Hamels dominates at Wrigley again as Rangers down Cubs
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 18, 2016 04:06 PM
Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) throws against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of an interleague baseball game, Sunday, July 17, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)
The Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Texas pitcher Cole Hamels threw eight dominant innings in his first game back at Wrigley Field since throwing a no-hitter there a year ago, and guided the Rangers to a 4-1 win at the Chicago Cubs which avoided a three-game sweep in the series between divisional leaders.
The loss ended a four-game skid for the Rangers and kept them in a virtual tie with Cleveland for the best record in the American League. They both moved ahead of AL East leader Baltimore after a loss to Tampa Bay, but the Orioles maintained a two-game buffer in the division as their nearest rival Boston lost at the New York Yankees.
The Cubs missed a chance to move level with National League pacesetter San Francisco, which lost to San Diego, while NL East leader Washington lost at home against Pittsburgh in an 18-inning game that lasted almost six hours.
Texas' Hamels struck out his first six batters and gave up only one unearned run.
Last season he threw a no-hitter and struck out 13 at Wrigley in his final start for Philadelphia. He was then traded to the Rangers.
Sam Dyson struck out all three in the ninth for his 19th save in 21 chances.
New York's Masahiro Tanaka outpitched David Price in their first matchup to win his fourth straight decision and help the Yankees beat Boston 3-1, ending a six-game winning streak by the Red Sox.
Tanaka struck out seven with one walk over six innings.
Following his team's loss on Saturday, manager Joe Girardi said the Yankees needed to turn things around immediately and called Sunday's contest "probably as important (a) game that we've had in July in a long time."
New York responded with excellent pitching and a handful of timely hits.
Price gave up 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings.
San Diego completed its first series sweep of the season, downing San Francisco 5-3.
Padres pitcher Edwin Jackson, making his first start since 2014, held the Giants hitless until the seventh inning. He was pulled after giving up a three-run homer to Conor Gillaspie.
Pittsburgh's Starling Marte hit a solo home run in the 18th inning to give the Pirates a 2-1 win at Washington in a marathon encounter.
Daniel Murphy had homered with two outs in the ninth inning for Washington to tie the scores.
Pitchers dominated in extra innings until Marte hit the first pitch from Oliver Perez into the left-field seats.
It was the longest regular-season game for the Nationals since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington after the 2004 season.
Miami's Ichiro Suzuki doubled, singled twice and had another hit taken away on a replay challenge, leaving him six shy of 3,000 hits in his career as the Marlins beat St. Louis 6-3.
The 42-year-old Suzuki, making just his second start this month, also walked, scored a run and came up just short on his bid to beat out an infield hit.
Houston's Collin McHugh escaped a pair of bases-loaded jams and pitched six scoreless innings as the Astros won 8-1 at Seattle.
McHugh struck out 10 to win for the first time in eight starts.
Jose Altuve had a two-run homer and three singles in five at-bats to raise his AL-leading average to .346.
Toronto's Josh Donaldson hit a tiebreaking two-run double with two outs in the ninth inning against his former team to give the Blue Jays a 5-3 win against Oakland, avoiding a three-game sweep.
Donaldson, traded from Oakland to Toronto prior to the 2015 season, also singled and scored in the first inning.
Detroit's Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Tigers past Kansas City 4-2.
After Tyler Collins hit a leadoff single in the ninth, Saltalamacchia won it with a drive off Joakim Soria that easily cleared the wall in right field.
Those were the only two RBIs of the day for Detroit. The Tigers scored their first two runs of the game on a balk and a wild pitch.
New York's Jacob deGrom pitched a shutout in his first career complete game, steering the Mets to a 5-0 win against Philadelphia.
Arizona's Jake Lamb hit his 21st home run of the season and also singled in a run as the Diamondbacks edged the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5.
Tampa Bay's Jake Odorizzi picked up his first home victory this season, at his 11th attempt, as the Rays beat Baltimore 5-2.
Cleveland's Josh Tomlin pitched 7 2/3 strong innings to lead the Indians to a 6-1 victory over Minnesota.
The Los Angeles Angels beat the Chicago White Sox 8-1 to complete an emphatic three-game sweep, with Jered Weaver pitching seven strong innings.
Atlanta's Chase d'Arnaud singled with two outs in the ninth inning to drive in the only run of the game as the Braves beat Colorado 1-0.
Cincinnati's Billy Hamilton dashed home on a passed ball with two outs in the ninth inning, breaking the scoring drought and giving the Reds a 1-0 win against Milwaukee.