Nats’ Strasburg loses, beefs with Scherzer; Braves win 8-5

July 21, 2018
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Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg pauses between throws during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park in Washington, Friday, July 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Stephen Strasburg was batted around by the Atlanta Braves, then engaged in a heated spat with Nationals ace Max Scherzer in the dugout during Washington’s 8-5 loss Friday night.

It was unclear what prompted the exchange between the star pitchers in their first game after the All-Star break.

The dispute occurred after Strasburg (6-7), activated from the 10-day disabled list earlier in the day and throwing on his 30th birthday, gave up six runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked into the dugout, got a pat on the back from Scherzer and sat down on the bench. They began barking at each other, then both quickly went off-camera by leaving the dugout.

The Braves lost All-Star second baseman Ozzie Albies in the third inning, and the team said he was lifted as a precaution because of right hamstring tightness. He had an RBI double and stole a base in a two-run first inning.

Anibal Sanchez (5-2) allowed three runs over six innings for the Braves, who started the second half near the top of the NL East.

Ronald Acuna Jr. homered, doubled and singled, scored three runs and stole two bases for Atlanta. Charlie Culberson, who replaced Albies, also homered.


CHICAGO (AP) — Matt Carpenter hit three home runs and two doubles in just six innings, tying the major league record for extra-base hits in a game, and St. Louis hammered Chicago.

Carpenter went 5 for 5 and drove in seven runs at Wrigley Field. He led off the game with a home run and was pulled after adding a three-run drive in the sixth. Carpenter became the 14th player with five extra-base hits in a game, and the first to do it for the Cardinals.

Trailing 15-1 after Carpenter’s third homer, the Cubs used three position players to pitch the rest of the way — infielder Tommy La Stella, backup catcher Victor Caratini and versatile Ian Happ. La Stella and Caratini gave up homers as the Cubs became the first team since the 1979 Milwaukee Brewers to use three position players on the mound in a game.

Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty (4-4) pitched five innings. He allowed one run and two hits, while pitching around four walks with nine strikeouts.

Chicago’s Jon Lester (12-3) was tagged for a season-high eight runs.


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Manny Machado singled twice and walked twice in his debut with Los Angeles, which used a tiebreaking RBI single by Chris Taylor to beat sliding Milwaukee.

NL West-leading Los Angeles was held in check by Wade Miley before going ahead to stay in the seventh. Moments after Yasmani Grandal was cut down at the plate on a nice pickup by catcher Manny Pina, Taylor singled in Chase Utley to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Machado’s second hit then set up Max Muncy’s run-scoring double off Taylor Williams (0-3).

Enrique Hernandez added a three-run homer in the ninth as Los Angeles celebrated the trade for Machado with its fifth win in six games. Rich Hill (3-4) struck out nine in six innings, and Kenley Jansen got three outs for his 28th save.

Milwaukee returned from the break to an emotional apology from reliever Josh Hader for years-old racist and homophobic tweets that surfaced during the All-Star Game. Miley tossed six effective innings in his 200th career start and Jesus Aguilar hit his NL-best 25th homer in the eighth, but the Brewers dropped their seventh straight game.


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Dallas Keuchel took a no-hitter into the seventh and finished with 7 2/3 innings of two-hit ball in Houston’s victory over Los Angeles.

Justin Upton broke up Keuchel’s bid with two outs in the seventh when his line drive escaped the glove of leaping Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez. The Angel Stadium scorer awarded a hit instead of an error on what would have been a fine defensive play if Gonzalez had held on.

Keuchel (8-8) shrugged it off and improved to 5-0 in his last seven appearances for the Astros (65-35), who are off to the second-best start through 100 games in franchise history.

Josh Reddick had an RBI triple for the Astros. Only last season’s World Series champions got off to a better start than these Astros, who are 15 games ahead of the injury-plagued Angels (49-49) in the AL West.


NEW YORK (AP) — Yoenis Cespedes homered in his return from the disabled list, Noah Syndergaard won his second straight start since coming back from an injury but left after a drop in velocity, and the Mets beat the Yankees in a Subway Series opener.

Robert Gsellman pitched two innings for his fifth save as Mets closer Jeurys Familia sat in the bullpen. Manager Mickey Callaway said he was told mid-game not to use Familia because the team was close to trading him.

Cespedes homered off an again ineffective Domingo German (2-6) to put the Mets ahead 4-0 in the third, sending a 3-0 pitch off the left-field foul pole. German was optioned to the minors after the game. He’ll be replaced in the rotation by Luis Cessa.

Syndergaard (6-1) returned just before the All-Star break after seven weeks on the disabled list caused by a strained right index finger. He allowed one run and eight hits in five innings, leaving after a velocity drop of about 2 mph in his final inning.


DETROIT (AP) — David Price pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning and Boston kept right on rolling in its first game after the All-Star break, beating Detroit.

The Red Sox (69-30) have won 13 of their last 14, and on this night one run in the first inning was enough for the team with baseball’s best record. Price (11-6) walked one and struck out five in 6 1/3 innings.

Steve Pearce hit an RBI double in the first, and the Tigers could never match that one run. Detroit had the bases loaded and nobody out in the fourth but didn’t score.

Matthew Boyd (4-9) allowed a run and three hits in five-plus innings.

Matt Barnes escaped a jam in the eighth after the Tigers put a runner on third with one out. Craig Kimbrel worked the ninth for his 31st save in 33 chances.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Carlos Santana homered and drove in four, Cesar Hernandez had a two-run double and Philadelphia overcame a four-run first-inning deficit to beat San Diego.

Odubel Herrera added two RBIs for the surprising Phillies, who remained a half-game ahead of Atlanta for first in the NL East with their 13th win in 19 games.

Austin Davis (1-0) got his first major league win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief of Jake Arrieta. Davis was one of five Phillies relievers who combined to allow just three hits over 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

Clayton Richard (7-9) allowed seven runs and four hits in three innings for the last-place Padres, who have lost six straight and 22 of 28.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Derek Dietrich homered twice, including a three-run shot in the seventh inning that broke a tie, to lead Dan Straily (4-4) and Miami over Tampa Bay.

Dietrich’s 13th homer came off left-hander Hoby Milner after two walks by Diego Castillo (1-1). Miami added two more runs in the inning with the help of a couple of errors to take a 6-1 lead.

Straily (4-4) pitched seven innings, giving up one run and four hits. Conley, the fourth Marlins reliever, earned his first career save.


TORONTO (AP) — Aledmys Diaz singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning and Toronto recovered after blowing a three-run lead in the ninth to beat Baltimore.

Diaz had four hits, including a solo homer, and scored twice as the Blue Jays improved to 7-1 against Baltimore.

Russell Martin hit a two-out single off left-hander Paul Fry (0-1) in the 10th and advanced to second when Randal Grichuk walked. Diaz followed with a grounder that ticked off the glove of third baseman Renato Nunez and eluded shortstop Tim Beckham, allowing Martin to score.

John Axford (3-1) pitched one inning for the win.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Lucas Duda homered and drove in three runs, Danny Duffy earned his first home win in 11 months and Kansas City held on to beat Minnesota.

Duda’s two-out single in the first inning scored Whit Merrifield and Jorge Bonifacio. He then led off the sixth with his eighth homer down the right-field line off Kyle Gibson (4-7).

Duffy, who is 5-2 with a 2.58 ERA in his past 11 starts, limited the Twins to one run and five hits over seven innings. Duffy (6-8) picked up his first Kauffman Stadium victory since Aug. 22, ending an eight-game skid.


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI single in the 11th inning to lift Cleveland to a 9-8 victory over Texas on a night the AL Central-leading Indians debuted their two new relievers.

Jose Ramirez, who earlier in the game hit his major league-leading 30th homer, led off the 11th with a double off the right-center field wall against Matt Moore (1-6). Encarnacion followed with a single to right, though he was thrown out trying to get an extra base.

The Rangers had the bases loaded with no outs in the 10th after three consecutive singles to start the inning against Zach McAllister (1-2), the seventh Indians pitcher. Elvis Andrus was retired on a force at home on a fielder’s choice grounder before Robinson Chirinos and Joey Gallo — whose back-to-back homers off closer Cody Allen with two outs in the ninth had tied the game — both struck out.

Dan Otero then worked a perfect 11th for his first save in three chances.

Gallo homered twice, giving him 24 for the season. His two-run blast to right-center in the seventh got the Rangers within 7-6 when he was the first batter to face Brad Hand, the Indians’ newly acquired All-Star reliever.


SEATTLE (AP) — Wade LeBlanc and two relievers combined on a five-hitter, and Seattle beat Chicago.

LeBlanc (6-1) gave the Mariners 7 1/3 strong innings in the team’s first game after the All-Star break. LeBlanc surrendered two hits in the first, including Daniel Palka’s RBI double to center field, but gave up only two hits and a walk in his next 6 1/3 innings. He finished with a season-high 10 strikeouts.

Seattle answered Chicago’s early run in the bottom of the first. Dee Gordon, who went 4 for 4, singled to lead off the game against White Sox right-hander James Shields (4-11) and scored on Nelson Cruz’s sacrifice fly.


PHOENIX (AP) — Pinch-hitter Raimel Tapia hit a grand slam in Colorado’s six-run seventh inning, Nolan Arenado had a pair of two-run homers and the Rockies rallied to beat Arizona.

Arizona built an 8-5 lead through six innings behind Ketel Marte’s career-high four RBIs and a big night by A.J. Pollock.

The Diamondbacks brought in Archie Bradley (2-2) in the seventh, an inning earlier than usual.

It didn’t turn out well.

Carlos Gonzalez hit a run-scoring single, and Bradley, who entered with a 1.97 ERA, walked in another run. Tapia, who had two previous career home runs, hit his first grand slam just over the wall in right to put Colorado up 11-8.

Scott Oberg (5-0) got two outs in the sixth inning for the Rockies, who have won six straight. Adam Ottavino gave up a run in the ninth before striking out Jon Jay with a runner at third for his third save.


CINCINNATI (AP) — Sean Rodriguez homered and drove in four runs, Starling Marte hit a grand slam and Pittsburgh extended its winning streak to a season-high seven games by routing Cincinnati after a long rain delay.

Corey Dickerson had a solo homer for the Pirates, who finished with 16 hits — their most in a nine-inning game this year.

The start was held up by a thunderstorm for 2 hours, 55 minutes, and rain continued intermittently throughout a game that ended a little after 1:30 a.m. But the Pirates hardly seemed to mind.

The win streak is their longest since a seven-game run in 2016. Pittsburgh has won nine of 10 overall.

Jameson Taillon (7-7) allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings. He also drove in a run with a safety squeeze.

Rodriguez, who had been sidelined since June 25 with a right quadriceps strain, hit an RBI single in the fourth to snap an 0-for-17 skid.

Tyler Mahle (7-8) set a career high by allowing six earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Dereck Rodriguez pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning for his fourth consecutive win, leading San Francisco past Oakland.

Pablo Sandoval and Ryder Jones homered for the Giants. Andrew McCutchen doubled, drove in a run and made a pair of sliding catches in right field.

The A’s had won 21 of 27 before losing in front of their first sellout crowd this season.

The Bay Area rivals are in the midst of playing six consecutive games against each other. Oakland won two of three at San Francisco during the final series before the All-Star break.

Rodriguez (5-1) permitted one run in 6 1/3 innings. The son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez lowered his ERA to 2.72.

Reyes Moronta, Mark Melancon and Tony Watson completed the four-hitter.

Jones, called up from Triple-A Sacramento before the game, hit a go-ahead homer in the fourth. Sandoval went deep in the seventh. Both home runs came off starter Edwin Jackson (1-2).


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