PITTSBURGH (AP) — Albert Pujols hit his 697th home run, moving past Alex Rodriguez into fourth place on the career list and doing it in dramatic fashion with a ninth-inning drive that pushed the St. Louis Cardinals over the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 Sunday.
The NL Central-leading Cardinals trailed 2-1 when Pujols connected for a two-run shot. He trails Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) on the all-time homer chart. The 42-year-old Pujols has 21 games left in his 22nd and final season in the big leagues.
The Cardinals went to the ninth inning trailing 2-0 but scored four runs off Chase DeJong (4-2). Tommy Edman and Corey Dickerson led off with back-to-back doubles to produce the first run. One out after Pujols connected, Tyler O’Neil hit a solo shot to cap St. Louis’ big inning.
Ryan Helsley then got Ben Gamel to fly out 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 runs in the third. Mauricio Dubón led off 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, who Bregman greeted with his grand slam to right-center.
Shohei Ohtani hit his 34th home run of the season in the first, a two-run shot to right. Mike Trout, who has homered in a club record 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 top 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 injured list but accompanied the team to Florida, was ejected by second base umpire Chad Fairchild after Nimmo had a triple negated in the first at-bat of the game.
Taijuan Walker (11-4) won his fourth decision against the Marlins this season, throwing seven innings of one-run ball. 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 homered twice.
Marlins starter Jesús Luzardo (3-7) was lifted after 3 1/3 innings. The left-hander gave up five runs, six hits, walked three and struck out three. He also hit two batters, ending a streak of four consecutive starts of at least six innings.
GUARDIANS 4, TWINS 1
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Andrés Giménez and Steven Kwan hit solo homers, Shane Bieber had another strong start and Cleveland finished off a sweep of Minnesota.
Bieber (10-8) went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five hits and one run while striking out seven. Bieber has allowed more than two runs just 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 1 ½ game lead over Minnesota in the American League Central entering the series. The Guardians strengthened their position and the Twins have lost nine of 11 and are in third place, 4 ½ games back.
Josh Winder (4-4) gave up two runs in four innings for Minnesota after being recalled from Triple-A St. Paul before the game.
BREWERS 7, REDS 6
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Rowdy Tellez homered twice, doubled and drove in four runs as Milwaukee withstood a ninth-inning comeback by Cincinnati.
Willy Adames and Tellez hit back-to-back homers off Reds starter Justin Dunn (1-3) in the Brewers’ four-run second inning. Tellez added a solo shot off Luke Farrell in the fourth inning for his 30th homer of the season.
Adames needs just one more homer to match the single-season record for a Brewers shortstop.
Brewers center fielder Garrett Mitchell made a diving catch of a TJ Friedl fly ball in the ninth inning that prevented the Reds from tying the game.
Cincinnati’s Alejo López went 3 for 3 with his first career homer and a double. The Reds trailed 7-2 through six innings but nearly came all the way back.
Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff (10-4) struck out 11, walked one and gave up five hits and two runs in six innings.
Dunn struck out one but yielded six runs, six hits and three walks in three innings.
RANGERS 4, BLUE JAYS 1
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Martin Perez allowed one run in six innings, Adolis Garcia homered for the second consecutive game and Texas beat Toronto.
The Blue Jays head home following an 8-2 trip to play five games in four days against another AL wild-card team, Tampa Bay. The Rangers, meanwhile, snapped a three-game losing streak.
Perez (11-6) ended a personal two-game losing streak, which equaled his longest of the season. He gave up six hits, struck out seven and walked two. Jose Leclerc pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his fourth save in four chances.
Garcia launched a fastball down the left-field line into the second deck off Yusei Kikuchi — the fifth time this season that he has homered in consecutive games.
Leody Taveras hit a solo homer for Texas in the eighth inning.
Texas grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning off Trevor Richards (3-2), the Jays’ opener for a bullpen game.
ROYALS 4, TIGERS 0
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Brady Singer threw seven shutout innings to lead Kansas City over Detroit and salvage the finale of the three-game series.
Singer (8-4) allowed four hits and one walk, striking out six and retiring 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 over that span.
Bobby Witt Jr. had a pair of hits, including a double, his 51st extra-base hit that leads all major league rookies.
Detroit starter Tyler Alexander (3-10) went five innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk.
RED SOX 1, ORIOLES 0
BALTIMORE (AP) — Rich Hill pitched five scoreless innings, and Boston defeated a fading Baltimore team.
The Orioles have lost six of eight, all at home, including back-to-back games to the last-place Red Sox. Baltimore was 1 1/2 games out of the third and final AL wild-card spot entering Sept. 4, but will begin a five-game road trip at least five games out of the playoffs.
Every hit in the game was a single; Boston got 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 manufactured their run in the first when Tommy Pham singled, stole second, moved to third on a grounder and scored on Xander Bogaerts’ sacrifice fly. It was all they would muster against Baltimore starter Kyle Bradish (3-6) through seven innings.
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