In the first rematch of last season's MLB American League Championship Series, Houston Astros starter Charlie Morton turned in another pitching gem to snap the New York Yankees' nine-game winning streak in a 2-1 triumph.
The 34-year-old Morton held the Yankees' big bats hitless through 5.3 innings as reigning World Series champions the Astros prevailed on Monday.
Morton yielded only one run in 7.6 innings of work, striking out 10 and giving up a pair of hits and walks.
It hardly seems fair for a team that already has a rotation blessed with Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr. and a re-energised Gerrit Cole, but Morton is pitching like a staff ace.
He is now 4-0 with a 1.72 ERA. In four of Morton's six starts, he has gone at least six innings and given up one run or less. No wonder the Astros lead the majors in team ERA (2.59).
No one would be surprised to see the Astros (20-10) and Yankees (18-10) meet again in the ALCS, although the Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels and a couple of other teams will be eager to prevent that.
HADER MAKES HISTORY
Milwaukee Brewers reliever Josh Hader struck out eight in 2.6 innings of work (he recorded every out via strikeout) to earn his fourth save in the team's 6-5 win over the Cincinnati Reds. According to MLB Stat of the Day, Hader is the first pitcher to ever record eight strikeouts in an outing under three innings.
Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock hit a pair of solo home runs in an 8-5 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Miami Marlins right-fielder Brian Anderson went three for four with a home run, four RBIs and a pair of runs scored in an 8-4 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
INDIANS WIN BUT PEREZ STRUGGLES
Indians catcher Roberto Perez went hitless in four at-bats, struck out three times and stranded five in Cleveland's 7-5 win over the Texas Rangers.
ANOTHER RED SOX SLAM
Xander Bogaerts hit Boston's sixth grand slam of the season, making the Red Sox the first team since the 1996 Expos to hit that many before May 1. The Red Sox – who defeated the Kansas City Royals 10-6 – did not have a single slam last season.
Cleveland Indians 7-5 Texas Rangers
Chicago Cubs 3-2 Colorado Rockies
Boston Red Sox 10-6 Kansas City Royals
Washington Nationals 3-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 Cincinnati Reds
Miami Marlins 8-4 Philadelphia Phillies
Toronto Blue Jays 7-5 Minnesota Twins
Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros 2-1 New York Yankees
Arizona Diamondbacks 8-5 Los Angeles Dodgers
San Francisco Giants 6-5 San Diego Padres
BRAVES AT METS
New York Mets ace Noah Syndergaard (2-0, 2.86 ERA) faces a hot Atlanta Braves line-up loaded with young stars such as Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. Lefty Sean Newcomb (1-1, 4.23 ERA) gets the ball for the surprising Braves on Tuesday.