The New York Yankees find themselves back atop the AL East Division, and it's wins like Wednesday night that has them back ahead of the Boston Red Sox. Giancarlo Stanton smacked a walk-off two-run home run in the ninth inning to lift the Yankees to a 7-5 win over the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees had trailed 5-0 in this one, but then scored all seven runs in the final three innings. Gary Sanchez tied things at five with a two-run shot in the eighth, before Stanton took over as the hero in the ninth. The former Miami Marlins slugger has struggled in his first season with the Yankees, batting just .255 with 18 home runs. This comes just one season after leading the majors with 59 home runs and 132 RBI en route to the NL MVP Award. Didi Gregorius singled with two outs in the ninth to begin the game-winning rally, before the 28-year-old kept his big week going with the game-ending shot that went over 450 feet. He had four hits on Monday against the Washington Nationals and then went deep in the series opener on Tuesday. Ryan Cook gave up the walk-off blast to suffer his first loss for Seattle, who have dropped two in a row in the Bronx. The homer was the first walk-off shot of the season for Stanton, who hadn't hit one since April 18th, 2014, which was also against the Mariners. Aroldis Chapman threw a perfect ninth inning to improve to 3-0 for New York out of the bullpen. The Yankees now sit a season-high 27 games over .500 with the majors' best record, and have also won nine of 11 against Seattle. They will go for the sweep in the series finale on Thursday afternoon.
Astros Top Rays For 50th Win of Season
The Houston Astros are one of multiple American League teams that are projected to win 100 games this season, and after Wednesday, they are officially halfway there. Jose Altuve homered twice as the Astros took the series from the Rays with a 5-1 victory at Minute Maid Park. This power burst included three consecutive home runs from the Astors in the sixth inning, as George Springer, Alex Bregman, and Altuve each left the ballpark. Both of Altuve's home runs went a good distance, as his first in the fourth went 410 feet, before he hit a 443-footer in the sixth. The Astros' three straight home runs broke a 1-1 tie at the time, as Nathan Eovaldi surrendered all three of them in his third loss. It was the first time that the Astros hit three straight home runs since Miguel Tejada, Lance Berkman, and Carlos Lee did it against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 2nd, 2008. This feat comes just one night after the Rays snapped Houston's 12-game win streak with a 2-1 victory on Tuesday. And that loss came despite Justin Verlander striking out 10 batters on the mound. Charlie Morton took the mound on Wednesday and improved to 9-1 after allowing one unearned run on two hits over six innings. Eovalid ended the game with four runs on seven hits against him, as he was 1-0 with a 2.52 ERA in four career starts against his hometown team. Both teams will enjoy Thursday off, as the Astros stay home to host the Kansas City Royals this weekend. The Rays return home to battle the New York Yankees, beginning on Friday night.
Lester, Cubs Blank Dodgers to Take Series
Jon Lester has found his groove with the Chicago Cubs this season and the Los Angeles Dodgers felt the wrath of that on Wednesday afternoon. Lester threw seven shutout innings to win his fifth straight start as the Cubs shut out the Dodgers, 4-0, at Wrigley Field. Javier Baez provided a majority of the run support with three hits and two runs scored, as the Cubs took the series after dropping the first game of the NLCS rematch on Tuesday afternoon. Lester allowed just five hits on the day, as the four-time All-Star improved to 9-2 on the season. Kyle Schwarber added to the support for the left-hander with his 14th home run, while Kris Bryant added two hits and an RBI in what was his third straight game batting leadoff. This all helped the Cubs hand Dodgers starter Ross Stripling his first loss since April 30th. Stripling had won six straight starts, but fell to 6-2 after allowing three runs on eight hits over six innings. The righty struck out seven and walked just one, but the Dodgers dropped consecutive games for the first time since losing a season-high six in a row from May 10-16. Meanwhile, the Cubs continue to keep pace with the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central Division with their 17th win in the past 25 games. They will hit the road on Thursday night to battle the Cincinnati Reds. Meanwhile, the Dodgers' road trip continues after a day off on Thursday when they battle the New York Mets on Friday.