MLB scores, schedule: Twins smash eight home runs in rout; Giolito shuts out Astros

Thursday, as is typically the case, does not gift with us with a full 15-game MLB slate. Instead we have a meager 10 tilts on the docket, but the majority of those will be played under pleasing, restorative sunshine (not available in all locations). The Phillies and Cubss played the final game of their series. The first-place Yankees won their fifth win in a row, and the Marlins of all teams went for their sixth win in a row (and they got it). Let's dig in.

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Baseball schedule/scores for Thursday, May 23


Twins homer eight times against Harvey, Angels

The Twins entered Thursday tied for second in baseball in home runs with 90. That put them three back of the Mariners for the MLB lead. Seattle didn't play on Thursday, but the Twins did -- and boy, oh, boy, did they take advantage of that.

Minnesota's lineup teed off against Matt Harvey and the Angels pitching staff, clobbering eight home runs as part of a rout. You read that right: eight home runs. Coming into the day, there had been just two other eight-homer games this season: the Dodgers against the Diamondbacks and, well, naturally, the Twins against the Orioles.

Five players partook in the Twins' home run derby: Miguel Sano and Jonathan Schoop twice apiece and C.J. Cron, Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco each once. Kepler and Schoop became the third and fourth Twins to reach double digits this season, while Polanco is now one away.

To think, this is the same franchise who used to seem averse to hitting home runs.

Giolito throws shutout against Astros

Lucas Giolito continued his resurgent campaign on Thursday by shutting down the Astros, the team with the best offense in baseball.

Giolito, who entered the night with a 133 ERA+ and 2.78 strikeout-to-walk ratio, held the Astros off the board all night innings. He struck out nine and walked one while permitting four hits. He induced 11 swinging strikes, including seven on his breaking balls.

Giolito revamped his arm action over the winter, and that decision appears to have paid off. The former top prospect now has a 2.77 ERA on the season. Thursday's game marked his first career shutout.

Yankees get strong effort from Tanaka

On the same day they placed CC Sabathia on the IL, the Yankees were hoping to get good results from Masahiro Tanaka, who was forced to leave his last start after taking a Yandy Diaz comebacker off his shin. For a time, Tanaka's next start was in doubt, but on Thursday he started the series finale in Baltimore. He delivered: 

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Masahiro Tanaka NYY • SP • 19
vs. BAL, 5/23/19
IP6
H5
R1
SO5
BB1

Largely because of that effort, the Yankees swept the series and won their fifth in a row. Tanaka's ERA for the season now stands at 2.94 with 58 strikeouts and 15 walks in 64 1/3 innings. Let it be known that Tanaka in this one just barely avoided getting tagged by a batted ball once again: 

The loss of Sabathia is unwelcome, and of course Luis Severino has yet to throw a pitch this season. With this outing, though, Tanaka eased any concerns about that shin, and James Paxton's return from the IL is within sight. 

Elsewhere, the Yankees got bombs from Clint Frazier and Luke Voit, which means they tallied 13 home runs in this four-game series against the O's.

Bell keeps raking

Maybe we should stop talking about Josh Bell's breakout season for the Pirates and instead talk about Josh Bell's MVP season for the Pirates? Perhaps that's premature, but the slugger in Thursday's win over the Rockies went 3 for 4 with a home run, a double and a walk. Here's that home run: 

You see the relevant numbers above. Let's put those in some franchise context: 

Walking with the Pirate gods, that. Bell's also already tallied five home runs of at least 450 feet. He hits the ball hard, far, and often. It's no exaggeration to say he's been one of the most productive hitters in all of baseball. 

In (literally) related matters: 

Red Sox reach high point

As you're no doubt aware, the reigning champion Red Sox began the season 2-8 and on April 17 were a season-worst seven games under .500. Methodically, though, they've clawed back above the waterline and into early contention. With their win over the Blue Jays on Thursday, they're now a season-best four games above .500. 

In that win, Ryan Weber, in his first big-league start in more than two years, allowed only one run in six strong innings. Steve Pearce homered, and Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers stayed hot. Overall, the Sox's resurgence has been keyed by Chris Sale's improvement, Michael Chavis' tremendous production as a second base fill-in, and the plus production of Bogaerts, Devers, and Mookie Betts

Coming into Thursday, the SportsLine Projection Model (@SportsLine on Twitter) gave the Red Sox a healthy 76.3 percent chance of making the postseason. That figure will be tested over the next 17 games, 14 of which come against the Astros, Indians, Yankees, and Rays. At the moment, though, the once struggling Sox are looking like they're prepared to meet preseason expectations. 

Nationals reach a low point

With another loss on Thursday, the Nationals hit a new low. Click here to read more about their struggles.

Stat of the day: Riley keeps raking

Braves rookie Austin Riley entered Thursday with a 211 OPS+ in his first eight games. That included four home runs in his first 32 trips to the plate. On Thursday, he added yet another to his collection, joining some impressive company -- namely, himself:

To be fair, Riley does have some actual company on a league-wide basis:

Basically, Riley is off to about as good of a start as one can get off to. 


Quick hits

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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