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.

The man at the centre of the the biggest potential trade story of the season, Juan Soto, gave another display of his value on Monday as he won the MLB Home Run Derby.

Soto, 23, recently rejected a 15-year, $440million extension with the Washington Nationals, sparking rumours that the franchise would instead try to cash-in on him for what is expected to be one of the greatest trade hauls in league history.

He went second in all three of his matchups, meaning he never had a chance to bat out his full time and put up a monstrous score, but he chased down his target relatively comfortably all three times.

He defeated Cleveland Guardians star Jose Ramirez 18-17 in the first round, setting up a surprise matchup with future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols after the legend shocked top seed Kyle Schwarber 20-19 in a swing-off after tying 13-13 in regulation.

Pujols could not repeat the heroics in the second round, getting eliminated 16-15 as Soto booked his place in the final.

On the other side of the bracket, Seattle Mariners rookie Julio Rodriguez would steal the show, crushing the highest total of the day with 32 home runs as the very first batter of the event, eliminating Corey Seager.

Rodriguez then showed up the reigning back-to-back champion, Pete Alonso, with a score of 31-23, storming into the final opposite Soto.

Ultimately, Rodriguez ran out of juice, only putting up 18 in the decider, which Soto was able to chase down with 30 seconds to spare to claim the crown. Soto also finished with the longest home run of the day at 482 feet.

As one of the brightest young stars in baseball, Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto was once thought to be untouchable on the trade market.  

Shortly after rejecting a 15-year contract to stay with the Nationals, however, Soto finds himself on the trading block, and he isn’t sure what to think about it.  

"It feels really uncomfortable," Soto told reporters ahead of Monday’s Home Run Derby in Los Angeles. "You don't know what to trust. But at the end of the day, it's out of my hands in what decision they make."

Over the weekend, Soto rejected a 15-year, $440million contract extension offer, leading to fresh speculation that the 23-year-old slugger is available with the August 2 trade deadline fast approaching.  

That deal would have carried the largest total value in baseball history, but the average annual salary of $29.3 million would rank 16th in the league this season – not enough to appease Soto’s representation.  

By the lofty standards he set for himself, Soto had a slow start to this season and is hitting .250 at the break, although his 20 home runs have him tied for 14th in the majors.  

Soto admitted that, despite his best efforts, his future has been on his mind during this season.  

"Here and there, you know. But you can't blame that on your stats or anything you can do on the field," he said. "At the end of the day, I just try to forget about everything outside for three hours, and try to be the 12-year-old that I've been and play baseball as hard as I can and try to enjoy it as much as I can." 

After winning the 2019 World Series, the Nationals have been well below .500 in the past two seasons, and are 31-63 this campaign.  

Washington have already traded other pillars of that championship team – notably, Max Scherzer and Trea Turner – and Soto’s situation leaves general manager Mike Rizzo on the verge of a total organizational rebuild.  

The Seattle Mariners set a new record on Sunday as they defeated the Texas Rangers 6-2 for their 14th consecutive win – the longest winning streak entering the All-Star break in MLB history.

Prior to this season, the longest winning streak heading into the All-Star break was 10 games, set by the 1935 Detroit Tigers, the 1945 Chicago Cubs and the 1975 Cincinnati Reds. All three teams ended up making the World Series.

It was a great showing from the Mariners' top hitters as their two All-Stars drove in a pair of runs each. 

A late addition to the American League All-Star roster, Ty France connected on the longest drive of the game with his 432-foot solo home run in the fifth inning, extending the Mariners' lead to 3-1.

Rookie of the Year favourite – and the only rookie All-Star – Julio Rodriguez then drove in a pair of runs with his double in the seventh inning, and Rodriguez was brought home by a France RBI base hit as the very next batter.

Of all rookies in the majors this season, Rodriguez leads in hits (93), home runs (16), RBIs (50), runs (52) and stolen bases (21).

The Mariners are now 51-42 for the season, giving them the fourth-best record in the American League. They are also one game away from tying their longest winning streak of all time, with 15-in-a-row set in 2001.

Soto homers in Nationals win

Washington Nationals star Juan Soto showed why he is expected to fetch one of the largest trade hauls in the history of the league as he connected on his 20th home run of the season in his side's 7-3 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Soto is reportedly on the trade block after turning down a 15-year, $440million contract extension, with the 23-year-old considered one of the purest hitters in the game.

He connected on his homer in the eighth inning to put the finishing touches on the win and continue his barnstorming July. After an uncharacteristically poor start to the season, Soto is 17-of-40 at the plate this month, with an on-base percentage of .589 while slugging .850.

Cease pitches a gem

Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease was at the top of his game as his team hammered the Minnesota Twins 11-0.

Cease, arguably the best pitcher not to be named an All-Star this season, showed his quality with seven scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and two walks while striking out eight.

Nine of the 10 White Sox batters collected at least one hit, with elite first baseman Andrew Vaughn hitting a home run among his three knocks, and their lone offensive All-Star Tim Anderson had a two-RBI single to open the scoring.

Juan Soto has rejected a 15-year, $440million extension from the Washington Nationals, who now plan on listening to trade offers for the star outfielder, according to reports.

The deal would have made the 23-year-old the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball history, surpassing Mike Trout's 12-year, $426.5m contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Nationals will now look to entertain trade offers for Soto ahead of the August 2 deadline.

Soto is making $17m this year and will not be an unrestricted free agent until after the 2024 season, so the Nationals have him under control until then.

General manager Mike Rizzo told a Washington D.C. radio station last month that the team had no plans to trade Soto, but the mood appears to have now changed.

"We are not trading Juan Soto," Rizzo said in early June. "We made it clear to his agent [Scott Boras] and to the player… We have every intention of building this team around Juan Soto."

Boras spoke about Soto's future at MLB's general managers meetings in November.

"Juan Soto wants to win," Boras said. "So the first thing that's going to have to happen is that he knows that he's working with an ownership that's going to annually try to compete and win.

"And then I think once he knows that, then he'll be ready to sit down and talk whenever they choose to talk."

The Nationals are struggling again this season, entering Saturday with the worst record in the majors at 30-62.

That comes on the heels of Washington's last-place finish in the National League East last season (65-97) and a 26-34 record in the 2020 pandemic-shortened season after the franchise won its first World Series title in 2019.

Soto is also having a bit of a down season despite recently being named an All-Star for the second time in his career, hitting .247 with 19 homers and 42 RBIs in 89 games after entering the season with a career batting average of .301.

The Washington Nationals have exercised the 2023 contract options of general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Dave Martinez, keeping in place the leadership duo who helped guide the franchise to a World Series title in 2019. 

The Nationals opt for continuity despite being mired in a 29-50 season, likely their third straight losing campaign since winning the World Series. 

"Mike and Davey have been leading the Washington Nationals for several years and it is only right to continue with them at the forefront," Nationals owner Mark D. Lerner said in a statement.

"Mike has led us through many different phases of our organisation, and we believe his work during this current phase will pay off in the end."

Rizzo, 61, is in his 14th year heading baseball operations for Washington, leading the organisation to four NL East titles and overseeing the acquisition of stars like Max Scherzer, Juan Soto, Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon. 

He was named baseball's Executive of the Year in 2019. 

Since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005, no one has managed more games for the Nationals than Martinez, who has a 295-330 record (.472 winning percentage).

"Davey has done a tremendous job in the clubhouse and in the dugout for five seasons," Lerner's statement said.

"His continued determination and unwavering support of his players makes us proud. We are lucky to have Mike and Davey leading the way."

Pittsburgh Pirates center-fielder Bryan Reynolds hit three home runs to carry his side to an 8-7 away win against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

The Nationals had it all working at the plate, collecting 16 hits compared to nine for the Pirates, but Reynolds' power made the difference.

Reynolds connected on his first home run as the second batter of the game, following up Ke'Bryan Hayes' base hit with a 389-foot shot to make it 2-0.

Washington would tie things up later in the first inning thanks to RBI hits from Nelson Cruz and Keibert Ruiz, and star right-fielder Juan Soto got in on the action in the second frame, putting the Nationals up 3-2 with his RBI double.

After Pittsburgh's Daniel Vogelbach hit a 400-foot home run, and the Nationals drove in three more through Ruiz, Cesar Hernandez and Yadiel Hernandez, Reynolds returned to the plate in the sixth inning, trailing 6-4.

His 420-foot solo home run trimmed the margin to 6-5, and followed it up an inning later with a three-run, 389-foot bomb to jump ahead 8-6.

Yadiel Hernandez made things interesting down the stretch when his home run brought the Nationals back to within one run, but Yerry De Los Santos was able to protect the lead and register his first save of the season for the Pirates.

Pirates super-prospect Oneil Cruz was quiet, with no hits, but he was walked twice from his four at-bats, and also reached base on a fielding error.

Judge blasts another in Yankees win

Only one player has more than 23 home runs this season, and Aaron Judge added to his league-leading tally as he crushed his 29th long ball in a 5-3 home win against the Oakland Athletics.

The Athletics started hot as they chained together four hits in the opening inning, highlighted by a two-run double for Stephen Piscotty to lead 3-0.

They would not score in the final eight frames as Yankees starter Jameson Taillon found his footing, and the bullpen combination of Lucas Luetge, Miguel Castro and Clay Holmes allowed just two hits and no walks in the final four innings.

Judge's home run also came in the first inning - a 429-foot, two-run launch as the Yankees' second batter of the game - before Giancarlo Stanton added three more runs with his 391-foot homer in the third inning. Stanton is also top 10 in home runs this season, with 19, while fellow Yankee Anthony Rizzo has 20.

Ohtani pitches a gem for the Angels

Shohei Ohtani struck out 11 batters in the Los Angeles Angels' 4-1 win against the Chicago White Sox, continuing his charge towards back-to-back AL MVPs.

Ohtani – who is also tied for 13th in the league with 17 home runs as a hitter – is now eighth in the league for total strikeouts as a pitcher (101) after a career-high 13 in his last start against the Kansas City Royals.

He held the White Sox scoreless through five-and-two-thirds innings, giving up five hits and one walk as he registered at least 10 strikeouts for the fifth time in his past 11 starts.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wacha wins it for Boston

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

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

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

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

Hays hits for the cycle

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

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

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

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

Mike Trout hit his fifth home run of the Los Angeles Angels' five-game series against the Seattle Mariners to help his side to a 4-0 road win.

Trout hit two home runs in the series-opener on Thursday, and after a zero-for-three performance in the second game, he followed it up with a homer in each of the third, fourth and fifth games.

On Sunday he blasted his 21st of the season – the second-most in the majors – to give his side a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Angels pitcher Kenny Rosenberg put in a strong performance in his second start of the season, throwing four-and-two-thirds innings of scoreless baseball, allowing two hits and three walks.

It was a spectacular showing from the Angels bullpen as well, not allowing a single hit or walk the rest of the way after Rosenberg was withdrawn, while striking out seven batters.

Max Stassi finally added another run for the away side in the seventh inning when he brought home Luis Rengifo with an RBI double, before Jared Walsh completed the scoring with a base hit in the eighth inning that allowed Taylor Ward to make it home off a fielding error.

The series win against the Mariners has helped get the Angels' season back on track, winning four-out-of-five after coming into the slate of games with just two wins from their previous 20.

Blue Jays win epic power display

The Toronto Blue Jays won a high-scoring battle against the New York Yankees 10-9 as two of the most powerful batting sides combined for nine home runs.

Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero hit the first of the game with a two-run shot in the opening inning, but over the next four frames home runs to Gleyber Torres and Josh Donaldson, as well as RBI doubles to Aaron Judge and Torres had the Yankees up 6-2.

Toronto's George Springer hit a solo home run in the sixth frame, answered by two solo shots from New York's Kyle Higashioka and Marwin Gonzalez, but the Blue Jays would not go away.

Down 8-3, Toronto came all the way back with a grand slam by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and a three-run homer from Teoscar Hernandez, with Jordan Romano completing a five-out save.

Soto shows his swing in Nationals upset

Juan Soto came through in a big spot for the Washington Nationals to defeat the red-hot Philadelphia Phillies 9-3.

Soto, considered to be one of the game's greatest young hitters, is having the worst season of his career, with his batting average of .218 well below his career average of .290.

He only had one hit from five at-bats against the Phillies, but it was a big one, driving a 428-foot, three-run home run in the second inning to give his side some breathing room.

For the Phillies, the loss was just their third from their past 18 games.

San Diego Padres ace and NL Cy Young Award candidate Joe Musgrove put in another quality start to help his side to a 6-4 away win against the Chicago Cubs.

While Musgrove finished with a great game, it was a rough beginning, with Christopher Morel hitting a home run from the Cubs' first at-bat of the game.

The Padres took the lead in the second inning as Nomar Mazara connected on a two-run home run, before Jake Cronenworth's RBI double a couple of batters later made it 3-1.

Andrelton Simmons pulled one run back with a base hit later in the second inning, and that would be the last run Musgrove gave up, holding the Cubs scoreless for the next five innings.

Musgrove finished with nine strikeouts from seven complete innings, giving up two earned runs from five hits and one walk.

His dominance through the middle innings allowed the Padres to open up some breathing room, with MVP candidate Manny Machado tacking on a run with an RBI single in the fourth, before Austin Nola made it 5-2 with a sacrifice fly an inning later.

Jurickson Profar completed the away side's scoring with a solo home run in the eighth inning, before the Cubs added a pair of consolation runs with RBIs to Frank Schwindel and Ian Happ.

Machado finished with three hits – all singles – from five at-bats, taking his batting average for the season up to .328.

Yankees walk it off

The New York Yankees came out on top in a hard-fought pitching duel, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 thanks to a walk-off home run by Anthony Rizzo.

Francisco Mejia finally broke the deadlock with a solo home run to give the Rays a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning, before Rizzo tied things up with an RBI single an inning later.

Yankees starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt only went three innings before he was withdrawn, while Rays starter Jalen Beeks pitched just two innings without allowing a baserunner before he was also pulled, with the two teams trusting their bullpens in long-relief.

With the scores tied in the bottom of the ninth inning, with one out, Rizzo cleared the fence with the game-winning homer, moving the Yankees' league-leading record to 47-16.

Phillies stay hot

It's now 12 wins from their past 14 games for the Philadelphia Phillies after a dominant 10-1 win against the Washington Nationals.

Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler was lights-out on the mound, giving up just one run from four hits and no walks in seven complete innings, while his side were just as impressive with the bat.

Five Phillies drove in at least one run each, with Kyle Schwarber the star, hitting two massive home runs, with both travelling further than 415 feet.

The defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves will be without Ozzie Albies for at least two months.

The Braves placed the All-Star second baseman on the 60-day injured list a day after he fractured his left foot in Monday's 9-5 win over the Washington Nationals.

Albies sustained the injury on an awkward swing while batting in the fifth inning. He took a step out of the batter's box on a groundout to the shortstop before falling to the ground in pain.

"Hate it for Ozzie. Hate it for us," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He'll be fine. He's young, he'll heal quick.

"Like I said, I just hate it for the kid, because he loves to play baseball and he's such a big part of our club. It's a chance for somebody else to do something good."

Orlando Arcia took over for Albies and is expected be Atlanta's primary second baseman for the foreseeable future.

It will be virtually impossible, however, to replace Albies' bat.

The 25-year-old hit a career-high 30 home runs last season and his 98 career homers are the most by a Braves second baseman in franchise history. He is batting .244 with eight home runs, 33 RBIs and 34 runs scored in 62 games this season.

Albies' injury marred yet another victory for the Braves, who have won 13 in a row to pull within five games of the NL East-leading New York Mets. This is Atlanta's longest winning streak since a 14-game run from July 26 to August 9, 2013.

With Albies sidelined, this marks the second year in a row the Braves will have to overcome an injury to one of their young stars.

Ronald Acuna Jr. had just been named to his second All-Star Game before suffering a torn right ACL while trying to make a leaping catch in the outfield at Marlins Park on July 10 last year.

The knee injury sidelined him for the final three months of the regular season and forced him to miss Atlanta's run to the franchise's first World Series championship since 1995.

It was a dominant display from the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday as their stars shone brightly, defeating the Baltimore Orioles 11-1 in front of their home fans.

Blue Jays ace pitcher Alek Manoah never gave the Orioles a chance, allowing just one hit and one walk as he held the Orioles scoreless through six innings, striking out seven.

With the bat, Alejandro Kirk gave Toronto a lead in the first inning with an RBI single, before MVP candidate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. left his mark.

Guerrero made it 2-0 in the third inning when he drove in a run with a single, and he repeated his efforts in the fifth inning, driving home another run with an infield single to make it 3-0.

With some breathing room, the Blue Jays blew things out in the fifth frame, with Teoscar Hernandez's RBI double, followed by two-run base hits to both Santiago Espinal and Raimel Tapia, capped off by an RBI triple to Cavan Biggio.

Ultimately the Blue Jays scored seven runs from seven hits and a walk in the inning.

Guerrero put the finishing touches on in the eighth, crushing a 432-foot home run for his team-high 15th for the season, while Bo Bichette and George Springer both finished with a pair of hits.

Harper keeps hitting while Phillies keep winning

Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper's quest to go back-to-back received another boost in the Philadelphia Phillies' 3-2 win against the Miami Marlins.

Harper was walked in the first inning, and then took advantage during his second at-bat, opening the scoring with an RBI double in the third frame.

He was walked again in the eighth inning, putting Rhys Hoskins into scoring position and setting up the tying run, and Hoskins then delivered again in the ninth, sending the Phillies fans home happy with a walk-off RBI double.

It is the 10th Phillies win from their past 11 games, bringing their rapidly improving record to 31-30.

Braves win 12th straight 

The hottest team in baseball kept their streak alive as the Atlanta Braves won their 12th consecutive game, beating the Washington Nationals 9-5.

Dansby Swanson was the star for the Braves, with a two-run RBI base hit in the second inning, before a 423-foot, two-run homer in the sixth inning.

He was one of five Braves players to go deep, as Travis d'Arnaud (373 feet), Marcell Ozuna (410 feet), Adam Duvall (397 feet) and Michael Harris II (388 feet) all hit home runs.

The Philadelphia Phillies put on a show against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, dominating with bat and ball to run away with a 10-0 win.

Philadelphia's stars were shining bright, with ace pitcher Aaron Nola on the mound, and MVP candidate Bryce Harper got in on the fun late.

Nola never gave the Brewers a chance to get into the game, pitching eight shutout innings, conceding just four hits and no walks to go with six strikeouts.

On the other side, Milwaukee's Adrian Houser had a tougher outing, with a pair of two-run homers in the third inning to Bryson Stott and Rhys Hoskins blowing the game open.

A solo home run to Odubel Herrera made it 5-0 in the fifth inning, before Kyle Schwarber collected two RBI doubles – one in the seventh frame and one in the ninth – to extend the lead to 7-0.

With the game well in hand, Harper stepped up to the plate with two outs in the final inning and put a bow on the contest, blasting the biggest hit of the game with his 413-foot, three-run home run.

Marlins ace Alcantara amazes

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara was the star in his side's 2-1 extra innings win at home against the Washington Nationals, pitching nine scoreless frames.

It was not just Alcantara pitching at the top of his game, as neither team was able to score a single run in the nine innings of regulation play, with Nationals starter Josiah Gray striking out six in his five innings of shutout work.

While the Nationals used four pitchers to make it through the nine innings, the Marlins needed only Alcantara, who gave up six hits and no walks before finishing his ninth inning in 105 pitches.

Washington finally broke the deadlock with an RBI single to Keibert Ruiz, but Willians Astudillo and Jesus Aguilar strung hits together in the bottom of the 10th to drive in the winning run.

Angels fall to record-breaking low

The Los Angeles Angels lost their franchise-record 14th consecutive game as they failed to score a single run in a 1-0 loss at home against the Boston Red Sox.

Red Sox starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi was terrific, giving up six hits and no walks in his five scoreless innings, and the bullpen was just as impressive, combining to hold the Angels to just one hit and no walks in the final four frames.

Reid Detmers was strong on the mound for the Angels, giving up no runs in his four-and-a-third innings, but a Bobby Dalbec RBI double in the sixth frame would prove to be enough to deliver a Boston win.

Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg will make his much-anticipated return to the rotation Thursday to face the Miami Marlins.

Strasburg, 33, has been considered a superstar prospect since before he arrived in the majors, earning number one overall selection in the 2009 MLB Draft and fulfilling the promise of his talent.

In 2019 the three-time All-Star reached the pinnacle, being named World Series MVP as he guided the Nationals to their first ever championship in the midst of an injury-ravaged career.

Manager Dave Martinez told reporters that Strasburg would be activated from the injured list before Tuesday’s series opener in Miami, and implied he would not be on a pitch or innings count.

"I'm not going to put any limitations on him," Martinez said. "We'll see how far we can take him.

"We'll keep a close eye on him, but this is one of the reasons why we wanted him to go through what he did and to make sure that he's fully ready." 

As part of his journey back from injury, he made three rehabilitation starts in the minor leagues, throwing 13 2/3 innings and striking out 13 batters.  

Strasburg last pitched in the majors just over a year ago on June 1, 2021. Last summer, he underwent surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome – the compression of nerves between the collarbone and first rib that leads to shoulder and neck pain, along with numbness of the fingers.  

His 2020 campaign was also cut short due to season-ending surgery, that time for neuritis in his throwing hand.  

Now in his 13th season, Strasburg has made just seven starts since leading the Nationals to their 2019 crown, for which he was rewarded with a seven-year, $245million contract extension that runs through 2026.

Twice a top-five finisher in Cy Young Award voting, Strasburg returns to a last-place Washington team that is in desperate need of a spark. The Nationals entered play on Tuesday with a 21-35 record, and their rotation has posted an MLB-worst 5.88 ERA this season.  

Shohei Ohtani had a bad time in the Bronx on Thursday, as the New York Yankees took the first of two games in a double-header against the Los Angeles Angels.

Matt Carpenter continued his solid form since signing as a free agent, seeing his way through an 11-pitch at-bat to score a lead-off home run off Ohtani in the 6-1 win.

Carpenter now has three home runs from 16 at-bats for the Yankees, while the reigning American League MVP gave up eight hits and four runs on the way to being pulled after three innings.

Jameson Taillon took a perfect game into the eighth inning as the Pinstripes won Thursday's second game 2-1, moving their record for the season to 36-15.

Further misfortune was dealt to Ohtani in the second game, with Wandy Peralta striking him out to confirm the save.

Rookie Ashcraft leads Reds in Nationals win

Rookie starting pitcher Graham Ashcraft continued his impressive start in the major leagues, as the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Washington Nationals 8-1.

The 24-year-old secured his first win last Friday, throwing six scoreless innings against the San Francisco Giants, and did not have to wait long for his second in another dominant performance.

The right-hander struck out five and gave up four hits over 92 pitches in seven innings, setting up what was only the Reds' 18th win of the season.

Alcantara assumes control against Giants

Sandy Alcantara allowed only three hits in an assured display, leading the Miami Marlins to a 3-0 win over the San Francisco Giants.

The 26-year-old walked two and struck out eight, while extending his run of at least seven innings pitched to five starts, and lowering his ERA to 1.81.

The Marlins scored early via a Jacob Stallings single, and that was all the run-support Alcantara needed, moving them to 21-28 for the season.

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