MLB Recap: A’s Catch Astros Atop AL West

By Reuters
August 21, 2018Sports News
MLB Recap: A’s Catch Astros Atop AL West
Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Mike Fiers delivers a pitch against the Texas Rangers in the first inning. (John Hefti/USA Today Sports)

Mike Fiers pitched well for the third consecutive game, and the Oakland Athletics supported their new pitcher with a four-homer, four-double assault on Texas Rangers pitching in an 9-0 romp on  Aug. 20 in the opener on a three-game series in Oakland, Calif.

Ramon Laureano hit his first two career home runs, and Khris Davis belted his 38th, propelling the A’s to the 15th win in their past 19 games. Davis tied Boston’s J.D. Martinez for the major league home run lead.

The Athletics’ win coupled with the Astros’ road loss to the Seattle Mariners allowed Oakland to move back into a tie with Houston for first place in the American League West.

Fiers (9-6), acquired from the Detroit Tigers in a waiver deal after the July 31 deadline, allowed a leadoff double in the second inning by Nomar Mazara and no other hits over seven shutout innings. He struck out eight and walked one while improving to 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA in three starts for the A’s.

Mariners 7, Astros 4

Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer to break an eighth-inning tie, giving Seattle a victory against visiting Houston.

Cano’s home run was his fifth of the season and first since returning last week from an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. It came off Houston right-hander Collin McHugh (5-2). Cano finished 3-for-5 with two doubles.

Alex Colome (4-5) got the win and Edwin Diaz pitched the ninth for his major-league-leading 48th save. The Mariners’ rally from a 4-2 deficit spoiled a big night by Houston’s Marwin Gonzalez, who went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBIs.

Cardinals 5, Dodgers 3

Jedd Gyorko and Matt Carpenter hit back-to-back home runs to open the ninth inning as St. Louis continued its hot August with a victory at Los Angeles.

Jose Martinez drove in a pair of runs as the Cardinals improved to a National League-best 15-4 in August. St. Louis is now 22-11 under interim manager Mike Shildt, who took over after Mike Matheny was fired in July.

The Cardinals’ ninth-inning home runs came off Kenley Jansen (0-4), spoiling the return of the Dodgers’ closer, who went on the disabled list Aug. 10 because of an irregular heartbeat.

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Cleveland Indians pitcher Cody Allen delivers a pitch during the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Red Sox 5, Indians 4

Greg Allen hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh inning to help Cleveland post a victory at Boston.

Allen’s blast was the big blow as the American League Central-leading Indians prevailed in the opener of a four-game set against the AL East-leading Red Sox. The victory was the 10th in the past 12 games for Cleveland.

Corey Kluber (16-6) became the third 16-game winner in the majors as he allowed three runs and nine hits over 6 1/3 innings. The right-hander struck out six and walked one while winning his fourth straight decision. Michael Brantley added a two-run blast, and Melky Cabrera hit a solo shot for the Indians.

Braves 1, Pirates 0

Bryse Wilson pitched five scoreless innings for a win in his major league debut, and Atlanta made Nick Markakis’ first-inning RBI single hold up for tight win at Pittsburgh.

Sam Freeman, Brad Brach, Jesse Biddle, Jonny Venters and Dan Winkler completed the seven-hit shutout, which broke Atlanta’s four-game losing streak. Winkler pitched the ninth for his second save. The Braves moved a game up over idle Philadelphia atop the National League East.

Wilson struck out five and allowed three hits and three walks. He was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett to make a spot start. The right-hander, 20 years and 243 days old, became the youngest starter in the big leagues this season. He began the season in high Class-A.

Brewers 5, Reds 2

Travis Shaw hit a two-run home run to give the Brewers the lead, and Christian Yelich also homered to back the three-hit pitching of Chase Anderson and a shutdown bullpen as Milwaukee dumped visiting Cincinnati.

It was the Brewers’ second straight win after three consecutive losses. Anderson (8-7) gave up only two hits over six innings, both solo home runs. He retired the last 14 Reds he faced before leaving for a pinch hitter, striking out six without a walk.

Cincinnati starter Homer Bailey (1-11) lost his sixth straight decision, yielding three runs on eight hits in six innings. The Reds have lost all but one of his 17 starts this season.

Giants 2, Mets 1 (13 innings)

Andrew McCutchen scored the tiebreaking run on an error, a dropped popup after a collision by shortstop Amed Rosario and left fielder Dominic Smith, in the top of the 13th inning as visiting San Francisco outlasted New York.

The Giants snapped a four-game losing streak. The Mets have won six of 10.

New York starter Zack Wheeler had his streak of six consecutive winning starts end after surrendering one run on five hits and one walk while striking out 10 over seven innings. Wheeler still has not lost a decision since June 22 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, going 6-0 in a span of 10 starts.

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Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Willy Adames (1) and first baseman Jake Bauers (9) celebrate as second baseman Joey Wendle (left) looks on following their win over the Kansas City Royals. (Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports)

Rays 1, Royals 0

Willy Adames produced the only run Tampa Bay would need with a second-inning RBI infield single, and four pitchers allowed a combined six hits as host Tampa Bay defeated Kansas City.

Hunter Wood made the start for Tampa Bay and pitched 1 2/3 innings before giving way to Ryan Yarbrough (12-5), who gave up two hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings while coaxing six strikeouts.

Kansas City lost its second straight game and is now 0-4 against Tampa Bay this season. The Royals had two runners on base in the second, fourth and eighth innings but finished 0-for-5 with men in scoring position.

White Sox 8, Twins 5

Matt Davidson homered and drove in three runs, and Jose Abreu had two hits and two RBIs to lead Chicago to victory over Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Lucas Giolito (9-9) allowed three runs on five hits over six innings for Chicago, which won for the fifth time in six games. Max Kepler homered and tripled, and Jake Cave hit a two-run homer and scored three times for Minnesota, which lost for just the sixth time in its past 25 games at Target Field.

Before the game, Chicago manager Rick Renteria was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center for precautionary reasons after complaining about feeling lightheaded. A team official later announced that tests revealed no problems. Bench coach Joe McEwing managed the game in Renteria’s absence.

Blue Jays 5, Orioles 3

Kendrys Morales hit two home runs and had four RBIs to help Toronto beat visiting Baltimore.

It was the second two-homer game of the season for Morales, who hit two solo shots at Minnesota on May 1. Kevin Pillar added two doubles and one RBI as the Blue Jays ended a four-game losing streak.

Renato Nunez homered for the Orioles, who have lost four of their last five and nine of 11.

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