Bucs sweep the Reds

Bauer rocked as Pirates beat Reds 9-8 for three-game sweep
By JOHN PERROTTO Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Trevor Bauer had another rocky outing for Cincinnati, allowing eight runs in three innings as the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Reds 9-8 Sunday to sweep a three-game series.
Since being acquired from the Cleveland Indians prior to the July 31 trade deadline, Bauer (10-11) is 1-3 with a 7.62 ERA in five starts. Seven of the runs charged to him Sunday were earned, and he had two walks and two strikeouts.
Bryan Reynolds hit a bases-loaded triple high off the right field wall to cap a three-run second inning that put the Pirates ahead for good at 5-3. The sweep was Pittsburgh’s first since taking three from San Diego on June 21-23.
Eugenio Suarez’s leadoff home run in the ninth inning drew the Reds within a run, but Felipe Vazquez retired the last three hitters for his 23rd save in 25 opportunities.
Pirates leadoff hitter Kevin Newman went 4 for 4, was hit by a pitch and stole two bases in helping send Cincinnati to its sixth straight road loss. Pittsburgh has won 10 consecutive games at home against the Reds, dating to last season.
Dario Agrazal (3-3) allowed four runs in five innings to end his three-game losing streak. The rookie struck out five and walked two.
Starling Marte’s run-scoring double with two outs in the eighth proved critical as it gave Pittsburgh a two-run lead at 9-7. Cincinnati rookie Josh VanMeter hit a two-run home run in the top of the inning that cleared the right field stands and bounced into the Allegheny River to make it a one-run game.
Kyle Farmer also homered for the Reds and Jose Iglesias had three hits.
The Pirates led 8-3 by the end of the third inning.
Newman led off the first with a double and scored on a single by Reynolds before Josh Bell hit a sacrifice fly drew Pittsburgh 3-2. After Reynolds put the Pirates ahead an inning later, Jose Osuna hit an RBI double, and Agrazal and Newman also drove in runs in a three-run third.
The Reds jumped on Agrazal for three runs in the first on consecutive RBI singles by Aristides Aquino and Iglesias and a sacrifice fly by Curt Casali.
Farmer hit a solo shot in the sixth off Michael Feliz to get Cincinnati within 8-5.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Reds: CF Nick Senzel (sore right thumb) did not start for a second straight game but pinch-hit in the sixth inning and struck out. … 1B Joey Votto (lower back strain) fielded ground balls but isn’t expected to be activated from the injured list for at least a few more days.
Pirates: RHP Chad Kuhl and RHP Edgar Santana, both rehabbing from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, are throwing bullpens and expected to be at full strength when spring training begins in February.
UP NEXT
Reds: Begin a four-game series Monday night as RHP Sonny Gray (9-6, 2.92) is scheduled to start against LHP Caleb Smith (8-7, 3.82). Gray is 7-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last 12 starts.
Pirates: Open a three-game series at Philadelphia on Monday night with RHP Joe Musgrove (8-12, 4.74) pitching against LHP Jason Vargas (6-6, 3.99). In four August starters, Musgrove is 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA.
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Bell tops 100 RBIs, Pirates cruise past Reds 14-0

Bell tops 100 RBIs, Pirates cruise past Reds 14-0
By WES CROSBY Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Josh Bell isn’t done.
That was the defining message from the All-Star first baseman after he topped 100 RBIs for the first time in the majors, hitting a three-run homer as the Pittsburgh Pirates routed the Cincinnati Reds 14-0 on Saturday night.
“There’s a lot of weight on that number, so it’s cool to get that out of the way,” Bell said. “I’ll strive for more. So it’s cool to kind of have that check go off on that box.”
After Colin Moran gave Pittsburgh a 7-0 lead with a pinch-hit grand slam in the sixth inning, Bell lined a fastball from Kevin Gausman into the left-field bleachers in the seventh to reach 102 RBIs.
That’s the highest total from a Pirates player during manager Clint Hurdle’s nine seasons in Pittsburgh, passing Pedro Alvarez’ 100 RBIs from 2013.
“He still has a month-plus to play,” Hurdle said. “There’s absolutely value in (topping 100 RBIs). Back in the day, you hit 20 (home runs) and 100, you were a bad dude. You were one of the baddest dudes in the league. … One hundred is still a yard marker.”
Bell’s career-high 32 home runs matched Bobby Bonilla’s mark from 1990 for the most by a Pirates switch-hitter.
The Pirates have won the first two games against Cincinnati after entering the three-game series 8-30 since the All-Star break. The Reds lost their ninth straight game at PNC Park dating to an 8-6 win on June 17, 2018.
Moran’s grand slam was his fourth in the majors. He sent a curveball from Lucas Sims 396 feet to right field for his major league career-high 12th homer.
Trevor Williams (6-6) allowed three hits with three strikeouts in six innings, recovering from giving up six earned runs in two innings against Washington in his last start.
“I know I’m a good pitcher,” Williams said. “I know my coaches trust me and my teammates trust me. The beautiful thing about baseball, and also the really crummy thing about baseball, is bad games are going to happen and bad stretches are going to happen. It’s just a matter of what you’re going to do to pull yourself out.”
Two of the three hits off Williams were the first two of the season for Reds starter Alex Wood (1-3). Wood allowed four earned runs on two hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings.
“Overall I thought it was good,” he said. “Sometimes you’ve just got to tip your cap. I felt good. Hopefully, I’ll build on tonight and go from there.”
Wood was pulled after hitting Bell to load the bases with one out in the sixth. A single off Sims from José Osuna produced Pittsburgh’s third run before Moran entered for his grand slam.
“I thought that was his best start since he’s been with us,” Reds manager David Bell said. “I don’t know what happened there his last inning. He just lost his feel for the strikes a little bit, walked a couple and hit a batter.”
“You know, at that point, given how Williams was pitching and since we had to try to keep it right there, we had a groundball and then the Moran pinch-hit grand slam was the big play of the game,” he said.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Reds: 1B Joey Votto will not return from his low back strain when eligible to be activated from the 10-day injured list Sunday, but is progressing well, Bell said. He was placed on the IL on Aug. 18 (retroactive to Aug. 15). … C Curt Casali returned from a rehabilitation assignment with a sprained right knee and was reinstated from the 10-day IL. … INF/OF Brian O’Grady was optioned to Triple-A Louisville.
UP NEXT
Reds: RHP Trevor Bauer (10-10, 4.06) will try to avoid a third straight loss when he takes the mound against Pittsburgh on Sunday. He is 2-4 in eight starts since going 4-0 in five starts from June 16-July 7.
Pirates: RHP Dario Agrazal (2-3, 4.09) is looking for his first win since July 6 entering Sunday. He is 0-3 in six appearances (five starts) since.
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Bucs don’t capitalize on Brault’s strong start and lose 7-1.

Scherzer goes 4 innings in return, Nationals top Pirates 7-1
By WES CROSBY Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — To Max Scherzer, a short outing was totally OK.
“I can’t get hurt again,” the Washington Nationals ace said. “That’s just the reality of this.”
Scherzer pitched four innings in his return from the injured list Thursday night and the Nationals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-1.
Scherzer allowed one run and four hits, struck out three and walked one. The three-time Cy Young Award winner was put on the IL on July 26 with a strain in his upper back — a day earlier, he made his first start since being on the injured list with a back issue.
“I just wanted to come out here, not really empty the tank tonight, and just try to pitch,” Scherzer said. “Got out here and was able to go four innings, and got to get a good feel for this, of getting back in there.”
“I feel pretty good post-start. With this whole process of trying to learn what’s going on here, it’s a recovery,” he said.
The Nationals hadn’t set a pitch count for Scherzer in this game, but said they would closely monitor him. He threw 71 pitches, 48 for strikes.
“He threw 70-plus pitches, and he felt good,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “He was a little gassed, which we figured he would be. His intensity was like always and he got through it.”
Anthony Rendon and Howie Kendrick homered for Washington, which leads the NL wild-card race and won for the ninth time in 11 games.
The Pirates fell to 8-30 since the All-Star break. Steven Brault (3-3) allowed two runs, each scored in the first, in six innings. Five of Washington’s seven hits off Brault came in the first two innings.
“It was just the ebb and flow of the game, and that’s why I love starting so much,” Brault said. “That’s why I’ve always loved starting. You have to be able to make adjustments throughout the game.”
Scherzer is 7-0 in his past 11 starts. He said the next step would be to build toward throwing 100 pitches in a game.
“Hopefully I wake up tomorrow and I feel good,” Scherzer said. “If I do, it’s time to strengthen up. That will be a good sign, if I feel good tomorrow. … This is a good start, but I’m not out of the woods.”
Hunter Strickland (2-1) allowed one hit in two innings for the win.
Scherzer struggled in the third, using 25 pitches and allowing Adam Frazier’s seventh home run of the season on a fastball with one out. He stranded runners on first and second by striking out Colin Moran.
“We had one missed opportunity early,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “A couple innings where one more hit could’ve put some more pressure on (Scherzer). We’re not getting the big hit when we need it.”
Kendrick singled, doubled and hit his 14th homer, a two-run drive in the eighth that made it 4-1. Rendon hit his 28th home run in the ninth.
“Everybody’s contributing,” Nationals shortstop Trea Turner said. “It’s a hard lineup to get through and it’s been fun playing with those guys, and watching those guys.”
TRAINER’S ROOM
Nationals: 2B Brian Dozier was reinstated from the paternity list. … RHP Kyle McGowin and INF Adrián Sanchez were optioned to Double-A Harrisburg.
Pirates: GM Neal Huntington announced Pittsburgh requested unconditional release waivers for C Francisco Cervelli, who has played 34 games while dealing with multiple concussions this season.
UP NEXT
Nationals: RHP Aníbal Sánchez (7-6, 3.99) is looking to avoid his first loss in more than more than three months when he takes the mound against the Cubs on Friday. He is 7-0 in 15 starts since allowing three runs in 4 1/3 innings of a 5-0 loss to the Dodgers on May 10.
Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (1-2, 8.86) will try to get past the fifth inning for the first time against Cincinnati on Friday. The 23-year-old rookie has lasted five innings or fewer in each of his first five major league starts, including when he gave up six runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Cubs on Sunday.
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Marte hits 3-run HR in eighth, Pirates top Nationals 4-1

Marte hits 3-run HR in eighth, Pirates top Nationals 4-1
By WES CROSBY Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — After having little success in his first three times up, Starling Marte came up in the eighth inning with two men on base and the score tied. This time, Stephen Strasburg wasn’t on the mound and Marte took advantage.
Marte hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer off reliever Daniel Hudson and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Washington Nationals 4-1 Tuesday night.
“I’ve been doing a good job,” Marte said. “Everybody pushed me to continue to do what I do. But the season’s not over. … I have to push myself the best I can every night and try to get the support for the other guys.”
After watching Pittsburgh struggle against Strasburg through seven innings, Nationals manager Dave Martinez turned to Wander Suero (3-7) to face the left-handed bats coming up in the eighth. Adam Frazier bunted a single past the mound to load the bases with nobody out before Bryan Reynolds tied it 1-1 with a sacrifice fly.
Marte then drove a fastball from Hudson 397 feet to right-center for his 22nd homer of the season.
Despite leaving after throwing just 94 pitches, Strasburg didn’t question Martinez’ decision.
“(Martinez) thought it was enough,” Strasburg said. “I think we win as a team and we lose as a team. Just didn’t work out for us tonight.”
Suero, who gave up two hits and one walk, was responsible for three of Pittsburgh’s four eighth-inning runs.
“My plan was just to get the three outs that I needed to get out of the inning,” Suero said. “Unfortunately, things didn’t go the way I wanted to.”
Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez (3-1) went 1 1/3 inning, allowing one hit with one strikeout.
Pittsburgh, which is 8-28 since the All-Star break, had scored one total run in its previous three games.
“The vibe doesn’t match the record,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “The effort and the energy don’t match the record. We know that. You don’t win games on vibe and you don’t win games on effort. You win games with results.”
The Nationals are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Cubs for the NL’s first wild card, and entered having won seven of their previous eight games. They had scored at least 13 runs in each of their previous three games, totaling a franchise-record 43 runs during that stretch.
“It’s just weird, baseball,” Martinez said. “Today, we just couldn’t get any runs but one. But Strasburg was good.”
Strasburg allowed four hits and had six strikeouts in seven innings, and left the game on track for what would have been his career-high 16th win. He has 15 wins in four of his first 10 major league seasons.
Pirates reliever Clay Holmes hit Adam Eaton with a pitch before being replaced by Michael Feliz in the fifth. Anthony Rendon drove a double to the gap in right-center field off Feliz, scoring Eaton for a 1-0 Nationals lead.
Holmes gave up one run on one hit in 3 2/3 innings after relieving Pirates starter Chris Archer to start the second inning. Archer left with right shoulder discomfort after allowing two hits before stranding runners on second and third with back-to-back strikeouts to end the first.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman continued his rehab assignment with the Potomac Nationals on Tuesday. He began the assignment by playing two games for Double-A Harrisburg after being placed on the 10-day injured list with plantar fasciitis in his right foot July 22.
Pirates: RHP Richard Rodriguez (right shoulder inflammation) was reinstated from the 10-day injured list. … RHP Montana DuRapau was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. … INF/OF José Osuna was reinstated from the MLB Suspended List after serving his five-game ban for his role in a July 30 benches-clearing brawl with the Reds. … RHP Kyle Crick was placed on the suspended list (three games) for his role in that same July 30 incident.
UP NEXT
Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin (9-5, 3.34) has given up three runs or fewer in 10 of his past 11 starts. He allowed one run on seven hits in six innings of a 2-1 win over Milwaukee his last time out on Aug. 16.
Pirates: RHP Joe Musgrove (8-11, 4.59) will try for his first win in August. He is 0-2 in three starts this month since last winning July 30, when he surrendered two runs in six innings against Cincinnati.
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Nationals hit 4 HRs, pound Pirates 13-0

Nationals continue onslaught with 4 HRs, pound Pirates 13-0
By JOHN PERROTTO Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Nationals are on a hot streak at the plate that defies explanation.
“If anyone knew the answer to that, they could write a book and make millions of dollars,” Adam Eaton said.
The onslaught continued Monday night when Asdrúbal Cabrera hit the last of Washington’s four home runs and drove in five runs, and three relievers combined for 6 2/3 innings of one-hit ball as the Nationals thumped the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-0.
Eaton, Matt Adams and Trea Turner also connected for the Nationals, who have scored 79 runs in their last eight games while going 7-1. They’ve scored 43 times in their past three, including a 15-14 loss.
Adams added two doubles and had four RBIs. Juan Soto had four of Washington’s 15 hits and walked, reaching base in all five plate appearances.
The Nationals aren’t eager to talk about how they’ve managed to score at least 13 runs in the four of their last five games, for fear of jinxing themselves.
“I’ll leave that to you guys in the media world,” Eaton said.
Starting pitching is considered the Nationals’ strength, with three-time Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer fronting a rotation that includes Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin. But manager Dave Martinez believes Washington’s offense stacks up well, too.
“We have a lot of functional pieces,” Martinez said. “We’ve got guys that can get on base, guys that can steal bases, guys who can move the ball around and hit the ball all over, and guys in the middle of the lineup who can juice balls.
“Our lineup is pretty thick right now. I’m proud of the way they’re swinging it. They are swinging at good pitches and willing to take walks, too.”
Javy Guerra (2-1) pitched 3 2/3 perfect innings in relief of Joe Ross, who departed in the fourth inning. Ross was hit in the left shin by a one-hopper off the bat of Josh Bell.
“How about the job Javy did?” Martinez said. “He really saved us from having to go deep into our bullpen.”
Kyle McGowin and Tanner Rainey finished the four-hitter with one inning each for Washington’s 11th shutout of the season.
The Nationals scored four runs off Trevor Williams (5-6) in each of the first two innings.
Williams was removed after the second and was charged with eight runs — six earned — while giving up six hits and three walks. Pittsburgh fell to 7-28 since the All-Star break.
“It’s a really tough stretch right now,” Williams said. “Hopefully, tonight is the bottom. I look forward to coming to the field tomorrow. Being a pitcher, you have to have a short-term memory.”
The Nationals moved within five games of first-place Atlanta, which was idle, in the NL East and continue to lead the wild-card standings.
Eaton homered with one out in the first and Adams added a two-run blast following a sacrifice fly by Cabrera. Turner’s three-run homer highlighted the second, which included an RBI double by Adams.
Cabrera hit a two-run double in the fifth and scored on Adams’ double as the Nationals ran the lead to 11-0. He added a two-run homer in the ninth.
Bell’s single off Ross’ knee in the fourth gave the Pirates runners at first and third with one out. However, Guerra got Colin Moran to hit into a double play.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Nationals: Scherzer is scheduled to be activated from the injured list Thursday and start in the finale of the four-game series. He has pitched once over the past six weeks because of a strained muscle in his back. … Ross said he is confident that he will be able to make his next scheduled start Saturday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. … 1B Ryan Zimmerman had his rehab assignment transferred to Single-A Potomac from Double-A Harrisburg.
Pirates: C Elias Díaz was removed after the fourth inning as a precaution after being struck in the facemask by a foul tip.
BABY TALK
Nationals 2B Brian Dozier was placed on paternity leave and INF Adrián Sanchez was recalled from Harrisburg. Dozier can miss up to three days.
HIT NO. 1
Pirates rookie right-hander Montana DuRapau had his first major league hit, a single to right field in the third inning off Ross. It came in DuRapau’s 13th game and fourth at-bat.
UP NEXT
Strasburg (15-5, 3.82 ERA) will face RHP Chris Archer (3-9, 5.23) on Tuesday night. Strasburg is 8-1 with a 3.92 ERA in his last 10 starts. Archer has not won in 12 starts since June 6, going 0-4 with a 5.26 ERA.
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Bryant homers, Cubs win 2-0 as Pirates strand 11

Bryant homers, Cubs win 2-0 as Pirates strand 11
By WES CROSBY Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kris Bryant heard a voice from the crowd just before he homered to put the Chicago Cubs ahead in the seventh inning Saturday.
After committing an error at third base each of the previous two innings, Bryant watched Steven Brault lift his leg. That’s when he could just make out what a fan had shouted.
“He was making fun of me because I made two errors,” Bryant said. “I hit a home run.”
The Cubs certainly appreciated Bryant’s contribution. After getting out of three bases-loaded jams, Chicago snapped a four-game skid with a 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cubs moved back into a first-place tie in the NL Central when St. Louis lost to Cincinnati later Saturday.
Bryant, who also walked in the ninth, drove the first pitch of the seventh from Brault (3-2) into the left-field bleachers to give Chicago a 1-0 lead. It was Bryant’s 25th homer this season and third in five games.
“(Bryant) deserves a lot of credit for coming back the way he did,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “Even his last at-bat, we didn’t score, but to draw that walk on (Francisco) Liriano was a nice at-bat.”
Jon Lester (10-8) gave up four hits and five walks in six innings after allowing Pittsburgh to load the bases with one out in the first and nobody out in the fifth. He got Kevin Newman to fly out to right in the fifth before striking out Bryan Reynolds and getting out of it when Starling Marte flied to center.
“I think, finally, I got out of my hard-headedness as far as challenging guys, falling behind in counts and kind of giving in,” Lester said. “I feel like that’s really bitten me in the rear end this year as far as still thinking I can throw my heater by guys. … Regardless of the baserunners, I knew I just couldn’t give in and throw a heater.”
Pittsburgh stranded 11 runners and fell to 7-26 since the All-Star break. It loaded the bases a third time with two outs in the seventh.
After Ian Happ fully extended in left field to catch a sharp line drive from Reynolds for the second out with runners on first and second, Cubs reliever Tyler Chatwood hit Marte with a pitch. Josh Bell bounced to second to end the inning.
“At the end of the day, I think we were 0 for 12 with men in scoring position,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “We left 11 men on base and 0 for 6 with the bases loaded. Pretty much wraps up the story for today.”
Happ scored from third on a throwing error by catcher Elias Díaz in the eighth.
Rowan Wick came in after Chatwood walked Adam Frazier to lead off the ninth. He retired each of the three batters he faced for his first major league save.
Brault didn’t allow a hit until Addison Russell singled to third with one out in the fifth. He reached career highs in innings pitched with seven and strikeouts with eight, and allowed one run on two hits with one walk.
“You’ve got two major league pitchers going against each other,” Brault said. “Jon Lester has been around for a while. He pitched himself out of some jams. It happens. It would have been nice to win, obviously, but I did what I could. So I feel good about what happened. Sometimes it goes that way.”
TRAINER’S ROOM
Cubs: RHP Steve Cishek said he was pain-free following a bullpen session Saturday. He could be activated for Chicago’s game against San Francisco on Tuesday. Cishek was placed on the 10-day injured list with left hip inflammation on Aug. 10.
UP NEXT
Cubs: LHP José Quintana (10-7, 4.11 ERA) will try to avoid taking a loss for the first time in nearly two months when he takes the mound at the MLB Little League Classic in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, against Pittsburgh on Sunday. He is 6-0 in eight starts since last losing June 22.
Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (1-1, 7.94) will make his second start on Sunday since being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Aug. 12. The 23-year-old rookie picked up his first major league win in four starts by allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits against the Angels on Monday.
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Newman hits walk off RBI single in 9th, lifts Pirates past Cubs 3-2

Newman hits RBI single in 9th, lifts Pirates past Cubs 3-2
By JOHN PERROTTO Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pinch-hitter Cole Tucker drew a bases-loaded walk and Kevin Newman hit an RBI single, all with two out in the ninth inning, as the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied to beat the Chicago Cubs 3-2 on Friday night.
Tucker, pinch-hitting, worked a bases-loaded walk off Brandon Kintzler (2-2), and Newman followed with a single to center field on a full-count for his third game-ending hit of the season.
Kintzler walked three batters in 1/3 of an inning, including an intentional walk to Josh Bell with two outs and the Cubs leading 2-1. Erik Gonzalez entered as a pinch runner for Bell and scored on Newman’s single.
The Cubs fell to 23-39 on the road. They have also lost 17 of their last 25 games away from Wrigley Field. The loss left Chicago a game behind the NL Central-leading St. Louis.
The Pirates won for the third time in four games.
Tony Kemp’s two-run triple in the eighth inning off closer Felipe Vazquez gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead.
Joe Musgrove carried a shutout into the eighth inning before giving up consecutive singles to Jonathan Lucroy and pinch-hitter Ian Happ with one out. Musgrove was charged with two runs in 7 1/3 innings, giving up four hits and no walks. He matched his career high with nine strikeouts.
Musgrove retired his first 11 batters before Kris Bryant singled with two outs in the fourth inning. He also set down 10 straight hitters before the hits in the eighth inning.
Keone Kela (2-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.
Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks allowed only one run and three hits in seven innings with one strikeout and one walk.
The Pirates’ Colin Moran had an RBI single in the fourth.
R0STER MOVES
Cubs: INF Addison Russell was recalled from Triple-A Iowa, RHP Brandon Kintzler (right pectoral inflammation) was activated from the injured list and CF Albert Almora Jr. and RHP James Norwood were optioned to Iowa.
GM Jed Hoyer said Almora is expected to be recalled Sept. 1, when the roster limit expands to 40 from 25. Almora made 75 starts in center field and hit .232 with 12 home runs and 32 RBIs in 114 games.
Pirates: Tucker was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis and RHP Geoff Hartlieb was optioned there. The Pirates wanted an extra position player because INF/OF Jose Osuna is two games into the five-game suspension he received from Major League Baseball for his part in a fight at Cincinnati on July 30.
Tucker made his major-league debut April 20 and the shortstop batted .196 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 38 games.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Cubs: SS Javier Baez (illness) and CF Jason Heyward (left knee inflammation) returned after being held of the lineup in Thursday night’s loss at Philadelphia. . INF Daniel Descalso (sprained left ankle) will begin a rehab assignment with Iowa on Saturday.
Pirates: C Jason Stallings (migraine) started after being scratched from Wednesday’s loss at the Los Angeles Angels.
UP NEXT
Cubs LHP Jon Lester (9-8, 4.48 ERA) faces LHP Steven Brault (3-1, 4.33) on Saturday. Lester is winless in his last five starts, going 0-2 with a 7.00. Brault has had two no-decisions, allowing six runs in 10 innings, since missing a month with a strained shoulder.
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Bell’s HR, 3 RBIs help Pirates take down Angels 10-7

Bell’s HR, 3 RBIs help Pirates take down Angels 10-7
By DAN GREENSPAN Associated Press
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Josh Bell has pulled himself out of a recent slump with some extra film study and a return to better habits as a hitter.
Not only has he found his form, Bell helped the floundering Pirates find their footing.
Bell homered and had three RBIs to help the Pirates rally for a 10-7 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
“It’s awesome to get our bats alive,” said Bell, who homered for the fourth straight interleague game to set a new Pirates record. “Hopefully it starts a new trend the next couple of weeks and hopefully we can finish this thing strong.”
José Osuna drove in two runs, and Bryan Reynolds added a solo homer for the Pirates, who have won consecutive games for the first time since July 6-7 against Milwaukee.
Trevor Williams (5-5) allowed five runs in five innings. He was tagged for three runs in the first inning, but responded to take some pressure off Pittsburgh’s bullpen and get back to .500 on the season.
Pittsburgh, which is now in position to sweep a series for the first time since June 21-23 against San Diego, can thank its offense for getting back on track. And no one has been more important to that turnaround than Bell, whose two-run shot to center tied the game at 5 as part of a four-run fifth inning.
The Pirates took a 6-5 lead on Osuna’s double to left that scored Colin Moran, and Pablo Reyes drove in another run to make it 7-5 and tag Taylor Cole (2-4) with the loss.
Bell’s 31st homer of the season continued a recent long-ball flurry with his fourth homer in the past three games. He is also one away from tying Bobby Bonilla’s 1990 team record for homers by a switch-hitter in a season at 32.
“I think things got a little bit sped up for me there for a little bit, so I’m just trying to focus on the timing of everything ,” Bell said. “If I can start early and slow I’m in a good place, I can see the ball. So I’m just trying to stay there.”
Justin Upton had three RBIs and Shohei Ohtani added two for the Angels, who have lost 10 of their past 12. Albert Pujols moved into a tie for 15th place in career hits with an RBI single in the first inning.
After falling behind 4-0 on Ohtani’s RBI triple in the second inning, the Pirates started their comeback in the third. Bell dropped a bloop single into left field to get Pittsburgh on the board, with Reynolds scoring and Bell reaching third on a throwing error by Angels starting pitcher Griffin Canning to pull within 4-2. Moran’s double drove in Bell and cut the deficit to 4-3 before Luis Rengifo made it 5-3 with an RBI single in the bottom of the third.
Pittsburgh went up 8-5 on Osuna’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. They made it 10-5 in the seventh on an RBI double by Adam Frazier, who had three hits, and Reynolds’ solo homer.
“We’ve just connected the dots offensively,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “(Starling) Marte has three hits today and we didn’t mention his name, so there’s a lot going on.”
Pujols tied Adrián Beltré (3,166) in career hits with his single up the middle to drive in a run as part of a three-run first inning for the Angels, with Ohtani and Upton picking up the other RBIs.
Upton had a two-run single in the ninth inning to score Mike Trout and Ohtani that pulled the Angels within 10-7 before Felipe Vázquez (22) came in to see out the game.
“Sometimes you got to believe in things you can’t see,” Hurdle said. “And we’ve had different guys step up the last two days in different areas and give us big pushes.”
BIG ARM
Marte had an outfield assist in the bottom of the fifth with his throw from deep center to Jacob Stallings, allowing the catcher to tag Kole Calhoun out at home and deny the Angels a run. Hurdle called it “one of the prettiest plays in the game,” and Bell credited Marte’s effort for the win.
“He was definitely the player of the game with that.,” Bell said. “Got Trevor the win, and allowed our bats to take hold of the game and keep the game in our grasp.”
BACK IN ACTION
Canning allowed three runs in four innings after being activated off the injured list for inflammation in his right elbow earlier on Tuesday. Angels manager Brad Ausmus said he would be cautious with the workload for Canning, who gave up six hits and three walks while striking out two, over the remainder of the season.
“His stuff looked really good, but the pitch count got up,” Ausmus said. “A little trouble locating the ball, and the error, that hurt him. But, overall, I thought more importantly he looked healthy, looked strong.”
ROSTER MOVES
The Angels optioned RHP Jose Rodriguez to Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday and recalled RHP Jake Jewell from Triple-A on Tuesday. They also placed LHP Adalberto Mejia on the restricted list for personal reasons. Ausmus did not know when Mejia would rejoin the team.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Angels: RHP Noé Ramirez (viral infection) could be recalled from the injured list by Thursday following a successful rehab assignment at Single-A Inland Empire, Ausmus said. Ramirez must serve a three-game suspension for hitting Astros OF Jake Marsinick with a pitch on July 16 when he rejoins the team.
UP NEXT
Pirates RHP Chris Archer (3-8, 5.23 ERA) has gone 11 starts without a victory, the longest winless stretch in his eight-year career. Archer is 0-3 with a 5.25 ERA since his last win on June 6. Angels LHP Dillon Peters (2-1, 3.45) has thrown 13 2/3 innings over his past two appearances, the longest outing during a two-game span in his three-year career.
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Keller gets first win as Pirates snap 8-game skid, beat Angels 10-2

Keller wins as Pirates snap 8-game skid, beat Angels 10-2
By GREG BEACHAM AP Sports Writer
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mitch Keller was barely a teenager when a hotshot outfielder from downstate New Jersey joined his hometown Cedar Rapids Kernels. Keller immediately became an enormous fan of Mike Trout, and he cheered on the Angels from Iowa while his favorite player rose to the top of their sport.
Keller finally stepped onto the same field as Trout on Monday night, facing his hero three times at the Big A. The Pittsburgh Pirates’ top pitching prospect will always remember his first career victory, but one small detail will stand out more than the final score.
“Just to kind of get that head nod from him in the first inning, his first at-bat … it was a really cool moment for me,” Keller said. “I’m sure he doesn’t think anything of it, but it was awesome for me.”
Keller pitched five resilient innings for his first win in the major leagues, and the Pirates snapped their eight-game losing streak with a 10-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.
Keller (1-1) came up from the minors to make his fourth big league start, and the rangy right-hander was good enough to win — particularly with bountiful run support. He yielded five hits, two walks and just one earned run, striking out four and pitching out of two late jams.
He walked Trout twice in a pair of hard-fought at-bats. He also retired the Halos superstar on a fly to right in the third.
“It was incredible,” Keller said. “Growing up, I never would have pictured being here like that right now. It feels good to get the first one out of the way. Hopefully many more of them to come. … It’s really cool facing that team. There’s a lot of good players on that team, a lot of guys that I grew up watching.”
Jacob Stallings had a homer and a two-run double for the Pirates, who won for just the third time in 21 games and only the fifth time since the All-Star break. Despite those recent struggles, Pittsburgh’s raucous celebration of Keller’s milestone win could be heard well outside the clubhouse doors.
“It was a really good game for Mitch to be involved in, because he’s been separate from all of it,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “He was able to come in and put a foot down, and we showed up in the box.”
Kevin Newman, Josh Bell and Bryan Reynolds also homered as Pittsburgh jumped to a big early lead on young Jose Suarez (2-4) and the road-weary Angels, who played in Boston on Sunday.
Suarez yielded seven hits and six runs over three innings. The Angels are desperate for quality starting pitching in their badly depleted rotation, but Suarez has endured three consecutive rough starts.
“You don’t want him to be too down on himself, because he’s only 21 years old,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “There’s still plenty of time for him to get better. It’s a tough line to walk, because you don’t want his confidence to be eroded.”
Max Stassi drove in his first run for the Angels, but Los Angeles opened a seven-game homestand by losing for the ninth time in 11 games.
Starling Marte had three hits for the Pirates, who have skidded out of playoff contention over the past month. They began their first series at the Big A since 2013 by trouncing a similarly sliding opponent, starting with a three-run first inning.
After Bell drove home the first run with a single, infield errors by Matt Thaiss and Albert Pujols gift-wrapped two more runs while the Pirates batted around.
Pittsburgh added two more runs in the third on Stallings’ double down the left field line. Stallings, a 29-year-old catcher with 16 career RBIs entering the game, matched his career high with three RBIs.
Stassi, the veteran catcher recently acquired by the Angels from Houston, got his first RBI since May 8 with a long fly to center in the fourth.
Stallings homered in the fifth, and Reynolds and Bell both connected in the sixth. All three homers came off José Rodriguez, who came up from the minors to make his second appearance of the season for LA.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Pirates: Keller took the roster spot of RHP Richard Rodríguez, who went on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation.
Angels: RHP Justin Anderson went on the injured list with a strained back muscle. … SS Andrelton Simmons expects to return “soon” from a left ankle injury that has kept him out since Aug. 4. The Gold Glove winner missed nearly six weeks midway through the season with a different ankle injury. Simmons says the Angels are just being cautious this time with an apparently unrelated injury to the same ankle. … RHP Félix Peña, who combined with Taylor Cole on a no-hitter last month, will have his season-ending knee surgery Friday.
UP NEXT
Halos rookie Griffin Canning (4-6, 4.76 ERA) will return from a brief stint on the injured list with elbow inflammation to face Pittsburgh’s Trevor Williams (4-5, 5.06 ERA), a Southern California native facing the Angels for the first time.
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Bucs bullpen blows another lead. Lose 8th straight.

Thomas’ slam leads Cardinals to comeback win over Pirates
By STEVE OVERBEY Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Lane Thomas hit a go-ahead grand slam in the seventh inning, Paul Goldschmidt and Dexter Fowler also homered, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-9 Sunday.
St. Louis rallied from an 8-4 deficit to sweep the three-game series and move into second place in the NL Central, two games behind the Chicago Cubs.
Josh Bell had two homers and four RBIs for Pittsburgh, which has lost eight straight. Pablo Reyes added a solo shot in the ninth.
Thomas, a rookie outfielder playing his 21st game, drove in five runs. His first career slam came off Kyle Crick (3-7) and put the Cardinals ahead 9-8. He also had an RBI triple in the fourth.
John Gant (8-0) tossed a scoreless seventh to pick up the win. Andrew Miller picked up his fourth save in six tries.
Goldschmidt hit his team-high 26th homer in the first inning and started the five-run seventh-inning rally with a leadoff single. Marcell Ozuna followed with a single, and Crick hit back-to-back batters to set the stage for Thomas’ third homer of the season.
Fowler hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Geoff Hartlieb.
Bell hit two-run homers in the first and fifth innings. It was the fifth multihomer game of his career, all this season. The homers, his 28th and 29th, were his first since July 5. He has an NL-leading 68 extra-base hits.
Pittsburgh starter Steven Brault gave up four earned runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked three. Brault had a seven-game hitting streak halted with an 0-for-2 performance. He came into the contest on an 8-for-10 run.
Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas surrendered five earned runs and seven hits over five innings. He gave up both home runs to Bell.
St. Louis outfielder Jose Martínez left the game in the fifth with right shoulder discomfort.
SCHEDULE BREAK
The Cardinals will play 24 of their next 30 games against teams with losing records and a combined .446 winning percentage. St. Louis is 31-20 against teams with losing marks.
TRAINER’S ROOM
Pirates: C Francisco Cervelli began a rehab stint Sunday night with Double-A Altoona. Cervelli was placed on the 60-day injured list with a concussion May 26.
Cardinals: C Yadier Molina is, “very likely,” to rejoin the team on Tuesday, according to manager Mike Shildt. Molina has been out since July 8 with a right thumb tendon stain. He has missed the last 28 games.
UP NEXT
Pirates: RHP Mitch Keller (0-1, 10.50) will face Los Angeles Angels LHP Jose Suarez (2-3, 6.22) in the first of a three-game set in Anaheim on Monday. Keller will be recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Monday. He will be making his fourth major league start.
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (5-6 3.72) will take on Kansas City RHP Glenn Sparkman (3-7, 5.71) in the first of a two-game series on Tuesday in Kansas City. Flaherty struck out 10 batters in seven innings of a 2-1 loss to the Dodgers on Wednesday.
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