Russell Martin homered twice and drove in four runs against his former team as the Toronto Blue Jays went deep five times to beat the New York Yankees 11-5 on Friday night in the opener of their weekend showdown for first place in the AL East.
Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak each hit a two-run shot in a five-run first inning to build a big lead for David Price.
Edwin Encarnacion added a titanic drive after the Blue Jays chased rookie starter Luis Severino in the third.
Seeking their first playoff appearance in 22 years, Toronto increased their division lead to 2.5 games over New York.
The teams were to play a rare single-admission doubleheader at Yankee Stadium yesterday to make up Thursday night’s rainout.
The four-game series is set to conclude today.
METS 5, BRAVES 1
In Atlanta, Georgia, rookie Steven Matz pitched five strong innings, while Yoenis Cespedes had a home run and three RBIs as New York took another step toward a division title with a win over Atlanta.
With Washington losing to Miami 2-1, the Mets lead the NL East by a season-high 8.5 games.
It was the Mets’ fifth straight victory.
Matz allowed one run and six hits as he improved to 3-0 in four career starts and lowered his ERA to 1.88 against an anemic Braves offense that is last in the majors in runs.
Rookie Matt Wisler (5-7) took the loss for the Braves after allowing two runs in five innings.
Wisler has lost six straight decisions for the Braves, who have dropped 22 of their past 25 games.
Atlanta have lost 10 straight games at Turner Field in Atlanta, tying the franchise’s single-season home losing streak.
MARLINS 2, NATIONALS 1
In Miami, NL batting leader Bryce Harper struck out three times and stranded five runners as fading Washington lost their fourth straight game.
The Nationals out-hit the Marlins 7-5, but went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position, and their lone run was unearned.
Washington, swept in a three-game series by the Mets earlier this week, began the night 7.5 games behind first-place New York in the NL East.
Mike Dunn (2-5) struck out Harper, the only batter he faced, with two on to end the seventh and keep the score 1-all. J.T. Realmuto led off the bottom of the seventh with a double off Casey Janssen (1-5) and later scored the tie-breaking run on a sacrifice fly by Miguel Rojas.
PIRATES 6, BREWERS 3
In Pittsburgh, Chris Stewart had three hits and three RBIs, while Charlie Morton pitched six strong innings as Pittsburgh ended their seven-game losing streak against Milwaukee.
Stewart hit a two-run single that capped a three-run fourth inning that put the Pirates ahead for good 3-2. The backup catcher, starting for resting Francisco Cervelli, added an RBI single in the sixth.
Stewart tied his career high with his third three-hit game of the season and the fifth of his nine-year career.
Morton (9-7) snapped a three-start losing streak, allowing two runs and three hits while walking two and striking out two.
Mark Melancon struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 45th save in 47 chances.
Jimmy Nelson (11-12) lost for the just the second time in six decisions against the Pirates this season.
CARDINALS 2, REDS 2 (SUSPENDED)
In Cincinnati, heavy rain forced the St Louis at Cincinnati game to be suspended in the top of the eighth inning.
It was to be resumed at 12:30pm yesterday, with the regularly scheduled game to follow.
In other MLB action, it was:
‧ Cubs 5, Phillies 1
‧ Cubs 7, Phillies 3
‧ Orioles 14, Royals 8
‧ Twins 6, White Sox 2
‧ Rays 8, Red Sox 4
‧ Rangers 4, Athletics 0
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns. For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it. The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history. The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
MONEY MATTERS: While COVID-19 played a major role in the decision, the CTBA also found it hard to secure sponsorship, and ticket sales would have been affected The Yonex Taipei Open badminton tournament has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a funding shortfall, the CTBA said yesterday. This was the first time that the tournament, a Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 300-level competition, has been canceled since it began in 1980. The Taipei Open has been held annually since 1980. The tournament was to be played at the Taipei Arena from Sept. 1 to Sept. 6, with total prize money of US$500,000. The CTBA said that it was deeply concerned about whether the Taipei Open would proceed as scheduled after the BWF announced changes