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J.P. Crawford hits sacrifice fly in 10th inning to lift Mariners past Astros, 2-1

SEATTLE (AP) — J.P. Crawford drove in Jonatan Clase with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Seattle Mariners a 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Wednesday night.

A game dominated by pitching ended with Crawford lifting a fly ball to deep right field that allowed Clase to jog home and give the Mariners wins in the first three games of the four-game series with their AL West rival.

The winning run came after dominant starting pitching by Houston’s Justin Verlander and Seattle’s George Kirby. Verlander allowed one run, three hits and struck out nine over seven innings; Kirby allowed one run, six hits and struck out eight in six innings.

“That’s as good as it gets in this league, any league, Verlander and George going back and forth,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It was fun to watch when George was out there. It wasn’t so fun to watch when Verlander was out there. It was one of those games going into it you have to figure out a way to grind through it.”

The bullpens were equally strong. Trent Thornton, Gabe Speier, Austin Voth and Andrés Muñoz allowed one baserunner with six strikeouts over three innings. Mike Baumann (2-0) retired the Astros in order in the top of the 10th on a pair of fly outs and Jose Altuve’s groundout.

But Houston’s Tayler Scott (1-2) couldn’t find the same success. Dominic Canzone grounded out to second base to open the 10th, allowing Clase — the automatic runner — to advance to third. Cal Raleigh and Luke Raley walked to load the bases and Crawford drove a 0-1 pitch deep enough for Clase to score.

“Get the game over with, get the job done and let’s go home,” Crawford said. “Get a good pitch, don’t miss it. And, thankfully I didn’t miss it.”

Seattle missed a chance to win it in the ninth, but Julio Rodríguez was stranded at third base after Josh Hader struck out Ryan Bliss and Mitch Haniger.

Verlander was nearly flawless, giving up only Canzone’s fifth homer of the season with one out in the fifth inning. Canzone’s homer was his second since coming off the injured list two weeks ago and traveled an estimated 408 feet on a chilly night when the ball struggled to carry.

Verlander has pitched at least seven innings in five consecutive outings against the Mariners in the regular season dating to the 2022 season.

“They have an outstanding rotation, good bullpen. You know these are going to be close gamem,” Verlander said. “If you think you’re going to come in here and bang out five, six, seven runs a game, I don’t think that’s realistic.”

Kirby gave up Jake Meyers’ RBI single in the fourth inning but that was all the Astros could manage.

Kirby struck out eight and pitched at least six innings for the sixth time in seven starts. He’s allowed 11 earned runs struck out 42 and walked only three batters in 36 1/3 innings over six starts at home this season.

One of the keys for Kirby was landing his offspeed pitches early in the game. He also escaped a jam in the sixth leaving runners stranded at the corners.

“They’re aggressive and just got to make them feel uncomfortable. Used a lot of different offspeed tonight, I thought that worked really well,” Kirby said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: Manager Joe Espada said RHPs Cristian Javier and José Urquidy are both getting additional opinions on the discomfort in their right forearms.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Spencer Arrighetti (2-5, 6.93) allowed three runs in five innings and took the loss in his last start against Oakland. Arrighetti has never pitched against Seattle.

Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert (3-2, 3.06) threw eight shutout innings against the Astros on May 4 in Houston. Gilbert has allowed three earned runs or less in nine of 11 starts this season.

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Gil, Verdugo propel Yankees to 2-1 victory over Angels as Volpe extends hitting streak to 21 games

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Luis Gil struck out nine and won his sixth straight start, continuing a record run by the starters, Alex Verdugo homered and the New York Yankees bounced back with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.

Anthony Volpe extended his hitting streak to 21 games with two hits, tying the longest run in the majors this season. He also scored.

Logan O’Hoppe had a solo shot for the Angels, who have dropped four of five.

Despite the low-scoring game, there was plenty of drama early and late.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected in the first inning after baserunner interference was called on Juan Soto. In the ninth, the Angels had runners on first and second with none out before Willie Calhoun grounded into a double play and Logan O’Hoppe grounded out to third.

“It was a little weird to start, but also a really fun game to watch, albeit nerve wracking,” Boone said.

Gil (7-1) allowed one run on two hits in eight innings, extending the starting staff’s MLB-record run to 16 straight games in which they have gone at least five innings and allowed two runs or fewer.

Since May 12, Yankees starters have gone 12-4 and allowed only 11 earned runs in 99 innings for a 1.00 ERA. Opposing teams have a .158 batting average.

“The plan from the get go was to be able to spot the fastball up, mixed with secondary pitches and to be able to command pitches in the strike zone,” Gil said through an interpreter. “I think when we’re able to do that it allows you to have a good rhythm and go deep into the game.”

Clay Holmes survived the early traffic in the ninth for his 16th save.

After the Yankees had an unassisted double play turned against them in the first inning due to baserunner interference by Juan Soto and a second-inning rally end due to Anthony Rizzo being hit by a batted ball from DJ LeMahieu, Verdugo drove an elevated sinker by Tyler Anderson (5-5) into the stands in right field.

Volpe made it 2-0 in the seventh when he hit a triple into the right field corner and came home when Angels second baseman Luis Rengifo’s throw to third went into the camera well.

Gil had retired 11 straight until O’Hoppe went deep off the auxiliary scoreboard just above the wall in right-center.

“We hung in the game. We had the tying and winning run on the bag, we just didn’t come through,” Angels manager Ron Washington said.

New York appeared as if it was going to break things open early when its first three batters got aboard, only to be done in by an unconventional double play.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a high popup near the bag at second. Umpires called an infield fly, but Soto bumped into Angels shortstop Zach Neto with his hip as he tried to get back to second base, causing Neto to lose track of the ball, which landed in the infield.

Second base umpire Vic Carapazza ruled that Soto interfered with Neto, leading to the second out.

The Yankees had runners on first and second with one in the second, but LeMahieu’s grounder hit Rizzo as he was running to third for an automatic out.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: INF Kevin Smith ended up accepting an outright assignment to Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre. The team announced on Tuesday that he had elected free agency.

UP NEXT

A matchup of left-handers in the series finale. Carlos Rodón (6-2, 2.95 ERA) goes for the Yankees, while the Angels counter with Patrick Sandoval (2-7, 5.60 ERA).

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Rodgers hits 2-run HR during 6-run 2nd inning, Blach goes 7 innings as Rockies beat Guardians 7-4

DENVER (AP) — Brendan Rodgers hit a two-run home run during a six-run second inning, Ty Blach overcame a shaky start to give up two runs over seven innings and the Colorado Rockies beat the Cleveland Guardians 7-4 on Wednesday night.

The last-place Rockies have now won three consecutive series and have gone 12-7 after a disastrous 8-28 start to the season.

“We thought it was there, but you needed to see it,” Rockies catcher Jacob Stallings said. “We all believed. We never got too down during that stretch. We always believed we could win. Credit to the guys. Now we’re playing like it and it’s showing up on the field.”

Eight of the nine players in Colorado’s lineup had a hit, with Stallings, Ryan McMahon, Elias Díaz, Sean Bouchard and Hunter Goodman each recording an RBI. Those contributions gave Colorado its second-highest run total in an inning this season while chasing Guardians starter Logan Allen (6-3) from the game.

Rockies reliever Tyler Kinley allowed two runs in the ninth inning and had the tying run at the plate with two outs and runners on first and second, but struck out Andrés Giménez to help his team hold on.

After giving up three hits, two runs and two walks in the first inning, Blach (2-2) shut out Cleveland over the next six innings, with four strikeouts and no walks in that time. It was his second consecutive quality start after allowing 11 runs across 13 innings in his first three starts of the season.

“Especially at Coors Field, we know that anything and everything is going to happen,” Blach said. “You kind of take that approach mentally before every game and say, hey, no matter what it is, I’ve got to stay locked in and make pitches. If it’s a bad first inning, find a way to bounce back and eat as many innings as you can because we know we can put up a six-spot in a hurry in this ballpark.”

The loss snapped a run of four consecutive series victories for the Guardians, who had won 13 of their previous 15 games.

“We don’t want to lose any series, but if you go 4-2 on a road trip, you’re going to do good things over the course of the year,” Cleveland manager Stephen Vogt said. “Our guys played their hearts out. They played great. We had a couple get away from us here in Colorado, which can happen.”

In his first career appearance at Coors Field, Allen allowed seven earned runs in just 1 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. In his previous three starts, all wins, Allen had allowed just three earned runs across 17 2/3 innings.

“To not be able to settle in there, give up a six-spot and not even get out of the second, that’s pretty bad,” Allen said. “It’s embarrassing. I’ve got to be better.”

Josh Naylor had two hits and an RBI for Cleveland. José Ramírez, who leads the majors in RBIs, doubled in the first inning, but his career-best streak of seven consecutive games with an RBI came to an end.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rockies: LHP Austin Gomber (left elbow soreness) will start Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Gomber had been scheduled to start Monday against the Guardians, but was scratched.

UP NEXT

Rockies: RHP Dakota Hudson (1-7, 5.54 ERA) will take the mound against RHP Walker Buehler (1-2, 4.26) and the host Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

Guardians: RHP Tanner Bibee (3-1, 3.99) will square off at home against Washington and LHP Patrick Corbin (1-5, 6.12) on Friday.

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Toronto’s bullpen delivers as the Blue Jays beat the White Sox 3-1 after Manoah gets hurt

CHICAGO (AP) — Trevor Richards and Toronto’s bullpen delivered after Alek Manoah departed because of elbow discomfort, and the Blue Jays beat the slumping Chicago White Sox 3-1 on Wednesday night.

With two out and a runner on third in the second inning, Manoah was checked on by manager John Schneider and a trainer after throwing a 91.4 mph sinker to Dominic Fletcher for a ball. The big right-hander then departed after a short discussion on the mound.

The 26-year-old Manoah will have an MRI on Thursday.

“Kind of just felt really pinchy,” he said. “At that point, like mentally, I was just like do I keep grinding through this and maybe make it worse or just hand the ball to somebody else.”

Richards (1-0) came in and pitched 3 1/3 innings of one-hit ball. Tim Mayza, Zach Pop and Yimi García each got three outs before Jordan Romano earned his eighth save in nine chances, finishing a four-hitter.

Korey Lee hit his fifth homer off Romano with two out in the ninth, but left fielder Daulton Varsho finished the game with a solid running catch on Paul DeJong’s drive.

“Nice that we have an off day tomorrow, but I think you can’t say enough about Trevor covering what he did as efficiently as he did,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa drove in two runs for Toronto, which completed a 4-3 trip.

The White Sox have lost a season-high eight straight games and 12 of 13 overall. With sweeps by Baltimore (four games) and Toronto (three), it was the first winless homestand of at least seven games in franchise history.

Chris Flexen (2-5) issued a season-high five walks in five innings, but he struck out six while limiting Toronto to two runs and four hits.

Bo Bichette hit an RBI single in the third for the Blue Jays, and Kiner-Falefa singled in George Springer in the fourth. Kiner-Falefa also drove in Springer with an unusual 8-4 fielder’s choice in the sixth.

Chicago scored a total of four runs in the series and 18 times overall on the seven-game homestand.

“There’s no magic wand here, OK, now we are going to start to hit,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “It’s about work. It’s about preparing, working. These guys are not afraid to sweat, not afraid to get after it. We have to continue to get after it.”

Andrew Vaughn hit a leadoff double and advanced to third on a Manoah wild pitch in the second. But Lee popped out, DeJong struck out swinging and Fletcher lined to right.

TRAINER’S ROOM

White Sox: CF Luis Robert Jr. (right hip flexor strain) went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts in his second rehab game with Triple-A Charlotte. … OF Tommy Pham got the day off.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: Following an off day, RHP José Berríos (5-4, 2.94 ERA) starts Friday night against Pittsburgh in the opener of a seven-game homestand.

White Sox: RHP Erick Fedde (4-1, 2.80 ERA) is the scheduled starter for Friday night’s game at Milwaukee. But Grifol was noncommittal when asked about his rotation for the three-game set against the Brewers. “We’ll wait and see after the game, see how we get through this game here and see what we’ve got,” he said.

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MLB roundup: Pirates’ Paul Skenes turns 22, tames Tigers

Paul Skenes struck out nine in six innings on his 22nd birthday as the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the host Detroit Tigers, 10-2, in the second game of a doubleheader on Wednesday.

Skenes (2-0), the No. 1 pitching prospect in baseball, allowed two runs and three hits in his fourth major league start. He had two strikeouts apiece in the first two innings and struck out the side in the fourth, relying as much on his splitter as his fastball. The flamethrowing right-hander has a 2.45 ERA, 30 strikeouts and five walks in 22 innings.

Andrew McCutchen blasted a three-run homer in the third inning on his 1,600th hit with the Pirates. McCutchen, who has played for five different teams in 16 years in the major leagues, also doubled and singled while driving in four runs. Nick Gonzales added three hits, including a solo homer, and drove in two runs.

Matt Vierling hit his fourth homer in three games for Detroit. Tigers starter Keider Montero, making his major league debut, gave up four runs and five hits while striking out five in 4 1/3 innings.

Yankees 2, Angels 1

Luis Gil gave up just two hits through eight innings, Alex Verdugo homered and New York hung on to beat Los Angeles in Anaheim, Calif.

Gil (7-1) allowed only a single to Luis Rengifo in the third inning and a solo homer to Logan O’Hoppe — his sixth of the year — in the seventh on his way to winning his sixth consecutive start.

Gil struck out nine and walked two while making 95 pitches, and at one point retired 11 straight Angels. With Gil out of the game in the ninth, however, the Angels nearly rallied. Los Angeles put runners on first and second with no outs against Yankees closer Clay Holmes, who eventually escaped for his 16th save.

Mariners 2, Astros 1 (10 innings)

J.P. Crawford’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning brought home the deciding run as Seattle defeated visiting Houston.

Dominic Canzone homered for the Mariners, who will attempt to sweep the four-game series against their American League West rivals on Thursday afternoon.

Justin Verlander allowed one run on three hits in seven innings. He walked one and matched his season-high with nine strikeouts for the Astros.

Brewers 10, Cubs 6

Christian Yelich, Blake Perkins and Willy Adames each hit a two-run homer and Milwaukee roughed up previously undefeated Shota Imanaga en route to a win over visiting Chicago.

Yelich put the Brewers up 2-0 in the first and Milwaukee added five runs in the third off Imanaga, who entered the contest with a 0.84 ERA. He had allowed a total of five earned runs in his first nine starts. But Imanaga (5-1) was tagged for seven runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings on Wednesday, striking out one and walking one as his ERA climbed to 1.86.

Jared Koenig (5-1) got the win with two innings of scoreless relief.

Dodgers 10, Mets 3

Will Smith hit two homers, including the tiebreaking solo shot in the eighth inning, as visiting Los Angeles beat slumping New York to complete a three-game sweep.

The Dodgers outscored the Mets 18-5 in the series, which was played over a 27-hour span due to a rainout Monday. Smith finished 3-for-5 while Miguel Rojas tied a career-high with four hits and had an RBI single in the eighth.

First baseman Pete Alonso, who leads the Mets with 12 homers, left after being hit on the right hand by a pitch in the first inning. He underwent imaging during the game, and initial examinations didn’t reveal a broken bone. CT scan results are expected Thursday.

Rangers 6, Diamondbacks 1

Dane Dunning threw five scoreless innings and Corey Seager homered and drove in a pair of runs to help lead Texas to a win over Arizona in Arlington, Texas.

Dunning (4-3) allowed just three hits while striking out six and walking four in guiding Texas to its third straight win.

Corbin Carroll went 3-for-5 with an RBI for Arizona, which dropped its third consecutive game. Diamondbacks starter Ryne Nelson (3-4) pitched six innings of five-hit, four-run ball. He walked three and struck out three.

Nationals 7, Braves 2

Lane Thomas hit a three-run homer and MacKenzie Gore struck out 10 batters to lead visiting Washington to another win over Atlanta. The Nationals have won two of the first three games of the four-game series.

Gore (4-4) pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits and no walks. It was his second double-digit strikeout performance of the season.

Atlanta’s Spencer Schwellenbach (0-1) made his major league debut after being called up from Double-A Mississippi. He began with four scoreless innings but, after Thomas homered with one out in the fifth, finished the inning and then left the game. In five innings he gave up three runs, five hits and one walk and with five strikeouts.

Cardinals 5, Reds 3

Andre Pallante tossed six shutout innings in his first start in two years while Nolan Gorman homered for the second straight game to lead visiting St. Louis over Cincinnati. Pallante (1-1) allowed three hits and struck out four while walking three, running his shutout string as a starter to 17 innings.

Ryan Helsley allowed one run in the ninth but managed to force Elly De La Cruz to ground into a game-ending forceout to record his National League-leading 18th save in 19 chances. Masyn Winn had three hits and extended his hitting streak to 18 games.

Despite allowing three runs on six hits over six innings, and earning his third quality start of the season, Frankie Montas posted his eighth straight start without a win.

Royals 6, Twins 1

Nelson Velazquez went 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs and Kansas City pulled away for a win over Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Salvador Perez doubled, homered and drove in two runs for Kansas City, which snapped a three-game skid. Royals right-hander Seth Lugo (9-1) won his fourth straight start. He allowed one run on six hits in six innings.

Jose Miranda drove in Minnesota’s only run. Willi Castro went 3-for-4 with a double. Twins right-hander Bailey Ober (5-3) gave up six runs on nine hits in five innings.

Phillies 6, Giants 1

Kyle Schwarber sent the fourth pitch of the game over the left-center-field wall, Cristopher Sanchez logged six scoreless innings and Philadelphia salvaged one win in a three-game series against host San Francisco.

Cristian Pache added an RBI single in the second and Nick Castellanos had a two-run homer in the fifth, helping the visitors snapp a season-worst, three-game losing streak. The homers both came off Giants starter Kyle Harrison (4-2), who suffered the first home loss of his career.

Sanchez (3-3) protected the lead with his six innings of shutout ball. He struck out seven, allowing four hits and one walk. Castellanos racked up a single, double, homer, two RBIs and two runs for Philadelphia, which took the season series 5-2.

Marlins 9, Padres 1

Josh Bell collected three of visiting Miami’s 16 hits and Jesus Sanchez homered in a 9-1 rout of San Diego that prevented a three-game sweep.

Miami starter Braxton Garrett (2-0) scattered six hits and a run over five innings with no walks and two strikeouts. Four relievers kept San Diego at bay, permitting only two hits and a walk in four scoreless innings, denying the Padres their first three-game home sweep of the season.

Yu Darvish (4-3) absorbed his second straight loss, lasting just three innings and allowing six hits. He was charged with three runs (two earned), walked one and struck out two. Donovan Solano was San Diego’s only hitter with two hits.

Orioles 6, Red Sox 1

Gunnar Henderson hit his 18th home run of the season, a grand slam during a five-run second inning as host Baltimore went on to defeat Boston.

Starter Corbin Burnes (5-2) gave up one unearned run in seven innings, allowed three hits and issued three walks while striking out five. The Orioles improved to 5-1 against the Red Sox this year and picked up their sixth victory in their past seven games overall.

The Red Sox were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and produced only six singles in the game. Boston starter Kutter Crawford (2-4) pitched six frames, yielding five runs on four hits. He walked two and fanned five.

Rays 4, Athletics 3

Jose Siri ripped a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to send Tampa Bay past Oakland in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Brandon Lowe also had two hits — a double and a triple — for the Rays, who won for just the second time in their past nine games. Tampa Bay starter Ryan Pepiot fired 5 2/3 innings, yielding two runs on three hits. He fanned seven and walked one.

Oakland’s JJ Bleday went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run, while Miguel Andujar had two hits and two RBIs. A’s starter Joey Estes tossed five innings of one-run ball. Estes gave up two hits, walked two and struck out five.

Tigers 8, Pirates 0 (Game 1)

Matt Vierling hit a three-run homer for a second straight game, Tarik Skubal tossed seven strong innings and host Detroit rolled past Pittsburgh in the first game of a doubleheader.

Vierling, who had three hits and drove in four runs, smacked a game-winning, three-run homer in a 14-11 Detroit victory over Toronto on Sunday. Riley Greene contributed two hits and scored two runs.

Skubal (7-1) limited the Pirates to three hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in seven innings. Mason Englert completed the shutout as Detroit won its fourth straight. Pirates starter Jared Jones (3-5) allowed seven runs (five earned) and five hits in 4 1/3 innings.

Rockies 7, Guardians 4

Brendan Rodgers homered in a six-run second inning, Ty Blach tossed seven strong innings, and Colorado beat Cleveland in Denver.

The Rockies took two of three games from Cleveland, which came to Coors Field riding a nine-game winning streak. Brenton Doyle finished with two of the nine hits for Colorado.

Josh Naylor and Brayan Rocchio had two hits apiece for Cleveland. Guardians starter Logan Allen was roughed up for seven runs on six hits in just 1 2/3 innings.

Blue Jays 3, White Sox 1

Trevor Richards delivered 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in a combined four-hitter and Isiah Kiner-Falefa drove in two runs as visiting Toronto blanked skidding Chicago.

The Blue Jays earned a three-game sweep while sending the White Sox to a season-worst eighth straight defeat. Chicago has lost 12 of 13.

White Sox starter Chris Flexen fell to 2-5 after allowing two runs and four hits in five innings. He walked five and struck out six.

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Thomas hits 3-run homer, Nationals beat Braves 7-2 to spoil Schwellenbach’s debut

ATLANTA (AP) — Lane Thomas hit a three-run home run and the Washington Nationals beat Atlanta 7-2 on Wednesday night to spoil Braves right-hander Spencer Schwellenbach’s major league debut.

Schwellenbach (0-1), who had never pitched above Double-A, lasted five innings, giving up three runs on five hits with five strikeouts, one walk and a hit batter.

After a leadoff double in the fifth, Schwellenbach hit Jacob Young in the head with a fastball when the No. 9 hitter squared to bunt. Young fell, face-down at the plate and Schwellenbach immediately put both hands on his head and walked toward home plate.

“I felt bad for (Young), I felt bad for (Schwellenbach),” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “He didn’t want to do that, but it looks like it came out OK.”

Young was down for a minute, but stayed in the game. Two batters later, Thomas homered to give Washington a 3-1 lead. One inning later, Young laced a two-out, two-run single to push the lead to 5-2. Kelbert Ruiz capped the Nationals’ scoring with a two-run single in the ninth that a sliding Michael Harris could not quite come up with.

“That was scary for sure,” Schwellenbach said. “Obviously, very happy that he stayed in the game and that nothing was wrong with him. (Braves pitching coach Rick Kranitz) came out and talked to me, just kind of got me settled down and it helped for sure. I was able to get back out there and keep going.”

MacKenzie Gore (4-4) picked up the win for the Nats, who have taken two of the first three games in the four-game series. Gore pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on six hits. He had 10 strikeouts and no walks.

“I thought my offspeed was good and we had a good game plan and executed it and got some strikeouts,” Gore said.

Thomas was 3 for 4 with three RBIs and two steals and two runs, and Young was 1 for 2 with two RBIs. Ruiz was 2 for 5 with two RBIs, and Joey Gallo had two hits. The Nationals tied a season high with five stolen bases.

Dylan Floro, Robert Garcia, Hunter Henry and Jordan Weems did not allow a run out of the bullpen over 3 2/3 innings. Nationals pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts.

The Nats stranded four runners in the first four innings before Thomas’ home run.

“We kept saying, we have traffic, someone is getting ready to drive in a run,” Martinez said. “It was a big one for us. After that, it seemed everyone opened up and had good at-bats.

UP NEXT

Braves LHP Ray Kerr (1-1, 5.40) was set to start the series finale Thursday night against Nationals RHP Trevor Williams (4-0, 2.29).

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Yelich, Perkins and Adames homer as Brewers come to life against Cubs, Imanaga in 10-6 win

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Christian Yelich, Blake Perkins and Willy Adames hit home runs and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 10-6 on Wednesday night, handing Shota Imanaga his first loss.

Rookie Joey Ortiz, batting leadoff for the first time, hit a double off Imanaga (5-1) in the first. Two batters later, Yelich crushed a 441-foot home run to right-center to give the Brewers an early 2-0 lead.

Imanaga entered the game with major league-leading 0.84 ERA. He had allowed five earned runs in his first nine starts before being charged with seven on Wednesday as his ERA climbed to 1.86.

Yelich’s first home run since April 10 at Cincinnati also halted Milwaukee’s 32 2/3-inning scoreless streak against Cubs starters this season and accounted for the only first-inning runs allowed by Imanaga.

“He’s got good stuff. He’s a really good pitcher,” Yelich said. “We had some really good at-bats and got some pitches to hit and didn’t really miss them. We took advantage of our opportunities tonight. We got some big hits with guys on and that was the difference.”

Ian Happ’s solo homer off Bryse Wilson in the second pulled the Cubs to within a run.

Perkins made a leaping grab at the center field fence to rob Christopher Morel of a two-run homer in the third.

Perkins said his ability to make the play comes from practicing catches at the wall during batting practice.

“It’s knowing the ball flight off the bat, I feel like I’ve made that play so many times. It’s just kind of natural now,” he said.

The Brewers scored five runs in the third. Adames had a run-scoring single, Gary Sánchez drove in a pair with a double and Perkins capped the inning with a two-run homer to push Milwaukee’s lead to 7-1.

Imanaga gave up a season-high eight hits in 4 1/3 innings, his second-shortest outing of the season. He had one walk and one strikeout in the 82-pitch outing. He entered having struck out at least seven batters in five consecutive starts.

“He wasn’t as sharp as we’ve seen him in the past. They hit his mistakes. It wasn’t a great night for Shota,” Cubs manager Craig Counsell said.

Imanaga said he mostly struggled with his changeup.

“I didn’t throw it where I wanted to,” Imanaga said through an interpreter. “They were making adjustments and I didn’t have the consistency today.”

The Cubs pushed across a run in the fourth on Michael Busch’s groundout. They added two more in the fifth.

Perkins made a spectacular diving catch of on the warning track to take away an extra-base hit from Happ in the seventh. Milwaukee added three more runs in their half of the inning, two on Adames’ ninth homer of the season.

The Cubs added a pair of runs in the ninth.

Perkins’ stellar defense earned praise from Yelich.

“He pretty much won the game for us on defense, not even counting what he did for us at the plate,” Yelich said. “It’s probably the best game I’ve ever seen him play and it was a great time for it.”

Wilson, who stood near the mound with his hands raised above his head for several seconds after Perkins’ home run-stealing grab at the fence, agreed.

“For him to have the game he did today is awesome and it makes everybody happy because of the person that he is off the field,” Wilson said. “He’s an awesome dude and for him to start becoming the player he can truly be is really fun to watch.”

Jared Koenig (5-1) pitched two innings of scoreless relief to get the win.

UP NEXT

RHP Jameson Taillon (3-2, 2.58 ERA) pitches for the Cubs and RHP Colin Rea (4-2, 3.98) starts for the Brewers in the series finale on Thursday.

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Infield fly and interference call loom large during 1st inning of Yankees-Angels game

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — An infield fly and interference call loomed large in a game for the second time in less than a week.

This time it was the New York Yankees and Juan Soto.

The Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs in the first inning Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Angels when they were done in by an unconventional double play.

Despite the strange start to the game, the Yankees were able to rally for a 2-1 victory.

“A tough way to start things when you load the bases there in the first inning and you’ve got a good pitcher on the ropes. But by the letter of the law it was probably the right call,” said New York manager Aaron Boone, who was ejected.

Giancarlo Stanton hit a high popup near the bag at second. Umpires called an infield fly, but Soto bumped into Angels shortstop Zach Neto with his hip as he tried to get back to second base, causing Neto to lose track of the ball and it landing in the infield.

Second base umpire Vic Carapazza ruled that Soto interfered with Neto, leading to the second out.

“Obviously, a wonky play. Once Juan commits to getting there and he’s trying to stay out of the way, if Neto catches it, he might catch it on the bag for a double play. It’s like, `Where do you go?'” Boone said.

Carapazza said in a pool report after the game that it was his opinion that Soto didn’t intentionally make contact with Neto to interfere, but Soto was not standing on the base, which is the only time the baserunner is protected.

“I had him interfering with the infielder and called the infield fly first, which now the batter is out. The interference after that was the second out,” Carapazza said.

Neto also agreed that Soto wasn’t trying to interfere. It was just bad timing.

“There was no intention for me to get in his way or him to get in my way, the play just happened and I was trying to catch the ball,” Neto said. “It just got a little behind me. The umpire said every big league shortstop catches that ball. I was trying to catch it and he happened to be there.”

Boone came out to argue the call and was ejected by Carapazza. It was Boone’s third ejection of the season and 36th of his career.

Tyler Anderson and the Angels got out of the inning unscathed when Alex Verdugo grounded out.

Bench coach Brad Ausmus, who managed the Angels in 2019, took over after Boone was ejected.

Last Thursday in Chicago, umpires ruled White Sox designated runner Andrew Vaughn interfered with Orioles’ shortstop Gunnar Henderson on a popup by Andrew Benintendi, ending the game, won by Baltimore 8-6.

MLB said after that game that there is some discretion to not call interference, but Carapazza said that did not apply here.

“I called the infield fly rule first, which now the batter is out. That was not the case of that (White Sox-Orioles) play. It’s a little bit different,” Carapazza said.

Boone, like White Sox manager Pedro Grifol, is hoping MLB can provide even more clarity on interference plays.

“I mean, the sequence matters. But hopefully maybe we can get to revisit a little bit,” Boone said. “Juan is in jeopardy of getting doubled off, and if he doesn’t get there and if you don’t nail the get back the exact way, he gets stuck with Neto probably misjudging a little bit. But what do you do as a runner there?”

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB


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Velázquez hits 2 HRs, Perez adds solo shot as Royals snap skid with 6-1 win over Twins

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nelson Velázquez homered twice, Salvador Perez hit his team-leading 10th homer of the season and the Kansas City Royals snapped a three-game skid with a 6-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday night.

Velázquez’s first homer came in Kansas City’s four-run third inning. After Minnesota jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, the Royals countered with four runs off Twins starter Bailey Ober.

Perez drove in the go-ahead run with a double to left, and Veláquez knocked in Perez two batters later with a two-run shot to center for a 4-1 lead.

“The at-bats against Ober were good,” Royals manager Matt Quatraro said. “I think even early on, you could tell we had an approach. We were trying to get certain pitches we were looking for. Some of them we didn’t miss. When you drive the ball out of the park, you get instant offense, you get instant runs on the board, and you get out to a lead, it really helps.”

Perez hit a solo homer in the fifth inning and Veláquez followed with his seventh homer of the season to give the Royals a 6-1 lead.

That was plenty of run support for Royals right-hander Seth Lugo (9-1), who earned his fourth win in as many starts. Lugo allowed one run on six hits in six innings for his career-best ninth win.

“They’ve got a bunch of good hitters in the lineup, so I couldn’t really get to a part where I could just cruise,” Lugo said. “They made me work out there and they put together a lot of good at-bats. Being able to get six after that and the W, it feels great.”

Lugo’s ERA dropped to an MLB-best 1.72, the lowest ERA by a Royals pitcher through 12 starts in team history.

It was the second time this season the Royals roughed up Ober (5-3). The Twins’ right-hander also surrendered three homers and eight total runs against Kansas City in his first start of the season on March 31.

Ober allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings on Wednesday.

“Not as sharp as normal Bailey that we get almost every time,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He had to work hard.”

The victory helped Kansas City avoid what would have been a season-high four-game losing streak. The Royals have lost three straight games three times this season.

Twins third baseman Jose Miranda drove in the game’s first run with a sacrifice fly to deep left field. It was the third straight game in the series that Miranda had the first RBI of the game. He homered in the third inning of Monday’s series opener for a 2-0 lead, and had a two-run single to open the scoring in Tuesday’s win.

UP NEXT

Kansas City will send RHP Brady Singer (4-2, 2.70 ERA) to the mound for the series finale. Singer allowed just one earned run in each of his last two starts. Minnesota counters with RHP Chris Paddack (4-2, 4.39), who earned no-decisions in his previous two outings.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB


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Jose Siri follows tremendous catch with walk-off hit in the 9th, Rays beat Athletics 4-3

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Jose Siri made a tremendous catch in the top of the ninth inning and singled in the winning run in the bottom half in the Tampa Bay Rays’ 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.

Amed Rosario doubled leading off the ninth against Michael Kelly (2-2), went to third on Alex Jackson’s sacrifice bunt, and scored on Siri’s hit.

“Unreal (catch), and then it’s like a storybook ending,” Rays starting pitcher Ryan Pepiot said.

Pete Fairbanks (1-2) survived the ninth after allowing a leadoff double to Miguel Andújar. He retired the next three batters on balls all hit 102.3 mph or higher, including Zack Gelof’s 107.7 mph drive to center that Siri made a leaping catch on.

Siri, through a translator, called his catch “pretty impressive.”

“I was very concentrated and never took my eye off the ball,” he said.

Andújar had a fourth-inning sacrifice fly and put the Athletics up 2-1 with an RBI infield single in the sixth. He hit a three-run homer in Oakland’s 3-0 victory over the Rays on Tuesday night.

Tampa Bay won for the second time in nine games. Oakland has dropped 17 of 23.

Max Schuemann was on second when JJ Bleday singled to left in the eighth and, after getting the signal to try and score, stopped and returned to third when left fielder Randy Arozarena threw to plate. When Jackson threw to second to retire Bleday, Schuemann broke for the plate and scored to draw Oakland even at 3.

Isaac Paredes had an RBI double in the seventh to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead.

Tampa Bay pulled even at 2 on pinch-hitter Jonathan Aranda’s sixth-inning run-scoring single. The inning ended when Arozarena was thrown out by Scott Alexander on a straight steal attempt of home with Jackson, who is in an 0-for-25 slide, batting.

“Arozarena is a real aggressive player,” Oakland manager Mark Kptsay said. ”Thankfully, the dugout yelled loud enough for Scott to step off and he made a smart baseball play.”

The Rays tied it at 1 on Brandon Lowe’s RBI triple in the fourth off Joey Estes.

Estes, in his fourth start this season and sixth overall, allowed one run and two hits in five innings.

“I thought he had good stuff,” Kotsay said. “I thought he performed really well and gave us a chance to win the game.”

Pepiot gave up two runs, three hits and struck out seven over 5 2/3 innings.

The game was delayed around 10 minutes with one out in the fifth when plate umpire Brian O’Nora departed. O’Nora appeared to have cold-like symptoms early on and got hit on the mask by a foul ball in the fourth.

Second-base umpire Derek Thomas replaced O’Nora at the plate.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: 1B J.D. Davis, who left Tuesday night with a bruised hand after getting hit by a pitch, didn’t play but avoided the injured list.

Rays: INF prospect Junior Caminero (quadriceps strain) was placed on the IL by Triple-A Durham, and is expected to miss four to six weeks.

UP NEXT

A’s LHP Kyle Muller (0-1, 3.48 ERA) was set to make his first start of the season Thursday after 13 relief appearances. Rays LHP Tyler Alexander (2-3, 6.06 ERA) was scheduled to start or follow an opener.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB


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