Mark Appel could be about to end his long, long wait to play in the major leagues after being called up by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Appel is joining the Phillies after the team put Connor Brogdon on the COVID injured list, according to MLB.com and The Athletic.

The 30-year-old pitcher is yet to make a single MLB appearance, despite being taken with the first overall draft pick by the Houston Astros in 2013.

That was the third time Appel had been selected – and second time in the first round – but the first time he was signed.

However, Appel never played for the Astros and was traded to the Phillies after the 2015 season, having struggled in the minor leagues.

He was designated for assignment in 2017 and announced his retirement in 2018, admitting he could "probably" be considered "the biggest draft bust".

Yet Appel returned to the Phillies last year and could now get his opportunity in place of Brogdon. The team are in the middle of a four-game series against the San Diego Padres.

Appel is one of four first overall picks never to have made it to MLB, along with Steve Chilcott, Brien Taylor and Brady Aiken.

The Astros also selected Aiken – in 2014, when Appel was still a part of the organisation – but a bonus dispute saw him become the first number one pick to be left unsigned since Tim Belcher in 1983.

Aiken was drafted again in 2015 by the Cleveland Indians, this time 17th overall, yet he still did not play and was released last year.

A big performance from New York Mets star Francisco Lindor helped his side conquer the Miami Marlins and their ace pitcher Sandy Alcantara 5-3 away from home.

Lindor struck in the very first inning, grinding out an eight-pitch at-bat before connecting on a 404-foot solo home run to center-field.

It was also a poor beginning to the game for Mets starter Taijuan Walker, giving up four consecutive base hits to the Marlins' first four batters, but he was able to get out of the first inning only conceding one run to keep things tied. 

Alcantara, who is the favourite to win the Cy Young Award as most outstanding pitcher in his conference, found his footing through the middle stages, not allowing a baserunner through the second, third and fourth inning.

He only gave up two hits and no walks through the first five innings, but the second hit – courtesy of Mark Canha in the fifth – also travelled over the fence, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead.

Just like the first frame, the Marlins did not allow the Mets to finish the inning in the lead, tying it at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth through a Jorge Soler RBI groundout.

The sixth inning is where the Mets won the game, with an infield single to lead-off, followed by a bunt for a hit, and then a fielding error to load the bases with no outs.

Lindor cashed in, with a bases-clearing, three-run double to bust the game open, opening up a winning break that the Mets bullpen was able to defend.

Alcantara ended up pitching seven complete innings, giving up four earned runs from five hits and no walks, doing enough to remain as one of four starting pitchers with an ERA still under 2.0 this season (1.95, giving up 23 earned runs in 106.1 innings).

Walker was credited with the win, coming back from his rough start to work through six innings, giving up three runs and striking out five.

Astros snap Yankees' home streak

The New York Yankees lost at home for the first time in their past 16 games at Yankee Stadium as the Houston Astros got the job done 3-1.

Both teams finished with five hits, and both teams had all their scoring come from a single home run in the sixth inning, but while Giancarlo Stanton's homer was a solo shot, Kyle Tucker's was a three-run blast after a double from Alex Bregman and a walk to Yordan Alvarez.

It was a terrific outing for Astros ace Justin Verlander, pitching seven complete innings for four hits and one walk.

Devers, Pivetta and the Red Sox stay hot

The Boston Red Sox have now won 17 of their past 21 games after a 6-3 road win against the Cleveland Guardians.

Nick Pivetta shined on the mound, giving up two runs in seven innings, allowing nine hits, but no walks.

With the bat, AL MVP candidate Rafael Devers delivered with a 411-foot solo home run to put the Red Sox ahead in the second inning, before Carlos Arroyo's two-run shot in the seventh frame finally gave Boston some breathing room.

An explosive first inning and some big hitting from Yordan Alvarez lifted the Houston Astros to a 5-3 home win against the New York Mets on Wednesday.

It was a clash between two of the best teams in baseball, with the Mets entering the contest leading the National League at 45-25, and the Astros second in the American League at 42-25.

In a rough start for Mets pitcher Carlos Carrasco, the Astros started the game with a walk to Jose Altuve, followed by an RBI double to Michael Brantley, and then home runs to both Alex Bregman and Alvarez to lead 4-0 after the first four batters.

The Mets were able to pull one run back in the third, when Dominic Smith was brought home by a Brandon Nimmo sacrifice-fly, but Alvarez took that run straight back in the next inning when he crushed the longest hit of the game with a 412-foot homer to right-field.

Starling Marte's RBI double in the sixth inning cut the margin to 5-2, and Pete Alonso's sacrifice-fly brought home Marte for one more run, but that would be the last run of the game as both bullpens held out down the stretch.

Alonso's RBI was his league-leading 66th of the season – only Jose Ramirez (62 RBIs) and Paul Goldschmidt (58) have more than 52 this season as Alonso continues to put a gap on the field.

Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia was credited with the win after giving up three runs in five innings, striking out five, and Ryan Pressly collected his 14th save of the season to close it out.

Wacha wins it for Boston

The Boston Red Sox rode a quality start from pitcher Michael Wacha to a 6-2 home win against the Detroit Tigers.

Wacha pitched six full innings as the Red Sox moved to an 8-2 record over the past 10 games, giving up two runs from hits and two walks, striking out seven in a terrific 98-pitch outing.

After giving up a two-run homer to Javier Baez in the first inning, the Boston pitching staff held the Tigers scoreless the rest of the way.

With the bat, exciting youngster Jarren Duran tied the game in the third inning with a two-run double, before Rob Refsnyder scored another two with his home run in the next at-bat.

Hays hits for the cycle

Baltimore Orioles centre-fielder Austin Hays hit for the cycle in his side's 7-0 home win against the Washington Nationals.

Batting lead-off, Hays opened the game with an infield single, and connected on a 405-foot home run in his next plate appearance in the third inning.

An inning later, he collected the toughest leg of the cycle when the right-hander sliced a drive into the right-field corner for a triple, and he completed the feat in his fourth at-bat with a two-run double to deep centre-field.

This all took place before the game was called off in the seventh inning due to persistent rain.

Yordan Alvarez hit a two-run home run and Kyle Tucker had three RBIs to give the Houston Astros an 8-2 win over the New York Mets in Tuesday's high-profile interleague matchup.

Jose Altuve and Jose Siri contributed solo home runs for Houston, who have only gone 6-4 over their past 10 games.

Altuve and Alvarez, who missed Sunday's win over the Chicago White Sox with injury, set up a 3-0 lead in the third inning, connecting off Trevor Williams. Tucker's three-run double extended the lead to 7-0, effectively securing the victory.

With the win, the Astros moved to 42-25 and only trail the New York Yankees in the American League, while the Mets lead the National League with a record of 45-25.

It was the first of nine straight games against the Mets and Yankees, with a trip to New York following this two-game stand at home.

Yaz stands up in Giants win

Mike Yastrzemski returned to form with an important two-run double, propelling the San Francisco Giants to an 8-7 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Claiming only one hit from his previous 16 at-bats, the 31-year-old drove Collin McHugh deep into right-field, putting the Giants up 8-7.

The Giants moved ahead of the reigning World Series champions in the Nationa League standings with the win, claiming their eighth win in the past 11 games.

Gimenez gets Guardians up over Twins

The Cleveland Guardians moved to the top of the AL Central standings, beating the Minnesota Twins 6-5 in 11 innings.

Leading the major leagues with a .362 batting average, Guardians' lead-off hitter Luis Arraez hit a three-run home run in the seventh, sending Eli Morgan over right-center field.

Andres Gimenez hit the important RBI single in the 11th, as Emmanuel Clase earned his 16th save in 18 attempts. The Guardians' 35-28 record (.556) now inches them ahead of the Twins on 38-31 (.551).

In a battle between two of the best teams and best pitchers in the majors, Nestor Cortes' New York Yankees prevailed 4-3 at home against Shane McClanahan's Tampa Bay Rays.

McClanahan is the current favourite to win the AL Cy Young Award while Cortes is close behind, and they both put on spectacular performances in Wednesday's top fixture.

It was a rocky start for McClanahan, who was punished in the very first inning by American League MVP favourite Aaron Judge, connecting on his league-leading 25th home run of the season to make it 1-0. Nobody else has hit more than 18 home runs.

That was the only earned run McClanahan would give up, although a fielding error in the fifth inning and an intentional walk set up a three-run Kyle Higashioka blast to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead.

McClanahan finished with seven strikeouts in six complete innings, allowing three hits and two walks.

Cortes held the Rays scoreless through five innings, eventually getting pulled in the sixth after the visitors finally got their first run on the board via a Manuel Margot RBI double.

Choi Ji-man's RBI base hit in the eighth inning cut the margin to 4-2, and Rene Pinto followed suit as the very next batter to make it 4-3. Clay Holmes was able to hold his nerve in the ninth frame to secure the save and the win for the Yankees.

After their performances, McClanahan (1.84 ERA) and Cortes (1.94 ERA) are two of only seven starting pitchers this season to allow fewer than two runs per nine innings.

The win moves the Yankees' league-leading record to 46-16 – six games clear of the New York Mets in second (41-23).

Astros' immaculate showing

The Houston Astros pitched two immaculate innings in their 9-2 road win against the Texas Rangers to retain the fourth-best record in the majors at 39-24.

After the Astros piled on six runs in the opening frame, including two-run doubles from both Yordan Alvarez and Martin Maldonado, Houston starter Luis Garcia took control.

In the second inning, Garcia struck out all three batters, throwing just nine pitches, with all being strikes, for a rare immaculate inning.

Incredibly, the feat was repeated in the seventh frame by Astros reliever Phil Maton, who also collected his three strikeouts in nine pitches. It is the first time in MLB history that a team has thrown two immaculate innings in the same game.

Phillies win in last-gasp walk-off

Philadelphia Phillies catcher Garrett Stubbs was the hero in his side's 3-1 home victory against the Miami Marlins.

Kyle Gibson was terrific on the mound for the Phillies, giving up one run from seven hits and no walks, pitching eight full innings and striking out six – but his team trailed 1-0 going into the ninth frame.

After a lead-off strikeout, Alec Bohm singled, and J.T. Realmuto walked, but another strikeout meant Stubbs was the last chance to make something happen – and he duly responded.

From the fifth pitch of his at-bat, with two strikes, Stubbs connected on a hanging slider and sent it over the fence for a game-winning three-run homer. It is the Phillies' 11th win from their past 13 games.

St Louis Cardinals pitcher Miles Mikolas fell agonisingly short of a career-first no-hitter as his side won 9-1 over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday.

Mikolas came within one strike of the rare feat, achieved only 10 times in Cardinals' history, with two outs and two strikes against the Pirates in the ninth inning.

It was Cal Mitchell who denied Mikolas in his no-no bid with a center-field hit that eluded Harrison Bader by inches and bounced over the wall.

Mikolas tossed down a season-high 129 pitches throughout the game, with six strikeouts.

"It kinda stinks to not finish that out," Mikolas said after the game. "I don’t have one yet. I've got friends who have one, it would’ve been nice to join that conversation but I can't say enough about our defense. I kinda feel like I let them down."

Mikolas overshadowed Mike Goldschmidt who had a four-hit, two-homer and five-RBI display in the second game of the double-header.

Goldschmidt sits atop the National League (NL) rankings for batting average (.349) and on-base plus slugging (1.073). He is second in the NL for RBIs (56) and tied for second for home runs (16).

The Cardinals won both games, triumphing 3-1 in the earlier match-up, with Yadier Molina reaching 14,865 putouts which is the most by a catcher in MLB history.

 

Voit leads Padres' turnaround against Cubs

The Chicago Cubs' slide continued despite boasting a 5-0 lead heading into the sixth inning as Luke Voit turned things around for the San Diego Padres in a 12-5 win.

Willson Contreras enjoyed his 10th career multi-home run game to help the Cubs lead 5-0 before Voit's two-run blast narrowed the gap, followed by another two runs in the sixth for the Padres.

Voit emptied the bases in the seventh inning, finishing the game with five RBIs along with his two hits and two runs from six at-bats.

 

Astros launch with eighth-inning rearguard

The Texas Rangers blew their shot at a fourth consecutive win after poor fielding cost them in the eighth inning, losing 4-3 to the Houston Astros.

The Rangers were leading 3-0 in the eighth when third baseman Ezequiel Duran misplayed, allowing Jose Altuve to get home despite a mix-up between bases from Alex Bregman's hit.

Two batters later, with Michael Brantley having added a second run, Kyle Tucker hit a two-run blast to clinch a 4-3 victory for the Astros. Tucker extended his active hitting streak to 13 games.

The Houston Astros and Yordan Alvarez have agreed to a six-year, $115million extension that will keep the 2019 American League Rookie of the Year under team control through 2028, according to multiple reports.

MLB.com reports the deal will pay Alvarez $7m in 2023, $10m in 2024, $15m in 2025 and $26m per season over the final three years of the contract. It also contains a $5m signing bonus.

The contract, which ESPN reports to be the largest ever for a player primarily used as a designated hitter, encompasses all of Alvarez's arbitration-eligible seasons as well as his first three years of free agency.

It is also the fifth-largest extension in MLB history for a player yet to reach arbitration, behind Fernando Tatis Jr. (14 years, $340m), Wander Franco (11 years, $182m), Buster Posey (eight years, $159m) and Mike Trout (six years, $144.5m).

Alvarez earned the large payday by emerging among the game's premier power hitters since breaking into the majors in June 2019. The 24-year-old has produced a .287 average with 75 home runs, 217 RBIs and a .947 OPS over 278 career games.

The Cuba native enters Friday's play second in the AL with 14 homers, fifth in slugging percentage (.574), sixth in OPS (.941) and eighth in RBIs (31).

Alvarez set a major league rookie record by amassing a 1.067 OPS while batting .313 with 27 homers and 78 RBIs in just 87 games to be named the AL's top newcomer in 2019.

After knee surgeries limited him to only two games in the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, he bounced back to record 33 homers and 104 RBIs in 2021 and was voted MVP of the AL Championship Series after leading Houston past the Boston Red Sox for a spot in last year's World Series.

Alvarez joins 2017 AL MVP Jose Altuve, third baseman Alex Bregman and starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. as core players the Astros have signed to large multi-year contracts in recent years.

Houston were unable to retain two other key contributors to their 2017 world championship run, as outfielder George Springer signed with Toronto following the 2020 season and shortstop Carlos Correa signed with Minnesota this past offseason.

An offensive explosion in the sixth inning saw a combined nine runs as the Philadelphia Phillies held on for a hard-fought 6-5 home win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday.

Both teams had their ace pitchers on the mound, and they were both excellent through the first five innings as Philadelphia's Aaron Nola and San Francisco's Carlos Rodon combined for one earned run.

The Phillies led 2-0 heading into the sixth frame – with one of the runs going down as unearned for the pitcher due to a fielding error – before the Giants finally found their groove.

The Giants' first five batters in the sixth inning went: double, RBI rouble, single, hit-by-pitch, before being capped off with a big three-run home run to Wilmer Flores.

With their big inning, the Giants jumped ahead 5-2, and after seeing Nola fall apart, the visitors opted to pull Rodon from the game. It was a decision that will be questioned after the Phillies rallied back with four runs of their own in the same frame.

They came with a pair of two-run homers – the first a 348-foot shot from Nick Maton, before Kyle Schwarber sent his 392 feet over the wall to put his side back in front 6-5.

From that point on the bullpens took over, with no hits and no walks allowed by either team in the final three frames, allowing Corey Knebel to come in and collect the save for the Phillies.

Verlander teases a no-hitter

Houston Astros star pitcher Justin Verlander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before his side then had to fight from behind to beat the Oakland Athletics 5-4.

Verlander was spectacular, allowing just one walk through the first six innings, but only led 1-0 as Cole Irvin was also at the top of his game on the mound for the Athletics.

In the seventh inning, an Elvis Andrus RBI double and a two-run Christian Bethancourt home run turned the game on its head, grabbing a 3-1 lead for the Athletics in the process, holding it until the ninth inning.

It was a poor showing from Oakland reliever Dany Jimenez, allowing the bases to load before walking in a run to make it 3-2, setting the plate for Yordan Alvarez to be the hero with a three-run, bases clearing, game-winning double.

Rockies win a shoot-out

The Colorado Rockies beat the Miami Marlins 13-12 in an extra-innings crowd-pleaser, ending in a walk-off home run.

Six Rockies finished with at least two hits, but Brendan Rodgers was the undisputed star of the show, hitting solo home runs in the second and fifth innings, before crushing his third long-ball of the day for the walk-off winner in the 10th frame.

Ryan McMahon was also terrific with the bat for the home side, with a three-run triple in the third inning and an RBI double in the fifth, as he and Rodgers combined to drive in eight of Colorado's 13 runs.

The St. Louis Cardinals received strong performances from two rookies as they defeated the San Diego Padres 6-3 on Monday.

After the Padres took an early 1-0 lead, rookie second-baseman Nolan Gorman hit his second career home run with a 403-foot, two-run shot to right-field.

Tommy Edman was the player who trotted the bases along with Gorman for his home run, and he added another run himself with an RBI single in the fifth inning to make it 3-1.

Austin Nola pegged one back for the Padres with a base hit in the sixth frame, before the red-hot Paul Goldschmidt gave the Cardinals some breathing room with a two-run home run, crushing one 414 feet over the left-field wall to extend the lead to 5-2. It also extended Goldschmidt's hitting streak to 21 consecutive games.

Future Hall-of-Famer and 39-year-old Cardinals legend Yadier Molina capped off a fun night for the home faithful with an RBI double to center-field in the seventh inning.

Packy Naughton gave the Cardinals a decent start on the mound, striking out four batters and allowing one run in his two-and-a-third innings, before rookie Andre Pallante came in and earned his first career win, pitching three-and-a-third frames for one earned run and five strikeouts.

Both the Padres and the Cardinals remain three-and-a-half games off the leaders in their respective divisions.

Valdez pitches complete game for Astros

Houston Astros starting pitcher Framber Valdez needed no help on the mound, pitching nine complete innings in his side's 5-1 win against the Oakland Athletics.

Valdez gave up just two hits and three walks, striking out seven, and was able to finish the job in 114 pitches.

With the bat, star Jose Altuve collected two hits, including a 394-foot, two-run homer in the fifth inning, while teammate Yordan Alvarez also had two hits, and both were massive.

Alvarez's first home run travelled 469 feet to center field, and his second was a 444-foot bomb to right-center – but he was not even close to Tuesday's biggest blast.

Sanchez crushes year's longest home run

The Miami Marlins lost 7-1 away against the Colorado Rockies, but the visiting side's one run was a memorable one, coming from the longest home run of the season.

With both sides still scoreless in the second inning, Marlins center-fielder Jesus Sanchez hooked a monstrous 496-foot solo home run deep over the right-field wall and over the third deck.

It was one of only four hits given up by Rockies starting pitcher Ryan Feltner, who finished with seven complete innings for one run and six strikeouts.

No Rockies hit home runs in the game, but both Connor Joe and Garrett Hampson hit triples.

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta rebounded from a disappointing start to throw a complete game, beating the Houston Astros 5-1.

Pivetta was put on the back foot straight away, as Houston's lead-off hitter, Jose Altuve, forced him to throw nine pitches before sending the 10th over the 'Green Monster' for a home run to left-field.

The Astros would only register one more hit in the entire game as Pivetta found his footing, though, retiring 18 consecutive batters until a double in the seventh inning, and then another nine consecutive batters to close out the contest.

Despite conceding so early, the Red Sox reclaimed the lead later in the first frame, as Rafael Devers was brought home after his triple, before Xander Bogaerts hit a solo home run to make it 2-1.

Another extra-base hit from Devers in the third inning brought home Boston's third run, and the home side then manufactured another two tallies in the fourth, never allowing the Astros back into the contest.

The win moves the struggling Red Sox to 15-22 for the season, while the Astros are in a much stronger position, tied for the third-best record in the majors at 24-14.

Hiura the hero for Brewers

Keston Hiura crushed a massive walk-off home run to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 7-6 win against the Atlanta Braves in extra innings.

The Braves led 4-0 after three innings, but the Brewers were able to fight back, tying the game with a two-out triple in the bottom of the ninth and final frame to keep the game alive.

After both teams scored a run each in the 10th, the Braves added another in the top of the 11th, before Hiura's two-run, 447-foot blast to center-field closed the show.

Lowe sends one high for the win

After Jared Walsh tied things up for the Los Angeles Angels at 4-4 with a ninth-inning home run, Nathaniel Lowe came back to bomb a two-run walk-off to give the Texas Rangers a 6-5 win in extra innings.

It was a solid start on the mound for Angels star Shohei Ohtani, pitching six full innings for two earned runs and seven strikeouts, but the Rangers capitalised once he exited with solo home runs in the seventh and eighth frames.

Walsh's two-run homer sent the game to extra innings, and the Angels scored first at the top of the 10th, but Lowe wasted no time ending things, leading off the bottom of the 10th and blasting the first pitch over the wall to win it.

Boston Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi made unwanted history after becoming the third pitcher in major league history to allow five home runs in an inning as the Houston Astros won 13-4 on Tuesday.

Eovaldi allowed homers to Yuli Gurriel, Michael Brantley, Jeremy Pena, Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez in the second inning as the Astros raced to a 9-1 lead.

The 32-year-old Red Sox right-hander lasted only one and two-third innings, allowing eight hits and six earned runs with no strikeouts.

It was the first time in Astros franchise history that they have had a five-homer inning.

"They did an outstanding job hitting mistakes," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.

"We didn't get any swings and misses. Obviously, it's surprising. Now, we just have to move onto the next one."

Cora added on Eovaldi: "He's a strikethrower, right? He was in the zone, and they had a gameplan. They got good pitches to hit. I think that's the bottom line."

Eovaldi has allowed 14 homers this season for the Red Sox, who have a 14-22 record.

 

Judge takes season HR tally to 14

Aaron Judge continued his big-hitting form with two homers taking his season tally to 14 in the New York Yankees' 5-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Judge homered in both the third and fifth innings, finishing the game with four hits and three RBIs. The game marked Judge’s third multi-homer game of the season and the 19th of his career.

It could have been three homers for Judge, with his first-inning drive smacking into the top of the 13-foot barrier, before he was thrown out at third base.

 

Rookie Morel blasts first at-bat

Rookie Christopher Morel created some positive history when he became the first Cub to homer in his first big-league at-bat since Willson Contreras in 2016 in the Chicago Cubs' 7-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The prospect added an exclamation point to the big win when he was sent in for a pinch-hit with his side 6-0 up in the eighth inning, delivering a blast over left field from Chase De Jong.

"I've known this guy for a really long time, and he makes me proud," Contreras said. "It was amazing. He told me [he would homer], and I felt like he was going to get something done… Once I saw the ball going out, I was like, that was a no-doubt. That kid has some pop in his bat."

The Houston Astros claimed both games in an impromptu double-header and the eventual three-game sweep, with respective 11-3 and 5-0 victories over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday.

The Astros led 5-1 on Wednesday night against the Twins the battle between two of the American League's divisional leaders, when the game was suspended in the third inning.

The game resumed on the Thursday, with Jose Altuve claimed a home-run and double as well as three RBIs in the 11-3 victory.

In Thursday's regularly scheduled game, Yordan Alvarez homered twice, while Luis Garcia and three relievers combined for only seven hits in the shutout win.

The Astros have now extended their winning streak to ten games, giving up only 11 runs over that period.

Stanton stars in Yankees win

While the AL Central and West leaders battled it out, the AL East-leading New York Yankees defeated the Chicago White Sox 15-7.

Giancarlo Stanton homered twice and scored six RBIs, while the Yankees secured the win on the back of a seven-run eighth inning.

The Pinstripes have now won 16 of their last 18 games, with three games remaining in their road series against the White Sox.

Harper moves to DH as Phillies defeat Dodgers

An injured Bryce Harper still claimed two hits from four at-bats and three RBIs as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-7.

Harper will remain in the Phillies' lineup but will be relieved of throwing duties as the designated hitter, due to a ligament tear in his right elbow.

Zack Wheeler pitched over five innings in his start for Philadelphia, striking out seven and giving up six hits and three runs in 90 pitches.

The New York Mets produced a remarkable ninth-inning comeback to stun the Philadelphia Phillies 8-7.

It was all Philadelphia early in front of their home fans, piling on four runs in the first inning, with Bryce Harper's RBI double to deep left-field the highlight.

Nick Castellanos also batted in one of the four early runs, and then added another in the second inning to make it 5-0 through two innings in a rough start for Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker. 

Walker's work came to an end at the end of the fourth inning after Harper and Castellanos both hit solo home runs, with Harper's 427-foot shot the biggest hit of the game, opening up a 7-0 lead.

Starling Marte finally got the Mets on the scoreboard with a solo home run in the sixth inning, but that would be all Phillies ace Aaron Nola would give up, pitching seven full innings for one earned run from three hits and one walk, striking out seven.

Leading 7-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, ESPN gave the Phillies a win probability of 99.9 per cent – but the ninth inning would be one to remember for Mets fans.

Marte led off the inning with an infield single, with Francisco Lindor driving him home with a two-run homer for two of the eight Mets hits in the final frame.

Pete Alonso doubled as the next man to the plate, and after an out, Jeff McNeil singled to put runners on first and third.

Mark Canha's infield single brought Alonso home, but a strikeout for the next batter still left the Mets trailing 7-4 with two outs.

J.D. Davis kept the game alive with a clutch double, bringing one more run home to leave runners on second and third, needing a base hit from Brandon Nimmo to tie the game.

Nimmo delivered, bringing home the two runners to tie the game at 7-7.

Not done there, Marte came back to the plate and collected his second hit of the inning, with his long double hitting the wall on the full to bring Nimmo home from first base and take the 8-7 lead, before the next batter grounded out.

Mets closer Edwin Diaz made no mistakes, retiring the last three batters in order for an unlikely victory.

Ohtani gives MVP performance

Shohei Ohtani showed why he could be in line to go back-to-back as the American League MVP, as he dominated the Boston Red Sox to give the Los Angeles Angels a 8-0 win.

Ohtani pitched seven shutout innings for the Halos in his pitching debut at Fenway Park, striking out 11 while only allowing six hits and no walks over 99 pitches.

He also went two-for-four with the bat, driving in a run with a base hit in the eighth inning.

Astros walk-off against Tigers

The Detroit Tigers gave the Houston Astros a scare in the ninth inning, but the Astros sent their fans home happy with a 3-2 walk-off win.

In a strong pitching showing from both teams, the only two runs through eight innings were solo home runs to Jose Altuve and rookie Jeremy Pena to give the Astros a 2-0 lead.

Jeimer Candalario tied the game in the top of the last inning with a two-run homer, but any hope of a win was short-lived as Kyle Tucker hit a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the ninth.

Dusty Baker joined elite company with his 2,000th major league win as manager in the Houston Astros' 4-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.

Baker began his managerial career in 1993 and becomes the 12th manager to reach the 2,000 wins milestone.

The 72-year-old is the fifth manager to reach that mark with 40 playoffs wins, alongside Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Bruce Bochy.

"I think about the people that made it possible for me to get in this position – my dad, Jackie Robinson, Frank Robinson, Cito Gaston – the guys who were minority managers ahead of me," Baker said.

"You look at guys like Maury Wills and some of the guys that I know. To me, everybody is making a bigger thing out of it than me because I’ve got work to do."

Yordan Alvarez homered in the fourth inning to give the Astros a 1-0 lead, before two runs in the sixth and Jose Altuve's seventh-inning blast sealed the 4-0 win.

 

Judge stars as Yankees clinch 11 straight

The New York Yankees recorded their 11th win in a row with a 9-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays with Aaron Judge finishing with three RBIs, two hits and one run on Tuesday.

There was a heartwarming moment when Judge homered in the sixth inning, with a Blue Jays fan retrieving the ball and gifting it to a young boy wearing Judge's number 99 shirt.

Judge's homer ended Alek Manoah's handcuffing of the Yankees batters across five innings, before they piled on six runs in the seventh inning.

The Blue Jays were rocked after the officials ruled Vladimir Guerrero Jr had not tagged Marwin Gonzalez in a crucial seventh-inning play at 3-1, with Toronto out of challenges.

 

More Mets hype building

The New York Mets continue to build momentum, improving to a 18-8 record with a sweep of their double-header against the Atlanta Braves, with Pete Alonso homering for the fifth time this season. The Mets won 5-4 and 3-0 across the two games.

Willy Adames got the ball rolling with a third-inning three-run homer as the Milwaukee Brewers downed the struggling Cincinnati Reds 6-3. Adames has five home runs in his last eight games. The Reds have a 3-20 record.

The Los Angeles Dodgers got past the San Francisco Giants 3-1 in their National League West battle, with Chris Taylor driving in Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger in the second inning, before Craig Kimbrel escaped a spot of bother to close it out.

An imposing Shohei Ohtani claimed his first win of the MLB season as the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Houston Astros 6-0 on Wednesday.

Ohtani threw 81 pitches on a night where an 85-pitch limit seemed likely, as well as getting two at-bats in a six-run first inning.

The reigning American League MVP pitched perfect into the sixth inning, with a career-best 12 strikeouts, while also getting two hits and two RBIs in the shutout.

With the Astros traditionally providing him trouble, the 27-year-old did not allow a baserunner until Jason Castro hit a single with one out in the sixth.

The Angels moved to 8-5 with the win, leading the Seattle Mariners by a game atop the AL West.

Tapia leads Blue Jays to win over Red Sox

Raimel Tapia hit his maiden home run since joining from the Colorado Rockies, with a two-run slam in a five-run second inning as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 6-1.

Jose Berrios claimed his first win in three starts this season, giving up just one run and eight hits in six innings, with six strikeouts and a solitary walk.

Meanwhile, Nick Pivetta gave up five runs, seven hits and four walks on the way to being pulled before the fifth inning – a second time in as many starts for the Canadian.

Giants ride Rodon to victory

Carlos Rodon broke a franchise record for the San Francisco Giants in their 5-2 win over the New York Mets.

After signing from the Chicago White Sox, Rodon struck out eight over five scoreless innings and moved to 27 over his first three starts, breaking the previous record of 26 set by Cliff Melton in 1937.

While Joc Pederson, Brandon Crawford and Wilmer Flores helped build an early 3-0 lead, Rodon was the star of the show, limiting the National League East-leading Mets to three hits and two walks on 95 pitches.

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