The Boston Red Sox have officially sent the Washington Nationals deep in to their struggles, completing the three-game sweep on the Fourth of July with a 3-0 shutout win. Eduardo Rodriguez struck out six over six innings, as Boston sent Washington to their 17th loss in 22 games. That led the team to hold a players-only meeting after the game, as the National League favorites now sit five games back in the NL East, behind the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. They are now below .500 this late in the season for the first time since being 60-61 on August 21st, 2015. It was a tough seventh inning that got the Red Sox ahead, as Adam Eaton had a costly throwing error on a sacrifice fly, while Ryan Madson threw a crucial wild pitch in that frame. Madson suffered his fourth loss, as the Nationals fell to 42-43 on the season. They have now dropped four series in a row. Meanwhile, Rodriguez improved to 10-3 for the Red Sox, while Jackie Bradley Jr. drove in two, as they improved to 30 games over .500 under new manager Alex Cora. They will continue their road trip on Friday night against the Kansas City Royals. Meanwhile, the Nationals stay home to host the Miami Marlins on Thursday night.
Yankees Take Series From Braves
The New York Yankees kept pace with the Boston Red Sox on America's Independence Day, taking their intriguing series from the Atlanta Braves with a 6-2 win at Yankee Stadium. C.C. Sabathia allowed two runs in six innings for his sixth win, as the Bronx Bombers remained two games back in the AL East behind Boston. Giancarlo Stanton had the big blow with a three-run blast, as he has heated up since his early season struggles. Stanton has gone 6-for-18 with two home runs and five RBI in four July games, this after hitting .298 with eight home runs in June. Aaron Judge also added his 24th home run, as he has now gone deep in three of his past four games. It was a special night for rookie Kyle Higashioka, who hit a home run, as his first three career hits have all been homers. He is the first Yankee since 1920 to achieve that, and the first player in MLB since Trevor Story's first four career hits were home runs with the Colorado Rockies in 2016. The Yankees have overcome a tough sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays, winning six of eight since, but did have one down side to the win. Young second baseman Gleyber Torres left the game in the fifth inning due to tightness in his right hip, which will land him on the disabled list. The Yankees will hit the road this weekend to battle the Toronto Blue Jays. The Braves move on to another tough road series with the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
Angels End Mariners' Win Streak
The Seattle Mariners were on yet another win streak heading in to Wednesday afternoon, but the Los Angeles Angels were able to salvage one game to end that run. Kole Calhoun hit a two-run home run, while Luis Valbuena knocked in two for a 7-4 Angels' win at Safeco Field on the Fourth of July. Calhoun also knocked in a run with a single in the fourth inning, as he now has four home runs and eight RBI, while batting .306, since coming off the disabled list on June 18th. He was batting just .145 before going down with an injury. The Angels' starter, Garrett Richards, also just came off the disabled list on June 15th, but pitched well in to the sixth inning and struck out eight. He did give up back-to-back jacks to Ryon Healy and Kyle Seager, but retired 10 of the next 11 batters he faced. Blake Parker escaped a jam in the ninth for his 10th save, as the Angels pulled back over .500 with their 24th road win. Mike Leake allowed four runs on nine hits in four-plus innings for his fifth loss for the Mariners. He had allowed just two runs or less in seven of his past eight starts. The Angels also got some production from the recently-returned Shohei Ohtani, who had two hits and scored twice on the night. These two teams will play one more game in Seattle on Thursday night.