>>Cardinals Down Diamondbacks
Paul Goldschmidt homered, Adam Wainwright pitched seven scoreless innings, and the St. Louis Cardinals held on to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2 on Sunday.
Wainwright (6-7), who was scratched from Friday's start due to back spasms, relied on a mixture of cutters, change-ups and curve balls. He allowed four hits, walked one and struck out seven as he improved 4-0 in day starts this season.
Arizona trailed 5-0 going to the ninth before Domingo Leyba and Jarrod Dyson had RBI singles against John Brebbia. The Diamondbacks had the bases loaded with two outs, but Carlos Martinez got Eduardo Escobar to hit a fly ball to center for the final out for his fifth save.
Wainwright helped himself out offensively by walking and scoring to start a three-run third inning rally and he also laid down a sacrifice bunt leading to Matt Carpenter's sacrifice fly as the Cardinals tacked on their fifth run in the fourth.
Goldschmidt's 416-foot two-run shot into the upper deck in left field gave the Cardinals a 4-0 lead in the third. Yairo Munoz started the rally with a single that drove in Wainwright, and advanced to third on Nick Ahmed's throwing error.
Tyler O'Neill continued his RBI barrage by driving home Goldschmidt with a double that hugged the left field line to make it 1-0 in the first inning, ending Greinke's 14-inning scoreless streak. O'Neill drove in all four Cardinals run in a 4-2 win on Saturday night.
Greinke (10-4) gave up five runs in six innings. The loss snapped a five-year July winning streak for the Arizona ace, who entered the game 14-0 with a 1.34 ERA in his last 18 starts in the month dating back to July 25, 2014.
Miles Mikolas (5-9, 4.53 ERA) will get the start to kick off a three-game series against Pittsburgh and RHP Joe Musgrove (6-7, 4.15 ERA) on Monday night. Mikolas is 2-3 with a 2.96 ERA in nine career appearances against the Pirates.
>>Cubs Top Pirates For Three-Game Sweep
Jason Heyward, Albert Almora Jr. and Kyle Schwarber hit home runs and the Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-3 on Sunday for a three-game sweep.
The NL Central leaders posted their first series win since taking all three from St. Louis on June 7-9.
The Cubs were 10-16 in the 26 games before last week's break. They outscored Pirates 22-10 in the series.
Robel Garcia had a pair of doubles and Anthony Rizzo added two hits as Chicago improved to 32-16 at Wrigley Field.
Cubs starter Jose Quintana (7-7) allowed three runs on six hits in six innings to win his third straight start. The left-hander struck out four and walked two.
Quintana has allowed six runs in 19 innings for a 2.84 ERA during the winning streak. Before that, he had lost six straight decisions.
Bryan Reynolds got two hits and drove in a run for Pittsburgh, which has dropped five of seven.
Almora had a pinch-hit homer in the sixth and Schwarber followed with a drive to right on the next pitch. Williams was pulled after giving up a single to the next batter, Javier Baez, and Rizzo later had a sacrifice fly.
Trevor Williams allowed a career-high tying eight runs on a career-high 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
kyle Hendricks (7-7, 3.49 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series against Cincinnati on Monday night as the homestand continues. RHP Luis Castillo (8-3, 2.29) pitches for the Reds.
>>A's Edge White Sox
Chad Pinder scored all the way from first base on a Jose Rondon's throwing error trying to start a double play, and Oakland beat Chicago 3-2 on Sunday.
Pinder singled as a pinch-hitter off Jace Fry (1-4) to begin the ninth. Laureano, who homered in the eighth to tie it at 2, followed with a sharp grounder to the left side of the infield.
Rondon made a backhanded stop, hurried and threw on the run. But the ball sailed past second baseman Yolmer Sanchez and rolled into the large foul territory near Chicago's bullpen, and Pinder scored standing up.
After acquiring pitcher Homer Bailey from Kansas City earlier in the day, the A's completed a three-game sweep. They have won 10 of 12 to put themselves in solid playoff contention.
Mark Canha had two hits and Matt Chapman added an RBI for Oakland.
Eloy Jimenez homered for the White Sox. Sanchez had two hits and Rondon had an RBI double. Chicago was outscored 21-5 in the three games.
Jimenez entered the day tied for the lead in home runs among rookies in the AL, then padded that total with his 17th in the seventh against starter Brett Anderson.
Oakland tied it on Laureano's fourth home run in five games, a solo drive to right-center off reliever Evan Marshall, who had just entered the game.
White Sox starter Reynaldo Lopez allowed an unearned run, had seven strikeouts in six innings and left with a 2-1 lead. It's the first time in 11 starts that the right-hander has not allowed a home run.
Lucas Giolito (11-3, 3.15 ERA), fresh off throwing a scoreless inning at the All-Star game, pitches against Kansas City on Monday. Giolito is 6-0 lifetime against the Royals.
>>Cardinals Legend Gibson Has Pancreatic Cancer
Bob Gibson, the Hall of Fame right-hander who spent his entire career with the St. Louis Cardinals, is battling pancreatic cancer.
Gibson's longtime agent, Dick Zitzmann, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Gibson was first diagnosed with the cancer a few weeks ago. Gibson visited doctors at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and has been hospitalized in his hometown of Omaha, Neb. for the past two weeks.
Zitzmann said Gibson is likely to begin chemotherapy Monday in Omaha.
Gibson, who will turn 84 in November, pitched his entire career -- 17 MLB seasons -- with the Cardinals. The eight-time All-Star won the Cy Young Award twice, in 1968 and 1970.
Gibson, a two-time World Series champion, was dominant in the postseason and was 7-2 in nine World Series starts. He was named the World Series MVP for both of the years in which the Cardinals won (1964, 1967).
Gibson also earned the MVP Award in 1968. During the '68 season, Gibson finished 22-9 and led the majors in ERA (1.12), shutouts (13) and strikeouts (268).
Gibson retired following the 1975 season and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981.
In a stunning blockbuster deal, the Oklahoma City Thunder have reportedly traded Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Chris Paul.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Houston has traded two first-round draft picks and pick swaps in 2021 and 2025 in exchange for Westbrook.
Bobby Marks of ESPN also reports that the 15 percent trade kicker as part of Westbrook's contract will be voided.
The trade reunites Westbrook with James Harden, with whom he played during their early years with the Thunder from 2009 until 2012 until Harden was traded to the Rockets prior to the start of the 2012-13 season.
The Rockets came up just short of their ultimate goal over the past couple of years -- a championship. Despite startling regular season success, including a No. 1 seed in 2018, Houston came up a game short of the NBA Finals in 2017-18 and were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors for the second consecutive year in the 2019 NBA playoffs. They'll now attempt to contend for a title with the former MVP duo of Harden and Westbrook.
Two years ago, Chris Archer and Yu Darvish were All-Stars. Now they are both trying to regain All-Star form, or something close to it.
They will face off when the regular season resumes for Archer's visiting Pittsburgh Pirates and Darvish's Chicago Cubs on Friday afternoon.
It's an important series for both National League Central foes. The Pirates find themselves just 2 1/2 games behind the Cubs for first place in the tightest division race in the majors.
Archer and Darvish lead the NL in home runs allowed with 20 each, though Darvish has done so in three more starts. Archer gave up two homers to the Cubs in his last start before the break on July 3, and will be pitching on the north side of Chicago for the fourth time in his career.
Darvish (2-4, 5.01) is second in the league in wild pitches with eight and has six hit batters. He has yet to win at home this season and is 0-6 in his career at Wrigley Field.
The Pirates are powered by All-Star slugger Josh Bell, who led the majors at the break with 30 doubles and 84 RBIs and leads Pittsburgh with 27 home runs.
The Cubs have not been playing especially well of late, and figure to be buyers in the trade market with a half-game division lead over the Milwaukee Brewers. Chicago is 8-12 in its last 20 games, 13-17 in the last 30 and 15-16 against division opponents this season.
The Cubs are 3-4 against the Pirates this season, with just one run separating the teams in total runs scored against each other, 37 for Pittsburgh and 36 for the Cubs.
Paul Goldschmidt spent most of the last decade as the face of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
He confronts his former franchise for the first time when the St. Louis Cardinals host the Diamondbacks on Friday to start a three-game series between teams in the thick of the National League wild-card race.
Part of the formula for the Cardinals to have second-half success is for Goldschmidt to get hot.
The 31-year-old first baseman is hitting. 254 with 16 home runs and 37 RBIs in 88 games.
Other than the home runs, his numbers are down across the board. The batting average would be his lowest since he played in 48 games as a rookie for Arizona in 2011, and he has a mere nine doubles after hitting at least 33 in each of the past seven seasons. He failed to reach the All-Star Game after six consecutive appearances.
St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina (thumb) was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday while third baseman Matt Carpenter (back) was activated.
Arizona, which swept a three-game home series against the Colorado Rockies before the All-Star break to get to 46-45, made out OK in the Goldschmidt trade. Starting pitcher Luke Weaver was effective (4-3, 3.03 ERA) before suffering a right forearm strain in late May, and catcher Carson Kelly is hitting .276 with 10 homers in 174 at-bats.
Moreover, the move cleared the way for one of Arizona's first-half standouts -- first baseman Christian Walker, who is hitting .263 with 17 home runs and 45 RBIs.
The Cardinals will open the second half with right-hander Adam Wainwright (5-7, 4.31 ERA). His last start was at Seattle on July 3, when he allowed two runs in five innings, getting a no-decision in a 5-2 victory. He is 8-5 with a 2.95 ERA in 15 career appearances (12 starts) against Arizona.
The Diamondbacks will go with left-hander Robbie Ray (6-6, 3.96). Although he often struggles with his control, he strikes out 11.78 per nine innings, the fifth-best mark in the majors. Ray is coming off a win over the Rockies on Saturday, when he allowed one run and two hits over six innings, striking out eight and walking five.
Ray has made five career starts vs. the Cardinals, with a 1-3 record and a 6.10 ERA.
The Oakland Athletics are typically overlooked on a national scale but are right in the thick of the American League wild-card race as play resumes after the All-Star break.
The Athletics (50-41) are 1 1/2 games behind the Cleveland Indians for the second berth as they begin a three-game series on Friday against the visiting Chicago White Sox.
Oakland reached the wild-card game last season after a 97-win season and figures it can reach the postseason again.
Matt Chapman, who is batting .264, leads Oakland with 21 homers and 52 RBIs, is one of seven Athletics in double digits in homers.
First baseman Matt Olson (19), designated hitter Khris Davis (16) and center fielder Ramon Laureano (16) are among the others for a squad that ranks fourth in the AL with 145 blasts.
The White Sox (42-44) don't pack a lot of power as they rank 13th in the AL with 103 homers. All-Star first baseman Jose Abreu has 21 with third baseman Yoan Moncada and left fielder Eloy Jimenez next with 16.
Jimenez, a 22-year-old rookie, is batting .241 but is loaded with promise. He called the first half of the season as a learning session.
The White Sox will start right-hander Ivan Nova (4-7, 5.58 ERA), who halted a seven-start winless stretch by beating the Chicago Cubs last Sunday.
The 32-year-old Nova allowed five hits over 5 2/3 scoreless innings to post his first victory since May 22.
Nova's ERA is third worst in the majors among qualifiers.
Nova is 2-0 with a 3.52 ERA in five career appearances (four starts) against Oakland.
The Athletics tabbed right-hander Mike Fiers (8-3, 3.87) to make the start.
The 34-year-old has won six consecutive decisions, a streak that began when he threw his second career no-hitter on May 7 against the Cincinnati Reds.
Fiers has allowed one earned run in each of his past four starts, including a July 3 effort against the Minnesota Twins in which he gave up two total runs and five hits over six innings.
Fiers is 2-0 with a 2.21 ERA in six career outings against the White Sox.
Justin Verlander blazed 97 mph heat from the start, Shane Bieber and Aroldis Chapman each struck out the side and the American League slowed a loaded NL lineup 4-3 Tuesday for its seventh straight win.
Facing Christian Yelich, Cody Bellinger and a bunch of boppers, the AL staff combined to strike out 16.
Derby champ Pete Alonso of the Mets grounded a two-out, two-run single past Gleyber Torres in the eighth to close the NL's gap. After a double steal put runners at second and third against Cleveland reliever Brad Hand, White Sox catcher James McCann made a tumbling catch on Mike Moustakas' twisting foul pop to end the inning.
Chapman closed to give the AL its 19th win in 22 games, with a tie stuck in there. He got a little encouragement with two outs - Yankees teammate CC Sabathia, honored this week for his contributions on and off the field, strolled to the mound to talk to the flamethrower.
Chapman then struck out Yasmani Grandal for a save, giving the AL an overall 45-43-2 lead in the Midsummer Classic.
Major League Baseball is on a record-shattering pace for homers this season, but no one came close to clearing the walls until Charlie Blackmon connected in the NL sixth to make it 2-1. Texas' Joey Gallo countered with a solo drive in a two-run seventh.
Still, it was a far cry from last year's All-Star Game that featured a record 10 home runs.
Cleveland favorite Michael Brantley had an early RBI double off losing pitcher Clayton Kershaw.
Jorge Polanco drove in a run with an infield single for a 2-0 edge in the fifth and another scored on a double-play grounder.
Winning pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, Lucas Giolito and Shane Greene did their parts to protect the lead with scoreless innings.
NL starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, deGrom and Luis Castillo threw scoreless innings to keep the NL close in the early going.
Overall, there were 36 first-timers, a number boosted by the absence of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Jose Altuve and several past perennials. And consider this: Of the 16 AL pitchers on the 2017 All-Star roster, zero made the roster this year.
All players wore a uniform patch with No. 45 to honor late Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Los Angeles teammates Mike Trout and Tommy La Stella switched their jerseys to Skaggs' number, and there was a pregame moment of silence.
The regular season resumes on Thursday night with one game, Houston at Texas. All teams are back in action Friday. Next year's All-Star Game is at Dodger Stadium for the first time since 1980.
After revitalizing his career and helping the Warriors win three titles, Shaun Livingston's time in Golden State is reportedly over.
According to Shams Charania, the Warriors will waive the veteran, who is expected to become a target for various contenders.
The Warriors agreed to a deal with Willie Cauley-Stein earlier in free agency, and now we know the details.
Per Shams Charania of The Athletic, Cauley-Stein's deal will be worth $4.4 million over two years, and the big man will have a player option for the second year.
Veteran forward Marcus Morris agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with the San Antonio Spurs over the weekend.
However, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Morris is considering signing with the New York Knicks, which may acquire additional cap space due to a reworked contract with Reggie Bullock.
Per the NBA's transactions page, the Suns have officially waived Kyle Korver. The veteran sharpshooter is expected to be a target of many contenders.
The Los Angeles Lakers continue to build out their roster around superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, veteran guard Avery Bradley plans to sign a two-year, $9.7 million deal with the Lakers upon clearing waivers. The second year of the deal will be a player option.
Veteran forward and former second overall pick Jabari Parker has found another new NBA home.
According to The Athletic's Shams Charania, Parker has agreed to a two-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks worth $13 million. The second year of the deal is a payer option.
>>Mets' Alonso Outlasts Fellow Rookie Vlad Jr For HR Derby Title
Baseball's profoundly impressive young talent base was on display at the 2019 Home Run Derby Monday night from Clevelands' Progressive Field as Pete Alonso of the Mets topped fellow rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Blue Jays in the finals.
Alonso becomes the third rookie ever to win the Derby, joining Aaron Judge of the Yankees in 2017 and Wally Joyner of the Angels, who was co-champion in 1986. Alonso triumphed despite having just the third highest home run total on the night (57).
Alonso took home $1 million -- the largest prize in Derby history -- but Guerrero's performance will be the one everyone remembers. Through three rounds, including a marathon second round against Joc Pederson that went to three tiebreakers, Guerrero racked up a Derby-record 91 home runs on Monday night. Along the way, he set a single-round record with 29 home runs in the first and second rounds. Pederson tied that mark in the second round to force the tiebreaker.
Ronald Acuña Jr. also had an impressive showing as he hit 25 home runs in the first round before falling to Alonso in the second. In all, the eight contestants combined for 311 home runs, the most ever in a single Derby.
>>Astros Ace Verlander Blasts MLB Over "Juiced Balls"
If you've been following along with Major League Baseball this season, you know the baseball is hopping over the fence at alarming rates -- and it's due in part to the ball itself. A combination of changes, including reduced seams and a more-centered "pill," have made the ball more aerodynamic -- capable of carrying further and at higher speeds than past iterations. Hence the league-wide home-run barrage that is threatening seemingly every record on the books.
For the most part, pitchers have remained quiet on the matter. That changed Monday, when Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander used the All-Star Game to air his grievances with MLB and the new baseball. Per ESPN's Jeff Passan, Verlander said quote - "It's a f---ing joke. Major League Baseball's turning this game into a joke. They own Rawlings, and you've got Manfred up here saying it might be the way they center the pill. They own the f---ing company. If any other $40 billion company bought out a $400 million company and the product changed dramatically, it's not a guess as to what happened. We all know what happened. Manfred the first time he came in, what'd he say? He said we want more offense. All of a sudden he comes in, the balls are juiced? It's not coincidence. We're not idiots."
The regular-season numbers resemble what would happen if the Home Run Derby balls were used all year long. Over the course of the first half, teams homered 1.37 times per game; the record high entering this season was 1.26 times per game, set in 2017. Long balls are becoming more frequent in AAA as well.
Obviously this isn't the first time MLB has faced these accusations. Rather, the charge seems to pop up every 10 or so years, like clockwork. There was the rabbit-ball epidemic of the late-80s, a slew of allegations in the '90s and '00s, and now this. (Japan had its own juiced ball scandal a few years ago -- and the league later admitted to being behind it.)
Verlander, an eight-time All-Star who is starting his second All-Star Game on Tuesday.
>>Red Sox Among AL East Contenders Interested in Mets Starter
The Boston Red Sox are the defending World Series champions, but they would not qualify for the playoffs if the season ended tomorrow. Rather, the Red Sox will enter the second half some nine games back in the American League East and two behind in the wild card hunt.
Perhaps predictably, Dave Dombrowski is doing his best to right the course -- including, evidently, seeking rotation help instead of waiting for the end of July, per Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic the Red Sox are seeking starting pitching.
The Red Sox have since been linked to numerous names, including New York Mets right-hander Zack Wheeler, according to the New York Post. The Red Sox also reportedly had scouts at Detroit Tigers left-hander Matthew Boyd's last start, and are almost certainly interested in the other usual suspects -- Madison Bumgarner and Tanner Roark among numerous others.
The Red Sox will face some challenges in landing a starter. Foremost, they're already over the luxury tax number by nearly $37 million, per some estimates. Were the Red Sox to exceed the $40 million mark -- as they would with nearly any veteran addition -- they would be charged an additional surtax and would again have their draft pick dropped next June.
On top of that, the Red Sox have an underwhelming farm system after years of win-now trades and promotions. Baseball Prospectus ranked them last in the majors entering the season. MLB.com, meanwhile, gives just eight of their prospects a future potential of 50 or better -- meaning, essentially, a league-average player.
This isn't to suggest the Red Sox will come up empty in their search -- indeed, making a trade with the Mets for Wheeler would seem plausible, given he's an impending free agent having a subpar season. Those factors are likely, however, to limit the upside of what they can do.
The Red Sox entered this week ranked 18th in the majors in rotation ERA. Nathan Eovaldi is expected to return from the injured list as their closer.
Ivan Nova pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning for his first win in eight tries at Guaranteed Rate Field, Eloy Jimenez and Jose Abreu homered, and the Chicago White Sox beat the crosstown Cubs 3-1 to salvage a two-game split Sunday.
The right-hander delivered in a big way after going 0-4 with an 8.31 ERA in his first seven starts there. Nova (4-7) allowed five hits over 5 2/3 innings, struck out four and walked one.
Jimenez hit a long, two-run homer to center against Kyle Hendricks in the fourth.
Abreu had three hits, including a solo shot to the right-field bullpen against Brad Brach in the fifth that made it 3-0.
Yoan Moncada extended his career-high hitting streak to 13 games with a single. Alex Colome worked the ninth for his 20th save in 21 chances, getting Victor Caratini to ground into a game-ending double play after Jason Heyward singled, and the White Sox won for the sixth time in nine games.
After winning two in a row, the Cubs lost for the 16th time in 26 games. They went 0 for 8 with men in scoring position and fell to 0-10 when scoring one run or less. Even so, they maintained a half-game lead in the NL Central.
Hendricks (7-7) lost his third straight start after going 6-0 in his previous eight to match the longest winning streak of his career. The right-hander gave up two runs and four hits in four innings and threw 86 pitches in his second outing after missing about two weeks because of inflammation in his right shoulder.
Robel Garcia homered for the second time in four games since the Cubs called him up from Triple-A Iowa.
Evan Longoria homered with one out in the seventh inning to break up Jack Flaherty's bid for a no-hitter, and the Giants held on to beat the Cardinals 1-0 on Sunday.
San Francisco won for the seventh time in nine games despite getting only two hits off Flaherty. Alex Dickerson followed Longoria's drive with a bloop single to left that glanced off the glove of All-Star shortstop Paul DeJong.
Flaherty was masterful before Longoria's home run. The 23-year-old retired his first 12 batters before walking Alex Dickerson leading off the fifth. He struck out two of the next three and got Kevin Pillar to foul out.
But the Cardinals couldn't muster much offensively and Flaherty became the latest St. Louis pitcher to come up short in a no-hit bid. Adam Wainwright twice had no-hitters broken up in the sixth inning this season, against Cincinnati on April 13 and the Cubs on June 2.
Flaherty (4-6) struck out six and allowed two hits in seven innings.
Jeff Samardzija (6-7) pitched seven scoreless innings and allowed four hits to beat the Cardinals for the first time in four career starts at Oracle Park.
Samardzija took a no-hitter into the fifth, pitched out of a jam in the sixth after allowing a one-out double, then got Matt Wieters to fly out with two on and two out in the seventh.
Sam Dyson retired three batters. All-Star closer Will Smith pitched the ninth and is 23-for-23 in save opportunities.
Yairo Munoz had two hits for St. Louis. The Cardinals finished 4-5 on their road trip and head into the All-Star break two games behind first-place Chicago in the NL Central.
A second-half goal from Jonathan Dos Santos lifted Mexico past the United States, 1-0, in the 2019 Gold Cup final on Sunday night in Chicago.
Both Christian Pulisic and Jozy Altidore missed golden opportunities in the opening minutes to set the tone for the USMNT. Mexico knocked on the door for most of the second half and the winner finally came in the 73rd minute.
For the fourth time in history and the second time in a row, the United States women's national team is the world's best. In Lyon, France on Sunday, the Americans beat the Netherlands 2-0 in the final at the 2019 Women's World Cup. Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle both scored in the second half, and Jill Ellis remained unbeaten in World Cup play, becoming the first manager to win the tournament twice.
Joe Maddon earned his second ejection this season Thursday providing a spark in what became an 11-3 victory that snapped a four-game losing streak.
Maddon's theatrics came with the Cubs nursing a slim one-run lead. An inning after Maddon headed to the clubhouse Chicago broke it open during a five-run fifth that included a two-run single by Baez.
Bryant tied a season high with four hits, including a first-inning home run to the seats in right-center off Lyles.
Robel Garcia finished a double short of the cycle in his first major league start. Willson Contreras drove in three runs for the Cubs, who moved back into a tie with Milwaukee for first place in the crowded NL Central, where all five teams are separated by 3 1/2 games.
Jose Quintana (6-7) allowed three runs and six hits in seven innings to win consecutive starts for the first time since April.
Kevin Newman had two hits and All-Star Josh Bell boosted his RBI total to a major league-leading 81 with a sacrifice fly, but the Pirates couldn't pull off a four-game home sweep of the Cubs. Lyles surrendered a season-high seven runs and 10 hits, eight of them for extra bases, as Pittsburgh missed out on a chance to get back to .500 for the first time since May 31.
Matt Wieters and Dexter Fowler homered, Tommy Edman came through with another key hit, and the St. Louis Cardinals rallied for a 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.
Edman put the Cardinals in front for the second straight day with a two-run single in the seventh.
Edman connected for a pinch-hit three-run homer during St. Louis' five-run ninth in a 5-2 win Wednesday night. He nearly went deep again, watching his drive down the right field line for a potential grand slam on Thursday hook foul at the last moment. Rather than be bothered by the long strike, Edman worked a nine-pitch at-bat and capitalized with a single to put the Cardinals in front.
Wieters hit a solo shot in the third inning and Fowler added a two-run drive in the fourth. Daniel Ponce de Leon got his first major league win, and Carlos Martinez worked the ninth for his third save. The Cardinals took two of three in the rare interleague series.
St. Louis starter Michael Wacha was charged with four runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings, but the Cardinals bullpen was solid for the second straight game. Ponce de Leon (1-0) allowed one baserunner in 2 2/3 innings. Andrew Miller worked out of a jam in the eighth before Martinez finished.
J.P. Crawford and Tim Beckham homered for the Mariners, who have dropped six of seven. All-Star Daniel Vogelbach added a run-scoring single.
Seattle wasted a chance to tie the game in the eighth. The inning started with Mallex Smith hitting a liner that deflected off John Gant's leg for a base hit. Miller then replaced Gant, and a single by Domingo Santana and a wild pitch put runners at second and third with one out.
Miller escaped the threat by striking out Vogelbach and Omar Narvaez, and got a big assist from Wieters keeping a spiked pitch to Narvaez from going to the backstop.
Seattle's Tommy Milone (1-3) was solid for five innings following opener Matt Carasiti, but ran into trouble in the seventh. Milone was lifted after a leadoff walk and one-out single, and Matt Festa walked Wieters to load the bases. Edman barely missed a grand slam earlier in the at-bat when a deep fly ball hooked late. On the ninth pitch, Edman lined a slider into right to give St. Louis the lead.
Niko Goodrum lined a two-run homer in Detroit's five-run sixth inning, Boyd struck out 13 to tie a career high and the Tigers topped the Chicago White Sox 11-5 on Thursday.
Boyd (6-6) allowed four runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, and all but three of the outs he recorded came via strikeout. He struck out the side in the first and fourth innings, did not walk a batter and won for the first time since May 28.
The 28-year-old left-hander reached double digits in strikeouts for the second straight start, for the fourth time this season and fifth time in his career.
Miguel Cabrera added a 454-foot solo shot and doubled, and Jeimer Candelario also homered.
Hicks and Nicholas Castellanos each had two RBIs as Detroit rebounded after being swept in a doubleheader on Wednesday to win for just the second time in its past 13 games.
White Sox rookie Eloy Jimenez hit a 436-foot two-run homer to center and had three RBIs. Jose Rondon also had a two-run drive off Boyd, but Chicago's winning streak ended at three games and the White Sox failed to climb back to .500.
Chicago's Reynoldo Lopez (4-8) retired the first nine Detroit batters, but allowed nine hits and seven runs (six earned) before Goodrum's shot to right chased him with one out in the sixth.
Lopez was 7-10 last season with a 3.91 ERA, but this year it has ballooned to 6.34.
Detroit jumped ahead 1-0 in the fourth on Castellanos' RBI single. Rondon homered to right in the bottom of the inning to put Chicago ahead 2-1.
The Tigers regained the lead when Hicks drove in two runs with a single to center.
Detroit broke it open with five runs in the sixth. After Cabrera, Christin Stewart and Harold Castro each doubled, Goodrum lined his seventh homer to right. He had three hits on the day.
After Jimenez cut it to 8-4 in the bottom half of the sixth, Cabrera homered to center in the seventh.
Candelario's drive in the ninth completed the scoring.
Tommy Edman capped St. Louis' big ninth inning with a two-out, three-run home run as the Cardinals rallied for five runs to beat the Seattle Mariners 5-2.
St. Louis entered the ninth trailing 2-0 after a masterful performance from Seattle starter Mike Leake, who threw 7 2/3 shutout innings against his former team for the first time. But Seattle's bullpen imploded and the Cardinals took full advantage of the meltdown.
Edman struck out in the ninth inning against Roenis Elias with the tying run in scoring position in the opener of the series on Tuesday night. A day later, Edman learned from his mistakes and provided the final blow to an unlikely ninth inning.
Austin Adams (1-1) got the final out of the eighth in relief of Leake but struggled in the ninth allowing two singles and a walk to load the bases with one out. Elias took over and was greeted by an RBI single from Dexter Fowler to cut the deficit to 2-1. Yadier Molina followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to score Paul Goldschmidt with the tying run, beating Dylan Moore's throw to the plate.
Adams felt Seattle should have had a second out on a potential strike three pitch to Tyler O'Neill.
O'Neill eventually walked.
John Brebbia (2-3) pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief and struck out six. Andrew Miller struck out the first two batters of the ninth and Carlos Martinez got the final out.
The late rally ruined Leake's chance at a win in his first start against the Cardinals since being traded to Seattle during the 2017 season. Leake struck out seven and retired 11 straight at one point. It was the kind of outing that could raise interest from contenders looking to add an arm to their pitching rotation ahead of the July 31 trade deadline.
Leake had allowed 11 earned runs in his previous two starts, but the outing was more what he showed in late May and early June where Leake had four consecutive starts of at least seven innings and three earned runs or less.
St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright kept the Mariners in check but a high pitch count ended his night early. Wainwright was lifted after 101 pitched following Domingo Santana's single leading off the sixth inning. Santana later scored on a wild pitch. Moore's hit a solo homer off Wainwright in the fifth inning.
Jung Ho Kang scored on Corey Dickerson's sacrifice fly to cap a frantic ninth-inning rally off Kimbrel and lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-5 victory over the struggling Cubs on Wednesday night.
Kimbrel (0-1) came on to protect a one-run lead and pick up his second save since signing a three-year deal with Chicago. Instead, he trudged to the dugout with his teammate walked off with his first loss since joining the Cubs. The Pirates used a walk, a flare that turned into a double and some aggressive base running to win their third straight.
The closer walked Elias Diaz on a full count with one out. Kang followed with a double to right that Chicago's Willson Contreras couldn't track down. Diaz beat the throw to the plate from Chicago second baseman Addison Russell on Adam Frazier's fielders' choice. Kang sprinted home when Kyle Schwarber's heave from the left field following Dickerson's fly ball was late to set off a giddy celebration.
Starling Marte collected three hits for the Pirates. Frazier's streak of hits in seven straight at-bats ended in the first but he singled in the seventh. Melky Cabrera went 3 for 4 and delivered a two-run home run off Chicago starter Yu Darvish but was also thrown out at home by Contreras to end the eighth while trying to score on a single by Colin Moran.
All it did was set the stage for Pittsburgh's 21st comeback win of the season.
Dylan Cease threw five innings in a winning major league debut, and the White Sox beat the struggling Detroit Tigers 7-5 in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.
The 23-year-old right-hander gave up three runs and four hits. He struck out six and walked four - three during a two-run first in which he also hit a batter - on a charged afternoon.
Yolmer Sanchez had two hits, drove in two runs and scored two as the White Sox won for the fourth time in five games. Sanchez hit an RBI double and came around in a two-run fourth against Daniel Norris that put Chicago on top 4-2, and added an RBI single in a two-run sixth.
Surging slugger Jose Abreu went 2 for 4 with a double and a run. He is 10 for 19 over his past five games.
McCann added an RBI double and run-scoring single, and Ryan Cordell drove in two.
Kelvin Herrera gave up an RBI double to Gordon Beckham with two outs in the ninth. Alex Colome then gave up a run-scoring double to Stewart before retiring Nicholas Castellanos for his 19th save in 20 chances.
Jeimer Candelario homered after getting hit in the wrist area earlier in the game for Detroit, which has lost 10 of 11.
Norris (2-8) is 0-7 in his past 10 starts after getting tagged for six runs and eight hits in five-plus innings.
Goalie Robin Lehner signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Blackhawks on Monday, Bob McKenzie of TSN reports.
This is a bit of a shocker, as Collin Delia appeared poised to take over as Corey Crawford's backup in 2019-20, but the Blackhawks are clearly hoping to replicate the success the Islanders had last season while deploying Lehner and Thomas Greiss as a highly effective one-two punch.
Crawford and Lehner will likely be splitting starts pretty evenly, but if Crawford suffers another head injury, Lehner will be ready to take over as Chicago's unquestioned No. 1 netminder.
>>Pirates Down Cubs
Adam Frazier backed up his big Monday night by going 4 for 4 - including a three-run shot off Mike Montgomery shortly after a long rain delay - and scored three runs to lead the Pirates to a 5-1 victory.
Starling Marte had two hits for the Pirates and Josh Bell picked up his major-league leading 78th RBI on a sacrifice fly as Pittsburgh backed up an 18-run outburst against Chicago to pull within two games of .500 (41-43) for the first time since June 2.
The Cubs managed just six hits against starter Joe Musgrove and five relievers and didn't get a runner past first base until a two-out double by Addison Russell in the eighth. Willson Contreras hit an RBI double in the ninth against Pittsburgh closer Felipe Vazquez to avoid the shutout.
Chicago has dropped three straight and four of five to remain a game behind first-place Milwaukee in the Central, where all five teams are separated by 5 1/2 games.
Hendricks gave up two runs in three innings with a walk and four strikeouts for Chicago, which has dropped three straight and four of five.
Yu Darvish (2-4, 4.98 ERA) looks for his first victory since April 27 on Wednesday. Darvish had a streak of 10 straight no-decisions end in a loss to Atlanta last week.
Chris Archer (3-6, 5.50) is scheduled to make his 15th start of the season on Wednesday. Archer left a victory over Milwaukee last Friday after four innings due to discomfort in his left hip.
>>Mariners Outlast Cardinals
Tim Beckham hit a pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning that he punctuated with a little bit of a bat flip, helping the Seattle Mariners snap a four-game losing streak with a 5-4 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.
Beckham caught up to another fastball for his third career pinch-hit homer and 13th of the season off Giovanny Gallegos (1-1) in the eighth inning. The hit broke a 4-all tie and sent the Cardinals to their sixth loss in seven games, dropping one game below .500.
Omar Narvaez also homered for the Mariners to help build a 4-2 lead through six innings. But Yairo Munoz, in the lineup for the injured Matt Carpenter, tied the game at 4-4 in the seventh with a two-out, two-run homer.
Jose Martinez had two solo home runs, off opener Matt Carasiti in the first inning and reliever Wade LeBlanc in the sixth, for the Cardinals.
Jack Flaherty paid tribute to Tyler Skaggs on Tuesday night, one day after his close friend was found dead in his Texas hotel room on a road trip with the Los Angeles Angels.
The Cardinals starter wrote Skaggs' name in the pitching mound dirt before his start against the Mariners and had his friend on his mind most of the night. The two were so close, and the impact of Skaggs' death so powerful, that St. Louis manager Mike Shildt offered to let Flaherty miss his start. Flaherty declined.
Flaherty pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits and four runs.
Adam Wainwright (5-7, 4.35 ERA) is 5-2 in games pitched against AL West opponents.
Mike Leake (7-7, 4.63 ERA) is 5-2 following a loss (he lost to Milwaukee on June 27), the only current Seattle starter above .500.
>>Tigers, White Sox Washed Out
A downpour on Tuesday night shouldn't delay the major league debut of Chicago White Sox pitching prospect Dylan Cease
Tuesday's game between the White Sox and the Detroit Tigers was postponed by rain nearly an hour after the scheduled first pitch. It will be made up on Sept. 27 as part of a straight doubleheader.
But the 23-year-old Cease is still scheduled to start the first game of a split doubleheader on Wednesday against Detroit, facing lefty Daniel Norris. Chicago left-hander Ross Detwiler will take the mound in the nightcap against Tigers lefty Tyler Alexander, who was recalled from Triple-A Toledo to make his major league debut.
Cease hadn't yet been recalled from Triple-A Charlotte following Tuesday's rainout, but the prized White Sox right-hander, weather permitting, is ready to go. Ranked as the No. 18 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, Cease was part of the five-player trade in July 2017 that sent left-hander Jose Quintana to the crosstown Cubs and brought outfielder Eloy Jimenez to the South Side.
Cease's debut isn't intended as a spot start. The White Sox desperately need another arm for their depleted rotation, especially with top prospect Michael Kopech and lefty Carlos Rodon out until next season following Tommy John surgery.
Cease is 5-2 with 4.48 ERA in 15 starts at Charlotte. Before pitching a scoreless inning in his last outing on Thursday, he had allowed 13 earned runs over 11 1/3 innings in three previous starts.
Cease faces LHP Norris (2-7, 4.62) in the opener on Wednesday. LHP Alexander takes the mound against Detwiler (1-0, 3.60)
The 33-year-old Detwiler earned his first major league win in nearly three years last Friday when he tossed five effective innings against Minnesota. Alexander, a Chicago native, was 2-9, with a 6.23 ERA in 15 outings at Toledo.
Josh Bell, a first-time All-Star, smashed three home runs to boost his season total to 25, leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to an 18-5 rout over the Chicago Cubs on Monday night.
Bell, who will be part of the eight-man derby field in Cleveland next week, hit a three-run shot off rookie Adbert Alzolay (1-1) in the first inning, a two-run drive off Alzolay in the second and finished off a four-hit, seven-RBI night by taking new Chicago closer Craig Kimbrel deep in the eighth as Pittsburgh began a pivotal seven-game homestand by pounding out a season-high 23 hits.
Adam Frazier finished 5 for 6 and tied a major league record with four doubles. Colin Moran had a career-high five hits for as Pittsburgh boosted its team batting average to .268, fourth-best in the majors.
Trevor Williams (3-2) picked up his first win since May 10 and added a key RBI single during the fourth to help the Pirates pull away. Fellow pitcher Steven Brault added a pinch-hit single in the sixth.
All eight position players finished with at least one hit.
Jung Ho Kang hit his seventh home run of the season off Chicago infielder Daniel Descalso, who made a cameo on the mound in the seventh with the game well out of hand. Jose Osuna hit a solo home run off Kimbrel, who came on to get some work after making his debut with the Cubs last week.
Javier Baez hit his 21st home run for Chicago. Kris Bryant and David Bote had two hits each, but the Cubs couldn't keep pace while falling out of first in the NL Central.
Alzolay gave up seven runs in 2 2/3 innings with a walk and three strikeouts as his ERA zoomed from 2.08 to 7.15.
The Cubs fell a game behind Milwaukee with their second straight loss and have struggled on the road. Chicago is just 16-24 away from Wrigley Field and 7-11 over its last 18 games.
Kyle Hendricks (7-5, 3.36 ERA) returns Tuesday from a stint on the injured list due to right shoulder inflammation. Hendricks is 4-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 13 starts against Pittsburgh.
Joe Musgrove (6-7, 4.27) is 2-2 with a 1.37 ERA in four starts against the Cubs.
>>Angels LHP Skaggs Found Dead in Texas at Age 27
The Los Angeles Angels announced left-handed pitcher Tyler Skaggs died Monday. Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in Southlake, Texas, according to police. No further details about the cause of death are available at this time.
In response, the Angels and Rangers did not play their scheduled contest on Monday evening. Their game will be made up in August. The rest of the three games in the series are expected to be played this week.
Angels GM Billy Eppler addressed reporters Monday night, saying Skaggs "touched a lot of people's lives."
The Southlake Police Department issued this release, stating no foul play is suspected. Suicide is also "not suspected," a police spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times.
Skaggs, who would've turned 28 on July 13, had pitched in the majors in parts of seven seasons. Most recently, he started against the Oakland Athletics on Saturday afternoon. Originally the No. 40 pick in the 2009 draft, Skaggs was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of a package for Dan Haren. The Angels later reacquired Skaggs as part of a three-team deal that also included Mark Trumbo and Adam Eaton.
Former Chicago Blackhawks winger Artemi Panarin signed a seven-year, $81.5 million contract with the Rangers on Monday, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports.
New York has reeled in the biggest fish in the free agency pond, further turbocharging a rebuild that has quickly moved into the competitive phase thanks to the offseason additions of Panarin, Jacob Trouba and second overall pick Kaapo Kakko.
The Russian winger has 320 points in 322 career NHL appearances between the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets. He should instantly slot in on the top line and No. 1 power-play unit on Broadway.
Ryan Carpenter signed a three-year, $3 million contract with the Blackhawks on Monday, Chris Kuc of The Athletic reports.
Carpenter appeared in 68 games with the Golden Knights in 2018-19, tallying five goals and 18 points over that span. The 28-year-old will likely center the Blackhawks' fourth line while also contributing as a penalty killer in 2019-20.
Winger Sammy Blais signed a one-year, $850,000 extension with the St. Louis Blues on Monday, Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic reports.
Blais isn't a big scorer with seven points in 43 career games, but he brings much-needed energy in a bottom-six role. Keeping the 2014 sixth-rounder on hand was an easy decision for the Stanley Cup champs given his affordability and chemistry with the rest of the locker room.
Centerman Matt Duchene signed a seven-year, $56 million contract with the Nashville Predators on Monday, Adam Vingan of The Athletic reports.
Nashville already has all of its defensive regulars under contract for the 2019-20 season, so it makes sense that the Predators would turn their attention to bolstering the top-six forward group upon this major signing of Duchene, with the average annual value on his contract ($8.0 million) matching that of revered assistant captain Ryan Johansen.
The Predators averaged a putrid two goals per game in an abbreviated 2019 postseason run, meaning Duchene -- an accomplished top-six, power-play forward with a career average of 0.75 points per game between the Avalanche, Senators and Blue Jackets -- will be relied upon heavily, just as he was in his most recent stint with Columbus.
Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky signed a seven-year, $70 million contract with the Florida Panthers on Monday.
This deal makes Bobrovsky the second highest paid goaltender in the NHL behind Carey Price, and for good reason, as he's been one of the best backstops in the league since joining Columbus in 2012-13, compiling a 213-130-27 record while maintaining a 2.41 GAA and .921 save percentage through 374 appearances spread over seven seasons.
The two-time Vezina Trophy winner will be 37 years old by the time his contract with Florida is up, and he'll almost certainly have declined by then, but the Panthers are trying to compete for a Stanley Cup now, so they'll worry about the long-term ramifications of this deal later.
>>Cardinals Solve Padres
Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer with two outs in the 11th inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals overcame a 3-0 deficit to beat the San Diego Padres 5-3 Sunday and snap a five-game losing streak.
Wieters' shot off lefty Brad Wieck (0-1) reached the balcony on the fourth level of the Western Metal Supply Co. Building in the left-field corner at Petco Park. It was his fourth and came with Kolten Wong aboard on an infield single.
Manny Machado hit a two-run home run in the fourth, giving the Padres three players with at least 20, and Eric Hosmer had three hits. San Diego had its four-game winning streak snapped.
Carlos Martinez (2-0) pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief for the win and Dominic Leone got the final two outs for his first save.
Machado joined Franmil Reyes and Hunter Renfroe, who each have 24 homers, among Padres players with at least 20.
Jack Flaherty (4-5, 4.75) is scheduled to start Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game series at Seattle.
>>Sox Down Twins
Lucas Giolito allowed one hit in five innings and the Chicago White Sox beat the Minnesota Twins 4-3 on Sunday.
Yoan Moncada homered and he and Jose Abreu had three hits apiece for the White Sox, who won two of three against the AL Central-leading Twins.
Nelson Cruz homered for the Twins, who had won eight of nine against Chicago.
Giolito (11-2) struck out four and lowered his ERA to 2.72 before a nearly three-hour rain delay forced his exit. Giolito was coming off a loss to the Chicago Cubs and a no-decision against Boston after he went 9-0 in his previous 11 starts.
Moncada hit a two-run home run in the third for his 14th of the season. Alex Colome got four outs to earn his 18th save out of 19 opportunities.
Lewis Thorpe (0-1), a 23-year-old left-hander from Melbourne, Australia, made his major league debut for the Twins. He allowed two runs and five hits, struck out seven and walked two in five innings. Thorpe was 0-1 with a 4.08 ERA in June at Triple-A Rochester.
Abreu, Giolito and catcher James McCann were selected from the White Sox.
Reynaldo Lopez (4-7, 6.12) starts Tuesday's series opener against Detroit and LHP Matthew Boyd (5-6, 3.72). Lopez is 1-3 with a 7.61 ERA in his last seven starts.
>>Reds Down Cubs
Eugenio Suarez ended his slump with Cincinnati's longest homer of the season, Anthony DeSclafani pitched six scoreless innings and the Reds held off the Chicago Cubs 8-6 Sunday.
Phillip Ervin and Nick Senzel drove in two runs each, and Raisel Iglesias escaped with a six-out save despite allowing Jason Heyward's three-run homer in the ninth. Kyle Schwarber also had a late connection for the Cubs.
The Cubs have dropped 3 of 4 and finished June 14-15, their first losing month since May 2017.
Yasiel Puig stole two bases a day after a shouting match with Chicago reliever Pedro Strop - Puig was upset after being hit by a 3-0 pitch. He scored after both stolen bases thanks to Ervin's bloop singles, including one during a four-run eighth. Senzel added a two-run single during the big frame.
DeSclafani (5-4) ended his day by striking out David Bote with two runners on and celebrated with a fist pump. He struck out seven and allowed five hits and a walk.
Schwarber capped a three-run seventh with his 18th homer. Chicago got the potential go-ahead runs to second and third in the eighth before Iglesias coaxed Albert Almora Jr. into an inning-ending foul popup. Heyward's shot in the ninth cut the deficit to two, but Iglesias was able to finish his 14th save.
Lester allowed four runs - three earned - on five hits and two walks. He tied his season high with eight strikeouts.
Adbert Alzolay (1-0) makes his third career appearance, second start and first against the Pirates in the opener of a four-game series at Pittsburgh on Monday.
The 2019 high school football schedules have been released.
The Clinton Maroons will play only eight games this season with a week 2 bye following their opener at South Fork.
Weeks 3 through 9 will be all conference tilts, opening the Central Illinois Conference slate at Shelbyville (Sept. 13) and home games against Meridian (Sept. 20), Decatur St. Teresa (Oct. 4), and Sullivan (Oct. 18).
The Maroons are at Tuscola Sept. 27, Central A&M on Oct. 11 and at Warrensburg-Latham on Oct. 25.
The Monticello Sages will begin the defense of their Class 3A state title with a game at Olympia and then an away game at Illinois Valley Central.
The Sages open their home slate hosting Champaign St. Thomas More Sept. 13. The Sages alternate home and away the rest of the season with matchups at Unity Oct. 4, hosting Pontiact Oct. 11 and their senior night matchup with rival St. Joe-Ogden Oct. 25.
Other matchups of note in central Illinois, Maroa-Forsyth plays at Williamsville Sept. 20, Cerro-Gordo Bement travels to Shelbyville Sept. 6 with Argenta-Oreana at home on Sept. 20 and at Blue Ridge Oct. 11.
Blue Ridge will host Martinsville to begin their campaign Aug. 30 followed by two road matchups at Oblongand Oakland. The Knights round out their season with a matchup at home opposite Toledo-Cumberland (Sept. 20), at ALAH (Sept. 27), hosting consecutive games with Decatur LSA (Oct. 4) and Cerro-Gordo Bement (Oct. 11) and then a matchup at Arcola in week 8 and home for senior night with Argenta-Oreana on Oct. 25.
Craig Kimbrel dodged trouble for a save in his season debut when new teammate Anthony Rizzo dived into first base for the final out, and the Chicago Cubs rallied from five runs down to beat the Atlanta Braves 9-7 on Thursday.
Called up from Triple-A earlier in the day, Kimbrel struck out Brian McCann looking and induced a groundout from Johan Camargo to start the ninth inning. Ronald Acuna Jr. then hit a ground-rule double into Wrigley Field's ivy, and Dansby Swanson walked on four pitches.
Freddie Freeman grounded sharply down the first base line, and Rizzo fielded and had to dive for the bag to beat Freeman after Kimbrel failed to cover first.
Victor Caratini's two-run homer capped the Cubs' four-run fifth inning that put them ahead for good. Kyle Schwarber also went deep for the Chicago, which got three RBIs from Jason Heyward on a warm day at Wrigley Field with steady wind blowing out to left.
Freeman hit his 22nd homer, a two-run shot, and Ozzie Albies continued to feast on Cubs pitching with a solo drive and single for two RBIs. Swanson drove in three in the final regular season game between the NL Central and NL East leaders.
Chicago starter Tyler Chatwood (4-1) escaped with the win despite allowing six runs, six hits and four walks through five innings. Josh Tomlin (1-1) took the loss after Atlanta starter Bryse Wilson allowed six runs (four earned) in 4 1/3 innings after being called up from Triple-A.
Chatwood made his third start this season and second in a week as the Cubs juggled their rotation with Kyle Hendricks still sidelined.
Schwarber lined his fifth career leadoff homer to right in the first to put Chicago ahead 1-0. Albies' RBI single in the second tied it.
The Braves jumped ahead 4-1 in the third.
Swanson's double to the left-center gap drove in Acuna from first. Freeman followed with a two-run, opposite-field shot to the front row of the left field bleachers.
Swanson drove in two more with a single to center to extend Atlanta's lead to 6-1.
Chicago came back with three runs the bottom half. Two scored on Heyward's single and a third on a Wilson's wild pitch.
The Cubs scored four times in the fifth on a rally capped by Caratini's line shot to right of Tomlin to take an 8-6 lead.
Albies homered off Steve Cishek in the sixth, but Daniel Descalso came home on Tomlin's wild pitch in the bottom half.
The winningest boys basketball coach in Illinois history who gained national attention when he appeared in the 1994 documentary “Hoop Dreams” has died.
Ronald Hoover, principal at St. Joseph High School in Westchester, says Gene Pingatore died Wednesday at his home. He was 83.
At the time of his death, Pingatore was preparing for his 51st season coaching at the suburban Chicago school.
Pingatore’s teams won two state championships, advanced to the state finals six times and won 13 sectional titles. In 2017 he became the 15th boys basketball coach in the country to reach the 1,000-win mark, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.
Pingatore coached three McDonald’s All-Americans: Daryl Thomas, Deryl Cunningham and NBA Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas.
>>White Sox Outlast Red Sox
Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer over the Green Monster in the ninth inning - his third hit of the game - and Chicago recovered after blowing the lead in the eighth to beat Boston 8-7. Abreu had four RBIs, and Leury Garcia also had three hits for Chicago.
James McCann had an RBI single and added a solo home run against Chris Sale as Chicago pounced on the Boston starter for five runs in the first three innings. In all, Sale allowed six hits and a walk, hitting two batters and striking out 10 against his former team.
Chicago had leads of 3-0, 5-2 and 6-4 before the Red Sox scored three in the eighth to take a 7-6 lead and hand White Sox closer Alex Colome (3-1) his first blown save in 17 opportunities. But Matt Barnes (3-3) gave up three straight hits in the top of the ninth - Garcia was caught stealing - including Abreu's 19th homer of the season.
Sale, who allowed six of the first seven batters to reach safely, retired the last 10 he faced, striking out the side in the sixth. He avoided the loss when Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run single in a three-run eighth inning to make it 7-6 - Boston's only lead of the game.
Rafael Devers, who went 4-for-4 on Tuesday night, had three more hits and scored three times for Boston. J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer and also had an RBI double for the Red Sox.
After blowing the save in the eighth, Colome walked Jackie Bradley Jr. to lead off the ninth and then retired the next three batters to end it.
Leading 6-4 in the eighth, Evan Marshall gave up a one-out single to Eduardo Nunez and a double to pinch-hitter Brock Holt. Colome got Mookie Betts to hit a hard grounder and third baseman Jose Rondon came home with it.
Nunez slid in safely head-first. Devers grounded out to the pitcher, but Bogaerts bounced a single up the middle to give Boston a 7-6 lead.
The White Sox open a nine-game homestand on Friday night. Martin Perez (7-3) pitches the opener against the Minnesota Twins.
>>A's Blank Cardinals
Daniel Mengden pitched six scoreless innings and Beau Taylor and Matt Chapman homered to lead the Athletics to a 2-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
Mengden (2-1) gave up four hits and struck out five for his first win since May 18 at Detroit.
Yusmeiro Petit pitched the seventh, Joakim Soria the eighth and Liam Hendriks got the last three outs for his second save in four chances. Hendriks has not allowed a run in 23 of his last 25 appearances.
Oakland got its fifth shutout of the season - first on the road - and first since May 7 against Cincinnati.
Adam Wainwright (5-7) allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings with nine strikeouts.
The Cardinals have not announced a starting pitcher as they face the San Diego Padres and LHP Eric Lauer (5-7, 4.32) Friday night to open a nine-game road trip.
>>Braves Down Cubs
Dallas Keuchel earned his first win for his new team and Nick Markakis hit a three-run homer Wednesday in a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Brian McCann also connected for the Braves, who won a matchup of NL division leaders for the second straight night.
Keuchel (1-1) allowed three runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings in his second start with Atlanta. He remained in the game following a 48-minute rain delay in the fourth.
Keuchel induced the Cubs to hit into double plays in each of the first three innings.
Four relievers combined to get the final 10 outs and hold the Cubs scoreless. A.J. Minter went 1 1/3 innings for his fourth save. Minter came on with the potential tying runs on base in the eighth and struck out pinch-hitter Victor Caratini.
Willson Contreras homered and tripled, and Kris Bryant also connected for the Cubs.
Chicago starter Yu Darvish (2-4) had his string of 10 straight no-decisions snapped with the loss. He allowed five runs on five hits in five innings, walking two and striking out eight. He retired the last eight batters he faced after giving up Markakis' three-run drive with one out in the third.
The Braves will recall RHP Bryse Wilson (0-0, 8.31 ERA) from Triple-A Gwinnett to start against Cubs RHP Tyler Chatwood (3-1, 3.69) on Thursday. The 21-year-old Wilson lasted just 3 1/3 innings in his last start in the majors at Philadelphia on March 30, giving up four runs and five hits. Chatwood allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits in four innings against the Mets last Thursday.
The Vanderbilt Commodores are college baseball national champions for 2019 after a 8-2 win over Michigan in the decisive Game 3 of the College World Series in Omaha. It's the Commodores' second national title -- the first came in 2014. Vanderbilt also becomes the fourth team in the last five years to win the College World Series after losing Game 1 of the best-of-three finals.
Michigan opened the game with three straight singles and a 1-0 lead, which led to bullpen activity for Vanderbilt before the first out of the game had been recorded. Vandy starter Mason Hickman, though, settled down nicely after some early command-and-control issues. Michigan had been 39-6 when scoring first in 2019 and 4-0 when scoring first during this year's College World Series.
Vandy center fielder Pat DeMarco tied the score in the second, as he hit the Commodores' 100th home run of the season to make it 1-1.
Vanderbilt took the lead for good in the third when Michigan starter Karl Kauffmann issued a bases-loaded walk with two outs. A Stephen Scott single then gave the Commodores a 4-1 lead. One can certainly argue that Kauffmann, laboring badly in the inning, should not have been left in to face the lefty-hitting Scott.