Pittsburgh Pirates win 5-2 to complete sweep of SF Giants
Pittsburgh completed a three- game road sweep against the reigning World Series champion San Francisco by beating the Giants 5- 2 on Wednesday, with Jordy Mercer scoring the go-ahead run in the fifth inning by hitting a homer for the second day in a row.
The victory moved the Pirates above the Giants in winning percentage, with both teams second in their respective National League division. The New York Mets remain second in the NL East after a loss at San Diego.
Houston’s surprisingly strong start to the season continued, with the American League-leading Astros defeating Baltimore, while Tampa Bay won at the Los Angeles Angels thanks to a 10th inning homer.
Pittsburgh starter Francisco Liriano (3-4) got the better of opposing starter Tim Hudson (3-5) after a match of neat symmetry. Both retired the first eight batters in order, and both broke that sequence at the plate in the third inning: Liriano singled off Hudson, and Hudson then hit a double off Liriano. Both also recorded six strikeouts.
It was the fourth straight time Hudson had lost against the Pirates.
San Diego’s James Shields threw seven strong innings to remain unbeaten this season and guide the Padres to a 7-3 win against the Mets, preventing New York regaining the NL East lead.
Shields (7-0) cruised through five innings, permitting just one runner past first base. He allowed two runs after that, but used three double-plays to avoid major damage. Shields set his personal best for consecutive wins to start a season, surpassing the 6-0 start with Tampa Bay in 2006.
Will Middlebrooks drove in three runs for the Padres, who seized on errors to score three unearned runs and another due to a hit batter with the bases loaded.
Houston rookie Lance McCullers pitched a complete game to lead the Astros to a 3-1 victory over Baltimore.
In only his fourth career start, McCullers ( 2- 0) struck out a career-best 11 to lower his ERA to 1.88. McCullers hadn’t lasted more than six innings in his previous starts. He retired 15 in a row before a single with two outs in the ninth, but produced another strikeout to end the game. Chris Carter provided the offense with two homers for the Astros, who are off to the best start in franchise history with a 34-20 record. Houston has a 21-0 record this season when hitting more than one homer in a game.
Tampa Bay’s Kevin Kiermaier led off the 10th inning with a homer to give the Rays a 6-5 win at the Angels.
Kiermaier drove a 2-1 pitch from closer Huston Street (2-2) deep into the right-field seats for his fourth homer of the season.
Earlier, Rays rookies Joey Butler and Steven Souza Jr. went deep to account for all the scoring in a five-run sixth inning.
Kansas City’s Jason Vargas tossed six sharp innings to steer the Royals to a 4-2 win against Cleveland.
Vargas (4-2) made it stand up in his second start back from injury. He used a pair of double plays to wiggle out of jams, and limited the streaking Indians to two runs and no walks.
Kansas City Royals’ Mike Moustakas is tagged out at home by Cleveland Indians catcher Yan Gomes as he tried to score on an RBI double by Lorenzo Cain during the third inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, June 3.