Pittsburgh Pirates

Best of MLB: Cubs top Rays in Joe Maddon's return to Tampa, push win streak to 7

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Best of MLB: Cubs top Rays in Joe Maddon's return to Tampa, push win streak to 7

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- Mike Montgomery took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, Kyle Schwarber hit his 28th home run and the Chicago Cubs extended their winning streak to a season-high seven by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1 Tuesday in manager Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field.

Maddon managed the Rays from 2006-14, then left to manage Chicago and last year led the Cubs to their first World Series title since 1908. Chicago entered with a 3 -game lead over second-place Milwaukee in the NL Central.

A crowd of 25,046, the largest at the Trop since opening day, gave Maddon a standing ovation in the middle of the first inning.

"I thought it was a quick nine years," he said of his time with the Rays. "I try to stay in the present tense, but that was a fast nine years and I have nothing but warm and fuzzies about it."

Montgomery (7-8) allowed one hit in six innings, a one-out homer in the sixth by Brad Miller. Montgomery struck out six, walked one and hit his first batter, Kevin Kiermaier.

Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards Jr. and Wade Davis each followed with an inning of perfect relief to complete the one-hitter. Davis struck out the side and remained perfect in 32 save chances.

Schwarber homered in the second and Javier Baez hit an RBI double in the fifth against Chris Archer (9-11), who gave up four hits in six innings. Archer struck out six, riaising his total to 241 -- 11 shy of the team record he set two years ago. He is 2-6 in his last 14 starts (see full recap).

Brewers hold off Pirates to keep pace in NL Central
PITTSBURGH -- Chase Anderson had eight strikeouts in six innings, Domingo Santana homered and the Milwaukee Brewers shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second straight day, 1-0 on Tuesday night.

The Brewers won for the ninth time in 11 games, keeping pace in the NL Central and wild-card races. They won for the fourth time in the past seven days against reeling Pittsburgh, which has lost a season-high seven consecutive games and 12 of 13.

It was the 12th shutout of the season for the Brewers, tied for the second-most in the NL.

Anderson (11-3) allowed five singles. Anthony Swarzak retired six of the seven batters he faced, and Corey Knebel earned a save with a perfect ninth. Seven of his 39 saves this season have come against the Pirates (see full recap).

Wild pitch in extras sends Red Sox past Orioles
BALTIMORE -- Jackie Bradley Jr. scored the game's lone run on a wild pitch by Brad Brach in the 11th inning, and the Boston Red Sox used six pitchers to silence the Baltimore Orioles' bats in a 1-0 victory Tuesday night.

Boston has won 10 of 13 to move a season-high 23 games over .500 (87-64) and draw closer to clinching a postseason berth. The Red Sox started the day with a three-game lead over the second-place New York Yankees in the AL East.

It was the second straight tight, lengthy game between these AL East rivals. Boston won in 11 innings on Monday night and is 15-3 in extra-inning games.

With a runner on second and two outs in the 11th, Brach (4-5) walked Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts to load the bases for Mitch Moreland, who sidestepped a bouncing pitch from Brach that enabled Bradley to score without a throw (see full recap).

MLB season home run record set in Blue Jays' win over Royals
TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman pitched seven innings to win for the first time in six starts, Darwin Barney hit a two-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 5-2 on Tuesday night.

Kansas City outfielder Alex Gordon's solo home run off Ryan Tepera in the eighth was the 5,694th of this major league season, breaking the record set in 2000 at the height of the Steroids Era. The record was broken with just less than two weeks remaining in the regular season.

There were 5,610 homers last year, an average of 2.31 per game, and this year's average of 2.53 entering Tuesday projects to 6,139. That would be up 47 percent from 4,186 in 2014.

Barney went 2 for 3 with three RBIs as the Blue Jays opened their final homestand on a winning note.

Stroman (12-8) allowed one run and four hits for his first victory since Aug. 16 against Tampa Bay (see full recap).

Best of MLB: Alex Avila's 9th-inning triple gives Cubs 1-0 win

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Best of MLB: Alex Avila's 9th-inning triple gives Cubs 1-0 win

PITTSBURGH -- Alex Avila knocked an RBI triple in the ninth inning, capping a duel between Jose Quintana and Gerrit Cole and lifting the Chicago Cubs over the Pittsburgh Pirates 1-0 on Wednesday night.

After Cole limited Chicago to two hits over eight innings, Avila scored pinch-runner Leonys Martin from second base with a drive to the right-field corner off reliever Daniel Hudson (2-6).

The only hits against Cole were Javier Baez's infield single in the second and John Jay's single in the eighth.

Quintana struck out six but allowed six hits and had to deal with baserunners in each of his six innings. The Pirates had two men on with no outs in the sixth, but Quintana got Jose Osuna to ground into a double play and a grounder from Sean Rodriguez to end the threat.

Wade Davis struck out two during a perfect ninth for his 29th save, preserving a win for Pedro Strop (4-4) (see full recap).

Nationals beat Marlins for 8th time in a row
MIAMI -- Gio Gonzalez and four relievers combined on a six-hitter, and the Washington Nationals beat the Miami Marlins for the eighth consecutive time, winning 8-1 Wednesday night.

Gonzalez (14-6) pitched five scoreless innings but needed 101 pitches. Ryan Zimmerman hit his 31st homer, and Michael A. Taylor added his 14th.

The Nationals, who completed a three-game sweep, have outscored Miami 53-12 in their past eight meetings. Washington increased its lead in the NL East to 18 games over second-place Miami.

Major league home run leader Giancarlo Stanton went 0 for 3 and is 3 for 35 in the past 10 games. All three hits were homers, leaving him at 53 for the season.

The Marlins have lost nine of their past 10 games to fade from the NL wild-card race. Announced attendance was 14,390, smallest of the year for the second night in a row at Marlins Park. With South Florida bracing for Hurricane Irma, a head count at first pitch put the actual crowd size at 799.

Dillon Peters (0-1) gave up three runs in five innings (see full recap).

Braves, Rangers split doubleheader
ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman hit a two-run double during Atlanta's five-run second inning against Cole Hamels and the Braves held off a rally to beat the Texas Rangers 5-4 and split a doubleheader Wednesday night.

Nomar Mazara had a two-run homer in the nightcap for Texas, which won the first game 12-8 behind four hits from Elvis Andrus.

The Rangers are two games behind the Twins in the race for the second AL wild card.

Julio Teheran (10-11) earned his second straight home win, allowing three runs, five walks and five hits in five innings in Game 2.

Hamels (9-3) gave up five runs, four earned, in six innings. After facing 10 batters in the second, he allowed only one hit over his next four innings.

Luiz Gohara (0-1), a 21-year-old native of Brazil, allowed six runs in four innings in his major league debut for Atlanta in the first game. Austin Bibens-Dirkx (5-2) threw three scoreless innings in relief for Texas (see full recap).

MLB Notes: Red Sox reportedly used Apple Watch to steal signs

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MLB Notes: Red Sox reportedly used Apple Watch to steal signs

NEW YORK -- Looking for any edge in an age-old rivalry, the Boston Red Sox got called out in a high-tech sign-stealing scheme they ran on the New York Yankees.

The first-place Red Sox admitted to Major League Baseball that they used an Apple Watch to relay signals from opposing catchers to Boston players, The New York Times reported Tuesday. Sign stealing has long been a part of the game, but employing electronic gadgets to do it is against the rules.

MLB is looking into allegations levied by the Yankees after a series between the teams last month in Boston. The Times said the Red Sox told MLB investigators that Boston manager John Farrell, general Dave Dombrowski and other team executives were not aware of the operation, which had been going on for weeks.

Commissioner Rob Manfred, who was at Fenway Park on Tuesday night as part of a previously planned visit, said he wanted to get the matter resolved quickly. He didn't comment about possible penalties.

"The only thing that I can tell you about repercussions is that to the extent that there was a violation on either side -- and I'm not saying that there was -- to the extent that there was a violation on either side, we are 100 percent comfortable that it is not an ongoing issue -- that if it happened, it is no longer happening," he said (see full story).

Pirates: Manager Hurdle, GM Huntington get extensions
PITTSBURGH -- Neal Huntington arrived in Pittsburgh a decade ago confident he had the right plan to turn around the floundering Pirates. Three years later, the general manager hired Clint Hurdle to take the building blocks the front office put in place and mold it into finished -- and winning -- major-league product.

Together, Huntington and Hurdle oversaw the franchise's end to a generation of misery. While the buzz provided by three straight playoff berths from 2013-15 has dulled with Pirates entering the final month of a wildly uneven 2017 season well out of things in the NL Central, the resolve of the men who oversaw baseball's renaissance in Pittsburgh has not.

Rather than panic or split, Huntington and Hurdle are doubling down. The Pirates signed both to four-year contract extensions on Tuesday that will keep them in Pittsburgh through 2021.

"We were able to accomplish some things in the last seven years that have meaning," Hurdle said Tuesday. "There are things out there that have more meaning that we want to accomplish together" (see full story).

Cubs: Arrieta undergoes MRI, iffy for next start
PITTSBURGH -- Chicago Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta underwent an MRI on his achy right hamstring on Tuesday, and manager Joe Maddon says his team's ace could have his next start pushed back.

Arrieta left with one out in the third inning of Monday's loss to Pittsburgh after experiencing what he described as a cramp in the hamstring. Arrieta said afterward he felt fine, but the team opted for an MRI as a precaution.

Arrieta is scheduled to start on Saturday when the first-place Cubs host second-place Milwaukee at Wrigley Field. Maddon said it's likely the team will exercise some caution regardless of the MRI results.

If Arrieta can't go on Saturday, Chicago would likely use Mike Montgomery to fill in.

Arrieta had been 6-1 with a 1.59 ERA since the All-Star break before Monday's shortened outing.

Marlins: Families travel with team as Irma looms
MIAMI -- With Hurricane Irma bearing down on South Florida, the Miami Marlins are allowing families of players and staff to travel with the team on their upcoming road trip.

"Jeffrey (Loria) ultimately made the decision that all the families are going to get to go with us, travel the whole trip, kids and the whole thing, and really provide a service for our families, which is really very nice of the organization," manager Don Mattingly said, referring to the Marlins' owner.

The Marlins will be leaving Miami after Wednesday night's game against the Washington Nationals for a seven-game road trip to Atlanta and Philadelphia.

"We all feel the same way, you all feel the same way too. If you had your kids here and you're leaving on a trip, it's not the best feeling to leave your family somewhere," Mattingly said. "We really don't have a family trip so it is actually probably a good thing. To me, I would like to see us have a couple trips where the families could travel with us and be a part of it. So it's a pretty good opportunity to see what it looks like" (see full story).