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Reynolds Hits 2 HR, Bucs Stop Skid

Pittsburgh Pirates' Bryan Reynolds hits a two-run home run against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Philip G. Pavely)

PITTSBURGH — Bryan Reynolds hit two home runs, JT Brubaker pitched seven shutout innings and the Pittsburgh Pirates snapped a six-game losing streak, beating the Boston Red Sox 8-2 Thursday night.

The Pirates avoided a three-game sweep and sent Boston back to one game under .500 at 59-60. The Red Sox are five games behind Toronto for the third and final AL wild-card spot.

“We’re not going to win every game,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “It’s going to happen. We’re disappointed. We hate losing, but we took two out of three. Now, we have Baltimore, we’ve got Tampa and Toronto, right? Now, you’ve got to win series. To gain ground, these other teams, they’re ahead of us.”

Reynolds hit a pair of two-run homers. He connected in the first, and his drive in the fifth was the 3,000th home run at PNC Park since it opened in 2001.

“I didn’t know about it, but it’s pretty crazy just to be a little part of that history,” Reynolds said. “They come in bunches. I guess we’re in a bunch right now. Got some good pitches and, luckily, didn’t miss them.”

Reynolds and Kevin Newman each had three hits and scored three times.

Brubaker (3-10) allowed two hits, walked none and struck out seven. He gave up a leadoff single in the second to Alex Verdugo, who was caught stealing, and single to Xander Bogaerts with one out in the seventh.

The right-hander was removed on 84 pitches, partially because of a blister that began to form in the sixth inning. It isn’t expected to keep Brubaker from making his next start.

“Just the idea of coming out, attacking the zone,” Brubaker said on his focus. “Quick first inning and just kept rolling with the momentum and tempo that I was having on the mound. … It’s really just pace and it’s momentum, just with your body, how your body is rolling out there on the mound. It’s a lot easier when you get it from pitch one to continue it throughout the game.”

Reynolds put Pittsburgh ahead 2-0 in the first with a drive off Josh Winckowski (5-6) over the wall in right field. After Newman singled in the fifth, Reynolds hit his team-leading 20th home run for a 6-0 lead.

It was the third multi-homer game of Reynolds’ major league career and second this season. He has four home runs in his past four games.

“It was pretty good swings today,” Pirates manager Derek Shelton said. “The first one, he got really well. Then the second one on the 3-0 pitch. It’s a big lift when that happens.”

Winckowski gave up each of Reynolds’ home runs and a double that Ben Gamel sent over a leaping Tommy Pham in left field, scoring Newman and Reynolds with two outs in the third. He got through five innings, allowing six runs on seven hits.

“I definitely walked the tightrope with most guys, I feel like,” Winckowski said. “My miss rate, or whatever it is, is definitely lower. So, guys put the ball in play on me and that amplifies hits and other things. When home runs do happen, it tends to be not solo home runs. So, it’s definitely something I’m working on.”

Pham got Boston on the board with an infield single off Zach Thompson in the eighth before Bobby Dalbec scored on a sacrifice fly, cutting the deficit to 8-2. Manny Bañuelos struck out Verdugo on a 3-2 curveball with the bases loaded to end the inning.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: LHP James Paxton left two batters into his first rehab start in the Florida Gulf Coast League on Thursday. Paxton signed with Boston in December after having Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in April 2021.

Pirates: C Tyler Heineman had an RBI single in the sixth, extending Pittsburgh’s lead to 8-0, in his first game since being reinstated from the 10-day injured list on Wednesday. He had been out with right groin discomfort since Aug. 3.

UP NEXT

Red Sox: RHP Kutter Crawford (3-4, 4.18 ERA) will start Friday to begin a three-game series at Baltimore. He has allowed two runs or fewer in three of his past four starts.

Pirates: RHP Bryse Wilson (2-7, 5.93) will take the mound Friday for the first of a three-game set against the Cincinnati Reds. He has allowed more than three earned runs once in seven starts since giving up seven in back-to-back outings on May 22 and June 14.

CARDINALS 13, ROCKIES 0

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Albert Pujols launched a pinch-hit grand slam and drove in five runs, Adam Wainwright pitched seven sharp innings and the St. Louis Cardinals routed the Colorado Rockies 13-0 Thursday for a three-game sweep.

The Elias Sports Bureau said the Cardinals were the first team in big league history to have a player at least 40 years old hit a grand slam and another at least 40 to pitch seven shutout innings in the same game. Pujols is 42, two years older than Wainwright.

The Rockies lost starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela (3-7) and right fielder Charlie Blackmon in the second inning to leg injuries.

The NL Central-leading Cardinals won their fourth in a row and sent Colorado to its fifth straight loss.

Pujols hit his 690th career home run, connecting off Austin Gomber and capping a five-run third that made it 10-0.

Wainwright (10-9) gave up three hits, two of them infield singles.

BRAVES 3, METS 2

ATLANTA (AP) — Max Fried outpitched Jacob deGrom, ever so slightly, in a matchup of aces and rookie Michael Harris II bounced a go-ahead double in the seventh inning that sent Atlanta past New York.

The Braves won three of four in the series and moved within 3 1/2 games of the NL East-leading Mets. Atlanta has won nine of 10.

New York has dropped three of four after winning 17 of 20.

Fried (11-4) lasted seven innings, giving up two runs and four hits with no walks and six strikeouts.

DeGrom (2-1) allowed five hits and three runs with no walks and nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

In the ninth, Mets star Francisco Lindor was caught in no-man’s-land on the bases and thrown out.

ASTROS 21, WHITE SOX 5

CHICAGO (AP) — Alex Bregman hit two homers and two doubles, driving in a career-high six runs and powering Houston past Chicago.

Houston’s run total tied for the second most in team history — the Astros scored 23 against Baltimore in 2019.

The Astros wound up with 25 hits as Bregman, Kyle Tucker and Christian Vazquez tied career highs with four each.

Houston scored six times in the fourth inning, chasing Lucas Giolito (9-7) in taking a 10-0 lead.

Luis Garcia (10-8) blanked Chicago for the first four innings but gave up Yoan Moncada’s three-run homer in the fifth.

BREWERS 5, DODGERS 3

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Andrew McCutchen homered twice, Hunter Renfroe also went deep and Milwaukee split a four-game series with major league-leading Los Angeles.

McCutchen had three RBIs in his 19th career multi-homer game.

Andrew Heaney (1-1) gave up all three homers. He struck out 10 but allowed five runs, five hits and one walk in 4 2/3 innings.

Corbin Burnes (9-5) allowed three runs, six hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. Devin Williams struck out the side in the ninth for his eighth save.

BLUE JAYS 9, YANKEES 2

NEW YORK (AP) — George Springer went 5-for-5, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run second inning off Frankie Montas, and Toronto beat slumping New York.

Jose Berrios (9-5) bounced back from a pair of rough outings to pitch 6 2/3 effective innings for the Blue Jays.

Coming off Josh Donaldson’s walk-off grand slam to beat Tampa Bay on Wednesday night, New York lost for the 13th time in 17 games.

Montas (4-10) allowed six runs and eight hits in six innings in his home debut for the Yankees, who got him from Oakland ahead of the trade deadline.

DIAMONDBACKS 5, GIANTS 0

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Zac Gallen struck out a career-high 12 in 7 1/3 innings, extending his shutout streak to 21 1/3 innings as Arizona beat San Francisco.

Gallen (9-2) limited the Giants to four hits and has won five straight decisions.

The D-backs chased Logan Webb (11-6) early and earned a split of the four-game series.

Webb gave up five runs, three earned, on nine hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings.

RAYS 7, ROYALS 1

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Luis Patino pitched strongly into the sixth inning, Yandy Díaz drove in three runs and Tampa Bay beat Kansas City.

The Rays have won five of six.

Patino (1-1), recalled from Triple-A Durham to make his first big league appearance since July 23, gave up four hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

Díaz homered on the second pitch from Max Castillo (0-1) leading off the first, and had a two-run double during a during a five-run seventh off Brad Keller.

CUBS 3, ORIOLES 2

BALTIMORE (AP) — Willson Contreras hit a pair of homers, Adrian Sampson pitched scoreless ball into the sixth inning and Chicago beat Baltimore.

Sampson (1-3) allowed four hits with six strikeouts and two walks over 5 2/3 innings, earning his first win since last Sept. 14 at Philadelphia.

Contreras then gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead in the sixth with a solo shot off Spenser Watkins (4-3).

Rafael Ortega also homered for the Cubs, who have won five of seven.

Brandon Hughes picked up his first career save.

RANGERS 10, ATHLETICS 3

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Nathaniel Lowe hit a three-run homer, Jonah Heim drove in two runs against his former team and Texas beat Oakland.

Dane Dunning (3-6) allowed two runs in six innings for his second consecutive win.

Texas completed a 4-3 homestand by splitting four games with the last-place A’s.

Rookie Zach Logue (3-7) allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings.

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