Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Tomas, O'Brien boost D-backs with blasts

 Yasmany Tomas and Peter O'Brien went deep, while Patrick Corbin allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings to help the D-backs edge the Blue Jays, 4-2, at Rogers Centre on Tuesday night.
Tomas' 10th home run of the season was part of a two-run fourth inning for Arizona off Toronto starter Marco Estrada and was one of only two hits the D-backs picked up against the right-hander. O'Brien's blast in the seventh added some much-needed insurance, andDaniel Hudson earned his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth. The D-backs picked up their season-high-tying fifth consecutive win in their first trip to Rogers Centre since 2004.
"We talked early about O'Brien and Tomas, they're going to hit the ball out of the park. This is a park the ball will go in, so you'll take it," said D-backs manager Chip Hale. "Even with your best guys right now not swinging well tonight, we were able to pull it out."
Corbin pitched into the seventh for his fourth straight start, but he was lifted after one out with runners on the corners. The 26-year-old southpaw limited the Blue Jays to two runs on eight hits while striking out three, picking up 12 groundouts along the way.
"This team has a lot of power," Corbin said. "We were just trying to keep 'em off balance, got back to the fastball inside, and tried to get as many ground balls as we could and keep the ball on the ground."
Despite the loss, Estrada set a Major League record with his 11th consecutive outing allowing fewer than five hits while going at least six-plus innings. The 32-year-old finished his evening after six innings, striking out eight while walking three.
"There's been a lot of great pitchers in this game," Estrada said. "For something like that to happen, I'm obviously very excited and very happy for it, but it's kind of a bittersweet moment for it right now. We lost, so there's nothing really to cheer for."
Kevin Pillar notched a two-run double in the bottom of the fourth, while Troy Tulowitzki also added two hits for the Blue Jays, who lost their third in a row after dropping a pair of games against Baltimore this past weekend.
"They beat us at our game, we usually hit some home runs," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We had some chances. We had some guys on base and we couldn't cash anything in. That was early in the year, too. They made some big pitches, good some big outs, and you've got to give them credit for that. "
Adding to the lead: After Pillar robbed him of extra bases in the fourth, O'Brien responded with a one-out solo home run to right off of Jesse Chavez in the seventh -- his fourth homer of the season.
Pillar of strength: Pillar made his presence felt on all sides of the diamond in the fourth inning. The 27-year-old prevented O'Brien from snagging extra bases, crashing up against the wall and landing on his back to record the second out. Pillar followed that up with a two-run double in the bottom of the frame to get the Blue Jays on the board and cut Arizona's lead to 3-2.
"I constantly look at my surroundings," Pillar said. "Wherever I'm playing, I have a pretty good idea of how far I'm playing and how much room I have, but in the moment, it's about going to get the ball and whatever happens after, happens." More >
Tomas goes deep: The D-backs added to their lead in the fourth when Tomas hit his 10th home run of the season. With Arizona already leading 1-0, Tomas took Estrada's 2-2 pitch over the left-field wall for a two-run home run.
Missed opportunity: Down 4-2, the Blue Jays chased Corbin with one out in the seventh inning and had Josh Donaldson up to bat with two on and one out against reliever Jake Barrett. The reigning American League MVP was unable to capitalize, grounding into an inning-ending double play to kill the rally. The Blue Jays left seven men on base while going 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position.
Tuesday's loss marked the first time the Blue Jays have lost a game when allowing three hits or fewer since falling to the Rays on April 13, 2015.
Blue Jays right fielder Ezequiel Carrera thought he had a leadoff single in the first; however, after review, it was ruled that Paul Goldschmidt managed to scoop Jake Lamb's throw out of the dirt in time to get Carrera for the 5-3 putout.
D-backs: Lefty Robbie Ray (4-5, 4.44 ERA) takes the mound on Wednesday as the D-backs conclude a brief two-game series in Toronto at 1:07 p.m. MST. Ray surrendered just two runs while striking out seven over six innings of work his last time out against the Phillies.
Blue Jays: J.A. Happ gets the start for Toronto at 4:07 p.m. ET after a brilliant start his last time out against the Phillies. Happ spun seven innings en route to a 13-2 Toronto victory. The 33-year-old southpaw is 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA against the D-backs in five career games, including four starts.

Peterson rallies Braves over Marlins for 6th straight win

The Braves stayed within striking range against Jose Fernandez, and they pounced after the Marlins' ace exited. Jace Peterson belted a game-tying two-run homer in the eighth inning and came through again with a two-out RBI single in the 10th inning that rallied Atlanta to a 3-2 win on Tuesday at Marlins Park.
The Braves were limited to one infield single by Nick Markakis off Fernandez until the eighth. Atlanta rallied on Peterson's two-run homer off David Phelps for his first blast of the season. In the 10th, Peterson slapped the decisive single off lefty Mike Dunn, extending the Braves' winning streak to six games. Atlanta is 6-1 against Miami on the season.
"It's a cutter that didn't cut," Phelps said of Peterson's homer. "Turns into a bad fastball. That's all it is. I've had pretty good success against Jace in the past. Credit him. I made a bad pitch, and he did what he's supposed to do with it."
"That was huge for Jace," Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Peterson's game-tying homer. "It's almost like the guy could feel the dugout like, 'All right boys, we're back in this thing.' And then the huge hit off Dunn there. That was a pretty swing and about as nice as you could do it."
Fernandez may have skipped one start, but the 23-year-old definitely didn't miss a beat. Working on extra rest because he is on a season-innings plan, Fernandez struck out seven while allowing one hit in seven shutout innings. The right-hander was in line for the win before Peterson's two-run blast.
"I'm pretty happy with the gameplan, yes," Fernandez said. "Not happy with the result during the game. But it's baseball. We're going to lose some, we're going to win some. But, guess what? We're going to come back at it tomorrow."
Braves right-hander Bud Norris worked 5 1/3 innings, givign up two runs with six strikeouts. Fernandez helped his cause with an RBI single in the second, and Adeiny Hechavarria's two-out, run-scoring single gave Miami a two-run lead in the fourth.
Ichiro Suzuki recorded two hits, including an infield single in the 10th inning, leaving the 42-year-old 18 shy of 3,000.
"They've kind of had our number," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "They've had a few people's number. They've won six in a row. They're a club that has been playing good right now. We just haven't been able to put them away. We've been able to get leads, but we haven't been able to add on runs."
Clutch gene: Peterson was clutch yet again in the 10th. Chase d'Arnaud led off the frame with a walk and advanced to second on Emilio Bonifacio's sacrifice bunt. After d'Arnaud moved to third on Dunn's wild pitch, Peterson slapped the go-ahead single to left. Peterson, who has a hit in nine of 10 games since being recalled on June 10, entered Tuesday 1-for-12 (.083) off lefties this season.
"Runner on third there with two outs, I'm just trying to get a hit and extend the game," Peterson said. "It worked out. He threw me a fastball that cut a little bit over the plate, and I was able to put a good swing on it and win a ballgame." More >
Yelich's sliding catch, DP: After watching their two-run advantage slip away in the eighth inning, Miami was in danger of falling behind. Phelps allowed a single to Ender Inciarte after Peterson's home run tied it. Inciarte was off and running on Freddie Freeman's fly ball to short left field. If the ball dropped, he would have scored. But Christian Yelich covered plenty of ground in left field and made a sliding catch. Inciarte was well around second when the ball was caught, and he was easily doubled up.
First pitch swinging: Peterson, who grounded out three times against Fernandez, didn't waste any time picking a pitch to hit when Phelps took over in the eighth. The second baseman cranked Phelps' first pitch to him into the right field seats, knotting the game at 2. The long ball was Peterson's first of 2016 and seventh in 210 career games.
"It's funny because my first career home run was here, and then my first one this year was here as well," Peterson said. "I don't know if it's just a coincidence or what it is, but it definitely feels good to get another one here."
Jose's sharp single: Striking out hitters is routine for Fernandez, who had seven in seven innings on the night. The Marlins' ace takes extra pride when he can also do some damage at the plate. In the second inning, Fernandez put Miami on the board with a sharp single to left, which scored Derek Dietrich from second. Fernandez didn't get cheated on his swing, either. Per Statcast™, the exit velocity on the single was 108 mph.
"That one hurts. Jose goes out and does his thing. That's what we come to expect out of him. The Braves, man. They're playing us tough this year. Tip your cap to them. They're coming out and putting it all out there, and putting it to us right now." -- Phelps, on the Marlins' struggles with the Braves
Braves: John Gant (1-1, 4.37 ERA) looks to build off his first Major League win after defeating the Mets Friday, as the Braves take on the Marlins at 12:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Gant owns a 2.93 career ERA on the road.
Marlins: There is a quick turnaround in the brief, two-game series. Left-hander Adam Conley (3-4, 3.94 ERA) makes the start for the Marlins in the 12:10 p.m. ET Wednesday matinee. Conley has faced the Braves three times in his career, with two starts, and he's 1-0 (5.84) in 12 1/3 innings.

Sale on a dozen! Ace first to 12 wins

 Chris Sale mowed through the Red Sox with a dazzling performance, leading the White Sox to a 3-1 victory in the second game of a four-game series on Tuesday night at Fenway Park.
The lefty ace demonstrated why he is one of the best in the game, carving up the Boston bats to the tune of four hits allowed and one run over seven innings. Sale walked one and struck out nine en route to his Major League-leading 12th victory.
Sale had a lead throughout his outing. Tim Anderson ripped the first pitch of the game fromClay Buchholz over the Green Monster. The White Sox added one more in the inning, and got a solo homer from Todd Frazier in the fourth.
"My arm was definitely loose and I felt really good out there," said Sale. "I had good command, and confidence, too. Before I stepped on the field, [Anderson] gives us the lead. It gives you a jolt, a spark and eases the tension to go out and throw strikes."
The one time Boston rallied -- opening the third with back-to-back singles by Travis Shawand Sandy Leon -- Sale minimized the damage, allowing just one run.
"Frankly, we're in a little bit of a dry spell right now," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We get a big opportunity in the third, bases loaded and can't cash in. We had a couple of other times with some men in scoring position. Where we've been so good for quite a bit of this season, of late, that's been a struggle with men in scoring position."
Making his re-entry into the rotation, Buchholz allowed four hits and three runs over five innings, walking one and striking out five.
The White Sox can clinch a series win on Wednesday. The Red Sox hope to win the next two to salvage a split.
Early aggression: The White Sox didn't waste any time against Buchholz on Tuesday. Anderson's first big league homer was projected by Statcast™ to travel an estimated 426 feet and had an exit velocity of 107 mph. Anderson now has five multihit games in his first 11 games. Right fielder Adam Eaton laced Buchholz's next pitch for a double off the Green Monster and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly to put the White Sox ahead, 2-0.
"It's always special anytime a guy hits his first homer," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "The guys were excited. Everybody else was excited for him, so they're happy they even got it back. It was a nice little shot in the arm with Eaton following that up. It gave us a little momentum early."
Buchholz settles in: Giving up a home run and a double on the first two pitches of his first start back in the rotation was hardly the way Buchholz wanted to start. But from there, he settled down nicely, giving up two hits over the remainder of his outing. It was Buchholz's first start since May 26, which is why Farrell took him out after 78 pitches.
"Overall, I felt really good," said Buchholz. "I was able to throw changeups in some spots that I hadn't been able to throw changeups in. My curveball was good. For the most part, the first pitch of the game is the one pitch that I missed location a little bit on. They've got a good lineup. It's a tough lineup to pitch to, especially when you're going against Chris Sale."
Sale shows strength: Sale cruised through the first two innings, throwing just 22 pitches. He ran into some trouble in the third as the Red Sox's offense broke his rhythm with three hard contact hits. Besides a hit-by-pitch to Jackie Bradley Jr. in the fifth, Sale retired 10 straight batters until the seventh inning.
"He was great. I think this was one of his better ones -- especially going up against a lineup that's been as hot as this," Ventura said. "Pitched the way he did, he navigated very well tonight. He was throwing strikes, great changeups in some tough spots and got a strikeout when you needed it, too."
Sox struggling with RISP: The Red Sox have been carried by their offense for most of the year. But of late, the bats have been coming up short. Over the past nine games, the Red Sox are 10-for-76 with runners in scoring position, including 0-for-7 in that category in Tuesday's loss. Hanley Ramirez struck out with the bases loaded in the third with a chance to change the momentum of the game. Ramirez struck out three times on the night, including in the eighth with two on and two outs.
"Can't happen," said Ramirez. "You cannot miss your pitch when it's right in the middle of the plate."
Shaw was writhing in pain after pounding a foul ball off his right leg in the fourth. But after a few minutes, he was able to get up and loosen up and the pain eased up enough that he stayed in the game. Ramirez, Boston's regular first baseman, was already in the game at designated hitter, which could have made life challenging for Farrell if Shaw was forced out of the game. Shaw went 2-for-4 with a double. There's a chance Shaw might have to rest on Wednesday.
"Just fouled a ball right off the ankle bone, pretty good shot to the ankle," Shaw said. "It was pretty loose for the most part of the game, started tightening up late. See how it feels tomorrow."
Largely due to their lack of offense, the Red Sox have allowed their opponent to score first in the last six games. Boston is 13-19 when the other team scores first.
In the fifth inning, White Sox center fielder J.B. Shuck grounded up the middle to Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Shuck was called safe at first base, but Boston challenged. After a 30-second review, the call was overturned.
White Sox: Left-hander Jose Quintana (5-7, 2.63 ERA) is set to start on Wednesday at Fenway Park in dire need of run support. In each of his last seven starts, the White Sox have scored one or zero runs for Quintana. First pitch is 6:10 p.m. CT.
Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez will try to snap out of his recent funk when he takes the ball in Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. ET game against the White Sox. The lefty pitched well in his first start back from the disabled list, but he has given up four earned runs or more while going less than six innings in his past three outings.

Homers, bullpen's 8 2/3 help Mets edge Royals

The last of the 40,122 fans at Citi Field were still settling into their seats by the time Mets manager Terry Collins first turned to the bullpen Tuesday night. With Bartolo Colon forced to leave after Whit Merrifield led off the game by ripping a liner off the pitcher's right thumb, Hansel Robles jogged to the mound.
Robles and the rest of the Mets' bullpen held strong for 8 2/3 innings, holding Kansas City to six hits to help New York capture the series opener, 2-1. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and center fielder Yoenis Cespedes contributed with solo homers in the first and fourth, respectively.
"Those are the kinds of games that I really believe you should grow from," Collins said. "Our bullpen had a tough weekend, and it came back tonight, certainly, in an unexpected situation. ... Everybody that came in the game pitched great.
X-Rays on Colon's thumb came back negative.
Kansas City starter Ian Kennedy was pulled after just four innings, leaving the Royals' bullpen to duel with the Mets' relievers. The two homers Kennedy allowed, however, proved to be all the offense New York needed. K.C. scored on a fifth-inning single from Brett Eibner, but couldn't muster any more offense.
"He wasn't exceptionally sharp for me," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Kennedy. "He had a lot of flyball outs ... and it was one of those situations where the ball was carrying good tonight."
Robles to the rescue: The right-hander filled in admirably for Colon, allowing just one earned run over a career-high 3 2/3 innings. He surrendered five hits and helped bridge the gap to the rest of the bullpen while keeping the Mets' slim lead intact. His longest previous outing came on Aug. 15, 2015, when he threw three innings in a 5-3 loss to the Pirates.
"Robles pitched his heart out today," catcher Travis d'Arnaud said. "He went into the fifth inning. When was the last time he threw that many pitches?"
Just missed: After Eibner plated the Royals' lone run with a single in the fifth, Kendrys Morales came in to pinch-hit, putting an early end to Kennedy's outing. The move almost paid off as Morales came up a few feet short of hitting a three-run home run. Instead, his fly ball to right advanced Cheslor Cuthbert to third, where he was stranded after Merrifield struck out and Alcides Escobar grounded out.
"I thought we'd take a shot there and see if we could put some runs on the board there," Yost said. "It just didn't work."
Riding solo: The Mets didn't turn in their strongest offensive showing, but rode solo homers from Cabrera (seventh) and Cespedes (18th) to victory. Cabrera's shot barely slipped over the orange marker lining the left-field fence, while Cespedes deposited his shot 410 feet to center field, according to Statcast™.
"It was amazing that Robles got through four like that. I've never seen him go more than two before. You can't really worry about going two when someone else has already set the bar with four." -- Erik Goeddel, who pitched two shutout innings
Colon left the game after throwing four pitches, the least in Mets history. John Maine's five-pitch start in 2010 previously held that distinction.
Royals: Danny Duffy (2-1, 3.17 ERA) will get the start for the Royals in Wednesday's series finale at 12:10 p.m. CT. Since Duffy joined the rotation on May 15, opposing hitters are batting just .221 against him, while he's posted a 3.25 ERA and an even 1.00 WHIP.
Mets: Right-hander Noah Syndergaard (7-2, 1.91 ERA) takes the ball for the Mets a day later than expected against the Royals at 1:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Collins pushed the big righty back a day after he threw a season-high 115 pitches in 8 1/3 innings last Wednesday to help the Mets capture an 11-2 win.

Tigers rally past Mariners on Aviles' dribbler

One night after Justin Upton hit a walk-off homer, Mike Aviles hit a go-ahead eighth-inning single that traveled maybe 60 feet down the first-base line, scoring pinch-runnerAndrew Romine from third base to send the Tigers to a 4-2 win over the Mariners on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
Detroit starter Justin Verlander gave up two runs over seven innings and received a no-decision, while Seattle starter James Paxton gave up four runs over 7 2/3 and took the loss.Kyle Seager's two-run home run in the sixth earned Seattle the lead before Nick Castellanos and Ian Kinsler hit two-out RBI singles in the sixth and seventh to tie it at 2.
Castellanos came up big again in the eighth, doubling to the fence in right-center off Paxton (1-3) following Victor Martinez's one-out single. Martinez didn't have the speed to round third, but Romine came in to run for a sacrifice-fly opportunity. Instead, he dashed home on Aviles' dribbler to make it 3-2, leaving first baseman Adam Lind with no play as Aviles ran by. James McCann added an insurance run on a sacrifice fly.
Bruce Rondon (1-0) pitched a hitless eighth, his third such inning in two appearances, to earn the win. Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his 20th save of the season.
Seager comes up big in sixth: Seager hit a two-run homer off Verlander to open the scoring. He followed that up by laying out for a run-saving diving stop at third base in the sixth. He popped back up, threw to Robinson Cano at second base, who fired over to double up Martinez. Cameron Maybin eventually came around to score off the bat of Castellanos, but Seager's play helped to minimize the damage.
Seager said it felt good to be able to keep the team in a good position after his big fly and diving stop, especially to back up Paxton, who he said threw "an amazing game."
"That's a really good team over there, with a great lineup, and I thought Paxton did a phenomenal job keeping us in it tonight," Seager said. "In the sixth inning, you go through the middle of that order, and with the good hitters they have, you have to just try and make plays behind them."
Verlander pitches through trouble: Verlander allowed leadoff doubles in the third and fourth innings, but stranded both. He left Ketel Marte on third base with one out thanks to strikeouts of Leonys Martin and Seth Smith, who was caught watching a curveball drop over the plate for the third strike.
Paxton stumbles in eighth: It was the longest outing of the season for Paxton, but he got himself in trouble late in the game. Paxton made it through five scoreless innings of four-hit ball before surrendering single runs in the sixth and seventh, but was still in good shape. Then in the eighth, he gave up two runs on three hits, an intentional walk, and a sacrifice fly.
Manager Scott Servais said he has been looking for Paxton to step up.
"That was really the best outing he's had," Servais said. "We tried to ride him as long as we could. [The Tigers] got some big hits, and got the runs in from third, that was the difference in the game tonight."
Tape-measure go-ahead hit: Aviles started over Steven Moya in right field to give the Tigers a right-handed bat, not necessarily a power one, against the left-handed Paxton. The Mariners were willing to take their chances with Paxton against Aviles in the eighth, walking Upton to set up the matchup and provide a potential out at every base. Aviles' squibber, however, was hit slow enough to let him run by Lind while Romine bolted for home.
Mariners: Hisashi Iwakuma (6-5, 4.18) has won five of his past six starts and will be seeking his third straight win when he and the Mariners take on the Tigers on Wednesday at 4:10 p.m. PT. His last time out, Iwakuma allowed four runs over seven innings in a win over the Red Sox.
Tigers: Michael Fulmer's scoreless streak and winning streak are over, but he hopes to continue his stellar rookie season when he faces the Mariners on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Fulmer (7-2, 2.43) tossed 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball last Friday at Kansas City, but suffered his first loss since May 5.