Friday typically brings us a full 15-game slate of MLB action, but this time around we the people of baseball are being slightly neglected with a mere 13 games on the schedule. We shall abide, however. The trade deadline is behind us, and that means it's time to lend our full focus to the various and sundry playoff races. Speaking of which, Friday featured contender-on-contender action in Wrigley and the Bronx. That's of course in addition to other relevant teams trying to notch wins against less relevant opponents.
Now let's jump in.
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Baseball scores for Friday, August 2FINAL - Cubs 6, Brewers 2 (box score)FINAL - Pirates 8, Mets 4 (box score)FINAL - Yankees 4, Red Sox 2 (box score)FINAL - Blue Jays 5, Orioles 2 (box score)FINAL - Indians 7, Angels 3 (box score)FINAL - Reds 5, Braves 2 (box score)FINAL - Rangers 5, Tigers 4 (box score)FINAL - Twins 11, Royals 9 (box score)FINAL - Astros 10, Mariners 2 (box score)FINAL - Rockies 5, Giants 4 (box score)FINAL - Nationals 3, Diamondbacks 0 (box score)FINAL in 15 innings - White Sox 4, Phillies 3 (box score)FINAL - Padres 5, Dodgers 2 (box score)
James Paxton rebounds in Yankees win over Red Sox
The Yankees and Red Sox took to the Bronx for another rivalry showdown. This time around, both teams are coming off a very quiet trade deadline. New York could have used some starting pitching while Boston needed to get out and sign some bullpen help. (We have more on that here) But now, let's move onto the game action from the Yankees 4-2 win over the Red Sox on Friday.
We saw a bounce back performance from Yankees left-hander James Paxton, which could be a good sign for the club's struggling rotation. In the first inning with two outs, Paxton walked Xander Bogaerts on six pitches, which was followed up by a two-run home run from J.D. Martinez. Paxton (6-6) came out in the second inning and struck out the side. The rest of his night looked much better, here's his final line:
In Paxton's last time on the mound, also against the Red Sox on July 26, he finished with seven earned runs on nine hits in four innings pitched. Paxton gave up four home runs, with two of them coming in the first inning. Plus, it always helps when you've got an offense ready to provide run support. Gleyber Torres' first inning grand slam off Eduardo Rodriguez proved to be enough runs to earn the win.
Torres, 22, is the youngest Yankees player with multiple grand slams in a season since 20-year-old Mickey Mantle in 1952. Friday was Torres' second grand slam of the season, the other came against the Rays on June 19.
The reigning World Series champion Red Sox have now lost five straight, for the first time since 2015. Meanwhile, the first-place AL East Yankees notched their 35th comeback win -- the most in MLB this season.
Homer happy Stros
The Houston Astros crushed six home runs against the Seattle Mariners before the game even reached the sixth inning. Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez, Carlos Correa, Aledmys Diaz and Jake Marisnick all went deep in the 10-2 win, and even trade deadline get/returnee Martin Maldonado got in on the fun. It's a season-high number of homers in one game for Houston this season. Take a look at this team's loaded lineup go to work on Seattle's Reggie McClain and Yusei Kikuchi:
It was the first time the Astros hit six homers since May 31, 2017, and only the third time in franchise history (2000, 2013) six different players homered in the same game.
On the other end of things, Astros starter Wade Miley carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Daniel Vogelbach got the M's on board for a hit, with a two-run home run.
Dodgers' May makes MLB debut in loss to Padres
Dustin May, the Dodgers' top pitching prospect, made his MLB debut on Friday against the Padres at Dodger Stadium. May was a highly requested trade target leading up to this year's only trade deadline.
May is affectionately nicknamed Gingergaard for his flowing, red curly locks and dominant stuff that draws comparisons to the Mets' Noah Syndergaard. At At 21 years, 330 days old (as of Friday), May is the youngest Dodgers starting pitcher to make his MLB debut since Julio Urías (19) in 2016. He allowed one run in his first five innings before running into some trouble in the sixth inning, but departed to a standing ovation. Here's his final line from Friday's loss:
May isn't likely to permanently join the Dodgers rotation, but he'll do a fine job of holding down a No. 3 or No. 4 spot while Ross Stripling, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill are all on the injured list. Once L.A. gets back a healthy rotation, May might be used out of the bullpen leading up to, and possibly during, the postseason.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed that May will start again next week against the Cardinals.
Another Dodgers prospect to keep an eye out for is infielder Gavin Lux. Lux, like May, was also a name frequently requested by teams who were discussing potential trade scenarios with the Dodgers. He's likely to be the next youngster to join an already very talented club.
Baez leads Cubs to crucial win over division rival Brewers
Cubs shortstop Javier Baez homered, doubled twice and drove in three runs in the Cubs 6-2 victory over the Brewers at Wrigley Field on Friday. Baez finished the day 3 for 5. It was a crucial win for the Cubs as they fight to regain sole possession of first place in the NL Central. Chicago will host Milwaukee for two more games this weekend.
With the win, the Cubs move within one-half game of first-place St. Louis Cardinals in the division. The third-place Brewers fell 2 1/2 games back of the Cardinals. The red-hot Cards will begin a two-game series against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday, they're 7-3 in their last ten games and nearly completed a three-game sweep of the Cubs just days ago. Both Chicago and Milwaukee have gone 4-6 in their last 10 games.
Trout, Bellinger share MLB home-run lead, in three-way tie
During the Angels' loss to the Indians on Friday, Mike Trout hit his 36th home run of the season. The superstar slugger is seemingly unstoppable so far this season -- stop me if you've heard that before.
Mike Trout has hit 36 #dingers this season.
In 2014, Mike Trout hit 36 #dingers while finishing with a .939 OPS and 7.6 bWAR, the worst full season of his career. He also was named the unanimous AL MVP that year.
— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) August 2, 2019
Let's admire the solo shot off a fastball from Indians' Mike Clevinger:
With the homer, Trout ties Brewers' Christian Yelich for the MLB lead in home runs. During his magnificent eight-year career in the majors, Trout has not yet led the league in home runs.
Trout's fellow Los Angeles superstar, Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers, also homered on Friday, for his 36th home run on the year. He blasted a two-run home run off Padres' Eric Lauer in the fourth inning.
With the shot, Bellinger became the fastest Dodger to 100 career home runs.
He's also nearing in his career-high of 39 home runs, which he accomplished during his Rookie of the Year season in 2017.
White Sox best Phillies in 15 inning marathon
The White Sox scored one run in the 15th inning, to break a 3-3 tie, and that proved to be enough to hang on for the win over the Phillies. Chicago got the game tied up thanks to a single from pinch-hitter Matt Skole in the ninth inning, and it was first baseman Jose Abreu who drove in the eventual winning run in the 15th inning.
In his first start since being traded to the the Phillies, left-hander Jason Vargas allowed two runs and five hits, striking out five in 6 1/3 innings. Meanwhile, Chicago used nine pitchers to snap a four-game losing streak.
The marathon game was filled with plenty of oddities. Not only did Phillies outfielder Roman Quinn end up as the game's losing pitcher, but Phillies pitcher Vince Velasquez played left field, where he earned our highlight of the day honors.
Highlight of the day: Velasquez (a pitcher) throws a runner out at the plate
An extra-inning baseball game is bound to bring fans something interesting. Take this play, for instance. In the top of the 14th inning, Phillies right-handed pitcher Vince Velasquez took over in left field, and well, he did this:
The perfect throw to nab Jose Abreu at home plate was impressive for a variety of reasons. Not only did Velasquez become the first full-time pitcher with an outfield assist since Dodgers reliever Bobby Castillo in 1980, but there was also this:
Vince Velasquez, pitcher, in LF tonight:
-- 94.7 mph assist to home
-- 95.0 mph throw home (runner was barely safe)
-- 15% catch probability converted on a diving play
— Andrew Simon (@AndrewSimonMLB) August 3, 2019
Vince Velasquez's diving play in LF -- which had a 15% catch probability, per Statcast -- is the first 5-star catch by a Phillies outfielder this season.
— David Adler (@_dadler) August 3, 2019
Velasquez also had a two-out diving catch in the 15th inning.
His pure athleticism was on full display during Friday's marathon loss.