- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 31, 2016

BALTIMORE (AP) - Mookie Betts hit a career-high three homers and drove in five runs, and the Boston Red Sox cruised past the Baltimore Orioles 6-2 on Tuesday night to open a three-game lead in the AL East.

Betts led off the game with a shot to center and added a three-run drive to left in the second inning. After lining out to second base in the fourth, Betts hit a bases-empty homer to right in the seventh.

Batting in the ninth inning with a chance to tie the major league record of four homers in a game, Betts grounded out to second against rookie Ashur Tolliver.

Still, he’s the first Boston player to hit three homers in a game since Will Middlebrooks against Toronto on April 7, 2013. Betts’ 12 home runs rank second on the team behind David Ortiz, who has 14.

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts stretched his career-best hitting streak to 24 games with a single in the seventh inning.


CHICAGO (AP) - Scott Kazmir and two relievers combined on a one-hitter, matching zeros with Chicago ace Jake Arrieta before Los Angeles got to the Cubs’ bullpen for a victory.

Arrieta went seven scoreless innings but was denied his 21st consecutive victory. The Cubs had won in Arrieta’s last 23 starts.

Cubs left-hander Clayton Richard (0-1) gave up three straight singles to lefties in the eighth, the last Adrian Gonzalez’s liner to left that scored Chase Utley and ended the Dodgers’ 16-inning scoreless streak.

Corey Seager hit a three-run homer off Trevor Cahill in the ninth.

Joe Blanton (3-2) struck out three in two perfect innings as the Dodgers snapped the Cubs’ six-game winning streak.


NEW YORK (AP) - Tyler Saladino hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning and Chicago rallied from an early four-run deficit, stopping a seven-game losing streak with a victory over New York.

Todd Frazier’s two-run drive was his 16th homer this season, giving him the major league lead, and the White Sox got four innings of scoreless relief from their beleaguered bullpen to win for only the fifth time in 20 games.

The Mets led 4-0 after three innings, but rookie Steven Matz, trying to win his eighth consecutive start, suddenly faded in the sixth and gave up three quick runs.

Melky Cabrera drew a leadoff walk in the eighth from Hansel Robles (0-3). One out later, Saladino sent a 2-2 fastball to left field for his third home run, putting Chicago in front 5-4.


ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - C.J. Cron ended the game with his second homer, and Los Angeles blew a seven-run lead before rallying for a victory over Detroit.

Cron’s two-run shot to left against Mark Lowe (1-3) was the ninth homer of the game in a park that isn’t known for power hitting, particularly at night. Cron also homered in the first inning of the Angels’ 17-hit performance during their ninth consecutive home victory over the Tigers.

Ian Kinsler hit a grand slam in the seventh before Victor Martinez’s solo shot tied it in the eighth for the Tigers, who rallied from a 9-2 deficit in the sixth inning.

Mike Trout hit a three-run homer and Cron drove in five runs for the Angels.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Daniel Murphy hit one of four Washington home runs, Joe Ross allowed three hits in seven innings and the Nationals beat Philadelphia for their third straight win.

NL MVP Bryce Harper missed the game, a day after he bruised his right knee when hit by a pitch.

Philadelphia lost its season-high fifth straight game and has scored just nine runs during the skid. At 26-26, the Phillies are at .500 for the first time since a 10-10 start.

Murphy broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth with a two-out solo homer off Aaron Nola (4-4) and added an infield single in the eighth. He hit .416 in May (47 for 113) with seven homers and 23 RBIs, tying the franchise record for hits in a month, shared by Al Oliver (August 1982) and Marquis Grissom (June 1994) of the Montreal Expos. He finished the month with a 10-game hitting streak.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Lorenzo Cain homered and drove in four runs as Kansas City beat Tampa Bay, extending its winning streak to a season-best five games.

The Royals, who have won six straight series, took a two-game lead in the AL Central after being seven games out and in fourth place on May 10.

Cain hit a two-run homer in the first and a two-run single during a five-run fifth when the Royals batted around.

Kendrys Morales homered - a two-run shot in the sixth - and drove in three runs for the Royals while Eric Hosmer had three hits and drove in two runs. Hosmer is 13 for 30 with 13 RBIs on this homestand.

Royals right-hander Dillon Gee (2-2) labored through five innings to pick up the victory.


DENVER (AP) - Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon each hit two of Colorado’s team record-tying seven homers, powering the Rockies to a win over Cincinnati.

Blackmon became the first player in Rockies history to hit leadoff homers in back-to-back games and added his first career grand slam in the seventh. Carlos Gonzalez homered for a fourth straight game, while D.J. LeMahieu and Gerardo Parra also went deep.

It was the first time Colorado hit seven homers at Coors Field. The team also had seven on April 5, 1997, in Montreal.


ATLANTA (AP) - Jake Peavy faced the minimum 21 batters through seven innings, Denard Span drove in two runs with three hits and San Francisco beat Atlanta.

Four relievers finished the combined one-hitter.

Peavy (2-5) allowed one hit with no walks and three strikeouts. He was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the Giants’ three-run eighth inning after throwing only 77 pitches - 57 for strikes.

The seven innings matched Peavy’s longest outing of the season. The 35-year-old right-hander lowered his ERA from 7.26 to 6.34.

Peavy retired the first 12 Atlanta hitters before giving up Tyler Flowers’ single to left to open the fifth. Kelly Johnson hit into a double play to end the inning.


CLEVELAND (AP) - Colby Lewis allowed two hits over six shutout innings, leading Texas over Cleveland and improving to 5-0 for the first time in his major league career.

Bryan Holaday and Jurickson Profar homered off Corey Kluber (4-6), and the AL West-leading Rangers won for the ninth time in their last 11 games.

Sam Dyson got two outs for his sixth save.


TORONTO (AP) - Kevin Pillar singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and made a highlight-reel diving catch in center field to help Toronto give New York its fifth loss in seven games.

Justin Smoak homered and Darwin Barney hit a two-run single as the Blue Jays won for the 12th time in 16 meetings with the Yankees.

Joe Biagini (3-1) worked one inning for the win, Toronto’s sixth victory in seven games. Roberto Osuna finished for his 12th save.

With the score tied 1-all, Edwin Encarnacion doubled to begin the seventh, chasing CC Sabathia (3-4) after 80 pitches and bringing Dellin Betances out of the bullpen. Pillar later singled in Encarnacion with a grounder to the right side.

Pillar ended the fourth with a diving grab on Austin Romine’s liner to right-center.


MIAMI (AP) - Jose Fernandez pitched seven scoreless innings to help Miami beat Gerrit Cole and Pittsburgh.

Christian Yelich had a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh, J.T. Realmuto had three hits for the Marlins and A.J. Ramos pitched a shaky ninth for his 16th save.

Miami’s Ichiro Suzuki had two hits to tie Sam Crawford for 31st on MLB’s all-time hit list with 2,963.

Fernandez (8-2) struck out six and gave up three hits while throwing 62 of 88 pitches for strikes. He improved to 22-1 at home and lowered his season ERA to 2.53.

Cole (5-4) allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out four and walked two.


MILWAUKEE (AP) - Matt Carpenter tied his season high with four hits for the second straight game, scored four times and drove in two runs to lead St. Louis over Milwaukee.

Jedd Gyorko hit a three-run homer, and Mike Leake (4-4) allowed five hits, walked one and struck out four over six innings for his fourth win in the last five starts. His only mistakes were Jonathan Lucroy’s home run leading off the second and Ryan Braun’s RBI double in the sixth.

Carpenter and Matt Holliday - 2 for 4 with two RBIs - continued their torrid hitting against the Brewers, this time against Wily Peralta (3-6).


PHOENIX (AP) - George Springer finished a triple shy of the cycle and had four RBIs to spark Houston in a victory over Arizona.

Springer doubled on the first pitch of the game, hit a three-run homer off Patrick Corbin (2-5) in the second inning and added a run-scoring single off the left-hander in the fourth.

Springer scored twice and Luis Valbuena homered for the Astros, who had 12 hits to win for the seventh time in eight games.

Lance McCullers (2-1) had control issues at times, but limited the damage in five innings.

Luke Gregerson struck out the side in the ninth for his 13th save.


SEATTLE (AP) - Seth Smith hit two of Seattle’s five home runs and finished with four RBIs, Adam Lind and Kyle Seager both hit three-run homers and the Mariners pummeled San Diego.

The Mariners battered starter James Shields (2-7), didn’t let up against reliever Luis Perdomo and had their biggest run output since scoring 21 against Texas in 2012.

Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma (4-4) didn’t allow a baserunner until Yangervis Solarte led off the fifth with a single.


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Danny Valencia homered and drove in three runs, Stephen Vogt had three hits and drove in two and Oakland won its fourth straight by beating Minnesota.

Ryan Dull (1-0) ended a scoring threat in the fifth and finished with 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win.

Twins outfielder Miguel Sano left the game after straining his left hamstring running to first base in the third.

Tyler Duffey (2-4) gave up at least five runs for a third consecutive start after giving up eight - five earned - through his first four starts combined.

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