TORONTO — Gio Urshela hit two home runs for the second straight game, and the New York Yankees outslugged rookie Bo Bichette and the Toronto Blue Jays 12-6 Thursday night to extend their winning streak to a season-best nine games.
Playing in Toronto for the first time, Bichette became the first player in major league history to double in nine consecutive games. He also homered, giving him an unprecedented 13 extra-base hits in his first 11 career games. Bichette is the first rookie to have an extra-base hit in nine straight games since Ted Williams in 1939, according to STATS.
The Yankees have hit a record 19 homers over their last four games, including at least five in each win during a three-game sweep at Baltimore this week. Mike Tauchman also homered Thursday to give New York three connections.
The Yankees have homered in 12 consecutive games, hitting two or more in a season-high seven straight. New York is an AL-best 51-7 when hitting two or more homers this season.
n Red Sox 3, Angels 0
BOSTON — Red Sox ace Chris Sale and assistant pitching coach Brian Bannister logged long hours in the video room after Sale was lit up twice by the rival Yankees recently.
With a few tweaks, the lanky left-hander was picture perfect Thursday night.
Sale righted himself and struck out 13 over eight innings of two-hit ball to lift Boston over Los Angeles. He had allowed 14 runs over nine innings during his previous two starts, both against New York, but he bounced back with his 13th double-digit strikeout game this season.
“Just getting back to kind of what I was doing to make myself successful before all this,” Sale (6-11) said. “We spent a lot of time this week looking at some things.”
Sale’s brilliance against the Angels merely lowered his season ERA to 4.41.
n Tigers 10, Royals 8
DETROIT — Jordy Mercer’s two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth gave Detroit a victory over Kansas City.
Travis Demeritte led off the ninth with his third walk of the game and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Rogers.
Mercer then hit a 2-1 fastball from Richard Lovelady (0-2) into the right-field stands for his sixth homer of the season and the eighth of a game in which both starters struggled.
Joe Jimenez (3-6) got the win with a scoreless ninth inning.
Tigers starter Matt Boyd gave up five runs on six hits and three walks in a season-worst 2 2/3 innings. Boyd entered the game fourth in the American League with 187 strikeouts, but only had one against the Royals.
Hector Lopez, making his first start since May 25, only got four outs. He allowed five runs on two hits, three walks and a hit batter.
n Marlins 9, Braves 2
MIAMI — Brian Anderson homered twice to lead Miami to a victory over Atlanta.
Elieser Hernandez pitched six shutout innings as the Marlins snapped a six-game losing streak and beat the NL East-leading Braves at home for the first time this season after six previous losses. Hernandez (2-4) allowed two hits, struck out seven and walked two. The right-hander retired 11 consecutive batters before Ronald Acuña’s leadoff single in the sixth.
Hernandez also got his first career hit with a single in the fifth.
Starling Castro had two hits and drove in three runs, and Jon Berti went 3-for-5 with two RBIs for Miami.
The Marlins chased Atlanta starter Dallas Keuchel with a five-run fourth capped by Anderson’s second home run and 20th of the season for an 8-0 lead. Anderson’s drive landed in the walkway above the left-center wall for his first career multi-homer game.
n Cubs 12, Reds 5
CINCINNATI — Anthony Rizzo had a pair of hits as part of a 30th birthday celebration, Nicholas Castellanos added to his Chicago surge with a pair of homers, and the Cubs beat Cincinnati for their biggest NL Central lead of the season.
The Cubs’ sixth win in seven games gave them a 3½-game margin over the idle Brewers. The Reds wasted a big game by rookie Aristides Aquino — Yasiel Puig’s replacement — and fell to eight games out, one shy of their biggest deficit.
Reds manager David Bell returned from a six-game suspension for going after Pirates manager Clint Hurdle during a benches-clearing brawl last week at Great American Ball Park. Reliever Jared Hughes began a three-game suspension Thursday, imposed for purposely hitting Starling Marte with a pitch. Eight Reds and Pirates were suspended in all, including Hurdle.
Rizzo was greeted in the visiting clubhouse by a banner featuring pictures of him as a youth. A few Cubs fans sang “Happy Birthday” before his first at-bat, and he answered with an RBI double off left-hander Alex Wood.
Castellanos had a pair of solo homers among his three hits, the latter breaking a 5-5 tie off Kevin Gausman (3-8) in the fourth inning. He’s hit safely in all eight games since the Cubs got him from Detroit.