Philadelphia 4 Baltimore 1

Nick Pivetta overpowered the Baltimore Orioles with his fastball and curve, showing potential as a top-of-the-rotation starter.

Pivetta tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts, Cesar Hernandez homered and Philadelphia beat the Orioles 4-1 Wednesday in a wet interleague matchup.

Philadelphia (24-16) climbed eight games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2011 season. The Orioles (13-29) have dropped two of three and have the second-worst record in the American League, ahead of only the Chicago White Sox (10-29).

Pivetta (3-2) won his second straight start, allowing one run, two hits and one walk in seven innings.

“He has dominant stuff. The kind of stuff that can wipe out the opposition,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “Today was sort of one of those days that you can dream on, and like (think) what if he really puts it all together and is able to do this, start in and start out? And we’re starting to see that consistency.”

 

Pittsburgh 3 Chicago White Sox 2

Josh Bell was in the unaccustomed role of pinch hitter when he stepped to the plate, getting a rare break from the starting lineup in a day game after a night game.

He adjusted quite nicely.

Bell singled to break a seventh-inning tie, and the streaking Pittsburgh Pirates beat the skidding Chicago White Sox 3-2 Wednesday.

“He’s ready to go. There’s no doubt about it,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “His preparation has always been good. I just like the fight that he’s got when he gets in the box.”

Pittsburgh won for the seventh time in eight games and improved to 10-2 in interleague play this season. It has won eight straight against the White Sox, outscoring them 45-17 during the streak.

Chicago matched the worst start in franchise history at a major league-worst 10-29. The White Sox have dropped nine of 10.

 

St. Louis 7 Minnesota 5

Dexter Fowler and Matt Carpenter were expected to be key members of the St. Louis Cardinals this season, among the top three hitters in the batting order.

St. Louis hopes Wednesday’s performance was a sign the two are getting back to their usual production.

Fowler reached base four times and drove in two runs in his return to the lineup, and the Cardinals beat former starter Lance Lynn and the Minnesota Twins 7-5 on Wednesday.

Carpenter had three hits after being dropped to seventh, and Tommy Pham added a pair of hits that included his eighth homer. St. Louis had lost five of seven games, scoring more than three runs just once.

“For us to struggle like we have, the lineup’s just not capable of doing what you thought it was going to do if you got guys like us not going,” Carpenter said. “For us to be as good as good as we are, we need everybody clicking. Today, you saw that.”

Lynn (1-4) had control issues again, a surprising constant in his first season with Minnesota after six years with the Cardinals. He gave up three runs, four hits and four walks in three innings, throwing 82 pitches.

 

Toronto 12 NY Mets 1

Steady rain at Citi Field should have made pitching, hitting and fielding challenging for everybody.

Instead, Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ had a blast doing all three.

Happ reached three times and allowed only two baserunners over seven scoreless innings, and Toronto got its first road victory against the New York Mets, 12-1 on a wet Wednesday in Queens.

Happ (5-3) struck out 10 and walked none while pitching two-hit ball. The left-hander also singled twice and walked in his first multihit game since 2011, when he had two hits for Houston at Citi Field.

“It was just a fun game,” Happ said. “It was fun being on the bases a little bit and scoring a couple runs and pitching deep into the ballgame. Have to feel good about that one.”

The 35-year-old is the first AL pitcher to throw seven innings and match or out-hit his opponent since the Angels’ Clyde Wright against the Rangers on Sept. 14, 1972, per STATS. The AL adopted the designated hitter rule the next year.

 

NY Yankees at Washington postponed

By the time the New York Yankees open a three-game series at the Kansas City Royals on Friday, rookie manager Aaron Boone’s club will be coming off a stretch of playing a grand total of five innings across four days, thanks to a combination of rain and scheduled breaks.

That’s not quite the way the grind of Major League Baseball usually works.

“We’ll be fine. We have guys out right now, throwing bullpens. Guys are in the cage down there, hitting,” Boone said Wednesday after wet weather wiped out what was supposed to be a makeshift semi-doubleheader against the Washington Nationals, with the games shifted to June 18. “It’s not perfect, but in the end, a couple days here, hopefully, we can take advantage of, from a rest standpoint, allow us to reset our `pen a bit. We’ll just look at it as a good chance to rest some of our guys.”

The Yankees-Nationals interleague series originally was supposed to have one game Tuesday, the other Wednesday. But the opener was suspended because of rain with the score 3-3 in the middle of the sixth inning Tuesday night. That was supposed to resume Wednesday, followed by the originally scheduled second game

 

Cleveland 6 Detroit 0

Trevor Bauer gave Cleveland’s beleaguered bullpen a bit of a break.

Bauer struck out 10 in eight sparkling innings, and the Indians beat the Tigers 6-0 on Wednesday, avoiding a three-game sweep in Detroit. The scuffling Indians lead the AL Central despite a .500 record, and this easy win was certainly welcome for Cleveland after a pair of losses to the injury-plagued Tigers.

The Indians’ bullpen ERA is an unsightly 5.68, but only one reliever pitched Wednesday – Cody Allen in the ninth.

“We certainly needed that,” manager Terry Francona said. “We wanted to pitch Cody – because he hadn’t pitched in three days and we have the day off tomorrow – but we got to stay away from everybody else and let them take a deep breath.”

Bauer (3-3) retired his first 12 hitters, and Michael Brantley hit his sixth home run of the season. Ryan Carpenter (0-1) allowed five earned runs and seven hits in five innings for Detroit in his second big league start.

 

Tampa Bay 5 Kansas City 3

CJ Cron is playing well heading into a series against his former team.

Cron homered and scored three runs, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Kansas City 5-3 on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep of the woeful Royals.

“He produced,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “I know the home runs are great and he’s done that throughout his career, but the at-bats he’s having, finding ways to get hits, and then he did it on the bases, too. He’s helped us a lot. I’m glad he’s getting hot at the right time to go into Anaheim.”

The Rays acquired Cron in a February trade with the Angels, where his plate-appearances were sporadic playing behind Albert Pujols. The Rays open a four-game Thursday at Anaheim.

“Just being in the lineup is nice,” Cron said. “I’m able to make the necessary adjustments you need to make to be successful at this level. We’re doing alright and we’ve been winning some games. It’s been good.”

 

Texas 5 Seattle 1

The line drive off the bat of Seattle’s Jean Segura was estimated at 101 mph. As much as Texas starter Bartolo Colon tried to get his glove up and shift his body, there was no way he could avoid being struck.

After Colon picked up the loose ball and threw Segura out at first base, he laughed as the Rangers staff rushed to check on him.

“The important thing is we won the game and I was able to get the out,” Colon said through an interpreter. “He got me on the side. It was not in the middle. And I have a big belly so I can (handle) it.”

All kidding aside, Colon put together arguably his best performance of the season on Wednesday, allowing four hits in 7 2/3 shutout innings and giving the Rangers a 5-1 win over the Mariners. On the cusp of his 45th birthday, Colon (2-1) was excellent spotting his fastball and using his breaking pitches to keep Seattle off balance, a night after the Mariners scored nine runs.

“Everything was working. My curve, my fastball, my slider – everything was working,” Colon said.

 

Boston 6 Oakland 4

Xander Bogaerts loves watching from the on-deck circle and learning what J.D. Martinez does at the plate.

Bogaerts’ start this season has been quite impressive, too.

The Red Sox shortstop hit a three-run homer, Martinez added a two-run shot and Boston avoided its first series sweep this season with a 6-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.

“It’s pretty impressive what he does when you’re behind looking at him,” Bogaerts said. “Normally I’m a guy who gets to the on-deck circle a little bit later. I’ve got to get there early if he swings at the first pitch and gets a hit. He hits some bombs on the first pitch.”

Signed as free agent to a $110-million, five-year contract during spring training, Martinez is hitting mainly in the cleanup spot and has a .344 average with 12 homers and 36 RBIs. Bogaerts, who spent some time on the disabled list with an injured left ankle, is batting .306 with five homers and 21 RBIs.

Chris Sale (4-1) gave up just two runs and two hits in five innings, striking out nine and walking four – his most bases on balls since also allowing four on August 31, 2016.

 

Houston 2 LA Angels 0

Junstin Verlander is not prone to sentimentality.

More excited about getting out of a jam than getting his 2,500th strikeout, Verlander put both his flair for the moment and his enduring greatness on full display Wednesday night in a classic masterpiece on the mound.

The right-hander threw a five-hitter for his first shutout in three years and Evan Gattis hit a two-run homer as the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-0.

“Pretty much a clinic on how to pitch,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “I mean, it’s just an epic performance by a really good pitcher. It’s fun to win a series, especially against a team like this. Even more sweet when one of your best carries you on his back.”

Verlander (5-2) was superb in ending his two-game skid, finishing with seven strikeouts to reach 2,500 for his career. He walked one and lowered his ERA from 1.21 to 1.05.

 

Milwaukee 8 Arizona 2

First Milwaukee took three of four in Colorado. Now the Brewers have won two of three in Arizona.

A trip to what usual NL West trouble spots turned out nicely indeed for Milwaukee.

Travis Shaw, Domingo Santana, Chrsitian Yelich and Tyler Saladino homered in the first four innings off Matt Koch, and the Brewers routed the Diamondbacks 8-2 in the series finale on Wednesday.

“We had four homers and I thought we had some near-misses, too,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said, “so we swung the bats well. Getting a pitch to hit and a pitch to drive, a bunch of our hitters did a nice job today with that.”

Brandon Woodruff (2-0) held the sputtering Arizona offense to one hit in five innings, Daniel Descalso’s two-run homer.

“You give up two runs through three hitters, and then he doesn’t give up a hit the rest of the way,” Counsell said. “He did a nice job. Obviously the run support helped.”

Shaw, who has a team-high 10 home runs, also doubled and scored. He is 10 for 27 on the trip with three home runs and seven RBIs.

 

Cincinnati 6 San Francisco 3

Of course Scooter Gennett knew he had made that magnificent play all the way.

“Yeah, well I’m really fast,” Cincinnati’s second baseman quipped, grinning, “so long distances aren’t really a problem for me. I get there pretty quick.”

Scooter sure can scoot.

Gennett homered a half-inning after he saved two runs with a diving catch on a difficult popup that he somehow ran down, helping the Reds avoid a sweep by the San Francisco Giants with a 6-3 win Wednesday.

Adam Duvall hit a three-run homer in the first, and Matt Harvey went four innings in his second start since joining the Reds from the Mets. Reliever Jared Hughes (2-2) pitched two scoreless innings as Cincinnati won for the seventh time in nine games.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, Gennett scurried to get a popup by pinch-hitter Gorkys Hernandez along the right-field line near the visiting bullpen – scissoring his legs over right fielder Scott Schebler to make the tough, potentially game-saving grab.

 

Miami 6 LA Dodgers 5

The Miami Marlins pulled even with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the standings Wednesday night, which shows how sour the season has gone for the defending National League champions.

Los Angeles erased a four-run deficit and still endured its sixth loss in a row when JT Realmuto’s tiebreaking homer in the sixth inning helped Miami win 6-5.

“It’s the same story: We just didn’t get it done,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

Miami clinched the series after another last-place team, Cincinnati, swept a four-game set at Los Angeles last week. The Dodgers and the rebuilding Marlins have identical 16-26 records.

“I think everyone would be surprised,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

Justin Bour hit a two-run homer for Miami , his ninth. Starlin Castro tied a career high with four hits to hike his batting average to .300.

 

Atlanta 4 Chicago Cubs 1

Even the youngest player in the majors knows better than to be surprised by another extra-base hit from Ozzie Albies.

As Ron Acuna has quickly learned, that’s what Albies does.

Albies hit a triple and scored the tiebreaking run on Acuna’s single in the eighth inning to send the Atlanta Braves past the Chicago Cubs 4-1 on Wednesday night.

It was clutch production from the youngsters at the top of the Braves’ lineup.

“It doesn’t really impress me because I know that’s a talent he has,” said Acuna, 20, of Albies, 21.

Albies leads the National League with 30 extra-base hits, including a double and triple against the Cubs. He began the night also leading the NL in total bases, runs and doubles. He was tied with Bryce Harper for the NL lead with 13 homers.