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Best of MLB: Jose Ramirez's 5 extra-base hits help Indians to 11th straight win

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Best of MLB: Jose Ramirez's 5 extra-base hits help Indians to 11th straight win

DETROIT -- Jose Ramirez tied a major league record with five extra-base hits, including a pair of home runs that deflected off Detroit outfielders, and the Cleveland Indians routed the Tigers 11-1 Sunday for their 11th straight victory.

Ramirez had three doubles in becoming the 13th player with five extra-base hits in a game. Kris Bryant of the Cubs did it last year, and the previous Cleveland player to accomplish the feat was Kelly Shoppach in 2008.

The AL Central-leading Indians have their longest winning streak since a team-record 14-game run last year. Ramirez went 5 for 5, driving in three runs and scoring three.

Ramirez hit a strange solo homer in the first. The ball hit the yellow padding on top of the left-field fence, caromed straight in the air and bounced off the padding and back into play. As left fielder Mikie Mahtook tried to grab it with his bare hand, he knocked over the fence.

In the sixth, right fielder Alex Presley reached above the fence for Ramirez's drive and ball bounced out of his glove and over the wall.

Ramirez hit a leadoff double in the eighth and Giovanny Urshela pinch ran. Urshela batted in the ninth (see full recap).

Diamondbacks top Rockies, 5-1, for 10th straight win
DENVER -- Ketel Marte and Brandon Drury homered in a three-run sixth to bolster a strong outing by Zack Godley and the Arizona Diamondbacks extended their winning streak to 10 games with a 5-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

This is the Diamondbacks' longest winning streak since they captured a franchise-best 12 straight in 2003.

Godley (7-7) allowed three hits, walked six and struck out seven over six innings to help Arizona sweep a three-game series from the Rockies. The Diamondbacks increased their lead over Colorado for the top NL wild-card spot to 6 1/2 games. The slumping Rockies saw their lead over Milwaukee for the second wild card trimmed to just a half-game.

Tied at 1 in the sixth, Marte lined a slider from German Marquez (10-6) over the fence in left for his first homer since July 29. Drury later followed with a two-run shot off Marquez, who allowed four runs over six innings and struck out nine (see full recap).

Astros sweep Mets in first series in Houston since Hurricane Harvey
HOUSTON -- Cameron Maybin hit a three-run homer, George Springer connected for the second straight day and the Houston Astros beat the New York Mets 8-6 on Sunday for a sweep of their weekend series.

Josh Reddick added two hits and three RBIs for the Astros, who won both games of a doubleheader on Saturday in their first home games since flooding from Hurricane Harvey devastated the city.

Houston trailed 4-1 before pushing across five runs in the third. Carlos Correa hit an RBI single in his return from the disabled list. Reddick also singled in a run before Maybin connected for his first homer since he was claimed on waivers from the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.

Cubs lose Baez, game to Braves as win streak halted at 5
CHICAGO -- Max Fried combined with four relievers on a five-hitter in his first major league start, and the Atlanta Braves ended the Chicago Cubs' six-game winning streak with a 5-1 victory Sunday.

The NL Central-leading Cubs had matched their longest winning string of the season. Rookie Ian Happ hit his 21st homer, but Chicago couldn't get much going coming off a 14-12 victory.

The Cubs also lost Javier Baez after he got shaken up diving into second base in the second inning. Chicago's electrifying star trotted out to shortstop in the third but exited the game with one out.

Recalled from Triple-A on Friday, Fried (1-0) gave up a run and four hits in five innings. The bullpen held Chicago to one hit, helping the Braves avoid the weekend sweep.

Mike Montgomery (5-7) gave up three runs and five hits in five innings (see full recap).

Phillies come roaring out of All-Star break to blast Padres

Phillies come roaring out of All-Star break to blast Padres

BOX SCORE

The Phillies came back from the All-Star break Friday night and survived a ragged first inning en route to an 11-5 win over the San Diego Padres at Citizens Bank Park.

Carlos Santana led the Phillies’ offense with a three-run home run, highlighting the team’s six-run second inning.

Phillies starting pitcher Jake Arrieta was not sharp. He allowed five base runners — on three hits and two walks — and four runs in the first inning. It did not help that the Phils made two errors in the inning. One of the errors was by Arrieta and he also threw a wild pitch.

Arrieta’s mates got him off the hook with a big second inning against lefty Clayton Richard. The Phils drew three walks in the inning and two of them came around to score. Santana’s 15th homer was the big blow in the inning. Odubel Herrera chipped in with a two-run single and Rhys Hoskins worked a bases-loaded walk.

Arrieta had pitched well — four earned runs in 19 innings — in his first three starts in July. He did not make it out of the fourth inning in this one. He gave up six hits and five runs. Two of his three walks led off innings and became runs.

The Phillies’ bullpen was exceptional. Austin Davis, Victor Arano, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek and Adam Morgan combined on 5 2/3 scoreless innings. The left-hander Davis earned his first big-league win with 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

The offense erupted for four more runs in the bottom of the eighth to salt the game away.

Santana finished the night with four RBIs.

The attendance was 30,034.

The win improved the Phillies to 54-42 overall and 31-16 at Citizens Bank Park. They maintained a half-game lead in the NL East over second-place Atlanta, which was victorious at Washington. The Nats are 6½ games back.

Notes
• Vince Velasquez (5-8, 4.39) will start Saturday night against San Diego’s Luis Perdomo (1-4, 7.55). Nick Pivetta (6-7, 4.58) will start Sunday afternoon against Tyson Ross (5-8, 4.32).

The blister on Zach Eflin’s right middle finger has healed. He will come off the disabled list and face the Dodgers on Monday night. Aaron Nola will round out the rotation and start on Tuesday. The Phillies wanted to give Nola a couple of extra days of rest.

“He’s been a dependable horse and we thought it was smart to give him a blow,” manager Gabe Kapler said.

• J.P. Crawford, on the DL with a fractured hand, has been cleared to take ground balls and hit balls off a tee. 

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GM Matt Klentak: Phillies made a strong run at Manny Machado, will continue to seek upgrades

GM Matt Klentak: Phillies made a strong run at Manny Machado, will continue to seek upgrades

The Phillies returned to Citizens Bank Park on Friday. Manny Machado was not in their clubhouse.

A drama that consumed much of the All-Star break ended when the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for Machado, beating out the Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers.

“We made a pretty strong run at it,” general manager Matt Klentak said.

The Phillies built their offer around pitching prospects, but Klentak would not reveal the names of the players that were on the table.

Six weeks ago, the Phillies were only on the periphery of the Machado sweepstakes as they were reluctant to part with young talent for a player who could become a free agent at season's end.

Phillies players forced the front office to pursue Machado by staying in the NL East race throughout a June schedule loaded with tough opponents and eventually moving into first place as the All-Star break approached. The Phillies entered Friday night leading the division by a half-game over Atlanta.

“Being active in the rental market is not the best place to be,” Klentak said. “But we felt in this particular case that this player represented a pretty unique opportunity for us and that’s why we did get aggressive.

“I would be surprised if we strongly pursue rentals, high-priced rentals, in the future. It’s just not a good market to be in, but every once in a while it does make sense to pursue something like that. We’re always going to explore opportunities and we explored that one right down to the very end.”

Klentak is still actively looking to upgrade the roster for the stretch run.

“If I had to bet, I would guess we would make a move between now and July 31,” he said.

It is still possible that the Phillies could trade for a player scheduled to become a free agent at season’s end, but not one that would cost the level of prospects that Machado would have. The Phillies are known to have interest in Minnesota infielder Eduardo Escobar and Baltimore closer Zach Britton. Both will be free agents this winter.

Escobar leads the majors with 35 doubles and has an .834 OPS. He can play third base and shortstop. If the Phillies traded for him, they could use him at shortstop and shift Scott Kingery to a super-utility role. Third baseman Maikel Franco, on the trading block not long ago, may have saved himself, at least until the end to of the season, by hitting .352 with a 1.106 OPS in 22 games leading up to the break.

“What Maikel is doing right now and what he has shown in the couple weeks leading up to the break is very reminiscent of what he did in 2015, and it’s a heck of a lot better than what he had done in ‘16 and ’17,” Klentak said. “And he’s still 25 years old. So that’s what makes the trade deadline process difficult is trying to not only evaluate what’s available outside, but also to evaluate what you have internally.”

The Phillies pursued Britton as part of a package for Machado. They remain on the lefty. Adding him would help the Phillies to shorten games.

The Phillies, according to sources, have shown interest in lefty starter J.A. Happ. In a perfect world, however, Klentak said the Phillies would not seek a starting pitcher before the deadline.

“Right now starting pitching has been the strength of our team this year," he said. "We’re very encouraged about not only the five here but also what we have in Triple A, and we’re hopeful that that’s going to mean that we can stay out of the starting pitcher trade market at the deadline because, if you can avoid it, that is definitely a market to avoid.”

The Phillies have long coveted Machado. The in-season window for acquiring him has passed. The team is expected to go hard after him in the offseason when he will be a free agent and the price will be money and not prospects. Of course, Klentak could not comment on that possibility because Machado is someone else’s player and that would be tampering.

“I won’t go there,” Klentak said with a laugh.

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