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Belt has longest at-bat that we've ever seen

21-pitch battle with Angels' Barria ends on flyout to right field
Special to MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Brandon Belt sent out an apology after the Giants' victory over the Angels on Sunday. He will no longer grow irritated when an opponent or teammate fouls off one pitch after another.

Belt owned the stage, as much for his historic 21-pitch at-bat during a 4-2 win over the Angels, as for hitting a home run in his fourth consecutive game played.

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ANAHEIM -- Brandon Belt sent out an apology after the Giants' victory over the Angels on Sunday. He will no longer grow irritated when an opponent or teammate fouls off one pitch after another.

Belt owned the stage, as much for his historic 21-pitch at-bat during a 4-2 win over the Angels, as for hitting a home run in his fourth consecutive game played.

View Full Game Coverage

Belt hit 16 foul balls in the first-inning plate appearance against Angels starter Jaime Barria that ended with a fly ball to right field. The 21 pitches in the at-bat, which lasted about 13 minutes, were the most on record (since 1988) for a single trip to the plate.

"When I'm in the field I hate it when a batter keeps fouling pitches off," Belt said, sheepishly. "I'm like 'Dude, just put it in play. It's not that hard. Let's go.' So I basically had to apologize to everybody after that."

Tweet from @MLB: Blackjack! Jaime Barria wins 21(!) pitch at bat with Brandon Belt. pic.twitter.com/6NhrlPaAQs

Belt had an eight-pitch at-bat in the third inning when he singled to right field and then crushed a deep home run to right in a nine-pitch at-bat in the fifth.

Giants starter Johnny Cueto said he went into the Giants' batting cage beneath the stands and threw a baseball against the netting during Belt's first-inning opus just to stay warm. The Giants saw 49 pitches in the first inning against Barria.

"It was a very good at-bat for him and it was good for him," Cueto said. "I was in the batting cage watching it. I tried to keep myself loose because I knew I had to go in and pitch."

Belt hit a home run at Arizona on Wednesday and another on Thursday against the D-backs. He did not play in Friday's game at Anaheim, which was his 30th birthday. Belt then hit a home run Saturday against the Angels and added another Sunday, his fifth of the season.

Video: SF@LAA: Belt lifts a solo long ball to right field

The last Giants player to hit a home run in four consecutive games played was Hunter Pence in 2013.

Belt's marathon first-inning at-bat bested the previous record of a 20-pitch duel between the Astros' Ricky Gutierrez and the Indians' Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998. That at-bat ended with a swinging strikeout for Colon.

Video: HOU@CLE: Colon K's Gutierrez in 20-pitch at-bat

"I've never seen anything like it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "That was really amazing what happened there, on both sides, Belt and the pitcher to keep throwing strikes too and end up winning [the battle]. No question that played a part in his early exit because he had good stuff."

Barria ended up throwing 77 pitches in two-plus innings.

Barria was making his second appearance in the Majors, having been called up earlier in the day by the Angels to make the start against the Giants. His only other start came April 11 against the Texas Rangers, when he gave up one run over five innings and picked up the victory.

"I tried some changeups and used all my pitches, then finally with a fastball in I got him out," Barria said. "Yeah, there were some good pitches that I threw to him, especially with the curveball. But in the end, he kept making contact and fouling them off."

Video: SD@LAA: Belt records three hits, contests epic at-bat

Andrew McCutchen had a good view of the first-inning battle from the on-deck circle.

"I'm not sure [Belt] was locked in, but he was fighting; he was battling," McCutchen said. "I'm sure he felt he didn't have anything [Barria] could actually throw by him."

It didn't take McCutchen long to realize the challenge he had next.

"You don't want be the next guy to just ground out on the first pitch after that," said McCutchen, who singled to left field on the sixth pitch of the at-bat following Belt.

Belt's stalemate helped to set a no-quit tone for the Giants, but in reality he was just trying to stay afloat up there in the first inning.

"I wasn't seeing his slider very well, at first," Belt said. "I was just trying to see the pitch as well as I could. Honestly, this is the brightest place we've played at and it was kind of tough to see a little bit, so I was just trying to do the best I could to see the ball and put the bat on it."

Video: CHC@LAD: Cora wins 18-pitch battle with a homer

Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who homered on the 18th pitch of an at-bat when he played for the Dodgers in May 2004, tweeted his appreciation for Belt's resilient approach.

Tweet from @ac13alex: 21 pitches?Good at bat.

Belt saw 40 pitches in five trips to the plate, but put the ball in play on the first pitch in each of his last two plate appearances. He had a first-pitch single in the seventh and a first-pitch flyout to left in the eighth.

"Maybe it was seeing pitches and tracking pitches that might get you locked in later on," Belt said. "My goal was to just have good at-bats out there and I was able to do that."

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.

San Francisco Giants, Brandon Belt, Bartolo Colon

HR leader Trout's 'Space Jam'-inspired secret

Mike Trout smacked a Major League-leading ninth home run on Sunday in the bottom of the eighth against the Giants. The two-run shot was a line drive to right field and we were reminded, once again, that his bat is one of the best in the game. We know his resume is filled to the brim with accomplishments including two American League MVP's and six All-Star selections -- to name a few. And now we know he has some Space Jam-inspired juice that's perhaps been carrying him this whole time.

Dodgers rally vs. Nats 'pen to capture series

MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- If Sunday night's 4-3 comeback win over the Nationals looked a little familiar to you, it looked familiar to the Dodgers, too. It looked a lot like the Dodgers looked last year.

"There was energy tonight," said manager Dave Roberts, whose club rallied from three runs down. "To be behind, but still keep fighting and get something going. There were signs of that ballclub, when we're doing things the right way. Hope there's more of those to come."

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LOS ANGELES -- If Sunday night's 4-3 comeback win over the Nationals looked a little familiar to you, it looked familiar to the Dodgers, too. It looked a lot like the Dodgers looked last year.

"There was energy tonight," said manager Dave Roberts, whose club rallied from three runs down. "To be behind, but still keep fighting and get something going. There were signs of that ballclub, when we're doing things the right way. Hope there's more of those to come."

View Full Game Coverage

Down, 3-0, through 5 1/3 innings against soft-tossing Jeremy Hellickson after facing heaters from Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg the two previous nights, the Dodgers tied the game with a three-run sixth inning that included doubles by Chris Taylor, Yasmani Grandal (scoring two) and Cody Bellinger (tying the game). Heads-up baserunning by Austin Barnes set up the decisive run in the seventh inning that scored on Corey Seager's sacrifice fly.

It was the second comeback win of the season for the Dodgers, who piled up 47 of them during last year's 104-win season. And even with a slow start that has the Dodgers at break even (10-10), winning two of three games from the Nationals was an emotional lift.

"We're in a good spot right now, honestly," said Taylor, who followed his sixth-inning double with the single that sent Barnes on his first-to-third scamper and set up the winning run. "The last few games we've put together better at-bats. We're just playing better baseball. Even tonight, the bats were slow early, but [Hellickson] had his stuff working. We hung in there and took advantage later when he got tired."

Video: WSH@LAD: Grandal plates two with a double to right

While Seager walked between the sixth-inning double from Taylor and Grandal, as well as brought home the winning run with a scoring fly in the seventh, he said Grandal's two-run double that blistered inside first base swung the momentum.

"He's carried us a few games," Seager said of Grandal, who was doubled home by Bellinger to tie the game at 3. "To have him on a roll like this is really nice."

Grandal, in his free-agent year, is looking like the All-Star Grandal of 2015. He extended his career-high hitting streak to 11 games, during which he's driven in 13 runs with five doubles and two homers.

Video: WSH@LAD: Statcast™ tracks Bellinger's 110.7-mph double

"Yasi is doing lot of good things at plate," said Roberts. "Most encouraging is he's taking the walk when they're giving it. But if you make a mistake, he makes them pay. Where he's at, on both side of the plate, makes me feel very comfortable putting him in the three[-hole]."

He got that trusted slot by default, as the injury to Justin Turner led Roberts to use Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Seager and Kiké Hernandez there until elevating Grandal there for the last three lineups.

Roberts stressed to the media not to overlook the contribution of Barnes, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning for starting pitcher Alex Wood. Barnes started the seventh-inning rally when he was hit in the back by a Trevor Gott curveball. Barnes hustled to third on Taylor's bouncing single to right field, just beating Bryce Harper's throw. Seager then sliced the tiebreaking sacrifice fly to left field.

"A lot goes into that play, it should get all the credit it deserves," Roberts said of Barnes' first-to-third scamper. "To see the ball in the hole, know the guy in right field has a cannon of an arm with accuracy. To get the jump, cut the corner, it's a bang-bang play. You need feel and instinct and Austin has both. And he's athletic and that created that inning for us."

Video: WSH@LAD: Roberts on comeback in 4-3 win over Nats

Barnes said he had to hesitate to be sure he wasn't struck by the bouncing ball as it headed to the outfield.

"You've got to make something happen, grind runs in the late innings, it was worth a shot," he said. "Being aggressive, that's our kind of baseball, and over time it will pay off for us. We just have to remember what the recipe is for us, to grind through at-bats and be aggressive whenever we can."

Jansen perseveres for another scoreless ninth

Video: WSH@LAD: Jansen gets out Kendrick to earn the save

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hit the cutoff: It took a long reach by shortstop Seager to flag down Puig's throw from right field that was trying to gun down Wilmer Difo going from first to third on Andrew Stevenson's single with no outs in the seventh. But Seager made the cut and erased Stevenson with a throw to second baseman Barnes. Difo had walked on four Josh Fields pitches, but Fields escaped by striking out Trea Turner and Howie Kendrick.

Couldn't hustle: One pitch after fouling a changeup off his foot, Harper bounced to second baseman Chase Utley with two outs in the fifth inning and a runner on second. First baseman Bellinger had to lunge well off the bag to save Utley's wide throw, but Bellinger had time to scramble back to the bag as Harper jogged down the line. Harper remained in the game.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
How'd that happen? During his fifth-inning at-bat, Utley faked a bunt and had a Hellickson pitch sail between his legs. Utley has been hit by pitches 200 times. More >

Video: WSH@LAD: Utley jumps over pitch from Hellickson

HE SAID IT
"We're starting to get rolling again, clicking on all cylinders." -- Seager

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
After Seager's sacrifice fly gave the Dodgers a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, Taylor was called safe on an attempt to steal second base. The Nationals challenged, and the call was overturned.

Video: WSH@LAD: Severino nabs Taylor after overturned call

UP NEXT
Top pitching prospect Walker Buehler gets the callup for his first Major League start on Monday night against the last-place Marlins and their hot rookie starter, lefty Jarlin Garcia. In his last start for Triple-A Oklahoma City last Monday, Buehler needed 80 pitches for four innings. First pitch is set for 7:10 PT at Dodger Stadium.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Cody Bellinger, Yasmani Grandal, Kenley Jansen, Corey Seager, Alex Wood

Bryant hit in helmet, no signs of concussion

Special to MLB.com

DENVER -- The series finale in Colorado started on a scary note, as Kris Bryant took a pitch to the helmet in the first inning of Sunday's 9-7 win over the Rockies and had to leave the game.

Bryant was examined upon exiting the game and passed all tests. He has a small laceration above his left eye from his sunglasses, but he shows no signs of a concussion. He was still being evaluated after the game and will be monitored carefully as he travels with the team to Cleveland.

View Full Game Coverage

DENVER -- The series finale in Colorado started on a scary note, as Kris Bryant took a pitch to the helmet in the first inning of Sunday's 9-7 win over the Rockies and had to leave the game.

Bryant was examined upon exiting the game and passed all tests. He has a small laceration above his left eye from his sunglasses, but he shows no signs of a concussion. He was still being evaluated after the game and will be monitored carefully as he travels with the team to Cleveland.

View Full Game Coverage

"Apparently, he's fine, as good as could be expected," manager Joe Maddon said after the game. "I've not heard anything awful, but they're still watching him. I have not heard the word concussion yet, so hopefully very good."

Carl Edwards Jr. also reported talking to Bryant during the game, who told Edwards, "I feel fine."

After retiring the first two batters and getting a 1-2 count on Bryant, Rockies starter German Marquez threw a 96.3-mph fastball high and inside that hit Bryant in the front of the helmet. He walked away from the plate toward the dugout and was immediately met by manager Joe Maddon, who embraced him in part to ensure he was OK. Bryant stayed on his feet while talking to Maddon and both team trainers and was helped off the field by the two.

"That's just a bad moment. I didn't know where K.B. was at when I got there, but I just knew he needed to be held onto," Maddon said. "You get hit in the head, you get wobbly. I wanted to make sure to steady him. He steadied up and we walked him off and I said, 'You're out. Go sit down.'"

Video: CHC@COL: Maddon optimistic about Bryant, more to come

David Bote, who had been recalled the day before and started at third base Saturday, pinch-ran for Bryant and took third in the bottom of the inning. He scored on the first of four consecutive two-out singles from Anthony Rizzo, Tommy La Stella, Kyle Schwarber and Victor Caratini as the Cubs erupted for three runs.

Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis and assistant hitting coach Andy Haines were both ejected after delivering heated remarks to home-plate umpire Cory Blaser.

"I didn't even know that was going on," Maddon said. "I was concerned about Kris, holding on to him, and all of a sudden, 'You're out, you're done,' whatever. My argument was, 'Stay out of my dugout.' It was an emotional moment, a lot of stuff going on. Don't look for stuff. I had no chance to go back in and settle the dugout. My argument to the umpires was just that: It was an emotional moment, stay out of my dugout."

Tensions escalated in the eighth inning when Rizzo was hit in the arm by Rockies reliever Jake McGee, but Rizzo stayed in the game, and no further incidents followed.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver.

Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant

Cueto lowers ERA to 0.35 as Giants top Halos

Righty takes no-hit bid into sixth; Belt homers for fourth straight game
Special to MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- It took three-plus weeks, a determined outing from Johnny Cueto and an epic day from Brandon Belt, as the Giants finally won their first series this season.

Belt's historic 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning Sunday was the conversation piece, but his fifth-inning home run helped fuel a 4-2 victory over the Angels.

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ANAHEIM -- It took three-plus weeks, a determined outing from Johnny Cueto and an epic day from Brandon Belt, as the Giants finally won their first series this season.

Belt's historic 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning Sunday was the conversation piece, but his fifth-inning home run helped fuel a 4-2 victory over the Angels.

View Full Game Coverage

Cueto contributed his fair share as well, holding the Angels to no runs on two hits after carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He lowered his ERA to 0.35 after four starts.

"It's great to get a series," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "You hate to wait this long to get one, but on the road against a club that has really been playing well this year, Johnny came through for us. What a great effort he gave us and we hung on."

The Giants won two of the three games at Anaheim, in a rematch of the thrilling 2002 World Series won by the Angels.

Cueto, who missed a recent start with an ankle sprain, pitched through some discomfort, even getting a visit from the trainer at one point. He did not give up a base hit until Ian Kinsler singled to lead off the sixth inning.

He closed the sixth by loading the bases but getting Luis Valbuena to hit into a 3-6-1 double play to end the threat. Cueto did a spin and made a fist pump after recording the out at first base, which ended up being the final out of his outing.

"Based on the situation I had to celebrate it," Cueto said.

A day after striking out 17 times against the Angels, the Giants tagged 77 pitches on Angels starter Jaime Barria in two-plus innings, with 49 of those pitches coming in the first inning alone. Barria gave up two runs on five hits with a walk in his second career appearance.

Belt's 21-pitch at-bat, as the second batter of the game, took about 13 minutes and included 16 foul balls. It ended with him hitting a fly ball to right field. He saw 17 combined pitches in his next two at-bats, and he finished those with a single and his home run, respectively

Video: Must C Classic: Barria, Belt duel in 21-pitch at-bat

Belt ended the day with three hits and saw 40 pitches in his five plate appearances.

"I don't really remember [specifics], I just knew I was getting tired and I wanted to do something right there," Belt said. "I didn't want to give in. I put too much effort into that at-bat already. I wanted to get something to handle and he just kept making good pitches."

Buster Posey, who returned to the lineup after missing Saturday's game with back tightness, brought home the first Giants run in the third inning when he grounded into a double play. Evan Longoria added a two-run home run in the third, his fourth of the season.

Belt's towering home run in the fifth easily cleared the wall in right field and gave him four home runs in the past four games he has played. He did not play in Friday's game at Anaheim, which was also his 30th birthday.

Video: SF@LAA: Belt lifts a solo long ball to right field

The Angels closed the gap to 4-2 in the eighth inning on Mike Trout's third home in three games. Trout took over sole possession of the Major League lead in homers with nine.

Hunter Strickland gave up two hits, but pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his third save.

Video: SF@LAA: Strickland induces fly out, records the save

"It was a hard-fought game, but no question it's good to head home with a series under our belt," Bochy said.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cueto spun around like a top in celebration after working his way out of a bases-loaded situation in the sixth inning. After loading the bases with one out, Cueto got Valbuena to hit a ground ball to Belt at first base. Belt started a nifty 3-6-1 double play, with Cueto combining a spin with a pump of his fist following the last out of his outing.

Video: SF@LAA: Cueto induces an around-the-horn double play

SOUND SMART
Cueto's 0.35 ERA is the lowest for a Giants pitcher after four starts since Ray Sadecki had a 0.25 mark in 1968. Cueto has given up one run over 26 innings so far this season, firing scoreless outings at the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and now the Angels.

HE SAID IT
"You have to give it to him. He kept on throwing strikes and didn't really hang anything except maybe a couple of pitches, but it was enough to throw me off and not get the barrel to the ball. It was a tough at-bat, but I was just trying to have a good at-bat up there, honestly." -- Belt, on facing Barria in their 21-pitch duel in the first inning 

UP NEXT
The Giants will try to carry some momentum into the upcoming homestand, facing the Nationals on Monday. Chris Stratton (1-1, 2.22 ERA) will take the mound with some momentum of his own as the Giants have gone 3-1 in his starts this season. The Nationals will counter with left-hander Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 2.49) in the 7:15 p.m. PT start.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.

San Francisco Giants

Don't worry, Yankees fans: Stanton will be fine

MLB.com @MikeLupica

There was a moment in Spring Training, a month ago in Tampa, Fla., almost exactly, when Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees newbie, was telling the media that he was ready for the scrutiny he would face when he came north with his new team.

"The good times will be magnified, and so will the bad," Stanton said. "The fans expect a lot. I expect a lot, too."

There was a moment in Spring Training, a month ago in Tampa, Fla., almost exactly, when Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees newbie, was telling the media that he was ready for the scrutiny he would face when he came north with his new team.

"The good times will be magnified, and so will the bad," Stanton said. "The fans expect a lot. I expect a lot, too."

It was another way of saying that he felt as if he were prepared for New York and Yankee Stadium and Yankees fans, the whole thing. He was telling the truth, and he sounded quite reasonable.

Only he wasn't prepared. Hardly anybody ever is. They don't know what it's like until they are here. It always reminds me of an old line from Ernie Accorsi, former New York Giants general manager, about what it's like for players who've never played in the Super Bowl to run out of the tunnel to actually play the game.

"It's like they've just landed on a different planet," Accorsi said.

Not everybody struggles. Some struggle for reasons that have nothing to do with baseball. So many of Reggie Jackson's problems in his first year with the Yankees, one that ended with him hitting three home runs against the Dodgers on the night when the Yanks won the 1977 World Series, were self-inflicted because of the "straw that stirs the drink" article about him in Sport magazine, one that got him sideways right away -- to say the least -- with Thurman Munson. And Reggie was a much bigger baseball star by the time he got to New York than Stanton ever was in Miami.

So it's quite prophetic that Reggie said this to my friend Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record one day in Clearwater, Fla., this past spring, speaking of Stanton:

"It'll be fun in Spring Training. It'll be work the first month."

Video: Must C Classic: Stanton hits two HRs in Yanks debut

It has turned out to be work for Stanton this first month -- oh boy, has it ever. The guy who hit 59 home runs for the Marlins last season and chased 60 all the way to his last at-bat in a Miami uniform -- and who broke in on Opening Day with two home runs against the Blue Jays -- is hitting .185 in 81 at-bats. He has struck out 32 times. He went 0-for-4 against the Blue Jays on Sunday. His OPS is .678. He started slowly for the Marlins last season, but not like this.

The other night, Stanton got an infield hit against the Blue Jays and a walk and worked the count a few times, and this was treated like some kind of triumph at the Stadium. It had come to that. And having told you that, and given you the numbers, I still believe Stanton is going to have a big year. He absolutely has started slowly before. He has had brutal slumps in the past, when it seemed as if he struck out for a whole month.

Maybe he won't hit 60 homers. Maybe he and Aaron Judge won't combine for 100. But Stanton will power through this -- in all ways -- the way Reggie did and Alex Rodriguez did when he got to New York, even though it wasn't nearly as bad for A-Rod as it's been for Stanton. In his first April in New York, in 2004, A-Rod hit .268, with four home runs and seven RBIs, numbers that seem Ruthian right now compared to Stanton's. He ended up with 36 home runs that year. The next year, he hit 48 for the Yankees, and two years after that, he hit 54. It is also always worth remembering that Rodriguez was hitting in the old Stadium, not the new one, where balls fly out of the place like Titleists flying off the face of one of those new space-age drivers.

But again, nobody, especially nobody in New York, should be shocked at this kind of start for Stanton. It was probably inevitable that he would start this way, just because so many new Yankees have started pretty much the same way. It is a familiar Yankees version of "The Out-of-Towners." You think you know what to expect. You don't.

Tino Martinez, who turned out to be a big Yankee on a Yankees team as great as they have ever had, which means Joe Torre's Yankees, was a hot mess when he first joined the team in 1996. Not only was he new, he was replacing Donald Arthur Mattingly at first base, and everybody knows the last memory of Mattingly that had been burned into the hearts of Yankees fans: He had hit .417 against the Mariners in one of the great and rousing first-round series, against Seattle in 1995.

Tino showed up in town and was hitting under .100 at one point in April. He had three hits in his first 34 at-bats. He looked even more helpless at the Stadium at the beginning than he did on the road, so he was the one who heard it from Yankees fans the way Stanton has, including getting booed at the Yankees' home opener on a day when he struck out five times. But by the end of the 1996 season, Tino had 25 homers,117 RBIs and a .292 batting average, and the Yankees had won their first World Series since 1978.

Video: TB@NYY: Rays pitchers strike out Stanton five times

Didi Gregorius, who was as dangerous a hitter as Judge last October, struggled mightily after running out to shortstop to replace Captain Jeter in April 2015. He struggled at the plate and in the field and on the bases and maybe even driving to work on the Major Deegan Expressway. He came out of it, of course. He was too talented not to. So was Tino. So, mightily, is Stanton. What he is experiencing so far is like pledging the most famous baseball fraternity in this world. Soon, maybe by the end of this week, the big launch angler from South Florida will be likely launch-angling like crazy.

Just not yet.

Something else worth remembering: Stanton has frankly never faced this kind of scrutiny before, even hitting 59 homers in a season. He has never had this kind of stage, this kind of attention, this kind of noise, never faced this kind of pressure in a baseball life that hasn't yet seen a single postseason game. That is just the fact of things. It was nice in South Florida. It was warm. It was relatively quiet. It's different here. Others have discovered that. Now he has.

Big city. Different planet. Again.

Mike Lupica is a columnist for MLB.com. He also writes for the New York Daily News.

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

A's hand Red Sox another loss on late home run

Special to MLB.com

OAKLAND -- Khris Davis wasn't going to let David Price get ahead of him. The A's DH went to the plate in the eighth inning of a tie game and hit a first-pitch three-run homer that carried the Athletics to a 4-1 win over the Boston Red Sox at the Coliseum on Sunday.

"It was first-pitch hacking, that's what happened," Davis said after the A's became the first team this season to hand the Red Sox back-to-back losses. "I think he wanted it a little further in, obviously. It was on the plate, and I was looking to be aggressive and get him early."

View Full Game Coverage

OAKLAND -- Khris Davis wasn't going to let David Price get ahead of him. The A's DH went to the plate in the eighth inning of a tie game and hit a first-pitch three-run homer that carried the Athletics to a 4-1 win over the Boston Red Sox at the Coliseum on Sunday.

"It was first-pitch hacking, that's what happened," Davis said after the A's became the first team this season to hand the Red Sox back-to-back losses. "I think he wanted it a little further in, obviously. It was on the plate, and I was looking to be aggressive and get him early."

View Full Game Coverage

Davis, who also drove in Oakland's first run with an RBI single in the first, and the A's were feeling good about themselves after a 5-1 homestand that included some dominant pitching. Between the seventh inning Friday and the seventh inning Sunday, the A's pitchers held MLB's highest-scoring team without a run.

Video: BOS@OAK: Davis grounds an RBI single to left

Starter Daniel Mengden, who'd allowed the White Sox one run in eight innings earlier in the week, came back with one run allowed in 6 1/3 innings against Boston, a team averaging 6 1/2 runs per game before the last two days.

"It's special for the starters to be able to come in after the game knowing we did our jobs," Mengden said. "We know we're going to score runs if we give our guys a chance."

Video: BOS@OAK: Mengden allows one run over 6 1/3 frames

Now Oakland, 11-11, has a chance to get over .500 as it heads out on a three-city trip to Texas, Houston and Seattle.

"This is huge -- we've just got to ride the wave out as long as we can," Davis said. "The pitching has been fantastic. Anytime the pitching is on, we want to be putting up runs. We couldn't ask for anything more."

In the wake of Saturday's no-hitter from Sean Manaea, Mengden did what he could to keep the Red Sox's bats at bay. Ahead 1-0 from the first, Mengden threw six shutout innings before Brock Holt's one-out double tied the game and put men on second and third with one out. Yusmeiro Petit, who'd just rejoined the team after almost a week off to visit his ailing mother in Venezuela, pitched out of the jam.

"That was incredible," Mengden said of the job Petit did. "He cleaned up my mess."

Video: BOS@OAK: Petit strikes out Lin to escape jam

Oakland had only one runner in scoring position against Price between the second and seventh innings. But Marcus Semien and Stephen Piscotty singled with one out in the eighth, and after Jed Lowrie struck out, it was up to Davis to deliver his sixth homer and let closer Blake Treinen take it the rest of the way home.

Treinen, who took over one out into the top of the eighth, got two quick outs in the ninth only to come up limping after the second. He'd caught his spikes in the dirt and felt "a little grab" in his knee, but said after about 20 seconds of being checked out, he felt fine.

Video: BOS@OAK: Treinen injured on nice play, stays in

SOUND SMART
Semien, who leads off most of the time against left-handed pitching, scored all three runs Saturday and the first two A's runs Sunday to give him five in a row. And with the A's in the middle of five consecutive games against left-handed starter, he'll be at the top of the lineup again the next three days.

HE SAID IT
"Khris Davis is a three-run homer waiting to happen." -- A's manager Bob Melvin

Video: BOS@OAK: Melvin on handing Red Sox first series loss

UP NEXT
A's DH Davis, who drove in four runs Sunday, will be looking to fatten his offensive numbers during the three-game series vs. the Rangers, which begins Monday at 5:05 p.m. PT. He has eight career homers and a .338 career average at Globe Life Park. The downside is he's never gotten a hit (0-for-6) against Monday starter Matt Moore, who will oppose Oakland starter Trevor Cahill.

John Hickey is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

Oakland Athletics, Daniel Mengden

Rays' Gomez has walk-off celebration for the ages

The Rays won in walk-off fashion on Sunday, compliments of a moonshot from Carlos Gomez in the bottom of the ninth. And it was the cherry on top of a previous at-bat that left him with some broken lumber. 

Early reports on Joey Bats are positive

Third baseman to join Triple-A Gwinnett Monday, could be with Braves within the next week
MLB.com @mlbbowman

ATLANTA -- Jose Bautista has made a strong impression since signing a Minor League deal with the Braves last week. The right-handed slugger will join Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday and could possibly join Atlanta's lineup at some point within the next week.

"The reports are really good -- defensively, offensively, how he's playing the game, the shape he's in," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "I think that's what blows everybody away, the shape that he is in. He's in good baseball shape. It's just a matter of timing and getting him to Triple-A to see a little better pitching."

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ATLANTA -- Jose Bautista has made a strong impression since signing a Minor League deal with the Braves last week. The right-handed slugger will join Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday and could possibly join Atlanta's lineup at some point within the next week.

"The reports are really good -- defensively, offensively, how he's playing the game, the shape he's in," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "I think that's what blows everybody away, the shape that he is in. He's in good baseball shape. It's just a matter of timing and getting him to Triple-A to see a little better pitching."

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Bautista spent the past two days playing for Class A Advanced Florida. He'll be promoted in time to play both ends of Triple-A Gwinnett's doubleheader against Rochester on Monday at Frontier Field. From there, the Braves will assess his progress and get a better feel of when he might be ready to spend some time as Atlanta's third baseman.

Tweet from @FireFrogsBB: Another day. Another @JoeyBats19 hit. 🤷��������� pic.twitter.com/7x35OY9pF1

Though he was forced to make his own preparations as he went through the entire offseason unsigned, Bautista reported to the Braves' Spring Training facility last week and provided clear indications he had not just been sitting around waiting for an opportunity.

Bautista has not regularly played third base over the past decade, but Braves infield instructor Adam Everett has been encouraged by what he has seen thus far. The two-time American League Hank Aaron Award winner went 1-for-3 for Florida on Saturday and then went 1-for-4 with a double in Sunday's game.

Bautista's arrival could further diminish opportunities for Johan Camargo to be in the starting lineup. Camargo was lined up to be Atlanta's starting third baseman before he strained his right oblique muscle two weeks before the start of the regular season. Since returning from the disabled list on Thursday, Camargo has been primarily used off the bench. He made the most of his only start on Saturday, when he delivered a game-tying ninth-inning triple and then scored moments later on Ender Inciarte's game-ending bunt single.

Video: NYM@ATL: Camargo rips a game-tying RBI triple in 9th

Ryan Flaherty has significantly exceeded expectations as he has produced a strong .362 batting average through the season's first three weeks. But he may soon be sharing the third-base position with Bautista.

Camargo hit .299 and produced a .783 OPS over 82 games with Atlanta last year. But the Braves have seemingly made it clear they believe he would be best utilized as a versatile offensive and defensive bench piece.

"I'm not playing a lot, but when I play, I just want to contribute to the team," Camargo said. "When they give me the opportunity, I'm going to enjoy it."

Living and learning
A.J. Minter has certainly continued to be a valuable bullpen piece as he has allowed just one run through his first 10 1/3 innings of the season. But his strikeout and walk rates are not as impressive as those he produced after getting his first call to the Majors last year.

Minter recorded 26 strikeouts and issued just two walks over 15 innings this past season. Through this year's first 10 1/3 innings, he has notched nine strikeouts and issued seven walks. Three of those strikeouts were recorded during the perfect eighth inning he completed against the Nationals on April 11.

Video: ATL@WSH: Minter whiffs Harper to end 8th

"It's honestly just me trying to do too much," Minter said. "I'm trying to strike everybody out. That will come. I'm just going back to what I did best and that is just to throw it over the plate."

Earth Day
As Major League Baseball celebrated Earth Day on Sunday, the Braves were proud of the initiatives they have taken to help protect the environment.

SunTrust Park is one of six big league ballparks that has been given a LEED certification. These certifications are given to buildings that meet strict guidelines for environmental responsibility by using less water and energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Braves are also one of 18 clubs that will use LED lighting by the end of this season. In addition to providing better lighting for fans, these light fixtures are more energy efficient and have a lifespan of 30 years.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. Listen to his podcast.

Atlanta Braves, Johan Camargo

Here is the best game every day this week

2016 World Series rematch, Ohtani's start vs. champs and more highlight slate
MLB.com @RichardJustice

If you couldn't get enough of the 2016 World Series, this is your week. While it may not be the exact same dynamic, it's going to make for some must-watch television for baseball fans.

If you like history, there could be be a significant milestone.

If you couldn't get enough of the 2016 World Series, this is your week. While it may not be the exact same dynamic, it's going to make for some must-watch television for baseball fans.

If you like history, there could be be a significant milestone.

Finally, if you've got those Shohei Ohtani mound appearances circled on your calendar, you'll want to catch the action Tuesday at Minute Maid Park.

Overall, it'll be a week when a little more of the story of 2018 unfolds, a season that so far features surprise contenders making some of the division races way more interesting than they were projected to be.

Let's look at some of the week's best games day by day:

MONDAY: Nationals at Giants (10:15 p.m. ET, MLB Network, MLB.TV)

This one features two of the most interesting teams in the game, both hit hard by injuries, both still attempting to hit their stride. This first month has been a showcase for Bryce Harper, who has never been better. The Giants have two of their three injured starting pitchers, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija, back, and they will now find out what kind of run they're capable of making.

TUESDAY: Angels at Astros (8:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)

Ohtani's fourth start on the mound will come against one of baseball's deepest and best lineups. He lasted just two innings because of a blister on his right middle finger in his start last Tuesday vs. the Red Sox. He'll be opposed by one of the Astros' aces, in this case Charlie Morton, the No. 5 starter with a 0.72 ERA. As Albert Pujols closes in on joining the 3,000-hit club, Minute Maid Park, his favorite visiting park, would be an appropriate place to make history. In 133 games in Houston, Pujols has 30 homers and a .275 average.

Video: BOS@LAA: Ohtani exits after two innings with blister

WEDNESDAY: Cubs at Indians (7:10 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)

It may not have the same feel as the 2016 Fall Classic, when these two clubs delivered one of the great postseason series ever played. Eighteen months later, both teams appear to be headed back toward the postseason, and if nothing else, this two-game set should be a good litmus test for both.

THURSDAY: Mets at Cardinals (1:15 p.m. ET, MLB.TV) and Red Sox at Blue Jays (7:07 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)

Why settle for one? Here's a day-night doubleheader. The Mets opened the season by winning two of three from the Cardinals at Citi Field as part of an 11-1 start. The Cards have won eight of nine since a slow start to make this a fascinating matchup. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays will attempt to slow down baseball's hottest team.

Video: STL@NYM: Cespedes rips a solo homer to left

FRIDAY: Braves at Phillies (7:05 p.m. ET MLB.TV)

Two young teams that are changing the balance of power in the National League East, if not the entire NL, go at it in Philadelphia. Both these teams play with energy and aggressiveness that is absolutely captivating to watch. Both have a chance to get better as the young players get more comfortable.

SATURDAY: Dodgers at Giants (DH) (4:05 p.m. ET, MLB.TV)

That both these teams begin the week still trying to get above .500 only makes the series that's always entertaining even better. There'll be some urgency to things, and with the Giants' rotation almost whole again, this is their chance to make a statement about where they fit into the NL West race. The Dodgers are a long way from being whole again, and they no longer seem like the NL West slam dunk they appeared to be on Opening Day.

SUNDAY: Yankees at Angels (8:07 p.m. ET, ESPN)

This will be a showcase for baseball's newest generation, from Aaron Judge, Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres for the Yankees to Ohtani for the Angels. Both these teams appear to be good enough to make the postseason, but there's still plenty of season to go.

Video: TOR@NYY: Torres receives ovation before first at-bat

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

Bullpen of the Week: Brewers

Hader converts pair of multi-inning saves during win streak
MLB.com

After stumbling in Monday's opener against the Reds -- reliever Oliver Drake gave up six runs in the sixth inning -- the Brewers' pitching staff rebounded to help Milwaukee wrap the week with six consecutive wins against Cincinnati and Miami, including three shutouts.

The Brewers' relief unit was a major part of that success, yielding just one unearned run during the winning streak and cementing its status as MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford.

After stumbling in Monday's opener against the Reds -- reliever Oliver Drake gave up six runs in the sixth inning -- the Brewers' pitching staff rebounded to help Milwaukee wrap the week with six consecutive wins against Cincinnati and Miami, including three shutouts.

The Brewers' relief unit was a major part of that success, yielding just one unearned run during the winning streak and cementing its status as MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford.

As part of the Hartford Prevailing Moments program, each Monday throughout the 2018 season, MLB.com is honoring the "Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford." An industry-wide panel of MLB experts, including legendary stats guru Bill James, constructed a metric based on James' widely renowned game-score formula, to provide a weekly measurement of team-bullpen performance.

Here's how the Bullpen Rating System is compiled for each week. For reference, a weekly score of 100 is considered outstanding:

• Add 1.5 points for each out recorded
• Add 1.5 points for each strikeout
• Add 5 points for a save
• Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed
• Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed
• Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed
• Subtract 1 point for each walk
• Subtract 5 points for a blown save

Milwaukee won the week with 103.5 points, totaling 74 outs, 29 strikeouts, 14 hits, eight runs (seven earned), eight walks and three saves. Seven of the eight runs allowed came in Monday's defeat vs. the Reds.

Although he was in the mix for a rotation spot, Josh Hader, who entered last season as the Brewers' top pitching prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, has excelled in his relief role. He tossed five innings over the last week, converting two multi-inning saves and allowing just one unearned run. He struck out seven batters against one walk.

Video: CIN@MIL: Hader retires Peraza for two-inning save

The unexpected: The Brewers fell into an early deficit against the Marlins on Saturday as starter Brent Suter gave up a season-high five runs -- including a three-run homer by Miami's Lewis Brinson -- in five innings of work. They trailed, 5-4, when Jacob Barnes took over in the sixth inning.

How they prevailed: After the Marlins notched eight hits and a walk against Suter, the Brewers' bullpen shut down Miami's momentum as Barnes, Hader, Matt Albers and Jeremy Jeffress combined to pitch four scoreless frames. The quartet yielded just one hit and struck out four batters.

"It was really effective work by the bullpen," Suter said. "They're just continuing to be a unit out there. Those are guys who pitch for each other. There's a lot of love out there in the bullpen. What a great win to be a part of."

Milwaukee won the week by a 17-point margin over the Yankees (86.5) in the Bullpen Rating System. The Phillies weren't far behind with 84 points.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Milwaukee Brewers

Almora Jr. makes 3 unreal catches for Cubs

Albert Almora Jr. has put on a defensive clinic this weekend during the Cubs' series against the Rockies at Coors Field. On Saturday, he covered 87 feet en route to a basket catch on a drive by DJ LeMahieu, but that was just a warm-up for Sunday.

Andujar's 4 hits lift Yanks to series win over Jays

Special to MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Years from now, if Gleyber Torres develops into the star the Yankees think he'll become, you can go ahead and tell people you remember his Major League debut. Just don't forget to mention Miguel Andujar's name.

Sunday may have been Gleyber Day in the Bronx, the first Major League game for a 21-year-old ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 5 prospect in the game. But while Torres had a quiet debut, going 0-for-4, the 23-year-old Andujar continued an impressive week with four hits in a 5-1 Yankees win over the Blue Jays. New York finished the weekend with a four-game series victory.

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NEW YORK -- Years from now, if Gleyber Torres develops into the star the Yankees think he'll become, you can go ahead and tell people you remember his Major League debut. Just don't forget to mention Miguel Andujar's name.

Sunday may have been Gleyber Day in the Bronx, the first Major League game for a 21-year-old ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 5 prospect in the game. But while Torres had a quiet debut, going 0-for-4, the 23-year-old Andujar continued an impressive week with four hits in a 5-1 Yankees win over the Blue Jays. New York finished the weekend with a four-game series victory.

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"I've known Miggy for two years, and I know he can hit," said Torres, who was teammates with Andujar in the 2016 Arizona Fall League. "I'm happy he has had a good week."

It's actually been a week-plus, an important 10 days for Andujar and maybe for the Yankees' future. He had been playing third base in place of the injured Brandon Drury, but through April 12, he was 3-for-28 with no extra-base hits. Meanwhile, the Yankees had Torres playing third base at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Video: TOR@NYY: Boone on Andujar's confidence, hit streak

In six games since, Andujar has gone 13-for-25 with seven doubles, a triple and two home runs. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Yankees shifted Torres back to second base and then called him up to play that position in the Major Leagues.

Andujar is now the third baseman, and when you added in Torres at second and 24-year-old Luis Severino on the mound, the Yankees had a young look Sunday that suggested good things to come. Severino allowed just one run on three hits in seven innings to win for the fourth time in five starts.

Shortstop Didi Gregorius, an elder statesman in this group at 28, also had a big day Sunday with a first-inning home run and a seventh-inning sacrifice fly.

"It's what everyone's been talking about," Gregorius said. "We've got a lot of prospects."

Video: TOR@NYY: Gregorius belts a solo homer to right

Gregorius said when he saw Andujar before Sunday's game, the third baseman told him, "I'm feeling good."

"I told him, 'Show me,'" Gregorius said.

Andujar did just that. With a runner on first and one out in the second inning, he doubled down the left-field line to set up Austin Romine's two-run double later in the inning. Andujar added an infield hit in the fourth inning, a run-scoring double in the sixth and another infield hit in the eighth.

"To me, it's about getting an opportunity and doing your job," Andujar said through an interpreter. "I'm getting a great opportunity."

Video: TOR@NYY: Romine rips a two-run double to right

What he's showing at the plate isn't a surprise to Yankee players and coaches who have long expressed confidence in Andujar's bat.

"Everybody knows he can hit," Severino said.

Everybody believes Torres will hit, too, and no one will be too concerned about his hitless debut. Torres got a standing ovation when he came to the plate for his first Major League at-bat in the second inning, but he struck out against Jays starter Jaime Garcia. Torres grounded into a double play in the fourth, popped out in the sixth and flied out to right field in the eighth.

Video: TOR@NYY: Torres receives ovation before first at-bat

It was an 0-for-4, but maybe it was also the start of something bigger. And maybe in the future, people will remember Sunday for both Torres and Andujar.

"In Andujar and Gleyber, we have two really good players," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Severino goes seven: Boone started Severino on Opening Day, and he calls him the Yankees' ace. The skipper treated him that way Sunday, sending him back out for the seventh inning when Severino had already thrown a season-high 97 pitches. Severino made it through the seventh, finishing with 112 pitches.

Video: TOR@NYY: Severino fans six over seven strong innings

"To get us through seven was huge," Boone said. "That's what an ace looks like."

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Yankees and the crowd thought Tyler Austin had an infield hit in the eighth inning Sunday, but first-base umpire Ted Barrett called him out. The Yankees asked for a replay review, believing shortstop Lourdes Gurriel Jr.'s throw had pulled first baseman Justin Smoak off the bag. After review, the call was allowed to stand, causing Boone to raise his arms in the air and bringing loud boos from Yankee fans who believed the replay they saw showed Smoak's foot off the bag.

Video: TOR@NYY: Gurriel Jr. nabs Austin despite challenge

Boone later said the Yankees' replay room had some doubt the call would be overturned, because it wasn't clear where Smoak's foot was when he caught the ball.

UP NEXT
The Yankees and Twins, who met in the American League Wild Card Game last October, will be back at Yankee Stadium for a four-game series beginning with a 7:05 p.m. ET game Monday night. Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka (2-2, 6.45 ERA) will be on the mound for the Yankees, with right-hander Jake Odorizzi (1-1, 3.38 ERA) starting for the Twins.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York.

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar, Didi Gregorius, Austin Romine, Luis Severino