MLB wrap: Pirates bats awaken to avoid Cubs sweep | MLB

The Pirates are trying to stay afloat in the tough National League Central, and they were bolstered by a 7-1 win over the Cubs Sunday at Wrigley Field.

Pittsburgh needed the win to avoid a sweep. Ivan Nova led the way by allowing just one run in 5 2/3 innings while striking out eight batters in his first appearance since going on the DL May 28 with a sprained finger. He improved to 3-5.

Josh Harrison led off the game with a home run, and Gregory Polanco added a bases-clearing triple in the sixth inning, part of a five-run outburst for Pittsburgh.

Kyle Hendricks pitched well for the Cubs, allowing just one run in five innings, but Chicago’s bullpen got torched for six runs.

The Cubs entered the game having won eight of nine, but cooled down offensively, finishing the game with just four hits. They remain just a half game behind the Brewers with Milwaukee falling to the Phillies.

As for the Pirates, they are now 32-33 and mired in a terrible slump. In first place and nine games over .500 on May 17, the Bucs have lost 16 of 22 since to fall to fourth in the division.

Studs of the Night:

Curtis Granderson led the Blue Jays to a 13-3 win over the Orioles by collecting four hits with two runs scored, a home run and six RBIs. It was Granderson’s first multi-hit game since May, and he raised his average to .237 with the explosive effort.

Seth Lugo pitched six scoreless innings, giving up only two hits and striking out eight, in the Mets’ series finale against the Yankees.

James Paxton improved to 6-1 with a 3.02 ERA by allowing three runs in seven innings with 10 strikeouts. The breakout Mariners star now has 111 strikeouts in just 89 1/3 innings this season.

Duds of the Night:

Tigers sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Nick Castellanos combined to go 0 for 8 with three strikeouts in a 9-2 loss to the Indians. It’s Detroit’s sixth loss in nine games.

Highlight:

George Springer didn’t take long to make his presence felt:

What’s Next:

Cubs (37-25) at Brewers (39-26) 8:10 p.m. ET — Any matchup between NL Central contenders will be intriguing this summer, with so much riding on every game. Improving Jose Quintana (6-4, 4.20) will lead the Cubs on the road, while Junior Guerra (3-4, 2.83) looks to continue his impressive season.



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