Baseball / MLB

Stephen Strasburg earns 100th win as Nats rally past White Sox

AP, Kyodo

Stephen Strasburg didn’t turn in a vintage performance. He still did enough — with plenty of help from the Washington Nationals’ offense — to reach a career milestone.

Strasburg earned his 100th victory, Anthony Rendon homered and drove in five runs and Washington rallied past the Chicago White Sox 9-5 for its eighth victory in 10 games.

Strasburg (6-3) gave up four runs in a 39-pitch first inning and spotted Chicago a 5-0 lead. But he hung around long enough to complete five innings and become the first National to reach the 100-win plateau since the franchise moved from Montreal.

“I definitely got punched in the face in the first,” Strasburg said. “There’s only one thing you can do and I think that’s what we preach as an organization (and) that’s never give up and keep battling.”

Strasburg threw 105 pitches in his second-shortest stint of the season. But the White Sox couldn’t manage anything else after Yoán Moncada homered in the second.

“We had a couple of opportunities in which he left us stranded out there,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “He worked through it. He’s been around. He was able to navigate and did a nice job of keeping us from doing a whole lot of damage.”

Rendon did his part to spark Washington’s comeback. The third baseman belted a two-run double in the third, then smacked a three-run homer in the fifth to chase former teammate Reynaldo López (3-6) and give the Nationals a 6-5 lead.

Reliever Josh Osich surrendered back-to-back doubles before Víctor Robles belted a two-run homer to make it 9-5. Washington’s six runs in the fifth were its most in any inning this season.

Sean Doolittle recorded the final two outs for his 13th save in 15 opportunities.

López, who was acquired from Washington in December 2016 and was facing the Nationals for the first time, is 0-2 with a 12.83 ERA in his last three starts.

“He’s just not being able to command right now as well as we would like him to,” Renteria said.

Strasburg struck out six as he improved to 100-55. The right-hander earned a victory while allowing more than four runs for the first time in his career.

“I think it’s a great personal accomplishment,” Strasburg said. “Wins and losses, as much as you like having them next to your name, that’s a team thing. It’s just great that this was such a big team win and they were able to pick me up for that 100th.”

Blue Jays 4, Yankees 3

In Toronto, Masahiro Tanaka overcame the early-inning woes of his last start only to unravel in the fifth inning.

Tanaka (3-5) retired 11 of his first 13 batters at Rogers Centre while Clint Frazier’s two-run blast in the fourth put the American League East leaders in front. But in the fifth, Tanaka hung a slider down the middle and Randal Grichuk sent it over the center field wall to break up his momentum.

The right-hander issued a walk to his next batter before getting his first out of the inning and went to a 3-2 count against Freddy Galvis, who connected on a two-run shot.

“In the first part of the game, I coaxed a lot of grounders and piled up outs so that was good,” Tanaka said. “In the fifth inning, an obvious strike was called a ball and I got into a tough spot.”

Tanaka manufactured his seventh grounder for a second out, but allowed first-pitch hits to Eric Sogard and Toronto rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to bring in the fourth run of the inning.

“There were a lot of complications, it was a tough inning,” said Tanaka, who allowed four runs, six hits and two walks over six innings on the mound.

“I’ll continue to endure, but I want to keep stepping up my pitching as well.”

Aaron Hicks homered in the eighth but a late rally from the visitors never materialized.

Athletics 4, Angels 2

In Anaheim, Ramon Laureano had two hits, including a home run, Frankie Montas threw six solid innings and Oakland snapped a five-game losing streak by beating Los Angeles.

The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani went 2-for-3 and belted a two-run homer in front of his home crowd. Ohtani took Montas (7-2) deep in the sixth to notch his first hit in three games and fourth homer of the season.

“It wasn’t a bad game for me personally,” Ohtani said. “I’m tending to hit the ball more and the trajectory felt good, too.”

The 2018 American League Rookie of the Year said he was able to pounce on his first pitch from the Dominican right-hander after watching the previous batter, Mike Trout, see 12 pitches before getting hit.

Orioles 12, Rangers 11

In Arlington, Texas, Pedro Severino hit a career-high three home runs and thwarted the Rangers’ ninth-inning rally.

Giants 9, Mets 3 (10)

In New York, Bruce Bochy joined John McGraw as the only Giants managers to win 1,000 regular-season games when San Francisco beat the Mets behind Stephen Vogt’s tiebreaking, two-run double in the 10th inning.

Braves 12, Pirates 5

In Pittsburgh, Austin Riley and Josh Donaldson hit three-run home runs in consecutive innings, and Atlanta rallied past the Pirates.

Freddie Freeman added a two-run homer, his 15th, in a three-run ninth inning that sealed the Braves third straight win.

In Other Games

Marlins 16, Brewers 0

Reds 4, Cardinals 1

Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 0

Phillies 9, Padres 6

Cubs 6, Rockies 3

Tigers 9, Rays 6

Indians 5, Twins 2

Red Sox 8, Royals 3

Astros 11, Mariners 5