McClanahan wins 5th straight start, Rays sweep 3 from Cards

Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays
Getty Images

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Shane McClanahan pitched eight superb innings to win his fifth consecutive start and the Tampa Bay Rays completed a three-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals with a 2-1 victory on Thursday.

Ji-Man Choi hit a two-run homer as the Rays moved a season-high 11 games over .500.

McClanahan (7-2) allowed one unearned run, two hits, walked one and struck out nine, The lefty, who leads the majors with 98 strikeouts, has given up just five runs over 40 innings in his last six starts.

“I think he’s putting himself in a category here through two months of the season – pretty special category,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

It was the first time McClanahan has pitched into the eighth inning.

Jason Adam worked the ninth to get to his second save

Miles Mikolas (4-4) had an eight-inning complete game, allowing three hits and striking out nine.

The right-hander was the first St. Louis pitcher to have a complete game and lose since Adam Wainwright on April 26, 2021, against Philadelphia.

“I thought Miles actually outpitched him if you ask me, but Shane has something for you,” St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. “He’s (McClanahan) got electric stuff. He did a phenomenal job. Miles also did a really nice job. That was a plus-outing there.”

Marmol said the Cardinals had six or seven balls hit at over 100 mph that were right at people.

“The guys behind me made a lot of great plays,” McClanahan said. “I owe a lot of success to them.”

With both pitchers in control, the game at Tropicana Field was played in 1 hour, 54 minutes.

Mikolas retired his first nine batters on just 27 pitches before running into trouble during the fourth.

Kevin Kiermaier had a leadoff single and scored on Choi’s one-out homer that made it 2-0. Choi has a nine-game hitting streak and has driven in 10 runs over the stretch.

The Cardinals got within 2-1 in the sixth after an error by McClanahan.

Paul Goldschmidt extended his career-best on-base streak to 45 games with a two-out walk and went to second when Nolan Arenado singled for the Cardinals’ second hit.

Albert Pujols hit a soft comebacker that McClanahan failed to catch barehanded. McClanahan recovered, but made an errant throw to first that allowed Goldschmidt to score.

“I just rushed it,” McClanahan said. “I knocked it down, my momentum was taking me one way and I thought I had not as much time as I did and just rushed the throw,”

Pujols picked up his 1, 374th extra-base hit in the second when Rays second baseman Vidal Brujan overran his pop fly in shallow right field for a double. Pujols is now three extra-base hits away from tying Cardinals great Stan Musial for third place on the all-time MLB list.


The Rays played a video tribute before the top of the third honoring St. Louis stars Yadier Molina and Pujols, who are both retiring after this season.

“I think both of them have meant quite a bit to the game,” Cash said. “You marvel at their careers. Look at Yadier Molina (39) and Albert Pujols (42) the age they are, they kept themselves in that shape to be able to compete at his level still is just remarkable.”

Both jumped over the railing of the third-base dugout after the video to acknowledge a standing ovation.


Cardinals: Outfielder Dylan Carlson (left hamstring) could rejoin the team Friday.

Rays: Reliever Andrew Kittredge was placed on the 15-day IL and is expected to have surgery to remove a loose body in his right elbow.


Cardinals: Right-hander Andre Pallante (1-0) will go against Cincinnati righty Luis Castillo (1-3) on Friday night in St. Louis.

Rays: Righty Drew Rasmussen (5-2) and Minnesota left-hander Devin Smeltzer (2-0) are Friday night’s starters at Target Field.

Nationals blow 6-run lead, rebound to beat Phillies 8-7

Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) Lane Thomas singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals sent the Philadelphia Phillies to their fifth straight loss, winning 8-7 after blowing a six-run lead.

The defending NL champion Phillies have just five victories in their last 18 games and are tied with the Nationals at the bottom of the NL East at 25-32.

“We’ve got to overcome it,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “We’ve got to play better, get consistent in all phases and keep moving forward.”

Alex Call drew a two-out walk against Connor Brogdon (2-1) in the eighth, stole second on a low pitch that catcher JT Realmuto couldn’t make a throw on and scored on Thomas’ single to right center.

“The way Lane’s swinging the bat, if you can get on second base, we can win the game,” Call said. “I look over and the ball’s in the dirt, he doesn’t catch it. Now I’m saying: ‘All right, Lane. Come on!’”

Kyle Finnegan (3-2) pitched 1 2/3 innings for the victory, stranding the tying run on second in the ninth.

Nick Castellanos homered twice, singled, doubled and drove in five runs for Philadelphia, which had scored just three runs in its past three games.

“There’s definitely a lot of positives as a group,” Castellanos said. “Showing some fight. It would have been really, really easy to lay down and allow the way the game started to be the way that it finished.”

Down 7-1 after four innings, Philadelphia tied it at 7 in the eighth. Brandon Marsh worked a nine-pitch walk against Mason Thompson leading off, and Drew Ellis singled with one out. Finnegan came on to face Kyle Schwarber, who hit a ground ball up the middle. Shortstop CJ Abrams fielded it behind it behind second base, touched second for one out, but threw wildly to first and Marsh came home with the tying run.

Castellanos’s second homer, a two-run shot to center in the sixth, pulled the Phillies to 7-3 and Marsh added an RBI single in the inning.

In the seventh, Schwarber doubled with one out and Bryson Scott reached on an infield single. Hunter Harvey came on and walked Bryce Harper to load the bases. Castellanos singled to center scoring two runs to make it 7-6.

Luis Garcia homered and Jeimer Candelario doubled twice and drove in three runs for the Nationals, who have won seven of 12.

Philadelphia starter Zack Wheeler, coming off eight shutout innings against Atlanta, allowed seven runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

“This one’s on me really,” Wheeler said. “Guys battled back. Just couldn’t finish it out. We know who we have in this room and what we’ve got to do.”

Josiah Gray gave up four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings for Washington.

Candelario doubled just beyond the reach of left fielder Schwarber to drive in the first of Washington’s two runs in the first.

In the second, Abrams hit a one-out drive to deep center that Marsh misplayed into a double. With two outs and two on, Candelario doubled off the wall in right center to make it 5-0.

Garcia ended Wheeler’s night with a solo homer in the fourth.

“When you come out the way we did, you’ve got to tack on,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “It didn’t happen tonight, but we got one more than the other guys.”


Candelario is 9 for 26 (.346) with four doubles, a home run, nine RBIs, five walks, and seven runs scored in his last seven games.


Phillies: Thomson said RHP Taijuan Walker played catch Friday and there are “no worries about his next start.” In a four-inning outing against the Mets on Thursday, Walker’s sinker velocity averaged 90.6 mph, down from 92.7 mph for the season. His fastball, splitter and curveball velocity also dropped.

Nationals: OF Victor Robles (back spasms) took batting practice on the field for the first time since going on the injured list. … LHP Sean Doolittle (elbow) gave up a run on two hits and struck out two batters in 2/3 of an inning working his second straight night for Class A Fredericksburg.


Phillies: LHP Matt Strahm (4-3, 3.20) will start a bullpen game on Saturday.

Nationals: LHP MacKenzie Gore (3-3, 3.57) went seven innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters in his previous outing – a no decision against the Royals.

AP MLB: and