Simon and the Reds Throttle Pirates

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Alfredo Simon became the NL’s first 10-game winner and Billy Hamilton had three hits and three RBIs in the Cincinnati Reds’ 11-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night.

Simon (10-3) allowed three runs on five hits and three walks in 6 1-3 innings to break a tie with the Dodgers’ Zack Greinke and Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright for the NL lead in victories.

Simon went to spring training as a relief pitcher and moved into the starting rotation when Mat Latos was recovering from elbow and knee surgeries.

Brandon Phillips, Skip Schumaker and Zack Cozart each had two of the Reds’ 14 hits in the game, which was delayed 1 hour, 15 minutes by rain in the bottom of the seventh inning. Schumaker also had three RBIs in helping Cincinnati win for the sixth time in seven games.

Pittsburgh’s Gregory Polanco went 2 for 4 and became the second player in Pirates’ history – joining Spencer Adams (1923) – to have a hit in each of his first eight major league games.

Edinson Volquez (4-6) was tagged for eight runs in 2 2-3 innings after going 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in his previous five starts.

Pirates reserve outfielder Travis Snider pitched the ninth inning in his first major league appearance on the mound. He allowed two runs on a double by Hamilton and a groundout by Todd Frazier, but struck out 2010 NL MVP Joey Votto on a 2-2 changeup to end the inning.

Andrew McCutchen had his 12-game hitting streak end as he went 0 for 3 before being pulled after six innings with Pittsburgh trailing 9-1. Starling Marte had two hits and two RBIs while running his hitting streak to nine games.

The Reds broke open the game in the third inning, sending 12 men to the plate.

Phillips doubled in the first run and another scored on a wild pitch by Volquez before Schumaker and Cozart hit consecutive RBI singles to make it 5-0.

The Reds’ next run came on a disputed call and resulted in the ejection of Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle. Simon hit a nubber to the left of the mound with the bases loaded that right-hander Stolmy Pimentel, who had just relieved Volquez, made a diving play on then flipped the ball to catcher Russell Martin at home plate for an apparent force out on Devin Mesoraco.

Mesoraco, however, was ruled safe following a 3-minute, 33-second video review in which it was determined that Martin had illegally blocked home plate.

Hamilton followed with a two-run single that capped the inning and increased Cincinnati’s lead to 8-0.

In the fourth, Mesoraco doubled and scored on a single by Schumaker.

The Pirates scored in the fifth when Polanco knocked in Pedro Alvarez, who hit a leadoff double. Marte drove in a run in the sixth inning with a fielder’s choice and Jose Tabata hit a sacrifice fly as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and added an RBI single in the ninth.

National League

Mets 3, Cardinals 2

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Bartolo Colon worked eight dominant innings in 91-degree heat and keyed the go-ahead rally with his first career extra-base hit, helping New York beat St. Louis to avoid a three-game sweep.

Eric Young Jr. and David Wright each had an RBI in a two-run sixth that put the Mets up by a run. Young added an RBI double in the seventh, aided by Colon’s second sacrifice of the game. A day after dropping their sixth straight series in St. Louis, the Mets ended an eight-game road losing streak dating to June 3.

Matt Carpenter hit his third career leadoff homer for the Cardinals, who lost for the second time in nine games. They had just one runner in scoring position against the 41-year-old Colon (7-5), who retired 13 in a row before Daniel Descalso’s two-out single in the eighth.

Phillies 10, Braves 5

ATLANTA (AP) – Ryan Howard capped a big series by driving in two runs with three hits, and Philadelphia battered Aaron Harang to complete a three-game sweep of Atlanta.

Howard, who homered in the first two games of the series, doubled home a run in a five-run second inning and added an RBI single in the fifth. He had five hits, four walks and six RBIs in the series.

Marlon Byrd drove in three runs with three hits, including a homer. Five players each had three of Philadelphia’s season-high 18 hits.

Evan Gattis hit a two-run homer in the Braves’ four-run first inning off Roberto Hernandez (3-5). Ryan Doumit also homered and hit a two-run single.

Harang (5-6) allowed nine runs, eight earned, and 13 hits. He threw 115 pitches in five innings.

The Phillies have won seven of nine. Atlanta has lost eight of 12.

American League

Royals 2, Tigers 1

DETROIT (AP) – The Kansas City Royals won their 10th straight game, extending their best streak in 20 years when Jeremy Guthrie and a lucky hop helped them beat the Detroit Tigers 2-1 Wednesday.

The Royals have not won this many games in a row since a run of 14 straight in 1994. They extended their AL Central lead over the Tigers to 1 1/2 games.

Guthrie (4-6) allowed four hits and struck out nine in 6 2-3 innings. Drew Smyly (3-6) nearly matched him, but the Detroit left-hander was hurt by Alex Gordon’s RBI single that deflected off second base in the first and a solo homer by Omar Infante in the fifth.

J.D. Martinez homered for the Tigers in the seventh, but the Kansas City bullpen got the last seven outs, with Greg Holland pitching the ninth for his 21st save in 22 chances.

Kansas City will try for a four-game sweep Thursday.

Red Sox 2, Twins 1, 10 innings

BOSTON (AP) – Mike Napoli and David Ortiz hit consecutive homers with one out in the 10th inning and Boston rallied to hand Minnesota its fifth straight loss.

Boston was held to one hit – a fifth-inning double by Daniel Nava – before the homers.

The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 10th on Chris Parmelee’s two-out home run off Koji Uehara (2-1), snapping the closer’s scoreless streak at 21 2-3 innings. But after Dustin Pedroia flied out to begin the Boston 10th, the Red Sox connected against Casey Fien (3-4) to complete a three-game sweep.


White Sox 7, Giants 6

CHICAGO (AP) – Jose Abreu hit his 20th homer, a two-run shot, and Adam Dunn added a three-run drive to help Chicago hand San Francisco its fifth straight loss.

White Sox ace Chris Sale (6-1) gave up three runs and eight hits in six-plus innings. Ronald Belisario got five outs for his seventh save.

Abreu reached 20 homers in his 58th game, the third-fewest in major league history behind Wally Berger (51) and Mark McGuire (56). Chicago swept the two-game series.

Giants starter Tim Hudson (7-3) allowed seven runs and 12 hits in 4 2-3 innings, his shortest outing this season. He entered with a major league-best 1.81 ERA.

Orioles 2, Rays 0

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Kevin Gausman pitched six innings, Steve Pearce’s double snapped a scoreless tie and Nelson Cruz added his major league-leading 22nd home run to help Baltimore beat Tampa.

Pearce homered during a 7-5 victory Tuesday night and put the Orioles ahead this time with a line drive down the right-field line in the fifth.

Alex Cobb (2-5) would have made it through the inning unscathed if second baseman Ben Zobrist hadn’t mishandled Nick Markakis’ grounder for an error.

Gausman (3-1) allowed five hits and struck out five, including Zobrist and James Loney after the Rays loaded the bases with no outs in the first.