Alvarez Hammers One Home In a Win

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer to back the pitching of Edinson Volquez and lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to an 8-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night.

Andrew McCutchen went 3 for 5, drove in two runs and stole two bases for the Pirates in a homecoming of sorts for the 2013 NL MVP, who grew up in nearby Fort Meade and had never played before at Tropicana Field. He also scored twice in Pittsburgh’s first appearance in St. Petersburg since 2003.

Alvarez went deep off Alex Cobb (2-6) during a four-run fourth inning that also featured the first of McCutchen’s two RBI singles.

Volquez (5-6) allowed five hits in a season-high eight innings.

James Loney drove in Tampa Bay’s only run with a two-out, first-inning single, and the Pirates helped their starting pitcher by turning three double plays.

McCutchen, who is batting .366 in June, boosted his average in 11 interleague games to .425 with nine walks, four doubles and seven RBIs. His run-scoring single off Cobb moved him ahead of Brian Giles for the Pirates career record for RBIs in interleague action with 52. He added another in the ninth off Kirby Yates.

Alvarez, meanwhile, is hitting .317 with two home runs and eight RBIs against AL teams this season. His 12th homer of the year, a first-pitch drive over the wall in center field, gave him his first RBIs in two weeks.

Cobb, making his seventh start since spending five weeks on the disabled list with a left oblique strain, allowed six runs and six hits in five innings.

Volquez won for the third time in his last five starts. The right-hander walked two, struck out one and didn’t allow a hit after the fourth inning.

Three of Tampa Bay’s six hits were infield singles, including Kevin Kiermaier’s second-inning bunt. Jeanmar Gomez pitched the ninth for the Pirates, yielding a two-out single to Loney.

Notes: Pirates OF Starling Marte was back in the lineup after missing two games tending to a personal matter at home in the Dominican Republic. … Pittsburgh RHP Gerrit Cole (right shoulder fatigue) threw 83 pitches over six innings in a simulated game and could rejoin the rotation this weekend. … Pirates 2B Neil Walker (appendectomy) is expected to be reinstated from the DL Tuesday. … The Rays haven’t announced if RHP Jeremy Hellickson (elbow) will need one more minor league start before returning. .. Tampa Bay 1B-OF Jerry Sands has a wrist injury, which Rays manager Joe Maddon said could require surgery.

National League

Marlins 4, Phillies 0

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Casey McGehee hit a two-run double, Nathan Eovaldi pitched six-hit ball into the seventh inning and the Miami Marlins beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-0 Monday night.

Eovaldi (5-3) went 6 1-3 innings and got 12 of his 19 outs on flyballs. The right-hander hadn’t won since May 26 and gave up 11 runs in his previous two starts.

Phillies starter Roberto Hernandez (3-6) allowed two runs and three hits, striking out six in six innings. Hernandez lined a single to right in the third inning for his first career hit after going 0 for 40.

Coming off a 3-7 homestand, the Marlins kicked off a four-game series with a rare win in Philadelphia. They’re just 10-26 at Citizens Bank Park since 2010, including two wins in their last 10 games. The Marlins are tied with San Diego and Tampa Bay for fewest road wins this season with 13.

Reds 6, Cubs 1

CHICAGO (AP) – Devin Mesoraco hit a grand slam with two outs in Cincinnati’s five-run ninth inning, leading the Reds to a 6-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.

Mesoraco went deep for the fourth straight game, driving a 1-0 pitch from Hector Rondon (1-2) into the basket in left-center for his 13th homer. It was Mesoraco’s second grand slam of the season and No. 3 of his career.

Billy Hamilton had a tiebreaking RBI single earlier in the inning as Cincinnati won for the sixth time in seven games to move above .500 for the first time this season at 38-37. The winning sequence started when Chris Heisey reached on a pinch-hit single with two outs and no one on base, snapping an 0-for-16 rut.

It was the first homer allowed by Rondon since last Aug. 3.

Nationals 3, Brewers 0

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Gio Gonzalez combined with three relievers to hold Milwaukee’s potent lineup to three hits, and Adam LaRoche hit a three-run homer to help the Washington Nationals beat the Brewers 3-0 on Monday night.

Gonzalez (4-4) walked four and struck out five in six innings. It was the left-hander’s second start following a monthlong stint on the disabled list for left shoulder inflammation.

He outdueled Matt Garza (4-5), who struck out seven in seven innings but allowed LaRoche’s homer to straightaway center in the third.

Tyler Clippard struck out the side in the ninth for his first save.

Brewers cleanup hitter Carlos Gomez went 0 for 4, snapping a 35-game streak of reaching base and a career-best 18-game hitting streak.

American League

Blue Jays 8, Yankees 3

TORONTO (AP) – Adam Lind hit a three-run home run in his return to the starting lineup, rookie Marcus Stroman won for the first time in three starts and the Toronto Blue Jays beat New York 8-3 on Monday night, handing the Yankees their third straight loss.

Lind drove in four runs and Dioner Navarro had two RBIs for Toronto. The AL East-leading Blue Jays scored as many runs in this game against New York as they managed over three games while being swept at Yankee Stadium last week.

Stroman (4-2) allowed one run and three hits in a career-high eight innings. He walked one and matched a career high with seven strikeouts.

New York rookie Chase Whitley (3-1) saw his three-start winning streak snapped, allowing season highs of 11 hits and eight runs over 3 1-3 innings, the shortest of his eight outings this season. Whitley walked three and struck out two.


Orioles 6, White Sox 4

BALTIMORE (AP) – Chris Davis interrupted his frustrating season with a pinch-hit, three-run homer in the ninth inning to give the Baltimore Orioles a 6-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

Davis was excluded from the starting lineup after batting just .130 in his previous 14 starts. Called upon by manager Buck Showalter with runners on first and second and one out in the ninth, Davis launched a 3-2 pitch from Ronald Belisario (3-4) into the seats in right field.

Davis, who led the majors in home runs and RBIs last year, started the game in the dugout with a .216 batting average and 78 strikeouts in 218 at-bats.

Adam Jones and Caleb Joseph also homered for the Orioles, who trailed 4-2 in the eighth before rallying to hand the White Sox their fifth straight defeat.

Brad Brach (1-0) pitched two hitless innings for Baltimore.

Jose Abreu hit his 22nd homer and drove in three runs for Chicago, which went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position.

White Sox starter Chris Sale gave up a career-high 11 hits in six innings but was poised to earn his seventh win after leaving with a 3-2 lead. The left-hander walked one, hit a batter and had a season-low three strikeouts.

Chicago trailed 2-1 until Abreu led off the sixth with a drive over the wall in center. Dayan Viciedo followed with a double and Conor Gillaspie chased Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen with a run-scoring double.

An RBI double by Abreu made it 4-2 in the seventh. Abreu, a rookie, ranks third in the AL in home runs and his 60 RBIs is tied for third.

Joseph hit his second homer in two games, a solo shot off Zach Putnam in the eighth. The drive capped the rookie’s first career three-hit game.

That set the stage for Davis’ 13th home run. He hit 53 last year.

Baltimore went up 2-0 in the first inning when Steve Pearce walked and Jones followed with a drive to center that bounced off the top of the wall, only the fifth home run allowed by Sale this season.

Chicago got a run back in the third. Adam Eaton reached on an infield hit, Gordon Beckham doubled and Abreu hit a run-scoring groundout.

In the bottom half, Sale struck out Delmon Young and J.J. Hardy after the Orioles put runners on the corners with one out. One inning later, Baltimore loaded the bases with one out before Pearce hit a short fly and Jones struck out.