HOUSTON (AP) – Alex Bregman hit a game-ending two-run double with one out in the ninth inning and the Houston Astros beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 Monday night to match a franchise record with their 12th straight win.
Houston trailed 4-0 after three innings but cut the lead to one entering the ninth.
Sergio Romo (1-2) walked Marwin Gonzalez to start the ninth, then allowed a single to Max Stassi. Tony Kemp’s sacrifice bunt moved both runners up, and Houston loaded the bases when George Springer reached on interference by catcher Wilson Ramos.
Houston Astros’ Alex Bregman (2) celebrates after hitting a game-winning double to score two runs against the Tampa Bay Rays during the ninth inning of a baseball game Monday, June 18, 2018, in Houston. The Astros won 5-4. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Bregman then drove a ball that bounced off the wall in left-center. He lifted both arms as he trotted into second base, and teammates mobbed him in the infield.
Collin McHugh (2-0) struck out two in a scoreless ninth for the win on a night Gerrit Cole walked a career-high five to help the Rays build the early lead.
Houston also won 12 straight in 2004 and 1999. The Astros will go for No. 13 on Tuesday with ace Justin Verlander on the mound.
NATIONALS 5, YANKEES 3, 1ST GAME
YANKEES 4, NATIONALS 2, 2ND GAME
WASHINGTON (AP) – Aaron Hicks’ go-ahead two-run homer sparked chants of Let’s go, Yankees! on the road and helped New York beat Washington in the second game of an unusual semi-doubleheader, after pinch-hitter Juan Soto’s tiebreaking two-run shot for the Nationals won the opener.
These games originally were scheduled more than a month ago, and Game 1 resumed after being suspended because of rain in the middle of the sixth – so technically, Soto managed to homer in a game played before he made his major league debut.
The 19-year-old Soto was called up from the minors for the first time five days after Game 1 started on May 15; it picked back up at 3-all and the Nationals about to bat in the bottom of the sixth. After Bryce Harper – who had a full beard back on May 15, when the game began, but was clean-shaven this time – struck out, and Anthony Rendon singled, Soto drove a 97 mph fastball from Chad Green (4-1) to the back of the second deck in right field.
RANGERS 6, ROYALS 3
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Bartolo Colon earned his 244th win, passing Hall of Famer Juan Marichal for the most by a pitcher born in the Dominican Republic, and Texas beat skidding Kansas City.
Adrian Beltre hit a three-run homer for the Rangers, who won their third straight game. The 45-year-old Colon (4-4) allowed three runs and nine hits in six innings to break a tie with Marichal on the career wins chart.
Only right-hander Dennis Martinez has more victories among pitchers from Latin America. Martinez, a native of Nicaragua, won 245 games in the majors.
Ian Kennedy (1-7) is 1-13 in his last 28 home starts. The Royals have lost seven straight and 13 of 14. They’ve dropped 27 of 37 games at Kauffman Stadium, the worst home record in the majors. Kansas City is 2-14 in June, having been outscored 95-35.
INDIANS 6, WHITE SOX 2
CLEVELAND (AP) – Trevor Bauer shut out Chicago for seven innings before a rain delay ended his night, and Jason Kipnis homered to lead Cleveland over the sliding and sloppy White Sox.
Bauer (6-5) allowed just three hits, struck out eight and was in line to potentially pitch his first shutout. However, the game was halted by rain in the seventh inning for 35 minutes, and manager Terry Francona pulled the right-hander following the delay and 100 pitches.
Roberto Perez drove in two runs off Dylan Covey (3-2) as Cleveland improved to 15-4 in its last 19 home games against Chicago.
The White Sox committed three errors – one by Covey – in the first three innings, lost their fifth straight and dropped a season-high 23 games under .500.
METS 12, ROCKIES 2
DENVER (AP) – Brandon Nimmo homered twice during a huge night at the plate, including an inside-the-park shot to begin the game, and New York finally gave Jacob deGrom some run support in a victory over.
Wilmer Flores and Devin Mesoraco also went deep for New York, which won its their third straight. Nimmo had four hits and set a career high with four RBIs – one night after his go-ahead, two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning staved off defeat for the Mets and rallied them to a win at Arizona.
After pitching in terrible luck for weeks as New York’s hitters slumped, deGrom (5-2) got some help at last. He allowed two runs – one earned – in eight innings to snap a two-game skid and win for the first time in six starts since May 18 against the Diamondbacks.
One day before his 30th birthday, the right-hander struck out seven and lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.51. The 12 runs New York scored Monday were more than the team managed in his previous eight starts combined.
PHILLIES 6, CARDINALS 5
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Left fielder Marcell Ozuna dived for and missed Aaron Altherr’s two-run double with two outs in the 10th inning, allowing Philadelphia to rally past St. Louis.
Tommy Pham hit a solo homer in the top of the 10th, one inning after a wild pitch on a strikeout kept the game going. But the Phillies rallied.
Rhys Hoskins hit a bloop single to start the bottom of the 10th off Matt Bowman (0-2). Odubel Herrera dived headfirst into first to seemingly beat out an infield single, but the play was overturned by a video review. After Carlos Santana was intentionally walked, Bowman struck out Jesmuel Valentin.
Altherr then hit a sinking liner that appeared to skip off Ozuna’s glove before bouncing to the wall.
PIRATES 1, BREWERS 0
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Trevor Williams pitched one-hit ball over seven innings and two Pittsburgh relievers closed out a two-hitter against Milwaukee.
Williams (6-4) struck out seven and walked two for his first victory in a month. Jordy Mercer drove in the lone run with a seventh-inning double, and the Pirates won for the fourth time in five games.
The Brewers entered the day leading the NL Central but suffered their third straight loss.
The only hit off Williams was a single by Jonathan Villar with two outs in the fifth. The hit followed a walk to Hernan Perez, and the duo executed a double steal before Erik Kratz struck out to end the inning.
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