George Springer keyed an outburst in the third inning before Alex Bregman sparked another in the eighth as the Houston Astros claimed the opener of a key three-game series with the visiting Oakland Athletics 11-4 on Monday at Minute Maid Park.
Houston extended its winning streak to six games and pushed its lead over the Athletics in the American League West to 2 1/2 games with two games remaining in the season series. The Astros did so by rallying from a 4-0 deficit.
Bregman finished 4-for-5, and he and Tyler White both hit three-run homers and drove in four runs. Marwin Gonzalez added three hits.
Oakland’s Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman hit two-run homers off Gerrit Cole (12-5), but the Houston starter got the win with six innings of four-run ball. Cole struck out eight.
Orioles 7, Blue Jays 0
Trey Mancini hit a three-run homer and drove in five runs, and David Hess threw six shutout innings as Baltimore defeated visiting Toronto to end an eight-game losing streak.
Toronto’s Kendrys Morales was unsuccessful in his bid to tie the major league record of hitting a home run in eight consecutive games. The designated hitter went 0-for-3 with a walk, and his streak ended at seven games, which still set a club record.
The Orioles now are 2-12 versus Toronto this season. The Blue Jays lost their second in a row after a five-game win streak that included a three-game sweep of the Orioles last week.
Cubs 7, Mets 4
Ben Zobrist laced a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning, and host Chicago posted a come-from-behind win over New York.
The Cubs have won six in a row to open up a 4 1/2-game lead on the second-place St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central. The Mets have lost two straight.
Anthony Rizzo homered and had three hits for the Cubs, while Zobrist, Javier Baez and Daniel Murphy had two hits apiece. Michael Conforto and Kevin Plawecki homered for New York.
White Sox 6, Yankees 2
Carlos Rodon pitched seven effective innings to win his fifth consecutive decision, Tim Anderson drove in two runs and made a dazzling play at shortstop, and Chicago won at New York.
Rodon (6-3) matched a career high for consecutive wins by allowing two runs on two hits, which tied a career low. He walked four and struck out two. Since July 11, Rodon is 5-0 with a 1.72 ERA, and hitters are batting .143 (27-for-191) off him.
Yoan Moncada had a two-run double for the White Sox.
Nationals 5, Phillies 3
Matt Wieters hit a solo homer, Stephen Strasburg pitched six effective innings, and visiting Washington defeated Philadelphia.
Juan Soto added two hits and an RBI for the Nationals. Strasburg (7-7) allowed two runs, five hits and three walks while striking out five. Justin Miller pitched a perfect ninth to earn his first save of the season and the second of his career.
Rhys Hoskins went 2-for-3 with a solo homer for the Phillies.
—Field Level Media