MLB ROUNDUP: CUBS EARN WALK-OFF WIN OVER WHITE SOX
Christopher Morel clubbed a three-run, walk-off homer in the ninth inning as the host Chicago Cubs rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.
The Cubs managed just three hits over seven innings and struck out seven times against White Sox starter Mike Clevinger. They trailed 3-0 entering the eighth, when Nick Madrigal delivered a pinch-hit solo home run off Aaron Bummer.
After Gregory Santos (2-1) allowed a double to Cody Bellinger and walked Dansby Swanson to open the ninth, Morel lined a 1-2 pitch into the right-center-field bleachers.
Morel’s homer made a winner of Drew Smyly (9-8), who struck out two in a scoreless top of the ninth. Gavin Sheets clubbed a two-run homer for the White Sox.
Angels 2, Rangers 0
Reid Detmers carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning and Los Angeles prevailed in a pitchers’ duel at Arlington, Texas.
Detmers (3-9) did not allow a hit until Marcus Semien’s one-out double in the eighth. The hit came on Detmers’ 108th and final pitch. Shohei Ohtani tallied three of Los Angeles’ eight hits in the victory, including a solo home run in the first inning. Matt Thaiss added a solo shot in the top of the ninth.
By dropping the finale of a three-game series, Texas saw its nine-game home winning streak end. Rangers starter Jon Gray (8-6) gave up six hits and one run in seven innings.
Diamondbacks 9, Rockies 7
Christian Walker hit a pair of two-run homers and finished with three hits, Kyle Lewis and Corbin Carroll had two hits each and Arizona beat Colorado in Denver.
Walker finished the series with four two-run home runs, and the last one proved to be a game-winner. With the Rockies leading 7-6 in the eighth, Tommy Pham led off with a single off Tyler Kinley (0-1) and Walker hit his 28th homer into the Arizona bullpen to make it 8-7.
Kyle Nelson (7-3) got the win and Paul Sewald picked up his 25th save for the Diamondbacks, who have won four of their past five. Ryan McMahon homered among his three hits, Nolan Jones also went deep and Ezequiel Tovar had three hits for Colorado, which has lost seven of eight.
Dodgers 7, Brewers 1
Clayton Kershaw gave up one run over five innings, Miguel Rojas and Chris Taylor hit home runs and Los Angeles extended its season-best winning streak to 10 games with a victory over visiting Milwaukee.
Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Will Smith, the top three hitters in the Dodgers’ order, each had three hits. Betts scored four runs as the Dodgers improved to 14-1 in August. Kershaw (11-4) allowed three hits in his second start since missing six weeks with a shoulder injury.
Mark Canha homered and Wade Miley (6-3) gave up four runs (three earned) in five innings for the National League Central-leading Brewers, who have dropped the first two games of the three-game series to the NL West-leading Dodgers after arriving on a four-game winning streak.
Mets 8, Pirates 3
DJ Stewart homered twice and finished with three RBIs for host New York, which beat Pittsburgh in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Francisco Lindor’s two-run single closed out a three-run second inning and Pete Alonso added a solo shot in the seventh for the Mets. New York starter Tylor Megill (7-6) surrendered two runs on five hits over five innings.
Bryan Reynolds homered for the Pirates and Alika Williams laced a sixth-inning RBI single. Pittsburgh starter Johan Oviedo (6-13) gave up four runs on five hits over four-plus innings.
Tigers 8, Twins 7
Spencer Torkelson hit two home runs, Riley Greene added a homer and drove in four and Detroit rallied from an early four-run deficit to defeat Minnesota at Minneapolis.
It was the fourth multi-homer game of Torkelson’s career. Tyler Holton (2-2) picked up the win with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler hit home runs, Edouard Julien had four hits and two RBIs and Royce Lewis had three hits for Minnesota, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.
Rays 6, Giants 1
Aaron Civale threw six shutout innings, Luke Raley hit an inside-the-park home run and Tampa Bay won at host San Francisco to take two of three in the series.
Making his third start for the Rays after he was acquired from the Cleveland Guardians, Civale (6-3) allowed five hits and a walk. He struck out five. Josh Lowe and Brandon Lowe also homered for Tampa Bay.
All three Rays home runs came off Giants bulk-innings reliever Ross Stripling, who was charged with five runs on 11 hits in six innings. Opener Ryan Walker (4-2) took the loss after surrendering an unearned run in the first.
Nationals 6, Red Sox 2
Keibert Ruiz broke a tie with a three-run homer in the eighth inning as Washington beat visiting Boston.
Stone Garrett homered twice for the Nationals, who have won four of their last five games. Jose A. Ferrer (2-0) pitched two-thirds of an inning for the win.
Boston’s Pablo Reyes hit a two-run homer off Jordan Weems with one out in the top of the eighth to tie the score 2-2. Garrett Whitlock (5-4) gave up Ruiz’s decisive blast.
Braves 2, Yankees 0
Charlie Morton threw six shutout innings to help Atlanta sweep a three-game interleague series against visiting New York. The Braves prevailed despite producing just three hits.
The Braves have won six of their last seven. The Yankees have lost five in a row, the last two by shutout, completed their road trip with a 2-7 record and dropped below .500 for the first time this season.
Morton (12-10), who walked seven batters in his previous start, allowed only one walk and matched his season high with 10 strikeouts. The veteran allowed four hits, all singles. New York starter Randy Vasquez (2-2) worked 3 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on two hits.
Mariners 6, Royals 5
Julio Rodriguez collected four hits and Seattle took advantage of a rare error by Maikel Garcia to slide past host Kansas City.
The score was 4-4 in the eighth when Seattle’s Dylan Moore led off with a short-hop grounder to third base. Garcia couldn’t make the play on the backhand, his first error in 28 games. Moore stole second and eventually scored on Teoscar Hernandez’s foul-ball sacrifice fly against Dylan Coleman (0-1).
Mariners starter Luis Castillo (9-7) surrendered four runs on nine hits in seven innings. Garcia went 1-for-5, extending his hitting streak to 18 games.
Astros 12, Marlins 5
Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker and Chas McCormick homered during a five-run first inning as Houston defeated host Miami in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Bregman and Tucker each drove in three runs, helping Justin Verlander (8-6) earn the victory. Verlander struggled through five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
The Astros, who never trailed, are now 10-5 this month. The Marlins’ Jake Burger had three hits, including a two-run double.
Athletics 8, Cardinals 0
Paul Blackburn threw seven scoreless innings as visiting Oakland blanked St. Louis.
Blackburn (3-3) held the Cardinals to six hits and a walk while striking out eight. Austin Pruitt pitched the last two innings to complete the shutout.
Zack Gelof and Jordan Diaz each drove in two runs for the A’s, who snapped a five-game losing streak. Gelof went 4-for-5 with a stolen base, and Diaz reached base three times.
Reds 7, Guardians 2
Matt McLain had three hits, three RBIs and two steals and TJ Friedl added three hits, three runs and a pair of spectacular catches to lead Cincinnati past visiting Cleveland.
Reds rookie Andrew Abbott (8-3) allowed just two runs on six hits in five innings. He struck out five without issuing a walk. Cincinnati has won 11 of his 14 starts this season.
Cleveland, which lost for the 10th time in 15 games, hurt its own cause by committing four errors.
Phillies 9, Blue Jays 4
Bryce Harper hit two solo homers and Jake Cave added a solo shot as visiting Philadelphia defeated Toronto.
Cave also had a sacrifice fly as the Phillies ended a three-game losing streak while gaining a split of the two-game set.
Daulton Varsho hit a two-run homer for the Blue Jays.
Padres 5, Orioles 2
Fernando Tatis Jr. had three hits, an RBI and a straight steal of home to lead San Diego over visiting Baltimore in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Padres starter Blake Snell (10-8) gave up two runs on three hits and two walks with five strikeouts in six innings. His major-league-leading ERA rose from 2.63 to 2.65. Josh Hader tossed a scoreless ninth inning for his 27th save.
Ryan Mountcastle homered for the Orioles. Dean Kremer (11-5) yielded three runs on five hits in six innings.
CUBS RHP MARCUS STROMAN HAS A RIB CARTILAGE FRACTURE, AND THERE IS NO TIMETABLE FOR HIS RETURN
CHICAGO (AP) Chicago Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman has a right rib cartilage fracture, and there is no timetable for his return.
The new injury for Stroman, who was placed on the 15-day injured list Aug. 2 because of inflammation in his right hip, is a blow for the Cubs as they try for the franchise’s first playoff appearance since 2020.
“He’s been an important part of our success when he’s healthy, and you know, it stinks. Bad news,” manager David Ross said. “But we’ll continue on. This game moves on.”
Stroman was slated to come off the IL and start Wednesday against the White Sox, but he experienced some discomfort in the rib area after throwing a bullpen session Sunday in Toronto. He visited a doctor Monday and had an MRI that showed the cartilage fracture.
“We had no idea what it was,” President of Baseball Operations Jed Hoyer said. “It’s not your usual pitching injury. It’s not an arm. It’s not a shoulder. It’s not an elbow.”
The Cubs want Stroman to be symptom-free before he resumes baseball activities, and they aren’t sure when the All-Star might get to that point – given the unusual injury for a pitcher. So Hoyer and Ross had little to offer when asked for a potential timeline for Stroman’s return.
“We don’t really know at this point,” Hoyer said. “I think we’ll obviously give him a real rest period and see how he feels. But again, it’s not a real common pitching injury. I’ve never seen that before, so for me to speculate, would be just false.”
The 32-year-old Stroman, who can become a free agent after the season, had a 2.28 ERA after his first 16 starts this year. But he had struggled before his IL stint, going 1-4 with a 9.00 ERA in his last nine games.
Javier Assad started the series finale against the White Sox, pitching six innings of three-run ball in the Cubs’ 4-3 victory. Ross mentioned Drew Smyly and Hayden Wesneski as two rotation possibilities while Stroman is out.
Smyly has pitched a scoreless inning in each of his last two appearances, picking up the win on Wednesday night. The Cubs are hoping he can find his form after a rough stretch when he had a 9.00 ERA over eight appearances, including six starts.
“I think we’ve got a great team,” Ross said. “We’ve got a great starting staff. We got a really good bullpen. Stro’s a really good pitcher. We all know that, and he’s been a big part of our success. But anybody can win on any given day, and we’ve got a lot of talent in that room.”
RANGERS RELEASE C KEVIN PLAWECKI FROM TRIPLE-A ROSTER
The Texas Rangers released veteran catcher Kevin Plawecki, who had been assigned to their Triple-A club at Round Rock.
Plawecki, 32, now becomes a free agent and can try to catch on with a team in the playoff hunt that needs depth at catcher. The deadline to add playoff-eligible players is Sept. 1.
His release was posted on the minor league baseball transactions page.
Plawecki has had trouble sticking with a team after he became a free agent last November. He’s been in the Washington, Pittsburgh and San Diego organizations this season, and the Rangers bought his contract from the Padres on July 28. He has not appeared in a major league game in 2023.
He played in 10 games with Round Rock, hitting .294.
The 35th overall pick by the Mets in the 2012 MLB Draft, Plawecki has a career batting average of .235 with 22 home runs and 137 RBIs in 447 games with New York, Cleveland, Boston and Texas.