Nestor Cortes carried a three-hit shutout into the ninth inning as the New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 7-2 on Thursday.

Cortes was in impressive form, finishing with five struck out and four hits over 109 pitches before Wandy Peralta came in to close the game out.

The Yankees came into this game with Giancarlo Stanton and Josh Donaldson both unavailable while DJ LeMahieu also deals with wrist soreness.

Requesting a release after 21 games in Triple-A ball for the Round Rock Express, the Texas Rangers' affiliate, Matt Carpenter scored twice from two at-bats as the designated hitter in his debut game for the Pinstripes.

Now on a three-game winning streak, the Yankees moved to 32-13 to extend their lead over the Rays atop the American League East.

Nola propels Phillies to win over Braves

The Philadelphia Phillies bounced back to defeat the Atlanta Braves, splitting their four-game series with a 4-1 win.

Aaron Nola struck out 10 and gave up only four hits while pitching a shutout coming into the ninth inning, giving up one more hit over an eventual 109 pitches before Corey Knebel closed.

The Phillies and Braves are now even on a 21-24 record in the National League East, both seven-and-a-half games behind the New York Mets.

Brewers beat Cardinals, extend NL Central lead

Josh Hader made the eventual save for the Milwaukee Brewers, earning a 37th consecutive scoreless appearance as they defeated the St Louis Cardinals 4-3.

Eric Lauer started slowly for the Brewers, giving up two runs and four hits in the opening two innings, before closing with four hits and a strikeout over 96 pitches in five innings.

Tyrone Taylor drove in for the seventh game in a row while Luis Urias scored a home run, as the Brewers extended their lead over the Cards in the NL Central.

Atlanta Braves superstar Ronald Acuna Jr and New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton were both absent from their teams' line-ups on Wednesday as they battle minor injuries.

Acuna, 24, returned at the beginning of May from a knee reconstruction that ended his 2021 season, and has looked largely like the two-time All-Star and Rookie of the Year that he is, even though his power numbers are down.

He had every intention of playing when he went to bed on Tuesday, but he reportedly woke up on Wednesday with tightness in his quad, before an MRI revealed a grade-one strain. He is considered day-to-day.

Stanton, on the other hand, has been placed on the 10-day injured list with what the team originally called a "right calf strain", before changing it to "right ankle inflammation". 

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said while any injury is frustrating, he feels the prognosis for Stanton is positive.

"I feel like we got good news," he said. "The Achilles is fine, and no strain. 

"So [we] just feel like this is something that's going to be short, and like we should knock it out and not mess with it and maybe it becomes something else. 

"Hopefully he got out in front of it a little bit, and hopefully it's just 10 days."

The Atlanta Braves had it working with both bat and ball as they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 8-4 at home on Wednesday.

The Phillies opened the scoring through a massive 431-foot solo home run to Odubel Herrera in the top of the second inning – the biggest hit by either team in the game.

But they would not finish the second inning in the lead as William Contreras connected on his own home run to left-field, tying the game, before Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson drove in another three runs with base hits.

Philadelphia mounted a comeback in the middle innings, with Herrera driving in his second run via a base hit in the fourth, followed by Nick Castellanos' ground-out RBI and Jean Segura's RBI single, tying it at 4-4.

It would be all Braves from that point on as their bullpen allowed just two hits from the last 14 outs, with Spencer Strider striking out five in two innings.

After Swanson scored on a fielding error to put the Braves up 5-4, they made no doubt about the result with further solo home runs to Austin Riley and Swanson to put the game to bed.

Swanson finished with four hits from five at-bats, with two runs and two RBIs.

Phillies MVP candidate Bryce Harper also played well, with four hits from his five at-bats, including two doubles.

Long ball reigns supreme for Tigers

The Detroit Tigers came back from an early deficit to defeat the Minnesota Twins 4-2 in extra innings – with every score coming from home runs.

Trevor Larnach put the Twins ahead 2-0 with his two-run homer in the fourth inning, before Tigers shortstop Harold Castro pegged one back with a solo shot in the sixth frame.

Castro struck again in the eighth inning, hitting another solo home run to tie the game and force extra innings. 

In the extra inning, Jeimer Candelario was the hero, blasting the first pitch of his at-bat over the center-field wall to make it 4-2 and set the table for closing pitcher Andrew Chafin to come in for the save.

Yankees pitcher holds Orioles scoreless in debut start

The New York Yankees grinded out a hard-fought 2-0 victory against the Baltimore Orioles, thanks in large part to a terrific debut start for pitcher J.P. Sears.

Sears, 26, had two relief appearances for the Yankees this month before being trusted with his first start, and he repaid their faith with five scoreless innings, striking out five batters while giving up three hits and two walks.

The Yankees' bullpen also contributed, allowing just three baserunners, while Miguel Andujar had the most clutch hit of the game to break the deadlock in the fourth inning.

The Boston Red Sox offense enjoyed a game of season highs as they destroyed the Chicago White Sox 16-3 on Tuesday, led by the in-form Trevor Story.

The Red Sox piled on a season-high 16 runs, along with a season-high 19 hits, nine extra-base hits and four home runs with all nine batters having a hit.

Kike Hernandez, who finished with two runs, two hits and two RBIs, started it off with a lead-off homer, followed by Story with a three-run blast to open up a 4-0 first-innings lead.

The punishment did not stop, with Rafael Devers homering in the fourth inning, while Christian Vazquez delivered a three-run effort in the fifth.

J.D. Martinez went four-for-five for three runs and one RBI, while Story and Vazquez both had four RBIs for the game.

Martinez has an American League-best average of .366, while Story has eight home runs including six in his past five games.

Trevino snaps Yankees skid

The New York Yankees snapped their three-game skid with a walk-off 7-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles led by Jose Trevino.

Trevino homered in the third inning and drove in three runs for the game, including a game-winning RBI in the 11th.

The win was the Yankees' fifth walk-off victory of the season and ended an alarming run of losses to improve to a 30-13 record atop the AL East.

Wild end as Braves rally to victory

The Atlanta Braves rallied in a wild ninth-inning thriller to get past the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 on William Contreras' walk-off single in center field.

The Phillies entered the ninth down 4-3, but Bryce Harper's two-run blast put them up, before the Braves levelled it up when Ronald Acuna's sacrifice fly was dropped, allowing Dansby Swanson home.

From the next at-bat, Contreras' drive to center field off Nick Nelson was enough for Acuna, on second base, to get the walk-off run.

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nick Pivetta rebounded from a disappointing start to throw a complete game, beating the Houston Astros 5-1.

Pivetta was put on the back foot straight away, as Houston's lead-off hitter, Jose Altuve, forced him to throw nine pitches before sending the 10th over the 'Green Monster' for a home run to left-field.

The Astros would only register one more hit in the entire game as Pivetta found his footing, though, retiring 18 consecutive batters until a double in the seventh inning, and then another nine consecutive batters to close out the contest.

Despite conceding so early, the Red Sox reclaimed the lead later in the first frame, as Rafael Devers was brought home after his triple, before Xander Bogaerts hit a solo home run to make it 2-1.

Another extra-base hit from Devers in the third inning brought home Boston's third run, and the home side then manufactured another two tallies in the fourth, never allowing the Astros back into the contest.

The win moves the struggling Red Sox to 15-22 for the season, while the Astros are in a much stronger position, tied for the third-best record in the majors at 24-14.

Hiura the hero for Brewers

Keston Hiura crushed a massive walk-off home run to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 7-6 win against the Atlanta Braves in extra innings.

The Braves led 4-0 after three innings, but the Brewers were able to fight back, tying the game with a two-out triple in the bottom of the ninth and final frame to keep the game alive.

After both teams scored a run each in the 10th, the Braves added another in the top of the 11th, before Hiura's two-run, 447-foot blast to center-field closed the show.

Lowe sends one high for the win

After Jared Walsh tied things up for the Los Angeles Angels at 4-4 with a ninth-inning home run, Nathaniel Lowe came back to bomb a two-run walk-off to give the Texas Rangers a 6-5 win in extra innings.

It was a solid start on the mound for Angels star Shohei Ohtani, pitching six full innings for two earned runs and seven strikeouts, but the Rangers capitalised once he exited with solo home runs in the seventh and eighth frames.

Walsh's two-run homer sent the game to extra innings, and the Angels scored first at the top of the 10th, but Lowe wasted no time ending things, leading off the bottom of the 10th and blasting the first pitch over the wall to win it.

The New York Yankees continued their red-hot start to the season with a 6-2 away win against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.

With the win, the Yankees are now 26-9, and sit three games clear atop the standings.

As has been the story with the Pinstripes this season, their power was again the driving force in their success, with every run scoring as a result of an extra-base hit.

New York took the lead in the third inning through a Giancarlo Stanton RBI double, before Jose Trevino gave the Yanks some breathing room with a three-run homer an inning later.

Anthony Santander launched his own long-ball in response for the Orioles, making it 4-1 later in the fourth inning, and that score would hold all the way through to the ninth frame.

After Luis Severino pitched six terrific innings, allowing just one hit – Santander's home run – with two walks, the big bats came back to the plate to put the icing on the cake.

Josh Donaldson blasted the longest shot of the night for a 395-foot solo shot, before Rizzo topped it as the very next batter, sending his solo home run 406 feet through the Baltimore sky.

In a consolation for the home fans who stuck around, Santander hit his second bomb of the night in the bottom of the ninth.


Cubs go crazy in first inning

The Chicago Cubs wasted no time putting their 9-0 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates to bed, jumping out to a 8-0 lead in the first inning.

Pirates starting pitcher Dillon Peters was only able to get two outs before being pulled from the game as the Cubs piled on eight hits and two walks for their eight runs, highlighted by a grand-slam from Willson Contreras in his second plate appearance of the inning.

Cubs pitcher Wade Miley was lights-out, retiring 12 straight batters through the fourth inning, and finished with just one hit allowed, and no walks, through seven complete frames.

Brewers battle for 1-0 win

A wild pitch was the only thing that could bring in a run in the Milwaukee Brewers' 1-0 win against the Atlanta Braves.

Freddy Peralta was spectacular on the mound for the Brewers, striking out 10 batters in seven full innings, conceding just two hits and one walk.

Ian Anderson was not much worse for the Braves, giving up four hits and two walks in his six innings, but a costly wild pitch in the sixth inning while a runner was on third base gifted the Brewers the game's only run, and the win. 

The Atlanta Braves came out best after an action-packed eighth inning to defeat the San Diego Padres 6-5 on Saturday.

Down 5-2 in the bottom of the eighth following a four-run inning from the Padres, the defending World Series champions responded with a four-run inning of their own to split the opening two games of a three-game series.

Marcell Ozuna scored a home run and Austin Riley hit the go-ahead double in the response to hand the Braves the win, in what has been a sputtering start to the season.

Charlie Morton pitched solidly, striking out nine and giving up two hits over 83 pitches in six innings.

Atlanta have now won four of their past six games to move to a 16-18 record for the season.

Robert ruins Yankees win streak

Luis Robert drove home the winning run in the ninth inning to hand the Chicago White Sox a 3-2 win over the American League East-leading New York Yankees.

The Yankees were relentless at the plate over the opening two games of the series, scoring 25 runs but faced difficulty against Dallas Keuchel, who struck out three and gave up only four hits over 86 pitches.

While New York still hold the best record in baseball at 24-9, the loss ends a five-game winning streak.

Marte mashes Mariners

Patrick Mazeika hit the game-winning home run in the seventh inning, but Starling Marte was the star for the New York Mets in their 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Marte tripled, doubled, singled and claimed three RBIs from four at-bats for the Mets, who let a 4-0 lead slip when Jesse Winker tied with a three-run home run in the seventh inning.

Batting ninth, Mazeika had the final say however, mashing Andres Munoz inside the right-field foul pole for his second home run in the major leagues.

Minnesota Twins pitcher Josh Winder etched his name into the history books on Friday night as he guided his team to a 2-1 win against the Oakland Athletics.

Winder, 25, in his second career start, pitched six shutout innings, giving up three hits and no walks with eight strikeouts. It comes after allowing just two hits and one walk from six scoreless innings in his first start against the Tampa Bay Rays.

He is the first pitcher since ERA became an official stat in 1913 to have 15 strikeouts, no more than one walk and allow no earned runs over his first two career starts.

It was almost not enough for the Twins, who scored their two runs from two solo homers, courtesy of Byron Buxton and Jorge Polanco. 

The Athletics cut the margin back to one when a fielding error allowed Cristian Pache to third base, where he would get brought home by a sacrifice fly, before Twins closer Emilio Pagan allowed a base hit and two walks to load the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning.

After a ground ball allowed the Twins to stop the third-base runner from getting to home plate, Pagan finished the job with a strikeout, sealing the victory and collecting the hard-earned save.

 

Trout delivers for Angels

AL MVP hopeful Shohei Ohtani's biggest competition for back-to-back trophies may be on his own team, as Mike Trout lifted the Los Angeles Angels to a 3-0 win against the Washington Nationals.

Reigning MVP Ohtani finished zero-for-three with a walk and an RBI, while three-time MVP Trout batted in two runs with a clutch double in the fifth inning.

It was a terrific performance by the Angels pitching staff, as starter Jhonathan Diaz gave up three hits and four walks through five scoreless frames, before the bullpen allowed just one hit and no walks the rest of the way.

Acuna bombs in Brewers win

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr gave the home fans something to cheer for, despite going down 6-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers.

In his second game back in Atlanta after a long-term injury, Acuna blasted a 450-foot home run to center-field for his first since July, but a four-run sixth inning for the Brewers put the visitors in front, where they would stay.

Alek Manoah was in intimidating form on Thursday as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated their divisional-rival Boston Red Sox 1-0.

The 24-year-old Blue Jays starter gave up only three hits and struck out seven over 92 pitches in seven innings.

With Xander Bogaerts rested, the second-year pitcher was able to put the Red Sox batters under constant pressure, claiming first-pitch strikes on 15 of the 25 he faced.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. scored the winning run in the third inning, moving to second after a walk for Raimel Tapia and getting home via Alejandro Kirk's two-out single.

The Blue Jays moved 13-7 for the season, within a game of the New York Yankees atop the American League East.

Acuna returns for Braves

Ronald Acuna Jr. made his return for the Atlanta Braves, who defeated the Chicago Cubs 5-2.

The 24-year-old made was taken off the injured list after a 10-month absence from a torn ACL and was immediately inserted into the lineup, starting as leadoff hitter for the Braves.

The Venezuelan went without a hit from his first three at-bats, but finished one-for-five and stole two bases.

Halos continue impressive start

The Los Angeles Angels claimed their 12th win in 16 games and secured a four-game sweep of the Cleveland Guardians with a 4-1 victory on Thursday.

Rookie pitcher Reid Detmers struck out four and allowed two hits over 88 pitches in five innings, but most notable was the fact the Angels performed at the plate without big showings from Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.

While Trout went zero-for-two at the plate and Ohtani was rested, Brandon Marsh had three hits and an RBI while Taylor Ward claimed two RBIs and a hit in the win.

The Atlanta Braves have activated star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. from the injured list, where he had been since suffering a torn right ACL last July.

The Braves announced the move on Thursday after originally targeting a May 6 return date. The reigning World Series champions decided he was ready to be activated after Acuna went seven for 19 (.368) with one double, three stolen bases and six walks during a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett.

The 24-year-old had been named to his second All-Star Game and was in the NL MVP conversation before injuring his knee while trying to make a leaping catch in the outfield at Marlins Park on July 10.

At the time of his injury, he had compiled a .283/.394/.596 slash line with 24 home runs and a league-leading 72 runs scored in 82 games.

The knee injury sidelined him for the final three months of the regular season and forced him to miss Atlanta’s run to the franchise’s first World Series championship since 1995.

The Braves are off to an 8-11 start to the 2022 season, already five and a half games behind the NL East-leading New York Mets. They will conclude a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday at Truist Park before embarking on a seven-game trip to face the Texas Rangers and Mets.

Ronald Acuna Jr. claimed he feels better than he ever has after returning from an ACL tear for the Triple-A Gwinnett Stripers.

The two-time All-Star suffered the serious knee injury last July and missed the Atlanta Braves' run to the World Series title.

Acuna led MLB with 72 runs in 2021 at the time of his injury and has had to stay patient in his rehabilitation, also sitting out the start of this season.

But the left fielder took a significant step forward on Tuesday in his first game back in the minors.

According to The Athletic, Acuna said he was "very good" and "ready to go" as he went one-for-three with a double in a 2-0 defeat to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

"I didn't know if I would come back and be the same," he added. "Now, I'm healthy again. Actually, I feel I'm better than I was."

The Braves have made a 6-7 start in 2022 but have an eight-game homestand starting on May 6, which Acuna could target.

"I hope sooner [than that]," he said.

Max Fried starred with eight strikeouts across seven innings as the Atlanta Braves won 3-1 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.

Braves left-hander Fried went perfect across the first five innings, before allowing two hits, while Freddie Freeman was quelled against his former side.

The Dodgers' only run of the game, scored by Chris Taylor, came in the eighth inning once Fried had been relieved, with Kenley Jansen closing it out in the ninth.

Travis d'Arnaud hit a solo home run at the top of the second inning, before Orlando Arcia's RBI double in the fourth and Austin Riley's single on a line drive for Ozzie Albies to score in the fifth.

 

Franco's maiden 2022 blast... at last

Wander Franco blasted his first home run of 2022 in a three-hit game as the Tampa Bay Rays won 6-5 over the Chicago Cubs.

Franco had missed Monday's game to rest his right quad but returned in style with a two-run homer on a 2-0 pitch in the third inning.

The young Rays star has now had seven multi-hit performances across 11 games this Major League season. Franco is a joint leader in the majors for hits, with 19.

"He's unique, special, talented, and we're seeing it in every part of his game," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

 

Vintage Scherzer and Perez

Reliever Clarke Schmidt stepped up for the New York Yankees after Gerrit Cole's early struggles by tossing down six strikeouts in their 4-2 win over the Detroit Tigers. Cole had walked four batters, included with base loaded.

Max Scherzer was at his vintage best with 10 strikeouts in the New York Mets' 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants, which backed up their earlier 5-4 victory on a double-header.

Salvador Perez put aside blurry vision to slug two home runs as the Kansas City Royals won 4-3 over the Minnesota Twins.

Freddie Freeman said his emotions were "all over the place" as he hit his first home run for his new club, the Los Angeles Dodgers, against his former team in a 7-4 win against the Atlanta Braves.

Freeman spent 12 seasons with the Braves, earning five All-Star appearances and an MVP trophy in 2020, and faced them for the first time on Monday since signing a six-year, $162million deal with the Dodgers this past offseason.

In his first at-bat, from just the second pitch he saw, he blasted a home run over the fence at left-center, and later scored a second run when he was brought home by Trea Turner's base-clearing double in the fourth inning.

"Obviously there's just a lot of emotion going on right now," Freeman said afterwards. "But a lot of good emotion.

"I’m just happy to be able to see all the guys. We won a championship together last year, so that's what we're all talking about over there.

"I love every single person on [the Braves'] side of that field – but I do hope they don’t do good for these next three games.”

When asked if the game represented some closure for Freeman, he insisted that was not the case.

"I don't know if any of us are really looking for closure," he said. 

"I had a great 12 years; I'm not trying to close anything. I'm just trying to move on, obviously. 

"But I had so many great memories with the Braves, with the guys over there. That's always going to be there, I think."

He added: "As the game went on, there were a couple smiles here and there from staff members and people I spent a lot of time with.

"It's just a special day, one I'll always remember."

Early National League Rookie of the Year favourite Seiya Suzuki continued the remarkable start to his MLB career on Monday with another two hits in the Chicago Cubs' 4-2 win against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Suzuki, 27, was named National League Player of the Week in his first full week in the majors, and with his first of two hits on Monday, he tied Akinori Iwamura for the longest hitting streak by a Japanese player to start their career at nine games.

He is also the first Cub to hit safely in the first nine games of their career (with an official at-bat) since 1943. He sits fifth in the majors in batting average (.429) and is tied for fourth in home runs (four).

Of the Cubs' four runs, Suzuki scored two, as he was driven in by a Patrick Wisdom two-run homer in the second inning, before getting hit by a pitch in the seventh inning, eventually coming around to score again off an Ian Happ hit.

With the Cubs up 3-2 in the eighth inning, Frank Schwindel gave Chicago a little breathing room with a solo home run for the last score of the game.

Despite the loss, it was a terrific performance on the mound for Rays Cy Young candidate Shane McClanahan, striking out nine batters in six innings, allowing only four hits and no walks for one earned run.

Yelich grand slams for Brewers

Leading 2-1 in the fourth inning, Christian Yelich stepped up to the plate with bases loaded and slogged a massive 429-foot grand slam to give the Milwaukee Brewers their 6-1 final score against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Brewers starting pitcher Eric Lauer was excellent, striking out five batters in six innings, conceding only one run and six baserunners in the process.

Freeman goes deep against old friends

After spending the first 12 years of his MLB career with the Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman hit a home run against them in the first inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 7-4 home win against his visiting former team.

From just the second pitch he faced against his old side, Freeman hammered it for a 386-foot home run to center field for the early lead.

The Braves rallied in the sixth frame to get Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw out of the game with seven strikeouts and four earned runs through five complete innings, but it was not enough to deny the Dodgers their seventh consecutive win to move to the best record in the majors at 8-2.

National League Rookie of the Year favourite Seiya Suzuki registered a hit in the eighth consecutive start of his career after a home run in the Chicago Cubs' 6-4 away win against the Colorado Rockies.

The 27-year-old, who arrived from the Hiroshima Carp this off-season on a five-year, $85million deal made more history with his home run, becoming the second Japanese player to ever start his career with an eight-game hitting streak, and the third Cubs player in the past 100 years to start a season that way,

With a hit in his next game, Suzuki will tie Akinori Iwamura for the record for longest hitting streak to start a MLB career for a player coming from Japan, which happened in 2007 for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Suzuki's home run was his fourth of the season – trailing only C.J. Kron and Vladimir Guerrero Jr (five each) for most home runs in the entire MLB.

It came at an important time on Sunday, after the Rockies had cut the Cubs' 5-0 lead back to 5-3 going into the seventh inning, before Suzuki tacked on the extra insurance run.

Nick Madrigal was also terrific for the Cubs, going three-for-five at the plate, including a double, while the biggest hit of the game was Ryan McMahon's 447-foot two-run blast for the Rockies in the sixth inning.

Freeman and Heaney fit right in as Dodgers sweep Reds

Freddie Freeman had four hits and three RBIs as the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds, claiming a 9-1 win on Sunday.

Andrew Heaney struck out 11 over six innings in a scoreless home debut, while Max Muncy, Will Smith and Chris Taylor.

Heaney was dominant, posting his 15th career start with at least 10 strikeouts, while walking three and only allowing a double from Kyle Farmer in the third inning.

Darvish bounces back against Braves

Yu Darvish pitched into the seventh inning as the San Diego Padres beat the Atlanta Braves 2-1 with only three hits.

Following the shortest outing of his career, not even covering two innings against the San Francisco Giants on the prior Tuesday, the 35-year-old allowed his only run against the reigning World Series champions via Marcell Ozuna's home run in the seventh.

Taylor Rogers closed out the four-hitter for San Diego, to save what was an otherwise off day at the plate for the Padres, with Jake Cronenworth particularly going zero-for-three.

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