Riley's three-run homer helps Braves beat the Astros, McKenzie strikes out 14 for Cleveland

·3-min read

The red-hot Atlanta Braves have now won 10 of their past 11 games after defeating the Houston Astros 6-2 on Friday, with their top-three batters combining for seven hits.

After two scoreless innings to begin the game, the Braves' big-three delivered, with singles to Ronald Acuna Jr and Dansby Swanson followed by a three-run home run to National League MVP candidate Austin Riley.

It was Riley's 31st dinger of the season, which ties him for third in the majors, and his 267 total bases trails only New York Yankees superstar Aaron Judge (285).

The Astros fought back in the fifth inning as Kyle Tucker launched a 445-foot solo moon shot, and Jose Altuve delivered an RBI single later in the same frame to cut the margin to 3-2.

But an inning later the Braves re-established their dominance, as Swanson came through with a two-run double, and Matt Olson's sacrifice fly made it 6-2.

The Atlanta bullpen was flawless after coming in to relieve Kyle Wright, who was credited with his 15th win of the season for giving up two runs in six complete innings, striking out seven.

In relief, Collin McHugh and Kenley Jansen combined to allow just one hit and no walks from the final three innings, striking out five of the 10 batters they faced.

The Braves own the third-best record in the National League at 74-47, five-and-a-half games back from the New York Mets (77-43) and nine games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers (81-36).

Yankees cold streak continues

The New York Yankees have not won a series since July, and they will not win their current slate against the Toronto Blue Jays after dropping the first two of the four-game series, getting shut out 4-0 on Friday.

Blue Jays ace Kevin Gausman was at the top of his game, making it through seven complete innings while only allowing four hits and one walk, striking out seven.

The most significant swing of the bat came from Teoscar Hernandez, who sent Jameson Taillon's pitch 421 feet over the center-field wall in the fourth inning, while Vladimir Guerrero Jr became the youngest in Blue Jays history to reach 500 hits.

McKenzie strikes out 14 in Guardians win

The Cleveland Guardians may be unearthing their ace of the future as 25-year-old starter Triston McKenzie struck out 14 batters in his side's 5-2 win against the Chicago White Sox.

McKenzie, standing at six-foot-five, has the seventh-best WHIP (walks and hits per inning) in the majors, and has now struck out at least six batters in four of his past six starts, including an eight-inning, 12-strikeout, shut-out performance against the Detroit Tigers last month.

With the bat, Cleveland's most valuable player Jose Ramirez hit his 23rd home run of the season, and rookie Steven Kwan collected an RBI triple to raise his batting average to over .300 for the season.