Riley homers in MLB debut, Braves blank Cardinals
ATLANTA (AP) — Austin Riley made quite a splash in his big league debut Wednesday night, homering off Michael Wacha to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Mike Soroka turned in another strong start with three-hit ball over seven scoreless innings, but this night belonged to the 22-year-old Riley.
Another top prospect for the Baby Braves, he was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before the game after Ender Inciarte went on the 10-day injured list with a sore back.
Riley, who started in left field and batted sixth, struck out swinging in the first at-bat of what the Braves hope will be a long major league career.
Then, leading off the fourth, he flashed the form that helped him lead the International League with 15 homers and 39 RBIs.
Riley launched a high fastball deep into the left-field seats, a 438-foot drive that gave the Braves a 2-0 lead and sent his parents and a group of about 40 family and friends — many of whom hastily made the drive from his native Mississippi — into a delirious celebration at SunTrust Park.
Riley hit another drive to the edge of the warning track his next time up, and handled a couple of chances without any problem in left. Normally a third baseman, he figures to mostly play left field at least during his initial stint in the big leagues. Josh Donaldson is locked in at third base for 2019 with a one-year, $23 million deal.
After taking over as a defensive replacement for Riley, Charlie Culberson sealed the victory with a two-run homer in the eighth.
It was quite a showing for Atlanta’s kids.
Even younger than Riley, the 21-year-old Soroka (4-1) lowered his ERA to 0.98 in six starts. The right-hander has yet to allow more than one earned run in any of his appearances, and this was his best one yet.
Soroka escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third, getting Paul Goldschmidt to ground into an inning-ending double play. He stared down another trouble spot in the sixth when the Cardinals put runners at second and third, fanning Jose Martinez to snuff out the threat.
Dan Winkler walked the first two St. Louis hitters in the eighth on eight straight balls, but Luke Jackson worked out of the jam — this time, it was Paul DeJong hitting into a double play — and finished up for his fifth save in six chances.
Wacha (3-1) surrendered only four hits and one earned run over five innings. Atlanta also scored when the Cardinals pitcher threw one away at third base after appearing to pick off Ronald Acuna Jr., who was able to trot home when the ball skidded under the glove of Matt Carpenter.
Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (shoulder) threw two innings for Double-A Springfield in an 8-2 loss to Arkansas on Wednesday. He allowed one run on four hits, with no walks or strikeouts. St. Louis is hoping Martinez can rejoin the team for a weekend series in Texas.
Braves: Inciarte went on the 10-day injured list with a lumbar strain. He left Tuesday night’s game after experiencing tightness in his lower back and could be out even longer than his required stint on the IL, according to manager Brian Snitker.
YANKEES 5-3, ORIOLES 3-1
NEW YORK (AP) — Gleyber Torres hit three home runs during a doubleheader sweep, including a solo shot in the nightcap, and Domingo German became the majors’ first eight-game winner as New York topped Baltimore twice.
Torres hit two of New York’s four homers during a 5-3 win in the first game. The 2018 All-Star has eight homers this season, and six have come against the Orioles.
The Yankees announced during the second game that third baseman Miguel Andujar, last year’s runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year, will have season-ending surgery to repair a small labrum tear in his right shoulder Monday.
New York has won 20 of 27 games to move a season-high 10 games over .500 at 26-16 despite currently having 13 players on the injured list.
Aroldis Chapman closed out both games, giving him 11 saves in 12 chances.
TWINS 8, ANGELS 7
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) —Reliever Mike Morin hit former teammate Mike Trout with a bases-loaded pitch that forced in a run in the ninth inning before retiring Shohei Ohtani to end the game on a groundout and preserve Minnesota’s win over Los Angeles.
Jonathan Lucroy had an RBI double and David Fletcher drove in a run with a single against Trevor Hildenberger in the three-run ninth, before the Twins turned to Morin for the final two outs and his first save this season. Morin gave up two of the season-high 18 hits by the Angels and plunked Trout on the shoulder.
ASTROS 5, TIGERS 1
DETROIT (AP) — Justin Verlander allowed two hits in seven impressive innings against his former team, and Houston beat Detroit for its eighth straight win.
Verlander (7-1) struck out nine in his second start at Comerica Park since his 2017 trade from Detroit to Houston. JaCoby Jones homered off him in the third for the Tigers’ only run.
NATIONALS 5, METS 1
WASHINGTON (AP) — Patrick Corbin struck out 11 in eight strong innings and Victor Robles homered in Washington’s win over New York.
Anthony Rendon had three hits for Washington (17-25), which had lost seven of 10. He had two doubles and a single, scored twice and drove in a run.
D’BACKS 11, PIRATES 1
PHOENIX (AP) — Zack Greinke pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning before exiting with abdominal tightness and Arizona routed Chris Archer and Pittsburgh.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said Greinke would get an MRI on Friday.
Greinke (6-1) allowed four hits in 7 2-3 innings, then walked off the mound with a trainer with a 2-2 count on the Pirates’ Cole Tucker. Greinke struck out five, walked none.
BREWERS 5, PHILLIES 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Gio Gonzalez continued to make the most of his second stint in Milwaukee, allowing one run while pitching into the sixth inning in a win over Philadelphia.
Gonzalez (2-0) allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out three.
Jesus Aguilar ripped a two-run single off Jake Arrieta (4-4) in the third to give the Brewers a 4-1 lead and they hung on to take two of the first three games of a four-game set. Josh Hader tossed a scoreless ninth for his 11th save.
Bryce Harper lined a double to left field and made a sliding catch in right a day after he banged his left knee into the wall on a sliding catch. His double snapped an 0-for-15 slump.
RAYS 1, MARLINS 0
MIAMI (AP) — Seven pitchers combined on a seven-hitter, and Tampa Bay shut out Miami for the second straight game.
The Marlins (10-31) lost their seventh consecutive game and are on pace for 122 losses.
Tampa Bay’s run scored in the second inning when catcher Anthony Bemboom doubled for his first major league hit and RBI.
The Marlins stranded 11 runners and went 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
Tampa Bay starter Ryne Stanek went one inning. Jalen Beeks (3-0) threw three scoreless innings with four strikeouts. Diego Castillo pitched around a one-out walk in the ninth for his fifth save.
Jose Urena (1-6) allowed only one run in six innings. He has an ERA of 2.77 over his past six starts but is 1-3 during that span.
REDS 6, CUBS 5, 10 INNINGS
CINCINNATI (AP) — Eugenio Suarez hit a tying two-run homer in the eighth and slumping Yasiel Puig singled with the bases loaded in the 10th, rallying Cincinnati pasts Chicago.
The Cubs’ stingy bullpen let a solid start by Yu Darvish go to waste. Darvish allowed five hits, a pair of runs and fanned 11 batters, and Addison Russell hit a two-run homer to help the Cubs to a 5-3 lead.
Suarez’s homer off Carl Edwards Jr. tied it in the eighth, only the fourth time the Cubs have blown such a late lead.
Joey Votto drew a one-out walk from Brad Brach (3-1) in the 10th and Suarez followed with a single for his third hit of the game. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, Puig singled to the base of the wall in center, flipping his bat away in celebration.
Amir Garrett (3-1) pitched out of a two-on threat in the 10th.
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