Verlander Wins No. 200; Astros Back in First

Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander works against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Justin Verlander pitched just well enough to earn his 200th career win and the Houston Astros hit five home runs, beating the Oakland Athletics 9-4 Sunday to avoid a sweep and retake sole possession of the AL West lead.

The surging A’s had won the first two games at the Coliseum to tie shaky Houston atop the division. But Yuli Gurriel hit a three-run homer in the third inning and Evan Gattis, Alex Bergman, Marwin Gonzalez and Martin Maldonado later homered for the defending World Series champions. Maldonado also tripled and doubled.

Verlander (12-8) gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings while becoming the 114th pitcher with at least 200 career wins.

Oakland’s Sean Manaea (11-9) was charged with six runs and nine hits in four-plus innings.

DODGERS 12, MARINERS 1

SEATTLE (AP) — Clayton Kershaw pitched seven sharp innings for his 150th career win, Justin Turner homered and drove in five runs, and Los Angeles routed Seattle.

Kershaw (6-5) gave up four hits, struck out seven and walked one. The 30-year-old lefty with three NL Cy Young Awards improved to 150-69 in the majors.

BREWERS 2, CARDINALS 1

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Mike Moustakas hit a two-run double, Jhoulys Chacin beat St. Louis for the first time in his career and Milwaukee edged the Cardinals.

Milwaukee (69-57) snapped a three-game losing streak and moved back ahead of St. Louis (68-57) for the second National League wild card. The Cardinals lost for just the second time in their last 12 games.

Chacin (13-4) entered the game 0-7 with a 6.90 ERA in nine career games against the Cardinals, but shut them out through six innings as the Brewers avoided their first three-game sweep at St. Louis since July 1-3, 2016.

John Gant (5-5) gave up two runs on six hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings.

ROCKIES 4, BRAVES 2

ATLANTA (AP) — DJ LeMahieu homered, German Marquez pitched seven solid innings and the Rockies closed out their first four-game sweep in Atlanta.

Colorado improved to 30-16 since June 26, and each of those 46 games came against teams with winning records at the time.

LeMahieu put Colorado in front with his third-inning drive to left field. He has hit nine of his 11 homers on the road, including a tiebreaking solo shot in the 10th inning of Saturday night’s 5-3 win.

INDIANS 8, ORIOLES 0

CLEVELAND (AP) — Melky Cabrera hit a grand slam to cap a six-run fourth inning and Cleveland beat Baltimore for its AL-leading 13th shutout.

Cabrera, batting right-handed against reliever Sean Gilmartin, hit a 1-1 pitch into the bleachers in left-center for the Indians’ ninth grand slam this season, moving them into a tie with Boston and Cincinnati for the major league lead.

Mike Clevinger (9-7) pitched six innings and is 4-0 in five career starts against Baltimore. The right-hander allowed seven hits and struck out seven.

Orioles starter Yefry Ramirez (1-5) allowed seven runs in three-plus innings. The rookie right-hander was removed after the first five hitters reached base in the fourth.

MARLINS 12, NATIONALS 1

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jose Urena made the most of his borrowed time, pitching a two-hitter for his first complete game in the majors and leading Miami over Washington.

Urena (4-12) was suspended for six games by Major League Baseball after hitting Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. on Wednesday. Urena was ejected from that start after throwing only one pitch and appealed the penalty, keeping him eligible to play.

Urena, tied for the NL lead in hit batters, didn’t plunk anyone on the Nationals. He struck out four, walked two and retired the last 16 batters. It was his first complete game in 74 big league starts.

YANKEES 10, BLUE JAYS 2

NEW YORK (AP) — J.A. Happ stayed unbeaten with New York by topping his former Toronto teammates, and Greg Bird hit a grand slam during a six-run first inning.

The Yankees completed a three-game sweep, but lost shortstop Didi Gregorius to an injured left heel. Gregorius was hurt when he collided with Toronto first baseman Kendrys Morales beating an infield hit in the first, and was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

RAYS 2, RED SOX 0

BOSTON (AP) — Jalen Beeks pitched four strong innings against the team that traded him last month and Tampa Bay limited Boston to two singles.

Joey Wendle and C.J. Cron homered as the Rays topped the AL East leaders for just the fifth time in 16 games this season. Six of those Tampa Bay losses have been by one run.

RANGERS 4, ANGELS 2

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Rougned Odor connected on a go-ahead, three-run homer with rain falling in the seventh inning, and Texas beat Los Angeles to wrap up a soggy weekend.

Odor’s 15th home run of the season came minutes before the second rain delay of a game that started 13 hours after the previous night’s game ended. The rain had just started for the third time in Sunday’s regularly scheduled game when Odor pulled a pitch from reliever Noe Ramirez (4-4) into the seats above the Texas bullpen in right-center field.

Shohei Ohtani doubled and scored the run that put the Angels up 2-1 in the fourth inning.

Three Texas relievers retired all nine hitters, starting with Matt Moore (3-6) in the seventh.

D-BACKS 4, PADRES 3

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A.J. Pollock homered in the ninth inning, and Arizona beat San Diego to stay on top of the NL West.

Pollock drove a 1-2 pitch from Kirby Yates (4-2) over the wall in left for his 16th homer, sending Arizona to its fourth win in five games. San Diego had tied it at 3 on Daniel Descalso’s solo homer off rookie Trey Wingenter in the eighth.

TWINS 5, TIGERS 4

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Eddie Rosario hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning and Minnesota connected three times in all, beating Detroit.

Max Kepler and Jake Cave also homered as the Twins won for the fifth time in six games.

WHITE SOX 7, ROYALS 6

CHICAGO (AP) — Omar Narvaez homered and drove in the go-ahead run with a single off Brian Flynn (3-4), Chicago relievers tossed seven scoreless innings and the White Sox rallied from a six-run deficit.

REDS 11, GIANTS 4

CINCINNATI (AP) — Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run homer during Cincinnati’s seven-run third inning, and the Reds swept San Francisco.

Jose Peraza also hit a two-run homer for Cincinnati, which outscored San Francisco 18-5 in the last two games of the weekend set. Billy Hamilton tripled twice and drove in three runs.

Reds right-hander Luis Castillo (7-10) struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings. He was charged with three runs, one earned, and six hits.

San Francisco dropped its fourth consecutive game. Andrew Suarez (4-9) was tagged for seven runs, five earned, and seven hits in a season-low 2 2/3 innings.

Mets 8, Phillies 2

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (AP) — Amed Rosario had three hits and drove in three runs, and the New York Mets went from cheering on players in the Little League World Series to impressing the youngsters in a victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Jeff McNeil added a two-run single to back Jason Vargas (3-8) as the Mets claimed the second Little League Classic and prevented the Phillies from moving into first place in the NL East.

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