It’s a more-than-full 16-game slate for Saturday thanks to a Red Sox-Orioles doubleheader in Baltimore. We’ve also got some day baseball on the docket, so let’s jump in … 

Saturday’s scores

Yankees 5, Rangers 3 (box score)
Red Sox 5, Orioles 0, Game 1 (box score)
Nationals 9, Cubs 4 (box score)
Rays 3, Blue Jays 1 (box score)
Twins at Tigers (GameTracker)
Diamondbacks at Reds (GameTracker)
Red Sox at Orioles, Game 2 (GameTracker)
Mariners at Astros (GameTracker)
Indians at White Sox (GameTracker)
Brewers at Braves (GameTracker)
Mets at Marlins (GameTracker)
Cardinals at Royals (GameTracker)
Dodgers at Rockies, 8:10 p.m. ET (GameTracker)
Phillies at Padres, 8:40 p.m. ET (GameTracker)
Pirates at Giants, 9:05 p.m. ET (GameTracker)
Athletics at Angels, 9:07 p.m. ET (GameTracker)

Lester rocked by Nationals

Jon Lester entered Saturday with a pretty 3.44 ERA (127 ERA+). It ain’t so pretty anymore.

Lester was chased after 3 2/3 innings, but not before he allowed 10 hits and eight earned runs. He gave up two home runs to Ryan Zimmerman and another to Daniel Murphy. In short, it was an awful outing — one that saw his ERA tick up to 3.89.

It’s worth noting Lester’s peripherals suggested he was due for a swing in performance. He entered the game with less than two strikeouts per walks on the season, as well as a 4.83 FIP. He’s now allowed at least four runs in three of his four second-half starts.

Stanton stays hot with homer

On Saturday, Rangers righty Drew Hutchison learned not to make assumptions when delivering a 3-0 fastball to the likes of Yankees cloutsman Giancarlo Stanton … 

Of Stanton’s 296 career homers, that’s just the third that has come on a 3-0 count. That’s also Stanton’s 29th homer of the season, which means he now cracks the top 10 of the MLB leaderboard for that particular category. 

On the season, Stanton is now batting .278/.344/.526. That’s notable because Stanton of course struggled to start his first season with the Yankees. As late as April 22, he was lugging around a sub-.200 batting average. At one point in April, he went 11 games without homering and soon after went six straight games without registering an RBI. As late as June 17, Stanton had an OPS in the .700s.

Thereupon, though, Giancarlo Stanton began hitting like Giancarlo Stanton. Since June 17 and coming into Saturday, Stanton had a slash line of .326/.379/.578, and then he did what you saw above. That, by the way, was Stanton’s fourth homer in his last five games. 

Given that fellow masher Aaron Judge is still on the DL with a fractured wrist, Stanton’s resurgence is most welcome and most timely as the Yankees try to hold on to their top wild-card spot and retain slim hopes of running down the Red Sox in the AL East. 

Price looks dominant for Red Sox

With their Saturday win, the Red Sox pushed their winning percentage to .703 and moved to 12-2 against the lowly Orioles this season. Jackie Bradley Jr. homered twice, and perhaps more encouraging for Boston was David Price’s outing … 

To be fair, the post-Manny Machado Orioles have a pretty punchless lineup, but that’s an impressive outing in any context. That’s the first time Price has reached double digits in strikeouts since way back on July 10, 2016. It’s the first time he’s struck out 10 or more without walking a batter since June 14 of that same year. As well, this marks Price’s fifth straight quality start. Over that span, he’s lowered his ERA from 4.44 to 3.75, where it stands after Saturday’s gem. He’s also now struck out 24.1 percent of opposing hitters, which is, by a narrow margin, his best such mark since signing with the Red Sox. 

Might Price pitch his way into being the Sox’s No. 2 playoff starter? It’s certainly looking that way. 

Quick hits

  • Will the Mariners’ playoff drought finally end this season? Our Dayn Perry says probably not.
  • Mets 3B David Wright will begin a minor-league rehab assignment at Single-A Port St. Lucie on Sunday. Wright has played in the majors since 2016 because of serious back, neck, and shoulder problems. 
  • Cubs RHP Yu Darvish (triceps), who’s on the 60-day DL, will throw live batting practice on Sunday. He’s been out since May 20. 
  • Mariners RHP Sam Tuivailala, whom they recently acquired from the Cardinals, will undergo season-ending surgery on his Achilles’.
  • The Cardinals have placed INF Yairo Munoz on the DL with a sprained right wrist. To take his place on the active roster, they’ve called up INF Patrick Wisdom
  • The Astros have placed OF Jake Marisnick on the DL with left groin discomfort.

Live team updates

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