NEW YORK (AP) — Three pitches in, Jose Altuve gave the Astros a much-needed lead. By the time rookie Yordan Alvarez connected innings later, relief was settling in for a club coming off a most miserable week.
Altuve hit a leadoff homer, Alvarez went deep yet again and Houston beat the streaking New York Yankees 9-4 Sunday to end a season-high seven-game skid.
“We needed a win in the worst way, just the way the week has gone and the first at-bat we have a 1-0 lead,” manager AJ Hinch said. “It just kind of woke the dugout up, and we got a really good day started.”
New York had won eight straight but was stopped by ace Justin Verlander and a quartet of homers, including a grand slam from Tyler White.
“We showed our mettle today,” Verlander said. “It would have been easy to look forward to the off day tomorrow and say this was a tough road trip and let’s reset, but that’s what good teams do.”
DJ LeMahieu hit a three-run drive in the fifth, giving New York a home run in a franchise-record 26 consecutive games. The major league mark is 27, set by the 2002 Texas Rangers.
Altuve reached the second deck in left field off J.A. Happ (7-4) as Houston snapped its first seven-game skid since 2015. It was Altuve’s 12th career leadoff homer and marked the first time Houston scored in the opening inning since June 14 against Toronto.
White hit his first career slam in the fourth, and Alvarez reached the second deck in right field in the fifth with a two-run drive that knocked out Happ.
Alvarez tied a big league record with his seventh homer in 12 games to begin his career. He’s the first player with at least seven homers and 16 RBIs through a dozen games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
“We heard a lot of really good things about him,” Altuve said. “But it’s one thing is that and another thing is watching him play and execute every swing and how good he is. He has a bright future and he’s going to be a big part of this team.”
Yuli Gurriel added a solo shot off Luis Cessa for Houston, which rebounded nicely from blowing a late lead Saturday.
Houston scored its other run on a single by Michael Brantley in the second that made it 2-0.
Verlander (10-3) became the third 10-game winner in the AL, allowing three runs and four hits over seven innings. He struck out nine, walked two and completed seven innings for the 11th time this year, the most in the majors.
Including two starts in the 2017 ALCS, the seven-time All-Star is 4-0 in six starts against the Yankees since joining the Astros.
Happ tied career worsts by allowing 11 hits and eight runs in four-plus innings to lose for the first time in seven decisions. Happ allowed eight runs for the fifth time in his career and 11 hits for the first time since June 13, 2012.
“When you miss a little bit, or like today, if you don’t have some kind of secondary to keep them off-balance, those fly balls can hurt you when you make a mistake,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 1
BOSTON — Marcus Stroman pitched six shutout innings, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had three hits and threw out a runner at the plate, and Toronto won its second straight.
Danny Jansen hit a two-run single and Eric Sogard a solo homer for the Blue Jays. Rowdy Tellez added two hits and scored twice.
The Red Sox had won eight of nine after taking the series opener Friday on Christian Vazquez’s two-run, walk-off homer.
Stroman (5-9) held the Red Sox to five singles — three coming consecutively in the second inning when Gurriel made his throw from left field — and struck out six while walking one.
Rick Porcello (5-7) gave up five runs on eight hits over six innings.
Rays 8, Athletics 2
OAKLAND, Calif. — Travis d’Arnaud drove in three runs and hit a two-run homer, Austin Meadows hit a three-run double, and Tampa Bay earned a split of the four-game series.
Ryan Yarbrough (6-3) followed Rays opener Ryne Stanek to pitch six innings. The lefty allowed one run on five hits and struck out three.
D’Arnaud’s fourth homer of the year came in the third to put the Rays ahead then he helped them add on in a five-run fourth with an RBI single that chased A’s starter Brett Anderson (7-5).
Anderson got through a 1-2-3 first on six pitches then didn’t have another easy inning. A double play helped him avoid damage ending the second.
Marcus Semien hit an RBI double for the lone A’s earned run on a picture-perfect Bay Area afternoon with a first-pitch temperature of 80 degrees.
Royals 6, Twins 1
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Hunter Dozier hit a three-run shot during a five-run third inning, Homer Bailey was stingy again pitching into the sixth and Kansas Citys beat Minnesota.
Alex Gordon had two RBIs and Nicky Lopez also drove in a run, helping the Royals forge a split of the four-game series on a soggy, overcast afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.
Bailey (7-6) only made one significant mistake, leaving a pitch over the plate that Eddie Rosario steered inside the right-field foul pole. Otherwise, the revitalized right-hander followed back-to-back scoreless starts against Detroit and Seattle by giving up five hits and a walk against the Twins.
The Royals’ bullpen went the rest of the way, leaving the bases loaded in the seventh. Kevin McCarthy got seven outs to record his first career save.
Michael Pineda (4-4) allowed eight hits in five innings for the Twins. He didn’t get much support, watching helplessly as his offense stranded 11 runners on base.
Rangers 7, White Sox 4
ARLINGTON, Texas — Tim Federowicz and Danny Santana hit two-out, two-run homers in the second inning and Shawn Kelley shut down a late White Sox rally with his first four-out save in three years to lead Texas.
Kelley struck out Tim Anderson to strand runners at second and third in the eighth inning after Chicago scored three runs to pull within 5-4. Kelley pitched a scoreless ninth for his 10th save, preserving the win for rookie Adrian Sampson (6-4).
In winning the final two games of the three-game series, the Rangers have won three of their last four games and either won or split eight straight series.
Sampson allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings, struck out four and walked one.
Ivan Nova (3-6) gave up three earned runs in six innings. Nova is 0-2 in his last six starts.
Mariners 13, Orioles 3
SEATTLE — J.P. Crawford had a career-high four hits and drove in four, Yusei Kikuchi had his best outing in a month, and Seattle took advantage of an eight-run third inning.
Crawford lifted his average to exactly .300 in his first season since being acquired from Philadelphia. The promising young shortstop hit his second home run of the season in the first inning, had a pair of singles and drove in two during the third inning, and added a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Since May 22, Crawford has raised his batting average 56 points.
Seattle reached double-digit runs for the 11th time this season. Mac Williamson hit a two-run homer and scored three times. Austin Nola, Dee Gordon and Mallex Smith all had RBI singles during Seattle’s big inning.
Baltimore starter Gabriel Ynoa (0-5) gave up seven earned runs in 2 1/3 innings.
Kikuchi (4-5) had lost four straight decisions.
Indians 8, Tigers 3
CLEVELAND — Bobby Bradley doubled and drove in a run in his first major league plate appearance and Cleveland completed a three-game sweep.
Bradley went 1 for 3 with one run and a walk. The 23-year-old first baseman also made a running over-the-shoulder catch in foul territory, delighting the home fans who eagerly awaited his debut.
The Indians, who have won six straight over the Tigers and are a season-high seven games over .500. Francisco Lindor added an RBI double as Cleveland took a 5-1 lead in the second inning.
Zach Plesac (3-2) matched his longest outing in the majors to earn the victory, allowing one run over seven innings.
Cubs 5, Mets 3
CHICAGO — Javier Baez hit the 100th homer of his career, a three-run drive in the eighth inning as the Cubs overcame another home run by Pete Alonso to beat New York.
Alonso hit his 27th home run, breaking the Mets’ record for most by a rookie in an entire season set by Darryl Strawberry in 1983.
With the Mets clinging to a one-run lead, Baez launched his 19th homer of the season with Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo on base and one out. Baez sent an 0-2 pitch from Seth Lugo (3-1) halfway up the right field bleachers.
Mets starter Jacob deGrom allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings. The NL Cy Young Award winner struck out nine and walked none. DeGrom also drove in a run with a single.
Marlins 6, Phillies 4
PHILADELPHIA — Jordan Yamamoto won for the third time in three career starts, Garrett Cooper and Brian Anderson hit consecutive homers, and Miami handed Philadelphia its seventh straight loss.
JT Riddle homered, doubled and drove in two for Miami, which swept three games in Philadelphia for the first time since August 2009. The Marlins outhit the Phillies 16-4.
Jean Segura had two RBIs for Philadelphia, which has dropped 16 of 22 games to fall well behind the Braves in the NL East.
The Phillies entered Sunday trailing by 5 1/2 games after leading Atlanta by 3 1/2 on May 29.
Brewers 7, Reds 5
MILWAUKEE — Brandon Woodruff struck out a career-high 12, Travis Shaw homered and Milwaukee beat Cincinnati.
Woodruff (9-2) cruised through the first five innings, allowed Joey Votto’s three-run homer in the sixth and struck out two to finish the seventh. Milwaukee improved to 13-1 in the right-hander’s 17 starts this season.
Alex Claudio got two outs in the eighth and Jeremy Jeffress finished, giving up two runs in the ninth on Yasiel Puig’s RBI double and Curt Casali’s single.
Anthony DeSclafani (4-4) struck out the first six batters, matching the franchise record set by Robert Stephenson against Pittsburgh on Aug. 25, 2017. But the streak ended when Shaw hit the next pitch 465 feet to the bleachers in right field for his sixth home run.
Braves 4, Nationals 3
WASHINGTON — Johan Camargo had a two-run, pinch-hit homer in the 10th inning, and the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals to win their fifth straight series.
Overcoming an injury to standout rookie starting pitcher Mike Soroka, the Braves used the long ball and their bullpen to win the deciding matchup of a three-game set between NL East rivals.
Camargo connected off Tanner Rainey (1-2) after Ozzie Albies drew a one-out walk, and Atlanta held on for its seventh victory in 10 extra-inning games this season.
Josh Donaldson and Ronald Acuna Jr. also went deep for the first-place Braves.
Juan Soto homered for the Nationals, who have lost two in a row following a five-game win streak.
Pirates 11, Padres 10
PITTSBURGH — Kevin Newman walked with the bases loaded in the 11th inning to cap a four-run rally as Pittsburgh finished a three-game sweep.
The Pirates rallied from three-run deficits in the ninth and 11th innings to win their fifth straight.
Jacob Stallings hit a pitch-hit, two-run single to tie the game at 10. The Pirates then loaded the bases before Newman’s sharp eye ended the four-plus hour affair. Francisco Liriano (2-1) earned the win, while Matt Wisler, who entered the game with one out in the 11th, took the loss.
Diamondbacks 3, Giants 2, 10 innings
PHOENIX — Tim Locastro’s single with the bases loaded in the 10th inning ended Arizona’s season-high six-game losing streak.
Locastro line drive to left field scored Nick Ahmed.
Giants reliever Mark Melancon (3-2) uncorked a wild pitch to put runners at second and third with one out, and Carson Kelly was intentionally walked to bring up Locastro.
Matt Andriese (4-4) pitched a scoreless top of the 10th to earn the win. Christian Walker had three hits for Arizona.
Dodgers 6, Rockies 3
LOS ANG— Hours after being called up from the minors, Will Smith connected for a pinch-hit, three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning to lead Los Angeles.
It was the third straight day a Dodgers rookie hit a walk-off homer — all against the Rockies — the first time that has happened in major league history. Matt Beaty hit a two-run shot in the ninth inning on Friday and Alex Verdugo did it in the 11th on Saturday.
Kenley Jansen (3-2) pitched one inning. The Dodgers, with the best record in the majors, swept the three-game series and finished a 9-2 homestand.
Angels 6, Cardinals 4
ST. LOUIS —Albert Pujols had two hits and exchanged jerseys with former teammate Yadier Molina to conclude an emotional return to St. Louis as the Angels beat the Cardinals.
Pujols was cheered throughout his first series in St. Louis since leaving the club in free agency after the 2011 season. The former Cardinal got standing ovations before each plate appearance throughout the weekend and a curtain call after popping out in his final at-bat. After the game, he and Molina met at home plate, hugged and swapped uniforms.
Tommy La Stella and David Fletcher drove in two runs apiece, and Tyler Skaggs tossed five shutout innings for the Angels. Los Angeles snapped a three-game losing streak and finished a long road trip with a 6-5 mark.
The Cardinals rallied for four runs with two outs in the ninth, sparked by Jose Martinez’s solo homer. Angels closer Hansel Robles came on to get the final out in a non-save situation.
Pujols was 4 for 11 over the three-game set.
Skaggs (7-6) allowed four hits over five scoreless innings.
Miles Mikolas (5-8) gave up one run and seven hits over five innings for St. Louis.