Astros win again, A-Rod says farewell in style


The Houston Astros won a fourth consecutive MLB game on Friday, while Alex Rodriguez said goodbye to Yankee Stadium in style. 

Coming off a double-header sweep of the Minnesota Twins on Thursday - where they scored 25 runs - the Astros' bats cooled, but they still got the better of the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 to keep their post-season hopes alive.

Rodriguez - more commonly known as A-Rod - had an RBI double, played a short stint at third base, and collected numerous ovations from the sell-out crowd as he said goodbye to the Yankees faithful in a 6-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. 

Hanley Ramirez put in a man-of-the-match performance as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-4, the Chicago Cubs kept up their winning run with a 13-2 victory over the St Louis Cardinals, and a clinical fifth inning helped the Atlanta Braves to a 8-5 win against the Washington Nationals. 

The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Colorado Rockies 10-6, the San Diego Padres beat the New York Mets 8-6, the Chicago White Sox got the better of the Miami Marlins 4-2, and the Cleveland Indians thrashed the Los Angeles Angels 13-3. 

The Cincinnati Reds were too good for the Milwaukee Brewers 7-4, the Kansas City Royals defeated the Twins 7-3 and a strong start helped the Oakland Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 6-3.

The Baltimore Orioles got the better of the San Francisco Giants 5-2, the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1, and the Texas Rangers held off a Detroit Tigers fightback in an 8-5 win. 



After going down in apparent agonising pain after a collision at first base, Hanley Ramirez hit a three-run homer in the first inning against the Diamondbacks. Then he hit another three-run dinger in the second, before he finished with only those two hits in four at-bats, but that was all the offense the Red Sox needed.



Thanks for the memories, A-Rod. Barring a shock move to another team, this is the final hit of his 22-season MLB career.



The Cubs blasted five home runs en route to their 11th straight victory after a shellacking of the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. It is the Cubs longest winning streak since a 12-game run in 2001.



This is an important series for both teams. The Rangers are trying to hold off the red-hot Mariners in the American League (AL) West. The Tigers are solidly in contention for a wildcard spot, if not the AL East championship. The Tigers face a tough matchup against Cole Hamels (12-3, 2.89 ERA) on Friday. The Tigers will counter with left-hander Matt Boyd (3-2, 4.69 ERA), who got hammered in several outings in June, but has been solid since the All-Star break, with a 2.76 ERA in his last six appearances.