Mets open crucial homestand with 9-2 win over Indians

<p>
              New York Mets' Michael Conforto (30) celebrates after hitting a home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
            </p>

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Conforto hit a tiebreaking homer moments after an embarrassing error by Cleveland Indians left fielder Oscar Mercado, and the resurgent New York Mets rolled from there to a 9-2 victory Tuesday night.

J.D. Davis also went deep and Steven Matz (8-7) permitted only one earned run in 6 1/3 innings as the Mets opened a critical homestand against a trio of playoff contenders with a resounding performance. New York (65-60), which began the day two games out of a wild-card spot, improved to 25-10 since the All-Star break and matched a season best at five games over .500.

Pete Alonso hit a two-run double to cap a four-run seventh that broke it open.

All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber (12-6) gave up four runs — two earned — and four hits in six innings for the Indians.

Jason Kipnis homered early and hit an RBI single for the Indians, but their first trip to Queens since 2004 was a flop. Cleveland split a four-game series at Yankee Stadium last weekend to begin an eight-day stay in New York City.

PHILLIES 3, RED SOX 2

BOSTON (AP) — Aaron Nola pitched seven innings of four-hit ball to win for the sixth time in his last seven decisions, getting three runs of support in the first inning as Philadelphia cruised past Boston.

Three of the first four Philadelphia batters reached base, including back-to-back doubles by Bryce Harper and Jean Segura. Boston made it 3-2 on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s homer in the third but managed just four more hits the rest of the game.

Nola (12-3) allowed two runs and one walk while striking out seven. Hector Neris earned his 22nd save.

Red Sox starter Brian Johnson (1-2) allowed three runs, six hits and two walks, striking out four in 3 2/3 innings as Boston ended a five-game winning streak.

ORIOLES 4, ROYALS 1

BALTIMORE (AP) — Hanser Alberto hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth, and Baltimore ended an eight-game losing streak.

Royals reliever Jacob Barnes (1-2) sandwiched a pair of walks around two outs before Alberto hit a 1-1 pitch into the Baltimore bullpen for his eighth home run.

Hunter Harvey (1-0) worked a perfect eighth to earn his first major league win and Mychal Givens got three outs for his 10th save.

Baltimore had lost 13 of its previous 14 games.

Kansas City’s lone run came in the second inning, when Meibrys Viloria hit a sacrifice fly following singles by Alex Gordon and Ryan O’Hearn.

ANGELS 5, RANGERS 1, 1ST GAME

RANGERS 3, ANGELS 2, 11 INNINGS

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Delino DeShields raced home from second with the winning run in the 11th inning, giving the Texas a doubleheader split with Los Angeles after an error by first baseman Albert Pujols.

Nick Solak, who hit his first career homer earlier in the game after making his big league debut in the opener, hit a hard two-out shot that got past Pujols.

DeShields reached on a one-out single off Ty Buttrey (6-6). He stole second base after Rougned Odor struck out before Logan Forsythe walked to bring up the rookie.

Emmanuel Clase (1-2) worked two perfect innings for his first major league victory. He was the fifth Texas pitcher.

In the opener, Andrew Heaney (3-3) had a career-high 14 strikeouts without a walk over eight innings and Mike Trout matched the MLB lead with his career-best 42nd homer in the Angels’ win. Luis Rengifo also went deep for Los Angeles.

REDS 3, PADRES 2

CINCINNATI (AP) — Freddy Galvis hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the sixth inning, and Aristides Aquino added an RBI single as Cincinnati beat San Diego.

Galvis, claimed off waivers from Toronto on August 12, followed Josh VanMeter’s second hit of the game with an opposite-field drive to left. It was his second home run in two nights and career-high 21st of the season.

Sonny Gray struck out 10 batters in six innings, reaching double figures for the third time this season and seventh in his career. He won his third consecutive start and improved to 4-0 in his last five outings. Gray (9-6) gave up four hits and three walks.

Raisel Iglesias pitched the ninth for his 24th save.

Cal Quantrill (6-4) almost matched Gray strikeout-for-strikeout. He tied a career-high with nine strikeouts with no walks in six innings, allowing five hits and three runs.

BRAVES 5, MARLINS 1

ATLANTA (AP) — Freddie Freeman homered twice and drove in four runs, Dallas Keuchel kept working out of trouble and Atlanta defeated Miami.

Freeman sent one went the opposite way in the fourth. The next inning, the Braves slugger went deep again with two outs to break a 1-1 tie, launching a pitch from Tyler Kinley (1-1) into the right-field seats for his 33rd homer of the season and second multi-homer game of the homestand.

The third Miami pitcher, Austin Brice, didn’t fare any better against Freeman, giving up a two-run single in the seventh.

Keuchel (4-5) went six innings, limiting the Marlins to Jon Berti’s third-inning homer.

Elieser Hernandez plunked Atlanta star Ronald Acuña Jr. in the back with his very first pitch of the game, rekindling tensions between the NL East rivals and leading to the ejection of Braves manager Brian Snitker.

Hernandez was lifted after four innings because of a blister on his right middle finger. He allowed three hits, walked two and struck out five during a 68-pitch outing.

DODGERS 16, BLUE JAYS 3

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw passed Sandy Koufax for most wins by a Dodgers left-hander, Will Smith hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the third inning, and Los Angeles routed Toronto.

Kershaw (13-2) earned his 166th career victory, breaking a tie with Koufax for fifth on the club’s wins list. He allowed three runs and six hits — including two homers by rookie sensation Bo Bichette — in six innings, struck out six and walked three.

Cody Bellinger notched his 100th RBI of the season, driving in three with a double that extended the Dodgers’ lead to 8-2 in the fourth.

A.J. Pollock, Joc Pederson, Chris Taylor, and Max Muncy also homered for the Dodgers.

Bo Bichette hit two homers and Derek Fisher also went long for Toronto.

Sean Reid-Foley (2-4) gave up five runs and five hits in 1 2/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two.

ATHLETICS 6, YANKEES 2

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Matt Olson and Mark Canha hit back-to-back homers in the first inning to lead Oakland over New York for the A’s fifth win in six games.

Olson connected on a two-run shot down the right field line with two outs in the first off Domingo Germán (16-3) for his 26th homer, and Canha followed with his 19th on a drive to right-center.

That outburst proved to be more than enough for Homer Bailey (11-8), who shut the Yankees down after allowing a solo homer to Gary Sánchez in the first inning. Bailey allowed one run and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, walking none and striking out eight.

Aaron Judge added a solo homer in the eighth for the Yankees. It wasn’t enough to prevent New York from losing its second straight.

PIRATES 4, NATIONALS 1

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Starling Marte hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in eighth inning, and Pittsburgh beat Washington.

After struggling to manage anything off Stephen Strasburg through seven innings, Pittsburgh loaded the bases against Wander Suero (3-7) with nobody out in the eighth when Adam Frazier bunted a single past the mound. Bryan Reynolds tied it 1-1 with a sacrifice fly before Marte drove a fastball from Daniel Hudson 397 feet to right-center for his 22nd homer of the season.

Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez (3-1) went 1 1/3 inning, allowing one hit with one strikeout.

Suero, who gave up two hits and one walk, was responsible for three of Pittsburgh’s four eighth-inning runs.

Strasburg allowed four hits and had six strikeouts in seven innings, and left the game on track for what would have been his career-high 16th win. He has 15 wins in four of his first 10 major league seasons.

CUBS 5, GIANTS 3

CHICAGO (AP) — Anthony Rizzo homered twice and Cole Hamels pitched six innings for his first win in two months, helping Chicago top San Francisco.

Nicholas Castellanos also went deep as Chicago earned its third straight victory. Jonathan Lucroy contributed a key run-scoring single after the Cubs won a replay challenge.

Hamels (7-4) permitted three runs and five hits in his first win since June 12 at Colorado.

Austin Slater hit a two-run homer and Kevin Pillar added a solo drive for the Giants, who fell to 3-2 on their nine-game trip.

Fernando Abad (0-1) took the loss.

Kyle Ryan and Rowan Wick each got three outs before Craig Kimbrel finished for his 10th save in 12 chances.

MARINERS 7, RAYS 4

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tom Murphy hit a tiebreaking homer, his sixth in four games, in the sixth inning to lift Seattle over Tampa Bay.

Murphy’s 16th homer of the season came off Jalen Beeks (5-3) after a walk to Kyle Seager. Murphy became the first Mariners catcher to homer in four straight games.

The Rays began the day one game ahead of Oakland for the AL’s second wild card. The Athletics hosted the New York Yankees later.

Tommy Milone (3-7) got the win after giving up four runs in five innings of relief, helping Seattle to its sixth victory in eight games. Matt Magill pitched the ninth for his second save in two tries.

TWINS 14, WHITE SOX 4

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Nelson Cruz homered and drove in three runs on four hits in his second game back from a wrist injury as Minnesota beat Chicago.

Max Kepler hit a two-run homer to stay one ahead of Cruz for the team lead, starting pitcher Michael Pineda (9-5) stayed strong for seven innings, and the Twins raised their lead on Cleveland in the AL Central race to three games.

Cruz hit a career-high three doubles and became the first Twins player since Michael Cuddyer in 2005 with four extra-base hits in a game.

Jose Abreu had a two-run homer after Tim Anderson’s RBI double for a 3-0 lead in the third. Anderson homered in the sixth inning, too, but the damage against Reynaldo Lopez (7-11) was already done by then.

ASTROS 6, TIGERS 3

HOUSTON (AP) — George Springer, Jose Altuve and Martín Maldonado homered to lead Houston over Detroit.

The Astros jumped on Spencer Turnbull (3-12) for six hits and five runs in three innings as he lost his eighth straight decision to remain winless since May 31.

Houston starter Aaron Sanchez didn’t get out of the third inning. He allowed four hits and three runs with two walks in a season-low 2 1/3 innings in his fourth start since a trade from Toronto.

Brad Peacock (7-6) took over for Sanchez and struck out three in 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Roberto Osuna collected his 29th save in 34 opportunities with a perfect ninth.

Victor Reyes hit his first career leadoff homer for the Tigers.

CARDINALS 9, BREWERS 4

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Dexter Fowler hit a bases-loaded double and drove in four runs, leading St. Louis past Milwaukee.

Tyler Webb (1-1) earned his first major-league victory with one-third inning of work in his 79th career game. He struck out pinch-hitter Ben Gamel.

The Cardinals have won nine of their last 11 games, while the Brewers have lost six of their last eight. St. Louis remained in first place by a half-game over the Chicago Cubs, who beat San Francisco 5-3. Third-place Milwaukee is four games back.

St. Louis broke the game open with a four-run sixth against three Milwaukee relievers. Jeremy Jeffress (3-4) loaded the bases. Alex Claudio came in and struck out Kolten Wong. Junior Guerra entered and walked Harrison Bader, who was recalled earlier in the day. After striking out pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter, Fowler hit a 3-2 pitch into short left field that fell between three Brewers for a double and a 5-2 lead.

Wong hit a two-run single in the seventh, making it 7-2. The Cardinals added two more runs when Fowler and Tommy Edman drew bases-loaded walks.

DIAMONDBACKS 8, GIANTS 7

PHOENIX (AP) — Pinch-hitter Jake Lamb had a tiebreaking two-run single in the sixth inning and Arizona held on to beat Colorado.

The Diamondbacks scored five runs in the sixth off Colorado starter Kyle Freeland (3-11) and reliever Bryan Shaw. Three batters after Lamb’s hit, Eduardo Escobar had a two-run triple off Shaw.

Escobar became the third player in Diamondbacks history with 20-plus doubles, 20 or more home runs and at least 10 triples in a season, joining Steve Finley (1999 and 2003) and Stephen Drew (2008). He also became the first National League switch-hitter with 100 RBIs since Chase Headley accomplished the feat with the San Diego Padres in 2012.

Nick Ahmed homered and drove in two runs. He set a career high for home runs with his 17th and matched his career-best RBI total with 70.

David Peralta had three hits, Alex Young (5-3) lasted six innings with three runs allowed and Archie Bradley got his sixth save.

Nolan Arenado homered in his 1,000th career game for the Rockies, and Trevor Story had four hits and two RBIs