Thursday's MLB: Tucker, Astros beat Rangers 3-2 after starters' duel
Arlington, Texas — Kyle Tucker hit a tiebreaking pinch-hit homer in the eighth inning and the Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 3-2 in a series finale that began as an impressive duel between starting pitchers.
Tucker’s two-run blast came off Matt Bush (0-1), the first reliever for Texas after left-hander Martin Perez took a perfect game into the seventh inning before giving up his only run.,
Two-time AL Cy Young Award winner and former Detroit Tiger ace Justin Verlander (2-1) struck out eight and allowed one run over seven innings in only his fourth start since Tommy John surgery. The right-hander threw 64 of 91 pitches for strikes and didn’t have a walk while lowering his season ERA to 1.73.
Blake Taylor pitched a perfect eighth for the Astros. Rafael Montero then worked the ninth with usual closer Ryan Pressly still on the injured list and got his first save despite Corey Seager’s one-out homer to straightaway center.
Perez retired the first 18 batters he faced before Chas McCormick lined a double into the right-center gap on a full-count pitch leading off the seventh. The lefty got out two more batters out before Yordan Alvarez lined an opposite-field single to left to drive in McCormick.
► Brave 5, Cubs 1: Ronald Acuña Jr. went 1 for 5 with two stolen bases in his return to the Braves lineup and Kyle Wright turned in another stellar performance, giving Atlanta its first series win of the season with a victory over Chicago.
Wright (3-0) pitched three-hit ball over a career-high seven innings as the World Series champion Braves, off to a sluggish start, made it two of three over the Cubs.
Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson hit solo homers off former Braves pitcher Drew Smyly (1-2), while Adam Duvall provided some insurance with a two-run shot against Ethan Roberts in the eighth.
Wearing sparkly, gold-topped cleats with matching armbands and batting gloves, Acuña grounded out twice, struck out twice and punched an opposite-field single to right in the seventh.
A pair of stolen bases seemed to back up his pregame assessment that his reconstructed right knee actually made him faster than before the ACL was torn last July. Playing right field, Acuña fielded the carom perfectly on Jason Heyward’s liner off the fence, holding him to a single.
► Yankees 10, Orioles 5: Aaron Judge hit a long three-run homer moments after Baltimore committed its fifth error of the game, and surging New York beat the sloppy Orioles.
Judge hit his fifth homer two batters after shortstop Jorge Mateo committed his second error by misplaying DJ LeMahieu’s grounder. After Tim Locastro scored on a wild pitch by Paul Fry, Judge blasted a slider into the left-center field seats.
Marwin Gonzalez had an RBI double, and Judge hit a tying single off Baltimore starter Bruce Zimmermann (1-1).
Giancarlo Stanton added an RBI single as the Yankees won their sixth straight and for the eighth time in nine game. Miguel Castro (2-0) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth.
► Blue Jays 1, Red Sox 0: Alek Manoah struck out seven and pitched three-hit ball over seven innings, and Toronto beat Boston.
The 24-year-old Manoah (4-0) walked only one batter as the Blue Jays took three of four from their AL East rival.
Manoah, in his second season, won his eighth in a row dating to last year. The Blue Jays have gone 20-4 in his 24 career starts.
The Blue Jays’ lone run was unearned off starter Garrett Whitlock (1-1) in the third inning. Lourdes Gurriell Jr. reached on a one-out error to Red Sox shortstop Christian Arroyo, moved to second after a walk to Raimel Tapia and scored on Alejandro Kirk’s two-out single.
► Rays 2, Mariners 1: Brett Phillips bounced a tiebreaking single off pitcher Chris Flexen’s leg in the seventh inning and Tampa Bay beat Seattle.
With Harold Ramirez on third base and two out in a 1-1 game, Phillips grounded a comebacker at Flexen (1-3) that caromed off the pitcher’s right leg toward the left side of the infield, which was vacated by a shift. Ramirez scored easily.
J.P. Feyereisen (1-0) got the win after pitching a perfect seventh and eighth.
Ryan Thompson, the Rays’ sixth pitcher of the game, struck out pinch-hitter Tom Murphy with a runner on second to end the game and earn his second save.
► Phillies 7, Rockies 1: Zack Wheeler tossed one-hit ball over six shutout innings and Alec Bohm homered to help Philadelphia complete a four-game sweep of Colorado.
Wheeler, who lost his first three starts of the season, had an outing more in line with the ones that helped him finish second in NL Cy Young Award voting last season. Wheeler (1-3) struck out seven and walked four.
The Phillies (10-10) moved to .500 for the first time since they were 3-3 on April 13.
They scored an unearned run in the second inning off Austin Gomber (1-2) off a throwing error by third baseman Ryan McMahon. McMahon made a whopping four errors in the series.
► Cardinals 8, Diamondbacks 3:Dakota Hudson pitched six shutout innings, Paul Goldschmidt drove in three runs and St. Louis beat Arizona.
St. Louis star Nolan Arenado had two hits after deciding to appeal a two-game suspension from Major League Baseball for his role in a brawl with the Mets on Wednesday.
Tyler O’Neill had run-scoring sacrifice flies in the first two innings to help the Cardinals to a 5-0 lead against Arizona starter Humberto Castellanos (1-2).
Hudson (2-1) gave up one hit in his 84-pitch stint. He struck out four and walked three. He did not allow a hit until Daulton Varsho singled with one out in the sixth.
► Angels 4, Guardians 1: Taylor Ward drove in two runs, Brandon Marsh had three hits and an RBI, and Los Angeles completed a four-game sweep of Cleveland, which has lost seven straight.
Reid Detmers (1-1) pitched five innings of two-hit ball to earn his second career major-league victory.
Ward drove in nine runs in the four-game series, an impressive RBI surge that’s coincided with his move to the Angels’ leadoff spot in place of AL MVP Shohei Ohtani, who got his first day off of the season after playing both ways Wednesday night.
Cal Quantrill (1-1) yielded four hits and one earned run over six solid innings for the Guardians, striking out four and walking three.
► Padres 7, Reds 5: Ha-Seong Kim hit a tiebreaking, three-run double in the sixth inning and San Diego beat Cincinnati to complete a season sweep in the series.
Left fielder Tommy Pham just missed a diving catch of Kim’s two-out, sinking line drive. Kim had three hits, including two doubles, the second glancing off the top of the left field wall.
Manny Machado had four hits, giving him seven in the last two games as San Diego improved to 6-0 against the Reds this season.
San Diego’s Nick Martinez (1-2) lasted five innings, allowing five hits and two runs with five strikeouts and two walks. Reds starter Tyler Mahle (1-3) suffered his third loss in his last three starts.
► Royals 5, White Sox 2, (10 Innings): Rookie Kyle Isbel hit a two-run single in Kansas City’s three-run 10th, and the Royals beat Chicago.
Whit Merrifield scored the go-ahead run in the 10th when White Sox catcher Reese McGuire was charged with a passed ball with the bases loaded and two out. Then Isbel, who was promoted from Triple-A Omaha before the game, got his hit off left-hander Aaron Bummer (0-1).
Chicago was held to three hits through the first seven innings, but tied it in the eighth off reliever Josh Staumont on singles by Yasmani Grandal and Jake Burger and a sacrifice fly by AJ Pollock.
Scott Barlow (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth, and Taylor Clarke earned his first save since April 20, 2019, which came against the Cubs at Wrigley Field as a member of the Diamondbacks.
► Brewers 3, Pirates 2: Andrew McCutchen hit a go-ahead two-run single in the top of the ninth inning to rally Milwaukee past Pittsburgh to complete a three-game sweep.
McCutchen, a five-time All-Star in Pittsburgh, began the game with a leadoff home run — his first at PNC Park as a visitor — before delivering a single to right field off closer Chris Stratton (0-1) in the final frame.
Hoby Milner (2-0) worked a perfect eighth to pick up the win. Devin Williams retired the Pirates in order in the ninth for his first save. The Brewers have won eight straight over Pittsburgh dating to last season.
Christian Yelich started the Brewers’ rally with a one-out, pinch-hit bunt single against Stratton. Kolten Wong and Omar Narvaez followed with singles to load the bases for McCutchen. The 35-year-old’s liner smacked off the outstretched glove of second baseman Josh VanMeter and into right field, allowing Yelich and Wong to score.
► Marlins 3, Nationals 2: Trevor Rogers provided his longest outing of the season by allowing one run in six innings, and Miami stretched its winning streak to five games and completed a sweep of Washington.
Rogers (1-3) came in with a 6.94 ERA but lowered that to 5.09 after giving up just two hits against a Nationals lineup that has produced merely 16 runs during an eight-game losing skid.
Cole Sulser worked around a leadoff walk in the ninth to get his first save of 2022 in his first chance.
Patrick Corbin (0-4) lost again for Washington, despite his best outing of the season, with three runs — two earned — and four hits in six-plus innings.