(Adds late games) May 2 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Saturday's Major League baseball games: - - - Astros 11, Mariners 4 Powered by a hitting display that produced five home runs, including back-to-back blasts in the third and fourth innings, the Houston Astros extended their winning streak to nine games with a win over the Seattle Mariners. Evan Gattis, Colby Rasmus, Jose Altuve, Luis Valbuena and Hank Conger all went deep for the Astros (17-7), providing ample run support for right-hander Collin McHugh. The Mariners fell to 10-14. ...
While Dee Gordon isn't showing any signs of cooling off at the plate, the Miami Marlins continue to get outstanding performances on the mound during their climb back to .500. Now the red-hot second baseman will try to help the host Marlins to their fifth straight win Sunday when they give the ball to Jarred Cosart, who began their turnaround against the Philadelphia Phillies. The son of former major league closer Tom "Flash" Gordon, Dee Gordon leads the majors with a .440 average and is 16 for 23 (.696) during a stretch of six straight multi-hit games. ''He's doing everything," manager Mike Redmond said.
After a 3-11 start, it didn't take long for the Miami Marlins to get back to the .500 mark. Martin Prado homered and drove in four runs, leading Dan Haren and the Miami Marlins over the Philadelphia Phillies 7-0 on Saturday. The Marlins won for ninth time in 10 games to improve to 12-12 overall and sent Philadelphia to its fifth straight loss. ''We've been on a nice run,'' manager Mike Redmond said.
(Adds late game) May 1 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Friday's Major League baseball games: - - - Yankees 3, Red Sox 2 Alex Rodriguez tied Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time home run list, hitting his 660th career big blast in the eighth inning to give the Yankees a win over the Red Sox. The landmark strike was the first career pinch-hit home run for the Yankees infielder. New York (14-9) won for the fourth time in its last five games and handed Boston (12-11) a first series-opening loss of the season after winning seven in a row going into Friday's game. ...
Marcell Ozuna watched his third double of the night bounce off the wall in left-center, and only one thought was going through his head. Giancarlo Stanton had the same mindset. Stanton never broke stride and scored from first on Ozuna's gamewinning hit in the ninth inning, and the Miami Marlins stayed hot by downing the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 on Friday night - improving to 8-1 since the dreadful 3-11 start. ''It continues to show the character of this team,'' Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
Peace out, April. You were fun. You helped us start another year of baseball and we'll remember you fondly for your small-sample sizes and early-season hilarities. We're off to May now, heading toward the summer, when things around MLB get a bit more serious. Before we do that, though, The Stew thought we owed the surprises of April a look-back. The thing about April surprises, sometimes they're precursors of what's to come, sometimes they're fun little anecdotes we'll recall in September when the season has taken shape. Remember when the Astros were good? Remember when Devon Travis looked like the Rookie of the Year and Chris Archer looked like an AL Cy Young candidate? [ Still not too late to sign up for Yahoo Sports Fantasy Baseball ] We'll spend the upcoming months figuring out whether those things will actually happen, but for now, The Stew's Chris Cwik and Mike Oz have collected 10 of their favorite April surprises. THE ASTROS KICKING APRIL’S BUTT Here are the teams that won more baseball games in April than the Houston Astros: See that. Nobody. The Astros finished the month 15-7, which tied them with the Kansas City Royals for the best record in the AL. They’ve won seven in a row, so a late-month hot streak obviously helps thing. But the Astros are 10-2 on the road and Dallas Keuchel has emerged as an ace. We knew they’d contend eventually, but maybe this year, in a so-far subpar AL West, eventually has arrived. (Mike Oz) THE GIANTS GOING FROM CHAMPS TO CHUMPS The reigning champs have looked more like chumps in April. Offensively, the San Francisco Giants (9-13) have scored just 66 runs, ranking them second-to-last in the National League. Hunter Pence is set to return soon, and that should help, but this team needs to start playing better if it wants to disprove the whole even year/odd year theory. (Chris Cwik)
Roy Halladay is making a case for the title of Most Interesting Man in the World. Now into the second year of his retirement, the former Blue Jays and Phillies pitcher who was also an All-Star, Cy Young winner, and perfect-game thrower is continuing to find interesting new hobbies. His latest Twitter post shows just how he’s making the most of his time away from baseball: Did I mention I can juggle while I ride a unicycle? Second career with the circus! pic.twitter.com/hZBDWjsLco — Roy Halladay (@RoyHalladay) April 30, 2015 Is there anything he can’t do? If Halladay is serious, I for one, would pay more money to see him in a circus than I would to see the sad-sack Phillies in person. This is just the most recent chapter in Halladay’s retirement exploits. He took a trip to the zoo with the creator of the Zoo with Roy, a Philadelphia sports blog. He’s learning how to fly . And he’s taken some not-so-subtle shots at Alex Rodriguez . We wait with bated breath to see what’s next for Doc. More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports : Ian Denomme is an editor and writer for Yahoo Sports. Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter.
Highlights of Thursday's Major League Baseball games: - - - Royals 8, Tigers 1 Left-hander Danny Duffy had a shutout going until the eighth inning as the Kansas City Royals pounded out an 8-1 victory over Detroit and moved a half-game ahead of the Tigers and into first place in the American League Central. Right-hander Alfredo Simon, who won his first four Detroit starts while compiling a 1.65 ERA, took his first loss of the season. - - - Nationals 8, Mets 2 The Washington Nationals became the first team this season to inflict a home loss on the New York Mets.
A.J. Burnett considered retirement during his second successful season with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2013, then did so again following one the worst campaigns of his career after bolting in free agency. What seems to be sure about Burnett, though, is that a Pirates uniform brings out the best in him. Burnett takes the hill as Pittsburgh seeks a rare victory at Busch Stadium in the series opener against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night. After going 26-21 with a 3.41 ERA in two years with the Pirates, Burnett opted against retirement and instead moved his family closer to his Maryland home by signing with Philadelphia for 2014.
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