>>Cardinals Pound Reds
Jose Martinez drove in six runs Thursday and Yadier Molina homered in his return from a one-game suspension, powering St. Louis to a 13-4 victory that left the Cincinnati Reds mired in their worst start since 1955.
The Cardinals homered a season-high four times while piling up a season high in runs. The Reds helped by walking 11 batters, three of them with the bases loaded. Martinez led the way with a career-best four hits.
Paul DeJong's solo shot deep into the upper deck in center off Austin Brice (0-2) snapped a 4-4 tie in the sixth. Martinez and Molina hit back-to-back drives in the seventh, when St. Louis put it away with seven runs. Martinez added a two-run double in the inning.
Michael Wacha (2-1) went five innings and extended his streak of beating Cincinnati. The right-hander is 9-1 career against the Reds. The Cardinals have won Wacha's last 11 starts against the Reds since Sept. 20, 2014.
Molina served a one-game suspension on Wednesday for making contact with plate umpire Tim Timmons during an altercation with Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo. Molina singled home a run in the first inning off Sal Romano and connected for his fourth homer in the seventh.
Marcell Ozuna also had a solo shot that extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Luke Weaver (1-0) won both of his starts against the Reds last season, allowing two earned runs and fanning 13 in 11 innings.
Tyler Mahle (1-1) gave up a career-high five runs in 4 2/3 innings of a 5-0 loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday.
>>Twins Blank White Sox
Minnesotan native Joe Mauer got his 2,000th career hit at home on Thursday night, as part of a night with two hits and three RBIs, and Jose Berrios struck out 11 in seven innings for the Twins in a 4-0 win against the Chicago White Sox.
Berrios (2-1) tied his career high for strikeouts and allowed just three hits for the second time in three starts this season. The right-hander is 4-1 with a 1.67 ERA in five starts against Chicago.
Lucas Giolito (0-2) pitched 6 1/3 innings for the White Sox, giving up four runs, three earned, and five hits with five walks. He struck out three.
Chicago has lost eight of its past 10 games.
Giolito was nearly matching Berrios for much of the game, but the control issues hurt and Twins outfielder Byron Buxton used his speed to create runs in the third inning.
Buxton singled and stole second base after a review showed Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson missed a tag. Buxton added another in the game and now has 28 straight successful stolen bases.
Buxton then took third on a short flyout to center field and scored on an infield grounder when Anderson's throw was just wide of catcher Omar Narvaez.
Mauer followed with an RBI single. He added a two-run single in the seventh for his milestone hit.
Rain and snowy conditions are forecast for the Twin Cities, likely causing issues this weekend. White Sox RHP Reynaldo Lopez (0-1, 0.69 ERA) is scheduled to start Friday night. The Twins haven't announced their starter, in part because of the weather. It will be the first turn in the rotation for a fifth starter, which could be Phil Hughes. But Minnesota is waiting on an announcement in case the game is postponed.
>>Pirates Pound Cubs
Gregory Polanco homered twice to help back a third straight solid start by Trevor Williams, and the Pittsburgh Pirates pulled away from the Chicago Cubs 6-1 on Thursday.
Francisco Cervelli lined a three-run shot in the seventh off Cubs reliever Justin Wilson as Pittsburgh scored four times in the inning to break open a tight game. Adam Frazier also went deep for Pittsburgh, which improved to 9-3.
Kyle Schwarber homered, doubled and singled for three of the Cubs' seven hits. Chicago's Ian Happ had his first two-hit game this season.
Williams (3-0) was a touch better than Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks (0-1) in what began as a pitchers' duel following Chicago's 13-5 rout of Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
The Pirates' right-hander allowed one run and four hits through six innings, while striking out five and walking one.
Hendricks allowed two runs and five hits and struck out seven through six innings as he rebounded after allowing four runs in five innings in a no-decision at Milwaukee last Friday.
Pittsburgh's Michael Feliz, George Kontos and Felipe Vazquez each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
Javier Baez went 0-for-4 after homering twice on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Chicago's high-energy infielder became the first Cub with consecutive multi-homer games since Alfonso Soriano in May 2008.
Polanco's third career multi-homer game lifted his season total to a team-leading five.
Polanco hit his fourth homer into the bleachers in right-center in the first to give Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead.
Schwarber led off the bottom of the fourth with a drive that landed halfway up the right-field bleachers and tied it at 1. He hit his third home run on a full count and into a steady, chilly wind off Lake Michigan.
Frazier put the Pirates back in front 2-1 in the fifth with a solo shot into the first row of the left-center bleachers. It was the first homer for the Pirates' leadoff hitter.
Polanco's second homer of the game, a shot to left-center off Wilson with one out in the seventh made it 3-1. After Wilson walked Josh Bell and Corey Dickerson, Cervelli smacked his second homer this season.
Yu Darvish (0-0, 5.23) makes his first home start as a Cub and third of the season in a Friday afternoon opener of a three-game set against Atlanta. After being roughed up for five runs in 4 1/3 innings in his Cubs debut at Miami on March 31, Darvish allowed just one run and struck out nine in six innings at Milwaukee last Saturday. The Braves counter with Anibal Sanchez (0-0, 2.25).