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Bell Tops 100 RBI in Pirates’ Win

Pittsburgh Pirates' Josh Bell, left, celebrates with Starling Marte, right, after driving him in with a two run home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

PITTSBURGH — Josh Bell isn’t done.

That was the defining message from the All-Star first baseman after he topped 100 RBIs for the first time in the majors, hitting a three-run homer as the Pittsburgh Pirates routed the Cincinnati Reds 14-0 on Saturday night.

“There’s a lot of weight on that number, so it’s cool to get that out of the way,” Bell said. “I’ll strive for more. So it’s cool to kind of have that check go off on that box.”

After Colin Moran gave Pittsburgh a 7-0 lead with a pinch-hit grand slam in the sixth inning, Bell lined a fastball from Kevin Gausman into the left-field bleachers in the seventh to reach 102 RBIs.

That’s the highest total from a Pirates player during manager Clint Hurdle’s nine seasons in Pittsburgh, passing Pedro Alvarez’ 100 RBIs from 2013.

“He still has a month-plus to play,” Hurdle said. “There’s absolutely value in (topping 100 RBIs). Back in the day, you hit 20 (home runs) and 100, you were a bad dude. You were one of the baddest dudes in the league. … One hundred is still a yard marker.”

Bell’s career-high 32 home runs matched Bobby Bonilla’s mark from 1990 for the most by a Pirates switch-hitter.

The Pirates have won the first two games against Cincinnati after entering the three-game series 8-30 since the All-Star break. The Reds lost their ninth straight game at PNC Park dating to an 8-6 win on June 17, 2018.

Moran’s grand slam was his fourth in the majors. He sent a curveball from Lucas Sims 396 feet to right field for his major league career-high 12th homer.

Trevor Williams (6-6) allowed three hits with three strikeouts in six innings, recovering from giving up six earned runs in two innings against Washington in his last start.

“I know I’m a good pitcher,” Williams said.

“I know my coaches trust me and my teammates trust me. The beautiful thing about baseball, and also the really crummy thing about baseball, is bad games are going to happen and bad stretches are going to happen. It’s just a matter of what you’re going to do to pull yourself out.”

Two of the three hits off Williams were the first two of the season for Reds starter Alex Wood (1-3). Wood allowed four earned runs on two hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings.

“Overall I thought it was good,” he said. “Sometimes you’ve just got to tip your cap. I felt good. Hopefully, I’ll build on tonight and go from there.”

Wood was pulled after hitting Bell to load the bases with one out in the sixth. A single off Sims from Jose Osuna produced Pittsburgh’s third run before Moran entered for his grand slam.

“I thought that was his best start since he’s been with us,” Reds manager David Bell said. “I don’t know what happened there his last inning. He just lost his feel for the strikes a little bit, walked a couple and hit a batter.”

“You know, at that point, given how Williams was pitching and since we had to try to keep it right there, we had a groundball and then the Moran pinch-hit grand slam was the big play of the game,” he said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: 1B Joey Votto will not return from his low back strain when eligible to be activated from the 10-day injured list Sunday, but is progressing well, Bell said. He was placed on the IL on Aug. 18 (retroactive to Aug. 15). … C Curt Casali returned from a rehabilitation assignment with a sprained right knee and was reinstated from the 10-day IL. … INF/OF Brian O’Grady was optioned to Triple-A Louisville.

UP NEXT

Reds: RHP Trevor Bauer (10-10, 4.06) will try to avoid a third straight loss when he takes the mound against Pittsburgh on Sunday. He is 2-4 in eight starts since going 4-0 in five starts from June 16-July 7.

Pirates: RHP Dario Agrazal (2-3, 4.09) is looking for his first win since July 6 entering Sunday. He is 0-3 in six appearances (five starts) since.

Atlanta Braves sign veteran catcher Francisco Cervelli

NEW YORK (AP) — The first-place Atlanta Braves have signed catcher Francisco Cervelli and immediately plugged him into the starting lineup against the New York Mets.

Cervelli, who has a history of concussions, was recently granted his release by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He gives the NL East leaders a veteran replacement for injured catcher Brian McCann, who is sidelined with a sprained left knee.

The 33-year-old Cervelli joined the Braves on Saturday at Citi Field and was set to bat seventh against Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler. Atlanta manager Brian Snitker says Cervelli will split playing time with Tyler Flowers behind the plate and likely remain with the club when McCann returns because by then rosters will have expanded in September.

Cervelli batted .193 in 34 games for the Pirates this season before getting hurt. He is a .269 career hitter with 36 home runs in 700 major league games.

To make roster room for Cervelli, the Braves optioned catcher Alex Jackson to Triple-A Gwinnett and transferred left-hander Grant Dayton to the 60-day injured list.

Ramirez Injured in Indians Win

CLEVELAND (AP) — Franmil Reyes hit a three-run homer to help Cleveland beat Kansas City 4-2 on Saturday in a game in which the Indians lost third baseman Jose Ramirez to a right wrist injury.

Reyes’ 30th homer of the season highlighted a four-run third inning against the Royals’ Glenn Sparkman (3-9).

With the win, Cleveland moved ahead of Tampa Bay into one of the two AL wild-card spots.

Ramirez, a two-time All-Star, left the game in the first inning after fouling off a pitch. He immediately bent over in pain before walking off the field with a trainer. A team spokesman said he exited with “right wrist discomfort.”

Mike Clevinger (9-2) struck out eight and allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings, remaining unbeaten in his career against Kansas City and improving to 4-0 at home this season. Brad Hand worked a scoreless ninth for his 31st save.

Sparkman allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings, extending his winless streak to seven starts.

BRAVES 9, METS 5

NEW YORK (AP) — Newly signed Francisco Cervelli had three hits and three RBIs in his Atlanta debut, and the Braves won their seventh straight.

Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth, and Billy Hamilton dashed home with another run on the play thanks to a mental lapse by the Mets.

Freddie Freeman hit his career-high 35th home run in the ninth. Ozzie Albies and Josh Donaldson also went deep for the NL East-leading Braves.

Rookie slugger Pete Alonso matched a Mets record with his 41st home run, a three-run shot.

Josh Tomlin (2-1) tossed two scoreless innings for the win.

Wilson Ramos extended his hitting streak to 18 games for the Mets, the longest active streak in the majors.

DODGERS 2, YANKEES 1

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kenley Jansen escaped a bases-loaded jam in a bizarre ninth inning that saw both managers on the field trying to figure out what happened, and the Los Angeles Dodgers held off the New York Yankees.

Jansen struck out Mike Tauchman and pinch-hitter Gary Sanchez to end a matchup between the teams with the best records in baseball.

But it was the play right before that to load the bases that left most everyone in the ballpark wondering what was going on.

There were runners at first and second with one out when Gio Urshela hit a grounder to third baseman Justin Turner, who looked to start a game-ending double play. Second baseman Max Muncy caught Turner’s flip but then got wiped out by Brett Gardner’s hard slide for an apparent forceout.

Gleyber Torres, who started the play on second, rounded third and then headed home with Muncy down on the ground, trying to score the tying run. Instead, Torres was stopped by the umpires because time had been called. The strange sequence set off a 2-minute replay review. Gardner was called safe at second, beating the throw with a hard but legal slide.

Justin Turner hit a two-run homer in the third for the Dodgers. Jansen earned his 27th save.

Aaron Judge homered for the second straight day, connecting in the fourth.

Tony Gonsolin (2-1) allowed one run, struck out two and walked two. Joe Kelly and Pedro Baez kept the Yankees scoreless over the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, stranding three baserunners. Baez struck out the side in the eighth.

CC Sabathia (5-8) gave up two runs and five hits in four innings, tying his second shortest outing of the season. He struck out seven and walked one.

NATIONALS 7, CUBS 2

CHICAGO (AP) — Trea Turner reached base four times and scored twice, Yan Gomes and Howie Kendrick each drove in two runs and surging Washington beat Chicago.

Washington has won four straight and six of seven to extend its lead over Chicago for the top NL wild-card spot to three games.

Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo exited in the fifth inning with tightness in his middle back — he missed time in May with back trouble.

Turner got Washington off to a quick start, going 2 for 3 with two walks and a stolen base to extend his streak of reaching base safely to 31 games, the longest current streak in the majors. Anthony Rendon stretched his hitting streak to 11 games and drove in a run.

Washington starter Joe Ross allowed two runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. Five Nationals relievers combined to hold Chicago to one hit over the final 4 2/3 innings. Wander Suero (4-7) got the final two outs of the fifth to get the win.

Jose Quintana (11-8) allowed four earned runs in four innings and had his career-high streak of seven straight wins snapped. Nicholas Castellanos had two hits and an RBI for the Cubs.

ORIOLES 7, RAYS 1

BALTIMORE (AP) — Pedro Severino hit his first career grand slam, Hanser Alberto and Jonathan Villar homered on successive pitches and Baltimore beat Tampa Bay.

John Means (9-9) allowed one run and five hits over seven innings. He struck out seven and walked none.

Michael Brosseau homered for the Rays.

After hitting into a double play with the bases loaded in the first inning, Severino got a second chance with the bases filled in the third and sent an 0-1 pitch from Austin Pruitt into the left-field seats. In the fourth, Alberto hit a solo shot off Pruitt and Villar connected on the following pitch for a 7-0 lead.

Jose Alvarado (1-6) made his first major league start for Tampa Bay and lasted for only 24 pitches.

PHILLIES 9, MARLINS 3

MIAMI (AP) — Corey Dickerson had four hits and five RBIs as Philadelphia beat Miami.

Zach Eflin pitched six solid innings for his first win since June 24. Eflin (8-11) allowed two runs, six hits and struck out two. Three Phillies relievers allowed one run — on Jorge Alfaro’s homer off Mike Morin in the seventh — over the final three innings.

Scott Kingery’s three-run homer off Miami rookie starter Jordan Yamamoto highlighted a six-run fourth and erased a 1-0 deficit.

Yamamoto (4-5) allowed six runs, six hits, walked four and struck out three. After winning his first four major league decisions, Yamamoto is winless since July 16 with an ERA of 8.18 in his last seven outings.

ASTROS 5, ANGELS 2

HOUSTON (AP) — Alex Bregman hit his career-high 32nd homer and Wade Miley earned his seventh straight win as Houston beat Los Angeles.

The AL-West leading Astros tied the New York Yankees for the best record in the AL at 84-47. The Angels lost their fourth in a row.

Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a two-run homer in the first inning. Bregman upped the lead to 5-0 with a three-run homer in the third.

Miley (13-4) yielded one run on five hits with four strikeouts over five innings. Will Harris pitched the ninth for his first save of the season.

Luis Rengifo hit a solo home run in the Angels fifth. Mike Trout cut the lead to 5-2 with an RBI single in the seventh.

Dillon Peters (3-2) allowed five runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings.

RANGERS 4, WHITE SOX 0

CHICAGO (AP) — Willie Calhoun and Danny Santana homered, rookie Kolby Allard pitched into the seventh inning and Texas beat Chicago.

Allard (2-0) allowed six hits, struck out eight and walked none in his fourth start since he was acquired in a trade with Atlanta last month.

Calhoun and Nick Solak had two hits apiece for the Rangers, who had dropped seven of 10.

Jose Abreu had two of Chicago’s eight hits, giving him 1,001 for his career

Ivan Nova (9-10) was charged with an earned run and six hits in 5 2/3 innings. He was 5-0 with a 0.85 ERA in his previous six starts.

CARDINALS 6, ROCKIES 0

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Harrison Bader homered, Dakota Hudson allowed just two hits over six innings, and St. Louis defeated Colorado.

Hudson (13-6) extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to a career-high 18 2/3 as the Cardinals won their third straight and sixth in their last seven games.

The Cardinals moved 1 1/2 games ahead of the Cubs for first place in the NL Central.

Hudson struck out two and walked three before being lifted for a pinch hitter after throwing 95 pitches. Tyler Webb, Giovanny Gallegos and Dominic Leone completed the four-hit shutout.

Paul Goldschmidt’s 29th home run of the season capped the scoring in the seventh.

Rockies starter Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-5) walked six and allowed five runs over 4 1/3 innings as the Rockies lost their third straight.

BREWERS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 0

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Eric Thames and Trent Grisham hit back-to-back homers, Keston Hiura knocked in two runs and Chase Anderson pitched five strong innings as Milwaukee blanked Arizona.

With the win, Milwaukee pulled within two games of Chicago in the race for the second NL wild-card spot. Arizona dropped 5Ç games back of the Cubs, who lost to the Nationals earlier in the day.

Arizona had just four hits, three of which came against Anderson.

Anderson (6-3) picked up the win. Of his 87 total pitches, the right-hander threw 60 for strikes in front of a capacity crowd of 41,737.

Thames put the Brewers on the board in the fourth with a solo home run to right field off right-hander Zac Gallen. Grisham followed with a solo shot of his own two pitches later.

Gallen (2-4) struck out eight, but failed to get enough run support and dropped the second of his last three decisions.

TWINS 8, TIGERS 5

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Miguel Sano’s three-run homer capped a five-run rally in the fifth inning, Jake Cave and Max Kepler also connected and AL Central-leading Minnesota beat Detroit.

Sano and Cave homered twice Friday night in a 9-6 loss to the Tigers, who have the worst record in the league. The Twins trailed 4-1 in this game before their comeback.

Cave led off the fifth with a double, Kepler doubled home a run and Nelson Cruz hit an RBI single. Sano pulled his 26th homer into the second deck in left off Edwin Jackson (3-7).

Cave hit a two-run homer in the sixth off Matt Hall. Kepler had three hits, including his 35th home run and sixth leadoff shot of the season.

Kyle Gibson (12-6) struck out eight in 5 1/3 innings while charged with five runs, four earned. He won for the first time since Aug. 3. Taylor Rogers secured the final five outs for his 20th save.

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