White Sox end 7-game skid, win 9-2 as Rays drop 9 games back

The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Leury Garcia had four hits, including three doubles, Reynaldo Lopez won for the first time in six starts and the Chicago White Sox stopped a seven-game losing streak by beating the slumping Tampa Bay Rays 9-2 on Friday night.

Garcia became the first White Sox player to have three doubles in a game since Adam Eaton against Minnesota on Aug. 2, 2014.

Lopez (5-8) gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts. He had been 0-2 with a 5.34 ERA since beating Kansas City on June 9.

Tampa Bay dropped a season-high nine games behind the AL East-leading Yankees after arriving about 3:30 a.m. following a doubleheader loss in New York. The Rays have dropped behind Cleveland and Oakland for the two AL wild-card spots. The Rays held an eight-game lead over the third-place team in the wild-card race at the start of play on June 11 but have lost 20 of 35 since.

Rays rookie Brendan McKay (1-1) lasted just 3 1/3 innings in his fourth start, allowing six runs — five earned — and nine hits as his ERA doubled from 1.69 to 3.72. The two-way player had given up three runs over 16 innings in the first three outings.

Garcia doubled leading off the first and scored from second when Jose Abreu’s hard grounder went off the glove of second baseman Mike Brosseau and into right field for an error.

Chicago went ahead 4-1 in the second when Adam Engel beat out a two-out grounder to shortstop, Garcia hit a two-run double that dropped between two outfielders in shallow right and Yoan Moncada followed with an RBI double.

Yolmer Sanchez homered and Moncada had an RBI single during the fourth, and Engel hit a run-scoring triple in the fifth and scored on Colin Poche’s wild pitch for an 8-2 lead. Sanchez added a run-scoring double in the ninth.

Orioles 11, Red Sox 2

BALTIMORE — David Price was clearly uncomfortable on the mound, and it had nothing to with the sweltering conditions at swampy Camden Yards.

Price had owned the Baltimore Orioles for most of his career, yet the five-time All-Star just wasn’t himself this time against the team with the worst record in the big leagues.

Anthony Santander and Keon Broxton went deep against Boston’s crafty left-hander, and the Orioles got six solid innings from rookie left-hander John Means in an 11-2 rout on Friday night.

Price (7-3) allowed six runs, eight hits and a walk in four innings to take his first loss in 13 starts since April 27. He was 8-0 in Baltimore and 16-5 lifetime against the Orioles before turning in a surprisingly ineffective performance.

“I didn’t have very good fastball command, no command of anything really,” Price said.

He insisted that the 96-degree heat was not the problem.

“It’s something everyone had to deal with,” Price said. “No, it wasn’t an issue with me. I prepared for it.”

Sam Travis homered for the Red Sox, who had won 14 of their previous 16 road games. Boston dropped 11 games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East, matching the biggest deficit of the season for the defending champions.

Red Sox leadoff hitter Mookie Betts had his streak of scoring in 13 straight games come to an end, one short of breaking the franchise record he now shares with Ted Williams (1946).

Means (8-5), the Orioles’ lone representative on the AL All-Star team, gave up two runs and four hits. Facing the highest-scoring team in the majors, Means issued only one walk and retired nine straight batters after allowing the second-inning homer to Travis.

Astros 4, Rangers 3

HOUSTON — Justin Verlander struck out 12 in six solid innings, four Houston players hit solo home runs and the Astros held on to beat Texas.

Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez led off the third inning with consecutive home runs to extend Houston’s lead to 4-0. Altuve hit his homer to left-center field, and Bregman sent his to left on the next pitch before Alvarez hit a 474-foot monster shot into the second deck in right field.

It was the first time the Astros had hit three straight homers since June, 20, 2018, against Tampa Bay.

Yuli Gurriel led off the second with a solo shot to left.

Verlander (12-4) allowed two runs and eight hits. The right-hander struck out at least 11 for the fourth time this season.

Roberto Osuna pitched the ninth for his 21st save.

Rougned Odor and Asdrubal Cabrera hit consecutive solo home runs in the sixth for Texas to cut Houston’s lead to 4-2, and Shin-Soo Choo scored on Elvis Andrus’ groundout in the seventh to pull within one.

The Rangers have lost five straight. Texas stranded 11 runners and were 0 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

Mike Minor (8-5) allowed four runs and seven hits with 10 strikeouts in seven innings. Minor, who tied a career-high allowing four home runs, retired 15 of the last 16 batters he faced.

Indians 10, Royals 5

CLEVELAND — Rookie Oscar Mercado went 5 for 5 and drove in two runs as the Cleveland Indians won their sixth straight game.

Mercado had an RBI double in the third inning and a run-scoring single in the sixth. He also scored twice.

Mercado is batting .423 (11 for 26) with three home runs and eight RBIs over the last eight games. He was called up from Triple-A Columbus on May 14 and became the 12th Indians rookie since 1913 to have at least five hits in a game.

Shane Bieber (9-3), making his second start since being named MVP of the All-Star Game held at Progressive Field, allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings.

Bieber took a 6-2 lead into the sixth, but three straight singles with two outs loaded the bases. Whit Merrifield’s three-run triple off Nick Goody cut the lead to one.

Cleveland scored four times in the third to erase a 2-1 deficit. Tyler Naquin hit a two-run homer, a towering drive down the right field line that hit close to the top of the foul pole.

Jose Ramirez drove in two runs and extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an RBI single in the eighth.

Mike Montgomery (1-3) got the loss in his debut for Kansas City after being acquired from the Chicago Cubs for catcher Martin Maldonado on July 15. The left-hander allowed five runs in two innings and was pulled after the first four hitters in the third reached base.

Montgomery went 1-2 in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs, but the Royals will use him as a starter.

Blue Jays 12, Tigers 1

DETROIT — Marcus Stroman breezed through seven scoreless innings, and the Toronto Blue Jays batted around in both the fourth and the sixth on their way to a 12-1 rout of the Detroit Tigers on Friday night.

Teoscar Hernandez homered for Toronto, which scored four runs in the fourth and five in the sixth, sending 10 batters to the plate in each inning. The Tigers lost for the 26th time in their last 29 home games. That does not include a May 19 game in which Detroit was also losing when the contest was suspended.

Stroman (6-10) allowed six hits. The All-Star right-hander struck out five with no walks in what was his first career start at Detroit.

Jordan Zimmermann (0-7) is now winless in his last 16 starts. He allowed six runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings, and the right-hander has yielded 20 runs in his last three starts.

Toronto was up 2-0 before loading the bases in the fourth. Hernandez hit an RBI single, Eric Sogard followed with a two-run single, and Freddy Galvis drove in a run with a single of his own.

Hernandez led off the sixth with a homer, and the Blue Jays would go on to score four more runs that inning. Danny Jansen’s two-run single made it 11-0.

Cubs 6, Padres 5

CHICAGO — Anthony Rizzo hit a go-ahead grand slam and the Chicago Cubs overcame an early home run by Manny Machado to beat San Diego.

Javier Baez also homered for the NL Central-leading Cubs, who have won six of seven since the All-Star break.

Josh Naylor tied the score 5-5 in the eighth inning against Pedro Strop (2-3) with his first career pinch homer, but the Cubs went back ahead in the bottom half.

Anthony Rizzo singled off Craig Stammen (6-5), rookie shortstop Fernandez Tatis Jr. threw Addison Russell’s grounder into center field for an error, Jason Heyward was intentionally walked and David Bote hit a grounder to third. Machado threw home for a forceout and catcher Francisco Mejia threw to first, even though he didn’t have a play on Bote. The ball hit off the glove of first baseman Eric Hosmer and bounced into short right field as Rizzo scored on Hosmer’s error.

Craig Kimbrel struck out three around a four-pitch walk in the ninth for his fourth save in five chances. San Diego has lost five of six and 11 of 15.

Jon Lester made his 400th big league appearance and matched his career high by allowing 12 hits, giving up four runs in six innings. Lester needed 26 pitches to get through the first on a muggy afternoon with a 93-degree temperature at game time.

Phillies 6, Pirates 1

PITTSBURGH — Bryce Harper’s go-ahead RBI single was one of 15 hits the Philadelphia Phillies used to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, giving them back-to-back victories for the first time since July 2.

Harper hit a seventh-inning single off Pirates reliever Richard Rodriguez (3-4) that scored pinch-hitter Brad Miller to give the Phillies their first lead of the game.

Rookie outfielder Adam Haseley added a solo homer to start the scoring and a run-scoring double to cap it for the Phillies.

Miller reached on a single to left and advanced on a walk and fielder’s choice to set the table for Harper, who finished 2 for 5 with a double. The run snapped a 19-game scoreless streak for Rodriguez.

Philadelphia made it 3-1 in the eighth inning on Jean Segura’s bases-loaded infield single that followed a 13-pitch battle with reliever Kyle Crick.

In the ninth, Maikel Franco drove in J.T. Realmuto with another infield single, Cesar Hernandez scored on a wild pitch and Haseley plated Franco with a double.

Haseley also hit a solo homer in the fifth inning, his second in two games.

The rally made a winner of Juan Nicasio (2-3), who pitched one-third of an inning in relief of starter Jake Arrieta. Arrieta worked 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball. He struck out four and allowed six hits.

Cole Irvin pitched two innings for his first save.

Pirates starter Jordan Lyles bounced back from his worst start of the season, striking out seven in 5 2/3 innings while allowing one run. In his previous start, he gave up seven runs and didn’t get out of the first inning.

Cardinals 12, Reds 11

CINCINNATI — Jose Martinez homered and singled during a 10-run rally in the sixth inning and the St. Louis Cardinals overcame a seven-run deficit for a wild win over the Reds.

Down 7-0, the Cardinals put together their biggest inning of the season on the way to their sixth win in seven games.

Jesse Winker hit a two-out, two-run single in the ninth off Cardinals closer Carlos Martinez. But Joey Votto grounded out with runners at the corners to give Martinez his seventh save.

Journeyman catcher Ryan Lavarnway hit two homers, doubled and drove in a career-high six runs for Cincinnati in his first game in the majors this season. Released by the Yankees this week after hitting .213 in a Triple-A backup role, Lavarnway was signed by the Reds after a series of injuries left them thin behind the plate.

The 31-year-old Lavarnway, who had played a total of 12 games in the big leagues in the last four seasons, went 3 for 4 with a walk.

The Reds rocked Adam Wainwright for nine hits and seven runs in 3 1/3 innings. His career earned-run average against the Reds jumped from 5.01 to 5.31, his worst against major league team.

By Paul Wager

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