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Yanks hit 5 HRs in historic win over Texas

Bombers tally at least 4 dingers for 3rd straight game
MLB.com @BryanHoch

ARLINGTON -- The most potent lineup in the big leagues continued to slug at a historic pace on Monday. Led by the first multihomer game of Gleyber Torres' young career, the Yankees cracked another five homers in a 10-5 slugfest victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Park.

Torres went deep in the second and sixth innings, Neil Walker hit his first homer of the season and Aaron Judge launched his 12th long ball as the Yankees tallied at least four homers for the third consecutive game, marking the first time in franchise history that the feat has been accomplished. Aaron Hicks added a two-run shot in the ninth.

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ARLINGTON -- The most potent lineup in the big leagues continued to slug at a historic pace on Monday. Led by the first multihomer game of Gleyber Torres' young career, the Yankees cracked another five homers in a 10-5 slugfest victory over the Rangers at Globe Life Park.

Torres went deep in the second and sixth innings, Neil Walker hit his first homer of the season and Aaron Judge launched his 12th long ball as the Yankees tallied at least four homers for the third consecutive game, marking the first time in franchise history that the feat has been accomplished. Aaron Hicks added a two-run shot in the ninth.

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Video: Must C Crushed: Torres pops 2 HRs off Bartolo

"It's awesome. It's fun," Hicks said. "Every time you go out there, you feel like you have an opportunity to win a ballgame. You know you're never out of a game, no matter how many runs they're up. It doesn't matter. I feel like we can attack from the top to the bottom, and everybody contributes."

Video: NYY@TEX: Hicks cranks 2-run homer to right-center

New York (31-13) won for the 22nd time in 26 games, continuing to own the best record in the Majors and moving a half-game ahead of idle Boston for first place in the American League East.

"The guys are swinging the bats very well," manager Aaron Boone said. "They're very tough on the opposing pitcher, and that's what these guys do best. They make that other pitcher work, and when we get a mistake, they're slugging it."

Video: NYY@TEX: Boone talks Torres' huge night at the dish

The first four of the Bombers' blasts came off right-hander Bartolo Colon, who allowed a season-high six runs and eight hits over 5 1/3 innings, just three days ahead of his 45th birthday.

At 21 years and 159 days, Torres became the second-youngest Yankee to enjoy a multihomer performance, standing alongside Mickey Mantle (20 years, 296 days).

Video: TEX@NYY: How old were Yankees when Colon debuted?

"The lineup is awesome," Torres said. "Everybody does their job, everybody helps the team. I just try to help my team, too, try to put in something, hit or defense. I try to help and try to win."

The runs supported Masahiro Tanaka, who completed five innings and was credited with the victory in a rather odd outing that saw him permit three hits while walking four and allowing four runs. Joey Gallo hit a solo homer, his 14th, in the second inning. Rougned Odor blasted a three-run shot, his first, to tie the game in the fourth.

"I did not have my split tonight," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "Very inconsistent. There's a lot of frustration there, mostly because of how good we're playing, but [I have] not been able to pitch effectively."

Video: NYY@TEX: Tanaka strikes out Chirinos swinging

With Walker and Torres having each driven in two runs through the first four innings, Judge restored New York's lead in the fifth with a long drive to the center-field berm. Torres reached the same area in the sixth inning, and the Yankees poured it on against reliever Matt Bush. Giancarlo Stanton added a sacrifice fly and Didi Gregorius showed signs of busting out of his 1-for-48 funk with a run-scoring double.

Video: NYY@TEX: Gregorius lines an RBI double to left-center

The clubs combined for eight homers in the contest, including Ronald Guzman's seventh-inning homer off Chad Green.

Video: NYY@TEX: Walker launches 1st home run as a Yankee

"That lineup is a tough lineup," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "You look up and down their lineup, they are averaging 5 1/2 runs a game. That's a challenging lineup for most clubs. Bartolo threw some really good pitches but gave up some home runs, two to a young guy who is hot and swinging the bat well."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Judge had been in an 0-for-17 skid when he stepped to the plate in the fifth against Colon, teeing off on an 85.5-mph two-seamer that caught too much of the plate. The resulting drive landed on the grassy berm beyond the center-field wall, calculated to travel 436 feet by Statcast™ and providing the Yankees a lead that they would not relinquish.

Video: NYY@TEX: Judge hammers a solo home run to center

SOUND SMART
The Yankees have recorded eight extra-base hits or more in three consecutive games, marking the first time in franchise history that they have accomplished the feat. It is the fourth such occurrence in modern Major League history, with the Yankees joining the Red Sox (June 27-29, 2003), Indians (April 9-11, 1999) and Senators (June 14-16, 1935).

"That shows you how difficult that is and how rare that is," Boone said. "When I heard about it, it was a little bit surprising."

UP NEXT
Right-hander Domingo German (0-1, 4.26 ERA) will take the ball for his third big league start on Tuesday as the Yankees continue their three-game series with the Rangers at Globe Life Park. German did not record a decision in his last start, allowing a career-high six earned runs in New York's 7-6, 11-inning victory over the Athletics on May 12. Veteran left-hander Cole Hamels (2-4, 3.48 ERA), who has been rumored as a possible Yankees trade target, will be making his 10th start of the year for Texas.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees

Bryce, Soto, Reynolds (2) hit HRs in rout of SD

MLB.com @JamalCollier

WASHINGTON -- On the first day with their teenage rookie sensation, Juan Soto, in the lineup, the Nationals were energized by their newest spark. Washington connected on four home runs and a season-high nine extra-base hits, as it hammered Padres pitching to a 10-2 victory on Monday night at Nationals Park.

Mark Reynolds swatted a pair of home runs, Bryce Harper connected with his National League-leading 14th homer and Soto hit his first career home run on the first pitch he saw. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez made it all hold up with seven innings of two-run, two-hit ball.

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WASHINGTON -- On the first day with their teenage rookie sensation, Juan Soto, in the lineup, the Nationals were energized by their newest spark. Washington connected on four home runs and a season-high nine extra-base hits, as it hammered Padres pitching to a 10-2 victory on Monday night at Nationals Park.

Mark Reynolds swatted a pair of home runs, Bryce Harper connected with his National League-leading 14th homer and Soto hit his first career home run on the first pitch he saw. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez made it all hold up with seven innings of two-run, two-hit ball.

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But it began with Soto, who got the Nats on the board by launching an opposite-field three-run homer in the second inning against Padres left-hander Robbie Erlin. It prompted a standing ovation and curtain call from the crowd of 27,890 fans and set the tone for the Nats' bats.

"When he hit that ball, everyone was jacked up," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "Shortly after that, we hit the ball pretty good."

• Soto homers on 1st pitch in 1st start

Video: Must C Classic: Juan Soto's first career hit is a HR

Soto, the club's No. 2 prospect and No. 15 in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline, became the first 19-year-old to homer in the Majors since Harper did so back in September 2012. He finished the night 2-for-4 with three RBIs as his parents watched from the stands.

"The guys, they tell me, 'Hey, go out! They're calling you,'" Soto said of his curtain call. "I think it was [Michael A.] Taylor who said, 'Hey, go ahead, go ahead.'"

Not to be outdone, Harper added his own opposite-field homer in the fifth against Padres reliever Bryan Mitchell. Harper also collected a run-scoring double in his first at-bat for his first game with two extra-base hits since a two-homer game on May 4.

"I thought as a team, we really swung the bat well," Harper said. "Really jumped on them early and did the things we could to put some runs up there on the board. Of course, it started with that three-run homer by Soto. Got it going and we never stopped."

• Soto does Harper hair flip after HR

Video: Then and Now: Harper, Soto get 1st HRs as teenagers

The offense did not relent, as Reynolds provided his own share of damage, with solo home runs in the third and seventh innings for his second multi-homer game of the season and the 27th of his career, after signing with the Nationals in mid-April.

Video: SD@WSH: Reynolds crushes a pair of solo home runs

Gonzalez was brilliant again, as he gave up two earned runs or fewer for the ninth time in 10 starts this season. That's the second most in baseball, trailing only teammate Max Scherzer.

Video: SD@WSH: Gonzalez rings up Pirela in the 2nd

But the night belonged to Soto, who only added to the hype surrounding a player who was in Class A less than a month ago.

"It's exciting. It's uplifting," Martinez said. "Here's a young man getting a chance to play in the big leagues at an early age. It pumps everyone up. To watch him do what he did today -- not only the home run, but the base hit up the middle, the two-strike hard ground ball, the line drive with two strikes, all those things … that's pretty impressive."

• Nats' academy kids react to Soto's first homer

Video: SD@WSH: Martinez on Soto's debut, win over Padres

SOUND SMART
Since 1965, only six players have homered in a Major League game at a younger age than Soto:
2012: Jurickson Profar, Rangers
1998: Adrian Beltre, Dodgers
1996: Andruw Jones, Braves
1989: Ken Griffey Jr., Mariners
1974: Robin Yount, Brewers
1970: Cesar Cedeno, Astros

Video: SD@WSH: Soto gets doused after big first career game

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Tim Collins had not pitched in a Major League game since 2014, and after two Tommy John surgeries and countless hours of rehab, he returned to a big league mound in the eighth inning on Monday night. Collins, who was called up earlier in the day in place of the injured Ryan Madson, pitched a scoreless eighth inning with a pair of strikeouts, completing an emotional day for him.

"Great, great story," Martinez said. "Here's a guy that had two Tommy John surgeries, three years of building up, gets a chance to come back in the big leagues. He went out there and I was really pumped up for him. Emotions were high right there when he came out. It really was. I'm waiting for him right now. I'm going to go tell him, 'Hey, I'm really proud of you man.' Just a testament to what kind of guy he is."

• Collins called up, records first K since 2014

Video: SD@WSH: Collins records first K since 2014

UP NEXT
The last time Jeremy Hellickson pitched against the Padres, he carried a perfect game into the seventh inning and finished with his best start of the season at 6 2/3 scoreless innings in a victory on May 8. He will face San Diego again on Tuesday night at Nationals Park, with first pitch at 7:05 p.m. ET. Eric Lauer will start for the Padres.

Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Gio Gonzalez, Bryce Harper, Mark Reynolds

Alfaro shows off incredible arm on 3 sweet plays

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro popped up from behind home plate, tossed aside his mask, scurried to retrieve the ball several feet away, spun and fired a throw to first baseman Carlos Santana to end Monday night's 3-0 victory over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.

It looked like Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte had dropped down a perfect bunt. Not perfect enough for Alfaro.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Phillies catcher Jorge Alfaro popped up from behind home plate, tossed aside his mask, scurried to retrieve the ball several feet away, spun and fired a throw to first baseman Carlos Santana to end Monday night's 3-0 victory over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park.

It looked like Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte had dropped down a perfect bunt. Not perfect enough for Alfaro.

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"I don't know if there's another catcher that I've ever seen -- and I played with Pudge -- that makes that play in the ninth inning," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. "He is spectacularly talented, spectacularly athletic, incredibly durable. He's starting to look like a guy who is going to be a fixture in our lineup for a long time."

Video: ATL@PHI: Alfaro's throw earns Neris save, call stands

Alfaro made three fantastic defensive plays in Monday's victory. Two came in the seventh inning, with the Phillies holding a 1-0 lead. He caught Johan Camargo stealing second base for the inning's second out. Statcast™ tracked Alfaro's throw at 88.3 mph. He then fielded a Dansby Swanson roller in front of the plate. Alfaro fielded the ball, spun and threw to first to end the inning. Statcast™ tracked that throw at 80.1 mph.

Alfaro's "max effort" throws on stolen-base attempts average 90.5 mph, the best mark in baseball.

"I don't really think about how hard I have to throw it or how hard to throw it or what the situation of the game is," Alfaro said. "It's just reaction, mainly. I want to be accurate. That's my main thing. I want to release the ball quick and be accurate."

So about Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez not being able to make that play. Really?

"I don't think anybody else makes that play," Kapler said. "I will say that I've played with them both and from an athleticism standpoint, arm strength, speed, quickness, they're neck-and-neck, at worst."

Alfaro and Rodriguez actually know each other a bit from Alfaro's time with the Rangers, who traded him to the Phillies in July 2015.

"We shared some time together talking about the game, everything -- hitting, defense, most of the time -- and calling games," Alfaro said.

What does he think about what his manager said?

"I don't know if I believe that," Alfaro said. "But it means a lot to me that the manager has a lot of confidence in me."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies, Jorge Alfaro

Machado Show leads O's to win in Chicago

Trumbo and Jones add solo HRs of their own
Special to MLB.com

CHICAGO -- For the better part of 10 minutes Monday afternoon, Manny Machado was asked by nearly two dozen reporters to address his future amidst the trade rumors that seemingly chase him from city to city. Multiple times, the Orioles shortstop repeated he is just here to play baseball.

Hours later, Machado did just that with a powerful display that highlighted a three-homer output by the Orioles. But the Orioles also got enough from their pitching and defense to hold on for a 3-2 victory over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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CHICAGO -- For the better part of 10 minutes Monday afternoon, Manny Machado was asked by nearly two dozen reporters to address his future amidst the trade rumors that seemingly chase him from city to city. Multiple times, the Orioles shortstop repeated he is just here to play baseball.

Hours later, Machado did just that with a powerful display that highlighted a three-homer output by the Orioles. But the Orioles also got enough from their pitching and defense to hold on for a 3-2 victory over the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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"Today was a total team win … When you use every facet of your team, you generally do well," said center fielder Adam Jones, who homered along with Machado and Mark Trumbo. "So it was good to see."

Machado connected on his 15th home run of the season with a 411-foot blast that preceded solo homers by Trumbo and Jones. According to Statcast™, Machado's fourth-inning moonshot was the hardest he has hit this season at 112.6 mph.

Machado, who went 1-for-3 with an intentional walk, also made an impact defensively.

With the Orioles leading 2-0 in the fifth inning, Machado took a relay throw from left fielder Trey Mancini and threw out Yolmer Sanchez at the plate when he attempted to score on a Jose Abreu RBI double that cut the Orioles' lead to 2-1 when Yoan Moncada scored.

Video: BAL@CWS: Mancini, Machado team up to nab Sanchez

The one-run cushion ended up being enough.

"It's a good send [by the White Sox] -- you've got to make us throw him out there at the plate," manager Buck Showalter said of the play. "You've got a real fast runner [with Sanchez] and Trey made a good play."

Jones extended the lead to 3-1 in the sixth inning when he homered off of White Sox starter Hector Santiago.

Video: BAL@CWS: Jones skies a solo homer to left-center

Orioles starter Andrew Cashner allowed two runs over five-plus innings to snap a string of six straight starts in which he had allowed at least three earned runs. Cashner, who allowed RBI doubles to Abreu and Leury Garcia, struck out four and walked three.

Relievers Mychal Givens and closer Brad Brach pitched out of trouble in the sixth and ninth inning, respectively, to close out a one-run victory in which the Orioles only had five hits -- three of which were the home runs.

"Our pitching staff held us down tonight," Jones said. "We had three solos and our pitching staff held us down tonight and it was good to see."

Video: BAL@CWS: Brach escapes bases-loaded jam for a save

Showalter agreed.

"Usually three solo home runs you don't win a game," he said. "You're going to have to pitch pretty well."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Givens-ing no ground: Givens preserved the lead in the sixth when he stranded a pair of runners in scoring position after the White Sox drew to within 3-2 on a Garcia RBI double. But with runners at second and third, Givens got Welington Castillo to pop out and struck out Tim Anderson and Adam Engel to preserve the Orioles' one-run lead.

"For him to get out of that and keep the game where it was at was huge," Brach said.

"Obviously, that's what got us the win tonight."

With the Orioles still clinging to a one-run lead in the ninth, the White Sox loaded the bases following a walk to Engel, a Moncada single and an intentional walk to Abreu. But Brach got of the jam when he struck out Trayce Thompson, who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the top of the ninth.

"I knew I wanted to attack him and use the aggression against him," Brach said. "Sitting on the bench all night, I know it's tough for him to go out there, especially with the game on the line like that. So I went right at him with fastballs and luckily, I was able to get the last one by him."

HE SAID IT
"It seems like every win we come by, we're scratching and clawing to the last out, last strike really. I guess it makes it a little bit exciting. It would be nice to win one of these games without any drama, but it kind of seems to be the way it's going this year." -- Brach, on closing out the game in the ninth with the bases loaded

UP NEXT
Kevin Gausman hopes to bounce back from a rough outing in his last start when he allowed six earned runs and allowed a pair of home runs over 4 2/3 innings against the Red Sox. Gausman (3-3, 3.88 ERA) will face James Shields on Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 ET.

Jeff Arnold is a contributor to MLB.com.

Baltimore Orioles, Manny Machado

O'Neill's HR aids Mikolas' 1st career shutout

Carpenter also goes deep as Cards roll in I-70 opener vs. Royals
MLB.com @JoeTrezz

ST. LOUIS -- Miles Mikolas and Tyler O'Neill could not be more different, not in their skills or body types or in the paths they took to the big leagues. Neither elicited much fanfare in getting here, neither garnered major headlines when acquired, Mikolas in free agency and O'Neill in a minor trade last summer.

As Mikolas put it after leading the Cardinals to a 6-0 win over the Royals on Monday night: "I've never done fantasy sports before, but I'm sure I was still available for a late pickup here or there."

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ST. LOUIS -- Miles Mikolas and Tyler O'Neill could not be more different, not in their skills or body types or in the paths they took to the big leagues. Neither elicited much fanfare in getting here, neither garnered major headlines when acquired, Mikolas in free agency and O'Neill in a minor trade last summer.

As Mikolas put it after leading the Cardinals to a 6-0 win over the Royals on Monday night: "I've never done fantasy sports before, but I'm sure I was still available for a late pickup here or there."

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Mikolas' latest in a superb string of starts after spending three seasons in Japan came with his four-hit shutout in the I-70 Series opener at Busch Stadium. And it was the righty's best to date. Backed by four RBIs from O'Neill, Mikolas worked nine super-efficient frames. The 109-pitch masterpiece improved Mikolas to 6-0 in nine starts, over which he's become one of the sport's most surprising breakout stars.

Video: KC@STL: Mikolas K's 9 in his first career shutout

Mikolas struck out nine and walked just one, the only free pass coming with two out in the ninth. The lone runner to move into scoring position against him did so in the first, when Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas notched back-to-back singles. Mikolas sent down 22 of 26 after that, and 15 of the final 16 batters he faced to lower his ERA to a sparkling 2.24.

"To watch Miles over this stretch, to say we had the foresight the rest of the organization had ... The guys upstairs saw something really special," manager Mike Matheny said. "We're benefiting from what they saw."

Video: KC@STL: Matheny on Mikolas' shutout in a 6-0 win

The same is true of O'Neill, whom the Cardinals acquired in an under-the-radar deal for Marco Gonzales last summer. Summoned to the Majors for the second time this week following a torrid start at Triple-A Memphis, O'Neill homered for the third consecutive game in place of slumping outfielders Marcell Ozuna and Dexter Fowler. He started for Fowler for the second time in three days on Monday, when his three-run opposite-field blast off losing pitcher Ian Kennedy earned him another curtain call, and stretched St. Louis' lead to 4-0.

O'Neill added a run-scoring double in the fifth, and Matt Carpenter launched a solo homer in the eighth in support of Mikolas, who twirled the first shutout by a Cardinals starter since September 2017. O'Neill is now 7-for-12 (.588) since being recalled on Friday, a stretch that has Matheny eager for ways to keep his hot bat in the lineup.

Video: KC@STL: O'Neill ropes an RBI double to left

"He can play center," Matheny offered, with a smirk.

"O'Neill had been able to do it all the way through the Minor Leagues so it shouldn't surprise us. We just hadn't seen it ourselves. Again, we're on the nice end of a guy getting to this league and showing he deserves to be here."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Suddenly locked in after slumping for much of the season's first seven weeks, Carpenter's eighth-inning homer stretched the lead to 6-0. It also capped his second three-hit performance in as many nights. Carpenter is now 13-for-24 with seven doubles over his past six games after hitting .140 over his first 39 games.

Video: KC@STL: Carpenter smashes a solo homer on first pitch

SOUND SMART
O'Neill's streak of three consecutive games with a home run came in his eighth, ninth and 10th career games, the earliest a Cardinals player has produced such a streak in a career.

GARCIA INJURED
Already without starting shortstop Paul DeJong for at least several weeks, the Cardinals lost another player who can play the position in Greg Garcia, who exited with lower back tightness after he singled in the sixth. Garcia started the last two games at short in place of DeJong. He is considered day to day. More >

Video: KC@STL: Garcia exits the game in the 6th inning

HE SAID IT
"I cant believe the guy hasn't gone half blind with how much he stares at the video monitor. But you have to find that feel. And it's clicked for him." -- Matheny, on Carpenter breaking out of his slump

UP NEXT
Cardinals right-hander Luke Weaver (3-3, 4.37 ERA) will get the ball for the middle game of the I-70 Series against the Royals at 7:15 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Busch Stadium. With Monday's news that Alex Reyes will return to the rotation by the end of the month, and Jack Flaherty pitching well, this figures to be another big start for Weaver. He fired seven solid innings in his last outing -- his second consecutive strong start. Jason Hammel (0-5, 6.28) will start for Kansas City.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

St. Louis Cardinals, Matt Carpenter, Miles Mikolas, Tyler O'Neill

Brewers hit 3 HRs off Greinke to down D-backs

Shaw, Santana, Cain tag Arizona ace as Anderson goes 6 strong in return from DL
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers didn't muster much against Zack Greinke when they faced him last week in Phoenix, but Travis Shaw & Co. powered their way to a win in Monday's rematch at Miller Park.

Shaw connected for a two-out, two-run home run off Greinke in the bottom of the first inning, and Domingo Santana and Lorenzo Cain added solo shots to back Chase Anderson's return from the disabled list in Milwaukee's 4-2 win over the D-backs.

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MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers didn't muster much against Zack Greinke when they faced him last week in Phoenix, but Travis Shaw & Co. powered their way to a win in Monday's rematch at Miller Park.

Shaw connected for a two-out, two-run home run off Greinke in the bottom of the first inning, and Domingo Santana and Lorenzo Cain added solo shots to back Chase Anderson's return from the disabled list in Milwaukee's 4-2 win over the D-backs.

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The Brewers have hit 20 home runs while winning eight of their last 11 games, a stretch that includes three wins in four tries against a D-backs team that has lost 11 of 12.

"This is kind of what we've been searching for all year," said Shaw, who has emerged from a 5-for-50 funk to hit .325 with four home runs in his last 10 starts. "It took a while to show up, but consistently we've done a pretty good job now for a couple of weeks."

Video: ARI@MIL: Shaw crushes a 2-run homer to center in 1st

Anderson, back from a stomach bug to pitch six quality innings, was not the only Brewers pitcher returning to a familiar role. Corey Knebel, who missed a month with a hamstring injury before easing back to action over the past two weeks, closed it out for his first save since the season-opening series in San Diego.

Anderson surrendered a single to the first batter he faced, hit another and walked two in the first inning, including free-swinging second baseman Ketel Marte with the bases loaded. But Shaw gave the Brewers the lead one half-inning later before Santana (fourth inning in a 3-0 count) and Cain (sixth inning) added insurance, while Anderson settled in to work through the end of the sixth. He allowed two runs on three hits.

Video: ARI@MIL: Santana skies a solo homer to right field

Of Shaw's homer, Anderson said, "It was a nice answer. Travis has just been awesome this season. When he answers like that with a two-run homer it gives you confidence that we are going to score some runs today."

That was no sure thing entering the day against Greinke, who was tough on Milwaukee hitters six days earlier at Chase Field while allowing one run on four hits in six innings of a 2-1 D-backs win. In his first three starts of May, Greinke had surrendered only three earned runs in 18 2/3 innings against the Astros, Nationals and Brewers.

Video: ARI@MIL: Cain crushes a solo homer to left-center

And the Brewers -- at least manager Craig Counsell, a former teammate in 2011 -- knew that Greinke has been a force at Miller Park, especially during his season and a half pitching for Milwaukee in 2011-12, when he was 15-0 with a 2.93 ERA here.

But Monday was different, beginning with Shaw.

"Any time you have a pitcher like Greinke on the mound, playing with the lead is significantly different," Counsell said. "It is the first inning, but it felt like a game where runs were going to be scarce. Getting that lead is certainly more comfortable, and it probably was one of the more important plays of the game tonight."

Video: ARI@MIL: Counsell on Anderson's start in 4-2 win

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Knebel closes it out: "It had been a while. That was good to hear," said Knebel after Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Way" shook Miller Park's sound system at the start of the ninth. That guitar riff announced Knebel's first save opportunity at home all season, and Knebel made quick work of the D-backs in a 13-pitch, 12-strike inning that included a strikeout. Counsell had been ready to put Knebel back in a save situation, where he feels the 2017 All-Star best fits the rest of the Brewers' bullpen picture, for more a week. The games did not cooperate until Monday.

"I knew it was going to be coming soon," said Knebel. "It's good to be here at home."

Video: ARI@MIL: Knebel works a perfect 9th for his 2nd save

SOUND SMART
Josh Hader gets more headlines, but Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress is quietly putting together his own All-Star Game case. His scoreless eighth inning Monday was Jeffress' 21st consecutive appearance without being charged with a run, during which he has held hitters 5-for-64 (.078). It's the longest streak of scoreless appearances in the Major Leagues this season, and the longest by a Brewers pitcher since John Axford went 23 consecutive outings without being charged with a run in 2013.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Shaw's contributions were not limited to the batter's box. Twice, he robbed D-backs cleanup man Paul Goldschmidt of a hit, first on a backhanded play in the third inning and then on a charging, barehanded play in the eighth. After a slew of April errors by the team's infielders, Counsell has lauded his team's run prevention of late.

"When you make that many errors early, you don't want to be looked at as a bad defensive team. At least I don't," Shaw said. "I think a lot of guys pride in it. I take pride in it. We had to focus a little bit more."

Video: ARI@MIL: Shaw charges for a great barehanded stop

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Anderson was rolling by the fifth inning, retiring 11 in a row before a leadoff walk to Jeff Mathis. Anderson erased that runner with David Peralta's inning-ending double play, though it took a terrific stretch by first baseman Jesus Aguilar, who did the splits while holding first base, plus a Brewers challenge. Peralta initially was ruled safe on the play, but that was overturned upon review.

Video: ARI@MIL: Peralta out at first after challenge in 5th

UP NEXT
Jhoulys Chacin (3-1, 3.63 ERA) will look to continue his impressive May when he starts Tuesday's 6:40 p.m. CT rematch against the D-backs in the second game of a 10-game Brewers homestand. Chacin sports a 1.96 ERA through 18 1/3 innings over three starts this month, including seven innings of one-run ball last week in Arizona. Right-hander Matt Koch (2-2, 4.06 ERA) will get the nod for the D-backs.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Lorenzo Cain, Domingo Santana, Travis Shaw

The kids at the Nationals' Dominican Republic academy went absolutely crazy after Juan Soto's first homer

In the Nats' 10-2 win over the Padres on Monday night, Washington's No. 2 prospect, Juan Soto, arrived. In his first career start, the 19-year-old swatted a 422-foot, three-run, opposite-field homer on the first pitch he saw, and busted out a great Bryce Harper imitation afterward.

As exciting a moment as that was to see unfold at Nationals Park, the kids at the Nats' academy in the Dominican Republic turned the dial all the way up on the enthusiasm and pride they felt at watching their former teammate make his presence felt. 

Rox win duel in LA to take over first in NL West

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

LOS ANGELES -- The Rockies had nary a baserunner for four innings Monday night. Their bucket of fruit candies went asunder as third baseman Nolan Arenado vented in the dugout after a strikeout. Yet, for the first time this season, Colorado is in first place in the National League West.

Pinch-hitter Carlos Gonzalez's soft infield single past the pitcher's mound with two out in the eighth drove in the difference-making run in a 2-1 victory over the Dodgers, to take a half-game lead over the D-backs.

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LOS ANGELES -- The Rockies had nary a baserunner for four innings Monday night. Their bucket of fruit candies went asunder as third baseman Nolan Arenado vented in the dugout after a strikeout. Yet, for the first time this season, Colorado is in first place in the National League West.

Pinch-hitter Carlos Gonzalez's soft infield single past the pitcher's mound with two out in the eighth drove in the difference-making run in a 2-1 victory over the Dodgers, to take a half-game lead over the D-backs.

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Gonzalez's hit -- after Tony Wolters walked, stole second and took third on catcher Yasmani Grandal's throwing error -- was the Rockies' third and final. It was the 11th time in the 26-year-old club's history it has won with so few hits (it has never won with fewer), and the first time since Aug. 30, 2014, at Arizona.

Video: COL@LAD: Marquez allows 1 run in season-high 7 frames

But the Rockies won as they have so often, with pitching. Righty German Marquez (3-5) gave up just two hits in seven innings -- matching his fellow 23-year-old starter on Monday, the Dodgers' Walker Buehler. Adam Ottavino erased a one-out walk in the eighth by forcing Justin Turner into a double-play grounder, and Wade Davis earned his 17th save in 19 opportunities, as Wolter's hustle down the line allowed the Rockies to back pick Matt Kemp at first to end the game.

Video: COL@LAD: Davis earns the save on Wolters' alert play

Marquez struck out five against two walks, and the only run came when Max Muncy swatted Marquez's first pitch of the fourth over the right-field wall for his fifth homer of the season. But Marquez escaped a second-and-third, one-out jam in the fifth by striking out Buehler and forcing a fly ball from Joc Pederson. By night's end, Marquez had lowered his road ERA to 2.06 in six starts.

Buehler hadn't yielded a baserunner until Gerardo Parra drove a 95.9 mph fastball over the wall in left-center for his third homer.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Carlos Gonzalez, German Marquez, Gerardo Parra, Tony Wolters

Vargas returns to form as Mets win 4th straight

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- Of all the statistics capable of explaining the Mets' inconsistencies this season, perhaps none are more telling than this: Entering Monday's play, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard were 8-1 with a 2.37 ERA. All other Mets starters were 3-11 with a 6.37 mark.

Reluctant to criticize, even manager Mickey Callaway has admitted that the Mets won't improve if others don't contribute. He may as well have been speaking directly to Jason Vargas, whose two-year, $16 million contract came with expectations that he would be a stabilizing force for the back half of the rotation.

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NEW YORK -- Of all the statistics capable of explaining the Mets' inconsistencies this season, perhaps none are more telling than this: Entering Monday's play, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard were 8-1 with a 2.37 ERA. All other Mets starters were 3-11 with a 6.37 mark.

Reluctant to criticize, even manager Mickey Callaway has admitted that the Mets won't improve if others don't contribute. He may as well have been speaking directly to Jason Vargas, whose two-year, $16 million contract came with expectations that he would be a stabilizing force for the back half of the rotation.

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Through his first three starts, Vargas was anything but, posting a 13.86 ERA that prompted the Mets to skip his next outing, arrange a simulated game and pray it would be enough for Vargas to right itself.

One start may not provide definitive proof that it worked, particularly against the league's bottom-ranked offense. But Vargas gave the Mets easily his best start of the season in Monday night's 2-0 win over the Marlins -- their fourth straight -- striking out seven over five innings at Citi Field.

"That was much more Vargas-like," Callaway said. "Obviously I've been watching him for quite some time, and that's what I remember."

Video: MIA@NYM: Callaway talks Vargas' command in 2-0 win

Perfect his first time through the batting order, Vargas did not allow a baserunner until Martin Prado led off the fourth with a single. He permitted another hit and a walk in the fifth, stranding both runners on base, before the Mets removed him for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning.

"I thought his changeup had good depth to it," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We didn't do a lot."

At the time of Vargas' departure, the Mets led, 1-0, thanks to Asdrubal Cabrera's third-inning RBI double. That was all Marlins starter Elieser Hernandez allowed in five innings, but the Mets added an unearned insurance run on Wilmer Flores' pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh.

Video: MIA@NYM: Flores smacks pinch-hit RBI single to right

It added up to a breezy victory for the Mets, who had not won consecutive games in over a month until their current four-game streak. Syndergaard and deGrom, whom the Mets recently split up in their rotation, started two of the four, each winning in dominant fashion. But to build a streak, Callaway knew, the Mets would need value from elsewhere in their rotation.

Enter Vargas, who broke a bone in his glove hand in Spring Training, missing the first month of the regular season and struggling enough upon his return that his rotation spot came into question. Spending the gap between starts trying to add life to his pitches, Vargas returned to the mound armed with better command and sharper stuff; he generated eight swings and misses on 37 changeups, throwing 53 percent offspeed pitches.

In the process, Vargas lowered his ERA from 13.86 to 9.87.

"It wasn't necessarily something that had never happened before," Vargas said of his struggles. "I could definitely look at the bigger picture and understand that I've done this a lot of times. You have questions in your mind each time when you go out what's going to happen, because no matter how good your stuff is or how bad it is, anything can happen that night. But it was really nice to get off to an early rhythm."

Tweet from @AnthonyDiComo: Jason Vargas breaks down what felt different for him during five shutout innings tonight. #Mets pic.twitter.com/kDbv6bBNXI

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Almost immediately after Vargas exited, things threatened to unravel for the Mets. After retiring the first two batters of the sixth inning, Paul Sewald allowed a walk and a hit, then lefty specialist Jerry Blevins walked Justin Bour to load the bases. The Mets' third pitcher of the inning, AJ Ramos, ran the count on pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich to 2-0 -- the first ball coming on a cross-up with catcher Devin Mesoraco -- before roaring back to strike out his former teammate and end the inning.

"I was in control of that whole situation," Ramos said. "I didn't feel like I was under pressure. I think when you have a good feel for the zone, you know where the ball's going, you're just trying to figure out a way to get him out. I was able to do that tonight."

Video: MIA@NYM: Ramos K's Dietrich to leaves the bases full

SOUND SMART
With a different teammate on the basepaths, Cabrera's third-inning double might not have resulted in an RBI. As it was, Amed Rosario blazed from first to home in 9.02 seconds, the fastest such time of any Mets player in the four years Statcast™ has been recording data. Rosario reached a top speed of 29.4 feet per second -- an elite number -- on the play.

"He can be a superstar," Cabrera said. "He has the talents to be a very good player."

Video: MIA@NYM: Amed sprints 29.4 ft/sec to score from first

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Both reliever Seth Lugo's scoreless streak, which reached a career-best 14 innings, and the Mets' shutout bid came into jeopardy when Starlin Castro hit a two-out triple in the eighth. The next batter, Brian Anderson, sent a 104.7-mph liner screaming into left field, where Brandon Nimmo laid out to snare it. The ball had a 45-percent catch probability, according to Statcast™.

"I thought I wasn't going to have to dive for it, but then it had a little topspin to it, and that's what made me go to the ground," Nimmo said. "I'm just glad whenever it goes in there and stays in the glove. But it's nice to have a diving catch every now and then, too."

Video: MIA@NYM: Nimmo makes a great diving grab in the 8th

FROM THE TRAINER'S ROOM
Crouched behind the plate in the fourth, Mesoraco took an Anderson backswing off his left elbow. He didn't think much of it at the time, but he discussed the issue on-field with assistant trainer Joe Golia when his arm began swelling up several innings later -- the result, Mesoraco believes, of a burst fluid sac in the elbow. Mesoraco stayed in the game and later underwent X-rays, which were negative. He is day to day with a bruise.

"Other than stiff, it's fine," Mesoraco. "No issues. Should be good."

Video: MIA@NYM: Mesoraco gets arm looked at, stays in game

HE SAID IT
"That's the reason we signed him, because we felt like we're going to know what we get with him. He's going to go out there and throw strikes. He's going to compete. He's going to keep you in the game, even if it's only for five innings." -- Callaway, on Vargas

UP NEXT
Another Mets pitcher who could use a change of fortune is Zack Wheeler, who has allowed 15 runs in his last three starts. Wheeler will take on left-hander Caleb Smith when the Mets and Marlins return to Citi Field at 7:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Jason Vargas

Pivetta, Phils blank Braves in NL East showdown

Williams, Altherr belt homers to back right-hander's impressive outing
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- Gabe Kapler said Monday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park that this Phillies-Braves series at the end of May is just like any other series over the course of a six-month season. Each one is important.

But Kapler felt differently following Monday night's 3-0 victory, which moved the Phillies within a half-game of the first-place Braves in the National League East. It was the first time since September 2011 that the Phillies and an NL East opponent faced each other at the Bank with both teams at least eight games over .500.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Gabe Kapler said Monday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park that this Phillies-Braves series at the end of May is just like any other series over the course of a six-month season. Each one is important.

But Kapler felt differently following Monday night's 3-0 victory, which moved the Phillies within a half-game of the first-place Braves in the National League East. It was the first time since September 2011 that the Phillies and an NL East opponent faced each other at the Bank with both teams at least eight games over .500.

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"I think it makes your heart beat a little faster in the dugout," Kapler said. "As a fan of baseball, as a fan of the sport, it's nice to see two teams with really rich histories and amazing fans and a rich history of winning competing for first place in the National League East. I'm a baseball fan at heart, and thinking about that gives me goose bumps."

Phillies right-hander Nick Pivetta got Kapler's blood pumping. Pivetta allowed just four hits and one walk in seven scoreless innings, striking out seven. Since allowing six runs in one-plus inning May 4 in Washington, Pivetta has a 0.43 ERA (one run in 19 innings) over three starts. He has allowed 10 hits and two walks and has struck out 25 in that span.

Video: ATL@PHI: Kapler on Pivetta's outing, bullpen in win

Remove that start in D.C. and Pivetta's season ERA drops from 3.23 to 2.25.

"I think it's not trying to get too high or too low, [just] trying to stay consistent and where I need to be," Pivetta said. "Games like Washington are going to happen. It's really what you do after that when you're really going to find yourself. It's just going out there, 'What do I need to do?' Having fun in the game still. We're winning, playing great, just build off the energy that we have going on in here. It makes my life a lot easier. I don't have to think about a lot of things."

Nick Williams hit an opposite-field solo home run in the fourth inning to make it 1-0. After Scott Kingery bunted for a hit in the seventh, Aaron Altherr followed with a pinch-hit, two-run home run in the seventh to make it 3-0.

Video: ATL@PHI: Williams opens the scoring with a solo homer

Williams and Altherr have been battling for playing time in right field this season. Williams has started four of the last six games.

"I don't think it's a problem," Williams said. "As long as we're doing our part and producing for the team, then everyone's going to be smiling and happy. I hit a homer today and then he hit that homer and to be honest, I went crazy. I kind of called it too, I'm not going to lie."

Did he call it out loud?

"I told [Zach] Eflin that a homer would be great right now, but Kingery's on first and he can run so a double would be nice, too," Williams said. "But then I was like, 'Nah, nah, scratch that. It's a triple or home run.' The pitch was thrown and I saw the spin and I said homer. Pow. Homer. I went crazy. I didn't even see where it landed because I went crazy."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Jorge Alfaro showed off his arm on back-to-back plays in the seventh inning. First, he caught Johan Camargo stealing second base for the inning's second out. Statcast™ tracked Alfaro's throw at 88.3 mph. He then fielded a Dansby Swanson roller in front of the plate, spun and threw to first to end the inning. Statcast™ tracked that throw at 80.1 mph.

Video: ATL@PHI: Statcast™ measures Alfaro's strong defense

Later, Alfaro threw out Ender Inciarte on an attempted bunt to end the game, giving Hector Neris his ninth save of the season.

• Alfaro demonstrates incredible arm on 3 sweet plays

"I don't know if there's another catcher that I've ever seen -- and I played with Pudge -- that makes that play in the ninth inning," Kapler said. "He is spectacularly talented, spectacularly athletic, incredibly durable. He's starting to look like a guy who is going to be a fixture in our lineup for a long time."

Video: ATL@PHI: Alfaro's throw earns Neris save, call stands

SOUND SMART
Phillies right-hander Seranthony Dominguez allowed a one-out single to Ozzie Albies in the eighth inning. It was the first hit or walk Dominguez had allowed in seven appearances. He was the first reliever in the Majors since at least 1908 to not allow a hit or walk in six consecutive appearances to start a career.

"Seranthony, wow," Kapler said. "He basically is coming onto our team and looking like a guy who could go through left and right and do so with some degree of dominance. Really impressive. Obviously, we have [Adam Morgan] out there ready for [lefties Freddie] Freeman and [Nick] Markakis. But we just have that feeling in our gut that Seranthony can get out basically anybody. We believe that right now. He's riding pretty high."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Altherr's homer was the second pinch-hit home run of his career. The ball left Altherr's bat at 107.4 mph and it travelled a projected 388 feet.

Video: ATL@PHI: Altherr skies a pinch-hit, 2-run home run

HE SAID IT
"I think our last series of the year is against the Braves. That'll be interesting to see if we can both be in it at that time, too." -- Altherr

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Umpires took a quick look at the final play of the game, when Inciarte bunted a ball in front of home plate and Alfaro picked it up and fired a throw to first. Replay showed that Alfaro's throw definitely beat him to the bag.

Video: ATL@PHI: Alfaro helps Neris earn save, call confirmed

UP NEXT
Phillies right-hander Vince Velasquez (4-4, 4.37 ERA) faces Braves right-hander Brandon McCarthy (4-2, 5.05 ERA) in the second game of this three-game series Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park. Velasquez has been a different man recently. He has a 2.08 ERA in three starts this month, striking out 21 and walking seven in 17 1/3 innings.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Philadelphia Phillies, Jorge Alfaro, Aaron Altherr, Nick Pivetta, Nick Williams

Twins break tie in eighth to back stellar Berrios

Righty allows two runs in eight innings to take series opener vs. Tigers
MLB.com

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jose Berrios left the Detroit Tigers searching for answers Monday night. At least, every Detroit batter besides Nicholas Castellanos.

Berrios struck out nine and held the Tigers to two runs over eight innings as he helped the Twins to a 4-2 win in his second consecutive strong outing. He limited Detroit hitters not named Castellanos to one hit, but the 26-year-old Tigers right fielder punished Berrios on two first-pitch fastballs -- one in the first inning that resulted in a solo homer, and another in the third that Castellanos tagged for an RBI single.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Jose Berrios left the Detroit Tigers searching for answers Monday night. At least, every Detroit batter besides Nicholas Castellanos.

Berrios struck