Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 25th home run and Austin Wells had a three-run shot as the New York Yankees cruised to a 10-1 rout of the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

Giancarlo Stanton also homered for the AL-best Yankees, who have won seven straight on the road and 11 of 13 overall.

Back in the lineup after he was rested in Monday’s series opener, Judge had a run-scoring single in the first inning and his 446-foot home run in the seventh – a two-run shot - gave him 62 RBIs, tied with Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez for the major league lead.

Since the beginning of May, Judge is 51 for 127 (.402) with 19 home runs, 44 RBIs and 40 runs in 37 games for a 1.506 OPS.

The Yankees improved to 39-4 when Judge and Stanton homer in the same game, including playoffs, and are 16-1 against the AL Central this season.

Marcus Stroman pitched four-hit ball over 5 2/3 scoreless innings to win his fourth consecutive decision.

Freddy Fermin homered for the Royals, who dropped their third in a row and are 3-12 in their last 15 meetings with New York.

Mateo lifts surging Orioles over Braves

Jorge Mateo hit a three-run homer in his return to the lineup and Albert Suarez worked into the sixth inning to lead the Baltimore Orioles to their fifth straight victory, 4-0 over the Atlanta Braves.

Mateo, reinstated from the concussion injured list before the game, hit a drive into the Baltimore bullpen in the second inning off Max Fried after Anthony Santander walked, and Austin Hays singled for one of his three hits.

Suarez allowed four hits over 5 1/3 innings with three walks and four strikeouts. Four relievers finished up the five-hitter with Dillon Tate fanning two in the ninth.

Baltimore matched its longest winning streak of the season and sent Atlanta to its season high-tying fourth consecutive loss.

The Braves went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base.

Dodgers hit 4 home runs in one inning in rout

Shohei Ohtani, Freddie Freeman, Teoscar Hernandez and Jason Heyward all homered during a seven-run sixth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers pounded the Texas Rangers, 15-2.

Mookie Betts’ three-run double in the fourth gave the Dodgers a 6-1 lead and Gavin Lux’s RBI single an inning later made it 7-1.

Ohtani hit his 16th home run with one out in the sixth after Betts walked and Freeman followed with his ninth of the season. After Will Smith singled, Hernandez connected for his fifth home run in five games. Andy Pages singled after Grant Anderson got the second out and Heyward’s blast pushed the lead to 14-1.

Rangers catcher Andrew Knizner pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Smith had a three-run homer in the first inning and finished with three hits for the Dodgers, who last had four home runs in an inning on Sept. 29, 2021, against San Diego.

Defending World Series champion Texas lost its fifth in seven games.

The Los Angeles Dodgers got sterling pitching performances from Tyler Glasnow and Gavin Stone as they swept a double-header against the New York Mets on Tuesday and snapped a five-game losing streak.

In the opener, the Dodgers rallied late, and Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer off Jorge Lopez in the 10th inning for a 5-2 win.

The Dodgers trailed 2-0 most of the game until Freeman’s single in the eighth inning drove in Andy Pages. Teoscar Hernandez scored the tying run in the ninth after a well-placed Chris Taylor bunt.

Glasnow gave up a home run to Francisco Lindor in the third but pitched seven innings, allowing two hits and two runs with eight strikeouts.

Mets starter Tylor Megill pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits with nine strikeouts.

In the nightcap, Stone pitched a gem to improve to 5-2 after allowing three hits in seven scoreless innings.

Will Smith and Miguel Vargas backed Stone with solo home runs. Freeman added two more hits to finish the double-header 5 for 8.

Seager powers Rangers in World Series rematch

Corey Seager hit his seventh home run in as many games, Nathan Eovaldi returned from injury and the Texas Rangers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 in a rematch of last year’s World Series.

Seager, the 2023 World Series MVP, hit a three-run blast off Brandon Pfaadt in the fifth inning to continue his tear. After a slow start to the season, Seager extended his hitting streak to 11 games, with a .480 on-base percentage in that span.

Eovaldi made his first start in nearly four weeks after being sidelined with a right groin strain. Instead of making a minor-league rehab start this week, Eovaldi pitched three innings against Arizona on Tuesday, allowing five hits and two runs.

Andrew Heaney, Grant Anderson, David Robertson and Kirby Yates pitched six scoreless out of the Texas bullpen to close the game.

The Rangers have won back-to-back games after a 2-12 slump.

Cubs lose no-hit bid, beat Brewers in extras

The Chicago Cubs carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning, then had an offensive explosion in extras to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 and snap a five-game losing streak.  

Rookie right-hander Ben Brown was pulled after seven hitless innings, allowing two walks and striking out 10 in 93 pitches.

Milwaukee’s Sal Frelick singled off Hayden Wesneski with one out in the eighth to break up the no-hit bid.

The Cubs held a 1-0 lead much of the night, thanks to a third-inning home run by Michael Busch, but the Brewers tied it with two outs in the ninth on a Willy Adames single that plated Christian Yelich.

Chicago responded with a five-run 10th inning, highlighted by Ian Happ’s two-run double off Hoby Milner.

 

Freddie Freeman homered and drove in three runs and J.D. Martinez added three RBIs to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to an 11-5 win, ending the Texas Rangers’ six-game winning streak in a matchup of division leaders on Friday night.

Freeman, Will Smith and Martinez each had two hits and the NL West-leading Dodgers won for the ninth time in 11 games.

Los Angeles erased a 5-4 deficit by scoring seven runs over the final three innings, using three walks – one intentional to Freeman - a single and a wild pitch to push across two in the seventh.

Smith delivered a two-run double and Martinez singled home another run in the eighth, and Mookie Betts doubled home a pair in the ninth.

Rangers All-Star shortstop Corey Seager hit his 15th home run in the sixth inning against his former team to give Texas a 5-4 lead but left in the eighth after spraining his right thumb on a headfirst slide on a double.

Nathaniel Lowe also went deep for West-leading Texas, which had been the only team without a loss since the All-Star break.

 

Ohtani allows four home runs in win

Shohei Ohtani allowed four home runs for the first time in his career, but the Los Angeles Angels hit four homers of their own in their fourth straight win, 8-5 over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pirates rookie Henry Davis became the first player to take Ohtani deep twice and Jack Suwinski and Ji Man Choi also homered, but the Japanese superstar struck out nine and pitched into the seventh inning to rebound from losses in consecutive starts.

The Angles scored five times in the fourth and tacked on two more in the fifth.   

After Ohtani led off the fourth with a walk, Mikey Moniak doubled and Taylor Ward walked in front of Mike Moustakas’ three-run homer. Two outs later, rookie Trey Cabbage connected for his first career home run.

Zach Neto and Ward homered in the fifth to extend the Angels’ lead to 8-4.

 

Tucker hits three home runs in Astros’ win

Kyle Tucker hit three home runs for the first time in his career and Alex Bregman also went deep to lead the Houston Astros to a 6-4 win over the Oakland Athletics.

Tucker homered off starter JP Sears in the first inning, hit a two-run shot off Sears in the fifth and had a solo blast off Tayler Scott in the seventh for his 17th of the season.

Framber Valdez allowed four runs and six hits over five innings to beat lowly Oakland for the third time this season.

The Astros have won nine straight meetings with the A’s.

Eight players who have won a Major League Baseball MVP award during their careers will take part in this year's World Baseball Classic as rosters for the 20 participating teams were revealed.

Five of those players will be competing for the defending champion United States squad, that will be captained by Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout. The three-time American League MVP will be part of a potentially fearsome lineup that also includes 2022 National League MVP Paul Goldschmidt and Los Angeles Dodgers standouts Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman.

Another Dodger and former NL MVP, Clayton Kershaw, will help anchor a pitching staff as the U.S. attempts to duplicate its victory in the most recent WBC held in 2017.

Venezuela is the only other nation with multiple former MLB MVPs and will be captained by longtime Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera, who is expected to retire at the end of the 2023 season. The Venezuelan roster also includes 2017 AL MVP Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros as well as Atlanta Braves sensation Ronald Acuna Jr.

Japan, the only nation with more than one WBC title, will be headlined by Trout’s Angels teammate and two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani. The 2021 AL MVP is joined by the reigning Nippon Baseball MVP Munetaki Murakami for the 2006 and 2009 champions.

Team USA and Japan would have to each advance to at least the semifinals for an unprecedented matchup between Ohtani and Trout to take place.

"I don’t even know what to tell 'em," Trout told MLB Network during the roster reveal show when asked if he would offer Team USA a scouting report on Ohtani. "I'm watching him from center field pitching – he's got the best stuff in the league, I think. I don't think I've talked to anybody in the league who wants to face that dude.

"At the plate, he’s got very little weaknesses. Nothing even comes to the top of my head."

Team USA will play their first-round games in Phoenix as part of the Group C bracket that also includes Mexico, Colombia, Canada and first-time participant Great Britain. Japan will be the host nation for Group B play, which will take place in Tokyo with South Korea, Australia, China and the Czech Republic also in the pool.

Venezuela will head to Miami to be part of a loaded Group D field that contains tournament betting favourite Dominican Republic as well as 2013 and 2017 runner-up Puerto Rico.

The Dominican team, which captured the title in 2013, features 2022 NL Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara atop its pitching staff and reigning AL Rookie of the Year Julio Rodriguez among a star-studded crop of position players that also includes sluggers Juan Soto, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Manny Machado, Rafael Devers and Wander Franco.

First-round play is scheduled to run from March 8-15 with the top two teams from the four groups advancing to the quarterfinals, which will be held in Tokyo from March 15-16 and Miami from March 17-18.

Miami’s LoanDepot Park will also host the semifinals from March 19-20 as well as the championship game on March 21.

The San Diego Padres delivered an unbelievable five-run seventh-inning rally to progress to the NLCS for the first time in 24 years and end the Los Angeles Dodgers' record-breaking season prematurely.

The Padres had lost Game 1 of the NLDS and trailed 3-0 halfway through the seventh inning in Game 4 against the Dodgers, who have dominated them for the past decade and had notched a franchise-best 111-51 regular season.

But San Diego found a way in front of the largest crowd in Petco Park history, booking their maiden NLCS appearance since 1998, where they will take on the Philadelphia Phillies, after they beat the Atlanta Braves 8-3 on Saturday.

Jake Cronenworth delivered a go-ahead two-run single as the Padres rallied with five hits and five runs in the seventh inning after managing only four hits in six innings prior to that.

Freddie Freeman lined a two-run double in the third inning before Will Smith's seventh-inning sacrifice fly for Mookie Betts had put the Dodgers 3-0 up, the latter marking the first run the Padres bullpen had conceded all series.

San Diego responded in a crazy inning, with Austin Nola bouncing to the right side to plate Jurickson Profar, before Kim Ha-seong's left-field line drive drove in Trent Grisham to make it 3-2.

Juan Soto tied the game up with a shot into right field, before Jake Cronenworth's go-ahead two-run double turned the crowd raucous.

Closer Josh Hader struck out Freeman to clinch the win and slay the dragon from down the road at long last.

The defeat ended the campaign for the Dodgers, whose 111 regular-season wins were the fourth-most wins in MLB history and the most by a National League (NL) team since 1906.

Yankees facing elimination after Gonzalez walkoff

Oscar Gonzalez stole the show and the win for the Cleveland Guardians with a two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning to earn a 6-5 win over the New York Yankees and a 2-1 ALDS lead.

Gonzalez hit the walk-off shot when he lined a 1-2 pitch from Clarke Schmidt through the middle to bring home Stevan Kwan and Amed Rosario.

That came after the Yankees had rallied from an early 2-0 deficit as Aaron Judge snapped his postseason skid with a two-run home run. New York had carried a 5-3 lead into the ninth inning.

The Yankees bullpen flopped, meaning they are facing an early exit when the ALDS resumes on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

Astros advance after Pena ends epic

Jeremy Pena blasted an 18th-inning solo shot to advance the Houston Astros to the ALCS for the sixth straight season, ending an epic 1-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners and completing the sweep.

Luis Garcia closed out six hours and 22 minutes of prolonged postseason action, after Pena sent Penn Murfee into the seats over left-center field with a 415-foot blast.

Mariners starting pitcher George Kirby had been brilliant with five strikeouts across seven innings, but Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr overcame illness to send down seven K's across six innings, while Houston's bullpen only allowed five hits and struck out 15.

The game was only the fourth to last 18 innings in MLB postseason history, and the first in postseason history to go scoreless through 17 innings. 

The San Diego Padres tied up the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a nail-biting 5-3 victory in a game that included five solo home runs on Wednesday.

Manny Machado played a key role going two-for-five, including a first-inning solo homer along with a third-inning RBI, while Jurickson Profar got his fifth RBI this postseason to put the Padres up 4-3 in the sixth inning.

Jake Cronenworth added another with a solo blast over right-field in the eighth inning before Josh Hader closed it out.

Yu Darvish pitched five innings with seven strikeouts but allowed seven hits and three runs.

The Dodgers had their chances, with nine batters left on base, while they did not have a hit with a runner in scoring position all night.

Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy and Trea Turner all scored solo home runs for the Dodgers. Freeman, who went two-for-four, got on base with a ninth-inning double but Will Smith was caught short of the wall in right-field by Juan Soto to end it.

Clayton Kershaw had six K's across five innings for the Dodgers, restoring his position as the MLB's all-time leading postseason strikeout leader with 213.

Pitcher Brusdar Graterol made a key play down 4-3 in the sixth inning, throwing out Wil Myers at home from a Trent Grisham bunt, but the Dodgers could not capitalise with the Padres' bullpen again exceptional, led by Robert Suarez.

The next two games of the NLDS are at Petco Park where the Padres will be playing in front of their fans in a postseason game for the first time since 2006.

Wright leads Braves to level up with Phillies

Kyle Wright threw six stellar innings as the Atlanta Braves squared the NLDS as they blanked the Philadelphia Phillies 3-0.

After a lengthy rain delay, Wright allowed only two hits with one walk, whilst striking out six Phillies, before reliever A.J. Minter pitched a perfect seventh inning.

The Braves piled on all three runs in the sixth inning with three consecutive two-out singles, as Ronald Acuna Jr overcame a 96mph fastball from Zack Wheeler to his elbow to break the tie, driven in by Matt Olson whose line hit got by first baseman Rhys Hoskins on an in-between hop.

Austin Riley's gentle dribble got Dansby Swanson to home plate, before Travis d'Arnaud grounded to center-field to drive in Olson.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have set a new franchise record for wins in a single season after notching their 107th victory of the MLB campaign against the San Diego Padres.

The California outfit posted a 1-0 victory over their neighbours at Petco Park on Wednesday to shatter their previous best of 106, set last year as they came home fifth in the National League (NL) West division.

This time around, the Dodgers sit top of the pile, with only last year's World Series runners-up, the Houston Astros, cracking the triple-digit mark for wins this term. The Dodgers can still better their new record, with seven regular season games to come.

Ex-NL MVP Freddie Freeman made the clutch play in the 10th inning for a career-high 192 hits this season to secure the win, delighting manager Dave Roberts.

"To know that we’ve made our mark on Dodgers history is pretty remarkable," he said. "A lot of people have their hands on this, not just this year but, kind of building where we’re at right now. It’s something to be proud of."

With the postseason looming, the Dodgers will be looking to ensure momentum ahead of a tilt for a second World Series title in three years.

The New York Yankees slumped to their 10th loss from their past 12 games and were shut out for the second straight game as they lost 4-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.

The Rays were fueled by Isaac Paredes' fourth-inning RBI, after Aaron Hicks' fielding error allowed a David Peralta triple, before piling on three ninth-inning runs with Yandy Diaz driving in two.

But it was another nightmare for the Yankees, who have been shut out four times in August, with a .372 slugging percentage and 3.5 runs per game this month.

Aaron Hicks had a chance to atone for his fielding error with bases loaded in the fourth inning but grounded into a double play.

MLB home-run leader Aaron Judge suffered a similar fate while trailing 1-0 in the eighth inning.

It is the first time the Yankees have been shut out in consecutive games since 2016.

The Yankees have now lost 11 of their past 14 games and hold a 72-44 record, falling behind the Houston Astros (75-42) to be the American League's top seed.

Freeman and Lux blast Dodgers to 80th win

The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team to 80 wins in the majors this season with a 4-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Freddie Freeman blasted his first home run in 20 games in the first inning, while Gavin Lux landed a two-run homer at the top of the sixth.

Julio Urias dealt six strikeouts across five innings as the Dodgers moved to 80-34, clear of the next best in the National League, the New York Mets (75-41) after their 13-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves (71-46).

Ohtani impressive but Angels clipped

MVP candidate Shohei Ohtani tossed eight strikeouts across six innings but the Seattle Mariners pulled away with four ninth-inning runs to win 6-2 over the Los Angeles Angels.

Luis Rengifo tied it up at 1-1 in first inning when outfielders Julio Rodriguez and Mitch Haniger collided on the wall, spilling the ball above the home-run mark.

It was all square going into the ninth inning, but Sam Haggerty scored in a wild play, followed up by Dylan Moore as catcher Max Stassi could not hold a tag attempt, with runs to Julio Rodriguez and Ty France padding the win.

League leader Aaron Judge continued his remarkable form after the All-Star Game with his 43rd home run of the season as the New York Yankees flexed with a 7-2 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday.

Judge made majors history with his 10th home run since the All-Star Game, joining Albert Belle in achieving that feat in only 12 games after the break.

The Yankees outfielder had hit a first-inning double, before Anthony Rizzo's three-run blast – his 26th home run of the season – opened up an early 3-0 lead.

Judge took center stage in the second inning with his home run putting the Yankees up 5-1, marking 12 blasts in his past 14 games.

Jose Trevino got in on the act, after a lean month, with home runs in the fourth and eighth innings for his first career multi-homer game.

The result keeps the Yankees top of the American League (AL) East with a 70-34 record, while the Mariners are second in the AL West with a 55-49 record.

Judge leads the majors for home runs this season with 43 with a league-high .680 slugging percentage, batting at .299 with 89 runs, 115 hits and 93 RBIs.

 

Hot property Soto stars as Mets see off Nats

Amid trade speculation, Juan Soto underlined his value with the Washington Nationals with a fine all-round performance in their 7-3 loss to the New York Mets.

Soto showed off his speed around the bases to score for 1-0 in the first inning, before some brilliance from the outfield saw him throw out runner Tomas Nido on the home plate.

After Pete Alonso's 27th blast of the season put the Mets 4-1 up, Soto returned fire with his own home run in the fourth inning, his 21st of the year.

Francisco Lindor's sixth inning homer rounded out the win for the Mets who improve to 65-37.

 

Dodgers too strong for Giants

Max Muncy and Trea Turner both homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers proved too good for National League (NL) West rivals San Francisco Giants 8-2.

Muncy's second-inning two-run blast put the Dodgers ahead after Darin Ruf scored in the first, with Freddie Freeman driving in Mookie Betts in the fourth to open up a 4-1 lead.

Turner unleashed his 17th home run of the season at the top of the seventh inning with a fly ball to center field to settle the contest, helping the Dodgers move to 69-33 at the top of the NL West.

Nolan Arenado sparked a record string of home runs and hit the game-winning drive for the St. Louis Cardinals, in their 7-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

With two outs in the first inning, Arenado, Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Dylan Carson sent Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Gibson deep, making it the first time in MLB history a team connected for four straight home runs in the opening frame.

The game was tied at 6-6 in the ninth inning when Arenado hit another home run, this time sending Seranthony Dominguez over left field.

Arenado's game-winning performance from four at-bats was impressive enough in isolation, before considering it was backing up from hitting for cycle in Friday's 5-3 defeat to the Phillies.

The Cardinals moved to within a game of the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers, moving their record for the season to 44-36.

Yankees sweep Guardians in double-header 

The New York Yankees are running away with the American League East, taking both games in a double-header against the Cleveland Guardians.

Matt Carpenter homered twice in the opening 13-4 win, before Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton hit consecutive home runs and Nestor Cortes shut the Guardians down for six innings, for the 6-1 win in the later game.

The Yankees are 25-6 since May 31, holding a seven-game lead over the Houston Astros in the AL and at 58-21, hold the franchise's second-best record over 79 games.

Freeman leads Dodgers to victory

Freddie Freeman continued his strong form for the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting the first of three home runs in the opening inning of their 7-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Freeman, who leads the Dodgers for OBP at .391 for the season, hit his sixth home run since the start of June after sending Yu Darvish deep. Will Smith and Justin Turner then followed up with solo shots off Darvish to set up the victory.

The Dodgers are now one off 50 wins for the season, moving to 49-28 and extending their lead in the NL over the New York Mets to 1.5 games.

Nolan Arenado sparked a record string of home runs and hit the game-winning drive for the St. Louis Cardinals, in their 7-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.

With two outs in the first inning, Arenado, Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Dylan Carson sent Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Gibson deep, making it the first time in MLB history a team connected for four straight home runs in the opening frame.

The game was tied at 6-6 in the ninth inning when Arenado then hit another home run, this time sending Seranthony Dominguez over left field.

Arenado's game-winning performance from four at-bats was impressive enough in isolation, before considering it was backing up from hitting for cycle in Friday's 5-3 defeat to the Phillies.

The Cardinals moved to within a game of the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers, moving their record for the season to 44-36.

Yankees sweep Guardians in double-header 

The New York Yankees are running away with the American League East, taking both games in a double-header against the Cleveland Guardians.

Matt Carpenter homered twice in the opening 13-4 win, before Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton hit consecutive home runs and Nestor Cortes shut the Guardians down for six innings, for the 6-1 win in the later game.

The Yankees are 25-6 since May 31, holding a seven-game lead over the Houston Astros in the AL and at 58-21, hold the franchise's second-best record over 79 games.

Freeman leads Dodgers to victory

Freddie Freeman continued his strong form for the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting the first of three home runs in the opening inning of their 7-2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Freeman, who leads the Dodgers for OBP at .391 for the season, hit his sixth home run since the start of June after sending Yu Darvish deep. Will Smith and Justin Turner then followed up with solo shots off Darvish to set up the victory.

The Dodgers are now one off 50 wins for the season, moving to 49-28 and extending their lead in the NL over the New York Mets to 1.5 games.

Freddie Freeman's emotions were "all over the place" when he faced the Braves for the first time in April – and it was more of the same in Friday's return to Atlanta.

Freeman spent 12 seasons with the Braves, earning five All-Star appearances and the NL MVP trophy in 2020, before signing a six-year, $162million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers this past offseason.

The first baseman's first two home runs for the Dodgers then came in a three-game series against the Braves in LA earlier this season.

But this week has brought Freeman back to Atlanta for the first time since helping to inspire the Braves' World Series success last year.

Friday started with Freeman struggling to contain his emotions as he fulfilled pre-game media duties, briefly leaving the interview room at Truist Park in tears and returning to say: "I don't even know how I'm going to get through this weekend, guys, if I'm being honest."

There were more tears as he received his championship ring from Braves manager Brian Snitker following a video tribute on the center-field screen.

"I know I have a different uniform on," he said to the crowd on Bally Sports, "but I still love each and every one of you guys."

Freeman then had to get to work, but the tributes did not stop. The Braves' organist played 'We Are The Champions' as he came to bat in the top of the first inning, earning another standing ovation.

"It's hard to put into words," Freeman told Spectrum SportsNet after two walks, one hit and two runs scored in the Dodgers' 4-1 win.

"I left everything I had on this field, every single night, and I think they understood that. I love them very, very much, and they showed me the love tonight.

"I'm so glad I got walked, because I couldn't feel my legs – I couldn't feel my legs for a few innings, to be honest with you. It was emotional, and I am worn out."

He added: "I tried to envision what tonight was going to be like, and this far exceeded my expectations. It was just a special, special evening."

Aaron Judge hit a game-winning single to cap a four-run ninth inning for the New York Yankees in their 7-6 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday.

Aaron Hicks started the late rally for the Pinstripes, tying the game with a three-run home run off Astros closer Ryan Pressly.

Alex Bregman and Giancarlo Stanton traded three-run homers in the first inning, while Yordan Alvarez also added a three-run shot in the third off Jameson Taillon to put the Astros ahead.

The Yankees took the opener of a highly anticipated four-game series between the American League's two best records with the win, as the Astros kick off a six-game stand in New York, taking both games from the Mets earlier this week in Houston.

The American League leaders moved to 52-18 for the season and claimed their 19th win in the past 22 games, heading into Judge's in-season salary arbitration on Friday.

Swanson seals win for Braves

Dansby Swanson hit two home runs for the Atlanta Braves, who were able to hold out against the San Francisco Giants in a 7-6 victory.

Swanson had three hits and three RBIs as the Braves built a 7-1 lead coming into the fifth inning. Six Giants players scored multiple hits, with Austin Slater's home run starting the rally in the fifth.

They were not able to capitalise on the higher hit count however, as the Braves moved 11 games over .500 with their 18th win in the past month.

Freeman fires Dodgers to victory

Freddie Freeman's form continued in the absence of Mookie Betts, leading the way for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 10-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Freeman claimed a home run and three RBIs, moving his OBP for the season to a team-leading .386, while Max Muncy and Trea Turner each tallied three hits.

Clayton Kershaw allowed just one run and seven hits in six innings for the National League West leaders, striking out seven in 80 pitches and lowering his ERA for the season to 2.00.

The New York Yankees extended their winning streak to nine games on Saturday, shutting the Toronto Blue Jays out 4-0 on the road.

Jameson Taillon was in impressive form on the mound for the Pinstripes against their divisional rivals, allowing only four hits and striking out eight and managing 14 first-pitch strikes out of 22 batters faced over 88 pitches.

Allowing all four runs and six hits in just over five innings for the Blue Jays, walking one and striking out five, Alek Manoah lost for the first time in 16 career home starts.

Aaron Hicks gave the Yankees important early momentum with a three-run drive off Manoah in the second inning, in an otherwise off night for the top of the batting order.

Improving to 49-16 for the season – leading the Blue Jays by 12 games in the American League East - the Yankees will next face Blue Jays left-hander Yusei Kikuchi, who also ended their 11-game win streak in May.

Willson wins in Contreras match-up

Willson Contreras led the way for the Chicago Cubs against younger brother William and the Atlanta Braves, with the Cubs winning 6-3.

Both starting at catcher on Saturday, the two brothers embraced at home plate before Willson's first at-bat, in what was their first meeting in the major leagues. The older Contreras went on to claim three hits and a stolen base in the win.

Kyle Wright gave up a career-high 11 hits, a day after the Cubs snapped the Braves' 14-game winning streak, which broke their own sequence of 10 consecutive losses.

Freeman the fuel as Dodgers hit 40

Freddie Freeman had three hits and Trea Turner homered for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who secured a 7-1 victory over the Cleveland Guardians.

Julio Urias pitched solidly for the Dodgers, giving up only two hits and two walks while striking out six over 87 pitches in six innings to secure his first win since May.

The Dodgers became the fifth team to reach 40 wins for the year, taking a lead of half a game in the National League West over the San Diego Padres.

Max Fried starred with eight strikeouts across seven innings as the Atlanta Braves won 3-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

Braves left-hander Fried went perfect across the first five innings, before allowing two hits, while Freddie Freeman was quelled against his former side.

The Dodgers' only run of the game, scored by Chris Taylor, came in the eighth inning once Fried had been relieved, with Kenley Jansen closing it out in the ninth.

Travis d'Arnaud hit a solo home run at the top of the second inning, before Orlando Arcia's RBI double in the fourth and Austin Riley's single on a line drive for Ozzie Albies to score in the fifth.

 

Franco's maiden 2022 blast... at last

Wander Franco blasted his first home run of 2022 in a three-hit game as the Tampa Bay Rays won 6-5 over the Chicago Cubs.

Franco had missed Monday's game to rest his right quad but returned in style with a two-run homer on a 2-0 pitch in the third inning.

The young Rays star has now had seven multi-hit performances across 11 games this Major League season. Franco is a joint leader in the majors for hits, with 19.

"He's unique, special, talented, and we're seeing it in every part of his game," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

 

Vintage Scherzer and Perez

Reliever Clarke Schmidt stepped up for the New York Yankees after Gerrit Cole's early struggles by tossing down six strikeouts in their 4-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cole had walked four batters, included with base loaded.

Max Scherzer was at his vintage best with 10 strikeouts in the New York Mets' 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants, which backed up their earlier 5-4 victory on a double-header.

Salvador Perez put aside blurry vision to slug two home runs as the Kansas City Royals won 4-3 over the Minnesota Twins.

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