Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

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There are only two weeks remaining on the 2013 regular season schedule and the National League Central remains a heated three-team race.

The Cardinals couldn’t solve Mariners left-hander James Paxton on Saturday night in St. Louis and fell 4-1. The Pirates beat the Cubs 2-1 in an afternoon game at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park with young righty Gerrit Cole twirling a gem. The Reds also played in the afternoon and stomped the Brewers 7-3 in Milwaukee behind big offensive days from Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto.

St. Louis and Pittsburgh are now tied for first place in the division with the exact same record (86-62) and the Reds are just 2 1/2 games back at 84-65. The teams that finish second and third will likely meet in the National League Wild Card Game.

Your Saturday box scores and recaps:

Yankees 1, Red Sox 5

Reds 7, Brewers 3

Athletics 1, Rangers 0

Orioles 3, Blue Jays 4

Marlins 3, Mets 0 (Game 1)

Phillies 5, Nationals 4

Cubs 1, Pirates 2

Royals 1, Tigers 0

Indians 8, White Sox 1

Padres 1, Braves 2

Angels 6, Astros 2

Mariners 4, Cardinals 1

Marlins 1, Mets 3 (Game 2)

Rockies 2, Diamondbacks 9

Rays 7, Twins 0

Giants 19, Dodgers 3

Report: Pirates sign Felipe Rivero to four-year contract extension

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.

Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.

Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.

Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”