Shohei Ohtani left the mound after only four scoreless innings due to cramping in his pitching hand and fingers, but then hit his major league-leading 40th homer before his LA Angels blew a two-run lead in the ninth inning of a 5-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Thursday night.
Rookie Cade Marlowe hit his first career grand slam in the ninth for the Mariners, who rallied from a two-run deficit against All-Star closer Carlos Estévez (5-2).
Marlowe’s second career homer cleared the bases after Estévez walked two and gave up a single in his first blown save for the Angels in 24 opportunities.
Ohtani drilled a 107-mph line drive off Isaiah Campbell (2-0) into the stands in right at Angel Stadium in the eighth inning, securing his second career 40-homer season with the solo shot.
The two-way superstar reached base four times and scored the tying run in the sixth for the Angels (57-53), who opened a seven-game homestand with their fifth loss in seven games.
Shohei Ohtani left the mound after only four scoreless innings due to cramping on Thursday
The two-way Japanese superstar hit a solo home run against the Mariners in the eight inning
Ohtani is greeted by teammates while celebrating his solo home run by wearing a Samurai hat
The Angels were two outs from a win before Marlowe, who was playing in his 12th major league game, hit his team’s first grand slam in the ninth inning or later while Seattle was trailing since Richie Sexson did it September 19, 2005, at Toronto.
Eugenio Suárez also homered for the Mariners, who have won seven of nine to move 1 1/2 games ahead of the Angels in the AL wild-card race. Suárez tied a Mariners franchise record with an RBI in his ninth consecutive game.
Ohtani threw only 59 pitches in his shortest start not caused by a rain delay in nearly a full year. The two-way superstar struck out four and allowed only three soft singles in his first start since throwing a one-hit shutout in Detroit for his first major league complete game last week.
Ohtani also had problems with cramps during the Angels’ just-completed trip, leaving consecutive games early with lower-body cramping. He is the frontrunner for his second AL MVP award after winning back-to-back AL Player of the Month awards for June and July.
Ohtani stayed in the game as the Angels’ designated hitter after leaving the mound, and he tied it in the sixth by drawing his second walk, stealing second and scoring on C.J. Cron’s single
YANKEES 4, ASTROS 3
Anthony Volpe hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the sixth inning, helping New York past Houston in a rematch of last season’s American League Championship Series.
Giancarlo Stanton and Billy McKinney hit back-to-back homers in the first inning for the Yankees, who beat the Astros at home for the first time since June 26, 2022.
The win was the second straight for the Yankees, who beat the Tampa Bay Rays a night earlier.
Anthony Volpe hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the sixth inning to help New York beat Houston
Michael King (3-4), the third of five New York pitchers, earned the win with 1 2/3 innings of one-hit ball. Clay Holmes earned his 15th save.
Kendall Graveman (3-5) took the loss.
Kyle Tucker homered, and Jake Meyers and Martín Maldonado each had an RBI for the Astros.
ROYALS 9, METS 2
Brady Singer tossed eight innings of three-hit ball, Bobby Witt Jr. and Drew Waters hit homers, and the suddenly hot Kansas City Royals blew out the free-falling New York Mets to wrap up their second straight series sweep.
The last-place Royals had won just four of their first 33 series this season, but squeaked out three wins over Minnesota before taking three from the Mets, a club they had never swept in franchise history.
Brady Singer tossed eight perfect innings as the Royals swept the Mets for the first time ever
Singer (7-8) allowed singles in the second, fourth and fifth and didn’t walk a batter while cruising through the New York lineup. He did not allow a run while striking out four and throwing exactly 100 pitches.
Carlos Carrasco (3-6) allowed all six runs on eight hits and a walk over six innings. Francisco Lindor provided the Mets’ only offense with a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth.
RANGERS 3, WHITE SOX 5
Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer settled down after a shaky start to win his debut for the AL West-leading Texas Rangers, striking out nine over six innings and getting help from his new teammates as they beat the Chicago White Sox 5-3 on Thursday.
Four of Chicago’s first five batters reached base in a three-run first inning when Scherzer (10-4) threw 37 pitches.
The White Sox then had three singles in the second, though Scherzer benefitted from a double-play grounder and an inning-ending strikeout to prevent any more runs.
Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer struck out nine at-bats in his Rangers debut
Scherzer, acquired from the New York Mets in a trade over the weekend and signed through next season, allowed seven singles and walked two. The right-hander retired 13 of the last 14 batters he faced, with seven of his strikeouts coming in that span. A week after his 39th birthday, he threw 70 of 105 pitches for strikes, with 21 of those swing-and-miss strikes.
Mitch Garver led off the Rangers’ fourth against Touki Toussaint (1-4) with a homer that tied it at 3. Three batters later, Marcus Semien homered for the second game in a row to put Texas ahead to stay.
Will Smith worked the ninth for his 19th save in 21 chances.
PHILLIES 4, MARLINS 2
Michael Lorenzen threw a season-high eight innings of two-run ball in his Phillies debut as Philadelphia beat Miami.
Acquired from the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, Lorenzen (6-7) scattered six hits and struck out five.
J.T. Realmuto homered off Johnny Cueto (0-3) and singled after a bruised right hand forced the Phillies’ star catcher to miss the last two games.
Michael Lorenzen threw a season-high eight innings in his Phillies debut as Philly beat Miami
Bryce Harper had two hits for Philadelphia, which won three in the four-game series against its NL East and wild-card rivals.
Seranthony Dominguez relieved Lorenzen and pitched the ninth for his second save.
Miami’s Luis Arraez singled in four at-bats and his major league-leading batting average dropped to .377. Bryan De La Cruz’ hit a solo homer in the seventh for the Marlins.
GIANTS 1, DIAMONDBACKS 0
LaMonte Wade Jr. homered and six San Francisco pitchers combined for the shutout in a win over Arizona.
Tristan Beck (3-0) allowed two hits and struck out three in four innings, following opener Scott Alexander. Sean Manaea, Luke Jackson, Taylor Rogers and Camilo Doval handled the final four innings as San Francisco finished its longest homestand of the season 7-2.
LaMonte Wade Jr homered to help the San Francisco Giants edge out a contest against Arizona
Brandon Pfaadt retired the first nine batters he faced before Wade led off the fourth inning with his 11th homer of the season. Pfaadt (0-5) allowed just two hits while striking out seven and walking one in seven innings as the D-backs lost for the 11th time in 14 games.
Arizona was 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position, leaving seven runners on base.
ORIOLES 6, BLUE JAYS 1
Jack Flaherty pitched six innings to win his Baltimore debut, Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays each had four hits and the American League-leading Orioles improved to 8-2 against Toronto this season.
Mountcastle went 4 for 4 and scored twice, and Hays was 4 for 5 with two RBIs as Baltimore took three of four in the series and extended its lead in the AL East to two games over idle Tampa Bay.
Jack Flaherty pitched six innings to win in his Baltimore debut as the Orioles defeated Toronto
Acquired from St. Louis on Tuesday, Flaherty (8-6) allowed one run and four hits. He walked two and struck out eight.
Kevin Gausman (8-6) allowed three runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.
BREWERS 14, PIRATES 1
Rookies Brice Turang and Sal Frelick hit three-run homers in consecutive innings and Milwaukee extended Mitch Keller’s second-half skid in a blowout of Pittsburgh while moving into first place in the NL Central.
The Brewers had their largest run total and most-lopsided victory of the season. They had 16 hits to match their season high and moved atop the division, a half-game ahead of Cincinnati, which lost to the Chicago Cubs.
Frelick hit a homer in the sixth and added a two-run double, drew a pair of walks and drove in five runs.
Brewers rookie Brice Turang is congratulated by teammates after hitting a three-run home run
Turang went 3 for 5 and scored two runs in his first game since switching his uniform number from 0 to 2.
Christian Yelich went 3 of 4 with two RBIs. William Contreras was 2 for 5 with two runs and two RBIs. Joey Wiemer went 2 of 3 with a pair of walks, two runs and an RBI.
Brewers starter Adrian Houser (4-3) struck out five and allowed four hits, two walks and one run in six innings. Keller (9-8) gave up eight runs over five innings.
TWINS 5, CARDINALS 3
Michael A. Taylor and Ryan Jeffers hit two-run homers, and AL Central-leading Minnesota beat St. Louis.
The Twins took two of three from the Cardinals and increased their division lead to 2 1/2 games over idle Cleveland. Minnesota has won just twice in its last eight games.
Minnesota Twins’ Ryan Jeffers watches his two-run home run during the second inning
Sonny Gray (5-4) picked up the win in his first start with the Twins, giving up two runs and five hits in seven innings. Jhoan Duran earned his 19th save.
Matthew Liberatore (1-4) pitched 5 2/3 innings. He allowed five earned runs and six hits with two walks. Alec Burleson homered for St. Louis.
CUBS 5, REDS 3
Jameson Taillon pitched five-plus innings for his fourth straight win, and Chicago held on to Cincinnati and knock the Reds out of first place in the NL Central.
Ian Happ, Cody Bellinger and Yan Gomes drove in runs for Chicago, which won for the 13th time in 16 games and claimed the final three games of a four-game set with the Reds. Taillon (6-6) earned his fourth win in five outings, allowing two runs on seven hits while striking out five.
Jameson Taillon pitched five-plus innings for his fourth straight win in a Chicago Cubs jersey
Milwaukee, a 14-1 winner over Pittsburgh, moved into first place in the division, a half-game ahead of the Reds. The Cubs, at 56-53, are 2½ games back of the Brewers.
Rookie Elly De La Cruz led off the game with a deep solo shot and Spencer Steer’s team-leading 18th homer in the eighth was his second hit for Cincinnati. Luke Weaver (2-4) took the loss.
DODGERS 8, 2 ATHLETICS
Freddie Freeman had three hits, Miguel Rojas and Amed Rosario both drove in two runs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Oakland Athletics 8-2 Thursday night to complete a three-game sweep.
Zack Gelof and Tyler Soderstrom homered for the Athletics, who have dropped four straight and seven of their last nine.
Freeman, second in the majors with a .341 batting average, has gone 32 for 63 (.508) at the plate since July 17. He hit two doubles, extending his major league-lead to 40, before leading off the eighth with a solo shot to right field for his 22nd homer of the season.