Tucker's homer on MLB debut powers Pirates to fifth straight win

Cole Tucker enjoyed an unforgettable MLB debut after hitting a home run to lead the streaking Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-1 win over the San Francisco Giants.

In his third career at-bat, Pirates shortstop Tucker drove a pitch from Giants starter Derek Holland 431 feet into the wind to almost dead centerfield for his first homer and hit on Saturday.

That two-run homer gave the Pirates a 3-1 lead in the fifth, and fans roared to get Tucker out for an encore. The 22-year-old emerged from the dugout, pumped his fists, patted his chest and pointed at the crowd.

"I was so excited to do it that I got out there and just was floored with emotion, man," Tucker said afterward. "It was loud. People were screaming. It was really, really, really cool."

The game, which had been played under apocalyptic-looking storm clouds filled with lightning flashes, was delayed a short time later. After a lengthy stoppage, the contest was called, giving the Pirates their fifth successive win.

It has been that kind of feel-good year so far for the first-placed Pirates (12-6), who have a one-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League Central. The pitching has been sensational, with Pittsburgh's starters boasting a 1.96 ERA, second only to Tampa Bay's 1.89 mark.

Jameson Taillon earned his first win of the season, going five innings and allowing only four hits and that one run.


Rosario inspires back-to-back wins

Minnesota Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario went five for nine with three home runs and five RBIs as his team swept the Baltimore Orioles in a doubleheader. Second baseman Jonathan Schoop had a pair of homer and four RBIs in the second game.

Christian Yelich hit a pair of solo homers — extending his MLB lead to 13 in that category — as the Brewers blanked the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0.

Andrew Benintendi smashed a second-inning grand slam and then drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth of the Boston Red Sox's 6-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

First baseman Rowdy Tellez had three hits — including a homer — and three RBIs in five at-bats as the Toronto Blue Jays crushed the Oakland Athletics 10-1.


Fiers struggles against Blue Jays

Athletics right-hander Mike Fiers got shellacked by the Blue Jays, giving up six runs and nine hits — including two home runs — in 3.3 innings pitched. His 8.28 ERA is the highest among MLB pitchers with 20-plus innings this year. 

Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer gave up six earned runs and 11 hits in 5.3 innings in a loss to the Miami Marlins, who were 9-3 winners.


Galvis with the catch!

Blue Jays shortstop Freddy Galvis makes the play of the week (month?) with this barehanded catch.

Rockies left fielder Raimel Tapia turns on the afterburners to complete this inside-the-park home run.


Saturday's results

New York Yankees 9-2 Kansas City Royals
St Louis Cardinals 10-2 New York Mets
Arizona Diamondbacks 6-0 Chicago Cubs
Minnesota Twins 6-5 Baltimore Orioles
Minnesota Twins 16-7 Baltimore Orioles
Pittsburgh Pirates 3-1 San Francisco Giants
Toronto Blue Jays 10-1 Oakland Athletics
Cleveland Indians 8-4 Atlanta Braves
Atlanta Braves 8-7 Cleveland Indians
Miami Marlins 9-3 Washington Nationals
Boston Red Sox 6-5 Tampa Bay Rays
Milwaukee Brewers 5-0 Los Angeles Dodgers
Texas Rangers 9-4 Houston Astros
Philadelphia Phillies 8-5 Colorado Rockies
Cincinnati Reds 4-2 San Diego Padres
Seattle Mariners 6-5 Los Angeles Angels


Red Sox at Rays

Tyler Glasnow, who came over to the Rays in the Chris Archer trade last year, is off to one of the most surprising starts in baseball. While the right-hander looked overmatched and had control issues in his first two seasons with the Pirates, he has improved his control, with great results (4-0 record, 1.13 ERA, 0.88 WHIP). He is one of the reasons the Rays sit atop the American League East. The Red Sox will counter with veteran David Price (1-1, 3.79 ERA).

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