MLB ROUNDUP: ASTROS BLOW BIG LEAD, STILL TOP RANGERS 12-11
The visiting Houston Astros blew an eight-run lead, then rallied in the ninth inning on RBI doubles from Jose Abreu and Chas McCormick for a wild 12-11 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday at Arlington, Texas.
The Astros had a 10-2 lead going into the bottom of the fourth but found themselves trailing 11-10 in the ninth before Abreu and McCormick salvaged the day with their back-to-back doubles off Rangers closer Will Smith (1-3).
Astros closer Ryan Pressly ended the game by striking out Jonah Heim for his 18th save. Houston right-hander Bryan Abreu (3-2) earned the win despite allowing an unearned run in the eighth.
Travis Jankowski hit a three-run home run in the fourth, then added a two-run single in what became a four-run fifth inning as the Rangers pulled to within 10-9. Adolis Garcia’s solo homer tied the game at 10-10 in the seventh, and Corey Seager’s sacrifice fly gave Texas an 11-10 lead in the eighth.
Brewers 8, Cubs 6
Willy Adames delivered a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning as Milwaukee rallied from an early six-run deficit to beat visiting Chicago.
Milwaukee trailed 6-3 before tying the game with two outs in the seventh inning on Jahmai Jones’ bases-clearing, pinch-hit double. After Adames’ single off Mark Leiter Jr. (1-2) gave Milwaukee its first lead of the game, the Brewers added an insurance run on Owen Miller’s sacrifice fly.
The Cubs threatened with two runners on and two outs in the ninth inning before Devin Williams struck out Dansby Swanson to secure Milwaukee’s largest comeback victory of the season. Nick Madrigal and Tucker Barnhart drove in two runs apiece for Chicago.
Braves 4, Guardians 2
Michael Harris II homered twice and visiting Atlanta beat Cleveland for its ninth consecutive win. Marcell Ozuna also went deep for the Braves, who have won 17 of 18 to move 30 games over .500 (57-27).
Atlanta starter Bryce Elder (7-1) allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. Raisel Iglesias pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 15th save in 17 tries.
Cleveland rookie Gavin Williams (0-1) allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. Steven Kwan had three hits for the Guardians, who had won two in a row.
Reds 3, Nationals 2
Joey Votto smacked a two-run home run and visiting Cincinnati relied on its bullpen to hold on and defeat Washington.
Tyler Stephenson had two hits and an RBI for the Reds, who have won five of six. Luke Weaver (2-2) pitched five-plus innings for the win, allowing two runs on six hits. Ian Gibaut, Buck Farmer, Derek Law and Alexis Diaz held the Nationals scoreless the rest of the way.
Jeimer Candelario homered for Washington, which had won four of five. Dickerson and Lane Thomas had two hits apiece. Nationals starter Jake Irvin (1-5) gave up three runs on six hits over six innings.
Marlins 5, Cardinals 4
Pinch hitter Yuli Gurriel hit a game-tying, two-run double to push Miami toward a comeback victory over visiting St. Louis.
The Marlins trailed 4-2 in the seventh inning before Gurriel delivered his double and Nick Fortes followed with a go-ahead RBI single. Reliever Huascar Brazoban (3-1) earned the victory and A.J. Puk closed out the ninth to earn his 14th save.
Willson Contreras went 3-for-4 with a home run, a walk and two runs for the Cardinals, who lost for the fourth time in six games.
Yankees 6, Orioles 3
Harrison Bader hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the eighth inning and New York rallied for a victory over visiting Baltimore.
New York’s Giancarlo Stanton opened the eighth with a single off Yennier Cano (1-1) before Anthony Rizzo followed with a single off Danny Coulombe. Bader then sent a 1-1 pitch into the left field seats for his seventh homer.
Coming off the fourth perfect game in team history, Yankees starter Domingo German allowed three runs, two earned, and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. Tommy Kahnle (1-0) got the win, and Clay Holmes earned his 10th save.
ANGELS’ MIKE TROUT EXITS GAME WITH SORE WRIST
Angels center fielder Mike Trout expressed concern about his sore left wrist after leaving Los Angeles’ 10-3 defeat against the San Diego Padres due to the injury on Monday.
In the eighth inning, Trout fouled off a pitch and grabbed at his wrist. He briefly returned to the batter’s box before backing away and signaling to the dugout that he needed assistance. After discussions with team staffers, he took off his batting glove and then walked back to the dugout.
Mickey Moniak finished the at-bat, a strikeout that was charged to Trout.
Trout underwent postgame tests on the wrist, according to manager Phil Nevin. The 11-time All-Star admitted that he was in pain while awaiting the test results.
On Thursday, Trout was selected as an All-Star starter for the 10th time in his career. By his own lofty standards, Trout is in the midst of a down year, as he is hitting .263 with a .369 on-base percentage, a .493 slugging percentage, 18 homers and 44 RBIs in 81 games.
Trout, 31, is a three-time American League Most Valuable Player, two-time All-Star MVP and nine-time Silver Slugger winner. In 1,488 career games over 13 seasons, all with the Angels, he has a .301/.412/.582 hitting line with 368 homers and 940 RBIs.
CARDINALS SIGN RHP CHEN-WEI LIN, THEIR FIRST PLAYER EVER OUT OF TAIWAN
MIAMI (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals on Monday signed right-handed pitcher Chen-Wei Lin, the franchise’s first player signed out of Taiwan.
The 21-year-old Lin is a native of Tainan City, Taiwan, and played college baseball at Chinese Culture University in Taipei. He pitched in nine games for the Kenosha, Wisconsin, Kingfish last summer in the collegiate league in his United States debut.
Lin was also an invited college player for the Taiwanese World Baseball Classic team earlier this year in their preparation camp.
He will soon report to the Cardinals’ facility in Jupiter, Florida.
Lin, who is 6-foot-7, made four starts and had a 3.24 ERA this summer for the Frederick Keys, a collegiate summer baseball team of the MLB Draft League.
Lin’s uncle, Hong-Chih Kuo, pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers for seven seasons from 2005-2011. He had a 3.73 ERA in 218 career appearances after signing as an international free agent with the Dodgers in 1999.
METS ACQUIRE TREVOR GOTT FROM MARINERS, WHO ALSO UNLOAD CHRIS FLEXEN’S CONTRACT
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets have acquired right-handed reliever Trevor Gott from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for lefty Zach Muckenhirn.
New York also picked up righty Chris Flexen in the deal and immediately designated him for assignment, the team announced Monday. Flexen, who was due $8 million this season, was designated for assignment by Seattle last week. The Mets are responsible for the $3.9 million left on his deal.
The Mets’ bullpen ranks 21st in the majors with a 4.26 ERA, one of many culprits for a woeful season. New York is 38-46 despite a projected $360 million payroll, the highest in the sport’s history.
The 30-year-old Gott will be joining his sixth team in eight major league seasons. He was 0-3 with a 4.03 ERA with the Mariners this season. He’s signed for $1.2 million and can become a free agent after the 2024 season.
Muckenhirn, 28, made his major league debut for the Mets this year and had a 6.00 ERA over three appearances. He has an 0.88 ERA in 16 appearances with Triple-A Syracuse, striking out 19 in 30 2/3 innings.
DODGERS ACE CLAYTON KERSHAW (SHOULDER) PLACED ON 15-DAY IL
Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was placed on the 15-day injured list on Monday with left shoulder soreness.
The move is retroactive to Friday.
Kershaw made the National League All-Star team for the 10th time on Sunday. The IL transaction means Kershaw is ineligible to pitch in the game.
Kershaw, 35, reported soreness in his pitching shoulder to the club after an outing against the Colorado Rockies last Tuesday. He allowed one hit in six scoreless innings in a 5-0 win.
Kershaw tested the arm on Sunday and was hoping to start Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
But the Dodgers decided that it was more prudent to give Kershaw’s arm the rest it needs around the upcoming All-Star break.
Kershaw (10-4, 2.55 ERA) is tied for the National League lead in victories and has struck out 105 batters in 95 1/3 innings over 16 starts. The three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 NL MVP is on pace to post his most wins since going 16-5 in 2019.
The Dodgers recalled right-hander Michael Grove (0-2, 7.54) from Triple-A Oklahoma City to start Monday’s home game against the Pirates. He will be making his eighth start and 10th appearance of the season for Los Angeles.
The Dodgers also recalled right-hander Gavin Stone from Oklahoma City and optioned left-hander Victor Gonzalez to the same affiliate. Stone has a 14.40 ERA in three starts for Los Angeles, while Gonzalez is 2-3 with a 5.32 ERA in 25 appearances (one start).
THE PADRES AND METS ARE RUNNING OUT OF TIME TO TURN AROUND DISAPPOINTING SEASONS
In the last few days before the All-Star break, the San Diego Padres will host the New York Mets this week. It’s safe to say both teams are ready to put the first half behind them.
The Padres and Mets are two of baseball’s biggest disappointments so far, languishing below .500 despite high-priced, star-laden rosters. The fact that both teams are currently 38-46 feels like an appropriate symmetry.
San Diego’s outlook appears a bit rosier than New York’s. The Padres actually have a run differential of plus-23. They’ve been done in by a 5-15 record in one-run games and a 0-7 mark in extra innings. If the close games turn around for them, the Padres certainly could make a run, and unlike the Mets, their star closer (Josh Hader) is healthy.
But San Diego has lost seven of its last eight games, during a stretch of the schedule that included Washington, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. A contending team shouldn’t be struggling so much against that trio.
The Mets, on the other hand, took two of three from San Francisco this past weekend, but that was their only series victory of the past nine. New York’s bullpen has been an issue after Edwin Diaz was lost before the season to a knee injury, and owner Steve Cohen acknowledged his team could be a seller at the trade deadline if things don’t improve soon.
In a horrendous season for the Oakland Athletics, they do have the major league leader in stolen bases in Esteury Ruiz. With 42, he’s already surpassed last year’s leader — Baltimore’s Jorge Mateo had 35.
Ruiz has 84 hits and 14 walks this season, so with 50 steal attempts, he’s trying to steal roughly half the time he reaches base. Brent Rooker is Oakland’s representative at the All-Star game, but it would have been interesting to see Ruiz playing for the American League as a late-inning pinch-running option.
The A’s have had one player since Rickey Henderson lead the American League in steals, and that player tied for the title in 2011 with 49. Who was it?
The Philadelphia Phillies finished the week on a sour note by losing two of three to Washington — they sandwiched a pair of one-run losses around a 19-4 victory. But before that, Philadelphia swept a three-game series at Wrigley Field against the Cubs.
The Phillies have recovered from their slow start, and after winning 19 of their last 26 games, they’re just 1 1/2 games out of the final wild card in the National League. And after last year, they know what’s possible if they can just sneak into the postseason.
The Los Angeles Angels split four games against the Chicago White Sox before dropping two of three to Arizona. So they had a losing record on a homestand in which Shohei Ohtani homered six times in seven games and struck out 10 in his only start.
The Angels have dropped eight of 12 overall.
LINE OF THE WEEK
Domingo Germán of the New York Yankees pitched the 24th perfect game in major league history in an 11-0 win over Oakland on Wednesday night. He became the first pitcher from the Dominican Republic to complete a perfect game.
Germán went to a three-ball count to just two hitters.
COMEBACK OF THE WEEK
The Pittsburgh Pirates trailed 4-0 in the fourth and 7-3 in the seventh before rallying to an 8-7 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night. Pittsburgh scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth, winning it on Carlos Santana’s two-run homer.
Milwaukee’s win probability was 95.5% in the bottom of the seventh, according to Baseball Savant.
Coco Crisp, who finished tied with Brett Gardner of the New York Yankees that year.
BRAVES STAR RONALD ACUÑA JR. IS FIRST TO HIT 20 HOMERS, STEAL 40 BASES AND DRIVE IN 50 BEFORE BREAK
CLEVELAND (AP) — Nobody has had a first half of the season like Ronald Acuña Jr.
Atlanta’s four-time All-Star outfielder made history Monday night by becoming the first player to reach 20 home runs, 40 stolen bases and 50 RBIs before the All-Star break.
“Special player,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said after Atlanta extended its winning streak to nine straight and moved 30 games over .500 by beating the Cleveland Guardians 4-2.
The 25-year-old Acuña is also just the third player to hit 20 homers and steal 40 bases in the first 84 games, joining Rickey Henderson (1990) and Eric Davis (1986).
Before the game, Acuña was named NL Player of the Month for June, the second time he’s won the award this season.
In the third inning, Acuña extended his hitting streak to 14 games before swiping his 40th base, the most he’s had in a season. He stole 37 in 2019.
Acuña appeared to injure his right shoulder while making a headfirst slide. He stayed on the ground for a few moments before being helped to his feet and checked by a Braves trainer. Acuña stayed in the game and scored moments later on a single.
Snitker said Acuña was “stung a little bit” but felt fine.
There doesn’t seem to be anything the speedy Acuña can’t do.
“You go out and get a drink or go to the bathroom you might miss something you’ve never seen before,” Snitker said. “I’m just glad to have him on our team and be able to watch him every say.”