Justin Verlander first in MLB to 12 wins, Houston Astros beat Oakland Athletics 5-0

Houston – Justin Verlander struck out 10 in six innings for his 12th MLB-leading victory and the Houston Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 5-0 on Saturday.

Martín Maldonado hit a second-inning grand slam against rookie Jared Koenig (1-3) for his third career grand slam on a shot to the center of the field to give the Astros, leaders of the AL West, a lead of four points.

Verlander (12-3) allowed six scoreless hits on walks and lowered his ERA to 1.89, which ranks him third in the majors. Phil Maton, Hector Neris and Bryan Abreu each pitched a scoreless inning to complete the shutout against the team with the AL’s worst record.

Verlander, 39, who leads all active players in strikeouts, now has 3,121 in his career, passing Curt Schilling (3,116) and Bob Gibson (3,117) at 14th on the all-time list .

Five of the six hits allowed by Verlander were singles and the only time the Athletics got more than one hit in an inning came when Dermis Garcia and Nick Allen hit back-to-back singles to start the fifth.

Koenig had a career-high six hits and five runs in seven innings for his third loss in five starts this season.

Seattle 3, (at) Texas 2, (10 innings): JP Crawford hit an RBI single in the 10th inning and Seattle extended its winning streak to 13 games.

Carlos Santana homered as the Mariners (50-42) edged closer to the club record of 15 straight wins set in their final playoff season in 2001. They have won 21 of their last 24 games overall to win eight series straight, their most since winning 14 straight sets in that 116-win season 21 years ago.

Seattle would tie the longest winning streak at the majors this year with a victory in Sunday’s series finale, its last game before the All-Star break. Atlanta, the defending World Series champion, won 14 straight last month.

Crawford cut a one-out single on the line past first base Brett Martin (0-5), scoring auto-runner Sam Haggerty, who came on as a pinch runner for Santana, who had a late groundout innings in the ninth.

Diego Castillo (7-1) faced just three batters in the ninth for the win. Matthew Festa hit the team in the 10th for his first save.

Baltimore 6, (at) Tampa Bay 4, (11 innings): Ryan Mountcastle hit a two-run single in the 11th inning, rookie catcher Adley Rutschman produced a pair of key swings, and Baltimore beat Tampa Bay.

Rutschman hit his first pinch home run and added a sacrificial fly in the 10th inning for the Orioles, who had lost their previous 10 games at Tropicana Field.

Automatic runner Rougned Odor was ejected after getting caught between second and third no-out in the 11th when Jorge Mateo faced off to bunt but didn’t make it. But then Mateo hat-tricked Luke Bard (1-1), Cedric Mullins walked and stole second, and Mountcastle flared a single to right field.

Jorge López (4-5) conceded a run in two sets. Joey Krehbiel replaced Cionel Pérez with two ons and two outs in the 11th and retired Luke Raley on a flyball to get his first save.

Philadelphia 10, (at) Miami 0: Kyle Schwarber hit his 29th homer for the NL lead, JT Realmuto homered and doubled, and Philadelphia ruined the major league debut of famed Miami pitcher Max Meyer.

Didi Gregorius (four RBIs) and Rhys Hoskins also went deep for the Phillies. Starter Ranger Suárez threw five scoreless four-hit innings, striking out four.

Meyer, 23, the third overall selection in the 2020 draft, was waived after Realmuto’s brace in sixth. Meyer allowed five runs, seven hits, walked one and struck out five.

New York Mets 2, (at) Chicago Cubs 1, (11 innings – Game 1): Pete Alonso hit a sacrificial fly in the 11th inning after Adam Ottavino made a tricky jam, helping New York hand Chicago its eighth straight loss in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

Alonso, who leads the majors with 75 RBIs, entered New York’s first inning in fourth and found runners on the turns and no outs in 11th. He threw a medium right flyball against Mychal Givens (5-1), and Luis Guillorme scampered home with the go-ahead.

Closest All-Star Edwin Díaz made his 20th save for the NL East leaders.

Chicago had five hits, one more than the Mets. The Cubs had a chance to wrap up the game in 10th, but Ottavino (4-2) gave up three in a row after pinch runner Nelson Velázquez stole the third.

(AT) Minnesota 6, Chicago White Sox 3: Jorge Polanco’s three-run outburst was one of Minnesota’s three homers against Chicago’s Lance Lynn in a five-run third inning in the Twins’ win over the White Sox.

First-time star Luis Arraez opened the first inning with a home run and Carlos Correa added a two-run shot in the third.

Dylan Bundy (6-4) allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings for Minnesota. Jhoan Duran pitched two scoreless innings for his sixth save.

Lynn (1-3) struggled, allowing six runs on seven hits in five innings for the White Sox, who had won four straight.

(At) St. Louis 11, Cincinnati 3: Paul Goldschmidt hit his 300th career home run and drove in three runs, Albert Pujols took another step, and St. Louis beat Cincinnati.

Goldschmidt’s two-run homer in the second inning was his 20th this season. He became the 153rd player to hit 300 homers. He has 997 RBIs.

Pujols, 42, scored twice and tied Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig for 12th all-time with 1,889 points scored.

Lars Nootbar added a three-run homer in the eighth inning. Tommy Edman had his fourth multi-hit match in his last five games with a double and a single.

Miles Mikolas (7-7) homered Jonathan India to start the game, then allowed just two hits over the next six innings in his seven-inning outing.

Rookie Nick Lodolo (2-3) allowed five earned runs. He allowed five hits, walked three, hit two batters and threw a wild pitch.

(AT) Toronto 6, Kansas City 5, (10 innings): Teoscar Hernández scored the game-winning run late in the 10th inning at home and Toronto rallied against Kansas City.

Royals designated hitter Vinnie Pasquantino hit a game-tying home run in the top of the 10th inning to give Kansas City a 5-3 lead, but Toronto replied in the bottom half against former Blue Jays reliever Joel Payamps (2-3).

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (three hits) started with an RBI double, scoring auto-runner George Springer, and pinch hitter Raimel Tapia tied it with a hit to the center. After Bo Bichette scored a single, Hernández scored a single down the left side to tag Tapia.

Toronto’s Jordan Romano (3-2) picked up the win despite Pasquantino’s homer.

Bobby Witt Jr., Ryan O’Hearn and Nate Eaton also scored for Kansas City.

(AT) Colorado 2, Pittsburgh 0: Kris Bryant had three hits and an RBI, Charlie Blackmon extended his hitting streak to seven games with an RBI single, and Jose Urena threw six scoreless innings in Colorado’s win over Pittsburgh.

Bryant singled in an unearned two-out run in the fifth inning and Blackmon drove an insurance run with a two-out single in the seventh as the Rockies extended their winning streak to five games, the best of the season.

Urena (1-1) allowed five hits, with four strikeouts and two walks. Daniel Bard made his 20th save in 22 occasions.

Pirates right-hander Mitch Keller (3-7) was the unlucky loser, giving up one unearned run and five hits in six innings while striking out six and walking two.

Atlanta 6, (at) Washington 3: Matt Olson and Austin Riley hit back-to-back homers in the third inning, and Atlanta sent Washington to its ninth straight loss.

Atlanta has won nine straight against Washington and is 10-2 against the Nationals this season. The Braves have also won 14 straight games in Washington since last year.

The Braves took the lead in the third against Washington starter Paolo Espino (0-3). With two men, Olson fired a shot from the opposite field just over the left fence for his 17th homer of the season. Riley, selected to his first team all-star earlier Saturday, then threw his 27th homer at center.

Atlanta starter Max Fried (10-3) earned his 50th career win, allowing three runs in seven innings while striking out four. Kenley Jansen handled the ninth for his 22nd save in 26 attempts.

The Nationals (30-63) have the worst record in the majors, having lost 15 of 16 games and are 7-36 against the NL East. Espino allowed four runs, three earned, in 5 1/3 innings and struck out five.

(To) New York Yankees 14, Boston 1: Aaron Judge homered twice to tie Roger Maris’ franchise record of 33 before the All-Star break, Matt Carpenter also connected twice and had seven runs as New York routed Boston.

The major league-leading Yankees had lost five of six games, and they seemed to stumble again when Boston’s Rafael Devers homered in the first inning.

Jameson Taillon has leveled off, striking out his last 17 batters while pitching a run over six innings. Ryan Weber closed New York’s three-hitter with a three-inning stoppage — the first of his career — and the Yankees earned their 28th comeback win in the league.

Taillon (10-2) allowed just two hits and struck out five before leaving the blowout with just 79 pitches.

Nick Pivetta (8-7) ended a strong first half by allowing seven runs in 4 1/3 innings, and the Red Sox fell to 6-13 in their last 19 games.

(To) San Francisco 2, Milwaukee 1: Milwaukee reliever Jandel Gustave’s failure with the bases loaded allowed Wilmer Flores to score the go-ahead in the eighth inning as San Francisco won for the sixth time in eight games.

Gustave replaced Brent Suter (1-3) with two ons and two outs. After hitting Evan Longoria with a pitch to load the bases, Gustave edged out Mike Yastrzemski and had a 1-2 count when plate umpire Pat Hoberg called a disallowance.

Darin Ruf homered for the second straight game, John Brebbia (5-1) struck out two batters for the win and Dominic Leone earned his second save for the Giants.

Omar Narvaez pulled off a sacrifice steal for Milwaukee. The Brewers’ lead in the NL Central fell to one game against St. Louis.

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