Settling the Score: Friday’s results

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With the Cardinals right on their heels, the Pirates continue to hang tough in the National League Central. They maintained a one-game lead in the division with a 3-1 win over the Giants last night in San Francisco.

Charlie Morton was the story of the night for Pittsburgh, as he allowed just one run over 7 2/3 innings for the victory. The only offense he needed was a three-run homer by Clint Barmes in the top of the seventh inning, which made a loser out of Madison Bumgarner. MVP hopeful Andrew McCutchen went 2-for-3 with a walk for Pittsburgh and is hitting .451 with a ridiculous .556 on-base percentage in August.

The Pirates now sit at 76-52 on the season. They need just six wins in their last 34 games to secure their first winning season since 1992.

Your Friday box scores:

Diamondbacks 3, Phillies 4

Twins 5, Indians 1

Tigers 6, Mets 1

Rockies 3, Marlins 2

Athletics 7, Orioles 9

Yankees 2, Rays 7

Brewers 6, Reds 4

Braves 1, Cardinals 3

Rangers 11, White Sox 5

Nationals 11, Royals 10

Blue Jays 4, Astros 12

Red Sox 0, Dodgers 2

Angels 2, Mariners 0

Cubs 6, Padres 8

Rangers don’t plan to make qualifying offer to Adrián Beltré

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Rangers GM Jon Daniels said he doesn’t expect the club to make a $17.9 million qualifying offer to free agent third baseman Adrián Beltré, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports. Daniels has been in touch with the 39-year-old, who may retire.

Beltré battled hip and hamstring issues throughout the past season, limiting him to 119 games. He hit .273/.328/.434 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 481 plate appearances. Going by adjusted OPS, his mark of 98 — 100 is average — was his lowest in a season since 2009 with the Mariners. Beltré’s career average is 116 and he put up a 132 in 2017 and 128 in ’16.

Beltré appears to have some stuff left in the tank. He may not be an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he can still hit at an average level and he is still an above-average defender. It’s just a matter of his body holding up to allow him to do what he needs to do. If Beltré does decide to re-up with the Rangers for 2019, the club will be prepared to move Isiah Kiner-Falefa or Jurickson Profar over to the hot corner as they did in 2018 in the event Beltré gets bitten by the injury bug.