Yainer Diaz hit a three-run homer in the first inning off a struggling Luis Severino, Yordan Alvarez homered in the fifth to knock out the right-hander and the Houston Astros beat the New York Yankees 7-3 on Friday.
Rookie Hunter Brown (8-7) won back-to-back starts for the first time since April, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings. Brown struck out four, walked one and grounded out eight, three on the first pitch.
“That’s a big win for us,” Houston coach Dusty Baker said.
Including last year’s sweep in the ALCS, the Astros are 10-3 against the Yankees since the start of last season. Houston also improved to 13-7 since the All-Star break and 7-4 on a stretch of playing eight of nine series against opponents with winning records.
Aaron Judge has been left out of the starting lineup for the second time since returning from a toe injury last week.
The loss dropped the Yankees to 57-53 on the season.
The Astros’ Yordan Alvarez runs the bases after hitting a home run in the fifth inning on Friday
Luis Severino (left) continued his struggles by allowing five earned runs in just four innings
Houston has won 10 of the last 13 against the Yankees, giving José Altuve (left) a lot to smile about.
ROYALS 7, PHILLIES 5
Bobby Witt Jr. homered and stole a base, Michael Massey also went deep, and Kansas City beat Philadelphia for its seventh straight victory.
Witt became the first player in MLB history with at least 20 home runs and 30 stolen bases in each of his first two seasons. Dairon Blanco drove in three runs and stole three bases for Kansas City.
Nick Castellanos homered for the Phillies, who opened a 10-game homestand. Philadelphia entered play with the second wild card seed in a very tight playoff race.
The Royals’ Dairon Blanco hits a two-run single against the Phillies in a 7-5 win Friday
Royals’ Michael Massey (right) reacts after hitting a home run during the sixth inning
BRAVES 8, CUBS 0
Max Fried dominated for six innings in his return from a left forearm strain, Sean Murphy and Marcell Ozuna homered on back-to-back pitches in Atlanta’s seven-run fourth inning and the Braves cooled down Chicago.
Fried allowed three runners, all on singles, in his first start since May 5.
Austin Riley added a solo deep homer in the seventh for Major League Baseball-leading Atlanta, which has won three straight and six of seven. Fried (3-1), the runner-up for the NL Cy Young Award last season, struck out eight before leaving after 72 pitches.
RAYS 8, TIGERS 0
José Siri homered and drove in three runs, Zack Littell won his second straight start and Tampa Bay defeated Detroit.
Littell (2-2) allowed three hits and a walk in six innings.
Harold Ramírez had three hits and scored twice, and former Tiger Isaac Paredes had two hits and two RBIs. The Rays won for the fourth time in five games.
Tampa Bay Rays center fielder José Siri (22) hits a two-run home run in the second inning
NATIONALS 6, CUBS 3 (10 ENTRIES)
Lane Thomas hit his second home run of the game in the tenth inning to seal the Washington Nationals’ 6-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Friday night.
Thomas’ two-run homer, his team-leading 18th of the season, came off closer Alexis Diaz (3-3) and followed a 3-3 tiebreaking double by Jake Alu.
A two-run home run by Joey Meneses off Reds starter Graham Ashcraft tied it for eighth. The Reds had led from the first inning thanks to a strong pitch from Ashcraft and three solo home runs.
ORIOLES 10, METS 3
James McCann had three hits and five RBIs and Jordan Westburg hit a three-run homer to help Baltimore beat the Mets in New York manager Buck Showalter’s return to Camden Yards.
Showalter received a video tribute and a standing ovation from fans in Baltimore, where he managed from 2010 to 2018 and guided the Orioles to three postseason appearances. Then the AL East leaders won for the sixth time in eight games to stay two ahead of Tampa Bay.
Ryan O’Hearn hit an RBI single off Phil Bickford (2-4) to break a 2-2 tie in the sixth. Westburg, who was running down the field, scored from first. McCann added a two-run double later in the inning and Adley Rutschman hit a sacrifice fly.
Mets manager Buck Showalter was honored by the Orioles before his former team won 10-3
GUARDIANS 4, WHITE SOX 2
Andrés Giménez hit a career-high two-run homer among the three extra-base hitters, Logan Allen earned his first home win in more than three months and Cleveland beat Chicago.
Giménez fouled the first two pitches of his at-bat in the fifth inning, attempting to bunt out and move Steven Kwan to second base. He then pulled away, sending a fastball from Mike Clevinger (4-5) into the right-field stands to break a 2-2 tie.
Allen (5-4) allowed two runs and four hits in six innings, snapping a streak of six winless starts at Progressive Field. The left-hander, who struck out five and walked four, hadn’t won at home since he pitched six innings in his major league debut against Miami on April 23.
BLUE JES 7, RED SOX 3
Davis Schneider homered in his first major league at-bat and Toronto tied his season high with five home runs to beat Boston.
Whit Merrifield, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Daulton Varsho and Matt Chapman also helped the Blue Jays increase their lead over Boston for the third and final AL wild card.
Toronto starter Alek Manoah (3-8) pitched 6 2-3 innings. He allowed three runs and struck out five.
Blue Jays’ Daulton Varsho (right) celebrates his solo home run off George Springer
RANGERS 6, MARLINS 2
Adolis Garcia hit two drastically different solo homers, Corey Seager also connected deep and newly acquired lefty Jordan Montgomery worked into the seventh inning to help Texas beat Miami.
Garcia put the Rangers ahead to stay when he went the wrong way with a high 334-foot home run just inside the right field post for a 3-2 lead in the third. In the sixth, the slugger known as ‘El Bombi’ hit a 433-foot drive that landed in the second deck of seats above the visitors’ bullpen in left center.
Montgomery struck out six, walked one and allowed two runs before giving up two batters in the seventh.
CUFFLINKS 3, DIAMONDS 2
Michael A. Taylor homered to lead off the seventh inning, the third solo home run of the game for Minnesota in their win over Arizona.
Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler went deep against Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly, who otherwise went through six innings with nine strikeouts.
Taylor greeted Scott McGough (1-7) with a drive from the opposite field with a fastball on a 1-2 count to the fielders over the limestone facade beyond right field that put the Twins in front.
Michael A. Taylor of the Twins hits a home run against the Diamondbacks to give his team the lead
PIRATES 8, BREWERS 4
Alfonso Rivas had a three-run home run and a triple among his three hits, leading Pittsburgh past Milwaukee.
Rivas was playing his second game with the Pirates since being acquired from San Diego on Tuesday.
Bryan Reynolds also went 3-for-5 with a home run, and Henry Davis and Josh Palacios also went deep for the Pirates. Palacios and Reynolds hit back-to-back home runs off Bryse Wilson in the sixth inning to extend Pittsburgh’s lead to 8-3.
ROCKS 9, CARDINALS 4
Nolan Jones had four hits and three RBIs as Colorado beat St. Louis in a last-place matchup of clubs.
Elias Diaz had two hits and two RBIs as Colorado won for the third time in nine games. The Rockies finished with 15 hits.
Nolan Gorman hit two solo home runs for St. Louis, which has lost six of eight.