MLB Roundup: Donaldson hits go-ahead homer in sixth, Braves beat Mets, 7-2

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves finished an 8-2 homestand with another convincing victory.

Freddie Freeman loved nearly every minute of it.

“It’s pretty much the best you can possibly do, really,” the slugger said. “We won every series, and that’s ultimately the goal.”

Josh Donaldson hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the sixth inning, Freeman launched an early two-run shot and the Braves beat the New York Mets 7-2 on Wednesday night.

The NL East leaders are 14-4 in June, best in the majors. They top the big leagues in runs, homers and RBIs this month and have outscored opponents 43-12 in going 5-0 in rubber games at home this season.

Freeman blooped a pop-fly single to begin the sixth inning, Atlanta’s first hit since his homer in the first off Steven Matz (5-5). Donaldson followed with his 14th home run, sixth in his last nine games, before Austin Riley doubled and scored on Ozzie Albies’ double to make it 5-2.

That chased Matz, who allowed five runs on six hits and lost for the first time in nine career starts against the Braves.

“I wasn’t executing good pitches there,” Matz said. “They were seeing me the third time through. That was a big inning for me, and they just got me.”

Max Fried (8-3) shook off a 6.10 ERA over his last eight starts, bearing down to escape trouble in his last two innings.

After striking out Pete Alonso to strand a runner at second in the fifth, Fried had runners on first and second in the sixth when right fielder Charlie Culberson picked up Wilson Ramos’ opposite-field single and threw on one bounce to catcher Tyler Flowers. J.D. Davis tried to jump over Flowers, but was tagged out before touching the plate.

Fried struck out Amed Rosario to end the sixth and strand a runner at third. The left-hander gave up two runs and eight hits with one walk and six strikeouts in six innings, winning for the first time in five starts.

“He kind of got himself back together,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “His breaking ball was good, his fastball command, he reached back for a little extra couple of times. It was huge getting out of the sixth inning. That was impressive right there. He took a lot of steps forward in my opinion.”

The Mets, who have dropped 13 of their last 18 on the road, led 1-0 in the first after Jeff McNeil doubled, stole third and scored on a groundout. Atlanta went up 2-1 in the bottom half on Freeman’s 21st homer.

New York tied it 2-all in the fourth when Ramos doubled and scored on Rosario’s double.

Pinch-hitter Nick Markakis’ two-run double in the eighth made it 7-2.

After losing two of three in Atlanta, the Mets fell to fourth place in the NL East and dropped 8¢ games back in the division.

“Our record is what our record is,” New York manager Mickey Callaway said of his team’s 35-39 mark. “We’re concerned what we’re doing. It’s not fun to be in fourth place. No, we don’t want to be there.”

Cardinals 2, Marlins 1, 11 innings

ST. LOUIS — Paul Goldschmidt hit a solo home run with two outs in the 11th inning to lift St. Louis over Miami.

Dexter Fowler had an RBI single in the sixth for the Cardinals, who won for the seventh time in 11 games. Miguel Rojas tied it with a single in the eighth off reliever Carlos Martinez.

After beginning the game on the bench, Goldschmidt entered at first base in the ninth. Two innings later, he launched a 453-foot drive off Adam Conley (1-7) for his fifth career walk-off home run.

St. Louis loaded the bases with none out in the 10th, but Sergio Romo escaped for Miami. He struck out Harrison Bader and got Marcell Ozuna to ground into an 8-4-3 double play started by center fielder JT Riddle as part of a five-man infield.

John Gant (7-0) got the win with a perfect inning.

Rockies 6,

Diamondbacks 4

PHOENIX — Ryan McMahon hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the seventh inning to make up for a costly error, and Colorado added on to beat Arizona.

Jon Gray (7-5) held the Diamondbacks to one earned run over six innings, and Daniel Murphy homered as the Rockies rallied from a 2-0 deficit for their third victory in four games. McMahon had three hits and three RBIs.

It wasn’t all good news for the Rockies, though — shortstop Trevor Story left after jamming his right thumb on a headfirst slide into second base. Colorado manager Bud Black said X-rays were negative, but Story is scheduled for an MRI today.

Colorado scored three in the seventh off Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke (8-3), who allowed five runs and 11 hits in seven innings. His scoreless streak ended at 17 innings.

Pinch-hitter Kevin Cron had a solo homer in the ninth off Rockies closer Wade Davis, and Arizona brought the potential tying run to the plate. Davis got David Peralta to line out for his ninth save.

Nationals 6, Phillies 2, first game

WASHINGTON — Patrick Corbin struck out eight over seven strong innings and Washington beat Philadelphia to begin a day-night doubleheader.

This was the belated series opener after the teams were rained out Monday and Tuesday.

Corbin (6-5) scattered four hits and three walks while ending a personal three-game losing streak.

Juan Soto had an RBI single in the first off Zach Eflin (6-7), and Gerardo Parra and Brian Dozier added RBI doubles later in the game.

Eflin allowed three runs and five hits while striking out seven over six innings.

Nationals 2, Phillies 0, second game

WASHINGTON — Max Scherzer shrugged off a broken nose and black eye to throw seven shutout innings, Brian Dozier and Victor Robles hit solo homers, and Washington swept a doubleheader against Philadelphia.

The Nationals have won 16 of their last 23, while Philadelphia has dropped seven of its last nine and 12 of 18.

Scherzer (6-5) bunted a ball off his face during batting practice Tuesday, but it didn’t stop him from making his scheduled start. He struck out 10, yielded only four hits and permitted just two runners to reach scoring position.

Dozier belted a two-out solo shot in the second off Jake Arrieta (6-6), who allowed two hits and struck out three over six innings.

Sean Doolittle worked the ninth for his 15th save in 18 tries.

Dodgers 9, Giants 2

LOS ANGELES — Chris Taylor homered twice, Cody Bellinger added a solo shot and Los Angeles’ spotty bullpen was solid after starter Rich Hill left with an injury against San Francisco.

The NL West leaders (50-25) became the first 50-win team in the majors and improved to a big league-best 30-9 at home. They routed their rivals for the second straight game, following up on a 9-0 win Tuesday.

Hill exited after one inning because of left forearm discomfort. He is scheduled for a MRI on Thursday.

Dylan Floro (2-1) went two innings for the win.

Taylor hit a three-run homer in the first off Drew Pomeranz (2-7). Dodgers rookie Kyle Garlick added his first career homer leading off the second.

The Giants’ runs came on homers by Tyler Austin and Mike Yastrzemski.

American League

Red Sox 9, Twins 4

MINNEAPOLIS — Eduardo Rodriguez picked up Boston’s bullpen a night after a 17-inning loss, and Brock Holt drove in three runs in a win over Minnesota.

Rodriguez (8-4) allowed four runs on eight hits, but more important, he lasted seven innings after the Red Sox used eight relievers in Tuesday’s marathon.

Boston scored three runs in the second, fifth and eighth innings to win for the seventh time in eight games.

The AL Central-leading Twins have dropped three of four and lost a home series for just the second time this season.

Kyle Gibson (7-4) couldn’t lighten the load on Minnesota’s bullpen.

He tied a career high with five walks and threw 94 pitches in 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on seven hits.

Angels 11, Blue Jays 6

TORONTO — Mike Trout hit two home runs, including his sixth career grand slam, and had a career-best seven RBIs as Los Angeles beat Toronto.

Justin Upton also homered for the Angels, who have won all six meetings with the Blue Jays this season and 18 of the last 24 in Toronto. Trout finished 3 for 6. It was the first seven-RBI game by an Angels hitter since Torii Hunter did it against Kansas City on July 4, 2010.

Rowdy Tellez hit two home runs for Toronto.

Trout hit a two-run blast in the second and added his second grand slam of the season in the fourth. Both homers came off Aaron Sanchez (3-9), who lost his fifth straight start.

Reliever Noe Ramirez (3-0) got the win with 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Athletics 8, Orioles 3

OAKLAND, Calif. — Chris Bassitt took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and won for the first time in more than three weeks as Oakland handed Baltimore its eighth straight loss.

Josh Phegley had a three-run homer, Marcus Semien extended his hitting streak to 16 games and Stephen Piscotty doubled twice to help the A’s complete a three-game sweep.

Bassitt (4-3) allowed two hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings, striking out six and walking three. The right-hander didn’t give up a hit until Jonathan Villar lined a 3-2 pitch for a single with one out in the sixth.

Phegley homered against Josh Rogers (0-1) in the fifth after Piscotty doubled and Chad Pinder was hit in the helmet.

Mariners 8, Royals 2

SEATTLE — Domingo Santana hit two home runs in a game for the third time this season, Marco Gonzales won his third straight start and Seattle avoided an embarrassing series sweep against Kansas City.

Santana, who had five RBIs, and Daniel Vogelbach hit back-to-back homers in the first inning to give the Mariners a 4-0 lead. The Mariners had been outscored 15-4 by the Royals in the first two games of a series between last-place teams.

Seattle jumped on starter Brad Keller (3-9) immediately. Mallex Smith doubled to open the bottom of the first and J.P. Crawford walked before Santana hit his first home run of the day to left-center field. Vogelbach followed with his 18th of the season, off the Hit It Here Cafe in the second deck.

Gonzales (8-6) scattered six hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out five.

Padres 8, Brewers 7

SAN DIEGO — Franmil Reyes hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh and Eric Hosmer added a two-run shot for San Diego, which overcame three homers by Milwaukee to sweep the Brewers.

Reyes’ shot to right-center, his 20th, came off Jeremy Jeffress (1-1) after Manny Machado hit a leadoff single and Hunter Renfroe walked.

Christian Yelich hit his MLB-leading 27th homer and Ryan Braun homered, doubled and drove in three runs for the Brewers.


Reds 3, Astros 2

CINCINNATI — Nick Senzel singled home the tying run with two outs in the ninth inning, and Jesse Winker followed with an RBI single as Cincinnati rallied for a rare sweep of Houston.

The Reds matched their season high with a fourth straight win. They also swept the Marlins in April.

Michael Brantley’s two-run homer put Gerrit Cole in position for only his second career win over Cincinnati, but Roberto Osuna (3-1) couldn’t close it out. Jose Peraza opened the rally with a double and came around on Senzel’s hit.

Winker finished it off with a single up the middle.

Matt Bowman (1-0) pitched two innings.

Cubs 7, White Sox 3

CHICAGO — Willson Contreras homered twice and drove in five runs, and the Cubs handed Lucas Giolito his first loss since April by downing the crosstown White Sox.

David Bote also connected to help the Cubs bounce back from a tough loss to their rivals in their first meeting of the season.

Jon Lester (6-5) allowed two more homers, but worked into the sixth inning to improve to 3-1 in June.

Trying for his ninth win in a row, Giolito (10-2) showed flashes of the dominant stuff that put him in the mix to start next month’s All-Star Game. But he had all sorts of trouble against Contreras.

Giolito allowed six runs and seven hits, struck out nine and walked three in his first loss since April 6 against Seattle.

Pirates 8, Tigers 7

PITTSBURGH — Bryan Reynolds hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to complete Pittsburgh’s rally from a six-run deficit against Detroit.

With the Pirates trailing 7-5, Reynolds sent a knuckle curve from Nick Ramirez (3-2) 421 feet to left-center for his sixth homer of the season, driving in Kevin Newman and Adam Frazier.

Felipe Vazquez retired the side in order in the ninth for his 17th save.

The Pirates trailed 7-1 in the third inning.

Richard Rodriguez (2-3) worked a scoreless sixth.

Indians 10, Rangers 4

ARLINGTON, Texas — Jason Kipnis hit two home runs, going back-to-back with Roberto Perez during a five-run first inning, and Cleveland beat Texas.

The Indians have won 10 of their last 14 games. They have hit nine home runs in winning two of the first three games of a four-game series.

Indians starter Adam Plutko, staked to a 7-1 lead in the third inning, lasted only 4 1/3 innings and gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits. Oliver Perez (2-1) pitched 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Joe Palumbo (0-1), making his second major league start, was pulled after allowing the first four batters to reach base in the third inning.

Palumbo gave up seven runs and six hits, with three walks and one hit batter.

By Paul Wager

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