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Polanco Hears Cheers in Win

Pittsburgh Pirates' Colin Moran, left, is greeted by Gregory Polanco (25) after hitting a two-run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Gregory Polanco turned boos into cheers with the decisive two-run double during an eight-run seventh inning and the Pittsburgh Pirates rallied for an 11-7 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night.

Polanco’s double put the Pirates ahead for good at 9-7 and was one of six straight hits off reliever Genesis Cabrera.

Down 7-3 going into the seventh, the Pirates tied it with two-run singles by Bryan Reynolds and Wilmer Difo. Polanco then one-hopped the left-center field wall with his double before pinch-hitter Yoshi Tsutsugo capped the outburst with a two-run home run.

It was Tsutsugo’s third pinch-homer since joining the Pirates as a free agent Aug. 16 following his release by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Our guys just kept coming,” Pittsburgh manager Derek Shelton said. “They left some balls in the middle of the plate, we didn’t miss them, and we continued to go.”

The Cardinals led 7-1 midway through the third inning.

Polanco has been booed regularly at PNC Park recently. He entered Thursday hitting .205 and made a pivotal error in a loss to Arizona on Wednesday night.

The highest-paid player on the team with an $11.6 million salary, Polanco was placed on waivers last weekend but went unclaimed. The 29-year-old said prior to Thursday’s game that he was saddened by the treatment he was getting from fans.

“It’s tough. It’s not nice,” Polanco said. “They have to understand that I’m a human being, too. This is my work. This is my job. I don’t want to do bad. I eat because of baseball. That’s how I get paid, so I want to do great every time. That’s not nice to hear that, the fans like, ‘Oh, release him. DFA him. Send him back.'”

Polanco had three of the Pirates’ 17 hits in helping last-place Pittsburgh win for the fifth time in seven games. Polanco doubled twice and said afterward the boos from Wednesday motivated him a night later.

“Every time people doubt me and say I can’t do something, I know I have to just keep working hard, try to do my best every day and go out and compete and prove myself,” he said.

First baseman Colin Moran said he and his teammates were happy to see Polanco have a big night.

“He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever played with,” Moran said. “He works as hard as anybody. He has as much talent as much talent as anyone. Any time he does great, you feel great for him.”

Michael Chavis had the second four-hit game of his career, the other coming with Boston in 2019 as a rookie. Moran also had four hits, including a two-run homer in the fourth off Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas. Difo added three hits.

Chad Kuhl (4-6) pitched a scoreless seventh for the win. Cabrera (2-5) was charged with six runs while not retiring a batter.

Cardinals manager Mike Shildt would not second guess his decision to leave Cabrera in for so long.

“He’s really good,” Shildt said. “At some point, if you took everybody out after a couple hits, you’d never have anybody left to pitch.”

Shildt also said he felt Cabrera was tipping his pitches. Three of the Pirates’ six hits off the left-hander came on pitches outside the strike zone.

Nolan Arenado and Edmundo Sosa hit two-run home runs off Pirates starter Mitch Keller.

Arenado connected in the first with a drive high off the left-field foul pole. Sosa hit a blast deep into the right-center field seats in the third.

Tommy Edman had a two-run double in the second inning for St. Louis, which dropped 4 Ç games behind Cincinnati in the race for the second NL wild card.

Keller was tagged for seven runs in 5 1/3 innings. Mikolas gave up three runs in 4 2/3 innings in his second start since missing nearly three months with a strained forearm.


NEW YORK (AP) — Kris Bryant launched an early two-run homer, pinch-hitter Darin Ruf broke an eighth-inning tie with an RBI single and the San Francisco Giants beat the plummeting New York Mets for a three-game sweep.

Bryant connected in the first inning off Carlos Carrasco for his 24th home run of the season and sixth with the major league-leading Giants since they acquired him from the Chicago Cubs at the July 30 trade deadline.

Pete Alonso tied it with a massive two-run homer in the sixth that chased starter Alex Wood.

Mike Yastrzemski singled against Seth Lugo (3-2) to begin the eighth, and Curt Casali was grazed by a pitch. Ruf grounded a single through the right side to give the Giants a 3-2 lead.

Jarlin Garcia (5-3) worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings in relief. Tyler Rogers got three quick outs in the ninth for his 12th save.


TORONTO (AP) — Luis Robert hit a two-run home run, Carlos Rodon won in his return from the injured list and Chicago beat Toronto.

Jose Abreu, Cesar Hernandez and Eloy Jimenez each hit solo shots as the White Sox earned a split in the four-game series.

Rodon (10-5) allowed two runs and five hits in five innings. Activated off the injured list before the game, Rodon hadn’t pitched since Aug. 7 because of a sore shoulder.

Craig Kimbrel finished for his first save with the White Sox, his 24th in 27 chances this season.

Marcus Semien hit two home runs for the Blue Jays.

Chicago’s first three home runs came off starter Hyun Jin Ryu (12-7).


BALTIMORE (AP) — A day after ending a 19-game losing streak, major league-worst Baltimore got a grand slam and six RBIs from Pedro Severino to rout Shohei Ohtani and Los Angeles.

Ohtani led off the game with a homer, his MLB-leading 41st, but that was the only highlight for the Angels, who have lost five of six.

Baltimore won two games in a row for the first time since July 30-31. Keegan Akin (1-8) picked up his second career win, allowing one run and three hits in a season-high seven innings.

Elvis Peguero (0-1) was charged with five of the six runs the Angels allowed in the fifth inning.


BOSTON (AP) — Chris Sale joined Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax as the only pitchers on record with three immaculate innings, Bobby Dalbec homered twice and Boston beat Minnesota.

Dalbec drove in seven runs and Rafael Devers hit his 30th homer, a two-run shot during a five-run sixth that helped seal Sale’s third victory in as many starts since his return from Tommy John surgery.

Sale (3-0) pitched 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight and allowing two runs on two hits. Willians Astudillo hit a two-run homer in the fifth for Minnesota.

Dalbec hit a three-run homer in the second off John Gant (4-8).


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jonathan India hit a three-run homer, Nick Castellanos also went deep and Cincinnati avoided a three-game sweep by NL Central-leading Milwaukee.

Sonny Gray (6-6) allowed three hits in six scoreless innings for the Reds, who still trail the Brewers by 8 1/2 games. Cincinnati holds the second NL wild card spot.

Brewers starter Brett Anderson (4-8) worked 4 2/3 innings before leaving the game with tightness in his right hip. He was charged with three runs on four hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts.


CLEVELAND (AP) — Bradley Zimmer hit a two-run homer into the second deck in right field to highlight a four-run first inning, and Cleveland beat Texas.

Zimmer’s 465-foot blast off Jordan Lyles (6-11) hooked toward the foul pole and landed several rows back in the second deck at Progressive Field.

Reliever Trevor Stephan (3-0) allowed one run in 2 2/3 innings.

Nick Solak and DJ Peters homered for Texas, which is 9-28 since the All-Star break.


MIAMI (AP) — Jorge Alfaro homered and singled, rookie Bryan De La Cruz had three hits, and Miami beat Washington.

Elieser Hernandez (1-1) allowed two runs and six hits in five innings.

Washington’s Juan Soto hit his 21st homer, a two-run shot.

Alfaro capped a four-run first inning with his three-run drive against Patrick Corbin (7-13).


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