x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

MLB: Frank Francisco backs up his 'chicken' talk

New York Mets reliever's save wins the game against their state rivals, while Atlanta Braves beat the Boston Red Sox.

New York Mets reliever Frank Francisco escaped a ninth-inning jam to earn the save against a New York Yankees side he labelled as "chickens" earlier this week.

Francisco dismissed Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira with two men on base to close out a 6-4 win on the back of Ike Davis' three-run homer in the first inning.

The win brings the Mets 2.5 games behind National League East leaders the Washington Nationals, who were beaten 2-1 by the Baltimore Orioles.

Jason Hammel struck out 10 Nationals batters to ensure Mark Reynolds' homer and JJ Hardy's RBI double earned victory for Baltimore, who trail the Yankees by 1.5 games in the American League East.

The Atlanta Braves, half a game behind the Mets, beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1 with Jair Jurrjens making a winning comeback to Major League action. Jason Heyward twice scored on hits by Andrelton Simmons.

The Los Angeles Angels came from 5-0 down to beat city rivals the Dodgers 8-5 thanks to two outstanding plays by rookie Mike Trout.

A solo homer in the fourth inning took the Angels ahead before Trout scored from first base on a Torii Hunter single.

The Angels lie second in the AL West behind the Texas Rangers, who beat the Colorado Rockies 4-1 after debutant Roy Oswalt pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball. Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli hit home runs.

The Dodgers' nearest challengers in the NL West, the San Francisco Giants, edged out the Oakland Athletics 5-4 with a four-run ninth inning, Brandon Belt hitting a two-run double before being scored by Hector Sanchez.

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Zack Greinke produced a nine-inning shut-out in a 1-0, 10th-inning win over the Chicago White Sox. Rickie Weeks hit the decisive RBI single, scoring Nyjer Morgan.

There was also a shut-out for the Cleveland Indians' Ubaldo Jimenez in 6 2/3 innings as his teams beat the Houston Astros 2-0.

The Toronto Blue Jays and the St Louis Cardinal enjoyed high-scoring wins over the Miami Marlins and the Kansas City Royals respectively.

Jose Bautista and Kelly Johnson contributed three runs apiece, the former hitting a home run, as the Blue Jays cruised to a 12-5 win.

The Cards settled for 11-4, 10 of those runs coming in the first two innings including two 2RBI doubles from Carlos Beltran.

San Diego Padres pitcher Clayton Richard contributed with the bat, driving in three runs to help his side to a 9-5 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Elsewhere, the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Detroit Tigers 4-1, the Minnesota Twins edged past the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Chicago Cubs 6-1.

The match between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Philadelphia Phillies was postponed due to rain. The match would have marked the first game of Rays pitcher Joel Peralta's eight-game ban for having pine tar on his glove during Tuesday's clash with the Washington Nationals, after he dropped his appeal.