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Pirates Drop Ball and Game

CHICAGO (AP) — Sergio Alcantara scampered home when second baseman Wilmer Difo mishandled a popup in the 11th inning, and the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 on Thursday night for their third straight win.

Rafael Ortega and Ian Happ homered for Chicago, and Alcantara logged the first three-hit game of his career. Codi Heuer (6-2) got three outs for the win.

Alcantara began the 11th on second base and advanced on Ortega’s sacrifice bunt against Sam Howard (2-3). Happ then sent a high fly to second, where Difo committed the game-ending error.

The last-place Pirates wasted a stellar start by Mitch Keller, who struck out eight in six scoreless innings. Colin Moran hit a three-run homer in the first, and Bryan Reynolds finished with two hits.

The Cubs rallied after Keller departed. Ortega tied it at 3 with a three-run shot against Chad Kuhl in the seventh. Frank Schwindel then singled and Happ connected for his 18th homer, sending a drive deep to right-center.

The Pirates tied it in the ninth against Rowan Wick. With one out and the bases loaded, Michael Perez drove in two runs with a pinch-hit single to right. But Cole Tucker then bounced into a double play.

Pittsburgh has lost five of its last six games after winning three of four.

GIANTS 5, BREWERS 1

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Thairo Estrada hit a three-run homer during San Francisco’s four-run eighth inning, and the Giants beat the Brewers to avoid a four-game sweep.

RED SOX 4, RAYS 0

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Eduardo Rodriguez pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning, and the Red Sox earned a split in their four-game series against the AL East-leading Rays.

BRAVES 6, ROCKIES 5

DENVER (AP) — Adam Duvall hit a two-run homer in Atlanta’s three-run fifth inning, and the Braves overcame a grand slam by Charlie Blackmon.

PHILLIES 7, NATIONALS 6

WASHINGTON (AP) — Andrew McCutchen drove in four runs and Philadelphia erased a six-run deficit on its way to the three-game series sweep.

METS 4, MARLINS 3

NEW YORK (AP) — Dominic Smith broke a seventh-inning tie with a pinch-hit RBI single, sending the Mets to the win.

ATHLETICS 8, TIGERS 6

DETROIT (AP) — Jed Lowrie hit a three-run homer in the first inning for the first of Oakland’s eight two-out runs against Matt Manning.

INDIANS 4, ROYALS 2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Triston McKenzie pitched six effective innings in his return from the injured list, leading Cleveland to the victory.

Cleveland has won 11 straight games against the Royals, the longest winning streak over Kansas City in club history.

Owen Miller hit a three-run homer for the Indians, and Yu Chang singled home Jose Ramirez.

McKenzie (4-5) showed no ill effects from his recent shoulder fatigue. He yielded one run and two hits while improving to 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA in six appearances against Kansas City.

Emmanuel Clase pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 24 chances.

Kansas City’s Mike Minor (8-12) was charged with three runs, two earned, and five hits in five innings.

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