Balk call hands vic­tory to Dodgers vs. Rangers with 1-0

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Texas re­liever Keone Kela was called for a balk with two outs in the ninth in­ning to turn a score­less game into a 1-0 vic­tory for the Los An­ge­les Dodgers on Thurs­day, with pinch-run­ner Kike Her­nan­dez given credit for in­duc­ing the game-end­ing mis­take by the young Rangers pitcher.

The vic­tory main­tained the Dodger’s 2-1/2 game lead in the Na­tional League West stand­ings, while in the NL East, the lead­ing New York Mets were beaten by Toronto and for­mer Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey but main­tained their nar­row lead as Washington was de­feated by Tampa Bay and lost star slug­ger Bryce Harper to a leg in­jury.

The NL Cen­tral leader, and over­all top team in the ma­jors, St. Louis was beaten when Min­nesota’s Ken­nys Var­gas came up with a home run with two outs in the bot­tom of the ninth in­ning.

Texas’ Kela (4-4) walked two Dodgers to open the ninth in­ning, but the score­less stale­mate looked like con­tin­u­ing when first base­man Mitch More­land seized on a grounder by Al­berto Cal­laspo and turned a dou­ble play.

Her­nan­dez was brought on to pinch-run and start­ing ad­vanc­ing down the third-base line to­ward home plate. It mo­men­tar­ily dis­tracted Kela, and a slight move­ment of the shoul­ders was enough for the um­pires to call a balk, and Her­nan­dez trot­ted into the plate to be mobbed by team­mates.

Toronto’s R.A. Dickey pitched into the eighth in­ning to earn the win against his for­mer team, steer­ing the Blue Jays to a 7-1 vic­tory over the New York Mets.

Dickey (3-6) al­lowed one run for his first vic­tory in a month. The knuck­le­baller, who won the NL Cy Young award with the Mets in 2012, didn’t give up a hit un­til the fifth.

Dickey, 40, beat New York’s 42-year-old Bar­tolo Colon in the first matchup be­tween two start­ing pitch­ers in their 40s since 2008, when Philadelphia’s Jamie Moyer (45) beat San Diego’s Greg Mad­dux (42).

Chris Co­la­bello hit a solo homer for Toronto, which is 13-3 in June.

Washington star Bryce Harper ex­ited early af­ter hurt­ing his left leg while tak­ing an awk­ward tum­ble mak­ing a throw, and the Na­tion­als lost 5-3 to Tampa Bay.

There was no an­nounce­ment by the Na­tion­als dur­ing the game on Harper’s in­jury. The All- Star right fielder slipped and fell on the wet grass while try­ing to throw home in the sixth in­ning. Harper held his left leg while down on the ground and then gingerly walked off the field.

Harper’s throw went wildly into the dugout dur­ing a four-run in­ning for Tampa Bay.

Min­nesota’s Ken­nys Var­gas ended a bat­ting slump in dra­mat- ic style as he hit a solo home run with two outs in the bot­tom of the ninth in­ning to give the Twins a 2-1 win against St. Louis.

Var­gas, who had been strug­gling since be­ing called up from the mi­nors, con­tin­ued his bad run when he grounded into two dou­ble plays, ru­in­ing a bases­loaded rally on one of those in the sev­enth in­ning. He more than made up for that with his game- end­ing drive off a slow curve­ball from Car­los Vil­lanueva ( 3- 2).

Hous­ton’s Pre­ston Tucker home­red and drove in three runs as the Astros beat Colorado 8-4 to notch a fifth-straight win.

Domingo San­tana got his first ma­jor league home run as the Astros swept the four-game, home­and-home se­ries with the reel­ing Rock­ies. The Astros hit six homers in two games at Coors Field, rais­ing their AL-lead­ing to­tal to 97.

Rock­ies pitch­ers struck out 17 times at the plate, a Colorado record for a nine-in­ning game.

Pittsburgh ex­tended its win­ning streak to a sea­son- high eight games by edg­ing the Chicago White Sox 3-2, with Ger­rit Cole be­com­ing the ma­jors’ first 11-game win­ner this sea­son.

Cole (11-2) al­lowed three hits in seven in­nings, and has won each of his past six starts while giv­ing up two runs or less in each. Mark Me­lan­con pitched the ninth for his 23rd save.

Chicago has dropped a sea­son- high seven games.

Cleve­land rookie Gio­vanny Ur­shela’s sev­enth- in­ning sin­gle drove in the go-ahead run to lift the In­di­ans past the Chicago Cubs 4-3.

Kyle Sch­war­ber hit his first ma­jor league home run for the Cubs, a two-run blast off Danny Salazar in the fifth that had tied the game 3-3.

The In­di­ans bounced back from Wed­nes­day’s 17-0 loss and sur­vived another big night from Sch­war­ber, who had two hits and is 6 for 10 with four RBIs in three games since be­ing called up from the mi­nors.

Los An­ge­les’ C.J. Wil­son struck out a sea­son-high nine in his sec­ond straight strong out­ing, steer­ing the An­gels to a 7-1 against Ari­zona.

Wil­son ( 5- 5), af­ter throw­ing seven score­less in­nings in his pre­vi­ous start, gave up one run and no walks in eight in­nings.

Tay­lor Feather­ston hit his first ma­jor league home run for the An­gels.

San Fran­cisco’s Ryan Vo­gel­song and three re­liev­ers com­bined to beat Seat­tle 7-0, giv­ing the Giants a ma­jor league-lead­ing 11th shutout.

New York’s Alex Ro­driguez moved within one hit of 3,000 as he got two sin­gles in the Yan­kees’ 9-4 vic­tory over Mi­ami.

San Diego’s Pat Mur­phy got his first win as the Padres new man­ager while Derek Nor­ris home­red against his for­mer team in a 3-1 win against Oak­land.

Kansas City’s Al­cides Es­co­bar had three hits and scored twice as the Roy­als beat Mil­wau­kee 3-2.

Bos­ton’s Clay Buch­holz pitched seven strong in­nings as the Red Sox ended a run of seven straight road losses by beat­ing At­lanta 5-2.

Philadelphia snapped a ninegame los­ing skid by edg­ing Bal­ti­more 2-1, with Ryan Howard hit­ting a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth in­ning.


Los An­ge­les Dodgers short­stop Jimmy Rollins, right, throws out Texas Rangers’ Joey Gallo at first as Howie Ken­drick ducks dur­ing the sixth in­ning of a base­ball game, in Los An­ge­les on Thurs­day, June 18.

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