Cease pitches another gem in White Sox win, Burnes strikes out 14 for the Brewers
The Chicago White Sox dominated with bat and ball on Thursday as they hammered the Oakland Athletics 14-2.
AL Cy Young Award co-favourite Dylan Cease was on the mound for the White Sox and was at his dominant best, keeping the Athletics scoreless through the first six innings as he racked up nine strikeouts while giving up just three hits and two walks.
His six shut-out innings lowered his ERA for the season to 2.06, trailing only Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander, but with Verlander currently out injured, Cease has now made four more starts, and could pull away in the race for the league's best pitcher if his rival cannot return soon.
On offense, it was clearly the best game in the season for White Sox third-baseman Yoan Moncada as he went five-for-six at the plate. He had home runs in each of his first two at-bats, before following them with a single, a double and another single, getting out for the first time in the ninth inning.
Second-baseman Romy Gonzalez also proved to be a tough out, with his first four at-bats resulting in two singles, a double and a home run on his way to finishing four-for-five at the dish.
Seby Zavala, Elvis Andrus, Jose Abreu and A.J. Pollock also finished with multiple hits as the White Sox racked up 21 as a team, while the Athletics could only muster six.
With the win, the White Sox are now one-and-a-half games behind the Cleveland Guardians for the lead in the AL Central.
Molina turns back the clock in Cardinals loss
Future Hall-of-Fame catcher Yadier Molina hit two home runs in the St Louis Cardinals' 11-6 home loss to the Washington Nationals – doubling his total for the season.
Molina only had two home runs from 219 at-bats heading into the contest, but went two-for-four at the plate, hooking two balls over the left-field wall.
But the Cardinals pitching staff could not keep the Nationals off the board, with six Washington players collecting at least two hits each, led by the ninth batter in their lineup, Alex Call. Call finished four-for-five at the plate, including a home run and a double as he drove in five runs.
Burnes burns the Giants
Milwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes had his way with the San Francisco Giants as he carried his side to a 2-1 victory in the first leg of Thursday's double-header.
Burnes pitched eight of the nine innings, allowing just three hits and no walks, while striking out 14 batters. It is the ninth time Burnes has struck out at least 10 batters in a game this season, and while it is a season-high, he finished one off his career-high of 15.
Back-to-back doubles in the fourth inning was the source of all Milwaukee's runs, with Christian Yelich bringing home Jace Peterson, before Yelich scored on a Hunter Renfroe hit.