McCutchen Leads Bucs Past Cubs

By WILL GRAVES

AP Sports Writer

PITTSBURGH – Andrew McCutchen hit his eighth homer and drove in three runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.

McCutchen drove a two-run shot to right field in the third inning then added an RBI-double in the fifth off Edwin Jackson (4-6).

Charlie Morton (3-7) allowed one run over seven innings to win for the third time in his last four starts after beginning the season 0-6. Ike Davis hit his fifth homer of the season while Starling Marte broke out of a lengthy slump with three hits.

Starlin Castro went 3 for 4 with his eighth home run and two RBIs for the Cubs. Jackson surrendered four runs in six innings and is 1-4 since April 30. Chicago fell to 10-22 on the road, the worst mark in all of baseball.

It wasn’t exactly the best way to start a 10-game trip for the Cubs, who were coming off a successful 5-1 homestand that included the team’s longest winning streak in more than a year.

Any momentum generated at Wrigley Field vanished on a night Morton avoided the control problems that have plagued him much of the season. The right-hander came in with a major-league high 13 hit batters while averaging nearly 2.5 walks per start.

There were no such issues against Chicago. The Cubs needed a grounder deflecting off the glove of shortstop Jordy Mercer to extend the sixth inning before finally scoring on Castro’s long double to right.

All the run did was bring Chicago within 4-1, with most of the damage done by McCutchen.

Marte, who began the night 0 for his last 23, doubled home Pedro Alvarez to give the Pirates the lead in the first. McCutchen pushed it to 3-0 in the third when he patiently waited as Jackson worked him away before reaching out and sending a pitch into the first row of seats in right for his fourth homer this month.

McCutchen nearly did it again two innings later, lacing a double off the wall in right to score Travis Snider and give Morton all the cushion he would need. Bothered by some bad luck early in the season, Morton lowered his ERA to 3.14 and struck out seven. He has 16 strikeouts over his last two starts, a significant bump for a pitcher who relies on a heavy sinker to get groundball outs.

Dodgers 6, Reds 2

CINCINNATI (AP) – Scott Van Slyke drove in a career-high four runs with two homers off struggling left-hander Tony Cingrani, and the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled away to a 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Monday night, a rare comfortable win in their pitching-dominated series.

Van Slyke hit a solo homer and a three-run shot off Cingrani (2-7), who could lose his spot in the rotation when Mat Latos returns from the disabled list later this week. Cingrani gave up a career-high six runs in 4 2-3 innings of his fifth straight loss.

Dan Haren (6-4) gave up five hits in 5 1-3 innings, including Ryan Ludwick’s solo homer, for his first win since May 12. Brandon League escaped a bases-loaded, no-outs threat in the eighth by getting Ludwick to hit a comebacker that led to a home-to-first double play.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Mariners 3, Rays 0

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Robinson Cano drove in two runs with a bases-loaded double and the Seattle Mariners blanked the Tampa Bay Rays for the second straight game.

Five Seattle pitchers combined on a five-hitter. The Mariners extended their scoreless streak to 19 games and won for the eighth time in nine games.

The Rays have lost 13 of 14 and are saddled with the worst record in the major leagues at 24-41. The last time they were 17 games under .500 was the end of 2007, the final year they were known as the Devil Rays.

Cano’s big hit came during a three-run third inning against David Price (4-6). The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner has dropped three straight decisions and hasn’t won in nine starts since beating Minnesota on April 22.

Orioles 4, Red Sox 0

BALTIMORE (AP) – Bud Norris pitched eight innings of three-hit ball and Adam Jones hit one of the Baltimore Orioles’ three home runs in a victory over the Boston Red Sox.

Nick Markakis and Ryan Flaherty also connected for the Orioles.

Norris (5-5) struck out six and walked three while matching the longest outing of his career. Coming in, he had given up four or more runs in four of his past five starts.

Boston has lost six of its past seven games after a season-high seven game winning streak. The Red Sox have been shut out five times this season.

Jones had three hits, including his 150th career homer. Markakis extended his hitting streak to 14 games with two hits.

Boston right-hander Jake Peavy (1-4) allowed four runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts and one walk over seven innings.

Blue Jays 5, Twins 4

TORONTO (AP) – Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer in the first inning, Kevin Pillar singled home the winning run in the ninth and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Minnesota Twins.

Jose Reyes had a solo shot for the Blue Jays, who squandered a two-run lead in the top of the ninth but recovered to avoid their first three-game skid since May 9-11.

Dioner Navarro drew a leadoff walk from Matt Guerrier (0-1) and was replaced by pinch-runner Erik Kratz. Anthony Gose struck out trying to bunt and Casey Fien came on to face Reyes, who singled. Pillar followed with a single to right, and Kratz slid home headfirst ahead of the throw from Oswaldo Arcia.

Casey Janssen (1-0) got the win after blowing his second save.