Los Angeles Angels general manager Perry Minasian insisted there is "never a right time for something like this" after the MLB franchise designated future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols for assignment.

Pujols' future is in limbo following Thursday's announcement – a procedural move that will lead to his release by the end of the week, less than two months into the last season of the slugger's 10-year, $240million contract.

The oldest active player in the majors, the 41-year-old Pujols popped out to first in his final at-bat with the Angels in Tuesday's ninth inning before sitting out Wednesday in the team's fourth straight loss. 

One of the greatest sluggers in baseball history, Pujols' 667 home runs rank fifth while his 669 doubles are also fifth-most of all time, but he has been batting mere .198 this season, though has homered five times and is fourth on the Angels with 12 RBIs.

"There's never a right time for something like this," Minasian said. "Obviously, I have all the respect in the world for what type of player he is; this is more about playing time and who we have."

"Albert is not a bench player," Minasian continued. "We felt like for him, with respect to him, keeping him on the bench, him not getting any playing time, would not do him any good or the team any good.

"Never a good time for this, but with that being said, we felt like it was the best thing for the organisation."

Only Hank Aaron has more RBIs than Pujols' 2,112 since it became an official statistic in 1920, and Pujols is 13th on the all-time hits list with 3,253.

Pujols enjoyed great success with the St Louis Cardinals, where he led the franchise to two World Series championships, one other National League (NL) pennant and six division crowns.

A unanimous NL Rookie of the Year Award winner in 2001 when he hit .329 with 37 home runs and 130 RBIs, Pujols made his first of nine All-Star selections with the Cardinals.

In his 11 seasons in St Louis, Pujols won three NL MVP Awards and finished in the top five in voting seven other times. 

He left St Louis after helping the Cardinals win the 2011 World Series to sign a mega deal with the Angels.

After slugging 445 home runs with 455 doubles while slashing .328/.420/.617 for a 1.037 OPS in 1,705 games over 11 seasons with the Cardinals, Pujols never lived up to expectations over 10 seasons with the Angels, hitting 222 homers with 214 doubles with a .256/.311/.447 slash line for a .758 OPS in 1,181 games.

His production dropped off significantly in the past four seasons, with 53 homers and a .239/.290/.414 slash line for a .704 OPS in 311 games.

He only earned one trip to the All-Star game since joining the Angels and the franchise made just one postseason appearance, getting swept by the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 American League Division Series (ALDS).

"He's as professional as any player I've ever dealt with," Minasian said. "There was no fight, there was no argument; this was a conversation that went back and forth.

"He expressed his feelings, we expressed ours; he understood where we stood on the whole situation. Things did not end bad. I gave him a big hug."

"He's as motivated as he's ever been," Minasian added. "If the situation was different and there were at-bats for him to play here, it'd be different. But let me put it this way -- if he does go somewhere else, and pursue playing somewhere else, I would not bet against him."

Angels manager Joe Maddon said: "Everybody will tell you the same thing; if you watch Albert work, it's pretty impressive. He's been around for a bit, he's been playing for a while, but he came to the ballpark with the same zeal on a daily basis. That's what I saw.

"The guy wanted to play, he wants to be on the field; he does not want to be a bench player of any kind. This guy has got a lot of pride, and that's a big reason why he's going to be a first-ballot unanimous Hall of Famer."

Albert Pujols' 10-year stint with Los Angeles Angles is over after the franchise surprisingly designated the future Hall of Fame slugger for assignment on Thursday.

The oldest active player in the majors at 41 years old, Pujols popped out to first in his final at-bat with the Angels in Tuesday's ninth inning before sitting out Wednesday in the club's fourth straight loss. 

He is batting a mere .198 this season, though has homered five times and is fourth on the Angels with 12 RBIs.

'"The Angels organization proudly signed Albert Pujols in 2011, and are honoured that he has worn an Angels jersey for nearly half of his Hall of Fame career,'" Angels owner Arte Moreno said in a statement.

"Albert's historical accomplishments, both on and off the field, serve as an inspiration to athletes everywhere, and his actions define what it means to be a true superstar. 

"Since his Rookie of the Year season in 2001, Albert and his wife Deidre have generously given their time and resources to countless charities throughout the world. We are thankful to the entire Pujols family."

One of the greatest sluggers in baseball history, Pujols' 667 home runs rank fifth while his 669 doubles are also fifth-most of all time. 

Only Hank Aaron has more RBIs than Pujols' 2,112 since it became an official statistic in 1920, and Pujols is 13th on the all-time hits list with 3,253.

While he is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, much of his production came in the first half of his career with the St. Louis Cardinals.

A unanimous NL Rookie of the Year Award winner in 2001 when he hit .329 with 37 home runs and 130 RBIs, Pujols made his first of nine All-Star selections with the Cardinals.

In his 11 seasons in St. Louis, Pujols won three NL MVP Awards and finished in the top five in voting seven other times. 

He led the Cardinals to two World Series championships, one other NL pennant and six division crowns.

He left St. Louis after helping the Cardinals win the 2011 World Series to sign a 10-year, $240 million contract with Los Angeles in a move that has served as a cautionary tale for franchises considering giving long-term deals to players on the wrong side of 30 years old.

After slugging 445 home runs with 455 doubles while slashing .328/.420/.617 for a 1.037 OPS in 1,705 games over 11 seasons with the Cardinals, Pujols never lived up to expectations over 10 seasons with the Angels, hitting 222 homers with 214 doubles with a .256/.311/.447 slash line for a .758 OPS in 1,181 games.

His production dropped off significantly in the past four seasons, with 53 homers and a .239/.290/.414 slash line for a .704 OPS in 311 games.

He only earned one trip to the All-Star game since joining Los Angeles and the franchise made just one postseason appearance, getting swept by the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 American League Division Series.

Pujols is making $30 million in salary this season, and should another team pick him up after he clears waivers, the Angels still would owe him the rest of his $30 million.

A new day but the same result for struggling World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers, who suffered a 6-5 walk-off defeat to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

The Dodgers were condemned to walk-off misery in game two of Tuesday's doubleheader and the slumping MLB holders experienced the same fate midweek.

Anthony Rizzo hit an RBI single in a two-run 11th inning to lift the Cubs, who completed a sweep of the Dodgers at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

The Cubs swept the Dodgers – who lost for the 13th time in 17 games following a 13-2 start to the season – at Wrigley Field for the first time since 2008.

Meanwhile, Baltimore Orioles ace John Means entered the MLB history books after throwing a no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners.

Means threw the Orioles' first solo no-hitter since Jim Palmer in 1969 as Baltimore blanked the Mariners 6-0.

It was an almost perfect performance for Means, who retired all 27 batters he faced in Seattle but did allow a baserunner when Sam Haggerty reached on a third-strike wild pitch in the third inning.

Means is the first pitcher to throw a non-perfect no-hitter in which the team did not record a walk, hit by pitch or error.

According to Stats Perform, Means is also the second pitcher in American League (AL) history to throw a no-hitter with 12-plus strikeouts and 0 walks, joining Felix Fernandez – who had a perfect game in 2012.

 

Fulmer follows in Ryan's footsteps

Detroit Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer earned his first career save in a 6-5 win over the Boston Red Sox. Fulmer retied Bobby Dalbec and Kike Hernandez to snap Detroit's six-game skid. According to Stats Perform, Fulmer is the first pitcher to get a save the day after a start of less than an inning since Nolan Ryan in 1973.

Marcell Ozuna hit a grand slam to lead the Atlanta Braves past the Washington Nationals 5-3, while Didi Gregorius also managed a grand slam as the Philadelphia Phillies topped the Milwaukee Brewers 5-4.

Giancarlo Stanton stayed hot with a homer and four runs in the New York Yankees' 6-3 win against the Houston Astros. Stanton homered in back-to-back games for the first time since last July as the Yankees extended their winning streak to six games.

 

A's falter against Jays

The Oakland Athletics were leading the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 before faltering. Toronto produced a five-run eighth inning to rally past the A's. Lou Trivino struggled in the eighth, allowing three hits, five runs – all earned – and two walks. Toronto won 9-4.

 

Ohtani the freak

Is there anything Shohei Ohtani cannot do? The two-way Los Angeles Angels star – returning to the mound – caught his own pitch in a fine example of his fielding and agility. Ohtani pitched five scoreless innings, giving up just one hit while striking out seven but the Angels still lost 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

Wednesday results

Cincinnati Reds 1-0 Chicago White Sox
Colorado Rockies 6-5 San Francisco Giants
Baltimore Orioles 6-0 Seattle Mariners
St Louis Cardinals 4-1 New York Mets
New York Mets 7-2 St Louis Cardinals
Miami Marlins 8-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves 5-3 Washington Nationals
New York Yankees 6-3 Houston Astros
Philadelphia Phillies 5-4 Milwaukee Brewers
Detroit Tigers 6-5 Boston Red Sox
Chicago Cubs 6-5 Los Angeles Dodgers
Texas Rangers 3-1 Minnesota Twins
Cleveland Indians 5-4 Kansas City Royals
San Diego Padres 4-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 Los Angeles Angels
Toronto Blue Jays 9-4 Oakland Athletics

 

Blue Jays at Athletics

The Blue Jays will look to split their series away to the Athletics on Thursday. Blue Jays ace Ryu Hyun-jin starts, while the A's counter with Mike Fiers.

Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer were on the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday, but the MLB World Series champions were still swept by the Chicago Cubs.

Dodgers ace Kershaw and reigning National League (NL) Cy Young Award winner Bauer started in games one and two respectively, however, the Cubs were 7-1 and 4-3 victors to sweep the doubleheader in Chicago.

The Cubs secured the day-night sweep in walk-off fashion as the Dodgers lost for the eighth time in 10 games.

Elsewhere, the Houston Astros were greeted by boos and bad words in their first visit to New York since the sign-stealing scandal.

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani will return to the mound against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.

Ohtani was scheduled to start against the Rays on Monday but was scratched after being hit by a pitch in the Angels' loss to the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

But the Japanese sensation, who has continued to bat, will return to pitching when the Angels face the Rays midweek.

"We wanted to make sure he went out there and threw a little bit more today," Angels manager Joe Maddon said prior to Tuesday's game against the Rays, having lost the series opener 7-3.

"He was really eager to pitch [Wednesday], so like everything else, conversationally I'm letting him tell me how he feels and then we make our decisions."

Ohtani has started three games this season, allowing six hits, seven runs – five earned – while striking out 23 batters with an ERA of 3.29.

At the plate, Ohtani boasts career highs for slugging percentage (.641) and on-base plus slugging (.959) in 2021.

Ohtani has tallied 20 runs and 28 hits, with nine homers and 22 RBI for the Angels while averaging .272.

J.T. Realmuto hit a home run into deep left field as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 in the MLB on Monday.

Trailing 1-0 at the bottom of the first, Realmuto hit his third home run of the season with a second tier two-run homer to put the Phillies 2-1 up.

For the Brewers, they welcomed back Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain from injury but that failed to fire their offense, which has not quite been on song this season.

Cain did return from his quadriceps injury with a lean-back home run in the first inning.

The Phillies improve to 14-15, while the Brewers are now 17-12.

 

Big homers from Laureano and Mullins

On a day where 21 home runs were scored, Ramon Laureano creamed a beauty for the Oakland Athletics in their 5-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

With scores 3-3 at the bottom of the fifth, Laureano made it three straight games with home runs to help his side to a 5-3 lead, which they hung on to.

Cedric Mullins got the ball rolling for the Baltimore Orioles as they scored five times in the eight inning in their 5-3 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Down 1-0 at the top of the eighth, Mullins hit a home run which just eluded Mitch Haniger in center-field.

The Los Angeles Angels went down 7-3 to the Tampa Bay Rays although Shohei Ohtani hit another home run to take his season tally to nine.

 

'How about that play!?'

Pittsburgh Pirates third-baseman Erik Gonzalez made a brilliant play diving to his right and firing to first base to run out Will Myers in the San Diego Padres' 2-0 win.

 

Lights out in St. Louis

With two out in the ninth inning, the lights quite literally went out at the Busch Stadium with batter Alex Reyes quickly backing away in the Cardinals' win over the Mets, although it was only a brief delay.

 

Monday's results

Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins 6-5 Texas Rangers
St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 New York Mets
Cleveland Indians 8-6 Kansas City Royals
Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics 5-4 Toronto Blue Jays
San Diego Padres 2-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Baltimore Orioles 5-3 Seattle Mariners 

 

Brewers at Phillies

There is a full fixture card on Tuesday including two double-headers, while the Philadelphia Phillies continue their series against the fast-starting Milwaukee Brewers.

Shohei Ohtani will not start as planned against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday after he was hit by a pitch in the Los Angeles Angels' defeat to the Seattle Mariners.

The two-way star took a 93-mph fastball from Mariners left-hander Justus Sheffield to his right pitching elbow in the first inning on Sunday.

Ohtani was able to continue and swiftly stole second and third, stealing multiple bases in a game for the first time in his career.

He has accounted for six of the Angels' 10 stolen bases this season, with no other player contributing more than one.

The Japanese was able to continue and Angels manager Joe Maddon "thought he looked pretty normal after that event".

"He was sore, but he kept telling me he was feeling better," Maddon added after the 2-0 loss to Seattle.

But Monday brought confirmation Ohtani would be replaced on the mound by lefty Jose Quintana.

Ohtani, who has played in all 26 games in 2021, had been set to be the Angels' starting pitcher for the fourth time this year.

His last such outing saw him earn a first win at the Texas Rangers on April 26.

MLB World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers broke their slump with a 16-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Dodgers arrested a three-game skid and avoided a series sweep at the hands of the Brewers thanks to Sunday's onslaught.

A.J. Pollock and Matt Beaty fuelled the Dodgers with grand slams off Brewers rookie Alec Bettinger in each of the first two innings.

Pollock had two home runs and eight RBI, while Beaty contributed four hits and seven RBI against the Brewers as they became the first Dodger duo in history to record seven-plus RBI in the same game.

Elsewhere, the Cincinnati Reds topped the Chicago Cubs 13-12 in a wild walk-off win.

Nick Castellanos – who also clubbed two home runs – hit a game-ending RBI single in the 10th inning to lead the Reds past the Cubs in an epic encounter.

"It felt like a playoff game, to be honest with you," Cubs manager David Ross said. "Back and forth. Heavyweight fight. Wind blowing out in Cincinnati. And we just came up on the short end."

 

Scherzer sizzles as Kluber celebrates 100th win

Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer dominated in a 3-1 win over the Miami Marlins. Scherzer – who carried a shutout into the ninth inning – pitched a five-hitter, finishing with nine strikeouts, five hits and no walks before hurrying to the hospital for the birth of his third child.

Corey Kluber earned his 100th career victory as the New York Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 2-0. A two-time Cy Young Award winner, Kluber gave up two hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out 10 batters – his first 10-strikeout game since September 2018. He became the 17th active pitcher in the majors to reach 100 wins.

Andrelton Simmons and Mitch Garver homered in a seven-run third inning to inspire the Minnesota Twins' 13-4 rout of the Kansas City Royals.

Marcus Semien homered and drove in four runs as the Toronto Blue Jays swept the Atlanta Braves with a 7-2 triumph. Toronto's Bo Bichette carried an historic start into the game, with a franchise record 124 hits, 69 runs, 32 doubles, 23 homers and 56 extra-base hits through his first 100 career games.

 

Bettinger schooled on debut

It was a forgettable first MLB appearance for Milwaukee's Bettinger. Having never pitched above Double-A previously, debutant Bettinger gave up 11 runs against the Dodgers. He allowed 11 hits and two walks in four innings, while hitting a batter and striking out none.

 

Tatis homer!

The San Diego Padres lost 7-1 to rivals the San Francisco Giants but Fernando Tatis Jr. stayed hot. Tatis homered for the eighth time this season as he became the first player to record 40-plus home runs and 30-plus stolen bases in his first 162 career games.

 

Sunday's results

New York Yankees 2-0 Detroit Tigers
Washington Nationals 3-1 Miami Marlins
St Louis Cardinals 3-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 Atlanta Braves
Cincinnati Reds 13-12 Chicago Cubs
Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Houston Astros
Cleveland Indians 5-0 Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins 13-4 Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Dodgers 16-4 Milwaukee Brewers
Texas Rangers 5-3 Boston Red Sox
Oakland Athletics 7-5 Baltimore Orioles
Seattle Mariners 2-0 Los Angeles Angels
Arizona Diamondbacks 8-4 Colorado Rockies
San Francisco Giants 7-1 San Diego Padres
New York Mets 8-7 Philadelphia Phillies

 

Rays at Angels

Two-way star Shohei Ohtani will take to the mound for the Angels (13-13), who host the Rays (14-15) on Monday.

George Springer hit his first home runs for the Toronto Blue Jays, who rallied to a 6-5 walk-off win against the Atlanta Braves.

Springer was lured to Toronto on a six-year, $150million contract from the Houston Astros via free agency – the largest deal in Blue Jays history – ahead of the 2021 MLB season and only made his long-awaited debut against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday due to injuries.

The prized recruit – still playing as a designated hitter – fuelled the Blue Jays with a pair of homers against the Braves on Saturday.

Toronto trailed 4-0 and 5-2 but Springer, who hit a two-run home run in the third inning and a 470-foot shot in the seventh to level the game at 5-5, helped the Blue Jays rally.

Randal Grichuk completed the comeback against the visiting Braves with an RBI single in the 10th inning.

There was also a walk-off win in Milwaukee, where the Brewers took down struggling World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5.

Travis Shaw homered and hit a game-winning single for the Brewers, who scored three runs in the 11th inning to beat the Dodgers for a third consecutive game.

 

Taillon celebrates first win in two years

It was a game to remember for Jameson Taillon. For the first time in two years, Taillon earned his first victory after the New York Yankees outlasted the Detroit Tigers 6-4. Taillon allowed one run, three hits and struck out eight batters over five innings.

The Colorado Rockies crushed the Arizona Diamondbacks 14-6 behind Dom Nunez's grand slam and a two-run homer via Trevor Story.

Blake Snell – a World Series participant with the Tampa Bay Rays and 2018 American League (AL) Cy Young Award winner – registered his first win for the San Diego Padres since arriving in the offseason. Snell gave up one earned run and five hits across five innings, striking out six as the Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 6-2. Manny Machado added a three-run homer.

Tim Anderson's grand slam – second of his career – guided the Chicago White Sox to a 7-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

 

Cahill's costly start

While Trevor Cahill regained his composure and control, it was too late for the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were beaten 12-5 by the St Louis Cardinals. Cahill gave up four runs in the opening inning and the Pirates never recovered. Cahill allowed seven hits, five runs and a homer in just over five innings.

 

Trout loves Seattle

Mike Trout hit his seventh home run of the season to see the Los Angeles Angels past the Seattle Mariners 10-5. Trout clubbed his 28th homer in Seattle – his 10th career first-inning home run away to the Mariners. The Angels star is the only Mariners opponent with more than 20 homers in Seattle.

 

Saturday's results

New York Yankees 6-4 Detroit Tigers
Washington Nationals 7-2 Miami Marlins
Kansas City Royals 11-3 Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox 7-3 Cleveland Indians
Baltimore Orioles 8-4 Oakland Athletics
Chicago Cubs 3-2 Cincinnati Reds
Houston Astros 3-1 Tampa Bay Rays
New York Mets 5-4 Philadelphia Phillies
St Louis Cardinals 12-5 Pittsburgh Pirates
Texas Rangers 8-6 Boston Red Sox
Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 Los Angeles Dodgers
Toronto Blue Jays 6-5 Atlanta Braves
Colorado Rockies 14-6 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Diego Padres 6-2 San Francisco Giants
Los Angeles Angels 10-5 Seattle Mariners

 

Dodgers at Brewers

The Dodgers (16-12) will be looking to avoid a four-game sweep when their series against the Brewers (17-10) concludes on Sunday.

The Milwaukee Brewers saw off the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 on Friday to sit in first place at the end of April in the National League despite their mounting injury crisis.

Omar Narvaez appeared to sustain a left leg injury running to first base in the win, which improves the Brewers record to 16-10, while the Dodgers are 16-11.

The Brewers held the Dodgers to just two hits as their offensive woes continued to haunt them, losing for the ninth time in 12 games.

Freddy Peralta was excellent on the mound for the Brewers across six innings.

Milwaukee moved to a 2-0 lead at the bottom of the second, thanks to Jackie Bradley Jr's two-run homer.

 

Darvish back to his best

Veteran right-hander Yu Darvish was at his brilliant best with 12 strike-outs across six innings in the San Diego Padres' 3-2 triumph over the San Francisco Giants.

Darvish was giving a huge reception after stepping off the mound, showing he has quickly won over his new fans after his move from the Chicago Cubs.

It was a case of adding injury to insult as Kansas City Royals pitcher Brady Singer was hurt when he copped a line drive to the foot/heel in their 9-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

For the winners, Alex Kirilloff hit two home-runs, including a three-run homer to open up the lead.

Left-hander Madison Bumgarner bounced back from illness to land six strike-outs and lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 7-2 win over the Colorado Rockies.

The Boston Red Sox maintained their strong early season form with a 6-1 win over the Texas Rangers, while the Oakland Athletics went down 3-2 to the Baltimore Orioles.

Shohei Ohtani continues to deliver home runs for the Los Angeles Angels, with his eighth of the 2021 season in their 7-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners. He has scored as many in 2021 as he did across the whole 2020 season.

 

Alvarado gets lippy, benches cleared

The benches cleared in the Philadelphia Phillies' 2-1 win over the New York Mets after pitcher Jose Alvarado struck out Dominic Smith and then got chirpy. Alvarado dropped his glove and Smith did not back down so they had to be separated. It all felt  quite unnecessary.

 

Schwalk-off

Kyle Schwarber did it again with a walk-off home-run deep into the center field to secure the Washington Nationals their 2-1 win over the Miami Marlins.

 

Friday's results

St. Louis Cardinals 7-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
Washington Nationals 2-1 Miami Marlins
New York Yankees 10-0 Detroit Tigers
Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 New York Mets
Houston Astros 9-2 Tampa Bay Rays
Cincinnati Reds 8-6 Chicago Cubs
Toronto Blue Jays 13-5 Atlanta Braves
Boston Red Sox 6-1 Texas Rangers
Milwaukee Brewers 3-1 Los Angeles Dodgers
Cleveland Indians 5-3 Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins 9-1 Kansas City Royals
Arizona Diamondbacks 7-2 Colorado Rockies
Baltimore Orioles 3-2 Oakland Athletics
Seattle Mariners 7-4 Los Angeles Angels
San Diego Padres 3-2 San Francisco Giants

 

Astros at Rays

Last season's Atlantic League top two the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays will meet again in their series.

The odds were against the Milwaukee Brewers as they had to call up Eric Lauer from the alternate training site to make the start against the World Series champions Los Angeles Dodgers, but they prevailed 2-1. 

Lauer entered the game with a 14-19 record in the majors but out-pitched last year's Cy Young Award winner Trevor Bauer in Milwaukee, scattering four hits in five shutout innings. 

Despite his overall career mark, Lauer has had unusual success against the Dodgers dating to his two seasons in San Diego's rotation in 2018-19. 

Thursday's game improved his career record against the Dodgers to 6-0 with a 1.89 ERA. 

Bauer suffered from lack of run support, working eight innings for the first time this season and allowing only a two-run home run to Travis Shaw in the fourth that proved to be the difference in the game. 

The Brewers' win to open the four-game series put them at 15-10 this season, trailing only the Dodgers (16-10) and San Francisco Giants (16-9) among National League teams. 

 

Pitchers' duel in Houston

Yusei Kikuchi was brilliant for the Seattle Mariners against the Houston Astros, allowing one hit and two walks in seven innings while striking out seven in a 1-0 win over the Astros. The Mariners got their only run from a Taylor Trammell homer off Houston starter Luis Garcia in the third inning, and Trammell ended the game with a sliding catch in center field. 

The Oakland Athletics split their series against the Tampa Bay Rays with a 3-2 thanks in large part to Matt Chapman, who hit a solo home run in the fourth and added the go-ahead double in the top of the ninth. 

In Baltimore, the Orioles bounced back to beat the New York Yankees 4-3 in the 10th inning thanks to a one-out sacrifice fly by Cedric Mullins. 

 

Phillies lose in heartbreaking 10th

The Philadelphia Phillies rallied to send their game with the St. Louis Cardinals to extra innings, but lost 4-3 in the 10th without allowing a hit in the inning. The frame began with Tyler O'Neill on second base thanks to MLB's rule designed to shorten games, and he moved to third on a groundout and scored the winning run on a wild pitch by David Hale. 

 

The Yerminator strikes again

Who else but Yermin Mercedes would cap a White Sox doubleheader sweep of the Detroit Tigers with a monstrous 449-foot home run to center field in Chicago.

 

Thursday's results

Baltimore Orioles 4-3 New York Yankees
Oakland Athletics 3-2 Tampa Bay Rays
St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Seattle Mariners 1-0 Houston Astros
Chicago White Sox 3-1 Detroit Tigers
Chicago White Sox 11-0 Detroit Tigers 
Chicago Cubs 9-3 Atlanta Braves
Milwaukee Brewers 2-1 Los Angeles Dodgers
Texas Rangers 4-1 Boston Red Sox
Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 Colorado Rockies

 

Astros at Rays

The last two American League champions face off in Florida as Tampa native Lance McCullers Jr. and the Houston Astros (13-12) visit Ryan Yarbrough and the Tampa Bay Rays (13-13)

New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom matched an MLB record, but it was not enough to avoid a 1-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

DeGrom tied Nolan Ryan's record for most strikeouts through a pitcher's first five starts of a season, however, the Mets were beaten on Wednesday.

Mets star DeGrom tallied nine strikeouts over six innings to improve his five-game total to 59, matching Ryan's feat in 1978.

DeGrom, who has allowed two earned runs all season while boasting a National League (NL)-leading ERA (0.51), saw Christian Vazquez hit an early RBI double which produced the winning run in the second inning at Citi Field midweek.

World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers, meanwhile, snapped a three-game skid by shutting out the Cincinnati Reds 8-0.

Seeking to avoid a series sweep, the Dodgers benefited from a trademark Clayton Kershaw performance at home to the Reds.

Kershaw was dominant over seven innings, yielding just four hits while striking out eight batters with one walk as Justin Turner homered for the Dodgers.

 

Padres in 11-year first

The San Diego Padres humbled the Arizona Diamondbacks 12-3. During the rout, the Padres tallied seven successive hits without recording an out in the fifth inning – the first time they have managed to do so since April 2010 (also in the fifth).

A five-homer game from the Atlanta Braves inspired a 10-0 demolition of the Chicago Cubs. Marcell Ozuna homered in a four-run first inning, while Huascar Ynoa hit his first career home run in the fourth. Freddie Freeman posted his seventh home of the season, while Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley also went deep.

 

All good things must end as Matz struggles

Steven Matz had won his first four starts for the Toronto Blue Jays after being acquired from the Mets in January. However, Matz lasted less than four innings in an 8-2 defeat to the Washington Nationals. In George Springer's long-awaited Blue Jays debut, Matz gave up six runs and eight hits, including a three-run shot in the fourth inning.

 

Rizzo strikes out Freeman…

Anthony Rizzo versus Freeman. It is a showdown you do not often see but the Cubs star sensationally came out on top. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Rizzo took to the mound and struck out reigning NL MVP Freeman – his first career strikeout as a pitcher as both players smiled.

 

 

Wednesday's results

Minnesota Twins 10-2 Cleveland Indians
Miami Marlins 6-2 Milwaukee Brewers
Los Angeles Dodgers 8-0 Cincinnati Reds
Kansas City Royals 9-6 Pittsburgh Pirates
Boston Red Sox 1-0 New York Mets
New York Yankees 7-0 Baltimore Orioles
Washington Nationals 8-2 Toronto Blue Jays
Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 Oakland Athletics
Atlanta Braves 10-0 Chicago Cubs
Philadelphia Phillies 5-3 St Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Angels 4-3 Texas Rangers
Houston Astros 7-5 Seattle Mariners
San Diego Padres 12-3 Arizona Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants 7-3 Colorado Rockies
Detroit Tigers-Chicago White Sox (postponed)

 

Dodgers at Brewers

After returning to winning ways, the Dodgers (16-9) will open their series against the Brewers (14-10) on Thursday. Trevor Bauer gets the nod on the mound for the Dodgers, while Milwaukee's Eric Lauer starts.

Toronto Blue Jays sensation Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made MLB history in Tuesday's 9-5 win over the Washington Nationals.

Guerrero became the youngest player in major league history with three-plus homers and seven-plus RBI in a game as he fuelled the Blue Jays past the Nationals.

The 22-year-old star – son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero Sr. – carried the Blue Jays, a monster third-inning grand slam off three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer wiping out a 3-0 deficit.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. made it 7-3 with a solo homer in the fifth inning before adding a two-run home run in the seventh to complete the first three-homer game of his exciting career – not even a feat his father achieved.

Guerrero took his tally to seven home runs for the season as the Blue Jays won the series opener in Dunedin.

Trea Turner homered twice for the Nationals – his seventh multi-homer game and second this season – but it was not enough on the road.

 

Kluber ends wait

Corey Kluber claimed his first win since April 2019, while star sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton homered to lead the New York Yankees to a 5-1 rout of the Baltimore Orioles.

For the first time since 2018, Carlos Martinez had a win as a starter – the St Louis Cardinals topping the Philadelphia Phillies 5-2. Martinez allowed two runs – one earned – in just over seven innings, having gone 0-9 in his last 12 starts.

The Cleveland Indians beat the Minnesota Twins 7-5 behind Franmil Reyes, who homered twice – including a 452-foot shot.

 

Scherzer struggles, Dodgers downed again

It was a forgettable outing for Washington ace Scherzer, who allowed seven runs – five earned – and eight hits over five innings. He also joined Ivan Nova as the only pitchers to have allowed a home run to both Guerrero Jr. and his iconic father.

After a 13-2 start to the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have dropped seven of nine games following a 6-5 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. The World Series champions are now in the midst of a three-game losing streak as they look to avoid a series sweep to the Reds.

 

Acuna bomb!

Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna Jr. clubbed another moon shot, this time his fifth-inning home run travelled a projected 481 feet. The Braves shut out the Chicago Cubs 5-0.

 

 

Tuesday's results

Cleveland Indians 7-4 Minnesota Twins
Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 Kansas City Royals
New York Yankees 5-1 Baltimore Orioles
Toronto Blue Jays 9-5 Washington Nationals
Boston Red Sox 2-1 New York Mets
Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Oakland Athletics
Atlanta Braves 5-0 Chicago Cubs
Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 Miami Marlins
Texas Rangers 6-1 Los Angeles Angels
Detroit Tigers 5-2 Chicago White Sox
Houston Astros 2-0 Seattle Mariners
Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1 San Diego Padres
Colorado Rockies 7-5 San Francisco Giants
Cincinnati Reds 6-5 Los Angeles Dodgers
St Louis Cardinals 5-2 Philadelphia Phillies

 

Red Sox at Mets

Mets (9-9) ace Jacob deGrom takes to the mound against the Red Sox (15-9) on Wednesday amid Hall of Fame comparisons following his red-hot form. The Red Sox counter with Nick Pivetta at Citi Field midweek.

Shohei Ohtani could not ignore his "terrible" first inning during an historic game for the Los Angeles Angels against the Texas Rangers.

Two-way star Ohtani became the first player for nearly 100 years to start a game on the mound while also entering the day leading MLB in home runs.

The last to do so was New York Yankees great and Hall of Famer Babe Ruth back in 1921.

Ohtani, who picked up his first win since May 2018, went two-for-three with two RBIs and three runs scored in Monday's 9-4 victory in Arlington.

He also became the first player to have at least two hits and three runs scored plus nine strikeouts since Luis Tiant for the Cleveland Indians back in 1961.

However, a difficult opening inning, in which he gave up four runs and a homer to Nate Lowe, was foremost in Ohtani's mind after the win.

"I'm happy for the team victory and my team-mates gave me a lot of run support, which led to confidence," he said.

"But personally, that first inning was terrible, so I can't be fully satisfied. I think it's mechanics, more than anything. And I felt like my mechanics were better from the second inning on.

"I try to separate pitching and hitting while I'm doing both, but putting those runs on the board does lead to confidence. But that first inning I had, I need to not repeat that again, and I need to adjust and work on that before my next outing."

Ohtani was pulled after 75 pitches amid concerns about a blister on his right middle finger, but the Japanese star does not think it a major problem.

"I'm not worried at all," Ohtani said. "It's different from my last one and was barely starting to form. I felt like I could've gone another inning."

Shohei Ohtani made more MLB history as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Texas Rangers 9-4.

Angels two-way star Ohtani became the first player in almost 100 years to start a game on the mound while also entering the day leading the majors in home runs.

New York Yankees great and Hall of Famer Babe Ruth was the last to do so in 1921.

Ohtani, who picked up his first win since May 2018, went two-for-three with two RBIs and three runs scored against the Rangers, striking out nine over five innings on Monday.

He became the first American League (AL) player to reach those numbers in a game since Luis Tiant in 1967, according to Stats Perform.

"A pretty complete game of baseball," Angels manager Joe Maddon said. "If you weren't entertained by watching him tonight, you can't be entertained watching the game of baseball."

Angels star Mike Trout also made his return from an elbow injury, going four-for-five at the plate.

 

Posey and Giants show no mercy

Buster Posey had a two-run homer among his four hits as the San Francisco Giants crushed the Colorado Rockies 12-0. Posey also caught Anthony DeSclafani's three-hit shutout. It is the eighth time Posey has caught a shutout while having more hits himself than the entire opposing team – the most such games by any catcher in the modern era, per Stats Perform.

The Philadelphia Phillies edged the St Louis Cardinals 2-1. Zach Wheeler became the first Phillies pitcher to go eight-plus innings pitched with one hit or fewer since Cole Hamels in 2015. Wheeler gave up one hit and one run while striking out nine.

 

Yankees continue to struggle

The Yankees are not getting hits at the moment. The storied franchise managed just four in a 4-2 loss to AL East rivals the Baltimore Orioles. Between All-Star sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, the pair only managed two hits. The Yankees are bottom of the AL East. Baltimore have finished above the Yankees just three times in the AL East since MLB went to six divisions in 1994, doing so in 1997, 2014 and 2016.

World series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers have now suffered back-to-back defeats, upstaged 5-3 by the Cincinnati Reds after 10 innings.

 

Bryant slam!

Kris Bryant hit the sixth grand slam of his career – a shot off Charlie Morton in the third inning which tied the game. The Chicago Cubs still lost 8-7 to the Atlanta Braves.

 

Monday's results

Cincinnati Reds 5-3 Los Angeles Dodgers
Kansas City Royals 3-2 Detroit Tigers
Cleveland Indians 5-3 Minnesota Twins
Atlanta Braves 8-7 Chicago Cubs
Baltimore Orioles 4-2 New York Yankees
Oakland Athletics 2-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Miami Marlins 8-0 Milwaukee Brewers
Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 St Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Angels 9-4 Texas Rangers
Houston Astros 5-2 Seattle Mariners
San Francisco Giants 12-0 Colorado Rockies

 

Tigers at White Sox

The Chicago White Sox (12-9) – riding a four-game winning streak – will host the Detroit Tigers (7-16) in Tuesday's series opener at Guaranteed Rate Field. Lucas Giolito is set to start for the White Sox as the Tigers counter with Jose Urena.

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