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Cancer survivor Smeltzer strong in debut, Twins top Brewers

May 29, 2019
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Minnesota Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer, making his major league debut, throws against the Milwaukee Brewers in the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 28, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Devin Smeltzer added another chapter to his inspiring comeback story, pitching six shutout innings in his big league debut and helping the Minnesota Twins beat the Milwaukee Brewers 5-3 Tuesday night.

Diagnosed with a grapefruit-sized cancerous tumor against his bladder when he was just 9 years old, Smeltzer wasn’t deterred in his goal to reach the majors. The 23-year-old got his chance this week after the Twins put pitcher Michael Pineda on the injured list with right knee tendinitis.

Smeltzer allowed three hits, walked none and struck out seven. Showing a funky, three-quarter style delivery, the lanky left-hander threw 69 pitches, 53 for strikes.

Smeltzer left with the game scoreless and got a no-decision.

Eddie Rosario homered and Max Kepler added a two-run double for Minnesota, which has won 12 of 14 and has the best record in the majors.

Keston Hiura and Yasmani Grandal homered late and Alex Claudio took the loss for the Brewers.

Matt Magill (1-0) tossed a scoreless inning and Ryne Harper got the final out for his first career save.

Milwaukee starter Zach Davies allowed five hits and struck out four in six shutout innings.

PADRES 5, YANKEES 4

NEW YORK (AP) — Eric Hosmer hit a three-run homer during a big first inning against Masahiro Tanaka, and San Diego manager Andy Green burned through his bullpen to help hold off New York.

New York tried to rally in the rain, getting three runs in the seventh inning during a stretch when Green used six pitchers to face eight batters. San Diego escaped the seventh on Gary Sánchez’s flyout, Craig Stammen pitched the eighth and former Yankee reliever Kirby Yates pitched the ninth for his 21st save in 21 chances.

The game ended when video review overturned a safe call on DJ LeMahieu’s grounder, giving the Padres a double play.

Sánchez hit a solo homer in the fourth for the AL East-leading Yankees, who lost for the third time in 15 games. It was Sánchez’s 17th homer, one shy of his total from an injury-spoiled 2018.

Eric Lauer (4-4) pitched one-run ball over 5 1/3 innings for San Diego, getting four strikeouts and allowing four hits. The Padres stopped a two-game slide that followed a five-game winning streak.

Tanaka (3-4) ended a string of solid starts, giving up five runs in six innings.

NATIONALS 5, BRAVES 4

ATLANTA (AP) — Stephen Strasburg matched his season high with 11 strikeouts in seven innings and Washington took the lead on three straight walks to beat Atlanta.

Howie Kendrick had three hits, including his ninth homer, for Washington. Trea Turner also had three hits.

Braves rookie Austin Riley’s two-run homer in the eighth cut Washington’s lead to 5-4. Riley had three hits.

Sean Doolittle earned his 10th save in 12 chances.

Strasburg (5-3) gave up an RBI single to Nick Markakis in Atlanta’s two-run fourth. He struck out two batters in each of the first three innings and gave up only five hits and two runs.

Max Fried (7-3) hit Victor Robles with a pitch and issued two walks in Washington’s three-run sixth. Fried, who gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings, left the game after walking Adam Eaton with the bases loaded, giving the Nationals a 3-2 lead.

Anthony Swarzak, making his Atlanta debut after he was acquired from Seattle on May 20, walked Anthony Rendon to force in another run.

ASTROS 9, CUBS 6

HOUSTON (AP) — Alex Bregman homered twice, his second a tiebreaking two-run shot in the sixth inning that propelled injury-weakened Houston over Chicago in a win that gave manager AJ Hinch his 500th career victory.

Bregman, who is tied for the American League lead with 17 homers, got his first one in the third inning off starter Jon Lester (3-4). It was tied at 6-6 when he connected on Brad Brach’s first pitch for the second.

Roberto Osuna struck out one in a perfect ninth for his 15th save.

David Bote homered twice for the Cubs and Jason Heyward, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber each hit one.

Houston’s Michael Brantley had two hits and two RBIs and catcher Garrett Stubbs added two hits and drove in a run in his major league debut, a day after Jack Mayfield played in his first major league game.

Lester lost his third straight decision by allowing eight hits and a season-high seven earned runs.

Josh James (2-0) worked 2 1/3 innings, striking out four and allowing two hits and three earned runs.

REDS 11, PIRATES 6

CINCINNATI (AP) — Derek Dietrich hit three homers — all two-run shots for Cincinnati— and Pittsburgh suffered yet another injury to its rotation in a loss to the Reds.

Dietrich connected in the fourth off Jordan Lyles (5-2), who left after the inning with discomfort in his left hamstring. Dietrich then connected off Geoff Hartlieb in the fifth and again in the seventh for his first three-homer game. His 17 homers set a career high, and 12 of his last 17 hits have been home runs.

Scooter Gennett was the last Reds player with so many homers, matching the major league record with four on June 6, 2017.

Lucas Sims (1-0), called up pregame, struck out a career-high nine in 7 1/3 innings.

Pittsburgh lost for the seventh time in nine games. Pirates rookie Kevin Newman hit a grand slam in the eighth for his first major league homer.

TIGERS 3, ORIOLES 0

BALTIMORE (AP) — Matthew Boyd took a five-hitter into the seventh inning, Niko Goodrum homered and Detroit interrupted a prolonged slump by defeating Baltimore.

JaCoby Jones had two doubles and an RBI for the Tigers, who won for only the second time in 14 games since May 12.

Boyd (5-4) struck out eight and allowed six hits in six-plus innings. Shane Greene got three straight outs in the ninth for his 17th save in 18 tries.

It was Detroit’s second shutout of the season, and the fourth time Baltimore has been blanked.

The game drew a crowd of 8,106, the seventh time in 27 games the Orioles have attracted fewer than 10,000 fans to Camden Yards. Baltimore has lost 16 of 20 and owns the worst record in the majors (17-38).

Orioles starter Dylan Bundy (2-6) gave up three runs and seven hits. He struck out eight, the last one giving him 500 for his career.

Recalled from Triple-A Norfolk earlier in the day, DJ Stewart had three hits and a stolen base for Baltimore.

INDIANS 7, RED SOX 5

BOSTON (AP) — Roberto Perez and Greg Allen homered during a five-run ninth inning as Cleveland beat Boston.

Jordan Luplow added a two-run double after Cleveland tied it and and Brad Hand survived a bit of a shaky ninth for his 14th save, completing a rare come-from-behind win for the Indians.

Nick Wittgren (2-0) got the win despite allowing two runs on three hits in the eighth, his only inning.

Ryan Brasier blew a save opportunity and a 5-2 lead in the ninth. Travis Lakins (0-1) took the loss.

The wild ending spoiled strong starts by Boston’s David Price and Cleveland’s Zach Plesac, who carried a shutout into the sixth inning of his major league debut.

Price allowed only three hits and struck out six in six innings.

Plesac went 5 1-3 innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk, striking out two.

ROCKIES 6, DIAMONDBACKS 2

DENVER (AP) — Chris Iannetta hit a two-run homer in the seventh, sending Colorado past Arizona.

Iannetta was a late addition to the lineup due to Tony Wolters’ bruised finger.

After a solid outing by starter Antonio Senzatela, the bullpen took over. Jairo Diaz (1-0) earned his first career win and Chad Bettis earned his first-ever save by throwing two scoreless innings.

Eduardo Escobar hit his 13th homer of the season for Arizona. He also had an RBI single.

Merrill Kelly (4-6) had an efficient outing going before Iannetta’s homer. The right-hander went 6 2/3 innings and allowed four runs.

RAYS 3, BLUE JAYS 1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Austin Meadows homered for the third straight game and five Tampa Bay pitchers combined to throw a six-hitter and beat struggling AL East rival Toronto.

The second-place Rays won for the fourth straight time, improving to a season-best 13 games over .500 before an announced crowd of just 5,786 — smallest ever for a Rays home game at Tropicana Field.

The Blue Jays have dropped six of seven and fell to 0-8-1 in their series against Tampa Bay, dating to August 2017.

Meadows hit his 12th homer of the season, a solo shot to right field off reliever Thomas Pannone in the seventh inning.

Avisail Garcia had an inside-the-park homer off Clayton Richard (0-1) in the third and also scored on a first-inning sacrifice fly.

Meanwhile, the Rays bullpen — beginning with opener Ryne Stanek — limited the Blue Jays to four singles and a pair of doubles. Ryan Yarbrough (4-1) pitched 3 2/3 innings for the win.

MARLINS 11, GIANTS 3

MIAMI (AP) — Jorge Alfaro and Garrett Cooper hit Miami’s first three-run homers of the year and sent San Francisco to its sixth straight loss.

Trevor Richards (2-5) gave up a homer to Joe Panik on the game’s first pitch but blanked San Francisco thereafter. He allowed two hits and one run in seven innings.

The Marlins earned their eighth victory in 11 games but still have the worst record in the National League. Starlin Castro’s two-out, two-run double in the third put Miami ahead to stay. Rookie Harold Ramirez had three hits to hike his average to .413 in 13 games. Pinch hitter Rosell Herrera hit his first homer of the year in the eighth to make the score 11-1.

Jeff Samardzija (2-4) lost his third start in a row. He allowed a season-high five earns runs in four-plus innings, matching his shortest outing of the year.

Miami improved to 10-4 against the Giants since 2017.

PHILLIES 4, CARDINALS 3

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Cesar Hernandez hit a go-ahead two-run homer, Nick Pivetta threw five tough innings and Philadelphia beat slumping St. Louis.

Paul Goldschmidt and Marcell Ozuna hit homers in the first inning, but the Cardinals wasted a 3-0 lead and lost for the 11th time in 15 games.

Pivetta (3-1) allowed three runs and three hits, striking out six in his first start since a demotion to the minors.

Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright (4-5) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings with a season-high 10 strikeouts.

Edgar Garcia got five outs, Seranthony Dominguez retired all four batters he faced and Hector Neris finished for his 10th save in 10 tries.

WHITE SOX 4, ROYALS 3

WHITE SOX 2, ROYALS 1, SUSPENDED GAME

CHICAGO (AP) — Lucas Giolito struck out 10 while winning his fifth straight start and Chicago posted two victories over Kansas City.

Hours after Yolmer Sanchez hit an RBI single in the ninth inning to give Chicago a 2-1 win in the resumption of a suspended game, Giolito (7-1) put on quite a performance.

The right-hander gave up a three-run homer to Alex Gordon in the first, then dominated the rest of the way. He allowed three hits over eight inning and improved to 6-0 in his past eight starts.

Alex Colome worked the ninth for his 10th save in 10 chances after getting the win earlier in the day. And the White Sox made it back-to-back victories after losing six of eight.

Brad Keller (3-6) gave up four runs and 10 hits in six innings for Kansas City. The Royals have lost nine of 12.

RANGERS 11, MARINERS 4

SEATTLE (AP) — Nomar Mazara and Ronald Guzman homered and Texas beat Seattle to improve to 3-1 this season when using an opener instead of a starting pitcher.

Reliever Jesse Chavez opened the game for Texas, striking out three of the four batters he faced. He turned the ball over to Adrian Sampson (3-3) in the second inning. Sampson worked five innings, allowing three runs and eight hits while striking out six.

The Rangers are 6-3 using the opener approach since last September.

Texas hitters backed up their pitchers with a seven-run fifth inning that included two-run hits by Hunter Pence and Asdrubel Cabrera and a three-run home run by Guzman that landed in the second deck in right field. The burst ended the night for Seattle starter Marco Gonzales (5-5), who gave up eight hits and eight runs (six earned) in four innings.

The Rangers snapped a three-game losing streak.

METS 7, DODGERS 3

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Conforto’s first career grand slam snapped a seventh-inning tie and New York beat Los Angeles.

Conforto struck out twice but his five RBIs helped the Mets end a six-game road skid.

The Dodgers’ bullpen imploded in the seventh taking over from starter Rich Hill. Yimi Garcia (0-2) and Dylan Floro each walked their first two batters. Amed Rosario sacrificed to load the bases against Floro. Scott Alexander served up Conforto’s slam.

Mets starter Steven Matz (4-3) gave up two runs and four hits in six innings. He struck out six and walked three.

Hill allowed two runs and six hits in six innings, struck out six and walked one.

ANGELS 6, ATHLETICS 4

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani hit a tiebreaking two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning, and Los Angeles snapped Oakland’s longest winning streak in 13 years at 10 games.

The Angels went ahead in the top of the ninth when Tommy LaStella singled with two outs and Mike Trout walked. They advanced on a wild pitch by Joakim Soria. The pitcher then thought he had struck out Ohtani on a pitch dropped by catcher Josh Phegley. Ohtani got the hit and when the inning ended Soria immediately went to home plate and yelled in the face of umpire James Hoye and was ejected. A’s manager Bob Melvin then came out to speak with Hoye.

Ty Buttrey (3-2) recorded four outs for the win then Hansel Robles finished for his sixth save.

Liam Hendriks struck out four over two perfect innings, including striking out the side in order in the eighth, before Soria (1-4) entered and gave it up.

Matt Olson hit a tying two-run homer in the sixth for one of three long balls by Oakland for a second straight night. Marcus Semien homered on the first pitch leading off the bottom of the first before Los Angeles answered immediately against Frankie Montas.

Ramon Laureano homered leading off the fifth.

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