MLB Roundup: Springer, Astros beat Mets, Harvey 12-8 in return to Houston

HOUSTON (AP) — George Springer hit his career-best 30th home run and J.D Davis also went deep to lead Houston over the New York Mets and Matt Harvey 12-8 Saturday in the Astros’ first game at Minute Maid Park since Hurricane Harvey devastated the area.

A crowd of 30,319 attended the doubleheader opener. The Astros had moved a home series against rival Texas to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The AL West leaders, who lost two of three to the Rangers, then postponed Friday’s game by a day, allowing players time to work in the community.

Harvey (4-4) was pounded for seven runs and eight hits in a career-low two innings as Houston romped to a 7-0 lead. Harvey had not pitched for the Mets since June 14 because of a stress injury to the scapula bone in his right shoulder.

Jose Altuve had an RBI single and Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run single, then scored on Cameron Maybon’s single as Houston built a four-run lead in the 37-pitch inning. Maybin was claimed on waivers from the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.

Springer hit a two-run homer in the second, when Harvey threw a run-scoring wild pitch.

Charlie Morton (11-6) struck out nine in five innings, giving up two runs and six hits.

Dominic Smith hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Wilmer Flores hit his fourth career grand slam, a drive off Will Harris.

Brad Peacock (10-2) was to start the night game for Houston and Seth Lugo (5-3) for the Mets.

Cubs 14, Braves 12

CHICAGO — Rene Rivera hit a grand slam, Anthony Rizzo added a three-run triple and the Cubs held off the Braves in Jon Lester’s return from the disabled list.

Javier Baez and Jason Heyward also homered for the NL Central-leading Cubs, who have won six straight and 12 of 15 overall.

Lester (9-7) allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings in his first start since Aug. 16. He had been sidelined by tightness in his left lat and general shoulder fatigue.

Freddie Freeman, Matt Kemp and Rio Ruiz homered for Atlanta, which has dropped six of eight. Rookie right-hander Lucas Sims (2-5) was charged with six hits and seven runs in three-plus innings.

Pirates 5, Reds 0

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh’s Jordan Luplow picked up the first two hits of his career, including a three-run home run in the eighth inning, to help the Pirates beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-0.

Luplow beat out an infield single in the second for his first hit. His second went considerably farther, reaching the first row of seats in left-center field with two men aboard as Pittsburgh ended a four-game losing streak.

Starling Marte added three hits for Pittsburgh. A.J. Schugel (4-0) picked up the victory in relief.

John Jaso gave the Pirates the lead in the seventh, racing home from third when Cincinnati right-fielder Phillip Ervin’s throw to the plate sailed far off line. Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen (8-3) and catcher Stuart Turner collided attempting to stop the ball as it headed to the Pittsburgh dugout, leaving home plate uncovered.

Billy Hamilton had two hits for Cincinnati and stole two bases to boost his total to a major-league leading 58.

Padres 6, Dodgers 5

SAN DIEGO — Yangervis Solarte homered with one out in the ninth inning, sending San Diego to the victory in the first game of a split doubleheader.

Solarte’s first career game-ending homer came against Pedro Baez (3-3). It was his 15th homer this season.

Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner connected for major league-leading Los Angeles, which has dropped six of seven. Bellinger tied Mike Piazza’s franchise rookie record with his 35th of the season.

The Dodgers trailed 5-3 before Turner hit a tying two-run shot off Brad Hand (3-4) in the ninth. The pinch-hit drive was Turner’s 18th homer of the year.

Nationals 3, Brewers 2

MILWAUKEE — Trea Turner’s double to the center field wall scored Wilmer Difo from first base in the eighth inning, and the Washington Nationals rallied to beat the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers fell 4 ¢ games behind Chicago in the NL Central, the farthest Milwaukee has been out of first place all season.

The Brewers took a 2-1 lead into the eighth, when Michael Taylor homered on the first pitch from rookie reliever Josh Hader (1-2). Difo bunted Hader’s second pitch for a single and later scored on Turner’s double.

Ryan Madson (5-4) pitched a scoreless seventh in his first outing since Aug. 12. He was reinstated from the disabled list on Friday.

Sean Doolittle pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 14 chances with the NL East-leading Nationals since being obtained from Oakland on July 16. With one runner on, Manny Pina hit a fly near the center field wall that Taylor caught to end the game.

Giants 2, Cardinals 1

SAN FRANCISCO — Nick Hundley hit a game-ending homer in the 10th inning for San Francisco.

Hundley led off with an opposite-field drive to right on a 1-0 slider from Ryan Sherriff (0-1).

The Cardinals failed to score in the top of the 10th after Dexter Fowler led off with a triple against Sam Dyson (2-2). Third baseman Pablo Sandoval cut down pinch runner Harrison Bader at the plate on Stephen Piscotty’s one-out grounder.

Lance Lynn pitched eight shutout innings of one-hit ball for St. Louis. San Francisco right-hander Jeff Samardzija struck out nine and gave up one run in seven innings in his second straight strong start.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Yankees 5, Red Sox 1

NEW YORK — Matt Holliday made a smashing return to the Yankees’ lineup, hitting a three-run homer that helped Masahiro Tanaka to another win.

The Yankees, already holding the top spot in the wild-card race, pulled within 4 1/2 games of the AL East-leading Red Sox.

The rivals close their season series tonight.

Holliday hadn’t played in the majors since going on the disabled list almost a month ago with a back injury. He was activated Friday but sat out a 4-1 loss.

It was 1-all in the sixth inning when Holliday launched a drive to left off Drew Pomeranz (14-5) estimated at 443 feet.

Holliday pointed toward the Yankees dugout on his way toward first base after his 17th homer.

Tanaka (11-10) was charged with one run and five hits in seven-plus innings.

Indians 5, Tigers 2

DETROIT — Corey Kluber pitched eight strong innings and the Cleveland Indians won their 10th straight game with a victory over the Detroit Tigerst.

The Indians are on their longest winning streak since taking a franchise-record 14 in a row between June 17 and July 1, 2016.

Cleveland has outscored Detroit 18-4 in the first three games of the series.

The Tigers, who just traded Justin Upton and Justin Verlander, were also missing Miguel Cabrera, Alex Wilson and manager Brad Ausmus. All three were serving the first game of suspensions stemming from an Aug. 24 brawl with the New York Yankees.

Kluber (14-4) gave up one run and eight hits, striking out seven without walking a batter. Alex Presley went 4 for 4 against Kluber for his first four-hit game.

Blue Jays 7, Orioles 2

BALTIMORE — Josh Donaldson hit a pivotal three-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays deftly recovered from a second-inning injury to starting pitcher Marcus Stroman in a victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

Kevin Pillar and Darwin Barney also homered for the last-place Blue Jays, who were in a 2-10 funk before winning two of three in a series that concludes Sunday.

Toronto was clinging to a two-run lead when Donaldson connected in the seventh off Richard Rodriguez, who was making his major league debut. Barney hit a two-run drive in the eighth to make it 7-0.

Seth Smith homered for the Orioles, who fell 3 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees for the top AL wild-card slot.

Stroman was struck on the right elbow by a line drive off the bat of Mark Trumbo and left the game. The injury was later diagnosed as a contusion, and X-rays were negative.

Twins 17, Royals 0

MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Mauer went 4 for 4 with two RBIs and Eduardo Escobar hit two home runs while driving in six runs, as the Minnesota Twins erupted for a 17-0 victory over the Kansas City Royals.

Brian Dozier added a three-run homer and Byron Buxton went 3 for 5 with three runs, making starter Kyle Gibson (9-10) as comfortable as possible over six scoreless innings to help the Twins improve to 21-10 since Aug. 2. They took a 1 1/2-game lead for the second AL wild card spot into the night.

Dozier, Mauer, Buxton, Jorge Polanco and Escobar, the first five batters in the lineup, combined to go 13 for 21 with 13 runs and 15 RBIs.

The Royals, 11-20 since July 31, were shut out for the 15th time this season — fifth in the last nine games.

Royals starter Onelki Garcia (0-1) gave up four runs, four hits and a walk while getting just one out in the first inning in his first major league start.

By Paul Wager

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