PITTSBURGH (AP) — Albert Pujols hit his 697th homer, passing Alex Rodriguez in fourth place on the career list and doing it in spectacular fashion with a ninth-inning drive that pushed the St. Louis Cardinals over the Pirates of Pittsburgh 4-3 Sunday.
The NL Central leaders Cardinals trailed 2-1 when Pujols connected for a two-point shot. It trails Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) on the all-time home run charts. Pujols, 42, has 21 games left in his 22nd and final major league season.
The Cardinals went to the ninth inning down 2-0 but scored four runs against Chase DeJong (4-2). Tommy Edman and Corey Dickerson started with back-to-back doubles to produce the first inning. One out after Pujols connected, Tyler O’Neil hit a solo shot to cap St. Louis’ big inning.
Ryan Helsley then flew Ben Gamel for his 16th save. Chris Stratton (8-4) retired both batters he faced.
Mitch Keller pitched seven scoreless innings for the Pirates, allowing just two singles. He struck out six and walked three.
ASTROS 12, ANGELS 4
HOUSTON (AP) — Alex Bregman and Trey Mancini hit two of Houston’s five home runs, and the AL West-leading Astros beat Los Angeles for their 90th win of the season.
Trailing 3-0, the Astros rallied for five points in the third. Mauricio Dubón started the inning with a solo home run, and after Tucker Davidson (2-6) hit Yordan Alvarez to load the bases, Davidson was replaced by Mike Mayers, whom Bregman greeted with his grand slam at the Center-right.
Shohei Ohtani hit his 34th homer of the season in the first, a two-run shot to the right. Mike Trout, who had a team-high six straight games, was given the day off.
Luis Garcia (12-8) allowed three runs on eight hits with four strikeouts in five innings.
METS 9, MARLINS 3
MIAMI (AP) — Brandon Nimmo homered, doubled and walked twice to help New York overtake Miami and maintain its slim lead atop the NL East.
Tómas Nido had three hits and drove in three runs for the Mets. Pitcher Max Scherzer, who is on the disabled list but accompanied the team to Florida, was ejected by second base umpire Chad Fairchild after Nimmo had a canceled triple on the first at bat of the game.
Taijuan Walker (11-4) won his fourth decision against the Marlins this season, pitching seven one-run innings. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out 10.
Jeff McNeil had three hits and Eduardo Escobar hit his 18th homer for New York, which improved to 46-22 against the NL East.
Miami’s Brian Anderson hit two home runs.
Marlins starter Jesús Luzardo (3-7) was waived after 3 1/3 innings. The southpaw allowed five runs, six hits, walked three and struck out three. He also hit two batters, ending a four-start streak of at least six innings.
YANKEES 10, RAYS 4
NEW YORK (AP) — Gleyber Torres homered twice and Giancarlo Stanton and Oswaldo Cabrera once each in a 10-run shoot-off in the first two innings and New York again routed Tampa Bay to reopen a lead of 5 1/2 AL East games.
Ten of New York’s first 14 hitters reached, with Torres hitting a three-run homer in the first and a solo drive in the second, both off Luis Patiño (1-2). New York built a 10-1 lead with a seven-run second inning and took two of three to complete a 5-2 homestand.
Wandy Peralta (3-4), the third of eight pitchers, allowed a hit in 2 1/3 innings.
Pitiño (1-2) allowed nine runs, five hits and four walks in 1 1/3 innings, his ERA rising to 8.10.
GUARDIANS 4, TWINS 1
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andrés Giménez and Steven Kwan hit solo homers, Shane Bieber got off to another strong start and Cleveland completed a sweep of Minnesota.
Bieber (10-8) went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five hits and a run while striking out seven. Bieber has allowed more than two runs only once in his last nine starts. James Karinchak walked a pair of batters in the ninth inning but struck out three to earn his second save.
Cleveland had lost nine of its previous 13 games, but still held a 1½ game lead over Minnesota in American League Central entering the series. The Guardians have strengthened their position and the Twins have lost nine of 11 and are in third place, 4½ games back.
Josh Winder (4-4) allowed two runs in four innings for Minnesota after being called up from Triple-A St. Paul before the game.
BREWERS 7, RED 6
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Rowdy Tellez homered twice, doubled and drove in four runs as Milwaukee held off a ninth-inning comeback from Cincinnati.
Willy Adames and Tellez hit back-to-back home runs against Reds starter Justin Dunn (1-3) in the Brewers’ second four-run run. Tellez added a solo shot against Luke Farrell in the fourth inning for his 30th homer of the season.
Adames needs just one more homer to tie the Brewers’ single-season record for a shortstop.
Brewers center fielder Garrett Mitchell dipped a fly ball from TJ Friedl in the ninth inning to prevent the Reds from tying the game.
Cincinnati’s Alejo López went 3 for 3 with his first career home run and a brace. The Reds trailed 7-2 in six innings but came close to coming back.
Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff (10-4) struck out 11, walked one and allowed five hits and two runs in six innings.
Dunn struck out one but had six runs, six hits and three walks in three innings.
RANGERS 4, BLUE JAYS 1
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Martin Perez allowed a run in six innings, Adolis Garcia homered for the second straight game and Texas beat Toronto.
The Blue Jays return home after an 8-2 trip to play five games in four days against fellow AL wildcard team Tampa Bay. Rangers, meanwhile, snapped a three-game losing streak.
Perez (11-6) snapped a personal two-game losing streak that tied his longest of the season. He allowed six hits, struck out seven and walked two. Jose Leclerc pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his fourth save in four occasions.
Garcia threw a fastball down the left-field line into Yusei Kikuchi’s second deck — the fifth time this season he’s homered in consecutive games.
Leody Taveras hit a solo homer for Texas in the eighth inning.
Texas took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against Trevor Richards (3-2), the Jays’ first game for a bullpen game.
ROYALS 4, TIGERS 0
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Brady Singer pitched seven shutout innings to lead Kansas City to Detroit and save the three-game series finale.
Singer (8-4) allowed four hits and one walk, striking out six and striking out 16 of the last 18 batters he faced. The Royals have won six of his last seven starts; he is 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA in that span.
Bobby Witt Jr. had a pair of hits, including a double, his 51st extra hit that leads all major league rookies.
Detroit starter Tyler Alexander (3-10) went five innings, allowing four runs on six hits and one walk.
RED SOX 1, ORIOLES 0
BALTIMORE (AP) — Rich Hill pitched five scoreless innings and Boston beat a declining Baltimore team.
The Orioles have lost six of eight games, all at home, including back-to-back games against the last-placed Red Sox. Baltimore was 1 1/2 games from the third and final wildcard AL spot entering Sept. 4, but will begin a five-game road trip at least five games out of the playoffs.
Every shot in the game was a single; Boston had four and the Orioles had three.
Hill (7-6) allowed two hits, walking three while striking out seven. Matt Barnes worked a perfect ninth to earn his fifth save.
The Red Sox fabricated their run in the first when Tommy Pham singled, stole second, moved to third on a groundout and scored on Xander Bogaerts’ sacrifice fly. That was all they would muster against Baltimore starter Kyle Bradish (3-6) in seven innings.
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