The Mercury News

OAKLAND, Calif. (TNS) — The strict pitch limit Paul Blackburn was on turned out to be unnecessary.

Making his second start back from the disabled list, Blackburn was roughed up for eight runs on eight hits and two walks with no strikeouts over 1 1/3 innings in Wednesday’s 13-5 blowout loss to the Houston Astros in front of 9,164 fans at the Coliseum. It was the shortest outing of Blackburn’s young big league career.

Blackburn had surpassed manager Bob Melvin’s expectations in his first start back from the 60-day DL last weekend against the Kansas City Royals by allowing just one run over six innings of work. But going from facing one of the worst teams in baseball to the defending World Series champions is a whole different category. That’s why after the Astros nearly batted around in the first and only continued to make hard contact after, Melvin decided to pull Blackburn at just 47 pitches in the second.

With the A’s trailing 10-0 after just two innings, Khris Davis did his best to chip away at the early deficit.

Davis turned in his 18th career multi-home run game and third multi-homer game this year, first blasting a laser solo shot over the wall in right off Gerrit Cole in the sixth, and a solo home run off Reymin Guduan in the eighth. The homer off Guduan was his 19th of the season.

Stephen Piscotty also crushed a three-run home run off Cole in the fourth, his fourth of the season. But they were matched alone by Astros slugger Evan Gattis.

For the second night in a row, Gattis drove in five RBIs against the A’s, crushing two home runs as part of a 2 for 3 night.

The low amount of fans who stuck around late at least got to see some history.

With the A’s low on relief pitchers and trailing 11-5, Melvin decided to throw outfielder Jake Smolinski out on the mound for the ninth.

Dodgers nip Rangers

LOS ANGELES — Streaks of dirt sullied the uniform of Matt Kemp as he waited for the umpires to render judgment. He had fitted himself into his Los Angeles Dodgers cap and grabbed his glove from the dugout before the fourth inning of Wednesday’s 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers. He resembled a kid who had roughhoused in a sandbox, hoping he would still be allowed to play.

The crowd at Dodger Stadium groaned when the verdict came down. Kemp was ejected, along with Texas catcher Robinson Chirinos, for their dustup to end the third inning. Kemp bowled over Chirinos at the plate. The players traded shoves before their teammates separated them. Then the umpires forced both would-be combatants to exit the premises.

The Dodgers would win the game in the 11th with an even stranger interaction at the plate. Enrique Hernandez scored the game-winning run on a grounder hit back to the mound by Austin Barnes. The throw from Rangers pitcher Matt Bush pulled backup catcher Carlos Perez off balance. Hernandez tiptoed around Perez and touched the plate to end the game.

Royals shut out

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Cincinnati Reds left Kauffman Stadium with a 7-0 win Wednesday, the latest staff to silence the Royals’ offense. They swept a two-game interleague series, allowing only one run across 19 innings.

Royals starter Jason Hammel tossed 71/3 innings, the initial six without allowing a run. Reds outfielder Adam Duvall supplied a grand slam in the ninth to put th

Pads down Cardinals

ST. LOUIS — The story of the Padres’ five straight series victories was told Wednesday night by a light-hitting shortstop in a one-pitch at-bat in the first inning of the team’s 11th victory in 16 games.

With two outs and two runners on in the first inning, Freddy Galvis sent the first pitch he saw over the head of Cardinals center fielder Tommy Pham, to the dirt and then up off the padded wall for a double that sent both runners home.

Plenty more would happen in the Padres’ 4-2 victory.

Eric Lauer (3-4) threw five scoreless innings and survived another two-thirds, allowing two runs on a homer by Marcell Ozuna in the sixth inning. Fellow rookie left-hander Jose Castillo took over for Lauer to get the final out of the sixth with a strikeout and then struck out the side in the seventh.

After Kirby Yates sailed through another eighth inning and Brand Hand another ninth for his 21st save, the Padres had made it through a franchise-record third straight game without its pitchers allowing a walk.

Manuel Margot would extend his hitting streak to six games by going 3-for-4, and his triple in the seventh inning scored Franmil Reyes with what ended up being the deciding run. Raffy Lopez’s broken-bat single scored Margot for the Padres’s final run.

Eric Hosmer would get two hits again, as he so often does in Padres’ victories.

Sox win by 1

CHICAGO — White Sox fans don’t know what to make of Dylan Covey. Is he the guy who went 0-7 with a 7.71 ERA last season? Or the one who outdueled Chris Sale in his last start at Fenway Park?

He was the second one Wednesday night during the Sox’s 3-2 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Covey pitched effectively, exiting the game in the eighth with his team ahead 3-0 and two runners aboard. Left-hander Jace Fry gave up two hits but also got three outs, fanning Jason Kipnis on a sweeping slider.

Covey, 26, did not walk a batter over seven-plus innings, allowing 10 hits. His ERA after six starts is an impressive 2.29.

And Covey’s infield let him down three times: Yoan Moncada botched a double play, settling for an out. Moncada could not come up with a tricky grounder from deep in a shift. And the ball got stuck in Tim Anderson’s glove after Covey deflected a grounder. Zero errors, but three plays that could have been made.

On the flip side, Jose Abreu turned two masterful double plays, firing to third for a rare 3-5 DP.

to end the seventh.

The Sox broke through in the fifth after a hustling Charlie Tilson motored into third after driving in Anderson on a shot down the right-field line. Thompson laid down a perfect bunt on a suicide squeeze.

Moncada turned a 4-3 double play to end the game, helping Joakim Soria out of a jam.


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The Record (Hackensack, N.J.)

NEW YORK — As impactful as the Yankees’ rookies have been, they took a backseat Wednesday to Washington’s Juan Soto.

The 19-year-old rookie outfielder connected for two home runs at Yankee Stadium, leading the Nationals to a 5-4 win before 45,030 fans.

In splitting the two-game interleague series, the Nationals (37-28) remained a game behind the NL East-leading Braves, while the Yankees (43-20) lost their first-place hold on Boston in the AL East.

In a back-and-forth game, Yankees rookie Gleyber Torres tied it with a solo homer off right-handed starter Erick Fedde in the fifth.

But after navigating through the heart of Washington’s order in the sixth, Yankees lefty Chasen Shreve served up a long, seventh-inning solo homer to Soto.

That one-out shot flew into the upper part of the right-field bleachers, giving the Nationals a 5-4 lead and adding to some history in the Bronx.

Soto became the youngest player since Ken Griffey Jr. in 1989 to homer at either Yankee Stadium in a regular-season game; both players hit two homers in one game as 19-year-olds.

With three home runs in his first 19 games entering Wednesday, Soto was already the first teenager to homer in a big-league game since Harper.

After Harper’s painful Tuesday night, hit by a pitch to his right elbow and absorbing a pitch off his left big toe in the Yankees’ 3-0 win, the Nats star had a quiet 0-for-4 with two strikeouts on Wednesday.

Harper grounded out leading off the sixth against Shreve, his former teammate at the College of Southern Nevada — when Harper was a catcher.

It’s been an uneven season for Yankees starter Sonny Gray.

The right-hander entered Wednesday’s game with a 7.22 ERA in six starts at Yankee Stadium this year, as opposed to a 2.83 ERA in six starts away from the Bronx.

And that trend continued for Gray, charged with four runs in five innings.

Adam Eaton started the game with a double and eventually scored on Anthony Rendon’s sacrifice fly, and Gray picked off runners at first to end both the second and third innings.

But Gray’s luck didn’t hold out in the fourth, after retiring the first two batters.

After ex-Met Daniel Murphy walked, Matt Adams singled off the right-field wall and Soto followed with his first homer of the night.

Soto’s fly ball that drifted just over the left-field fence, near the corner, to give Washington a 4-3 lead.

It was the eighth homer yielded by Gray this year, with seven of them coming in the Bronx.

Just five for his last 40 (.125) entering Wednesday, Greg Bird found himself batting seventh in the lineup with Didi Gregorius — coming off a two-homer Tuesday night — elevated to No. 3.

“Just kind of slept on it and felt like it made the most sense,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of his decision to drop Bird down the order.

That decision paid immediate dividends as Bird launched a solo homer in his first at-bat, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the second off Fedde.

Bird also doubled to lead off the seventh, but was stranded — keeping the Nats ahead 5-4.

A former first-round pick (18th overall) in 2014, Fedde was charged with four runs in five innings — his first-ever appearance against the Yankees.

Aaron Judge doubled and scored on Giancarlo Stanton’s third-inning, two-out ground single that eluded third baseman Anthony Rendon. Judge’s sac fly had put the Yanks on the board in the first.

It was a rough night on the bases for the Nationals, who managed to have four players make outs on the bases in just the second and third innings.

After Wilmer Difo lined into a double play, taking a runner out of scoring position, Soto was picked off by Gray to end the second.

Eaton was out stretching a single in the third, on Brett Gardner’s quick relay and Torres’ deft tag. Trea Turner followed with a single and was promptly picked off by Gray, a play that survived Washington’s relay challenge — a lengthy review of 3:07.


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Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

DETROIT — Niko Goodrum was a teammate of Jose Berrios in seven different seasons with seven different teams. So is this how friends treat friends?

Goodrum crushed a second-inning home run off his pal, sliced a sixth-inning double that Berrios was fortunate bounced out of play, and then, once Berrios had departed, contributed a single in the middle of an four-run, eighth-inning rally and scored the winning run in the Tigers’ 5-2 win over the Twins at Comerica Park.

Berrios was as sharp as ever against the other eight Tigers, limiting the non-Goodrums to five hits and continually turning unhittable with runners on base. The Tigers were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position against Berrios, and struck out seven times in six innings.

But the Tigers belted Twins reliever Addison Reed around the diamond, smacking five singles to score four runs and abruptly end the Twins’ two-game winning streak. With the Twins leading 2-1, John Hicks started that mess with a one-out single to center, and Goodrum moved pinch-runner Ronnie Rodriguez into scoring position with a single of his own, his third hit of the night. Grayson Greiner grounded a hit to right to tie the game, and after a fly out, Victor Reyes lined a single to left to score Goodrum with the go-ahead run that deprived Berrios of his eighth victory.

The Tigers added two more runs off Reed when Leonys Martin chopped another single to right, scoring Greiner and, when Robbie Grossman’s throw flew into the camera well next to Detroit’s dugout, scoring Reyes, too.

The loss was a difficult one for the Twins, who had won four of Berrios’ last five starts. But Matthew Boyd and four Detroit relievers shut down the Twins’ offense, at least once Eddie Rosario pulled off a little more of his audacious baserunning.

Rosario took advantage of Martin, the Tigers’ center fielder, twice in two minutes, handing Berrios a 2-0 lead that he protected through his six innings. The Twins’ most fearless baserunner lined a first-inning base hit between (but on front of) Martin and right fielder Nicholas Castellanos, a routine single for anyone else, sending Brian Dozier to third. But Rosario rounded first base at full speed and roared toward second, catching Martin by surprise. The outfielder still had time to throw him out, but by rushing, Martin’s throw sailed high and Rosario slid under it for a double.

As if that wasn’t gutsy enough, Rosario was emboldened by the play to try his trick of victimizing an outfielder who hesitates. So when Eduardo Escobar followed with a ground ball hit directly at Martin, Rosario hustled to third base, rounded it, and then stopped. When Martin double-clutched in order to keep an eye on Rosario, the runner simply sprinted for the plate, far ahead of Martin’s hopeless throw to the plate.

It was a brassy start for the Twins’ offense, but what nobody knew was that they would collect no more. Boyd didn’t allow a hit in four of his five innings, and the Twins didn’t move another runner into scoring position until the eighth inning, when they stranded Escobar after a one-out triple.

Goodrum, a second-round pick of the Twins in 2010 who came up through the Minnesota farm system with Berrios, hit a 1-2 curveball from the right-hander far over the right-field wall in the second inning, his sixth home run of the season and second off his former team.


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Sun Sentinel

MIAMI — Giants rookie Andrew Suarez walked onto the mound at Marlins Park like he owned the place. Actually, he opened the place.

The Miami native started for the University of Miami when the Marlins played their first game at Marlins Park against the Hurricanes in a March 2012 game. A freshman who went on to a solid career for UM (18-10, 3.55 ERA in 50 games) pitched well that day in shutting out the Marlins for three innings.

The Giants bullpen couldn’t finish it off for the young lefty, giving up the lead in the sixth.

The Marlins ultimately came from behind three times Wednesday before finally winning in the ninth on Brian Anderson’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded off Hunter Strickland for a 5-4 victory.

Miguel Rojas opened the ninth by blooping a single to left on an 0-2 pitch from Reyes Moronta. JB Shuck’s infield hit loaded the bases with one out.

The Marlins have won the first three games in a series that concludes Thursday afternoon.

Justin Bour delivered his second game-tying hit with a two-out double in the eighth that made it 4-4. Brian Anderson scored after a leadoff walk.

Evan Longoria had put the Giants ahead again in the back-and-forth affair in the seventh when he smoked a 100-mph fastball from Tayron Guerrero to center for a two-out RBI single. Longoria fouled off three two-strike pitches before smacking the key hit to center.

Guerrero made a good pitch on the outside corner and down in the zone. But the flame-throwing Colombian hasn’t been able to throw his secondary pitches for strikes enough to keep hitters from gearing up for his fastball.

Guerrero’s biggest mistake in the inning was walking Buster Posey, who scored from second on Longoria’s hit.

Bour’s RBI single in the sixth tied the game at 3 and ensured neither Suarez nor Marlins starter Caleb Smith would figure in the decision.

The Giants struck early off Smith on Andrew McCutchen’s homer in the first inning, a 422-foot clout to center following a long double by Posey.

Much like he did in 2012, Suarez breezed the first turn through the Marlins order until Smith stroked his second career hit into center field for Miami’s first hit of the night.

The Marlins broke through with two runs in the fourth to tie it on run-scoring hits by Cameron Maybin and Lewis Brinson.

Anderson walked and scored from second on Maybin’s hit, aided by center fielder Gorkys Hernandez’s stumble that prevented a throw home. After J.T. Realmuto scored on Brinson’s hit, Maybin got thrown out at the plate, preventing a possible bigger inning.

Suarez ended his outing by getting Anderson to ground into a double play after the Marlins threatened with two runners on in the fifth.

Three consecutive one-out singles in the sixth put the Giants back in the lead 3-2. Austin Jackson drove in Brandon Crawford with a liner to center off Smith.

Suarez can throw five pitches but mostly struck to the fastball and slider Wednesday while throwing 77 pitches, striking out three and walking two.

The Marlins had the roof open the 15th time this season, already a season record. It was one of the few occasions it has been open in June since the ballpark opened in 2012.


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