Aaron Judge seems determined to end any discussion about who the American League MVP is, slugging his 58th and 59th home runs of the season in the New York Yankees' 12-8 road win against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Judge now has 20 home runs more than any other player this season, and he is two home runs away from both the Yankees' and American League's single-season record of 61 – set 61 years ago in 1961 by Roger Maris. With his 59th, he set a new Yankees and American League record for a right-hander.

It was a massive day for Judge, who finished four-for-five at the plate, also adding a two-run double in the ninth inning to give his side some breathing room.

In a game where the two teams combined for 28 hits, Anthony Rizzo and Oswaldo Cabrera both collected three each for the Yankees, while Tyrone Taylor and Kolten Wong had three each for the Brewers, including a home run each.

It was a mediocre start on the mound for Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, giving up four runs in five innings while striking out eight batters, but he was still credited with the win as the Yankees never surrendered their lead after he left the game.

The win moves the Yankees' record to 88-58, leaving them with a five-and-a-half game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays in the AL East, while they remain seven-and-a-half games behind the Houston Astros for the best record in the American League.

Soto shines in Padres win

Juan Soto has been in a slump for the past month, but he began to break out of it with three hits in the San Diego Padres' 6-1 away win against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Soto, 23, was acquired by the Padres in a blockbuster trade at the deadline that saw the Washington Nationals receive one of the biggest hauls in the history of the league, but he is yet to live up to his hefty price.

After just 10 hits in the past month (10-of-74, .135 batting average), Soto went three-for-four on Sunday with a walk, a single, a double and a home run. It was his first home run of September.

Meanwhile, on the mound, Yu Darvish was excellent for the Padres, striking out eight batters in six scoreless innings while allowing only one hit and one walk.

Alvarez stays red-hot for the Astros

Other than Judge, there is arguably not a hotter hitter in the league right now than Yordan Alvarez, who notched another four RBIs in the Houston Astros' 11-2 home win against the Oakland Athletics.

While Soto had only 10 hits in 30 days before Sunday, Alvarez is now on a 10-game hitting streak, and he has 13 hits from his past six games after a pair of doubles against the Athletics.

In any other year, Alvarez would be considered a real chance to win AL MVP, as he boasts the third-most home runs in the league (37), the second-best slugging percentage (.630) and the third-best on-base percentage (.407) – but he trails Judge in all three categories.

On the mound, Framber Valdez gave up two earned runs in six innings, giving him his league-leading 26th 'quality start' of the season. No other pitcher has more than 23.

Three home runs in the first inning ended up being not enough for the Houston Astros as they went down 8-5 at home against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.

After Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez hit three home runs on Friday, he followed it up with another one less than 24 hours later, giving him six from his past six games.

But Alvarez was not one of the Astros to go deep in the first inning, with Aledmys Diaz, Kyle Tucker and Trey Mancini all taking turns hitting balls over the fence to jump out to a 4-1 lead before registering their third out.

From that point on, Athletics starting pitcher Cole Irvin tightened the screws, holding the Astros scoreless through the next six innings to allow his side a chance to fight back.

Oakland showed some power of their own in the middle frames, with Chad Pinder hitting a 348-foot wall-scraper to right field, before Seth Brown was much more convincing with his three-run, 432-foot launch in the fifth inning.

A double in the seventh inning gave Brown his fourth RBI, making it 7-5, with Alvarez's eighth-inning shot proving to be just a consolation.

It was Alvarez's 37th home run of the season, leaving him alone in third place league-wide, although he is still 20 home runs off leader Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees.

Woodruff dominates the Yankees

Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff put on a show at home against the New York Yankees, striking out 10 batters in eight innings on the way to a 4-1 win.

Woodruff allowed just one run – a solo home run to Josh Donaldson in the fourth inning – as only six Yankees reached base in the contest, with five hits and one walk.

With the bat, the majority of the damage was done by rising star Willy Adames, who became the second shortstop in the majors to hit 30 home runs this season with his three-run shot in the third inning. The other shortstop to hit 30 homers is Corey Seager, who was recently rewarded with a massive 10-year, $325million contract extension by the Texas Rangers.

Acuna carries the Braves

Ronald Acuna Jr drove in all four of the Atlanta Braves' runs in their 4-3 home win against the Philadelphia Phillies.

After two scoreless innings to begin the contest, Acuna broke the deadlock with a two-run, 427-foot bomb over the right-field wall, and then drove in another two runs with his next at-bat in the fourth inning when he doubled with two runners on base.

Both sides received solid starting pitching performances, with Philly opting to ride their ace Aaron Nola deep into the game, letting him pitch seven full innings, while the Braves pulled Jake Odorizzi after allowing just one run in four-and-two-thirds innings, although he threw only seven fewer pitches than Nola's 99.

Albert Pujols was the star of the show on Friday night as he moved one step closer to becoming the fourth player to ever hit 700 home runs, connecting on number 698 in the St Louis Cardinals' 6-5 win against the Cincinnati Reds.

An RBI ground ball from Jonathan India, a two-run double from Jake Fraley and an RBI single from Aristides Aquino gave the Reds a 4-1 lead heading into the sixth inning, where sparks would fly.

The stars delivered for the Cardinals to rally back from the deficit, with NL MVP favourite Paul Goldschmidt leading off the inning with a double, before fellow NL MVP candidate Nolan Arenado drove him home with a single, bringing Pujols to the plate.

On the very first pitch, Pujols crushed a no-doubt home run sailing well over the left-field wall to tie things up, with his 427-foot shot travelling further than any ball he hit at this year's Home Run Derby, and leaving him with two required to reach 700. Only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) have hit more.

Kyle Farmer put the Reds back ahead with his own solo home run in the seventh inning, but later in that inning Goldschmidt and Arenado would combine again, with back-to-back doubles scoring a pair of runs to take a 6-5 lead.

Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley came in to finish the job, and he did it in style, striking out all three batters from only nine pitches for a rare immaculate inning. It was only the third immaculate inning in Cardinals history.

Alvarez hits 1329 feet worth of home runs

Yordan Alvarez was in rare form for the Houston Astros in their 5-0 shut-out win against the Oakland Athletics, hitting home runs in each of his first three at-bats to deliver a win in Justin Verlander's return from injury.

The AL Cy Young Award favourite made his way back from the 15-day injured list to throw five hitless innings, striking out nine batters and only allowing one walk.

Helping him out with the bat, Alvarez hit a 434-foot home run in the first inning, followed by a 431-foot shot in the third inning, and from the first pitch of his third at-bat he did it again, blasting the longest ball of the night with a 464-foot nuke to center-field.

With his three homers, Alvarez is now tied for the third most in the majors with 36, although he remains 21 behind league-leader Aaron Judge (57).

Yankees blow a five-run lead

The New York Yankees led 5-0 in the second inning against the Milwaukee Brewers before going down 7-6 on a walk-off hit from Garrett Mitchell.

After the Yankees jumped out to their big early lead, Willy Adames pegged back four of the runs by himself, with a three-run homer in the second inning and an RBI double in the fourth.

A fielding error in the eighth inning allowed the Brewers to take a 6-5 lead, before Josh Donaldson collected his third RBI of the game with a solo home run to tie things in the last frame.

But Yankees closer Clay Holmes could not force extra innings, giving up two hits and two walks, capped off by Mitchell's game-winning single.

The Chicago White Sox dominated with bat and ball on Thursday as they hammered the Oakland Athletics 14-2.

AL Cy Young Award co-favourite Dylan Cease was on the mound for the White Sox and was at his dominant best, keeping the Athletics scoreless through the first six innings as he racked up nine strikeouts while giving up just three hits and two walks.

His six shut-out innings lowered his ERA for the season to 2.06, trailing only Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander, but with Verlander currently out injured, Cease has now made four more starts, and could pull away in the race for the league's best pitcher if his rival cannot return soon.

On offense, it was clearly the best game in the season for White Sox third-baseman Yoan Moncada as he went five-for-six at the plate. He had home runs in each of his first two at-bats, before following them with a single, a double and another single, getting out for the first time in the ninth inning.

Second-baseman Romy Gonzalez also proved to be a tough out, with his first four at-bats resulting in two singles, a double and a home run on his way to finishing four-for-five at the dish.

Seby Zavala, Elvis Andrus, Jose Abreu and A.J. Pollock also finished with multiple hits as the White Sox racked up 21 as a team, while the Athletics could only muster six.

With the win, the White Sox are now one-and-a-half games behind the Cleveland Guardians for the lead in the AL Central.

Molina turns back the clock in Cardinals loss

Future Hall-of-Fame catcher Yadier Molina hit two home runs in the St Louis Cardinals' 11-6 home loss to the Washington Nationals – doubling his total for the season.

Molina only had two home runs from 219 at-bats heading into the contest, but went two-for-four at the plate, hooking two balls over the left-field wall.

But the Cardinals pitching staff could not keep the Nationals off the board, with six Washington players collecting at least two hits each, led by the ninth batter in their lineup, Alex Call. Call finished four-for-five at the plate, including a home run and a double as he drove in five runs.

Burnes burns the Giants

Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes had his way with the San Francisco Giants as he carried his side to a 2-1 victory in the first leg of Thursday's double-header.

Burnes pitched eight of the nine innings, allowing just three hits and no walks, while striking out 14 batters. It is the ninth time Burnes has struck out at least 10 batters in a game this season, and while it is a season-high, he finished one off his career-high of 15.

Back-to-back doubles in the fourth inning was the source of all Milwaukee's runs, with Christian Yelich bringing home Jace Peterson, before Yelich scored on a Hunter Renfroe hit.

Miami Marlins ace pitcher and heavy NL Cy Young Award favourite Sandy Alcantara shut down the best team in baseball single-handedly, pitching a complete game in his side's 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Alcantara needed 111 pitches to get all 27 outs, striking out 10 batters while giving up one run from six hits and two walks.

The one run he gave up was a solo home run to Mookie Betts in the third inning, continuing a hot series for Betts after hitting two home runs yesterday. It was Betts' 30th home run of the season – only six players have more.

Miami had to manufacture their runs the hard way, relying on small-ball. In the fourth inning, Jon Berti hit a single and then stole second base, allowing Brian Anderson to tie the game at 1-1 with an RBI base hit.

Two innings later, the Marlins took the lead when they capitalised on a fielding error as Edwin Encarnacion's single was bobbled by the left-fielder, letting Joey Wendle scamper home.

The Marlins showed incredible trust in their star in the ninth inning, as a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases, but Joey Gallo could not be the hero for the Dodgers, grounding out to first base to end the game.

Alcantara has clearly been the best pitcher in the NL this season, and might have a case as the best starter in all of baseball.

He has tossed 19 more innings than any other player, and he is the only pitcher with more than 5.4 WAR (wins above replacement) – putting a gap on the field with 6.4. Of his 26 starts, 19 have been 'quality starts', meaning at least six innings pitched with no more than three earned runs.

Ohtani blanks the Blue Jays

The most unique player in baseball was the star of the show in the Los Angeles Angels' 2-0 win against the Toronto Blue Jays, with Shohei Ohtani striking out nine batters in seven shut-out innings.

Ohtani, who has hit the 11th-most home runs this season (27), has also struck out the seventh-most batters, with 176 in his 22 starts. Among starting pitchers, only Atlanta Braves rookie Spencer Strider (13.3) has a better strikeouts-per-nine-innings figure than Ohtani's 12.4.

He did not collect a hit in his four at-bats on Saturday, but was walked twice.

Yankees sputter in extra innings loss

The New York Yankees could only muster one hit in 11 innings against the Oakland Athletics, going down 3-2 in extras.

Athletics starting pitcher Adam Oller produced a career-best showing, giving up one hit and one walk in eight complete innings, while Yankees starter Domingo German also had his best stuff, carrying a perfect game into the sixth frame.

In extras, the Yankees scored their only two runs from a bases-loaded wild pitch, but that 2-0 lead was wiped out with one swing as pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt connected on a two-run home run. In the 11th, after the Yankees failed to score, the Athletics won with a walk-off error when New York second-baseman D.J. LeMahieu could not complete a double-play.

All 16 runs of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 10-6 win over the Miami Marlins were scored after the fifth inning, with Mookie Betts collecting four hits and driving home four runs in a big day at the plate on Friday.

After a scoreless opening five frames, Chris Taylor drove in the first run of the game for the Dodgers with a sacrifice fly in the sixth, only for the Marlins to respond with a two-run double to Joey Wendle to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead.

Betts connected on his 28th home run of the season with a two-run shot to left-field in the seventh inning, but the lead was again short-lived as the Marlins responded in the bottom of the frame, with Miguel Rojas and Wendle driving in a run each to lead 5-4.

In the ninth inning, trailing by one run, Betts came through again with his 29th homer to tie the game, and when Justin Turner made it 6-5 with his RBI single, it looked like the Dodgers were going to get the job done in regulation, but a big Peyton Burdick home run took things to extra innings.

The Dodgers made sure it would not drag on all night, piling on four runs in the 10th, highlighted by an RBI double to Betts for his fourth hit of the night.

With the win, the Dodgers extended their league-best record to 87-37, giving them a seven-and-a-half game lead atop the National League, and 19-and-a-half game lead over the San Diego Padres in the NL West.

Judge, Cole carry the Yankees

The New York Yankees received starring performances from their marquee players as they defeated the Oakland Athletics 3-2 on the road.

Setting the foundations for the win was ace pitcher Gerrit Cole, who struck out 11 batters in his seven-and-a-third innings, allowing one run from three hits and two walks. It was the first time Cole has been credited with a win this month.

With scores tied at 0-0 in the fifth inning, Oswaldo Cabrera and D.J. LeMahieu were able to string together a couple singles to put two runners on base for Aaron Judge, and the AL MVP favourite delivered, crushing his 49th home run of the season. No other player has more than 35.

After a rough month, the Yankees have now won five in a row.

Harper returns in style for the Phillies

Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper returned from a two-month injury layoff on Friday, and delivered a two-run hit with his very first at-bat in his side's 7-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Harper finished one-for-four at the plate with two RBIs as he came back in the designated hitter spot, while Rhys Hoskins, Alec Bohm and Nick Castellanos all collected multiple hits.

Bailey Falter banked the win on the mound, making it through six innings while conceding three runs from six hits and no walks, striking out six.

On the same day they activated slugger Giancarlo Stanton, the New York Yankees put All-Star pitcher Nestor Cortes on the 15-day injured list with a strained left groin. 

Stanton, who had been sidelined by left Achilles tendinitis since July 23, returned to the lineup as designated hitter for the start of a four-game series against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night.

Batting third, he connected on a two-out, bases-loaded single to drive in two runs in the second inning, before collecting his third RBI with a bases-loaded walk in the third inning of his side's 13-4 win.

Cortes' loss is a big one for the first-placed Yankees, who entered Thursday with a seven-and-a-half game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East.  

The left-hander is 9-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 23 starts, while throwing a career-high 131 innings this season. An All-Star for the first time earlier this year, Cortes said he felt discomfort in his push-off leg early during his last start against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday and pitched through it. He expects to return on schedule and contribute to the September stretch run. 

''I feel like if there was a time for it to happen, it would be now, instead of the middle of September or late September going into the playoffs or October,'' Cortes said. ''I've got to take care of my body so I can be one of the guys when playoff time comes around.'' 

Cortes played light catch from between 100 and 120 feet at the Oakland Coliseum on Thursday, making 30-40 throws. He could throw in the bullpen in the next few days. 

''I'm hoping 15 days is enough,'' he said. ''I think the fact that I'm feeling pretty well – I don't think there will be any hiccups along the way.'' 

The Yankees could move Clarke Schmidt into the rotation after he was stretched out to pitch starter innings when he was sent to the minors on August 1.  

Luis Severino is recovering from a lat strain, but is expected to return to the rotation from the injured list by mid-September.  

The Atlanta Braves received an MVP-level performance from Austin Riley as they went into Fenway Park and left with a 9-7 extra-innings win on the road against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday.

Riley – who is the second-favourite for National League MVP, trailing only Paul Goldschmidt from the St Louis Cardinals – got things going for the Braves in the opening inning, with an RBI triple scoring the first run of the game.

After Red Sox second-baseman Christian Arroyo connected on a two-run home run an inning later, travelling 403 feet, Riley answered back in the third frame with his own two-run shot, with his sailing 426 feet for the longest hit of the game.

The Red Sox rallied back in the middle stages, with home runs to Tommy Pham and Jarren Duran, as well as another RBI double from Arroyo, to jump ahead 5-4 in the fifth inning.

National League Rookie of the Year contender Michael Harris II tied the game with a double in the sixth frame, and Dansby Swanson gave the Braves a 6-5 lead as his double brought home Ronald Acuna Jr for his second run of the game.

That lead would be short-lived, with Boston tying things up at 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth through a J.D. Martinez base hit, and that score would hold through the end of regulation to force extra innings.

Both teams tallied a single run in the 10th, before Riley came through again in the 11th, driving in his fourth and fifth runs of the day with a single as Acuna crossed home plate for the third time to snatch a 9-7 lead.

Tyler Matzek made no mistakes on the mound, finishing things off and collecting his first save of the season, striking out two.

Riley finished three-for-five at the plate with five RBIs, and he now sits third in the league in home runs (30), eighth in RBIs (74) and second in total bases (255), trailing only New York Yankees superstar Aaron Judge (273).

Ohtani delivers with bat and ball

It was another starring performance for baseball's most unique player as Shohei Ohtani pitched six scoreless innings and hit his 25th home run of the season to carry the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-1 victory away against the Oakland Athletics.

Only 11 players have hit more home runs this season than Ohtani, while only five pitchers have struck out more batters than his 157 in 19 starts. Everyone ahead of him on the strikeout list has started at least two more games, and he trails only Braves rookie Spencer Strider in strikeouts-per-nine-innings among starters.

He struck out five batters against the Athletics while giving up four hits and three walks in his six innings, and finished two-for-three at the plate, with two runs and one RBI.

Padres get mixed results from new recruits

The San Diego Padres needed some late heroics when newly acquired closer Josh Hader blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning, before Manny Machado came through in the clutch for a 7-4 win.

While Hader was the Padres' big pitching recruit, Juan Soto was the prize of their trade deadline dealings, and he was terrific as he finished with two hits and two walks from his five plate appearances, including his first home run since arriving in San Diego.

Leading 4-1 in the ninth inning, Hader failed to secure the save, giving up three runs to tie the game. But the Padres would get away with it, with a single to Jurickson Profar and a walk to Soto bringing Machado to the plate for the walk-off home run.

The Los Angeles Angels made the wrong kind of history on Thursday, becoming the sixth team in MLB history to hit seven home runs in a loss, going down 8-7 at home against the Oakland Athletics.

It was also the first time ever that a team has scored seven runs with every run coming courtesy of a solo long-ball.

As has been a recurring theme of superstar Shohei Ohtani's tenure with the Angels, he put on a dazzling display only for his team to fall short. The reigning AL MVP opened the scoring with a solo blast in the first inning, and added a second homer later in the contest.

Kurt Suzuki, Taylor Ward, Jo Adell, Jared Walsh and Mickey Moniak all sent a ball over the fence for the Angels, but it was not enough as starting pitcher Janson Junk struggled mightily.

Junk gave up six earned runs in just the third inning as Ramon Laureano and Sean Murphy hit back-to-back two-RBI doubles, followed by a two-run homer from Seth Brown. Laureano later added his own two-run shot, giving him four RBIs in the contest.

The loss relegates the Angels to a disappointing 44-61 record, while Ohtani is now top-five in the American League in home runs (24) as a batter, and strikeouts as a pitcher (152 in 18 starts).

All-Star Dodgers duo flex their power

Known primarily for their contact, speed and defense, Los Angeles Dodgers All-Stars Mookie Betts and Trea Turner both showed off their power in a 5-3 win against the San Francisco Giants.

In a game where starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw was forced to leave his start after four innings due to lower-back pain, the offense picked up the slack, with a three-run launch from Betts in the fourth inning turning a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead.

The Dodgers would never allow the Giants back into the game, and Turner got in on the action in the seventh inning with a 419-foot whack for the longest hit of the game.

Betts, Turner and Freddie Freeman – who also had a hit for the Dodgers – are all considered candidates for the National League MVP.

Verlander dominates for the Astros

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander showed why he is the American League Cy Young Award favourite, keeping the Cleveland Guardians quiet in a 6-0 victory.

Verlander held the Guardians to just two hits and one walk in his six scoreless frames, striking out five batters in the process. He is expected to battle it out for the AL's best pitcher award with Tampa Bay Rays star Shane McClanahan.

With the bat, Fabio Maldonado and Chas McCormick collected three RBIs each, with key trio Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez and Jeremy Pena also combining for six hits and three walks.

The San Diego Padres have made a key addition after trading in All-Star closer Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers ahead of Tuesday's MLB Trade Deadline.

The addition of 28-year-old left-hander Hader is a major boost for the Padres, who have struggled in late-inning situations this season.

Hader is the 2022 league leader in saves, with 29 from 31 save opportunities this season, although he has career-worst 4.24 ERA which dipped to 12 during July.

The deal sees left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers, left-handed pitching prospect Robert Gasser, right-hander Dinelson Lamet and outfielder Esteury Ruiz sent to the Brewers.

"Josh Hader is one of the best closers in the league," Padres general manager A.J. Preller said.

"He's been there, done that, pitched in big spots, big playoff games. He's got elite stuff."

Hader, who has been with the Brewers since 2017, joins the Padres who have a 57-46 record to sit second in the National League West this season.

"Thank you for the support throughout my career," Hader wrote on Instagram. "Y'all have been great to me. The people, the energy, the love! There will always be a special place in my heart for MKE."

In other moves, the New York Yankees added right-handed starting pitcher Frankie Montas and closer Lou Trivino from the Oakland Athletics, along with reliever Scott Effross from the Chicago Cubs.

The Yankees, who have a 69-34 record, had previously brought in All-Star outfielder Andrew Benintendi from the Kansas City Royals.

The Houston Astros acquired first baseman Trey Mancini from the Baltimore Orioles along with catcher Christian Vazquez from the Boston Red Sox.

According to reports, outfielder Tommy Pham is set to join the Red Sox from the Cincinnati Reds.

Eduardo Escobar and Edwin Diaz came up big as the New York Mets beat their cross-town rival Yankees in what could be a potential World Series rehearsal on Tuesday, emerging with a 6-3 win.

Kicking off a highly anticipated Subway Series, with 2015 being the last time the two teams lead their respective divisions, the Mets made the big plays amid a charged atmosphere in Queens.

Back-to-back home runs from Anthony Rizzo and Aaron Judge put the Yankees up 2-0 in a thrilling first inning, with the Mets rallying back with four runs in their opening frame, including Escobar's huge two-run, two-out shot off Jordan Montgomery.

Before extending their lead to 6-3 in the eighth inning, Diaz came in to close for the Mets, striking out four and giving up a solitary hit for his 22nd save out of 25.

Running away with the American League at one point, the Yankees now only lead the Houston Astros by two games on 66-32, while the Mets moved to 60-37 and within five of the National League-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.

Springer slam propels Blue Jays

Though his team trail the Yankees by 11.5 games in the AL East, George Springer hit the seventh grand slam of his career, as the Toronto Blue Jays claimed a 10-3 win over the St Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals were without Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, whose unvaccinated status prohibits them from entering Canadian soil, with Alejandro Kirk hitting his 12th homer of the year.

It was not enough against the Blue Jays, who notched up a tie-breaking five-run sixth inning via Springer's slam and Matt Chapman's RBI single, to extend their winning streak to seven games.

Pinder punches second slam of the night in A's win

The Houston Astros were not able to capitalise on the Yankees' defeat and edge closer in the AL standings, with the Oakland Athletics earning a 5-3 win.

The best and worst records in the AL West faced off and the latter reeled off a four-run third inning to get the eventual win, with Chad Pinder slugging a grand slam of his own off Luis Garcia.

The A's are now one game away from a shock three-game series sweep against the Astros, who remain stuck on 64-34.

Justin Verlander was in impressive form as he reached his MLB-leading 12th win of the season, leading the Houston Astros to a 5-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.

Verlander put in a solid shift on the mount, striking out 10 while allowing just six hits and a walk over 106 pitches in six innings, lowering his ERA to 1.89, third in the major leagues.

The 39-year-old moved past Curt Schilling (3,116) and Bob Gibson (3,117) to 3,121 career Ks with his 10 on the night, moving to a 15th-ranked 108 for the season.

Martin Maldonado also hit a grand slam in the second inning, blasting A's rookie Jared Koenig over his head past centre-field for the third four-run shot of his career.

Moving to 59-31 for the yeat, the Astros extended their lead atop the American League West to 10 games over the Seattle Mariners, while the A's hold the AL's worst record on 31-61.

Yankees smash Red Sox to build momentum

Aaron Judge and Matt Carpenter led the way for the New York Yankees as they gave the Boston Red Sox 14-1 belting in the Bronx.

The team with the MLB's best record lost five of the previous six games and it threatened to be another glum night, at home to their fierce rivals, after Rafael Devers' home run off Jameson Taillon in the first inning.

Judge and Carpenter more than steadied the ship, however. Judge scored two home runs while also Carpenter went long twice, driving in seven runs on the night as the Yankees moved to 63-28 for the year.

Dodgers beat city rivals

Julio Urias and Trea Turner propelled the Los Angeles Dodgers to their 60th win of the season, routing the Los Angeles Angels 7-1.

Trea Turner hit two home runs on the night, including a two-run shot to set up a five-run third inning for the Dodgers, who had the same amount of hits as the Angels with seven.

Julio Urias gave up five of those, but struck out eight Angels batters over 91 pitches in seven innings, moving his ERA to 2.89 for the season.

Freddie Freeman also recorded his 1,000th career RBI as the Dodgers moved to 60-30 for the year, extending their lead over the New York Mets atop the National League to three games.

Pittsburgh Pirates center-fielder Bryan Reynolds hit three home runs to carry his side to an 8-7 away win against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

The Nationals had it all working at the plate, collecting 16 hits compared to nine for the Pirates, but Reynolds' power made the difference.

Reynolds connected on his first home run as the second batter of the game, following up Ke'Bryan Hayes' base hit with a 389-foot shot to make it 2-0.

Washington would tie things up later in the first inning thanks to RBI hits from Nelson Cruz and Keibert Ruiz, and star right-fielder Juan Soto got in on the action in the second frame, putting the Nationals up 3-2 with his RBI double.

After Pittsburgh's Daniel Vogelbach hit a 400-foot home run, and the Nationals drove in three more through Ruiz, Cesar Hernandez and Yadiel Hernandez, Reynolds returned to the plate in the sixth inning, trailing 6-4.

His 420-foot solo home run trimmed the margin to 6-5, and followed it up an inning later with a three-run, 389-foot bomb to jump ahead 8-6.

Yadiel Hernandez made things interesting down the stretch when his home run brought the Nationals back to within one run, but Yerry De Los Santos was able to protect the lead and register his first save of the season for the Pirates.

Pirates super-prospect Oneil Cruz was quiet, with no hits, but he was walked twice from his four at-bats, and also reached base on a fielding error.

Judge blasts another in Yankees win

Only one player has more than 23 home runs this season, and Aaron Judge added to his league-leading tally as he crushed his 29th long ball in a 5-3 home win against the Oakland Athletics.

The Athletics started hot as they chained together four hits in the opening inning, highlighted by a two-run double for Stephen Piscotty to lead 3-0.

They would not score in the final eight frames as Yankees starter Jameson Taillon found his footing, and the bullpen combination of Lucas Luetge, Miguel Castro and Clay Holmes allowed just two hits and no walks in the final four innings.

Judge's home run also came in the first inning - a 429-foot, two-run launch as the Yankees' second batter of the game - before Giancarlo Stanton added three more runs with his 391-foot homer in the third inning. Stanton is also top 10 in home runs this season, with 19, while fellow Yankee Anthony Rizzo has 20.

Ohtani pitches a gem for the Angels

Shohei Ohtani struck out 11 batters in the Los Angeles Angels' 4-1 win against the Chicago White Sox, continuing his charge towards back-to-back AL MVPs.

Ohtani – who is also tied for 13th in the league with 17 home runs as a hitter – is now eighth in the league for total strikeouts as a pitcher (101) after a career-high 13 in his last start against the Kansas City Royals.

He held the White Sox scoreless through five-and-two-thirds innings, giving up five hits and one walk as he registered at least 10 strikeouts for the fifth time in his past 11 starts.

Kyle Tucker led the way to set up strong performances from Yordan Alvarez and Framber Valdez for the Houston Astros, who secured a 9-1 win over the New York Mets on Tuesday.

Tucker crushed a three-run home run off Carlos Carrasco at the top of the first inning, with the Astros taking the eventual 4-0 lead.

Leading the team for batting average (.321) and OBP (.415), and the major leagues for OPS (1.082), Alvarez reached base five times in claiming three hits and two RBIs.

In contrast to Carrasco for the Mets, Valdez was solid on the mound, striking out five and giving up six hits to pitch eight scoreless innings, with Enoli Paredes cleaning up in the last.

The Astros claimed the third of five games in this six-game New York stand with the win, before heading back to Houston to play the American League-leading Yankees.

Sears scorches A's in Yankees win

The Yankees maintained their lead in the American League (AL) and extended their record for the season to 55-20, defeating the Oakland Athletics 2-1.

J.P. Sears was in impressive form in only his second major league start, limiting the A's to three hits, while striking out and walking one each over 78 pitches, before he was pulled during the sixth inning.

Jose Trevino provided early support with an RBI single in the first off Frankie Montas, before Marwin Gonzalez homered in the second.

Polanco returns as Twins, Guardians split double-header

Jorge Polanco drove in three runs in his first game back from injury, as the Minnesota Twins claimed a 6-0 win in Tuesday's second game against the Cleveland Guardians.

Having lost 3-2 in the early game, the Twins restored their lead over the Guardians in the AL Central to three games, with Polanco scoring a two-run home run off rookie Konnor Pilkington in the second inning.

Byron Buxton claimed his 20th home run for the season, going long off Anthony Castro in the ninth inning. Jose Miranda also connected in the sixth inning for the Twins.

Sonny Gray pitched seven scoreless innings as the Minnesota Twins stretched their lead atop the American League Central on Monday, trouncing the Cleveland Guardians 11-1.

Gray was in solid form for the Twins despite only striking out three, giving up only three hits over 97 pitches in those seven innings.

The biggest surprise of the night was the Twins dominating at the plate without a big performance from Luis Arraez, who went zero-for-three on the night. Gary Sanchez's three-run home run in the second inning off Triston McKenzie helped set up the win.

Nick Gordon and Carlos Correa each added home runs in the first a high-profile five-game series in the AL Central.

With the opening win, the Twins extended their lead in the division to three games over the Guardians, who have now lost their last five games.

Yankees leave it late against A's

Josh Donaldson hit a two-run double to spark a winning six-run sixth inning for the New York Yankees, who claimed a 9-5 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Trailing 5-3 coming into the bottom of the sixth, the Pinstripes were able to rally on the back of catcher's interference calls, a hit batter and a walk to set Donaldson's double up and the eventual win.

The Yankees moved to 54-20 for the season, extending their lead over the Houston Astros in the American League to eight games.

Yepez and Cards crush Marlins

The St. Louis Cardinals moved to within a game of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central, shutting out the Miami Marlins 9-0.

Cardinals designated hitter Juan Yepez had the first multi-home run game of his career, going long off Pablo Lopez and Richard Bleier in the fourth and sixth innings respectively.

Paul Goldschmidt now leads the major leagues for batting average (.347) and OBP (.429) after claiming four hits from as many at-bats.

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