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Tigers Edge Pirates, 5-4

Detroit ends four-game losing streak in victory

Pittsburgh Pirates' Josh Bell follows through on a solo home run off Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Daniel Norris during the second inning of the team's baseball game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH — Christin Stewart’s sped his thinking up and slowed down his feet, helping the Detroit Tigers end a four-game losing streak in the process.

Stewart was on first with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning of a tie game on Tuesday night when Brandon Dixon hit a sharp grounder to Pittsburgh second baseman Adam Frazier. Rather than keep on sprinting to second, Stewart hesitated as he neared Frazier. Frazier tried futilely to tag Stewart before throwing to first. Nicholas Castellanos scored from third on the play to give Detroit a 5-4 lead it would hold on to — barely — to win for just fourth time this month.

“Frazier, I tried to pull him toward first base, and when he didn’t turn around and throw to second, I was like, ‘All right, you’re gonna have to tag me,'” Stewart said.

“I just broke down so that he wouldn’t tag me. He was running toward me, so I knew that is what he wanted to do.”

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle thought Frazier had time to flip the ball to shortstop Kevin Newman in hopes of turning a conventional double play.

“There’s a play to be made there and I don’t think (the tag) is the one,” Hurdle said. “Sometimes things happen. You change your mind in the middle of a play.”

Buck Farmer (4-4) earned the win despite giving up Newman’s tying RBI triple in the seventh. Joe Jimenez survived a bases-loaded jam in the eighth. Shane Greene earned his American League-leading 21st save by getting Josh Bell to hit into a game-ending double play as the Tigers snapped a four-game losing streak.

“We have been fighting our tails off all season, and we’ve had some games lately that have been a little bit embarrassing for us,” Greene said. “To come out tonight and fight to the end like that and come out with a W is big time.”

Miguel Cabrera had two hits in his first start at first base since May 31 as Detroit beat the Pirates for just the second time in their last 10 meetings. Detroit’s Daniel Norris put together his best start in nearly a month, giving up only Bell’s home run to center in the second and Jung Ho Kang’s RBI triple in the sixth. Norris struck out four and walked one and was in line to pick up his first victory since May 12 before the bullpen let the lead slip away.

Bell hit his 20th home run for Pittsburgh. Jung Ho Kang hit an RBI triple — his first three-base hit since 2015 — and Colin Moran picked up Pittsburgh’s major-league leading 33rd pinch hit of the season with an RBI single in the seventh, but the Pirates couldn’t overcome a series of miscues while falling to 4-12 in June.

Pittsburgh committed three errors, a number that didn’t include Frazier’s indecisiveness in the eighth. The Pirates also left nine men on base and went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

“You need to play complete games to win at this level,” Hurdle said. “Sometimes it’s harder when you don’t and that’s kind of where we’re at right now.”

Moran’s single and Newman’s shot to the right-field corner that extended his hitting streak to 10 games allowed the Pirates to pull even at 4-4 in the seventh, before Crick ran into trouble in the eighth.

KELLER IMPROVES

Pirates starter Mitch Keller — who’d been lit up for 12 runs across seven innings in his first two career starts — took a modest step forward in his third. The team’s top-ranked prospect allowed four runs (two earned) in five innings with two walks and six strikeouts. His outing might have been cleaner if not for a sloppy fourth inning, when his throwing error to first on a sacrifice bunt by Harold Castro and Kang’s inability to come up with a sharp grounder by John Hicks allowed the Tigers to take a 4-2 lead.

“Definitely better than the first two,” Keller said. “Felt like I had more command of everything tonight. Just mixing well and limiting damage when there were runners on base. That was huge.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Pirates: RHP Jordan Lyles (left-hamstring tightness) threw a four-inning simulated game on Tuesday. … C Francisco Cervelli (concussion-like symptoms) is with the team and has begun light baseball activities but remains out indefinitely. .. RHP Chris Stratton (right-side discomfort) was activated off the injured list. To make room for Stratton the Pirates sent reliever Yefry Ramirez back to Triple-A Indianapolis.

UP NEXT

Tigers: Expect Jordan Zimmerman (0-4, 5.93 ERA) to make his first start since April 25 after recovering from a strained right elbow.

Pirates: Trevor Williams (2-1, 3.33 ERA) returns from a monthlong stay on the injured list with a strained right side when he makes his 10th start of the season on Wednesday. Williams is 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA in three starts against Detroit.

Reds 4, Astros 3

CINCINNATI (AP) — Jesse Winker and Derek Dietrich homered off Justin Verlander in the first inning and the Cincinnati Reds held on for a victory over the Houston Astros that clinched their first series win in nearly a month.

By taking the first two games, the Reds won a series for the first time since May 24-26, when they took two of three from the Cubs. The Astros hadn’t dropped a series since April 29-May 2.

The Reds quickly got to Verlander (9-3), who hadn’t allowed a pair of homers in one inning all season. Winker connected on Verlander’s fourth pitch, the third leadoff homer allowed by the right-hander this season. Joey Votto’s double and Dietrich’s first homer since May 28 made it 3-0.

Kyle Farmer added a homer in the seventh off Verlander, who has given up three homers in each of his last two starts. Verlander went seven innings and struck out eight.

Anthony DeSclafani (4-3) pitched into the sixth inning and remained unbeaten in June. He gave up six hits, including Yordan Alvarez’s RBI double with one out in the sixth that cut it to 3-1 and ended his outing. Alex Bregman hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Amir Garrett.

White Sox 3, Cubs 1

CHICAGO (AP) — Eloy Jimenez hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the ninth inning in his first game against his first major league organization, helping the Chicago White Sox beat the Chicago Cubs.

The 22-year-old Jimenez was a top prospect for the Cubs before he headlined a rare trade with the White Sox for veteran left-hander Jose Quintana in July 2017. The Jimenez deal will live on in sports bars all over Chicago for many years to come, and the rookie added another wrinkle with one big swing in his first game at Wrigley Field.

James McCann hit a leadoff single before JimÈnez drove a 1-0 pitch from Pedro Strop (1-3) over the wall in left for his 12th homer. Considered one of baseball’s top young sluggers, JimÈnez has gone deep six times in his last nine games.

Evan Marshall (3-0) got two outs for the win and Alex ColomÈ worked the ninth for his 15th save in 15 chances. Four White Sox relievers combined for four scoreless innings after Iv’n Nova turned in one of his best starts of the season.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Marlins 6, Cardinals 0

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Rookie Jordan Yamamoto dazzled again, matching his first career start by pitching seven scoreless innings against St. Louis, and the Miami Marlins beat the Cardinals.

Yamamoto (2-0) allowed two hits, struck out seven and walked two. He gave up three hits in seven innings in his major league debut, on June 12 in Miami against the Cardinals. Before that game, he had not pitched above Double-A.

Yamamoto became the first pitcher since Pittsburgh’s Nick Maddox in 1907 to beat the Cardinals twice in a seven-day span when the first game was his debut. Relievers Tayron Guerrero and Sergio Romo completed the two-hitter.

Brian Anderson and Starlin Castro homered for the Marlins.

Mets 10, Braves 2

ATLANTA (AP) — Jacob deGrom took a shutout into the ninth inning, Pete Alonso homered to highlight the first four-hit game of his young career, and the New York Mets routed the first-place Atlanta Braves.

Bouncing back from an ugly 12-3 loss in the series opener, the Mets pounded Braves starter Julio Teheran for six runs over four innings and cruised to a victory that eased some of the tension from a disappointing season.

DeGrom (4-6) dominated a potent Braves lineup that powered the team to 10 wins in its previous 11 games. The 2018 NL Cy Young winner allowed just five hits, struck out 10 and helped himself at the plate, leading off the sixth with a double and coming around to score.

Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson hit back-to-back homers off deGrom in the ninth, ending a bid for the second shutout and fourth complete game of his career. Robert Gsellman came on for the beleaguered Mets bullpen to strike out the final two Atlanta hitters.

After a team meeting before the game, Alonso’s RBI double in the third sparked a four-run outburst that got the Mets rolling toward just their second win in six games. The rookie first baseman finished off Teheran with a two-run shot in the fourth, launching a 426-foot drive over the center-field wall to give New York a 6-0 lead.

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