An impressive performance by Jack Campbell helped the lowly Los Angeles Kings (Los Angeles Kings championship rings) push the Arizona Coyotes to the brink of elimination from the Western Conference playoff race.
Campbell made a career-high 49 saves and Trevor Lewis scored 3:29 into the third period, sending the Kings to a 3-1 victory over the Coyotes on Tuesday night.
"Even though it's been a disappointing year, it's still fun to play against teams that are on their games down the stretch," Campbell said. "It's definitely fun to kind of be the villains and to try to eliminate teams from the playoffs."
Tyler Clifford had a goal and an assist for Los Angeles (cheap championship rings) (30-41-9), which had dropped three of four. Drew Doughty added an empty-netter with 44.4 seconds left.
Arizona fell four points behind Colorado for the second wild card in the Western Conference. The Coyotes (38-34-8) need to win their final two games and have Colorado lose its last two in order to have a chance to get in.
"Our job is to come in (Wednesday). I know guys are going to be down," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said, "but our coaching staff has to get the energy level up for these guys."
Brad Richardson scored for Arizona, and Darcy Kuemper made 16 saves before he was accidentally struck in the eye when Lewis raised his stick after his backhand goal.
Kuemper, who has played a key role in Arizona's push for a wild card, was replaced by Calvin Pickard.
"It looked bad but I think he's going to be OK," Tocchet said. "He said he feels OK."
The Coyotes (stanley cup ring for sale) came up empty on six power plays and lamented their many missed opportunities.
"You can play really great and make a mistake and end up in the back of your net, and it's not always the same on the other foot," center Derek Stepan said. "It's tough to score goals at this time of year."
Arizona jumped in front when Vinnie Hinostroza set up Richardson 16:06 into the second. Hinostroza gathered in a turnover and took the puck up the ice for a centering pass to Richardson, who moved into a tie for the team lead with his 18th of the season.
The Kings (stanley cup ring) tied it at 1 with less than a second left in the period. Clifford deflected Tyler Toffoli's shot past Kuemper for his 11th goal.
"That hurt us," Tocchet said. "It's tough. It's still 1-1. ... We had some good looks, a couple guys had some good looks, but we didn't score. That's been the tale of this year, we've had a tough time scoring goals."
The highlight of a scoreless first period was a fight between Clifford and Arizona's Lawson Crouse, the penalty minutes leaders for their respective teams. After Crouse leveled Alec Martinez with a check, Clifford went after Crouse and both exchanged punches while the crowd roared.
Bo Bichette rapped a clean single in the first at-bat of his big league career, and then was greeted by his parents after the Toronto Blue Jays (Toronto Blue Jays championship rings for sale) rolled to a 7-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
What did they say?
"I don't even remember what my mom said," the mop-haired 21-year-old shortstop said, chuckling with a rookie naivete. "My dad said, `Congratulations Bo. You're a big leaguer."
That would be longtime major leaguer Dante Bichette, by the way.
The Blue Jays' (world series rings) top prospect didn't have the biggest impact on the game, though. That was another son of an ex-big leaguer, Cavan Biggio, who hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning and added an RBI single in the ninth. The son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio finished with three hits.
"Cavan goes up to the plate, you know he's going to put together a good at-bat," said Bichette, who played alongside Biggio and another legacy player, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., throughout the minor leagues.
"It was awesome to come in here and look at the lineup and see those names on it," added spot starter Thomas Pannone, who gave the Blue Jays six competitive innings before departing.
Tim Mayza (1-1) earned the victory with a scoreless inning of relief.
The Royals' (custom Kansas City Royals championship rings) Brad Keller (7-10) let just three balls out of the infield until Teoscar Hernandez's tying home run in the fifth inning. The right-hander went on to allow three homers in a game for the first time in his career, and four runs total in seven-plus innings.
"I felt in control the whole time. Even minus those three pitches, I felt pretty good. Just mistakes got me," Keller said. "It's really frustrating, especially when it costs you the game."
The Royals (custom championship rings) didn't get a hit off Pannone until Cam Gallagher's one-out double off the top of the wall in left in the third. Whit Merrifield followed with a single to give Kansas City the lead.
Keller, who fanned four of his first five batters, was cruising along until Hernandez came up in the fifth. He sent a mistake splashing into the fountains an estimated 450 feet from home plate.
Biggio then led off the sixth with a single, and Randal Grichuk turned on a 2-1 pitch moments later, sending it over the left-field wall for his 17th homer. It was his second against Kansas City this season.
Keller, who came into the game with the third-stingiest home run rate in the majors, breezed through the seventh and manager Ned Yost left him in to start the eighth. That's when Biggio followed a deep foul ball with an even deeper fair one for a solo shot that gave the Blue Jays the lead again.
"A tie ballgame, but he still felt strong in that situation and I'm not bringing in a reliever if a guy gets on," Yost said. "I wanted him to keep the ball in the park, which didn't happen."
The Chicago Bears (Chicago Bears championship rings) have a catchphrase to define expectations for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s all-important third NFL season: “Steady, incremental progress.”
Trubisky inadvertently made summer headlines when he became the most popular bet (at 200-to-1) to win the league’s 2019 MVP award, according to several Las Vegas sportsbooks, but the Bears are taking a more measured approach to Trubisky’s upcoming year.
“I would say that is the theme for this camp for me and really my career up to this point. ... Rookie season didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but last year, we saw a little bit of progress, and that’s the theme for this camp, just steady, incremental progress,” Trubisky said on Thursday.
“Are we getting a little bit better each day? Are we staying focused on the task at hand? Are we blocking out everything on the outside? Are we doing our jobs? Are we taking care of our guys inside the building? And are we doing the little things on a daily basis? So it’s getting 1 percent better every day, and I think that’s how you separate yourself in the long run, and that is kind of the theme we are going for in this camp.”
Trubisky passed for 3,223 yards, 24 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and posted a 95.4 passer rating (he also rushed for 421 yards and three touchdowns) during Chicago’s ascension from worst to first in the NFC North, finishing 12-4. The Bears (custom championship rings) lost a first-round home playoff game to the Philadelphia Eagles, but Trubisky’s overall sophomore campaign was a success.
Yet the 24-year-old quarterback believes he's barely scratched the surface.
“I know I haven’t played my best football yet,” Trubisky said. “That’s kind of my mindset. I don’t think I’ve tapped into the talent I have and what I can do and what I can show out on the field, and it’s just putting it all together, really. The flashy plays that I have made, and the mistakes I have made, just getting rid of those and continuing to make those good plays and just being a more consistent overall quarterback.
“But I think just doing the little things. Working hard, being a great teammate and taking care of your brothers is what is going to help me in the long run and just how I have earned my teammates’ trust, how they respect me as a leader. I can bring people together and get all these guys moving in the same direction so we can reach our goals, and it’s not really about what I can do individually, it’s about what we can accomplish as a team. I think a lot of that is what I bring to the table, how I can lead these guys and how I could help us win games.”
The Bears (super bowl ring for sale) are determined to reach the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since 2005-2006. For that to happen, Trubisky must be a steadying force on offense while also using his exceptional physical gifts to make game-changing plays. On a team with few question marks -- outside of placekicker -- Chicago’s fortunes could rest on that steady, incremental progress so many in the organization expect from Trubisky.
“Mitch has improved in all areas,” Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson said. “As I said before, speaking in terms of us all, we all had a lot coming into last year. Whether it was playing with new people, we all had new weapons as far as teammates, playing for a new head coach that none of us have played for. I mean, for him, all aspects of what he brings to the table, he's gotten better."
Sparkman pitched a five-hitter, Whit Merrifield and Hunter Dozier both had three hits including a home run, and the Kansas City Royals (Kansas City Royals championship rings) beat the Chicago White sox 11-0 Tuesday night. "My fastball command was shaky early on," Sparkman said. "Couldn't really locate it as much, and the curveball as well." He wasn't about to leave the game before trying to finish it. Manager Ned Yost approached him after the eighth.
"He asked `How are you feeling?' I said `I feel great," Sparkman said. "So, in the ninth he just said `Keep going.' I was all adrenaline, and excited, so I kept going." Sparkman (3-5) finished with a career-high eight strikeouts and one walk in the Royals' first complete-game shutout since June 2, 2017, when Jason Vargas beat Cleveland 4-0. Kansas City improved to 4-1 since the All-Star break and dropped the White Sox to 0-5.
"We're playing hard," Chicago's Charlie Tilson said. "Obviously, you've got to do a little better. It's part of the game. I think the biggest thing is how you bounce back from it and continue to push and get back to where we need to be." Merrifield, hitting .379 (22 for 58) in a 14-game hitting streak, raced to an inside-the-park homer down the right-field line in the fourth inning after Cam Gallagher doubled. Plate umpire Tom Hallion initially called Merrifield out on the play at home, but it was overturned after a quick replay review. That made the score 6-0 and gave Merrifield the 100th inside-the-park homer in Royals history.
"It was kind of a line drive down the line. I had a feeling it was going to stay fair and it did," Merrifield said. "I saw him dive and miss it and I know that corner. If it's in that corner, it can keep rolling and I knew I had a chance." Dozier hit a two-run, 447-foot homer to left field in the eighth inning to cap a four-run inning and finish the scoring.
Chicago (world series ring) starter Dylan Cease (1-1) gave up six runs -- four earned -- and eight hits in six innings. He walked one and struck out seven. The White Sox had a rocky first inning as the Royals scored twice. Merrifield led off with long fly that was caught by center fielder Tilson as he collided with left fielder Eloy Jimenez, who went down in pain next to the wall. Jimenez was taken out with a sore right elbow. Adalberto Mondesi followed with a single, and took second on Cease's errant pickoff attempt. Mondesi then stole third and continued home when Yoan Moncada missed catcher James McCann's throw. Alex Gordon followed with a single and scored on Hunter Dozier's triple to right for a 2-0 lead.
A third White Sox (custom championship rings) error contributed to the Royals' two-run third inning. After Mondesi singled, shortstop Leury Garcia fielded Gordon's grounder, but threw wildly past second base, allowing Mondesi to score and Gordon to advance to third. Gordon was thrown out at the plate by second baseman Yolmer Sanchez but Bubba Starling's single drove in Jorge Soler to push the lead to 4-0.
Danny Santana had already hit one of the five home runs by the Texas Rangers (championship rings for sale). With a chance to win the game with two outs in the ninth inning, he lined a ball up the middle and then saw Houston center fielder George Springer on a full sprint toward the ball. "When I saw Springer going after it ... I think he is going to catch it," Santana said through a translator. "I'm glad he didn't."
The liner tipped off the end of Springer's glove as the All-Star made an impressive all-out diving attempt, and Elvis Andrus scored from second base to give the Rangers a 9-8 win over AL West-leading Houston on Friday night. They rallied from a four-run deficit after Gerrit Cole struck out 13 in six innings to take over the major league lead. "That was an amazing feeling, an amazing game all around," said Ronald Guzman, whose two-run homer high off the right-field pole in the eighth tied the game at 8. "They hit us, we hit them back. Everything was in there." Andrus had a one-out single and a stolen base before All-Star slugger Joey Gallo drew a walk off Roberto Osuna (3-2). Rougned Odor then struck out for the third time before Santana's game-winning hit. "It went off the end of my glove," said Springer, who had been shaded toward left field and had to run a long way to even have a chance. "It's kind of one of those ones where it's all or nothing." Shawn Kelley (5-2), the fifth Texas pitcher, had a perfect ninth.
Rookie Yordan Alvarez hit two of the four homers for the Astros (custom Houston Astros championship rings) (57-35), who have come out of the All-Star break with two consecutive losses to the surprising Rangers (50-42). Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel, with his 10th homer in 13 games, also went deep. Cole left with an 8-4 lead and his 10th game this season with at least 10 strikeouts. His 183 strikeouts for the season pushed him two past Washington's Max Scherzer for the big league lead. Cole allowed more than two earned runs for the first time in a span of nine starts since his last loss May 22.
The Houston (world series rings) right-hander threw 74 of 101 pitches for strikes. Three of the four hits Cole allowed were solo homers to Shin-Soo Choo, Santana and Gallo. Tim Federowicz hit a homer after Cole was done. "It was like a heavyweight slugfest," said Cole, who has 42 strikeouts over 22 1/3 innings in four starts against Texas this season. "Came up short, but it was an entertaining game. It was quite a game."
Choo had a leadoff homer for the Rangers, and Santana's one-out blast in the second tied the game at 2-2. The next nine outs recorded by Cole, into the fifth, were on strikeouts. The only Texas run in that span was Gallo's 21st homer leading off the fourth. "That doesn't surprise me in this park. That wasn't a lot to do with the park, though. Their approach was good, they hit the ball when they needed to," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "They were tough at-bats. It was kind of a true outcome-type game. They were punching out a ton, they were walking, they were homering and they got the single at the end."
It was the fifth time this season the Rangers won after trailing by four runs or more. ... The nine combined homers were the most in a game at the Rangers' ballpark since 2010, when Texas and Boston also had nine. ... Alvarez has nine homers and 27 RBI in his first 21 career games. ... Gallo has four homers and 15 strikeouts in 22 career at-bats against Cole. ... Andrus' two stolen bases gave him 21 for his club-record 10th season with at least 20.
He struck out 10 in 5 2/3 innings to help the Rays (championship rings for sale) split a four-game series with the AL East-leading New Yok Yankees , 2-1 on Sunday.
Morton (10-2) allowed one run, five hits and one walk in lowering his AL-best ERA to 2.32. The AL All-Star has given up two or fewer runs in 15 of 19 starts.
"I feel good about my body of work in the first half," Morton said. "I think for the most part I kept the team in the game."
Emilio Pagan, the fourth Tampa Bay reliever, worked the ninth to get his fifth save and complete the five-hitter.
Brett Gardner homered and James Paxton (5-4) gave up two runs and seven hits with 11 strikeouts over six innings for the Yankees, who have a 6 1/2 lead over Tampa Bay.
"We're in a really good spot," Gardner said. "Overall, I think the first half has gone really well for us. We played some good baseball. We've, obviously, dealt with a lot of adversity."
New York (cheap New York Yankees championship rings) has had 21 players in 24 stints on the injured list. Ace Luis Severino, reliever Dellin Betances and slugger Giancarlo Stanton are among 13 players currently on the IL.
New York took the first two games of the series, both in extra innings, before the Rays won Saturday on Travis d'Arnaud's tiebreaking solo homer with two outs in the ninth.
"We were in every game, and they know that," Rays left fielder Tommy Pham said.
"It could have gone four games to zero either way. That just shows how tough we play each other."
D'Arnaud doubled leading off the first and scored when second-place hitter Pham hit a liner to center that resulted in a double when the Yankees left second base uncovered.
"It was heads-up by Pham," New York manager Aaron Boone said.
Pham went to third on Yandy Diaz's single and came home to put the Rays (mlb championship rings for sale) up 2-0 on a grounder by Avisail Garcia.
Gardner homered for the third consecutive game on a second-inning solo shot. It was his third homer in 17 at-bats against Morton.
Morton worked out of a two-on, no-out jam in the third by striking out Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge, and getting a fly ball from Didi Gregorius.
"There were a couple of jams that he got out of," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "To do it against that lineup, which is as good as anybody in baseball, it shows how much he was on today."
Judge took a third strike called by plate umpire Vic Carapazza, which the slugger and Boone thought was low.
"I really thought Judgy worked a walk there, which is a big play in that game," Boone said. "Very frustrating."
Judge struck out in all three at-bats against Morton.
"He can work that two-seam fastball on both sides of the plate," Judge said. "And then he keeps you honest with that big curveball. It's a tough at-bat."
Yankees (MLB Teams championship rings) All-Star INFs DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres were out of the starting lineup. "Just feel like both of those guys need a day," Boone said. "These are guys that we've leaned on heavily. We've been through a really tough stretch of games with obviously going over to London." New York C Gary Sanchez was the DH, while Rays OF Austin Meadows also got a break.
Mike Trout is on a roll and it's helping the Los Angeles Angels (championship rings for sale) get on one, too.
Trout hit his American League-leading 26th homer, and Kole Calhoun, Shohei Ohtani and Andrelton Simmons also went deep to give the Angels a 5-4 win over the Houston Astros on Friday night.
Calhoun, Ohtani and Simmons all connected off Houston starter Justin Verlander (10-4) as he gave up three home runs for the third time in his last five starts.
The Angels won for the third time in the four games since pitcher Tyler Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room on Monday.
"Obviously, it's good to get back into things, but we're still thinking about him," Trout said. "He's watching over us and (we're) just going out there playing for him."
The victory snaps a seven-game skid against Houston and ends a five-game winning streak overall by the Astros.
Los Angeles (mlb world series championship rings) was swept in a three-game series against the Athletics before getting on track in the last few days. Trout's home run came off Hector Rondon with no outs in the eighth to make it 5-2. It's his third straight game with a homer and his 26 home runs are tied for his most before the All-Star break and most in franchise history before the midsummer classic.
Calhoun called Trout's recent offensive outburst "special."
"He's a guy that can carry this ballclub," he said. "We can go a long way on his back."
The three homers tied a season high for Verlander and he also matched a season high by allowing four runs in seven innings.
"I've seen Verlander firsthand, saw him for years," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. "Great competitor, great pitcher and you know you're in for a battle. With that being said, I haven't come across any pitcher who's pitched in the big leagues for any length of time who's unbeatable. You will find most of them have losses. Really, the frame of mind is, yeah, it's going to be tough but nobody is unbeatable."
Verlander has allowed an MLB-leading 26 home runs this season, including 12 in his last five starts.
"I've got to do a better job of keeping the ball in the yard," he said. "It's been a common theme here all year really, but really the last four or five starts. I've got to figure out a way to combat this thing."
Noe Ramirez opened the game and threw a perfect first before Felix Pena (6-2) took over and allowed three hits and two runs while striking out five in four innings.
Michael Brantley homered and tied a career high with four hits as he finished a triple shy of the cycle, and Yuli Gurriel had a two-run shot as he homered for the third straight game. Brantley opened Houston's second with a home run to right field to make it 1-0.
Brantley singled with one out in the eighth before Gurriel got Houston within a run with his two-out shot to right field off Cam Bedrosian.
Hansel Robles pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save.
David Fletcher singled with one out in the third before Calhoun sent a pitch from Verlander into the bullpen in right-center for his 19th homer to put the Angels up 2-1.
There were two outs in the inning with Ohtani, who turned 25 on Friday, added a solo shot to push the lead to 3-1.
Brantley and Yordan Alvarez hit consecutive doubles with one out in the fourth before Brantley scored on a groundout by Gurriel to cut the lead to 1.
Simmons opened the sixth inning with his home run to the seats in left field to extend the lead to 4-2.
The Astros (Houston Astros championship rings for sale) had a chance to cut the deficit in the sixth inning when Josh Reddick walked to load the bases with two outs. But Robinson Chirinos grounded into a force out to end the inning.
Verlander allowed seven hits and struck out six to move past Hall of Famer Jim Bunning for 18th place on the all-time strikeouts list with 2,859.
Christian Yelich's throw short-hopped first baseman Eric Thames, deflected off the end of his glove and skittered across the infield. Yasiel Puig saw an opening to end the game.
Puig homered to start Cincinnati's (Cincinnati Reds championship rings for sale) comeback, and he scored the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning Tuesday night, rallying the Reds to a 5-4 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Yelich hit his major league-leading 31st homer as the Brewers got ahead 4-2 and then had a hand in the play that let it get away at the end.
Puig hit a solo homer in the seventh, and Joey Votto doubled home the tying run in the eighth -- only the second time this season that the Brewers failed after leading so late in a game.
Puig singled with two outs in the 11th off Corbin Burnes (1-4) and easily made it to third on Jose Iglesias' single to right. When Yelich's return throw deflected away, Puig decided to take a chance that paid off, sliding in headfirst before the Brewers could make a play.
"I like to play the way I play," Puig said. "Sometimes it's stupid, sometimes it works."
Manager David Bell liked Puig's aggressiveness with the game on the line.
"Man, he willed that win with his base-running," Bell said. "To win a game with base-running, that's pretty cool. That's fun. That doesn't always happen."
The Reds' comeback ended Milwaukee's (cheap championship rings) streak of six straight wins at Great American Ball Park. The Brewers have won 11 of their last 16 against Cincinnati overall, but let this one get away because they couldn't handle a throw to the infield.
"The throw back in hit the ground and came up on me," Thames said. "That's an unfortunate way to lose."
Once the ball deflected off Thames' glove, catcher Yasmani Grandal had to chase it toward third base, giving Puig his opening.
"It got away from Eric too far," manager Craig Counsell said. "If you just knock it down, nothing happens. You can't let it get away from you that much. In the end, we didn't make a defensive play."
Milwaukee (world series rings for sale) pulled ahead 4-2 as Yelich hit the first of the Brewers' three homers off Tanner Roark. Thames and Mike Moustakas also connected .
Yelich got the Brewers going with a solo shot in the fourth, his second in two games. The National League's reigning MVP is the first Brewer to hit 31 before the All-Star break. He's the first National Leaguer with so many homers before the break since Albert Pujols had 32 in 2009. The Orioles' Chris Davis hit 37 in 2013.
Eugenio Suarez had a two-run homer in the first inning off Chase Anderson, his fourth homer in three games. He also had a pair of two-run shots during the Brewers' 8-6 win on Monday. He has hit 20 homers before the All-Star break for the first time in his career.
Jorge Soler and the Kansas City Royals (Kansas City Royals championship rings for sale) took an early blow but kept on fighting.
Soler bounced back after losing a ball in the sun with a homer and two RBI, Brad Keller pitched five innings to win for the first time since May 22 and the Royals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6 Sunday.
Soler reached base three times as the Royals snapped a three-game losing streak and won for the first time in six games north of the border.
"He definitely made up for it," Keller said of Soler's recovery after a rough start. "It's really cool to see that."
Soler redeemed himself further with a diving catch on Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s liner in the seventh inning.
"That was a huge play," manager Ned Yost said.
Soler apologized to Keller after his gaffe in the second, and was still thinking about it when he batted in the third.
"When I came up to bat the next time, with runners on base, I thought to myself that this was a good time to help this team win," Soler said through a translator.
Justin Smoak homered twice for the Blue Jays (mlb championship rings for sale), who had won 14 of their previous 17 home meetings with the Royals. It was the 10th multihomer game of Smoak's career. The home runs were his 13th and 14th of the season.
Smoak hit a two-run homer in the second and a solo homer in the fifth but ended the game by fouling out against Royals right-hander Ian Kennedy in the ninth, stranding the tying run at second base.
Whit Merrifield reached base three times and Alex Gordon drove in a pair as Kansas City (championship sports rings) answered Toronto's five-run second inning with a five-run third against struggling Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez (3-11).
"When we've gotten punched in the mouth we haven't done a good job of responding," Merrifield said. "Winning teams do that, they respond. We haven't done that, but today we did."
Keller (4-9) allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings to end a streak of six straight losing decisions. The right-hander has allowed six or more runs twice in his past three outings.
"It was a grind for him all day long," Yost said. "He was never sharp, but he continued to compete his heart out. That's exactly what I was looking for."
Kevin McCarthy worked two hitless innings and Jake Diekman struck out a pair in a 1-2-3 eighth before Kennedy finished for his 11th save in 13 opportunities.
Royals DH Lucas Duda opened the scoring with an RBI double in the second but the Blue Jays (cheap Toronto Blue Jays championship rings) scored five times in the bottom half. Soler lost Luke Maile's fly ball in the sun, leading to a two-run triple, Eric Sogard hit an RBI single and Smoak followed with a two-run homer.
Handed a four-run cushion, Sanchez promptly allowed the first six batters to reach safely in the third. Humberto Arteaga and Merrifield walked, Nicky Lopez loaded the bases with a single and Gordon's single brought home two runs. Hunter Dozier and Soler hit RBI singles and a fifth run scored when Cheslor Cuthbert grounded into a double play.
Sanchez allowed six runs and seven hits in three-plus innings to lose his 10th straight decision. It's the longest such run by a Toronto pitcher since Ricky Romero lost 13 consecutive decisions in 2012.
Sanchez has walked 52 batters this season, tied with Cincinnati's Luis Castillo for most in the majors.
"The free passes always find a way to come back and haunt me," he said.
Sanchez won the AL ERA title in 2016, but has struggled with injuries and his performance since.
"The stuff is there but, in this league, if you miss some spots some guys can hurt you," Merrifield said of Sanchez.
Soler made it 7-5 with a solo homer off Nick Kingham in the fifth, his 22nd, but Smoak replied with a leadoff blast in the bottom half.
To Aaron Judge, there's an even more enticing sight: The 385-foot fence in center field at the soccer stadium where his New York Yankees (mlb championship rings for sale) will play this weekend.
"I don't mind that at all," he said, smiling.
Europe, you're up.
The Yankees hit two more big flies before jetting off to visit Big Ben and the British capital, beating the Toronto Blue Jays 8-7 Wednesday.
Didi Gregorius and DJ LeMahieu connected as the Yankees extended their major league record to 29 straight games with a home run. Gleyber Torres won it with an RBI single in the ninth inning.
The AL East leaders overcame two homers and a double by Lourdes Gurriel Jr., plus an early 5-0 deficit, to finish a power-packed 9-1 homestand.
Now, they'll head straight from Yankee (cheap New York Yankees championship rings) Stadium to England, where they'll enjoy two days off before playing the Boston Red Sox on Saturday and Sunday at London Stadium in the first major league games in Europe.
"It's different, for sure. It's unique, obviously," LeMahieu said. "To some of the guys it feels like we're going on a field trip."
Manager Aaron Boone was among several Yankees set for "the flight across the pond" to explore London for the first time. He said his family is already overseas and had sent him pictures of a red phone booth, a popular bridge and Heathrow Airport.
"I got some work to do to figure out some touristy things to do," Judge said.
This was New York's final home game until after the All-Star break, on July 12 against the Blue Jays (championship rings for sale). During a break before the bottom of the eighth, the stadium sound system blared "London Calling" by The Clash.
Zack Britton -- pronounced "Britain," in fact -- wasn't so great in giving up Cavan Biggio's RBI single in the ninth that made it 7-all. But Britton (3-1) wound up with the win to close out a three-game sweep.
Gregorius got an infield hit off Nick Kingham (3-2) with one out in the ninth, Aaron Hicks walked and Torres followed with his hit.
LeMahieu stretched his streak to 10 games of getting a hit and scoring a run, the team's longest such string since Johnny Damon's 10-gamer in 2009.
Gurriel hit a three-run homer in the first and a solo drive in the fifth for a 6-5 lead. Danny Jansen also connected for the Blue Jays (custom Toronto Blue Jays championship rings).
Gregorius homered off Trent Thornton and Judge had three hits.
"Every single one of those guys can run the ball out of the yard, especially at a park like this," Thornton said. "So that's when it comes down to really executing your pitches and slowing the game down and getting ahead in the count and making them hit your pitches."
The Champions League trophy -- albeit, a replica -- was on the field to promote a July 24 friendly between champions Liverpool and Sporting Lisbon at Yankee Stadium. Former Liverpool captain John Barnes posed with the trophy, as did Tommy Kahnle, Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka of the Yankees.
Arizona made sure there wouldn't be any late heroics in a fourth straight game by the rival Los Angeles Dodgers (custom Los Angeles Dodgers championship rings).
Instead, it was the Diamondbacks who came up big.
David Peralta hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning and the Diamondbacks rallied for an 8-5 win over the NL West-leading Dodgers on Monday night.
The Dodgers had won their last three on game-ending home runs.
Former Dodger Tim Locastro put the game out of reach with a two-run single off losing pitcher Dylan Floro (2-2), part of a four-run outburst in the eighth for the Diamondbacks. Christian Walker and starting pitcher Zack Greinke homered, Ketel Marte had two hits for his seventh consecutive multi-hit game and Arizona ended the Dodgers' winning streak at six games.
"I tell these guys, once we're in a tie game, let's play all night until somebody comes out and does their job. And I'll bet on us to do it right," Diamondbacks (championship sports rings) manager Torey Lovullo said.
The highly anticipated battle of Cy Young Award winners didn't produce much of a pitchers' duel, though both the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw and Greinke lasted six innings.
Yoan Lopez (1-1) worked a scoreless inning and earned the win.
Max Muncy drove in three runs for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers jumped on Greinke for three runs in the first inning. Joc Peterson and Justin Turner singled, and with one out, Cody Bellinger doubled to right-center, plating the first run. Muncy grounded out to first, allowing Turner to score.
Then, Chris Taylor doubled to right field, bringing home Bellinger. Both Bellinger and Taylor hit first pitches from Greinke.
"I just came out throwing strikes, they came out swinging," Greinke said.
Kershaw was burned twice with two-out mistakes. Walker took him deep to left-center field in the bottom of the first, tying the game. That gave Walker three home runs in his first six career at-bats against the Dodgers' ace, tying him for the most homers against Kershaw among active players.
"Baseball's funny. Things come in bunches," Walker said. "For whatever reason, I see that slider well. Two of them for sure, maybe all three (home runs) on that pitch."
Greinke's second-inning home run was a line drive into the left-field seats, his career-high third of the season.
"It was a bad game. It was just unfortunate they scored three runs early for me and I give it right back," Kershaw said. "It was a tough one for sure. It just lands on my shoulders to do better the next time."
Both pitchers settled down after early struggles, but the Dodgers (world series rings for sale) squandered an opportunity to at least draw even in the sixth. Bellinger singled and Muncy reached on a throwing error, before Greinke struck out the side.
The Dodgers threatened again in the seventh, and after Greinke departed one batter in. Bellinger was intentionally walked a second time, loading the bases. Muncy drew a two-out walk from Yoshihisa Hirano, tying the game at 4-all.
Hirano battled back from a 3-1 count on Taylor, striking him out looking and ending the inning.
Greinke and Kershaw had identical lines of six innings and four runs on seven hits allowed. Greinke struck out six; Kershaw struck out two.
Greg Holland got one out in the ninth for his 200th career save.
McKinney's two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning lifted the Toronto Blue Jays (Toronto Blue Jays championship rings) to a 7-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night to avoid a four-game sweep.
Randal Grichuk singled with one out and McKinney, who entered the game as a pinch-runner in the eighth inning, went deep off Ty Buttrey (4-4) in his first at-bat since being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday. It was McKinney's fourth homer of the season.
"I understand that we have a lot of left-handed batters," the 24-year-old McKinney said. "There are a lot of different scenarios that can happen, and you have to wait for the opportunity."
Nick Kingham (1-0) pitched a scoreless top of the 10th to get the win.
The Blue Jays (championship sports rings) led 5-3 before the Angels pulled within one on Luis Rengifo's RBI single to shallow in the top of the sixth, and tied it on Albert Pujols' sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Rengifo, who homered earlier in the game, finished with three hits, three RBI and two runs scored.
Toronto had an opportunity to take the lead in the eighth inning, but rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit into a double play with the bases loaded to end the inning.
NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard attended the game with his girlfriend Kishele Shipley. They arrived fashionably late to an ovation in the top of the fourth inning as they took their front-row seats beside the Blue Jays dugout. The Toronto Raptors star was serenaded with an M-V-P, M-V-P chant and given a standing ovation. He was caught yawning after a week of celebrating the Raptors' NBA title and left in the bottom of seventh inning.
McKinney admitted he stole a few glances at Leonard, who sat in the first row beside the Blue Jays dugout.
"That was pretty cool that he came to the game today," McKinney said. "I'm a huge fan of his. I love the way he goes about his business and what he's done for the city."
Blue Jays (mlb championship rings for sale) starter Clayton Richard had a different take on the hubbub and ovation when Leonard and Shipley arrived.
"I got 0-and-2 on (Kole) Calhoun, and I thought, man," Richard said, describing the change in atmosphere. "I know I hadn't been 0-2 on a lot of hitters, but they really got excited for that one."
The Blue Jays grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first inning after Eric Sogard -- who had three hits and reached base five times -- opened with a double and scored on Lourdes Gurriel Jr. `s single to left field with one out. Teoscar Hernandez then homered to right with two outs.
Los Angeles pulled to 3-2 on Rengifo's two-run homer in the second.
Sogard homered in the bottom of the inning to push Toronto's lead to 4-2. He added a single in the fourth and walked twice in his final two plate appearances.
The Angels pulled within one again in the fifth. Rengifo singled to left, advanced to third on Dustin Garneau's double, and scored on scored on Wilfredo Tovar's grounder.
Gurriel hit his ninth homer of the season in the fifth to push Toronto's lead to 5-3.
Los Angeles starter Jose Suarez gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings.
Richard allowed four runs and six hits in five innings for Toronto.
MEET ALBERT IN St. Louis
Pujols will return to St. Louis with the Angels for a three-game weekend series against the Cardinals for the first time since leaving his former team for Los Angeles in 2012. Pujols won two World Series and three MVPs in his 11 years in St. Louis.
Christin Stewart's sped his thinking up and slowed down his feet, helping the Detroit Tigers (Detroit Tigers championship rings) end a four-game losing streak in the process.
Stewart was on first with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning of a tie game on Tuesday night when Brandon Dixon hit a sharp grounder to Pittsburgh second baseman Adam Frazier. Rather than keep on sprinting to second, Stewart hesitated as he neared Frazier. Frazier tried futilely to tag Stewart before throwing to first. Nicholas Castellanos scored from third on the play to give Detroit a 5-4 lead it would hold on to -- barely -- to win for just fourth time this month.
"Frazier, I tried to pull him toward first base, and when he didn't turn around and throw to second, I was like, `All right, you're gonna have to tag me," Stewart said. "I just broke down so that he wouldn't tag me. He was running toward me, so I knew that is what he wanted to do."
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle thought Frazier had time to flip the ball to shortstop Kevin Newman in hopes of turning a conventional double play.
"There's a play to be made there and I don't think (the tag) is the one," Hurdle said. "Sometimes things happen. You change your mind in the middle of a play."
Buck Farmer (4-4) earned the win despite giving up Newman's tying RBI triple in the seventh. Joe Jimenez survived a bases-loaded jam in the eighth. Shane Greene earned his American League-leading 21st save by getting Josh Bell to hit into a game-ending double play as the Tigers snapped a four-game losing streak.
"We have been fighting our tails off all season, and we've had some games lately that have been a little bit embarrassing for us," Greene said. "To come out tonight and fight to the end like that and come out with a W is big time."
Miguel Cabrera had two hits in his first start at first base since May 31 as Detroit (custom championship rings) beat the Pirates for just the second time in their last 10 meetings. Detroit's Daniel Norris put together his best start in nearly a month, giving up only Bell's home run to center in the second and Jung Ho Kang's RBI triple in the sixth. Norris struck out four and walked one and was in line to pick up his first victory since May 12 before the bullpen let the lead slip away.
Bell hit his 20th home run for Pittsburgh. Jung Ho Kang hit an RBI triple -- his first three-base hit since 2015 -- and Colin Moran picked up Pittsburgh's major-league leading 33rd pinch hit of the season with an RBI single in the seventh, but the Pirates couldn't overcome a series of miscues while falling to 4-12 in June.
Pittsburgh committed three errors, a number that didn't include Frazier's indecisiveness in the eighth. The Pirates (world series rings) also left nine men on base and went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
"You need to play complete games to win at this level," Hurdle said. "Sometimes it's harder when you don't and that's kind of where we're at right now."
Moran's single and Newman's shot to the right-field corner that extended his hitting streak to 10 games allowed the Pirates to pull even at 4-4 in the seventh, before Crick ran into trouble in the eighth.
Pirates (custom Pittsburgh Pirates championship rings) starter Mitch Keller -- who'd been lit up for 12 runs across seven innings in his first two career starts -- took a modest step forward in his third. The team's top-ranked prospect allowed four runs (two earned) in five innings with two walks and six strikeouts. His outing might have been cleaner if not for a sloppy fourth inning, when his throwing error to first on a sacrifice bunt by Harold Castro and Kang's inability to come up with a sharp grounder by John Hicks allowed the Tigers to take a 4-2 lead.
"Definitely better than the first two," Keller said. "Felt like I had more command of everything tonight. Just mixing well and limiting damage when there were runners on base. That was huge."
Kenley Jansen sent a late-night text to Dodgers (cheap Los Angeles Dodgers championship rings) manager Dave Roberts after his blown save against the Cubs. "I wanted the ball after what happened last night," the closer said. "I really wanted to face them again." Jansen got his wish, and quickly found himself in trouble again. But he escaped again, earning his 21st save the hard way, and Los Angeles rallied to beat Chicago 3-2 Sunday night. Russell Martin singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and Alex Verdugo made a game-saving catch for the final out to help the NL West-leading Dodgers take three of four.
"Got to give them credit, I mean, they worked their way out of a jam there," Chicago's (cheap Chicago Cubs championship rings) Kris Bryant said. "Great play at the end of the game. I thought it was going to get down but it's a good team over there." Martin struck out in his first three at-bats before poking a two-strike single to left off Steve Cishek (1-4). "It was getting tough to see with the shadows and early in the at-bat I was having a tough time seeing his slider, the rotation and spin on it," Martin said.
Third-base coach Dino Ebel sent Chris Taylor home from second after he walked to open the inning. Taylor slid headfirst and did a face-plant, his helmet going airborne, as the throw from Bryant sailed past catcher Willson Contreras. "It was really smooth," joked Taylor, who had a large red scratch near his right eye afterward. "I'm just glad I was able to touch the plate. It was embarrassing. My right arm sort of got stuck and I rolled onto my face." Ebel noticed Bryant was playing shallow in left. "Kris had to make a perfect throw and he didn't," Ebel said. "He threw the ball on the first base side." The series featured 13 home runs and 18 of 24 runs scored on homers. "That's a great game but I think it re-emphasizes how equal both teams are," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. Cody Bellinger hit his 23rd homer in front of his parents on Father's Day.
Jansen allowed Anthony Rizzo's two-run homer on Saturday that gave the Cubs (championship rings for sale) a 2-1 victory. Jansen gave up a leadoff single to Albert Almora Jr. and walked Jason Heyward to put the tying and go-ahead runs on base. Pinch-hitter Kyle Schwarber grounded out, moving Almora to third and Heyward to second. "Just got to be mentally tough," Jansen said. "I never lose my confidence. Men at first and second, I know I'm going to fight through this. The mind is a very powerful weapon." Pinch-hitter Victor Caratini bounced a short grounder to the right side, and Jansen fielded and fired home to get Almora at the plate for the second out. With Heyward at third, Javier Baez flied out to center and Verdugo made a running catch to preserve the win, diving onto his stomach shortly after the ball fell into his glove. "I don't know if the dive was for the cameras," Taylor joked, referring to the national TV telecast. The flashy Verdugo knew he'd get to the ball in time. "He crushed it, so after my first couple steps I knew it would stay up," he said. Ross Stripling (3-2) got the victory with one inning of relief. The Cubs led 2-1 in the sixth on Contreras' RBI single and David Bote's sacrifice fly. Chicago fell to 3-10 in its last 13 road games.
Dodgers (mlb championship rings for sale) starter Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed two unearned runs and seven hits in seven innings. He struck out eight without allowing a walk. Chicago starter Jose Quintana gave up two runs and six hits in five innings. The left-hander struck out three and walked three. Quintana gave up a two-out single to David Freese in the first. He then walked Bellinger, Chris Taylor and Max Muncy in succession, forcing in Freese and giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
One year after he was left off Atlanta's (cheap Atlanta Braves championship rings) postseason rotation, Julio Teheran has re-emerged as a reliable leader on a young staff. Teheran's roll of superb starts is a big reason the Braves are back in first place in the NL East. Josh Donaldson drove in the tie-breaking run in Atlanta's five-run fifth inning to win his rematch with Joe Musgrove, Teheran allowed only one earned run and the Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 on Thursday to complete a four-game sweep.
The Braves (championship rings for sale) have won seven straight to move into the division lead, 1 1/2 games ahead of idle Philadelphia. The Phillies and Braves open a three-game series on Friday night. Teheran (5-4) opened the game with two walks and needed 27 pitches to survive the first inning. He recovered, lasting six innings while giving up only three hits. He has allowed no more than one earned run in his last eight starts. Manager Brian Snitker said he saw Teheran's renewed resolve in spring training. "It was very evident to me that he was on a mission," Snitker said.
Teheran lowered his ERA to 2.92, a full run lower than last season's 3.94 mark, when he finished 9-9 and was in the bullpen for the NL division series loss to the Dodgers. He is on pace to challenge his career-best ERA of 2.89 in 2014, when he won 14 games. "That's the way I want to pitch," Teheran said. "Last year, it doesn't mean I was bad, but it was up and down." Luke Jackson gave up Starling Marte's run-scoring single in the ninth before recovering for his 10th save in 15 chances.
The Pirates (Pittsburgh Pirates championship rings) have lost seven straight after failing to hold an early 2-1 lead in this one. Musgrove (4-7) struck out Donaldson in the first inning. It was their first meeting since Musgrove hit Donaldson with a pitch on Monday night, igniting a confrontation that led to both players' ejections. The short outing gave Musgrove the rare opportunity of making two starts in the same series. "I was ready to go out and attack him like I normally would," Musgrove said. "I put that behind me. I can't go out there with that stuff lingering in the back of my mind or try to prove a point with him."
Musgrove hit Dansby Swanson with a first-inning pitch, but there was no sign of leftover bad feelings from the skirmish three days earlier. Freddie Freeman's triple to the right-field corner in the fifth drove in Swanson to tie the game. Donaldson, who is appealing his one-game suspension for his role in the confrontation, hit a single to right to drive in Freeman. Ozzie Albies added a two-run double to center field in the big inning.
The Braves' poor outfield defense helped Pittsburgh (mlb championship rings for sale) take the lead in the fourth. Left fielder Matt Joyce lost Colin Moran's fly ball in the sun, missing his late lunge for the ball as Moran moved to second on the error. Moran scored when Elias Diaz doubled past a diving Ronald Acuna Jr. in center field. Musgrove faced five batters in the fifth without recording an out. He allowed six runs on nine hits and two walks.
Ian Desmond hit a monster blast that brought fans to their feet but it was a manufactured run that made the difference for the Colorado Rockies. Colorado scored its first five runs on homers -- including Desmond's 486-foot rocket -- but Ryan McMahon delivered the go-ahead run with a single in the eighth inning, and Colorado rallied to beat the Chicago Cubs (custom Chicago Cubs championship rings) 6-5 on Monday night. Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon also went deep for the Rockies, who have won nine straight at home, but Desmond's shot onto the concourse got everyone's attention.
"Some of us were in awe. He walloped that one pretty good," Daniel Murphy said. "It was a good swing, good at-bat, and a big swing for us, too." Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber and David Bote homered for the Cubs. Bote, who grew up in Longmont, Colo., outside of Denver and made his major league debut at Coors Field in 2018, hit his first homer in Colorado. "Coming back this summer was a little bit more enjoyable than last year," he said. "My debut wasn't successful." The game was tied 5-all when Murphy doubled and stole third with one out in the eighth. McMahon drove him in with a single to right-center off of Steve Cishek (1-3).
"(Murphy) was causing havoc out there so maybe Cishek was thinking about him a little bit at third, probably afraid to bounce something, trying to be a little more perfect with his pitches," McMahon said. "Got me something to hit". Wade Davis got the final three outs for his eighth save and first since coming off the 10-day injured list on Friday.
The teams used the long ball to put up four runs each in the third inning. Bote and Schwarber went back-to-back on consecutive pitches to score the first two, and Rizzo hit a two-run homer to center to give Chicago (world series rings) a 4-0 lead. Rizzo finished with three hits. Blackmon and Arenado each had a two-run homer off Yu Darvish in the bottom of the inning to tie it. Desmond gave the Rockies a 5-4 lead with his mammoth pinch-hit homer in the seventh that hit a restaurant on one bounce on the concourse. It is the longest home run in the majors this year, according to Statcast. "As long as it goes over the fence I don't care how far it goes," Desmond said. The Cubs tied it in the eighth on Javier Baez's groundout off Scott Oberg (4-0) before the Rockies answered in the bottom of the inning.
"It was there for us, we just could not finish it up," Chicago (cheap championship rings) manager Joe Maddon said. Darvish and Rockies starter German Marquez each allowed four runs in six innings.