PITTSBURGH (AP) Jason Hammel raised his record to 4-0 and Anthony Rizzo hit two doubles as the Chicago Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-2 on Monday night.
Hammel's ERA rose to 1.24 after entering the game with a National League-leading 0.75 mark. He gave up two runs and five hits in five-plus innings with three strikeouts and one walk. His streak of five straight starts of allowing one run or fewer ended.
Rizzo hit an RBI double and scored in the third inning as the Cubs went ahead 2-1, then doubled again during a four-run fifth that pushed the lead to 6-1.
The Cubs improved to 18-6, tops in the major leagues, and avoided losing consecutive games for the first time this season while winning for the fifth time in six games.
METS 4, BRAVES 1
NEW YORK (AP) – David Wright, Yoenis Cespedes and Lucas Duda hit home runs in the first inning as New York teed off, sending Bartolo Colon and the Mets over Atlanta for their ninth win in 10 games.
The Mets' homer barrage came in a span of 16 pitches. The Braves have hit just five homers all season, by far the fewest in the majors for the team with the worst record in the big leagues.
A few weeks shy of his 43rd birthday, Colon (2-1) pitched eight scoreless innings. He coasted to his 220th career victory, breaking a tie with Pedro Martinez for the second-most among Dominican-born pitchers and trailing only the 243 by Hall of Famer Juan Marichal.
Colon gave up seven hits, six in the first three innings, walked none and struck. He threw 99 pitches – 77 strikes – in the longest outing by a Mets starter this year. He was 4-0 against Atlanta last season.
GIANTS 9, REDS 6
CINCINNATI (AP) – Cincinnati roughed up Johnny Cueto in his return to Great American Ball Park, but San Francisco rallied against the Reds' historically bad bullpen, riding Brandon Crawford's three-run homer to a victory.
Joey Votto hit a three-run homer as the Reds piled up six runs in the third inning off Cueto, who got a warm welcome from his former teammates and fans before the game. It was Cueto's worst showing since he gave up eight runs during Kansas City's 11-8 loss at Toronto in the AL Championship Series last season.
The Reds' bullpen tied history while letting a 6-3 lead slip away.
Brandon Belt and Gregor Blanco singled in runs off J.C. Ramirez (0-2) in the seventh. Crawford connected off Drew Hayes for his third homer and an 8-6 lead.
RANGERS 2, BLUE JAYS 1
TORONTO (AP) – Nomar Mazara hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning and Texas beat Toronto for its fifth win in six games.
In the bottom of the eighth, Mazara preserved the one-run lead by throwing out Michael Saunders at home plate to end the inning.
Tony Barnette (1-1) worked one inning for the win and Shawn Tolleson finished for his ninth save as the Rangers handed the Blue Jays their fourth consecutive home loss. It's Toronto's longest slump at Rogers Centre since a four-game skid from April 23-26, 2014.
Named the AL's top rookie in the month of April earlier Monday, Mazara broke a 1-1 tie with a shot to center off Gavin Floyd (0-2).
Brett Nicholas also homered.
BREWERS 8, ANGELS 5
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Jimmy Nelson pitched seven strong innings and drove in the go-ahead run to lead Milwaukee past Los Angeles.
Nelson (4-2) retired 15 of 16 batters before giving up a solo home run to Mike Trout in the sixth. He allowed two runs and four hits over seven innings.
Ryan Braun reached base four times for Milwaukee, which broke through in the fifth against Los Angeles starter Jered Weaver (3-1) when left fielder Rafael Ortega misplayed Yadiel Rivera's liner, leading to a run. Nelson, who entered the game with just one hit in 11 at-bats this season, drove in Rivera with his second single of the game to put the Brewers in front 2-1.
With two outs, Weaver intentionally walked Braun but Jonathan Lucroy doubled to drive in two more runs, putting Milwaukee up 4-1.
Milwaukee added four runs in the sixth.
Trout had four hits for Los Angeles, which left the bases loaded in the ninth.