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Simmons, Ohtani fuel Halos' 4-run 9th in Toronto

Calhoun's amazing throw thwarts Blue Jays' potential tying run
MLB.com @mi_guardado

TORONTO -- Andrelton Simmons' two-run, go-ahead single off Tyler Clippard capped a four-run ninth inning as the Angels dispelled another frustrating night at the plate by rallying for a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.

The Angels entered the ninth trailing, 3-1, but Clippard fell into trouble after issuing three consecutive one-out walks to Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Albert Pujols.

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TORONTO -- Andrelton Simmons' two-run, go-ahead single off Tyler Clippard capped a four-run ninth inning as the Angels dispelled another frustrating night at the plate by rallying for a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.

The Angels entered the ninth trailing, 3-1, but Clippard fell into trouble after issuing three consecutive one-out walks to Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Albert Pujols.

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That brought up Shohei Ohtani, who delivered a two-run single to center field to tie the game. Simmons followed by bouncing another single up the middle, knocking in two more runs and giving the Angels their first lead of the night.

Video: LAA@TOR: Ohtani ties it with a sharp two-run single

Blake Parker was summoned to close out the game, but he stumbled into some ninth-inning drama, yielding a leadoff single to Dwight Smith Jr., followed by a double to Curtis Granderson. After Kendrys Morales' pinch-hit RBI single brought the Blue Jays within one, Teoscar Hernandez lifted a fly ball to right field that was caught by Kole Calhoun, who then fired home to nail Granderson, completing a 9-2 double play. Parker then struck out Justin Smoak to seal the Angels' win.

Video: LAA@TOR: Calhoun throws out Granderson for massive DP

"We definitely had to grind for this one," Simmons said. "We made a couple mistakes, but we kept coming. We kept coming at them, and the last inning, everybody put up good at-bats, and we played solid defense after to get the W. It was a big win. We needed that, and hopefully we can keep it going."

Video: Must C Catch: Simmons lays out to rob Donaldson

With the win, the Angels (27-22) improved to 15-5 on the road, the highest road winning percentage in the Majors. They have won two of their past three games following a five-game losing streak.

The Angels' ninth-inning comeback helped atone for a number of missed opportunities earlier in the game. The Blue Jays led, 3-0, through five innings after Devon Travis and Yangervis Solarte homered off left-hander Tyler Skaggs, but the Angels finally got on the board in the sixth.

Video: LAA@TOR: Maldonado's sky-high single plates Simmons

With Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez out of the game, the Angels pounced on reliever John Axford, leading off the inning with three consecutive singles from Simmons, Zack Cozart and Martin Maldonado to trim Toronto's lead to 3-1. They appeared poised to add more, but their rally was foiled by a miscalculation on the basepaths.

After Calhoun reached on a fielder's choice and Ian Kinsler struck out, Trout stepped up to the plate with runners on first and second and two outs. Trout, who entered Wednesday batting just .121 (4-for-33) over his last 12 games, delivered a single to left field, but Calhoun -- who attempted to advance from first to third on the play -- was thrown out by Granderson before Maldonado could cross home plate, negating the run.

Video: LAA@TOR: Scioscia on comeback win over Blue Jays

Calhoun, who was dropped to the No. 9 spot on Wednesday for the first time since 2014, also faltered at the plate in the fourth inning against Sanchez. After Maldonado reached on a fielding error by shortstop Gio Urshela to load the bases with two outs, Calhoun drove a fly ball deep to right field, but it died at the warning track for the final out of the inning.

Skaggs gave up three runs on six hits over five innings, with the bulk of the damage coming via Travis and Solarte's solo homers. Solarte, who added an RBI single in the fifth, belted a neck-high fastball from Skaggs out to left-center field to expand the Blue Jays' lead to 2-0 in the fourth. The pitch was 4.05 feet off the ground, the second-highest ball a player has homered off of this season.

Video: LAA@TOR: Solarte's towering homer doubles the lead

"I've never seen anybody do that," Skaggs said. "I threw him two curveballs in a row, and I threw [the fastball] right out of the same slot and he hits a home run. I've got to tip my cap. I want to find somebody else who's hit a home run that's that high up."

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Calhoun throwing out Granderson at the plate seemed almost fitting because earlier in the game it was Granderson who threw out Calhoun at third in a play that nearly dictated the outcome of the game. With runners on first and second in the sixth, Trout singled to left field. Maldonado rounded third and was going to easily score when Calhoun made the curious decision of trying to go first to third. Granderson recognized the aggressive baserunning and came up firing to third base. Josh Donaldson's tag was applied to Calhoun before Maldonado crossed the plate and therefore the run did not count.

Video: LAA@TOR: Granderson throws out Calhoun, saves run

"Looking back, I should have probably shut it down right when Trout hit it because there wasn't going to be a play at home," Calhoun said. "I was a couple steps already around second since we were running on that pitch and thought I could get in there to third. It was a bang-bang play. And I'm glad we come out of this game with a win because I've got to stay at second there."

The Angels challenged the ruling at third base, but the call was upheld after replay review.

Video: LAA@TOR: Simmons on the win, confidence in Calhoun

UP NEXT
The Angels will send right-hander Nick Tropeano (1-3, 4.45 ERA) to the mound on Thursday as they close out their three-game series against the Blue Jays at 9:37 a.m. PT at Rogers Centre. Tropeano will be opposed by right-hander Marco Estrada (2-4, 5.15). Tropeano endured his shortest outing of the season on Friday, giving up four runs over 2 2/3 innings against the Rays. He is slated to make his first career start against the Blue Jays. Thursday's series finale will air exclusively on Facebook.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Los Angeles Angels, Kole Calhoun, Shohei Ohtani, Blake Parker, Andrelton Simmons

Red Sox rally in 9th for 4th straight win

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

ST. PETERSBURG -- Xander Bogaerts could have just tried to move the runner over when he came to the plate in a key spot in the ninth inning on Wednesday night, the game tied and J.D. Martinez at second with nobody out.

But manager Alex Cora motioned to the right-handed hitter that he wanted something more, and Bogaerts obliged, placing a double into the left-field corner on a one-ball, two-strike cutter by Rays closer Alex Colome that helped lead the Red Sox to a 4-1 victory at Tropicana Field.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Xander Bogaerts could have just tried to move the runner over when he came to the plate in a key spot in the ninth inning on Wednesday night, the game tied and J.D. Martinez at second with nobody out.

But manager Alex Cora motioned to the right-handed hitter that he wanted something more, and Bogaerts obliged, placing a double into the left-field corner on a one-ball, two-strike cutter by Rays closer Alex Colome that helped lead the Red Sox to a 4-1 victory at Tropicana Field.

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"We were talking about it, there are certain situations, man on second, no outs, they feel like they have to play for the team and just go the other way," Cora said. "And sometimes for me, playing for the team is looking for a pitch to drive. He's hitting fifth for a reason.

"I appreciate the effort, don't get me wrong, I'm never going to get on a player trying to advance a runner because he feels like it's what he's supposed to do. But at the same time, there are certain spots I want them to look for a pitch and drive it. He got a pitch. A little bit out in front, but he was able to pull it. It was good to see. That was good for him."

Tweet from @RedSox: It���s a good night in Boston sports. 👏 pic.twitter.com/GEJxfZ8Lta

And just like that, Bogaerts snapped out of an 0-for-13 drought with a hit when his team needed it most.

"I looked in the dugout, Cora was like, 'Swing the bat,'" Bogaerts said. "I'm trying to get him over the first two pitches, but I have two strikes now, I have to protect now. He throws a lot of cutters, so hopefully I don't beat one into the ground at third base."

Tampa Bay aided Boston several times during the game-deciding rally. The inning started with shortstop Willy Adames -- playing in his second Major League game -- one-hopping the throw to first on a routine grounder by Martinez for a two-base error. Colome also uncorked a wild pitch that put Bogaerts at third to set up the sacrifice fly by Eduardo Nunez. A passed ball by catcher Jesus Sucre allowed Rafael Devers to score and make it 4-1.

"We started putting up better at-bats in the last third of the game," Cora said. "Games like that, it seems like the door opens always with a mistake, and we took advantage of it."

Video: BOS@TB: Devers races home to score on passed ball

David Price was outstanding for the second start in a row for the Red Sox, who increased their Major League-leading win total to 34 while expanding the lead over the Yankees to 1 1/2 games in the American League East with a fourth straight victory. The lefty allowed just one run on three hits while notching a season-high nine strikeouts over six innings.

The key to Price's turnaround over his last three starts, in which he is 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA, has been an improved pitch mix. Against the Rays, he threw 47 fastballs, 23 changeups, 16 cutters and four curves.

"I felt good with everything I was throwing, especially commanding my fastball," Price said. "That was two straight starts I felt like I've had my good changeup and throwing cutters into righties and backdoor to righties, and I mixed in a couple of curveballs as well."

Video: BOS@TB: Price K's 9, allows 3 hits and 1 ER vs. Rays

Chris Archer, Price's former teammate and good friend, turned in a fine performance for the Rays, holding Boston to four hits and one run over six frames.

"Yeah, it doesn't matter if you know him or not," Price said. "Whenever you get in those type of games where it's going pretty fast, you can stay in a rhythm, and that's fun to be a part of it. It's even more fun when you come out on top like we did today. So it was a good win."

Video: BOS@TB: Ramirez hits into DP, scoring Vazquez

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
After allowing a walk to Denard Span and a game-tying double to C.J. Cron to open the sixth, Price did what he needed to for the rest of the inning, striking out Daniel Robertson on a two-seamer, inducing Matt Duffy into a groundout and Adames on a flyout to right. At 90 pitches, Price would have gone deeper into the game in many cases. But considering that Price threw a complete game last time out, Cora opted to go to his bullpen, and it got the job done, capped by Craig Kimbrel recording his 15th save and second in as many nights.

"He was dotting everything," Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez said of Price. "Every pitch was working today: changeup, cutter, two-seam fastball. That's David."

Video: BOS@TB: Kimbrel K's Adames for 15th save of 2018

SOUND SMART
Price has owned the Rays at Tropicana Field since getting traded by Tampa Bay in 2014. As a visitor at the Trop, Price has a 2.19 ERA in eight games (seven starts).

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
When Jackie Bradley Jr. belted a double to the gap in left-center in the fifth, Nunez roared around the bases and third-base coach Carlos Febles waved him around. But the Rays executed the play perfectly, with Johnny Field making the relay to shortstop Adames, who fired home, where Nunez was tagged out. The big mystery is this: Why didn't Nunez slide? The reason is that Sucre created confusion by raising his arms up, signifying that a throw would not come home. That gesture deked Vazquez, who told Nunez to stay up rather than slide.

"I saw Sucre with the hands up and I went and did the same thing," Vazquez said. "I was not expecting that throw. But we win the game, that's all that matters."

Video: BOS@TB: Rays combine to throw out Nunez at the plate

UP NEXT
Right-hander Rick Porcello will try to keep his solid start to the season going when he pitches the finale of this three-game series against the Rays on Thursday. Porcello has already faced Tampa Bay three times this season, going 2-0 with a 3.10 ERA. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Xander Bogaerts, David Price

Plutko takes no-no into 7th as Tribe blanks Cubs

Rookie righty allows just 2 hits over 6-plus innings for 2nd MLB win
MLB.com @MLBastian

CHICAGO -- When Jose Ramirez reached the mound in the seventh, the Indians third baseman pounded his fist hard in his glove and then gave starter Adam Plutko a slap on the back. The Indians pitcher was done for the night, and what a night it was at Wrigley Field for the rookie.

In his debut as the Tribe's fifth starter, Plutko flirted with a no-hitter and helped guide Cleveland to a 1-0 victory over the Cubs on Wednesday night. The right-hander was promoted from Triple-A Columbus prior to the game and then baffled Chicago's bats for his second win in as many starts for the Indians this season.

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CHICAGO -- When Jose Ramirez reached the mound in the seventh, the Indians third baseman pounded his fist hard in his glove and then gave starter Adam Plutko a slap on the back. The Indians pitcher was done for the night, and what a night it was at Wrigley Field for the rookie.

In his debut as the Tribe's fifth starter, Plutko flirted with a no-hitter and helped guide Cleveland to a 1-0 victory over the Cubs on Wednesday night. The right-hander was promoted from Triple-A Columbus prior to the game and then baffled Chicago's bats for his second win in as many starts for the Indians this season.

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"He's done a great job," Indians relief ace Andrew Miller said of Plutko. "That's a great lineup. This is not an easy place to come in and pitch against those guys and do what he did. I think he's shown he's capable of handling this stage, and that's pretty impressive."

Video: CLE@CHC: Plutko, Miller, Francona on win over Cubs

The last win came in a spot start for Plutko. This time, it looks like the righty is here to stay.

Plutko labored some with his command early, issuing all four of his walks within his first eight batters faced through the first two innings. That included three to load the bases in the second, when Plutko escaped via a groundout from Cubs starter Jon Lester.

"He's been commanding the ball so well, whether it was the game with us or at Triple-A," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "It was nice to see [him not give in], because we know when he commands, he can be pretty good. But on a night when he didn't command real well, he still did pretty darn good."

Video: CLE@CHC: Francona discusses Plutko's start in 1-0 win

Lester turned in a solid outing of his own, limiting the Indians to one run over seven innings of work. The lone breakthrough against the lefty came courtesy of Michael Brantley, who delivered an RBI single to score Rajai Davis in the third inning as part of a 2-for-3 showing that extended the outfielder's hitting streak to a dozen games.

Two batters prior to Brantley's single, it was Plutko's well-executed sacrifice bunt that moved Davis into scoring position.

Video: CLE@CHC: Brantley singles to center and plates Davis

"As soon as I got that bunt down in the third," Plutko said, "I felt like a lot more calm and everything kind of was a lot better. But I was really nervous to hit. So I think that was a large part of [the early jitters]."

The groundout by Lester to end the second was the first of 13 consecutive batters retired by Plutko, who held the Cubs to an 0-for-17 showing overall in his first six frames. That run ended in the seventh, when Anthony Rizzo ripped an elevated slider into the right-field corner for a leadoff double.

Video: CLE@CHC: Rizzo breaks up no-no in 7th with a double

The pitcher did not realize he was throwing a no-hitter until the fifth inning, when he looked up at Wrigley's green center-field scoreboard as he walked to the plate to bat. When Rizzo broke up the bid, Plutko was not surprised.

"The last thing I thought I was going to do was throw a no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs," Plutko said. "That was not any pressure for me."

Plutko, who has replaced Josh Tomlin in the rotation, allowed two hits over his six-plus shutout innings, in which he struck out four and walked off the field after 85 pitches. As the pitcher approached the visitors' dugout, a collection of Cleveland fans clustered in the first few rows gave him a standing ovation.

From there, Francona approached the game like it was October. Miller covered five outs after taking over for Plutko and then Cody Allen registered a four-out save, preserving the Tribe's slim advantage and completing a sweep of the two-game stop on Chicago's North Side.

Video: CLE@CHC: Allen gets Baez to fly out for the save

For Plutko, it was a night he won't soon forget.

"I was telling my wife last night that this place is just crazy," he said. "Being here last night helped out a little bit, but it's completely different when you're the one out in the center of the diamond in the middle of Wrigley."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Miller Time: After Rizzo ended Plutko's no-hit bid, Willson Contreras followed with an infield single that put runners on the corners with no outs. That prompted Francona to hand the ball to Miller. First, Javier Baez bunted back to Miller, who threw out Rizzo at the plate. The relief ace then struck out Addison Russell and induced an inning-ending groundout from Jason Heyward to preserve Cleveland's 1-0 lead.

Video: CLE@CHC: Cubs challenge play at the plate in the 7th

Doubled up: Plutko's outing began with a six-pitch walk to Ian Happ, who then began heading to second on a fly ball down the left-field line from Kyle Schwarber. As Brantley made the catch in left, Happ slipped in his retreat to first. That gave the Indians left fielder time to fire a pinpoint throw to first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, who stepped on the bag for an unlikely double play to thwart a potential Cubs rally.

Video: CLE@CHC: Brantley doubles off Happ at first base

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With runners on first and second and one out in the second inning, Russell drilled a first-pitch changeup from Plutko over center field for what looked like a potential extra-base hit. Davis sprinted to his right, jumped at the warning track and made the catch for a critical out, hitting the ivy-covered brick wall on his way down.

"Huge," Plutko said. "I mean, that could've blown the game wide open right there and we could be talking about a loss right now instead of a win. Raj played unbelievable defense."

Video: CLE@CHC: Davis makes an incredible catch in the ivy

HE SAID IT
"He threw the ball really well, extremely well. To no-hit us through six is pretty impressive. It's one of the ones you chalk up and hope that it somehow evens out down the road. That's all you can do." -- Lester, on Plutko

"Getting through that second inning, it's the old terrible adage of like a boxer getting bloodied and hitting the corner and woozy, but he doesn't fall down. That's kind of how I felt after the second. I got to catch my breath real quick before the third and I feel like everything kind of worked out well from there." -- Plutko

UP NEXT
Right-hander Mike Clevinger (3-1, 2.87 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Indians on Thursday, when Cleveland opens a four-game series against the Astros with a 6:10 p.m. ET tilt at Progressive Field. Clevinger faced Houston on Friday, taking the loss after giving up three runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings on the road. The Astros will counter with righty Charlie Morton (6-0, 1.94 ERA).

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and Facebook.

Cleveland Indians, Adam Plutko

Arrieta's gem has Phils within a half-game of 1st

MLB.com @ToddZolecki

PHILADELPHIA -- Manager Gabe Kapler understands the power of his words.

He uses them to pump up his players -- Nobody works harder. Nobody has a nastier breaking ball. Nobody is a better leader or a better teammate or a better person. Conversely, he uses them to soften slumps, position battles, lost roles and losses. It is why, hours before Wednesday night's 4-0 victory over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park, it stood out that Kapler said, "This is a big game for us tonight, and I think it's worth noting that we're all thinking about it that way."

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PHILADELPHIA -- Manager Gabe Kapler understands the power of his words.

He uses them to pump up his players -- Nobody works harder. Nobody has a nastier breaking ball. Nobody is a better leader or a better teammate or a better person. Conversely, he uses them to soften slumps, position battles, lost roles and losses. It is why, hours before Wednesday night's 4-0 victory over the Braves at Citizens Bank Park, it stood out that Kapler said, "This is a big game for us tonight, and I think it's worth noting that we're all thinking about it that way."

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The win moved the Phillies within a half-game of the first-place Braves in the National League East, and it gave them their first series victory over Atlanta in four attempts this season.

"All we want is first place," catcher Jorge Alfaro said afterward.

It helped to have Jake Arrieta on the mound. Arrieta has pitched in numerous big games in his career, and he answered the call on Wednesday, striking out seven in 6 2/3 scoreless innings in one of his best starts of the season. Carlos Santana, Cesar Hernandez, Maikel Franco and Nick Williams provided the support with run-scoring hits.

Video: ATL@PHI: Franco belts a 2-out RBI double to center

Arrieta has not allowed a run in his last 15 innings at Citizens Bank Park. He is 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA at home.

"Once you play in the postseason, you understand that it could come down to one game," Arrieta said. "Do you get into that Wild Card or win the division? They're all big."

Arrieta came out firing. His sinker averaged 94.2 mph through three innings. It averaged 92.6 mph in his previous eight starts. He generated 14 swings and misses, tying a season high.

"He's a big-game pitcher for a reason," Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki said. "I don't like to tip my hat a lot, but he was good tonight."

"I approach it pretty much the same way every start, regardless of the circumstances," Arrieta said. "I intend to go out there and throw a shutout every time I pitch. And what it takes to do that is, locate multiple pitches for strikes and go out of the zone when necessary to get big outs, swings and misses, runners in scoring position, less than two outs. But when the series is split at the time and we have an opportunity to win a game at home like that to win the series, you pay a little more attention."

So what prompted Kapler to say that a May 23 game was a big one? Managers typically shy away from such talk. They prefer to say that every game is important, whether it's a game against a first-place team or a game against a team on pace to lose 100 games.

There is truth in that, but some games are different. Kapler simply acknowledged it.

"Sometimes you walk into the room and say, 'This feels a little different,'" Kapler said. "I think when we walked into the clubhouse at 11 o'clock, it kind of felt a little different in there. When the players started spilling in, it felt like there was a lot of energy. There was a lot of noise in the clubhouse. I just think there was a lot of energy. I don't know how else to describe it other than there was a feeling in the park."

Video: ATL@PHI: Kapler on Arrieta's impressive start in win

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Kapler pulled Arrieta in the seventh inning with runners on second and third and two outs in favor of Seranthony Dominguez. Dominguez fell behind, 3-1, to pinch-hitter Preston Tucker, and the looming walk meant the scorching-hot Ozzie Albies would get a chance to hit with the bases loaded. Dominguez, though, came back with two 98-mph fastballs to strike out Preston and end the inning.

Count Arrieta among those impressed.

"He's got no fear," Arrieta said. "He's almost got a blank stare on his face, there's no emotion, whether things are going well or poorly. I don't think we've seen him pitch poorly, but it's sinking and cutting in the high 90s -- 97 to 100 mph. He's going to give a lot of people trouble."

Video: ATL@PHI: Dominguez strands 2 with a K in the 7th

SOUND SMART
With Scott Kingery on second base in the fourth inning, Hernandez knocked an RBI single to left. The hit not only gave the Phils a 2-0 lead, it extended Hernandez's on-base streak to 27 games, which is tied for the longest active streak in baseball.

Video: ATL@PHI: Hernandez plates Kingery on single to right

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Alfaro's arm strength has been on display all week. In the seventh inning, Alfaro caught the speedy Ender Inciarte at second base to the tune of a 89.3-mph throw and a 1.85-second pop time. The pop time is faster than the MLB average (2.03 seconds), and the throw was good for the third-hardest caught-stealing throw in the Majors this season. Alfaro owns the top two spots: 91.2 mph on May 13, and 89.6 mph on April 30.

After the game, Kapler was asked if other teams might be a tad reluctant to steal on Alfaro.

"I think that's starting to happen," Kapler said. "I think that was a huge out for us. ... He's definitely becoming a weapon. He's definitely being game-planned-for at this point."

Video: ATL@PHI: Alfaro nabs stolen-base leader Inciarte

HE SAID IT
"When [general manager] Matt [Klentak] went out to get Jake Arrieta late [in Spring Training], the thought process was, he's good all-around, right? We've talked a lot about his leadership characteristic. We've talked about the way he's guided some of our young starting pitchers. But really, the reason Matt went out and got him for us, and why we were so happy to have him tonight, is because he can go through a lineup like the Braves -- one of the best lineups in the National League, if not the best to date -- three times." -- Kapler

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Ronald Acuna Jr. was called out at first base after a close play on a grounder to short in the eighth inning. The Braves challenged, but the call stood, and Acuna was out.

Video: ATL@PHI: Kingery gets Acuna at first after challenge

UP NEXT
After Thursday's off-day, the Phillies host the Blue Jays for the first game of a three-game Interleague series at 7:05 ET on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. Zach Eflin (1-0, 1.56 ERA) will make his fourth start since being recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Toronto will be led by right-hander Sam Gaviglio, who is 1-0 with a 0.93 ERA in three appearances (one start) since a callup at the start of the month.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Joe Bloss is a reporter for MLB.com.

Philadelphia Phillies

Rangers stage 2 big rallies, win series vs. Yanks

Profar's 3-run double gives Texas lead for good; Mazara, Guzman homer in 5-run 4th
MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have a long way to go before they can start salvaging their season, but victories like this give them the bravado and the confidence that it can be done.

The Rangers had to come back from two sizable deficits, but they were able to pull out a 12-10 victory over the Yankees on Wednesday night at Globe Life Park. The dual rallies allowed the Rangers to win their second straight and take the three-game series. The Yankees had won eight consecutive series before losing two of three to the Rangers.

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ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have a long way to go before they can start salvaging their season, but victories like this give them the bravado and the confidence that it can be done.

The Rangers had to come back from two sizable deficits, but they were able to pull out a 12-10 victory over the Yankees on Wednesday night at Globe Life Park. The dual rallies allowed the Rangers to win their second straight and take the three-game series. The Yankees had won eight consecutive series before losing two of three to the Rangers.

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"We talked about building confidence, just playing a solid baseball game, put ourselves in a position to win a baseball game," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "I didn't know it was going to be the variety of game it was, but I've got to believe that there's a number of guys in that clubhouse that gained a lot of confidence tonight. In Shin-Soo Choo's words, it was one of the more exciting games he's been in. When you take that from a veteran ... look, a lot of things in that game were special today."

Video: NYY@TEX: Guzman scorches 3-run homer to right field

The Rangers, trailing 4-0, didn't get their first hit off Yankees starter CC Sabathia until the fourth inning. But Nomar Mazara hit a two-run home run, and Ronald Guzman had a three-run shot in the frame to give the Rangers a 5-4 lead.

The Yankees responded with six runs in the fifth to go ahead, 10-5, but the Rangers didn't stop. Isiah Kiner-Falefa's triple led to two runs in the bottom of the fifth, and Jurickson Profar put the Rangers ahead in the sixth with a three-run double off of reliever David Robertson. Banister said walks by Choo and Kiner-Falefa before Profar's double were as big as anything.

Video: NYY@TEX: Kiner-Falefa plates Choo with triple to RF

"We believe we have a great team," Profar said. "We haven't showed it yet, but I still believe we have a great team. To show it tonight will do a lot for our confidence. We know we can do it. The Yankees are the best team. Our team seems to play good against good teams. We need to do it with every team."

Video: NYY@TEX: Profar discusses big hit in comeback win

This is the first time the Rangers have won a game despite their pitchers allowing at least 10 runs since a 13-11 victory over the White Sox on May 10, 2016. It was just their fifth such win since the beginning of the 2010 season.

"We kept moving the lineup with a lot of great at-bats," Mazara said. "That's how we need to play. Whether we are leading or not, we have to have the same mentality and try to create something every inning. It doesn't matter what the score is."

Rangers starter Doug Fister allowed eight runs (six earned) in 4 1/3 innings. But the late-inning relief combination of Alex Claudio, Jose Leclerc, Chris Martin and Keone Kela gave the Rangers three scoreless innings after Profar put them ahead. Kela struck out the side in the ninth and is now 10-for-10 in save chances as the Rangers' closer.

Video: NYY@TEX: Kela fans the side to lock down the save

"It shows the fight in the dog," Fister said. "The guys were fighting and clawing from the first pitch, and we had some things fall our way. It's not by chance or luck, guys worked really hard and came through. It's a huge win for us."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Rangers, leading 11-10, picked up a nice insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Delino DeShields struck out against reliever Dellin Betances, but the third strike got away from catcher Austin Romine, allowing him to reach base. DeShields went to second on a wild pickoff throw and, after Choo struck out, he stole third base. Kiner-Falefa then drove him home with a single.

"To have a guy like Delino, to hit when he is on base, it's awesome," Kiner-Falefa said. "He makes things happen."

Video: NYY@TEX: Kiner-Falefa drives home huge insurance run

SOUND SMART
There were 19 home runs in the three-game series between the Rangers and the Yankees. That matches the most in a three-game series at Globe Life Park. The other was 13 by the Rangers and six by the Indians on Aug. 1-3, 2003.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Mazara's home run had an exit velocity of 110.6 mph and a projected distance of 404 feet. Mazara has 11 home runs this season, and seven have had an exit velocity of 110 mph or greater. That passes Joey Gallo for the most in the Major Leagues. The Rangers have 16 overall, the second most in the Majors behind the Yankees, who have 21.

Video: NYY@TEX: Mazara mashes 2-run homer to right-center

HE SAID IT
"Tough night tonight. Sometimes my aggressiveness works against me. Make a bad pitch and they make you pay for it. That's a good club over there, to say the least. I made a couple bad pitches, and they got hit out. I need to take care of that, but overall the emphasis is on the team win, and that's what I take out of it." -- Fister

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Yankees picked up a crucial baserunner in the eighth, when home-plate umpire Nic Lentz ruled Giancarlo Stanton was clipped by a pitch from Martin. The Rangers challenged the call, but it stood after review. Stanton then advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Martin retired Aaron Hicks and Neil Walker on fly balls to end the threat.

Video: NYY@TEX: Hit-by-pitch call on Stanton stands in 8th

UP NEXT
Austin Bibens-Dirkx is being called up from Triple-A Round Rock to pitch in the opener of a four-game series against the Royals at 7:05 p.m. CT on Thursday at Globe Life Park. Bibens-Dirkx was 2-3 with a 3.72 ERA in eight games at Round Rock, and went 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his last four starts. Bibens-Dirkx pitched in 24 games for the Rangers last season but did not face the Royals. He will be opposed by left-hander Danny Duffy.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Texas Rangers, Doug Fister, Ronald Guzman, Keone Kela, Nomar Mazara, Jurickson Profar

Cards LF Tyler O'Neill somehow nailed Ryan Goins at home with a six-bounce throw

Although the Cardinals fell to the Royals, 5-2, in 10 innings on Wednesday, they were kept in contention by left fielder Tyler O'Neill. His leadoff single in the second allowed him to score one of the Cardinals' two runs that forced extras in the first place.

Then, when the Royals put three runs on the board in the 10th, O'Neill also did his best to hold the score at 5-2. Jon Jay singled Drew Butera home with their fifth run on a hit to left, and Ryan Goins rounded third, trying to plate run No. 6 of the day for the Royals.

A Yankees fan made a ridiculous catch over the stair railings to snag Neil Walker's home run

Yanks hit at least 3 HRs in 5 straight for 1st time

Torres youngest Yankee to go deep in 3 in a row; Judge mashes 471-footer
MLB.com @BryanHoch

ARLINGTON -- Gleyber Torres may well be the most prolific No. 9 hitter in the game, and after a series to remember that saw him slug four homers in three games against Rangers pitching, the hot-hitting rookie will head home with some history in his back pocket.

Torres' three-run shot off Doug Fister was one of four Yankees homers hit in Wednesday's 12-10 loss at Texas, establishing the 21-year-old infielder as the youngest Yankee in franchise history to homer in three consecutive games.

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ARLINGTON -- Gleyber Torres may well be the most prolific No. 9 hitter in the game, and after a series to remember that saw him slug four homers in three games against Rangers pitching, the hot-hitting rookie will head home with some history in his back pocket.

Torres' three-run shot off Doug Fister was one of four Yankees homers hit in Wednesday's 12-10 loss at Texas, establishing the 21-year-old infielder as the youngest Yankee in franchise history to homer in three consecutive games.

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Torres' homer was also the Yankees' third of the game, marking the first time in franchise history that the club has hit three or more homers in five consecutive games. It also marks the seventh such stretch of at least five games by any club in Major League history. The only team to hit three or more home runs in six straight games is the 1987 Orioles, who did it from May 8-13 that year.

"I try to do my job every day," Torres said. "I'm happy for helping my team and the opportunity, but we lost today, so it's no big deal with the home runs. … I feel good for that [record], but we lost tonight. We're ready for the next series. We'll try to win."

Video: NYY@TEX: Torres puts Yankees ahead with 3-run homer

Torres is the youngest Major Leaguer to homer in three straight contests since a 20-year-old Giancarlo Stanton did it for the Marlins in September 2010, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

At the time, Torres' fifth-inning homer to the left-field bleachers seemed to represent more than just a milestone, restoring the Yankees' lead and dispatching Fister to the showers. It came on an 0-2 count as Fister tried to sneak an 88.4-mph two-seamer past Torres.

According to Statcast™, Torres' drive came off the bat at 102.2 mph and traveled 401 feet. It was the eighth homer and 20th RBI in 17 games for Torres, who said that he doesn't consider himself a power hitter just yet.

Video: Torres belts 4 homers in 3 games against the Rangers

"When I go to home plate, I just try to put the ball in play, try to take good at-bats," Torres said. "The home runs are happening, but I never try to hit home runs."

Aaron Judge joined the slugging party later in the inning, crushing a mammoth two-run shot to center field off reliever Tony Barnette.

Video: NYY@TEX: Judge crushes homer 471 feet vs. the Rangers

Judge's 13th homer came on the first pitch he saw from the right-hander, a 92-mph fastball. At 471 feet, Judge's homer was the sixth-longest in the Majors this season, and the third-longest homer of Judge's career.

That was the high point of the night for the Yankees, who led by five runs at the time.

Didi Gregorius hit a two-run homer as part of a three-run first inning, busting a 3-for-54 skid by parking an 82.8-mph changeup for his first homer since April 27 -- the day he received a curtain call on the road against the Angels in Anaheim.

Video: NYY@TEX: Gregorius cranks 2-run big fly in the 1st

"We lost, so it doesn't really matter," Gregorius said. "To be honest, I was hitting the ball hard, they were just not falling. For me, I'm not going to change my approach. I've been hitting the ball hard, just not getting hits. It's been falling for the last couple of days. It's still a work in progress."

Neil Walker slugged a third-inning homer for the Yankees, who hit 21 home runs in a five-game span, equaling the most in Major League history. The record is also shared by the 1977 Red Sox and the 1999 Reds. Yanks manager Aaron Boone hit three of those 21 homers for Cincinnati in '99.

Video: NYY@TEX: Walker belts solo jack, fan makes great grab

Fan makes diving grab on Walker's homer

"We can hit," Boone said. "Those guys can hit, so no, it doesn't amaze me. We have a lot of power and guys are really going up there and grinding through at-bats. I think when you do that consistently with the power they have and the talent they possess, home runs are a lot of times the result."

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

New York Yankees, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Neil Walker

Maeda fans 12; Dodgers 3 1/2 back of Rockies

MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- When Clayton Kershaw went on the disabled list early this month, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the rest of the staff needed to pick up the slack, and Kenta Maeda has stepped it up.

Coming off eight scoreless innings in Miami, Maeda added 6 2/3 more while striking out 12 and allowing only two hits Wednesday night as the Dodgers blanked the Rockies, 3-0, at Dodger Stadium.

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LOS ANGELES -- When Clayton Kershaw went on the disabled list early this month, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the rest of the staff needed to pick up the slack, and Kenta Maeda has stepped it up.

Coming off eight scoreless innings in Miami, Maeda added 6 2/3 more while striking out 12 and allowing only two hits Wednesday night as the Dodgers blanked the Rockies, 3-0, at Dodger Stadium.

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Maeda again credited an adjustment to slow his delivery while maintaining attack mode going after hitters. Maeda said even with Kershaw, Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu sidelined, he doesn't consider himself a staff leader. But he acknowledged the club is leaning on him for quality starts.

"Yes, the reality is we have a lot of injured pitchers," Maeda said. "My focus is to pitch long and pitch well."

After taking the rubber game of the series, the Dodgers are 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Rockies, their smallest deficit since April 10, and have won six of their last seven games.

Video: COL@LAD: Maeda induces 5-4-3 double play in 3rd

"You can see the energy in the clubhouse," said closer Kenley Jansen, who picked up his 10th save and fourth in the last five days. "Everybody's like, we're going to get out of this. Things are finally starting to go our way."

Maeda was removed after walking Chris Iannetta with two outs in the seventh inning after striking out the previous four batters on three pitches each.

"Being able to put away guys quickly is a major key in racking up the Ks," he said. "I really wanted to finish off that last hitter [Iannetta]."

Maeda struck out 10 of 14 batters before the Iannetta at-bat and finished one shy of his career best.

"The slider is really good right now," said Roberts. "And the fastball command to both sides of the plate, he was in control and his stuff wasn't falling off. He's more efficient when he's on the attack. It's fun to watch."

Video: COL@LAD: Roberts talks Maeda's 12 K's, big 3-0 win

Maeda is 4-3 with a 3.38 ERA after Roberts said he "extended" Maeda into the seventh inning to face right-handed batters Trevor Story, Ian Desmond and Iannetta. Maeda finished with 111 pitches, the most he's thrown for the Dodgers.

"In Japan, it's not that many pitches," said Maeda, who was a workhorse in his homeland before coming to the Dodgers and adjusting to quick hooks (28 complete games there, none here).

"I'm going to pinpoint him [Maeda] tonight," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "Our strikeouts had been down the last week or so, but tonight was just a lot of Maeda."

Offensively, Maeda had enough to work with.

Justin Turner, 8-for-14 against Rockies starter Kyle Freeland, led off the bottom of the fourth with a single up the middle. After left fielder Gerardo Parra robbed Matt Kemp of a hit with a diving catch, Enrique Hernandez singled Turner to second.

Logan Forsythe, 0-for-10 against Freeland at the time, got the Dodgers on the board with a ground-rule double. With runners at second and third, Yasiel Puig's bouncer to shortstop Story resulted in Forsythe being erased in a rundown, but Hernandez scored the second run and Puig hustled to second, but was stranded.

Video: COL@LAD: Forsythe plates Turner on ground-rule double

The Dodgers added a run in the fifth on Chris Taylor's walk, Turner's single and a sacrifice fly from Kemp.

"The early runs were big for me," said Maeda. "That really set the tone today."

Video: COL@LAD: Kemp plates Barnes on sacrifice fly

Maeda had a no-hitter until Desmond's soft line single to right field with one out in the fifth inning. But he struck out the side in the fourth and again in the sixth, when he pitched out of a jam with runners on the corners by fanning Nolan Arenado and Parra.

Video: COL@LAD: Desmond knocks Rockies' 1st hit in 5th

SOUND SMART
Maeda was mowing down Rockies in the later innings. He struck out the final two hitters of the sixth inning (Arenado and Parra) and the first two hitters of the seventh inning (Story and Desmond) on three pitches each. Craig Kimbrel was the last to record four consecutive strikeouts on 12 total pitches, on May 11, 2017, against Milwaukee. 

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Four Dodgers wins in the last five days have been saved by Jansen, including this one, giving him 10 on the season. He's allowed one run over his last 15 innings with 16 strikeouts, including three in this game.

"I feel like we're starting to get our rhythm," said Jansen. "We've been playing good baseball for a week now. We have to just keep feeding off that. We're all stepping up, Kenta, the bullpen, everyone."

Video: COL@LAD: Jansen fans Desmond, locks down 10th save

HE SAID IT
"Over the course of the last 2 1/2 years, [Maeda] has shown when he gets an extra day or two, he's stronger. The next turn he'll have an extra day." -- Roberts, on the club's preference to pitch Maeda on at least five days' rest

UP NEXT
Ross Stripling will face the Padres on Friday night at 7:10 p.m. PT in the series opener. He'll be opposed by Clayton Richard. Stripling shut down the potent Nationals on May 19, striking out nine in six strong innings. He tossed four scoreless innings against San Diego in Monterrey, Mexico, on May 6. Cody Bellinger is expected back in the lineup after not starting Wednesday night. Bellinger, who is in a 2-for-27 slump, entered Wednesday's game in a double switch in the eighth and flied out in his only at-bat.

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

Los Angeles Dodgers, Kenta Maeda

Angels-Blue Jays today, only on Facebook

MLB.com @MannyOnMLB

Major League Baseball offers fans another unique viewing experience with the continuation of its digital-only broadcasts. Today's Angels-Blue Jays matchup will air live in the United States and Canada exclusively on Facebook. The finale to the three-game series at Rogers Centre is one of 25 streaming broadcasts scheduled for 2018 as part of MLB's partnership with Facebook.

Fans can catch the 12:37 p.m. ET contest by logging on to Facebook's MLB Live page from their phones, tablets, smart TVs or other streaming devices. MLB Network will produce the game, with play-by-play announcer Scott Braun, analysts Cliff Floyd and Wally Joyner and in-game reporter Stephen Nelson.

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Major League Baseball offers fans another unique viewing experience with the continuation of its digital-only broadcasts. Today's Angels-Blue Jays matchup will air live in the United States and Canada exclusively on Facebook. The finale to the three-game series at Rogers Centre is one of 25 streaming broadcasts scheduled for 2018 as part of MLB's partnership with Facebook.

Fans can catch the 12:37 p.m. ET contest by logging on to Facebook's MLB Live page from their phones, tablets, smart TVs or other streaming devices. MLB Network will produce the game, with play-by-play announcer Scott Braun, analysts Cliff Floyd and Wally Joyner and in-game reporter Stephen Nelson.

View Full Game Coverage

How to watch on mobile and desktop:

1. Search for "MLB Live" on Facebook

2. Follow the "MLB Live" show page

3. Download the Facebook video app on your TV or streaming device and search for "MLB Live"

4. Stream the game from your phone to a TV on the same WiFi network by tapping the TV icon.

Facebook Watch FAQ

Upcoming Facebook games (all times ET):

• Thursday, May 24 -- Angels-Blue Jays, 12:37 p.m.
• Wednesday, May 30 -- Cardinals-Brewers, 1:10 p.m.
• Wednesday, June 6 -- D-backs-Giants, 3:45 p.m.
• Wednesday, June 13 -- Angels-Mariners, 4:10 p.m.
• Wednesday, June 20 -- Braves-Blue Jays, 12:37 p.m.
• Wednesday, June 27 -- Royals-Brewers, 2:10 p.m.

What to know about the Angels-Blue Jays game:

The Blue Jays won the opener Tuesday, 5-3, but the Angels evened the series Wednesday night with a 5-4 victory.

Nick Tropeano is slated to take the mound for the Angels in his first career start vs. Toronto. The 27-year-old right-hander opened the month with 6 1/3 scoreless innings vs. the Orioles on May 1, giving up just one hit while walking two and striking out five. But in two starts since then, he's surrendered seven runs in 8 2/3 innings (7.27 ERA). Overall, he has a 4.45 ERA in six starts during his first season back after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2016.

Video: BAL@LAA: Tropeano shuts out Orioles over 6 1/3 frames

The Blue Jays counter with Marco Estrada, who will be making his fourth career start against the Angels and first against them since Aug. 24, 2016. The 34-year-old right-hander has given up four or more earned runs in five of nine starts this season, with a 5.15 ERA overall. He had a strong start on May 6 at Tampa Bay, when he held the Rays scoreless through six innings in a 2-1 Blue Jays victory. In his first two seasons with Toronto -- from '15-16 -- Estrada posted a 3.30 ERA over 63 appearances (57 starts), but since then, his ERA has been 5.02 over 42 starts.

Video: TOR@TB: Estrada goes 6 scoreless against the Rays

Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB.

Los Angeles Angels, Toronto Blue Jays, Marco Estrada, Nick Tropeano

Gonzales' 7 scoreless lead M's to 5th straight win

Special to MLB.com

OAKLAND -- In what was easily his best start of the season, Marco Gonzales only had one skittish inning when he had to pitch through traffic. Even then, the Mariners left-hander deftly worked his way out of trouble with relative ease.

Gonzales pitched a career-best seven scoreless innings and the Mariners made an unearned run in the fourth inning hold up in a 1-0 win over the A's at the Coliseum on Wednesday.

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OAKLAND -- In what was easily his best start of the season, Marco Gonzales only had one skittish inning when he had to pitch through traffic. Even then, the Mariners left-hander deftly worked his way out of trouble with relative ease.

Gonzales pitched a career-best seven scoreless innings and the Mariners made an unearned run in the fourth inning hold up in a 1-0 win over the A's at the Coliseum on Wednesday.

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Guillermo Heredia doubled and scored the game's lone run, helping the Mariners extend their longest winning streak of the season to five games. Seattle managed only six hits and went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position, but it rode the pitching of Gonzales and two relievers to the team's fourth shutout victory of the season.

"Can't be any more proud and happy for him, kind of taking the next step, being consistent and using all of his pitches," Mariners manager Scott Servais said of Gonzales. "When you have all three working, locating the fastball, really good changeup and the curveball's been such a vital pitch for him, you really see this guy stepping forward. We needed everything he gave us."

Gonzales (4-3) had never pitched more than 6 1/3 innings, but he was masterful against the A's. He retired nine of the first 10 batters, then sat down 12 of the final 13 he faced after issuing back-to-back walks to open the fourth.

Video: SEA@OAK: Gamel dives for a great grab in left field

"I think it had bits and pieces of some of my best stuff," Gonzales said. "I really was just trying to get ahead of hitters, get myself into good counts and allow my pitches to play. I think I'm really starting to figure out how my repertoire works, and my best chance is when I'm ahead in the count."

The left-hander struck out six and worked out of the jam in the fourth by getting Matt Chapman to line out, fanning Mark Canha and getting Matt Olson to fly out to left.

"It's a step up," Gonzales said. "I try to take positives from every time out there and learn from it. But those situations where you're in traffic, especially to start the inning, just says something about the communication that [catcher Mike Zunino] and I have behind the plate, the trust he has in me to be able to throw pitches behind in the count and to get timely ground balls."

Video: SEA@OAK: Diaz strikes out the side for 17th save

Juan Nicasio pitched the eighth and Edwin Diaz struck out the side in a perfect ninth for his 17th save, tied for the Major League lead with Colorado's Wade Davis.

Seattle needed the strong pitching performance to offset a stellar outing by Oakland starter Daniel Gossett (0-2), who allowed one unearned run on four hits over seven innings with five strikeouts.

A day after driving in Jean Segura for the go-ahead run in a 10-inning win, Heredia scored the Mariners' only run after doubling to lead off the fourth. Heredia took third on Nelson Cruz's flyout to right, then scored when A's shortstop Marcus Semien -- playing in -- bobbled Kyle Seager's grounder for an error.

Video: SEA@OAK: Heredia scores on Semien's fielding error

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Got his first:
Making his Major League debut, Mariners right fielder John Andreoli singled off Gossett with one out in the fifth for his first career hit. Andreoli was called up from Triple-A Tacoma earlier in the day and started in place of Mitch Haniger, who is nursing a sore right wrist. Andreoli also made a sliding catch in right-center field to rob Jonathan Lucroy of a hit in the eighth.

"It was unbelievable," Andreoli said. "It was so much fun, everything you could have dreamed of." More >

Video: SEA@OAK: Andreoli singles for first Major League hit

UP NEXT
Right-hander Felix Hernandez (5-3, 5.53 ERA) faces the A's for the third time this season in Thursday afternoon's series finale at 12:35 p.m. PT. Hernandez is 1-1 with two quality starts against Oakland, but he is in a stretch in which he's allowed three or more earned runs in five consecutive starts. Reliever Josh Lucas will make his first Major League start for the A's.

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

Seattle Mariners, Marco Gonzales