Ryan McKenna hit a two-run double in the fifth inning, and the Orioles won their fifth straight game, 6-3, over the Pirates in Baltimore on Saturday.
The Orioles celebrated the 30th anniversary of Camden Yards with a pregame ceremony that included Hall of Famers Eddie Murray and Mike Mussina, and Brooks Robinson addressed the team before the game. Then the current Baltimore players, who have become quite a story over the past few weeks, added some more present-year excitement to all the nostalgia.
Oneil Cruz hit a two-run homer for Pittsburgh in the fourth to cut an early Baltimore lead to one, but McKenna came through as a pinch-hitter the following inning, putting the Orioles up 5-2 with a big two-out hit to left.
Baltimore, which entered the day 1½ games out of the final wild card in the American League, has now won 21 of its last 28 games. The Orioles (56-51) have already reached their highest win total in five years.
Murray, whose 500th homer came at Camden Yards in 1996, was asked what he thought of the ballpark’s new wall in left field, which has been pushed back this year.
“Still hit it over,” he said matter-of-factly.
Montgomery turns tables
Jordan Montgomery blanked his old teammates over five innings and Nolan Arenado drove in the lone run as the Cardinals handed the Yankees their season-high fourth straight loss, 1-0.
Making his first start for St. Louis since being acquired at the trade deadline earlier in the week, Montgomery (4-3) was taken out after five innings for precautionary reasons due to cramping. He gave up two hits and a walk with one strikeout.
Four St. Louis pitchers held the Yankees to just two hits — singles in the first and third. Only two runners reached second base. The only run came in the first inning as Paul Goldschmidt doubled with two outs and scored on a single by Arenado.
Tigers get to McClanahan
Harold Castro drove in two runs and scored twice as the Tigers ended a three-game skid with a 9-1 home win over All-Star Shane McClanahan and the Rays on Lou Whitaker Night.
Playing in front of their first sellout crowd since opening day, the Tigers won for the fifth time in 16 games on the night they retired Whitaker’s No. 1. Garrett Hill (2-3) picked up the win, allowing one run in 5 1/3 innings.
McClanahan (10-5) gave up four runs on six hits in seven innings. In the seventh inning, Rays pitching coach Kyle Snyder injured himself walking to the mound to visit McClanahan. The 44-year-old pulled a calf muscle, according to manager Kevin Cash, who finished the mound visit.
Jays can’t get to Twins’ pen
Jorge Polanco had a pair of two-out RBIs and Jose Miranda homered for the Minnesota Twins, who beat the Blue Jays, 7-3, behind a stellar bullpen performance.
All-Star Luis Arraez went 3 for 5 with an RBI for the first-place Twins, who kept their two-game lead on Cleveland in the AL Central.
Arraez doubled twice and scored on both of Polanco’s clutch hits — a single in the third inning off Blue Jays starter Mitch White (1-3) and a double in the fifth after White was replaced by Tim Mayza, who had a painful night, ending with a dislocated non-throwing shoulder.
Mets pad NL East lead
Max Scherzer tied a season high with 11 strikeouts over seven innings and the Mets beat the sloppy Braves, 6-2, to complete a doubleheader sweep.
Francisco Lindor had three hits and three RBIs as New York took the opener, 8-5, and the Mets stretched their NL East lead to 5 1/2 games, their largest since June 21.
Mets fans taunted the second-place Braves in the ninth inning of Game 2 by performing the tomahawk chop, a tradition at games in Atlanta despite complaints from some Native American groups that the action is degrading.
Friendly confines for Smyly
Drew Smyly tossed shutout ball into the seventh inning for his first win at Wrigley Field for the Cubs, leading Chicago past the Miami Marlins, 4-0.
P.J. Higgins homered and singled, and Nico Hoerner added three hits and an RBI to help the Cubs defeat Miami for a second straight day after losing five straight.
Ian Happ had two hits and scored a run and Willson Contreras had an RBI single. Both All-Stars, Happ and Contreras were the subject of trade rumors before Tuesday’s deadline, but remained with Chicago.
Quantrill dominant for Guardians
Cal Quantrill tossed six scoreless innings and Amed Rosario had a two-run single, lifting the Guardians to a 4-1 victory over the AL West-leading Astros
All-Star José Ramírez added two hits and an RBI, and Andres Gimenez and Myles Straw had two hits apiece. The Guardians pulled within 1½ games of first-place Minnesota in the AL Central with the combined six-hitter.
Quantrill (8-5) struck out four with a lone walk, extending his winning streak to four and remaining undefeated at Progressive Field. The righthander is 11-0 in 36 career games at the ballpark, including 26 starts for Cleveland.
Springer hits IL
The Blue Jays placed All-Star center fielder George Springer on the 10-day injured list with inflammation in his right elbow. Springer has been bothered by the elbow for much of the summer and had missed four of Toronto’s previous five games. He’s scheduled to receive an anti-inflammatory injection this weekend to aid the healing and will be eligible to return Aug. 15. The four-time All-Star is batting .251 with 18 home runs, 59 runs, and 49 RBIs in 89 games . . . Franmil Reyes, who began the season as the cleanup hitter for the Guardians, was designated for assignment. The 27-year-old outfielder/designated hitter had been optioned to Triple-A Columbus earlier in the week after batting .213 with nine home runs and 104 strikeouts in 263 at-bats. Reyes belted 37 homers in 2019 — splitting the season between Cleveland and San Diego — and had 30 homers and a career-high 85 RBIs in 2021. He is earning $4.55 million on a one-year contract and was arbitration eligible . . . The Cubs reinstated 11-year veteran shortstop Andrelton Simmons from the injured list, then designated the four-time Gold Glove winner for assignment. Simmons signed a $4 million deal with the Cubs in March and appeared to be slotted for a regular role. But the 32-year-old appeared in just 34 games, hitting .173 with seven RBIs, because of two right shoulder injuries.