Yankees shortstop Andrew Velazquez, right, celebrates with Kyle Higashioka after hitting his first career home run in the eighth inning Saturday against the Minnesota Twins. Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

NEW YORK — Gerrit Cole struck out Josh Donaldson with the bases loaded to end the fifth inning and got through the sixth without allowing a run, and the New York Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins 7-1 Saturday for their season-high ninth straight win.

Giancarlo Stanton had a two-run double during a five-run fifth, and Luke Voit remained red hot as the Yankees moved to 21-5 since dropping three of four at Boston in late July.

Bronx-raised Yankees infielder Andrew Velazquez hit his first career homer in the eighth inning, bringing his family in the stands to tears. The 27-year-old journeyman has been staying with his parents since being promoted from Triple-A on July 9.

Tyler Wade accounted for New York’s first two runs by hitting an RBI single off Kenta Maeda (6-5) and scoring on a wild pitch with the bases loaded.

Cole (12-6) dominated in his second start since a bout with mild symptoms of COVID-19. He allowed five hits and turned in his fifth scoreless outing this season, walking one and striking out six.

RAYS 8, WHITE SOX 4: Brandon Lowe, Manuel Margot and Joey Wendle each had two hits and two RBI, and Tampa Bay won at home.

Wander Franco also had two hits and scored twice as Tampa Bay won for the fifth time in six games and maintained a four-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East. The top prospect has reached base in 23 consecutive games.

Luis Patiño (3-3) pitched six innings of two-run ball, and Collin McHugh got five outs for his first career save.

The Rays finished with 11 hits while scoring at least eight runs for the 11th time in 15 games.

José Abreu had two hits for Chicago, which rallied for a 7-5 victory in the opener of the weekend series between AL powers. Eloy Jiménez drove in two runs.

A lucky bounce helped the Rays score three runs in the first inning against Dallas Keuchel (8-7). With two on and two out, Franco hit a ground ball that bounced off third base and over the head of third baseman Yoán Moncada, allowing Nelson Cruz to score from second. Lowe followed with a two-run double.

BRAVES 5, ORIOLES 4: Austin Riley put Atlanta ahead for good with a homer in the fifth inning, and the Braves stretched their winning streak to eight games while handing host Baltimore its 17th consecutive defeat.

Joc Pederson also homered for the Braves, who have won 15 of 17 to take over first place in the NL East. Atlanta has peeled off 12 straight road wins, a single-season franchise record and the longest run in the majors since Cleveland won 14 in a row in 2017.

The Braves overcame four solo home runs by Baltimore, including two by Anthony Santander.

BLUE JAYS 3, TIGERS 0: Hyun Jin Ryu cruised through seven innings, and Randal Grichuk and Marcus Semien homered as Toronto won at home.

Ryu (12-6) allowed five hits in his first win since Aug. 3. Jordan Romano worked the ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.

ASTROS 15, MARINERS 1: Rookie Taylor Jones had a career-high four RBI and Yordan Alvarez hit a three-run homer as Houston routed visiting Seattle for the second straight game.

GIANTS 6, ATHLETICS 5: Pinch-hitter LaMonte Wade Jr. connected for a two-run homer in the ninth inning, helping San Francisco rally for a victory at Oakland.

DODGERS 4, METS 3: Trea Turner, Albert Pujols and Chris Taylor each homered, and Max Scherzer won for the third time in four starts for the Dodgers as Los Angeles beat visiting New York.

INDIANS 5, ANGELS 1: Triston McKenzie struck out Shohei Ohtani three times while pitching two-hit ball into the eighth inning as Cleveland won at home.

Jose Ramirez homered for Cleveland for the third straight game, hitting a three-run drive off Reid Detmers (1-3) in the third. Amed Rosario homered to lead off the seventh.

ROYALS 4, CUBS 2: Kris Bubic carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, and Kansas City won at Chicago.

Bubic (4-6) was working on a no-hitter when the game was delayed in the middle of the seventh because of an approaching storm.

The heavy rain never materialized, and Bubic returned after a 34-minute delay. Frank Schwindel then led off with his second walk and Patrick Wisdom followed with a drive into the bleachers in left for his 20th homer.

BREWERS 9, NATIONALS 6: Christian Yelich hit a grand slam in the eighth inning, a solo shot in the first and finished with six RBI as Milwaukee won at home.

Yelich’s slam gave the Brewers a 9-4 lead. Washington scored two in the ninth, but left the bases loaded.

REDS 7, MARLINS 4: Nick Castellanos hit a two-run homer and drove in four runs, leading Cincinnati past visiting Miami.


ANGELS: Mike Trout says he is still aiming to return to the lineup this season despite a lengthy and frustrating recovery from a calf injury that has sidelined him since May 17.

The three-time AL MVP said Saturday before a game in Cleveland that he hasn’t given any thought to shutting down for the year.

“I’m just trying to get back,” he said. “Obviously, we’re running out time here, but my main focus is to get back on the field no matter when it is.”

Trout said he couldn’t give a date when he’ll begin a rehabilitation assignment, but he’s been running every other day.

METS: Francisco Lindor says first-year team owner Steve Cohen was right to criticize his hitting in a tweet this week.

Cohen tweeted Wednesday about his struggling ballclub that “it’s hard to understand how professional hitters can be this unproductive.” New York has lost seven of eight going into Saturday’s games and ranks 27th in the majors with 459 runs despite a lineup full of proven hitters.

Lindor has been among the bigger disappointments, hitting .228 with 11 homers and a .702 OPS in his first season after being acquired from Cleveland and signed to $341 million, 10-year contract.

“We’ve been getting that message all year,” Lindor told reporters. “We haven’t really hit all year long. I haven’t performed. I haven’t done it. Bottom line, I haven’t done what I’m here to do when it comes to the offensive side.

“Defense, they can’t talk to me. Base running, they can’t talk to me, either. But offensively, yeah, criticize me. Say whatever. You’re right. You’re all right. I’m with them. I haven’t performed.”

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