Thursday MLB scores, highlights, updates, news: Indians extend winning streak to 22

Thursday brought an MLB schedule that wasn't full but still had plenty of worthwhile action. There's this winning streak, you see, but also much more. Several close races had meaningful action and there were 11 games in all. Let's round it up. 

Thursday's games

Indians win 22nd straight

No question, the biggest story running in baseball is the Indians' ongoing winning streak, which is the longest in the history of the American League. They extended that winning streak to 22 games Thursday evening against the wild-card contending Royals. 

Jay Bruce provided the heroics with a walk-off double in the 10th inning, though the biggest hit of the game came an inning earlier. With the Indians down 2-1 and down to their final strike, Francisco Lindor doubled off the left field wall to tie the game. Check it out:

The double kept the winning streak alive, and Bruce then won the game in the 10th. Jose Ramirez deserves a mention for starting that 10th-inning rally with a hustle double to center field. Incredibly aggressive play that contributed to a win.

The 22-game winning streak is the second longest in baseball history. Only the 1916 Giants, winners of 26 straight, have had a longer winning streak. MLB recognizes that as the record even though the Giants played a tie in the middle of the streak.

The Indians will look to extend the winning streak to 23 games -- 23 games! -- on Friday night. Trevor Bauer and Jason Vargas are the scheduled starting pitchers.

Judge homers twice as Yankes rout O's

Thursday night, veteran left-hander Wade Miley made the shortest start of his seven-year big league career. He allowed six runs on six hits against the Yankees, and recorded just one out. Miley threw 19 pitches. The Yankees did not stop there either.

All told, the Yankees scored 13 runs against the O's on Thursday, thanks in part to four home runs. AL Rookie of the Year favorite Aaron Judge hit two of them, his 42nd and 43rd home runs of the season.

Here are New York's four homers:

Judge is now 25 for 53 (.472) with 11 home runs in 16 games against the Orioles this season. His 43 home runs are second most ever for a rookie, behind only to Mark McGwire's 49 in 1989. Judge has hit six home runs in his last 10 games now, so he's getting hot. He has 16 games remaining this season -- including three more against the Orioles! -- to break McGwire's record.

Also, beating up on the O's pitching staff is nothing new for the Yankees this season. The Yankees have scored more runs against the O's this year than any team has scored against any other team. Here's the top five:

  1. Yankees: 133 runs in 16 games against the Orioles
  2. Cubs: 114 runs in 16 games against the Reds
  3. Twins: 113 runs in 19 games against the Royals
  4. Indians: 110 runs in 19 games against the Tigers
  5. Astros: 107 runs in 19 games against the Athletics

Thursday's game was the first game in a four-game series between the Yankees and Orioles, so the Bronx Bombers aren't done piling up runs against the Orioles. They have all weekend to do it.

Buxton walks it off for Twins

For the second straight night, the Twins were walk-off winners Thursday. Eddie Rosario did the honors on Wednesday, then, on Thursday, it was second half breakout star Byron Buxton. His solo home run in the 10th sent Twins fans home happy:

Buxton, who got off to a miserable start to the season, is now hitting .333/.370/.614 in his last 48 games. Most notably, he cut his strikeout rate from 31.8 percent in his first 78 games to 16.3 percent in his last 48 games. Buxton is starting to live up to the hype that comes with being baseball's top ranked prospect once upon a time.

Mets have historically bad series

An incredibly disappointing season for the Mets hit a new low Thursday night. They've lost four straight games overall and the Cubs mopped the floor with them during their three-game series at Wrigley Field. To wit:

Oof. The Cubs outscored the Mets 39-14 in the three games. Overall, the Mets rank 28th among the 30 teams with a 5.02 ERA. Can't say I saw that coming given the talent in their rotation. Of course, most of that talent has missed a lot of time this season. Surely the Mets are just counting down the days until this nightmare of a season is over.

Felix returns for Mariners

Out since July 31 with a shoulder issue, nominal Mariners ace Felix Hernandez returned to the mound Thursday night, and he pitched well against the Rangers despite being on a limited pitch count.

The Mariners limited Felix to 50-60 pitches in his first start back from the shoulder injury. Expanded September rosters meant the team had more than enough arms to cover all those innings. Plus, you know, the offense scored 10 runs. Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager, and Yonder Alonso combined to go 9 for 12 with three doubles, three home runs, and eight runs batted in. That'll do.

Hoskins goes deep yet again

Another day, another home run for Rhys Hoskins. The Phillies rookie hit his 18th home run of the season Thursday night. In terms of games played, he is the fastest player in history to 18 homers, hitting it in his 34th career game. Hoskins was also the fastest to 17 home runs. And 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, and 10 as well.

Here's No. 18:

Between Triple-A and MLB, Hoskins has hit 47 home runs in 148 total games in 2017.

Martinez also goes deep again

What an unbelievable pickup J.D. Martinez has been for the D-Backs. Thursday afternoon Martinez swatted his 23rd home run in 49 games -- 23 homers in 49 games! -- since being traded to Arizona. Here's the video:

Overall, that was home run No. 39 on the season for Martinez. He's hitting .291/.363/.736 with the D-Backs and .298/.376/.681 overall in 2017. He'd probably be closing in on 50 homers had he not missed the first six weeks of the season with a foot injury.

Pretty soon we're going to have to start talking about Martinez as one of the best trade deadline rentals in baseball history. He's been that good with the D-Backs.

Pujols grounds out to left field

It's no secret Albert Pujols is no longer the player he was in his prime. Age and years of lower body injuries have a way of sapping production.

Case in point: Pujols grounded out to left field on Thursday. The Astros had their infielders shifted over on the left side, including both Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve on the grass. Pujols hit it to Correa, who threw him out from where the left fielder would normally catch a shallow pop-up:

Pujols is still a no-doubt first ballot Hall of Famer, of course, but right now he's a barely mobile DH.

Phamtastic season continues

Cardinals outfielder Tommy Pham didn't end up appearing in a big-league game until May 5, but he's been the most valuable player on a team now competing for a playoff berth. 

In Thursday's win over the Reds, Pham again did it all. He was 2 for 3 with a walk, double, home run, two RBI, two runs and two stolen bases. He's now hitting .307/.410/.521 on the season and will get some down-ballot MVP love. 

The home run was Pham's 20th of the year and his two steals moved him to 21 on the season. Here's video of said home run.

As such, Pham becomes the sixth Cardinals player in history to have a 20-20 season. The last one to achieve the feat was Reggie Sanders (2004). Others to have done so in a Cards uniform: Fernando Tatis (1999), Ray Lankford (five times), Brian Jordan (1995) and Lou Brock (1967). 

Miggy ties for 35th on all-time homer list

Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera homered on Thursday. It was a solo shot, good for his 16th of the season. He's not having a very good year overall and it's a pretty bad year compared to his lofty standards. The home run was, however, the 462nd of Miggy's illustrious career. He's now tied for 35th on the all-time list. A quick glance at a section of the leaderboard: 

32. Carlos Delgado, 473
33. Chipper Jones, 468
34. Dave Winfield, 465
35. Miguel Cabrera, Adam Dunn, Jose Canseco; 462
38. Adrian Beltre, 461
39. Carl Yastrzemski, 452

Perhaps we see a race to 500 between Cabrera and Beltre? We'd need a Cabrera bounce back and Beltre to stay healthy in order to have a good shot come early 2019. 

Of course, Cabrera's Tigers aren't faring so well ...

Tigers lose again

The White Sox have the worst record in the AL, but the Tigers are quickly approaching (is that the right word?). The Sox blew out the Tigers on Thursday -- with 17 runs on a ridiculous 25 hits -- and now trail the them by just one game in the standings. Hell, the Tigers have a shot at the No. 1 overall draft pick at this rate. 

Since winning four straight through Aug. 4, the Tigers have gone 9-29. Every other team in baseball has won at least 14 games in that span. They've also gone 2-12 in September, which is also the worst mark in baseball. The current streak is six straight losses. That is also, you guessed it, the longest current losing streak in baseball. 

Huge days for Moncada, Garcia

Rookie Yoan Moncada was the big get for the White Sox in the Chris Sale trade. Through his first 12 games, he was hitting just .105/.261/.263, but he hasn't been too bad since then. Right now he's on fire, too. 

Moncada brought a five-game hitting streak into Thursday, a streak during which he was hitting .348/.400/.565 with a triple and home run. He homered in his first at-bat on Thursday: 

Moncada ended up going 4 for 5 with two walks and five runs scored. It was the first four-hit game of his young career and the five runs tied a club record. His full-season line is now up to .229/.353/.407 after that abysmal start. Things are really looking up as we head toward the end of 2017. 

Meantime, the career year for Avisail Garcia continued. He went 5 for 5 with a home run and seven RBI. The only other White Sox player in recorded history (1913 to present) with a five-hit, seven-RBI game was Carl Reynolds, back on July 2, 1930. Garcia is hitting .333/.380/.509 with 17 homers and 77 RBI this season. 

Quick hits

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered every World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the... Full Bio

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