Polanco Breaks Slump As Pittsburgh Tops Chicago

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Gregory Polanco broke out of a slump with a two-run homer, Andrew McCutchen hit his 12th home run of the season and the Pittsburgh Pirates edged the Chicago Cubs 4-3 on Saturday night.

Ivan Nova (7-4) pitched seven strong innings and Pittsburgh’s bullpen made it stand up a night after collapsing late in a 9-5 loss. Felipe Rivero got the final five outs for his third save.

Jake Arrieta (6-5) hit the fifth home run of his career but struggled with his command late. He is winless in his last five starts against the Pirates. Arrieta was removed in the fifth inning following a sequence in which he uncorked two wild pitches and hit a batter.

Addison Russell hit his sixth home run of the season for the Cubs. Anthony Rizzo led off the game with a single and went 2 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, but the defending World Series champions dipped back below .500 (33-34).

The Cubs have been unable to get anything going as their hangover from the franchise’s first title in 108 years lingers. It looked like they found something Friday night, when they erupted for six runs in the ninth to rally for a win.

Chicago couldn’t push it forward as Nova did what he’s done every fifth day all season: he took the ball and held onto it as long as he could. Nova became the first Pirates pitcher to work at least six innings in each of his first 13 starts since Eddie Solomon in 1981.

Nova received some early help from the slumping Polanco, who came in hitting just .096 (3 for 31) in his last seven games. Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle opted to keep Polanco in the third spot in the batting order anyway, and Polanco delivered with a line-drive home run over the wall in right field that put the Pirates up 2-0 in the first inning.

Arrieta tied it in the fifth with a two-run homer of his own, his first since June 27, 2016, against Cincinnati.

The tie didn’t last long. Jordy Mercer led off the bottom of the inning with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI single by Adam Frazier. Arrieta, playing through a laceration on his right (pitching) thumb, then sailed another wild pitch — his major league-leading 11th — clear over the head of Pittsburgh’s Francisco Cervelli. He left after hitting David Freese with a pitch to load the bases.

After starting his career 9-1 with a 1.46 ERA against the Pirates, Arrieta is now 0-3 with a 7.80 ERA in his last five starts against Pittsburgh.



MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jose Ramirez homered twice, doubled and drove in four runs as the Cleveland Indians pulled even with Minnesota atop the AL Central by beating the Twins in the first game of a day-night doubleheader. The nightcap was delayed by rain.

Ramirez touched off a three-run first inning with a two-out homer off Adam Wilk (0-2). He chased the spot starter with a two-run double in the fourth and added another solo shot off Alex Wimmers in the sixth. It was the second multihomer game of Ramirez’s career, both this season.

Zach McAllister (1-0) pitched two hitless innings, striking out three. He worked in relief of starter Ryan Merritt, who made his season debut. McAllister, Bryan Shaw and Dan Otero combined for five scoreless innings in relief.


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Ryon Healy went deep twice for his third multihomer game in two weeks, Matt Joyce also hit a long ball and Oakland beat New York.

Joyce reached base five times, Jesse Hahn (3-4) pitched five innings to defeat New York for the first time in his career and Jed Lowrie had an RBI single to keep the A’s rolling at home. Oakland has won six of its last eight at the Coliseum, including three straight against the Yankees.


NEW YORK (AP) — Trea Turner hit a leadoff homer and Washington backed Stephen Strasburg (8-2) with three long balls, beating New York to stay undefeated at Citi Field this season.

Adam Lind added a two-run shot and Jose Lobaton also went deep for the NL East leaders, who can finish a four-game sweep Sunday afternoon. Washington is 6-0 in Queens this year — part of an impressive 24-12 mark on the road — and has won 12 of 16 at the Mets’ home ballpark since the start of last season.



MILWAUKEE (AP) — Cory Spangenberg and Chase d’Arnaud each hit solo home runs in the 11th inning, lifting San Diego over Milwaukee in yet another slugfest.

The teams have combined for 15 home runs in the first two games of the three-game series. The Padres totaled a season-best five home runs Saturday, including two by Yangervis Solarte and one by Wil Myers, while Milwaukee got a homer each from Orlando Arcia, Eric Thames and Keon Broxton. On Friday night, Thames’ game-ending shot in the 10th was the seventh home run of the game.



BALTIMORE (AP) — Jonathan Schoop homered twice and drove in four runs, Manny Machado went deep in a seven-run second inning against Adam Wainwright and Baltimore beat St. Louis.

Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo got Baltimore started with successive first-inning shots, and Schoop finished the long-ball display with drives in the fourth and seventh.


CINCINNATI (AP) — Yasiel Puig hit two of the Dodgers’ four homers, powering Los Angeles to a victory that took the edge off Cincinnati’s latest honor for its banned hits king.

Pete Rose unveiled a bronze sculpture of his headfirst slide in front of Great American Ball Park before the game. Thousands of packed-in fans cheered when he said, “Let’s get those Reds in high gear.”


DENVER (AP) — Kyle Freeland tossed six solid innings, Tony Wolters drove in two runs and Colorado beat San Francisco again.


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Mike Napoli hit two home runs, connecting along with Rougned Odor and Shin-Soo Choo in the sixth inning to power Texas past Seattle.



PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run double and also made a key catch, boosting Arizona over Philadelphia for its sixth straight victory.


DETROIT (AP) — Chris Archer pitched six strong innings, Daniel Robertson drove in two runs and scored a third, and Tampa Bay bounced back to beat Detroit.



TORONTO (AP) — Todd Frazier and Matt Davidson hit consecutive home runs to lead Chicago over Toronto.



ATLANTA (AP) — Brandon Phillips drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning, Matt Adams had four RBI. and Atlanta rallied from a four-run deficit to beat Miami.

Johan Camargo led off the 10th with a single, advanced on a sacrifice and scored when Phillips lined a ball up the middle off A.J. Ramos (1-3).

Nick Markakis’ RBI double in the ninth sent the game into extra innings. Arodys Vizcaino (3-2), the seventh Atlanta pitcher, faced four batters in the 10th to get the win.