Pitts­burgh Pi­rates win 5-2 to com­plete sweep of SF Gi­ants

The China Post - - SPORTS -

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.

AP

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.

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