Kepler, who was mired in an 0-for-21 slump, led off the game with homer, added a two-run shot in the third inning, walked in the fifth and started the seventh with a towering blast to center field. The 26-year-old also belted three homers in Cleveland on Aug. 1, 2016.
In the ninth inning, Kepler hit an infield single to finish 4-for-4.
Rockies 3, Cubs 1
Peter Lambert struck out nine in seven innings and hit a single in his major league debut, and Colorado won at Chicago.
Ian Desmond doubled twice for Colorado, which salvaged the finale of a three-game series. Scott Oberg pitched the ninth for his third save.
Lambert (1-0) had his contract selected from Triple-A Albuquerque on Thursday and became the third-youngest pitcher to debut for the Rockies. The 22-year-old had an impressive first start, allowing one run on four hits and one walk.
Astros 8, Mariners 7 (14 innings)
Myles Straw led off the 14th inning with a triple and scored on Yuli Gurriel’s sacrifice fly as Houston defeated host Seattle.
Robinson Chirinos, Alex Bregman and Jack Mayfield homered for the Astros, who took three of four games in the series.
Houston’s Chris Devenski (1-0) pitched the final two innings, striking out four. Matt Festa (0-1), the eighth Mariners pitcher, took the loss.
Padres 5, Nationals 4
Five Padres pitchers retired the last 20 hitters they faced as host San Diego rallied from a four-run first-inning deficit to defeat Washington.
Franmil Reyes capped a three-run fifth inning against Patrick Corbin (5-4) with a line drive for a tie-breaking sacrifice fly.
Left-handed starter Joey Lucchesi, who gave up four runs in the first on a two-run single by Howie Kendrick and a two-run homer by Brian Dozier, retired the final eight Nationals he faced after Dozier’s two-out double in the third to improve to 5-3 on the season.
Athletics 7, Angels 4
Stephen Piscotty homered and drove in two runs while right-hander Mike Fiers worked six effective innings as visiting Oakland beat Los Angeles.
The routine win allowed the A’s to take two of three from their California rivals in a series highlighted by a 10-9 Angels win on Wednesday in which Oakland blew a 7-1 lead.
Oakland jumped on Angels starter Tyler Skaggs (4-6) for three runs each in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 6-1 lead. The A’s never looked back.
Red Sox 7, Royals 5
Boston completed a three-game sweep at Kansas City, capping a series in which they outscored the Royals 23-8.
Colten Brewer (1-2) was the winning pitcher on a bullpen-heavy day for Boston, which won its fourth straight, after he allowed two hits in two scoreless innings of relief. Matt Barnes pitched the ninth for his fourth save in seven chances.
Kansas City’s Danny Duffy (3-3) pitched just 2 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on four hits, all in the third inning.
Cardinals 3, Reds 1
Paul DeJong hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh inning, and St. Louis held on to beat visiting Cincinnati in the finale of a rain-shortened two-game series.
St. Louis starter Dakota Hudson went 6 1/3 innings, matching the longest outing of his major league career. He allowed one run and five hits, striking out three and walking four.
John Gant (5-0) threw 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, and Jordan Hicks pitched the ninth for his 12th save.
Yankees 6, Blue Jays 2
Aaron Hicks hit a three-run home run, J.A. Happ allowed one run in seven innings, and visiting New York avoided a three-game sweep by defeating Toronto.
The Blue Jays had captured the first two games of the three-game set to win their first series since April 26-28.
Gio Urshela added a solo homer for the Yankees, who ended a three-game losing streak. DJ LeMahieu had three hits, a walk and two RBIs.
Pirates 6, Braves 1
Colin Moran hit a two-run homer, Gregory Polanco added a solo shot, and Josh Bell doubled three times for Pittsburgh, which topped visiting Atlanta to take two of three in the series.
It was the first series win by the Pirates since they took three of four May 16-19 at San Diego. They had lost four straight series.
Freddie Freeman hit a homer and walked, and Brian McCann and Austin Riley had two hits apiece for the Braves, who had won six of their previous seven series.
Rays 6, Tigers 1
Travis d’Arnaud hit his first two homers of the season, a pair of two-run shots, to power Tampa Bay past host Detroit.
The Los Angeles Dodgers traded d’Arnaud to the Rays last month shortly after signing him as a free agent. D’Arnaud, who did not play the previous three games, had driven in only two runs this season.
Willy Adames also homered, while Yandy Diaz supplied three hits. Jalen Beeks (5-0), the second of five pitchers used by the Rays, got the victory. He held the Tigers scoreless in 4 1/3 innings as Tampa Bay won the series, 2-1.
Brewers 5, Marlins 1
Christian Yelich hit his major-league-leading 23rd home run, and Mike Moustakas went deep twice, guiding Milwaukee past visiting Miami.
All three homers were hit against Marlins left-hander Caleb Smith (3-4).
The Brewers, who lead the National League with 108 homers, snapped their two-game losing streak.
Rangers 4, Orioles 3
Hunter Pence homered, and Ronald Guzman and Danny Santana each drove in a run as Texas defeated visiting Baltimore.
The Rangers took two of three from the Orioles, who have not won a series since late April.
Ariel Jurado (3-2) gave the Rangers six strong innings. He allowed three runs on eight hits and struck out six with one walk.
Mets 7, Giants 3
Todd Frazier hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning for host New York, which held on to beat San Francisco.
The Mets won the rubber game of a three-game series for just the second time in eight tries this year. The Giants failed in their attempt to win back-to-back series for the first time in 2019.
Pete Alonso led off the eighth by singling against Mark Melancon (2-1). Alonso was forced at second on a grounder by Michael Conforto, who stole second on Melancon’s first pitch to Frazier. Three pitches later, Frazier reached for a low and outside pitch by Melancon and homered just beyond the left field wall.
–Field Level Media