Brandon Lowe crushed his team-leading 31st homer, drove in two and scored twice Monday as the Tampa Bay Rays won the series opener 6-1 over the Boston Red Sox in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The second baseman, who also walked twice, hit a home run on the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning and added a run-scoring single in the fourth. Austin Meadows produced his team-high 92nd RBI for the Rays, who won for the eighth straight game and the 12th time in 13 games.
Rookie Wander Franco sliced a two-run single in the eighth for a 6-1 lead and pushed his on-base streak to 30 consecutive games. Starter Luis Patino (4-3) was strong over 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits. The right-hander fanned five and walked one.
Bobby Dalbec clubbed a solo homer and Alex Verdugo logged two of the six hits for third-place Boston. In five-plus innings, starter Nick Pivetta (9-7) surrendered four runs on six hits, walked five (one intentional) and uncorked two wild pitches. He struck out six.
Blue Jays 7, Orioles 3
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit two home runs and had four RBIs, left-hander Robbie Ray struck out 10 in seven innings and Toronto defeated visiting Baltimore.
Guerrero hit a solo shot in the fourth and a three-run blast in the seventh in the opener of a three-game series to give him 38 homers for the season. Ray (10-5) allowed two runs, four hits and one walk as the Blue Jays won their third straight.
Ryan Mountcastle hit a solo homer and had two RBIs for the Orioles, who have lost four in a row. Orioles right-hander Chris Ellis allowed one run, two hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings.
Phillies 7, Nationals 4
Bryce Harper had two hits, including a two-run homer, and Philadelphia won its fourth straight game, defeating host Washington.
Harper hit his 100th Nationals Park home run. Brad Miller had three hits, including a solo home run, and Ronald Torreyes added a bases-loaded triple. Carter Kieboom homered and singled for Washington, and catcher Keibert Ruiz made his Nationals debut, going 1-for-4.
Philadelphia starter Zack Wheeler (11-9) allowed four runs on five hits and four walks in six innings. He struck out four. Jose Alvarado picked up his fifth save. Washington rookie Josiah Gray (0-2) gave up six runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts in four innings.
Twins 3, Tigers 2
Josh Donaldson blasted a go-ahead two-run homer, Bailey Ober pitched six solid innings, and Minnesota edged host Detroit.
Donaldson had a pair of extra-base hits, while Jorge Polanco scored and knocked in a run.
Ober (2-2) gave up two runs on five hits and struck out five. Jorge Alcala tossed two scoreless innings with two strikeouts and Alex Colome recorded his 10th save.
Cardinals 3, Reds 1
Jon Lester allowed one hit through 6 1/3 innings and Paul Goldschmidt belted a two-run homer to propel visiting St. Louis over Cincinnati.
Tyler O’Neill added an RBI single to help the Cardinals earn their third win in the past four games. St. Louis moved within 2 1/2 games of Cincinnati for the second National League wild-card spot.
Lester (5-6) answered Kyle Farmer’s homer to lead off the second inning by handcuffing the Reds into the seventh. He allowed just that one run and two walks while striking out five to improve to 9-2 in his career versus Cincinnati.
Rangers 4, Rockies 3
Nick Solak hit a two-run homer and A.J. Alexy tossed five scoreless innings to win his major league debut as Texas opened a three-game series against Colorado with a win in Arlington, Texas.
DJ Peters and Leody Taveras also homered for Texas. Alexy (1-0) allowed one hit and three walks while striking out four. Joe Barlow retired the Rockies in order in the ninth for his third save.
Texas native Trevor Story homered twice and drove in all three runs for Colorado. Rockies starter German Marquez (11-10) allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out two. The right-hander has posted an 8.84 ERA over his past four starts.
–Field Level Med