Kyle Bradish came within one out of his first career shutout, outpitching Justin Verlander in a stellar performance to lift Baltimore over visiting Houston, 2-0.
Bradish (4-7) took a perfect game into the sixth inning before Mauricio Dubon lined a single to left field with two outs. That was the only baserunner Bradish permitted until there were two outs in the ninth, when Jeremy Peña also singled. With the potential tying run at the plate, the Orioles brought in closer Felix Bautista to finish for his 15th save.
Bradish struck out 10 in his latest dazzling effort down the stretch for this surprising Baltimore team.
Trey Mancini went 0 for 3 in his first game back at Camden Yards since the Orioles traded him to Houston on Aug. 1, and the Astros failed in their first attempt at earning their 100th victory this season. They lost for just the second time in 12 games.
The Orioles remained four games behind Seattle in the race for a postseason spot, but they were set to gain ground on the loser of the Tampa Bay-Toronto game.
Verlander (17-4) allowed two runs and six hits over six innings in his second game back from a calf injury. He threw five no-hit innings against Oakland last Friday, but Baltimore broke through against him with three hits in the second. He still leads the majors with a 1.82 ERA.
Seattle wins, but back continues to bother young phenom Julio Rodríguez
Julio Rodríguez doubled and scored before leaving with lower back tightness, and the Seattle Mariners overcame the loss of the rookie center fielder to beat the Oakland Athletics, 9-5, and avoid a three-game sweep.
Rodríguez, front-runner for American League Rookie of the Year, slowly walked off the field with a trainer in the bottom half of the first inning. He recently missed three games in Anaheim with a lower back issue.
Jarred Kelenic moved from left to center field and Sam Haggerty entered the game in left. Kelenic homered and doubled in his first game since being called up from Triple-A Tacoma.
Adam Frazier went 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Mitch Haniger, Cal Raleigh, Jesse Winker, and Ty France also drove in runs for Seattle, which entered the day with a four-game lead over Baltimore for the third and final AL wild-card position.
Stephen Vogt tripled in three runs for Oakland, after he announced before the game he will retire at the end of this, his 10th major league season.
“It just felt right,” he said. “It just felt like there’s nowhere else I want to play, there’s nowhere else I want to be, there’s nothing else I want to accomplish as a player other than helping these guys the rest of this year.”
Vogt has spent six seasons with the A’s. The 37-year-old also played for Tampa Bay, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Arizona, and Atlanta.
Phillies shut out Acuña Jr.-less Braves
Ranger Suárez pitched six sparkling innings, and the Philadelphia Phillies continued their push toward the club’s first playoff berth in a decade with a 1-0 victory over Atlanta.
Matt Vierling knocked in the only run in the game with a second-inning sacrifice fly to center that scored J.T. Realmuto.
Suárez allowed five hits, struck out four and walked two. Zach Eflin got five outs before José Alvarado finished the six-hitter for his second save.
Philadelphia (82-67) moved within a half-game of San Diego for the National League’s second wild-card spot and remained 2½ games ahead of Milwaukee for the final playoff berth. The Braves (93-57) fell 1½ games behind the idle New York Mets for the NL East lead and played without outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., who was scratched because of back tightness that he felt during batting practice.
Cardinals go long, but Albert Pujols stays on 698
Brendan Donovan hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to lead Albert Pujols and the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 victory against the San Diego Padres, snapping a three-game losing streak.
Pujols remained at 698 career homers, although he did drive two balls to deep left field, one for a single and one for an out on the warning track. The next stop in his pursuit of the 700-homer club is Dodger Stadium, where the Cardinals, who had been shut out in their previous three games, open a three-game series on Friday.
Manny Machado hit his 30th homer for the Padres, who had won five in a row. They currently hold the NL’s No. 2 wild-card spot.
Donovan’s slam made a winner of Jack Flaherty (1-1), who struck out nine in six innings. He allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits and four walks.
Rays win, pushing Toronto for top wild-card spot again
Wander Franco had three RBIs, Jonathan Aranda homered, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 10-5, in the opener of a big four-game series between playoff contenders. Randy Arozarena had three hits and drove in two runs for the Rays (83-67), who pulled within one game of Toronto (84-66) for the top spot in the AL wild-card standings. Seattle (82-67) is in third, four games ahead of Baltimore. Whit Merrifield homered twice for Toronto, and Teoscar Hernández also went deep . . . Kolten Wong hit a career-high three homers and drove in five runs, helping Brandon Woodruff and Milwaukee beat Cincinnati, 5-1. Wong hit a two-run drive in the second inning against Hunter Greene. He hit another two-run shot in the sixth off Dauri Moreta and a solo drive in the eighth against Joel Kuhnel. Milwaukee finished with just four hits, but each of Wong’s first two homers occurred after leadoff walks . . . Shane Bieber pitched two-run ball into the eighth inning, and the Cleveland Guardians beat the Chicago White Sox, 4-2, for a three-game series sweep. Cleveland opened a seven-game lead over Chicago in the AL Central with its 15th win in 18 games. The Guardians (83-67) can clinch the franchise’s first division title since 2018 as early as Sunday . . . Jonathan Heasley (4-8) pitched six innings of two-hit ball following his dominant start against the Red Sox last week, Edward Oliveras and Drew Waters homered, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-1, to complete a three-game series sweep. Salvador Perez also drove in a run for Kansas City, extending his streak to seven straight games with an RBI, and Brad Keller finished off three innings of no-hit ball by the bullpen for his first career save. The first home sweep of at least three games by the Royals since July 2021 also probably ended the fading playoff hopes of the Twins, who two weeks ago were in the midst of an AL Central race but lost eight of nine on their road trip . . . Corey Seager hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning, helping Texas top the Angels, 5-3. Seager drove a 1-1 fastball from José Quijada (0-5) deep to left for his 32nd homer, extending his career best in his first season with Texas. Angels star Shohei Ohtani was held out of the starting lineup, but he pinch-hit with one out in the ninth. Ohtani doubled into the right-field corner, but Luis Rengifo and Mike Trout struck out swinging . . . Mike Yastrzemski homered and John Brebbia was followed by five relievers in a 10-hit shutout, helping the Giants beat the Rockies, 3-0, to complete a four-game sweep. Brebbia also worked a scoreless inning when he got the start for Tuesday night’s 6-3 victory. He became the first Giants pitcher to start twice in the same series since Dominic Leone last September. Before Leone, it was Gaylord Perry against Atlanta on July 3 and July 6, 1969 . . . Rookie Hayden Wesneski had an immaculate inning in the fifth inning of his second major league start to lead the Chicago Cubs, 3-2, over skidding Pittsburgh. It was the fourth appearance in the majors for Wesneski (2-1), who fanned the three hitters at the bottom of the order — Jack Suwinski, Zack Collins, and Jason Delay — on nine pitches.