MLB roundup: Bell, Nova lead Pirates to 5th win in a row

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Josh Bell homered for the second game in a row, Ivan Nova got his first victory in a month and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Miami Marlins 5-1 Saturday for their fifth consecutive win.

In a game played in a steady drizzle, Bell connected off Brett Graves leading off the sixth for his 10th home run, down from 26 last year. Before his home run Friday, Bell had not driven in a run since Aug. 11.

Nova (8-9) gave up three hits in six innings, struck out nine and walked three. He had lost three straight starts since beating San Francisco on Aug. 9 and had missed his previous turn for an undisclosed reason.

Royals 4, Twins 1

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kansas City rookie Jorge Lopez came within three outs of a perfect game before Max Kepler walked leading off the ninth inning and Robbie Grossman followed with a single in the Royals’ win over Minnesota.

The 25-year-old right-hander made just his seventh big league start, his fifth for Kansas City since he was acquired from Milwaukee in the late-July trade that sent Mike Moustakas to the Brewers.


BOSTON (AP) — Alex Bregman hit his 30th home run, Charlie Morton returned from the disabled list with five solid innings and Houston beat Boston.

Martin Maldonado also homered for AL West-leading Houston, which won the first two legs of the three-game rematch of last year’s AL Division Series. The defending World Series champion Astros will try to sweep the major league-leading Red Sox on Sunday night. Boston has only been swept once this season, in a three-game set against Tampa Bay in late August.


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Khris Davis hit his major league-leading 41st home run, Matt Olson homered to drive in the go-ahead run and Oakland beat Texas.

Olson broke a 6-6 tie against Chris Martin (1-4) leading off the eighth. Olson has a career-high 25 homers, one more than last year.


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Gio Gonzalez (8-11) received a standing ovation following an impressive first start with Milwaukee, allowing an unearned run and three hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Gonzalez struck out seven and walked one in his first start since an Aug. 31 trade from Washington. The veteran left-hander was 0-3 with an 8.70 ERA over his final four starts with the Nationals. Gonzalez had 10 days between starts, though, and took it to the Giants, who lost their season-high seventh straight game and fell a season-worst seven games under .500.


(GAME 1)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Max Scherzer pitched a complete game and Washington took advantage of sloppy Chicago in the opener of a doubleheader.

Scherzer, bidding for a third straight NL Cy Young Award, allowed nine hits. He struck out 11 without a walk and hit a batter while improving to 17-6.


TORONTO (AP) — Roberto Perez homered and drove in four, Michael Brantley hit a two-run shot and Cleveland outslugged Toronto.

Brantley returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games because of a sore left foot and went 2 for 4 with two walks as Cleveland inched closer to clinching a playoff berth. The Indians began the day with a magic number of seven to lock up their third straight AL Central title.



CINCINNATI (AP) — Joey Votto ended his two-month homer drought with Cincinnati’s 11th grand slam — one shy of the NL record — and the Reds beat San Diego in a game called early because of rain.

The game started an hour early because of a foreboding forecast and was played in a steady rain that intensified with one out in the top of the seventh.


DETROIT (AP) — Victor Reyes scored on a game-ending wild pitch with one out in the ninth inning, and Detroit beat St. Louis.

The Cardinals, who entered with a one-game lead for the second National League wild card, have lost five of seven. The Tigers have won four straight.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Yarbrough struggled but got his 14th win, most among major league rookies, and Tampa Bay won its 10th straight home game.

After reliever Diego Castillo pitched a scoreless first, Yarbrough (14-5) entered and allowed three runs and six hits in 3 2/3 innings. Twelve of the lefty’s wins have come in âbullpen gamesã for Tampa Bay.