Atlanta pinch-hitter Evan Gattis connected for a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning to lift the MLB-leading Braves to a 6-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
Atlanta brothers B.J. and Justin Upton homered in the same game for the second time this season as the Braves improved to a major league-best 13-2.
Elsewhere, the Colorado Rockies overcame frigid conditions to rout the New York Mets, Arizona broke clear in the 12th inning to beat the New York Yankees, Boston stretched their winning streak to six games by downing Cleveland, Seattle edged Detroit in a pitchers’ duel, Milwaukee completed a three-game sweep of San Francisco and St Louis edged Philadelphia.
Atlanta’s Gattis hit a sinker from Jared Hughes (1-1) into the left-field bleachers for the first pinch-hit homer of his career, while Justin Upton move to the top of the MLB homers list with his ninth of the season.
Braves reliever Anthony Varvaro (1-0) took the win and Craig Kimbrel worked a perfect ninth for the save.
The Colorado Rockies cruised past the New York Mets 11-3 in a game which started with the temperature at minus-2°C — matching the Coors Field record for the coldest game.
Colorado starter Jon Garland (2-0) worked seven solid innings, allowing two runs and no walks. The Rockies have won six straight home games.
Arizona’s Cody Ross hit a go-ahead single in the 12th inning and Eric Chavez followed with a three-run double against his former team as the Diamondbacks downed the New York Yankees 6-2.
New York’s Francisco Cervelli had hit a tying homer in the ninth and also picked up a couple of catcher’s interference calls against him.
As well as the defeat, the Yankees also learned that captain Derek Jeter had suffered a new crack in his broken ankle and will be out until the second half of the season.
Boston’s Jon Lester pitched seven strong innings to steer the Red Sox to a 6-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians.
Lester (3-0) held the Indians to four hits while Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a tiebreaking home run in the fourth.
Indians manager Terry Francona, who managed in Boston for eight seasons and led the Red Sox to World Series titles in 2004 and 2007, was swept in the first series against his former team. Cleveland have lost four straight.
Seattle’s Kyle Seager hit a two-out RBI double off Justin Verlander in the seventh inning to break a scoreless tie and give the Mariners a 2-0 win over the Detroit Tigers.
Endy Chavez followed Seager’s double with a run-scoring single.
Verlander (2-2) threw 126 pitches in seven innings. He struck out 12.
Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo homered and struck out six in his first start since being arrested on a drunken driving charge, and the Brewers beat the San Francisco Giants 7-2.
Gallardo (1-1), who was arrested early on Tuesday, allowed just one walk and one earned run in six innings.
It was the first time in five years that Milwaukee had swept the Giants in a series.
St Louis’ Carlos Beltran hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth to lift the Cardinals to a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Philadelphia put runners at first and third with no outs in the ninth, but fill-in closer Edward Mujica retired three straight batters for his first save. The Phillies lost their fourth in a row.
Chicago’s Alfonso Soriano hit his first home run of the season and Anthony Rizzo also homered as the Cubs beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 at a soggy Wrigley Field.