MLB News and Notes: April 18, 2019

Wednesday provided lots of memorable highlights, some good and some not so good. One long-time Yankee hit his 100th home run in style, a young Athletics pitcher helped shut down the Astros, and tempers flared in Chicago. Here are the latest MLB news and notes.

Gardner’s slam lifts Yankees

Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner picked a great time to hit career home run number 100. Gardner emptied the bases with a grand slam in the seventh inning, sending the Yankees to a 5-3 win over the Red Sox.

Down 3-1 in the seventh and new pitcher Ryan Brasier on the mound, Gardner unloaded on a 0-2 fastball and sent the ball into the right field seats. His big hit put the Yankees up 5-3, where the score would stay, giving New York a two-game sweep over their hated rival.

Gardner, now in his 12th season in the Bronx, has averaged 12 home runs per 162 games in his big league career. His first career big fly came on May 13th, 2009, 3,626 days before his 100th.

Montas, A’s snap Astros’ streak

Frankie Montas pitched 6 1/3 solid innings, giving up only one run as the A’s overcame the Astros 2-1. Coming in, Houston was on a 10-game winning streak.

Montas, 26, gave up an RBI hit in the top of the sixth, his only blemish. The hard-throwing righty gave up only three hits, to go along with six strikeouts and just two walks. Through four starts, Montas is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 20 strikeouts in just over 23 innings.

After Michael Brantley’s RBI hit in the sixth, Oakland quickly regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning after Matt Chapman hit a long solo shot. Lou Trivino and Blake Treinen combined to preserve the one-run lead for Oakland, getting the win and pushing the A’s back over .500 at 11-10.

Benches clear in Chicago

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson was at the center of controversy yesterday. After he was hit in the backside in the sixth inning, tensions escalated and benches cleared between the White Sox and Royals.

In the fourth inning, Anderson hit his fourth home run of the season and threw the bat toward his dugout in celebration, giving the Sox a 2-0 lead. Then when Anderson came back up in the sixth in a tie-game, Royals starter Brad Keller hit him with the first pitch of the at-bat. Anderson immediately had words and benches were cleared. Both Keller and Anderson were ejected.

The Royals would go on to have the last laugh, winning 4-3 in 10 innings. There is no word yet if any further discipline is coming for Anderson, Keller, or anyone else involved in the scrum.

There are a number of good matchups on Thursday. Braves prospect Mike Soroka will make his first start of the year this afternoon against the Diamondbacks, the Brewers and Dodgers meet in Milwaukee after already playing a series in L.A. last weekend, and rookie Chris Paddack will aim to continue his impressive start when the Padres host the Reds.