Cincinnati: Brett Gardner and Matt Holliday homered and Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka won his fifth consecutive start as the New York Yankees shook off a long game and a short night’s sleep, beating Cincinnati 10-4 in Major League Baseball on Monday for their sixth victory in a row.
The Yankees have the best record in the majors at 21-9 and are 12 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2015 season.
Their biggest challenge was overcoming the fatigue from an 18-inning, 5-4 win at Wrigley Field early on Monday. The Yankees didn’t land in the Cincinnati area until 5:08am, and the sun was up when some of them finally fell asleep. Players sipped caffeinated drinks and yawned in the clubhouse pregame.
Tanaka (5-1) gave them what they needed after their all-nighter, going seven innings on 112 pitches to rest the bullpen. He allowed four runs — Joey Votto drove in three with a single and a homer — while ending the Reds’ five-game winning streak.
Gary Sanchez got New York going with his bases-loaded single in the first off Rookie Davis (1-2), a former Yankees prospect.
Trey Mancini capped a three-homer binge in the first inning against Gio Gonzalez as Baltimore beat Washington for their season-high 6-4 fifth straight victory.
Kevin Gausman (2-3) limited baseball’s most potent offence to two runs over seven innings. He retired the first 10 batters and struck out eight in his longest outing of the year.
Joey Rickard hit a leadoff homer and Mark Trumbo added a solo shot before Mancini connected with a runner on to make it 4-0. The Orioles hold a 37-24 advantage over their neighbouring rivals in the so-called “Beltway Series,” which began in 2006.
Caleb Joseph had a career high-tying four hits for the Orioles. Baltimore (21-10) owns the second-best record in the majors behind the AL East-leading New York Yankees.
Bryce Harper homered and drove in two runs for the Nationals.
After the Orioles let a six-run cushion shrink to three, Brad Brach worked the ninth for his eighth save. After Brach gave up a one-out RBI double to former Oriole Matt Wieters, pinch-runner Trea Turner strayed too far from second base on a ground-out to first and the game ended with a rundown in which Adam Lind was tagged out between third and home.
Gonzalez (3-1) came in with a National League-leading 1.64 ERA for the team with the best record in the NL.
In Toronto, Marcus Stroman pitched six shutout innings and Kevin Pillar made a sensational catch in centrefield as Toronto beat Cleveland 4-2 in a play-off rematch.
Ryan Goins hit a two-run homer and Justin Smoak added a two-run single as the Blue Jays beat the team that eliminated them from last year’s AL Championship Series.
Former Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who signed a $60 million, three-year contract with Cleveland last winter, received a warm welcome and a video tribute in his return to Toronto. Encarnacion got a standing ovation before his first at-bat and went 2 for 3 with a walk.