HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched a two-hitter and lost, allowing homers to John Hicks and Ronny Rodriguez as the Detroit Tigers beat the Houston Astros 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Hicks led off the ninth with a tiebreaking blast to left-centre field off Verlander (15-5), who leads the majors in strikeouts with 239 but ranks second in homers allowed with 33.
The veteran right-hander retired the first 14 batters, with six strikeouts, before Rodriguez homered to the seats in right with two outs in the fifth. Verlander sat down another 10 straight before Hicks connected.
With Verlander on the mound at home against the worst team in the majors, the Astros were more than a 5-1 favourite, one of the biggest favourites in an MLB game that Las Vegas oddsmakers could remember.
Buck Farmer (5-4) walked one in a scoreless eighth and Joe Jimenez finished the Tigers’ six-hitter for his fourth save.
METS 4, INDIANS 3, 10 INNINGS
NEW YORK (AP) — J.D. Davis lined an RBI single with two outs that capped a two-run rally in the 10th inning, and New York beat Cleveland.
All-Star reliever Brad Hand’s failure to cover first base on a potential game-ending double-play grounder cost Cleveland. Davis made the Indians pay with his first career game-ending hit.
The Mets won their fourth in a row and for the 20th time in 25 games, moving a season-high six over .500.
Carlos Santana hit a solo home run with two outs in the Cleveland 10th off Luis Avilan (4-0) for a 3-2 lead.
Amed Rosario opened the Mets 10th with a double off Hand (6-4), who later broke for the plate on what could have been a double play as the tying run scored.
CUBS 12, GIANTS 11
CHICAGO (AP) — Kris Bryant hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning to give Chicago a wild victory over San Francisco.
Nicholas Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber also connected for Chicago, which has won four straight despite losing leads twice in the last four innings. The Cubs moved back into first place in the NL Central by a half-game over St. Louis, which lost to Milwaukee in a rain-shortened game.
Castellanos, who went 4 for 5, has homered in three straight games for the second time in his career.
Evan Longoria, Mike Yastrzemski, Stephen Vogt and Kevin Pillar homered for San Francisco, which has dropped three straight.
Castellanos led off the eighth with an infield single to set the stage for Bryant, who stroked a 1-1 pitch from Reyes Moronta (3-7) into the left field bleachers.
Brandon Kintzler (3-2) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win and Craig Kimbrel worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 11th save.
DODGERS 2, BLUE JAYS 1, 10 INNINGS
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Max Muncy homered in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift Los Angeles over Toronto for its 50th home victory of the season.
Will Smith also went deep and Walker Buehler threw seven shutout innings for the major league-leading Dodgers, who have baseball’s best home record as well at 50-16.
Muncy sent his 33rd homer to centre field off Tim Mayza (1-3) with one out. The slugger picked up the Dodgers after closer Kenley Jansen gave up a tying homer to Rowdy Tellez in the ninth. Fans booed Jansen after he got two more outs to end the inning.
Pedro Baez (7-2) got the win with one inning of relief.
ATHLETICS 6, YANKEES 4
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Khris Davis and Marcus Semien each hit a two-run homer to lead Mike Fiers and the Oakland Athletics past New York.
Davis snapped an 0-for-17 slump — three at-bats shy of the longest hitless drought of his career — with his first home run since July 30 and second since June 18. It was just his 18th homer after he led the majors last season with 48 for his third straight year with 40 or more.
Stephen Piscotty added a solo home run for the A’s.
Mike Ford homered for the Yankees, and Didi Gregorius added an RBI double.
Liam Hendriks struck out DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge in the eighth to escape a jam after top pitching prospect A.J. Puk started the inning for his long-awaited major league debut. Hendriks finished for his 15th save as Oakland moved a season-best 20 games over .500.
Fiers (12-3) allowed two runs and six hits over 5 1/3 innings on the four-year anniversary of the first of his two no-hitters. Oakland won for the sixth time in seven games.
Yankees lefty J.A. Happ (10-8) permitted five runs and four hits in four innings.
BREWERS 5, CARDINALS 3, 7 1/2 INNINGS
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Mike Moustakas homered and Keston Hiura drove in a pair of runs to lead Milwaukee over St. Louis in a rain-shortened game.
The game was stopped after 7 1/2 innings and made official following a rain delay of 66 minutes.
Milwaukee broke a six-game losing streak against the Cardinals, who were knocked out of first place in the NL Central — falling one-half game behind the Cubs.
Adrian Houser (6-5) gave up three runs — one earned — and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Junior Guerra got the last out in the bottom of the seventh and earned his third save.
Moustakas, who also walked three times, hit a three-run homer in the first off Adam Wainwright (9-9) to highlight a four-run outburst.
PHILLIES 5, RED SOX 2
BOSTON (AP) — Bryce Harper homered to give Philadelphia a fifth-inning lead, and Corey Dickerson drove in two runs with a triple and a single to help the Phillies sweep a two-game series with Boston.
Jared Hughes (4-5) earned the win with 1 1/3 hitless innings of relief after Drew Smyly lasted just 3 2/3 innings. Hector Neris pitched the ninth for his 23rd save.
Rick Porcello (11-10) allowed just one hit through four innings before Cesar Hernandez led off the fifth with a double.
Hernandez took off on a wild pitch and scored when the throw got past Rafael Devers at third base. After a walk, Harper cleared the Green Monster with a two-run shot, his 27th homer of the year.
RAYS 7, MARINERS 6
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Kevin Kiermaier drove in four runs, including a solo homer during a two-run ninth inning, and Tampa Bay beat Seattle to avoid a three-game sweep.
Kiermaier tied it at 6-6 on a leadoff homer against Matt Magill (3-1). The Rays then loaded the bases on Willy Adames’ single, a double by Mike Brosseau and an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Ji-Man Choi with no outs before Magill’s wild pitch with Tommy Pham batting allowed Adames to score the winning run.
Daniel Vogelbach had a solo homer and Mallex Smith added a two-run triple off Emilio Pagan (3-2) as the Mariners went up 6-5 in the top of the ninth.
Tampa Bay ace Charlie Morton was bidding for his 14th win but struggled in a five-inning, 99-pitch start, giving up three runs, four hits, two walks and striking out three.
WHITE SOX 4, TWINS 0
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Lucas Giolito pitched a three-hit shutout of the second-highest scoring team in the major leagues, racking up 12 strikeouts as Chicago took the series from AL Central-leading Minnesota.
Giolito (14-6) allowed only runner past first base, a double by Jonathan Schoop in the eighth. The 25-year-old fanned Jake Cave to finish that inning and reach double-digit strikeouts for the third straight time, the first White Sox starter to do so since Chris Sale did so in eight consecutive turns in 2015.
Giolito matched Cleveland’s Shane Bieber for the major league lead with his third complete game of the season. The White Sox and Indians have a baseball-best five apiece. Giolito got his with 115 pitches, without a walk.
Jose Abreu went 3 for 5 with two RBIs for the White Sox, with Leury Garcia and Tim Anderson each producing two hits. The trio scored all four runs against Twins starter Jake Odorizzi (13-6).
BRAVES 5, MARLINS 0
ATLANTA (AP) — Adeiny Hechavarria and Ronald Acuna Jr. each hit a two-run homer, Julio Teheran struck out a season-high nine and Atlanta beat Miami.
The Braves are 14-4 against Miami this year after winning the 2018 season series between the NL East rivals 14-5.
Teheran (8-8) combined with Sean Newcomb and Josh Tomlin for a seven-hitter. The right-hander allowed five hits in seven innings.
Acuna’s shot off Caleb Smith (8-7) in the fifth cleared the centre field wall. His team-leading 36th homer came one night after he was hit by Elieser Hernandez’s first pitch, leading to the ejection of Braves manager Brian Snitker.
NATIONALS 11, PIRATES 1
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Patrick Corbin pitched eight scoreless innings to remain unbeaten in more than two months, and Asdrubal Cabrera’s three-run home run capped a six-run third as Washington rolled past Pittsburgh.
Corbin (10-5) struck out four and walked two while throwing 93 pitches to help the Nationals maintain their lead atop the NL wild-card standings.
Joe Musgrove (8-12) gave up six runs and seven hits in five innings as Pittsburgh lost for the 29th time in 37 games since the All-Star break.
ORIOLES 8, ROYALS 1
BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore tied a major league record by allowing its 258th home run this season but hit four of its own to beat Kansas City.
Anthony Santander and Renato Nunez hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning for the Orioles, who won their first series since July 25-27 at the Los Angeles Angels. Jonathan Villar and Hanser Alberto also went deep.
Whit Merrifield’s homer was the record-tying blast against Baltimore. The Orioles have 35 games to surpass the 2016 Cincinnati Reds for the most homers allowed in a season.
Aaron Brooks (3-7) picked up his first win in eight starts with the Orioles since being claimed on waivers from Oakland on July 6.
Villar put the Orioles ahead with a two-run shot off Mike Montgomery (3-6).
RANGERS 8, ANGELS 7
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Hunter Pence drove in three runs, including an RBI single in the ninth inning that pushed Texas past Los Angeles.
Elvis Andrus led off the ninth with a single up the middle off Trevor Cahill (3-8), the seventh Angels pitcher. After two wild pitches got Andrus to third, Pence grounded a single through the left side of the infield.
The Rangers won three times in the four-game series.
Jonathan Hernandez (1-0) worked the final 2 1/3 innings to win in his major league debut.
REDS 4, PADRES 2
CINCINNATI (AP) — Luis Castillo shook off his worst career start to pitch six solid innings and Jose Iglesias hit a solo home run to pace the Reds.
Castillo (12-5), who allowed nine hits and eight runs on Friday against St. Louis, bounced back to limit San Diego to five hits and one run with four strikeouts.
The Reds sent nine batters to the plate while scoring three runs in a third inning, started by Eric Yardley (0-1), who got the loss in his major league debut.
Nick Senzel led off with a line drive that left fielder Josh Naylor misplayed for a two-base error and scored one out later on Eugenio Suarez’s single.
Iglesias lofted his ninth homer of the season into the seats down the left-field line with one out in the fourth inning for a 4-1 lead.
Cincinnati’s Michael Lorenzen had two strikeouts in a perfect eighth. Raisel Iglesias had two strikeouts in the ninth on the way to his 26th save.
ROCKIES 7, DIAMONDBACKS 2
PHOENIX (AP) — Tim Melville pitched seven innings of two-hit ball in his first major league appearance in almost two years, and Colorado cruised past Arizona.
Melville (1-0), a 29-year-old right-hander with just six previous big-league appearances who started this season in independent ball, limited Arizona to a first-inning double and a sixth-inning home run to go with four strikeouts and two walks. He also picked up his first major-league hit — a two-out, fourth-inning single — and his first two career RBIs.
Ketel Marte and Alex Avila homered for the Diamondbacks, who had their four-game win streak snapped.
The Rockies jumped on struggling Arizona starter Mike Leake (9-10) early with two runs on three straight singles and a fielder’s choice in the top of the first.