Home Run Derby favourites Stanton, Judge tune up for potential showdown
Home Run Derby favourites Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge put on a show in MLB on Wednesday.
Stanton blasted a pair of home runs in his first two at-bats of the Miami Marlins' 9-6 win over the St Louis Cardinals.
Justin Bour, who will also participate in Monday's Derby, also went deep with a solo shot in the ninth inning.
Judge hit his MLB-leading 29th homer, but his New York Yankees were edged by the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6.
Another Derby participant, Mike Moustakas, also homered as the Kansas City Royals claimed a 10-inning, 9-6 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Elsewhere, the Chicago Cubs beat the Tampa Bay Rays 7-3, the Oakland Athletics got the better of the Chicago White Sox 7-4 and the Pittsburgh Pirates had a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
The San Diego Padres overcame the Cleveland Indians 6-2, the San Francisco Giants edged the Detroit Tigers 5-4, the Milwaukee Brewers shut out the Baltimore Orioles 4-0 and the Houston Astros crushed the Atlanta Braves 10-4.
The Texas Rangers beat the Boston Red Sox 8-2, the Los Angeles Angels edged the Minnesota Twins 2-1, the Colorado Rockies overcame the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 and the Los Angeles Dodgers shut out the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0.
The Washington Nationals-New York Mets clash was postponed due to rain.
Padres outfielder Jose Pirela was San Diego's designated hitter in Cleveland and the leadoff man did his part with three hits, including an RBI triple in the fifth inning of the victory at Progressive Field.
GRAY GOES DEEP
Colorado leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon may have 19 homers this season and will participate in Monday's Home Run Derby, but it was pitcher Jon Gray who hit the longest homer by a Rockies player in 2017. Gray smashed a 467-foot homer in the second inning of Colorado's win over the Reds. It was the longest home run hit by any MLB pitcher since 2015.
The rough 2017 season continued for White Sox pitcher Mike Pelfrey, who was yanked after just 3.1 innings in Oakland. Pelfrey gave up four runs on five hits, including a leadoff double by A's outfielder Matt Joyce and Jaycob Brugman's fourth-inning homer that chased Pelfrey. The 33-year-old right-hander is now 3-7 this year with a 4.46 ERA in his first season with the Sox.
BREWERS AT CUBS
The Cubs (42-42) will try to gain a game on the first-placed Brewers (47-40), who are coming off a sweep of the Orioles and have won six of their last seven. The Brewers hold a 3.5-game lead on the Cubs in the National League (NL) Central and will try to increase that with Zach Davies (9-4, 5.03 ERA) on the mound as the Cubs counter with Mike Montgomery (1-5, 2.80). The Brewers are the only team in the NL Central above .500, but the Cubs can join them with a win.