Votto inches short of homering in record 8th straight game

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto blows a gum bubble in the ninth inning of the baseball game against the New York Mets, Saturday, July 31, 2021, in New York.

    Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto blows a gum bubble in the ninth inning of the baseball game against the New York Mets, Saturday, July 31, 2021, in New York. Associated Press

  • Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, right, hits an RBI-double with Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy, center, watching with home plate umpire Tripp Gibson, left, during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, July 31, 2021.

    Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, right, hits an RBI-double with Oakland Athletics catcher Sean Murphy, center, watching with home plate umpire Tripp Gibson, left, during the third inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, July 31, 2021. Associated Press

 
 
Posted8/1/2021 7:00 AM

NEW YORK -- Joey Votto came oh-so-close to matching the major league record with a home run in eight consecutive games, but Javier Báez did clear the fence in his New York debut and the Mets rallied past the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 in 10 innings Saturday night.

With the Mets down to their final strike, Dominic Smith hit a tying single off Sean Doolittle in the ninth. Brandon Drury opened the bottom of the 10th with an RBI single against Luis Cessa (3-2), driving in automatic runner Kevin Pillar from second base to win it.

 

Votto, riding a seven-game homer streak, laced a line drive that hit the orange padding atop the right-field wall in the eighth and bounced back into play - mere inches from sailing over near the 370-foot sign.

A foot higher and Votto would have tied Dale Long (1956 Pittsburgh Pirates), Don Mattingly (1987 New York Yankees) and Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. (1993 Seattle Mariners), the only players to homer in eight straight games.

The ball was hit so hard, Votto settled for a single.

Votto got one more chance, but struck out in the 10th.

Edwin Díaz (4-4) was the winner.

RAYS 9, RED SOX 5

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Wander Franco had two key run-scoring hits, the Tampa Bay bullpen worked out of a pair of bases-loaded jams and the Rays beat Boston to take the AL East lead.

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Franco's RBI triple off Nathan Eovaldi (9-6) gave Tampa Bay a 6-5 lead in the sixth. Francoi added a run-scoring single during a three-run eighth that made it 9-5. Francisco Mejía had a two-run single in the eighth.

Andrew Kittredge (7-1) fell behind Christian Vázquez 3-0 with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth, but rebounded to get the strikeout. He kept the game tied at 5 when he fanned Bobby Dalbec on three pitches.

Mejía and Ji-Man Choi homered for the Rays.

Xander Bogaerts and Dalbec homered for the Red Sox, who had at least a share of the divisional lead since June 28 but fell a half-game behind Tampa Bay.

YANKEES 4, MARLINS 2

MIAMI -- Anthony Rizzo homered in his second consecutive game since joining the Yankees, leading New York over Miami on a night Marlins manager Don Mattingly missed the game after testing positive for COVID-19.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Obtained from the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, Rizzo drove a sinker from reliever Steven Otker near the right field upper deck in the seventh for his 16th homer.

Rizzo also singled, walked twice, was hit by a pitch and scored the go-ahead run. He is 4 for 5 and has reached base eight times in two games with New York.

Bench coach James Rowson managed the Marlins in Mattingly's absence.

Lucas Luetge (4-1) struck out four of six batters he retired in two scoreless innings. Chad Green followed with a perfect eighth. Jonathan Loaisiga got his third save in five chances. David Hess (2-1) was the loser.

INDIANS 12, WHITE SOX 11

CHICAGO -- White Sox rookie Seby Zavala hit the first three home runs of his career, including a grand slam, but Cleveland rallied to beat Chicago.

Austin Hedges, Owen Miller and Amed Rosario homered to help Cleveland overcome a five-run deficit.

Zavala became the first player in big league history to hit his first three career home runs in the same game, according to Elias Sports Bureau. The 27-year-old catcher played his 18th game in the majors - he was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte on July 6 to replace the injured Yasmani Grandal.

Batting ninth, Zavala hit a solo homer in the third off Triston McKenzie. Zavala connected for a grand slam off McKenize in the fourth for a 6-1 lead and a solo drive against Bryan Shaw in the seventh. With a chance to become the 19th player to hit a record-tying four homers in a game, Zavala singled in the eighth and finished with six RBIs.

Brian Goodwin and Adam Engel also homered for the White Sox, who lead the second-place Indians by eight games in the AL Central despite winning just three times in their last 10 games.

Justin Garza (1-0) threw two scoreless innings. Emmanuel Clase got five outs for his 13th save. Michael Kopech (3-1) was the loser.

DODGERS 8, DIAMONDBACKS 3

PHOENIX -- Justin Turner hit a go-ahead, two-run homer, Albert Pujols had a pair of RBI singles and Los Angeles beat Arizona.

The game was tied at 3 in the seventh when Turner squared up a pitch from reliever Stefan Crichton that easily sailed over the left field wall and into the Diamondbacks bullpen. The Dodgers tacked on two more runs in the inning, including one on a pinch-hit, RBI single from Albert Pujols to take a 7-3 lead.

It was Turner's 19th homer of the season. The 41-year-old Pujols has 3,289 hits, four shy of Willie Mays for 12th in MLB history.

Alex Vesia (1-1) earned the win with a scoreless inning of relief. Arizona starter Merrill Kelly (7-8) pitched into the seventh.

ANGELS 1, ATHLETICS 0

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Shohei Ohtani ended a long run drought with an RBI double, Jaime Barria outdueled Cole Irvin and Los Angeles beat Oakland.

The Japanese two-way sensation lined a double to right-center in the third that drove in Matt Thaiss and ended the Angels' string of 29 scoreless innings against the Athletics. It was Ohtani's 82nd RBI of the season, which is one behind Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the major league lead.

Barria (2-0) was outstanding in his second start of the season, pitching 6 2/3 innings and retiring 10 straight at one point. The right-hander gave up six hits and struck out three with one walk and a hit batter.

Steve Cishek and José Quijada came on in relief, and Raisel Iglesias retired the side in the ninth for his 22nd save in 27 opportunities. Irvin (7-10) worked 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits with six strikeouts.

GIANTS 8, ASTROS 6

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco hit five home runs, four off Astros ace Zack Greinke, and beat Houston in an interleague matchup of division leaders.

Darin Ruf, Donovan Solano, Wilmer Flores and LaMonte Wade Jr. connected off Greinke. Mike Yastrzemski added a later shot to help the Giants become the first team in the majors with 65 wins. Brandon Crawford hit a tiebreaking single in the sixth inning for the Giants.

Aledmys Díaz homered twice on his 31st birthday for the Astros, and Martín Maldonado also connected.

Jay Jackson (2-0) retired three batters to win. Jake McGee pitched the ninth for his 22nd save. Blake Taylor (2-3) was the loser.

BRAVES 8, BREWERS 1

ATLANTA -- Dansby Swanson hit a grand slam and a two-run shot and drove in a career-high seven runs to lead Atlanta past Milwaukee.

Swanson had three hits, including his second career grand slam in the seventh off John Curtiss. He broke a 1-all tie with a two-run homer in the sixth, one pitch after it appeared he struck out. His run-scoring single in the fourth tied it at 1.

Swanson has set a career high with 20 homers, matching the Braves' franchise record for a shortstop. Denis Menke hit 20 homers in 1964 for the Milwaukee Braves.

Jesse Chavez (2-2) pitched a scoreless sixth. Brandon Woodruff (7-6) took the loss.

BLUE JAYS 4, ROYALS 0

TORONTO -- George Springer hit two home runs, Alek Manoah pitched seven dominant innings and Toronto beat Kansas City for its third straight victory.

Activated off the 10-day injured list before the game, Manoah (3-1) allowed just two singles. The rookie right-hander hadn't pitched since July 9 after slipping on the dugout steps and hurting his back in Toronto's first series following the All-Star break.

Reliever Ryan Borucki got two outs in the eighth and Adam Cimber finished by striking out four straight batters. Mike Minor (8-9) was the loser.

TWINS 8, CARDINALS 1

ST. LOUIS -- Ryan Jeffers hit a three-run homer, rookie right-hander Bailey Ober threw four effective innings and Minnesota beat St. Louis to end a three-game losing streak.

Jeffers hit two home runs, including his first grand slam, and drove home six in a 17-14 loss to Detroit on Wednesday. He drilled his ninth home run of the season off St. Louis starter Jake Woodford (2-3) to highlight a five-run third inning that made it 7-0.

Ober, making his 11th career start, allowed one run on four hits over four innings. He struck six and did not walk a batter.

Jorge Alcala (3-5) picked up the win with two innings of scoreless relief.

CUBS 6, NATIONALS 3

WASHINGTON -- Kyle Hendricks earned his major league-leading 13th victory, Rafael Ortega homered and Chicago beat Washington.

The Cubs, who had dropped four in a row, made six trades prior to Friday's deadline, scattering Javier Báez, Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Craig Kimbrel and others to contenders.

Hendricks (13-4) won his 11th straight decision in a 15-start stretch. He was part of the franchise's 2016 World Series championship, is signed through 2023 and is one of the team's most recognizable remaining players. The right-hander pitched seven innings, allowing a run on four hits while striking out three.

Joe Ross (5-9) was the loser. Washington lost for the first time since completing a deadline sale of their own that shipped out Max Scherzer, Kyle Schwarber and Trea Turner, among others.

ORIOLES 5, TIGERS 2

DETROIT -- John Means struck out six in six strong innings, Maikel Franco homered and Baltimore beat Detroit.

Means (5-3) gave up one run on four hits in first victory since May 5. The left-hander was making his third start since going on the injured list in early June with a left shoulder strain. The Orioles have won six of their last eight games.

Cole Sulser earned his fifth save, striking out the last two batters after Detroit loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth.

Eric Haase 18th homer for the Tigers. Matt Manning (2-4) gave up five runs, two earned, on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

PIRATES 3, PHILLIES 2

PITTSBURGH -- Jacob Stallings drove in the winning run with a fielder's choice in the ninth inning, lifting Pittsburgh past Philadelphia.

Bryan Reynolds led off the ninth with a double into the gap in left-center off Jose Alvarado (6-1). Reynolds moved to third on Gregory Polanco's slow rolling groundout, and John Nogowski followed with a walk, loading the bases. Stallings hit a chopper toward third baseman Alec Bohm, whose throw home was too late to get Reynolds.

Chris Stratton (4-0) worked around two two-out singles in the ninth to get the win.

ROCKIES 5, PADRES 3

SAN DIEGO -- Germán Márquez outdueled Yu Darvish and hit a 418-foot home run off his fellow All-Star to help Colorado beat San Diego.

Brendan Rodgers and Elias Díaz also homered off Darvish (7-6).

The Padres placed electrifying shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. on the 10-day disabled list before the game, a day after he partially dislocated his left shoulder for the third time this season. Tatis leads the NL with 31 home runs and 23 stolen bases.

Márquez (9-8) held San Diego to two runs and four hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked four to snap a two-start losing streak. Daniel Bard pitched the ninth for his 16th save.

RANGERS 5, MARINERS 4, 10 INNINGS

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Jonah Heim hit his second two-run homer of the game in the 10th inning to lift Texas past Seattle.

Heim homered off Diego Castillo (2-5), who was acquired Thursday from Tampa Bay and hadn't given up a run in his previous 11 outings.

Spencer Patton (1-1) earned the win after giving up the tying run in the ninth inning and the then-go-ahead run in the 10th.

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