NEW YORK -- Defensive replacement Jake Marisnick made a perfect throw from left field to nail Jacoby Ellsbury at the plate for the final out and the Houston Astros held off the New York Yankees 3-2 on Thursday night in a matchup between teams with the best records in baseball.
Unbeaten Dallas Keuchel (6-0) became the first six-game winner in the majors, helped by a home run from Carlos Correa. The Astros won their fourth in a row and improved to 24-11 -- their top mark after 35 games since the franchise began playing in 1962.
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Ken Giles wound up with his 10th save in 11 tries, saved by Marisnick.
Ellsbury's single with two outs in the ninth inning put runners at the corners, and then the fleet leadoff hitter stole second. Gary Sanchez followed with a sharp RBI single to left and Marisnick, who came into the game in the seventh, fired a strike to catcher Brian McCann to get the sliding Ellsbury (see full recap).
Betts' 3-run bomb in ninth gives Red Sox win over Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- Mookie Betts' three-run home run in the ninth inning Thursday lifted the Boston Red Sox to a 4-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
It was Betts' fifth homer of the season and third in his last four games, and helped Boston salvage one win in the three-game series in the Red Sox's first trip to Milwaukee since 2003.
Boston's right fielder enjoyed his time at Miller Park, as he went 7 for 11 with eight runs batted in and five runs scored.
Milwaukee closer Neftali Feliz (0-4) came on in the ninth, but managed to get only one out. Red Sox pitcher Craig Kimbrel (2-0) got the final five outs as Boston snapped the Brewers' three-game winning streak (see full recap).
Vargas lowers ERA to league-best 1.01 in win
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Major league ERA leader Jason Vargas went seven more scoreless innings, Salvador Perez had a two-run double during a five-run eighth inning and the Kansas City Royals beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-0 on Thursday.
Vargas (5-1) scattered three hits and dropped his ERA from 1.19 to 1.01.
Jorge Bonifacio hit an RBI single off Diego Moreno in the decisive eighth before Whit Merrifield had a run-scoring single and then circled the bases when center fielder Kevin Kiermaier misplayed the hit for a three-base error.
Merrifield also homered for the Royals, who won three of four against the Rays. Kansas City had lost 13 of 16 entering the series.
Jake Odorizzi (2-2) gave up one run and four hits in six innings for the Rays. He had allowed three hits or fewer in each of his previous four starts (see full recap).