Jake Arrieta was back to his best for the Chicago Cubs as he shut out the Oakland Athletics in a 4-0 win for the visiting side in MLB on Saturday.
The reigning Cy Young Award winner was winless in July but started August with a bang as he returned to the winners' list, while Ben Zobrist hit a two-run single to get the ball rolling in the third inning.
The Cubs boast the best record in the major leagues and top the National League (NL), while things are much closer in the American League (AL) where the Baltimore Orioles remain top of the East Division despite their 4-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox, after the Toronto Blue Jays lost by the same scoreline against the Kansas City Royals.
The Boston Red Sox had a rare bad day with the bat as they were shutout 3-0 by Ross Stripling and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who allowed just two hits and one walk.
Elsewhere, the San Francisco Giants were a class above the Washington Nationals as they went down 7-1 as Stephen Strasburg pitched his shortest start of the year for Washington, conceding eight hits in just 4.2 innings.
The Tampa Bay Rays were 7-3 winners over the Minnesota Twins, the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 and the Detroit Tigers edged the New York Mets in a 6-5 thriller.
The Houston Astros went down 3-2 against the Texas Rangers, the New York Yankees also suffered a defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Indians' 5-2 effort and the San Diego Padres knocked off the Philadelphia Phillies 9-7.
Elsewhere, there were runs galore as the Atlanta Braves put in one of their best performances of the season in their 13-5 rout of the St Louis Cardinals, while the Colorado Rockies doubled the Miami Marlins' score in their 12-6 win and the Milwaukee Brewers went even better than that as they drubbed the Arizona Diamondbacks 15-6.
In Saturday's late game, the Los Angeles Angels beat the Seattle Mariners 8-6.
ARRIETA ARRESTS SLUMP
Cubs ace Arrieta tossed eight scoreless innings with four strikeouts to beat the Athletics and improve to 13-5 for the season. It was Arrieta's first win since June 27. Arrieta now has seven scoreless starts of eight-plus innings pitched in the past two seasons. Only Clayton Kershaw has more with 10.
BIG PAPI GLOVES
David Ortiz did not have the best day with the bat, but he can still get it done with his glove, too.
Big Papi making sparkling plays at first.-- MLB (@MLB) August 6, 2016
... What year is it? https://t.co/ksR8oIQ3xP
THOMPSON BRINGS UP 2000 PHILLIES
Starting pitcher Jake Thompson became the 2,000th player to wear a Phillies uniform in franchise history on Saturday when he made his Philadelphia debut after being called up from Triple-A.
Meanwhile, Corey Kluber struck out eight batters and gave up just two runs to help the Indians topple the Yankees. What is more, Andrew Miller recorded his first save with his new team -- his 10th of the season -- and it came against his former team.
TIGERS TAKE ON METS
Detroit, who have won 10 out of their last 11 games, will send Anibal Sanchez (6-11, 6.26 ERA) to the mound to face off against Jacob deGrom (7-5, 2.41 ERA) on Sunday. Sanchez did pitch well during his last start, allowing just one earned run in six innings. The Mets' deGrom has three scoreless starts in his last four outings.