Pi­rates score early and of­ten to beat Car­di­nals 10-5

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Pittsburgh em­phat­i­cally ended its long los­ing se­quence at St. Louis by scor­ing seven runs in the first in­ning en route to a 10-5 vic­tory over the Car­di­nals on Thurs­day that trimmed the gap be­tween the Na­tional League Cen­tral’s top teams to six games.

By con­trast, the gap in the NL East con­tin­ues to grow, with Washington again los­ing at San Fran­cisco to slip fur­ther be­hind the New York Mets.

In the Amer­i­can League, the Los An­ge­les An­gels ral­lied in the ninth in­ning to end a long los­ing skid against Kansas City, while Toronto ex­tended its run of vic­to­ries to 11 by down­ing Oak­land.

Pittsburgh’s Pe­dro Alvarez home­red in the big first in­ning and had three hits as the Pi­rates stopped a run of eight con­sec­u­tive losses at Busch Sta­dium.

Car­di­nals starter Lance Lynn (9-7) was pun­ished in the first in­ning and re­moved af­ter just two outs; the short­est of his 119 ca­reer starts.

Washington scored a run off the first pitch of the game but did not score there­after in a 3-1 loss at San Fran­cisco.

Yunel Es­co­bar hit a homer be­fore most fans had taken their seats, but the Giants replied quickly, as Matt Duffy and Buster Posey both hit scor­ing sin­gles in the bot­tom of the first.

San Fran­cisco starter Ryan Vo­gel­song (8-8) al­lowed just one run and struck out eight to record his first win in more than seven weeks.

Los An­ge­les’ C.J. Cron and Kole Cal­houn each drove in a pair of runs in the ninth in­ning, ral­ly­ing the An­gels past Kansas City 7-6 and to their first win over the Roy­als in eight at­tempts.

Kansas City had built a 5-1 ad­van­tage head­ing to the eighth, but All-Star re­liever Wade Davis coughed up two runs in his first ap­pear­ance in a week af­ter tak­ing time off to rest a stiff back.

Greg Hol­land (3-1) en­tered in the ninth and gave up a lead­off sin­gle, a walk and threw a wild pitch. Cron fol­lowed with a dou­ble to tie the game, and af­ter Johnny Gi­avotella sin­gled, Cal­houn added his go-ahead dou­ble.

Toronto beat Oak­land 4- 2 thanks chiefly to a strong per­for- mance from pitcher Mark Buehrle.

The AL East lead­ers, who also won 11 in a row in June, be­came the first team to post a pair of win­ning streaks of at least 11 since Cleve­land in 1954.

Toronto fin­ished off a three­game sweep to stay half a game ahead of the New York Yan­kees atop the AL East. Those two teams play each other in a three-game se­ries start­ing Fri­day.

Buehrle (13-5) has won eight of his past nine de­ci­sions. He al­lowed two runs in seven-plus in­nings.

Ryan Goins hit a three-run homer in the sec­ond in­ning.

Cincinnati’s Billy Hamil­ton had a ca­reer- high four hits, in­clud­ing a solo homer, to help the Reds beat the Los An­ge­les Dodgers 10-3.

Hamil­ton went 4 for 4 with four runs scored and two RBIs for the Reds, who piled up 15 hits while never trail­ing against a team com­ing off con­sec­u­tive shutout vic­to­ries.

Dodgers starter Matt Latos (4-9) gave up five runs in 4 2/3 in­nings against his for­mer team.

The Yan­kees ended a five-game los­ing skid with an 8-6 win against Cleve­land, with Brian McCann hit­ting a three-run homer and Stephen Drew also go­ing long.

The Chicago Cubs ex­tended their win­ning streak to seven by de­feat­ing Mil­wau­kee 9-2, with Kyle Sch­war­ber hit­ting two homers and drivin­gin four runs.

Texas’ Mitch More­land drove in four runs on a ca­reer-high four hits, in­clud­ing a two-run homer, to help the Rangers avoid a sweep at Min­nesota and rally past the Twins 6-5.

New York’s Curtis Gran­der­son and Kelly John­son each home­red and drove in three runs, pow­er­ing the Mets to a 12-3 rout of Colorado, com­plet­ing a four-game sweep.

AP

Los An­ge­les Dodgers’ Joc Ped­er­son fol­lows through on a solo home run as Cincinnati Reds catcher Tucker Barn­hart, cen­ter, and home plate um­pire Ed Hickox watch dur­ing the fourth in­ning of a base­ball game in Los An­ge­les, Thurs­day, Aug. 13.

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