Kinsler's HR in 9th lifts Detroit

KRISTIE RIEKEN AP Sports Writer Published:

HOUSTON (AP) -- Ian Kinsler hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning to rally the Detroit Tigers past the Houston Astros 4-3 on Saturday after Max Scherzer struck out a season-high 13 batters.

Detroit trailed by one before Kinsler sent an 81 mph slider from Jerome Williams (1-4) to left-center for a 4-2 lead. Kinsler also had a double in his seventh straight multihit game and 33rd this season.

Nick Castellanos and Eugenio Suarez both singled in the ninth before Kinsler connected. Suarez finished with three hits, including an RBI single in the fifth.

Scherzer, last year's AL Cy Young Award winner, gave up two runs in the first before settling in. He yielded seven hits and one walk in seven innings.

Phil Coke (1-1) pitched a scoreless eighth and Joe Nathan allowed a run in the ninth before earning his 17th save in 22 chances.

Astros manager Bo Porter used closer Chad Qualls to face the heart of the order in the eighth, leaving Williams, who has allowed at least one run in eight of his last 11 appearances, to pitch the ninth.

Alex Presley had a two-run single in the first inning and added a solo homer in the ninth for Houston. Jose Altuve extended his tear at the plate, getting two hits with a pair of steals.

It was his major league-leading 34th multihit game this season and seventh in the last 10 games. He leads the majors with 113 hits and the AL with 34 stolen bases.

Houston's Brett Oberholtzer was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to make a spot start for Dallas Keuchel, who was scratched with inflammation in his left wrist. Oberholtzer allowed five hits and a run in 6 1-3 innings.

Astros rookies George Springer and Jon Singleton hit back-to-back singles with one out in the first inning. Springer advanced to third on Singleton's hit, and Singleton reached second on the throw. Presley's hit to center field scored them both to give Houston a 2-0 lead.

Castellanos drew a walk with one out in the seventh and Bryan Holaday singled to chase Oberholtzer. Suarez singled off Josh Zeid to load the bases before Rajai Davis grounded into a force at the plate.

Houston left fielder L.J. Hoes sprinted to make a diving catch on a ball hit by Kinsler to end that threat.

Scherzer had struck out five of six when Marwin Gonzalez singled to start the seventh. But he was caught trying to steal second.

It was the third time Scherzer has fanned at least 13 in his career, and his most strikeouts since he had a career-high 15 in 2012 against Pittsburgh.

NATIONALS 3, CUBS 0

CHICAGO -- Gio Gonzalez delivered another dominant performance, providing more evidence he is finally healthy again.

It looks as if the shoulder problem that sidelined him for a month bothered the left-hander about as much as the opposing hitters.

Gonzalez pitched two-hit ball over seven innings, and the Washington Nationals beat the Chicago Cubs 3-0 Saturday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

Gonzalez had his way with one of the weakest lineups in the majors in his third start back from the disabled list, outperforming Dallas Beeler in the righty's major league debut.

"Obviously coming (off) the DL and trying to work your way back is going to be a process," Gonzalez said. "It's not going to happen overnight. It's good to see little by little using fastball and changeup at the same time. It's good to know when you need them they'll be there."

Anthony Rendon had three hits, including a two-out double against Beeler in the sixth before scoring the game's first run on a wild pitch.

He added an RBI triple off Justin Grimm and came home on a sacrifice fly by Adam LaRoche against Wesley Wright in a two-run eighth.

BRAVES 10, PHILLIES 3

PHILADELPHIA -- The Braves took advantage of a little help from their opposition.

Justin Upton had two hits and three RBIs, and the Atlanta Braves were helped by two straight Ryan Howard errors in a 10-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.

Tommy La Stella hit a three-run triple and Chris Johnson drove in two runs for the Braves, who have won four of five.

Atlanta trailed 2-0 before tying it in the fourth on two unearned runs.

Tony Gwynn Jr. and Ben Revere had a pair of hits for the slumping Phillies, who have lost six of eight. Philadelphia scored three runs or less for the 40th time, dropping to 7-33 in those contests. The Phillies also fell to 18-25 at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, where they entered Saturday batting .229 as a team.

BREWERS 7, ROCKIES 4

MILWAUKEE -- Carlos Gomez launched a three-run homer and Matt Garza battled into the seventh inning for his first win in four starts to help the Milwaukee Brewers continue their season mastery of the Colorado Rockies with a 7-4 victory.

Garza (5-5) pitched five scoreless innings before allowing two runs each in the sixth and seventh. His first win since June 7 improved the Brewers to 6-0 this season against Colorado. Francisco Rodriguez, who got the victory Friday night despite blowing the save, pitched a perfect ninth inning for his majors-best 27th save.

Gomez staked the Brewers to a 3-0 lead in the first with his 13th home run. Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy reached on consecutive singles and Gomez then drove a 3-2 pitch from Jhoulys Chacin (1-7) over the center-field wall.

The Brewers added three runs in the fifth to make it 6-0. Jean Segura singled to open, advanced on Garza's sacrifice bunt and moved to third on Scooter Gennett's infield single. Braun followed with a triple into the corner when right-fielder Charlie Blackmon missed on a diving attempt at the sinking liner. Braun scored on Lucroy's ground out.

Colorado got two runs in the sixth after loading the bases with three consecutive one-out singles. Drew Stubbs' bloop single to shallow right drove in one run and Troy Tulowitzki followed with a sacrifice fly.

The Brewers answered with a run in the bottom of the inning on Lyle Overbay's RBI single to increase the lead to 7-2.

The Rockies chased Garza with two runs in the seventh on a single by Wilin Rosario, a double by Ryan Wheeler and D.J. LeMahieu's two-run single.

RAYS 5, ORIOLES 0

BALTIMORE -- The Tampa Bay Rays usually work their way around the bases one at a time, so they took great delight in putting on a power-hitting display against a team known for the long ball.

Desmond Jennings opened the game with the first of Tampa Bay's three home runs off Wei-Yin Chen, and the Rays got an impressive pitching performance from former Oriole Erik Bedard in a 5-4 victory over Baltimore on Saturday.

Tampa Bay built a five-run lead in the fourth inning, then held off a late comeback bid to improve to 3-8 against the Orioles this season.

Logan Forsythe and rookie Kevin Kiermaier each hit a two-run shot against Chen (7-3), who lasted only 31/3 innings in the shortest outing of his three-year career. Of the 15 home runs Chen has yielded this season, five have come against the light-hitting Rays.

Tampa Bay started the day tied for 25th in the majors with 59 home runs and hit only two its previous nine games. Half the Rays' 10 hits were for extra bases, including a triple by Ben Zobrist and a double by Ryan Hanigan.

"That's more like what we expect on a consistent basis, to play that game," manager Joe Maddon said. "Against this team here, fangs out late in the game, it's nice to beat them that way."

Nick Markakis and Manny Machado homered for the Orioles, who have a major league-leading 40 long balls in June. But it wasn't enough to beat the last-place Rays, who can win the four-game series with a victory Sunday.

Bedard (4-5) struck out seven in a season-high seven-plus innings. The 35-year-old lefty gave up three runs and five hits against the team he began his career with in 2002.

He walked none, and 68 of his 87 pitches were strikes.

"That's probably the best strike-ball ratio I've ever thrown in my life," Bedard said. "The biggest thing was the first-pitch strikes and after that, I continued to throw strikes. I mixed in fastball, changeup, curveball and I came out on top."

He was pulled after giving up a two-run homer to Machado in the eighth.

Adam Jones added an RBI single off Jake McGee, who subsequently retired Nelson Cruz with two outs and runners on the corners. McGee returned in the ninth to earn his third save -- the second in two days.

RANGERS 3, TWINS 0

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish returned to his dominant form.

The star pitcher allowed just four hits over eight sharp innings and the Texas Rangers beat Minnesota 5-0 on Saturday, handing the Twins their fifth straight loss.

Darvish (8-4) allowed only one hit and one walk after the second inning in lowering his earned run average to 2.42 following two consecutive defeats and his home ERA to 1.83. With 10 strikeouts, he hit double digits for the fifth in his last eight starts.

Adrian Beltre had three hits for the Rangers and scored Texas' first run, which proved to be all the Rangers needed, in the second inning. Shin-Soo Chin and Leonys Martin added two hits each.

"I thought he was Yu Darvish again," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I don't care how good you are. There will be bumps in the road. There will be times when things don't go right. And that even can happen for Yu Darvish. It was good for him to go out there today and find his pitches that worked."

Darvish, though, said he was unable to find a comfortable delivery throughout the game.

"I just couldn't find the right one today," he said through an interpreter, "but I managed to pitch those eight innings. I can't say I was disappointed."

No matter the delivery, Darvish frustrated the Twins with a cut fastball that was particularly effective against lefties.

"I'd say (Darvish's cutter) is probably his best pitch," said Twins DH Joe Mauer, whose first-inning single extended his hitting streak to a season-high nine games. "He can definitely make the ball move in a lot of different directions."

Phil Hughes (8-4) lost for only the second time in eight road starts this season, allowing all five runs on 11 hits in 72/3 innings.

"It's not been going our way as of late," Twins leftfielder Chris Parmelee said, "but our hitting will come around."

Neal Cotts finished for Texas in a non-save situation and retired the side in order.

WHITE SOX 4, BLUE JAYS 3

TORONTO -- The Chicago White Sox are in position to wrap up a rotten road trip on a positive note.

Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer, Chris Sale pitched seven innings and the White Sox beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Saturday, just their third victory on a season-long 11-game trip that ends Sunday.

"We've got some scrappers, we've got some fighters," Sale said. "After a road trip like this that hasn't really gone our way, to keep fighting and to keep staying in there and just going forward really says what kind of guys we've got in here."

Zack Putnam got the final four outs for his first save as Chicago won back-to-back games for the first time since winning two straight over San Francisco on June 17 and 18. It had dropped 11 of 14 before the consecutive victories.

"It was nice to be able to lock it up and get us two in a row here," Putnam said.

Held in check through the first six innings by rookie right-hander Marcus Stroman, the White Sox took the lead with a two-out rally in the seventh inning. Jose Abreu doubled, Adam Dunn walked and right-hander Dustin McGowan came on to face Viciedo, who drilled a second-deck home run on the reliever's first pitch.

"We've been going through some rough times," Viciedo said through a translator. "It's always good to come through."

McGowan (4-3) blew his second straight save opportunity, leaving Blue Jays manager John Gibbons to rue his decision.

"My thinking was, (Stroman) pitched his butt off," Gibbons said. "I don't want him to lose the game right there. That's the way it goes. But you always look back on things like that. I had a plan and it just didn't work."

Viciedo also connected in Friday's 5-4 victory and has gone deep four times in his past 15 games against the Blue Jays. The White Sox are 7-1 this season when Viciedo homers.

"Viciedo just flat out won the game for us," Sale said.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.