CLEVELAND — Justin Verlander struck out 13 to reach double figures for the third straight start and sixth time this season, leading the Houston Astros over the Cleveland Indians 2-0 on Tuesday night.

In a matchup of All-Stars, Verlander (14-4) outpitched Shane Bieber and won his fourth consecutive start, tying Washington’s Stephen Strasburg for the major league lead in wins. Verlander allowed two hits in seven innings and walked none for the sixth time in 23 starts this year.

He allowed one runner to reach second. Cleveland’s only hits were singles by Roberto Pérez leading off the third and Greg Allen starting the sixth.

Cleveland, the AL wild card leader, struck out 15 times. Will Harris fanned two in a perfect eighth and Roberto Osuna followed with a 1-2-3 ninth for his 24th save in 28 chances.

Houston, the AL West leader, won its third straight.

Bieber (10-4) gave up two runs and nine hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts and one walk. He had been 4-0 in six starts since losing at Texas on June 20.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

PHILLIES 4, GIANTS 2: Drew Smyly tossed seven shutout innings and Rhys Hoskins homered to lead Philadelphia over visiting San Francisco.

The Phillies took the first game of a three-game set between teams in the hunt for an NL wild-card spot. It was the first of seven games the teams will play against each other over the next two weeks, and they could go a long way toward deciding which might play in October.

The Giants had won 12 of 15 and 19 of 24 to jump back into the playoff picture, but couldn’t solve Smyly (2-5) in his second start for the Phillies.

Smyly allowed a run in six innings in his first start for the Phillies and was just as sharp against the Giants. The 30-year-old Smyly, signed last week after he opted out of a minor league deal with Milwaukee, could be a needed boost to a pitching rotation in flux.

Smyly scattered four hits, struck out five and was never in any serious trouble, helping to send the Giants to their seventh straight loss in Philadelphia.

PIRATES 11, REDS 4: Reds reliever Amir Garrett rushed the Pirates’ dugout and threw punches in the ninth inning, starting a brawl prolonged by Cincinnati outfielder Yasiel Puig, and host Pittsburgh ended its longest losing streak (nine games) in eight years.

Reds Manager David Bell faces a suspension after running onto the field to join the fracas after being ejected an inning earlier. He was put in a headlock by Pirates hitting coach Rick Eckstein, got himself out, and shouted at Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle. In all, five Reds were ejected.

The latest dust-up in the rivalry was sparked when Pittsburgh’s Keone Kela threw up-and-in to Derek Dietrich in the seventh. After the inning, first baseman Joey Votto walked toward the Pirates’ dugout and exchanged words with Kela, but plate umpire Larry Vanover got in front of Votto. In April, Dietrich admired one of his homers at PNC Park, leading to a benches-clearing clash.

The ejections started in the eighth, when Bell was tossed for arguing a strike call with Puig at bat. Reds reliever Jared Hughes was ejected in the ninth for hitting Starling Marte with his first pitch.

Garrett came on to pitch, exchanged words with the Pirates, sprinted toward the dugout and threw a couple punches to spark the brawl. Garrett was dragged to the ground by roughly half the Pirates team before backup arrived. Bell was among the first Reds to join the fray and had to be separated from Hurdle. He later helped restrain Puig, who reignited the melee with more shouting and shoving.

Puig was given a warm ovation from Reds fans as he left the field.

INTERLEAGUE

ORIOLES 8, PADRES 5: Chris Davis hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning to snap an 0-for-18 slump, and Baltimore rallied from a four-run deficit to win at San Diego.

Davis connected off Matt Strahm (4-8) with one out in the eighth for just his eighth home run this season. Davis is hitting .181 and struck out 14 times during the slide, including three Tuesday that raised his season total to 105 in 232 at-bats.

Baltimore added on with a two-run single by Trey Mancini off Michel Baez, saddling Strahm with five runs in 1 2/3 innings. Strahm allowed five hits, striking out four and walking one.

Miguel Castro (1-1) pitched the seventh for the win, and Shawn Armstrong got six outs for his third save.

San Diego lost for the 12th time in 17 games since the All-Star break.

The comeback spoiled a milestone day for Padres rookie Fernando Tatis Jr., who at 20 years, 209 days became the youngest player in major league history to hit leadoff homers in consecutive games.

Tatis homered on the fourth pitch from rookie Tom Eshelman, who grew up in northern San Diego County, and Manny Machado connected four pitches later against one of his former teams. It was the 19th for Tatis and 26th for Machado, who was traded from Baltimore to the Los Angeles Dodgers last July.

Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. was 20 years, 239 days when he homered leading off both games of a doubleheader against Miami last Aug. 13. Acuna also homered leadinmg off the following day and went on to win NL Rookie of the Year.

Tatis joined Shin-Soo Choo, Miguel Rojas and Acuna as the only players with leadoff homers in back-to-back games this season.

TWINS 2, MARLINS 1: Byron Buxton homered and Jake Odorizzi followed his worst big league start by pitching one-run ball into the sixth inning as Minnesota won at Miami.

Odorizzi (12-5) allowed a run and four hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out five and was lifted after giving up his only walk to Neil Walker with two outs in the sixth. The outing comes less than a week after Odorizzi’s four-inning effort against the New York Yankees on July 24, when he gave up nine runs and 10 hits.

Tyler Duffey relieved Odorizzi and struck out two in 1 1/3 innings. Sergio Romo, acquired from Miami on Saturday, pitched a scoreless eighth and Taylor Rogers retired three straight batters in the ninth for his 16th save.

DIAMONDBACKS 4, YANKEES 2: Rookie Taylor Clarke was an impressive winner in his Yankee Stadium debut, five days after the birth of his daughter, and Arizona got home runs from Christian Walker and Carson Kelly to win.

Nick Ahmed hit an RBI single and Adam Jones had an early sacrifice fly for the Diamondbacks (54-54), who have won all three meetings with the AL East-leading Yankees this year. Arizona, 14-5 in interleague games after winning 9 of 10, will go for a season sweep Wednesday afternoon.

J.A. Happ (8-6) allowed three runs in six innings for a struggling New York staff that gave up 79 runs over the previous eight games.

Back from a rugged 3-4 trip against fellow American League contenders, the Yankees have dropped 6 of 9 following a five-game winning streak. They lost consecutive home games for the first time since dropping three straight in April.

They did, at least, prevent their opponent from scoring at least six runs for the first time in nine games. But this time, it was the lineup that struggled.

Edwin Encarnacion had an RBI double and Tyler Wade hit his second major league homer for the Yankees after replacing injured first baseman Luke Voit.

Clarke (4-3) did not permit an earned run over 5 1/3 innings of three-hit ball in his 12th big league start. The 26-year-old right-hander, who made his major league debut in April, struck out six and walked two to win his third decision in a row.

Clarke’s wife, also named Taylor, gave birth last week to their third child, a baby girl named Bayley Marie.

Archie Bradley got four straight outs for his fifth career save and first since June 18 last year.

Voit exited with a core muscle injury and was scheduled for an MRI.

 


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