Chris Stewart

Mark Reynolds, John Lackey

Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

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It was yet another victorious slate of games for the cream of the crop in the National League Central.

The division-leading Cardinals cruised to an easy 6-2 win over the visiting Marlins, with Mark Reynolds slugging a three-run home run and John Lackey pitching into the eighth inning. The second-place Pirates came out on top 5-3 in a 14-inning affair with the Mets, the go-ahead RBI coming from the bat of backup catcher Chris Stewart. And the third-place Cubs took care of the crosstown White Sox by a score of 6-3 for their ninth straight win. That’s the longest current winning streak in the major leagues and it has given the Northsiders a big 4 1/2 game cushion for the second National League Wild Card spot.

All three of those NL Central clubs are currently locked into postseason spots.

And they will all be looking to complete series sweeps on Sunday.

Your box scores and AP recaps from Saturday …

Yankees 4, Blue Jays 1

Mariners 10, Red Sox 22

Athletics 3, Orioles 4

Cubs 6, White Sox 3

Angels 4, Royals 9

Phillies 2, Brewers 4

Indians 1, Twins 4

Diamondbacks 8, Braves 4

Tigers 4, Astros 2 (11 innings)

Marlins 2, Cardinals 6

Pirates 5, Mets 3 (14 innings)

Rays 4, Rangers 12

Padres 7, Rockies 5

Reds 3, Dodgers 8

Nationals 6, Giants 12

Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

Andrew McCutchen
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What a night it was at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.

The host Pirates were down 2-0 to the visiting Cardinals after the top of the third inning and 3-0 after the top of the fifth, but Bucs starter A.J. Burnett hit a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth and then Jung Ho Kang and Pedro Alvarez tied the game with back-to-back RBI singles in the bottom of the eighth.

The score would remain 3-3 until the 10th, when Cardinals first baseman Mark Reynolds slugged a go-ahead solo homer — his second homer of the game. But then Pirates catcher Chris Stewart answered with an RBI single in the bottom half.

Jhonny Peralta put St. Louis back on top once again in the top of the 14th on an RBI single that scored Matt Carpenter, but that just set up Andrew McCutchen to play the hero with this walkoff blast …

Pittsburgh has won two in a row and now stands just 3 1/2 games back of first place.

Your box scores and AP recaps from Saturday …

Blue Jays 6, Royals 2

Tigers 5, Twins 9

White Sox 5, Cubs 1

Diamondbacks 2, Mets 4

Braves 2, Rockies 3

Reds 3, Marlins 14

Astros 0, Rays 3

Athletics 5, Indians 4

Nationals 7, Orioles 4

Yankees 3, Red Sox 5

Cardinals 5, Pirates 6

Padres 6, Rangers 5

Phillies 5, Giants 8

Angels 0, Mariners 5

Brewers 7, Dodgers 1

Pirates activate Chris Stewart, send Tony Sanchez to minors

Tony Sanchez
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Francisco Cervelli has a new backup, as the Pirates activated catcher Chris Stewart from the disabled list and demoted Tony Sanchez to Triple-A.

Sanchez was the fourth overall pick in the 2009 draft, but the Pirates have never felt comfortable turning to him as a regular (even though Sanchez tweets about being ready for an expanded role every year, like clockwork).

He’ll be 27 years old next month, yet Sanchez has logged just 155 plate appearances in the majors spread over three seasons and now rather than keep him a backup role over a light-hitting journeyman like Stewart the Pirates are sending him to Triple-A for a fourth season.