Oakland stays hot, takes 3 of 4 from Houston
BOSTON (AP) Mookie Betts fouled off seven pitches before hitting a grand slam that helped the Boston Red Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 on Thursday night, extending their winning streak to 10 games.
Boston has the longest current winning streak in the big leagues and hasn’t lost since getting routed 11-1 at Yankee Stadium on July 1. At 66-29, the Red Sox are 37 games over .500 for the first time since 1949.
David Price (10-6) struck out eight over 6 2/3 innings, and Craig Kimbrel earned his 29th save.
All-Star lefty J.A. Happ (10-6) started strong for Toronto, striking out six and holding Boston to two hits before running into trouble and some misfortune in the fourth.
Tyler Skaggs pitched six strong innings in his return from the disabled list. Pujols hit a two-run shot in the first and a solo drive in the sixth. He also had three hits to pass ex-Angel Rod Carew and move into a tie for 25th all-time with Rickey Henderson at 3,055.
It was the 50th multihomer game for Pujols, who went back-to-back with Justin Upton in the sixth.
David Fletcher also homered in the first off Mariners starter James Paxton, who left the game with lower back stiffness after Pujols connected for the first time. Paxton (8-4) threw just 17 pitches in his final start of the first half.
Skaggs (7-5), who missed nine games with a hamstring strain, gave up one run and five hits with five strikeouts. The left-hander has allowed one earned run or less in six consecutive outings, the longest such streak from an Angels starter since George Brunet in 1968.
Hicks drove a 3-2 pitch from Kluber (12-5) to deep center field, and Gregorius scored easily when the ball one-hopped the wall.
Brett Gardner homered twice and Gregorius also connected for the Yankees, playing at Progressive Field for the first time since last October, when they overcame a 2-0 deficit and won the AL Division Series.
New York relievers Adam Warren, David Robertson (6-3), Dellin Betances and All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman combined for four hitless innings. Chapman got three outs for his 25th save – in his first appearance since Saturday because of a sore left knee.
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Andrew Toles broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single off Tyson Ross in the seventh inning to help All-Star Ross Stripling and Los Angeles take three of four from last-place San Diego.
Ross (5-8) took a one-hit shutout into the seventh before it fell apart. Chris Taylor doubled with one out and manager Andy Green came out to check on the big right-hander. Green let Ross stay in, but he allowed Toles’ single on his 101st pitch and was pulled.
Stripling (8-2) held the Padres to six hits in six scoreless innings. He was added to the NL All-Star roster Wednesday in place of St. Louis right-hander Miles Mikolas, who is scheduled to start Sunday.
All-Star closer Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 26th save.
TWINS 5, RAYS 1
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Kyle Gibson struck out nine batters over eight easy innings for the Minnesota Twins, who handed Tampa Bay ace Blake Snell his shortest start of the season after a two-hour rain delay.
Eddie Rosario hit a two-run homer for the Twins. Gibson (4-6) gave up one run and five hits without a walk to earn consecutive wins for the first time this year.
Snell (12-5) was pulled after just three innings, throwing only 43 of his 75 pitches for strikes. The lefty took the second-lowest ERA in the American League into the game, with just two runs allowed over his last 28 2/3 innings while winning each of his last four turns.
HOUSTON (AP) – Mark Canha hit a two-run single in a three-run eighth inning as surging Oakland defeated Houston.
Yusmeiro Petit (3-2) allowed one hit in 2 1/3 scoreless innings, and Lou Trivino worked the ninth for his fourth save.
Tony Kemp hit a two-run homer for Houston, and Alex Bregman also drove in two runs. Chris Devenski (2-2) got the loss.
Colorado was coming off a 19-2 victory Wednesday night, but it trailed 1-0 before its rally in the sixth.
Arizona left-hander Robbie Ray (3-2) hit Carlos Gonzalez and walked Chris Iannetta with one out before he was replaced by Silvino Bracho, who was called up before the game. Parra then hit a tying single to right, and Tapia followed with another single off Andrew Chafin.
Washington won for just the sixth time in 17 games and nudged back over .500 at 47-46.
Scherzer (12-5) didn’t dominate over his seven innings, but managed to tie Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola for the NL lead in wins. He struck out five, boosting his league-leading total to 182. Ryan Madson closed for his fourth save.
Rendon hit a two-run homer off Steven Matz (4-7) in the first and added a solo drive in the third. His fourth career multihomer performance gave him six homers in 13 games.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Jameson Taillon had a career-high 10 strikeouts, Jordy Mercer tied his career best with four RBIs and Pittsburgh defeated Milwaukee.
Taillon (6-7) surrendered one run on four hits with two walks. The right-hander struck out the side twice, once in the third inning and again in the fifth.
The Pirates have won four of their past five games to pull to 10 1/2 games back of the first-place Brewers, who have lost four of six, in the NL Central. Felipe Vazquez earned his 21st save by getting the final two outs.
Wade Miley (1-1) gave up two runs on four hits in five innings with five strikeouts and five walks for Milwaukee.
BALTIMORE (AP) – Jorge Alfaro homered and drove in three runs, Nick Pivetta took a three-hitter into the seventh inning and Philadelphia beat Baltimore.
Making the most of a one-day stay in Baltimore, the Phillies got 12 hits off Kevin Gausman (4-7) while building a 5-0 lead against the team with the worst record in the majors. Alfaro, the No. 9 hitter, singled and scored in the third inning to help Philadelphia move a half-game ahead of second-place Atlanta in the NL East.
Pivetta (6-7) had a no-hitter through four innings and finished with seven strikeouts. The righty gave up three runs and five hits before being pulled with two outs in the seventh.
Seranthony Rodriguez worked the ninth for his ninth save.
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