Anthony Rizzo hits grand slam, Cubs pound Pirates 17-8

By The Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) — Anthony Rizzo hit a grand slam, Willson Contreras had two long solo homers and the Chicago Cubs kept pace in the NL wild-card race with a 17-8 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday.

Rookie Nico Hoerner hit a two-run shot for his first major league homer and had four RBIs for the Cubs. Chicago moved a game ahead of Milwaukee for the second NL wild card.

Contreras, Hoerner and Nicholas Castellanos homered in the first with the wind blowing out as Chicago scored five times after Pittsburgh jumped on Jon Lester (13-10) for a 4-0 lead.

Hoerner elevated a low pitch to the center field batter’s eye in his first plate appearance at Wrigley Field. He drove in two more runs with a single in Chicago’s seven-run fifth. The 22-year-old infielder made his debut with the Cubs on Monday at San Diego after the team announced All-Star shortstop Javier Báez would be out of the season with a hairline fracture in his left thumb.

Alec Mills pitched the final three innings for his first save. Pirates starter Steven Brault (4-5) was tagged for 10 runs on Chicago’s five homers in 2 2/3 innings.


ST. LOUIS (AP) — Paul Goldschmidt hit a grand slam and a three-run homer and Adam Wainwright pitched six innings of two-hit ball in St. Louis’ victory over Milwaukee.

The Cardinals have a five-game lead over the third-place Brewers in the NL Central. St. Louis remains four games ahead of the Chicago Cubs. The Brewers had their seven-game winning streak snapped and fell out of a tie with Chicago for the second wild card.

Wainwright (12-9) struck out seven and walked three. Adrian Houser (6-6) was the loser.


NEW YORK (AP) — Noah Syndergaard again wobbled with Wilson Ramos as his catcher while Clayton Kershaw was right in the pocket, sending Los Angeles past New York.

Kershaw (14-5) stopped a rare three-start skid and improved to 10-0 in regular-season play against the Mets. Rookies Gavin Lux and Edwin Ríos homered to help the NL West champion Dodgers win their ninth in a row at Citi Field dating to 2016.

Coming off a four-game sweep of Arizona, Syndergaard (10-8) and the Mets fell flat. They dropped three games behind Chicago for the second NL wild-card spot. Milwaukee and Philadelphia also are ahead of New York, which was eliminated from contention in the NL East.

Kershaw avoided the first four-game losing streak of his decorated career. He gave up a first-inning homer to J.D. Davis and threw a season-high 105 pitches.


TORONTO (AP) — Bo Bichette hit his first game-ending home run, a drive that lifted Toronto past New York.

A 21-year-old who debuted on July 29, Bichette led off the 12th against Tyler Lyons (1-2) with his 11th home run. Wilmer Font (4-4) pitched two innings for the win. Toronto at 58-90 is trying to avoid losing 100 games for the first time since 1977-79, its first three seasons.

Blue Jays left-hander Tim Mayza entered in the 10th but left after injuring his elbow on a wild ball four to his first batter, Didi Gregorius. An emotional Mayza went down on one knee and covered his face with his jersey before walking off with an athletic trainer.



WASHINGTON (AP) — Mike Soroka allowed one hit over six innings, Ozzie Albies homered and finished with the three hits in Atlanta’s victory over Washington.

Atlanta moved 9 1/2 games in front of Washington in the NL East and reduced its magic number to six. Washington leads the NL wild-card race.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman was lifted for precautionary reasons in the fourth inning with right elbow soreness. Atlanta’s Nick Markakis, back after missing 43 games with a fractured left wrist, had a single, a double and a sacrifice fly and made a sliding catch in left field to take a hit away from Victor Robles.

Soroka (12-4) struck out four and walked three. Max Scherzer (10-6) was the loser.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — George Springer hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the ninth inning, Gerrit Cole win his 13th straight decision and Houston beat Kansas City to stop a three-game losing streak.

Kyle Tucker singled with one out in the ninth off Heath Fillmyer (0-2), and pinch-hitter Michael Brantley walked. Josh Reddick struck out, and Springer followed with his 35th homer.

Cole (17-5) struck out 11 in eight innings, reaching double figures for the sixth straight start.

Roberto Osuna worked around a two-out single for his 33rd save in 39 chances.

Jose Altuve hit his 28th home run in the first inning, breaking the Astros record for home runs by a second baseman, set by Jeff Kent in 2004.


ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Khris Davis homered twice, Ramon Laureano connected on the game’s fourth three-run shot to break a tie in the sixth inning and Oakland beat Texas to stay in front in the AL wild-card race.

The A’s (88-60) won their fourth straight, a streak that started with three victories in Houston following a 15-0 loss to the AL West-leading Astros.

Davis had one of the three-run homers, an opposite-field drive to right in the third after a solo shot into the Oakland bullpen in left-center in the second.

Laureano’s 22nd homer well over the 14-foot fence down the line in left came against rookie reliever Ian Gibaut (1-1). J.B. Weldenken (2-1) retired all nine hitters he faced in the fourth, fifth and sixth.


DETROIT (AP) — In the first meeting in 50 years of major league teams both 50 or more games under .500, DJ Stewart and Trey Mancini homered to lead Baltimore past Detroit.

This was just the fourth time teams 50 or more games under .500 met, according to STATS, the first since Montreal played at San Diego on Aug. 29, 1969. The others were between Kansas City and Washington on Oct. 7, 1886, and between St. Louis and Louisville on Sept. 13, 1886, STATS said.

Detroit dropped to a big league-worst 43-103, its most losses since setting a team mark at 43-119 in 2003. Baltimore is 48-99.

Aaron Brooks (5-8) allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings to win for the third win time in four decisions. Jordan Zimmermann (1-11) was the loser.


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