MLB: Giants batters make headway against Braves


ATLANTA — Brandon Belt, Buster Posey and Michael Morse led off innings with home runs, and the streaking San Francisco Giants beat the slumping Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Saturday night in a matchup of first-place teams.

The NL West-leading Giants have won four straight and eight of nine. The Braves, who lead the NL East, have lost five straight for the first time since May 21-28, 2012.

San Francisco had only four hits but has homered in 10 straight games, a feat it previously accomplished from Sept. 23-Oct. 3, 2010.

Ryan Vogelsong (1-1) allowed one run, five hits and four walks in six innings, and Sergio Romo pitched a perfect ninth for his ninth save. Julio Teheran (2-2) gave up just four hits with no walks in seven innings, but allowed a season-high three runs.

PIRATES 8, BLUE JAYS 6

PITTSBURGH — Neil Walker hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth against Todd Redmond (0-3), capping a comeback from a 5-0 deficit.

A night after wasting a 5-3, ninth-inning lead in a 6-5 loss, Toronto led 6-2 in the seventh but the the Pirates tied the score against Aaron Loup on Josh Harrison’s RBI double, Pedro Alvarez’s run-scoring groundout and pinch-hitter Jordy Mercer’s two-run double.

Bryan Morris (3-0) pitched a perfect eighth, and Mark Melancon earned his first save of the season in place of injured closer Jason Grilli, retiring Colby Ramus on a game-ending groundout with two on.

PHILLIES 7, NATIONALS 2

PHILADELPHIA — Ryan Howard and Cody Asche homered, and A.J. Burnett (2-1) allowed one run and three hits in six innings.

Jimmy Rollins had four hits and Marlon Byrd doubled and drove in a pair of runs for Philadelphia, which won for just the third time in 11 games against the Nationals.

Adam LaRoche and Zach Walters homered for Washington.

REDS 6, BREWERS 2

CINCINNATI — Johnny Cueto (3-2) gave up three hits over eight innings, including solo homers by by Aramis Ramirez and Mark Reynolds, and singled in a run. Cueto, who walked one and struck out 10, is the first Reds pitcher to throw at least seven innings in each of his first seven starts in a season since Bucky Walters in 1944

CUBS 3, CARDINALS 0

CHICAGO — Jake Arrieta struck out seven and allowed four hits over 5 1/3 innings in his season debut, helping the Cubs to their first three-game winning streak this season.

Arrieta, slowed by shoulder stiffness this spring, walked two and threw 82 pitches.

DIAMONDBACKS 4, PADRES 3

SAN DIEGO — Brandon McCarthy threw seven superb innings and Alfredo Marte drove in two runs as the Diamondbacks survived a ninth-inning rally for a win over the Padres.

The Diamondbacks handed San Diego its fourth straight loss as the major leagues’ worst offensive team avoided its third shutout in four game with three runs in the ninth.

DODGERS 9, MARLINS 7, 11 INNINGS

MIAMI — Pinch-hitter Carl Crawford hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning, and the Dodgers escaped several late-inning jams to beat the Marlins.

The Marlins lost even though they tied a franchise record at Marlins Park with three home runs. They erased a 7-2 sixth-inning deficit but left the bases loaded in the eighth and ninth, and left two on in the 10th.

Yasiel Puig hit a three-run homer and Dee Gordon had a career-high five hits for the Dodgers.

ROCKIES 11, METS 10

DENVER — Pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Kyle Farnsworth, and the Rockies, down by six runs early, rallied again to beat the Mets in a wild affair.

The Mets had weathered an eight-run fifth inning by Colorado, that included Nolan Arenado’s grand slam, and took a 10-9 lead on Juan Lagares’ RBI single in the ninth inning off LaTroy Hawkins (1-0).

But Troy Tulowitzki, who recorded his 1,000th career hit earlier, singled off Farnsworth (0-2) to start the bottom of the ninth. He advanced to second on a deep flyout by Arenado, and Culberson followed with a drive that cleared the center field wall.

YANKEES 9, RAYS 3

NEW YORK — Masahiro Tanaka extended his regular-season unbeaten streak to 40 starts, and Mark Teixeira homered and drove in three runs to help New York rally past Tampa Bay and end a season-high, three-game losing streak.

Tanaka (4-0) gave up solo homers to Desmond Jennings and Wil Myers around an RBI single by Ryan Hanigan, falling behind 3-0 by the fourth. He is 32-0 in the regular season for Japan’s Rakuten Golden Eagles and the Yankees since losing to Seibu on Aug. 19, 2012.

RED SOX 6, ATHLETICS 3

BOSTON — Jon Lester (3-4) struck out a career-high 15, allowing one hit over eight scoreless innings — Craig Gentry’s leadoff bloop single in the third over the head of second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

Jonny Gomes hit a grand slam in the first off Tommy Milone (0-3), and David Ortiz and David Ross added solo homers in Boston’s second straight win after losing a day-night doubleheader to Tampa Bay.

TWINS 6, ORIOLES 1

MINNEAPOLIS — Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier homered, Kevin Correia earned his first win of the season and Minnesota ended its four-game losing streak.

Mauer had three hits and four RBIs, including a three-run homer off Brad Brach in the seventh that broke open the game. Dozier’s eighth homer, a solo shot off Wei-Yin Chen (3-2) in the third, gave the Twins the lead for good.

MARINERS 9, ASTROS 8

HOUSTON — Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer off Raul Valdes that capped an eight-run seventh inning that built a 9-2 lead.

Dallas Keuchel (2-2) left after walking the first three batters of the seventh, and Jose Cisneros forced in the run that made it 2-2 when he walked Mike Zunino. Michael Saunders followed with a two-run double.

TIGERS 9, ROYALS 2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Drew Smyly (2-1) picked up where fellow Tigers starter Rick Porcello left off, allowing two hits in seven shutout innings.

Joba Chamberlain threw a perfect eighth and Phil Coke allowed two runs in the ninth.

Nick Castellanos drove in three runs for the Tigers, the first off spot starter Danny Duffy (1-2) and two more off the bullpen. Torii Hunter hit a three-run homer in a six-run ninth as Detroit beat Kansas City for the fifth straight time.

ANGELS 5, RANGERS 3

ANAHEIM, Calif. — C.J. Cron hit an RBI single on the first pitch he saw in the major leagues, doubled his second time up and hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the sixth inning to lead the Angels to a victory over the Rangers.

Howie Kendrick capped his first four-hit game of the season with an RBI double in the ninth and scored two runs. Right-hander Garrett Richards (3-0) allowed three runs and nine hits over six innings with two walks and a career-high nine strikeouts after three straight no-decisions.

INDIANS 2, WHITE SOX 0

CLEVELAND — Justin Masterson (1-1) held the AL’s highest-scoring offense in check, allowing four hits and striking out six in 7 1/3 innings to win for the first time in nine starts since Aug. 21. John Axford pitched the ninth for his ninth save, sending Chicago to its fourth straight loss.