Best of MLB: Kendall Graveman loses no-hit bid in 7th as A's beat Rangers

Best of MLB: Kendall Graveman loses no-hit bid in 7th as A's beat Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kendall Graveman held Texas hitless until Mike Napoli homered with two outs in the seventh inning, and the Oakland Athletics beat the Rangers 6-1 Saturday night.

Graveman (2-0) gave up two hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking one. He won on opening day, too, starting in place of injured Sonny Gray.

Graveman had allowed only one runner before Napoli sent a drive into Oakland's bullpen in left-center for his first home run of the season.

A pair of A's relievers finished the combined two-hitter.

Yu Darvish (0-1) allowed one run in six innings on four hits and three walks, striking out five. His 3-10 career record against Oakland is his worst against any big league opponent.

Yonder Alonso homered during a three-run eighth (see full recap).

Ozuna goes deep, Conley pitches Marlins past Mets
NEW YORK -- Marcell Ozuna hit a mammoth home run and Adam Conley allowed one hit through five innings to lead the Miami Marlins over the New York Mets 8-1 on Saturday night.

Christian Yelich crashed into the outfield fence for a fantastic catch that robbed Yoenis Cespedes of extra bases in the eighth. Otherwise, the Marlins breezed to their third consecutive win on another windy night at Citi Field.

Giancarlo Stanton and leadoff batter J.T. Realmuto each got three hits for Miami. Realmuto and Ozuna had two RBIs apiece, and Miguel Rojas also drove in a pair of runs with a sacrifice fly and a safety squeeze.

After outhitting the Mets 13-3 in this one and outscoring them 15-3 during the first two games of the series, the Marlins will go for a sweep Sunday night on national television. Miami had lost its previous five series against the Mets, silenced at the plate by Conley (1-0) once again.

Mets rookie Robert Gsellman (0-1) lasted five innings (see full recap).

Bryant, Cubs break out in 11-6 win over Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- NL MVP Kris Bryant broke out of his early slump by driving in his first three runs of the season and the Chicago Cubs overcame a shaky start by Kyle Hendricks to beat the Milwaukee Brewers 11-6 Saturday night.

Bryant had managed a mere single in 16 at-bats this year before going 3 for 6. He hit a two-run double in the third inning and an RBI single in the fourth.

The World Series champions got a season-high 17 hits. An infield single by Hendricks put the Cubs ahead to stay 5-4 in the fifth off reliever Jhan Marinez (0-2).

Hendricks (1-0), who led the majors with a 2.13 ERA last year, made his first start of the season and gave up four runs in the first inning (see full recap).

Kershaw gives up back-to-back homers for 1st time in career
DENVER -- Clayton Kershaw surrendered back-to-back homers for the first time in his career, with Mark Reynolds and Gerardo Parra going deep in the sixth to help the Colorado Rockies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 on Saturday night.

Reynolds lined a two-run homer off Kershaw (1-1). Three pitches later, Parra followed with a solo shot to help the Rockies improve to 5-1 for the third time in franchise history.

This was only the third time Kershaw has allowed multi-homers in an inning over his career. The Dodgers ace went six innings and gave up four runs, including three homers, in his first loss to the Rockies since July 12, 2013.

Jon Gray turned in a strong outing during a no-decision, allowing one run over 5 1/3 innings. Mike Dunn (2-0) got two outs in the sixth to earn the win and Greg Holland pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save.

Nolan Arenado lined a hanging curveball from Kershaw in the first to deep center. He has two homers after tying for the NL lead with 41 last season.

Andrew Toles added a solo homer in the fifth for the Dodgers to tie it (see full recap).

Phillies-Reds 5 things: Zach Eflin, Phillies aim for first series win since April

Phillies-Reds 5 things: Zach Eflin, Phillies aim for first series win since April

Phillies (17-30) vs. Reds (23-25)
1:35 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App.

Tommy Joseph came through as the Phillies' hero on Saturday with his second walk-off single in three days. It was just the Phillies' sixth win in their last 27 games, but the victory allows the Phillies an opportunity to take the series with the Reds.

Zach Eflin will take the hill for Sunday afternoon's start and will oppose Scott Feldman, the 'ace' for the Reds this season.

Here are five things to know for Sunday's game:

1. What a relief
It may have crept up on you, but the Phillies' bullpen is hot right now -- to the tune of 19 2/3 straight scoreless innings hot.

The Phils' relief corps came through with 3 2/3 more scoreless on Saturday to back up starter Jerad Eickhoff and give the bats a chance to walk off. After Joaquin Benoit expressed public frustration with the lack of roles in the 'pen, the team has slowly but surely found a pecking order for its back-end. With Hector Neris entrenched as closer, Benoit now serves as the primary setup man while Pat Neshek and Edubray Ramos have also been in line for high-leverage innings.

Neris has allowed just one run over 10 2/3 this month after closing last month with that back-to-back-to-back home run implosion in Los Angeles. He's back to his bread and butter -- setting up hitters with his fastball before unleashing his nasty splitter, which he used to retire Joey Votto in Saturday's ninth inning.

Benoit has seven consecutive scoreless one-inning performances. He's looking more and more like the reliever the Phillies thought they were getting when they signed him in the offseason. Neshek has five straight scoreless appearances since giving up his first runs of the season two weeks ago during the doubleheader with the Nationals. Both setup men are in line for possible trades this season and could get the Phillies something in return.

And if the rotation continues to stumble (averaging 5.38 innings per start with an ERA above 6.00 in May), the bullpen could be a backbone to keep the team respectable.

2. Needing a better effort from Eflin
One starter who is certainly struggling is Eflin, who needs to rebound after a couple poor starts.

His last two starts have been nothing short of disasters. In 10 innings, he's allowed 15 runs on 21 hits while surrendering three home runs. The appearances -- losses to the Rangers and Rockies -- account for the worst two-start stretch of his career.

Through seven starts, Eflin has an ERA of 5.36. He was coming off a string of four consecutive quality starts before this late-May swoon and had an ERA of 2.81 while averaging 6.4 innings per start.

The 6-foot-5 righty relies heavily on his sinker, so he's going to have a lot of balls put in play. However, he simply can't survive with home runs. He needs to keep the ball on the ground, especially against the slugging Reds, who have four batters with at least 10 home runs.

There's no doubt that Eflin could pitch his way out of the rotation if he can't turn things around. He's only 23 and has made just 18 MLB starts. However, pitching through his struggles in the majors is the right way to go. This is a pitcher who had a 2.81 ERA just two weeks ago and two bad starts aren't worth an overreaction.

None of his 18 career starts came against the Reds and he has not faced anyone currently on Cincy's roster.

3. The Reds' ace?
Believe or not, the Phillies don't have the worst rotation ERA in baseball. That belongs to the Reds, whose starters sport a combined 5.74 heading into Sunday's rubber match in South Philly.

In 48 games, they've allowed 53 home runs and 154 earned runs. They've walked 109 batters and have the third fewest strikeouts (185) of any staff.

So with an only OK ERA of 3.99, Scott Feldman is actually the staff ace. At 34 years old, he's played for six different teams and had middling results at each stop. For his career, he is 74-81 with a 4.38 ERA.

This season, he has a career-worst walk rate, but has limited hits and home runs to keep teams off the board. On May 7, he threw a four-hit shutout against the Giants and is coming off a six-inning, one-run start against the Indians. He struck out a season-high nine in that game.

The Phillies are more than familiar with the righty as they faced him on opening day in Cincinnati. Feldman lasted just 4 2/3 innings and gave up three runs, including home runs to both Cesar Hernandez and Freddy Galvis. It was his only ever start against the Phillies as he's spent the majority of his career in the American League.

4. Players to watch
Phillies: Joseph has been the Phillies' saving grace recently. In both games he finished with walk-off singles, he also hit a home run and he's looking more and more like the hitter that took the Phils' lineup by storm last summer.

Reds: Votto is undoubtedly one of the best hitters in baseball. The 33-year-old Canadian is 0 for 7 with a walk in this series but has a .413 OBP this season with more walks (36) than strikeouts (26).

5. This and that
• Howie Kendrick made his fourth rehab appearance on Saturday with Triple A Lehigh Valley. He went 1 for 5 and played the full game at third base.

• The Phillies have not won consecutive games since their six-game win streak concluded on April 27.

• The Phils lost their last eight series, beginning in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on April 28-30.

• The Phillies are 9-11 in one-run games. They were 28-23 in those contests last year.

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick makes 4th rehab appearance in Lehigh Valley

Howie Kendrick on Saturday night made his fourth rehab appearance in Triple A during Lehigh Valley's 13-1 rout of the Louisville Bats in Allentown.

Kendrick went 1 for 5 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He also grounded into a double play and left two runners in scoring position.

It was his second rehab game playing third base. He played third during his appearance in the IronPigs' 8-4 loss Thursday to the Indianapolis Indians. He was 0 for 1 in three plate appearances with a run scored and was hit by a pitch twice (see story).

The Phillies' plan for Kendrick was to have him play a minimum four games at Lehigh Valley. He played left field in two games and third base twice. Pete Mackanin said Wednesday that Kendrick would also get a game at first base but he hasn't gotten a game at first yet.

There is a chance Kendrick could be recalled Sunday before the Phillies’ series finale against the Cincinnati Reds depending on how he feels.

Kendrick has been sidelined since April 15 with an oblique strain. In 10 games before the injury, Kendrick went 13 for 39 (.333) with five extra-base hits and four walks while exclusively playing left field.