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Stallings’ HR Lifts Pirates

Pittsburgh Pirates' Jacob Stallings hits a walk-off solo home run off Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Andrew Chafin during the bottom of the ninth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020. The Pirates won 3-2. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

PITTSBURGH — Jacob Stallings hit a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates stalled the Chicago Cubs’ bid to win the NL Central with a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.

The Cubs began the day with a 4 ¢-game lead over St. Louis and Cincinnati in the division standings and a magic number of four to clinch the title.

Stallings connected with one out off Andrew Chafin (1-2) to help the Pirates ended their five-game losing streak and win for the just second time in 15 games. It was Stallings’ third home run of the season and the third game-ending hit of his career.

Chafin got the final out of the eighth and first of the ninth before Stallings sent a 2-2 pitch down the left field line.

Anthony Rizzo’s two-run homer in the eighth inning had pulled the Cubs into a tie at 2-all.

Richard Rodriguez (3-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.

Chicago’s Jose Quintana was activated from the injured list and made his first start of the season. The left-hander went two innings and gave up one run and one hit with one strikeout.

Quintana had made just two relief appearances this year. He underwent surgery before the season to repair never damage in his left thumb and then was sidelined by a strained lat.

Down 2-0 with two outs and none on in the eighth, the Cubs’ Willson Contreras singled off Chris Stratton. Left-hander Sam Howard relieved and Rizzo sent a 2-0 pitch into the right-field stands for his 10th homer of the season and first off a lefty.

BRAVES 11, MARLINS 1

ATLANTA (AP) — Bryse Wilson pitched five scoreless innings, Marcell Ozuna drove in five runs with four hits that included two homers and Atlanta clinched its third straight NL East title.

YANKEES 12, BLUE JAYS 1

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Gerrit Cole limited Toronto to five hits over seven innings in his final preparation for the playoffs, and Aaron Hicks drove in three runs in a rout over the Blue Jays.

BREWERS 3, REDS 2

CINCINNATI (AP) — Tyrone Taylor homered, Eric Sogard doubled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, and Milwaukee rallied over Cincinnati.

NATIONALS 5, PHILLIES 1, 1st game

NATIONALS 8, PHILLIES 7, 8 inn., 2nd game

WASHINGTON (AP) — Philadelphia tumbled out of a playoff position, getting swept in a doubleheader by Washington when Yadiel Hernandez hit a game-ending, two-run homer in eighth inning off Brandon Workman (1-4) in the second game.

METS 5, RAYS 2

NEW YORK (AP) — Pete Alonso and the Mets prevented Tampa Bay from clinching the AL East crown, beating the Rays behind three home runs and Seth Lugo’s bounce-back pitching performance.

RED SOX 8, ORIOLES 3

BOSTON (AP) — Nick Pivetta struck out eight in five innings of one-run ball in his Boston debut and Christian Vazquez hit a three-run homer in a win over Baltimore.

CARDINALS 5, ROYALS 0

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Austin Gomber tossed six innings of four-hit ball in a crucial spot start and St. Louis capitalized on some erratic pitching from Brady Singer, beating Kansas City.

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