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Michael Cohen pressed on his crimes and lies as defense attacks key Trump hush money trial witness

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Michael Cohen pressed on his crimes and lies as defense attacks key Trump hush money trial witness
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Michael Cohen pressed on his crimes and lies as defense attacks key Trump hush money trial witness

2024-05-17 08:09 Last Updated At:08:10

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump's lawyers accused the star prosecution witness in his hush money trial of lying to jurors, portraying Trump fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen on Thursday as a serial fabulist who is bent on seeing the presumptive Republican presidential nominee behind bars.

As Trump looked on, defense attorney Todd Blanche pressed Cohen for hours with questions that focused as much on his misdeeds as on the case's specific allegations and tried to sow doubt in jurors’ minds about Cohen’s crucial testimony implicating the former president.

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Former President Donald Trump addresses reporters following the day's proceedings in his trial at Manhattan criminal court in New York, on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Steven Hirsch/New York Post via AP, Pool)

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump's lawyers accused the star prosecution witness in his hush money trial of lying to jurors, portraying Trump fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen on Thursday as a serial fabulist who is bent on seeing the presumptive Republican presidential nominee behind bars.

Former President Donald Trump walks over to addresses reporters following the day's proceedings in his trial at Manhattan criminal court in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Steven Hirsch/New York Post via AP, Pool)

Former President Donald Trump walks over to addresses reporters following the day's proceedings in his trial at Manhattan criminal court in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Steven Hirsch/New York Post via AP, Pool)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Michael Cohen departs his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in New York. The prosecutors’ star witness in the hush money case against former President Donald Trump is returning to the witness stand as defense lawyers try to chip away at Cohen’s crucial testimony implicating the former president. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Michael Cohen departs his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in New York. The prosecutors’ star witness in the hush money case against former President Donald Trump is returning to the witness stand as defense lawyers try to chip away at Cohen’s crucial testimony implicating the former president. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Michael Cohen departs his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in New York. The prosecutors’ star witness in the hush money case against former President Donald Trump is returning to the witness stand as defense lawyers try to chip away at Cohen’s crucial testimony implicating the former president. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Michael Cohen departs his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in New York. The prosecutors’ star witness in the hush money case against former President Donald Trump is returning to the witness stand as defense lawyers try to chip away at Cohen’s crucial testimony implicating the former president. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Rep. Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., left, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., listen as former President Donald Trump speaks to the press before his trial at Manhattan criminal court in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Rep. Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., left, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., listen as former President Donald Trump speaks to the press before his trial at Manhattan criminal court in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Jeenah Moon/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Jeenah Moon/Pool Photo via AP)

Michael Cohen departs his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in New York. The prosecutors’ star witness in the hush money case against former President Donald Trump is returning to the witness stand as defense lawyers try to chip away at Cohen’s crucial testimony implicating the former president. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Michael Cohen departs his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in New York. The prosecutors’ star witness in the hush money case against former President Donald Trump is returning to the witness stand as defense lawyers try to chip away at Cohen’s crucial testimony implicating the former president. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

FILE- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, and attorney Michael Cohen, left, during a visit to the Pastors Leadership Conference at New Spirit Revival Center, Sept. 21, 2016, in Cleveland. Donald Trump’s fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen returned to the witness stand Tuesday, testifying in detail how former president was linked to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. Trump is the first former U.S. president to go on trial. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

FILE- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, and attorney Michael Cohen, left, during a visit to the Pastors Leadership Conference at New Spirit Revival Center, Sept. 21, 2016, in Cleveland. Donald Trump’s fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen returned to the witness stand Tuesday, testifying in detail how former president was linked to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. Trump is the first former U.S. president to go on trial. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

FILE- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, and attorney Michael Cohen, right, during a visit to the Pastors Leadership Conference at New Spirit Revival Center, Sept. 21, 2016, in Cleveland. Donald Trump’s fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen returned to the witness stand Tuesday, testifying in detail how former president was linked to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. Trump is the first former U.S. president to go on trial. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

FILE- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, and attorney Michael Cohen, right, during a visit to the Pastors Leadership Conference at New Spirit Revival Center, Sept. 21, 2016, in Cleveland. Donald Trump’s fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen returned to the witness stand Tuesday, testifying in detail how former president was linked to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. Trump is the first former U.S. president to go on trial. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

Michael Cohen testifies as a Wall Street Journal article is displayed on a screen in Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in New York. Donald Trump's fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen returned to the witness stand Tuesday, testifying in detail how former president was linked to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Michael Cohen testifies as a Wall Street Journal article is displayed on a screen in Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in New York. Donald Trump's fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen returned to the witness stand Tuesday, testifying in detail how former president was linked to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. Cohen, former President Donald Trump’s fixer-turned-foe is returning to the witness stand for a bruising round of questioning from the former president’s lawyers. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. Cohen, former President Donald Trump’s fixer-turned-foe is returning to the witness stand for a bruising round of questioning from the former president’s lawyers. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Blanche's voice rose as he interrogated Cohen with phone records and text messages over Cohen's claim that he spoke by phone to Trump about the hush money payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels that is at the heart of the case, days before wiring her lawyer $130,000.

Blanche said that was a lie, confronting Cohen with texts indicating that what was on his mind, at least initially, during the phone call were harassing calls he was getting from an apparent 14-year-old prankster. Cohen said he believed he also spoke to Trump about the Daniels deal.

“We are not asking for your belief. This jury does not want to hear what you think happened,” Blanche said, his voice growing even louder, prompting an objection from the prosecutor.

The heated moment was the crescendo of defense cross-examination over two days designed to portray Cohen — a onetime Trump loyalist who has become one of his biggest foes — as a media-obsessed opportunist who turned on the former president after he was denied a White House job.

Whether the defense is successful in undermining Cohen's testimony could determine Trump's fate in the case. Over the course of the trial's fourth week of testimony, Cohen described for jurors meetings and conversations he said he had with Trump about the alleged scheme to stifle stories about sex that threatened to torpedo Trump's 2016 campaign.

Prosecutors have tried to blunt the defense attacks on their star witness by getting him to acknowledge at the outset his past crimes, including a guilty plea for lying to Congress about work he did on a Trump real estate deal in Russia.

But the cross-examination underscored the risk of prosecutors' reliance on Cohen, who was peppered repeatedly with questions about his criminal history and past lies. Cohen also testified that he lied under oath when he pleaded guilty to federal charges, including tax fraud, in 2018.

“It was a lie? Correct?” Blanche asked Cohen about whether he lied to the late U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III at a court hearing about not feeling pressured into pleading guilty.

“Correct,” Cohen said.

The defense also attacked Cohen’s motivations and elicited testimony designed to support the defense’s argument that the Daniels deal was essentially a shakedown of Trump, rather than a plot to keep voters in the dark. Cohen acknowledged telling a former prosecutor that he felt Daniels and her lawyer were extorting Trump in seeking the $130,000 payment to keep quiet about her claim of a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump.

“Yes, I recall making a statement like that … that they were extorting Mr. Trump,” Cohen told jurors.

He's by far prosecutors' most important witness, placing Trump directly at the center of the alleged scheme to silence women who claimed to have had sexual encounters with Trump. Trump denies the women’s claims. Cohen told jurors that Trump promised to reimburse him for the money he fronted and was constantly updated about behind-the-scenes efforts to bury potentially detrimental stories.

Cohen also matters because the reimbursements he received form the basis of 34 felony counts charging Trump with falsifying business records. Prosecutors say the reimbursements were logged, falsely, as legal expenses to conceal the payments’ true purpose.

Trump, who insists the prosecution is an effort to damage his campaign to reclaim the White House, says the payments to Cohen were properly categorized as legal expenses because Cohen was a lawyer. The defense has suggested that he was trying to protect his family, not his campaign, by squelching what he says were false, scurrilous claims.

“The crime is that they’re doing this case,” Trump told reporters Thursday before entering the courtroom, flanked by a group of congressional allies that included Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.; Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo.; and Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., the chairman of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus.

The hard-right Republican lawmakers stood outside the courthouse and railed against a “kangaroo court” and the case, amplifying the former president’s attacks on the judicial system as they were heckled but also cheered by the crowd. The former president has been joined at the courthouse in recent days by a slew of conservative supporters, including some considered potential vice presidential picks and others angling for future administration roles.

Among those at the courthouse Thursday were Republican members of the House Oversight Committee, which delayed a hearing on an effort to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress so the lawmakers could appear alongside Trump in Manhattan.

Blanche confronted Cohen with profane social media posts, a podcast and books he wrote about the former president, getting Cohen to acknowledge that he has made millions of dollars off slamming Trump. In one clip played in court Thursday, Cohen could be heard using an expletive and saying he truly hopes “that this man ends up in prison.”

“It won’t bring back the year that I lost or the damage done to my family. But revenge is a dish best served cold,” Cohen was heard saying. “You better believe that I want this man to go down.”

Cohen acknowledged he has continued to attack Trump, even during the trial.

In one social media post cited by the defense attorney, Cohen called Trump an alliterative and explicit nickname, as well as an “orange-crusted ignoramus.” Asked if he used the phrase, Cohen responded: “Sounds correct.”

Cohen — prosecutors' final witness, at least for now — is expected to return to the witness stand Monday. The trial will take Friday off so Trump can attend the high school graduation of his youngest son, Barron.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office has said it will rest its case once Cohen is done on the stand, though it could have an opportunity to call rebuttal witnesses if Trump's lawyers put on witnesses of their own.

The defense isn't obligated to call any witnesses, and it's unclear whether the attorneys will do so. Trump’s lawyers have said they may call Bradley A. Smith, a Republican who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton to the Federal Election Commission, to refute the prosecution’s contention that the hush money payments amounted to campaign-finance violations. Defense lawyers said they have not decided whether Trump will testify.

Richer reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Michelle L. Price and Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

Former President Donald Trump addresses reporters following the day's proceedings in his trial at Manhattan criminal court in New York, on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Steven Hirsch/New York Post via AP, Pool)

Former President Donald Trump addresses reporters following the day's proceedings in his trial at Manhattan criminal court in New York, on Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Steven Hirsch/New York Post via AP, Pool)

Former President Donald Trump walks over to addresses reporters following the day's proceedings in his trial at Manhattan criminal court in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Steven Hirsch/New York Post via AP, Pool)

Former President Donald Trump walks over to addresses reporters following the day's proceedings in his trial at Manhattan criminal court in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Steven Hirsch/New York Post via AP, Pool)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Michael Cohen departs his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in New York. The prosecutors’ star witness in the hush money case against former President Donald Trump is returning to the witness stand as defense lawyers try to chip away at Cohen’s crucial testimony implicating the former president. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Michael Cohen departs his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in New York. The prosecutors’ star witness in the hush money case against former President Donald Trump is returning to the witness stand as defense lawyers try to chip away at Cohen’s crucial testimony implicating the former president. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Michael Cohen departs his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in New York. The prosecutors’ star witness in the hush money case against former President Donald Trump is returning to the witness stand as defense lawyers try to chip away at Cohen’s crucial testimony implicating the former president. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Michael Cohen departs his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in New York. The prosecutors’ star witness in the hush money case against former President Donald Trump is returning to the witness stand as defense lawyers try to chip away at Cohen’s crucial testimony implicating the former president. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Rep. Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., left, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., listen as former President Donald Trump speaks to the press before his trial at Manhattan criminal court in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Rep. Andy Ogles, R-Tenn., left, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., listen as former President Donald Trump speaks to the press before his trial at Manhattan criminal court in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Jeenah Moon/Pool Photo via AP)

Former President Donald Trump appears at Manhattan criminal court before his trial in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024. (Jeenah Moon/Pool Photo via AP)

Michael Cohen departs his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in New York. The prosecutors’ star witness in the hush money case against former President Donald Trump is returning to the witness stand as defense lawyers try to chip away at Cohen’s crucial testimony implicating the former president. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

Michael Cohen departs his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in New York. The prosecutors’ star witness in the hush money case against former President Donald Trump is returning to the witness stand as defense lawyers try to chip away at Cohen’s crucial testimony implicating the former president. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)

FILE- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, and attorney Michael Cohen, left, during a visit to the Pastors Leadership Conference at New Spirit Revival Center, Sept. 21, 2016, in Cleveland. Donald Trump’s fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen returned to the witness stand Tuesday, testifying in detail how former president was linked to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. Trump is the first former U.S. president to go on trial. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

FILE- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, and attorney Michael Cohen, left, during a visit to the Pastors Leadership Conference at New Spirit Revival Center, Sept. 21, 2016, in Cleveland. Donald Trump’s fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen returned to the witness stand Tuesday, testifying in detail how former president was linked to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. Trump is the first former U.S. president to go on trial. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

FILE- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, and attorney Michael Cohen, right, during a visit to the Pastors Leadership Conference at New Spirit Revival Center, Sept. 21, 2016, in Cleveland. Donald Trump’s fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen returned to the witness stand Tuesday, testifying in detail how former president was linked to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. Trump is the first former U.S. president to go on trial. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

FILE- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, and attorney Michael Cohen, right, during a visit to the Pastors Leadership Conference at New Spirit Revival Center, Sept. 21, 2016, in Cleveland. Donald Trump’s fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen returned to the witness stand Tuesday, testifying in detail how former president was linked to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. Trump is the first former U.S. president to go on trial. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

Michael Cohen testifies as a Wall Street Journal article is displayed on a screen in Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in New York. Donald Trump's fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen returned to the witness stand Tuesday, testifying in detail how former president was linked to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Michael Cohen testifies as a Wall Street Journal article is displayed on a screen in Manhattan criminal court, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in New York. Donald Trump's fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen returned to the witness stand Tuesday, testifying in detail how former president was linked to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. Cohen, former President Donald Trump’s fixer-turned-foe is returning to the witness stand for a bruising round of questioning from the former president’s lawyers. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. Cohen, former President Donald Trump’s fixer-turned-foe is returning to the witness stand for a bruising round of questioning from the former president’s lawyers. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

Michael Cohen leaves his apartment building on his way to Manhattan criminal court, Monday, May 13, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

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Braves Sweep Tigers

2024-06-20 10:39 Last Updated At:10:40

ATLANTA (AP) — Sean Murphy hit a pair of two-run homers, Reynaldo López threw five scoreless innings and the Atlanta Braves completed a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers with a 7-0 victory on Wednesday.

López (5-2) lowered his MLB-leading ERA to 1.57. He allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out six. López has given up just four runs in 40 2/3 innings over six home starts this year.

The Braves went 5-1 on a six-game homestand and have won six of their past seven. They allowed just two runs combined in the series.

Murphy, who made the National League All-Star team last season, was hitting just .135 in 15 games this season entering the game. The catcher went 4-for-4 with 4 RBIs.

PIRATES 1, REDS 0

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Bryan Reynolds hit a go-ahead home run in the bottom of the eighth inning and Pittsburgh edged Cincinnati.

Reynolds pounced on an 80 mph changeup from Nick Martinez (2-5) and sent it just over the wall in center field for his 10th homer of the season as the Pirates took two of three from Cincinnati.

Colin Holderman (3-0) retired the three batters he faced in the eighth after coming on for a brilliant Mitch Keller. David Bednar worked a perfect ninth for his 16th save.

The teams combined for just five hits on a steamy day at PNC Park in which Keller and Hunter Greene dominated.

PADRES 5, PHILLIES 2

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Matt Waldron used his knuckleball to strike out six over seven innings and San Diego avoided a 10th straight road loss with a late rally off Philadelphia’s bullpen.

A day after the Phillies used four consecutive ninth-inning hits to rally for a 4-3 win, Waldron (5-6) and two relievers helped the Padres snap a five-game skid that started against the Mets. The Padres avoided their first 0-6 trip since 2009 and had lost nine straight overall on the road. They hadn’t lost 10 straight away games since 2013.

Bryce Harper homered twice for the Phillies, his 27th career multi-homer game and second of the season. His 17 homers are tied with Kyle Schwarber for the team lead.

Robert Suárez worked the ninth for his 18th save.

MARLINS 4, CARDINALS 3

MIAMI (AP) — Otto Lopez hit a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth to drive in Tim Anderson and Miami defeated St. Louis.

Lopez’s liner off Ryan Fernandez (0-2) was bobbled by right fielder Alec Burleson, but is doubtful he would have had a play. Tanner Scott (6-5) got the win after pitching a scoreless top of the ninth.

The NL-worst Marlins took two of three from the Cardinals, who fell back below .500 at 36-37.

Kyle Gibson had been scheduled to start for the Cardinals after being on the bereavement list this week following a death in his family, but was scratched just before game time with back tightness.

Emergency starter Matthew Liberatore gave up homers to the Marlins first two hitters, Bryan De La Cruz, his 13th of the season, and Jesús Sánchez, his sixth. Josh Bell followed with a double and Jake Burger walked, but a double play and a fly out got Liberatore out of the first inning.

CUBS 6, GIANTS 5

CHICAGO (AP) — Ian Happ hit a 442-foot homer, Dansby Swanson made it back-to-back longballs and the Chicago Cubs hung on to beat San Francisco.

Jorge Soler made it interesting in the eighth inning with a 444-foot grand slam over the bleachers in left field against Tyson Miller that got the Giants within one, but Colten Brewer pitched around back-to-back walks to Wilmer Flores and Brett Wisely in the ninth and finished for his first save.

Kyle Hendricks (1-4) pitched neatly into the sixth inning, allowing one run on two hits in his longest outing of the season and lowering his ERA from 8.20 to 7.46.

NATIONALS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 1

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jesse Winker hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning and Washington defeated Arizona.

Ildemaro Vargas added an RBI single for Washington, which has won nine of 11 overall and seven of its last eight at home.

Arizona (36-38) was denied getting back to .500 for the first time since April 16, when it was 9-9.

Arizona starter Brandon Pfaadt cruised through five scoreless innings in just 50 pitches, allowing just one runner to reach scoring position.

But with two outs in the sixth and Washington trailing 1-0, Lane Thomas worked a walk. Winker then ripped a four-seam fastball to center for his seventh home run this season. The left fielder is hitting .452 (19 for 42) over his last 14 games.

GUARDIANS 8, MARINERS 0

CLEVELAND (AP) — Tanner Bibee struck out a career-high 12 in six innings, Josh Naylor homered twice and had four RBIs, and Cleveland beat Seattle in a battle of American League division leaders.

Bibee (5-2) struck out multiple batters in each of the first five innings, allowing three hits and one walk. The right-hander had 11 strikeouts in his previous start on June 12 at Cincinnati, his first double-digit game in the majors.

Steven Kwan hit a two-run homer and José Ramírez and Bo Naylor each had two hits for the Guardians, who are five games ahead of Minnesota in the Central and have won 22 of 31 games at Progressive Field this season.

Seattle, which leads the West, lost for the second time in 10 games and is 17-6 since May 26. Manager Scott Servais and shortstop J.P. Crawford were both ejected in the fifth by Doug Eddings, who had called Crawford out on strikes.

RED SOX 7, BLUE JAYS 3

TORONTO (AP) — Jarren Duran and Enmanuel Valdez hit solo home runs, Brayan Bello pitched six innings to snap a three-start winless streak, and Boston beat Toronto to complete a three-game sweep.

Duran, who had two hits and two RBIs, extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Valdez scored all three times he reached base as the Red Sox won their fifth straight and for the eighth time in their last 10 games.

The past eight series between Boston and Toronto have all been sweeps, with the Red Sox winning three. The Blue Jays and Orioles also had eight straight meetings finish as sweeps in 2009 and 2010.

Toronto made four errors. The Blue Jays are 9-20 when they make at least one error.

Bello (7-4) allowed two runs and six hits to win for the first time since May 28 at Baltimore.

Justin Slaten pitched two innings, giving up a run on a wild pitch in the seventh, and Chris Martin finished for Boston.

Atlanta Braves catcher Sean Murphy (12) hits a two-run homer in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Atlanta Braves catcher Sean Murphy (12) hits a two-run homer in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Wednesday, June 19, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

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