CINCINNATI (AP) ― Joey Votto drove in a pair of runs, and Choo Shin-soo extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games on Saturday, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 5-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that revolved around an early rain delay.
The third-place Reds have won the first two games in the NL Central series, closing their gap with second-place Pittsburgh to two games. The Ohio River rivals have split their 12 games this season.
Cincinnati’s Mat Latos (9-3) and Pittsburgh’s A.J. Burnett (4-7) had a tough time finding their control after a 1-hour, 17-minute delay in the middle of the first inning. Aroldis Chapman escaped a two-on threat in the ninth for his 23rd save in 26 chances.
Latos gave up three runs in only five innings. Travis Snider’s pinch-hit RBI double cut it to 5-4 in the eighth, but Logan Ondrusek got Jose Tabata to ground out with the bases loaded, ending the rally.
Chapman gave up an infield single by Andrew McCutchen to open the ninth and made a wild pickoff throw. Shortstop Zack Cozart misplayed Pedro Alvaraez’s grounder for Cincinnati’s third error, leaving runners on first and third.
The All-Star closer got a pop-up, then fanned Michael McKenry and Jordy Mercer to end it.
Choo had a double and a single, extending the longest streak by a Reds player this season.
Thirteen minutes after the first pitch, the umpires called for the tarp when a gust of wind blew through Great American Ball Park with Burnett warming up. Several members of the grounds crew were blown off their feet while wrestling the tarp into place.
Burnett had a rough time getting re-started, allowing four runs right away. Three of them were set up by Mercer’s fielding error at second base. Votto got his 500th career RBI on the error, Brandon Phillips singled home a run, Cozart hit a sacrifice fly and Devin Mesoraco doubled for a 4-0 lead.
Latos struck out to end the nine-batter inning ― an hour and a half after he’d thrown his last pitch. Then, just like Burnett, Latos struggled to find his touch. Garrett Jones homered and Cozart’s errant throw at shortstop let in a run in the second.
McCutchen hit a solo homer in the fourth, his third homer in his last four games. Eleven of his 12 homers have been solos. The Pirates have five homers in the first two games of the series, all solo shots.
Dodgers top Nationals in 10
WASHINGTON (AP) ― Hanley Ramirez doubled to highlight at two-run 10th inning Saturday night, and the Los Angeles Dodgers used seven pitchers to again tame the tepid offense of the Washington Nationals in a 3-1 victory.
Adrian Gonzalez led off the 10th with a double off Craig Stammen (5-5). Ramirez followed immediately with an RBI double for his third hit of the night, then scored two batters later on Andre Ethier’s sacrifice fly.
Ethier won Friday’s game with a ninth-inning homer, and the first two games of the series yielded outcomes that kept the teams trending in opposite directions. The Dodgers have won seven of nine to close within striking distance of the NL West lead; the Nationals have lost seven of nine to fall into third in the NL East.
Starter Zack Greinke allowed the only Nationals run. Jose Dominguez, Paco Rodriguez, Ronald Belisario, J.P. Howell, Chris Withrow and Kenley Jansen did the rest against a Nationals team that went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and is 2 for 21 with RISP in the series.
Withrow (1-0) pitched the ninth, and Jansen handled the 10th for his 11th save as the Nationals fans, clearly running out of patience for a team that’s again fallen below .500, booed their team off the field.
Greinke and Gio Gonzalez, two pitchers on winning streaks, fought to a near draw through six innings.
Minnesota 3, Cleveland 2
Tampa Bay 4, Toronto 3
NY Mets 5, Philadelphia 4
NY Yankees 5, Boston 2
Chicago White Sox 10, Atlanta 6
Kansas City 6, Detroit 5
Milwaukee 6, Miami 0
Seattle 4, Houston 2
San Diego 5, St. Louis 3
Colorado 9, Chicago Cubs 3
Baltimore 7, Texas 4
LA Angels 2, Oakland 0
San Francisco 4, Arizona 3