Toronto catcher Alejandro Kirk tags out Tampa Bay’s Wander Franco who was trying to score from third base on a throw from Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier in the fifth inning Monday night in St. Petersburg, Fla. Steve Nesius/Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jose Siri, Randy Arozaena and Luke Raley homered, and the major league-leading Tampa Bay Rays beat the sliding Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 on Monday night.

Tampa Bay (35-14) leads the major leagues with 94 home runs. The Rays opened a three-game lead over Baltimore in the AL East.

After opener Trevor Kelley pitched two scoreless innings, Josh Fleming (1-0) allowed two runs and five hits over the next six as the Rays improved to 22-4 at home.

The announced crowd at Tropicana Field was a season-low 8,857. Tampa Bay started the day averaging 18,045, 10th in the American League.

Toronto’s Chris Bassitt (5-3) pitched 28 consecutive scoreless inning before the Rays scored three times in the second. He allowed six runs — two earned — and seven hits over 6 1/3 innings.

Whit Merrifield and Daulton Varsho homered for the Blue Jays, who have lost 7 of 8 and dropped 9 1/2 games behind Tampa Bay.


GUARDIANS 3, WHITE SOX 0: Rookie Hunter Gaddis pitched six strong innings for his first major league win and struggling Cleveland catcher Mike Zunino connected for a two-run homer, sending Cleveland over visiting Chicago.

Gaddis (1-1) was recalled from Triple-A Columbus and gave the Guardians a badly needed quality start after they were swept over the weekend in New York, losing all three to the Mets by one run.

The right-hander gave up just two hits, combining with four relievers on a three-hitter and ending Chicago’s modest three-game winning streak.

Zunino, a free-agent signing who has been a target of criticism because he’s not been hitting, hit his third homer — and first since April 28 — in the seventh off Gregory Santos. The shot to right scored rookie Gabriel Arias, who walked with one out.

Sam Hentges, Nick Sandlin and Trevor Stephan combined for two scoreless innings before Emmanuel Clase worked a perfect ninth for his 16th save in 21 chances.
Guardians rookie LHP Logan Allen (1-1, 3.04) starts against Chicago’s Dylan Cease (2-3, 4.79), who lost to Cleveland last week.

TIGERS 8, ROYALS 5: Javier Báez hit a bases-clearing double in the 10th inning for his third hit of the night to lift visiting Detroit over Kansas City.


Matt Vierling had three hits, including a home run, and four RBI for the Tigers.


DIAMONDBACKS 6, PHILLIES 3: Lourdes Gurriel Jr. extending the longest active hitting streak in the majors to 15 games with a homer, double and two RBI as Arizona won at Philadelphia.

Pavin Smith also homered for the Diamondbacks, who have won 8 of 10 and 5 of 7 on their nine-game trip to Oakland, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

REDS 6, CARDINALS 5: Nick Senzel hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning and Cincinnati snapped a four-game losing streak, cooling off visiting St. Louis.

Spencer Steer launched an early two-run homer and scored the winning run for the Reds. Ian Gibaut (4-1) struck out two in a hitless 10th to keep it tied.


Paul DeJong homered and drove in four runs for the Cardinals, who had won 11 of 14 since a 10-24 start.

DODGERS 8, BRAVES 6: Freddie Freeman’s three-run homer in the fifth inning gave Los Angeles the lead, J.D. Martinez had four hits, including two homers, and the Dodgers rallied to win at Atlanta.

The Dodgers, who trailed 4-0 in the first, won the opener of a three-game series between the top two teams in the National League. Freeman, a longtime Braves star, made the most of his second Atlanta homecoming with three hits to join Martinez in leading the comeback.

ROCKIES 5, MARLINS 3: Elías Díaz homered and doubled to drive in two runs and Jurickson Profar doubled twice to extend his on-base streak to 30 games and drive in another pair as Colorado beat visiting Miami.


PIRATES 6, RANGERS 4: Tucupita Marcano hit his first career grand slam, rookie Luis Ortiz pitched into the eighth inning and earned his first major league victory and host Pittsburgh beat AL West-leading Texas.


Ortiz (1-2) allowed two runs and five hits in 7 2/3 innings for the win in his eighth career start, including four this season. The 24-year-old right-hander struck out four and walked two.

ASTROS 12, BREWERS 2: Yordan Alvarez had a grand slam among his two homers and visiting Houston routed Milwaukee for its eighth consecutive victory.

Alvarez hit a solo shot off Corbin Burnes in the fifth inning and capped a five-run outburst in the sixth with a grand slam off Hoby Milner. Alvarez has 12 homers this season.

GIANTS 4, TWINS 1: Michael Conforto hit a three-run homer as San Francisco won at Minneapolis.

San Francisco has won 6 of 7 and at 23-24 is one game under .500 for the first time since the Giants were 5-6.



ATHLETICS: Oakland Athletics broadcaster Glen Kuiper was let go by NBC Sports California after using a racial slur during a telecast while describing a trip to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Kuiper was suspended by the network earlier this month following his slur that aired during a pregame segment of an A’s game against the Kansas City Royals on May 5. Kuiper talked about a trip to the museum with colleague Dallas Braden but seemingly mispronounced the word “negro,” making it sound instead like a slur.

“Following an internal review, the decision has been made for NBC Sports California to end its relationship with Glen Kuiper, effective immediately,” the network said in a statement Monday. “We thank Glen for his dedication to Bay Area baseball over the years.”

A person familiar with the investigation said “the decision was based on a variety of factors, including information uncovered in the internal review.” The person spoke on condition of anonymity and didn’t divulge specific details because the network had not publicly disclosed the results of the investigation.

Kuiper apologized on the air later in that game without getting into specifics, saying he said something that “didn’t come out quite the way I wanted it to.” He later issued a statement through the network when he was suspended, saying: “I could not be more sorry and horrified by what I said. I hope you will accept my sincerest apologies.”

Kuiper has been calling A’s games in the Bay Area for the last 20 years. He is the younger brother of former major leaguer and Giants announcer Duane Kuiper.


OBIT: Rick Hummel, an esteemed writer who covered the St. Louis Cardinals and Major League Baseball for five decades for the Post-Dispatch until his retirement last year, has died. He was 77.

Hummel died in his sleep at his St. Louis-area home early Saturday after a short, aggressive illness, the Post-Dispatch said.

“St Louis lost a legend in Rick Hummel,” Cardinals pitch Adam Wainwright said on Twitter. “Always fair. Always in a good mood. Always wearing some kind of goofy hat and mismatched pants that made me smile. The respect and trust he earned from players is a rare thing in our world. … Still taking hand written notes that are impossible to read, and never misquoting. Still looking for the best in people and writing the truth.”

Hummel was nicknamed “The Commish” for running an American Professional Baseball Association board game with colleagues, and the moniker became so widespread throughout baseball that even baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and Bud Selig called Hummel by the label.

“Rick Hummel was one of the best and most respected baseball writers of his or any era,” Manfred said.

Selig knew Hummel dating to Selig’s time as Milwaukee Brewers owner.


“Baseball will miss Rick,” Selig said, “not only because he was one of the greatest baseball writers of our time, but because he was a wonderful friend, adviser, and clearly a great source of baseball knowledge to so many of us within the game for the last 50 years.”

Hummel was born on Feb. 25, 1946, in Quincy, Illinois. He attended Quincy High School, Quincy College and the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, receiving a journalism degree in 1968.

He worked for the Colorado Springs Free Press/Sun while also serving in the U.S. Army and was hired in 1971 by Bob Broeg, the celebrated former Cardinals beat writer who was sports editor of the Post-Dispatch.

Hummel first started covering baseball in 1973 and was subbing for baseball writer Neal Russo on a trip to Cincinnati when he covered Tom Seaver’s no-hitter on June 16, 1978. Hummel took over as Cardinals beat writer through 2002, then served two decades as the paper’s national baseball writer.

“The 51-year ride, except for a couple of broken windows, has been a smooth one,” Hummel wrote in a farewell column in the Post-Dispatch last November. “I got to cover countless Cardinals playoffs, including three World Series champions, 35 World Series and the past 42 All-Star games, starting and ending in Dodger Stadium. There was the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa home run chase of 1998 and `Whiteyball’ in the mid-1980s when Whitey Herzog’s Cardinals played a different game than any other club in baseball.”

“It is possible, perhaps probable, that I had more bylined articles in the Post-Dispatch — certainly in the sports section — than anyone else who ever has worked there. And, of that, I’m proud.”


Since retiring, he had written several baseball stories during spring training and early this season for The Associated Press.

“I was dragged into the 21st century kicking and screaming,” Hummel wrote last year. “When I broke in here, the newsroom was typewriters, pneumatic tubes and editors yelling, `Copy!'”

Hummel was the 2006 winner of the Hall of Fame’s J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing, which in 2021 was renamed the Baseball Writers’ Association of America Career Excellence Award.

He was selected Missouri Sportswriter of the Year four times by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, was BBWAA president in 1994, was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame. The Cardinals named their media area the Bob Broeg-Rick Hummel Press Box.

He wrote “Tom Seaver’s Scouting Notebook” with Tom Seaver and Bob Nightengale, “The Commish and the Cardinals: The Most Memorable Games, as Covered by Hall of Famer Rick Hummel for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,” “One Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Games Back, and One Final Championship Season” with Tony La Russa and “Get Up, Baby!: My Seven Decades With the St. Louis Cardinals” with Mike Shannon.

Hummel is survived by his wife, Melissa; three children from previous marriages: son Scott Hummel and daughters Christy and Lauren; step-daughter Camilla Grone; and five grandchildren.


RANGERS: Jacob deGrom threw a 32-pitch bullpen session before the Texas Rangers played the Pittsburgh Pirates as the right-hander continues his recovery from elbow inflammation.

“It went really, really well,” Rangers Manager Bruce Bochy said. “He said he feels great and didn’t feel anything at all there.”

DeGrom threw all fastballs. He will add breaking balls to the mix when he throws his next bullpen on Friday, when the Rangers play at Baltimore.

Bochy said no timetable has been established for deGrom’s return, and that the 34-year-old could possibly be added to the active roster without a minor league rehab assignment.

DeGrom has been on the 15-day injured list since April 29. That was a day after he departed early for the second time in his last three starts, and an MRI showed some inflammation.

BREWERS: Eric Lauer went on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to Sunday, with an impingement in his right, non-throwing shoulder.

Lauer, 27, is 4-5 with a 5.48 ERA is season. He allowed six runs and three homers over three innings Saturday in an 8-4 loss at Tampa Bay. He had gone 7-5 with a 3.19 ERA in 2021 and 11-7 with a 3.69 ERA last year.

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