NEW YORK — Michael Conforto hit a tiebreaking homer moments after an embarrassing error by Cleveland Indians left fielder Oscar Mercado, and the resurgent New York Mets rolled from there to a 9-2 victory Tuesday night.
J.D. Davis also went deep and Steven Matz (8-7) permitted only one earned run in 6 1/3 innings as the Mets opened a critical homestand against a trio of playoff contenders with a resounding performance. New York (65-60), which began the day two games out of a wild-card spot, improved to 25-10 since the All-Star break and matched a season best at five games over .500.
Pete Alonso hit a two-run double to cap a four-run seventh that broke it open.
All-Star Game MVP Shane Bieber (12-6) gave up four runs — two earned — and four hits in six innings for the Indians.
Jason Kipnis homered early and hit an RBI single for the Indians, but their first trip to Queens since 2004 was a flop. Cleveland split a four-game series at Yankee Stadium last weekend to begin an eight-day stay in New York City.
PHILLIES 3, RED SOX 2
BOSTON (AP) — Aaron Nola pitched seven innings of four-hit ball to win for the sixth time in his last seven decisions, getting three runs of support in the first inning as Philadelphia cruised past Boston.
Three of the first four Philadelphia batters reached base, including back-to-back doubles by Bryce Harper and Jean Segura. Boston made it 3-2 on Jackie Bradley Jr.’s homer in the third but managed just four more hits the rest of the game.
Nola (12-3) allowed two runs and one walk while striking out seven. Hector Neris earned his 22nd save.
Red Sox starter Brian Johnson (1-2) allowed three runs, six hits and two walks, striking out four in 3 2/3 innings as Boston ended a five-game winning streak.
ORIOLES 4, ROYALS 1
BALTIMORE (AP) — Hanser Alberto hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the eighth, and Baltimore ended an eight-game losing streak.
Royals reliever Jacob Barnes (1-2) sandwiched a pair of walks around two outs before Alberto hit a 1-1 pitch into the Baltimore bullpen for his eighth home run.
Hunter Harvey (1-0) worked a perfect eighth to earn his first major league win and Mychal Givens got three outs for his 10th save.
Baltimore had lost 13 of its previous 14 games.
Kansas City’s lone run came in the second inning, when Meibrys Viloria hit a sacrifice fly following singles by Alex Gordon and Ryan O’Hearn.
ANGELS 5, RANGERS 1, 1ST GAME
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Mike Trout matched the MLB lead with his career-best 42nd homer, Andrew Heaney had a career-high 14 strikeouts without a walk over eight innings and Los Angeles beat Texas in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.
Trout lined a two-run shot into the left field seats after David Fletcher led off the game with a single off Joe Palumbo (0-2). It was Trout’s 10th homer this year against the Rangers, matching the most ever by an opponent against them in the same season.
The doubleheader opener was the makeup of the July 1 game that was postponed after pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room the last time the Angels played in Texas. The coroner hasn’t released a cause of death for Skaggs, who was 27.
Heaney (3-3) allowed consecutive one-out singles in the first inning. The lefty then retired 16 batters in a row until Willie Calhoun’s two-out homer in the sixth, one of only four hits he allowed.
Luis Rengifo also hit a two-run homer in the fifth that made it 5-0.
REDS 3, PADRES 2
CINCINNATI (AP) — Freddy Galvis hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the sixth inning, and Aristides Aquino added an RBI single as Cincinnati beat San Diego.
Galvis, claimed off waivers from Toronto on August 12, followed Josh VanMeter’s second hit of the game with an opposite-field drive to left. It was his second home run in two nights and career-high 21st of the season.
Sonny Gray struck out 10 batters in six innings, reaching double figures for the third time this season and seventh in his career. He won his third consecutive start and improved to 4-0 in his last five outings. Gray (9-6) gave up four hits and three walks.
Raisel Iglesias pitched the ninth for his 24th save.
Cal Quantrill (6-4) almost matched Gray strikeout-for-strikeout. He tied a career-high with nine strikeouts with no walks in six innings, allowing five hits and three runs.
BRAVES 5, MARLINS 1
ATLANTA (AP) — Freddie Freeman homered twice and drove in four runs, Dallas Keuchel kept working out of trouble and Atlanta defeated Miami.
Freeman sent one went the opposite way in the fourth. The next inning, the Braves slugger went deep again with two outs to break a 1-1 tie, launching a pitch from Tyler Kinley (1-1) into the right-field seats for his 33rd homer of the season and second multi-homer game of the homestand.
The third Miami pitcher, Austin Brice, didn’t fare any better against Freeman, giving up a two-run single in the seventh.
Keuchel (4-5) went six innings, limiting the Marlins to Jon Berti’s third-inning homer.
Elieser Hernandez plunked Atlanta star Ronald Acuna Jr. in the back with his very first pitch of the game, rekindling tensions between the NL East rivals and leading to the ejection of Braves manager Brian Snitker.
Hernandez was lifted after four innings because of a blister on his right middle finger. He allowed three hits, walked two and struck out five during a 68-pitch outing.
PIRATES 4, NATIONALS 1
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Starling Marte hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in eighth inning, and Pittsburgh beat Washington.
After struggling to manage anything off Stephen Strasburg through seven innings, Pittsburgh loaded the bases against Wander Suero (3-7) with nobody out in the eighth when Adam Frazier bunted a single past the mound. Bryan Reynolds tied it 1-1 with a sacrifice fly before Marte drove a fastball from Daniel Hudson 397 feet to right-centre for his 22nd homer of the season.
Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez (3-1) went 1 1/3 inning, allowing one hit with one strikeout.
Suero, who gave up two hits and one walk, was responsible for three of Pittsburgh’s four eighth-inning runs.
Strasburg allowed four hits and had six strikeouts in seven innings, and left the game on track for what would have been his career-high 16th win. He has 15 wins in four of his first 10 major league seasons.
MARINERS 7, RAYS 4
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tom Murphy hit a tiebreaking homer, his sixth in four games, in the sixth inning to lift Seattle over Tampa Bay.
Murphy’s 16th homer of the season came off Jalen Beeks (5-3) after a walk to Kyle Seager. Murphy became the first Mariners catcher to homer in four straight games.
The Rays began the day one game ahead of Oakland for the AL’s second wild card. The Athletics hosted the New York Yankees later.
Tommy Milone (3-7) got the win after giving up four runs in five innings of relief, helping Seattle to its sixth victory in eight games. Matt Magill pitched the ninth for his second save in two tries.