Verlander first in MLB to 12 wins, Astros beat Athletics 5-0

Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Saturday, July 16, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

HOUSTON — Justin Verlander struck out 10 in six sharp innings to post his MLB-leading 12th win and the Houston Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 5-0 Saturday.

Martín Maldonado hit a second-inning grand slam off rookie Jared Koenig (1-3) for his third career grand slam on a shot to center field to give the AL West-leading Astros a four-run lead.


Verlander (12-3) allowed six hits without a walk and lowered his ERA to 1.89, which ranks third in the majors. Phil Maton, Hector Neris and Bryan Abreu each pitched a scoreless inning to complete the shutout against the team with the AL’s worst record.

The 39-year-old Verlander, who leads all active players in strikeouts, now has 3,121 in his career, moving past Curt Schilling (3,116) and Bob Gibson (3,117) into 14th place on the all-time list.

Five of the six hits Verlander allowed were singles and the only time the Athletics got more than one hit in an inning came when Dermis Garcia and Nick Allen hit consecutive singles to start the fifth.

Koenig yielded six hits and five runs in a career-high seven innings for his third loss in five starts this season.


NEW YORK — Aaron Judge homered twice to match Roger Maris’ franchise record of 33 before the All-Star break, Matt Carpenter also connected twice and drove in seven runs as New York routed Boston.

The major league-leading Yankees had lost five of six, and they seemed to be stumbling again when Boston’s Rafael Devers hit a first-inning homer.

Jameson Taillon steadied himself, retiring his final 17 batters while pitching one-run ball over six innings. Ryan Weber closed out New York’s three-hitter with a three-inning save — the first of his career — and the Yankees earned their big league-best 28th comeback win.

Taillon (10-2) allowed just two hits and struck out five before leaving the blowout with just 79 pitches.

Nick Pivetta (8-7) ended a strong first half of the season by allowing seven runs in 4 1/3 innings, and the Red Sox dropped to 6-13 in their past 19 games.


ARLINGTON, Texas — J.P. Crawford hit an RBI single in the 10th inning and Seattle stretched its winning streak to 13 games.

Carlos Santana homered as the Mariners (50-42) moved closer to the club-record 15-game winning streak set in their last playoff season in 2001. They have won 21 of their last 24 games overall to take eight series in a row, their most since winning 14 straight sets during that 116-win season 21 years ago.

Seattle would match the longest winning streak in the majors this year with a victory in the series finale Sunday, its final game before the All-Star break. Reigning World Series champion Atlanta won 14 games in a row last month.

Crawford chopped a one-out single down the line past first base off Brett Martin (0-5) , scoring automatic runner Sam Haggerty, who came on as a pinch-runner for Santana, who had an inning-ending groundout in the ninth.

Diego Castillo (7-1) faced only three batters in the ninth for the win. Matthew Festa struck out the side in the 10th for his first save.


ANAHEIM, Calif. — Trea Turner hit two homers and drove in three runs, and the Dodgers rolled into the All-Star break by sweeping the 2022 Freeway Series with the Angels.

Max Muncy hit a three-run homer moments after Turner’s two-run shot in the third inning of the Dodgers’ 15th victory in 17 games. Freddie Freeman recorded his 1,000th career RBI and hit his first career homer at his childhood ballpark.

Julio Urías (8-6) had eight strikeouts over seven innings of five-hit ball while improving to 5-0 in his last six starts.

Brandon Marsh hit a late-inning homer to break up the Dodgers’ shutout bid for the second straight night, but the Angels flopped into the break with their 12th loss in 14 games. Shohei Ohtani had two singles for the 23rd multi-hit game of his second All-Star season.

José Suarez (1-4) yielded six runs on five hits and three walks while failing to get out of the fourth inning.


CLEVELAND — José Ramírez tuned up for the Home Run Derby by homering in his first two at-bats and driving in five runs, powering Cleveland past Detroit.

Ramírez hit a three-run shot off Michael Pineda (2-5) in the first inning and connected for a two-run homer in the second for his 19th career multi-homer.

Josh Naylor also homered for Cleveland and Cal Quantrill (6-5) allowed just four hits in six scoreless innings to improve to 10-0 in 25 career starts at Progressive Field.

Cleveland added five runs in the second when Myles Straw and Rosario hit RBI doubles ahead of Ramírez’s second homer.


WASHINGTON — Matt Olson and Austin Riley hit consecutive home runs in the third inning, and Atlanta sent Washington to its ninth straight loss.

Atlanta has won nine consecutive games against Washington and is 10-2 against the Nationals this season. The Braves have also won 14 in a row in Washington, dating to last year.

The Braves took the lead in the third against Washington starter Paolo Espino (0-3). With two men on, Olson poked an opposite-field shot just over the fence in left for his 17th homer of the season. Riley, selected to his first All-Star team earlier Saturday, then blasted his 27th home run to center.

Atlanta starter Max Fried (10-3) earned his 50th career win, allowing three runs in seven innings while striking out four. Kenley Jansen handled the ninth for his 22nd save in 26 attempts.

The Nationals (30-63) have the worst record in the majors, have lost 15 of 16 and are 7-36 against the NL East. Espino allowed four runs, three earned, in 5 1/3 innings and struck out five.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Ryan Mountcastle hit a two-run single in the 11th inning, rookie catcher Adley Rutschman produced a pair of key swings and Baltimore beat Tampa Bay.

Rutschman had his first pinch-hit homer and added a 10th-inning sacrifice fly for the Orioles, who had lost their previous 10 games at Tropicana Field.

Automatic runner Rougned Odor was thrown out after getting caught between second and third with no outs in the 11th when Jorge Mateo squared around to bunt but didn’t. But Mateo then tripled off Luke Bard (1-1), Cedric Mullins walked and stole second, and Mountcastle flared a single to right field.

Jorge López (4-5) gave up one run over two innings. Joey Krehbiel replaced Cionel Pérez with two on and two outs in the 11th and retired Luke Raley on a flyball to get his first save.


MIAMI — Kyle Schwarber hit his NL-leading 29th homer, J.T. Realmuto had a homer and a double and Philadelphia spoiled the major league debut of touted Miami pitcher Max Meyer.

Didi Gregorius (four RBIs) and Rhys Hoskins also went deep for the Phillies. Starter Ranger Suárez pitched five scoreless innings of four-hit ball, striking out four.

The 23-year-old Meyer, the third overall selection in the 2020 draft, was lifted after Realmuto’s one-out double in the sixth. Meyer allowed five runs, seven hits, walked one and struck out five.

METS 4, CUBS 2, 2nd game

METS 2, CUBS 1, 11 INNINGS, 1st game

CHICAGO — Pete Alonso was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the 10th inning and New York completed a doubleheader sweep against Chicago.

Led by Alonso and Eduardo Escobar, New York stretched its win streak to four in a row and moved 24 games over .500 for the first time since it was 92-58 on Sept. 19, 2006. It also increased its NL East lead to 2 1/2 games over second-place Atlanta.

The Cubs have dropped nine in a row for their worst slide since they lost 10 straight in June. Mychal Givens (5-2), who hit Alonso with a pitch was charged with each loss in the doubleheader.

Chicago had the bases loaded in the 10th in the second game, but Frank Schwindel bounced to third baseman Escobar for the start of a game-ending double play.

In the opener, Alonso hit a sacrifice fly in the 11th inning after Adam Ottavino worked out of a tricky jam.

Alonso drove in three runs on the day to get to 77 RBIs, snapping a tie with David Wright for the franchise record before the All-Star break.

The big first baseman was grazed on his left arm by Givens’ 0-2 pitch in the 10th in Game 2, driving in Brandon Nimmo for a 3-2 lead. Another run scored when reliever Daniel Norris committed a throwing error on a pickoff attempt at second.

The Cubs got one back in the bottom half on Christopher Morel’s RBI single off Yoan López (1-0).

New York ace Max Scherzer struck out 11 in 6 1/3 innings in the second game. He allowed eight hits and walked one while throwing 102 pitches, 74 for strikes.


MINNEAPOLIS — Jorge Polanco’s three-run blast was one of three Minnesota homers against Chicago’s Lance Lynn in a five-run third inning in the Twins’ win over the White Sox.

First-time All-Star Luis Arraez led off the bottom of the first with a homer and Carlos Correa added a two-run shot in the third.

Dylan Bundy (6-4) allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings for Minnesota. Jhoan Duran pitched two scoreless innings for his sixth save.

Lynn (1-3) struggled, giving up six runs on seven hits in five innings for the White Sox, who had won four straight games.


ST. LOUIS — Paul Goldschmidt hit his 300th career homer and drove in three runs, Albert Pujols reached another milestone and St. Louis beat Cincinnati.

Goldschmidt’s two-run homer in the second inning was his 20th this season. He became the 153rd player to reach 300 homers. He has 997 RBIs.

The 42-year-old Pujols scored twice and tied Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig for 12th place all-time with 1,889 runs scored.

Lars Nootbar added a three-run homer in the eighth inning. Tommy Edman had his fourth multi-hit game in his last five games with a double and a single.

Miles Mikolas (7-7) gave up a home run to Jonathan India to start the game, then allowed just two hits in the next six innings in his seven-inning outing.

Rookie Nick Lodolo (2-3) allowed five earned runs. He gave up five hits, walked three, plunked two batters and threw a wild pitch.


TORONTO — Teoscar Hernández singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning and Toronto rallied past Kansas City.

Royals designated hitter Vinnie Pasquantino hit a tie-breaking home run in the top of the 10th inning to put Kansas City up 5-3, but Toronto countered in the bottom half against former Blue Jays reliever Joel Payamps (2-3).

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (three hits) led off with an RBI double, scoring automatic runner George Springer, and pinch-hitter Raimel Tapia tied it with a base hit to center. After Bo Bichette singled, Hernández grounded a single through the left side to score Tapia.

Toronto’s Jordan Romano (3-2) got the win despite allowing Pasquantino’s homer.

Bobby Witt Jr., Ryan O’Hearn and Nate Eaton also knocked in runs for Kansas City.


DENVER — Kris Bryant had three hits and an RBI, Charlie Blackmon extended his hitting streak to seven games with an RBI single, and Jose Urena pitched six scoreless innings in Colorado’s win over Pittsburgh.

Bryant singled in an unearned run with two outs in the fifth inning and Blackmon drove in an insurance run with a two-out single in the seventh as the Rockies extended their winning streak to a season-best five games.

Urena (1-1) gave up five hits, with four strikeouts and two walks. Daniel Bard earned his 20th save in 22 chances.

Pirates’ right-hander Mitch Keller (3-7) was the hard-luck loser, giving up an unearned run and five hits in six innings while striking out six and walking two.


SAN FRANCISCO — Milwaukee reliever Jandel Gustave’s balk with the bases loaded allowed Wilmer Flores to score the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as San Francisco won for the sixth time in eight games.

Gustave replaced Brent Suter (1-3) with two on and two outs. After hitting Evan Longoria with a pitch to load the bases, Gustave got ahead of Mike Yastrzemski and had a 1-2 count when home plate umpire Pat Hoberg called a balk.

Darin Ruf homered for the second consecutive game, John Brebbia (5-1) retired two batters for the win, and Dominic Leone earned his second save for the Giants.

Omar Narvaez had a sacrifice fly for Milwaukee. The Brewers’ lead in the NL Central fell to one game over St. Louis.


SAN DIEGO — Luke Voit hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning and Sean Manaea pitched six strong innings as San Diego rallied past Arizona.

The victory ensures the Padres’ first series win since a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks on June 20-23. San Diego can sweep this three-game set Sunday.

Manaea (5-4) allowed three runs and seven hits, with three strikeouts and two walks. Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless ninth for his 26th save, second-most in the MLB.

Carson Kelly hit a two-run homer for the Diamondbacks. Noe Ramirez (2-3) took the loss.

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