Baltimore Sun



Astros, Yankees:

„ Rookie J.J. Matijevic’s pinch-hit RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning lifted the Astros to a 3-2 win over the Yankees on Thursday in Houston in the opener of a day-night doublehead­er between the American League’s top teams. The second game ended too late for this edition. Alex Bregman led off the Astros ninth with a single against Michael King (6-3). Bregman advanced to third on Aledmys Díaz’s double. After Yuli Gurriel struck out, pinch-hitter Yordan Alvarez was walked intentiona­lly to load the bases. King looked as if he might be able to escape the jam after he struck out Chas McCormick, but Matijevic drove in Bregman with an infield single to shortstop. “The bullpen did a great job and boy, that was an exciting win for us and the fans and for J.J.,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “I was happy for J.J.” Baker was impressed by the work of Matijevic and fellow rookie Korey Lee, who drove in a run in the second. “These rookies aren’t afraid,” Baker said. “They can grow up right before your eyes in that situation.” The doublehead­er between the major league-leading Yankees and the Astros was to help make up a series that was postponed because of the lockout. The Astros won the first game of the series on June 30. “It’s definitely news to watch us play each other,” the Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton said. “But at the end of the day, we’ve got to stay ahead of them for home-field (advantage) and every game is important. But there’s obviously a bit more spice on these games.” The Astros carried a 2-1 lead into the ninth. But Aaron Hicks singled against Héctor Neris (3-3) and scored on Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s two-out single, a grounder that rolled just past shortstop Jeremy Peña for the tying hit.

„ Rangers, Marlins: Jon Gray pitched six innings of four-hit ball, Adolis García homered and the Rangers beat the reeling Marlins 8-0. García drove in three runs, helping the Rangers stop a four-game slide in the opener of an 11-game trip. Marcus Semien had two hits and reached base four times. The Marlins lost their fourth straight, and their scoreless streak reached 34 innings. They last scored in the second inning of their 2-1 loss against the Phillies on July 15. The Marlins also tied a club record with their ninth consecutiv­e game without a home run. Marlins teams in 1993 and 2019 had similar droughts. Gray (7-4) struck out five and walked two. Matt Moore, Matt Bush and Dennis Santana each got three outs, finishing the Rangers’ seven-hitter.

„ All-Star Game: Major League Baseball’s Midsummer Classic remains the most-watched all-star game in the major profession­al sports, even though it drew record lows in viewership for the fifth time since 2015. Tuesday night’s game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles averaged 7.51 million viewers on Fox, according to Nielsen, a decline of 9.7% from last year’s contest in Denver. The audience peaked at 8.24 million between 9:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET. The game was the most-watched program on TV on Tuesday night and outdrew the three other major all-star games that were played in February. The NFL’s Pro Bowl averaged 6.69 million on ABC, followed by the all-star games for the NBA (6.28 million on TNT/ TBS) and NHL (1.15 million on ABC). The baseball game averaged 127,000 on Fox Deportes, giving it the second-highest audience for the event in Spanish-language television history. The game also averaged 107,455 on Fox Sports’ streaming platforms. The Home Run Derby on Monday night on ESPN averaged 6.88 million, a 3.5% decrease from last year.

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