Phillies

Best of MLB: Indians get walk-off win over Red Sox on error

uspresswire-indians-team-celebrate.jpg
USA Today Images

Best of MLB: Indians get walk-off win over Red Sox on error

CLEVELAND -- Brandon Guyer scored when first baseman Brock Holt threw away Roberto Perez's bunt in the 10th inning, lifting the Cleveland Indians over the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Monday night in a matchup of first-place teams.

After Guyer's leadoff double against Brandon Workman (0-1), Holt fielded the bunted ball and tried to throw out Guyer at third. Guyer slid into the bag as the throw skipped past third baseman Rafael Devers, then got to his feet and raced across home plate. Teammates ran onto the field and doused Perez with water and white powder.

Perez also had a three-run homer in the second inning.

Cody Allen (1-6) allowed Christian Vazquez's leadoff single in the 10th, but retired the next three hitters. The inning ended when shortstop Francisco Lindor ran down Mookie Betts' popup in center field with his back to home plate.

Cleveland relief ace Andrew Miller left in the seventh inning after aggravating the patellar tendinitis in his right knee. Miller recently returned after over two weeks on the disabled list with the knee injury (see full recap).  

Albers gives Mariners win over former team
ATLANTA -- Andrew Albers worked into the sixth inning for his second straight win since coming up from the minors, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 6-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.

Albers (2-0) also had the first hit and RBI of his career -- in his first big league at-bat.

The 31-year-old left-hander beat his former organization, having spent most of the season at the Braves' Triple-A club. He went 12-3 but never got a call to the big leagues.

Instead, Albers was dealt to the Mariners for cash on Aug. 11. He was called up by Seattle to make a start four days later, working six strong innings in a 3-1 win over Baltimore.

Now, after going just over four years between major league victories, Albers has two wins in less than a week.

Mike Foltynewicz (10-9) has lost four of his last five starts for Atlanta (see full recap).

Pollock’s 2-run blast lifts D-backs over Mets
NEW YORK -- A.J. Pollock hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks snapped a three-game skid with a 3-2 victory over the New York Mets on Monday night.

J.D. Martinez had an RBI single and left fielder David Peralta threw out the potential go-ahead run at the plate for the Diamondbacks, who began the day with a 2 1/2-game lead over Milwaukee for the second NL wild card. They are 4-0 against the Mets this season and have won nine of 10 meetings over the last two years.

Pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco walked to start the 10th. One out later, Pollock sent a 94 mph fastball from Eric Goeddel (0-1) over the center-field fence to put the Diamondbacks back in front after they squandered a 1-0 lead in the seventh.

Fernando Rodney gave up a leadoff homer to Michael Conforto before getting three outs for his 28th save in 33 tries.

Jimmie Sherfy (1-0) pitched a perfect ninth for his first major league win (see full recap)

Phillies doomed by another ineffective outing from high-priced reliever

Phillies doomed by another ineffective outing from high-priced reliever

BOX SCORE 

Though they strung together four straight one-out singles to make the game competitive in the sixth inning Sunday, the Phillies' offense was too quiet for most of their 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays.

Nick Pivetta, who pitched well in all but one inning, took the loss.

Tommy Hunter, a free-agent disappointment thus far, had another ineffective outing. Relieving Pivetta in the sixth, he went strikeout, walk, single, lineout, single, two-run double before being pulled.

Hunter has a 5.11 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 15 appearances. The last two seasons, he had a 2.82 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 94 appearances.

The Phillies' loss, coupled with the Braves' unexpected win over Chris Sale and the Red Sox, means Atlanta is back in first place, a half-game ahead of the Phils.

But hey, who expected the Phillies to be 29-21 on Memorial Day? 

One bad inning from Pivetta
Pivetta's control was off in this start. In a shaky second inning, he walked two batters in a row, threw a wild pitch and both runs came around on a two-RBI double by Devon Travis.

Besides that second inning, though, Pivetta pitched very well. He retired nine of the final 11 hitters he faced and faced the minimum over that span thanks to a double play and a caught stealing.

Pivetta struck out seven in his five innings but was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth because the Phillies needed to score.

In 11 starts this season, Pivetta has a 3.26 ERA and 1.09 WHIP with 67 strikeouts and 14 walks in 58 innings.

Solid afternoon for Kingery
Scott Kingery seems to be settling in at shortstop, just in time for J.P. Crawford to possibly return next week. For the second straight day, Kingery made a fantastic diving stop ranging up the middle to nab a Blue Jays hitter.

Kingery also doubled to right field in his second AB. Slowly but surely, his bat is coming around as he gets more comfortable with major-league pitching and starts to better understand the strike zone up here.

Up next
The Phillies are one of the few teams that don't play a day-game on Memorial Day. They actually have the latest start time in the league at 8:10 p.m. against the Dodgers.

The Dodgers had a terrible, injury-plagued start to the season but are beginning to round into form. And thanks to the Diamondbacks' losing eight of the last 10, the Dodgers are just 3½ games out of first place despite being five games under .500.

Unfortunately, Clayton Kershaw will be back from the DL just in time for Thursday’s series finale. It’ll be a great pitching matchup against Aaron Nola.

Monday: Vince Velasquez (4-5, 4.18) vs. Brock Stewart (0-0, 3.72)

Tuesday: Jake Arrieta (4-2, 2.45) vs. Kenta Maeda (4-3, 3.38)

Wednesday: Zach Eflin (1-1, 3.27) vs. Ross Stripling (2-1, 1.74)

Thursday: Aaron Nola (6-2, 2.27) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-4, 2.86)

Still ignoring the standings? 1st-place Phillies think you should stop

Still ignoring the standings? 1st-place Phillies think you should stop

The only thing more common for the 2018 Phillies than a rain delay is a dominant start from Aaron Nola.

On Saturday, they got both. Two more rain delays (that mercilessly lasted only 33 minutes) and another master's class from Nola.

If you're searching for reasons how or why the Phillies are in first place on Memorial Day Weekend, Nola tops the list.

The Phillies' ace pitched another gem in Saturday's 2-1 win over the Blue Jays, holding them hitless until there were two outs in the seventh inning (see first take). Entering the seventh, Toronto hadn't hit a ball to the outfield or farther than 150 feet.

"He just continues to be creative," Gabe Kapler said. "He continues to refine his arsenal. His curveball just seems to keep getting better. He knows how to mix his pitches. He was tremendous."

The big spot in the game came with two outs, two on and Russell Martin at the plate in the seventh. Martin, hitting just .154, worked a tough AB and singled between third and short to tie the game. It made Kapler's decision a heck of a lot easier because Nola was at a career-high 113 pitches and no manager wants to have to make the call whether to let his guy chase the no-no or remove him for big-picture, health reasons.

"When I went out there to talk to him, I just wanted to make sure that he was OK," Kapler said. "His eyes looked great. I thought he executed in that at-bat very well. Really wanted to give him a chance to get through that inning. He earned it. He was special today."

The Phillies, as a team, have been special more often than not this season. They’re 29-20, one game off of their start in 2011. Pretty incredible when you consider all the differences between this team and that team in terms of experience, payroll and expectations.

The Braves have lost two in a row in Boston, so when the Phillies take the field at 1:35 p.m. Sunday behind Nick Pivetta, they'll do so as a team alone in first place. A team that has allowed fewer runs than every National League club except the Cubs.

"It's early, but I think it's well-earned, you know," said Nick Williams, who was Mr. Clutch again with another pinch-hit homer, his MLB-leading third. "We've got a great group of guys. Young guys, hungry. These guys love winning. It's addicting."

We've reached checkpoint territory — 50 games in, Memorial Day Weekend, about one-third of the way into the season. Being in first place on May 26 means nothing other than you've played well for seven weeks. But next time someone says "Nobody's watching the standings yet," Kapler says don't buy it.

"I think it means a lot to the team and I think it means a lot to the clubhouse," the manager said. "Don’t let anyone tell you they aren’t paying attention to the standings in May. I don’t think that’s true of any baseball man that I’ve been around or any baseball fan that I’ve been around. You pay attention, you care and it means something. It’s special. Being in first place at any point is special and now we’re in late-May and early-June. That feels really good."

As for Nola, he's now pitched the Phillies to a 4-1 record when he starts after a loss. That's exactly what you want out of your ace.

You also want him to dominate at home, which Nola has. To that point, so has Jake Arrieta. Those two combined have made 11 starts at home and are 8-0 with a 1.47 ERA and .197 opponents' batting average.

Even the biggest optimist wouldn't have drawn that up.

"Those guys are pitching their butts off and it helps us want to help those guys back," Williams said.

"Nola's been amazing every single time, man. You can see greatness every time he's on."