The Washington Nationals have exercised the 2023 contract options of general manager Mike Rizzo and manager Dave Martinez, keeping in place the leadership duo who helped guide the franchise to a World Series title in 2019. 

The Nationals opt for continuity despite being mired in a 29-50 season, likely their third straight losing campaign since winning the World Series. 

"Mike and Davey have been leading the Washington Nationals for several years and it is only right to continue with them at the forefront," Nationals owner Mark D. Lerner said in a statement.

"Mike has led us through many different phases of our organisation, and we believe his work during this current phase will pay off in the end."

Rizzo, 61, is in his 14th year heading baseball operations for Washington, leading the organisation to four NL East titles and overseeing the acquisition of stars like Max Scherzer, Juan Soto, Trea Turner and Anthony Rendon. 

He was named baseball's Executive of the Year in 2019. 

Since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington in 2005, no one has managed more games for the Nationals than Martinez, who has a 295-330 record (.472 winning percentage).

"Davey has done a tremendous job in the clubhouse and in the dugout for five seasons," Lerner's statement said.

"His continued determination and unwavering support of his players makes us proud. We are lucky to have Mike and Davey leading the way."

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wacha wins it for Boston

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

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

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

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

Hays hits for the cycle

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

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

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

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

Mike Trout hit his fifth home run of the Los Angeles Angels' five-game series against the Seattle Mariners to help his side to a 4-0 road win.

Trout hit two home runs in the series-opener on Thursday, and after a zero-for-three performance in the second game, he followed it up with a homer in each of the third, fourth and fifth games.

On Sunday he blasted his 21st of the season – the second-most in the majors – to give his side a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Angels pitcher Kenny Rosenberg put in a strong performance in his second start of the season, throwing four-and-two-thirds innings of scoreless baseball, allowing two hits and three walks.

It was a spectacular showing from the Angels bullpen as well, not allowing a single hit or walk the rest of the way after Rosenberg was withdrawn, while striking out seven batters.

Max Stassi finally added another run for the away side in the seventh inning when he brought home Luis Rengifo with an RBI double, before Jared Walsh completed the scoring with a base hit in the eighth inning that allowed Taylor Ward to make it home off a fielding error.

The series win against the Mariners has helped get the Angels' season back on track, winning four-out-of-five after coming into the slate of games with just two wins from their previous 20.

Blue Jays win epic power display

The Toronto Blue Jays won a high-scoring battle against the New York Yankees 10-9 as two of the most powerful batting sides combined for nine home runs.

Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero hit the first of the game with a two-run shot in the opening inning, but over the next four frames home runs to Gleyber Torres and Josh Donaldson, as well as RBI doubles to Aaron Judge and Torres had the Yankees up 6-2.

Toronto's George Springer hit a solo home run in the sixth frame, answered by two solo shots from New York's Kyle Higashioka and Marwin Gonzalez, but the Blue Jays would not go away.

Down 8-3, Toronto came all the way back with a grand slam by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and a three-run homer from Teoscar Hernandez, with Jordan Romano completing a five-out save.

Soto shows his swing in Nationals upset

Juan Soto came through in a big spot for the Washington Nationals to defeat the red-hot Philadelphia Phillies 9-3.

Soto, considered to be one of the game's greatest young hitters, is having the worst season of his career, with his batting average of .218 well below his career average of .290.

He only had one hit from five at-bats against the Phillies, but it was a big one, driving a 428-foot, three-run home run in the second inning to give his side some breathing room.

For the Phillies, the loss was just their third from their past 18 games.

San Diego Padres ace and NL Cy Young Award candidate Joe Musgrove put in another quality start to help his side to a 6-4 away win against the Chicago Cubs.

While Musgrove finished with a great game, it was a rough beginning, with Christopher Morel hitting a home run from the Cubs' first at-bat of the game.

The Padres took the lead in the second inning as Nomar Mazara connected on a two-run home run, before Jake Cronenworth's RBI double a couple of batters later made it 3-1.

Andrelton Simmons pulled one run back with a base hit later in the second inning, and that would be the last run Musgrove gave up, holding the Cubs scoreless for the next five innings.

Musgrove finished with nine strikeouts from seven complete innings, giving up two earned runs from five hits and one walk.

His dominance through the middle innings allowed the Padres to open up some breathing room, with MVP candidate Manny Machado tacking on a run with an RBI single in the fourth, before Austin Nola made it 5-2 with a sacrifice fly an inning later.

Jurickson Profar completed the away side's scoring with a solo home run in the eighth inning, before the Cubs added a pair of consolation runs with RBIs to Frank Schwindel and Ian Happ.

Machado finished with three hits – all singles – from five at-bats, taking his batting average for the season up to .328.

Yankees walk it off

The New York Yankees came out on top in a hard-fought pitching duel, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 thanks to a walk-off home run by Anthony Rizzo.

Francisco Mejia finally broke the deadlock with a solo home run to give the Rays a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning, before Rizzo tied things up with an RBI single an inning later.

Yankees starting pitcher Clarke Schmidt only went three innings before he was withdrawn, while Rays starter Jalen Beeks pitched just two innings without allowing a baserunner before he was also pulled, with the two teams trusting their bullpens in long-relief.

With the scores tied in the bottom of the ninth inning, with one out, Rizzo cleared the fence with the game-winning homer, moving the Yankees' league-leading record to 47-16.

Phillies stay hot

It's now 12 wins from their past 14 games for the Philadelphia Phillies after a dominant 10-1 win against the Washington Nationals.

Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler was lights-out on the mound, giving up just one run from four hits and no walks in seven complete innings, while his side were just as impressive with the bat.

Five Phillies drove in at least one run each, with Kyle Schwarber the star, hitting two massive home runs, with both travelling further than 415 feet.

The defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves will be without Ozzie Albies for at least two months.

The Braves placed the All-Star second baseman on the 60-day injured list a day after he fractured his left foot in Monday's 9-5 win over the Washington Nationals.

Albies sustained the injury on an awkward swing while batting in the fifth inning. He took a step out of the batter's box on a groundout to the shortstop before falling to the ground in pain.

"Hate it for Ozzie. Hate it for us," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He'll be fine. He's young, he'll heal quick.

"Like I said, I just hate it for the kid, because he loves to play baseball and he's such a big part of our club. It's a chance for somebody else to do something good."

Orlando Arcia took over for Albies and is expected be Atlanta's primary second baseman for the foreseeable future.

It will be virtually impossible, however, to replace Albies' bat.

The 25-year-old hit a career-high 30 home runs last season and his 98 career homers are the most by a Braves second baseman in franchise history. He is batting .244 with eight home runs, 33 RBIs and 34 runs scored in 62 games this season.

Albies' injury marred yet another victory for the Braves, who have won 13 in a row to pull within five games of the NL East-leading New York Mets. This is Atlanta's longest winning streak since a 14-game run from July 26 to August 9, 2013.

With Albies sidelined, this marks the second year in a row the Braves will have to overcome an injury to one of their young stars.

Ronald Acuna Jr. had just been named to his second All-Star Game before suffering a torn right ACL while trying to make a leaping catch in the outfield at Marlins Park on July 10 last year.

The knee injury sidelined him for the final three months of the regular season and forced him to miss Atlanta's run to the franchise's first World Series championship since 1995.

It was a dominant display from the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday as their stars shone brightly, defeating the Baltimore Orioles 11-1 in front of their home fans.

Blue Jays ace pitcher Alek Manoah never gave the Orioles a chance, allowing just one hit and one walk as he held the Orioles scoreless through six innings, striking out seven.

With the bat, Alejandro Kirk gave Toronto a lead in the first inning with an RBI single, before MVP candidate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. left his mark.

Guerrero made it 2-0 in the third inning when he drove in a run with a single, and he repeated his efforts in the fifth inning, driving home another run with an infield single to make it 3-0.

With some breathing room, the Blue Jays blew things out in the fifth frame, with Teoscar Hernandez's RBI double, followed by two-run base hits to both Santiago Espinal and Raimel Tapia, capped off by an RBI triple to Cavan Biggio.

Ultimately the Blue Jays scored seven runs from seven hits and a walk in the inning.

Guerrero put the finishing touches on in the eighth, crushing a 432-foot home run for his team-high 15th for the season, while Bo Bichette and George Springer both finished with a pair of hits.

Harper keeps hitting while Phillies keep winning

Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper's quest to go back-to-back received another boost in the Philadelphia Phillies' 3-2 win against the Miami Marlins.

Harper was walked in the first inning, and then took advantage during his second at-bat, opening the scoring with an RBI double in the third frame.

He was walked again in the eighth inning, putting Rhys Hoskins into scoring position and setting up the tying run, and Hoskins then delivered again in the ninth, sending the Phillies fans home happy with a walk-off RBI double.

It is the 10th Phillies win from their past 11 games, bringing their rapidly improving record to 31-30.

Braves win 12th straight 

The hottest team in baseball kept their streak alive as the Atlanta Braves won their 12th consecutive game, beating the Washington Nationals 9-5.

Dansby Swanson was the star for the Braves, with a two-run RBI base hit in the second inning, before a 423-foot, two-run homer in the sixth inning.

He was one of five Braves players to go deep, as Travis d'Arnaud (373 feet), Marcell Ozuna (410 feet), Adam Duvall (397 feet) and Michael Harris II (388 feet) all hit home runs.

The Philadelphia Phillies put on a show against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, dominating with bat and ball to run away with a 10-0 win.

Philadelphia's stars were shining bright, with ace pitcher Aaron Nola on the mound, and MVP candidate Bryce Harper got in on the fun late.

Nola never gave the Brewers a chance to get into the game, pitching eight shutout innings, conceding just four hits and no walks to go with six strikeouts.

On the other side, Milwaukee's Adrian Houser had a tougher outing, with a pair of two-run homers in the third inning to Bryson Stott and Rhys Hoskins blowing the game open.

A solo home run to Odubel Herrera made it 5-0 in the fifth inning, before Kyle Schwarber collected two RBI doubles – one in the seventh frame and one in the ninth – to extend the lead to 7-0.

With the game well in hand, Harper stepped up to the plate with two outs in the final inning and put a bow on the contest, blasting the biggest hit of the game with his 413-foot, three-run home run.

Marlins ace Alcantara amazes

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara was the star in his side's 2-1 extra innings win at home against the Washington Nationals, pitching nine scoreless frames.

It was not just Alcantara pitching at the top of his game, as neither team was able to score a single run in the nine innings of regulation play, with Nationals starter Josiah Gray striking out six in his five innings of shutout work.

While the Nationals used four pitchers to make it through the nine innings, the Marlins needed only Alcantara, who gave up six hits and no walks before finishing his ninth inning in 105 pitches.

Washington finally broke the deadlock with an RBI single to Keibert Ruiz, but Willians Astudillo and Jesus Aguilar strung hits together in the bottom of the 10th to drive in the winning run.

Angels fall to record-breaking low

The Los Angeles Angels lost their franchise-record 14th consecutive game as they failed to score a single run in a 1-0 loss at home against the Boston Red Sox.

Red Sox starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi was terrific, giving up six hits and no walks in his five scoreless innings, and the bullpen was just as impressive, combining to hold the Angels to just one hit and no walks in the final four frames.

Reid Detmers was strong on the mound for the Angels, giving up no runs in his four-and-a-third innings, but a Bobby Dalbec RBI double in the sixth frame would prove to be enough to deliver a Boston win.

Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg will make his much-anticipated return to the rotation Thursday to face the Miami Marlins.

Strasburg, 33, has been considered a superstar prospect since before he arrived in the majors, earning number one overall selection in the 2009 MLB Draft and fulfilling the promise of his talent.

In 2019 the three-time All-Star reached the pinnacle, being named World Series MVP as he guided the Nationals to their first ever championship in the midst of an injury-ravaged career.

Manager Dave Martinez told reporters that Strasburg would be activated from the injured list before Tuesday’s series opener in Miami, and implied he would not be on a pitch or innings count.

"I'm not going to put any limitations on him," Martinez said. "We'll see how far we can take him.

"We'll keep a close eye on him, but this is one of the reasons why we wanted him to go through what he did and to make sure that he's fully ready." 

As part of his journey back from injury, he made three rehabilitation starts in the minor leagues, throwing 13 2/3 innings and striking out 13 batters.  

Strasburg last pitched in the majors just over a year ago on June 1, 2021. Last summer, he underwent surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome – the compression of nerves between the collarbone and first rib that leads to shoulder and neck pain, along with numbness of the fingers.  

His 2020 campaign was also cut short due to season-ending surgery, that time for neuritis in his throwing hand.  

Now in his 13th season, Strasburg has made just seven starts since leading the Nationals to their 2019 crown, for which he was rewarded with a seven-year, $245million contract extension that runs through 2026.

Twice a top-five finisher in Cy Young Award voting, Strasburg returns to a last-place Washington team that is in desperate need of a spark. The Nationals entered play on Tuesday with a 21-35 record, and their rotation has posted an MLB-worst 5.88 ERA this season.  

Shohei Ohtani had a bad time in the Bronx on Thursday, as the New York Yankees took the first of two games in a double-header against the Los Angeles Angels.

Matt Carpenter continued his solid form since signing as a free agent, seeing his way through an 11-pitch at-bat to score a lead-off home run off Ohtani in the 6-1 win.

Carpenter now has three home runs from 16 at-bats for the Yankees, while the reigning American League MVP gave up eight hits and four runs on the way to being pulled after three innings.

Jameson Taillon took a perfect game into the eighth inning as the Pinstripes won Thursday's second game 2-1, moving their record for the season to 36-15.

Further misfortune was dealt to Ohtani in the second game, with Wandy Peralta striking him out to confirm the save.

Rookie Ashcraft leads Reds in Nationals win

Rookie starting pitcher Graham Ashcraft continued his impressive start in the major leagues, as the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Washington Nationals 8-1.

The 24-year-old secured his first win last Friday, throwing six scoreless innings against the San Francisco Giants, and did not have to wait long for his second in another dominant performance.

The right-hander struck out five and gave up four hits over 92 pitches in seven innings, setting up what was only the Reds' 18th win of the season.

Alcantara assumes control against Giants

Sandy Alcantara allowed only three hits in an assured display, leading the Miami Marlins to a 3-0 win over the San Francisco Giants.

The 26-year-old walked two and struck out eight, while extending his run of at least seven innings pitched to five starts, and lowering his ERA to 1.81.

The Marlins scored early via a Jacob Stallings single, and that was all the run-support Alcantara needed, moving them to 21-28 for the season.

Mark Canha and Starling Marte led the New York Mets, who claimed 17 hits in their 10-0 thrashing of the Washington Nationals on Tuesday.

Canha claiming four of those hits leading off for the Mets, and Marte got it rolling with his home run in the first inning, going deep off Patrick Corbin.

Jeff McNeil also had three hits while Eduardo Escobar homered off Nats reliever Francisco Perez, as Francisco Lindor extended his RBI streak to nine games.

The Mets' hitting did not have to counteract for any poor performances from the mound, with Trevor Williams giving up only three hits over 80 pitches in a full five innings.

Every Mets starter claimed a hit as the National League East leaders went to secure their season-best fifth consecutive win.

Thor hammered as Halos lose to Yankees

Across town, former Met Noah Syndergaard had a disappointing return to New York, as the Yankees defeated the Los Angeles Angels 9-1.

Syndergaard allowed five runs and seven hits, including a two-run homer from Matt Carpenter, and he was pulled after only 45 pitches.

Jordan Montgomery pitched solidly as the Yankees kicked off a high-profile three-game series against the Halos, striking out four and giving up four hits over 87 pitches in seven innings.

Kody Clemens hitless as Tigers

Jonathan Schoop starred for the Detroit Tigers as Kody Clemens made his major league debut, beating the Minnesota Twins 4-0 on Tuesday night to split a double-header.

Schoop claimed a home run and drove in four runs against the American League Central leaders, while the 26-year-old Clemens went zero-for-three on debut, with his father and seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens watching from a suite.

Clemens was without such blemishes in the field at second base, however, handling a ground-ball for the final out of the game.

The New York Yankees have lost three games in a row for the first time this season after a 6-4 defeat against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

Making the win even more impressive for the Orioles was the fact that Yankees ace Gerrit Cole was on the mound, and superstar Aaron Judge blasted a first-inning home run.

Jose Trevino doubled the Yankees' lead with an RBI single in the second frame, before Cole began to struggle in the third.

Orioles batters Ramon Urias and Robinson Chirinos kicked off the third inning with back-to-back doubles, before Austin Hays drove in two with his base hit and Ryan Mountcastle made it 4-2 with an RBI fielder's choice.

Cole woke up after that, striking out the next five Orioles batters, and when Judge stepped up in the fifth inning and tied the game with his second home run, it appeared the Yankees were going to take over down the stretch.

But the Orioles would not go away, with Urias blasting his own home run off Cole to put his side up 5-4, and they were able to add an extra insurance run in the top of the last inning.

Judge's two home runs take his tally to 17 for the season – five more than any other player.

The Yankees still hold a half-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers as the best team in baseball, now 29-13.

Dodgers win with small-ball

The Los Angeles Dodgers piled on 10 runs without a home run as they defeated the Washington Nationals 10-1.

Of the Dodgers' 10 runs, one was driven in through a ground-out, four through singles with runners in scoring position, four with doubles, and one via a Christian Taylor triple.

Trea Turner finished with a game-high three RBIs, while Freddie Freeman collected a game-high three hits from five at-bats.

Tyler Anderson was superb on the mound for the Dodgers, pitching eight full innings for eight strikeouts while giving up no runs, no walks and five hits.

Goldschmidt delivers in extra innings

St. Louis Cardinals first-baseman Paul Goldschmidt continued his historic hitting streak in style, capping off his side's 7-3 win against the Toronto Blue Jays with a walk-off grand slam in extra innings.

With the game tied at 3-3 after nine innings, the Cardinals were able to hold the Blue Jays scoreless in the top of the 10th, before two walks loaded the bases for Goldschmidt.

He blasted the fourth pitch of the at-bat 366 feet over the left-field wall to give his side the win, and extend his hitting streak to 15 games.

Since RBIs became an official stat in 1920, no player has ever matched Goldschmidt's numbers of 28 hits, 12 doubles, five home runs and 22 RBIs over a 15-game stretch.

The MLB record for most combined home runs in a game was threatened in the Arizona Diamondbacks' 10-6 win against the Chicago Cubs.

Overall, the teams combined to hit 11 home runs – two short of the record, which was set by the Diamondbacks and Philadelphia Phillies in 2019. 

After the Diamondbacks drove in the first two runs of the contest with a bases-loaded single in the opening inning, Patrick Wisdom launched the first long-ball of the game in the second frame in response for the Cubs.

Arizona took over from there, with seven of the next eight runs coming from Diamondbacks home runs.

Third-baseman Josh Rojas hit his own solo shot in the top of the third inning, and it would be the first of his three home runs in the game, as he hit a two-run bomb in the fifth inning and another solo in the seventh inning, with all three travelling at least 402 feet.

David Peralta hit two home runs for the Diamondbacks, while Alek Thomas and Christian Walker had one each. For the Cubs, Jonathan Villar was the second from his team to go deep, before Christopher Morel and Ildemaro Vargas went back-to-back in the seventh inning.

Given the friendly scoring conditions, the best pitching performance of the game came from Diamondbacks bullpen arm Noe Ramirez, who was only asked to retire four batters, but was the only pitcher from either team to allow no hits and no runs.

 

Story time continues in Boston

After hitting three home runs on Thursday, Trevor Story stayed hot for the Boston Red Sox on Friday, hitting a bases-loaded grand slam in his side's 7-3 home win against the Seattle Mariners.

Story, who was the Red Sox's biggest off-season signing, had his big moment with two outs in the third inning after Christian Vazquez's base hit and walks to Enrique Hernandez and Xander Bogaerts, launching a long-ball 378 feet over the 'Green Monster' in left-field.

A two-run, 429-foot blast from Abraham Toro in the fifth frame kept the Mariners competitive, before Boston's Jackie Bradley Jr. put the game to bed with a three-run homer in the eighth inning.

Nats turn rare triple-play

The Washington Nationals were on the wrong end of a 7-0 beating from the Milwaukee Brewers, but they produced one of the rarest plays in baseball.

With no outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, and runners on first and second base, Milwaukee's Luis Urias hit a hard ground-ball straight at third base, allowing the field to take it cleanly and step on the base, before throwing to second, who got it to first in time for the triple-play.

It was the Nationals' first triple-play since 2016, although it was soured by a dominant pitching performance from Brewer Eric Lauer, who went seven full innings, conceding no runs while allowing just five hits and no walks.

Minnesota Twins pitcher Josh Winder etched his name into the history books on Friday night as he guided his team to a 2-1 win against the Oakland Athletics.

Winder, 25, in his second career start, pitched six shutout innings, giving up three hits and no walks with eight strikeouts. It comes after allowing just two hits and one walk from six scoreless innings in his first start against the Tampa Bay Rays.

He is the first pitcher since ERA became an official stat in 1913 to have 15 strikeouts, no more than one walk and allow no earned runs over his first two career starts.

It was almost not enough for the Twins, who scored their two runs from two solo homers, courtesy of Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco. 

The Athletics cut the margin back to one when a fielding error allowed Cristian Pache to third base, where he would get brought home by a sacrifice fly, before Twins closer Emilio Pagan allowed a base hit and two walks to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning.

After a ground ball allowed the Twins to stop the third-base runner from getting to home plate, Pagan finished the job with a strikeout, sealing the victory and collecting the hard-earned save.

 

Trout delivers for Angels

AL MVP hopeful Shohei Ohtani's biggest competition for back-to-back trophies may be on his own team, as Mike Trout lifted the Los Angeles Angels to a 3-0 win against the Washington Nationals.

Reigning MVP Ohtani finished zero-for-three with a walk and an RBI, while three-time MVP Trout batted in two runs with a clutch double in the fifth inning.

It was a terrific performance by the Angels pitching staff, as starter Jhonathan Diaz gave up three hits and four walks through five scoreless frames, before the bullpen allowed just one hit and no walks the rest of the way.

Acuna bombs in Brewers win

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr gave the home fans something to cheer for, despite going down 6-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers.

In his second game back in Atlanta after a long-term injury, Acuna blasted a 450-foot home run to center-field for his first since July, but a four-run sixth inning for the Brewers put the visitors in front, where they would stay.

Gerrit Cole was once again in impressive form for the New York Yankees, as they beat the Kansas City Royals 3-0 on Saturday.

The 2021 Cy Young runner-up claimed his second win in as many starts this season, giving up five hits and two walks while striking out six in 91 pitches over a dominant six innings.

Cole's performance on the mound was particularly important, given his team did not hit any home runs this time around.

The Yankees (29) only trail the Toronto Blue Jays (30) for home runs this season, and the top of the order in DJ LeMahieu, Josh Donaldson and Anthony Rizzo claimed one hit out of a combined 11 at-bats.

Aroldis Chapman worked a hitless ninth for his fifth save of the season, moving the Yankees to 15-6 and the top of the American League East.

Undermanned Giants still make light work of Washington

The San Francisco Giants are keeping pace with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West despite a number of Covid-19 enforced absences, claiming a 9-3 win over the Washington Nationals.

Not scoring a home run before this series against the Nats, Jason Vosler went deep for the second consecutive day – hitting the famous Bay at Oracle Park - while Darin Ruf had three hits from five at-bats.

The hitting performance came at an ideal time, with Giants starter Logan Webb giving up a career-high 11 hits and striking out three in 95 pitches over six innings.

Orioles break losing streak in extra innings

The Baltimore Orioles claimed a shock win in extra innings, defeating the Boston Red Sox 2-1 at home to end a five-game losing streak.

Jorge Mateo scored the winning run for the Orioles, after a Robinson Chirinos bunt with runners on first and second forced an error from Red Sox pitcher Hirokazu Sawamura, launching the ball past third baseman Rafael Devers.

Orioles reliever Jorge Lopez came up big, pitching two hitless innings before retiring Alex Verdugo in the extra inning with two outs and runners on first and third.

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