WASHINGTON – Freddie Freeman drove in two runs and Mike Foltynewicz quieted the Washington Nationals’ bats as the Atlanta Braves won 5-2 following an unusually dry rain delay that lasted more than three hours Thursday night.
Kurt Suzuki’s solo homer in the sixth inning off Gio Gonzalez (7-4) broke a 2-all tie. Freeman’s second RBI double of the game and 1,000th career hit extended the lead during a two-run seventh.
Despite negligible rain, the series opener was delayed for 3 hours, 5 minutes. But the grounds crew didn’t put the tarp on the infield until 74 minutes after the scheduled start time, and only a very brief, light shower hit Nationals Park before the first pitch was thrown at 10:10 p.m.
As a reward for fans who stuck around, Washington gave away free soda, ice cream and water.
The team’s scheduled game Wednesday night against the New York Mets was postponed amid a downpour following a delay of 1 hour, 55 minutes.
RAYS 4, RED SOX 1
Wilson Ramos homered and drove in three runs against Chris Sale despite the All-Star’s record-setting performance, and rookie Jake Faria remained unbeaten as the host Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox.
Sale (11-4) struck out 12 while giving up four runs and seven hits in seven innings. He became the first Red Sox pitcher to strike out 10 or more in 12 games before the All-Star break, surpassing Pedro Martinez’s mark of 11 games in 1999.
Ramos hit a two-run homer in the sixth to cap the scoring.
Faria (4-0) gave up a run and four hits while walking four in six innings. The rookie right-hander has pitched at least six innings in each of his six starts and has a 2.11 ERA.
Alex Colome worked the ninth for his 23rd save.
BLUE JAYS 7, ASTROS 4
TORONTO – Russell Martin homered and matched a season high with three hits, Josh Donaldson broke out of his slump with a go-ahead single and Toronto beat Houston.
Francisco Liriano (5-4) pitched six solid innings and Roberto Osuna converted his 21st consecutive save opportunity as the Blue Jays, who began the night last in the AL East, won their third straight. Houston, which has the best record in the majors at 58-28, had won four in a row and eight of 10.
Marwin Gonzalez and Carlos Beltran homered for the Astros, handed a rare defeat on the road. The AL West leaders fell to 31-10 away from home as All-Star pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. (7-2) lost for the first time since April 26.
Toronto trailed 2-1 before batting around in a five-run fifth. Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, ended an 0-for-15 slide with a two-run single that put the Blue Jays in front.
BREWERS 11, CUBS 2
CHICAGO – Ryan Braun homered to ignite a seven-run third inning and Milwaukee beat Chicago for its fourth straight victory.
The Brewers opened a 4 1/2-game lead over the second-place Cubs in the NL Central and are guaranteed to hold the top spot at the All-Star break. This was a makeup of a May 20 rainout.
Willson Contreras homered for the Cubs. Kyle Schwarber went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts in his return following a two-week stint in the minor leagues.
Milwaukee starter Zach Davies (10-4) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings for the win.
Cubs starter Mike Montgomery (1-6) gave up seven runs and six hits in 2 1/3 innings.
TIGERS 6, GIANTS 2
DETROIT – Anibal Sanchez pitched six strong innings, and Dixon Machado hit his first career home run to lift Detroit over San Francisco.
Sanchez (1-0) earned his first victory since Aug. 23, allowing two runs and five hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.
Machado’s first home run came in the 146th at-bat of his career. The 25-year-old infielder hit a two-run shot in the second that put the Tigers up 4-0.
Chris Stratton (0-2) allowed five runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings in his first career start. He took the mound after the Giants scratched right-hander Johnny Cueto before the game because of an inner ear infection.
INDIANS 11, PADRES 2
CLEVELAND – Edwin Encarnacion homered and matched a career high with four hits, All-Star Jose Ramirez hit a home run and had three RBIs, and Cleveland, playing its third straight game without manager Terry Francona, defeated San Diego.
Francona remained hospitalized at the Cleveland Clinic, where he has been undergoing tests to resolve the causes of him becoming light-headed over the past month. The 58-year-old was hospitalized twice last month and doctors admitted him Tuesday, about one week after he began wearing a heart monitor.
Bench coach Brad Mills filled in again for Francona.
Josh Tomlin (5-9) allowed two runs in seven-plus innings.
Encarnacion was 4 for 5, including a leadoff homer in the fifth and an RBI double in the sixth. He also singled in the third and eighth.
Dinelson Lamet (3-3) was removed after Encarnacion’s home run. The rookie right-hander allowed six runs – five earned – in four-plus innings.
PIRATES 6, PHILLIES 3
PHILADELPHIA – Gregory Polanco had four hits with a home run and two RBIs, and Josh Bell homered, doubled and drove in three runs to lead Pittsburgh over Philadelphia.
Andrew McCutchen added three hits with two doubles for the Pirates, who have won three straight.
Aaron Altherr had two hits and two RBIs for the Phillies.
Chad Kuhl (3-6) allowed three runs – two earned – and six hits in a career-high seven innings.
Juan Nicasio pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.
Bell made up for his third-inning defensive gaffe with a two-run homer in the fourth that gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead. He then broke a 3-all tie in the eighth with a double to right field off Joaquin Benoit (1-3) that scored the go-ahead run.
REDS 6, ROCKIES 3
DENVER – Sal Romano tossed five innings to earn his first major league win, and Cincinnati beat Colorado.
Romano (1-1), called up before the game to make his second career start, allowed six hits and allowed two runs to help the Reds split the four-game series.
Adam Duvall hit his 20th home run and drove in two runs and Eugenio Suarez had three hits for Cincinnati.
Colorado starter Tyler Chatwood (6-10) allowed seven hits and walked four in six innings, but limited the damage with some timely double plays. The Reds scored in the first on Billy Hamilton’s leadoff triple and Joey Votto’s single, and Scooter Gennett scored runs in the third and fifth to give Cincinnati a 3-1 lead.
CARDINALS 4, MARLINS 3
ST. LOUIS – Luke Voit homered and drove in three runs and St. Louis beat Miami.
Voit, who also doubled, and third baseman Jedd Gyorko each had two hits. The Cardinals’ eight hits backed another good outing from Michael Wacha (6-3), who allowed two runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out nine and walked two.
Marcell Ozuna had three hits and three RBIs for the Marlins. Dee Gordon had two hits, scored three runs and stole two bases.
Miami starter Tom Koehler (1-4) allowed three runs and four hits over five innings. He struck out seven and walked three.
Cardinals closer Seung Hwan Oh allowed a leadoff single in the ninth, but locked down his 17th save in 20 chances.
TWINS 6, ORIOLES 4
MINNEAPOLIS – Eduardo Escobar’s two-run triple highlighted a six-run third inning as Minnesota beat Baltimore.
Twins starter Jose Berrios (8-2) gave up four runs in six innings, and Brandon Kintzler got his 23rd save. Minnesota defeated Baltimore for the fifth straight time dating to last season.
Escobar is hitting .371 since June 4 and .431 in his last 13 home games.
Mark Trumbo hit an early two-run homer for the Orioles.
Miguel Sano had an RBI single against Baltimore starter Dylan Bundy (8-8), and Max Kepler followed with a two-run single to put the Twins ahead 3-2.
Baltimore (40-45) lost its fourth straight and dropped to a season-worst five games below .500.
DODGERS 5, DIAMONDBACKS 4
LOS ANGELES – Chris Taylor singled in the winning run in the bottom of a four-run ninth inning, helping the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers rally for a 5-4 victory over the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks to complete a three-game sweep.
Taylor’s bases-loaded single off T.J. McFarland eluded the desperate stab of left fielder Ray Fuentes and scored Logan Forsythe.
Josh Fields (4-0) got the win after a run-scoring balk in the top of the ninth.
Fernando Rodney (3-3) took the loss, having given up a bases-loaded walk to Forsythe that left the Dodgers trailing 4-2 with no outs.
Jake Lamb homered twice for Arizona, including a go-ahead solo shot in the eighth.
ATHLETICS 7, MARINERS 4
SEATTLE – Khris Davis hit a three-run homer, Paul Blackburn pitched one-run ball into the eighth inning for his first major league victory and the Oakland Athletics beat the slumping Seattle Mariners.
Davis’ 24th homer propelled a four-run fifth inning that put the Athletics in front 7-0. Marcus Semien, activated off the disabled list Thursday, singled to open the inning, and Yonder Alonso walked. Davis, who struck out in his first two at-bats, then sent a 1-1 pitch over the wall in center to make it 6-0. Bruce Maxwell added a two-out solo homer, his first, to chase starter Sam Gaviglio (3-4).
The only run off Blackburn (1-0) was Mitch Haniger’s seventh home run, a solo shot in the fifth. Blackburn allowed eight hits, did not strike out a batter and walked one over 7 2/3 innings in his second consecutive strong start. He gave up one unearned run in six innings without a decision in his debut on Saturday.
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