The Texas Rangers have lured former San Francisco Giants skipper Bruce Bochy out of a brief retirement to take over as manager.

Bochy stepped away from managing after the 2019 season following a successful 13-year run in San Francisco in which he guided the Giants to three World Series titles between 2010 and 2014.

The 67-year-old previously spent 12 seasons as the San Diego Padres' manager from 1995-2006, a period that saw them make four postseason appearances and reached the World Series in 1998.

One of 12 managers to achieve 2,000 victories, Bochy sports an overall record of 2,003-2,029 in regular-season play and 44-33 in postseason games.

The 1996 National League Manager of the Year also has ties to Rangers general manager Chris Young, who pitched for the Padres during Bochy's final season there in 2006.

"In his 25 years with San Diego and San Francisco, Bruce was one of the most successful and respected managers in Major League Baseball," Young said in a statement.

"With a calm and steady presence, he has a remarkable ability to connect and communicate with players, coaches and staff, and his teams have always played with maximum effort. His knowledge of the game, as well as his integrity, is unmatched.

"As we went through the interview process, Bruce's passion and excitement about returning to the dugout was very evident. It became clear he was the ideal individual to lead our club as we continue to build a championship culture here in Arlington."

Bochy takes over a Texas team that has been mired in six straight losing seasons and failed to meet heightened expectations in 2022.

The Rangers were big spenders in free agency this past offseason, handing out big contracts to land ex-Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager and former Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Marcus Semien, but finished second-last in the American League West at 68-94.

The Rangers fired manager Chris Woodward in August and went just 17-31 after third base coach Tony Beasley was promoted to interim manager.

 

The Detroit Tigers have hired San Francisco Giants general manager Scott Harris as their new president of baseball operations.

Harris has spent the past three seasons with the Giants, having previously been with the Chicago Cubs over seven years where he ascended to assistant general manager.

The Tigers have hired Harris to replace long-time general manager Al Avila who was fired in August.

Detroit had high ambitions for the 2022 season, having invested $230 million on Javier Baez, Eduardo Rodriguez and Andrew Chafin. Instead, the Tigers have the fourth-worst record (55-91) in the majors this season.

Tigers chairman and CEO Christopher Ilitch said: "Scott's vision for how to construct a baseball organization to compete and win in the modern game is impressive.

"His leadership ability is polished from both his experience as an executive at multiple levels and mentorship from some of the game's most talented baseball operations leaders. Scott is a difference maker, innovator and fiercely competitive, always looking for an edge."

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.

Another day, another Aaron Judge home run as the New York Yankees slugger wasted no time extending his league-lead in Sunday's 2-1 win away from home against the Tampa Bay Rays.

As the very first batter of the game, on the second pitch, Judge connected on a 450-foot bomb deep over the left-field wall. 

It was his 53rd home run of the season – and his fourth from his past six games – setting a new career-high after totalling 52 in 2017. He is now eight home runs away from Roger Maris' Yankees record of 61 – set 61 years ago, in 1961.

The AL MVP favourite is also now 17 home runs clear of second-placed Kyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies, who has 36.

Judge's shot would be the only score from the first six innings against the Rays as Yankees starting pitcher Frankie Montas continued to find some form following a rough start to his time in New York since being traded at the deadline from the Oakland Athletics.

Montas pitched five near-perfect innings, giving up one hit and no walks to go with seven strikeouts.

The Yankees were able to add an insurance run in the seventh frame thanks to a sacrifice-fly from Oswaldo Cabrera, and although closing pitcher Clay Holmes did give up a run, he was able to complete the save for his 18th of the season.

With the win, the Yankees now hold a five-game lead over the Rays for the AL East lead, and they are six games behind the Houston Astros in the race for the best record in the American League.

Gallen extends historic scoreless streak

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen is in the midst of the eighth-longest scoreless streak in MLB history as he pitched another seven shutout innings in a 5-1 win against the Milwaukee Brewers.

It has been 41-and-a-third innings since Gallen has allowed a run, and in the process he has become the fourth pitcher in the modern era to pitch six consecutive games with at least six scoreless innings – joining Don Drysdale (Dodgers, 1968), Orel Hershiser (Dodgers, 1988) and Zack Greinke (Dodgers, 2015). With one more scoreless inning, he will break the Diamondbacks' franchise record.

The 27-year-old now sports an 11-2 record this season with a 2.42 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP, establishing himself as one of the top arms in the league.

Giants walk-off after duelling home runs late

The San Francisco Giants treated their fans to one of the most enjoyable spectacles in sport as they ended their 5-3 win against the Philadelphia Phillies with a walk-off home run.

With the Giants leading 3-0 in the eighth inning – thanks in large part to a terrific 10-strikeout performance from ace Carlos Rodon – Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto erased the deficit with one swing as he connected on a three-run home run.

Needing a run in the bottom of the ninth to win, after Bryce Johnson got on base, Wilmer Flores was the hero for the night as he launched the game-winner hard and flat over the left-field wall to send the fans home happy.

Major League Baseball will venture into Mexico City for the first time in 2023 after announcing on Wednesday the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants will play a two-game series in the capital city in April.

The series will take place from April 29-30 at Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu, home of the Mexican League's Diablos Rojos, with the Padres serving as the home team.

The 20,000-seater venue was funded by and named after Alfredo Harp Helu, a minority owner of the Padres.

MLB has staged regular-season games in Mexico previously, most recently in 2019, but all have taken place in Monterrey.

The Padres were involved in the first series in Mexico back in 1996 and also hosted a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers in Monterrey in 2018.

"The Padres are excited to return to Mexico and play in the first regular-season series in Mexico City in MLB history," Padres CEO Erik Greupner said in a statement.

"We are fortunate to have a loyal and passionate fan base in Mexico, and it will be an honour to showcase our team in Mexico's capital city."

The Padres did participate in the opening of Estadio Alfredo Harp Helu in 2019 by facing the Diablos Rojos in an exhibition game in March of that year.

The Giants will be playing an international series for the first time in franchise history, though San Francisco did travel outside the continental United States for a three-game series with the Montreal Expos in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2004.

"It will be an honour to represent Major League Baseball, as well as San Francisco, at historic Mexico City for the first time ever," Giants president and CEO Larry Baer said.

"We look forward to bringing the Giants and Padres rivalry to a passionate sports fanbase, and it will be a great opportunity to introduce the Giants to an international audience to further develop new fans across all of Mexico."

The most recent MLB regular-season games played internationally came in 2019, when the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox held a two-game series in London.

The Padres had a two-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks scheduled in Mexico City in April 2020, though those games were cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic.

MLB is also set to hold a two-game series between the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals in London from June 24-25.

Aaron Judge blasted his 50th home run of the season, but Shohei Ohtani had the decisive say as the Los Angeles Angels beat the New York Yankees 4-3 on Monday.

With scores locked at 2-2 at the bottom of the fifth inning, Ohtani delivered a two-run blast down right-center field from a Frankie Montas splitter in the zone.

The 398-foot home run was Ohtani's 29th of the season, boosting the two-way star's American League (AL) MVP case, with Judge likely to be his strongest opposition.

Judge produced his 434-foot solo shot over left-center field at the top of the eighth inning to halve the deficit and bring up his 50th home run for the season.

The slugger became just the seventh player to hit 50 home runs before September in AL or National League (NL) history.

Judge also became only the 10th player in MLB history to register multiple 50-home run seasons. Only three Yankees have achieved that feat; Judge, Babe Ruth (four) and Mickey Mantle (two).

"It's just another number," Judge said. "It's great, but I'm kind of upset about the loss."

The defeat leaves the Yankees with a 78-51 record having lost their last three games.

Pujols edges past Bonds all-time milestone

Albert Pujols moved a step closer to 700 career home runs and surpassed the record held by Barry Bonds in the St Louis Cardinals' 13-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Pujols' two-run blast came in the third inning from Reds left-hander Ross Detwiler, bringing up his 694th-career home run.

The blast also tagged his major league record for the 450th different pitcher for a home run, breaking the all-time mark that had been tied with Bonds .

Padres overcome delays for key NL win

The San Diego Padres boosted their NL Wild Card aspirations with a hard-fought 6-5 win over the San Francisco Giants in a game full of delays, including an injury to home plate umpire Marvin Hudson as well as stadium lighting issues.

Brandon Drury's two-run first-inning home run set the Padres on their way before the delays, with three eighth-inning runs keeping the Giants alive, before Nick Martinez closed it out.

The Padres improved to 71-59 to firm up the third NL Wild Card spot, with the Giants back at 61-66. The Milwaukee Brewers, who beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-5 on Monday, split the pair at 68-59.

Future first-ballot Hall-of-Famer Albert Pujols turned back the clock in the St Louis Cardinals' 6-3 win against the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday, connecting on two long home runs.

It was a game where every run came via the long-ball, with Brewers outfielder Hunter Renfroe getting things started as he blasted a two-run homer in the second inning.

The Brewers would not score again until the ninth frame as Cardinals starting pitcher Miles Mikolas put in a terrific performance, giving up two runs from four hits and no walks in eight complete innings, striking out six.

With the bat, the Cardinals registered their first tally later in the second when Pujols sent a 392-foot lead-off shot over the left-field wall, and after three innings of scoreless baseball, Tyler O'Neill tied the game at 2-2 with a 420-foot moonshot to center-field.

Heading into the eighth inning with the scores tied, Dylan Carlson was the next to connect on a home run – the shortest of the game at 373 feet – and after an infield single to O'Neill and a walk to NL MVP favourite Paul Goldschmidt, Pujols stepped back up to the plate and launched a 443-foot nuke to left.

The 443-foot blast from Pujols was his longest of the season, and more than 20 feet further than any of his home runs that he hit in last month's Home Run Derby. He is only the third player in MLB history to have more than one game with multiple home runs after turning 42 years old – along with Barry Bonds and Carlton Fisk – and his 63 career multi-homer games is the fifth most ever.

With the win, the Cardinals opened up a one-and-a-half game lead over the Brewers atop the NL Central.

Yankees go down at Fenway Park

The New York Yankees have now lost four series in a row after being shut-out by the Boston Red Sox 3-0 on Sunday night.

It was a starring performance on the mound from Red Sox starter Michael Wacha in his return from injury, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out nine batters in seven innings.

Despite the Yankees only collecting two hits total for the night, the game was locked at 1-0 until the sixth inning when Red Sox star Rafael Devers – who many consider the future of the franchise – gave his side some breathing room with a 433-foot, two-run home run.

The Yankees still hold a 10-game lead in their division, but now trail the Houston Astros by two-and-a-half games for the best record in the American League.

Estrada walks it off for the Giants

Thairo Estrada treated the San Francisco Giants home fans to a walk-off home run as they defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7.

In the back-and-forth contest, the Giants jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, but the Pirates came storming back to lead 6-5 after a massive 442-foot, three-run homer from Bryan Reynolds in the seventh inning. Reynolds would finish the game three-for-four at the plate with five RBIs.

The Giants evened things up later in the seventh, before the Pirates were able to grab a lead in the ninth inning due to a fielding error, but they got away with it as Estrada delivered the winning blow with one out.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Hot property Soto stars as Mets see off Nats

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

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

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

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

 

Dodgers too strong for Giants

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

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

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

Trayce Thompson drove in two runs and helped break the game open for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who claimed a four-game series sweep with a 7-4 win against the rival San Francisco Giants on Sunday.

Scores were tied at 4-4 following Darin Ruf's two-run homer off Clayton Kershaw in the fifth inning, as the Giants looked to deny their first sweep at Dodger Stadium since 1995.

Kershaw was ultimately pulled in the fifth, giving up five hits and striking out six over 94 pitches, before Craig Kimbrel eventually came in for his 17th save and the Dodgers' eighth consecutive win.

Jake Lamb's double drove in the go-ahead run the game up for grabs in the seventh inning, before Thompson's drive deep to right-centre scored Max Muncy with his brother and Golden State Warriors star Klay in attendance.

The Dodgers maintained their six-game lead over the New York Mets atop the National League standings, extending their record to 64-30 with the victory.

Judge goes deep again in Yankees win

Aaron Judge hit his fourth home run from his past four games as he continues his outlier season, extending his league-leading home run tally to 37 in the New York Yankees' 6-0 away win against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.

After starting the series against the Orioles with two home runs, and following it with four hits and two RBIs yesterday, Judge stayed hot as he connected on a 456-foot blast in the third inning. He now leads the MLB for home runs with 37, seven more than the next best in Kyle Schwarber.

On the mound, Nestor Cortes was at his best for the Yankees, giving up six hits and no walks in six scoreless innings, striking out seven. Clarke Schmidt then came in for the unconventional three-inning save.

Alcantara strikes out 10 for Marlins

Arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball this year, Sandy Alcantara struck out 10 batters as his Miami Marlins defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 in extra innings.

In his six innings of work, Alcantara gave up two earned runs from just two hits and three walks, earning his 15th quality start of the season, one off the MLB lead held by Houston's Framber Valdez and Toronto's Alek Manoah.

According to Baseball Reference's Wins Above Replacement (WAR), Alcantara has been the most valuable player in all of baseball this season, and he is the only pitcher in the top-five.

Mookie Betts hit a career milestone as the Los Angeles Dodgers extended their winning streak to seven games, defeating their rivals in the San Francisco Giants 4-2 on Saturday.

After his three-run shot to give the Dodgers a 9-6 win to start the four-game series, Betts hit his 200th career home run in the win, going deep off Alex Wood in the third inning.

Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman also scored homers for the Dodgers, making it the first time this season all three have gone over the wall in the same game.

Julio Urias was solid on the mound, meanwhile, striking out five and giving up only two hits over 91 pitches in six innings.

The Dodgers have now won 14 of their last 15 games and now lead the National League by six games over the New York Mets, extending their record to 63-30.

Manoah makes life tough for Red Sox

The Toronto Blue Jays claimed an important win in the American League wildcard race, beating the Boston Red Sox 4-1.

Alek Manoah lowered his ERA to 2.24 for the season, giving up seven hits but striking out as many over 97 pitches in six innings, as he continues to establish himself as one of the MLB's best pitchers.

After pounding the Red Sox 28-5 on Friday to start their three-game series in the American League East, the Blue Jays moved to 9-2 head-to-head for the season, and are now 3.5 games ahead of Boston for the AL's final wildcard spot.

Verlander leads Astros to within touching distance of Yankees

Justin Verlander was in fine form as he became the first pitcher in MLB to win 13 games this season, propelling the Houston Astros to a 3-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Verlander was in impressive touch on the mound, giving up only four hits and striking out nine over 101 pitches in seven innings, while clocking 99 miles per hour on his fastball in the seventh.

Kyle Tucker and Yuli Gurriel both hit RBI doubles in the fourth inning off Logan Gilbert to set up the win for the Astros, who moved to 63-32 and are now 1.5 games behind the AL-leading New York Yankees.

The Houston Astros started their second half of the MLB season in positive fashion, claiming a double-header sweep over the New York Yankees on Thursday.

The two best records in the American League (AL) faced off and the Astros bested the Yankees once again, moving to a 5-2 head-to-head record for the season with respective 3-2 and 7-5 wins at Minute Maid Park.

After splitting a four-game series in the Bronx in June, Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman both homered and combined for five RBIs to hand the Astros the third win at home this season over the AL leaders.

In the earlier game, Bregman, Korey Lee and rookie JJ Matijevic combined for RBIs while Cristian Javier struck out three but only gave up two hits over 99 pitches in five innings.

With the sweep coming out of the All-Star Game, the Astros suddenly moved to within three games of the AL-leading Yankees, who have now lost seven of their past 10 games.

Gray gets Rangers rolling

Jon Gray led the way for the Texas Rangers as they commenced an 11-game road trip, shutting the Miami Marlins out for an 8-0 win.

Gray struck out five and conceded only four hits over 94 pitches in six innings, while Adolis Garcia homered and drove in three runs.

The Marlins slipped further away from the National League's wild card race with the defeat, now six games back with a fourth consecutive defeat and extending their scoreless streak to 34 innings.

Betts denies Giants comeback

Mookie Betts saved the day for the Los Angeles Dodgers after they almost squandered a big lead, eventually claiming a 9-6 win over their rivals in the San Francisco Giants.

Things were looking good early for the Dodgers, taking a 5-0 lead after the opening three innings off star Giants pitcher Carlos Rodon, with Freddie Freeman scoring a solo home run in the first inning with two out.

The Giants fought back in the seventh through Evan Longoria and Darin Ruf, though, with the two scoring home runs to set up a five-run inning.

A Trayce Thompson triple drove Gavin Lux home to tie after Thair Estrada was walked in the eighth, before a three-run shot from Betts off Jarlin Garcia gave the Dodgers the eventual win.

Betts confirmed the win with a great defensive play in the following inning, making a spectacular sliding catch deep in right-field to retire Joc Pederson.

The San Francisco Giants made MLB history with a remarkable ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers that concluded with Mike Yastrzemski's walk-off grand slam.

A regular season home game for a team hovering just above .500 in mid-July was perhaps not a likely setting for one of the most remarkable ever finishes to a major league game.

But it was exactly what the Giants required after the Brewers' five-run fifth inning had turned the contest on its head.

San Francisco were 5-2 down heading into the bottom of the ninth facing All-Star Brewers closer Josh Hader.

What followed was scarcely believable, even for those involved.

Solo home runs from Joey Bart and Darin Ruf were followed by Yastrzemski's big moment, making the Giants the first MLB team to hit three homers in an inning including a walk-off grand slam.

"Three bombs off Hader in the ninth? I still don't believe it," starter Alex Wood said after the dramatic 8-5 win. "It is just crazy. But we needed it and the boys pulled it off."

The Giants could have been forgiven for deeming this a lost cause; their previous walk-off grand slam had come courtesy of Bobby Bonds in September 1973.

But Yastrzemski revealed this stunning late show was inspired by Bart's conversation with injured catcher Curt Casali, which carried through the Giants dugout.

"We felt like the energy was sucked out of the dugout, and I think Joey was just a little fired up that there wasn't any really positive energy at the time," Yastrzemski said. "He was just kind of fed up.

"Obviously, we weren't out of the game, but it kind of felt like it for a little bit. I think we fell into the: 'Here we go again', and I'm glad we were able to flip the script and get out of that."

Bart explained: "I said something to Curt, just between me and him, like: 'Hey, we’ve got to get going'.

"As a young player, I don't feel like it's really my role to try to go and speak out.

"But that's just kind of how I was feeling at the time, like: 'Hey, it's not over yet, let's find a way to win'. And magic happened, for sure."

Alex Verdugo led the way for the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, as they dramatically came from behind to defeat the New York Yankees in extra innings.

Verdugo claimed three hits from five at-bats and sparked his side's fightback, scoring the game-tying single in the eighth inning.

Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo gave the Yankees a 5-3 lead with RBI doubles in the 10th inning, both scoring off Jake Diekman.

However, the Red Sox left-fielder responded, scoring a two-run single in the bottom of the extra inning to cap off a three-run frame and hand his side the win over their old rival.

Boston moved to second in the American League East at 46-39, but the Yankees still hold a 15-game lead with the MLB's best record at 61-24.

Rodon rolls for Giants

Carlos Rodon was in spectacular form to inspire the San Francisco Giants to a 3-1 win over the San Diego Padres in divisional ball.

The Giants had lost eight of their past 10 games and Rodon's last start capped off a five-game losing streak. The 29-year-old pitched a complete game, allowing his only run in the second inning.

The left-hander retired 22 of the Padres' final 23 batters while allowing only three hits for only the third complete game of his career.

Mets make it count in extra innings

The New York Mets overcame injuries to Starling Marte and James McCann to maintain their lead in the National League, defeating the Miami Marlins 5-4 in extra innings.

Tomas Nido hit the game-tying double with two outs in the 10th inning, before scoring the winning run on a throwing error by Marlins reliever Tanner Scott.

After retiring the number 17 to honour Keith Hernandez, the Mets secured their fourth walk-off win of the season and improved to 7-0 in extra innings, while moving their record to 53-32.

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

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

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

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

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

Swanson seals win for Braves

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

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

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

Freeman fires Dodgers to victory

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

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

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

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