Shohei Ohtani first AL pitcher in nearly 60 years to homer twice, strike out 10, Angels beat ChiSox
Shohei Ohtani became the first American League pitcher in nearly 60 years to hit two homers and strike out 10 batters in a game, leading the Los Angeles Angels past the Chicago White Sox 4-2 in his latest extraordinary performance.
LEADING OFF: Opening day! Guardians debut, Ohtani and Braves
Cubs veteran Kyle Hendricks is set to deliver the first pitch of the season against Corbin Burnes and Milwaukee at Wrigley Field just past 2:20 p.m. EDT, the first of seven games still on the calendar amid rainy forecasts across the country.
The Latest: Astros force series back to Houston with 9-5 win
Carlos Correa had three hits, Martin Maldonado found three different ways to drive in runs and pinch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez blooped a tiebreaking, two-run single in the fifth inning to lead the Houston Astros over the Atlanta Braves 9-5 and cut their World Series deficit to three games to two.
Question isn’t if Detroit Tigers need a starting pitcher in free agency -- it’s whether they need 2
If the Detroit Tigers are serious about competing for a playoff spot next season, the question isn’t whether or not they need to sign a starting pitcher in free agency, but rather, how many they should sign.
Yankees' Cole demands ball, completes 3-hit gem vs Astros
Yankees ace Gerrit Cole demanded on the mound that manager Aaron Boone let him get the final out, then struck out Yordan Alvarez with a 99 mph fastball on his career-high 129th pitch to cap the New York Yankees’ 1-0 win over the Houston Astros.
Scherzer faces deGrom in spring game, rematch on opening day
Scherzer will make his Nationals-record sixth opening day start April 1, facing the New York Mets in Washington. The original lineup released by Washington before the game featured a designated hitter; that was revised to include Scherzer batting for himself. DeGrom struck him out, part of his 4 2/3 scoreless innings with three hits and five Ks. YANKEES 8, BLUE JAYS 3Gerritt Cole struck out eight in five innings, allowing one run in his fourth spring start for New York. BRAVES 11, RAYS 1Atlanta starter Max Fried gave up three hits and struck out five over six innings.
Seeing is believing: Bauer shuts eye, pitches shutout ball
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)What’s that piece of advice Little League coaches always tell their kids -- keep your eye on the ball, right? After giving up a single to San Diego leadoff man Jurickson Profar and then walking Tommy Pham, Bauer posted a shutout. Bauer wound up pitching three scoreless innings with the creative approach, striking out three while allowing two hits and a walk. Known for speaking his mind and going his own way, Bauer said he regularly shuts one eye during bullpen sessions and other workouts. Sandy Alcantara made his second start for Miami, striking out six in 2 1/3 innings.
Boone takes leave for pacemaker; Lester to have surgery
I look forward to getting back to work in the next several days.”LESTER SURGERYWashington Nationals left-hander Jon Lester is leaving spring training camp to have surgery for the removal of his thyroid gland. He underwent chemotherapy treatments and returned to the Red Sox at spring training before the following season. Soto’s spring training start was delayed because he fouled a ball off his right foot in live batting practice Sunday. Martinez had two hits for a second straight game, driving in his first two runs of spring training. Jarred Kelenic, Seattle’s top prospect, hit a two-run homer and Taylor Trammell hit a solo homer.
Cash's bullpen blunder joins Little, others in playoff lore
Aaron Boone hit a game-ending leadoff homer in the 11th, sending New York to the World Series. 2015 WORLD SERIES GAME 5Matt Harvey and the New York Mets held a 2-0 lead, needing a win to send the Series back to Kansas City. 2016 WORLD SERIES GAME 7The Chicago Cubs led the Cleveland Indians 5-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth. 2019 WORLD SERIES GAME 7Too bad for Houston fans, the last time they saw Gerrit Cole throw, it was in the bullpen rather than on the mound. “I wasn’t going to pitch him unless we were going to win the World Series and have a lead,” Hinch said.
Say goodnight to the bad guys: Astros fall short in Game 7
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)SAN DIEGO – The Houston Astros spent this odyssey of a season as baseball's biggest villains. When Aledmys Diaz flied out with a runner on first to end Game 7 of the AL Championship Series, the bad guys finally lost. “The legacy of this group is that these guys are ballplayers, and these guys are men," said Baker, who took over the team in January. This was just a bunch of guys coming together and wanting to play damn good baseball and wanting to go to another World Series. Houston's lineup of veteran hitters simply kept slugging, and the Astros fought to the brink of the World Series.
Correa hits walkoff homer to keep Astros alive in ALCS
The Astros defeated the Rays 4-3 and the Rays lead the series 3-2 games. The Astros forced Game 6 on Friday, a rematch of the first game started by left-handers Blake Snell of Tampa Bay and Valdéz. Otherwise, big league clubs leading 3-0 in a best-of-seven postseason series are 37-1. Correa also hit a walkoff homer in Game 2 of the 2017 ALCS off Aroldis Chapman of the New York Yankees. Houston became the first team with a leadoff and walk-off home run in a postseason game.
Springer, Altuve homer to keep Astros alive in ALCS
Beating the Tampa Bay Rays three more times to reach the World Series won't be easy, but the Astros believe they can do it. With Altuve atoning for his poor defense in this series, the Astros finally got their offense going after being pushed to the brink of a sweep. The Rays remain one win from advancing to the World Series for the second time in franchise history. Altuve hit a homer in the first and an RBI double in the third for a 2-0 lead. It was the third home run of the postseason for Springer, the MVP of the 2017 World Series.
LEADING OFF: Dodgers hope Kershaw can go in NLCS Game 4
Clayton Kershaw could start Game 4 of the NL Championship Series for the Dodgers if the left-hander’s back continues to improve. Kershaw was scratched from his scheduled Game 2 start because of back spasms, and manager Dave Roberts decided to stick with left-hander Julio Urías for Game 3 against Atlanta on Wednesday night. Veteran right-hander Zack Greinke delivered six gutsy innings in a 4-3 Game 4 victory for Houston's first win of the series, and usual No. A three-time World Series-winning manager, the 76-year-old La Russa joined the Angels prior to this season as senior advisor of baseball operations. He hasn’t managed since 2011, when he led St. Louis past Texas in the World Series.
Rays beat Astros 5-2, move within 1 victory of World Series
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)SAN DIEGO – Kevin Kiermaier and the Tampa Bay Rays — with big assists from two former Padres who know Petco Park's outfield well — are one win from the second World Series berth in franchise history. “We’ve played just tremendous defense all season long,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. Kiermaier, the longest-tenured Tampa Bay player, said it was “an amazing feeling” to be so close to going to the Fall Classic. Wendle lined a single off third baseman Alex Bregman's glove to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead. Paredes hit Kiermaier on the hand to load the bases and then grazed Willy Adames on the pinkie with a pitch to bring in another run.
LEADING OFF: Down 0-2 in NLCS, Dodgers turn to Urías
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was scratched from his scheduled Game 2 start Tuesday due to back spasms. The team still expects he'll be able to pitch later in the series, but it will be Urías in Game 3 against Braves rookie Kyle Wright. Urías, already pitching in his fourth postseason, was the winner in relief in the Game 3 clincher last Thursday against San Diego during the Division Series. There have been 14 teams take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven NLCS, and all have gone on to win the pennant. He’ll pitch in AL Championship Series Game 4 against Houston on four days’ rest.
Greinke says he prefers playing without fans in ballparks
SAN DIEGO – Houston Astros pitcher Zack Greinke said he’s enjoyed playing games without fans during the pandemic-shortened season and in the playoffs. “I don’t really notice fans when the game’s going on, but warming up and practice before games, I mean for me it’s nice not having fans in the stands,” Greinke said Tuesday before Game 3 of the AL Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Some fans are being allowed to NL Championship Series games in Arlington, Texas, and will be for the World Series, as well. Fans weren’t allowed in for the AL Division Series against Oakland at Dodger Stadium or the ALCS at Petco Park in San Diego. Some family members have been allowed in for games in San Diego.
Margot's homer, catch highlight Rays' 4-2 win over Astros
Asked which was bigger in the 4-2 victory against the Houston Astros, Margot said through a translator: “Definitely the home run. He played one game in right field in 2016 and the rest of his time in San Diego was spent in center. “To have the ability to know where you’re at, and kind of be able to say, ‘Forget it, I know I’m going to hit something but I’m going in,’ and still hang on to the ball, was really, really impressive,” manager Kevin Cash said. It was an unbelievable play that he made on the right field line, putting himself in a dangerous place. “Everybody is really, really supportive of him and just so happy for what he's accomplished.”Morton improved to 4-0 with a 0.90 ERA in the last two postseasons.
Bang! Bang! Astros thump away vs Oakland, return to ALCS
Houston Astros' George Springer, left, celebrates with Carlos Correa after the Astros defeated the Oakland Athletics in Game 4 of a baseball American League Division Series in Los Angeles, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. “We have young guys that are leaning on the veterans and the veterans are taking care of them right now. The Astros and A's combined for 24 homers — 12 each — the most in a postseason series of five games or fewer. The scandal led to season-long suspensions of Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch, who both were fired. BACK TO THE ALCSThe Astros became the third team in AL history since 1969 to reach four straight AL Championship Series.
Astros' Greinke holds up 2 fingers, then allows HR on slider
Greinke has at times used a hand signal to switch sign sets mid-inning with Laureano. Laureano entered 3 for 22 in the postseason but didn't seem concerned about facing Greinke. Greinke was announced as the Game 4 starter by manager Dusty Baker about three hours before the scheduled first pitch. Greinke, who turns 37 on Oct. 21, threw off flat ground after Tuesday's game and told Baker Thursday morning he was ready to go. “We hope to get as many quality innings as Greinke can give us and not have too many bullpen innings.
Pinder's HR helps rally A's past Astros 9-7, trail ALDS 2-1
Oakland Athletics' Chad Pinder, right, celebrates with manager Bob Melvin after the Athletics defeated the Houston Astros in Game 3 of a baseball American League Division Series in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. And just in case Laureano's words did not get the message across, he ripped a double as the A's got a pair of sacrifice flies in the eighth to rally past the Houston Astros 9-7 on Wednesday and avoid elimination in their AL Division Series. “It was awesome.”Houston leads the best-of-five series 2-1 and can advance to its fourth straight AL Championship Series with a victory in Game 4 on Thursday. Pinder hit a first-pitch slider to the opposite field for Oakland's fifth homer, a drive chased by right fielder Kyle Tucker until he ran out of room at the short wall. Houston took a 7-4 lead with five runs in the fifth, when the Astros sent 10 batters to the plate.
LEADING OFF: Stanton's HR streak, Kershaw at home, Acuña hit
(AP Photo/Gregory Bull)A look at what's happening around the majors on Wednesday:STANTON'S STREAKYankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton has homered in all four of the team's postseason games this year. The two-time NL home run champion is from the Los Angeles area and says “that SoCal air" is helping the ball fly. If the Dodgers advance to the NL Championship Series or World Series, fans will be allowed at those games. “At this point I think we’ve grown accustomed to it.”Alcantara insisted he didn’t intend to hit Acuña and that Miami’s game plan is simply to pitch inside to him. Springer’s 17 postseason homers tied Nelson Cruz and Jim Thome for most through a player’s first 54 postseason games.
Astros win 4-1 in Game 1; Twins' record losing streak at 17
Houston Astros' Carlos Correa, left, and George Springer, center, jump in celebration of the Astros 4-1 win over the Minnesota Twins 4-1 in Game 1 of an American League wild-card baseball series, Tuesday Sept. 29, 2020, in Minneapolis. They know what it’s like," said manager Dusty Baker, after the Astros became the first team in major league history to win a game after reaching the postseason with a losing record. It didn’t go my way,” said Romo, who has three World Series rings with San Francisco and pitched in his 30th career postseason game. Minnesota’s previous win in the playoffs was notched in New York on Oct. 5, 2004, in Game 1 of the AL division series. UP NEXTThe Astros were waiting until after the game to announce their starter for Game 2, though Valdez's appearance took him out of the mix.
Betts homers, Dodgers beat Astros 8-1; LA fans still sore
Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts, right, gets congratulations from Enrique Hernandez, after Betts hits a two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)LOS ANGELES – Mookie Betts’ two-run homer highlighted a four-run fifth inning, Chris Taylor added a three-run shot, and the Dodgers defeated Houston 8-1 on Sunday night with angry Los Angeles fans letting the Astros have it again. For the second straight day, the Astros were bombarded with messages towed by planes over Dodger Stadium. Go Dodgers” and “Hey Astros Try Stealing This Sign!” read others. Dodgers: Begin a three-game series at San Diego on Monday in a showdown between the NL West's top teams.
Astros rally to beat Dodgers 7-5 despite angry LA fans
Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) and center fielder George Springer (4) celebrate the team's 7-5 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in a baseball game at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, in Los Angeles. But there were multiple reminders that Dodger fans haven’t forgotten the Astros’ cheating scandal from their 2017 championship. Kelly's curled lip has been immortalized in a spray-painted wall mural by an artist in Los Angeles. Taylor blasted a two-run shot into the right-field pavilion with two outs in the second, giving Los Angeles a 2-1 lead. Dodgers: RHP Dustin May, who took a line drive off his left foot in Arizona, had a CT scan that revealed a contusion but no fracture.
Maldonado's 3-run shot leads Astros over Giants 5-1
Houston Astros' Martin Maldonado hits a three-run home run against the San Francisco Giants during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)HOUSTON Martn Maldonado hit a three-run home run to back a strong start by Zack Greinke and help the Houston Astros to a 5-1 win over the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night. Maldonado then knocked his two-strike homer into the seats in left field to make it 5-1. San Francisco starter Trevor Cahill, who was selected to the Major League roster before the game, walked four in 1 2/3 innings. UP NEXTGiants: San Francisco is off on Thursday before Johnny Cueto (1-0, 5.40) is scheduled to start on Friday night in the first of three games against Oakland.
AP study: MLB average salary under $1.3M; Scherzer tops list
Washington pitcher Max Scherzer topped the shortened seasons list at $17.8 million, his income partially protected by a huge signing bonus. Salaries averaged $1,295,942 on expanded opening-day rosters after prorated pay was factored in, according to the AP study. Scherzers $210 million, seven-year contract includes a $50 million signing bonus baseball signing bonuses are distinct from salaries and not subject to reduction. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw was second on the opening day list at $16.3 million, boosted by a $23 million signing bonus. It would have projected to $4,144,328 with an active limit of 28 and $4,386,353 at 26, which would have been up 0.2% from last years AP study average of $4,375,486.
'It's over now' - Astros eager to put scandal behind them
HOUSTON The Houston Astros spent the offseason reeling from a sign-stealing scandal that cost manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow their jobs. The change didnt stop the Astros from being the villains of baseball this spring. The Astros are preparing for the possibility of being without designated hitter Yordan Alvarez for the start of the season and potentially longer. The Astros are counting on McCullers to have a big season in his return after missing last season following Tommy John surgery. Tucker, who can play outfield and first base, has appeared in just 50 MLB games over the past two seasons.