Aoki moves within two hits of career milestone

Outfielder Norichika Aoki went 1-for-3 Thursday to move within two hits of the 2,000 career-hit milestone as the Houston Astros beat the Kansas City Royals 6-1.

Aoki singled off Royals starter and 15-game winner Jason Hammel in the sixth for his 1,998th career hit, including his long stint with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows (2004-11), then came around to score on a balk for the Astros’ first run.

“I was just hoping (in the batter’s box) we can get one run,” Aoki said. “I’m glad we won in the end.

He added: “I just have two hits to go (for the milestone), and I hope to do it sooner rather than later. I’ll keep on doing my best.”

Lance McCullers took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Jose Altuve hit a two-run homer in a five-run ninth.

Altuve’s ninth home run came off Kelvin Herrera (1-2) with Josh Reddick, who walked on four pitches to lead off the inning, aboard. Herrera has yielded seven home runs in 24⅓ innings after giving up only six in 72 innings last season.

Herrera retired only one of the five batters he faced and was charged with four runs, three hits and a walk. The inning also included a two-run single by Jake Marisnick.

Lorenzo Cain’s one-out triple in the seventh ended McCuller’s no-hit bid. Cain drilled a 3-0 pitch to center. He scored on Mike Moustakas’ two-out single to tie the score.

McCullers walked Jorge Bonifacio with one out in the first, and Alcides Escobar in the sixth for the only base runners Kansas City had before Cain’s triple.

Will Harris (2-1) got the win, allowing one hit in one inning.

Royals starter Jason Hammel allowed one run and four hits over seven innings. He walked none and struck out four.

Yankees 9, Red Sox 1

In New York, Gary Sanchez homered twice to drive in five runs and the Yankees pounded David Price again a night after the Boston ace had an angry exchange with a reporter.

Michael Pineda (7-3) rebounded from a rough outing with seven brilliant innings, and New York took two of three from its archrival in their first series at Yankee Stadium this season.

On the strength of stingy starts by CC Sabathia and Pineda, the Yankees outscored Boston 17-1 in the final two games and increased their AL East lead to three games over the second-place Red Sox.

Making his third appearance this season since recovering from a strained left elbow, Price (1-1) was tagged for six runs, eight hits and four walks in five innings. He served up both of Sanchez’s homers, a three-run shot in the third and a two-run drive in the fifth.

Minutes after Wednesday night’s game, Price got into a heated argument with a Red Sox beat writer just outside the team’s clubhouse. According to reports, Price cursed at the reporter and then two others when they asked to interview him.

Rockies 4, Cubs 1

In Chicago, Tyler Chatwood pitched four-hit ball over six innings, DJ LeMahieu hit a three-run homer and Colorado beat the Cubs for its season-high fifth straight win.

The NL West leaders got all their runs in the second inning after Jon Lester (3-4) struck out the first two batters. LeMahieu’s drive to right made it 4-1.

Lester lost at Wrigley Field for the first time in nearly 13 months, while Chicago dropped its second straight after winning a season-high five in a row. The Cubs did that hours after Major League Baseball said it is looking into a domestic violence accusation against shortstop Addison Russell.

Chatwood (6-7) shut down Chicago after giving up a solo homer to Kris Bryant in the first. He also singled and scored.

Greg Holland picked up his major league-leading 22nd save in as many chances with a scoreless ninth.

Giants 9, Brewers 5 (10)

In Milwaukee, Hunter Pence’s RBI single opened the scoring in a four-run 10th inning, and San Francisco overcame a rough outing by closer Mark Melancon for a wild victory.

Denard Span added an RBI double in the 10th off Brewers reliever Jacob Barnes (1-1), who gave up five hits and four runs without retiring a batter.

The Giants rallied after Melancon blew a two-run lead in the ninth. Eric Sogard led off the ninth with a homer, and Travis Shaw’s RBI single three batters later tied it at 5-5 with no outs before Melancon got the next three hitters.

Melancon (1-1) ended up with the win in spite of giving up three runs and two hits.

Diamondbacks 15, Padres 3

In Phoenix, Chris Iannetta drove in a career-high seven runs with a home run and a pair of doubles, and Arizona routed San Diego to finish a three-game sweep.

Iannetta hit a go-ahead, two-run homer off Clayton Richard (4-7) to give the visitors a 4-3 lead in the fifth, a three-run double against Kevin Quackenbush in the sixth and a two-run double off Brandon Maurer in the eighth. Six of Iannetta’s eight home runs this season have tied the score or put the Diamondbacks ahead.

Arizona scored 10 runs with two outs, won its ninth straight at Chase Field and improved the best home record in the major leagues to 24-8.

Patrick Corbin (5-6) improved to 5-0 in six home starts, allowing three runs and eight hits in 5⅔ innings with eight strikeouts and three walks.

Marlins 7, Pirates 1

In Pittsburgh, Edinson Volquez followed his no-hitter by pitching seven scoreless innings and Miami routed the Pirates.

Volquez (3-7) allowed three hits, struck out eight and walked two while winning his third straight start. He helped the Marlins win for the ninth time in 12 games and raised his career record to 4-0 against Pittsburgh, the team he pitched for in 2013.

Gerrit Cole (3-6) was tagged for seven runs and 11 hits in 4⅔ innings.

Nationals 6, Orioles 1

In Washington, Joe Ross had a career-high 12 strikeouts in a sparkling performance, and the Nationals breezed past Baltimore.

Stephen Drew homered into the second deck in right field and Trea Turner had three hits and a career-best three stolen bases for Washington, which took control with a four-run first inning against Alec Asher (2-4).

Ross (3-2) gave up one run and four hits over 7⅓ innings. The right-hander fanned six straight at one point, twice struck out the side, walked none and carried a two-hit shutout into the seventh.

The game was a makeup of a rainout on May 11, and it was painfully apparent that neither team was happy about giving up an off day to participate in the delayed finale of the so-called Beltway Series.

Reds 5, Cardinals 2

In Cincinnati, Joey Votto had a two-run homer among his four hits, Adam Duvall had three hits off Mike Leake and the hosts completed a four-game sweep.

The Reds hadn’t swept the Cardinals in four games since 2003 in Cincinnati, during the first season at Great American Ball Park. St. Louis has lost seven in a row overall for the first time since 2013.

Scott Feldman (5-4) limited the Cardinals’ slumping lineup to four singles in seven shutout innings. Matt Carpenter hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Austin Brice. Raisel Iglesias got his 12th save.

Twins 2, Mariners 1

In Seattle, Kyle Gibson (3-4) pitched one-run ball into the seventh inning and Minnesota took advantage of two errors on one play by Robinson Cano in a win over the Mariners.

With two out in the fifth inning and a runner on second, Cano misplayed Joe Mauer’s slow grounder. He compounded the mistake by trying to catch Ehire Adrianza at third base, but Cano’s throw was low, skipped past Kyle Seager and allowed Adrianza to score.

A day after giving up a game-winning home run in the ninth, Minnesota closer Brandon Kintzler got the final three outs for his 16th save.

Jason Castro homered off Seattle starter Christian Bergman (3-3) in the fourth, but was the only major mistake made by the right-hander.

Rays 7, White Sox 5

In St. Petersburg, Florida, Derek Norris homered in consecutive innings and Jake Odorizzi (4-3) pitched into the seventh, leading Tampa Bay over Chicago.

The White Sox, who have lost seven of eight, came back from a 6-0 deficit. They got the potential tying run to third base with one out in the eighth before Alex Colome came in for a four-out save, his 17th of the season.

Chicago starter Derek Holland (4-6) gave up six runs and nine hits in 4⅔ innings.

Angels 11, Tigers 4

In Detroit, Albert Pujols hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly to cap a four-run fifth inning and Los Angeles added six runs in the seventh to rout the Tigers.

JC Ramirez (6-4) gave up four runs — allowing the Tigers to take an early 4-1 lead — and 10 hits over five innings.

Michael Fulmer (6-4) allowed five runs and nine hits over 4⅓ innings.

Detroit relievers Arcenio Leon and Daniel Stumpf combined to give up six runs to let the Angels pull away and win the three-game series.

Braves 3, Phillies 1

In Atlanta, R.A. Dickey allowed only three hits in seven innings to earn his first win in five weeks and lead the Braves over rookie Ben Lively (1-1) and Philadelphia.

The 42-year-old Dickey (4-4) set a season high with eight strikeouts. The knuckleballer gave up no walks for the first time this season. He allowed one run in his first victory since May 2 against the Mets.

Jim Johnson pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save.

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