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Trout slugs MLB-best 9th home run

MLB.com

Mike Trout connected for his Major League-leading ninth home run with a two-run shot in the eighth inning of the Angels' game against the Giants on Sunday.

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View Full Game Coverage Mike Trout connected for his Major League-leading ninth home run with a two-run shot in the eighth inning of the Angels' game against the Giants on Sunday.

Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout

Belt has historic 21-pitch at-bat vs. Angels

Special to MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- The Giants' Brandon Belt has owned the stage Sunday, not only for his historic 21-pitch at-bat, but also hitting a home run in his fourth consecutive game played.

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.

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ANAHEIM -- The Giants' Brandon Belt has owned the stage Sunday, not only for his historic 21-pitch at-bat, but also hitting a home run in his fourth consecutive game played.

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.

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He 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.

Belt hit a home run at Arizona on Wednesday and another on Thursday against the Diamondbacks. 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.

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.

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.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com.

San Francisco Giants, Brandon Belt, Bartolo Colon

Khris crushes 3-run homer to lift A's over Boston

Special to MLB.com

OAKLAND -- Khris Davis broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run homer off David Price in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Athletics a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox at the Coliseum on Sunday.

Davis, who also drove in the A's first run with an RBI single in the first inning, jumped on the first pitch he saw from Price, who had pitched a six-hitter heading into the eighth.

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OAKLAND -- Khris Davis broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run homer off David Price in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Athletics a 4-1 victory over the Red Sox at the Coliseum on Sunday.

Davis, who also drove in the A's first run with an RBI single in the first inning, jumped on the first pitch he saw from Price, who had pitched a six-hitter heading into the eighth.

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The win went to A's reliever Blake Treinen, who got the last five outs of the game after starter Daniel Mengden allowed one run, on an RBI double by Brock Holt in the seventh.

To that point, the Oakland pitching staff had held Boston, the best-scoring team in baseball, without a run in the previous 18 innings.

Treinen made the second out of the ninth inning by snaring a sharp grounder hit by Blake Swihart, but the trainers had to come out to check on him before he finished up.

Marcus Semien scored the first two runs of the game for the A's. Dating back to Saturday, he had scored the last five Oakland runs.

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

Oakland Athletics, Daniel Mengden

Bryant hit in helmet, no signs of concussion

Special to MLB.com

DENVER -- Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant took a pitch to the helmet in the first inning of Sunday's 9-7 win against 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 shows no signs of a concussion. He will continue to be evaluated.

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DENVER -- Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant took a pitch to the helmet in the first inning of Sunday's 9-7 win against 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 shows no signs of a concussion. He will continue to be evaluated.

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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 the head trainer and was helped off the field by the two.

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.

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

Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant

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

Carlos Gomez is bat snapper, walk-off HR hitter

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. 

Yelich leads Crew to 6th straight win, sweep

Special to MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Christian Yelich put the exclamation point on the Brewers' first four-game sweep at home in almost a decade at the expense of his former team.

Yelich, who hit 39 homers over the two previous seasons with the Marlins, hit the first of his career against Miami on Sunday at Miller Park, helping the Brewers to their sixth straight win and a sweep with a 4-2 victory.

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MILWAUKEE -- Christian Yelich put the exclamation point on the Brewers' first four-game sweep at home in almost a decade at the expense of his former team.

Yelich, who hit 39 homers over the two previous seasons with the Marlins, hit the first of his career against Miami on Sunday at Miller Park, helping the Brewers to their sixth straight win and a sweep with a 4-2 victory.

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It was the Brewers' first four-game sweep at Miller Park since August 2008 against the Nationals.

"It's great momentum heading into this [nine-game] road trip, kind of a long one coming up," Yelich said. "It was an important homestand for us, and we were able to come home and play really well."

Marlins starter Caleb Smith retired the first nine he faced, before Lorenzo Cain lined a single to right field to lead off the fourth. Yelich, activated off the disabled list Tuesday (right oblique strain), then drove a 2-1 pitch over the wall in center field.

"It was supposed to be a two-seam [fastball] in, and it was just middle of the plate, down in the zone," Smith said. "He put a good swing on it. That's really the pitch that cost us the lead."

Yelich's drive had an exit velocity of 111.3 mph, his fourth-hardest-hit homer of the Statcast™ era, and a launch angle of 20 degrees. The Brewers' outfielder was traded to Milwaukee in January for four prospects, including outfielder Lewis Brinson, who hit three home runs in the first three games for the Marlins in the series.

"I felt good in the work I did leading up to coming off the DL," Yelich said. "I felt prepared. I felt ready. At that point, you're just confident that you can go out and perform the way that you have to."

Cain and Yelich had the only two hits Milwaukee registered against Smith, who struck out a career-high 10 with no walks in six innings. The Brewers added an unearned run in the seventh when first baseman Justin Bour misplayed Eric Thames' pinch-hit grounder with the bases loaded. Jesus Aguilar drove in the Brewers' fourth run with a single in the eighth inning.

Video: MIA@MIL: Aguilar plates Cain with line-drive single

Junior Guerra gave up an unearned run in the first but then settled in. He pitched into the sixth inning, when he left with the bases loaded and none out. Jeremy Jeffress relieved and retired the next three hitters to escape the jam. Josh Hader struck out four and registered his third two-inning save of the season.

Video: MIA@MIL: Guerra starts the game with a strikeout

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Jeffress escapes trouble: Jeffress didn't get a decision or save, but he might have recorded the three most crucial outs of the game. With the Brewers up 2-1 in the sixth, Miami loaded the bases with no outs against Guerra on singles by J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro and a walk to Bour. Jeffress came in and struck out Brian Anderson, retired J.B. Shuck on a popup in foul territory and struck out Brinson.

"Those are those big outs," Jeffress said. "Those are the things we live for, definitely the things I live for."

Video: MIA@MIL: Jeffress escapes a bases-loaded jam in 6th

"Today's sixth inning by [Jeffress] was absolutely incredible," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "You can't do any better than that. I know we make a big deal about the ninth inning, or whatever the inning is, but that was the game. I think that was the case today, where that was the ballgame, and he delivered. He delivered big time."

Video: MIA@MIL: Counsell on bullpen?s success in 4-2 win

Bour's blunder: The Brewers benefited from a baserunning mistake by Bour. Miami pulled within 3-2 with an unearned run in the eighth. With one out, Anderson flied out to center, but Bour lost track of the outs and continued on toward third and was easily doubled off first.

Video: MIA@MIL: Cain makes catch in center, doubles up Bour

SOUND SMART
Prior to Hader, the last Brewers reliever with three two-inning saves in a season was Mike DeJean in 2002.

"This is definitely a fun little thing going on" said Hader, who is helping offset the loss of All-Star closer Corey Knebel, who went down on April 5 with a strained right hamstring. "It's always nice to get outs. It's always nice to finish a game with a win, high-fives and all that. It's a different role, but it's a good one for me."

Video: MIA@MIL: Hader retires Maybin to record six-out save

UP NEXT
After an off-day Monday, the Brewers open a nine-game road trip Tuesday with the first of two games at Kansas City. Zach Davies, who has never faced the Royals, starts the opener at 7:15 p.m. CT. Davies allowed just three hits over 6 1/3 innings in his last start, a 2-0 victory over the Reds. Ian Kennedy will get the start for Kansas City.

Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Brewers, Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress, Christian Yelich

Patient Astros roll on, sweep White Sox

Gonzalez's 2B highlights 5-run 7th; club ties best 23-game start in franchise history
MLB.com @brianmctaggart

CHICAGO -- After jumping to early leads and blowing out the White Sox in the first two games of the series at Guaranteed Rate Field, the Astros had to wait a few innings before flexing their offensive muscles Sunday afternoon.

The Astros sent 10 batters to the plate and pushed across five runs in the seventh inning, including a two-run, bases-loaded double by Marwin Gonzalez, and pulled away to win, 7-1, and sweep the White Sox for their sixth win in a row.

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CHICAGO -- After jumping to early leads and blowing out the White Sox in the first two games of the series at Guaranteed Rate Field, the Astros had to wait a few innings before flexing their offensive muscles Sunday afternoon.

The Astros sent 10 batters to the plate and pushed across five runs in the seventh inning, including a two-run, bases-loaded double by Marwin Gonzalez, and pulled away to win, 7-1, and sweep the White Sox for their sixth win in a row.

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Video: HOU@CWS: Hinch on 7th inning, win over White Sox

The Astros (16-7) outscored the White Sox, 26-2, in the series to match the 1980 and 2015 Houston clubs for the best 23-game start in franchise history. In the three games against Chicago, the Astros had 36 hits and drew 18 walks. They were 13-for-31 (.419) with runners in scoring position.

"We put a lot of pressure on them offensively and on the bases, and not giving up hardly any runs helps," Astros manager AJ Hinch said. "Again, when we can play all facets of the game we are a tough team to match up with. We saw a lot of that this three-game series, being the aggressive team that puts up pretty good at-bats, some explosive innings and great pitching."

Lance McCullers Jr. (3-1) continued the Astros' terrific starting pitching by limiting the White Sox to one run on eight hits in six innings. Astros starters have a 2.10 ERA this season, including a 1.32 ERA in the team's last 10 games.

"For the most part, I felt pretty good," said McCullers, who was on the mound for two of the four double plays the Astros turned. "You had to grind through some innings and that's all part of it. I made some big pitches when I needed to, the defense made some big plays and got a win."

Video: HOU@CWS: Correa makes backhanded pick, turns two

Jose Altuve's RBI single in the seventh off reliever Bruce Rondon gave the Astros a 2-1 lead, and Alex Bregman singled with the bases loaded to make it 3-1. Gonzalez tagged the first pitch he saw from reliever Nate Jones and hit a ground-rule double to left-center to stretch the lead to 5-1.

"That whole inning was full of really good at-bats," Hinch said. "Overall, another big inning for us and we needed it on a day that was pretty slow to develop because of their pitcher."

Video: HOU@CWS: Altuve gives Astros lead with an RBI single

Gonzalez went 1-for-5, but the player who led the World Series champions a year ago with 90 RBIs smacked a two-run, bases-loaded double on Saturday and Sunday. In fact, both hits would have cleared the bases had they not been ground-rule doubles, so the bounces over the fence cost Gonzalez a couple of RBIs.

"To be honest, I don't really care, because how I am right now, I'm hoping for a base hit," Gonzalez said with a smile. "Even if it was a base-hit RBI I was going to take it. I'm not thinking that much about those RBIs. Yeah, it cost me two RBIs, but all I want right now is to get comfortable and get the confidence back."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Jake Marisnick ignited the Astros' five-run seventh inning with a pinch-hit single. The knock snapped an 0-for-22 funk for Marisnick, who had struck out 27 times in his first 51 plate appearances this season. Marisnick went to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored the eventual game-winning run on Altuve's single to mark the first run he's scored since April 3.

Video: HOU@CWS: Marisnick singles to end hitless streak

"Just to help contribute and help win that game and get on base for the guys behind me -- they put some at-bats together -- it's a step in the right direction, so just keep going off that," Marisnick said.

These guys are making it easy for the bullpen

SOUND SMART
Relief pitcher Will Harris recorded his 19th consecutive scoreless appearance on the road, the longest active streak in the Major Leagues.

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The White Sox unsuccessfully challenged a call in the third inning, contending that Yoan Moncada slid safely across home plate ahead of the tag from catcher Max Stassi, who took a throw from Josh Reddick in right field following a Jose Abreu single. The call stood, and Moncada was out.

Video: HOU@CWS: Reddick throws out Moncada, call stands

UP NEXT
The Astros open a 10-game homestand Monday by sending Gerrit Cole to the mound to face the Angels at 7:10 p.m. CT. Cole (2-0, 0.96 ERA) has struck out 41 batters and allowed three earned runs in 28 innings in his first four starts with Houston. Lefty Tyler Skaggs will start for the Angels.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

Houston Astros

Sharp Mikolas backed by Wong, DeJong HRs

MLB.com @JoeTrezz

ST. LOUIS -- Over three years as a baseball expat in Japan, Miles Mikolas fell for Tonkotsu ramen. The pork broth noodle dish became his favorite food, one he can't find a replica of in St. Louis, no matter how hard he tries. The fruitless search qualifies as a major hiccup in his transition back to the big leagues.

Meanwhile the baseball part of that transition -- by far the more difficult -- continues to go smoothly. If nothing else, the Cardinals knew they were getting a high-ceiling starter who could command multiple pitches when they outbid several clubs for Mikolas this offseason. But few could forsee Mikolas adjusting this well, this quickly, or his manager describing him in such superlatives after just four starts.

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ST. LOUIS -- Over three years as a baseball expat in Japan, Miles Mikolas fell for Tonkotsu ramen. The pork broth noodle dish became his favorite food, one he can't find a replica of in St. Louis, no matter how hard he tries. The fruitless search qualifies as a major hiccup in his transition back to the big leagues.

Meanwhile the baseball part of that transition -- by far the more difficult -- continues to go smoothly. If nothing else, the Cardinals knew they were getting a high-ceiling starter who could command multiple pitches when they outbid several clubs for Mikolas this offseason. But few could forsee Mikolas adjusting this well, this quickly, or his manager describing him in such superlatives after just four starts.

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"He's a horse, strong as a bull," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said on Sunday, when seven more strong innings from Mikolas backed a 9-2 win over the Reds at Busch Stadium. "He can be one of those guys, from what we've seen in a number of starts now, we can be standing out there with a low pitch count. And that gives us the ability to push him further."

So far the Cardinals haven't, to little fault of Mikolas. Twice in eight days they've curbed efficient starts of his after seven crisp innings, signaling to their new right-hander that he'd done enough. More than enough, given the bubble mystery he arrived wrapped in. Before this season, Mikolas' full big league resume consistency of 91 1/3 innings and 10 starts across three partial seasons.

"I'd never seen him pitch even one time [before Spring Training]," remembered Adam Wainwright, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to the game. "I didn't know how he used his stuff. But I did know he had incredible stuff. He throws the easiest 95 I've ever seen.

It's becoming apparent what Mikolas has, besides a taste for noodles. Two fastballs, that range between 90-96 mph. A slider and a curve, that Mikolas combined to use half the time on Sunday. A split-changeup that mimics the slider's speed and darts downward. A propensity to fill up the zone. And after four starts, a 3-0 record and a 3.46 ERA.

"He's had a history of being in the strike zone, which makes him efficient," Matheny said. "But the stuff keeps getting better in our eyes."

Mikolas needed just 85 pitches (67 strikes) to mostly breeze through three turns of the Reds' lineup on Sunday, scattering five hits and allowing two runs (one earned). He struck out six and walked none, using his five-pitch mix to hold a narrow lead for much of the soggy afternoon in his new home stadium. Home runs from Kolten Wong and Paul DeJong paced the offense, which broke the game open with two late rallies.

Video: CIN@STL: Wong rips a solo homer to right

All of which overshadowed a bit of Mikolas' effort after missing barrels all afternoon while cradling a small lead.

"It's about being more comfortable, realizing if I make good pitches, good things are going to happen," Mikolas said. "We're talking about a team that has accepted me into their ranks."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
DeJong's homers tend to come in bunches, and the sophomore shortstop appears to be getting on a roll. He has now gone deep in two straight games and hasn't struck out in 12 plate appearances. That's as good an indicator as any that the contact-troubled DeJong is locked in. His three-run shot in the seventh off Kevin Quackenbush iced the win.

Video: CIN@STL: DeJong extends the lead with three-run homer

Norris used early, Holland in ninth:  Before DeJong's homer, the Cardinals cradled just a 3-2 lead. That led Matheny to peek at who the Reds were due to send up in the eighth. With the top of the order lined up, he warmed his closer, Bud Norris, an inning early. Norris ended up pitching a scoreless eighth in a four-run game, instead of a high-leverage spot.

Greg Holland then pitched the ninth in a seven-run game. Matheny said the alignment wasn't an indication that the club considers Holland ready for save situations yet, though Matheny said Holland is 'close." Holland threw a 1-2-3 ninth, just his second of six appearances in which he did not walk a batter.

"They stacked some lefties and realized that was a tough spot. That was coming around as a one-run game before Pauly did what he did, and we wanted Bud ready," Matheny said. "That eighth inning today could've been the most important spot."

SOUND SMART
The win gave the Cardinals their 11th straight over the Reds dating back to last season. Not since 1949 has St. Louis topped Cincinnati in as many consecutive head-to-head matchups.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Making his fourth straight start and sixth in seven games, Harrison Bader continued to fill in nicely for injured center fielder Tommy Pham on both sides of the ball. Bader went 2-for-4, extending a modest seven-game hitting streak. But the Cardinals feel Bader can be truly elite on defense, his above-average speed mixing with advanced instincts and a nose for the baseball. That skillset was on display on Sunday, when Bader ran 88 feet in 4.8 seconds to track down a Scott Schebler line drive in the fourth. Bader reached a top speed of 29.1 feet per second on the play, which Statcast™ registered as a four-star catch.

"He makes it look easy in the outfield," Matheny said. "He goes all out all the time. He only has one speed."

Video: CIN@STL: Statcast™ measures Bader's four-star catch

HE SAID IT
"A mid-90s thumber would be a good way to describe me [as a pitcher]," Mikolas said. When asked what a "thumber" was, Mikolas replied: "A crafty guy."

UP NEXT
Wainwright's injury forced the Cardinals to scramble for a starter for Tuesday, when they open a three-game home series against the Mets and Steven Matz. The club decided to move Luke Weaver up instead of promote Jack Flaherty to start the game, set for 7:15 p.m. CT. Weaver will be on regular rest.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com.

St. Louis Cardinals, Paul DeJong, Miles Mikolas, Kolten Wong

Ramirez backs Kluber with 2 HRs to lift Tribe

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BALTIMORE -- Corey Kluber wasn't yet ready to leave the mound, so he paused, his gaze fixed downward, and brushed some dirt with his foot Sunday afternoon. Finally he made off for the visitors' dugout at Camden Yards, having struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Kluber surrendered a pair of early home runs to Manny Machado, but he looked more and more like himself as the game wore on. The perfect seventh inning capped another strong outing for Kluber, and the Indians rolled to a 7-3 victory.

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BALTIMORE -- Corey Kluber wasn't yet ready to leave the mound, so he paused, his gaze fixed downward, and brushed some dirt with his foot Sunday afternoon. Finally he made off for the visitors' dugout at Camden Yards, having struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Kluber surrendered a pair of early home runs to Manny Machado, but he looked more and more like himself as the game wore on. The perfect seventh inning capped another strong outing for Kluber, and the Indians rolled to a 7-3 victory.

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"I didn't command the ball great today, but that being said, I got a lot of weak contact and we were able to get some quick outs," said Kluber, who has thrown quality starts in all five of his chances this season.

Video: CLE@BAL: Kluber allows three runs over seven innings

Cleveland's offensive charge was led by Jose Ramirez, who opened his team's scoring with a solo shot in the fourth and then added a two-run dinger in the ninth. It marked the seventh multi-home run game of his career. Yonder Alonso added an RBI double in the fourth, and Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley hit RBI singles in the fifth. Yan Gomes doubled in the final run in the ninth.

Video: CLE@BAL: Lindor drives in Davis with an RBI single

In seven-plus innings, Kluber allowed three earned runs on six hits to go along with four strikeouts. Left-hander Andrew Miller -- who entered after a leadoff single chased Kluber in the eighth -- and right-hander Cody Allen tossed a spotless inning apiece to close out the game.

"At that point in time, it's a one-run game and we've got one of the best relievers in baseball down there waiting, so it's no time to mess around," Kluber said.

Video: CLE@BAL: Brantley lines an RBI single to left field

SOUND SMART
Before Ramirez struck out in the first inning, he was the hardest batter to fan in the Major Leagues (20 PA/K entering Sunday). He struck out again in the seventh, but his pair of homers more than made up for the whiffs.

HE SAID IT
"The line early looked like he had given up three runs, but I mean Machado kind of had a lot to do with that. Probably the one guy he didn't locate to, and the one guy you better. He's obviously feeling good about himself. But other than that, I thought he was really good." -- Indians manager Terry Francona, on Kluber

Video: CLE@BAL: Francona on Indians' bats late in 7-3 win

UP NEXT
Right-hander Carlos Carrasco takes the ball for the Indians in the series finale against the Orioles on Monday at 7:05 p.m. ET. Carrasco is in the middle of a terrific April; he's completed at least six innings while allowing two runs or fewer in each of his three starts. Carrasco will duel Orioles right-hander Kevin Gausman.

Joshua Needelman is a contributor for MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Cleveland Indians, Corey Kluber, Jose Ramirez

Rendon's toe injury finally sends him to DL

Nats' third baseman hits shelf after missing seven games
MLB.com @JamalCollier

LOS ANGELES -- Anthony Rendon lifted up his leg to reveal the black bruise underneath his left big toe, a result of the ball he fouled off his foot more than a week ago. He had been doing his best to avoid the disabled list, taking batting practice, jogging or trying to field grounders each day. At best, he could have been considered a pinch-hitting option off the bench late in games.

Every time he felt enough improvement to add more pressure to his toe, however, he would come up sore the following day. Finally, prior to Sunday night's game against the Dodgers, the Nationals decided to place Rendon on the DL. Right-hander Austin L. Adams was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse in his place.

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LOS ANGELES -- Anthony Rendon lifted up his leg to reveal the black bruise underneath his left big toe, a result of the ball he fouled off his foot more than a week ago. He had been doing his best to avoid the disabled list, taking batting practice, jogging or trying to field grounders each day. At best, he could have been considered a pinch-hitting option off the bench late in games.

Every time he felt enough improvement to add more pressure to his toe, however, he would come up sore the following day. Finally, prior to Sunday night's game against the Dodgers, the Nationals decided to place Rendon on the DL. Right-hander Austin L. Adams was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse in his place.

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"It's just a slower process than we anticipated," Rendon said. "I think the hardest part is you have days where it feels good and you push it, and then come in the next day and it's sore. It's like you take one step forward and two steps back."

Rendon will miss his eighth consecutive game on Sunday in what will be his ninth day since the foul ball against the Rockies that forced him to exit the game after seven inning on April 13. The Nationals were able to backdate his stint on the DL to April 19, but Washington played with a short roster for more than a week with hopes Rendon could return soon.

And now Rendon can not return to the lineup until next Sunday.

"It wasn't for lack of effort," manager Dave Martinez said. "He was really trying to play. ... When you lose a guy like Rendon, who's a big part of your lineup and he's telling you he'll be available, you got to give him that opportunity. And it got to the point now where he finally realized, 'I can hit, but I can't do the things I need to be doing to help us win.'"

The injury is another blow to the Nationals, as Rendon joins second baseman Daniel Murphy (knee) and left fielder Adam Eaton (ankle) on the shelf. Murphy is at extended spring training, and his return is still a few weeks away. But the Nats have been a bit more coy about Eaton's status. He was eligible to return from the DL on Thursday and Martinez said they are hopeful he could return at some point this week in San Francisco. 

Rendon had been off to a good start batting in front of Bryce Harper in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, posting a slash line of .286/.355/.411 in 14 games. Rendon has been able to hit without pain, but he struggles with the toe while taking ground balls at third base or trying to pivot and throw. With him still feeling pain fielding grounders, he has not attempted to sprint.

"I don't want to come back and be here and be only a pinch-hit threat," Rendon said. "I want to play defense. I want to make sure I'm helping the team."

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

Washington Nationals, Anthony Rendon

Crowd loud for Gleyber in quiet Yanks debut

No. 5 overall prospect 'super happy' to be in bigs; goes 0-for-4 at plate
Special to MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Getting called up to the Major Leagues was a dream come true for top Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres. And even though Torres went hitless in the Yankees' 5-1 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday, he was still smiling when it was over.

"Super happy," Torres said, repeating the words he had used when he learned on Saturday that he was being promoted. "And I'm happy for how the team won."

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NEW YORK -- Getting called up to the Major Leagues was a dream come true for top Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres. And even though Torres went hitless in the Yankees' 5-1 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday, he was still smiling when it was over.

"Super happy," Torres said, repeating the words he had used when he learned on Saturday that he was being promoted. "And I'm happy for how the team won."

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

Torres got a quick taste of life as a Yankee, basking in the cheers of the crowd during the Bleacher Creatures' first-inning roll call. Torres later received a standing ovation when he came to the plate for the first time in the second inning, with many in the lower deck standing through his entire five-pitch at-bat.

Torres struck out in that at-bat on an 81-mph slider from Blue Jays starter Jaime Garcia, and he grounded into a double play, popped out and flied out in his final three trips to the plate. But Yankees manager Aaron Boone saw positives in the way Torres controlled the strike zone, working his way to a 3-1 count before the double-play grounder.

Video: TOR@NYY: Garcia gets a double play, escapes trouble

"The first at-bat, I thought he was really anxious," Boone said. "You could tell. But then he really settled in."

Torres had two chances in the field at second base, throwing out Devon Travis in the fifth inning and starting a double play in the sixth on Yangervis Solarte's grounder.

Video: TOR@NYY: Torres makes his first play in the field

Called up before the game from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Torres -- MLB's No. 5 overall prospect per MLB Pipeline -- is the youngest player to debut before July 1 for the storied franchise since Derek Jeter took the field on May 29, 1995. The infielder struggled in Spring Training -- his first action after recovering from Tommy John surgery on his left (non-throwing) elbow -- and compiled a .598 OPS over 13 Grapefruit League games. But Torres got off to a hot start for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, putting together a .347/.393/.510 slash line with five extra-base hits before his callup.

"I'm super happy," Torres told reporters on Saturday in Moosic, Pa., where he was removed after six innings in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 6-5 loss to Toledo. "It's like a dream is coming true. I'm happy for my family."

Video: TOR@NYY: Torres on debut, what the moment means

The Yankees acquired Torres as part of the megadeal involving closer Aroldis Chapman in July 2016. Since Torres spent more than 20 days in the Minors to begin '18, his free agency will be delayed until after the 2024 season -- meaning he will be under team control for seven years, rather than six.

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

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Phillies now 9-1 at home after walk-off sweep

Altherr delivers game-winner; Pivetta extends staff streak to 12 games with 3 ER or fewer
Special to MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Altherr went about two steps out of the batter's box, raised his arms and then waited for the mob to greet him at first base.

This is the way things are going for the Phillies right now. They expect good things to happen at any moment.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Altherr went about two steps out of the batter's box, raised his arms and then waited for the mob to greet him at first base.

This is the way things are going for the Phillies right now. They expect good things to happen at any moment.

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Altherr's one-out single scored Andrew Knapp with the game-winning run in the bottom of the 11th, and the Phillies completed a four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 3-2 win Sunday afternoon.

Video: PIT@PHI: Altherr gets walk-off, three hits off bench

The Phillies are now 9-1 at Citizens Bank Park and winners of their past seven at home. The 9-1 mark to start a season at home is the best for the Phils since they started the 1964 season by going 9-1 in their first 10 games at Connie Mack Stadium. Since a 1-4 road trip to start the season, Philadelphia is now 13-3 over its past 16 games. And they are doing it in different ways every day.

"It's a different atmosphere when you are winning," said Altherr, who recorded his his first career walk-off hit. "That's for sure. We'll just try to keep this rolling and we'll keep battling."

The Pirates, meanwhile, have now lost a season-high four straight thanks to the sweep, and have scored just five runs in that stretch.

This one didn't come easy. The Phillies were getting no-hit until the fifth and struggled to generate much offense to support starting pitcher Nick Pivetta. And yet, they were still able to record their first four-game sweep against the Pirates since May 12-15, 1994, at Veterans Stadium.

Video: PIT@PHI: Pivetta strikes out seven, lines RBI double

"This is the proudest day that I've had of our men," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said.

With one out in the 11th, Knapp hit a ball to left that kept carrying through the South Philly wind. It eventually hit the chain-link fencing above the extended glove of Pirates left-fielder Corey Dickerson. As the ball rolled back toward the infield, Knapp hustled out a triple, with third-base coach Dusty Wathan giving him a stop sign. Altherr then roped a single through a drawn-in infield for the game-winner.

Video: PIT@PHI: Knapp triples after review in the 11th

On Sunday, Pivetta gave the Phillies another solid outing from a starting pitcher. Pivetta went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five hits, walking two and striking out seven. The only blemish on his afternoon came in the top of the fifth, when he surrendered a two-run homer to Pirates catcher Elias Diaz that briefly gave Pittsburgh the lead.

Two hours later, Altherr would bring Knapp home, with the Phillies finding yet another way to get a win. And as the smoke machine and the strobe lights filled the home clubhouse afterward, it was pretty clear to see how much things have changed.

"I feel really good about our confidence levels right now," Kapler said. "We're having a lot of fun. I think having fun in baseball is really important. It's a long season. Keeping it light -- we laugh in the dugout. I hope you guys are seeing that. A lot of smiles and a lot of laughter, and after the games, we're having a great time in there. We take it seriously and we prepare like animals, but we also enjoy each others' company, and we're laughing a lot and having a lot of fun, and that leads to confidence."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
With the Phillies being held hitless by Williams through 4 innings, Pivetta roped a double into the right-field corner that broke up the bid and scored Knapp to cut the Pittsburgh lead to 2-1. Pivetta would then score on a Cesar Hernandez sacrifice fly to left to tie the game.

"I was just trying to get back the two runs that I gave up and give the team a chance to win," Pivetta said. "Dusty gave me the go-ahead and I ran as fast as I can, and got there [on the sacrifice fly.]"

Video: PIT@PHI: Pivetta breaks up no-no with an RBI double

SOUND SMART
Phillies starting pitchers have allowed three runs or fewer in each of their last 12 games. It is the club's longest stretch since a 13-game streak from April 27 to May 11, 2011. Phillies starters have a 2.38 ERA in the 12-game span.

HE SAID IT
"I thought for a second, maybe once I saw the ball ricochet. But I was saying that my legs after 11 innings probably aren't the best. I might have run out of steam." -- Knapp, on possibly attempting an inside-the-park home run in the 11th

UP NEXT
The Phillies have an off-day on Monday before returning to Citizens Bank Park for a three-game set against the D-backs. Vince Velasquez will get the start on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET for Philadelphia against D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray.

Kevin Cooney is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Phillies, Nick Pivetta