Shohei Ohtani homered twice to help the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday, though the National League West leaders were dealt another injury to a key player when shortstop Mookie Betts exited the game with a broken hand.

Betts left the game after being struck on the hand by a fastball from Dan Altavilla in the seventh inning. The Dodgers later announced the 2018 American League MVP suffered a fracture but will not need surgery, though he's still expected to miss several weeks.

“It’s a big blow," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said afterward. "I feel bad for Mookie because he's having an MVP-type season."

Betts entered the game fourth in the NL with a .307 average while producing 10 home runs, 40 RBIs and nine stolen bases in 72 games.

The seven-time All-Star's injury comes one day after pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto exited Saturday's start against the Royals after two innings due to a strained rotator cuff. The Dodgers placed the former Japanese league star on the injured list prior to Sunday's contest.

Los Angeles did get stellar pitching in Sunday's finale of this three-game series, as Tyler Glasnow (7-5) held the Royals to three hits and a walk while striking out nine over seven innings.

Ohtani supplied the offence with his 18th and 19th homers of the season, a solo blast in the third inning and another in the sixth.

Both homers came off Kansas City starter Brady Singer, who also surrendered a solo shot to Freddie Freeman in the sixth inning that followed Ohtani's second of the day.

Singer (4-4) lasted six innings and allowed five hits while striking out four.

Freeman finished 2 for 4 to help the Dodgers take two of three from Kansas City, which has now lost six of its last eight games.

 

Orioles take series from Phillies behind four homers

Jordan Westburg went 2 for 4 and hit one of four Baltimore home runs off Zack Wheeler as the Orioles powered their way to an 8-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies in the finale of a three-game interleague series between top contenders.

Westburg's three-run blast off Wheeler in the fifth inning was the final blow as the Orioles tagged Philadelphia's ace for eight runs to earn their second win over the NL leaders in as many days. Baltimore also moved within 1 1/2 games of the Yankees for first place in the AL East after New York was dealt a 9-3 loss by the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.

Gunnar Henderson had the first of Baltimore's long balls, a lead-off shot in the first inning for his 22nd homer of the season. Wheeler also gave up a two-run homer to Colton Cowser in the second that put the Orioles up 3-0, and Adley Rutschman extended the lead further with a solo blast in the third.

The power surge helped Corbin Burnes (8-2) win his fourth consecutive start with a solid six-inning stint in which he allowed two runs and struck out seven.

Burnes' only damage came in the top of the fifth inning, during which the Phillies threatened on a single by Garrett Stubbs and a Kyle Schwarber double that put two on with one out. Stubbs scored on a groundout and Alec Bohm drove in Schwarber with a single two batters later to bring Philadelphia within 4-2.

The Orioles answered with four runs in their half of the fifth, however, to knock Wheeler out of the game.

Ryan Mountcastle led off the inning with a single and Wheeler walked Ryan O'Hearn before Anthony Santander plated Mountcastle with a single. Westburg then drove Wheeler's pitch over the wall in right center field to put Baltimore up comfortably at 8-2.

Wheeler (8-4) lasted just 4 1/3 innings and surrendered nine hits while serving up the most homers in a game in his 10-year MLB career.

Bohm finished 3 for 4 and knocked in the Phillies' final run with a seventh-inning double that scored Bryce Harper, who also reached base on a double.

 

Alonso drives in five runs as Mets win fifth straight

Pete Alonso knocked in a season-high five runs and had one of two first-inning homers that propelled the resurgent New York Mets to an 11-6 win over the San Diego Padres and a three-game series sweep.

Francisco Lindor also homered in the opening inning and drove in two runs to help the Mets to a fifth straight victory and ninth in 11 games. Brandon Nimmo recorded three of New York's 14 hits, including a run-scoring single.

The Padres were handed a seventh consecutive road loss despite taking an early 1-0 lead when Manny Machado's two-out single in the first inning brought home Jurickson Profar.

Lindor quickly pulled the Mets even with a lead-off homer in the bottom of the inning, however, and the Mets scored three more times in the first off San Diego starter Dylan Cease.

Nimmo followed with a single and Cease walked J.D. Martinez before Alonso launched a pitch well over the wall in left center field for his 15th homer of the season.

Cease briefly settled down until the fourth, when Luis Torrens singled and came home on Harrison Bader's double to extend the Mets' lead to 5-1. Bader later scored on a Lindor sacrifice fly and Martinez doubled in Nimmo to cap the three-run inning.

Back-to-back doubles from Luis Campusano and Luis Arraez got the Padres a bit closer in the fifth, and San Diego closed the gap further with four runs off the Mets' bullpen in the top of the eighth.

After the Padres loaded the bases on a Profar single, an error and a walk, New York's Jake Diekman walked Jackson Merrill to force in a run. San Diego got another run on a fielder's choice groundout that preceded Ha-Seong Kim's RBI double which cut the lead to 7-5. Campusano followed with a sacrifice fly to get the Padres within a run.

The Mets responded with four runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, however, which Torrens began with a lead-off homer.

Jeff McNeil then doubled in front of Bader's single and a walk to Lindor that loaded the bases for Nimmo, who singled in a run to increase New York's advantage to 9-6. Two batters later, Alonso's single drove in Bader and Lindor for a five-run cushion.

Cease (6-6) was charged with seven runs on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. Counterpart Tylor Megill (2-3) picked up the win for New York by limiting the Padres to two runs through five innings.

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mateo lifts surging Orioles over Braves

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

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

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

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

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

Dodgers hit 4 home runs in one inning in rout

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shohei Ohtani's major league-leading 11th home run of the season helped make Walker Buehler's return to the mound a winning one for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who posted a 6-3 victory over the Miami Marlins on Monday.

The Dodgers homered four times in all to take the opener of this three-game series and extend their winning streak to five games. Ohtani and James Outman delivered two-run blasts, while Freddie Freeman and Teoscar Hernandez had solo shots for the reigning National League West champions.

Making his first MLB start since June 2022 after recovering from the second Tommy John surgery of his career, Buehler did not factor in the decision while allowing three runs on six hits with four strikeouts in four innings.

Buehler's return began in a rocky way, as Jazz Chisholm Jr. opened the game with a single before stealing second and scoring on Bryan De La Cruz's base hit. De La Cruz later scored on Jesus Sanchez's single for a 2-0 Miami lead.

The Dodgers quickly pulled even, as Ohtani followed a lead-off walk to Mookie Betts in the bottom of the first with his fourth homer in three games. Two pitches later, Freeman connected off Miami starter Roddery Munoz to put Los Angeles in front.

Nick Gordon's solo homer off Buehler in the second tied the score once again, but Outman sent Los Angeles back ahead in the bottom of the inning with his blast to center that followed a walk to Gavin Lux.

Hernandez's ninth homer of the season increased the lead to 6-3 in the third, and relievers Ryan Yarbrough, Blake Treinen and Alex Vesia combined for five scoreless innings to protect Los Angeles' advantage.

Chisholm and Sanchez each had two hits for the Marlins. Munoz allowed all six Los Angeles runs in 4 2/3 innings of work.

Wheeler, Harper help scorching Phillies finish sweep of Giants

Zack Wheeler struck out 11 over seven innings, Bryce Harper belted a three-run homer for a second consecutive game, and the torrid Philadelphia Phillies completed a four-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants with a 6-1 victory.

Wheeler allowed one unearned run and four hits in a dominant effort that gave Philadelphia its sixth straight win and 10th in a row at home. The Phillies have now won 10 of their last 11 overall and improved to 17-3 since April 15.

The Phillies did have one streak end, however, as Alec Bohm went 0 for 4 to end a run of 18 straight games with at least one hit.

Giants starter Mason Black, making his major league debut, kept the Phillies off the board until the rookie issued back-to-back walks in the fourth inning and gave up a run-scoring single to Whit Merrifield.

Black ran into greater trouble in the fifth, as Kyle Schwarber and J.T. Realmuto began Philadelphia's half of the inning with singles before Harper launched a pitch into the left field seats for a 4-0 lead.

The Giants got their only run in the sixth when Thairo Estrada reached on an error, moved to third on LaMonte Wade Jr.'s single and scored on Wilmer Flores's sacrifice fly.

Schwarber capped the scoring with a solo homer off reliever Tyler Rogers in the eighth.

Black lasted 4 1/3 innings and permitted five runs on eight hits while walking three. 

Twins bounce back, win series opener against Mariners

Simeon Woods Richardson allowed just one hit over six scoreless innings for the Minnesota Twins, who scored twice in the seventh inning to earn a 3-1 win over the Seattle Mariners to open a four-game series.

Carlos Correa went 2 for 4 with an RBI double to help Minnesota get back on track following Sunday's 9-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox, which ended the Twins' 12-game winning streak.

Seattle's Luis Castillo held the Twins to one run through six innings, but was touched for two in the seventh as Minnesota broke a 1-1 tie.

Castillo walked Max Kepler to start the Twins' half of the inning and Correa followed with his second double of the night to put two on. Correa advanced to third on a fielder's choice grounder as Kepler was thrown out at the plate, then scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly from Christian Vasquez.

Manuel Margot then greeted reliever Trent Thornton with a run-scoring single that extended the lead to 3-1.

Woods Richardson recorded a career-high eight strikeouts while yielding just a third-inning single to Mitch Garver and a walk to Cal Raleigh in the fifth. The right-hander exited with a 1-0 lead, but reliever Griffin Jax surrendered two hits and a walk in the seventh before Garver got Seattle on the board with a sac fly that plated former Twin Jorge Polanco.

The Twins had gone ahead in the fifth on back-to-back doubles from Kepler and Correa, the first hits Castillo surrendered during the game.

Castillo allowed just three hits overall in 6 2/3 innings, but did walk three and was charged with three runs - two earned - to take the loss.

 

 

 

Shohei Ohtani went 4 for 4 and delivered his first two-homer game as a Los Angeles Dodger to power his new team to a 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.

Ohtani's big performance enabled the Dodgers to complete a sweep of this three-game series between National League clubs who each won their division last season.

Two other notable offseason additions also contributed to Los Angeles' fourth straight win. Teoscar Hernandez added a two-run homer, while James Paxton yielded just one run on five hits over 6 2/3 innings to improve to 4-0.

Ohtani staked the Dodgers to an early lead with a two-run homer off Max Fried in the first inning. The 2023 American League MVP later singled in the sixth before Hernandez launched Fried's curveball into the stands in left center field to extend the margin to 4-0.

Paxton kept Atlanta off the scoreboard until the seventh, when Marcell Ozuna connected for his 10th home run of the season to move into a tie with Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson and injured Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout for the major league lead.

Ohtani joined that group an inning later with a titanic 464-foot blast off A.J. Minter in the eighth.

Fried (2-1) struck out seven in seven innings, but was dealt his first loss of 2024 after allowing four runs on just four hits.

 

Red Sox end Twins' streak as bats break out

Sparked by two-run homers from Ceddane Rafaela and Rafael Devers, the Boston Red Sox broke out of an offensive funk to snap the Minnesota Twins' 12-game winning streak with Sunday's 9-2 victory.

Boston also received two-run doubles from Vaughn Grissom and Dominic Smith to halt a three-game skid in which it scored a combined four runs. The Red Sox had gone six consecutive games without a home run until Rafaela connected off Minnesota starter Joe Ryan in the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie. 

The Twins' 12-game run was tied for the franchise's second-longest winning streak since relocating to Minnesota in 1961, surpassed only by a 15-game stretch in 1991.

Minnesota did own a 1-0 lead following Ryan Jeffers' solo homer off Cooper Criswell in the third inning, but Rob Refsnyder doubled home Jarren Duran in the fourth to pull Boston even.

Rafaela then followed Reese McGuire's single with his fifth homer of the season to give the Red Sox a 3-1 advantage in the fifth. The score remained that way until Boston broke the game open with four runs against the Twins' bullpen in the eighth.

After loading the bases with one out on a Devers single, a Tyler O'Neill double and a walk, Grissom drove in two with an opposite-field double that preceded Smith's two-run double that increased the lead to 7-1.

The Twins got a run back in their half of the eighth when Max Kepler doubled and scored on Trevor Larnach's single, but Devers followed a triple by Duran with his blast off reliever Jay Jackson in the ninth.

Brennan Bernardino received the win after retiring both batters he faced in relief of Criswell, who allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings.

Ryan (1-2) surrendered three runs while striking out five in six innings.

 

Harper's three-run homer helps Phillies stay hot

Bryce Harper's three-run homer in the third inning provided the biggest blow as the scorching Philadelphia Phillies won their fifth straight game by holding on for a 5-4 victory over the San Francisco Giants. 

J.T. Realmuto had three hits and Alec Bohm extended his hitting streak to 18 games to help Philadelphia win for the ninth time in 10 outings. The Phillies, owners of MLB's best record at 24-11, are 16-3 since April 15.

The Phillies also got a strong effort from Taijuan Walker in his second start back from the injured list. The right-hander worked 6 1/3 innings and allowed three runs while striking out seven to move to 2-0.

Walker was touched for a run in the first inning after permitting a single to Lamonte Wade Jr. and a run-scoring double to Michael Conforto. The veteran hurler settled down from there, though, and the Phillies pulled even in the second when Bohm reached second on an error and later crossed the plate on Edmundo Sosa's infield single.

Harper then put Philadelphia ahead in the third when he followed a walk to Kyle Schwarber and a Realmuto single with a drive into the home bullpen off San Francisco starter Logan Webb.

Webb (3-3) struck out six but was removed after throwing 98 pitches in four innings. The Giants' ace was tagged for five runs - four earned - on six hits and two walks.

Walker protected the 5-1 lead until serving up a two-run homer to Thairo Estrada in the seventh. The Giants inched closer on Jakson Reetz's solo homer off Jose Alvarado with one out in the ninth, but the Philadelphia closer retired the next two hitters to record his seventh save of the season.

Reetz's homer was his first in the majors. The catcher had his contract purchased from Triple-A prior to the game.

Bohm kept his hitting streak alive in his final plate appearance when he doubled in the seventh. 

 

Shohei Ohtani had a career-high three doubles and the Los Angeles Dodgers collected 20 hits in an 11-2 rout of the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

Ohtani went 3 for 6 with RBI doubles in the eighth and ninth innings. He leads the majors in batting average (.371), slugging (.695), OPS (1.128), extra-base hits (21) and doubles (14).

Mookie Betts and Will Smith each had four hits and rookie Andy Pages homered as the Dodgers won their third straight following a three-game skid.

Landon Knack earned his first win in his second career start, allowing two runs and three hits in six innings. He retired his last 13 batters and struck out five.

Nick Senzel homered for the Nationals, who didn’t have a baserunner after the second inning.

Trout hits MLB-leading 10th home run in loss

Mike Trout became the first player in the majors to reach 10 home runs this season, but Gunnar Henderson had three hits and three RBIs as the Baltimore Orioles held off the Los Angeles Angels, 6-5.

Trout got the Angels on the board with a solo shot off starter Dean Kremer in the sixth inning. This is the third time in the past seven seasons that Trout has been the first in MLB to reach double digits in homers.

Los Angeles rallied back from a 6-0 deficit and had the tying run on first in the ninth, but Jo Adell was caught stealing to end the game.

Henderson homered for the second straight game and added a two-run single in Baltimore’s four-run sixth. He is 9 for 20 in the past five games and 18 for 40 with five home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 10 games, helping the Orioles win eight.

Kremer struck out 10 over 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs and three hits for his first win of the season.

Surging Braves win in 10 innings

Michael Harris II doubled home Ronald Acuna Jr. in the 10th inning and the red-hot Atlanta Braves topped the Miami Marlins, 4-3, after blowing a two-run lead in the ninth.

The Marlins scored twice in the ninth off Braves closer Raisel Iglesias to tie it but failed to score in the top of the 10th.

Harris led off the bottom half with a single to center to score the winning run and send Atlanta to its ninth win in 10 games.

Harris went 3 for 5 and Marcell Ozuna had three hits and two RBIs, giving him an MLB-best 29.

The Marlins were swept for the third time this season and dropped to an NL-worst 6-20.

Shohei Ohtani became Major League Baseball's career home leader among Japanese-born players with a two-run shot that highlighted the Los Angeles Dodgers' 10-0 rout of the New York Mets on Sunday.

Ohtani's third-inning blast off Adrian Houser helped support a stellar start from Tyler Glasnow as two of the Dodgers' marquee offseason additions took center stage.

Glasnow scattered seven hits while striking out 10 over eight innings to improve to 4-1 since being acquired by Los Angeles from the Tampa Bay Rays in December.

Ohtani's home run was his 176th in the major leagues, breaking a tie the reigning American League MVP shared with former New York Yankees star Hideki Matsui for the most by a Japanese native. 

Andy Pages contributed his first major league homer, a three-run shot during a fifth inning in which the Dodgers scored eight times en route to ending a three-game losing streak and preventing the Mets from sweeping the three-game series.

After Ohtani's historic home run broke a scoreless tie in the third inning, Los Angeles put the contest out of reach against Houser and reliever Grant Hartwig in the fifth. 

Pages started the outburst with a lead-off double and later scored on Mookie Betts' single, and an infield hit by Ohtani loaded the bases before Freddie Freeman drove in two more runs with a double for a 5-0 lead.

Will Smith followed with a two-run double of his own to extend the margin. Four batters later, Pages took Hartwig's pitch over the center field wall to cap the big inning and give Los Angeles a 10-0 advantage.

Houser was charged with eight runs allowed after being lifted with none out in the fifth. 

 

Rangers halt Braves' win streak behind three homers

Andrew Knizner hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the fourth inning and the Texas Rangers went deep two more times to stop the Atlanta Braves' six-game winning streak with a 6-4 victory.

Adolis Garcia added a two-run homer and Evan Carter had a solo shot as the defending World Champion Rangers overcame an early 3-0 deficit and avoided being swept in the three-game weekend series.

Atlanta had gone ahead quickly on Marcell Ozuna's MLB-leading ninth home run of the season, a three-run blast off Texas starter Michael Lorenzen in the first inning.

Lorenzen (2-0) kept the Braves off the scoreboard for the remainder of his six-inning stint, however, to help the Rangers rally in the fourth.

Carter started the comeback with a lead-off homer off Darius Vines, who later surrendered singles to Nathaniel Lowe and Josh Smith before Knizner launched the first pitch he saw into the left field seats to give Texas a 4-3 lead.

Garcia followed Carter's infield single in the eighth with a two-run shot off Tyler Matzek to extend the margin to 6-3.

The Braves got a run back in their half of the eighth when Ronald Acuna Jr. singled and later came home on Austin Riley's base hit with none out. Relievers David Robertson and Tyler Yates retired the next three hitters, however, to end the threat with two runners on base.

Yates then worked a scoreless ninth to earn his third save of the season.

Acuna finished 2 for 4 with two runs scored, while Vines was handed the loss after permitting four runs in five innings.

 

Phillies finish sweep of White Sox to extend win streak to six games

Aaron Nola struck out seven over eight strong innings to help the Philadelphia Phillies extend their winning streak to six games with an 8-2 rout of the lowly Chicago White Sox.

Nola yielded just two runs on four hits to improve to 3-1 on the season, and the right-hander received plenty of offensive support as Philadelphia finished off a sweep of the three-game series.

Kyle Schwarber homered and drove in two runs, Bryce Harper also knocked in two runs and Alec Bohm went 3 for 5 with an RBI double as the Phillies completed a successful 10-game home-stand in which they won eight times.

Chicago, meanwhile, continued its worst start in franchise history as it dropped to 3-18, the lowest winning percentage in the majors this season.

The White Sox did take a 2-0 lead, however, when Eloy Jimenez followed Robbie Grossman's one-out single in the top of the first inning with his first home run of 2024.

Philadelphia quickly answered, as Chicago starter Nick Nastrini walked Schwarber and Trea Turner to start the bottom of the first before Harper delivered a single that scored Schwarber and sent Trea Turner to third.

The Phillies then attempted a double steal in which Turner stole home and Harper advanced to second on a throwing error, and Harper later came home on Brandon Marsh's single for a 3-2 advantage.

Nola surrendered just two more hits the rest of the way, and the Phillies increased their lead with three runs in the fourth on an RBI single from Turner, Harper's sacrifice fly and a run-scoring double from Bohm.

Schwarber's lead-off homer in the sixth extended the margin to 7-2, and the slugger had a sacrifice fly in the seventh to bring home Philadelphia's final run.

Nastrini was tagged for six runs - five earned - and walked five in just three-plus innings in his second major league start.

Shohei Ohtani homered to tie for the most by a Japan-born player, but Jackson Merrill singled home the go-ahead run in the 11th inning to lift the San Diego Padres to an 8-7 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

Ohtani took Michael King deep with one out in the first inning for his fourth home run of the season and 175th of his career, tying him with Hideki Matsui, who played 10 seasons in the majors from 2003-12.

Mookie Betts, Max Muncy and Teoscar Hernandez also homered for the Dodgers, who squandered a 7-3 lead after five innings.

Jake Cronenworth’s solo home run in the sixth drew the Padres within 7-4 and San Diego scored three in the seventh on a run-scoring groundout before Fernando Tatis Jr.’s two-run blast off Ryan Brasier tied it.

Manny Machado and Ha-Seong Kim homered as the Padres got back to .500 (8-8) with their third win in four games.

The Dodgers failed to score in the 10th and 11th innings, with Betts flying out to center with the tying run at third in the 11th.

De La Cruz homers again as Reds cruise

Elly De La Cruz hit a three-run homer for his fourth longball in his last four games to back a strong start by Andrew Abbott in the Cincinnati Reds’ 11-1 rout of the Chicago White Sox.

Tyler Stephenson also went deep and Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Santiago Espinal each added two hits and three RBIs for the Reds.

De La Cruz singled in the second inning to reach safely for the 18th straight game dating to last season.

He hit his fourth home run of the season in the third after he had an inside-the-park homer and 450-foot drive during a 10-8 win over Milwaukee on Monday before going deep again in a 7-2 loss to the Brewers on Wednesday.

De La Cruz is 8 for 15 with four home runs, seven RBIs and eight runs in his last four games.

Rangers drop Astros 7 under .500

Jonah Heim homered and had four RBIs and Evan Carter added three hits to help the Texas Rangers to a 12-8 victory that dropped the Houston Astros seven games under .500 for the first time in eight years.

Houston, which has lost four straight and allowed 36 runs in its last three games, fell to 4-11. The Astros are seven below .500 for the first time since they were 22-29 before a Memorial Day win in 2016, a season in which they dropped to 20-29 before a five-game winning streak.

Texas extended its lead to 12-3 with four runs in the sixth, as Adolis Garcia singled home a run before Heim had a run-scoring groundout and Jared Walsh stroked a two-run single.

Kyle Tucker homered twice, and Jake Meyers drove in three runs for the Astros.

The New York Yankees received eight stellar innings from Nestor Cortes and three-run homers from Juan Soto and Anthony Volpe to continue their hot start with Monday's 7-0 win over the floundering Miami Marlins.

Cortes retired 24 of the 26 batters he faced, yielding just a pair of singles, to record his first victory since May 30 and help New York match the best 11-game start to a season in franchise history at 9-2. The left-hander struck out six while throwing 70 of 102 pitches for strikes.

The Yankees have opened a season 9-2 seven times previously, most recently in 2020.

Volpe and Soto's homers both came in the fourth inning off Jesus Luzardo, with Soto's blast his first at Yankee Stadium since New York acquired the star outfielder from the San Diego Padres in the offseason.

Soto finished 2 for 3 and Alex Verdugo went 3 for 3 with an RBI as the Yankees extended Miami's early-season woes. The Marlins have now lost 10 of their first 11 games for the second time in team history, having previously done so in 1998.

Luzardo permitted all seven runs while being tagged for eight hits and five walks in 4 2/3 innings.

The Miami left-hander had kept the Yankees scoreless until Volpe followed fourth-inning singles by Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo with a drive into the left field seats.

Verdugo then doubled and Luzardo walked Jose Trevino before retiring the next two batters to bring up Soto, who launched the first pitch he saw over the wall in right for a 6-0 lead.

Stanton doubled to open the bottom of the fifth before scoring the Yankees' final run on Verdugo's two-out single.

Nationals rout Giants to spoil Snell's San Francisco debut

Lane Thomas went 3 for 5 with a home run and three RBIs as the Washington Nationals spoiled Blake Snell's San Francisco Giants debut with an 8-1 rout in the opener of a three-game series.

Trey Lipscomb also had three hits, including an RBI single, and delivered a steal of home to help pin a loss on Snell in the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner's first start as a Giant.

Snell, who went 14-9 with an MLB-leading 2.25 ERA and 234 strikeouts with the San Diego Padres last season, joined San Francisco on a two-year, $62 million contract in March.

The ace left-hander struck out five in three innings, but surrendered three runs on three hits while walking two.

Washington received a more effective outing from starter Trevor Williams, who held San Francisco to one run on three hits over five innings to move to 2-0 on the season.

Snell's trouble came in the second inning, as he issued consecutive one-out walks before Lipscomb singled to left to drive in a run and tie the score at 1-1. 

Luis Garcia followed with an infield RBI single that put Washington ahead before stealing second base, with Lipscomb running home from third on the play and beating the throw to the plate.

The Giants had taken a 1-0 lead when Jung Hoo Lee singled and LaMonte Wade doubled two batters later, with Lee crossing the plate on an errant throw from Nationals left fielder Jesse Winker.

Thomas' two-run homer off Landen Roupp in the fifth pushed Washington's lead to 5-1, and the Nationals tacked on another run in the inning on Ildemaro Vargas' RBI double.

Washington scored twice more in the ninth via an RBI single from Thomas and a bases-loaded walk to Vargas that forced in Winker.

Ohtani's homer, three hits power Dodgers past Twins

Shohei Ohtani tied a career high with three extra-base hits, including a solo homer, as the Los Angeles Dodgers got back on track with a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Twins.

Ohtani added two doubles along with his third homer in five games to help Los Angeles take the opener of this three-game series. The Dodgers entered Minnesota off two losses in three games to the Chicago Cubs over the weekend.

James Paxton did his part for Los Angeles by holding the Twins to two runs on three hits over six solid innings to win his second straight start to begin the season.

Paxton's lone blemish came when he served up a two-run homer to Manuel Margot in the third inning that gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead.

The Twins maintained a one-run edge until the sixth, when Ohtani greeted reliever Steven Okert with a double and later scored on Will Smith's single.

Okert came on for Bailey Ober, who allowed just one run and three hits over five innings before departing in line for the win.

James Outman put Los Angeles ahead with a solo homer off Jay Jackson in the seventh. Two batters later, Ohtani connected for an opposite-field blast off Jackson that increased the lead to 4-2.

Ober's lone run allowed came after issuing a lead-off walk to Mookie Betts in the first inning. Ohtani followed with a double before Betts crossed the plate on Freddie Freeman's sacrifice fly. 

Shohei Ohtani hit his first home run as a Dodger and Miguel Rojas also went deep as Los Angeles completed a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants with a 5-4 victory on Wednesday.

Ohtani took Taylor Rogers out over the right-center field wall in the seventh inning to extend the Dodgers’ lead to 5-3. He also singled and scored in the third.

The home run came in the 41st plate appearance for the two-time MVP, who connected for his 172nd career homer.

Tyler Glasnow allowed three runs and four hits over six innings with two walks and seven strikeouts to win his second straight start.

Dinelson Lamet struck out two in a perfect ninth for his first career save as Los Angeles improved to 7-2.

Patrick Bailey and Jorge Soler had home runs for the Giants, who dropped their fourth straight overall and fell to 1-7 in their last eight meetings with the rival Dodgers.

 

McCann caps Orioles’ comeback

James McCann delivered a two-out, two-run single to lift the Baltimore Orioles to a walk-off 4-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals after the game was delayed by rain for five hours.

The Royals took a 3-0 lead into the eighth inning behind a masterful performance from starter Cole Ragans, but the Orioles made it a one-run game on Gunnar Henderson’s sacrifice fly and Adley Rutschman’s RBI single.

Will Smith was called on to protect the 3-2 lead in the ninth but walked Ryan Mountcastle and Anthony Santander singled before Jordan Westburg sacrificed. After Austin Hays was intentionally walked to load the bases and Smith struck out Colton Cowser, McCann lined a single into left for the tying and winning runs.

Ragans outpitched Baltimore ace Corbin Burnes, allowing one hit and two walks over 6 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts.

 

Judge homers as Yankees move to 6-1

Aaron Judge hit his first home run of the season and had an RBI double in the 11th inning to lift the New York Yankees to a 6-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Alex Verdugo broke a 2-2 tie in the 10th with his first home run of the season and the Yankees scored twice in the 11th on a balk and Judge’s double.

New York completed a season-opening 6-1 road trip and returns to the Bronx for its home opener on Friday.

Ketel Marte homered and Blaze Alexander added the first of his career for the Diamondbacks, who had to use pitcher Scott McGough as a hitter with the bases loaded in the 11th. He took a called third strike from Caleb Ferguson to end the game.

Shohei Ohtani had two hits in his official Los Angeles Dodgers debut, including an RBI single during a four-run eighth inning that helped his new team rally for a 5-2 win over the San Diego Padres in Seoul, South Korea in Wednesday's opener of the 2024 MLB season. 

Mookie Betts also had two hits and an RBI as the Dodgers got a season of sky-high expectations off to a successful start, though they faced a 2-1 deficit entering the eighth before the offence came to life against San Diego's bullpen.

The Dodgers loaded the bases with none out on a pair of walks and a Teoscar Hernandez single before Enrique Hernandez drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly. Gavin Lux then reached base on a ground ball that went through the web of Padres first baseman Jake Cronenworth's glove, with Teoscar Hernandez scoring on the error for a 3-2 lead.

Betts and Ohtani followed with RBI singles to extend the lead to 5-2 before relievers Joe Kelly and Evan Phillips held the Padres scoreless over the final two innings.

Los Angeles received a total of four scoreless innings from four relievers after another of its big-ticket offseason acquisitions, Tyler Glasnow, allowed two runs over five innings.

Glasnow did issue four walks in his Los Angeles debut, including free passes to Manny Machado and Korean native Ha-Seong Kim to start the bottom of the fourth with the game tied at 1-1. Jurickson Profar followed with a bunt single to load the bases before Machado crossed the plate on a double-play grounder that put San Diego ahead.

The Dodgers had tied the game in the top of the fourth when Teoscar Hernandez reached on an error and later scored on Jason Heyward's sacrifice fly. 

San Diego recorded the first run of the season in the third when Xander Bogaerts singled in Tyler Wade, who drew a lead-off walk before advancing on Glasnow's wild pitch.

Bogaerts accounted for two of the Padres' four hits.

San Diego starter Yu Darvish worked the first 3 2/3 innings and allowed one unearned run on two hits while walking three and striking out three.

The game drew an announced crowd of 15,952 at the Gocheok Sky Dome for the first regular-season MLB game played in South Korea. The Dodgers and Padres will play again at the venue Thursday, with Los Angeles sending former Japanese league star pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto to the mound for his anticipated MLB debut. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers have confirmed the signing of Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani on a mammoth 10-year contract.

The reigning American League MVP’s agent Nez Balelo revealed the record-breaking 700million dollar (£558m) deal on Saturday before Ohtani posted on his Instagram account about his short move from the Los Angeles Angels.

“We congratulate him on his historic contract with our storied franchise,” said Mark Walter, chairman of the Dodgers and their owners Guggenheim Baseball, in a statement confirming the move on Monday.

“Shohei is a once-in-a-generation talent and one of the most exciting professional athletes in the world.”

He continued: “Our players, staff, management and ownership look forward to working together with Shohei to help the Dodgers continue to add, improve and strive for excellence on the field.

“Together with Shohei, we will work to help grown the number and breadth of people around the world who enjoy the excitement of Major League Baseball.”

Ohtani, 29, thanked Dodgers fans for welcoming him to the team.

“I can say, 100 %, that you, the Dodger organisation and I share the same goal – to bring World Series parades to the streets of Los Angeles.”

Reports in US media say Ohtani will receive around two million dollars (£1.6m) a year throughout his contract with the balance in instalments of 68m dollars a year (£54.1m) for the following 10 years to provide the club with greater flexibility in payroll restrictions.

Former MVPs Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman have similar deferred deals with the Dodgers.

Ohtani is unusual in that he plays as a pitcher and a hitter, becoming regarded as one of the best in the game on both sides of the ball since his Angels debut in 2018.

He won his second American League MVP award in 2023, despite an elbow injury which curtailed his season and will prevent him from pitching in 2024.

Pitcher Joe Kelly, who re-signed with the Dodgers on Monday, is switching to number 99 to allow Ohtani to retain his 17 jersey.

The previous record contract in MLB was the 426.5m (£340m) the Angels paid to outfielder Mike Trout as part of a 12-year deal in 2019.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ 10-year 450m (£359m) extension, agreed in September, was the previous highest in US sports.

Shohei Ohtani has confirmed he is to join the Los Angeles Dodgers on a  record-breaking contract after ending his six-year spell with the LA Angels.

The 29-year-old Japanese free agent, whose agent said he has agreed a 700million dollar (£558m) 10-year deal which would make him the highest earner in Major League Baseball (MLB) history, ended fevered speculation over his destination in a social media post on Saturday night.

The extent of the deal was revealed in a statement from his agent Nez Balelo, which described it as a “unique, historic contract for a unique, historic player”.

While the Dodgers have not made an official statement, their website carried headlines saying it was “Sho Time” and describing the deal as a “700m stunner”. MLB posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that “Hollywood just added another star”.

Ohtani is unusual in that he plays as a pitcher and a hitter, becoming regarded as one of the best in the game on both sides of the ball since his Angels debut in 2018.

He won his second American League MVP award in 2023, despite an elbow injury which curtailed his season and will prevent him from pitching in 2024.

Ohtani wrote on his official Instagram account: “To all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world, I apologize for taking so long to come to a decision. I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Shohei Ohtani | 大谷翔平 (@shoheiohtani)

“First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone involved with the Angels organization and the fans who have supported me over the past six years, as well as to everyone involved with each team that was part of this negotiation process.

 

“Especially to the Angels fans who supported me through all the ups and downs, your guys’ support and cheer meant the world to me. The six years I spent with the Angels will remain etched in my heart forever.

“And to all Dodgers fans, I pledge to always do what’s best for the team and always continue to give it my all to be the best version of myself.

“Until the last day of my playing career, I want to continue to strive forward not only for the Dodgers, but for the baseball world.”

The previous record contract in MLB was the 426.5m (£340m) the Angels paid to outfielder Mike Trout as part of a 12-year deal in 2019.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ 10-year 450m (£359m) extension, agreed in September, was the previous highest in US sports.

Shohei Ohtani has confirmed he is to join the Los Angeles Dodgers on what is reportedly a record-breaking contract after ending his six-year spell with the LA Angels.

The 29-year-old Japanese free agent, who is said to have agreed a 700million US dollars (£558m) 10-year deal which would make him the highest earner in major league baseball history, ended fevered speculation over his destination in a social media post on Saturday night.

Ohtani, the reigning American League Most Valuable Player, wrote on his official Instagram account: “To all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world, I apologize for taking so long to come to a decision. I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Shohei Ohtani | 大谷翔平 (@shoheiohtani)

“First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone involved with the Angels organization and the fans who have supported me over the past six years, as well as to everyone involved with each team that was part of this negotiation process.

 

“Especially to the Angels fans who supported me through all the ups and downs, your guys’ support and cheer meant the world to me. The six years I spent with the Angels will remain etched in my heart forever.

“And to all Dodgers fans, I pledge to always do what’s best for the team and always continue to give it my all to be the best version of myself.

“Until the last day of my playing career, I want to continue to strive forward not only for the Dodgers, but for the baseball world.”

Free agent Shohei Ohtani is signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the two-way star announced Saturday on Instagram.

His contract will be worth $700million over 10 seasons, multiple media outlets reported.

Ohtani’s post was simply a large image of the Dodgers’ logo with a caption posted in English.

“To all the fans and everyone involved in the baseball world, I apologize for taking so long to come to a decision,” the caption began. “I have decided to choose the Dodgers as my next team.”

The announcement came a day after erroneous reports that Ohtani flew to Toronto on Friday. The private jet that was incorrectly reported to have Ohtani onboard actually belonged to “Shark Tank” star Robert Herjavec.

After spending six seasons in Anaheim with the Los Angeles Angels, Ohtani will now call Dodger Stadium home after signing the most lucrative contract in North American sports history.

Patrick Mahomes, of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, previously held the record with a contract totalling $450million, but parts of that deal were not guaranteed.

New York Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo remains optimistic free agent Shohei Ohtani, widely regarded as the world’s best baseball player, could be part of his team set to play in London next summer.

Generational Japanese two-way talent Ohtani was two weeks ago named American League MVP for the second time in three years and draws frequent comparisons to Babe Ruth, still probably the most recognisable baseball name in Britain and beyond despite the former Boston Red Sox and New York Yankee slugger having been dead for 75 years.

Ohtani, reportedly within days of deciding on his next destination and poised to fetch an MLB-record free-agent fee, is historically peerless in his dual-role as a starting pitcher and batter, so much so that a new MLB rule introduced in 2022 – effectively designed to address his singular abilities – is commonly referred to as ‘the Ohtani rule’.

Nimmo, whose Mets are set to play the Philadelphia Phillies at the London Stadium next June, said: “(Ohtani) really is everything that everyone says he is. He’s unbelievable. He hits the ball harder than everyone, he throws the ball harder than everyone, he runs faster than everyone.

“He really is the special talent that everyone has hyped him up to be. He’s one of those special, once-in-a-generation players.

“I know that our front office and our owner and our president were very excited about the prospect of getting him. I know we’re going to be in on (him), I just don’t know where it is going to lead to.”

In baseball, unlike cricket, players are pitchers or combine a fielding position and batting, save for the “designated hitter” (DH), a batting-only position which typically replaces pitchers in the order. But under ‘the Ohtani rule’, he can still serve as a DH even after being pulled as a pitcher.

The DH has featured since 1973 in the American League and National League in 2022, but, even before its universal adoption, no pitchers came anywhere close to Ohtani’s prowess at the plate. He has won MLB’s best DH award for three consecutive seasons.

In 2023, he hit the fourth most home runs in MLB, all while striking out 167 batters and finishing with a 3.14 earned run average.

While the Mets have been linked to Ohtani, who is rumoured to be considering deals worth between USD 500m-600m (£396,205,000-£475,446,000), the latest reports suggest they may be out of the picture, with the Los Angeles Dodgers, San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves and former club the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim among those considered front-runners for his services.

Whoever ultimately signs Ohtani will likely have to wait a full season until he is fit enough to pitch following surgery to his elbow in September, though he should be available to hit come opening day 2024.

Next summer’s London Series marks the third time MLB has made the trip to Britain, in an ongoing attempt to grow the global reach of a game that has variously been accused of being too American to find a footing in the UK, too similar to cricket to take off, and conversely too confusing for the uninitiated to understand.

Nimmo, however, will happily evangelise for the game’s global potential, and agrees that fact that it is a Japanese talent quickly becoming MLB’s most recognisable face – even cracking highlight reels in the United Kingdom – is important as the sport tries to conquer new territory.

He added: “One of the areas where we’ve struggled in MLB is making the players world recognised, and now Shohei has that star quality that can bridge that gap. He’s an integral piece to us growing the game worldwide.

“We need to market him. We need to get him out there. I think a great opening and a great door is to be like, check out this guy.

“He’s not from the States, he’s larger than life, he’s doing something that hasn’t been done before, since one of the great baseball legends like Babe Ruth. Those guys are mythical.”

:: New York Mets will play Philadelphia Phillies in the MLB World Tour: London Series 2024 on June 8–9 at London Stadium

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