AROUND THE HORN | Thursday’s other MLB games
Blue Jays 5, Rays 3
Justin Smoak hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning, Josh Donaldson added two solo blasts and Toronto beat Tampa Bay. Smoak hit a two-run drive off Tommy Hunter (2-4), his 33rd, as the Blue Jays took three of four from the Rays to remain on the fringes of the AL wild card race. Toronto is 10-5 in August. Smoak went 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Donaldson connected twice against Rays right-hander Chris Archer, hitting solo shots in the first and fifth innings. It was his 13th career multihomer game and third this season. The homers were his 19th and 20th. Donaldson leads the AL with 10 first-inning home runs this season, one ahead of Houston’s George Springer. The 2015 AL MVP, Donaldson homered four times in the four-game series, including a two-run shot in Monday’s opener and a three-run blast Tuesday. He has 11 home runs over his past 19 games.
Rangers 9, White Sox 8
Nomar Mazara drove in five runs, including a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth inning as Texas held on to beat Chicago. Mazara’s 16th home run capped the Rangers’ second four-run inning, which included two injury replacements on the mound for the White Sox in their fifth straight loss. Austin Bibens-Dirkx (4-2) retired all five batters he faced to pick up the win.
Braves 10, Rockies 4
Ender Inciarte hit two of Atlanta’s four homers and the Braves beat Colorado. Freddie Freeman and Tyler Flowers also homered, and Lucas Sims (1-3) got his first win in the majors for the Braves, who managed a four-game split at Coors Field thanks to four solo shots off Colorado starter Jeff Hoffman (6-5). The Rockies were served a potentially more serious blow in the seventh, when All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado left the game with an apparent injury to his left hand. Arenado was eaten up by a sharp grounder from Lane Adams and left the field in pain.
Reds 13, Cubs 10
Phillip Ervin hit a two-run homer to snap a tie in the seventh inning and had four RBIs in his first major league start as Cincinnati rebounded from blowing a nine-run lead to defeat Chicago. Ervin, in right field in his fifth game, also had a single and double in four at-bats. On Wednesday, the 25-year-old homered as a pinch hitter for his first hit. Joey Votto lofted a three-run homer in a nine-run, second-inning rally as Cincinnati raced to a 9-0 lead against Cubs starter Jon Lester on a warm day with the wind blowing out. Ian Happ hit two solo shots and a sacrifice fly, and Alex Avila went deep and had three RBIs for the Cubs, who used six homers to erase a nine-run deficit.
Yankees 7, Mets 5
This year’s Subway Series was a one-way ride. Gary Sanchez homered and matched a career high with five RBIs, Luis Severino got right back on track and the New York Yankees made it a four-game sweep of the crosstown-rival Mets. Four games behind first-place Boston in the AL East, the Yankees begin a three-game series Friday night at Fenway Park. The Red Sox took two of three last weekend when the longtime rivals played at Yankee Stadium. “These are really important games for us because the clock is ticking,” manager Joe Girardi said. Sanchez hit a three-run homer off struggling starter Steven Matz in the first inning and a two-run single in the fourth. Brett Gardner broke his 3-for-29 slump with a two-run double, and the Yankees won twice at Citi Field just as they did back home in the Bronx earlier this week.
Diamondbacks 4, Astros 0
Patrick Corbin came within an out short of his first career shutout and first complete game since 2013 in Arizona’s victory over Houston. After allowing a two-out double to Yuli Gurriel in the bottom of the ninth, Corbin was pulled by Arizona manager Torey Lovullo. Archie Bradley took over on the mound and struck out Marwin Gonzalez. Corbin (10-11) allowed four hits and one walk, struck out seven and threw just 105 pitches. Arizona second baseman Daniel Descalso hit an inside-the-park home run off Astros starter Mike Fiers in the fourth inning on a deep drive that sailed over the head of center fielder Jake Marisnick and bounced off the wall away from him.