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Altuve hits grand slam on 2-homer night, Astros beat Giants

Altuve hits grand slam on 2-homer night, Astros beat Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — The Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants both have 64 wins, tied for most in the majors.For two teams planning to play deep into October, their series opener Friday night provided a summer measuring stick.José Altuve hit a grand slam in the sixth one inning after putting Houston ahead on a solo homer, and the AL-leading Astros held off the Giants 9-6 in a matchup of baseball’s top two teams.“We’re one of the toughest teams in the big leagues,” said Houston bench coach Joe Espada, filling in as manager Dusty Baker served a one-game suspension. “We know that it’s a very important series for us and the guys came in and they were ready to take the field.”It marked Altuve’s sixth career slam and third this season. His third multi-homer game of 2021 was the seventh of his career.“Crazy approach today. I was swinging at pitches out of the zone,” Altuve said. “I felt pretty good.”Altuve cleared the fences as fans chanted, “You’re a cheater!” in reference to Houston’s sign-stealing scandal.“He’s a special player. He lives for moments like those,” Espada said. “There’s no one that we’d rather have at the plate than José Altuve. He steps up to the plate and he embraces those moments. It’s just awesome to watch him do that over and over again.”Aledmys Díaz went deep in the ninth for the Astros.San Francisco will have a new face in the lineup but not until Sunday at the earliest after acquiring slugger Kris Bryant from the Cubs before the trade deadline Friday. He won’t arrive until after Saturday’s game.Baker didn’t get to square off against his former club because of the suspension handed down a couple of hours before first pitch along with a three-game penalty for left-handed reliever Brooks Raley for throwing at a Seattle batter Monday. The 72-year-old Baker, who managed the Giants from 1993-2002, watched batting practice behind the cage in dress clothes.Framber Valdez (7-2) struck out six and walked three over five innings for Houston. He pitched six no-hit innings in his last start against the Rangers on Saturday.Buster Posey hit a tying double in the third for the Giants, who couldn’t do enough to back All-Star Kevin Gausman (9-5) as he dropped to 0-2 over three starts since July 11.Donovan Solano added an RBI double for the NL West leaders, who are eager to welcome the do-everything Bryant and were initially hopeful he could make it cross-country to be available for the middle game of the series Saturday afternoon. His photo was already splashed across the big screen as fans cheered.“It’s a good day,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said.Kyle Tucker’s seventh-inning dropped fly in center for an error led to a sacrifice fly by Wilmer Flores moments later followed by Brandon Crawford’s RBI single for San Francisco.Yuli Gurriel hit an RBI single in the first and Tucker drew a bases-loaded walk as the Astros took a quick 2-0 lead in the first.GRAVEMAN’S DEBUTKendall Graveman struck out three over 1 1/3 innings in his Astros debut. He entered in the seventh for his first outing since Houston acquired him Tuesday from the Mariners.“I’ve been anxious to get in the game. It was good to get in there and pitch,” Graveman said.Graveman had last worked against the Astros on Monday in Seattle.“I’m glad he’s on our side. His stuff was unbelievable,” Espada said.RALEY’S SUSPENSIONRaley appealed the suspension Friday, when he was also fined for intentionally throwing at and hitting Seattle’s J.P. Crawford.The Astros pitcher plunked Crawford in the back on a 3-1 pitch after giving up Dylan Moore’s grand slam that helped the Mariners rally to an 11-8 comeback win.TRAINER’S ROOMAstros: New closer Yimi García, acquired from the Marlins, was active. … Another newly added reliever, Phil Maton, will join the Astros on Saturday after he was acquired Friday in a trade with the Indians that sent outfielder Myles Straw to Cleveland. When asked about whether he wished the Astros kept Straw, Baker said: “I can’t answer that. I don’t think that’s anybody’s business. I’m not the decision maker, so sometimes you have to do what the organization asks. Sometimes you don’t have a choice.”Giants: 3B Evan Longoria was on the field before the game and is scheduled to ramp up his hitting routine as he works back from a sprained left shoulder he injured July 5 in a collision with SS Brandon Crawford. There still is no timetable for when Longoria might return, so Bryant will certainly get some time at third among outfield positions and perhaps first base with Brandon Belt still rehabilitating an inflamed right knee.UP NEXTRHP Zack Greinke (10-3, 3.48 ERA) pitches Saturday for the Astros, trying to win his third straight start. The Giants counter with LHP Alex Wood (9-3, 3.65), who has won his last four decisions since a June 1 loss to the Angels.———More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Laureano's 3-run HR lifts A's after Ohtani leaves mound

Laureano's 3-run HR lifts A's after Ohtani leaves mound

OAKLAND, Calif. — Angels manager Joe Maddon realizes there will be days when Shohei Ohtani dominates on the mound with no results to show for it.Ramón Laureano hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning as Oakland finally got on the board once Ohtani was done pitching, and the Athletics beat Los Angeles 4-1 on Monday night.“As a pitcher, of course you want to have a good game and actually win the ballgame,” Ohtani said through translator Ippei Mizuhara. “That’s not always going to happen and I’m partly at fault for that, too. I’m in the lineup most of my starts. And today I was only able to get one hit.”Laureano connected against Steve Cishek (0-1), who hadn’t allowed a homer over his first 46 games and 41 1/3 innings. Ohtani moved to right field following six scoreless innings and eight strikeouts on the mound.“Special, very special,” Maddon said of Ohtani’s outing.The two-way star, who leads the majors with 34 homers, is expected to play as the designated hitter Tuesday, Maddon said.All-Star Matt Olson hit his team-leading 24th homer in the eighth for Oakland.The A’s managed just three hits through Ohtani’s six innings, but Cole Irvin (7-8) hung tough shutting down the Los Angeles lineup over seven scoreless innings.At the plate, Ohtani doubled on a line drive to center field with two outs in the third but Oakland saved a run on Laureano’s throw to shortstop Elvis Andrus, who fired home in time for catcher Sean Murphy to tag out David Fletcher. Los Angeles challenged and the play was upheld upon replay review.Fans were giddy to catch a glimpse of Ohtani, with hundreds of the 14,856 in attendance regularly raising their cell phone cameras to capture photos and videos when Ohtani batted and pitched.“When Ohtani’s rolling like that, you like to see him out of there,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said of the slugging pitcher giving way to the bullpen.Brandon Marsh hit an RBI double in the ninth against Lou Trivino, who finished for a two-inning save when third baseman Matt Chapman made a dazzling catch against the wall in foul territory to end it on Adam Eaton’s fly.COUNCIL VOTEThe Oakland City Council is expected to vote at its meeting Tuesday on whether to preliminarily approve the A’s new ballpark project at Howard Terminal in Jack London Square.In May, Major League Baseball instructed Oakland’s brass to explore relocation options if no ballpark agreement could be reached.“Hopefully it goes in our direction,” Melvin said. “I’d love to stay in Oakland. I hope the team stays in Oakland. We have a long, rich history here. I think that’s the case with anybody who’s either grown up here or lives here or is an Oakland A’s baseball fan or a player.”The A’s are the last professional franchise in the city after the Golden State Warriors relocated to San Francisco and the NFL’s Raiders to Las Vegas.MUNCY TIMEA’s top draft pick Max Muncy took batting practice and mixed with the major leaguers before the game, posing for a photo with Angels slugger Mike Trout and chatting up the injured star.Muncy, who signed earlier in the day, was selected 25th overall out of Thousand Oaks High in Southern California, talked to Chapman, whose advice was “enjoy it.”“The work starts right now,” Muncy said.He kept things light, too, discussing the Dodgers star with the same name.“I feel worse for him. He’s at the All-Star Game getting questions about me,” the younger Muncy said.TRAINER’S ROOMAngels: Trout made the trip and watched his team’s pregame routine from behind the batting cage as he works back from a strained right calf sustained May 17. Trout will still need a rehab assignment before being activated from the injured list. “I like the fact that he’s here to push himself a bit,” Maddon said. … Maddon had no new details on the progress of 3B Anthony Rendon, whose injured left hamstring is keeping him out longer than expected.Athletics: RHP Mike Fiers, sidelined since May 7 with a strained pitching elbow, isn’t yet ready to start playing catch in his rehab progression. Melvin isn’t sure when that will be and doesn’t have a guess for when Fiers might be ready to pitch. “He’s feeling better in his strengthening,” Melvin said.UP NEXTA’s RHP James Kaprilian (4-3, 2.90 ERA) makes his 12th career start pitching the afternoon finale of the quick two-game series opposite LHP José Suarez, who owns a 1.80 road ERA in 2021.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

On deck for MLB's 2nd half: Trades, playoff races and prizes

On deck for MLB's 2nd half: Trades, playoff races and prizes

SAN FRANCISCO — Across the globe, everybody is watching Shohei Ohtani in awe and intrigue.Major League Baseball can only love the attention from around the world surrounding the Angels’ two-way star and the spotlight he’s brought to the sport.Can Ohtani keep this up? An encore to a sensational first half? He leads the majors with 33 home runs and has shown no signs of slowing down or slumping — and should soon have a healthy Mike Trout back in the lineup with him.Pitchers across the big leagues are doing their part so far, too.There have already been seven no-hitters in the majors this season, matching the mark for most in one year during the modern era. The record of eight was set in 1884, the first season overhand pitching was allowed.Will Jacob deGrom, Walker Buehler and Gerrit Cole join the list soon? And will the uproar over sticky substances tamp down?Manager Torey Lovullo and the Arizona Diamondbacks are eager for a fresh start, determined to forget that record 24-game road losing streak in which they went more than two months without a win out of Chase Field.The rush to the playoffs — and the judgments — for fans all over begin Thursday night when the second half opens with one game: Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and the AL East-leading Red Sox visiting Yankee Stadium to start an early stretch that could decide New York’s fate.Here are some things to watch when play resumes:TRADE STORY-LINESTrevor Story, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Gibson are sure to attract plenty of attention as the July 30 trade deadline — moved up a day this year — rapidly approaches.Story becomes a free agent after this season and Colorado might try to get something for the star shortstop. Rockies teammate C.J. Cron also will draw interest.At 41, all Cruz does is continue to hit home runs. He’s got 18 more this year and is batting .304. In a down year for the Twins, the big bopper at Target Field is sure to be a trade target.Gibson, enjoying his best season ever on the mound, and slugger Joey Gallo could be on the move if Texas wants prospect packages for its All-Stars.Arizona infielder Eduardo Escobar and Miami outfielder Starling Marte would be solid fits for plenty of contenders.OH, YES, OH-TANINo matter which coast or division, all eyes are on Ohtani, especially after he topped 500 feet in the Home Run Derby and threw 100 mph heat as the winning pitcher in the All-Star Game.The two-day Japanese phenom is five homers ahead of All-Star Game MVP Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr. for the big league lead. He’s also got 70 RBIs, just three behind Guerrero for most in the majors.Want more? He’s tied for AL lead with four triples. No one has led in league in homers and triples since Jim Rice in 1978 (before that, Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays both did it in 1955). Plus, Ohtani tops the Angels with 12 stolen bases.On the mound, he’s 4-1 with a 3.49 ERA in 13 starts. He’s struck out 87 in 67 innings, allowing just 46 hits.“Obviously the difficult part is the preparation, you prepare differently as a pitcher and a hitter, and it’s different for me every day,” Ohtani said through an interpreter. “Just getting used to the preparation, that’s the biggest challenge.”SURPRISE, SURPRISEAt 57-32, reinvigorated Buster Posey, resurgent Kevin Gausman and the surprising San Francisco Giants not only lead the talented NL West, they own the best record in baseball — with two more wins than the Red Sox and Houston Astros both at 55-36.In a division the defending World Series champion Dodgers or San Diego Padres were expected to dominate, it’s second-year manager Gabe Kapler’s Giants with an unexpected place at the top.“With our performance so far as a team we get asked a lot, ‘What’s the secret?’” said Farhan Zaidi, Giants president of baseball operations. “There’s no one thing, it’s a lot of things that have gone well. Our veteran guys not just performing well but really setting the tone in the clubhouse and how they go about it on a day in, day out basis.”The Giants swept Juan Soto and the Washington Nationals in four straight at San Francisco ahead of the break.“We’ve been battling day in and day out,” Nats manager Dave Martinez said. “But they understand that when we come back, we’ve got to come back and start off strong.”Aaron Judge and the Yankees weren’t supposed to be eight games out of first place and 4 1/2 behind for a wild-card spot right now, but there they are. New York plays the Red Sox in eight of its first 10 games out of the break — a bad showing could turn the Yanks from buyers into sellers in a hurry.FEELING BETTERMany clubs counting on contending come September are depending on a superstar to get healthy, from Trout to Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg to Red Sox lefty Chris Sale.Angels manager Joe Maddon has repeatedly said since Trout went down how the rest of the group just needs to hang in there until the three-time MVP can return for the stretch run.Trout strained his right calf May 17 and was expected to be sidelined 6 to 8 weeks. He is eligible to come off the 60-day injured list Saturday, when the Angels host Seattle in their second game after the break.“It’s going to be interesting to get him back with all the growth that’s occurred within this team,” Maddon said.And, at least in the Giants’ case, getting some players back from injuries could influence how San Francisco approaches the trade deadline. First baseman Brandon Belt, third baseman Evan Longoria and infielder Tommy La Stella all are rehabbing and expected to return this month. Posey is recovering from a bruised thumb.”We really like our team. We like the way the pieces on this team fit,” Zaidi said. “We have some of the best clubhouse team chemistry that I’ve ever been around and any time you talk about those moves it’s kind of fun to speculate but there’s a very real impact on the clubhouse of bringing in, even if something is a move that makes sense on paper, it’s disruptive to the team dynamic and you just have to think through that.”Others on the injured list who could have a big impact in the final 2 1/2 months: Slugger Eloy Jiménez and outfielder Luis Robert with the AL Central-leading White Sox, Mets pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco, World Series MVP Corey Seager of the Dodgers and pitchers Tyler Glasnow and Chris Archer of the Rays and Shane Bieber of the Indians.NO-NO STUFFHow many more no-hitters might we see in the second half?The no-hitters this year have been thrown by San Diego’s Joe Musgrove (April 9), Carlos Rodón of the Chicago White Sox (April 14), Baltimore’s John Means (May 5), Cincinnati’s Wade Miley (May 7), Detroit’s Spencer Turnbull (May 18), the New York Yankees’ Corey Kluber (May 19) and a combined no-hitter by the Chicago Cubs on June 24.In addition, Arizona’s Madison Bumgarner pitched a seven-inning hitless game in a doubleheader on April 25 that is not recognized as a no-hitter by Major League Baseball.AND THE PRIZE GOES TO …Guerrero might add more hardware at season’s end — if he can keep pace with Ohtani. The pair look like front-runners for AL MVP. The 22-year-old Blue Jays slugger leads in average (.332) and RBIs (73), putting him in contention for a Triple Crown chase.With Ronald Acuña Jr. out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee, the door is open for Tatis to run away with the NL MVP. He has 28 homers, 20 stolen bases and 60 RBIs.DeGrom is on course to win his third NL Cy Young Award. The Mets ace is more likely to be stopped by his own nagging health woes than another pitcher. Harder to pick a favorite in the AL — perhaps Cole or White Sox teammates Lance Lynn and Rodón.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Fill-ins Casali, Ruf hit homers, Giants beat Nationals 5-3

Fill-ins Casali, Ruf hit homers, Giants beat Nationals 5-3

Curt Casali hit a two-run homer while filling in for injured All-Star catcher Buster Posey, late lineup addition Darin Ruf added a go-ahead drive and the San Francisco Giants beat the Washington Nationals 5-3By JANIE McCAULEY AP Baseball WriterJuly 10, 2021, 5:37 AM• 4 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleSAN FRANCISCO — Nationals star Trea Turner turned to Curt Casali and asked the Giants catcher why Logan Webb had left the game so soon.That’s how good the right-hander looked in his first start for San Francisco since late May — he just had to contend with a pitch count.“It was nice to see,” Casali said. “We’ve been waiting a while to get Webby back.”Casali hit a two-run homer while filling in again for injured All-Star catcher Buster Posey, late lineup addition Darin Ruf added a go-ahead drive and the Giants beat Washington 5-3 on Friday night.Wilmer Flores also homered as the Giants debuted their all-white City Connect home uniforms with images of the Golden Gate Bridge along each sleeve.“It was kind of fun to have a new look, it was kind of cool,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “The energy in the ballpark was fantastic and really liked the choice of music throughout the game. There was a lot of Bay Area hip hop that fit perfectly with the jerseys and the vibe and the energy in the building.”Adding to the festive night, there were even mid-game fireworks outside in McCovey Cove that Kapler called “an incredible touch.”Webb allowed one hit over three innings and struck out four in his first outing since May 29 after missing time with a strained right shoulder. He struck out four. The Giants hoped to get him through three innings.“Knowing there was a pitch count and inning limit was more of the tough thing than anything else,” he said.Posey is sidelined with a bruised thumb that will keep him out of the All-Star Game next week. Subbing in, Casali hit his third homer of the season for the NL West leaders.Nationals catcher Yan Gomes exited with an oblique injury and Washington is now looking to bring someone in Saturday having lost seven of nine.“We’re working on stuff right now,” manager Dave Martinez said. “We’ll see what we can do to get somebody here. I don’t know who it’s going to be yet. We’ll see what happens to Yan tomorrow. We’ve definitely got to get somebody on the way.”Ruf had an RBI single in the first inning against Paolo Espino before connecting for his ninth homer off Sam Clay (0-3) in the fifth to make it 4-3.Giants reliever José Álvarez, who came in for Webb in the fourth, was ejected by plate umpire David Rackley for arguing after being removed from the game.Washington’s Tres Barrera hit a two-run triple in the fourth for his first career extra-base hit and RBIs.Gerardo Parra hit a double later in the inning that made it 3-all. Center fielder Steven Duggar preserved the tie when he fielded Espino’s single and fired home to Casali, who tagged out Parra.Slick-fielding Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford made a lunging stop on Barrera’s grounder in the sixth and used his glove to make a flip to second baseman Donovan Solano, who completed a double play.“That was as good a web gem as I’ve seen,” Casali said.Jarlin García (1-0) pitched the fifth for the win. Jake McGee, the seventh Giants reliever of the night, escaped trouble in the ninth to finish for his 18th save.Starlin Castro had two hits and extended his hitting streak to 12 games for Washington.TRAINER’S ROOMNationals: RHP Stephen Strasburg, sidelined since June 2 by a strained neck, pitched a simulated game Thursday and Martinez said: “It went well. We’ll see what’s next for him. He’s going to go through his routine today and tomorrow and we’ll come up with a plan for him.” … CF Victor Robles had a day off. … OF Andrew Stevenson (strained right oblique) homered in the first inning of a rehab game for Triple-A Rochester before the game was later suspended by rain.Giants: C Posey was placed on the 10-day injured list (retroactive to July 6) with an injured left thumb. … 1B Brandon Belt took about 50 swings in the batting cage and fielded groundballs for the first time as he recovers from an inflamed right knee, which is protected by a brace as he does his workouts. He has twice had surgery on that knee. … LaMonte Wade Jr. was a late scratch at first base and Ruf replaced him. Wade tested his tender hand by hitting with increased intensity and the Giants opted to play it safe with him.UP NEXTLHP Jon Lester (2-3, 5.34 ERA) pitches Saturday for the Nationals looking to win consecutive decisions for the first time his year. RHP Anthony DeSclafani (9-3, 2.84) seeks double-digit wins for the first time in his career.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Wainwright wins fourth straight decision, Cards beat Giants

Wainwright wins fourth straight decision, Cards beat Giants

Nolan Arenado and Edmundo Sosa homered to back Adam Wainwright’s fourth straight winning decision, Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run single in the fourth inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the San Francisco Giants 6-5By JANIE McCAULEY AP Baseball WriterJuly 7, 2021, 5:43 AM• 5 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleSAN FRANCISCO — The St. Louis Cardinals arrived in San Francisco having just dropped three of four to the Rockies at Coors Field in frustrating fashion.Holding off the Giants in two close games now has the Cardinals believing they’re right back on track as the All-Star break nears.Nolan Arenado and Edmundo Sosa homered to back Adam Wainwright’s fourth straight winning decision, Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run single in the fourth inning, and St. Louis beat San Francisco 6-5 on Tuesday night.“These wins right now, they feel like we can play with anyone, we can beat anyone, we just need that mojo,” Wainwright said.St. Louis left fielder Dylan Carlson made a tremendous game-ending catch at the wall with runners on first and third.”We fought our tails off the whole game,” manager Mike Shildt said. “That was a huge play by Dylan.”Yadier Molina added a run-scoring single in the seventh before Sosa connected in the eighth. The Giants scored twice in the bottom half, getting Mike Yastrzemski’s RBI single and a double by Wilmer Flores.Genesis Cabrera allowed two baserunners in the ninth, including a four-pitch walk to Donovan Solano, then gave way to Justin Miller one out later and he finished for his first save after Carlson’s catch on a long fly by Jason Vosler.Arenado hit a two-run homer in the first off Johnny Cueto (6-5) before Brandon Crawford’s two-run single in the third tied it.Wainwright (7-5) came out on top pitching opposite Cueto for the fifth time, having beaten the Giants right-hander twice when he was with Cincinnati while losing two starts in 2016 — Cueto’s first year in San Francisco.Crawford had an RBI double with one out in the fifth but Wainwright escaped further damage.“Tonight I thought we had really good at-bats,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “The ball didn’t fall for us and we can do better but I thought the at-bats were fairly strong.”In the sixth, Jose Rondon grabbed at his left hand after running into Cueto covering first. The pitcher tried to barehand a short toss from first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr. but dropped the ball before scooping it up to tag Rondon, initially called safe. The Giants challenged the ruling and it was overturned on replay review.Wainwright, who had allowed two or fewer runs in his previous five starts, gave up three runs and six hits in six innings. He pitched in San Francisco for the first time since a 5-2 loss on Sept. 19, 2016.Cueto lost back-to-back starts for the second time this season.BEEDE’S RETURNGiants right-hander Tyler Beede came off the 60-day injured list following his recovery from Tommy John surgery on March 20, 2020.“He is stretched out to give us as much length as we need,” Kapler said, calling Beede a possibility to pitch Friday’s series opener against the Nationals.San Francisco recalled INF/OF Vosler from Triple-A Sacramento and designated RHP Jimmie Sherfy for assignment.TRAINER’S ROOMCardinals: OF and cleanup hitter Tyler O’Neill had been slated to start for the first time in four games since getting hit in the right pinkie by a pitch Friday at Colorado but instead was a late scratch because of an allergic reaction to food that he ate. … RHP Carlos Martínez is still dealing with a bruised thumb on his pitching hand suffered at the plate Sunday at Colorado that forced him to exit in the fourth inning. His status to make his next start remained unclear. “We’re trying to figure out what’s going on with Carlos and his hand,” Shildt said. “He’s got to throw a side today or tomorrow.”Giants: C Buster Posey was going through pregame work with the hope he could be available to pinch hit two days after bruising his left thumb Sunday at Arizona when a foul tip hit him. “The most important thing we can do with Buster right now is check in with him on a daily basis,” manager Gabe Kapler said. … OF Jaylin Davis went on the injured list with a strained left hamstring that he injured Monday. … 1B Brandon Belt (right knee inflammation) hit off a tee and threw out to 110 feet. …RHPs Reyes Moronta (right flexor strain) and Aaron Sanchez (right biceps tightness) each threw live batting practice Tuesday — one inning and 20 pitches for Moronta and two innings and 40 pitches for Sanchez.NCAA CHAMPSThe NCAA champion Stanford women’s basketball team was recognized on the field before the game and star Haley Jones threw out a ceremonial first pitch.UP NEXTRHP Johan Oviedo (0-4, 5.14 ERA) still seeks his first win of the season pitching the series finale for St. Louis opposite Giants LHP Alex Wood (7-3, 3.89), trying to win his third straight decision.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Kim pitches Cardinals past Giants, St. Louis gets to Gausman

Kim pitches Cardinals past Giants, St. Louis gets to Gausman

SAN FRANCISCO — Matt Carpenter listed off so many positives from St. Louis on Monday: a gem from Kwang Hyun Kim, the patience finally getting to Giants All-Star Kevin Gausman, to holding off a potential comeback at the end.The Cardinals star tried not to add any extra significance to his at-bat that changed the game in the seventh.Kim pitched seven scoreless innings, Carpenter hit a two-run triple in the seventh for the first runs of the game and St. Louis snapped San Francisco’s three-game winning streak by beating the Giants 5-3.“Today was just what we kind of have always expected the kind of club we have,” Carpenter said. “It was good starting pitching by KK, he really threw the ball well, and tough, competitive at-bats by a really good starting pitcher. The guy took a no-hitter into the top of the seventh and really just painting and not making any mistakes and we found a way to scratch against him.”Kim (3-5) allowed three hits with two strikeouts and two walks.Donovan Solano and Steven Duggar hit RBI singles in the ninth against Alex Reyes, but San Francisco’s comeback bid fell short.Gausman didn’t allow a hit until Nolan Arenado’s one-out single in the seventh that started a two-run rally in what had been a scoreless game. After Yadier Molina struck out, Tommy Edman singled before Carpenter’s triple.Arenado, an NL All-Star, added an RBI single in the eighth.Gausman said he had been fortunate against Arenado earlier in the game and “he finally got his hit he kind of deserved.”“He’s obviously one of the best third basemen if not the best third basemen in baseball. That’s what good players do, they make an adjustment,” Gausman said. “I was amazed he fouled off the previous pitch. It was a really good pitch that he happened to go get and the split on the base hit was really a pretty good pitch, too.”Alex Dickerson slugged a pinch-hit home run in the bottom half of the inning that held up on replay review.Gausman (8-3) began the day with a 1.68 ERA, the lowest through 16 starts of any Giants pitcher since the team moved West in 1958.The right-hander, named an All-Star on Sunday, issued a one-out walk to Paul Goldschmidt in the first then didn’t allow another baserunner until Carpenter walked with one out in the fifth. But Gausman turned an inning-ending double play as Harrison Bader flied out and Carpenter was caught off first.Third baseman Wilmer Flores made a diving stop of Edmundo Sosa’s hard grounder to start the sixth and fired to first.St. Louis had scored two or fewer runs in each of its last 10 road losses but pulled this one off after finally getting to Gausman.“We’ve been in a lot of close games and we’ve won some and we’ve lost some lately that have stung,” manager Mike Shildt said.The Cardinals and Giants play again to begin the season’s second half at St. Louis — with the all-time series 351-350 with the Cardinals leading for the first time since May 27, 1999 (283-282).Since 2019, St. Louis is 11-20 against the NL West on the road.POSEY’S THUMBGiants catcher Buster Posey was sore a day after bruising his left thumb during the sixth inning of a 5-2 win at Ariona when a foul tip hit him.Manager Gabe Kapler wasn’t sure whether Posey might need a stint on the injured list.“He’s on the roster today, and that’s a good start,” Kapler said.The seven-time All-Star entered Sunday batting .327 with 12 homers.TRAINER’S ROOMCardinals: OF and cleanup hitter Tyler O’Neill was able to pinch hit but missed his third straight start with a finger injury after he was hit in the right pinkie by a pitch Friday at Colorado. “He’s made strides and I think we’re on the good side of this,” Shildt said, noting a decision about the injured list would need to be made soon. … SS Paul DeJong got a rest from the starting lineup after playing four straight games but entered for defense in the eighth.Giants: OF Jaylin Davis strained his left hamstring and will undergo an MRI on Tuesday. … LHP Sammy Long was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Sunday with a strained lower back that he felt during his four-inning start Saturday at Arizona. … Posey, 3B Evan Longoria (left shoulder sprain) and OF Mike Tauchman (right knee sprain) all were scheduled to be examined by team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki. … 1B Brandon Belt began light baseball activity in his rehab for right knee inflammation that included playing catch on the field. … RHP Reyes Moronta and RHP Aaron Sanchez both are scheduled to throw live batting practice Tuesday. … OF Mike Yastrzemski had a day off until a pinch-hit strikeout in the eighth. … C Chadwick Tromp was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento.UP NEXTRHP Adam Wainwright (6-5, 3.49 ERA), who has allowed two or fewer runs in five straight starts, pitches in San Francisco for the first time since a 5-2 loss on Sept. 19, 2016. The Giants counter with RHP Johnny Cueto (6-4, 4.00), looking to bounce back from a loss at Arizona.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Kemp's sacrifice fly lifts A's over Red Sox 7-6 in 12

Kemp's sacrifice fly lifts A's over Red Sox 7-6 in 12

OAKLAND, Calif. — Tony Kemp pounded his hand on his head and let out a scream of frustration for everything he did wrong — until delivering at the end.Kemp hit a game-winning sacrifice fly to cap a three-run 12th inning, and the Oakland Athletics rallied past the Red Sox 7-6 on Saturday to snap Boston’s eight-game winning streak.After an earlier error, Kemp popped out on a bunt in the 10th that he called a miscommunication. He still felt what he described as self-doubt after the game, trying to come to terms with that.“Leading up to that moment, that was unfortunately the worst game I’ve played in the big leagues until that walk-off sac fly,” Kemp said. “You’ve got to have a short-term memory.”Sean Murphy and Seth Brown singled to start the bottom of the 12th before Jed Lowrie’s tying double off Matt Andriese (2-3), who couldn’t close out a game that lasted 4 hours, 24 minutes.“It was the most spirited game of the year,” said A’s manager Bob Melvin, whose club had lost two in a row and five of seven.Oakland won despite stranding 17 runners.Marwin González put Boston ahead on a single with one out in the top of the 12th before a single by Kiké Hernández made it 6-4.“It was a crazy game,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.González came through against winner J.B. Wendelken (1-0) to score Rafael Devers, who started the inning on second base as the teams went extra innings for a second consecutive day.Hernández had a big game again, providing insurance in the 12th after he drove in the go-ahead run with a broken-bat single and threw out a runner at home plate from center field in the 10th inning of Boston’s 3-2 victory Friday night.Hernández homered in the seventh Saturday, but Boston’s bullpen couldn’t hold a late 4-2 lead. He struck out to start the 10th with Danny Santana starting the inning at second base before being caught stealing trying for third.The Red Sox turned a tremendous double play in the 10th when Elvis Andrus lined out to left fielder J.D. Martinez, who fired home to catcher Christian Vázquez and stopped Murphy from scoring the winning run.Boston had the longest active winning streak in the AL. The Red Sox dropped to 5-3 in extra innings, 4-1 on the road.Brown’s RBI double in the eighth off Yacksel Ríos made it a one-run game before Andrus singled home the tying run later in the inning.Garrett Richards quickly settled in after hitting Andrus on the bill of his batting helmet with a pitch in the first inning. The right-hander allowed two runs and five hits over five innings, but his winless stretch reached eight starts since beating the Blue Jays on May 19.Brown hit an RBI triple in the second before the Red Sox capitalized on a pair of A’s errors to tie the game in the fourth, a fielding miscue by Kemp at second base and then catcher Murphy’s wild throw on a pickoff attempt that allowed Xander Bogaerts to score the tying run. Hunter Renfroe followed with a sacrifice fly.Martinez added an RBI single in the fifth that became a key insurance run when Frank Schwindel doubled home a run for the A’s the next inning. He came in after Mitch Moreland exited following the first inning. He left for a non-baseball related reason, according to Melvin, who said Moreland wouldn’t play in Sunday’s series finale.Cole Irvin allowed four runs — two earned — and five hits over seven innings with five strikeouts and two walks. The lefty, who faced the Red Sox once previously as a reliever with Philadelphia in 2019, was unbeaten in June when he had three wins over five starts.Oakland’s 15 hits were its most through five games of the homestand — having managed just 21 combined over the previous four games.FACING THE WESTThe Red Sox are 9-14 against the AL West and 43-18 when facing all other opponents.Boston outscored opponents 55-23 during its winning streak.TRAINER’S ROOMRed Sox: INF Christian Arroyo (bruised right knee) played for Triple-A Worcester and Cora said if everything went smoothly Arroyo would fly to Anaheim on Sunday and rejoin the club Monday to begin a series with the Angels. … C Kevin Plawecki, on the injured list with a strained left hamstring, continues his rehab work with baseball activities and running, Cora said. “We’re getting healthy,” Cora said. “That’s important.”Athletics: RF Stephen Piscotty was scheduled to begin two rehab games with Class A Stockton, playing right and batting second Saturday, then could be activated early in the week after being sidelined by a sprained left wrist. … OF Mark Canha (strained left hip) was with the team Saturday and if he makes good progress this weekend he could begin hitting soon.ROSTER MOVESThe A’s selected LHP Sam Moll from Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned RHP Domingo Acevedo to Las Vegas. Oakland made room on the 40-man roster for Moll by designating RHP Jordan Weems for assignment.UP NEXTRHP James Kaprielian (4-2, 3.06 ERA), who has allowed two or fewer runs in six of his nine starts, pitches for Oakland on Sunday afternoon opposite RHP Nick Pivetta (6-3, 4.43) seeking his first win in seven outings. He has gone 0-3 since beating Atlanta on May 26.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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