WASHINGTON (AP) – Kyle Schwarber hit a game-ending homer in the ninth inning, helping the Washington Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 on Friday night after Max Scherzer passed Cy Young on baseball’s career strikeouts list. The lefty-batting Schwarber connected on a 2-1 pitch from left-hander Alex Young (0-3), sending a drive to right that traveled an estimated 463 feet for his first homer for Washington.
Brad Hand (1-0) worked a scoreless ninth for the win. The Nationals allowed just three hits.
Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, struck out the side in the seventh while passing Cy Young to move into 22nd place on baseball’s strikeout list. He finished with 10 on the day, giving him 2,808 for his career.
RAYS 8, YANKEES 2
NEW YORK (AP) – Brandon Lowe hit a two-run double in the first inning off opener Nick Nelson (0-2), and AL champion Tampa Bay kept up its domination of New York, setting off frustrated fans who caused a brief interruption. The young, athletic Rays spurted to an 8-0, seventh-inning lead and beat the Yankees for the 16th time in their last 21 meetings, including during last year’s Division Series. New York walked seven Rays, had just three hits, struck out 14 times, and made three errors that led to three unearned runs.
The game was stopped for about 2 minutes, 15 seconds with Clint Frazier batting in the bottom of the eighth when back a half-dozen balls were thrown on the field from the pandemic-limited crowd of 10,202 on a fantastic, breezy night with a 45-degree temperature at game time. Michael Wacha (1-1) lowered his ERA from 7.00 to 4.20, allowing one hit in six scoreless innings with nine strikeouts and two walks.
PHILLIES 8, CARDINALS 2
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Zach Eflin pitched into the eighth inning, and J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run homer, leading Philadelphia to the victory.
Eflin (1-0) allowed six hits, struck out six, and walked none in seven-plus innings. The lanky right-hander retired 12 straight batters at one point and exited after surrendering a two-run homer to Justin Williams in the eighth.
Cardinals righty Carlos Martinez (0-3) gave up six runs and five hits in five innings.
The Phillies jumped ahead 6-0 in the second with their biggest inning of the season. Nine straight batters reached safely after Martinez got the first out.
BRAVES 5, CUBS 2
CHICAGO (AP) – Kyle Wright plunked four Chicago batters but still left with the lead after a last-minute call-up, and Will Smith stranded the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning for Atlanta.
Wright was recalled from the club’s alternate site to replace Drew Smyly, who was scratched and placed on the 10-day injured list with left forearm inflammation Friday morning. Wright hit four batters, including Javier Báez twice, but limited Chicago to two runs and three hits over 4 1/3 innings. He also doubled for his first career hit.
Four relievers, including winner Josh Tomlin (2-0), kept the Cubs scoreless until Smith entered for the ninth. Atlanta’s closer walked the bases loaded with two outs before striking out Joc Pederson to cap his third save in three tries. Willson Contreras homered off Wright as the Cubs lost their second straight and fifth of six. The first four runs came off Chicago starter Zach Davies (1-2).
MARLINS 4, GIANTS 1
MIAMI (AP) – Starling Marte snapped an eighth-inning tie with a three-run homer, and Miami defeated San Francisco. Jazz Chisholm Jr. also homered for the Marlins. Marte’s shot to left-center field off reliever Wandy Peralta sent Miami to its fifth victory in six games.
Pinch-hitter Jesús Aguilar began the decisive rally with a one-out walk against reliever Matt Wisler (0-2). Corey Dickerson’s single advanced pinch-runner Magneuris Sierra to second.
Anthony Bass (1-2) pitched a perfect eighth, and Yimi García closed with a scoreless ninth for his third save.