Marcus Semien went 3-for-3 with a homer prior to his ejection in the fifth inning and Adolis Garcia capped a seven-run deluge with a grand slam that same frame as the Texas Rangers averted a series sweep with a 13-5 pummeling of the host Houston Astros on Wednesday.

The Rangers extended their lead in the American League West to two games over the Astros by inflicting massive two-out damage in the fourth and fifth innings, first against Houston ace Framber Valdez (8-7), and then off reliever Seth Martinez.

Garcia’s slam led to a bench-clearing incident as Semien and Astros catcher Martin Maldonado got in an argument. Semien had been hit by a pitch in the third inning, apparently in retaliation for Houston’s Yordan Alvarez getting plunked in the first.

Nathaniel Lowe homered and drove in three runs for Texas, and Sam Huff also went deep. Andrew Heaney (7-6) worked five innings of three-run ball for the win. Alex Bregman and Yainer Diaz homered for Houston, which had won six of its previous seven games.

Brewers 3, Reds 0

Right-hander Freddy Peralta struck out 13 and Tyrone Taylor hit a two-run home run to lead Milwaukee past visiting Cincinnati in the deciding game of a three-game series and complete a dominant season series between the National League Central rivals.

Peralta went six innings, giving up four hits with no walks and tied his career high for strikeouts in a mark he previously set in his major league debut at Colorado in 2018. He struck out the first five batters he faced. Elvis Peguero (2-3) picked up the win for the Brewers, following Peralta by pitching a scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts.

Ben Lively (4-6) went six shutout innings before allowing a two-run home run to Taylor in the bottom of the seventh. He gave up two runs on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings with no walks and three strikeouts. The Brewers won 10 of 13 from the Reds, winning four by shutout.

Yankees 3, Mets 1

Carlos Rodon pitched 5 2/3 effective innings and Yankees beat the visiting Mets in the final game of the season between the New York rivals.

Oswald Peraza and Isiah Kiner-Falefa drove in the first two Yankee runs without hits and rookie Anthony Volpe added an RBI single as the Yankees won for the sixth time in 16 games and earned a split of the current two-game series and the four-game season series with the Mets.

Rodon (1-3) allowed one run on four hits while working out of trouble at times. The left-hander got his first win as a Yankee after losing his first three starts since returning earlier this month from back and forearm injuries. Jose Quintana (0-2) allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits in six innings during his second start with the Mets since returning last week from a rib fracture. He struck out five and walked three.

Cubs 10, White Sox 7

Nico Hoerner and Ian Happ each had two hits and two RBIs and the bullpen delivered 5 2/3 innings of one-hit, scoreless relief to boost the visiting Cubs past the White Sox to sweep the two-game series between Chicago teams.

The Cubs closed with eight unanswered runs on the way to their fifth consecutive victory. Happ and Cody Bellinger connected for back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning to cap the spurt. A 7-2 lead after four innings didn’t hold up for the White Sox, who have lost five in a row and seven of eight.

Javier Assad (1-2) was the winner with 1 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. Adbert Alzolay earned his 11th save, his second in the two-game set against the White Sox, with a perfect ninth. Joe Kelly (1-5) took the loss after failing to record an out against four batters, surrendering one charged run and allowing two inherited runners to score.

Cardinals 11, Diamondbacks 7

Three high fastballs in the seventh inning doomed Arizona as St. Louis rallied late and cruised to victory in Phoenix.

With the game tied 3-3 after six innings, St. Louis scored three runs in the seventh and added five in the eighth as the Cardinals took the rubber game of a three-game series. Nolan Gorman homered twice among his three hits for the Cardinals, and teammate Lars Nootbaar also had three hits and a home run. Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew Knizner also went deep for St. Louis.

Christian Walker and Emmanuel Rivera homered for the Diamondbacks, while Walker, Jake McCarthy and Corbin Carroll had three hits apiece.

Phillies 6, Orioles 4

Edmundo Sosa hit a tiebreaking solo home run, J.T. Realmuto added a two-run double and Philadelphia won to take two out of three from visiting Baltimore.

Jake Cave contributed two hits and an RBI while Nick Castellanos and Bryce Harper each chipped in with an RBI single as the Phillies have won two in a row after losing five of their previous six. Seranthony Dominguez (2-2), who had missed the last five weeks with an oblique injury, earned the win in relief.

Adley Rutschman homered and knocked in three runs and Austin Hays had two hits and an RBI for the Orioles, who have dropped two straight after winning five of their previous six. Baltimore starter Kyle Bradish (6-6) gave up seven hits and five runs with three strikeouts and two walks in 6 2/3 innings.

Mariners 8, Twins 7

Dylan Moore hit two home runs and Julio Rodriguez added a home run and two doubles to lead Seattle past Minnesota in the deciding game of a three-game series in Minneapolis.

Bryce Miller (7-3) picked up the win despite allowing six runs on eight hits, including four home runs, over 5 2/3 innings. Miller didn’t walk a batter and struck out seven. Andres Munoz pitched around a leadoff single by Christian Vazquez in the bottom of the ninth to earn his second save.

Matt Wallner hit two home runs while Edouard Julien and Vazquez also went deep for Minnesota. Vazquez finished with three hits and two RBIs while Wallner, Trevor Larnach and Kyle Farmer each added two hits. Joe Ryan (9-7) absorbed the loss in allowing four runs on seven hits over 3 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out seven.

Marlins 7, Rays 1

Sandy Alcantara recorded his second complete game of the season, lifting Miami to a win over Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Showing the form that made him the National League Cy Young Award winner, Alcantara (4-9) allowed one run on five hits and struck out seven to help snap Miami’s 10-game road losing streak. Luis Arraez had two hits and two RBIs, raising his MLB-leading batting average to .376. Jacob Stallings added two hits and drove in two runs.

Tampa Bay’s Zach Eflin (11-6) was tagged for five runs on seven hits in four innings. The Rays announced he was taken out due to left knee discomfort. Tampa Bay is 2-8 in its last 10 games.

Giants 8, A’s 3

Pinch hitter Austin Slater broke a tie with a two-run, sixth-inning homer and San Francisco completed a two-game home sweep of rival Oakland. J.D. Davis also homered for the Giants, who saw an early 3-0 advantage disappear before rallying, thanks to five innings of dominant relief.

After Oakland’s Jace Peterson and Shea Langeliers contributed RBI singles to a three-run fourth inning that tied the score, Alex Wood (5-4) took over in the fifth — the fourth Giants pitcher — and threw three shutout innings, allowing one hit.

In that time, one out after Wilmer Flores led off the last of the sixth with a double, Slater was called upon to hit for Michael Conforto. Slater drilled his fifth homer of the season to left-center field off bulk-inning A’s reliever Hogan Harris (2-5). Wood handed the ball to Tyler Rogers for a scoreless eighth before Luke Jackson, pitching with a five-run lead, threw a one-hit ninth. In all, Wood, Rogers and Jackson combined to get the final 15 outs in a 17-batter span.

Nationals 5, Rockies 4

CJ Abrams capped a four-run, ninth-inning rally with a walk-off RBI single as host Washington pulled off a victory over Colorado in the rubber match of a three-game series.

The Nationals trailed 4-1 entering the bottom of the ninth. Colorado closer Daniel Bard (4-2) loaded the bases with no outs and wound up charged with four runs on one hit with four walks in 2/3 innings. Matt Koch came on for Bard and served up Abrams’ game-winning hit. The rally spoiled a strong start from Rockies starter Peter Lambert, who allowed one unearned run on three hits in six innings.

Andres Machado (1-0) earned the win after striking out two while tossing a perfect top of the ninth. Elehuris Montero, Ryan McMahon and Michael Toglia each went deep for the Rockies, who are 6-5 since the All-Star break.

Blue Jays 8, Dodgers 1

Whit Merrifield hit a three-run home run and Yusei Kikuchi pitched six strong innings as visiting Toronto beat Los Angeles in the deciding game of a three-game series.

Merrifield drove in four runs, while Danny Jansen added a home run and Bo Bichette had four hits for the Blue Jays. Kikuchi (8-3) allowed one run on seven hits.

Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin (5-4) gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings. Enrique Hernandez, reacquired in a Tuesday trade, started at second base in his return to Los Angeles and had two hits.

Pirates 3, Padres 2

Johan Oviedo gave up one run on three hits over six innings as visiting Pittsburgh defeated San Diego in the rubber match of a three-game series.

Oviedo (4-11) had lost eight straight decisions entering the game. David Bednar allowed a run in the ninth but got his 20th save. Inning-opening home runs by Ji Man Choi, Bryan Reynolds and Carlos Santana provided the Pirates’ offense.

Seth Lugo (4-5) allowed two runs on three hits in seven innings for the Padres, who finished 1-5 vs. the Pirates this season.

Red Sox 5, Braves 3

A barrage of three home runs in the late innings helped Boston top visiting Atlanta to complete a two-game series sweep.

Rafael Devers, Triston Casas and Adam Duvall all homered for Boston, which has won four straight. Justin Turner hit a two-run double that flipped the score for good in the seventh. Turner, Casas and Connor Wong all had multi-hit games to support Brayan Bello, who allowed three runs on four hits over his six innings. Joe Jacques (2-1) followed with a scoreless inning to earn the win.

Ozzie Albies ripped a three-run homer into the right-center field bullpen for the Braves. Albies was 2-for-4 to lead the six-hit offense for the Braves, who have lost three of their last four games.

Guardians 8, Royals 3

Jose Ramirez homered twice to help Cleveland beat visiting Kansas City in the rubber match of their three-game series.

David Fry also homered and Gabriel Arias had two hits and a run scored for the Guardians, who have won two in a row to get back to .500, where they sat at the All-Star break. Cleveland starter Gavin Williams threw four shutout innings, allowing three hits. striking out five and walking two. The rookie right-hander was lifted after throwing 87 pitches. Nick Sandlin (5-3) replaced Williams and got the win.

Royals rookie right-hander Alec Marsh dropped his fifth straight start to begin his major league career. Marsh (0-5) allowed four runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings, striking out three and walking four. MJ Melendez had two hits, including a solo homer in the ninth, and Salvador Perez, Freddy Fermin and Michael Massey also had two hits apiece for the Royals, who have lost seven of eight.


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) The Los Angeles Angels acquired right-handers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López from the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night, signaling their determination to contend for a playoff spot with Shohei Ohtani.

The Angels traded two of their top minor league prospects – left-hander Ky Bush and catcher Edgar Quero – to the White Sox, who got a solid return for two talented veteran pitchers playing their final season before unrestricted free agency.

Los Angeles announced the deal shortly after Sports Illustrated cited an unidentified source in reporting the Angels will not trade Ohtani, the 2021 AL MVP. Ohtani will be an unrestricted free agent this winter, but the Angels clearly are pulling out all the stops to contend for their first playoff appearance in the two-way superstar’s six major league seasons.

Giolito is the centerpiece of the deal for the Halos, who were eager to add an experienced starting pitcher. The Los Angeles-area native was among the top available names on the market as an impending free agent unlikely to re-sign with the White Sox.

Giolito is 6-6 with a 3.79 ERA this season in 21 starts for Chicago. His 131 strikeouts are 10th in the AL, and he has limited opponents to a .211 average in his last nine starts.

Giolito is from Santa Monica, and he pitched alongside Atlanta’s Max Fried and St. Louis’ Jack Flaherty in high school in Studio City.

Giolito spent his past seven big league seasons in Chicago’s rotation, winning 59 games. He was an All-Star selection in 2019, and he threw a no-hitter on Aug. 25, 2020. He has finished in the top 11 in AL Cy Young voting three times in his career.

“Gio’s been a workhorse for us. I call him Mr. Consistency,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “He’s the same guy every single day. A great teammate. He gives us everything we’ve got. He’s rooting for his teammates out on the bench. The Angels got a good guy. And they did in Lopey, too.”

The Angels’ six-man rotation has been inconsistent this season after a strong 2022 campaign, with even Ohtani having stretches of ineffectiveness. Giolito will join Ohtani, Tyler Anderson, Griffin Canning, Patrick Sandoval and Reid Detmers in the rotation.

Giolito’s most recent start was last Sunday, making him a likely candidate to pitch this weekend during the Angels’ important series in Toronto. Los Angeles must play a doubleheader in Detroit on Thursday after weather worries wiped out Wednesday’s game.

The Angels (52-49) have won six of their last seven to move four games behind the Blue Jays for the final AL wild-card spot, although the Yankees and Red Sox are also ahead of Los Angeles.

López will be another tested, veteran arm in the Angels’ bullpen. He is 2-5 with a 4.29 ERA and four saves in 43 appearances this season, and he has made eight consecutive scoreless appearances.

Giolito and López also were traded together in December 2016, when they were sent from the Washington Nationals to Chicago along with Dane Dunning in exchange for Adam Eaton.

“Certainly not where any of us in the organization thought when this year started we would become the trade deadline,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “But clearly moves like these in terms of putting ourselves in the best position going forward are essential and we are certainly please to add Bush and Quero.”

The trade was announced after struggling White Sox dropped to 41-62 with a 10-7 loss to the Cubs. They have lost five in a row and 13 of 17 overall.

Bush, 23, was a second-round pick in 2021, and he is 1-4 with a 7.20 ERA while playing for two minor league teams this season. Quero is considered a future major league catcher, but his path to the show in Anaheim would be blocked by Logan O’Hoppe, who showed tremendous promise as a rookie early this season before a torn labrum sidelined him until next month.

“Quero is (among) the more highly regarded catching prospects in the game, at age 20, switch-hitting catcher who is one of the youngest players in Double-A,” Hahn said.

This aggressive trade is the latest move by the Angels to get rid of their reputation for wasting the talents of MVPs Mike Trout and Ohtani. Owner Arte Moreno’s club has the majors’ longest streaks of consecutive losing seasons (seven) and consecutive non-playoff seasons (eight, tied with Detroit).


Shohei Ohtani is staying put, and his Los Angeles Angels will look to add – not subtract – ahead of the trade deadline Tuesday, reports Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci.

L.A. listened to several offers for the two-way superstar and discussed his future internally over the last two days before opting to pull the pending free agent from the market, Verducci adds.

“(Owner Arte Moreno) is committed to making a run this season, along with having Angels fans see Ohtani through September and hopefully into October,” a team source told SoCal News Group’s Jeff Fletcher. “The best way to try to make the postseason is through addition, not subtraction.”

The club began play Wednesday sitting four games back of a wild-card spot and 6.5 games behind the first-place Texas Rangers in the American League West. The Angels, who are 52-49 this season, saw their contest against the Detroit Tigers rained out Wednesday.

The Angels fell to 46-48 on July 16 after blowing a ninth-inning lead in a loss to the Houston Astros. That prompted inquiries from other clubs about Ohtani’s availability, but the talks didn’t progress far and L.A. has since won six of seven games to vault back into the wild-card race.

Ohtani came into Wednesday leading the majors in home runs (36), slugging percentage (.668), and OPS (1.066), with an average of .299 and an on-base percentage of .398. On the mound, the 29-year-old is 8-5 with a 3.71 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, 148 strikeouts, and 47 walks over 111 2/3 innings across 19 starts in 2023.

Fellow Angels star Mike Trout has been out since early July with a broken hamate bone but is expected back in mid-August.

The Angels haven’t made the playoffs since 2014. They’re tied with the Tigers for the longest current postseason drought.


CLEVELAND (AP) Amed Rosario was never viewed as Cleveland’s long-term shortstop – more of a temporary fix.

On Wednesday, he became a former one.

Eager to give young infielders Tyler Freeman and Gabriel Arias more playing time, the Guardians traded Rosario to the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher Noah Syndergaard and nearly $1.9 million in a deal that addresses major needs for both contending clubs.

Rosario came to Cleveland from the New York Mets in the blockbuster deal for Francisco Lindor a few years back. And while he has been a reliable player and leader for the defending AL Central champions, the Guardians felt it was time to turn to their future.

Rosario started slowly at the plate this season, but is batting .265 with six triples, three homers and 40 RBIs. However, his defense has been lacking – he’s ranked among baseball’s worst shortstops in several categories – and the Guardians feel it’s better to see what Freeman and Arias can do.

“We felt that this made sense for us and now is the right time to give Gabby and Tyler some more opportunities,” said Chris Antonetti, Cleveland’s president of baseball operations. “We also wanted to be respectful to Amed. We recognize his place on our team and as a veteran leader and his expectations of himself and transitioning him to a lesser role would had an impact on him and the team and we were very mindful about doing that.”

Rosario, who is eligible for free agency this winter, has been the subject of trade speculation for months, and Wednesday he sat out Cleveland’s 8-3 win over Kansas City. Arias started at shortstop and had two hits.

The Dodgers are sending Cleveland $1,873,118 as part of the trade, in effect equalizing the salaries. Syndergaard is owed $4,682,795 from his $13 million salary and Rosario is owed $2,809,677 from his $7.8 million deal.

The move shores up the Dodgers’ current issues at shortstop.

All-Star Mookie Betts has played some short, but he’s the team’s primary right fielder. The Dodgers found themselves in need after Gavin Lux went down with a season-ending knee injury in spring training and Miguel Rojas has struggled offensively at the spot.

On Tuesday, the NL West-leading Dodgers acquired utilityman Kiké Hernández from the Boston Red Sox.

“I know he’s a heck of a ballplayer,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before the deal was finalized. “I do know that I like him as a ballplayer.”

Cleveland, which trails first-place Minnesota by two games, needed to add a pitcher with starters Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill all dealing with injuries.

The 30-year-old Syndergaard should be able to eat up some innings for Cleveland – if he’s healthy. He’s been on the injured list with a blister on his right index finger since early June and pitching in rehab games for Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Antonetti said Syndergaard is ready to join Cleveland’s rotation. The right-hander will join the Guardians in Chicago on Thursday for the opener of a four-game series, but it’s not clear when he’ll make his debut.

Earning the nickname “Thor” with a devastating fastball and long, blond hair, Syndergaard was once one of the game’s rising pitching stars. However, injuries have sidetracked his career. He signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers before the season and posted a 7.16 ERA in 12 starts before getting hurt.

The Guardians have been leaning on rookies Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams and Logan Allen and the club needs to closely monitor their workloads down the stretch. They’re hoping Syndergaad can help.

Antonetti said the club will recall outfielder Oscar Gonzalez from Triple-A Columbus to fill Rosario’s roster spot. Gonzalez, who was a postseason star for Cleveland in 2022, was sent to the minors after batting .192 in 25 games.


NEW YORK (AP) Aaron Judge is back in New York and could return to the Yankees’ lineup Friday night at Baltimore.

Sidelined since early June with a toe injury, Judge played another simulated game Wednesday at the team’s complex in Tampa, Florida. He returned to the Big Apple after that, manager Aaron Boone said.

Speaking at Yankee Stadium following his team’s 3-1 victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday night, Boone said he didn’t know yet if Judge would come off the injured list Friday to face the AL East-leading Orioles.

“We’ll kind of see where we’re at tomorrow,” Boone said. “I’m not sure if he’s going to run through a workout or if rehab stuff’s on the table. I don’t know that yet. When I talk to him and get with the trainers we’ll come up with a plan.”

Earlier in the day, the New York Post reported Judge is expected to be activated Friday barring a late setback.

“I certainly hope that’s the case but his timeline is his timeline and it’s most important that he feels comfortable where he’s at, obviously,” teammate Harrison Bader said.

Boone has maintained the last-place Yankees (54-48) are taking Judge’s status day by day and he wouldn’t rule out anything, including a return this weekend without a minor league rehab assignment. The team is off Thursday.

“I know he did play again. It sounds like it went well,” Boone said Wednesday afternoon. “Let’s huddle up and see what tomorrow brings and then we’ll see.”

Judge has been out since tearing a ligament in his right big toe June 3 when he crashed into the right-field fence while making a catch at Dodger Stadium.

His progression has accelerated since the All-Star break, and the 2022 AL MVP faced live pitching Sunday at Yankee Stadium for the first time since the injury. He saw 16 pitches in a simulated game against teammate Jonathan Loáisiga, who is rehabbing from right elbow surgery. Judge fouled off four and did not put any balls in play.

Boone said Judge homered during a simulated game Tuesday in Florida. He also played the field and ran the bases.

Judge has acknowledged he won’t be pain-free when he returns, but the Yankees think he’ll be able to play right field rather than just serve as a designated hitter.

New York is 19-23 since Judge got hurt in Los Angeles. Last month, he received two injections before progressing to playing catch and taking light swings.

Judge set an American League record with 62 home runs last year. He is batting .291 with 19 homers and 40 RBIs in the first season of a $360 million, nine-year contract he signed last offseason.

The Yankees are 30-19 with Judge, who also missed 10 games earlier this season with a right hip strain sustained when he tried to steal third base in Minnesota on his 31st birthday April 26.


NEW YORK (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred’s term was extended until 2029 on Wednesday by major league owners.

The decision to give Manfred a third term in charge of the sport was made during a vote at an in-person meeting in Washington, D.C. The extension keeps Manfred in place until Jan. 25, 2029.

Manfred, 64, succeeded Bud Selig in January 2015 and was given a five-year term. Owners voted in November 2018 to offer Manfred a new deal through the 2024 season.

Manfred has overseen a period of on-field change for the sport, including instituting a pitch clock and limits on defensive shifts this season. Game times have dropped by about a half-hour and offense by left-handed batters has increased.

He presided over the deal with players that led to pandemic-shortened 60-game schedule in 2020, the institution of automatic runners at second base in extra-inning games that began that year and a 99-day lockout last year that ended with a five-year labor contract that runs through the 2026 season.

The collective bargaining agreement also expanded use of the designated hitter to the National League.

“It is an honor to serve the best game in the world and to continue the pursuit of strengthening our sport on and off the field,” Manfred said in a statement. “This season our players are displaying the most vibrant version of our game, and sports fans are responding in a manner that is great for Major League Baseball’s future. Together, all of us in the game will work toward presenting our sport at its finest and broadening its reach and impact for our loyal fans.”

Manfred has been criticized by some for granting players immunity in the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal – the team and management were penalized – and for allowing the Oakland Athletics to pursue a move to Las Vegas. His relationship with players has frequently been icy, and he said after last year’s lockout that he wanted to do better in that regard.

“At a critical moment in the history of our game, Commissioner Manfred has listened to our fans and worked closely with our players to improve America’s pastime,” Seattle Mariners chairman John Stanton said in a statement. “Under his leadership, we have been responsive to the fans’ desire for more action and better pace, continued the game’s spirit of innovation, expanded MLB’s role in youth baseball and softball, and beyond. The significant momentum that MLB has built reflects his ongoing initiatives that are advancing the game.”

A graduate of the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations and Harvard Law School, Manfred became involved in baseball in 1987, when he was an associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and the firm was retained as MLB labor counsel.

He became MLB’s executive vice president for labor relations and human resources in 1998, received an expanded role of EVP of economics and league affairs in 2012 and a year later was promoted to chief operating officer.

Manfred defeated Boston Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner in August 2014 in the first contested vote for a new commissioner in 46 years. A third candidate, MLB Executive Vice President of Business Tim Brosnan, withdrew just before balloting.