The Washington Nationals are not facing the team you would want to face while going through tough times, as the best team in baseball is capitalizing on their struggles. Xander Bogaerts hit a big three-run home run on Tuesday night in the Boston Red Sox's 11-4 rout of the Nationals on the road. Bogaerts' home run was part of a six-run fifth inning, which also included RBIs for J.D. Martinez and Steve Pearce. Martinez also connected for his 26th home run, while Eduardo Nunez left the yard as well. The first-year Red Sox slugger, Martinez, finished with four RBI overall, and now leads baseball in home runs, along with his 71 RBI. The Red Sox have been hot when it comes to interleague play, winning 17 of 19, including 11 of their last 12 contests. On the other end, the Nationals are having a hard time finding success behind the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East. They have dropped four in a row and 16 of 21, dropping their record to .500 for the first time since they were 17-17. Brian Goodwin and Pedro Severino both hit solo shots in the loss for the Nats, who are also three games under .500 at home. Tanner Roark struggled in the six-run fifth inning to suffer his 10th loss, as he allowed a career-high nine earned runs in seven innings. He is now 1-8 with a 5.18 ERA in 12 appearance since May 5th. The Red Sox can now go for the sweep in the traditional Fourth of July game at Nationals Park on Wednesday morning.
Yankees Take Game 2 From Braves
The New York Yankees overcame an extra-inning loss at home on Tuesday night by once again turning to the long ball in a win. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and Kyle Higashioka all went deep in the Yankees' 8-5 win over the Atlanta Braves. Evan Phillips gave up Stanton's long ball in his major league debut, as the slugger became the 11th player to reach 20 home runs in each of his first nine major league seasons. The win for New York moves them to major-league leading 32-13 at home, as well as 21-6 against left-handed starters, but they still remain a game behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. Aaron Judge contributed two hits and a walk, while also stealing two bases for the first time in his career. The Yankees drew eight walks from the Braves' pitching staff, including two to Hicks. The Braves' four-game winning streak came to an end, despite Nick Markakis and Ender Inciarte each connecting for two-run home runs. They are still atop the NL East, but now sit behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the best record in the Nationals League. These two teams will complete their series with a Fourth of July matinee on Wednesday afternoon.
Angels Fall to Mariners in Ohtani's Return
The Los Angeles Angels got the phenomenon known as Shohei Ohtani back on the field Tuesday night, but as a designated hitter at the plate. Unfortunately, his return from the elbow injury was not enough to knock the Angels out of their recent skid. Ohtani went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his first game since June 8th, as the Angels fell to the Seattle Mariners, 4-1, at Safeco Field. Wade LeBlanc kept Ohtani off the bases as he threw seven innings of one-run ball to improve to a perfect 4-0 on the season. The only blemish on LeBlanc's outing was Andrelton Simmons' solo home run in the fourth inning, as he retired the final 11 batters he faced and sent the Angels to an even .500 on the season. LeBlanc's outing helped spoil Andrew Heaney's impressive performance, as he tied a career high by striking out 10 over seven innings, but suffered his sixth loss. The Mariners have now won eight in a row, back to 24 games over .500 and a game behind the Houston Astros in the AL West. Despite just the four wins for LeBlanc, Seattle is now 9-3 when he starts this year, as he has an ERA of 2.90 since moving to the starting rotation on May 3rd. Kyle Seager had two hits and two RBI and Nelson Cruz went deep, as Seattle used a quick start to keep the Angels behind the entire night. They will continue their series with a matinee on Wednesday.