Birthday boy LeMahieu scores in 10th, Yanks beat Reds 7-6

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK – DJ LeMahieu capped his 34th birthday by sliding across the plate on Alexis Diaz‘s second straight wild pitch in the 10th inning, and the New York Yankees rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 Wednesday night and stop a three-game losing streak.

Luis Severino allowed three consecutive homers in a span of five pitches in the second inning as Cincinnati built a 4-0 lead, then left with right shoulder tightness.

“Today I woke up feeling not that great,” Severino said. “I felt a little tight shoulder going to warm up and do all my stuff in the bullpen. It stayed the same in the game.”

Cincinnati allowed five unearned runs, four after second baseman Jonathan India‘s error on Anthony Rizzo‘s potential inning-ending double-play grounder in the third. The Reds fell behind 5-4 and went ahead 6-5 before Giancarlo Stanton homered to the short porch in right field off Ian Gibaut in the eighth.

LeMahieu started the 10th inning on second base. Aaron Judge struck out against Diaz (2-1), Anthony Rizzo was intentionally walked and Stanton fell behind 0-2 in the count.

Diaz threw a slider that went off the mitt of catcher Tyler Stephenson. Diaz paused to grab the rosin bag, then threw a slider that bounced off Stephenson toward the first base dugout as LeMahieu scampered home ahead of the catcher’s throw to Diaz covering the plate.

“It’s a good birthday, but to play in the big leagues on my birthday, that’s good enough,” LeMahieu said. “But a walk-off like this is pretty fun.”

New York got its big league-high 11th walk-off win and 27th come-from-behind victory, avoiding what would have been its first four-game losing streak this year.

Michael King (6-1), the seventh Yankees pitcher, escaped first-and-third, no-outs trouble in the 10th when Matt Reynolds struck out and Kyle Farmer grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.

“Not perfect,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “This season’s not going to be that way. So, just glad we were able to kind of continue to grind and grind.”

Farmer hit a 431-foot drive to left on Severino’s slider, Mike Moustakas connected on a changeup and Stuart Fairchild on a 92 mph fastball.

After Boone and an athletic trainer came to the mound, Severino finished the inning. He went to the mound to start the third and threw a warmup pitch, then walked off and was replaced by rookie JP Sears.

Severino averaged 94.1 mph with 18 fastballs, down from his season average of 96.1 mph.

“I talked to him after the first inning, he was just a little leery of letting it go, but he kept saying, `I feel really good,”‘ Boone said. “Something was telling him to hold back a little bit. That was the biggest thing.”

This was the third time Severino allowed three homers in a game, the first since Aug. 28, 2017, against Cleveland.

Cincinnati hit three straight homers for the first time since May 5, 2019, against San Francisco’s Jeff Samardzija when Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker and Derek Dietrich went deep.

“That was a great way to get off to a good start,” Reds manager David Bell said.

New York allowed three straight homers for the second time this year. Gerrit Cole did it June 9 in Minnesota when Luis Arraez, Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa took him deep.

Joey Votto drove in two runs and Stephenson hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth off Sears as the Reds saw their season-high five-game winning streak snapped.

Gleyber Torres hit an RBI single after India’s error, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa capped a five-run third with a three-run double.

Cincinnati starter Mike Minor allowed five runs – one earned – in four innings.

BIRD RELEASED

The Yankees released 1B Greg Bird from his minor league contract after he hit .218 with six homers and 22 RBIs in 59 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: CF Nick Senzel was a late scratch with back tightness and was caught stealing as a pinch runner in the eighth.

Yankees: OF Aaron Hicks said he was feeling better after bruising his right shin when he fouled a pitch off his leg in the third inning Tuesday. Hicks underwent an MRI and CT scan that were both negative and hopes to return by this weekend’s series with Boston. . RHP Domingo German (right shoulder impingement, injured list since spring training) threw a bullpen and is tentatively scheduled to make another rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, though that could change depending on New York’s pitching needs by Friday. . Sears was optioned to Triple-A after the game.

UP NEXT

All-Star RHP Luis Castillo (3-4, 2.92 ERA) makes his second career start at Yankee Stadium for Cincinnati. In the second inning of his previous one, Castillo got Todd Frazier to hit into a triple play on July 25, 2017. All-Star LHP Nestor Cortes (7-3, 2.74) starts for the Yankees.

Braves sweep Mets, take 2-game lead in East with 3 remaining

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ATLANTA — Matt Olson knew the Atlanta Braves were too talented to stay in a season-long slump.

That’s why no one panicked when the New York Mets’ division lead swelled to double digits in May. Now the Braves are on the cusp of another NL East title.

“It’s a clubhouse full of guys who want to win,” Olson said. “That’s all it’s been since the moment I walked in. That’s No. 1 on the program.”

Dansby Swanson and Olson homered for the third straight game, Travis d'Arnaud hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning, and Braves beat New York 5-3 on Sunday night, completing a three-game sweep of their NL East rival and taking a two-game lead in the division with three games to play.

The defending World Series champion Braves have been chasing the Mets the entire season. In the final series of the season, any combination of one Atlanta win or one Mets loss would give the Braves their fifth straight division title.

New York plays its final three games of the season against worst-in-the-majors Washington. Atlanta closes out the regular season with a three-game set in Miami. Should the season end Wednesday in a tie, Atlanta would win the division after claiming the season series 10-9 with Sunday’s victory.

“We’ve felt this confidence since the beginning of the year,” d’Arnaud said. “It just didn’t go our way early in the year, but pulling on the same rope, having each others’ backs, not trying to do too much. We’re just trying to play the game of baseball and have fun with it.”

The Braves won five of the last six games in the series, outscoring the Mets 42-19 over that stretch. New York had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 but now is the lower in the standings than at any point this season.

It was a lost weekend for New York, which came to Atlanta hoping to clinch its first division title since 2015. Instead, aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer lost Friday and Saturday before Chris Bassitt lasted just 2 2/3 innings on Sunday.

“We still have three games left in the regular season, we’re still going to the postseason, that doesn’t change, but there’s a lot of learning points that we can take from this series moving forward,” Mets slugger Pete Alonso said. “I thought we played well, but the Braves played better. They played excellent baseball this entire weekend.”

Swanson took Bassitt deep to right-center in the first with his 25th homer, and Atlanta took charge with a three-run third. Bassitt (15-9) issued a bases-loaded walk to Olson before d’Arnaud delivered a single up the middle to score Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley for a 4-3 lead. That chased Bassitt, who was charged with four runs, three hits and three walks.

Olson connected for his 33rd homer to make it 5-3 leading off the sixth, his 410-foot shot landing in the seats in right-center. Olson, in his first year with Atlanta, surpassed 100 RBIs for the second straight season.

“Everyone knew we were underperforming when we were flirting around that .500 range,” Olson said. “It was one of those things where it was trusting the talent we have and the guys in the clubhouse. Everybody was solid, head down, do your work, it’ll turn around and you wind up winning.”

Charlie Morton stranded runners on first and second in the first, but he gave up Daniel Vogelbach‘s 18th homer that tied it at 1 in the second. The righty struck out Francisco Lindor with runners on first and second to end the threat.

Jeff McNeil went deep off Morton in the third and Vogelbach followed with an RBI single to put the Mets up 3-1. Morton entered the game having allowed 28 homers, sixth-most in the NL.

Morton scuffled throughout his start, giving up three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings as the 38-year-old made his first start since signing a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with Atlanta next season.

Dylan Lee (5-1) relieved Morton and pitched 1 1/3 innings, leaving after a walk to Brandon Nimmo with two outs in the sixth. Collin McHugh entered and struck out Francisco Lindor.

Raisel Iglesias faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen converted his third save of the series with a clean ninth.

Jansen leads the NL with 40 saves in 47 chances.

The Braves’ bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA last month, pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings the last two nights.

BIG NUMBERS

Atlanta leads the NL with 241 homers. And the Braves have their first 100-victory season since 2003.

TWO, DARN HOT

McNeil went 3 for 5 and has multiple hits in five straight games. His average is .326, one point behind the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman for the NL batting title. In 23 career games at Truist Park, McNeil is hitting .395 with 12 runs, nine doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and four walks. … Jansen tied Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for eighth place on the career list with 389. He’s also is the 10th closer to have four different seasons with at least 40 saves.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. … Braves 2B Ozzie Albies (broken right pinky finger) is still wearing a cast. … Braves RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique.

ATTENDANCE

The Braves drew 42,713 in their regular season finale, the club’s 42nd sellout of the season. Overall. that’s 3,129,931 for the season – and the most tickets sold since 2000. In 2019, the team’s last full season before the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta drew 2,655,100.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95 ERA) will face Nationals RHP Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11).

Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (2-3, 2.76 ERA) will face Marlins LHP Jesus Luzardo (3-7, 3.53).