Bucs Rally With 2 HRs In Ninth

PITTSBURGH – Pedro Alvarez hit a tying two-run homer off Sergio Santos in the ninth inning and Starling Marte following one out later with a winning drive into the bullpen in left-center, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 6-5 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.

Santos (0-2) entered with a 5-3 lead and allowed a leadoff single to Neil Walker. He struck out Andrew McCutchen, and Alvarez followed with his seventh homer this season. Pinch-hitter Ike Davis flied out, and Marte hit the first game-ending homer of his big-league career.

Mark Melancon (1-1) pitched a hitless ninth for ta victory. After saving his first four save chances this season, Santos has blown three of his last four for the Blue Jays, who have lost seven of their last nine games.

McCutchen had three hits for Pittsburgh, which outhit the Blue Jays 17-10. The Pirates won for the third time in 13 games and the fifth time in their last 20.

Pirates starter Gerrit Cole allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings, failing to reach the sixth for the first time in six starts this season. Toronto’s Brandon Morrow gave up three runs and 11 hits in five innings.

In his first at-bat in Pittsburgh since 2008, Jose Bautista hit a two-out double in the first and scored on a double by Edwin Encarnacion.

Pittsburgh took a 2-1 lead on Jordy Mercer’s run-scoring, double-play grounder in the second and McCutchen’s RBI single in the third.

Colby Rasmus hit his sixth homer of the season int he fourth, a two-run drive, and Bautista had an RBI double in the fifth that made it 4-2.

McCutchen’s run-scoring single cut the deficit in the bottom half, but Toronto regained a two-run lead in the sixth on pinch-hitter Steve Tolleson’s run-scoring, two-out triple off Justin Wilson.


CHICAGO (AP) – Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run single in the first that ended Adam Wainwright’s scoreless streak at 25 innings, and the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals for their third win in four games.

Wainwright (5-2) had allowed six runs in 45 innings coming in, but the Cubs matched the runs total in just five innings against the St. Louis ace, who gave up 10 hits. His ERA rose from 1.20 to 2.16.

The scoreless streak was one inning shy of the career high for Wainwright, who had been 6-0 in 12 previous starts and five relief appearances at Wrigley Field.

Rizzo added a leadoff home run in the fifth against the Cardinals, who have lost 10 of 16.

Travis Wood (2-3) gave up three runs – two earned – and six hits in seven innings, and Hector Rondon pitched a perfect ninth for his second save.


MIAMI (AP) – Surprising Tom Koehler outpitched Josh Beckett, and the Marlins extended their home winning streak to seven games by beating the Dodgers.

Koehler (3-2) allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings. The right-hander began the year with a career record of 5-11, made the rotation as a fifth starter and now has an ERA of 2.41.


CINCINNATI (AP) – Wily Peralta doubled home two runs – the first RBI of his career – and repeatedly escaped trouble during his eight innings, leading the Brewers to a victory over the Reds.

The NL Central leaders improved the best record in the majors to 21-9 and opened a 7-game lead over Cincinnati. The Brewers are 12-3 on the road.


PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Adam LaRoche’s tiebreaking single in the eighth inning helped the Nationals rally from an early deficit to beat the Phillies.

Cliff Lee outpitched Stephen Strasburg, but the Phillies’ bullpen struggled again. Mike Adams (1-1) and Jake Diekman allowed three runs and five hits in an inning.

Jerry Blevins (2-0) retired the two batters he faced in the seventh to earn the win.


ATLANTA (AP) – Michael Morse and Angel Pagan homered, Tim Lincecum allowed one run over six innings and the Giants beat the Braves.

San Francisco spoiled the season debut of Braves starter Mike Minor with its seventh victory in eight games.

Atlanta has a season-high four-game losing streak.

After missing the first month of the season with left shoulder tendinitis, Minor (0-1) allowed seven hits, two runs, no walks and struck out four.

He trailed 1-0 when Pagan led off the game with his third homer and was down 2-1 in the sixth after Morse added his seventh homer.

Lincecum (2-1) gave up six hits and three walks with four strikeouts and kept Braves hitters off balance by keeping his pitches low in the strike zone and added a sharp curveball and slider.