Cubs extend streak to five, Pillar on form for Blue Jays

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The Chicago Cubs keep piling up the wins after claiming their fifth-straight triumph in an 8-6 victory over the Washington Nationals in MLB on Friday.

A four-run eighth inning from the Nationals tightened up the score on a day where the Cubs were otherwise in control, with Ben Zobrist leading the way with two home runs.

The streaking Toronto Blue Jays are also in terrific form following their 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Kevin Pillar's three-run home in the eighth secured a fourth consecutive victory for the Blue Jays, who improved to 16-15 into third in the American League (AL) Eastern Conference.

The Cleveland Indians and Miami Marlins also extended their winning streaks to four games via 7-1 and 6-4 victories against the Kansas City Royals and Philadelphia Phillies respectively.

At the other end of the form spectrum, the Detroit Tigers slumped to a fourth successive loss with a 5-1 humbling at the hands of the Texas Rangers, while the New York Yankees edged the Boston Red Sox 3-2 in a controversial affair after David Ortiz was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with bases loaded in the ninth.

The Cincinnati Reds were 5-1 winners over the Milwaukee Brewers, Zack Greinke struck out eight over six innings to help the Arizona Diamondbacks halt their slide at the expense of the Atlanta Braves in a 7-2 triumph and the Chicago White Sox smashed the Minnesota Twins 10-4.

The Houston Astros defeated the Seattle Mariners 6-3, the Pittsburgh Pirates were 4-2 winners over the St Louis Cardinals, the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 and the San Francisco Giants saw off the Colorado Rockies 6-4.

Elsewhere, the New York Mets were shut out by the San Diego Padres 2-0, while the Baltimore Orioles' home game with the Oakland Athletics was postponed.


KANG IMPRESSES

In his 2016 debut, Jung Ho Kang homered twice and went two-for-four in the Pirates' victory over the Cardinals. He spent almost eight months rehabilitating his left knee after it was surgically repaired. His two-run homer in the sixth and a solo home run in the eighth kept the Pirates ahead of the Cardinals throughout the entire game.


PILLAR PUNISHES DODGERS

Pillar continued the Blue Jays fine form with the bat, albeit with a late show, when his eighth-inning, three-run homer secured the win for the home side against the Dodgers.