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POSTED July 30, 2013 1:41 a.m.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Francisco Liriano allowed one run over seven dominant innings, Pedro Alvarez hit his NL-leading 27th home run and the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals 9-2 Monday night.

Liriano (11-4) struck out eight and walked just two to win his fifth straight start. The Pirates kicked off the key series at PNC Park by sending the Cardinals to their fourth straight loss to pull within a half-game of the lead in the NL Central.

Clint Barmes doubled twice and drove in two runs for Pittsburgh. Andrew McCutchen added two hits and an RBI.

Jake Westbrook (7-5) continued to struggle against the Pirates. He fell to 1-8 against Pittsburgh in his career after surrendering four first-inning runs. Matt Carpenter and Shane Robinson hit RBI singles for St. Louis, which has scored just four runs during its longest losing streak of the season.



BRAVES 9, ROCKIES

8, 10 INNINGS

ATLANTA (AP) — Andrelton Simmons drove in Dan Uggla from first base with a triple off Edgmer Escalona in the 10th inning, and Atlanta won its fourth straight game.

After Uggla led off with a walk, Simmons hit the ball too deep into the gap in left-center field for Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler to keep it from reaching the wall.

Scott Downs (1-0) earned the win after being acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels earlier in the day and arriving at Turner Field not long before the first pitch. The left-hander allowed one hit and struck out one in 1 1/3 innings.

Escalona (1-4) allowed one hit, one run and one walk in 12 pitches.

Gonzalez went 5 for 5 with two RBIs after missing the last three games with a sprained middle right finger. He drove in the tying run in the ninth off Jordan Walden.



PADRES 2, REDS 1

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Chris Denorfia hit a two-run, pinch-hit homer off Aroldis Chapman in the bottom of the ninth inning for the Padres.

Chapman (3-4) walked leadoff batter Yonder Alonso on a 3-2 pitch, then Denorfia drove a 98 mph first-pitch offering from Chapman over the center-field fence 423 feet away to deal the Reds their fourth straight loss.

Luke Gregerson (5-5) pitched the ninth for the win.



METS 6, MARLINS 5

MIAMI (AP) — Ike Davis had a go-ahead RBI double in a three-run seventh inning, Daniel Murphy drove in three runs, and New York snapped a five-game skid against Miami.

David Aardsma (2-0) pitched an inning in relief of Jeremy Hefner for the win. Bobby Parnell retired Giancarlo Stanton with runners on first and third to end it for his 21st save in 25 opportunities.

Jeff Mathis drove in two runs for Miami.

Miami’s Jacob Turner was in line for the win when he was pulled with a 5-3 lead after 6 1/3 innings. But Miami relievers Mike Dunn and A.J. Ramos (3-4) struggled to get out of the seventh as the Mets scored three runs.



BREWERS 5, CUBS 0

CHICAGO (AP) — Carlos Gomez broke a scoreless tie in the ninth inning with an RBI single and Jeff Bianchi added a two-run double to lift Milwaukee over Chicago.

The Brewers, sitting in last place in the NL Central, won for the third time in eight games and ended the Cubs’ winning streak at three games.

Brewers reliever Brandon Kintzler (3-0) pitched a scoreless eighth for the victory.

Cubs reliever Pedro Strop (1-1) gave up the single to Gomez on an 0-2 pitch and Jean Segura easily scored from second to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead. With one out and the bases loaded, Bianchi gave the Brewers insurance with a double to right to score two more runs and Rickie Weeks also added a two-run double as Milwaukee batted around in the ninth.



AMERICAN LEAGUE

INDIANS 3, WHITE SOX 2

CLEVELAND (AP) — Pinch-hitter Jason Giambi homered over the center field wall leading off the ninth inning to give the Cleveland Indians their fifth straight victory, 3-2 over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

Giambi, batting for struggling Mark Reynolds, belted a 1-1 pitch from Ramon Troncoso (1-3) high over the wall and into the bushes in center. It was the 436th career homer and ninth career walk-off shot for the slugger, who had a bucket of water dumped over his head by teammates after the game.

Chris Perez (3-1) pitched the ninth, allowing a two-out triple to Dayan Viciedo. He got out of the inning when left fielder Michael Brantley made a nice catch for the third out.

The Indians moved within 2 1/2 games of the idle Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.

The sinking White Sox have lost four straight and 10 of 13.



RAYS 2, RED SOX 1

BOSTON (AP) — David Price allowed just two hits over 7 1-3 innings to beat Boston for the second time in six days as Tampa Bay reclaimed first place in the AL East.

Price (6-5) was dominating in the makeup game before it was delayed for 39 minutes because of a brief downpour in the middle of the eighth. The Rays left-hander stayed in the game, but retired just one batter — after starting him out with three straight balls — before Joel Peralta relieved him.

Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 26th save. He gave up a single to Jacoby Ellsbury, walked David Ortiz and threw a wild pitch before Mike Napoli struck out on a 3-2 changeup to end it.

Felix Doubront (7-5) allowed two runs on eight hits in five innings for the Red Sox.



RANGERS 4, ANGELS 3

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Geovany Soto hit a game-ending homer after A.J. Pierzynski went deep to tie the game earlier in the ninth off closer Ernesto Frieri, and Texas snapped a four-game skid.

Pierzynski led off by pulling a pitch into the right-field seats, his 11th homer this season which snapped a 4-for-27 slump. Nelson Cruz followed with a single off Frieri (0-3) before David Murphy grounded into a double play. Soto, who entered the game hitting only .198 this season, then hit a towering flyball to left that easily cleared the wall.

Jason Frasor (1-2) pitched a scoreless ninth for Texas, three days after he gave up a game-ending homer in an 11-inning loss at Cleveland.

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