Donaldson knocks grand slam in Yankees' rivalry win over Red Sox, Strider strikes out 12 for Braves

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The New York Yankees' bullpen were terrific down the stretch to deliver a 6-5 win in the first game of their series against heated rivals the Boston Red Sox.

Played at Boston's Fenway Park, the Yankees threatened to blow the Red Sox away in the third inning when Josh Donaldson crushed a 429-foot grand slam to sntach a 4-0 lead. Aaron Hicks then followed it up with his own solo home run from the very next pitch.

But the Red Sox showed fight in the bottom of the third inning, with Rafael Devers connecting on his fifth career home run against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, and his 18th blast of the season, with a two-run, 434-foot shot to center-field.

The Yankees were able to add one more insurance run in the fifth inning through a Jose Trevino double, but the Red Sox answered straight back in the bottom of the frame once again.

After a double to Franchy Cordero and a walk to Kevin Plawecki, Devers came through again, this time with a 425-foot homer to straight center-field to score three runs, making it six career homers off Cole and 19 for the season.

The rest of the game featured spectacular pitching out of both bullpens, with the Yankees trio of Wandy Peralta, Michael King and Clay Holmes combining to allow no hits and one walk from the final three frames, while Red Sox arms Matt Strahm, John Schreiber, Ryan Brasier and Austin Davis combined to allow one hit and no walks in the last four innings.

Cole was credited with the win, despite it not being his best performance, finishing with six complete innings for five earned runs, with all five runs coming off the bat of Devers.

The Yankees also got the job done without the help of AL MVP favourite Aaron Judge, who missed with a lower-back complaint, as well as Anthony Rizzo, who is fifth in the league in home runs (22), eight behind Judge's league-lead (30).

Ohtani and Trout struggle as Rutchsman goes deep

Superstar Los Angeles Angels duo Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout finished a combined zero-for-seven from the plate as their side went down 4-1 on the road against the Baltimore Orioles.

The loss is the Angels' fifth from their past six games as another potential AL MVP season from Ohtani appears likely to end without a playoff berth unless things turn around drastically, now fourth in their division and 17 games behind the Houston Astros.

Baltimore was buoyed by top prospect Adley Rutchsman hitting his first career home run at Camden Yards – which the Orioles fans will be hoping was the first of many.

Rookie Strider shines in Braves loss

Atlanta Braves rookie starting pitcher Spencer Strider continues to make his case for NL Rookie of the Year after striking out a career-high 12 batters in his side's 3-2 extra-inning loss to the St Louis Cardinals.

Incredibly, the first nine outs Strider recorded were all strikeouts, and he would make it through six complete innings, allowing no runs from two hits and two walks in 100 pitches. It was the first time in Braves history that a pitcher has recorded each of his first nine outs via strikeout.

The scores were tied at 1-1 after nine innings, and after each side brought home a run in the 10th, the Cardinals were able to score another in the 11th off a Dylan Carlson infield-single, with Packy Naughton collecting the save.

Carlson finished three-for-three at the plate after being brought in as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning.

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