Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Never-say-die Tribe posts 5 in 9th, walks off in 14th

MLB.com @MLBastian

CLEVELAND -- The comeback began with a grueling plate appearance by Jose Ramirez in the ninth inning. It ended in extras with a Greg Allen walk-off home run on Sunday that set off a wild on-field celebration in what could go down as one of the most important victories of the season for the Indians.

After another rough afternoon for Cleveland's bullpen, the team's lineup did not relent, coming back twice to propel the Tribe to a 10-9 win over the Astros in 14 innings. The improbable victory allowed the Indians to salvage a split in the four-game series with the reigning World Series champions.

View Full Game Coverage

CLEVELAND -- The comeback began with a grueling plate appearance by Jose Ramirez in the ninth inning. It ended in extras with a Greg Allen walk-off home run on Sunday that set off a wild on-field celebration in what could go down as one of the most important victories of the season for the Indians.

After another rough afternoon for Cleveland's bullpen, the team's lineup did not relent, coming back twice to propel the Tribe to a 10-9 win over the Astros in 14 innings. The improbable victory allowed the Indians to salvage a split in the four-game series with the reigning World Series champions.

View Full Game Coverage

Video: HOU@CLE: Allen on walk-off homer, managing extras

The decisive blow from Allen came on the first pitch he saw from Brad Peacock -- the seventh Astros reliever used -- on the 451st pitch of the game. It was the rookie outfielder's first homer of the year and the first walk-off blast of his career.

Video: HOU@CLE: Indians come back to tie it in the 9th

That came in the wake of a game-tying homer from Yonder Alonso in the 13th and a ninth inning that included RBI hits from Alonso, Jason Kipnis, Erik Gonzalez, Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley. The last two in that sequence came with two outs, bringing Ramirez to the plate with two runners aboard. It was Ramirez, whose epic 17-pitch at-bat opened the ninth, who got the rally rolling against closer Ken Giles.

This time, Ramirez pulled a pitch from Hector Rondon up the first-base line with an exit velocity of 102.3 mph. For a moment, it looked like the Tribe third baseman had delivered a walk-off hit to right, but first baseman Yuli Gurriel used an all-out dive to snare the baseball before it could find the ground.

Video: HOU@CLE: Gurriel dives, snags liner to force extras

The late comeback effectively cancelled out a six-run eighth inning for the Astros, who pounced on the Tribe's struggling 'pen after starter Trevor Bauer's exit. Over 7 1/3 innings, Bauer struck out 13, walked two and was charged with four runs. Before the bullpen tacked two runs on Bauer's line in the eighth, he gave up a solo homer to Max Stassi in the second and an RBI double to Jose Altuve in the sixth.

Video: HOU@CLE: Bauer fans 13 in a strong outing vs. Astros

Gerrit Cole went seven innings, in which he gave up three runs on four hits, with eight strikeouts and a pair of walks. All of the Tribe's damage came in the first two frames against the righty, who limited Cleveland to a 1-for-14 showing over his final five innings. Two of the runs came in the first courtesy of Ramirez's 15th homer of the year.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Calling the 'pen: Indians manager Terry Francona tried to get as much as he could out of Bauer, allowing the pitcher to log 127 pitches into the eighth. After Bauer put two runners on to start that inning, Evan Marshall entered for the Tribe and -- in a span of eight pitches -- allowed three straight RBI singles. Ben Taylor, who was called up from Triple-A Columbus along with Marshall on Saturday, then yielded a three-run homer to Evan Gattis that put Cleveland behind, 8-3.

Video: HOU@CLE: Gattis rips a three-run no-doubter to left

Trading blows: In the 13th inning, Gattis tried to put an end to the marathon with a two-out solo shot off Dan Otero, who watched the pitch clank into the left-field bleacher seats. Cleveland had an answer once again, as Alonso belted a solo blast of his own off Collin McHugh to pull the game into a 9-9 deadlock in the home half of the frame.

Video: HOU@CLE: Alonso ties it in 13th with solo smash

Bauer's escape: Moments after Astros manager AJ Hinch was ejected during a heated exchange with home-plate umpire Tony Randazzo in the sixth inning, Bauer surrendered the RBI double to Altuve, who took third on the play. With the tying run 90 feet from home, the Cleveland pitcher responded by striking out both Carlos Correa and Gurriel to escape further damage in the crucial frame.

SOUND SMART
Brantley's leadoff single in the third extended his hitting streak to 16 games, marking the longest active streak in the Majors. It is the longest run for the Tribe outfielder since his 22-game streak in 2012. Brantley's streak is the longest by a Tribe batter since '16 (Ramirez, 18 games; Mike Napoli, 16 games).

UP NEXT
Adam Plutko (2-0, 2.03 ERA) will make his third start of the season on Monday, when the Indians open a three-game series against the White Sox in a 4:10 p.m. ET tilt at Progressive Field. Plutko flirted with a no-hitter in a win over the Cubs on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. The White Sox will counter with Dylan Covey (1-1, 3.46 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, Greg Allen, Trevor Bauer, Michael Brantley, Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez

Tanaka cruises in clash with Ohtani, Angels

Yankees starter fans 8, including 2 K's of fellow Japanese star
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- In the highly anticipated showdown between fellow countrymen Masahiro Tanaka and Shohei Ohtani, the Yankees' right-hander came out on top, spinning a solid effort that led New York to a 3-1 victory over the Angels on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

In their first meeting since playing against each other in Japan in 2013, Ohtani worked a 3-2 count before striking out on a low-and-away, 85.6-mph splitter. Although this matchup had been the talk of the series, it was not one that Tanaka viewed to be different from the rest.

View Full Game Coverage

NEW YORK -- In the highly anticipated showdown between fellow countrymen Masahiro Tanaka and Shohei Ohtani, the Yankees' right-hander came out on top, spinning a solid effort that led New York to a 3-1 victory over the Angels on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

In their first meeting since playing against each other in Japan in 2013, Ohtani worked a 3-2 count before striking out on a low-and-away, 85.6-mph splitter. Although this matchup had been the talk of the series, it was not one that Tanaka viewed to be different from the rest.

View Full Game Coverage

"I think it was a good thing that I was able to face him at this stage, at the Major League level," Tanaka said. "But, I was thinking just get outs there. Yeah, the feeling was pretty much the same."

Video: LAA@NYY: Tanaka, Judge, Bird on 3-1 win over Angels

After waiting more than an hour between plate appearances, Ohtani walked on five pitches in the fourth before Tanaka won the final matchup in the sixth, recording another strikeout on an 88.7-mph splitter.

"He's a challenge. We challenged him a little bit with fastballs up in the strike zone and the off-speed pitch down, but he does a pretty good job of controlling the zone as well," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Ohtani. "Overall, we did a good job of staying away from his slug zone ... middle down, that area where he's really dangerous."

The Yankees' offense took advantage of Angels starter Garrett Richards' early struggles in the third inning. After allowing a single to Aaron Judge to start the inning, the right-hander walked Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius to load the bases. A free pass to Aaron Hicks put the first run on the board, chasing Richards.

Video: LAA@NYY: Hicks forces in a run with bases-loaded walk

Jose Alvarez replaced Richards and hit Greg Bird on the elbow pad to push another Yankees run across. Miguel Andujar grounded into a fielder's choice at second base that scored the Yankees' final run of the afternoon.

"Today was definitely one of the better ones in recent outings," Tanaka said. "To be able to win in a small-margin game like this, I think it's good. Just looking back, that last home run, that is unacceptable."

Video: LAA@NYY: Simmons launches a solo home run to left

"We needed an outing from him like that," Boone said. "He did a really good job early of establishing his fastball, he used the cutter a little bit, split was good and then turned it over to our guys lined up in the 'pen there. But, an outing we really needed today. Glad to see him go out there and deliver."

Aroldis Chapman worked around a leadoff walk to Ohtani in the ninth inning to pick up his 11th save of the season.

Video: LAA@NYY: Chapman retires Maldonado to earn the save

Ohtani remains hitless in his career against Tanaka, who faced him during his final season in Japan. The then-18-year-old Ohtani went 0-for-11 with six strikeouts, one walk and one hit by pitch against Tanaka.

"I'm not in any position to say if he got better or worse, but I feel like he threw more breaking balls this time around than when he was in Japan," Ohtani said. "It felt a little different because the American pitchers throw mostly fastballs, but he kind of pitched me backwards. That felt a little different."

Video: LAA@NYY: Fan goes all out for Tanaka, Ohtani

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Judge recorded the hardest-hit ball of the 2018 season in the third inning when he laced a 119.9-mph single to right-center field. Since 2017, Judge has had five batted balls with an exit velocity of at least 119 mph, while Giancarlo Stanton is the only other player in Major League Baseball to log one. More >>

Video: LAA@NYY: Judge knocks the hardest hit ball of season

"Richards is a guy that has got a really good fastball," Judge said. "He gets it up to the upper 90s. With a guy like him, I've just got to try to stay short and make contact. With his velo, it'll jump a little bit. For me, I was just trying to stay short and get a pitch that I could drive."

UP NEXT
The Yankees will begin a three-game series against the Astros at home Monday afternoon with Domingo German getting his fourth start of the season. German (0-2, 5.59 ERA) is coming off a pair of subpar efforts after throwing six no-hit innings in his first big league start on May 6 against Cleveland. The Astros will send right-hander Justin Verlander (6-2, 1.08) to the mound. Verlander has held his opponents to one earned run or none in five straight starts. First pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m. ET.

Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.

New York Yankees, Greg Bird, Aroldis Chapman, Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtani, Masahiro Tanaka

This Nats fan wanted to trade his dad for a bat

It may not be close to the Trade Deadline yet, but the Nationals are already giving signs that they'll be wheeling and dealing. 

OK, so it's actually a Nationals fan who wants to make a deal. He wants to trade his dad. For a bat.

Altuve's historic run ends at 10 straight hits

Special to MLB.com @benweinrib

CLEVELAND -- For Jose Altuve, dry spells can only last so long. After the reigning American League Most Valuable Player went hitless in 12 straight plate appearances starting on Wednesday, Altuve collected hits in 10 consecutive at-bats.

Bidding for No. 11 on Sunday, Altuve was robbed by a slick diving catch by Rajai Davis in left-center field to end the top of the ninth during the Astros' 10-9, 14-inning loss to the Indians.

View Full Game Coverage

CLEVELAND -- For Jose Altuve, dry spells can only last so long. After the reigning American League Most Valuable Player went hitless in 12 straight plate appearances starting on Wednesday, Altuve collected hits in 10 consecutive at-bats.

Bidding for No. 11 on Sunday, Altuve was robbed by a slick diving catch by Rajai Davis in left-center field to end the top of the ninth during the Astros' 10-9, 14-inning loss to the Indians.

View Full Game Coverage

Video: HOU@CLE: Davis snags Altuve's liner, ends hit streak

With the 10-hit streak, Altuve broke his own club record of eight, set from June 23-24, 2017. The MLB record is held by Walt Dropo, who had 12 consecutive hits for the Tigers over the span of three games on July 14-15, 1952.

"You don't think about hits, you're not counting hits -- you're trying to win games," Altuve said. "I guess after two games, my teammates say, 'Oh, you got 10 hits.' You're like, 'OK, that's fun.' But in the middle of the game it's hard to think about, 'Oh I got 1, 2, 3, 4 ... "

Altuve singled in the first inning of Sunday's series finale against the Indians and followed it up with an infield single in the fourth inning. He then notched his ninth straight hit on an RBI double to the gap in the sixth inning, bringing the Astros to within a run at 3-2.

Video: HOU@CLE: Altuve doubles, sets franchise hit streak

Altuve then tied the game at 3 with an RBI single in the eighth inning. His 10 straight hits were the longest in MLB since 2012, when Andre Ethier had a hit in 10 straight plate appearances.

"He's the MVP of the league; it's not a surprise," manager AJ Hinch said. "He does have a way of putting the barrel on the ball. When he's hot like this, there's not a guy in the league that can get him out."

Video: HOU@CLE: Altuve's game-tying single extends streak

Altuve's hot streak began on Friday, when his RBI double in the eighth inning tied the game and keyed a four-run rally. He doubled again in the ninth inning and came around to score the first of seven runs in the Astros' 11-2 win.

Saturday's game was more of the same, as Altuve went a perfect 4-for-4 and fell a double short of the cycle. He singled in the first, homered in the third inning, singled again in the fifth and tripled in the seventh. Unfortunately, he didn't get a chance to complete the cycle as he stood in the on deck circle during the final out.

Ben Weinrib is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cleveland.

Houston Astros, Jose Altuve

Acuna injures knee, awaiting MRI results

MLB.com @mlbbowman

BOSTON -- Ronald Acuna Jr. created some hope as he rose from the ground and walked off the field without any assistance. But as the Braves exited Sunday afternoon's 7-1 win over the Red Sox, there was still some concern regarding the young phenom's left knee.

Acuna's status remained unknown as the Braves were waiting for the results of an MRI exam that was performed at a Boston-area hospital around the time the game ended. The plan remained for the outfielder to join his Braves teammates in time to be on Sunday night's charter flight back to Atlanta.

View Full Game Coverage

BOSTON -- Ronald Acuna Jr. created some hope as he rose from the ground and walked off the field without any assistance. But as the Braves exited Sunday afternoon's 7-1 win over the Red Sox, there was still some concern regarding the young phenom's left knee.

Acuna's status remained unknown as the Braves were waiting for the results of an MRI exam that was performed at a Boston-area hospital around the time the game ended. The plan remained for the outfielder to join his Braves teammates in time to be on Sunday night's charter flight back to Atlanta.

View Full Game Coverage

Acuna injured his left knee as he completed his sprint to record an infield single during the seventh inning. After crossing the bag, his left leg buckled in a gruesome manner and he immediately fell to the ground, where he remained while being attended to by members of the Braves' medical staff.

Just as a Red Sox employee was nearing first base with a wheelchair, Acuna stood up and walked with a limp toward the Braves' clubhouse.

"I just like the fact he walked off, because when he did it I was thinking about what Bryce Harper did last year," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "It looked real similar. We'll know more later."

Until the results of the MRI exam are revealed, there will be some concern about the possibility Acuna injured either his anterior cruciate ligament or his medial collateral ligament.

This was the same initial fear the Nationals had when Harper was injured in a similar manner in August. But instead of what would have been a season-ending injury, the former National League MVP was fortunate to be diagnosed with a bone bruise that sidelined him for six weeks.

"It's not something you like to see, especially on a routine ball hit to short," Braves pitcher Mike Foltynewicz said. "Then [Acuna] beats it out like that with that hustle. We're praying for him. It was amazing to see him walk off like that. We were all shocked to see that."

Since making his Major League debut on April 25, Acuna has consistently displayed the five-tool talents that have earned him status as baseball's top prospect per MLB Pipeline. He has endured some growing pains at the plate recently, but has hit .265 with five homers and a .779 OPS through his first 29 career games.

If Acuna is sidelined, the Braves will likely give the left-field job to Preston Tucker, who filled the role on an everyday basis through most of the season's first month.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Ronald Acuna Jr.

Is this the Minor League catch of the year?

Eric Jenkins is a 21-year-old outfield prospect in the Rangers organization who currently plays for the Down East Wood Ducks, Texas' Class A affiliate in the Carolina League. 

So far this season, Jenkins is hitting .250/.301/.338 for the Wood Ducks, but it's his defense that has everybody talking at the moment.

The next Kershaw? Buehler dominates Padres

MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- Walker Buehler's starting pitching career is off to a better beginning than Clayton Kershaw's. After his first seven starts, Kershaw was 0-2 with a 4.36 ERA. At the same point of his rookie season, Buehler is 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA.

Buehler was at it again Sunday, containing the last-place Padres on four hits for seven innings in a 6-1 Dodgers win. Los Angeles has won eight of the last 10 and by Thursday, Kershaw figures to rejoin Buehler in the rotation.

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- Walker Buehler's starting pitching career is off to a better beginning than Clayton Kershaw's. After his first seven starts, Kershaw was 0-2 with a 4.36 ERA. At the same point of his rookie season, Buehler is 3-1 with a 2.20 ERA.

Buehler was at it again Sunday, containing the last-place Padres on four hits for seven innings in a 6-1 Dodgers win. Los Angeles has won eight of the last 10 and by Thursday, Kershaw figures to rejoin Buehler in the rotation.

View Full Game Coverage

Buehler struck out eight without a walk and made 93 pitches. In 41 big league innings this year, he has 48 strikeouts and only nine walks. After seven starts, Kershaw had 29 strikeouts but also 22 walks in 33 innings. In three of Buehler's last four starts, he hasn't issued a walk.

The Dodgers scored twice in the third inning off reliever Adam Cimber with some well-placed hits. Buehler led off with a single up the middle and Chris Taylor flared a double over first base to put Buehler on third. Enrique Hernandez singled through the hole on the left side to score Buehler, and Taylor scored from third base on Justin Turner's double-play grounder.

San Diego halved the lead in the fifth inning. Freddy Galvis doubled in the right-field corner, took third on Buehler's wild pitch and scored on Raffy Lopez's sacrifice fly that Matt Kemp ran down in the left-field corner.

The Dodgers blew open a close game in the bottom of the eighth inning with a pair of two-run homers from Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger. Muncy has six home runs in only 83 at-bats. Bellinger has a team-high eight, although when he hit it, he was in a 2-for-34 slump.

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

Los Angeles Dodgers, Walker Buehler

Pedro still looks in game shape at Fenway

Pedro Martinez may have retired, gained entry into the Hall of Fame and become a world class broadcaster, but if Sunday's Alumni Game before the Red Sox's 7-1 loss to the Braves is any indication, the right-hander still has plenty in the tank.

Facing Mike Greenwell -- who patrolled the Boston outfield for 12 years -- Martinez went into his famous windup and blew him away.

Relentless Crew earns comeback win over Mets

Aguilar homers, has four RBIs as Brewers notch 13th win in last 17 games
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MILWAUKEE -- Early in the Brewers' 8-7 win on Sunday, after the Mets had rattled off five singles against Jhoulys Chacin in a four-run second inning that dropped Milwaukee into an early deficit for the second straight day, big first baseman Jesus Aguilar found Chacin in the dugout for a few prophetic words.

"He told me, 'Don't worry. Keep it there, and we're going to come back,'" said Chacin.

View Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE -- Early in the Brewers' 8-7 win on Sunday, after the Mets had rattled off five singles against Jhoulys Chacin in a four-run second inning that dropped Milwaukee into an early deficit for the second straight day, big first baseman Jesus Aguilar found Chacin in the dugout for a few prophetic words.

"He told me, 'Don't worry. Keep it there, and we're going to come back,'" said Chacin.

View Full Game Coverage

"That's true," said Aguilar. "I said, 'Hold it right there. Don't worry about the hitting because we're hitting good, and we're going to be back. We're going to win this game.' That's what I said to him."

Aguilar was right.

It took not one, but two Brewers comebacks, but Aguilar was right.

Propelling the Brewers past the mathematical one-third mark of the regular season to the traditional Memorial Day benchmark with the best record in the National League, Aguilar hit a tying, three-run home run in the bottom of the second inning and drove in Milwaukee's first four runs to fuel one of those comebacks, then took a key two-out walk to aid another in a four-run seventh inning that pushed the team over the top.

Travis Shaw, Domingo Santana and Jonathan Villar delivered the run-scoring hits in that decisive rally to send the Brewers to their fifth consecutive series victory. They are 13-4 in that stretch and 34-20 overall, best in the NL.

Aguilar, who began the season as Milwaukee's third-string first baseman but has seized the position in the wake of injuries to Eric Thames and Ryan Braun, has had an offensive resurgence in that stretch. During the team's 17-game hot streak, Aguilar is batting .302 with seven of his nine home runs and 19 of his 30 RBIs on the season.

Video: NYM@MIL: Aguilar drives in Cain with game's first run

Just like the Brewers' three-run first inning Saturday after the Mets had jumped to an early 3-0 lead on Chase Anderson, Aguilar's answer in the second inning on Sunday was like hitting the reset button.

"It was a whole new ballgame," manager Craig Counsell said.

Chacin limited the Mets to one more run while pitching into the seventh, when Asdrubal Cabrera greeted Boone Logan with a home run that gave the Mets a 6-4 lead.

Once again, the Brewers mounted a comeback. With starter Zack Wheeler out of the game in the bottom of the seventh and relievers Robert Gsellman, Jerry Blevins and Paul Sewald in his stead, Aguilar kept a threat alive with a two-out walk before Shaw, Santana and Villar delivered successive run-scoring hits. Shaw's single made it a one-run game, Santana's two-run double gave the Brewers the lead, and Villar's double provided insurance.

Video: NYM@MIL: Shaw brings home Yelich with 2-out single

Relievers Jeremy Jeffress and Corey Knebel closed it out, with Jeffress matching a franchise record with his 23rd consecutive appearance without being charged with a run, and Knebel rebounding from Devin Mesoraco's leadoff homer in the ninth to log his fourth save.

The Brewers have a three-game lead on second-place St. Louis entering a three-game series between those National League Central rivals beginning Monday afternoon at Miller Park.

"This isn't a fluke," said Shaw, who has reached safely in 13 straight games with a .418 on-base percentage. "I think we have some staying power this year. I'm excited to see what happens over the summer. There's still a long way to go, but I think we're all pleased with where we are right now."

Video: NYM@MIL: Chacin, Aguilar on guaranteed comeback

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Catching a break: It was a little thing, but Aguilar admitted the Brewers caught a break when home-plate umpire Rob Drake called ball 4 on Gsellman's 3-1 fastball to Aguilar in the decisive seventh. The Brewers capitalized, starting with Shaw's run-scoring single off Blevins and following with Santana's go-ahead double off the end of his bat against Sewald.

Video: NYM@MIL: Santana flicks go-ahead 2-run double into RF

"For me, it was a strike," Aguilar said. "I was kind of surprised. It was a little bit down, but still a good pitch. But he called it a ball. I'll take it. When I was hitting, I was trying to bring up Travis with somebody on base. Then Santana, all the guys tried to make good things [happen]."

"That's definitely a big pitch," said Gsellman. "I needed that, but he didn't give it to me. I let it be known."

Knebel closes it: Counsell believes his bullpen is best with Knebel pitching in the traditional closer's role, which is why the Brewers abandoned their committee approach when Knebel returned from a month-long absence for a hamstring injury. But Knebel, who suffered a blown save in Friday's extra-innings Brewers win, was shaky for the second straight appearance on Sunday. Mesoraco hit his second pitch for a solo home run to straightaway center field, and two batters later, Knebel walked Amed Rosario with one out to put the tying runner on base. But he recovered to strike out Cabrera and Michael Conforto to end the game.

Video: NYM@MIL: Knebel fans Conforto to lock down the save

"That was important for Corey, for sure," said Counsell. "He needed that. He had a little adversity with the walk and the home run, but he came back and got two really good, really tough hitters that he made good pitches to."

SOUND SMART
Jeffress' numbers are like something out of a video game, starting with his 0.32 ERA and .085 opponents' average after 28 innings. Sunday marked his 23rd consecutive appearance without being charged a run, matching a single-season franchise record shared by Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford (both in 2013) and Doug Jones (1997).

Video: NYM@MIL: Jeffress on tying Brewers' club record

What has keyed Jeffress' success this season?

"Have fun," he said. "I love smiling. I love having fun. That's the best thing. When I wake up in the morning, I know I'm coming to the park and having fun."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Chacin needed every out he could get in the Mets' 10-batter second inning, and shortstop Eric Sogard provided a big one when he scaled the tarp to catch Wilmer Flores' foul popup for the second out of the inning with the bases loaded. Jay Bruce promptly ended the threat with a flyout to the warning track in left-center field.

Video: NYM@MIL: Sogard makes awesome grab on top of the tarp

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Chacin was solid after that long second inning, with one exception. He grooved a 1-2 fastball to Conforto in the fifth inning and Conforto hit it to dead center field for what initially was ruled a tie-breaking home run. The umpires reviewed the play, however, and determined the baseball had hit the yellow line atop the wall and bounced back into play. Conforto eventually scored anyway, giving the Mets a 5-4 lead.

Video: NYM@MIL: Conforto's homers gets overturned to double

UP NEXT
The Cardinals took two of three from the Brewers at Miller Park in April before the Brewers took two of three from the Cardinals in St. Louis. Milwaukee will try to reclaim home-field advantage when the rivals meet again for a three-game series that begins with an afternoon affair on Memorial Day. Left-hander Brent Suter starts opposite Cardinals right-hander Luke Weaver at 1:10 p.m. CT on Monday.

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

Milwaukee Brewers

Here are pressing needs for 10 top contenders

MLB.com @RichardJustice

Yes, 20 teams are leading or within 4 1/2 games of first place in their division. With nearly a third of the regular season in the books, all these clubs see a reasonable path to the postseason.

All of them have work to do, and that's where it gets interesting. Every year around this time, we run down a list of at least a dozen teams seeking rotation help.

Yes, 20 teams are leading or within 4 1/2 games of first place in their division. With nearly a third of the regular season in the books, all these clubs see a reasonable path to the postseason.

All of them have work to do, and that's where it gets interesting. Every year around this time, we run down a list of at least a dozen teams seeking rotation help.

But only a handful of impact starting pitchers -- maybe three or fewer -- are likely to switch teams, and the contenders will have to decide if it's worth overpaying. For now, let's look at 10 teams that absolutely have areas that must be addressed:

Yankees: Starting pitching
Since a 17-1 stretch, Yankees pitchers have allowed more than five runs per game. Their starters have the second-highest ERA in the Majors during that time, as left-hander CC Sabathia, right-hander Masahiro Tanaka and rookie righty Domingo German have been ineffective. On the positive side, the Yankees have enough farm-system depth to acquire, say, Cole Hamels from the Rangers or righty Michael Fulmer from the Tigers.

D-backs: A potent bat
Arizona has scored the fewest runs in the Majors this month amid injuries to A.J. Pollock, Steven Souza Jr. and Jake Lamb -- coupled with Paul Goldschmidt's struggles. General manager Mike Hazen had trade discussions involving Manny Machado this past offseason. Those surely will heat up again if the Orioles make him available.

Video: BAL@CWS: Machado smokes a 112.6-mph home run

Dodgers: Second base or outfield
The Dodgers have gotten back into contention with what may be the game's best pitching staff, even before Clayton Kershaw is back in the rotation in a few days. Since Justin Turner's return, Matt Kemp, Joc Pederson and Chris Taylor have all gotten hot. But the Dodgers still need another bat to position themselves for another deep October run. Machado would be a nice fit here, too. But let's face it, he's unlikely to play for three teams at once. Twins second baseman Brian Dozier and A's outfielder Khris Davis also make sense if their teams fall out of their respective races.

Red Sox: Starting pitching
OK, so they're on a pace to win 100 games and have spent most of this season with baseball's best record. What's the problem? There's way too much inconsistency in the starting rotation -- and there may not be much they can do about it, given that trades have weakened the Minor League system. If David Price and Rick Porcello get on a roll behind Chris Sale, the Red Sox will be a tough October draw. It seems like a long shot that president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski will make a run at a high-profile starter, so guys like Hamels and Fulmer could be in the conversation here. But if Dombrowski wants to get creative, maybe lefty Caleb Smith from the Marlins, who is off to a nice start.

Indians: Bullpen
The Tribe hoped Andrew Miller's recent return fix would fix a bullpen that has been baseball's worst this month. He looked like his old self in getting five outs to help preserve a 1-0 victory at Wrigley Field on Wednesday. But after allowing three runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Astros on Friday, Miller landed back on the DL on Saturday with right knee inflammation. With Miller around to help get the ball into the hands of closer Cody Allen, the Indians look a lot more like the 95-win team they were projected to be. Without him, they are vulnerable. One name to watch is Mets closer Jeurys Familia, who could be dealt as he approaches free agency, if the Mets fall out of the playoff race.

Video: ARI@NYM: Familia locks down a save with a 1-2-3 9th

Angels: Bullpen
Here's the good news: There will be relievers available this summer. Not just big name guys like Zach Britton and Brad Hand, but lots of lesser-known, quality arms that can make a huge impact in a close race. The Angels have a solid rotation and offense. But if they're unable to land an arm or two, it's going to be a challenging fight for a postseason spot. If the Padres decide to move Hand, the Angels may be first in line.

Cardinals: Bullpen
All things considered, the Cardinals have had a remarkable to start to a season in which they've been hit hard by injuries and have concerns about the offense and bullpen. Can a strength in one area overcome problems in two others? The Cardinals hope so. The signing of closer Greg Holland hasn't worked out, so they may be shopping for a reliever in the coming weeks. Royals closer Kelvin Herrera -- an impending free agent -- could be a fit.

Cardinals place Holland on DL

Mets: A big bat
Only the D-backs have scored fewer runs than the Mets this month. And while the bullpen has been shaky at times, GM Sandy Alderson's first, second and third concerns are the offense. Will it be enough with the injured Todd Frazier and Yoenis Cespedes back in the lineup? Does newly signed Jose Bautista have anything left in the tank? Or does Alderson do something outside his comfort zone? Making a run at free-agent-to-be Josh Donaldson -- and maybe shifting Frazier from third to first out of deference -- would fit that description.

Video: TOR@CLE: Donaldson's 2nd HR of doubleheader

Phillies: Offense
One of baseball's most surprising teams needs another bat, and Machado is the guy they should try hardest to get. The Phillies are also one of the teams that might just be able to strike a long-term deal with Machado, as they have been a rumored suitor of his when he hits the market this winter. For now, he might be the difference between making and missing the postseason.

Giants: Starting pitching
If the Giants get Madison Bumgarner and Johnny Cueto back and performing at a high level, they've got a shot to get back to the postseason. But there's uncertainty about when, or if, Cueto's arm will allow him to pitch again. So the Giants will be shopping for a starter, with Padres righty Tyson Ross a possibility.

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

Jeurys Familia, Michael Fulmer, Cole Hamels, Brad Hand, Manny Machado

Boone thrilled to be in thick of AL East race

Yankees manager made no secret about missing the on-field action
MLB.com @MikeLupica

Aaron Boone tells everybody how much he missed the action of being on the field, and now he has as much action as any coach or manager could want, stakes as high as they get in baseball, a Yankees-Red Sox summer in the American League East that has all the makings.

Remember this about the way things are set up now: Even if both clubs win more than 100 games this season, which they both sure might, one of them will likely end up in a one-game Wild Card season. One of them will win the American League East. The other will win that.

View Full Game Coverage

Aaron Boone tells everybody how much he missed the action of being on the field, and now he has as much action as any coach or manager could want, stakes as high as they get in baseball, a Yankees-Red Sox summer in the American League East that has all the makings.

Remember this about the way things are set up now: Even if both clubs win more than 100 games this season, which they both sure might, one of them will likely end up in a one-game Wild Card season. One of them will win the American League East. The other will win that.

View Full Game Coverage

"But that's the system, isn't it?" Angels skipper Mike Scioscia, who was managing against Boone's Yankees on Sunday, said before the game at Yankee Stadium. "You want to do anything you can to stay out of that game. But at the same time, you tell yourself: 'I'd rather being doing that than sitting at home watching.'"

A few minutes before, on the other side of the Stadium, Boone had been sitting in front of a microphone in the interview room across from the Yankees' clubhouse, a baseball in his hand. Sometimes Boone doesn't need a microphone to show you how much he missed being in the action, even in his years in the broadcast booth of Sunday Night Baseball for ESPN.

You can just see how much he missed having his hands on the game. His father played, and then managed. Aaron played for the Yankees; now he is managing them. He has some team. It is shaping up to be some season, one he is expected to win.

Boone was asked if he follows what the Red Sox are doing, even in the last week of May, even with two-thirds of the season left to go.

Boone smiled and said, "I follow the sport. At the end of the night, I know who won or lost."

The question, from Michael Kay, the Yankees' play-by-play announcer on the YES network, included the word "concerned."

"Am I concerned about them?" Boone asked. "No, I'm not. I don't concern myself with the big picture of all that. But am I aware of what the rest of the league is doing? Yeah, I am."

And then I asked him, on the day when the Yankees were about to improve their record to 33-16 with a 3-1 win over Scioscia's team, if he is happy with where his team is right now, last week of May, two-thirds of the season still left to be played.

Video: 5/27/18: LAA vs. NYY Highlights

Boone gave a long answer about his team, and where it is, and how generally happy he is with the way it has played so far, but then he ended this way:

"We need to get better if we're going to be an elite team."

He has one already. So does Boston. So do the Astros. That is the varsity in baseball. When the Astros come into the Stadium for three games starting Monday afternoon, it will feel as if the playoffs have started early, especially with Houston's ace, Justin Verlander, on the mound.

Chris Sale, the Red Sox ace, lost at Fenway Park on Sunday afternoon. He gave up a three-run homer early to Tyler Flowers, and the Red Sox eventually fell behind 6-0, on their way to losing 7-1. It was the way Sonny Gray -- whom the Yankees thought was a front-of-the-rotation guy, but has turned out to be the opposite of that in New York -- got good and lit up by Mike Trout and the Angels on Saturday night at the Stadium, the Angels clubbing their way to an 11-4 victory in that one.

Masahiro Tanaka was much better for the Yankees on Sunday. The main event back in Japan, of course, was Tanaka against Shohei Ohtani, whom we thought might start this game against Tanaka before Scioscia changed his rotation midweek. Tanaka struck out Ohtani his first time up, walked him his next time up, struck him out swinging in the sixth. The Yankees scratched out three runs earlier, made them stand up on a dreary day at the Stadium, one made drearier because it was one of those days when Tanaka, even pitching well, slowed the whole thing down to a crawl.

Video: LAA@NYY: Tanaka strikes out Ohtani for 2nd time

So the Yankees have now won nine of their last 10 series. The Red Sox are right there with them. They have a winning percentage of .679. The Yankees are .673. Combined record? 69-33. They fight it out in the East knowing that the Astros, in Scioscia's division, would be the most complete team on the planet if they had a closer, which they don't, and showed it again Sunday in a wild, 14-inning, 10-9 loss to the Indians.

MLB standings

For now the Yankees win another series. So do the Red Sox. Boone watches the Sox. The Sox watch the Yankees. You know the Astros watch them both. Three best teams in baseball. A lot could change over the last two-thirds. But this is the varsity.

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

New York Yankees

Folty fantastic as Braves thump Red Sox

MLB.com @mlbbowman

BOSTON -- Nearing the end of a rough road trip and staring at the task of facing four of the game's top starting pitchers within a span of six days, the Braves got exactly what they needed from Tyler Flowers and Mike Foltynewicz.

Flowers extended his mastery of his former batterymate Chris Sale and Foltynewicz delivered his longest start of the season as the Braves snapped a three-game losing streak and returned to Atlanta riding the momentum of Sunday afternoon's 7-1 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

View Full Game Coverage

BOSTON -- Nearing the end of a rough road trip and staring at the task of facing four of the game's top starting pitchers within a span of six days, the Braves got exactly what they needed from Tyler Flowers and Mike Foltynewicz.

Flowers extended his mastery of his former batterymate Chris Sale and Foltynewicz delivered his longest start of the season as the Braves snapped a three-game losing streak and returned to Atlanta riding the momentum of Sunday afternoon's 7-1 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

View Full Game Coverage

Video: ATL@BOS: Foltynewicz K's 7 over 7 dominant innings

"It went from being a really you-know-what road trip to just a not-very-good one," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.

Though the excitement was tempered as the Braves waited to hear the severity of the left knee injury Ronald Acuna Jr. sustained in the seventh inning, there was no doubt they were feeling satisfied about the fact they had avoided a sweep in Boston and added a second victory to this six-game road trip that began in Philadelphia.

Video: ATL@BOS: Acuna exits after fall, apparent injury

The Braves fell out of first place with Saturday's loss and then moved back to the top of the National League East standings -- a half-game ahead of the Phillies -- with Sunday's win. As they prepare to face Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Stephen Strasburg within the next five days, they can only hope to encounter the same success achieved against Sale, who allowed six earned runs and five hits over 4 1/3 innings in this series finale.

"We were just able to take advantage of some mistakes and piece them together," Flowers said. "A lot of the trip, we haven't been able to piece hits together. So it was nice to be able to do that and get something going early for us."

Flowers provided the early blow when he barreled an 0-2 fastball and watched it clear the Green Monster for a three-run home run in the second inning. He is now 3-for-4 with two homers and a double in four career at-bats against Sale.

Video: ATL@BOS: Suzuki plates Tucker with infield knock

"I've always thought he was an underrated hitter," Sale said. "He's a great ballplayer. Obviously respect him. He's probably caught more of my games than anybody else. He's seen it quite a few times. You've got to be better there, though. Fastball right down the middle; not too many times you're going to win that battle."

Flowers has indeed been behind the plate far more frequently than any other catcher with Sale on the mound. But he doesn't necessarily view this as an advantage he has when facing his former White Sox teammate.

"I always find those more difficult, because it's easy to kind of call the game for him as you're trying to hit off him," Flowers said. "That can get you in trouble real quick too. I don't think there is any advantage. I just think he's happened to make some mistakes against me and I've been fortunate to hit the barrel with it."

Video: ATL@BOS: Freeman plates 2 with towering double

By the time Freddie Freeman chased Sale with a two-run double in the fifth, Foltynewicz had found a groove. The right-hander carried a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and ended up allowing just one run over seven innings. He had completed as many as six innings just three times this year. But with a doubleheader looming on Monday and the bullpen having tallied five innings on Saturday, this was a good time for him to deliver one of his best starts.

"He was real efficient with his pitches and stayed on the attack," Snitker said. "I just loved how he stayed after it. He was throwing a lot of strikes. His stuff was really good today."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Patience is a virtue: Dansby Swanson opened the fifth with a walk and scored when Charlie Culberson's opposite-field single slipped under right fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.'s glove. But the inning's key walk was drawn by Acuna, who fell behind with a 1-2 count and was on the brink of his third strikeout of the day before fouling off a couple of full-count pitches. This set the stage for Freeman, who drilled a first-pitch slider off the right-center-field wall for a two-run double that gave the Braves a 6-0 lead.

"Anytime you get runs off him it's big, because he's one of those guys we talk about being one of the best in the game," Snitker said. "We had big at-bats against him. That was big."

Video: ATL@BOS: Culberson singles, Swanson scores on error

SOUND SMART
Sale has allowed at least six earned runs five times since the start of the 2016 season. Two of those occurrences have come in his only two career starts against the Braves.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Foltynewicz's no-hit bid ended when he surrendered a one-out double in the sixth to Andrew Benintendi, who scored on Mitch Moreland's triple. The inning could have been filled with more damage had Ozzie Albies not defied his vertically-challenged limitations with a leaping grab of a Xander Bogaerts liner that could have easily given the Red Sox three consecutive one-out extra-base hits in the inning.

"I told him that was probably the play of the day or save of the day," Foltynewicz said. "At no point did I think he was going to get that. He just jumped and that ball was like a magnet into his glove. I jumped with him there too. That was a huge play. You never know what could have happened after that."

Video: ATL@BOS: Albies saves a run with great leaping catch

HE SAID IT
"Oh, I'm glad that he was able to walk off the field. It's tough, I mean, you saw it. He was just laying there. I was just talking to one of the coaches about the talent they have on the field, and that's a good baseball team and I know people feel that they're close to being great. With the talent they have on a daily basis, they're really good. He's part of it. To see him down right there, I was like, 'Oh my God'. It can change in one play in this game. Sometimes we take things for granted. I'm glad he was able to walk off the field and hopefully it's nothing serious."
-- Red Sox manager Alex Cora, on Acuna

UP NEXT
The Braves will return to Atlanta late Sunday night and return to SunTrust Park approximately 12 hours later to prepare for Monday's doubleheader against the Mets. Max Fried will come up from Triple-A Gwinnett to make his first start of the season. He'll match up against Jacob deGrom in the first game, which is scheduled to start at 1:10 p.m. ET. Brandon McCarthy will take the mound when the second game begins at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.

Atlanta Braves, Tyler Flowers, Mike Foltynewicz

Draft Buzz: Louisville's Stowers rising quickly

MLB.com

Leading up to when the first pick by the Detroit Tigers is announced by Commissioner Rob Manfred shortly after 7 p.m. ET on Monday, June 4, Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo will be working the phones, texting and emailing decision-makers in the scouting industry. Along the way, they hear a lot of rumors, buzz and talk of guys with helium and guys sliding. They will bring that information to everyone here in MLB Pipeline's Draft Buzz.

Leading up to when the first pick by the Detroit Tigers is announced by Commissioner Rob Manfred shortly after 7 p.m. ET on Monday, June 4, Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo will be working the phones, texting and emailing decision-makers in the scouting industry. Along the way, they hear a lot of rumors, buzz and talk of guys with helium and guys sliding. They will bring that information to everyone here in MLB Pipeline's Draft Buzz.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

With an array of solid tools and coming off a decent sophomore season at Louisville and a similar summer in the Cape Cod League, Josh Stowers entered 2018 with the upside of a third-round pick.

But Stowers' right-handed swing got out of whack early in the year, perhaps because he was trying to do too much. It took him nearly a month to connect on his first home run and he was hitting just .290/.444/.451 with two weeks left in the regular season. Stowers looked like he'd fall into the fifth- to seventh-round range, and we left him off MLB Pipeline's Top 200 Draft Prospects list.

Ever since then, however, Stowers has been one of the hottest hitters in college baseball. He has gone 24-for-46 (.522) in his last 11 games with five homers, 11 extra-base hits and seven stolen bases. His stroke looks better and he has gotten more aggressive at the plate, improving his overall slash line to .341/.470/.572 with nine homers, 33 steals (ninth in NCAA Division I) and 46 walks in 58 games.

Stowers has hit his way into the third or fourth round, perhaps even higher to a statistically minded club that will love the fact he has more walks than strikeouts (35). He doesn't have a true plus tool, but a team that likes him could put 55s (on the 20-80 scouting scale) on his hitting ability, speed and center-field defense. Others think he fits better in left field and is more of a tweener than an everyday player at the big league level.

-- Jim Callis

No. 2 prospect Singer out for SEC tourney

Scouts hoping to see Florida ace Brady Singer pitch in this week's South Eastern Conference Tournament won't get to see him in a game.

Singer, No. 2 on the Top 200 Draft Prospects list, tweaked his hamstring while warming up before his scheduled May 18 start against Mississippi State and was held out for precautionary reasons. The Gators continued to err on the side of caution and decided Singer would not pitch at all in the conference tournament.

Singer will, however, throw a bullpen Saturday, and he is heading in a positive direction with a scheduled return to competition on June 2 in regional play. Had this been the postseason, Singer likely could have pitched through the minor issue, but with a potential long run to Omaha ahead, Florida opted to hold him out of action this week.

Luckily for scouts, Singer wasn't the only attraction. Including him, there are seven players in the top 50 of that Top 200 list in action, starting with No. 1 Casey Mize. Coming off the two roughest starts of his season (11 IP, 10 ER), the Auburn ace threw Thursday, losing 4-2 to Texas A&M. The right-hander did go 7 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking none, but he did give up four runs on eight hits. Teams picking at the top aren't overtly concerned, and while each start matters, there is a larger body of work that's considered, and evaluations go beyond result. Mize's stuff reportedly was fine on Thursday.

The other top 50 prospects at the SEC tournament are No. 8 Jonathan India (3B) and No. 15 Jackson Kowar (RHP), both from Florida, Ole Miss lefty Ryan Rolison (No. 17), Kentucky right-hander Sean Hjelle (No. 45) and Arkansas righty Blaine Knight (No. 49). Knight (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) beat Kowar (6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) on Friday morning. Hjelle threw 7 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, allowing four hits