Royals’ rookie loses no-hit bid in 9th; Braves beat Arizona

Published 2:16 am Sunday, September 9, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kansas City rookie Jorge Lopez came within three outs of a perfect game before Max Kepler walked leading off the ninth inning and Robbie Grossman followed with a single in the Royals’ 4-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.
The 25-year-old right-hander made just his seventh big league start, his fifth for Kansas City since he was acquired from Milwaukee in the late-July trade that sent Mike Moustakas to the Brewers.
Lopez (2-4) retired his first 24 batters before walking Kepler on a 3-1 fastball. Grossman followed with a clean single to center field on a changeup with a 1-2 count.
Lopez was removed from the game after 110 pitches, 11 more than his previous high.
Ehire Adrianza hit a sacrifice fly off Wily Peralta, who retired Joe Mauer and Jorge Polanco on flyouts for his ninth save, completing the one-hitter.
Jose Berrios (11-11) gave up one run and three hits in six innings.
BOSTON (AP) — Alex Bregman hit his 30th home run, Charlie Morton returned from the disabled list with five solid innings and Houston beat Boston for its seventh straight win.
Martin Maldonado also homered for AL West-leading Houston, which won the first two legs of the three-game rematch of last year’s AL Division Series. The defending World Series champion Astros will try to sweep the major league-leading Red Sox on Sunday night. Boston has only been swept once this season, in a three-game set against Tampa Bay in late August.
Roberto Osuna took over in the ninth and got his 15th save despite allowing a run. Osuna got out of a jam when J.D. Martinez grounded into a double play.
Morton (14-3) was activated from the DL after missing his last start with discomfort in his right shoulder. He allowed a run and three hits in the first inning, but Boston didn’t score again until Xander Bogaerts’ solo homer in the fifth.
Eduardo Rodriguez (12-4) pitched 3 1/3 innings. Houston tagged him for five runs and six hits, including solo homers by Bregman and Maldonado.
PHOENIX (AP) — Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson made a diving stop on the outfield grass and cut down Nick Ahmed at home plate for the final out to preserve Atlanta’s victory over Arizona in 10 innings.
The Braves got two runs in the top of the 10th to go up 5-3. Freddie Freeman scored on first baseman Paul Goldschmidt’s throwing error, and Ender Inciarte followed with an RBI triple.
In the bottom of the inning, with runners at second and third, A.J. Pollock grounded a two-out single up the middle. Steven Souza Jr. scored from third, but Ahmed tried to come all the way around from second and was thrown out by Swanson to end the game.
The victory boosted Atlanta’s lead in the NL East to 3½ games over Philadelphia. Arizona fell 2 1/2 games behind first-place Colorado in the NL West.
Kurt Suzuki homered for the Braves, who took advantage of four Diamondbacks errors.
Chad Sabotka (1-0) got the final out in the ninth for his first major league win. With some difficulty, A.J. Minter picked up his 13th save in 15 tries. Andrew Chafin (1-5) took the loss.
DENVER (AP) — Kyle Freeland pitched six strong innings, Wade Davis worked out of a jam in the ninth and Colorado beat Los Angeles to remain atop the NL West.
Chris Iannetta and Charlie Blackmon homered for the Rockies, and Davis allowed a run before striking out Yasmani Grandal with a man aboard to earn his 39th save. Colorado moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the second-place Dodgers.
Chris Taylor homered for Los Angeles. Max Muncy hit an RBI double with two outs in the ninth.
Freeland (14-7) lowered his ERA to 2.91 with another fine outing against a lineup of all right-handed hitters. He allowed one run and four hits and struck out eight for his seventh consecutive quality start and 20th of the season.
Walker Buehler (6-5) allowed four runs and six hits in six innings.
NEW YORK (AP) — Noah Syndergaard left the game after he was hit by Cesar Hernandez’s line drive in the seventh inning but managed to slow Philadelphia’s playoff run despite allowing a career-worst 12 hits and five walks in New York’s victory.
Syndergaard (11-3) tried to brace himself but was hit in the lower ribs when Hernandez lined a 98 mph pitch. Syndergaard picked up the ball and held onto it. The Mets said X-rays were negative.
He matched his career high for walks and allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Zach Eflin (9-7) gave up six runs and three walks in three innings, dropping to 0-3 in his last four starts.
Philadelphia fell 3½ games behind first-place Atlanta in the NL East. The Phillies have lost 16 of 25.
Tomas Nido hit a three-run double and Todd Frazier had a three-run homer for the Mets. Michael Conforto also went deep.
Rhys Hoskins homered for Philadelphia, and Hernandez had three RBIs.
SEATTLE (AP) — Andrew McCutchen hit his second home run in two days, Dellin Betances pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning and New York held on to beat Seattle.
Austin Romine launched a go-ahead homer off Nick Vincent (3-3) in the seventh for the Yankees, who moved within 7½ games of first-place Boston in the AL East with 20 to play. New York leads Oakland by 3½ games for the league’s top wild card.
Seattle loaded the bases with one out against Betances, but he struck out Denard Span and Kyle Seager to earn his third save.
Yankees starter Lance Lynn (9-10) allowed three hits and two runs in six innings.
Mariners starter Felix Hernandez left in the fifth with right hamstring tightness. Mike Zunino homered for Seattle.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Khris Davis hit his major league-leading 41st home run, Matt Olson homered to drive in the go-ahead run and Oakland beat Texas for its fifth win in six games.
Olson broke a 6-6 tie against Chris Martin (1-4) leading off the eighth. Olson has a career-high 25 homers, one more than last year.
Chad Pinder also homered and Matt Chapman added an RBI double in the eighth. The A’s, a big league-best 31-15 since the All-Star break, began the day a season-high 6 1/2 games ahead of Seattle for the AL’s second wild card.
Ryan Butcher (4-0) struck out Joey Gallo, his only batter, and Blake Treinen fanned two in a perfect ninth for his 37th save in 41 chances.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Gio Gonzalez (8-11) received a standing ovation following an impressive first start with Milwaukee, allowing an unearned run and three hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Gonzalez struck out seven and walked one in his first start since an Aug. 31 trade from Washington. The veteran left-hander was 0-3 with an 8.70 ERA over his final four starts with the Nationals. Gonzalez had 10 days between starts, though, and took it to the Giants, who lost their season-high seventh straight game and fell a season-worst seven games under .500.
The Brewers pushed their NL wild-card lead to 2 1/2 games over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Christian Yelich hit his 28th homer for Milwaukee, and Travis Shaw also got his 28th, taking Chris Stratton (9-9) deep in the first. Jeremy Jeffress recorded the final four outs for his 10th save.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Max Scherzer pitched a complete game and Washington took advantage of sloppy Chicago in the opener of a doubleheader.
Scherzer, bidding for a third straight NL Cy Young Award, allowed nine hits. He struck out 11 without a walk and hit a batter while improving to 17-6.
Scherzer also had an RBI single, raising his average to .270 this season. It was one of just six hits by Washington, which capitalized on nine walks and three errors from the Cubs. The Nationals scored five runs in the sixth inning on just two hits thanks for two errors and a wild pitch that resulted in a run.
After Friday night’s game was rained out, the start of Saturday’s first game was delayed two hours and 10 minutes by rain.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon opted to counter Scherzer with a bullpen game, and the Nationals jumped in front early. Jaime Garcia (3-7), in his Cubs debut, walked the bases loaded with one out in the first inning and Soto sent a hard grounder past first baseman Anthony Rizzo that was ruled a two-run single. That was all for Garcia, and Washington’s Matt Wieters provided a third run with an RBI single off former Nationals reliever Brandon Kintzler.
TORONTO (AP) — Roberto Perez homered and drove in four, Michael Brantley hit a two-run shot and Cleveland outslugged Toronto.
Brantley returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games because of a sore left foot and went 2 for 4 with two walks as Cleveland inched closer to clinching a playoff berth. The Indians began the day with a magic number of seven to lock up their third straight AL Central title.
Josh Tomlin (1-5) got two outs for the win and Cody Allen, Cleveland’s seventh pitcher of the game, pitched around a one-out double in the ninth to earn his 26th save.
Randal Grichuk homered twice for the Blue Jays, his fourth career multihomer game, and Rowdy Tellez hit his first career homer. The Blue Jays lost despite outhitting the Indians 18-11.
Blue Jays right-hander Sean Reid-Foley (1-3) made his fourth career start and allowed six runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked a season-high five and struck out three.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto ended his two-month homer drought with Cincinnati’s 11th grand slam — one shy of the NL record — and the Reds beat San Diego in a game called early because of rain.
The game started an hour early because of a foreboding forecast and was played in a steady rain that intensified with one out in the top of the seventh.
Votto connected off Robbie Erlin (3-6) during a seven-run second inning, his first homer since July 9 — the second-longest drought of his career.
Matt Harvey (7-8) allowed Eric Hosmer’s two-run homer and escaped a bases-loaded threat in the fourth. He fanned 10 in six innings, his highest strikeout total since he fanned 10 at San Diego on May 8, 2016, and his ERA rose to 4.87.
DETROIT (AP) — Victor Reyes scored on a game-ending wild pitch with one out in the ninth inning, and Detroit beat St. Louis.
The Cardinals, who entered with a one-game lead for the second National League wild card, have lost five of seven. The Tigers have won four straight.
The Tigers led 3-1 with two outs in the top of the ninth, but Marcell Ozuna hit a two-run homer off Shane Greene (4-6) to tie it. It was Ozuna’s 18th homer and third in two days.
Reyes led off the bottom half and reached second on first baseman Matt Carpenter’s fielding error. Bud Norris (3-5) walked Jeimer Candelario, and both runners moved up on Jim Adduci’s sacrifice bunt. The Cardinals intentionally walked Nicholas Castellanos to load the bases with one out, but Norris bounced the next pitch and Reyes scored easily.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Yarbrough struggled but got his 14th win, most among major league rookies, and Tampa Bay won its 10th straight home game.
After reliever Diego Castillo pitched a scoreless first, Yarbrough (14-5) entered and allowed three runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings. Twelve of the lefty’s wins have come in “bullpen games” for Tampa Bay.
The Rays will look to tie the franchise record for consecutive victories at home, set during the 2008 AL pennant-winning season, in Sunday’s series finale.
Baltimore’s David Hess (3-10) made his scheduled start one day after getting hit in the left eye while playing catch with a football and allowed six runs — two earned — and seven hits over five-plus innings.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Josh Bell homered for the second game in a row, Ivan Nova got his first victory in a month and Pittsburgh beat Miami for its fifth consecutive win.
In a game played in a steady drizzle, Bell connected off Brett Graves leading off the sixth for his 10th home run, down from 26 last year. Before his home run Friday, Bell had not driven in a run since Aug. 11.
Nova (8-9) gave up three hits in six innings, struck out nine and walked three. He had lost three straight starts since beating San Francisco on Aug. 9 and had missed his previous turn for an undisclosed reason.
Wei-Yin Chen (6-10) allowed three runs and five hits in four innings, dropping to 1-7 with a 9.13 ERA in 11 road starts. He is 5-3 with a 1.77 ERA in 12 home outings.
CHICAGO (AP) — Mike Trout homered twice and drove in five runs as Los Angeles defeated Chicago.
Trout’s 5-for-5 performance matched his career high for hits and raised his batting average to .314. Shohei Ohtani hit a bases-loaded triple and scored on one of Thyago Vieira’s three wild pitches in a six-run ninth inning.
The White Sox lost their fourth straight.
Six of Trout’s nine career hits against James Shields (6-16) have been home runs.
Matt Shoemaker (2-0) gave up three runs over five innings in his second start since coming off the disabled list.
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