Bryant homers twice as the Cubs beat Kershaw, the Dodgers 4-2
Kris Bryant connected twice for his first career multihomer game, helping the Chicago Cubs beat Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 on Monday.
Bryant hit a two-run drive in the third inning and a solo shot in the eighth. Matt Szczur had a solo homer against Kershaw after being promoted from minor league Triple-A Iowa before the game for his fourth stint of the season with Chicago.
The two homers off Kershaw (5-5) ran his total for the year to 11, two more than he allowed all of last season while becoming the NL MVP.
The Cubs got impressive work from five relievers after Tsuyoshi Wada departed in the third due to cramping in his left shoulder. Center fielder Dexter Fowler was replaced in the fifth after he sprained his left ankle.
Kansas City’s Joe Blanton allowed just two hits in six-plus innings and Alcides Escobar had three hits as the Royals beat the Seattle Mariners 4-1.
Blanton (2-0) struck out seven and worked into the seventh inning before being lifted after allowing a leadoff double.
Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland all pitched one inning of relief. Holland earned his 14th save in 15 opportunities.
Escobar had three singles, drove in a run and scored a run. Mike Moustakas had two hits including an RBI double.
Angels slugger Albert Pujols homered twice and Erick Aybar scored the go-ahead run on a safety squeeze by Daniel Robertson in the eighth inning to lead Los Angeles to a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros.
The Angels ( 36- 35) moved within 4 1/2 games of first-place Houston in the AL West. Texas is three games behind the Astros, who have dropped three of four after winning five straight.
Aybar began the winning rally with a leadoff single against Chad Qualls ( 1- 4) and advanced on a wild pitch. One out later, Joe Thatcher walked pinch-hitter Matt Joyce while Aybar stole third.
In came Will Harris, and Robertson bunted up the first base line. Chris Carter charged the ball and made an errant, backhand flip past catcher Jason Castro as Aybar crossed the plate.
The Toronto Blue Jays downed the Tampa Bay Rays 8-5 after Jose Bautista hit his 15th homer during a four-run sixth inning.
Jose Reyes and Dioner Navarro also homered for the Blue Jays, who are 2-6 against Tampa Bay this season.
Bautista’s leadoff shot against Matt Andriese (2-2) broke a 3-all tie. Reliever Ronald Belisario gave up the other three runs in the inning that included an RBI double by Chris Colabello.
In other games, Maikel Franco homered twice, had career highs of four hits and five RBIs and made a fabulous diving play at third base, helping the Philadelphia end a 12-game losing streak away from home with an 11-8 win over New York, the Detroit Tigers downed the Cleveland Indians 8-5 and the Minnesota Twins trounced the Chicago White Sox 13-2.
Houston Astros’ Luis Valbuena, right, pours water on the face of Domingo Santana while celebrating Santana’s home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, California, Monday, June 22.