Heston, Crawford spark Giants win
SAN FRANCISCO — Brandon Crawford is hearing about his home run distances approaching Barry Bonds territory.
He just chuckles.
Crawford hit a two-run homer an estimated 424 feet to help rookie Chris Heston win his fifth consecutive decision, and the San Francisco Giants beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2 Monday night for their sixth straight victory.
"He hit where the big boys hit 'em," manager Bruce Bochy said of the fourth-inning drive to right-center on a 3-0 pitch. "You've got to get all of it to get it go there."
Heston (11-5) allowed two runs and five hits over seven innings as the defending World Series champions moved a season-high 11 games over .500 with their seventh home victory in a row and 12th in 13 overall.
Milwaukee outfielder Carlos Gomez was ejected in the ninth after tossing his helmet following a replay reversal of what had been a stolen base. He later threw a batting glove.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell came out to argue and also got tossed, his first career ejection as a player or manager.
"I never looked at the umpires," Gomez said. "I never argue pitches or any calls. I was just frustrated, and they throw you out."
Pinch-hitter Gregor Blanco had an RBI double in the seventh and Brandon Belt added a sacrifice fly to back Heston, who won his third straight start. He induced inning-ending double plays in the first, third and fifth to take a share of the major league lead (22) with Minnesota's Kyle Gibson and Mike Pelfrey.
Crawford, the shortstop, said Heston's quick tempo "keeps us on our toes."
"We had guys on base and they were able to get the double plays," Counsell said. "We couldn't get that next hit."
San Francisco is 9-1 since the All-Star break and pulled within a half-game of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West. It's the closest the Giants have been since June 29.
Crawford hit his team-leading 15th home run.
"I'm sure Buster will catch me sometime soon," he joked of teammate Buster Posey, who has 14.
Milwaukee slugger Ryan Braun was a late scratch because of lower back tightness, forcing Counsell to shuffle his lineup shortly before game time.
Brewers starter Kyle Lohse (5-12) hung in there through 6 2-3 innings. He allowed four runs and five hits, walked three and didn't have a strikeout while losing his second straight start and dropping to 0-3 over his past four.
Matt Duffy had three more hits for the Giants, a day after hitting a two-run homer and driving in three runs. Sergio Romo pitched the ninth for his second save as manager Bruce Bochy stayed away from closer Santiago Casilla as planned after a long Sunday outing for his career-high 26th save.
Giants left fielder Nori Aoki returned from a broken right leg to face his former team, batting eighth as Bochy stuck with a lineup that has been working so well with Angel Pagan leading off.
Aoki received a warm ovation during pregame introductions after mingling with former teammates, who offered him plenty of hugs and handshakes. He went 0 for 3.
At last, the Giants have nearly the healthy roster they expected leaving spring training.
"We've been playing good baseball," Crawford said. "This is kind of what we were looking for."
Jonathan Lucroy hit an RBI double for the Brewers, who dropped their third straight and fifth in six games.
San Francisco is 12-1 in a stretch of 21 straight games against losing teams.
YANKEES 6, RANGERS 2
ARLINGTON, Texas — Alex Rodriguez homered on his 40th birthday, helping the New York Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 on Monday night.
Rodriguez's solo drive in the sixth off Matt Harrison (1-2) made him only the fourth player in major league history to homer both as a teenager and in his 40s, according to STATS, joining Ty Cobb, Rusty Staub and Gary Sheffield.
It was Rodriguez's 24th homer this season and 678th of his career, and it came two days after he went deep three times against Minnesota, in his previous game.
New York right-hander Ivan Nova (3-3) allowed two runs in five innings.
CUBS 9, ROCKIES 8
CHICAGO — Kris Bryant's two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning lifted the Cubs to the win.
Colorado had taken an 8-7 lead in the top of the ninth on a two-run drive by Carlos Gonzalez for his second homer of the game. But Bryant drove the second pitch he saw from John Axford (3-4) over the wall in left-center to snap a three-game skid for Chicago.
Rafael Soriano (1-0) got the win.
Gonzalez had four hits and four RBIs for the Rockies. The slugger is batting .459 with 10 homers and 23 RBIs in his last 15 games.
WHITE SOX 10, RED SOX 8
BOSTON — Adam Eaton had three hits and two RBIs, and the White Sox earned their fifth consecutive win.
Eaton had a triple, double and single to key Chicago's 15-hit night. Matt Albers (1-0) got five outs for the win, and David Robertson pitched the ninth for his 22nd save.
Boston's David Ortiz homered for the third time in two games, hitting a two-run shot after a career-best, seven-RBI night that included two three-run homers in a win Sunday.
Mookie Betts added three hits and two RBIs for the Red Sox, who have dropped 10 of 12. Robbie Ross Jr. (0-1) got the loss.
ROYALS 9, INDIANS 4
CLEVELAND — Eric Hosmer drove in four runs, Kendrys Morales added three RBIs and the Royals opened a 10-game road trip with a victory over the spiraling Indians.
Hosmer connected for a three-run homer in the first inning off rookie Cody Anderson (2-2) as the Royals rolled to their AL-leading 60th win and improved to 15-5 in their last 20 games.
Edinson Volquez (10-5) worked into the seventh inning for Kansas City, which will welcome newly acquired ace Johnny Cueto on Tuesday.
Rookie Francisco Lindor hit a three-run homer and Carlos Santana had a solo shot for the Indians, who have dropped five straight.
CARDINALS 4, REDS 1
ST. LOUIS — Kolten Wong hit a grand slam, powering Lance Lynn and the Cardinals to the victory.
Wong connected on a 3-2 fastball from rookie Raisel Iglesias (1-3) with two outs in the fourth, putting St. Louis ahead 4-1. Wong's second career grand slam easily cleared the right- field wall, landing in the home bullpen.
The Cardinals have won six of seven and lead the NL Central by 6 1/2 games.
Lynn (8-5) allowed five hits in seven innings, improving to 7-3 against the Reds. Trevor Rosenthal earned his 31st save in 33 chances after getting two days off.
Jay Bruce hit a sacrifice fly for the Reds, who have lost seven of 10.
ORIOLES 2, BRAVES 1, 11 INNINGS
BALTIMORE — Matt Wieters homered leading off the 11th inning, sending Baltimore to its third straight victory.
Wieters hit a 1-0 pitch from Luis Avilan (2-4) over the wall in center. It was Wieters' fourth home run, and his teammates celebrated by dousing him with a bucket of water at the plate.
Brad Brach (4-2) worked the 11th for the Orioles, who hadn't won three in a row since late June.
Rookie Adonis Garcia homered for the Braves, who have dropped 11 of 15.
RAYS 5, TIGERS 2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Curt Casali homered twice for Tampa Bay, and Nathan Karns took a one-hit shutout into the seventh inning.
Casali's first homer came on the first pitch of the third inning by Anibal Sanchez, who lost for the first time in nine starts since June 3. Casali added a towering two-run homer, his fifth of the season, off Bruce Rondon in the eighth.
Detroit lost for the seventh time in 10 games.
Consecutive doubles by Steven Souza Jr. and Kevin Kiermaier made it 2-0 in the fourth, and Logan Forsythe had a two-out RBI single off Sanchez (10-8) in the fifth.
Karns (6-5) gave up one run and three hits in six-plus innings, winning six days after a 1-0 victory at Philadelphia in which he hit a home run. Brad Boxberger pitched the ninth for his 25th save.
DIAMONDBACKS 4, MARINERS 3, 10 INNINGS
SEATTLE — Paul Goldschmidt hit his 22nd homer of the season in the first inning and scored the go-ahead run in the 10th on Jake Lamb's sacrifice fly as Arizona beat Seattle.
The Diamondbacks won their third straight despite blowing a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning. They took advantage of control issues by Seattle closer Carson Smith (1-4) in the 10th to regain the lead.
Andrew Chafin pitched the 10th for his second save, striking out Seth Smith for the final out with the tying run at second base.
Arizona was one out from winning in the ninth, but Mike Zunino lined an RBI single on a 0-2 pitch off reliever Oliver Perez (2-1) to score pinch-runner Chris Taylor with the tying run.