Aaron Judge made American League (AL) history with his record-tying 61st home run of the season as the New York Yankees won 8-3 over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.

Judge's seventh-inning two-run blast moved him to 61 single-season homers, equaling Roger Maris' long-held AL and franchise record set in 1961.

The homer ended Judge's run of seven homerless games, along with 31 consecutive plate appearances without a blast.

Judge delivered the shot in his fourth plate appearance of the game, going over left-field deep in the seventh from Tim Mayza, batting leadoff as the designated hitter.

"When I hit it, I thought I got enough but it's been a couple of games since I did that," Judge said.

"So, you never really know if it was going to get out out or, so, I tried to sprint around the bases a little bit then once it got over the fence, just relief that now we're leading the game.

"Getting a chance to tie Roger Maris, you dream about that kind of stuff, it's unreal."

Judge's blast came with scores tied at 3-3, opening up a two-run lead for the AL East-winning Yankees.

Harrison Bader had a single later in the seventh, before driving in two at the top of the ninth, reaching on a fielder's choice.

Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole allowed three hits and three hits in six-and-one-third innings, striking out four to match Ron Guidry's franchise single-season record of 248 from 1978.

Escobar stars in Mets' walk-off win

Eduardo Escobar hit five RBIs including the walk-off game-winner in the 10th inning as the New York Mets got past the Miami Marlins 5-4.

The victory was critical for the Mets, giving them a one-game lead ahead of the Atlanta Bin the National League East, moving their magic number to clinch the division to six.

Trailing 4-0 at the bottom of the seventh inning, Escobar cut the lead in half with a two-run blast, before delivering an eighth-inning two-run single.

Escobar produced the walk-off single in the 10th inning, punching one through the hole of the left-side of the infield to drive in Francisco Lindor from second base.

Braves lose ground after Nats upset

The Braves let slip a huge opportunity to keep the pressure on the Mets, slumping to a 3-2 walk-off loss to the lowly Washington Nationals.

C.J. Abrams chopped a career-first walk-off single to right-field to drive in Alex Call for the game-winning run in the 10th inning. It was Abrams' third hit of the game.

Matt Olson crushed his 30th homer of the season among his two hits, while Michael Harris II hauled in a brilliant leaping catch at the center-field wall before driving in the game-tying eighth inning run for Dansby Swanson.

The Braves and Mets are set to meet in a crucial three-game series starting on Friday in Atlanta, weather permitting.

Aaron Judge made American League (AL) history with his record-tying 61st home run of the season as the New York Yankees won 8-3 over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday.

Judge's seventh-inning two-run blast moved him to 61 single-season homers, equaling Roger Maris' long-held AL and franchise record set in 1961.

The homer ended Judge's run of seven homerless games, along with 31 consecutive plate appearances without a blast.

Judge delivered the shot in his fourth plate appearance of the game, going over left-field deep in the seventh from Tim Mayza, batting leadoff as the designated hitter.

"When I hit it, I thought I got enough but it's been a couple of games since I did that," Judge said.

"So, you never really know if it was going to get out out or, so, I tried to sprint around the bases a little bit then once it got over the fence, just relief that now we're leading the game.

"Getting a chance to tie Roger Maris, you dream about that kind of stuff, it's unreal."

Judge's blast came with scores tied at 3-3, opening up a two-run lead for the AL East-winning Yankees.

Harrison Bader had a single later in the seventh, before driving in two at the top of the ninth, reaching on a fielder's choice.

Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole allowed three hits and three hits in six-and-one-third innings, striking out four to match Ron Guidry's franchise single-season record of 248 from 1978.

Escobar stars in Mets' walk-off win

Eduardo Escobar hit five RBIs including the walk-off game-winner in the 10th inning as the New York Mets got past the Miami Marlins 5-4.

The victory was critical for the Mets, giving them a one-game lead ahead of the Atlanta Bin the National League East, moving their magic number to clinch the division to six.

Trailing 4-0 at the bottom of the seventh inning, Escobar cut the lead in half with a two-run blast, before delivering an eighth-inning two-run single.

Escobar produced the walk-off single in the 10th inning, punching one through the hole of the left-side of the infield to drive in Francisco Lindor from second base.

Braves lose ground after Nats upset

The Braves let slip a huge opportunity to keep the pressure on the Mets, slumping to a 3-2 walk-off loss to the lowly Washington Nationals.

C.J. Abrams chopped a career-first walk-off single to right-field to drive in Alex Call for the game-winning run in the 10th inning. It was Abrams' third hit of the game.

Matt Olson crushed his 30th homer of the season among his two hits, while Michael Harris II hauled in a brilliant leaping catch at the center-field wall before driving in the game-tying eighth inning run for Dansby Swanson.

The Braves and Mets are set to meet in a crucial three-game series starting on Friday in Atlanta, weather permitting.

Travis d'Arnaud focused on the Atlanta Braves' "marathon" pursuit of the New York Mets after their postseason place was confirmed for a fifth straight year on Tuesday.

The defending World Series champions defeated the Washington Nationals 3-2 at Truist Park, with their playoff spot clinched shortly afterwards as the Mets rallied to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-5.

It was not necessarily the outcome the Braves wanted, however, as a victory for the Brewers would have seen Atlanta level with the Mets atop the NL East.

As it is, the Braves are one game back, but d'Arnaud warned their rivals they have plenty still left in the tank.

"It's a marathon, it's not over," d'Arnaud said. "So we'll just keep going after it until the end."

All-Star catcher d'Arnaud had extended his career-high home run total to 18, while William Contreras, his backup, has 19.

They are just the fourth catching duo in NL or AL history to each hit at least 18 homers in a season with at least two-thirds of their games played at catcher.

And Arnaud was effusive in his praise of Contreras, adding: "It's been so much fun.

"The energy he brings every day honestly inspires me and makes me feel young. So I don't know if I'd be having as good of a year if he wasn't here."

The Braves face the Nationals again on Wednesday, looking for a clean sweep as the Mets do likewise against the Brewers.

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.

The Chicago White Sox dominated with bat and ball on Thursday as they hammered the Oakland Athletics 14-2.

AL Cy Young Award co-favourite Dylan Cease was on the mound for the White Sox and was at his dominant best, keeping the Athletics scoreless through the first six innings as he racked up nine strikeouts while giving up just three hits and two walks.

His six shut-out innings lowered his ERA for the season to 2.06, trailing only Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander, but with Verlander currently out injured, Cease has now made four more starts, and could pull away in the race for the league's best pitcher if his rival cannot return soon.

On offense, it was clearly the best game in the season for White Sox third-baseman Yoan Moncada as he went five-for-six at the plate. He had home runs in each of his first two at-bats, before following them with a single, a double and another single, getting out for the first time in the ninth inning.

Second-baseman Romy Gonzalez also proved to be a tough out, with his first four at-bats resulting in two singles, a double and a home run on his way to finishing four-for-five at the dish.

Seby Zavala, Elvis Andrus, Jose Abreu and A.J. Pollock also finished with multiple hits as the White Sox racked up 21 as a team, while the Athletics could only muster six.

With the win, the White Sox are now one-and-a-half games behind the Cleveland Guardians for the lead in the AL Central.

Molina turns back the clock in Cardinals loss

Future Hall-of-Fame catcher Yadier Molina hit two home runs in the St Louis Cardinals' 11-6 home loss to the Washington Nationals – doubling his total for the season.

Molina only had two home runs from 219 at-bats heading into the contest, but went two-for-four at the plate, hooking two balls over the left-field wall.

But the Cardinals pitching staff could not keep the Nationals off the board, with six Washington players collecting at least two hits each, led by the ninth batter in their lineup, Alex Call. Call finished four-for-five at the plate, including a home run and a double as he drove in five runs.

Burnes burns the Giants

Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes had his way with the San Francisco Giants as he carried his side to a 2-1 victory in the first leg of Thursday's double-header.

Burnes pitched eight of the nine innings, allowing just three hits and no walks, while striking out 14 batters. It is the ninth time Burnes has struck out at least 10 batters in a game this season, and while it is a season-high, he finished one off his career-high of 15.

Back-to-back doubles in the fourth inning was the source of all Milwaukee's runs, with Christian Yelich bringing home Jace Peterson, before Yelich scored on a Hunter Renfroe hit.

Aaron Judge's history-making season continued after hitting his 55th home run in the New York Yankees' 5-4 win over the Minnesota Twins in 12 innings on Wednesday.

With the Yankees trailing 3-0 at the bottom of the fourth inning, Judged lined a drive over left field to cut the deficit with a solo blast.

The drive meant Judge has the most home runs in a single season in Yankees' history for a right-hander, breaking a tie with Alex Rodriguez.

Judge homered for a fourth straight game, keeping him on track to surpass Roger Maris' Yankees record of 61 blasts in a single season set in 1961, exceeding Babe Ruth's 60 in 1927.

In the sixth inning, the Yankees leveled the game before two runs in the 12th capped by Oswaldo Cabrera's game-ending single.

The Yankees also won 7-1 in the second game of the double-header to improve their record to 83-54, sitting five games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East.

Soto injured as Padres win

Juan Soto's struggles since his move to the San Diego Padres got worse after exiting their 6-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks with a right shoulder contusion.

Soto was struck and floored by a wild 91 mph fastball from Diamondbacks pitcher Tommy Henry at the bottom of the third inning. He walked to first base, fielded in the fourth inning but eventually was taken out of the game in the fifth.

The prize trade deadline signing had only two hits from his past eight games entering Thursday, with Yu Darvish leading the Padres to victory with Jurickson Profar hitting a two-run homer.

Cards rally in walk-off win

The St Louis Cardinals rallied with five ninth-inning runs to storm home and claim a thrilling 6-5 walk-off win over the Washington Nationals.

Trailing 5-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, Tommy Edman was the hero after each of Nolan Arenado, Corey Dickerson and Yadier Molina drove in a run.

With runners on first and second base, Edman drove to left field, resulting in a walk-off two-run double.

The Houston Astros received a big boost from new recruit Trey Mancini as he blasted a pair of home runs, punctuated by a grand slam, in his side's 9-3 away win against the Cleveland Guardians on Friday.

Mancini, who was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles this past week, has now hit a home run in each of his two starts for his new club. In doing so, he became the first player in the modern era to hit a home run in his first two starts for his first two teams, after also accomplishing the feat back when he began with the O's.

He struck first in the second inning, tying the game at 1-1 after Amed Rosario hit his own home run to begin the game for the Guardians, and Mancini's second home run of the game came with bases loaded in the third frame for the first grand slam of his career.

Arguably the best hitter in baseball this season Yordan Alvarez went two-for-five and notched his 73rd RBI for the season – the seventh most in the league – and his future Hall-of-Fame teammate Jose Altuve tallied one RBI from his three hits.

On the mound, Framber Valdez secured his 18th consecutive 'quality start' – defined by a pitcher going at least six innings while conceding three or fewer runs – finishing with three earned runs from seven hits and three walks in his six-and-a-third innings.

He now leads the league with 19 quality starts, and his streak of 18 consecutive is the longest since Jacob deGrom rattled off 26 in a row beginning in May 2018.

The win moves the Astros' record to 70-38 – one game behind the New York Yankees for the best record in the American League.

Yankees, Holmes blow late lead 

The New York Yankees led nearly the entire game before eventually falling 4-3 to the St Louis Cardinals, courtesy of a blown save from All-Star reliever Clay Holmes.

Josh Donaldson drove in a pair of runs for the Yankees, while AL MVP favourite Aaron Judge collected two hits and came home to score twice, giving their side a 3-2 lead heading into the eighth inning.

Determined to take no risks, the Yankees brought in Holmes an inning early to try and get to the ninth inning with their lead still in tact, but it was not to be as Holmes conceded a walk and two hits, the second being a two-run double from Paul deJong to steal the lead.

Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley made no such mistakes, closing the door and collecting the save.

Gibson produces near-perfect start for the Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Gibson had a perfect game through six innings in his side's 7-2 win against the Washington Nationals.

Gibson retired the first 18 batters he faced, striking out three as he relied on strong fielding behind him to accumulate quick outs. His bid for a perfect game was eventually broken up by a hit-by-pitch to begin the seventh frame, and a single from the next batter ended the no-hitter.

He finished with one earned run from two hits and one walk in eight complete innings, while Kyle Schwarber hit his 34th home run of the season to help on the offensive side of the ball. Only Judge has more home runs this season than Schwarber.

Juan Soto scored on his San Diego Padres debut to rapturous applause as his new side won 9-1 over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday.

Reigning Home Run Derby winner Soto, who sealed a Deadline Day trade from the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, was given a raucous applause upon his first at-bat by the Petco Park faithful.

Soto's first at-bat ended with a four-pitch walk, before hitting home plate when Jake Cronenworth was walked after being struck by Chad Kuhl's pitch.

However it was another new addition, Brandon Drury, who stole the show with a first-inning grand slam to open up a 5-0 lead with his 21st home run of the season.

Manny Machado and Cronenworth both hit home runs in the fifth inning, while Soto finished with two walks from his two at-bats, with the one run.

Cole aced by Mariners and Castillo

Gerrit Cole allowed six runs in the first inning as his poor form since the All-Star Game continued in the New York Yankees' 7-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday.

Cole was on the mound for the first inning, with blasts from Eugenio Suarez, Carlos Santana and Jarred Kelenic opening up a 6-0 lead. The last time Seattle hit three homers in the first inning of a game was in May 2002.

The six runs were the most allowed in any inning of the career of Cole, who became the second pitcher in the modern era to allow three homers in the first inning of a game multiple times in the same season. He has given up five or more earned runs in consecutive outings for the first time since 2017 and has an ERA of 7.00 in three starts since the All-Star Game, having gone at 3.02 prior to that.

Luis Castillo, in his first start for the Mariners, put on a clinic with eight strikeouts, allowing five hits across six-and-two-third innings.

Vogelbach grand slam in Mets triumph

Daniel Vogelbach hit a grand slam as the New York Mets knocked off the Washington Nationals 9-5 to improve their record to 66-38.

Pete Alonso blasted his 28th home run of the season in the second inning, which was also the 21st of his career against the Nats, which is the most of any opponent he has faced.

Vogelbach's moment came in the fifth inning with the Mets 2-0 up and bases loaded, hitting high deep down the right field line.

All-Star outfielder Juan Soto has offered a dire warning to opposition pitchers following his trade to the San Diego Padres.

Soto along with first baseman Josh Bell moved to Petco Park from the Washington Nationals in a blockbuster trade on Tuesday which has strongly boosted the Padres' world champion credentials.

A two-time All-Star and World Series champion, the 23-year-old Soto is considered one of the best young players in baseball with 119 career home runs, 108 doubles, 358 RBIs, 399 runs and 464 walks in his first 565 games.

Soto and Bell were named in the Padres' starting line-up on Wednesday against the Colorado Rockies and could soon be joined by 2020 and 2021 Silver Slugger Fernando Tatis Jr who is due to return from a left wrist fracture this month.

Upon his unveiling on Wednesday alongside Bell, Soto told reporters: "It's going to be really tough to go through. I wish good luck to the other pitchers."

In the live-ball era, the only other players with 100+ homers, 100+ doubles, 350+ RBIs, 350+ runs and 450+ walks in the first 565 games are Hall of Famers Frank Thomas and Ted Williams.

As a 21-year-old in 2020, Soto became the youngest player in NL history to win a batting title with a .351 average.

Bell, who is batting .301 with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs in 103 games, added: "It's an exciting time. The time is now for the Padres, so let's get after it."

Soto is batting .246 with 21 home runs, 62 runs, 84 hits and 46 RBIs in 101 games this season.

The Seattle Mariners rode a hot start to a strong 8-6 win on the road against the New York Yankees, despite missing rookie All-Star Julio Rodriguez.

With their 21-year-old superstar out of the lineup temporarily as he battles through a minor injury, Adam Frazier did a good impression in the lead-off spot, collecting two hits and two walks from his five plate appearances.

Early on, it was Eugenio Suarez coming through as he blasted a 432-foot, two-run homer in the opening frame, and Cal Raleigh made it 3-0 with his own solo shot an inning later.

A Carlos Santana sacrifice-fly made it 4-0 before the Yankees started to fight back, with Josh Donaldson's RBI double and Jose Trevino's two-run shot over the left-field wall trimming the margin to 4-3 in the fourth inning.

Santana drove in his second and third runs of the day with a clutch double in the fifth frame, but a pair of sixth-inning home runs to Yankees Donaldson and Anthony Rizzo had things tied at 6-6.

As was the theme on the day, every time the Yankees tried to make it a game again, the Mariners had the answers, again jumping straight back out in front through Sam Haggerty's pinch-hit home run in the seventh.

Frazier finished off the scoring with an RBI single in the top of the ninth, giving Mariners closer Andres Munoz an extra run of breathing room, and he finished off the save despite allowing a hit and two walks to load the bases.

Pirates win after a three-run Cruz missile

The Pittsburgh Pirates pulled off an upset win against Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes, with rookie Oneil Cruz delivering the decisive blow.

After the Brewers hit three consecutive home runs in the sixth inning – courtesy of Willy Adames (355 feet), Rowdy Tellez (412 feet) and Kolten Wong (394 feet) – Cruz brought things back to square with his own three-run, 408-foot home run to get Burnes pulled from the game.

The Pirates ended up piling on another two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, with Wil Crowe coming in to strike out the side for the save.

Jacob deGrom returns in Mets loss

Arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball returned to action on Tuesday as Jacob deGrom started on the mound in the New York Mets' 5-1 loss to the Washington Nationals.

In his first start of the season after a series of injuries, deGrom looked like his devastating self, striking out four of the first six batters he faced, and going on to finish with figures of one earned run from three hits and no walks in five innings, striking out six.

As soon as deGrom was withdrawn from the game, the floodgates opened for the Nationals, connecting on three home runs across the next two innings to pull away for the win.

The San Diego Padres have won the Juan Soto sweepstakes, agreeing to a deal to acquire the superstar outfielder, as well as first baseman Josh Bell, from the Washington Nationals in a blockbuster trade on Tuesday.

The Nationals are set to acquire left-handed pitcher MacKenzie Gore and shortstop C.J. Abrams, as well as three prospects, though first baseman Eric Hosmer – who was initially expected to be included in the deal – exercised his no-trade clause, which included Washington.

When the trade does become official, Soto will go from the team with the worst record in the National League to one in possession of the league's second wild-card spot.

A two-time All-Star and World Series champion, the 23-year-old Soto is considered one of the best young players in baseball with 119 career home runs, 108 doubles, 358 RBIs, 399 runs and 464 walks in his first 565 games.

In the live-ball era, the only other players with 100+ homers, 100+ doubles, 350+ RBIs, 350+ runs and 450+ walks in the first 565 games are Hall of Famers Frank Thomas and Ted Williams. As a 21-year-old in 2020, Soto became the youngest player in NL history to win a batting title with a .351 average.

The trade comes just over two weeks after Soto turned down a 15-year, $440million extension from the Nationals, prompting Washington to seek a trade even though Soto remains under team control for two more seasons after this one.

Days after Soto rejected the extension, he went on to win the Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium over the All-Star break.

Soto homered in his final at-bat with the Nationals on Monday – his 21st of the season – and has been swinging a hot bat lately, compiling a .324/.515/.662 slash line with seven homers, 14 RBIs, 19 runs and 28 walks in 25 games since the start of July. In that span, his 1.177 OPS ranks third in baseball, among qualifying hitters.

Soto and Bell, who is batting .301 with 14 home runs and 57 RBIs in 103 games, now join a San Diego lineup that is led by six-time All-Star Manny Machado. The team is also hopeful of getting Fernando Tatis Jr. back in the coming weeks as it tries to make a run for the franchise's first World Series title.

Soto was instrumental to the Nationals' 2019 World Series championship, batting .333 with three home runs, two doubles, seven RBIs and six runs against the Houston Astros in the Fall Classic.

As part of the trade, Washington receives outfielder Robert Hassell III – the No. 1 prospect in the Padres' system – outfielder James Wood (No. 3) and right-handed pitcher Jarlin Susana (No. 14), in addition to Gore and Abrams.

Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto remains none the wiser about his future despite the franchise's fans giving him a warm farewell in Monday's 7-3 loss to the New York Mets.

The 23-year-old slugger, who won last month's Home Run Derby, has been the subject of plenty of speculation ahead of Tuesday's MLB Trade Deadline.

The Nationals have the worst record, 35-69, in the majors and are looking to sell players.

Soto homered with three walks in Monday's defeat as Nats fans were heard chanting 'we love Soto'.

"It means a lot,'' Soto said about the fans. "It kind of feels weird, too, because nothing's happened yet. We're still waiting.

"It's kind of cool at the same time, but it's kind of weird, too."

The Los Angeles Dodgers are one of the franchises who have been linked with Soto, while the player himself has not ruled out staying put.

"I feel good where I'm at,'' Soto said. "I understand it's a business and they need to do whatever they need to do.

"I'm just another player, another employee here like [former team-mate Ryan Zimmerman] used to say."

Nats manager Dave Martinez insisted they would not give up Soto for anything less than a good deal.

"You’re not going to give away these players and not get something in return that we feel like, 'Hey, this is what our future’s going to be, and this is going to be really good for us'," Martinez said.

"Those guys up there [in the front office] are working diligently to get those players that we need, if we can get it. If not, we have arguably one of the youngest best players in the game, and I love the kid."

Soto is batting at .246 with 21 home runs, 62 runs, 84 hits and 46 RBIs this season, with the third-best 2022 majors on-base percentage of .415.

League leader Aaron Judge continued his remarkable form after the All-Star Game with his 43rd home run of the season as the New York Yankees flexed with a 7-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday.

Judge made majors history with his 10th home run since the All-Star Game, joining Albert Belle in achieving that feat in only 12 games after the break.

The Yankees outfielder had hit a first-inning double, before Anthony Rizzo's three-run blast – his 26th home run of the season – opened up an early 3-0 lead.

Judge took center stage in the second inning with his home run putting the Yankees up 5-1, marking 12 blasts in his past 14 games.

Jose Trevino got in on the act, after a lean month, with home runs in the fourth and eighth innings for his first career multi-homer game.

The result keeps the Yankees top of the American League (AL) East with a 70-34 record, while the Mariners are second in the AL West with a 55-49 record.

Judge leads the majors for home runs this season with 43 with a league-high .680 slugging percentage, batting at .299 with 89 runs, 115 hits and 93 RBIs.

 

Hot property Soto stars as Mets see off Nats

Amid trade speculation, Juan Soto underlined his value with the Washington Nationals with a fine all-round performance in their 7-3 loss to the New York Mets.

Soto showed off his speed around the bases to score for 1-0 in the first inning, before some brilliance from the outfield saw him throw out runner Tomas Nido on the home plate.

After Pete Alonso's 27th blast of the season put the Mets 4-1 up, Soto returned fire with his own home run in the fourth inning, his 21st of the year.

Francisco Lindor's sixth inning homer rounded out the win for the Mets who improve to 65-37.

 

Dodgers too strong for Giants

Max Muncy and Trea Turner both homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers proved too good for National League (NL) West rivals San Francisco Giants 8-2.

Muncy's second-inning two-run blast put the Dodgers ahead after Darin Ruf scored in the first, with Freddie Freeman driving in Mookie Betts in the fourth to open up a 4-1 lead.

Turner unleashed his 17th home run of the season at the top of the seventh inning with a fly ball to center field to settle the contest, helping the Dodgers move to 69-33 at the top of the NL West.

The Philadelphia Phillies rode an improbable five-RBI night from struggling young shortstop Bryson Stott to defeat the reigning champion Atlanta Braves 6-4 on Monday.

Both starting pitchers performed well, with Braves ace Max Fried striking out eight batters in six innings, allowing three earned runs, while Phillies starter Ranger Suarez gave up no earned runs in five frames.

However, despite Suarez's effectiveness on the mound, the Braves still scored three unearned runs in the second inning, with a fielding error allowing two runs to score, and then a wild pitch bringing home the third.

Later in the second inning, Stott put the Phillies on the board with a clutch two-out, two-run double, and then catcher J.T. Realmuto tied the game at 3-3 in the third frame with his RBI single.

The Braves edged back in front in the sixth through Marcel Ozuna's RBI hit – one of three hits on the night for the left-fielder – and that lead would hold until the bottom of the eighth inning.

With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Alec Bohm and Yairo Munoz knocked singles to get on base, bringing Stott to the plate for his big moment. He connected on a 378-foot home run to right field, making him responsible for five of the Phillies' six runs.

24-year-old Stott is having a rough season so far – with a batting average of .196 – but this was his fourth multi-hit outing from his last 10 starts, batting .355 over that stretch.

Despite the loss, it was still a strong showing from Braves power bat Austin Riley, who hit a pair of doubles to bring his doubles total to 25 this season – good for 10th in the majors.

India's grand slam lifts Reds 

Jonathan India's first career grand slam was the highlight of a dominant 11-2 win for the Cincinnati Reds against the Miami Marlins.

The Reds led narrowly 3-2 in the fourth inning, but the game got out of hand quickly after Brandon Drury blasted a three-run home run – continuing his vastly improved season that could see him traded to a contender.

An inning later, India blew things out with his 409-foot, no-doubt grand slam for the designated hitter's sixth long-ball of the season.

Soto show rolls into LA

The man being discussed as arguably the most valuable trade asset in MLB history, Juan Soto, flashed the skills that have put him in the position to turn down a $440million contract.

Soto batted in a pair of runs from his two hits in the Washington Nationals' 4-1 win away against the Los Angeles Dodgers, only a week after winning the Home Run Derby in the same stadium.

He did not send any balls over the fence in this one, but he hooked a two-run triple down the right-field line to give his side some breathing room in the fifth inning.

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