hand, have won 12 of 15 since July 5.

Baltimore sealed its latest win with a combined 4 2/3 scoreless innings from three relievers. Mike Baumann (7-0) did not allow a hit in 2 2/3 innings and All-Star Felix Bautista struck out three in the ninth to record his 28th save. 

Gunnar Henderson had a two-run homer in the second inning for the Orioles and finished 2 for 4 along with O'Hearn.

Yandy Diaz went 2 for 5 for Tampa Bay and tied the contest in the fifth inning with a two-run homer off Orioles starter Tyler Wells.


Rangers overcome early deficit to avoid sweep by Dodgers

The Texas Rangers rallied from an early four-run deficit to hand the Los Angeles Dodgers an 8-4 loss in the finale of a three-game interleague series between division leaders.

After Max Muncy's first-inning grand slam put Texas in a 4-0 hole, the Rangers blasted rookie Emmett Sheahan for eight runs over 3 2/3 innings to bounce back from two lopsided losses at the hands of the National League West leaders.

Jonah Heim cut the deficit in half with a two-run double in the bottom of the first before Marcus Semien, Nathaniel Lowe and Josh Jung each delivered RBI singles off Sheahan in the second to put Texas up 5-4.

Leody Tavares added a two-run double in the third to stretch the lead, while Martin Perez overcame a shaky start to last six innings and improve to 8-3 on the season.

The Dodgers scored 27 runs in winning the series' first two games and kept the offence going when Muncy blasted his 24th homer of the season to stake Los Angeles to a quick 4-0 lead.

Perez settled down thereafter and held the Dodgers to just three hits and a walk over the next five innings. 

The win put the AL West-leading Rangers at 59-41, tying the franchise's best record after 100 games in a season set three times previously, most recently in 2012. 


Albies' late home run lifts Braves over Brewers

In another clash of division leaders, Ozzie Albies' clutch three-run homer in the eighth inning staked the Atlanta Braves to a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Down 2-1 entering the eighth, the Braves put two on against a usually dominant Milwaukee bullpen before Albies homered on the first pitch he saw from Elvis Peguero. The All-Star second baseman's 23rd homer of the season snapped a streak of 28 2/3 scoreless innings by Brewers relievers.

After Ben Heller worked a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Raisel Iglesias struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth as the NL East-leading Braves took two of three games from the NL Central-best Brewers.

Travis d'Arnaud added a solo homer and finished 2 for 4 for Atlanta, though star third baseman Austin Riley went 0 for 4 and had a streak of five consecutive games with a home run end.

Brice Turang had a solo home run for Milwaukee, which had its lead in the NL Central cut to a half-game over second-place Cincinnati after the Reds defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-3, on Sunday. The Brewers will host a three-game series against Cincinnati starting Monday.

Former Brave Julio Teheran allowed one run and just three hits over six innings for Milwaukee, while Atlanta starter Bryce Elder yielded two runs on four hits over six innings. 

Jonah Heim and Leody Tavares hit home runs as the Texas Rangers extended their winning streak to six games with Wednesday’s 5-1 victory over the slumping Tampa Bay Rays.

The American League West-leading Rangers completed a sweep of the three-game series and remained unbeaten since the All-Star break, while the reeling Rays dropped percentage points behind the Baltimore Orioles for the AL East lead with their fourth consecutive loss.

Tampa Bay entered July with the majors’ best record at 57-28 but has gone 3-11 for the month.

Tavares opened the scoring with a solo homer off Zach Littell in the third inning and added an RBI single in the seventh to stretch Texas’ lead to 2-0. Heim put the game out of reach an inning later with a three-run blast for his 14th homer of the season.

Rangers starter Jon Gray threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings before exiting with a bruised left shin, caused by a comebacker off the bat of All-Star Yandy Diaz. Brock Burke relieved Gray and tossed two shutout innings to receive the win.

Jose Siri finished 2 for 4 for Tampa Bay and accounted for the Rays’ lone run with a solo homer in the ninth.



Orioles avoid sweep from Dodgers, take AL East lead

The Baltimore Orioles inched ahead of the Rays in the AL East race ahead of Thursday’s visit to Tampa Bay by coming through with an 8-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers that prevented the National League West leaders from sweeping the three-game series.

Ramon Urias drove in three runs on a pair of doubles and Gunnar Henderson had a solo homer while scoring three times as Baltimore roughed up Dodgers starter Julio Urias and bounced back from a 10-3 loss on Tuesday.

Urias was tagged for a season-high eight runs on eight hits in five innings.

The Orioles also got two hits and an RBI from both Aaron Hicks and Jordan Westburg to gain some momentum entering a pivotal four-game series with the Rays that pits the teams with the AL’s two best records.

Max Muncy had a two-run homer for Los Angeles, his 22nd of the season, while Josh Outman added a solo shot in just the Dodgers’ second loss in 10 games.


Reds snap skid, cool Giants

Will Benson’s three-run homer propelled the Cincinnati Reds to a 3-2 win and ended the San Francisco Giants’ seven-game winning streak.

Graham Ashcraft pitched six-plus innings and Ian Gibault and Lucas Sims each worked one inning before Alexis Diaz struck out two in the ninth for his 27th save in 28 chances.

The Reds halted a season high-tying six-game skid despite being held to four hits.

Blake Sabol homered for the Giants, who dropped into a second-place tie with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West.


Trea Turner and Nick Castellanos homered to back Taijuan Walker’s sixth straight win and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-4 for their 11th consecutive road win on Wednesday.

The road streak is the second-longest in franchise history, trailing a 13-game run in 1976.

The Phillies are 21-7 since losing five in a row from May 28-June 2 and have moved a season-high seven games over .500.

Walker allowed all four of his runs in the first three innings but kept the Rays scoreless over the final four frames to become the fourth 10-game winner in the National League. He walked five and struck out eight.

The Phillies took the lead for good in the fifth inning on Turner’s tying home run and Bryson’s Stott’s RBI single for one of his four hits.

Castellanos connected for a 437-foot homer in the sixth inning and Brandon Marsh’s two-run single in the seventh closed the scoring.

Kyle Schwarber went 0 for 6 and was the only Philadelphia position player without a hit.

Tampa Bay has lost a season-high four straight and 10 of 16 but still owns the AL’s best record.




De La Cruz has big game after bat check

Rookie Elly De Le Cruz homered and added two doubles after a bat mix-up to lead the surging Cincinnati Reds to a 9-2 win over the Washington Nationals.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez questioned the use of an empty sensor cover on the knob of De La Cruz’s bat in the second inning. After umpires reviewed the legality of the knob cover with the league office, De La Cruz was allowed to put it back on his bat for his second at-bat an inning later.

The Reds’ star hit a 455-foot shot for his fourth home run in the fifth inning, doubled, stole third and scored on Jake Fraley’s single in the eighth and doubled again in the ninth.

Cincinnati has won seven of eight and homered in 19 straight games for the second-longest streak in franchise history.


Mets stun Diamondbacks with rally in 9th inning

Rookie Francisco Alvarez homered with two outs in the ninth inning and Mark Canha had an RBI triple to lift the New York Mets to an improbable 2-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Trailing 1-0 and down to their last strike, Alvarez homered off Andrew Chafin to tie it. After Brett Baty singled, Canha followed with a drive to the 413-foot sign in centre to put New York on top.

Kodai Senga was in line for the tough-luck loss before the rally after he allowed Christian Walker’s home run over eight innings with 12 strikeouts.


Justin Turner homered twice and tied a career high with six RBIs and Masataka Yoshida had two of Boston’s eight doubles as the Red Sox pounded the rival New York Yankees 15-5 on Friday.

Turner’s two-run homer off Domingo German in the second inning extended Boston’s lead to 4-1 and he capped a six-run third with a grand slam - a 429-foot blast to center - to make it 10-1.

Turner fell a triple shy of the cycle and drove in six runs for the second time in his career, also done against the Atlanta Braves while with the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 7, 2019.

Yoshida put Boston ahead to stay with a two-run double in the first inning, singled in the six-run third and doubled again and scored in the sixth. The Japanese rookie had his first four-hit game in the majors. 

The Red Sox tacked on three more runs in the fourth inning on a two-run single by Connor Wong and an RBI hit by Pablo Reyes.

Josh Donaldson homered and Anthony Rizzo knocked in three runs for New York.

There was a scary incident in the fifth inning when Boston starter Tanner Houck was struck on the face with a line drive off the bat of Kyle Higashioka. Houck immediately went to the ground and stayed down for a few minutes but was able to leave the field under his own power with a towel covering his cheek.

The Red Sox later announced that Houck received stitches and was checked out at a hospital.



Rays’ McClanahan first in majors to 11 wins

Shane McClanahan became the first pitcher in the major leagues to win 11 games, pitching into the seventh inning in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 6-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

McClanahan, who entered as the only MLB pitcher with 10 wins, held the Padres to one run and three hits over 6 2/3 innings with three walks and five strikeouts. He won his third consecutive start and lowered his ERA to 2.12.

Isaac Paredes hit a solo home run and Randy Arozarena added a three-run shot and four RBIs to help major league-leading Tampa Bay win its third straight.



Arraez goes 5 for 5 with home run in Marlins’ win

Luis Arraez ended an 0-for-15 slump with a 5-for-5 performance that included a home run and three RBIs as the Miami Marlins topped the Washington Nationals 6-5.

Arraez had four singles and his first home run since April 11, ending a 52-game stretch without one. The five hits matched his career high, set June 3 against Oakland.

The Marlins won for the 10th time in 13 games to improve to 39-31, their best 70-game start since they went 42-28 in 1997, when they won the World Series.


The Tampa Bay Rays re-discovered their free-scoring ways as Isaac Paredes managed a career-high five RBIs in a 14-5 victory over the slumping Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

The Sox fall to their eighth straight loss, even with Dylan Cease on the mound, pounded for seven runs from nine hits across four innings, with only three strikeouts.

Paredes started it off with a second-inning RBI single, grounded out to third to score Randy Arozarena in the fifth, before a three-run double in the sixth opened up an 11-2 lead.

Brandon Lowe maintained his excellent early season hitting with a 358-foot third inning homer along with a two-run single in the fifth. Lowe's solo shot took his season tally to seven homers.

Shane McClanahan (5-0) allowed two runs and struck out five across five innings, while Luke Raley went three-for-five with three RBIs including a ninth-inning homer, and moved from the outfield to the mound in the ninth.

The Rays, who started the season 13-0, had been beaten and shut out in consecutive games by the Houston Astros, 1-0 and 5-0 on Wednesday and Tuesday respectively.

Tampa Bay delivered 16 hits for the game and ended their scoreless run at 20 innings.

Ohtani's mixed game as Angels edge home

Shohei Ohtani responded after a shaky start on the mound to lead the Los Angeles Angels past the Oakland Athletics 8-7.

Ohtani (4-0) earned the win, although he gave up five runs in a rough fourth inning, with three-run blasts to Brent Rooker and a two-run homer to Shea Langeliers. He had thrown three perfect innings to that point and finished with eight strikeouts, allowing three hits across six innings.

The Japanese two-way star went three-for-five with the bat, including a triple, double and single, scoring two runs, with an eighth-inning shot caught by Esteury Ruiz on the warning track in center field.

Brandon Drury delivered a 409-foot three-run home run over left-center field in the first inning, with Ohtani scoring after his prior double.

Keller fans 10 as Pirates continue fine form

Mitch Keller matched his career-high 10 strikeouts as the Pittsburgh Pirates downed the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2.

Keller improved to 3-0, giving up two runs on five hits across six innings, as the Pirates continued their excellent run having won nine of their past 10, moving to an 18-8 record.

Pittsburgh rallied from an early 2-0 deficit, with three runs at the bottom of the first inning, before Connor Joe's two-run blast followed by Rodolfo Castro's 414-foot homer in the sixth.

Aaron Judge overcame injury as he drove in three runs to lead the New York Yankees past the Minnesota Twins 12-6 on Wednesday.

Judge had an injury scare with an awkward slide into third base on a failed steal attempt in the second inning, immediately walking off the field and into the Yankees tunnel.

The Yankees outfielder got himself stuck in the ground on the head-first slide, with his shoulders lurching forward while his body stayed almost still.

Judge, on his 31st birthday, appeared to be favouring his right arm as he left the field and seemed to have some wrist discomfort when he returned to the bench. He would return to play, with a walk, single and strikeout, having hit a three-run double in the second inning before his injury scare.

Gleyber Torres capped a six-run fourth-inning by crushing a 429-foot two-run blast to left field to open up an 11-1 lead.

Jose Miranda homered twice for the Twins, while Joey Gallo drove in Miranda with a sixth-inning blast to make it 11-5, but the Yankees were always in control after racing to an early 5-0 lead.

Anthony Volpe and Anthony Rizzo both had two-run doubles, with the former going two-for-three with three RBIs. Dominic German had eight strikeouts across six innings but allowed five runs.

Rays shut down again

The record-breaking Tampa Bay Rays were shut down for the second straight time as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against the reigning world champion Houston Astros.

Hunter Brown had a career-high eight strikeouts as he combined with two relievers on a two-hitter, with Ryan Pressly working a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save.

The Astros scored on a Wander Franco error for misplaying a potential inning-ending double play, with Alex Bregman credited with the RBI, as Jeremy Pena scored.

Houston ended the Rays' 14-game home winning run to start the new season on Tuesday and backed that up.

Maggi's magic moment after long wait

Drew Maggi had a moment to remember, making his MLB debut after 13 seasons and more than 1000 games in the minor leagues, as the Pittsburgh Pirates downed the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-1.

The 33-year-old journeyman came in to pinch hit in the eighth inning and struck out on four pitches, having cranked a foul shot into the stands down the left-field line off his first pitch. It was Maggi's only at-bat and the end result was slightly underwhelming but it stirred up loud applause from the PNC Park crowd.

Jason Delay went three-for-three with three RBIs, while Roansy Contreras took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Contreras finished with five strikeouts and two walks, allowing only two runs.

The Tampa Bay Rays have officially made the best home start to a season in over 140 years after defeating the Houston Astros 8-3 on Monday.

With the win, the Rays extended their unbeaten home record to 14-0, breaking their tie with the 2009 Los Angeles Angels for the best start in modern history, while they are seven wins away from tying the 21-0 mark set by the 1880 Chicago White Stockings.

While one modern day record was born, another ended, as it was the first game this season that the Rays have not hit a home run. They had broken the record with a home run in each of their first 22 fixtures to start the campaign.

With no long-ball to lean on, the Rays piled up 14 hits, including a four-for-five day at the plate from 22-year-old franchise player Wander Franco.

Franco collected two singles and two doubles, and he also stole the show in the field, coming down with a remarkable over-the-shoulder, bare-handed catch in foul territory.

Rays left-fielder Randy Arozarena currently owns the sixth-best batting average in the majors (.353), and he improved on that figure by going two-for-three with a sacrifice-fly and a hit-by-pitch. 

He was one of five Rays with multiple hits, joining Franco, Yandy Diaz, Isaac Paredes and Cristian Bethancourt.

At 20-3, Tampa Bay are four games clear in the race for the best record in the majors.

Strider flirts with perfection

Atlanta Braves young ace Spencer Strider took a perfect game into the eighth inning of his side's 11-0 shutout against the visiting Miami Marlins.

Strider, 24, retired the first 22 batters he faced, before Jean Segura finally broke up the perfect game bid in the eighth frame. He ended up finishing eight innings in 101 pitches, striking out 13 batters while only allowing two hits and no walks.

Strider's 13.8 strikeouts per nine innings as a rookie would have led the majors had he pitched enough innings to qualify, and he does lead the MLB this year with a figure of 14.7.

Gray pitches a gem for the Twins

Veteran starting pitcher Sonny Gray was at his best as his Minnesota Twins defeated the visiting New York Yankees 6-1.

Gray, 33, came into the contest having not allowed more than one earned run in any of his four previous starts this season, and he pitched another seven scoreless frames, allowing three hits and two walks with eight strikeouts.

The performance lowered his ERA to a league-leading 0.62 – joining Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani (0.64) and Yankees ace Gerrit Cole (0.79) as the only players allowing fewer than one run per nine innings.

Randy Arozarena was the hero as the Tampa Bay Rays set a major league record for scoring homers in each of their first 21 games in a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday.

Arozarena brought up the milestone with a two-run blast over left-center field in the first inning, before hitting a walkoff RBI single in the 10th.

The Rays, who started the season with 13 straight wins, improved their record to 18-3, marking the best start by any side in the majors since the New York Yankees in 2003.

Tampa Bay also broke the Seattle Mariners' 2019 record of homering in 20 straight games to start that season.

The game was in the balance after homers from Eloy Jimenez and Yasmani Grandal for the White Sox, before Arozarena singled to left for Diaz to score at the bottom of the fifth.

Gavin Sheets squared the game up with a homer to right field at the top of the eighth, before Arozarena settled the game.

Jimmy Lambert intentionally walked Wander Franco with two out and a runner on second, before Arozarena's first-pitch single to right field, driving in Vidal Brujan. Arozarena finished with four RBIs.

Shane McClanahan sent down 10 strikeouts across six innings, while White Sox starter Dylan Cease had five K's.

Garcia crushed three HRs in Rangers rout

Adolis Garcia blasted three home runs and eight RBIs in five innings as the Texas Rangers smoked the Oakland Athletics 18-3.

Garcia blasted a two-run 432-foot homer at the bottom of the first, repeating the dose in the third inning with a 419-foot bomb over center.

The Rangers outfielder made it 13-2 at the bottom of the fifth with 401-feet blast, before a two-run double in the seventh capped a remarkable showing, taking his season tally to seven homers and 28 RBIs.

Garcia went five-for-four, becoming the third player since 1901 with at least 16 total bases, three homers, eight RBIs and five runs in a single game.

Tatis homers for first time since 2021

Fernando Tatis Jr blasted his first home run since returning from an 80-game drug suspension as the San Diego Padres won 5-3 over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Tatis, in his third game back since the suspension elapsed, crushed a 374-foot homer over left field for his first blast since 2021. The Padres outfielder led the majors for homers in 2021, with 42.

Right-hander Joe Musgrove earned his first win of the season, following a toe injury sustained in the weight room during spring training, striking out six, giving up three runs on seven hits.

The Tampa Bay Rays tied the record for the most consecutive games with a home run to start a season as they went deep three times in Friday's 8-7 home win against the Chicago White Sox.

With the win, the Rays improved their MLB-leading record to 17-3, having hit at least one homer in each game to tie the 2019 Seattle Mariners for the record.

Home fans did not have to wait long for the action to heat up, as Josh Lowe connected on a two-run double in the first inning, before Harold Ramirez followed him with a two-run homer as the very next batter to take a 4-0 lead.

The White Sox came storming back with three runs in the second inning – from three RBI singles – and another three runs in the third, courtesy of two bases-loaded walks and a wild pitch.

An Eloy Jimenez solo home run put Chicago up 7-4 in the fourth inning, and while the Rays got one run back in the bottom of the fourth, they left their comeback until the very end.

Christian Bethancourt's lead-off home run in the bottom of the ninth cut the margin to 7-6, and after a Yandy Diaz single, Brandon Lowe stepped up and hit a walk-off home run.

It was the second blown save of the season for Reynaldo Lopez, failing to get a single out in the ninth, while Diaz, Lowe, Ramirez and Bethancourt all finished with two hits each for the Rays.

Smyly finishes six outs from perfection

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Drew Smyly pitched seven perfect innings before allowing his first baserunner in a 13-0 domination of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Smyly dismissed the first 21 Dodgers batters in order, before his bid for a perfect game was broken up in the eighth inning when Smyly tried to field a ball dribbling down the third-base line, but his catcher Yan Gomes crashed into him in his own effort to field it.

He ended up striking out 10 in his seven-and-two-thirds innings, allowing one run and no walks, while Nico Hoerner starred at the plate with four RBIs to go with his four-for-five day. 

Patrick Wisdom was one of five Cubs with multiple hits, including his ninth home run of the season to draw level with New York Mets slugger Pete Alonso for the league's most.

Ohtani dominates the Royals

Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani put together his best pitching performance of the season as he struck out 11 batters in a 2-0 win over the visiting Kansas City Royals.

With three-time AL MVP Mike Trout not suiting up, the Angels knew they had to keep the Royals' scoring down, and the combination of Ohtani (seven innings, two hits, two walks), Carlos Estevez (one inning) and closer Jose Quijada (one inning) restricted Kansas City to three hits for the game.

The only runs of the contest were produced by veteran catcher Chad Wallach in his first game of the season, connecting on a two-run homer with his first at-bat of 2023.

The win pulls the Angels' record even at 10-10, while Ohtani lowered his ERA to 0.64 from his 28 innings, and the Royals fell to an equal MLB-worst 4-16.

Aaron Judge robbed Shohei Ohtani of a homer before delivering a blast of his own as the New York Yankees downed the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 on Wednesday.

Gleyber Torres hit a walk-off sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, after the Angels had squared the game up following Judge's first-inning two-run shot.

Judge was at the heart of everything early, robbing Ohtani of a first-inning homer with a leaping ricochet catch on the wall at center field after the ball hit the heel of his glove and bobbled into his throwing hand.

The reigning AL MVP then launched a two-run blast into the left-center bullpen at the bottom of the first to open up a 2-0 lead. It was Judge's sixth homer of the 2023 season.

Judge produced another moment of magic in the field in the eighth inning with a diving one-handed grab at right-center field to save a go-ahead run from Brandon Drury.

Ohtani had a frustrating game, going none-for-four and stranding three runners with inning-ending strikeouts in the fifth and seventh innings.

The Angels reeled in the Yankees' early lead with Taylor Ward's fifth-inning RBI, before Gio Urshela's two-out RBI single in the eighth.

In the 10th, Urshela lined out to right with Mike Trout stranded on third with two-out, before Torres' walk-off sac fly to center-right field with bases loaded, driving in Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

Soto shines as Braves' run ended

Juan Soto continued to emerge from his early-season slump with a 431-foot blast to right-center field in the San Diego Padres' 1-0 win over the Atlanta Braves.

The result snapped the Braves' eight-game winning streak, with the Padres improving to a 9-11 record with Fernando Tatis Jr set to return from a long-term suspension on Thursday. Joe Musgrove's return from injury is close too.

Soto, who was hitting .175 with three home runs from 19 games coming in, delivered the decisive blast the fourth inning while Nick Martinez threw six strikeouts across seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits.

More milestones for free-wheeling Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays' outstanding early season form continued with an 8-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds setting more records, having started the year with a 13-game winning streak.

The Rays blasted six first-inning runs with Yandy Diaz setting the tone with a lead-off homer, setting a modern era record for differential after 19 games (+83), having scored 133 runs and allowed 50, beating the previous mark held by the 1905 New York Giants (+79).

Tampa Bay also became the first team n the modern era to have four shutouts of eight-plus runs in their first 19 games of the season, as Drew Rasmussen had seven K's across five scoreless innings. It was the team's sixth shutout in 19 games.

Shohei Ohtani helped his Los Angeles Angels snap a three-game losing streak on Sunday, igniting a 5-4 road win against the Boston Red Sox.

Ohtani started on the mound at Fenway Park, giving up one run while striking out three batters across the opening two innings. 

He also collected a base hit in the first frame, and followed it with another single in the second, before rain arrived and forced a weather delay.

With his arm cooling down during the lengthy break, Ohtani was replaced by Tucker Davidson upon resumption, but the five runs the Angels put up in the first two innings proved to be enough.

The catalyst for their bright offensive start was Hunter Renfroe, connecting on a three-run homer with the game's fourth at-bat. Renfroe then added his fourth RBI of the contest an inning later with a ground-out.

Red Sox star Rafael Devers tried to ignite a late comeback in the bottom of the ninth, with his RBI single bridging the gap to 5-4 while runners remained on first and second base with one out, but Rob Refsnyder and Masataka Yoshida could not muster a hit from either of the final two at-bats.

After the win, Angels manager Phil Nevin said the team would discuss moving up Ohtani's next start due to his limited workload this time out.

Rangers pitch combined one-hitter 

There was an injury scare for Texas Rangers ace Jacob deGrom, but it could not sour their terrific 4-0 shutout of the Kansas City Royals.

DeGrom was withdrawn after four innings of work with what the team called a precaution due to wrist soreness, but he held the Royals hit-less during those four innings, and the bullpen only allowed one hit the rest of the way.

Dane Dunning came in and tossed four innings in relief, allowing one hit and one walk in a great showing, while the bulk of the offensive damage was done by a three-run homer from Josh Jung in the first inning.

It was Jung's third home run of the season, and team-mate Marcus Semien joined him with three for the campaign after a solo homer of his own.

Rays keep home run streak alive in loss

The Tampa Bay Rays suffered a disappointing 8-1 road defeat at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds, but not before keeping their historic home run streak alive.

The Rays were down 8-0 in the last inning when Josh Lowe hit a consolation home run, but with it, he marked the 17th consecutive game Tampa have hit a home run in to start the season.

Tampa Bay slipped to a still league-leading 14-3 record with the loss, but they are now just three games with a home run away from tying the 2019 Seattle Mariners for the longest streak to start a season in MLB history.

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