Soto's HR in ninth lifts Nats over Phils

The Nationals’ Juan Soto celebrates with teammates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run off Phillies relief pitcher Hector Neris during the ninth inning of Saturday’s game in Philadelphia.

Nationals 4 — Phillies 3

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Juan Soto hit a go-ahead two-run homer off closer Hector Neris with two outs in the ninth and the Washington Nationals rallied for a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday night.

Neris (1-4) retired the first two batters before Anthony Rendon hit a single. Soto blasted the next pitch out to left-center for his 16th homer, capping a comeback from a 3-0 deficit against Aaron Nola.

Wander Suero (2-4) got two outs to earn the win and Sean Doolittle finished for his 20th save in 24 tries.

The second-place Nationals have won 17 of 21 and moved 2½ games ahead of the struggling Phillies, who are 14-23 since leading the NL East by 3½ games on May 29.

Nola gave up five hits and one run, striking out nine in six innings in his fifth straight stellar outing. He has a 0.76 ERA in that span. But Neris blew his third save of the season to cost Nola his ninth win.

Nationals lefty Patrick Corbin allowed three runs and six hits in six innings, striking out 10. He allowed three earned runs in his previous four starts combined.

The Phillies jumped ahead 2-0 in the second. Rhys Hoskins led off with a bloop double off first baseman Ryan Zimmerman’s glove and scored when Cesar Hernandez lined an RBI double down the left-field line. After Hernandez was caught stealing third, Maikel Franco launched his 14th homer into the left-field seats.

Franco’s sacrifice fly in the fourth increased the lead to 3-0.

After Nola walked two hitters in the sixth, Victor Robles drove in a run on a bloop single.

The Nationals cut it to 3-2 in the eighth off Adam Morgan when Soto scored from third after Franco booted Robles’ grounder for an error. Franco made a couple excellent plays before his miscue.


Phillies center fielder Roman Quinn received a standing ovation after making a leaping, diving catch on the warning track to rob Adam Eaton of extra bases in the fifth.


Bryce Harper made a no-hop throw from the warning track in right-center field to third base to prevent Robles from stretching a double into a triple in the second inning.


Nationals: RHP Max Scherzer was placed on the 10-day injury list retroactive to July 10 with a mid-back strain and C Spencer Kieboom was recalled from Double-A Harrisburg. Scherzer was originally supposed to start Sunday before his outing was pushed back to Tuesday. He landed on the injury list after throwing a bullpen session before the game.

Phillies: INF Sean Rodriguez was placed on the 10-day injury list with a right abdominal strain and OF Adam Haseley was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.


RHP Anibal Sanchez (5-6, 3.66 ERA) goes for the Nationals and Jake Arrieta (8-7, 4.67) takes the mound for the Phillies on Sunday. Sanchez is 5-11 against Philadelphia, including 0-2 this season. Arrieta is 1-3 in 15 career starts vs. Washington.

Cubs 10, Pirates 4

CHICAGO (AP) — Jon Lester homered, tied a career high with three RBIs and pitched into the seventh in Chicago’s win over Pittsburgh.

Willson Contreras had a three-run homer and Lester added a two-run single in the Cubs’ seven-run first inning.

Lester (9-6) allowed three runs on eight hits, while striking out six and walking none in 6 2/3 innings.

Addison Russell drove in two runs as the Cubs won for the fourth time in five games.

Starling Marté hit a pair of solo homers, and Jung Ho Kang hit a long solo shot for Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh starter Jordan Lyles (5-6) was chased after two outs. He yielded seven runs on four hits and four walks.

Mets 4, Marins 2

MIAMI (AP) — Robinson Cano hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning to send New York past Miami.

Noah Syndergaard (7-4) won his fourth consecutive decision. He pitched seven innings, allowing two runs and five hits. He struck out nine without walking a batter and retired the final 11 batters he faced.

Seth Lugo pitched a perfect eighth and Edwin Diaz worked around a one-out single in the ninth for his 20th save in 24 opportunities.

New York’s Jeff McNeil had two hits for his 18th multi-hit game in his last 33 games. Michael Conforto hit a two-run homer to right.

Nick Anderson (2-4) took the loss.

Cardinals 4, Diamondbacks 1

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Tyler O’Neill homered and tied a career high with four RBIs, Dakota Hudson pitched six effective innings, and St. Louis beat Arizona.

The Cardinals broke a three-game losing streak with their first win since July 5.

Eduardo Escobar hit his 19th homer for Arizona, which snapped a four-game win streak.

O’Neill’s two-run double in the first gave the Cardinals a 2-0 lead. He added a homer off Merrill Kelly (7-9) in the third.

Hudson (8-4) gave up three hits and two runs in a 94-pitch stint. He struck out five and walked four. Carlos Martinez got the last four outs for his fourth save in six chances.


Dodgers 11, Red Sox 2

BOSTON (AP) — Justin Turner had three extra-base hits, two of them off Chris Sale to continue the Red Sox left-hander’s struggles at Fenway Park, and the Los Angeles Dodgers snapped a four-game losing streak.

Cody Bellinger moved into a tie for the major league lead with his 31st homer — one of four hit by the Dodgers, who had lost seven straight at Fenway (including Games 1 and 2 of the Series) after dropping the series opener on Friday night.

Sale (3-9) allowed five runs for the third straight outing — a career first — giving up seven hits, a walk and a hit batter to drop his record to 0-3 in 13 Fenway starts since his last win there on July 11, 2018.

Ross Stripling (4-3) allowed one run — Xander Bogaerts’ 19th homer — on four hits, striking out seven to snap Boston’s five-game winning streak. Bellinger and A.J. Pollock hit back-to-back homers off knuckleballer Steven Wright in the seventh for the Dodgers.


Blue Jays 2, Yankees 1

NEW YORK (AP) — Center fielder Randal Grichuk made a diving catch with the bases loaded and hit a two-run single as Toronto held off New York.

The AL East-leading Yankees, who have not been shut out in more than a year, scored with two outs in the ninth inning on Aaron Judge’s fourth hit of the game, a single off third baseman Brandon Drury’s glove.

Joe Biagini (3-1) got one out, allowing a hit and walk, and picked up the win. Toronto starter Clayton Richard left after two innings with left lat tightness, and five relievers followed.

Grichuk’s bloop single came in the sixth after the Blue Jays put two on against starter J.A. Happ (7-5).

Athletics 13, White Sox 2

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Franklin Barreto’s three-run homer capped a seven-run first inning, and Oakland routed Chicago.

Matt Chapman had three hits and scored twice for the A’s, who have won nine of 11. Marcus Semien added two hits and Robbie Grossman drove in three runs.

Chris Bassitt (6-4) pitched six scoreless innings and struck out six.

Dylan Covey (1-5) couldn’t overcome command issues after being activated off the injured list before the game. He allowed six runs, walked two and gave up four hits in his first start since June 5 because of shoulder inflammation.

Royals 4, Tigers 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hometown boy Bubba Starling delivered his first career hit and RBI for Kansas City and Brad Keller outdueled Matthew Boyd.

Keller (5-9) allowed an RBI single to Harold Castro in the second but otherwise shut down Detroit, allowing four hits over eight innings. He struck out seven without a walk. Ian Kennedy earned his second save in as many nights.

Boyd (6-7) faced the minimum number of batters through four innings before things came undone. He wound up allowing four runs on six hits and four walks while striking out 10.

Cheslor Cuthbert drove in a pair of runs and Nicky Lopez also had an RBI for the Royals.

Twins 6, Indians 2

CLEVELAND (AP) — Max Kepler hit two more home runs off Trevor Bauer, Jake Cave drove in three runs and Minnesota tightened its grip on the AL Central with a win over Cleveland.

Kepler homered leading off the game and again in the second inning off Bauer (8-7), giving the Twins outfielder five homers in five consecutive at-bats — all in Cleveland — over two games against the right-hander. Kepler homered three times off Bauer on June 6.

Bauer shook off the early adventure and kept the Indians close, striking out 11 in six innings.

Cave homered in the second and added a two-run double in the eighth.

Jake Odorizzi (11-4) held the Indians to one run in 5 1/3 innings.

José Ramírez and rookie Bobby Bradley homered for Cleveland.

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