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MLB roundup: Anthony Rizzo hits grand slam, Cubs pound Pirates 17-8

UPDATED: Fri., Sept. 13, 2019

Chicago Cubs' David Bote, right, slides safely into home plate on a Jason Heyward double as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz  attempts to apply the tag during the fifth inning  Friday, Sept. 13,  in Chicago. (Paul Beaty / Associated Press)
Chicago Cubs' David Bote, right, slides safely into home plate on a Jason Heyward double as Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Elias Diaz attempts to apply the tag during the fifth inning Friday, Sept. 13, in Chicago. (Paul Beaty / Associated Press)
Associated Press

CHICAGO – Anthony Rizzo hit a grand slam, Willson Contreras had two long solo homers and the Chicago Cubs kept pace in the NL wild-card race with a 17-8 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.

Rookie Nico Hoerner hit a two-run shot for his first major league homer and had four RBIs for the Cubs. Chicago entered the day tied with Milwaukee for the second NL wild card.

Contreras, Hoerner and Nicholas Castellanos homered in the first with the wind blowing out as Chicago scored five times after Pittsburgh jumped on Jon Lester (13-10) for a 4-0 lead.

Hoerner elevated a low pitch to the center field batter’s eye in his first plate appearance at Wrigley Field. He drove in two more runs with a single in Chicago’s seven-run fifth. The 22-year-old infielder made his debut with the Cubs on Monday at San Diego after the team announced All-Star shortstop Javier Baez would be out of the season with a hairline fracture in his left thumb.

Alec Mills pitched the final three innings for his first save. Pirates starter Steven Brault (4-5) was tagged for 10 runs on Chicago’s five homers in 2 2/3 innings.

Carinals 10, Brewers 0

ST. LOUIS – Paul Goldschmidt hit a grand slam and a three-run homer and Adam Wainwright pitched six innings of two-hit ball in St. Louis’ victory over Milwaukee.

The Cardinals have a five-game lead over the third-place Brewers in the NL Central. St. Louis remains four games ahead of the Chicago Cubs. The Brewers had their seven-game winning streak snapped and fell out of a tie with Chicago for the second wild card.

Wainwright (12-9) struck out seven and walked three. Adrian Houser (6-6) was the loser.

Dodgers 9, Mets 2

NEW YORK – Noah Syndergaard again wobbled with Wilson Ramos as his catcher while Clayton Kershaw was right in the pocket, sending Los Angeles past New York.

Kershaw (14-5) stopped a rare three-start skid and improved to 10-0 in regular-season play against the Mets. Rookies Gavin Lux and Edwin Rios homered to help the NL West champion Dodgers win their ninth in a row at Citi Field dating to 2016.

Coming off a four-game sweep of Arizona, Syndergaard (10-8) and the Mets fell flat. They dropped three games behind Chicago for the second NL wild-card spot. Milwaukee and Philadelphia also are ahead of New York, which was eliminated from contention in the NL East.

Kershaw avoided the first four-game losing streak of his decorated career. He gave up a first-inning homer to J.D. Davis and threw a season-high 105 pitches.

Blue Jays 6, Yankees 5 (12)

TORONTO – Bo Bichette hit his first game-ending home run, a drive that lifted Toronto past New York.

A 21-year-old who debuted on July 29, Bichette led off the 12th against Tyler Lyons (1-2) with his 11th home run. Wilmer Font (4-4) pitched two innings for the win. Toronto at 58-90 is trying to avoid losing 100 games for the first time since 1977-79, its first three seasons.

Blue Jays left-hander Tim Mayza entered in the 10th but left after injuring his elbow on a wild ball four to his first batter, Didi Gregorius. An emotional Mayza went down on one knee and covered his face with his jersey before walking off with an athletic trainer.

Braves 5, Nationals 0

WASHINGTON (AP) – Mike Soroka allowed one hit over six innings, Ozzie Albies homered and finished with the three hits in Atlanta’s victory over Washington.

Atlanta moved 9 1/2 games in front of Washington in the NL East and reduced its magic number to six. Washington leads the NL wild-card race.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman was lifted for precautionary reasons in the fourth inning with right elbow soreness. Atlanta’s Nick Markakis, back after missing 43 games with a fractured left wrist, had a single, a double and a sacrifice fly and made a sliding catch in left field to take a hit away from Victor Robles.

Soroka (12-4) struck out four and walked three. Max Scherzer (10-6) was the loser.

Astros 4, Royals 1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – George Springer hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the ninth inning, Gerrit Cole win his 13th straight decision and Houston beat Kansas City to stop a three-game losing streak.

Kyle Tucker singled with one out in the ninth off Heath Fillmyer (0-2), and pinch-hitter Michael Brantley walked. Josh Reddick struck out, and Springer followed with his 35th homer.

Cole (17-5) struck out 11 in eight innings, reaching double figures for the sixth straight start.

Roberto Osuna worked around a two-out single for his 33rd save in 39 chances.

Jose Altuve hit his 28th home run in the first inning, breaking the Astros record for home runs by a second baseman, set by Jeff Kent in 2004.

Rays 11, Angels 4

ANAHEIM, Calif. – Willy Adames, Austin Meadows and Jesus Aguilar homered in the third inning, and Tampa Bay kept pace in the AL wild card race, beating Los Angeles.

Guillermo Heredia also homered and Avisail Garcia drove in three runs for the Rays, who snapped a two-game mini-skid with their 12th win in 15 games. Tampa Bay (88-61) remained right behind Oakland (88-60) in the second wild card slot and a game ahead of Cleveland (86-61).

Charlie Morton (15-6) yielded three runs over six innings of six-hit ball in yet another strong start by the 35-year-old right-hander.

Kole Calhoun hit two homers for the Angels, who lost their fifth straight while playing without Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and Justin Upton. Los Angeles dropped to 67-81, guaranteeing four straight non-winning seasons for the first time since 1993-96.

Athletics 14, Rangers 9

ARLINGTON, Texas – Khris Davis homered twice, Ramon Laureano connected on the game’s fourth three-run shot to break a tie in the sixth inning and Oakland beat Texas to stay in front in the AL wild-card race.

The A’s (88-60) won their fourth straight, a streak that started with three victories in Houston following a 15-0 loss to the AL West-leading Astros.

Davis had one of the three-run homers, an opposite-field drive to right in the third after a solo shot into the Oakland bullpen in left-center in the second.

Laureano’s 22nd homer well over the 14-foot fence down the line in left came against rookie reliever Ian Gibaut (1-1). J.B. Weldenken (2-1) retired all nine hitters he faced in the fourth, fifth and sixth.

Orioles 6, Tigers 2

DETROIT – In the first meeting in 50 years of major league teams both 50 or more games under .500, DJ Stewart and Trey Mancini homered to lead Baltimore past Detroit.

This was just the fourth time teams 50 or more games under .500 met, according to STATS, the first since Montreal played at San Diego on Aug. 29, 1969. The others were between Kansas City and Washington on Oct. 7, 1886, and between St. Louis and Louisville on Sept. 13, 1886, STATS said.

Detroit dropped to a big league-worst 43-103, its most losses since setting a team mark at 43-119 in 2003. Baltimore is 48-99.

Aaron Brooks (5-8) allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings to win for the third win time in four decisions. Jordan Zimmermann (1-11) was the loser.

Reds 4, Diamondbacks 3

PHOENIX – Joey Votto and Josh VanMeter homered, Luis Castillo pitched five solid innings and Cincinnati beat Arizona.

The Diamondbacks lost their sixth straight to tumble further out of the NL wild card race. They won 11 out of 12 from Aug. 25-Sept. 7 to pull within 1 1/2 games of the second wild card spot, but are now 4 1/2 behind Chicago with just 14 to play.

Castillo (15-6) gave up two runs over five innings, striking out three to push his season total to 211.

Raisel Iglesias pitched a scoreless ninth, working around Ketel Marte’s two-out double, for his 30th save.

Mike Leake (11-11) threw six innings for the Diamondbacks, giving up five hits and four runs (two earned).

Rockies 10, Padres 8

DENVER – Nolan Arenado hit his 40th home run and Trevor Story connected twice, leading Colorado past San Diego.

Jeff Hoffman (2-6) got his first victory since May 29 against Arizona, allowing four runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings.

Arenado’s two-run shot in the first inning made him the second player in club history to hit 40 or more homers in three seasons. Vinny Castilla hit a career-high 46 in 1998 to cap a three-year run of 40 or more.

Story and Garrett Hampson hit back-to-back shots in a five-run fourth to make it 8-2, but the Padres sent 11 batters to the plate in the sixth to get within one. Story hit a solo homer in the sixth, his 32nd, to make it 9-7. San Diego scored in the seventh and the Rockies added a run in the eighth. Austin Hedges hit a two-run homer, his 11th, in the second for the Padres. Joey Lucchesi (10-8) was the loser.

Giants 1, Marlins 0

SAN FRANCISCO – Tyler Beede allowed three hits in 6 1/3 innings, Buster Posey drove in the game’s only run, and San Francisco beat Miami.

Beede (5-9) struck out five and walked one. Brandon Belt had three hits including two doubles for the Giants, who lead the majors with five 1-0 wins.

The Marlins got another solid start from Sandy Alcantara (5-13), who struck out six, walked none and gave up nine hits and one run in seven innings.

Tyler Rogers and Shawn Anderson combined for 2 2/3 innings, completing the four-hitter. Anderson pitched around Curtis Granderson’s pinch-hit single leading off the ninth to convert his second save.

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