Framber Valdez and Jeremy Pena starred as the Houston Astros claimed their sixth consecutive win on Sunday, defeating the Los Angeles Angels 4-2 on Sunday.

Helping the Astros secure the sweep in a three-game series of divisional ball in the American League West, Valdez struck out a career-high 13 batters in six innings, allowing two runs on three hits and five walks over 107 pitches.

Meanwhile, Angels star Mike Trout did not claim a hit from four at-bats on Sunday, finishing the three-game series on zero-for-11 on nine strike outs.

Astros rookie Pena homered twice on the other hand, with a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning off Ryan Tepera walking his side off.

The Astros moved to 51-27 for the season and took full advantage of the AL-leading New York Yankees' loss, moving to within six games.

Guardians combine for one-hitter

The Yankees were kept scoreless by the Cleveland Guardians, who bounced back from Saturday's double-header sweep to win 2-0 on Sunday.

Guardians starting pitcher Triston McKenzie shut the AL-leaders down over seven innings, striking out seven over 92 pitches, with Eli Morgan and Emmanuel Clase cleaning up for a combined one-hitter.

Franmil Reyes drove in both runs for Cleveland, with a solo home run off Jordan Montgomery in the fourth inning before an RBI single in the eighth.

Narvaez nails Thompson for Brewers win

Omar Narvaez propelled the Milwaukee Brewers to their seventh win in the last 10, as they defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0.

The 2021 All-Star proved the difference in an otherwise tight game, giving the Brewers their two runs with a two-run shot off Zach Thompson in the fifth inning.

Brandon Woodruff was solid on the mound, striking out eight despite six hits to keep the Pirates scoreless over his six innings, as the National League Central leaders moved to 46-35.

St Louis Cardinals star Nolan Arenado hit for the cycle on Friday, but it was not enough to get his side over the line as they went down 5-3 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Both Arenado and teammate Paul Goldschmidt are viewed as MVP candidates this season, and they combined early on to give the Cardinals an early lead. 

In the first inning, Goldschmidt got on base with a single and was driven home by an Arenado triple as the next batter, and then in the third inning after Goldschmidt doubled, Arenado drove him in again with a home run, making it 3-0.

From that point on it would be all Phillies, allowing no runs from just two hits and two walks in the last six innings. The Phillies bullpen would also strike out 10 batters from the Cardinals' last 15 outs as five different relief pitchers collected two strikeouts each.

The fifth inning was the turning point of the contest as Mickey Moniak was able to finally put the Cardinals on the scoreboard with an RBI double, with a Kyle Schwarber RBI ground-out and a Rhys Hoskins sacrifice-fly manufacturing another couple of runs to tie it at 3-3.

Phillies designated hitter Darick Hall maintained an improbable stat, hitting his third home run of the season with a solo shot in the sixth frame. Incredibly, he only has three hits for the season, with all three travelling over the fence.

Arenado also collected the third leg of his cycle in the sixth inning, with a double, meaning he needed a single from his final at-bat to complete the feat. He did so, albeit it with the help of a friendly scoring decision as the third-baseman sailed his throw on Arenado's ground-ball, but it was ruled a hit due to how firmly it was struck.

Hoskins gave the Phillies some breathing room in the seventh with a 406-foot home run, setting up Brad Hand to come in and collect the save.

Brewers beat up the Pirates

The Milwaukee Brewers pounded the Pittsburgh Pirates 19-2 on the road in a game where the visitors had two separate innings with at least seven runs.

Rowdy Tellez finished with five RBIs, Willy Adames collected four RBIs on one swing with his grand slam, while five other Brewers drove in at least one run.

Pirates starter Roansy Contreras was only able to get five outs before he was withdrawn in the second inning, having given up seven earned runs from 52 pitches.

Willy's setting off fireworks in Pittsburgh.

MLB x @DairyQueen pic.twitter.com/55vlZFuPBA

— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) July 2, 2022

Ohtani bangs in sole Angels run

Shohei Ohtani hit his 18th home run of the season, but it would be the only run his Los Angeles Angels would score in an 8-1 beating by the Houston Astros.

Ohtani's deep shot came in the very first inning, giving the Angels a 1-0 lead as the third batter of the game, but they would only collect one more hit the rest of the way as Astros starter Cristian Javier produced a career-best performance.

Javier only gave up one hit in his seven innings, while handing out no walks and striking out 14 batters, which ties the league-wide record for most strikeouts in a single game this season. 

For the second straight day a Pittsburgh Pirates player has hit three home runs in an 8-7 win – this time with Michael Perez starring against the Milwaukee Brewers.

On Wednesday it was Bryan Reynolds hitting three home runs in an 8-7 win against the Washington Nationals, and Thursday's game started in fine fashion for the Pirates at home, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning.

Those runs came first through a monster 431-foot, two-run blast from Oneil Cruz as he continues to make his case as arguably the most exciting youngster in baseball, before Jack Suwinski followed up with a 412-foot solo shot as the very next batter.

The Brewers fought back in the next couple of frames, with Christian Yelich's RBI triple and Omar Narvaez's RBI double helping to even the score at 3-3 in the fourth inning, and that is where Perez began his memorable night.

In the bottom of the fourth, Perez connected on a 377-foot, two-run homer, driving in Suwinski, and with Suwinski on base again in the sixth inning, Perez repeated the act, this time with a 391-foot, two-run smack.

Perez's longest hit of the game came in the eighth frame, extending his side's lead to 8-4 with a 408-foot solo homer.

With his third long ball of the game, Perez matched his season total entering the contest, and the third turned out to be crucial as the Brewers were able to drive in three runs in the ninth inning, ultimately falling short.

Adding salt to the wounds for the Brewers was starting pitcher Adrian Houser being forced to leave the game in the third inning due to elbow tightness, with the bullpen going on to give up five runs in the last five-and-two-thirds innings.

Guardians walk it off

The Cleveland Guardians only collected three hits in their 5-3 win against the Minnesota Twins, but they saved the best for last.

Twins pitchers Chris Archer, Tyler Duffey and Jovani Moran combined to hold the Guardians to just one hit through the first seven innings – although Archer did hand out six walks.

The Guardians were able to tie things up at 3-3 in the eighth inning as two runs came home on a fielding error from Carlos Correa, setting the table for Andres Gimenez to be the hero in the bottom of the ninth, connecting on a 411-foot, two-run, walk-off blast. 

Astros beat the Yankees again

The New York Yankees are 6-3 in their past nine games, but all three losses have come against the Houston Astros after Thursday's 2-1 defeat.

Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia put in an excellent showing, giving up one run in five-and-a-third innings, holding the Yankees to three hits and two walks from 101 pitches, striking out six.

Houston's only scoring play of the game came in the third inning, with Alex Bregman's two-run double, while the Yankees' sole run came from an Anthony Rizzo homer as the last batter before Garcia was withdrawn.

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.

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge continued to mount his case for AL MVP on Sunday as he crushed a three-run, walk-off home run to complete a 6-3 comeback win against the Houston Astros.

All the momentum was with the Astros early coming off Saturday's meeting where they became the first team in 19 years to hold the Yankees hit-less, and they added to that history to begin this contest.

Jose Altuve gave the Astros a 1-0 lead with a first-inning home run, before the road team jumped ahead 3-0 with a two-RBI single to Maurcio Dubon in the fourth frame.

The Yankees did not have a hit through six-and-a-third innings – making it a streak of 52 at-bats without a hit, the longest dry spell by any team since 1974.

Giancarlo Stanton finally broke the seal with a 436-foot solo homer in the seventh frame, before D.J. LeMahieu tied things up with a two-run shot an inning later.

Neither team was able to find a run in the ninth, forcing extra innings, where Michael King was able to keep the Astros from scoring, setting up Judge to connect on the walk-off winner in the bottom of the 10th.

Judge is the current favourite for AL MVP, and the home run was his 28th of the season – six more than any other player.

Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes put in a solid performance, striking out seven batters in five innings while conceding three earned runs from five hits and two walks.

Astros starter Jose Urquidy was even better, allowing just one run from one hit through seven complete innings.

With the win, the Yankees move their league-best record to 53-20, leading the second-placed New York Mets by six-and-a-half games.

McClanahan shows Cy Young quality

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan has emerged as the top choice for the AL Cy Young Award as the league's most outstanding pitcher, and he dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates in his side's 4-2 win.

McClanahan struck out 10 batters, holding the Pirates to one run from four hits and no walks through his seven full innings.

His dominance was rewarded, keeping the Rays tied at 1-1 until the seventh inning when they would finally find their rhythm and string together three consecutive two-out hits to make sure McClanahan had the lead before he was withdrawn, and was thus credited with the win.

White Sox issue Cease and desist to Orioles offense

Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease was at the top of his game on what turned out to be a great Sunday for star pitchers, striking out a career-high 13 batters in a 4-3 home win against the Baltimore Orioles.

His 13 strikeouts in seven complete innings was one shy of this season's most strikeouts in a game, set by Miami Marlins star Sandy Alcantara when he sat down 14 batters against the Atlanta Braves last month.

With the bat, the White Sox jumped ahead in the second inning courtesy of a two-run Gavin Sheets homer, and they held that lead throughout.

New York Yankees ace pitcher Gerrit Cole was at the peak of his powers on Monday as he held the Tampa Bay Rays without a hit through the first seven innings in his side's 4-2 win.

Cole did not have to wait long for some run support, with Anthony Rizzo blasting a home run as the third batter of the game to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the opening frame.

After allowing a walk in the first inning, Cole locked in, striking out the next six batters he faced, and eight of the next 10.

The Yankees were able to double their lead in the seventh inning when Gleyber Torres came home on a fielding error, and at that point the Rays had still not registered a single hit.

Cole's no-hitter was broken up by Isaac Paredes as the lead-off batter in the eighth inning, signalling the end of his day. Cole finished with 12 strikeouts in seven-and-a-third innings, allowing three walks and one hit.

Shane McClanahan was similarly impressive for the Rays, striking out eight batters in six full innings, giving up one run from four hits and one walk as he continues to mount his case for the AL Cy Young Award.

Superstar relief pitcher Clay Holmes was brought in to tidy up the eighth inning and deliver the win for the Yankees, but he could not get the job done, allowing the Rays to tie the game at 2-2 for his first blown save of the season.

The Yankees would escape with the win, though, as Josh Donaldson's base hit turned into a run when Aaron Hicks hit a triple as the next batter, and Hicks was brought in by a Jose Trevino sacrifice-fly.

Pirates debutants shine

The Pittsburgh Pirates enjoyed a sparkling debut from top prospect Oneil Cruz as they defeated the Chicago Cubs 12-1 in front of their home fans.

The six-foot-seven Cruz started at shortstop in his first major league outing, having been called up from the minor leagues earlier in the week along with Bligh Madris.

His big moment came in the third inning with bases loaded, connecting on a double to center-field to drive in all three runs. He collected his fourth RBI of the game with a base hit in the seventh inning.

Madris was also impressive, finishing with three hits and two RBIs from his four at-bats, while starting pitcher J.T. Brubaker was finally credited with his first win of the season in his 14th start.

Vaughan helps White Sox edge the Blue Jays

Andrew Vaughan went four-for-four at the plate in the Chicago White Sox's 8-7 home win against the Toronto Blue Jays.

He had an RBI double as Chicago's second batter of the game, added a base hit in the third inning, and then blasted a 409-foot home run to center-field in the fourth frame, before capping off his night with another single in the sixth.

The White Sox also received big homers from Luis Robert (436 feet) and Josh Harrison (412 feet) to open up a 8-2 lead by the end of the fifth inning, and were just able to hold on down the stretch as Toronto threatened to steal it late.

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.

Adam Duvall homered twice of Jose Quintana as the Atlanta Braves secured a 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

William Contreras and Matt Olson also went deep off Quintana and Chase de Jong respectively, as the reigning World Series champions claimed their 11th consecutive victory.

Kyle Wright pitched solidly for the Braves in his start, striking out seven and giving up five hits over 79 pitches in six innings with an ERA of 2.57, moving to a 7-3 record over 12 games started.

Atlanta have outscored their opponents 74-30 over that 11-game winning streak, with an ERA of 2.47 over that period.

They continue to chip into the New York Mets' lead atop the National League East, moving to 34-27 for the season so far.

Mets account for Angels

The Mets were able to recover from Saturday's defeat away to the Los Angeles Angels however, winning 4-1 to claim their second game in a three-game series.

J.D. Davis and Pete Alonso homered for the NL East leaders, while Starling Marte had two hits and one RBI as they ended their two-week Californian road trip.

Taijuan Walker was in impressive form, striking out ten and giving up six hits over 97 pitches in six innings, maintaining the Mets' five-and-a-half game lead over the Braves.

Carpenter crushes Cubs for series sweep

Matt Carpenter claimed two home runs and tied his career high of seven RBIs, propelling the New York Yankees to a massive 18-4 win over the Chicago Cubs.

The 36-year-old Carpenter only signed for the Pinstripes in May as a free agent, with a release by the Texas Rangers following his Triple-A ball assignment, to account for injuries to Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson.

The three-time All-Star has now hit six home runs in his first 10 games, with the Yankees now winning 11 of their past 12 after this three-game sweep.

It was a blast from the past for the St. Louis Cardinals in their 18-4 blowout win against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, with future Hall-of-Famers Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina the stars of the show.

It became uncompetitive early on after the Cardinals piled on seven runs across the opening two frames, and another four in the fourth.

Up 11-0 in the fifth inning, Pujols was brought in as a pinch-hitter, and he crushed the second pitch he saw for a 425-foot home run to left-field.

Pujols' day would not end there as he came up to bat again in the ninth inning with two runners on base, and he launched another home run to make it 18-0.

Not wanting to waste the performance of a real pitcher to close the game, the Cardinals brought in 39-year-old catcher Molina to handle the final inning. It was his first career pitching appearance.

He would give up four runs, including a home run to the very first batter he faced, before getting his third out from a deep fly-ball to center-field.

Both Pujols and Molina are members of the Cardinals only two World Series-winning teams since 1982 – in 2006 and 2011 – and will likely have their numbers retired by the club when they hang up their cleats.

All 10 Cardinals players to take an at-bat finished with at least one hit, while Tommy Edman, Nolan Gorman and Brendan Donovan collected three hits each.

After starting pitcher Steven Matz was withdrawn due to injury before retiring a single batter, Angel Rondon came in with a terrific performance out of the Cardinals bullpen, pitching five scoreless innings, striking out four while giving up just one hit and three walks for his first career win.

Dodgers error gifts Phillies the win

The Los Angeles Dodgers needed just one more out to secure a 3-2 extra innings win against the Philadelphia Phillies, but could not field a routine ground-ball.

After Trea Turner's base hit gave the Dodgers a lead in the top of the 10th inning, Evan Phillips was able to get two Phillies out, with runners on second and third.

While a base hit would have won it, Alec Bohm instead hit one along the ground straight to second-baseman Max Muncy, but as he fumbled the ball and was too late to get the out at first base, both runners came home to win the game.

White Sox wake up late

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Michael Kopech had a perfect game through five innings, but his side needed a late rally to pull out a 5-0 win in the second game of their double-header against the New York Yankees.

Despite Kopech's heroics – finishing his career-long start with seven full innings pitched for six strikeouts, one hit and two walks – the scores were tied at 0-0 heading into the eighth frame.

Yankees set-up pitcher Jonathan Losaiga had no luck getting through the inning unscathed, giving up four hits and two earned runs before getting pulled with runners still on first and second. Miguel Castro could not get the Yankees out of trouble, giving up a three-run homer to Tim Anderson as the very next batter.

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 New York Yankees continued their red-hot start to the season with a 6-2 away win against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

With the win, the Yankees are now 26-9, and sit three games clear atop the standings.

As has been the story with the Pinstripes this season, their power was again the driving force in their success, with every run scoring as a result of an extra-base hit.

New York took the lead in the third inning through a Giancarlo Stanton RBI double, before Jose Trevino gave the Yanks some breathing room with a three-run homer an inning later.

Anthony Santander launched his own long-ball in response for the Orioles, making it 4-1 later in the fourth inning, and that score would hold all the way through to the ninth frame.

After Luis Severino pitched six terrific innings, allowing just one hit – Santander's home run – with two walks, the big bats came back to the plate to put the icing on the cake.

Josh Donaldson blasted the longest shot of the night for a 395-foot solo shot, before Rizzo topped it as the very next batter, sending his solo home run 406 feet through the Baltimore sky.

In a consolation for the home fans who stuck around, Santander hit his second bomb of the night in the bottom of the ninth.


Cubs go crazy in first inning

The Chicago Cubs wasted no time putting their 9-0 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates to bed, jumping out to a 8-0 lead in the first inning.

Pirates starting pitcher Dillon Peters was only able to get two outs before being pulled from the game as the Cubs piled on eight hits and two walks for their eight runs, highlighted by a grand-slam from Willson Contreras in his second plate appearance of the inning.

Cubs pitcher Wade Miley was lights-out, retiring 12 straight batters through the fourth inning, and finished with just one hit allowed, and no walks, through seven complete frames.

Brewers battle for 1-0 win

A wild pitch was the only thing that could bring in a run in the Milwaukee Brewers' 1-0 win against the Atlanta Braves.

Freddy Peralta was spectacular on the mound for the Brewers, striking out 10 batters in seven full innings, conceding just two hits and one walk.

Ian Anderson was not much worse for the Braves, giving up four hits and two walks in his six innings, but a costly wild pitch in the sixth inning while a runner was on third base gifted the Brewers the game's only run, and the win. 

Early National League Rookie of the Year favourite Seiya Suzuki continued the remarkable start to his MLB career on Monday with another two hits in the Chicago Cubs' 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Suzuki, 27, was named National League Player of the Week in his first full week in the majors, and with his first of two hits on Monday, he tied Akinori Iwamura for the longest hitting streak by a Japanese player to start their career at nine games.

He is also the first Cub to hit safely in the first nine games of their career (with an official at-bat) since 1943. He sits fifth in the majors in batting average (.429) and is tied for fourth in home runs (four).

Of the Cubs' four runs, Suzuki scored two, as he was driven in by a Patrick Wisdom two-run homer in the second inning, before getting hit by a pitch in the seventh inning, eventually coming around to score again off an Ian Happ hit.

With the Cubs up 3-2 in the eighth inning, Frank Schwindel gave Chicago a little breathing room with a solo home run for the last score of the game.

Despite the loss, it was a terrific performance on the mound for Rays Cy Young candidate Shane McClanahan, striking out nine batters in six innings, allowing only four hits and no walks for one earned run.

Yelich grand slams for Brewers

Leading 2-1 in the fourth inning, Christian Yelich stepped up to the plate with bases loaded and slogged a massive 429-foot grand slam to give the Milwaukee Brewers their 6-1 final score against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Brewers starting pitcher Eric Lauer was excellent, striking out five batters in six innings, conceding only one run and six baserunners in the process.

Freeman goes deep against old friends

After spending the first 12 years of his MLB career with the Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman hit a home run against them in the first inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 7-4 home win against his visiting former team.

From just the second pitch he faced against his old side, Freeman hammered it for a 386-foot home run to center field for the early lead.

The Braves rallied in the sixth frame to get Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw out of the game with seven strikeouts and four earned runs through five complete innings, but it was not enough to deny the Dodgers their seventh consecutive win to move to the best record in the majors at 8-2.

Juan Soto made history with his 100th career home run in the Washington Nationals' 16-4 loss to world champions, the Atlanta Braves, on Tuesday.

Soto, 23, became the youngest player in franchise history to reach 100 career home runs with a moon shot at the top of the sixth inning.

The homer, which travelled 451 feet according to Statcast to right-center field, was the fourth longest of his career.

"It just comes to me. I never tried to hit a homer, or anything like that," Soto told reporters. "I’m one of the guys who just tries to hit singles every day. So for me to become consistent hitting homers, it’s just impressive and it tells how good I’ve been working on my body and everything."

Soto is the seventh active player to blast 100 homers at age 23 or younger, having first homered as a 19-year-old in 2018.

The Braves ultimately got the win after 10 runs in three innings to open up a 10-1 lead after four innings, but Soto finished with two hits, one run, one walk and one RBI.

Ozzie Albies, who finished with three hits, two runs and three RBIs, blasted his first homer of the 2022 season in the fourth inning.

Giancarlo Stanton continued his remarkable home-run hitting form against the Boston Red Sox as the New York Yankees won 4-2 on Saturday.

Yankees slugger Stanton homered for the sixth consecutive game against the Red Sox, hitting the go-ahead two-run homer to left center field in the sixth inning.

Boston had gone ahead in the second inning from Alex Verdugo's two-run homer, before Anthony Rizzo equalled the feat in the fourth inning to level the game up.

The victory means the Yankees have begun the new season with a 2-0 start, ahead of the third and final game of their series against the Red Sox on Sunday.

"I can’t say it’s the rivalry or anything," Stanton said about his record against the Red Sox. "I’m doing my homework and getting the ball over the plate."

 

Dodgers offense shut down

The Los Angeles Dodgers struggled on offense as they slumped to a 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies, who were sparked by an eighth-inning Connor Joe homer.

Rockies closer Daniel Bard shut down the Dodgers in the ninth inning to round out the win, striking out Justin Turner, Edwin Rios and Cody Bellinger.

Austin Barnes had two hits and an RBI for the Dodgers, while Mookie Betts had an eighth-inning RBI single to tie the game up, before Joe's go-ahead blast.

 

Alonso hits career-first grand slam

Pete Alonso clubbed a fifth-inning grand slam to lead the New York Mets past the Washington Nationals 5-0. That marked 27-year-old's first career grand slam and comes after Alonso had been left with a bloodied lip after being struck by a Mason Thompson fastball earlier in the series.

The benches cleared in the Chicago Cubs' 9-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers after tempers flared between the division rivals when right-hander Keegan Thompson hit Andrew McCutchen in the hip with a fastball.

Dylan Cease stepped in for the Chicago White Sox with eight strikeouts across five innings in their 5-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cease remarkably boasts a 9-0 record against the Tigers in 10 starts.

 

Saturday's results

Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 Baltimore Orioles
Chicago White Sox 5-2 Detroit Tigers
Seattle Mariners 4-3 Minnesota Twins
St Louis Cardinals 6-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Chicago Cubs 9-0 Milwaukee Brewers
Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 Texas Rangers
Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 Oakland Athletics
Miami Marlins 2-1 San Francisco Giants
New York Yankees 4-2 Boston Red Sox
Kansas City Royals 1-0 Cleveland Guardians
New York Mets 5-0 Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves 2-1 Cincinnati Reds
Colorado Rockies 3-2 Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres 5-2 Arizona Diamondbacks
Los Angeles Angels 2-0 Houston Astros

 

Astros at Angels

The Los Angeles Angels take on the Houston Astros in the final game of their thrilling four-game series, with Shohei Ohtani potentially back on the mound after being rested for the past two games.

St Louis Cardinals ace pitcher Adam Wainwright was nearly flawless as he led his side to a 9-0 Opening Day shutout of the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

Wainwright pitched six scoreless innings, giving up five hits and no walks before being relieved to begin the seventh inning, finishing with 81 pitches.

It was far from a stressful game for the home side, scoring in the first inning through a Tyler O'Neill RBI single, before O'Neill smashed a three-run bomb over the wall an inning later to lead 4-0 through two frames.

The middle innings moved quickly as neither team was able to string baserunners together, but the Cardinals gave the home fans some more to cheer for in the eighth inning with home runs to Tommy Edman and Nolan Arenado.

J.T. Brubaker took the loss for the Pirates, finishing with four hits, three walks and four earned runs in three innings of work.

Super Suzuki wins debut

The Chicago Cubs' high-profile international signing, Seiya Suzuki, collected a hit and two walks from four at-bats in a 5-4 home win against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Kyle Hendricks pitched well for the home side, conceding one earned run to go with seven strikeouts before being withdrawn in the sixth inning.

The big moment for Suzuki came as he led-off the fifth inning, sending a base hit to shallow left field for his first career knock after signing a five-year, $85million deal out of the Japanese league this off-season.

The Bobby Witt Jr era begins in Kansas City

While Suzuki is favourite to take home the NL MVP, the Kansas City Royals' Bobby Witt Jr is the favourite in the AL, and delivered on debut in his side's 3-1 home win against the Cleveland Guardians.

After three outs from his first three at-bats, Witt delivered when it mattered, finding the gap with a RBI double in the eighth inning to give his side a 2-1 lead, and then came around and scored himself to finish it off.

Ohtani makes history in Angels loss    

It was not a great Opening Day for the Los Angeles Angels, but reigning AL MVP Shohei Ohtani made history once again.

In the Angels' 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros, Ohtani became the first player to start on the pitchers' mound and lead-off the batting, throwing and facing Los Angeles' first pitch of the season.

He finished with nine strikeouts and one earned run before being withdrawn in the fifth inning after 80 pitches, while going zero-for-four from his plate appearances.

 

Thursday's results

Atlanta Braves 3-6 Cincinnati Reds

St Louis Cardinals 9-0 Pittsburgh Pirates

Kansas City Royals 3-1 Cleveland Guardians

Chicago Cubs 5-4 Milwaukee Brewers

New York Mets 5-1 Washington Nationals

Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 San Diego Padres

Los Angeles Angels 1-3 Houston Astros

 

Red Sox at Yankees

The two historic rivals will kick off their seasons at Yankee Stadium on Friday in the first scheduled game of the day.

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