The Milwaukee Brewers proved again they are a legitimate threat to win the National League (NL) Central after accounting for the Cincinnati Reds 11-3 in MLB.
Jimmy Nelson led the Brewers on Thursday by giving up just two runs with 11 strikeouts in seven innings of work. He improved to 6-4 with a 3.43 ERA on the season, and Milwaukee (42-39) retained a one-game lead over reigning World Series champions the Chicago Cubs.
Jonathan Villar, batting leadoff for the Brewers, belted two solo home runs. The first came in the third inning, then he added another in the fourth.
The Cubs overcame the Washington Nationals 5-4, the Cleveland Indians downed the Texas Rangers 5-1 and the Houston Astros eased past the Oakland Athletics 6-1.
Elsewhere, the Baltimore Orioles shut out the Toronto Blue Jays 2-0, the Boston Red Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 6-3, the Los Angeles Dodgers upstaged city rivals the Los Angeles Angels 6-2, the New York Yankees lost 4-3 to the Chicago White Sox, the Kansas City Royals suffered a 7-3 defeat to the Detroit Tigers, the St Louis Cardinals trumped the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-4, the Pittsburgh Pirates blanked the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0, the New York Mets were 6-3 winners against the Miami Marlins and the San Diego Padres crushed the Atlanta Braves 6-0.
KLUBER, JIMENEZ STAR
Indians ace Corey Kluber tossed eight innings of one-run baseball in a win against the Rangers. Kluber allowed just three hits while striking out 12 batters to improve to 7-2 with a 3.02 ERA for the season. Kluber allowed just six earned runs in 43 innings during the month of June.
Ubaldo Jimenez turned back the clock against the Blue Jays by tossing a rare gem. Jimenez threw eight scoreless innings while striking out eight batters and allowing just two hits. He is still just 3-3 with a 6.48 ERA this season despite the great performance.
WASHINGTON'S WOES COMPOUNDED
Having already lost outfielder Adam Eaton for the season with a torn ACL, Washington suffered another potentially devastating injury in a loss against the Cubs. Shortstop Trea Turner left the game in the ninth inning after getting hit by a pitch. Early reports indicate he fractured his wrist. His timetable for a return is not yet known.
AGE IS JUST A NUMBER
Ichiro Suzuki continues to defy his age. The 43-year-old Marlins outfielder went hitless against the Mets, but he proved he can still play.
ROCKIES AT DIAMONDBACKS
The two NL wildcard holders meet up in a series that promises to provide plenty of offense. Colorado had the day off Thursday, so they should be refreshed and ready for a competitive series. Arizona are fresh off a 10-4 loss against the Cardinals, so they will have to rebound quickly. The Rockies will send Jon Gray (0-0, 4.38 ERA) out to make his first start since April 13. He will face off against breakout star Robbie Ray (8-3, 2.87 ERA).