Athletics vs Red Sox

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With severe thunderstorms in the forecast for Tuesday night in Boston, there’s a chance that Game 2 of the Red Sox’s series with the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park will have to be postponed. But if the rain holds off, the Red Sox will look to avenge Monday’s 6-5 loss by sending left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to the mound. The lefty is coming off a solid performance in his last start when he tossed five shutout innings in a no-decision against the New York Yankees. Oakland has won three of four this season against Boston and will counter with right-hander Daniel Mengden, who gave up one run in 6 1/3 innings in a start against the Red Sox on April 22. Manager Alex Cora has tweaked Boston’s lineup a bit for Game 2. Mitch Moreland will get the start at first base and bat sixth, while Hanley Ramirez will shift over to designated hitter. Christian Vazquez will assume the catching duties for Rodriguez and hit ninth. Jackie Bradley Jr. once again will begin the game on the bench with J.D. Martinez getting the start in left field, Andrew Benintendi in center and Mookie Betts in right field.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Daniel Mengden gets the ball tonight and will try to continue the form he showed Wednesday against Houston. He’s opposed by lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, who has been much better than his ERA would indicate. Through seven starts, Rodriguez has posted a 1.21 WHIP and 11.33 K/9. He can be susceptible to the walk and the long-ball though, so let’s hope our swinging A’s keep hitting.

Full lineups are posted below, and first pitch from Boston is at 4:10 PM.For the most part, this has been a phenomenal season for Porcello as he has had all of his pitches working and his command has been on another level. He was, of course, a total wildcard heading into the season but he’s been at the highest end of any reasonable expectations. That being said, he’s coming off his worst start of the year in which he allowed five runs to the Yankees in just 5 1⁄3 innings of work. Rough outings are going to happen here and there even for pitchers having great seasons, especially against great offenses like the one in New York. The key is to not let them snowball, so this will be an interesting start for the 2016 Cy Young winner. Porcello didn’t pitch when these two teams met in April.

I think most of us remember Manaea, yeah? The A’s young righty had a hell of an outing against the Red Sox back in April when he held them without a hit, and really that was the start of what’s been a more pedestrian run for the Red Sox lineup. He’s been outstanding pretty much all year with a 2.11 ERA, and though the peripherals aren’t that good his elite control gives him a relatively high floor and he induces some weak contact. His no-hitter against the Red Sox slowed down the offense for a while, so maybe this time around he’ll be the guy to get them to click again and get them looking like it’s early April. Manaea throws a low-90s fastball along with a changeup and a slider.As is the case pretty much every year, it’s been an inconsistent and frustrating season for Rodriguez. He has certainly shown what he’s capable of here and there, and the potential is there for him to dominate any lineup on any day. That said, he still has a 4.58 ERA on the season and allowed five runs in two of his last three starts. The good news is that his last outing may have been his most impressive of the year when he tossed five shutout innings against the Yankees while allowing just one hit. Hopefully that is the catalyst for a strong run for the southpaw. Rodriguez, like Porcello, missed Oakland when these two teams last met.

Mengden is hoping to make this his first full-season in the majors (he’s pitched partial seasons the last two years), and he’s pitching fairly well en route to that goal. His ERA is a little over 4.00 and a little better than average (105 ERA+), and while he doesn’t miss a lot of bats he also doesn’t put guys on for free and his flyball tendencies can limit hits. The question is how much playing in Oakland keeps his home run rate in check, and whether or not the Red Sox can take better advantage in Fenway. They didn’t take advantage in Oakland, scoring just one run off the righty over 6 1⁄3 innings when they saw him in April. Mengden throws a low-to-mid-90s fastball along with a slider, a changeup and a curveball.

5/16: Chris Sale vs. Kendall Graveman, 7:10 PM ET

Wednesday is Sale Day, and the excitement of Sale Days are starting to pick up recently. His last two starts have been his best of the year, and perhaps coincidentally (or perhaps not), Sandy León has been behind the plate for both of them. His last outing looked a little rough until they adjusted their signs, and then the ace flipped the switch. He’s allowed four runs over 16 innings (2.25 ERA) over his last couple of starts with 27 strikeouts and just one walk. When he faced Oakland earlier this year he allowed three runs over seven innings with ten strikeouts and a walk.

Graveman has long been a solid, league-average pitcher for the A’s, but he has been far from that in 2018. The righty has made seven starts for Oakland this season and his ERA is way up at 7.60 despite a career-high strikeout rate. While he’s missing more bats, he’s also walking more batters and allowing a ton of home runs. Frankly, this is a matchup that the Red Sox have to take advantage of, particularly considering who they have on the mound. They did well in April, scoring six runs off Graveman over five innings. The righty throws a mid-90s two-seamer, a changeup, a cutter and a curveball.

Old Friends
Jed Lowrie is the one old friend on the Athletics roster, and the former utility player who was traded for Mark Melancon was also a trade target for Boston this winter. That obviously never came to fruition, and now the switch-hitter is mashing for Oakland. He got off to a hot start, but he’s never really slowed down as he’s still hitting for power and making consistently good contact for the month of May.

Notable Position Players
Khris Davis is one of the best right-handed power hitters in the game, though there is some swing-and-miss in his game. He has a BABIP of just .179 over his last 30 days, but he’s still a threat to leave the yard in any given plate appearance and expect the Red Sox pitchers to be very careful with him.

Matt Chapman started out the year as one of the best players in the game, but he’s fallen off lately with a lack of power, a high strikeout rate and little success when the ball is in play. He’ll turn it around eventually, and in the meantime he’s still one of the better defensive third basemen in the league.Matt Olson is another player who has fallen off a bit, but the young first baseman also has some big power to be aware of at all times.

Marcus Semien has never really lived up to his potential at shortstop but when he is making contact at the plate he is going to do some damage at the top of Oakland’s lineup.

Dustin Fowler is a former Yankees prospect who was severely injured last year during his major-league debut. He just joined the A’s roster and will be in the outfield this week.

Jonathan Lucroy has been enjoying something of a bounce-back year for the A’s with big-time on-base skills at the plate. If he keeps hitting like this and the A’s keep sliding you can expect him to be involved in some Red Sox trade rumors this summer.

Mark Canha has quietly been one of the better power hitters in the game over the last month or so hitting towards the bottom of this lineup.

Yankees vs Nationals

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The Nationals and Yankees, perhaps the two hottest teams in baseball, will convene for a two-game, star-studded set at Nationals Park beginning Tuesday.

Washington, coming off a 6-1 West Coast road trip, has won 12 of 14 games behind one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. The Yankees, meanwhile, are 19-3 since starting the season 9-9. All 19 wins have come against clubs over .500. They have been nearly unstoppable because …

… there isn’t much they don’t do well. Entering Monday, their pitching staff ranked second in strikeouts per nine innings, third in FIP, and 10th in ERA. Their offense, which features Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez supplying middle-of-the-order muscle, is first in on-base-percentage, second in slugging and tied for fifth in home runs. Blend those ingredients and you have a club tied for the best record in baseball.

The start has New York on a 113-win pace, which has some already comparing this iteration to the historic 114-win club of 1998. Our Dave Sheinin broached the comparison in an interview with Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman in his breakdown of the Yankees’ return to dominance on Monday. Make sure to read that before the series opener.

[You’re not crazy to think the Yankees have reached their full and terrifying potential]

The Nationals’ decision to move Max Scherzer up in the rotation to pitch on regular rest Wednesday makes sense. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball this season, featuring a 1.69 ERA and a league-best 91 strikeouts through nine starts. The team should want him out there as often as possible, especially given its recent offensive woes. The adjustment also creates a couple tantalizing matchups; not only will Scherzer face the Yankees’ vaunted lineup, he will pitch opposite CC Sabathia.

It isn’t quite as sexy as the Scherzer-Kershaw Hollywood duel from last month, but Scherzer-Sabathia in the District is nonetheless a battle between two likely future Hall of Famers. While Scherzer is somehow still firmly in his prime a few months shy of his 34th birthday, the 37-year-old Sabathia has reinvented himself as he approaches the end of his career. The towering left-hander has posted a 2.23 ERA in seven starts by mixing and matching effectively.

Long gone are the days of a fastball in the mid-to-high 90s. Sabathia, who has tallied 239 career wins in 18 seasons, now relies on command and producing weak contact; he’s striking out 6.9 batters per nine innings — which would be his lowest output since 2003 — but walking just 1.2 per nine, which would be a career best. Scherzer, of course, doesn’t believe in pitching to contact. He wants to strike everyone out. That strategy works for him just fine. It’ll be a fascinating matchup between two hurlers approaching their craft in different ways.

Ideally, the Nationals wouldn’t have to rely on Michael A. Taylor’s bat. They would have a complete lineup with Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner, Ryan Zimmerman, Daniel Murphy, and Adam Eaton assuming the offensive load. They would look to Taylor for his Gold Glove-caliber defense and welcome whatever he could contribute at the plate.

But the Nationals are not living in an ideal world, not with Murphy, Eaton, Zimmerman, and Matt Wieters all on the disabled list, so they could use all the offensive contributions they can get. Taylor, however, isn’t providing many. Since April 27, the center fielder is 8 for 60 (.133) with one home run, four doubles, 21 strikeouts, and three walks. His batting average for the season has plunged to .186 in 42 games. His OPS is .564, the seventh-lowest mark in baseball among qualified batters, while his 32.1 percent strikeout rate is the sixth-highest.

Taylor has played through a minor groin injury but is still contributing defensively and, when he gets on base, on the base paths. But the Nationals could use more from him at the plate.

WASHINGTON — Masahiro Tanaka’s Tuesday night ended far better than it started.

As a result he and Tyler Austin, had the Yankees in position to win their 20th game in 23 tries.

Tanaka allowed a first-inning homer, then watched the Nationals tack on two more runs in the second inning, which put the Yankees in a three-run hole against a team that had won 13 of its last 15 and had standout lefthander Gio Gonzalez and his killer curveball on the mound.

But by the time the heavy thunderstorms that created havoc up and down the East Coast hit Nationals Park, delaying the game at 9:01 p.m., just before the Nationals came to bat in the sixth, Tanaka had settled, allowing his offense to rally to tie the score at 3.

The game, officially suspended at 10:08 p.m., will be resumed at 5:05 p.m. Wednesday.

Tanaka, after allowing an RBI double to Pedro Severino with one out in the second that made it 3-0, retired his final 11 batters.

Tanaka allowed three runs and four hits over five innings. He struck out two and did not walk a batter.

The Yankees, an MLB-best 28-12 coming in and with a half-game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East, slowly grinded away at Gonzalez. The left-hander, taking the mound 4-2 with a 2.22 ERA this season, frustrated the Yankees early, stranding two runners in each of the first two innings.

But Austin, in a 0-for-23 slump coming into the night but with a single in his first at-bat of the game, crushed a two-run homer in the fourth, a 28-pitch inning for Gonzalez that cut the Yankees’ deficit to 3-2. His sacrifice fly in the fifth, a 34-pitch inning for Gonzalez that finished his night at 111 pitches, tied it at 3. Gonzalez allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits in five innings. He struck out five, four in the first two innings, and walked four.

Tanaka retired the first two Nationals he faced in the first but threw a flat 1-and-1 sinker to Anthony Rendon, who blasted it out to left for his fourth homer and a 1-0 Washington lead. It was the ninth homer allowed by Tanaka this season, the most on the staff.

The Nationals added on in the second, a 27-pitch inning. Veteran Howie Kendrick, a longtime Yankee tormentor as he came in with a career average against them of .346, led off with a double. After Mark Reynolds struck out, Andrew Stevenson grounded sharply to short, where Didi Gregorius tried for a backhand stop but couldn’t quite come up with it, the play scored an RBI single. Severino followed with his double. Tanaka then bore down, beginning his streak of 11 straight retired by striking out Gonzalez.

The Yankees got a break, and capitalized, in the fourth. Gregorius led off with a routine fly to left, where Matt Adams drifted over and settled under it. But Stevenson, the center fielder, continued to call for the ball and knocked it away at the last moment, allowing Gregorius to pull into second on the error. Austin followed with his sixth homer.

The Yankees went back to work in the fifth. Aaron Judge walked for the second time and Giancarlo Stanton collected his 1,000th hit, a blooper to right. As lightning continued to flash, Gary Sanchez worked a walk to load the bases. Gregorius grounded into a 3-2 fielder’s choice, extending his slide to 1-for-38, but Austin just missed on a grand slam, settling for a sacrifice fly to the middle of the track in center, which brought in Stanton.

Dodgers vs Marlins

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The Dodgers open their road trip on Tuesday night against the Marlins in Miami, having lost seven of their last eight games.Since their no-hitter in Mexico on May 4 the Dodgers have only led at the end of 13 of their 75 innings played. Three different times the Dodgers have lost four straight games this season, but they have yet to lose five straight.Alex Wood is on the mound Tuesday to try to stop the current skid, and also looking for his first win of the season.

Wood has a 50.4% ground ball rate this season with only three home runs allowed in his eight starts. He has allowed one run in five innings in both of his May starts, but has just a 44% ground ball rate in those games and five walks in 10 innings after three walks in 35 innings in April.

He has not lost a start to the Marlins since 2014, allowing six total runs in his last six starts against them, 5-0 with a 1.12 ERA, 30 strikeouts and 10 walks in 40⅓ innings during that span.The Marlins got off to a putrid start of their own, dropping 17 of their first 22 games this season. Then they beat the Dodgers two games in a row at Dodger Stadium to take the series in Los Angeles, and won their next three series as well.

But Miami enters this series struggling as well, with six losses in their last seven games. The Marlins have the distinction of ranking last in the majors in runs scored (3.45 per game), OPS+ (80) and ERA+ (73). They are also last in the National League in runs allowed (5.40), and 27th in MLB.

Wei-Yin Chen missed the first month of the season with a left elbow strain. He won his first start back but has allowed 13 runs, including five home runs in seven innings over his last two starts.

Since Marlins Park opened in 2012 the Dodgers have won four of their six series in Miami, winning 12 of 19 games.Inside a distressing Dodgers season, it was just another day. The Dodgers played a fellow bad team. They lost again, for the fifth game in a row, this time 4-2 to the Miami Marlins, who were unimpressed by the return of Justin Turner and Logan Forsythe to the Dodgers lineup.

Onward the Dodgers slouch toward last place, performing as if hell-bent on evicting the San Diego Padres from the basement of the National League West. The Padres remained in last Tuesday, but perhaps they should not buy real estate. The Dodgers are racing to the bottom at an alarming speed. After winning 104 games in 2017, they are on pace for 99 losses in 2018.

Tuesday’s game felt like so many before. The starting pitcher was useful but far from dominant. The bullpen leaked like a sieve. The offense was absent. The manager offered no answers.

“This is testing every bit of fight you have,” manager Dave Roberts said. “This is a stretch that I’m sure a lot of these guys haven’t gone through.”

Alex Wood (0-4) pitched well enough to win, which meant, as a member of the 2018 Dodgers (16-25), he was saddled with a loss. He gave up two runs in six innings, scattering nine singles and striking out five batters. One of the runs was unearned, the product of an error by Forsythe. In the seventh inning, Adam Liberatore and J.T. Chargois teamed up to surrender two runs.

Before the game, Turner insisted he could not serve as this season’s savior. He was right. He was one for four in his first game back from a fractured wrist as the lineup failed to solve Wei-Yin Chen, a starting pitcher who carted a double-digit earned-run average to the mound. Home runs by Yasiel Puig and Cody Bellinger provided the only offense. The team was hitless in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position.

“Overall, we just haven’t gotten any momentum or started clicking,” Wood said. “Losing’s not much fun.”At this point, the Dodgers will require a serious reversal to even sniff October. The team received help Tuesday when Arizona Diamondbacks star outfielder A.J. Pollock was diagnosed with a broken thumb. Arizona had lost six games in a row heading into Tuesday. Even with the Dodgers at a low ebb, the division is still up for grabs.

The Dodgers will need to win a series before they can dream about winning a division. The return of Turner allowed the players to hope. Turner tamped that down before the game.

“It’s just about understanding that one guy can’t come in and drive in 100 runs in one game and hit a bunch of homers,” Turner said. “It’s about taking good at-bats and stacking those good at-bats throughout the lineup.”

Wood gave up hits to the first two batters he faced. The fourth was outfielder Brian Anderson. Playing at shortstop, Chris Taylor scooped a grounder off Anderson’s bat and fed Forsythe for one out at second base. Forsythe bounced a throw to first base and a run scored on the error.

A one-run deficit feels like a mountain these days for the Dodgers. Over the weekend, the hitters were mystified by the Cincinnati quartet of Tyler Mahle, Matt Harvey, Homer Bailey and Luis Castillo. None of those men are expected to contend for the National League Cy Young Award. Neither is Chen, who entered Tuesday with a 10.22 ERA in three starts.

Chen did not yield a hit in the first three innings. The Dodgers could not even capitalize on Miami’s ineptitude in the third inning, when Puig raced from first to third as first baseman Justin Bour watched a bunt attempt by Wood roll in the dirt. Puig remained at third as Taylor swung through a 3-and-0 fastball and failed to do damage on another fastball. Enrique Hernandez struck out to end the inning.”That one took the wind out of our sails, when we didn’t execute,” Roberts said.

Turner became the first Dodger to collect against Chen with a fourth-inning single. A one-out single by catcher Austin Barnes added to Chen’s stress. Chen did not need to worry. Bellinger and Forsythe flied out to end the threat.

Miami added a run in the fourth. After singles by Anderson and Bour, former Dodger Miguel Rojas provided a sacrifice fly. The act of a productive out looked foreign to the Dodgers offense.

Two more Dodgers were stranded in the fifth. Puig led off with a walk. Taylor singled. But Turner hit a soft liner into the glove of third baseman Martin Prado to extend the team’s woes with runners in scoring position.

Turner was the team’s most productive hitter in 2017. He led the offense throughout the team’s sprint to the World Series. Even so, his return to the lineup cannot heal Corey Seager’s surgically repaired left elbow or end Bellinger’s regression. He cannot fix the bullpen. He cannot show an entire roster how to execute with men on base.

The cavalry arrived for the Dodgers on Tuesday. And it might not be enough.The Dodgers managed only five hits after being swept in a four-game series at home by woeful Cincinnati.

“We hit a lot of balls hard and didn’t get rewarded for it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “The fight was there, and it just didn’t happen. I know it sounds redundant, but these are our guys, and we’ve got to keep going.”

Chen, who came into the game with an ERA of 10.22, allowed no runs but departed after 4 1/3 innings and 83 pitches.

“The Dodgers have a great team and great lineup,” the Taiwanese left-hander said through a translator. “During the whole game, the only thing I was thinking about was keeping the ball down.”

Nick Wittgren (2-0) replaced Chen and worked 1 2/3 perfect innings to lower his ERA to 0.69. Brad Ziegler gave up a home run to Cody Bellinger in the ninth but earned his sixth save .

Dodgers infielders Justin Turner and Logan Forsythe were activated before the game from the disabled list but couldn’t spark the defending NL champions, who have scored 11 runs during their skid.

Indians vs Tigers

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In their biggest series so far this season, the Detroit Tigers pulled off their biggest comeback to down the Cleveland Indians 9-8 and move within a game of first place in the hunt for the AL Central Division crown. Yeah, I know it’s mid-May. It seems like ages ago that Francisco Liriano took the mound against Josh Tomlin, but after three and a half hours of pure insanity, the Tigers proved victorious to assure at the very least a series win against Cleveland.
Liriano’s regression tour continued as he gave up a leadoff single to Rajai Davis, and then walked both Michael Brantley and Francisco Lindor to load the bases with one out. After striking out Yan Gomes on three pitches, Brandon Guyer, who had an OPS of .548 coming into the game, sent the first pitch he saw over the Tigers’ bullpen in left field for a grand slam. The night was off to a whimsical start.

Not to worry, however, as JaCoby Jones led off the Tigers’ half of the first with his third home run of the year. With the Tigers now trailing 4-1, Liriano was courteous by giving the run right back to the Indians in the form of a lead off solo shot from Erik Gonzalez, his first of the year. For Liriano, it was his second straight start where he failed to make it through five innings, lasting only four-and-a-third innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, three walks, and 91 pitches.With the Indians extending their lead to 8-3 in the top of the sixth inning, Nicholas Castellanos made his triumphant return to the lineup with a solo shot to pull the Tigers within four.

And then the seventh inning happened. John Hicks led off with a ground ball single up the middle, and James McCann doubled to left field to bring the score to 8-5. With one out and McCann on third, Dixon Machado hit a ground ball to shortstop that looked to be an easy groundout. Instead of taking the out at first, Lindor fired the ball home to try and save a run, but everyone was safe.8-6.With the Tigers down by two and a man on base, Terry Francona made it clear that he wasn’t messing around by bringing in his ace reliever, Andrew Miller. Game over, right? WRONG! Jones and Pete Kozma both hit back to back doubles to tie the game, and after getting a line out from Castellanos, Miller walked three straight batters to give the Tigers a 9-8 lead. Baseball.

You think that was crazy? Well, onto the top half of the eighth.Daniel Stumpf, owner of a 5.79 ERA, came on to face the teeth of the Cleveland lineup. Jose Ramirez led off with a double, and Lindor followed with a walk. Gomes followed with a walk, and Daniel had Stumpfled into a bases loaded, no out situation. After a mound visit from the Wizard of Bos, Stumpf battled back to get a strikeout of Guyer. With one out and Jason Kipnis, a lefty, due up, it would make sense that Francona would go to his bench for the right handed hitting Edwin Encarnacion. Not the case. Tito allowed Kipnis to hit, and Kipnis grounded into an inning ending double play on the second pitch he saw. Somehow, Daniel Stumpf’d the Indians, and Shane Greene went on to finish the job in the ninth.

The Detroit Tigers (19-22) beat the Cleveland Indians, 9-8, on Tuesday night. … The Tiger trailed 8-4 before scoring five runs in the seventh; James McCann had an RBI double to left and scored when Dixon Machado reached on a fielder’s choice. JaCoby Jones and Pete Kozma added back-to-back RBI doubles. With one on and the score tied, 8-8, Indians lefty Andrew MIller gave up three consecutive walks, including a bases loaded walk to John Hicks. …. Tigers lefty Daniel Stumpf gave up a double and consecutive walks to load the bases with none out in the eighth, but got out of the jam. Brandon Guyer, who hit a grand slam off Francisco Liriano in the first inning, struck out. Then Jason Kipnis grounded into a double play. … Ex-Tiger Rajai Davis added a two-run double to left in the sixth and scored on a double by José Ramírez. Davis

finished 3-for-6, with two RBIs and two runs scored. … McCann finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored and Hicks went 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored for the Tigers. Francisco Liriano left with runners on the corners and one out in the fifth inning. He allowed five runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings, including two home runs. He walked three and struck out three.
JaCoby Jones hit a leadoff home run to left and finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored. … Hicks hit a RBI single to center in the fifth to bring home Niko Goodrum. After a double by McCann, Hicks scored on a groundout by José Iglesias. Hicks also singled and scored on a double by McCann in the seventh … Nicholas Castellanos hit a solo home run to left in the sixth inning. It was his fourth home run of the season.

Zac Reininger replaced Liriano with one out in the fifth and got Guyer to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. Reininger allowed three runs on three hits and three walks in 1 2/3 innings. … Louis Coleman allowed two hits and no runs in an inning with one strikeout. … Shane Greene earned his ninth save.
In this forum last week I opined that Terry Francona is giving away baseball games when he brings in his dear friend Dan Otero to protect an 8-4 lead in the 7th inning. I, of course, can repeat that exact sentence tonight. Francona’s propensity to coddle and play his best friends was apparent in Boston and is even more pronounced in Cleveland. He doesn’t particularly like Jason Kipnis but Kipnis continues to play because the Tribe owes him $28 million for this season and next year.

The Indians led 4-0 and 8-4 before Detroit’s breakthrough seventh for its third straight win. Miller (1-2) allowed two inherited runners to score, then allowed two runs of his own. He faced six batters, giving up two doubles and three walks while getting one out.Louis Coleman (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh inning, and Shane Greene, pitching for the fourth straight day, worked the ninth for his ninth save. Nicholas Castellanos also homered for Detroit.
After Dan Otero gave up a run and left two on for Miller in the seventh, Jones and Pete Kozma hit back-to-back RBI doubles before walks by Victor Martinez and Niko Goodrum loaded the bases with two outs. Miller then walked John Hicks to force in the tying run.

The Indians loaded the bases with no one out in the eighth against Daniel Stumpf, but Brandon Guyer struck out and Jason Kipnis hit into an inning-ending double play.Guyer hit a first-pitch fastball into the Tigers bullpen for his first career grand slam in the first inning off starter Francisco Liriano.
Jones led off the bottom of the inning with his third homer, the 14th hit off Josh Tomlin this season, but Erik Gonzalez made it 5-1 with a home run in the second.Liriano left with runners on the corners and one out in the fifth, and Zac Reininger got Guyer to hit into a double play.Hicks pulled the Tigers within 5-2 with an RBI single in the fifth, and Jose Iglesias’ run-scoring groundout made it a two-run game.Davis, though, hit a two-run double off Reininger in the sixth to give Cleveland a 7-3 lead, and he scored on Ramirez’s double off Hicks’ glove at first.

 

Castellanos homered in the sixth to make it 8-4 and end Tomlin’s night.
Indians: Cleveland placed CF Bradley Zimmer (rib) on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to May 12, and selected the contract of RHP Neil Ramirez from Triple-A Columbus. To make room for Ramirez on the 40-man roster, LHP Ryan Merritt (knee) was moved to the 60-day disabled list.Tigers: 1B Miguel Cabrera (hamstring) is expected to miss at least another week, due to stiffness in his back and hip during rehab. … LHP Chad Bell was claimed off waivers by the Atlanta Braves.UP NEXT: The teams finish a three-game series Wednesday afternoon with Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer (2-3, 3.00) facing a Tigers pitcher to be named. Detroit will need to use a spot starter because of Saturday’s doubleheader and Jordan Zimmermann’s shoulder injury.
The Tribe’s loss last night snapped their 11-game win streak against Detroit which extended back to September 1, 2017. Despite the loss, Cleveland has still held the Tigers to three-or- fewer runs in 13 of their last 15 matchups with a 1.61 team ERA (24ER/134.0IP) over that span.

Reds vs Giants

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SAN FRANCISCO — One team happy to be home meets another that’s enjoying itself on the road Monday night when the San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds open a three-game series.The Reds, who had won just eight of their first 35 games in a start that cost manager Bryan Price his job, have been energized by the acquisition of Matt Harvey from the New York Mets, winning their last six games.

The most recent four wins came in a shocking road sweep of the defending National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers, with a suddenly rejuvenated Reds pitching staff allowing a total of nine runs in the four games.Harvey pitched the second game of the series against Los Angeles, shutting out the Dodgers on one hit in four innings of a 6-2 win. He did not get a decision.The former All-Star and Cy Young Award candidate is scheduled to pitch the finale of the series against San Francisco on Wednesday.

“It’s a good first start,” Harvey said after his Reds debut. “It’s only four innings. There’s a lot of work and a lot of season left.”The Reds had everything going in their 5-3, sweep-completing win over the Dodgers on Sunday.Starting pitcher Luis Castillo pitched effectively into the seventh inning and reliever Amir Garrett struck out the side in the eighth to set up closer Raisel Iglesias’ 1-2-3 ninth.Eugenio Suarez and Joey Votto hit home runs, Alex Blandino executed a suicide squeeze bunt, and Billy Hamilton ran wild on the bases with three steals for the Reds.

Right-hander Sal Romano will get the ball in Monday’s series opener. He has never faced the Giants in his two-year career.The 24-year-old has pitched well in his last two starts, allowing a total of two runs and seven hits in 11 1/3 innings in wins over Miami and the Mets.The Giants got a season-best pitching performance from veteran left-hander Derek Holland in a much-needed 5-0 win at Pittsburgh on Sunday that capped a 4-6 trip.Most important, it snapped San Francisco’s six-game losing streak, making for a happier flight home, where the club will play its next seven games.

The Giants have won their last three home series.”We needed that in the worst way,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of the trip-ending win. “I said it would take a really good pitching effort to get us out of this. Give (Holland) credit. He took over and did a great job.”The Giants will call upon right-hander Chris Stratton to build upon any momentum gained against the Reds.Like counterpart Romano, Stratton has never faced the Reds in his career.

Unlike Romano, the 27-year-old has struggled big time in his last three starts, getting roughed up for 14 runs and 17 hits in just 12 innings. The Giants lost two of those games by 15-6 and 11-3 counts.Former Pirates star Andrew McCutchen had a successful individual homecoming effort in his first return to Pittsburgh since being traded during the winter, stroking four hits, including three doubles, in the three games.

SAN FRANCISCO — Sal Romano relies on his fastball a lot to be the foundation for his starts. But when that primary pitch isn’t working for the right-handed Reds starter, as was the case Monday, it makes for a rough night.A very good stretch of Reds pitching, and winning, came to an abrupt end during a 10-7 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park. It snapped Cincinnati’s season-high six-game win streak. Romano left in the third inning down by a 6-1 score, forcing his lineup to unsuccessfully play catch-up all night.

“I was missing my spots all night,” Romano said. “It was one of those days. It happens throughout the season. It’s how you bounce back. The team really showed a lot of fight there, the whole game, with the bats coming around.”Romano provided his poorest start of the season as he lasted 2 1/3 innings with six earned runs, eight hits and two walks while striking out two. Entering the night, Romano had a 2.05 ERA over his last four starts. The Reds pitching staff did not allow more than three runs during the win streak while posting a 1.64 ERA.

According to MLB Network research, Romano came into the game throwing his fastball 69.9 percent of the time this season, fifth-highest among qualified Major League pitches. But he struggled to locate that pitch during his brief outing while throwing 66 pitches.Two-out hits were particularly damaging for Romano in the first two innings.

Evan Longoria hit a two-out single up the middle that scored Andrew McCutchen, and Brandon Crawford followed with a two-run double lined to left field for a quick 3-0 deficit. Cincinnati scored a run in the top of the second inning but the Giants made it 4-1 on McCutchen’s second double of the night — an RBI hit down the left-field line.

Brewers vs Diamondbacks

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PHOENIX – The Milwaukee Brewers knew they had their work cut out for them on this daunting three-city trip, and thus far have been up to the task.The Brewers made it four victories in five games Monday night by pulling away from NL West leader Arizona for a 7-2 victory in the series opener at Chase Field.It was a 2-2 game entering the seventh but the Brewers scored five late runs against the Diamondbacks’ bullpen, ranked first in the major leagues.

Jonathan Villar, a late addition to the lineup when Ryan Braun was scratched, had three hits, including a home run, and scored three runs.The Brewers scored twice in the second inning off tough lefty Patrick Corbin, thanks to some questionable decision-making by the Diamondbacks. With two down, Manny Piña doubled to left and stopped at third on Jonathan Villar’s single through the left side.Corbin caught Villar breaking off first base and threw over, and Villar stopped to get caught in a rundown.

But first baseman Paul Goldschmidt paid too much attention to the slow Piña at third and allowed Villar to make it safely to second instead of ending the inning.With first base open and pitcher Junior Guerra on deck, the Diamondbacks opted to pitch to No. 8 hitter Orlando Arcía. Corbin hung a 3-2 curveball to him and Arcía banged a two-run double to left-center.BOX SCORE: Brewers 7, Diamondbacks 2RELATED: Brewers now showing they can beat contenders as well as weaklings

 

Guerra cruised through three hitless innings before the Diamondbacks got to him for two runs in the fourth to tie the game. Daniel Descalso led off with a four-pitch walk and Goldschmidt lined a single to right. After Descalso moved up on a flyout, Steven Souza yanked an RBI double into the left-field corner.Ketel Marte drew a walk, setting up Nick Ahmed’s game-tying sacrifice fly to deep center.

Arizona right-hander Zack Greinke (3-2), who has done his part to keep the scoring at Chase the last two seasons, will face Milwaukee right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in the second game of the series Tuesday.The scoring downturn simply could have something to do with the small sample size. The D-backs have played only 24 home games. Moreover, injuries have kept middle of-the-order bats Jake Lamb and Steven Souza out of the lineup much of the season, and Paul Goldschmidt is off to a slow start.

“There are so many factors,” Goldschmidt said. “I’m sure there is some effect, but both teams are playing with it, and so the outcomes of games are not going to be skewed one way or the other. It would be different if there was a way to prepare for it. I don’t even think there is a way you can do something different.“The biggest takeaway, it’s not going to benefit one side or the other, in my opinion.”

Chase Field has ranked in the top 10 in runs scored in 14 of the last 15 seasons and in the top five eight times in the last 12 years.“We’ve missed some offensive players, so I think naturally the numbers are not going to show as strong as they possibly could be,” Lovullo said.Several opponents have remarked privately about the discrepancy, and Washington’s Bryce Harper was forthright in his assessment last weekend.

“It’s terrible,” said Harper, who had two doubles and a homer but also had two fly balls caught at the wall in the Nationals’ four-game sweep.“I think it’s definitely changed a lot,” Harper said. “You usually come here and you are thinking maybe hit one or two homers and have a good couple of days in Arizona. But you really have to get it or put one down the line each way to get it out of his place. Definitely changes the atmosphere here. It’s definitely tough.”

Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell’s team heads to Arizona after winning three of four at Coors Field, the site of the original humidor. Counsell spent five seasons with the Diamondbacks, and he is taking a wait-and-see approach“You could look at their team numbers and say that the humidor has been a factor, he said. “There have been a lot of anecdotal people saying it is playing different. New surface. Humidor with the balls. We’ll see. Ask me Wednesday.”Greinke, who has a 3.70 ERA, has given up only four runs in his last three starts, although he has only come away with one victory and two no-decisions.

Rangers vs Mariners

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Nelson Cruz exits Mariners game on Tuesday night after getting by a pitch May 15, 2018Tacoma Rainiers win in Sacramento, improve to 20-20 May 15, 2018Drug suspension obliterates Robinson Cano’s legacy and may sink Mariners’ season May 15, 2018After Robinson Cano suspension, Mariners’ Dee Gordon could be on the move again — back to second base May 15, 2018
With their win in Minnesota last night, the Mariners came out of that ridiculous road trip with a 4-3 record. I guess that’s not so bad.

Losing Robinson Canó for a month or two (update: everything is the worst) really hurts, but this lineup is good enough to withstand that loss for now. But the margin for error is even slimmer now, and any other major injuries will hurt exponentially even more. Luckily, the Mariners continue their stretch of fairly easy opponents with a pair of games against the Rangers. Though, as we saw in Detroit, these teams aren’t just going to roll over for the Mariners.

The various projection systems give the Mariners a 15% to 33% chance of making the playoffs right now—FanGraphs is the low mark and FiveThirtyEight is the most optimistic. Maybe it’s still too early to talk about playoff odds but we’re about a quarter of the way through the season so now is as good a time as any to take stock of the Mariners position. The offense has posted the second best league adjusted mark in the American League and fifth best overall. Mitch Haniger and Ryon Healy have been carrying the offense, like we all predicted.

Even if those two slump a little, Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz really haven’t hit their stride yet.The pitching staff is still a bit of a mess but they’ve been better than they appear. Over the last 30 days, the Mariners have posted the 8th best league adjusted FIP in the majors. Despite a couple of meltdowns by Juan Nicasio, the bullpen has been excellent thanks to standout performances by James Pazos and Erik Goeddel. Even the starting pitching has been better than league average this past month, posting the seventh highest strikeout-to-walk ratio in the majors.

They’ll need to call someone up to make a spot start on Wednesday. Rob Whalen or Christian Bergman are probably the most likely candidates.Since the last time these two teams met, the Rangers have gone 8-11 and fallen further into the cellar in the AL West. They aren’t as starved for young talent as the Tigers are, but it’s clear they need to spend this season retooling their roster. All their bad injury luck isn’t helping matters either.

The Rangers have gotten a few of their injured players back. Rougned Odor is back at the keystone. In a true feat of ineffectiveness, Odor managed to crush 30 home runs last year and still posted a league adjusted offensive line almost forty percent below average. He looked like he was going to be a cornerstone talent for the Rangers a few years ago and now he might be on the outside looking in. As soon as Odor returned from the disabled list, it looks like Adrián Beltré will need to return to it as he reaggravated a hamstring injury over the weekend.

The Rangers have gotten a few of their injured players back. Rougned Odor is back at the keystone. In a true feat of ineffectiveness, Odor managed to crush 30 home runs last year and still posted a league adjusted offensive line almost forty percent below average. He looked like he was going to be a cornerstone talent for the Rangers a few years ago and now he might be on the outside looking in. As soon as Odor returned from the disabled list, it looks like Adrián Beltré will need to return to it as he reaggravated a hamstring injury over the weekend.

Texas and Seattle wrap things up on Wednesday afternoon at Safeco Field. They have a quick two-game stint that begins on Tuesday. The Mariners will come in a bit stunned with the news that star player Robinson Cano will be out for 80 games after taking a banned substance.Beltre could be out for the two-game set against Mariners.

Texas has a lot of problems putting up offense in Houston. They scored one run in each contest, which was enough for a 1-0 opening series win, but lost the other two in identical 6-1 margins. Third baseman Adrian Beltre (.314 avg) is doubtful for Tuesday’s game with a hamstring injury and could potentially miss both games.Probable starter: Right-hander Bartolo Colon (1-1, 3.32 ERA)

Colon had a no-decision in his prior start against Detroit on May 9th. He gave up two earned runs (plus one unearned) on six hits through five innings of work. His pitching ratio has been amazing this season, converting at 29 strikeouts to just 4 walks. He hasn’t been allowing very many runs either, quite a feat for somebody that’s been in the league since 1997.

Warriors vs Rockets

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HOUSTON — Kevin Durant and James Harden hoarded Game 1’s limelight. In the Golden State Warriors’ 119-106 win over the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals on Monday, those two leviathans combined for 35 percent of the game’s scoring, each hitting increasingly difficult shots and transcending to a new sport entirely. But while those two awed us all and the dueling point guards (Stephen Curry and Chris Paul) exchanged quieter-than-usual nights, it was everyone else who decided the game’s final outcome.

This reveals the Rockets’ math problem that everyone understood coming into this heavyweight series. Golden State boasts a legitimate Big Four, plus a few battle-proven veterans who share a couple pieces of jewelry from the past three seasons. While the Rockets plucked Chris Paul from Hollywood last summer to place him next to James Harden, and even as they shored up their rotation with reliable role players, they don’t boast as many stars. Four > two. They can’t change that. “They are who they are,” Luc Mbah a Moute told SB Nation. “We are who we are.”

Who the Rockets are is a sensational 65-win team — yes, team — that held home-court advantage coming into this series, only to lose it Monday night. All year, they acknowledged that their path would likely go through the Warriors when the postseason came. General manager Daryl Morey said it even more explicitly: “We’re basically obsessed with ‘How do we beat the Warriors?’”

But Game 1 wasn’t the mark they hoped to leave, despite Harden dipping into his nitrous tank for a devastating 41. If the sport was a two-on-two league, then he and Paul would have played Durant and Curry to a standstill.

The problem is, of course, that it’s not. From the third man to the ninth, Houston was thoroughly outplayed. That simply didn’t work well enough. “Obviously, everybody wants to be at their best, it’s the conference finals,” Mbah a Moute said. “You want to play at your best, you want to be at your best, it doesn’t matter who you are.” Mbah a Moute is one role player who didn’t. He went 0-of-6 from the field, finished minus-16, his second-worst plus-minus all year, and admitted to ESPN after the game he’s still not fully trusting his twice-injured shoulder.

He certainly wasn’t the only Rockets’ role-player who didn’t play up to snuff. P.J. Tucker was 0-of-3, and Trevor Ariza’s eight points were almost outnumbered by his five fouls that limited him to 23 minutes. Gerald Green’s two triples were evened out by several costly blown switches, and he wasn’t the only one to miss a few assignments. (“You can’t make mistakes against them,” Mbah a Moute said.) Mike D’Antoni tried Ryan Anderson as a backup center in the first half and Nene in the second, and neither did anything meaningful. At least Eric Gordon scored 15, though it looked neither pretty nor sustainable.

“I think collectively as a team, no matter how many minutes, no matter what we do, nobody on our team did enough,” Tucker said afterwards. Golden State specifically won’t let role players do said roles comfortably. They aren’t leaving them open except in dire help situations, and they are inviting them to attempt contested shots. Give Tucker and Ariza open corner threes, and they can bury them. But ask them to make plays, to give Harden one 24-second breather before he resumes his mismatch sauté again, and the Warriors are gleeful. Any shot that isn’t a three or an open layup and doesn’t come from Harden or Paul is a win.

This is a cheap way of looking at the complicated process of winning basketball games, but it illustrates the problem with matching up against the unfair Warriors. They have unlimited talent stemming from the top, and they have wizened veterans complementing them. They even got three triples from Nick Young off the bench, which felt unfair. But “unfair” is the Bay Area’s word of the decade ever since July 2016.

Houston’s chance to surge back into the series doesn’t start with their best players, but in finding an overall team effort that exceeds their Game 1 output. Harden and Paul can be even better, but better in terms of helping their teammates thrive, not increasing their own output. The Rockets need to manufacture a few more productive offensive possessions that don’t involve their two stars, whether that comes in transition or with more off-ball movement. Those two must be smarter doing that, too. D’Antoni joked that he would ask Harden to score 55 points next game, but both know that his 41 points must be accompanied by more help.

“The same way we’ve been doing it all year,” Harden said when asked how to get his teammates going. “Making sure those guys have confidence going into every single game. We’re all in this together, so it doesn’t matter who has a bad game or who is missing shots. We’re in this, whether it’s myself, Chris, or anybody, keep going, keep shooting your shot and keep being aggressive. We got this far doing that and having that mindset.”

But still, nothing can change the fact that Golden State have more talented players filling those same roles. Talent doesn’t always beat execution, but in WarriorsLand, it almost always has. Houston’s only chance in this series is if it doesn’t. Houston is the a rare team that can match the Warriors’ top performers. But you still have to address the entire roster, and that’s where their problems begin.

White Sox vs Pirates

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Their latest trend — flat-bad starts by their starters fueling big first innings for their opponents — continued on a night they had their best pitcher going, so it seems no Sox pitcher is immune to these first-inning bashings, which are taking them out of games before their own cleanup batter comes up.

The Pirates clobbered Reynaldo Lopez, who entered with a 2.44 ERA, with four runs in the first, then tacked on two in the second to send the Sox to their 12th defeat in 14 games. And they did it in rapid-fire fashion, with a home run by Adam Frazier on Lopez’s second pitch, followed by a single by Gregory Polanco, a double by Starling Marte and a two-run double by cleanup man Josh Bell.

The Sox now have allowed 41 runs in the first inning. Against the Cubs over the weekend, Carson Fulmer gave up five runs in the first, James Shields surrendered four and Lucas Giolito two. To Giolito’s credit, he found a way to survive Sunday and help the Sox break a seven-game losing streak.

But Lopez, facing the Pirates for the second time in a week, couldn’t and got hit hard. While Lopez disagreed with the assessment, manager Rick Renteria said Lopez “was grappling with his emotions and struggling to focus.”

“I don’t think he came in very focused,” Renteria said. “When you come into your start . . . you come in ready to do what you need to do. That focus is vitally important.”

Lopez said he felt bad and frustrated about the result, but said he felt like he was ready to pitch.

“You always want to pitch good, but tonight was just a bad game,” he said.

“I felt good at the beginning of the game. I don’t know what happened. I was throwing strikes and feeling good, but I don’t have an answer. I feel I didn’t lose my focus, but it was a bad day. Everyone has a bad day.”

Lopez wasn’t helped much by all three of his outfielders failing to make catches on balls that looked to be playable but were ruled hits. Left fielder Nicky Delmonico did a complete 360 under Colin Moran’s liner over his head in the first, center fielder Leury Garcia jumped near the fence but watched Marte’s high, deep drive pop out of his glove for a triple in the second, and right fielder Daniel Palka tried but couldn’t glove Polanco’s tough sinking liner in the first.

Lopez figured to halt the first-inning issues but could not, leaving with a 3.50 ERA after giving up two more hits in the second and failing to record an out in the third. Chris Beck followed with 3⅔ hitless innings, leaving in the sixth with the Sox still trailing 6-0.

Trevor Williams (5-2) held the Sox to six hits while striking out six over seven innings. He walked none.

Before the game, the talk around the clubhouse was mostly about what a bright star Lopez has been in the Sox’ rebuild. In fact, Renteria praised his ability to control his emotions.

“Lopey’s ability to manage those emotions is a big part of him being able to grind through those moments,’’ Renteria said. “He’s not an arrogant young man, but he’s a confident young man who trusts what he has in his arm.’’

The only thing the Sox were feeling Tuesday was another loss. They’ll try to get out of Pittsburgh with a win Wednesday; the game starts at 11:35 a.m. Here’s to hoping left-handed starter Hector Santiago is a morning person.

“I wish I was that smart to know what is going on in those [first innings],” Renteria said. “It comes down to focus and execution. I wish I had something prophetic.”

Astros vs Angels

His only other appearance in Anaheim came with the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 21, 2013, the third game of his major league career. He allowed two runs and four hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 5-2 win, and would go on to become the first Pirates pitcher since 1907 to win his first four starts.

After five seasons with the Pirates, Cole was traded to the Astros this past offseason, and he has strung together another strong start with his new team.

He comes in second in the majors in earned run average behind teammate Justin Verlander, the scheduled starter for Wednesday’s series finale.

“He’s got the ability to stay competitive in the mid-90s and then reach back for the high 90s,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch told reporters after Cole allowed one run and four hits in six innings in a 4-1 win against the Oakland A’s on Wednesday. “There’s a single digit on your hand (for) how many guys can do that.”

Cole took his only loss of the season against the Angels on April 23, however, allowing two runs and four hits in seven innings. He was outperformed by Los Angeles left-hander Tyler Skaggs, who threw seven shutout innings in the 2-0 victory.

 

In his toughest test so far, he blanked the Colorado Rockies for 5 1/3 innings on Wednesday, and the bullpen maintained the shutout in the 8-0 victory.His teammates are impressed by what they’ve seen so far.

“You don’t see a lot of young guys come up here and fill the zone up like he does,” Angels infielder Zack Cozart told Fox Sports West. “That’s the ultimate key in pitching is throwing a lot of strikes, and once you establish that, you can start working your way out of the zone.”

Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun is hitting just .158, but the former Gold Glove winner has remained stellar in the field. He reached into the stands to catch a fly ball in the ninth inning on Monday, then threw out George Springer trying to advance to second base.

“He’s such a gamer and he knows it’s important what he does in right field for us,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters after the game. “He’s going to help us any way he can. He’s working hard, almost too hard on the offensive end. Kind of taking baby steps, but that’s not going to affect what he does on defense.”

It was the second straight 2-1 victory for the Angels, who edged the Minnesota Twins on Sunday behind another rookie right-hander, Shohei Ohtani.

The Astros, meanwhile, have not allowed more than two runs in their past seven games and Cole should have plenty of incentive to keep that streak Justin Upton singled home the tiebreaking run in the sixth inning for the Angels (25-16), who beat the defending World Series champions (26-17) for the third time in four meetings this season.

Luis Valbuena drove in an early run for the Angels in the opener of a three-game series between the Astros and their most significant early-season rival in the AL West. The Angels entered the week trailing the Astros by just one game after trailing Houston by eight games at the same point last season.

Heaney (2-2) led the way, limiting Houston to five baserunners over eight innings while outpitching Lance McCullers Jr., who took his first loss in seven starts since April 6.

“I think we want to establish that it’s not a (surprise) we just won that game,” Heaney said. “It’s (saying) we can beat those guys. We’re just as good, if not better than these guys.”

Houston native Justin Anderson allowed three baserunners in the ninth, but the Angels rookie still earned his first career save with help from Calhoun , whose profound struggles at the plate haven’t affected his superb defense.

After the right fielder caught Alex Bregman’s long fly in foul territory, he pivoted and threw out speedy George Springer, who tagged up and attempted to take second.

Calhoun’s throw and Andrelton Simmons’ clever tag on Springer completed a double play with Calhoun’s major league-leading sixth outfield assist.”That’s a hard throw to make, but he’s one of the best,” Springer said of Calhoun. “He made a great throw, and you move on to tomorrow.”Anderson then allowed Jose Altuve’s single and walked Carlos Correa in the ninth, but survived when Yuli Gurriel grounded out.

“That’s a big win for us, playing one of the hottest teams in baseball,” Anderson said. “Took a little longer, made it a little more interesting for everybody, but it was fun.”

McCullers (5-2) pitched six innings of four-hit ball while striking out six. But in the sixth, McCullers walked Martin Maldonado and Mike Trout before Upton’s two-out single to left.

The RBI was the 19th of the month for Upton, who came into the night leading the majors in RBIs in May.