Mancini launches two home runs in big Astros win, Gibson pitches six perfect innings for the Phillies

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The Houston Astros received a big boost from new recruit Trey Mancini as he blasted a pair of home runs, punctuated by a grand slam, in his side's 9-3 away win against the Cleveland Guardians on Friday.

Mancini, who was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles this past week, has now hit a home run in each of his two starts for his new club. In doing so, he became the first player in the modern era to hit a home run in his first two starts for his first two teams, after also accomplishing the feat back when he began with the O's.

He struck first in the second inning, tying the game at 1-1 after Amed Rosario hit his own home run to begin the game for the Guardians, and Mancini's second home run of the game came with bases loaded in the third frame for the first grand slam of his career.

Arguably the best hitter in baseball this season Yordan Alvarez went two-for-five and notched his 73rd RBI for the season – the seventh most in the league – and his future Hall-of-Fame teammate Jose Altuve tallied one RBI from his three hits.

On the mound, Framber Valdez secured his 18th consecutive 'quality start' – defined by a pitcher going at least six innings while conceding three or fewer runs – finishing with three earned runs from seven hits and three walks in his six-and-a-third innings.

He now leads the league with 19 quality starts, and his streak of 18 consecutive is the longest since Jacob deGrom rattled off 26 in a row beginning in May 2018.

The win moves the Astros' record to 70-38 – one game behind the New York Yankees for the best record in the American League.

Yankees, Holmes blow late lead

The New York Yankees led nearly the entire game before eventually falling 4-3 to the St Louis Cardinals, courtesy of a blown save from All-Star reliever Clay Holmes.

Josh Donaldson drove in a pair of runs for the Yankees, while AL MVP favourite Aaron Judge collected two hits and came home to score twice, giving their side a 3-2 lead heading into the eighth inning.

Determined to take no risks, the Yankees brought in Holmes an inning early to try and get to the ninth inning with their lead still in tact, but it was not to be as Holmes conceded a walk and two hits, the second being a two-run double from Paul deJong to steal the lead.

Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley made no such mistakes, closing the door and collecting the save.

Gibson produces near-perfect start for the Phillies

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Kyle Gibson had a perfect game through six innings in his side's 7-2 win against the Washington Nationals.

Gibson retired the first 18 batters he faced, striking out three as he relied on strong fielding behind him to accumulate quick outs. His bid for a perfect game was eventually broken up by a hit-by-pitch to begin the seventh frame, and a single from the next batter ended the no-hitter.

He finished with one earned run from two hits and one walk in eight complete innings, while Kyle Schwarber hit his 34th home run of the season to help on the offensive side of the ball. Only Judge has more home runs this season than Schwarber.

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