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August 10, 2019

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

The Associated Press
PHOTO: San Francisco Giants’ Kevin Pillar swings for an RBI triple off Philadelphia Phillies’ Nick Pivetta in the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Will Smith‘s resume as a pitcher has grown substantially this season, with 28 saves and an All-Star appearance. It turns out the Giants’ closer is pretty good with a bat, too.

Kevin Pillar hit a tiebreaking triple that scored Evan Longoria with two out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Smith followed with a two-run single in his first career at-bat and San Francisco rallied to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-6 on Sunday night.

Rays left-hander Ryan Yarbrough had mixed emotions following the most impressive start of his young career.

The former Mariners minor leaguer came within an out of his first career shutout, and did it against his former team. Yet after 8 2/3 sparkling innings Sunday, he also felt miffed at manager Kevin Cash for pulling him from Tampa Bay’s 1-0 victory over Seattle.

It has been a while since the Colorado Rockies played a game like this one.

Yonder Alonso hit his 100th career homer during Colorado’s four-run sixth inning and German Marquez pitched eight strong innings for the Rockies, who beat the San Diego Padres 8-3 Sunday to snap a five-game losing streak.

The Rockies won for just the seventh time in 26 games. They are 13-31 since June 21.

Hyun-Jin Ryu‘s ERA is already the lowest in baseball, and it’s somehow still dropping even faster than the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ rapidly diminishing magic number.

The South Korean ace and his teammates are cruising toward a special finish to the season after yet another dominant homestand for the major league leaders.

Justin Turner hit two of Los Angeles’ four homers and Ryu pitched seven scoreless innings of five-hit ball in the Dodgers’ 9-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

Nationals closer Sean Doolittle became a favorite at Citi Field after blowing a three-run lead Friday night. Mets fans cheered the All-Star closer when he went to the bullpen Saturday, and on Sunday, they clapped and hollered when his name was announced to pitch the ninth.

“The fans, they were on me a little bit, and it’s all good,” Doolittle said.

Doolittle and the Nationals finally got the last laugh. The left-hander pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 26th save and Washington closed out the Mets for a 7-4 victory Sunday. The Nats had blown five consecutive save chances in Flushing and entered the game with a 6.07 ERA, worst in the National League.

In the big leagues primarily as a defensive replacement, Cardinals rookie outfielder Lane Thomas pounced with a chance to flex his hitting muscles.

Thomas ripped a go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning, Paul Goldschmidtand Dexter Fowler also homered, and St. Louis beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-9 Sunday.

The Cardinals rallied from an 8-4 deficit to sweep the three-game series and move into second place in the NL Central, two games behind the Chicago Cubs.

Josh Bell had two homers and four RBI for Pittsburgh, which has lost eight straight. Pablo Reyes added a solo shot in the ninth.

Justin Verlander lasted only five innings against the Baltimore Orioles and walked off the mound in position to take his first loss since early July.

His struggle foreshadowed the shocking end of both the game and Houston’s lengthy winning streak.

Rio Ruiz hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth to carry Baltimore to an 8-7 victory Sunday, snapping the Orioles’ five-game skid.

Chris Bassitt admitted he had a little extra incentive Sunday.

Bassitt threw seven sharp innings against his first major league team and Matt Olson homered, leading the Oakland Athletics to a 2-0 victory over Lucas Giolito and the Chicago White Sox.

Anthony Bemboom finally lived his dream after a long day and a longer journey back to the Los Angeles Angels.

Bemboom hit a go-ahead single in the 10th inning after Kole Calhoun‘s solo homer tied it in the eighth, leading the Angels past the Boston Red Sox 5-4 Sunday for a split of their four-game series.

Texas left-hander Mike Minor was ready for Christian Yelich. For all the Milwaukee Brewers, really.

Minor struck out 11 in eight innings, and the Rangers beat Jordan Lyles and the Brewers 1-0 on Sunday to avoid a three-game series sweep.

Minor (11-6) allowed four hits and walked one. Jose Leclerc finished the four-hitter for his eighth save, securing Texas’ second win in six games.

In the wake of a bullpen meltdown that involved a fire extinguisher, Luke Jackson put the Atlanta Braves back on track with a harrowing save.

Jackson overcame three hits in a scoreless ninth inning to finish off the Miami Marlins 5-4 Sunday.

The win came less than 24 hours after the Braves’ bullpen allowed seven runs in the final three innings of a 7-6 loss. After Sean Newcomb gave up the winning run in the 10th, he angrily kicked a metal garbage can, which hit a fire extinguisher, which sent chemical dust and smoke spewing down the dugout tunnel and into the clubhouse.

Masahiro Tanaka turned in a masterful performance but still left Aroldis Chapman with some work to do.

Despite a good fight from Toronto’s blossoming rookie hitters, the hard-throwing closer was up to the task.

Tanaka and Chapman combined on a four-hitter, Brett Gardner had an RBI double, and New York beat the Blue Jays 1-0 Sunday to end a two-game skid.

Tanaka (8-6) allowed three hits while pitching into the ninth inning, walking none and striking out four. The right-hander was pulled after Brandon Drury singled to begin the ninth.

The Chicago Cubs were down, and the Cincinnati Reds had All-Star Luis Castillo on the mound.

Just when it looked as if the Cubs were in trouble, they rallied. Kris Bryant led the way.

Bryant capped Chicago’s four-run seventh with a three-run homer, and the Cubs beat the Reds 6-3 on Sunday for a split of their four-game series.

Comerica Park’s spacious outfield has frustrated hitters many times over the years.

It hasn’t been a big deal for Hunter Dozier and Jorge Soler this season.

Dozier and Jorge Soler each homered twice Sunday, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Detroit Tigers 10-2 for a split of the four-game series between the worst teams in the AL Central.

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