Pi­rates tighten Cen­tral Di­vi­sion gap as Mor­ton leads shut out against Giants

The China Post - - SPORTS -

Pittsburgh start­ing pitcher Char­lie Mor­ton com­bined with two re­liev­ers to shut out San Fran­cisco and guide the Pi­rates to a 4-0 win on Thurs­day that saw them edge within 4-1/2 games of the Na­tional League Cen­tral Di­vi­sion lead.

The Pi­rates gained ground on idle St. Louis while in the Amer­i­can League, all three di­vi­sion lead­ers lost: Kansas City’s five-game win­ning streak was ended by Bos­ton, Tampa Bay was led to vic­tory over Hous­ton by a dom­i­nant pitch­ing per­for­mance from Chris Archer, and Cleve­land hung on to edge the New York Yan­kees.

Pittsburgh’s Mor­ton (8-4) struck out eight over 6-2/3 in­nings and left with a four-run lead af­ter the Giants loaded the bases with two outs.

Jared Hughes, who got Gre­gor Blanco to line out to end the sev­enth-in­ning threat, and Tony Wat­son com­pleted the shutout.

Neil Walker hit a two-run homer for the Pi­rates, who have seven of their past eight.

Bos­ton’s Wade Mi­ley pitched into the eighth in­ning to guide the Red Sox past Kansas City 4-1.

Mi­ley (10-9) helped the Red Sox im­prove to 5-2 un­der bench coach Torey Lovullo, who took over when man­ager John Far­rell an­nounced that is be­ing treated for can­cer. Ryan Hani­gan drove in two runs for Bos­ton. Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer gave up only a fifth-in­ning sin­gle, and struck out 11 to lead the Rays over Hous­ton 1-0.

It was Archer’s third ca­reer shutout and sec­ond against the Astros, hav­ing also blanked them in 2013. Archer (11-9) re­tired the fi­nal 15 bat­ters, strik­ing out five.

Colby Ras­mus led off the fifth with a ground­ball sin­gle for Hous­ton’s only hit and was the last man to reach base for the AL West-lead­ing Astros.

Cleve­land’s Josh Tom­lin had his sec­ond im­pres­sive start since re­turn­ing from shoul­der surgery, and steered the In­di­ans past the New York Yan­kees 3-2.

Tom­lin (1-1) only al­lowed Alex Ro­driguez’s home run lead­ing off the fourth and a dou­ble to Chase Headley in seven de­lib­er­ate in­nings.

In­di­ans closer Cody Allen gave up an RBI sin­gle to Car­los Bel­tran and had two run­ners on base when he re­tired the fi­nal two bat­ters.

Min­nesota rookie Tyler Duf­fey held Bal­ti­more score­less into the eighth in­ning as the Twins routed the Ori­oles 15-2 at a soggy Cam­den Yards.

Duf­fey (2-1) coasted un­til the eighth, when he al­lowed two runs be­fore be­ing pulled with two outs. Duf­fey struck out eight and walked none.

Bal­ti­more starter Miguel Gon­za­lez five in­nings, giv­ing up seven runs.

The Ori­oles hadn’t al­lowed this many runs since 2012, when they gave up 19 to the same op­po­nent.

Chicago’s Jake Ar­ri­eta pitched six score­less in­nings for his ma­jor league-lead­ing 15th win, guid­ing the Cubs to a 7-1 win against At­lanta.

Ar­ri­eta (15-6) im­proved to 9-1 in his past 12 starts. He struck out seven and walked one while low­er­ing his sea­son ERA to 2.30.

An­thony Rizzo and Ad­di­son Rus­sell home­red to help the Cubs back to win­ning ways af­ter three straight losses.

Detroit’s Al­fredo Si­mon threw a shutout in his first ca­reer com­plete game as the Tigers beat Texas 4-0.

The Chicago White Sox avoided a four-game sweep by the Los An­ge­les An­gels by win­ning 8-2, with Jose Abreu’s two-run dou­ble cap­ping a five-run fifth in­ning .

Ari­zona’s A.J. Pol­lock drove in two runs with a bases-loaded

(9-9) strug­gled through sin­gle in the eighth in­ning, lift­ing the Di­a­mond­backs past Cincinnati 5-4 and send­ing the Reds to a sixth straight loss.

Colorado’s Yo­han Flande pitched seven strong in­nings on the mound and sin­gled twice at the plate, driv­ing in a run and scor­ing one to lead the Rock­ies over Washington 3-2.

Mi­ami beat Philadelphia 9-7, with Martin Prado hit­ting a homer and driv­ing in three runs.


(Top) Ari­zona Di­a­mond­backs’ En­der In­cia­rte slides into home to score on a sin­gle by A.J. Pol­lock dur­ing the fifth in­ning of a base­ball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Ohio, Thurs­day, Aug. 20. (Above) Pittsburgh Pi­rates’ Jung Ho Kang loses his bat on a swing dur­ing the first in­ning of a base­ball game against the San Fran­cisco Giants in Pittsburgh, Penn­syl­va­nia, Thurs­day.

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