Austin Riley homers in big-league debut, Braves blank Cardinals 4-0

Austin Riley homered in his big-league debut Wednesday night, leading host Atlanta to a 4-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals and signaling the arrival of another top prospect for the Baby Braves.

“He’s got lights-out power,” said Hall of Famer Chipper Jones, who played his career with the Braves and was at the game. “I think he’s a 40-homer guy before it’s all said and done.”

Mike Soroka turned in another strong start with three-hit ball over seven scoreless innings, but this night belonged to Riley, 22. He was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before the game after Ender Inciarte (sore back) went on the injured list.

Riley, who started in left field and batted sixth, struck out swinging against Michael Wacha in his first at-bat. Then, leading off the fourth, Riley showed why he led the International League with 15 homers and 39 RBIs.

Riley launched a high fastball deep into the left-field seats, a 438-foot drive that gave the Braves a 2-0 lead and sent his parents and a group of about 40 family and friends — many of whom hastily made the drive from his native Mississippi — into a delirious celebration.

“I’m speechless,” Riley said, struggling to find the words. “That second at-bat, I figured he was going to challenge me a little bit. I was able to put a good swing on it.”

Dodgers 2, Padres 0: Los Angeles’ Kenta Maeda drove in two runs with a second-inning single, then finished with 12 strikeouts and just three hits allowed in 6 ⅔ innings to beat visiting San Diego.

Yankees sweep Orioles: Gleyber Torres hit three home runs during a doubleheader sweep, including a solo shot in the nightcap, and Domingo German became the majors’ first eight-game winner in host New York’s 3-1 win. In the first game, Torres hit two of the Yankees’ four homers in a 5-3 victory. The 2018 All-Star has eight homers this season, six of them against the Orioles.

Rangers 6, Royals 1: Ronald Guzman and just called-up Willie Calhoun (Benicia High) each hit a two-run homer, and visiting Texas cruised.

Diamondbacks 11, Pirates 1: Zack Greinke pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning before exiting with abdominal tightness and host Arizona routed Pittsburgh.

Red Sox 6, Rockies 5: J.D. Martinez homered in his third straight game, rookie Michael Chavis singled home the winning run in the 10th inning and host Boston recovered after wasting a 5-0 lead.

Reds 6, Cubs 5: Eugenio Suarez hit a tying two-run homer in the eighth inning, and slumping Yasiel Puig singled with the bases loaded in the 10th, rallying host Cincinnati past Chicago.

Brewers 5, Phillies 2: Left-hander Gio Gonzalez continued to make the most of his second stint in Milwaukee, allowing one run while pitching into the sixth inning in a win at Philadelphia.

Nationals 5, Mets 1: Patrick Corbin struck out 11 in eight strong innings and Victor Robles homered to help host Washington beat New York.

Twins 8, Angels 7: Reliever Mike Morin hit his former teammate, Los Angeles’ Mike Trout, with a bases-loaded pitch that forced in a run in the ninth inning before retiring Shohei Ohtani to end the game on a groundout and preserve host Minnesota’s win.

Astros 5, Tigers 1: Justin Verlander allowed two hits in seven impressive innings against Detroit, his former team, and visiting Houston won its eighth straight game.

Rays 1, Marlins 0: Seven pitchers combined on a seven-hitter for Tampa Bay, and the Rays shut out host Miami for the second straight game — Miami’s seventh straight loss.

Briefly: Yankees third baseman Miguel Andújar, last year’s runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year, will have season-ending surgery to repair a small labrum tear in his right shoulder. … The Twins put catcher Mitch Garver on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left ankle, incurred in a collision Tuesday night with Ohtani, and returned third baseman Miguel Sano from his rehabilitation assignment, nearly four months after he sustained a severe cut on his right heel.

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