MLB Roundup: Pirates rally for four runs in ninth to beat beleaguered Mets, 5-3

NEW YORK (AP) — After bringing in Felipe Vazquez with his team trailing by two in the eighth inning, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was asked by bench coach Tom Prince whether the closer would stay in the game if his turn to bat came up in the ninth.

“At the time, I counted off and said this is what the lead will be and I still think he’s our best option to close,” Hurdle joked. “We would be in a good spot if we can get Vazquez up to the plate.”

As it turned out, that’s exactly what happened.

David Freese hit a go-ahead, two-run single and Pittsburgh rallied for four runs in the ninth to beat the New York Mets 5-3 on Wednesday night.

Gregory Polanco had an RBI single and Josh Bell added a sacrifice fly as the Pirates, blanked by Zack Wheeler for seven innings, came back against a beleaguered New York bullpen to win for the second time in eight games. Pittsburgh took two of three against the Mets to win a road series for the first time since sweeping the Chicago White Sox from May 8-9.

“This one very easily could have gotten away from us,” Hurdle said. “It could have been another series loss. They found a way to put a foot down and make something really positive happen.”

Elias Diaz got it started with a leadoff single on an 0-2 pitch from closer Jeurys Familia (3-4). Corey Dickerson also singled on 0-2, sending Diaz to third. Polanco drove in Diaz with a single for the Pirates’ third straight two-strike hit.

Familia, who threw 28 pitches in a scoreless outing Tuesday, was lifted after walking Jordy Mercer on four pitches to load the bases. It was the first time in his career that Familia took the mound and failed to get an out.

Freese punched Anthony Swarzak’s first pitch into right-center, giving Pittsburgh a 4-3 lead.

“I had a good approach and got a pitch that I thought I could get in the air and it fell in,” said Freese, who entered with Vazquez as part of a double switch in the eighth.

Bell’s sacrifice fly made it 5-3, and the Pirates completed their 17th comeback win of the season.

“It’s probably the toughest spot in our business with the game on the line,” said Swarzak, summoned with the bases loaded and nobody out. “I didn’t execute on that first pitch and the team paid the price.”

Wilmer Flores homered and Asdrubal Cabrera had three hits for New York, which has dropped eight of nine. Mets relievers have 21 losses, most in the majors.

One night after snapping a seven-game skid, the Mets (32-46) finished a 1-5 homestand by losing for the 15th time in their last 17 games at Citi Field. They have dropped 25 of 32 overall and gone 11 consecutive series without winning one.

The loss was New York’s sixth when leading after seven innings, tied for second-most in the majors.

Vazquez (3-2) threw two scoreless innings for the win. He also struck out on three pitches in his second major league at-bat, fouling off the first two offerings.

A dominant Wheeler scattered four hits over seven scoreless innings. He struck out seven and threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of the 26 batters he faced. But after his bullpen blew a 3-0 lead, the right-hander is 0-5 in 11 starts since his last win April 29 at San Diego.

Diamondbacks 2, Marlins 1

MIAMI — Robbie Ray pitched six scoreless innings in his first game in nearly two months in Arizona’s victory over Miami.

Ray (3-0) allowed two hits and issued two walks. He struck out six in his first game since April 29. Ray had been on the disabled list with a strained right oblique.

Daniel Descalso homered and Deven Marrero knocked in a run to help the Diamondbacks win for the sixth time in seven games. Brad Boxberger allowed Starlin Castro’s leadoff homer in the ninth and walked the ensuing batter before retiring the next three for his 19th save.

Wei-Yin Chen (2-5) was the loser.

Dodgers 7, Cubs 5

LOS ANGELES — Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger each hit a solo home run, Joc Pederson added a two-run shot and Los Angeles defeated Chicago.

The Dodgers improved to 17-6 in June and have slugged a major league-leading 51 homers this month. That’s the second-most during any month in franchise history, and with three days remaining they have a chance to overtake last year’s team that set the record with 53.

Alex Wood (4-5) allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings to earn his third straight win. The left-hander struck out six and walked none, retiring the final seven batters he faced. Kenley Jansen earned a four-out save, his 21st of the season.

Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (5-8) gave up six runs and eight hits in 2 2/3 innings, failing to go at least five innings for the first time in 16 starts this season. The team has lost five of his last six starts.

Giants 1, Rockies 0

SAN FRANCISCO — Brandon Crawford homered with one out in the ninth inning to give San Francisco its fourth straight victory.

After starters Madison Bumgarner for San Francisco and Kyle Freeland for Colorado put up matching performances of seven spotless innings, the game was decided by the bullpens.

Left-hander Harrison Musgrave (0-3) entered in the ninth to face the left-handed-hitting Crawford. The move backfired when Crawford launched a high drive that cleared the wall in right field for his third career walk-off homer, sending the Rockies to their fourth consecutive loss.

Reyes Moronta (4-1) got two outs for the win.

Reds 6, Braves 5

ATLANTA — Adam Duvall had a two-run single in the seventh inning, Jose Peraza homered and scored twice, and Cincinnati beat Atlanta.

The Reds have won two straight and nine of 10, taking two of three from the NL East-leading Braves. Closer Raisel Iglesias had a perfect ninth to earn his 15th save in 17 chances.

Jackson Stephens (2-0) struck out two in 1 2/3 innings. The Reds took advantage of another shaky outing by reliever Sam Freeman (2-4), scoring three runs in the seventh inning for a 6-5 lead.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Red Sox 9, Angels 6

BOSTON — J.D. Martinez hit his major league-leading 25th home run, Rafael Devers delivered a tiebreaking double and the Boston Red Sox beat the skidding Los Angeles Angel after squandering a six-run lead.

Martinez’s homer capped a six-run second for the Red Sox, who won for the fifth time in six games. Eduardo Nunez and Sandy Leon also went deep in the inning. Boston improved to 5-0 against the Angels this season and has outscored them 45-10.

Martin Maldonado launched a three-run homer and Ian Kinsler had a solo shot for the Angels. They lost their fifth straight and 12th in 16 games.

Los Angeles reliever Jake Jewell was carted off the field with what appeared to be a gruesome injury to his right ankle after covering the plate on a run-scoring wild pitch in the eighth.

Angels star Mike Trout went 1 for 4 as a sprained right index finger kept him as the designated hitter for the eighth consecutive game.

Devers doubled off reliever Jose Alvarez (3-3) in the seventh, putting Boston back in front 7-6, and scored on Leon’s single. Matt Barnes (2-2) worked a scoreless inning. Craig Kimbrel got four outs for his 23rd save, his first of more than three outs this season.

Mariners 8, Orioles 7, 11 innings

BALTIMORE — Denard Span hit a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the 11th inning after Kyle Seager delivered a two-run homer in the ninth, and Seattle beat Baltimore.

Playing without injured Nelson Cruz for a second straight game, the Mariners got a home run from Ryon Healy and had 14 hits while improving their record in extra innings to 7-0.

Jean Segura led off the 11th with a double against Mychal Givens (0-5), and Span drove in the go-ahead run with a deep fly to center off Donnie Hart. Chasen Bradford (5-0) worked the 10th, and Edwin Diaz got three outs for his major league-leading 30th save, a club record before the All-Star break.

The Orioles trailed 5-4 in the eighth inning before Chris Davis interrupted his season-long slump with a three-run homer off Alex Colome. In the Seattle ninth, Mitch Haniger singled off Zach Britton and Seager delivered his 15th home run and second in two nights.

White Sox 6, Twins 1

CHICAGO — Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia homered for Chicago, and James Shields limited Minnesota to four hits over seven innings.

Shields (3-9) struck out five and walked just two in his only scoreless start of the season.

Ehire Adrianza had four hits and an RBI for Minnesota, which has dropped two straight games and five of six.

Astros 7, Blue Jays 6

HOUSTON — Alex Bregman hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to complete a big rally in Houston’s victory over Toronto.

It was Bregman’s third straight game with a homer and it capped a huge comeback for the Astros. They trailed 5-0 in the middle of the first inning after a terrible start by Dallas Keuchel.

The Astros trailed by one when Tony Kemp singled off Ryan Tepera (5-3) with no outs in the ninth and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Then with one out in the inning, Bregman sent a fastball to left field, where it bounced off the wall above the Crawford Boxes, to give Houston the victory.

Bregman also doubled twice after hitting a homer and doubling three times in a win on Tuesday night.

Will Harris (3-3) allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth.

Athletics 3, Tigers 0

DETROIT — Jed Lowrie hit an RBI double in the fourth inning and Chris Bassitt pitched six innings in Oakland’s victory over Detroit.

The A’s won for the ninth time in 11 games and moved five games over .500 for the first time this year. They did not clear the fences, ending their major league-record road homer streak at 27 games.

Lowrie had the winning RBI for the third straight game.

INTERLEAGUE

Rangers 5, Padres 2

ARLINGTON, Texas — Mike Minor took a perfect game into the seventh inning, Shin-Soo Choo reached base for the 40th straight game and Texas beat San Diego.

Minor (6-4) was perfect until Eric Hosmer’s single up the middle with one out in the seventh. One out later, center fielder Delino DeShields preserved Minor’s shutout by leaping to rob Hunter Renfroe of a home run. Minor struck out five and threw 85 pitches.

Indians 5, Cardinals 1

ST. LOUIS — Edwin Encarnacion and Lonnie Chisenhall hit back-to-back homers, and rookie Shane Bieber pitched six strong innings to help Cleveland beat St. Louis.

Bieber (3-0) struck out seven to become the seventh pitcher in baseball’s modern era to strike out six or more batters in each of his first four major league starts. Bieber has given up just two runs in his last three starts and lowered his ERA to 2.22. Cleveland avoided a series sweep and has won eight of 10.

Royals 5, Brewers 4

MILWAUKEE — Mike Moustakas’ solo homer opened a five-run seventh inning that snapped an extended run-scoring slump for Kansas City, and the Royals held off Milwaukee.

Danny Duffy (4-7) allowed five hits over six effective innings for the Royals.

Wily Peralta, a former Brewer, closed it out the game after Brad Miller hit a three-run homer off reliever Tim Hill with nobody out in the ninth to get the Brewers to 5-4.

Brewers starter Brent Suter (8-5) allowed six hits and four runs before leaving with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh.