Verlander goes 8, Astros beat Mets 2-0 on Castro’s homer

Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander delivers against the New York Mets during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 29, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NEW YORK — Justin Verlander pitched two-hit ball for eight innings, Jason Castro lined a two-run homer in the ninth and the Houston Astros beat the Mets 2-0 Wednesday to send New York to its first three-game losing streak this season.

Astros left fielder Yordan Álvarez and shortstop Jeremy Peña were hurt when they collided in the eighth while running down Dominic Smith’s popup. Both called for the ball and as Peña caught the pop, and they hit each other in the face with their gloves. Álvarez was removed on a cart, sitting up, and Peña walked back to the dugout during the eight-minute delay.


Verlander (10-3) became the majors’ first 10-game winner, striking out six and walking one. Ryan Pressly pitched a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 19 chances.

New York’s Taijuan Walker allowed four hits in a season-high 7 1/3 innings. Drew Smith (1-2) got the loss.


CLEVELAND — Josh Naylor hit a two-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning, completing a four-run rally that gave Cleveland a thrilling victory over Minnesota.

Amed Rosario began the comeback with a one-out double off closer Emilio Pagán that scored automatic runner Richie Palacios, prompting the Twins to bring in Jharel Cotton (2-2).

A passed ball by Ryan Jeffers scored Steven Kwan, and Cotton retired José Ramírez before Naylor drove his first game-ending homer the other way onto the left-field porch.

Minnesota took a 6-3 lead in the top of the 10th on an RBI single from pinch-hitter Carlos Correa and a two-run homer by Max Kepler off Eli Morgan (4-2). It was Kepler’s 14th home run in 45 career games at Progressive Field.

The teams have split four games in the five-game series, keeping the Twins’ lead over the second-place Guardians in the AL Central at two.

Alex Kirilloff hit a two-run homer in the sixth and Gio Urshela followed with a solo shot off Guardians starter Cal Quantrill, tying it at 3.


ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani extended his scoreless streak to 21 2/3 innings while pitching five-hit ball into the sixth with 11 strikeouts in Los Angeles’ victory over Chicago.

Ohtani went 0 for 3 with a walk at the plate, but Luis Rengifo hit a two-run homer and Mike Trout had an early RBI double as the Angels finished their disappointing nine-game homestand on a positive note because of their two-way superstar’s work on the mound.

Ohtani (7-4) yielded five singles and a walk while winning his fourth consecutive start. The AL MVP hasn’t allowed a run since the fifth inning of his brilliant seven-inning outing in Boston on June 9, giving him an 0.34 ERA with 36 strikeouts over 26 2/3 innings in his last four starts.

The right-hander reached double-digit strikeouts for the fifth time this season. Raisel Iglesias pitched the ninth for his 15th save.

Michael Kopech (2-5) yielded five hits over 5 1/3 innings for the White Sox, who have lost six of eight.


PHILADELPHIA — Adam Duvall homered, Kyle Wright tossed seven sharp innings and Atlanta kept rolling this month by beating Philadelphia.

The Braves improved to 21-5 in June, matching the team record for most wins in a calendar month since the club moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966. They’ll try to set a new mark when they go for a three-game sweep Thursday night.

Matt Olson hit a pair of doubles and William Contreras and Michael Harris II also had RBIs for the Braves.

Rhys Hoskins homered and doubled for the Phillies, who played without star slugger Bryce Harper for the third straight game. Harper had surgery on his broken left thumb earlier in the day.

Wright (9-4) rebounded from two shaky outings and allowed one run on three hits with four strikeouts and three walks.

Ranger Suarez (6-5) gave up four runs and six hits with seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.


TORONTO — J.D. Martinez drove in the tiebreaking run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 10th inning and Boston beat Toronto to prevent a three-game sweep.

Alex Verdugo hit a two-run homer and had four RBIs, and Franchy Cordero had four hits as the Red Sox won for the third time in 10 meetings with Toronto this season.

Verdugo added a two-run double for Boston in the 10th to make it 6-3.

Matt Strahm (3-2) struck out Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the ninth, but gave up an RBI single to Santiago Espinal and an RBI double to Cavan Biggio in the 10th. Strahm ended it by getting George Springer to fly out.

David Phleps (0-2) plunked Martinez and took the loss.

Both benches and bullpens emptied after Red Sox right-hander Nick Pivetta hit Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk on the left elbow in the third. No punches were thrown.

Springer homered for the Blue Jays.


ST. LOUIS — Avisaíl García hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning and Sandy Alcantara pitched a complete game, lifting Miami over St. Louis.

With two outs, García hit the first pitch he saw from Ryan Helsley (3-1) over the wall in center field for his fifth homer. Jesús Sánchez walked to begin the inning.

Dylan Carlson drove in two runs and Edmundo Sosa scored twice for the Cardinals.

Alcantara (8-3) improved to 1-3 in five starts against his original team. He gave up seven hits in his second complete game of the season.


WASHINGTON (AP) — Bryan Reynolds hit a career-high three homers and drove in six runs, leading Pittsburgh to the win.

The Pirates ended a five-game losing streak.

Reynolds hit a two-run homer in the first inning off Paolo Espino and a solo drive in the sixth off Carl Edwards Jr. (2-2).

Edwards exited with two runners on base in the seventh, giving way to Kyle Finnegan.

After Ke’Bryan Hayes struck out, Reynolds launched Finnegan’s elevated sinker into the visitors’ bullpen in left-center for a three-run homer that put the Pirates up 8-6.

Daniel Vogelbach also homered for Pittsburgh. Chase De Jong (3-0) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings, and rookie Yerry De Los Santos earned his first career save.


NEW YORK — Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton homered to fuel the Yankees’ major league-best 24th comeback victory.

The Yankees completed a three-game sweep of baseball’s worst team and improved to 56-20, matching the 2001 Mariners and 1998 Yankees for baseball’s best 76-game start since 1930.

New York’s Jameson Taillon gave up three runs in the first inning, but Judge countered with a two-run drive in the first and Stanton hit a three-run homer in the third against Cole Irvin (2-6).

The Yankees are 25-1 when Judge and Stanton homer in the same game, including 9-0 this season.

Taillon (9-1) grinded through five innings, and Clay Holmes pitched the ninth for his 14th save to end a seven-game homestand.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Rowdy Tellez hit two home runs and Milwaukee center fielder Jonathan Davis made a spectacular catch, sending the Brewers to the win.

Tellez hit his 15th homer, a tiebreaking solo drive in the eighth inning against Calvin Faucher (1-2). The ball struck the outer C-ring of the catwalk at Tropicana Field.

In the second, Tellez homered to deep center off opener Jalen Beeks.

Davis robbed Randy Arozarena of an extra-base hit in the second when he made a flying, over-the-shoulder catch while crashing headfirst into the wall. He stayed down for several minutes holding his back and initially stayed in the game before leaving with lower back and rib cage discomfort.

Luis Urías and Jace Peterson also homered for Milwaukee. Brad Boxberger (2-1) got the win, and Josh Hader earned his 24th save.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Zack Greinke pitched six innings of one-run ball in his 500th career start, helping the Royals avoid a three-game sweep.

Kansas City’s Kyle Isbel provided the winning cushion with his second home run in as many games.

Greinke (2-4) is the 48th pitcher in major league history to start 500 games, and the only active pitcher to reach that milestone. Scott Barlow worked a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 12 chances.

Leody Taveras homered for Texas. Dane Dunning (1-6) yielded two runs and six hits in six innings.


DENVER — Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and Cody Bellinger homered, and Los Angeles took advantage of Germán Márquez’s struggles and early injury exit to beat Colorado.

Trea Turner added a two-run double and Julio Urías (6-6) pitched into the sixth inning as the Dodgers avoided a three-game sweep against their surprising nemesis. The last-place Rockies had been 4-1 against the NL West leaders.

Márquez (4-6) left with a cut on his thumb in the fourth after allowing five runs and five hits, including Freeman’s 446-foot solo drive to center field in the first that extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

Bellinger belted his 10th homer through a hard rain with thunder and lighting in the sky in the eighth after the pubic address announcer asked fans to go to the concourse. The game was never stopped, except to work on drying the mound between innings.

Brendan Rodgers hit a solo homer in the eighth, an RBI double in the fourth and an RBI single in the sixth for the Rockies, who had won seven straight against NL West teams.


PHOENIX — Mike Clevinger outpitched Madison Bumgarner by throwing one-hit ball for six innings in his longest outing of the year, leading San Diego over Arizona.

Jake Cronenworth broke out of an 0-for-26 skid with two doubles and a single, driving in two runs and scoring once.

Clevinger (2-0) struck out six and walked one. Nick Martinez threw three innings for his second save.

Bumgarner (3-8) allowed one run and four hits in five innings.


SAN FRANCISCO — Eric Haase hit a two-run homer to break a 1-all tie in the sixth inning and Detroit held off San Francisco.

It was Haase’s fifth home run of the season and second in the last three games. Miguel Cabrera also drove in a run for the Tigers, who improved their league-worst road record to 11-23 and split the two-game series.

Rony García (3-2) won his third consecutive start, allowing one run in five innings. Gregory Soto pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save.

Evan Longoria homered in the first for the Giants. Alex Wood (5-7) gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.


SEATTLE — Julio Rodríguez hit the 12th home run of his impressive rookie season during a six-run fourth inning, and Seattle beat Baltimore for its seventh win in nine games.

The Mariners took two of three from the Orioles and continued a stretch of good baseball after a 5-1 road trip last week.

Chris Flexen (4-8) permitted three runs in six innings.

Abraham Toro, Adam Frazier and Sam Haggerty combined for seven hits and six runs at the bottom of Seattle’s lineup. Haggerty had two doubles and a bunt single.

Orioles starter Austin Voth (0-1) lasted just three innings while facing his hometown team for the first time. Baltimore reliever Nick Vespi was roughed up for six runs on six hits and got only one out.


CHICAGO — Willson Contreras homered, Christopher Morel also went deep and nailed a runner at the plate with a terrific throw from center field, and Chicago defeated Cincinnati.

Contreras got hit by a pitch and scored on Ian Happ’s double against rookie Hunter Greene (3-9) in the first inning. He made it 5-0 in the fifth when he lined a two-run drive against Luis Cessa for his 13th homer — tops among major league catchers.

Contreras also doubled twice. Morel helped Justin Steele escape a bases-loaded jam in the fourth when he caught Donovan Solano’s line drive and fired a one-hop laser to the plate to cut down Tommy Pham for an inning-ending double play.

Nico Hoerner smacked a two-run double for the Cubs. Steele (3-5) exited with a 5-1 lead in the sixth.

Brandon Drury hit his 16th homer for the Reds, who have lost nine of 12.

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