Six players and both managers received ejections following a benches-clearing brawl during the second inning of Sunday’s game between the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels.

The nasty incident occurred after Angels pitcher Andrew Wantz hit Mariners outfielder Jesse Winker in the hip with a pitch to begin the second inning, after throwing behind rookie star Julio Rodriguez in the opening frame.

After exchanging words with Wantz and briefly moving towards first base, Winker then charged the Angels’ dugout on the third-base side as both teams’ benches and bullpens emptied.

Numerous punches were thrown in the resulting fracas, which delayed the Angels’ eventual 2-1 win for more than 15 minutes. When order was restored, both Winker and Wantz were ejected along with Seattle outfielder Julio Rodriguez and shortstop J.P. Crawford, Angels pitchers Raisel Iglesias and Ryan Tepera and each team’s manager – the Mariners’ Scott Servais and the Angels’ Phil Nevin.

Tensions between the American League West rivals were already running high after Seattle pitcher Erik Swanson’s errant pitch sailed over Angels star Mike Trout’s head in the Mariners’ 5-3 victory on Saturday night.

Wantz was not originally scheduled to start the game, with the change coming in the hours leading up to start time, prompting those on the Mariners' side to believe he was brought in with the intent to hit batters.

"It’s classless," Mariners starting pitcher Marco Gonzales said afterward. “To throw at Julio, who’s a kid, over something that happened last night when we were trying to win a ballgame in the ninth inning, (not) put the tying run on base. It’s just classless to come out and change your pitcher before the game.

"It’s clear. The intention is clear."

Wantz, who was making his first career major league start, denied intentionally throwing at either Rodriguez or Winker.

"I was pretty amped up for my first start and the first one just got away from me," he said. "It was sweaty. I was sweating.

"First day game I’ve pitched (in the majors), and that’s that. Second one to Winker was a cut fastball inside and just yanked it. That’s all I’ve got to say."

Nevin also downplayed the incident afterward.

"You play eight games in a matter of a week against the same team, things like this happen," he said. "The scheduling, tensions, that’s baseball sometimes – unfortunately there’s some ugly incidents once in a while. I think that’s just what happened today."

Winker later directed obscene gestures towards several Angels fans as he left the field, actions he expressed remorse for during his postgame interview.

"The only thing I’m going to apologise for is flipping the fans off. That’s it," he said. "As fans, they’re spending their hard-earned money to come watch us play a game, and they didn’t deserve that. So, I apologise to the fans, especially the women and children."

The two teams are scheduled to face one another 11 more times this season, including a four-game series in Seattle from August 5-7. The Mariners will visit Anaheim twice more in 2022, a three-game series in August and a four-game set in September.

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge continued to mount his case for AL MVP on Sunday as he crushed a three-run, walk-off home run to complete a 6-3 comeback win against the Houston Astros.

All the momentum was with the Astros early coming off Saturday's meeting where they became the first team in 19 years to hold the Yankees hit-less, and they added to that history to begin this contest.

Jose Altuve gave the Astros a 1-0 lead with a first-inning home run, before the road team jumped ahead 3-0 with a two-RBI single to Maurcio Dubon in the fourth frame.

The Yankees did not have a hit through six-and-a-third innings – making it a streak of 52 at-bats without a hit, the longest dry spell by any team since 1974.

Giancarlo Stanton finally broke the seal with a 436-foot solo homer in the seventh frame, before D.J. LeMahieu tied things up with a two-run shot an inning later.

Neither team was able to find a run in the ninth, forcing extra innings, where Michael King was able to keep the Astros from scoring, setting up Judge to connect on the walk-off winner in the bottom of the 10th.

Judge is the current favourite for AL MVP, and the home run was his 28th of the season – six more than any other player.

Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes put in a solid performance, striking out seven batters in five innings while conceding three earned runs from five hits and two walks.

Astros starter Jose Urquidy was even better, allowing just one run from one hit through seven complete innings.

With the win, the Yankees move their league-best record to 53-20, leading the second-placed New York Mets by six-and-a-half games.

McClanahan shows Cy Young quality

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan has emerged as the top choice for the AL Cy Young Award as the league's most outstanding pitcher, and he dominated the Pittsburgh Pirates in his side's 4-2 win.

McClanahan struck out 10 batters, holding the Pirates to one run from four hits and no walks through his seven full innings.

His dominance was rewarded, keeping the Rays tied at 1-1 until the seventh inning when they would finally find their rhythm and string together three consecutive two-out hits to make sure McClanahan had the lead before he was withdrawn, and was thus credited with the win.

White Sox issue Cease and desist to Orioles offense

Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease was at the top of his game on what turned out to be a great Sunday for star pitchers, striking out a career-high 13 batters in a 4-3 home win against the Baltimore Orioles.

His 13 strikeouts in seven complete innings was one shy of this season's most strikeouts in a game, set by Miami Marlins star Sandy Alcantara when he sat down 14 batters against the Atlanta Braves last month.

With the bat, the White Sox jumped ahead in the second inning courtesy of a two-run Gavin Sheets homer, and they held that lead throughout.

This is shaping up to be a season to remember for the New York Yankees, but they made history for all the wrong reasons on Sunday.

The Yankees, who boast the best record in the major leagues in 2022, had been held to a combined no-hitter by the Houston Astros in Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Yankee Stadium.

But rather than come out firing in the teams' next meeting the following day, the Yankees threatened to suffer the ignominy of a stunning second consecutive no-no.

Jose Urquidy frustrated the home team for 6.1 innings before Giancarlo Stanton finally made good contact and homered 436 feet to center field.

That was the Yankees' first hit since the eighth inning of Friday's 3-1 home loss to the Astros, a streak of 52 consecutive at-bats – the longest run by a batting team without a hit since at least 1974.

It also tied the record for the most at-bats without a pitching team allowing a hit over the same period.

The Astros matched the feats of the 2012 Los Angeles Angels against the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays and the 2014 Los Angeles Dodgers against the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds.

Houston own the only two no-hitters against the Yankees this century, with Saturday's hitless game following a 2003 no-no at Yankee Stadium.

The sputtering Arizona Diamondbacks are in need of a spark and hope a former Cy Young Award winner can ignite it.

Hoping to shake off a horrendous start to the season, Dallas Keuchel will make his Diamondbacks debut and try to help Arizona end a five-game losing streak in Sunday's series finale with the Detroit Tigers.

The 34-year-old left-hander signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks on June 6 following a desperate start to the season by the Chicago White Sox leading to his release.

The move to Arizona reunited him with pitching coach Brent Strom, who worked with Keuchel in 2015 when he won the AL Cy Young Award with the Houston Astros while going 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA.

The Diamondbacks are hopeful Keuchel can replicate the success he had with the Astros as opposed to the way he was knocked around with the White Sox over this season's first two months.

In eight starts for Chicago this season, Keuchel went 2-5 with a 7.88 ERA, permitting 49 hits and 20 walks in just 32 innings.

Among the 208 players with at least 30 innings pitched this season, Keuchel's 2.16 WHIP is the worst in the majors.

Prior to being called up by the Diamondbacks, he went 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts in the Arizona Complex League.

Reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper was ruled out indefinitely by the Philadelphia Phillies after fracturing his left thumb during Saturday's win over the San Diego Padres.

Harper sustained the injury in the fourth inning when he was hit by a 97mph fastball from Padres pitcher Blake Snell.

Set to undergo further evaluation in the coming days, Harper said: "I've never had a hand injury like this.

"Never broken anything in my life. This is new to me, so I'm just gonna go day by day, see kind of where we're at, and see the specialist in Philly. And if I do need to see another specialist somewhere, then I will."

Harper joked: "I kind of wish it would've hit me in the face. I don't break bones in my face. I can take 98 to the face, but I can't take 97 to the thumb."

General manager Dave Dombrowski was unsure in the immediate aftermath whether Harper would require surgery.

"We will put him on the injured list [on Sunday]," Dombrowski said. "I was concerned at first he got hit in the face. I was concerned right off the bat because he is a tough guy and he walked off the field immediately."

Harper is fifth in the NL with a batting average of .318. He has 15 home runs this season and is tied sixth in the NL with 48 RBIs.

"He is a guy who really isn't replaceable on an individual basis, but we are going to have to be in a position that other people are going to have to step up," Dombrowski said.

"We will make a move to try and get someone here [on Sunday]."

Houston Astros pitchers Cristian Javier, Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly combined for a stunning no-hitter in their 3-0 win over the New York Yankees on Saturday.

Javier set career highs for pitches (115) and strikeouts (13) after walking Josh Donaldson on a full count in the first at-bat, before Astros manager Dusty Baker brought Neris in to start the eighth inning.

Pressly, who gave up the game-tying three-run home run to Aaron Hicks in Thursday's loss to the Yankees, retired three-straight in the ninth for his 15th save out of 18.

Astros rookie JJ Matijevic gave the Astros the lead in the seventh inning with his second homer in the major leagues, sending Gerrit Cole deep over right-field.

Jose Altuve followed that up with a home run of his own in the eighth but Yuli Gurriel added an RBI single in the ninth, as the Astros took their second game of three in the high-profile four-game series.

Harper breaks thumb as Appel makes Phillies roster

While Mark Appel's promotion to the Philadelphia Phillies' roster was the main topic pre-game, nine years after he was selected in 2013 MLB Draft, it was overshadowed by Bryce Harper's broken thumb in their 4-2 win over the San Diego Padres.

The reigning National League MVP will be out indefinitely after a wild fast-ball from Padres starter Blake Snell tagged him on the left hand.

Alec Bohm and JT Realmuto led the way in Harper's absence, with Bohm claiming two hits and RBI from four at-bats and Realmuto's home run off Snell setting up a three-run fifth inning.

Archer and Twins combine for one-hitter

Chris Archer was instrumental as the Minnesota Twins claimed top spot in the American League Central, as they secured a 6-0 victory against the Colorado Rockies.

On a limited pitch count, Archer gave up just one hit and struck out five over 78 pitches in five innings, before Jharrel Cotton, Griffin Jax and Tyler Thornberg shut the Rockies out.

Leading the major leagues in batting average (.347) and OBP (.426), Luis Arraez claimed two hits and an RBI from five at-bats to help secure the win, moving the Twins to 40-33 for the year.

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed many fans’ fears, announcing Saturday his club will have to play out the year without reliever Daniel Hudson.

The right-hander was diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee, requiring season-ending surgery and an extended rehabilitation period.

Hudson suffered the injury in Friday’s 4-1 win over the Atlanta Braves, with his leg buckling beneath him as he reacted to a slowly hit ground ball.

The 35-year-old had a 2.22 ERA this season serving as the primary setup man for closer Craig Kimbrel.

“Obviously, it’s a big loss,” Roberts said.

"I still haven't seen the play but from everything I hear, it's an ACL. Obviously it doesn't look good from all indications. Things can happen, but I don't see how it's not the end of his season."

The National League West-leading Dodgers have already had several injuries to key relievers, previously losing Blake Treinen to shoulder surgery and placing Tommy Kahnle on the 60-day injured list with forearm tightness.

Brusdar Graterol appears to be one likely candidate to see increased action in high-leverage innings.

“Obviously, the guys that are here are going to have an opportunity,” Roberts said. “I'm not going to say who it is, but they're going to have opportunities.”

Houston Astros manager praised his pitching staff for a Saturday he will "never forget" after they combined for a no-hitter against the New York Yankees for the first time in nearly two decades.

Astros starter Cristian Javier led the way for seven innings in the win, notching up a career-high 13 strikeouts while shutting down the best team in baseball.

The no-hitter is the 14th in Astros franchise history and the third combined no-hitter for the club.

Javier walked Josh Donaldson on a full count in the first inning, then retired 17 consecutive batters before Donaldson reached on an error in the seventh. Baker pulled Javier at a career-high 115 pitches at the end of the inning.

"The whole thing about pitching is control, control, control," Baker said. "Everybody talks about velocity all the time, but the velocity without command and control is no good.

"That was the key, getting ahead of the hitters. And he was getting ahead of some pretty good hitters, real good hitters over there. So, boy, that's a day that he'll never forget. Nor us, either."

Hector Neris encountered some drama in the eighth inning, walking Aaron Hicks and DJ LeMahieu before sitting down Joey Gallo and Aaron Judge to get out of the jam.

"I said, 'I have to get it for my team, I have to get it for Javy," Neris said post-game.

Ryan Pressly finished the feat with a flawless ninth inning, blocking out the memory of Thursday’s outing against the Yankees, in which he allowed a three-run home run in a 7-6 loss.

"I lost a lot of sleep [Thursday] night," Pressly said. "I was pretty upset with myself and felt like I let the team down. I wanted to come out here and show my teammates that they can trust me and go out there and take care of business."

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole nearly match Javier’s effectiveness, not allowing the game’s first run until a JJ Matijevic solo home run with two outs in the seventh.

Cole tossed seven innings in all, allowing four hits and just the one run. New York relievers Michael King and Lucas Luetge each gave up a run in the 3-0 Astros victory.

"The cold, hard truth is we got outpitched and outplayed," Cole said. "Magical day for them."

Mark Appel could be about to end his long, long wait to play in the major leagues after being called up by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Appel is joining the Phillies after the team put Connor Brogdon on the COVID injured list, according to MLB.com and The Athletic.

The 30-year-old pitcher is yet to make a single MLB appearance, despite being taken with the first overall draft pick by the Houston Astros in 2013.

That was the third time Appel had been selected – and second time in the first round – but the first time he was signed.

However, Appel never played for the Astros and was traded to the Phillies after the 2015 season, having struggled in the minor leagues.

He was designated for assignment in 2017 and announced his retirement in 2018, admitting he could "probably" be considered "the biggest draft bust".

Yet Appel returned to the Phillies last year and could now get his opportunity in place of Brogdon. The team are in the middle of a four-game series against the San Diego Padres.

Appel is one of four first overall picks never to have made it to MLB, along with Steve Chilcott, Brien Taylor and Brady Aiken.

The Astros also selected Aiken – in 2014, when Appel was still a part of the organisation – but a bonus dispute saw him become the first number one pick to be left unsigned since Tim Belcher in 1983.

Aiken was drafted again in 2015 by the Cleveland Indians, this time 17th overall, yet he still did not play and was released last year.

Austin and Aaron Nola made MLB history on Friday – to the frustration of the Philadelphia Phillies pitcher.

The brothers faced one another for only the second time in their major league careers as the Phillies visited the San Diego Padres' Petco Park.

The first meeting, in 2021, had gone the way of Phillies right-hander Aaron, as three fastballs saw Austin struck out swinging despite a 4-3 Padres win.

Given the baseball Aaron threw for strike three made its way to Austin for Christmas, revenge could well have been on the agenda this time.

And Austin delivered and then some.

Another Padres win was settled in the battle between the Nola brothers, as Austin drove in the RBI for the only run in a 1-0 victory.

It was the first ever example of a major league player having an RBI off his brother in a 1-0 win.

"Of all the people... do it to somebody else," Aaron said afterwards, knowing he was in store for a tough evening.

"He'll talk about it obviously. It is what it is. Yeah, I'll hear about it tonight. He runs his mouth a lot."

The Phillies had plenty of opportunities to rescue their pitcher, with Kyle Schwarber finally flying out with bases loaded in the ninth.

"I'm beating myself up about that one," Schwarber said. "I can't believe I let his brother beat him. Gosh."

At least in front of the media, Austin was magnanimous in victory, saying: "I'm glad we got the win, but then your brother gets the loss.

"He pitched an unbelievable game. It's fun to watch him. There's no doubt about it.

"He's done it twice to us. He threw seven innings, threw eight innings last year. What a performance by him."

Freddie Freeman's emotions were "all over the place" when he faced the Braves for the first time in April – and it was more of the same in Friday's return to Atlanta.

Freeman spent 12 seasons with the Braves, earning five All-Star appearances and the NL MVP trophy in 2020, before signing a six-year, $162million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers this past offseason.

The first baseman's first two home runs for the Dodgers then came in a three-game series against the Braves in LA earlier this season.

But this week has brought Freeman back to Atlanta for the first time since helping to inspire the Braves' World Series success last year.

Friday started with Freeman struggling to contain his emotions as he fulfilled pre-game media duties, briefly leaving the interview room at Truist Park in tears and returning to say: "I don't even know how I'm going to get through this weekend, guys, if I'm being honest."

There were more tears as he received his championship ring from Braves manager Brian Snitker following a video tribute on the center-field screen.

"I know I have a different uniform on," he said to the crowd on Bally Sports, "but I still love each and every one of you guys."

Freeman then had to get to work, but the tributes did not stop. The Braves' organist played 'We Are The Champions' as he came to bat in the top of the first inning, earning another standing ovation.

"It's hard to put into words," Freeman told Spectrum SportsNet after two walks, one hit and two runs scored in the Dodgers' 4-1 win.

"I left everything I had on this field, every single night, and I think they understood that. I love them very, very much, and they showed me the love tonight.

"I'm so glad I got walked, because I couldn't feel my legs – I couldn't feel my legs for a few innings, to be honest with you. It was emotional, and I am worn out."

He added: "I tried to envision what tonight was going to be like, and this far exceeded my expectations. It was just a special, special evening."

A big performance from New York Mets star Francisco Lindor helped his side conquer the Miami Marlins and their ace pitcher Sandy Alcantara 5-3 away from home.

Lindor struck in the very first inning, grinding out an eight-pitch at-bat before connecting on a 404-foot solo home run to center-field.

It was also a poor beginning to the game for Mets starter Taijuan Walker, giving up four consecutive base hits to the Marlins' first four batters, but he was able to get out of the first inning only conceding one run to keep things tied. 

Alcantara, who is the favourite to win the Cy Young Award as most outstanding pitcher in his conference, found his footing through the middle stages, not allowing a baserunner through the second, third and fourth inning.

He only gave up two hits and no walks through the first five innings, but the second hit – courtesy of Mark Canha in the fifth – also travelled over the fence, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead.

Just like the first frame, the Marlins did not allow the Mets to finish the inning in the lead, tying it at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth through a Jorge Soler RBI groundout.

The sixth inning is where the Mets won the game, with an infield single to lead-off, followed by a bunt for a hit, and then a fielding error to load the bases with no outs.

Lindor cashed in, with a bases-clearing, three-run double to bust the game open, opening up a winning break that the Mets bullpen was able to defend.

Alcantara ended up pitching seven complete innings, giving up four earned runs from five hits and no walks, doing enough to remain as one of four starting pitchers with an ERA still under 2.0 this season (1.95, giving up 23 earned runs in 106.1 innings).

Walker was credited with the win, coming back from his rough start to work through six innings, giving up three runs and striking out five.

Astros snap Yankees' home streak

The New York Yankees lost at home for the first time in their past 16 games at Yankee Stadium as the Houston Astros got the job done 3-1.

Both teams finished with five hits, and both teams had all their scoring come from a single home run in the sixth inning, but while Giancarlo Stanton's homer was a solo shot, Kyle Tucker's was a three-run blast after a double from Alex Bregman and a walk to Yordan Alvarez.

It was a terrific outing for Astros ace Justin Verlander, pitching seven complete innings for four hits and one walk.

Devers, Pivetta and the Red Sox stay hot

The Boston Red Sox have now won 17 of their past 21 games after a 6-3 road win against the Cleveland Guardians.

Nick Pivetta shined on the mound, giving up two runs in seven innings, allowing nine hits, but no walks.

With the bat, AL MVP candidate Rafael Devers delivered with a 411-foot solo home run to put the Red Sox ahead in the second inning, before Carlos Arroyo's two-run shot in the seventh frame finally gave Boston some breathing room.

The New York Yankees and star slugger Aaron Judge agreed to a one-year, $19million contract just hours before the two sides were scheduled for an arbitration hearing on Friday.

The deal represents a compromise between Judge, who is in his final year of arbitration eligibility, and the Yankees.

The three-time All-Star's representatives had been seeking a $21m salary for this season, while New York countered with a $17m offer.

Judge can also earn an additional $250,000 if he wins the American League MVP award and another $250,000 if named MVP of the World Series. 

The 30-year-old has emerged as an early MVP frontrunner as the leader of a Yankees team who own the majors' best record at 52-18.

Judge's 27 homers in 2022 are five more than any player, and he is batting a career-best .304 through 68 games. He also ranks third in the majors in OPS (1.037) and third in the AL with 53 RBIs.

Judge reportedly turned down a seven-year, $213.5m extension offer from the Yankees during spring training, and the six-foot-seven outfielder's stellar start to 2022 likely has him in line for a more lucrative payday when he reaches free agency in the offseason. 

Those 2022 numbers would not have impacted Judge's arbitration case, however, as any statistics after March 1 are not admissible per the agreement between MLB and the players' association that ended this past offseason's lockout.

Catcher Salvador Perez will undergo surgery to repair a damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb, the Kansas City Royals announced on Friday.

The procedure will sideline Perez for an extended period, although the Royals said in a statement that the seven-time All-Star is expected to return this season.

Perez, whose 48 home runs in 2021 tied Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero for the major league lead, initially injured his thumb while swinging in mid-May.

He returned on May 28 but aggravated the injury while catching in Kansas City's win over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday. 

The 32-year-old leads the Royals with 11 homers this season while adding 34 RBIs in 57 games, although his .211 average and .254 on-base percentage are the lowest marks of his 11-year MLB career.

Perez earned his fourth career Silver Slugger Award in 2021 after tying a Royals season record for home runs and leading the majors with 121 RBIs. The veteran is also a five-time Gold Glove Award winner at catcher.

Perez's absence will allow the Royals to give an extended look to rookie MJ Melendez behind the plate.

The 23-year-old Melendez, who entered the season as MLB.com's number 51 overall prospect, led the minor leagues with 41 homers in 2021 while splitting the season between Double and Triple A.

Melendez has hit .234 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 45 games with Kansas City since being called up in early May. 

Aaron Judge hit a game-winning single to cap a four-run ninth inning for the New York Yankees in their 7-6 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday.

Aaron Hicks started the late rally for the Pinstripes, tying the game with a three-run home run off Astros closer Ryan Pressly.

Alex Bregman and Giancarlo Stanton traded three-run homers in the first inning, while Yordan Alvarez also added a three-run shot in the third off Jameson Taillon to put the Astros ahead.

The Yankees took the opener of a highly anticipated four-game series between the American League's two best records with the win, as the Astros kick off a six-game stand in New York, taking both games from the Mets earlier this week in Houston.

The American League leaders moved to 52-18 for the season and claimed their 19th win in the past 22 games, heading into Judge's in-season salary arbitration on Friday.

Swanson seals win for Braves

Dansby Swanson hit two home runs for the Atlanta Braves, who were able to hold out against the San Francisco Giants in a 7-6 victory.

Swanson had three hits and three RBIs as the Braves built a 7-1 lead coming into the fifth inning. Six Giants players scored multiple hits, with Austin Slater's home run starting the rally in the fifth.

They were not able to capitalise on the higher hit count however, as the Braves moved 11 games over .500 with their 18th win in the past month.

Freeman fires Dodgers to victory

Freddie Freeman's form continued in the absence of Mookie Betts, leading the way for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 10-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Freeman claimed a home run and three RBIs, moving his OBP for the season to a team-leading .386, while Max Muncy and Trea Turner each tallied three hits.

Clayton Kershaw allowed just one run and seven hits in six innings for the National League West leaders, striking out seven in 80 pitches and lowering his ERA for the season to 2.00.

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