MLB scores, schedule: Yankees pad lead in AL East; Phillies split series with Dodgers

We had 13 MLB games to enjoy on Thursday. The Phillies wrapped up their series against the Dodgers; the Rays and Yankees played a doubleheader in the Bronx, and the A's went for their seventh straight win. That's not all, of course, so let's dig in.

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Baseball schedule/scores for Thursday, June 18


Phillies split series with Dodgers

Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins led a come-from-behind rally -- a four-run seventh inning -- against the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park on a rainy Thursday afternoon. Harper tied the game with an RBI single, and then Hoskins followed up in the next at-bat with a two-run single. Here's how it played out:

The seventh inning rally got started when Dodgers' reliever Caleb Ferguson hit Adam Haseley and walked pinch-hitter Roman Quinn. Then Jean Segura cut the Phillies' deficit to 5-4 with a single up the middle off of Dylan Floro

Hector Neris picked up a save and angered some Dodgers in the ninth.

The Phillies other win against the Dodgers -- the National League's best team -- was also in dramatic fashion as Harper clubbed a walk-off double on Tuesday. The momentum should bode well for the Phillies, who are looking to hang onto the NL Wild Card spot.

Yanks grow lead over Rays

Even though Aaron Boone was unhappy in the extreme for a few minutes, Thursday wound up being a darn good day for the AL East-leading Yankees. They entered the day six games up on the Rays and hit the showers with an eight-game edge. Indeed, they swept the doubleheader over the Rays and in doing so moved to 12-5 against Tampa Bay this season. 

In the Thursday sweep, they allowed a total of just three runs to the Rays thanks to a strong start from Domingo German and a similarly strong opener/bullpen effort in the nightcap. In that nightcap, the Yankees hung five runs on the heretofore excellent Charlie Morton. Morton's now allowed more than four runs in a start on four occasions this season, and two have come against the Yankees. Among the damage-doers was Luke Voit, who hit his 18th home run of the season: 

The Rays have just two more head-to-head games against the Yankees. Of more pressing concern, though, is that the Red Sox are closing in on them in the AL East and AL Wild Card standings. 

Sale puts up six scoreless innings in Fenway win

The Red Sox's Chris Sale returned to Fenway, and notched his first win in over a year. The lefty ace struck out 12 Blue Jays batters over six scoreless innings, and allowed just two hits.

In Sale's (4-9, 4.05 ERA) last three starts, he was 0-2 with an 8.27 ERA. But he bounced back in a big way for the Sox, who are trying to climb their way into the second AL Wild Card spot.

It was Sale's 11th game this season with 10 or more strikeouts, and now he has notched 38 career games with 12 or more strikeouts.

On the offensive side of things, Mookie Betts became the first Red Sox player to score a run in 13 straight games since Ted Williams in 1946. The reigning AL MVP smacked a solo home run off Blue Jays reliever Derek Law in the seventh inning. Betts tied Williams' franchise record.

Twins end A's win streak, on pace for 300 homers

The Twins entered their Thursday night game against the Athletics with 174 home runs through 94 games. That put them on pace for 299.9 for the 2019 season. High-level mathematicians will recognize that figure as being "not quite 300." Well, after their win Oakland that snapped the A's six-game win streak the Twins are now on pace for 301.8 home runs this season. That's because they hit three dingers en route to the win. 

Here's the most clutch of those, which comes to us courtesy of slugging outfielder Eddie Rosario: 

The Twins would also get homers from Mitch Garver and C.J. Cron, and Miguel Sano just missed making it four in the night when he pulled a booming drive just about a foot too far past the foul pole. So that's 177 home runs through 95 games, and as noted that's on target for more than 300 homers. 

The current single-season record belongs to the 2018 Yankees, who hit 266. The 2019 Twins -- thanks to power up and down the lineup, a lively ball, and an "elevate and celebrate" approach -- are on pace to knock the cover off that particular record. Framed another way, it's July 18, and the Twins already have 10 guys who have reached double figures in homers. The injured Byron Buxton is sitting on nine homers. All this from a Minnesota squad that ranked 10th in the AL last season with 166 home runs. 

Strasburg does it at the plate

Nationals righty Stephen Strasburg pitched solidly in the win over the Braves on Thursday night, but it was his work at the plate that jumps off the page. Strasburg went 3 for 3 with the bat in his hands with five RBI. Now dig this 420-footer: 

That left the bat at 105 mph, so let's call it legit. A two-RBI single came later that same inning, and with that Strasburg became the first pitcher in Expos/Nationals history to stack up five ribbies in a game. He's also the first pitcher since Micah Owings in 2007 (Owings could absolutely rake, by the way) to tally three hits and five RBI in a game. 

As for his Nats, the win means they retain top wild-card status in the NL and reduce their deficit in the NL East to 5.5 games.

Stat of the day: Tampa goes back-to-back off German

The first game of the Yankees and Rays doubleheader was pushed back a few times, but Tampa didn't take long to get things going when play started in the Bronx. Left fielder Austin Meadows and third baseman Yandy Diaz hit back-to-back home runs off Yankees right-hander Domingo German.

It's just the second time in franchise history it's happened, and the first time was accomplished over 20 years ago:


Quick hits

Katherine Acquavella joined CBS Sports in 2018. Her work has appeared in Yankees Magazine and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum's Memories and Dreams magazine. She is a graduate of St. John's... Full Bio

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