Suddenly the American League West is all tied up.
Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick both went yard and Matt Shoemaker pitched well over 5 2/3 innings as the Angels topped the Rangers 5-4 on Saturday night in Arlington, Texas. The A’s, meanwhile, got a third straight poor start from Sonny Gray and lost 4-3 to the Braves at Atlanta’s Turner Field.
It was the fourth straight loss for Oakland and for Anaheim it was the fourth straight win. The Halos, who weren’t nearly as aggressive as the A’s ahead of the July 31 trade deadline, now have a share of first place in the American League West for the first time since Opening Day 2013.
Your box scores and recaps from Saturday …
Phillies 5, Giants 6
Yankees 3, Rays 2
Orioles 0, Indians 6
Pirates 3, Nationals 4
Mariners 2, Tigers 4
Blue Jays 6, White Sox 3
Royals 1, Twins 4
Athletics 3, Braves 4
Cubs 3, Mets 7
Diamondbacks 1, Marlins 2
Astros 7, Red Sox 10
Angels 5, Rangers 4
Brewers 3, Dodgers 2
Padres 9, Cardinals 5
The postseason has a knack for finding unlikely heroes. Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki was 1-for-23 in the postseason entering Wednesday’s Game 2 of the World Series. The Nats and Astros each plated two runs in the first inning, then went otherwise scoreless through the sixth inning. In the top of the seventh, with Justin Verlander returning to the mound, Suzuki demolished a high, 1-0 fastball just below the train tracks in left field at Minute Maid Park, breaking the 2-2 tie.
Verlander proceeded to walk Victor Robles, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to take his veteran starter out of the game. Ryan Pressly came in to attempt to keep it a one-run game.
The underdog Nationals held on to defeat the Astros 5-4 in Game 1. Another victory by the Nats in Game 2 would put the Astros — heavy favorites according to oddsmakers — in a big hole.
Update: Pressly walked the first batter he faced, Trea Turner. Adam Eaton successfully sacrifice bunted both runners over. After Anthony Rendon flied out to shallow center field, Hinch decided to issue his team’s first intentional walk of the entire year to Juan Soto, loading the bases. Howie Kendrick then hit what appeared to be an inning-ending ground out, but Alex Bregman booted the ball as he moved to his left. Turner scored to make it 4-2. The floodgates opened when Asdrúbal Cabrera lined a single to center field, bringing home two more runs to pad the lead to 6-2. While pitching to Ryan Zimmerman, Pressly uncorked a wild pitch to allow the two base runners to advance. Zimmerman followed up with a slow roller down the third base line which Bregman barehanded and proceeded to throw away. Two more runs scored. 8-2. Yiiiikes, Astros.