MLB roundup: A's tie Astros atop AL West

MLB roundup: A's tie Astros atop AL West

Aug 18, 2018; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Trevor Cahill (53) pitches to the Houston Astros in the first inning at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Villa-USA TODAY Sports

Right-hander Trevor Cahill gave up only an infield single over seven innings Saturday afternoon, and the Oakland Athletics completed a 10-game climb into first place in the American League West with a 7-1 victory over the Houston Astros in Oakland, Calif.

With the win, the A’s are now tied for first in the division with the defending champions, who had held a solo lead in the division since June 14.

Khris Davis doubled twice and drove in two runs as the A’s knocked out Houston left-hander Dallas Keuchel (9-10) in the sixth inning en route to their second straight win against the Astros in the three-game series.

The A’s, who trailed the Astros by 10 games on July 10, moved into at least a tie for first place in the AL West in any month after April for the first time since Aug. 25, 2014. Cahill (5-2) faced 22 batters and got 21 outs.

Cardinals 7, Brewers 2

Miles Mikolas pitched six effective innings and won his fifth straight decision as St. Louis beat visiting Milwaukee.

The latest solid showing by Mikolas helped the Cardinals win for the 14th time in 17 games. St. Louis also improved to 21-10 since interim manager Mike Shildt replaced Mike Matheny on July 15 and inched ahead of Milwaukee for the second National League wild-card spot.

Mikolas (13-3) improved to 5-0 in his last nine starts since a 5-1 loss to Atlanta on June 29 by allowing one run on five hits. He struck out seven without a walk and threw 62 of 91 pitches for strikes.

Mariners 5, Dodgers 4 (10 innings)

A bases-loaded balk by Dylan Floro with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning brought home the winning run as Seattle defeated visiting Los Angeles.

Mitch Haniger led off the 10th with a single off Dodgers left-hander Caleb Ferguson (3-2). Cameron Maybin grounded into a fielder’s choice, just beating the throw to first to avoid a double play. Robinson Cano reached on an infield single, sending Maybin to second. The Dodgers brought on the right-handed Floro to face Nelson Cruz, who walked to load the bases.

With Kyle Seager, who homered earlier in the game, at the plate and an 0-1 count, Floro came set and then stepped awkwardly off the mound, with first base umpire Andy Fletcher calling the game-ending balk.

Rockies 5, Braves 3 (10 innings)

DJ LeMahieu hit a long home run to straightaway center field to highlight a two-run rally in the 10th inning and give Colorado another late victory at Atlanta.

In addition to LeMahieu’s 10th homer, the Rockies added another 10th-inning run on a single by Nolan Arenado and defeated the Braves for the third straight night. Wade Davis earned his 34th save by working a perfect 10th inning.

Atlanta led 3-0 going into the ninth, when the Rockies tied the score against closer A.J. Minter. After retiring the first two batters, Minter allowed a double to Trevor Story and a single to David Dahl. Ian Desmond doubled to left to drive home two runs. Gerardo Parra tied the score by lobbing a single to left field.

Padres 7, Diamondbacks 6

Pinch hitter Christian Villanueva singled home Travis Jankowski from second with two out in the bottom of the ninth to give host San Diego a walk-off victory over Arizona, snapping a five-game losing streak.

The loss reduced Arizona’s lead over Colorado in the National League West to a half-game.

Paul Goldschmidt tied the game at 6-6 in the top of the seventh with his fourth hit, a single that drove home A.J. Pollock for his fourth RBI.

Red Sox 5, Rays 2

Boston scored four runs in the first inning and added J.D. Martinez’s major-league-leading 38th home run later in defeating visiting Tampa Bay.

David Price (13-6) went seven innings in winning his fourth consecutive decision. He hasn’t taken a loss since July 1. Price gave up two runs on five hits with two walks. He fanned eight as the Red Sox won for the 13th time in their last 15 games.

Boston also maintained its 10 1/2-game lead over the New York Yankees in the American League East by going 52 games over .500 in running its record to 88-36.

Yankees 11, Blue Jays 6

Rookie Miguel Andujar homered, drove in three runs and fell a triple shy of the cycle as New York powered past Toronto in a matinee at Yankee Stadium.

Andujar became the fifth Yankee to reach 20 homers with one out in the fifth when he drove an 0-1 changeup from Sean Reid-Foley (0-2) into the left field seats to make it 8-0.

Giancarlo Stanton homered again when he connected on Reid-Foley’s 2-0 fastball, sending it into the Toronto bullpen beyond the left-center-field fence with two outs in the fourth. It was Stanton’s 32nd homer and seventh in his last 12 games.

Orioles 4, Indians 2

Jonathan Villar and Cedric Mullins each homered, and Alex Cobb went the distance as Baltimore defeated host Cleveland.

Villar’s three-run shot and the solo homer from Mullins — his first in the major leagues — gave Baltimore all of its offense and proved enough for Cobb, who turned in one of his best efforts this season as the Orioles ended the Indians’ six-game winning streak.

Cobb (4-15) gave up two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and a walk. He needed just 100 pitches (69 strikes) for the complete game, his first since 2013 when pitching with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Pirates 3, Cubs 1

Joe Musgrove pitched seven strong innings for Pittsburgh in a win over visiting Chicago.

Adam Frazier was 2-for-4 with an RBI double, and Corey Dickerson was 3-for-3 with a walk and a double for the Pirates, who ended a five-game losing streak.

Ben Zobrist homered for the Cubs, who had their three-game winning streak halted.

Marlins 7, Nationals 5 (10 innings)

Isaac Galloway hit a two-out, two-run single in the top of the 10th inning, and JT Riddle drove in four runs to lead Miami to victory at Washington.

Drew Steckenrider (4-2), who blew a save chance in the ninth, picked up the win. Brett Graves pitched a scoreless 10th to pick up his first career save as a pro. The Marlins snapped a six-game overall losing streak and a 12-game road losing skid.

Riddle gave Miami a 5-4 lead with a solo homer in the top of the ninth, and Adam Eaton matched him with a solo shot in the bottom of the frame, setting up Galloway’s heroics.

Mets 3, Phillies 1

Jacob deGrom continued to make his case for the National League Cy Young Award, shrugging off a 41-minute rain delay and tossing his third career complete game to lead New York past host Philadelphia.

The Mets have won six of 10. The Phillies, who remain atop the NL wild-card race by a half-game, have lost six of 10.

DeGrom (8-7) allowed an unearned run — due to an error questionably charged to him — on seven hits and no walks while striking out nine. It was the third straight win for deGrom, who lowered his major-league-leading ERA from 1.81 to 1.71 while reaching 200 strikeouts for the second straight season.

Angels 11, Rangers 7

Albert Pujols had a solo home run and four RBIs, Shohei Ohtani hit a pinch hit three-run homer, Taylor Ward added his first career major league home run and Los Angeles won in a slugfest at Texas.

Pujols ended a 6-6 tie with an RBI single, Ohtani followed with his 13th homer of the season and Ward had a solo shot to complete a five-run top of the seventh against reliever Eddie Butler (2-3).

Rain delayed the start of the game by 2 hours, 26 minutes.

Tigers 7, Twins 5

Mikie Mahtook homered and drove in four runs, and Ryan Carpenter collected his first career victory as Detroit held off host Minnesota.

Mahtook’s second homer of the season, a three-run shot in the fifth, gave Detroit a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Ronny Rodriguez contributed a two-run double, and Jim Adduci added two hits and a run scored.

Carpenter (1-1), a rookie left-hander, gave up three solo homers but lasted 5 1/3 innings. Shane Greene got the last four outs for his 26th save.

Royals 3, White Sox 1

Alex Gordon homered, and Jorge Bonifacio drove in the go-ahead run as Kansas City held on at Chicago.

Nicky Delmonico homered for Chicago’s only run. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the White Sox.

Royals starter Brad Keller (6-5) limited the White Sox to one run on seven hits in five innings. He walked none and struck out five to collect his second win in as many starts.

Reds 7, Giants 1

Jose Peraza and Dilson Herrera homered off Madison Bumgarner, and Matt Harvey took a shutout into the seventh inning as host Cincinnati downed San Francisco for a second straight night.

Harvey (6-7) retired the first 10 batters he faced and took a no-hitter into the sixth before Joe Panik beat out an infield single with two outs.

Bumgarner (4-5) went six innings and gave up six runs (five earned) and eight hits. He walked two and struck out six.

–Field Level Media

Tigers' Ryan Carpenter: Picks up first career win

Tigers' Ryan Carpenter: Picks up first career win

Carpenter (1-1) allowed three runs on eight hits while striking out three over 5.1 innings in a win over the Twins on Saturday. He did not walk a batter.

The 27-year-old got into the win column for the first time in his career, but Carpenter gave up a trio of solo homers in this one and has now served up seven long balls in 18 innings at the major-league level. Meanwhile, he’s managed only 10 strikeouts. Carpenter lines up to face the White Sox in his next start and Chicago struggles against left-handed pitching, but even so, Carpenter’s appeal is minimal.

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White Sox's Avisail Garcia: Not expected to be shut down

White Sox's Avisail Garcia: Not expected to be shut down

The White Sox have no plans to place Garcia (knee) on the disabled list, Tom Musick of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Garcia has a balky knee but wants to keep playing and believes he can manage the pain without it affecting his performance. While Manager Rick Renteria seems on board with letting Garcia continue to play through the issue, he left the door open for the team to potentially shut him down early if Garcia continues to scuffle, saying “if it becomes so problematic that you can’t perform, then obviously we can (react) at that point.” Garcia will have the knee scoped in the offseason.

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WATCH: Mariners walk off Dodgers with a . . . balk

WATCH: Mariners walk off Dodgers with a . . . balk

Dylan Floro’s flinch finished the Dodgers on Saturday night.

The reliever moved his back leg and separated his hands before stepping off the rubber with the bases loaded. First base umpire Andy Fletcher called him for a balk, which forced home Cameron Maybin with the winning run in a 5-4 Mariners 10-inning victory.

MORE: Yasiel Puig appeals suspension for brawl

A walkoff balk is one of the rarest occurrences in baseball. Reports late Saturday said Floro’s was the 22nd in MLB history.

Floro was reacting to Maybin bluffing a steal attempt down the third base line. He and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts argued to no avail.

Roberts said after the game that a replay appeared to support Fletcher’s call.

The victory allowed the Mariners to keep pace with the A’s and Astros in the American League West. Third-place Seattle is 3 1/2 games behind both teams.

MLB scores, highlights, live team updates, news: Dominant A's catch Astros in AL West

MLB scores, highlights, live team updates, news: Dominant A's catch Astros in AL West

I renew my grievance against Major League Baseball for having so many night games on a Saturday. This is bush league, MLB! Anyway, I’m here to round up everything interesting and/or exciting from Saturday’s action. 

Saturday’s scores

A’s dominate Astros in all facets, tie for AL West lead

The biggest series of the weekend coming in was the Houston Astros visiting the Oakland Athletics, and so far it’s been all A’s. After winning Friday night in extra innings, Saturday was just sheer domination. 

A’s starter Trevor Cahill went seven scoreless innings and only allowed one hit. He walked one and struck out seven. Jeurys Familia struck out two in a perfect eighth, then Yusmeiro Petit got three of the four batters he faced, giving up a solo homer to Tony Kemp

No Astros runner even reached second base until the ninth, and the A’s only faced two batters over the minimum. 

On the other side, Khris Davis opened the scoring with a two-RBI double in the first inning: 

It was a harbinger of things to come. The A’s would pound out eight doubles and, get this, it was from four players — Davis, Matt Olson, Stephen Piscotty and Josh Phegley — with two each. The eight doubles tied a franchise record. Again, this was total domination. 

Most importantly, the A’s are now tied for first with the Astros after being 11 1/2 games out just over two months ago. Here are where things stood in the AL West heading into June 16. 

  • Astros, 46-25, —
  • Mariners, 45-25, 0.5 GB
  • Angels, 38-32, 7.5 GB
  • A’s, 34-36, 11.5 GB

And now, the A’s are sitting with a 74-49 record, identical to that of the defending champion Astros. The Astros haven’t even drastically collapsed. They are 28-24 since June 15. The A’s have just been beastly. 

The two will square off in Oakland again on Sunday. The winner walks away with a one-game lead with six weeks to go. 

Yankees keep hitting home runs

The Yankees hit four more home runs on Saturday, giving them 201 on the season. That’s of note because …

After that tweet, Greg Bird tacked on a homer, giving the Yankees 201. 

With 201 homers in 123 games, that’s a 162-game pace of 265 home runs. That would be the all-time, single-season team record. Here’s the all-time top five in team home runs in a season. 

  1. 1997 Mariners, 264
  2. 2005 Rangers, 260
  3. 2010 Blue Jays, 257
  4. 1996 Orioles, 257
  5. 2016 Orioles, 253

The Yankees club record in home runs is 245, which happened in 2012. Even if they don’t set the MLB record, surely they’ll break the club record. 

More importantly, the Yankees did get the win, and that’s now two in a row after losing three of four. They keep their grip on the top AL wild card spot and continue their soft part of the schedule with the Blue Jays on Sunday before a road trip to Miami and Baltimore. 

Cardinals bump Brewers from playoff position

For nearly the entire season, the Brewers were either in first place in the NL Central or holding onto one of the two NL wild card spots. After yet another Cardinals win on Saturday night, that is no longer the case. The Brewers have gone 5-10 in August while the Cardinals are 14-3. That moves the Cardinals into the second NL wild card spot and into second place in the NL Central, four games behind the Cubs. 

In this one, Miles Mikolas gave up a first-inning run, but that was it in his six innings. It didn’t take long until a prodigious Marcell Ozuna shot tied it up in the bottom of the first: 

Statcast pegged that one at 450 feet. 

The Cardinals then got three in the second and never looked back. They are all kinds of hot right now. 

The Comeback Rockies do it again

The Rockies went to the ninth inning in SunTrust Park trailing 3-0. They made two quick outs, too. And then, they happened again. 

Trevor Story doubled. David Dahl singled. Ian Desmond doubled to drive home both runs. Gerardo Parra then sent a blooper to left field that plated Desmond and tied the game. All with two outs.

Hell, Desmond was down to his final strike. Here’s his double: 

In the 10th, DJ LeMahieu homered to break the tie and a Nolan Arenado RBI single would provide unneeded insurance. 

The Rockies have now won seven of their last eight, and that all came against quality competition (Dodgers, Astros, Braves). That’s not the most interesting part, though. Every single one of those wins was via the come-from-behind route. 

Even better, seven of the eight comebacks came in the sixth inning or later, six of them came in the seventh or later and four of them came in the ninth or later. In two of their three games against the Braves this series, they scored three runs in the ninth inning. They did it to win the game on Thursday and tie it to force extras on Saturday. 

There’s more, too! The Rockies haven’t played a team with a losing record (at the time they played them) since June 24. It’s true! During this time of only playing non-bad teams, the Rockies are 29-16, which is the best record in the National League in that time. 

These guys appear to be for real. 

In related news, the Padres beat the Diamondbacks in walk-off fashion: 

That means the Rockies are now just a half game back in the NL West and tied in the loss column with the D-Backs. 

NL East top three all lose

The Braves entered Saturday with a half-game lead over the Phillies, while the Nationals were barely lingering on the periphery after having won two straight. 

The Phillies had to deal with a Cy Young contender (see below) and predictably lost there. As such, the Braves had a nice opportunity to push the lead to 1 1/2 games. They took a 3-0 lead to the ninth, thanks to a masterful start from All-Star Mike Foltynewicz. The youngster went seven scoreless innings, allowing only four hits while striking out nine without walking anyone. 

Still, they managed to lose it thanks to the Rockies comeback mentioned above. 

The Nationals, meanwhile, were facing a Marlins team that had lost 12 games in a row. They took the loss with the bullpen giving up three runs combined in the ninth and 10th innings. This team is broken. 

As such, the standings at the top of the NL East remain the same with one more day in the books. 

DeGrom deals again

Both Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola were excellent Friday night, and Saturday it was Jacob deGrom’s turn to keep pace with the other two serious Cy Young contenders. He answered the call emphatically. Though he did give up a run in his complete-game masterpiece, it was unearned. The line: 9 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 9 K, 0 BB

DeGrom is now 8-7 with a 1.71 ERA, 0.96 WHIP and 204 strikeouts in 168 innings this season. 

Price stays in a groove

As usual, the Red Sox won on Saturday. They are now 52 games over .500. Mercy. 

Notable here was David Price giving up just two runs in seven innings on five hits. He struck out eight. He’s been mostly good all season with several blips. You could probably say his first half was inconsistent without it being too harsh. Since the All-Star break though, Price has a 1.35 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings. If he’s going to pitch like an ace alongside Chris Sale in the playoffs, watch out. 

Cobb delivers gem against Indians

Orioles starting pitcher Alex Cobb has wholly underperformed his four-year, $57 million deal to this point. He entered Saturday with a 3-15 record, 5.31 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. He strikeout rate was well below his career norm, too. 

Saturday, he took down a first-place team and didn’t even need help in finishing it. He hurled his first complete game since Aug. 13, 2013. In those nine innings, Cobb allowed two runs on five hits. He only struck out three, but he induced 14 groundouts. 

Quick hits

Live team updates

Dodgers' lineup flip not a flop against Mariners

Dodgers' lineup flip not a flop against Mariners

When Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts decided to flip the Nos. 2-3 hitters in his batting order, it was anything but a flop.

Justin Turner, in the midst of a 12-game hitting streak that has raised his average from .259 to .294, moved up to the second slot formerly occupied by Corey Seager, who is out for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Manny Machado, acquired from Baltimore at the All-Star break, took over the third spot.

“We acquired Manny to be a middle-of-the-order damage guy,” Turner told MLB.com. “The way our front office and (manager Dave Roberts) had put the lineup together the last few years, Seager in the two-hole, they just kind of put him there in that spot. I’m comfortable either spot and when (Roberts) said he was going to hit me second and Manny third, I said, ‘That’s awesome.’ Doesn’t bother me one bit.”

Machado hit two home runs in an 11-1 victory Friday night in the series opener in Seattle.

“Manny really had a big night — a couple of homers — and J.T. continues to stay on fire,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

That doubled Machado’s home-run total since moving to Los Angeles.

“If a pitcher makes a mistake, I’ll do some damage,” Machado told MLB.com. “Since I got here I’ve told Doc (Roberts), whatever you need me to do. Finally, I just locked myself in to what got me here. When you have J.T. hitting in front of you, he’s a guy that’s going to see pitches, get on base, drive the ball. It makes it a lot easier for me to go up there and do what I need.”

Turner hit a solo homer that sparked a late rally Saturday night before the Mariners won 5-4 in 10 innings on a bases-loaded balk.

“Balk-off victory, you don’t see that every night at the ballpark,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.

Turner, who missed the first month-and-a-half of the season with a broken wrist and has struggled through an adductor strain in the second half, credited his turnaround to opening his stance after a session in the batting cage a couple of weeks ago.

“I hit early in BP in Oakland and it just didn’t feel right,” Turner said. “There’s a drill we do to open up the stance and I tried it. It felt really good, and I just decided to open up and it felt real good that first game and it has ever since.”

Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw (5-5, 2.47 ERA) is scheduled to face Seattle lefty Roenis Elias (2-0, 2.88) in the rubber game of the series. Kershaw is 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA in two career starts against the Mariners, while Elias will be making his first appearance against the Dodgers.

Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager made his parents proud Saturday, hitting a three-run homer in the first inning and was at the plate for the decisive balk.

The Seagers have had this series circled on the calendar since the 2018 schedule came out, as it was supposed to be the first meeting in the major leagues between the brothers.

Despite Corey being out, their parents still made the trip to Seattle. Mother Jody wore a split Mariners-Dodgers jersey with Seager stitched on the back.