HOUSTON: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels strikes out in the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. - AFP

HOUSTON: Framber Valdez struck out 11, Kyle Tucker hit a home run and Carlos Correa hit a three-run double as the Houston Astros returned home to end a three-game losing streak with an 11-4 victory Monday against the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels' Albert Pujols made history when he moved into sole possession of second place on the all-time RBIs list with 2,087. He broke a tie with Alex Rodriguez on the RBI list and settled in behind all-time leader Hank Aaron (2,297).

After getting swept in a three-game series on the West Coast against the upstart San Diego Padres, the Astros opened a four-game series and a 10-game homestand on a positive note. Justin Upton hit a home run for the Angels, who rallied to within a run in the fifth, but still ended up losing for the 10th time in their last 12 games. Valdez (3-2) gave up four runs on six hits over seven innings, while throwing 113 pitches. Angels starter Patrick Sandoval (0-4) gave up his five runs on seven hits and two walks over 2 2/3 innings with one strikeout.

Randal Grichuk slugged a three-run homer in the seventh inning as Toronto rallied to salvage a series split with Tampa Bay in St. Petersburg, Fla.
With his club trailing 3-2, Grichuk, who also doubled, pulled a drive over the short fence in left field to give Toronto its first lead in the final game of the four-game series -- the only contest not decided by one run. Toronto starter Tanner Roark tossed a season-high 96 pitches but allowed three runs and six hits in five innings. Rays starter Blake Snell (5 2/3 innings, two runs) was in line for his third straight win, but Aaron Loup (3-2) lost for the second time in the series.

Miguel Sano belted a two-run homer in the sixth inning to lift visiting Minnesota to a victory over Cleveland. Nelson Cruz launched his seventh homer in 10 games for the Twins, who have gone deep eight times en route to winning four of the five meetings with the Indians this season. Kenta Maeda (4-0) allowed one run on five hits and a walk while striking out seven in five innings for his second strong performance against Cleveland this season. Cesar Hernandez led off the first inning with a homer in the second consecutive contest for the Indians, who have dropped three of four on the heels of a season-high six-game winning streak.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a go-ahead home run in the second inning, and ace right-hander Lance Lynn and two relievers made the lead stand up as host Texas held off Oakland in Arlington, Texas, in the first of a four-game series between the two American League West teams. The Rangers snapped a season-high eight-game losing streak by beating Oakland for the first time in four games this season. The Athletics, whose 20 wins led the American League until the Twins matched that mark on Monday, have lost two of their past three games. Oakland is now 6-4 in games decided by one run.

Justin Smoak homered and drove in three runs, and Milwaukee ended a season-high four-game skid with a home win over struggling Cincinnati. The Brewers handed Cincinnati's Trevor Bauer, who entered with a 0.68 ERA, his first loss of the year. It was the Reds' third loss in a row as Bauer (3-1) yielded four runs, seven hits and walked two while striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings. Omar Narvaez homered and Brett Anderson (2-2) allowed only a pair of solo home runs over six-plus innings as the Brewers earned a needed victory following a 4-6 road trip. Josh Hader pitched a scoreless ninth for his sixth save, and he has yet to allow a run or a hit in eight appearances (8 1/3 innings) this season.

Javier Baez hit a pair of homers and drove in three runs, David Bote homered and finished with four RBIs, and Chicago downed host Detroit. Baez and Bote each had three hits, and Jason Heyward added two doubles and scored a run. Alec Mills (3-2) lasted seven innings and allowed three runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts. Christin Stewart hit a two-run homer for the Tigers, who have lost 11 of their last 13 games. Making his second major league start and first at home, Detroit right-hander Casey Mize (0-1) gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits and struck out two in 3 1/3 innings.

Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong drove in three runs each to power St. Louis past visiting Kansas City. Goldschmidt hit a run-scoring infield single and a two-run homer as the Cardinals won for the fourth time in five games. DeJong hit a sacrifice fly and a two-run double in his second game back from a bout with COVID-19. Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty (2-0) allowed just one hit in five scoreless innings to earn the victory. He did not walk a batter and struck out three. Royals starter Brad Keller (3-1) yielded five runs on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts in his four-plus innings.

Jesus Aguilar produced three RBIs -- two on a double in Miami's six-run fourth inning -- and the Marlins defeated host Washington. Miami, which took three out of five games in the series, netted five singles, one double, one walk and one hit-by-pitch in the big inning. Marlins starter Pablo Lopez (3-1) earned the win, allowing six hits, two walks and three runs, none earned. He also struck out three. Nationals starter Austin Voth (0-3) gave up six hits, three walks and six runs in 3 2/3 innings. He fanned three. Washington's offense was led by Adam Eaton, who drove in four runs, and Juan Soto, who went 4-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI.

Trevor Story homered, Ryan Castellani returned to his hometown and earned his first major league win, and Colorado ended a seven-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over Arizona in Phoenix. The Rockies won without star outfielder Charlie Blackmon, who was scratched from the lineup before the game due to quadriceps tightness. The Diamondbacks lost their sixth consecutive game.

Story raised his total to 20 career home runs in his 70 games against the Diamondbacks. Castellani (1-1) played youth and high school baseball in Phoenix before being drafted in the second round in 2014 by the Rockies. He pitched six innings Monday, allowing two runs on three hits with three strikeouts and three walks. - Reuters