Hill Leads Red Sox Over Skidding Pirates
PITTSBURGH — Christian Arroyo had three hits and three RBIs, Alex Verdugo reached base five times and 42-year-old Rich Hill won for the first time in nearly two months as the Boston Red Sox beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-3 on Wednesday night.
The Red Sox won for the fifth time in six games and got back to .500 at 59-59. Boston in four games behind Toronto in the race for the third and final AL wild-card spot.
Arroyo hit a two-run double and scored on Kike Hernandez’s sacrifice fly in the second inning as Boston went ahead for good 3-2. Arroyo also singled in a run in a three-run ninth that broke the gamer open.
Over the last two weeks, Arroyo has emerged as the Red Sox’s regular second baseman. The utility infielder has started the last 10 games at the position.
Verdugo was 3 for 3 with two walks.
Hill (5-5) allowed two runs on three hits in five innings for his first win since June 26. He struck out four and walked none. The left-hander was making his third start since missing a month with a sprained left knee.
The last time Hill pitched at PNC Park, he took a no-hitter into the 10th inning for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 23, 2017, before Josh Harrison hit a game-ending home run.
Hill didn’t flirt with immortality this time. Kevin Newman led off the first inning with a single and Bryan Reynolds followed with a two-run home run into the bullpen in center field. The Pirates didn’t score again until the ninth inning as their losing streak reached six games. Reynolds had two hits.
Quickly down 2-0, Hill bounced back to retire the next 12 batters before Rodolfo Castro singled leading off the fifth inning. The Red Sox went ahead 3-2 an inning later.
The Red Sox made it 4-2 on Verdugo’s RBI double in the fifth.
Rookie Roansy Contreras (3-3) was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis prior to the game and allowed four runs on six hits in six innings with four walks and three strikeouts. He had been sent to the minor leagues July 7 to limit his innings pitched.
Boston broke the game open in the final two innings. Pinch-hitter Rob Refsnyder drew a bases-loaded walk from Eric Stout in the eighth and then Kevin Plawecki hit a two-run double in the ninth to increase the lead to 8-2.
Ben Gamel hit an RBI single for the Pirates in the bottom of the ninth.
Red Sox: LHP James Paxton is expected to make his first rehab start Thursday in the Florida Gulf Coast League. After undergoing Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery last year, Paxton signed with Boston as a free agent in December. … LHP Matt Strahm (left wrist contusion) is expected to join the team Thursday and could be activated from the injured list then … SS Xander Bogaerts (bruised right shin) returned to the lineup after sitting out Tuesday.
Pirates: C Tyler Heineman (right groin strain) was activated from the 10-day DL, C Jose Godoy was optioned to Indianapolis and RHP Austin Brice was designated for assignment. … RHP Mitch Keller played catch a day after being removed from his start after two innings because of shoulder fatigue. … RHP David Bednar (low back inflammation) may be able to start playing catch by the weekend. … Though out for the season following hamstring surgery, C Roberto Perez has been cleared to participate in baseball activities and is hopeful of playing winter ball.
Red Sox: RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-3, 4.45) will start Thursday night as Boston tries to sweep the three-game series. He is 1-1 with a 6.32 ERA in six starts since missing five weeks with lower back inflammation.
Pirates: RHP JT Brubaker (2-10, 4.45) is winless in six starts since the beginning of July, going 0-3 with a 4.88 ERA.
BLUE JAYS 6, ORIOLES 1
TORONTO (AP) — George Springer broke a scoreless tie with a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-1 on Wednesday behind a stellar effort by Ross Stripling.
Springer’s liner to center was career hit No. 1,000, and Toronto poured it on from there. Santiago Espinal followed Springer with a two-run double, and Alejandro Kirk capped the Blue Jays’ six-run seventh with another two-run double.
Toronto snapped a five-game losing streak against Baltimore and won for the third time in 11 games. It broke through against the Orioles’ bullpen after Stripling carried a perfect game into the seventh.
Baltimore could have moved into an AL wild-card spot with a win. The Orioles are 10-5 in August.
Yimi Garcia (2-4) got two outs for the win. Joey Krehbiel (4-4) was charged with the loss.
MARINERS 11, ANGELS 7
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Cal Raleigh homered twice, Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker each hit a two-run shot, and Seattle completed a three-game sweep of Los Angeles.
Shohei Ohtani had a two-run homer, a triple, two singles and four RBIs for the Angels.
George Kirby (5-3) pitched six-hit ball into the sixth while getting ample run support in his third consecutive victory.
Spot starter Touki Toussaint (1-1) took the loss for Los Angeles.
TWINS 4, ROYALS 0
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Emilio Pagán pitched two scoreless innings after Tyler Mahle departed with right shoulder fatigue, and the Twins beat the Royals for a three-game sweep.
Jose Miranda hit a two-run homer for Minnesota, which is fighting with Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox for control of the crowded AL Central.
After Mahle left in the third, Pagán (4-6), Griffin Jax, Jhoan Duran, Michael Fulmer and Trevor Megill finished Minnesota’s second straight shutout. A diving catch by center fielder Gilberto Celestino saved a run in the seventh.
Mahle is going to be further evaluated and the team is expected to provide an update later Wednesday or Thursday.
Salvador Perez and Vinnie Pasquantino each had two hits for Kansas City. Daniel Lynch (4-8) allowed four runs — three earned — in six innings.
REDS 1, PHILLIES 0
CINCINNATI (AP) — Jose Barrero hit a game-ending RBI single off Seranthony Domínguez with two out in the ninth inning, sending Cincinnati to the win.
Albert Almora Jr. helped set up Barrero’s winning hit with a one-out walk. Almora advanced to second on Alejo Lopez’s single and hustled home when Barrero hit a grounder back up the middle.
It was the first run allowed by Domínguez (6-4) since July 10. Alexis Díaz (4-1) got six outs for the win.
Reds first baseman Joey Votto announced after the win that he will have season-ending surgery Friday to repair a torn left rotator cuff. The 38-year-old Votto, a six-time All-Star and 2010 NL MVP, hit just .205 this year.
PADRES 10, MARLINS 3
MIAMI (AP) — Jake Cronenworth hit a grand slam in the first inning, Ha-Seong Kim also drove in four runs, and San Diego avoided a three-game sweep by Miami.
Cronenworth’s two-out blast against Pablo Lopez (7-8) was his 12th homer this season and second career grand slam.
Adrian Morejon (2-0) relieved Padres starter Mike Clevinger in the fifth and threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings.
CUBS 3, NATIONALS 2
WASHINGTON (AP) — Yan Gomes hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, lifting the Cubs to the victory.
With two out and Franmil Reyes aboard after a leadoff double, Gomes hit a soft liner to right against Steve Cishek. Gomes played for the Nationals from 2019-21.
Erich Uelman (1-1) got two outs for his first major league win. Rowan Wick pitched the ninth for his eighth save.
P.J. Higgins homered for Chicago.
Lane Thomas hit two doubles for Washington, and rookie Joey Meneses extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Jake McGee (1-3) got the loss.